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  1. #1

    At last, is the Big Battle of Helm's Deep Lore-Breaking?

    At last! The thread everyone was waiting for. Created to pull of some load from the "20 Questions regarding Big Battles" thread and a few others.

    My personal opinion is that the new Instances (yet to be played) are NOT Lore-Breaking.
    At least not in the ridiculous manner some other features were asked along the way to be implemented (Eagle Mounts, Cable TV in Kinhouses etc).

    And let me explain myself a bit better.

    Most of the characters in LOTRO have participated in a cornucopia of quests, in favor of the Free Peoples. And have done many deeds, and run for many personal errands of members of the fellowship and other known figures (Elrond, Gloin, Dwalin, Arwen and the 2 sons of Elrond etc).
    Now if that character -that did SO many things for all those key-figures of the Third Age- did not exist, or at least Tolkien didn't mention, why is it so bad to have them fight a battle that is SO EPIC?

    This is not a "two wrongs make a right" situation/argument. Not at all. It's just it was happening from day C (for example when you spoke to Frodo at Rivendell). It's pretty unlikely your character wasn't mentioned in any Middle-Earth history book, if he did so much (excluding of course all the raids , from Draigoch, to sending the Witch King back to Minas Morgul. If he vanquished all this evil he should be better known than Theodred for example - IMO).
    The only situation i see that a level 85 would justifiably be unknown, is if he only killed landscape mobs (was a true hunter renegade that did no errands and was always lurking in the shadows avoiding NPCs) or participated in Festivals the whole time (in which case he would be well-known among Hobbits! Huzzzaaaaah!!!).


    Anyway here's a good (I believe) trick that even our poor Dwarves, Elves and Hobbits participate in the battle :

    It is known that among the defenders of Helm's Deep were old men and children.
    It would be great if we could have Aragorn/Legolas/Gimli, you know our old buddies from back in the day, secretly sneak us in and dress in armour, and they'd go on defending us to nosey Rohirrim saying, for dwarves and hobbits "It's just a kid, nothing to see here. Move on - move on!".

    It could totally work for Hobbits. Dwarves are quite more difficult to work around (with the beards and all), but i'm sure we could think something out.
    As for elves, the only problem is the pointy ears. Can be solved easily.


    What do yee think?
    Last edited by Vincent_Price; Aug 07 2013 at 06:02 PM. Reason: A few typos here , some commas there...you know...

  2. #2
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    There's no need to follow every word of the books. Our characters are heroes living in Tolkien's imaginary world, they're not the actual characters of the books.

    Peter Jackson had elves in the movies... you could say that Turbine has a similar "creative license" to do the same thing.

  3. #3
    The game already has many lore-breaking components. Turbine, from what I can tell, tries their best to keep the lore intact, but I understand their limitations. In my opinion, they're not unreasonable and neither are the "Big Battles" coming to Helm's Deep. Until we are driving modern cars with Gandalf or summoning sharks with rocket launchers strapped to their backs, it's not a big deal to me. People that say some components of the game are lore-breaking are justifiable, but Turbine needs some room to develop the game with what they have.
    Last edited by xDementedx; Aug 07 2013 at 06:34 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by BackAgainAndThere View Post
    Peter Jackson had elves in the movies... you could say that Turbine has a similar "creative license" to do the same thing.
    Now THAT, I think, is the nauseating justification it has ever been my displeasure to read.

  5. #5
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    I think including any and all player characters in the Battle of the Hornburg IS a major lore break.

    However, if Turbine were to just come out and say, "You know what? It IS a lore break, and we acknowledge that. We've spent a large 'lore cookie' and we did it deliberately. We couldn't find another way to do it without upsetting too many players, so we bit the bullet and decided to let the player characters in." I could accept that. But I can't accept it unless they are willing to step up and be honest about why they did it and admitting that they knowingly broke lore to do it.

    It's not like Turbine is unaware of the debates over the point.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent_Price View Post
    Now if that character -that did SO many things for all those key-figures of the Third Age- did not exist, or at least Tolkien didn't mention, why is it so bad to have them fight a battle that is SO EPIC?
    Because it's not their fight, not this time. This isn't filling in some gap, it'd be a clear break with the story. The expectation to be involved in every damn scene just because it's 'SO EPIC' is a bit much.

    Anyway here's a good (I believe) trick that even our poor Dwarves, Elves and Hobbits participate in the battle :

    It is known that among the defenders of Helm's Deep were old men and children.
    Youths, not children. And given that hobbits were roughly the size of four-year-olds, the idea that anyone could mistake them for someone who ought to be running around on a battlefield isn't even the least bit plausible. Dwarves would stand out too, not just from their height and the beards but their build. Only Elves would have a fair chance of blending in.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    I think including any and all player characters in the Battle of the Hornburg IS a major lore break.
    Sure, but a thoroughly expected one, in my opinion. This expansion centers about an iconic battle, and requiring players to park the characters we've invested hundreds (or thousands!) of hours playing while we skin up as Generic Rohirrim #26 is a bridge too far for an entertainment company.

    But I can't accept it unless they are willing to step up and be honest about why they did it and admitting that they knowingly broke lore to do it.
    I still don't accept Rune-keepers as appropriate for this setting. But that opinion isn't really worth much in the grand scheme of things, and you know what? I held out for a year, but then started an RK and have had fun with him. He's level 85 .

    Khafar

  8. #8
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    If people really want to complain about lore breaking, then please delete any Hobbit characters you have, ESPECIALLY if they are female, because - other than Sam, Frodo, Merry, Pippin or Bilbo (or Gollum if you want to count him) - no other Hobbits should be outside of the Shire or Stoor.

    Oh, and you definitely can't have a Dwarf and an Elf character on the same account because they don't work together, so that's lore breaking too.

    If you have any Dwarf Minstrels, delete them too, because Dwarves don't heal, they fight, or work (this goes for Runekeepers too).

    If you have anything other than a Hobbit Burglar, delete them. There was no mention of Human Burglars in the books. But then again, there shouldn't be Hobbit Burglars either (see first sentence).

    Don't enter Moria, because it wasn't "officially" reclaimed until after Sauron was defeated.

    Never enter the Golden Wood on any of your characters, because you would be breaking the lore. Only the Fellowship is permitted to enter there.

    Don't ever run the instance where you go up against Saruman because that never happened in the books.

    I could go on, but the point I am trying to get across is that IT'S A GAME based on a FICTIONAL story. You have to have some leeway, otherwise what are they going to do? Post a notice and say "Hobbits and Elves can't enter any Helm's Deep instances because it would break the lore!". Yeah, I'm sure that would go over like a lead balloon.

    If you don't like it, don't take any characters that you feel are "lore breaking" into Helm's Deep, but don't keep me from taking mine there.
    Last edited by Elderban; Aug 07 2013 at 11:04 PM. Reason: Typos

  9. #9
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    They twist the story a bit, but still aceptable imo. Its like Tolkien never said you help to reforge the sword for Aragorn, or the fellowship meet some other hobbits/men/dwarves in Lorien, but its already in the game. You've helped the Rohirrim alots. To them, you're a kinsman (woman). In the book, the Rohirrim of the Easternet retreat to Helm-deep. You could be one of those people.

  10. #10
    After having beaten 2 balrogs, climbed to the top of Orthanc and bested Saruman, rubbed elbows with a rune-keeper, defeated the Lt. Of Dol Guldur, and bumped into a dragon in Eriador, I am classifying this lorebreak as minor. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a gatling gun to ready for Helm's Deep...
    Leafblade, Captain
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Elderban View Post
    If people really want to complain about lore breaking, then please delete any
    ...characters you have. They are not mentioned by Red Book, neither are their deeds and majority of questlines, so there is no evidence they existed. Which is pretty much the most common "eek, lore break!" argument so far.

    Eomer would sound a bit more serious in comparison, but it has already been retconned far earlier (because we totally need to rub shoulders with important characters all the time :/), so even his sudden amazement in Isengard has been already swooped under the rug.

    As for "it's not their fight", sure, that certainly explains it. Getting rid of Amarthiel was totally a business of random man from Rohan or Dale. Or delivering Hornblower pies was totally in-character for that 1000+ years old guy with from Mirkwood. Sure, delivering Rangers to Rohan sounds like a very important racial mission for that dwarf who just came back from singing to trees in Lorien. And, obviously, every Hobbit knew defending Fords of Isen was always going to be their fight. It's not even the case of "one mistake does not make another any better" - unless there is at least a several dozens "right" cross-racial stories somewhere in LOTRO. Of course neither is mentioned anyway, so...

  12. #12
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    I think including any and all player characters in the Battle of the Hornburg IS a major lore break.

    However, if Turbine were to just come out and say, "You know what? It IS a lore break, and we acknowledge that. We've spent a large 'lore cookie' and we did it deliberately. We couldn't find another way to do it without upsetting too many players, so we bit the bullet and decided to let the player characters in." I could accept that. But I can't accept it unless they are willing to step up and be honest about why they did it and admitting that they knowingly broke lore to do it.

    It's not like Turbine is unaware of the debates over the point.
    Of course we're not unaware. I think what you're saying, after six years of making the game, should all be assumed. Of course any player character that steps foot in Rohan would be a lore break. Obviously there were only a handful of non-Rohirrim present at the Battle of the Hornberg and none of them were you or I and we know that because they were named Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas (sorry movie buffs, no Haldir). Obviously none of you should ever have stepped foot in the golden wood or Rivendell. Most of you couldn't go to the Shire (or leave it). Angmar and Forochell would have to go away. It wouldn't be a very fun game if most of the places people want to visit in Middle-earth were off limits because the lore says it is.

    So yes, we make decisions every day on how to include players in what we call "Big T" moments with full knowledge that if we adhere to the lore we have to skip over those areas entirely or, at best, make them cut-scenes. Fortunately we have people on this team who are responsible for keeping as true to the lore as possible while still affording us the ability to include players in areas the lore says they should never be. We make up stories to give you something to do because you cannot be Frodo. You don't 'die' in LOTRO because unless you are one of a very small number of beings you do not come back from the dead in Middle-earth. You do not fight "the" Balrog, you fight "a" balrog or a "fear" of "The" Balrog (depending on which raid you do). Only Gandalf slew Durin's Bane, but everyone wants to fight him in a video game. So we found a way to let you that wasn't entirely lore breaking.

    So yes, we are acutely aware of where the needs of making a video game intersect and occasionally conflict with being 100% lore accurate. When that happens we have people in this building as fiercely protective of the lore as any of you, probably more so, doing their best to make sure that when we have to have lore breaks they are done in ways that at least works within the spirit of the lore and Middle-earth without, hopefully, running roughshod over it (No eagle mounts!!).

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Vincent_Price View Post
    It's pretty unlikely your character wasn't mentioned in any Middle-Earth history book, if he did so much (excluding of course all the raids , from Draigoch, to sending the Witch King back to Minas Morgul. If he vanquished all this evil he should be better known than Theodred for example - IMO).
    At this point our character has done so much in so many places and in so little time, we are already past the point where it would be much more sensible to assign each major questline to a separate character. I mean, come on, Angmar->Moria->Mirkwood->Eriador->Dunland->Isengard->Lorien->Stangard->Lorien->rebuilding Hytbold... in how many years exactly, with or without Forochel? But that, of course, wouldn't fly in MMO, with people quite attached to their "mains". Which is why we even get that campfire instance, where our character is sneaky enough not to mention that teleportation device from Aule, while still claiming that "I've been everywhere, man". I guess it's left to players to craft a less bizarre storyline out of available components that at least does not require to be in several countries during the same week. Imagine what happens if Turbine decides there's more than one way to Gondor

  14. #14
    I'd like to think I care about the lore as much as anyone. However, I can accept most of the additions in the game for two reasons.

    First, just as in the movies (which I enjoyed in spite of their flaws and odd alterations from the books), some changes are made to accommodate the medium. Sapience has presented that point of view very clearly above.

    Second, there are many, many people, places, and phenomena in Arda that never made it into the Red Book which, after all, reflected the experience and viewpoint of the five hobbit adventurers. Who is to say that there was no Trestlebridge in the 'real' Middle-earth, for example. The hobbits never made it to the North Downs area, so anything Turbine fictionalizes there is fair game, if it is consistent with lore. Similarly, perhaps there were visitors on various errands to Lothlorien who never came to the hobbits' atttention. And so on.

    It is my view, for what it's worth, that we can love the lore and appreciate the huge number of ways that Turbine has realized it, and at the same time be somewhat flexible about some game-driven changes and the fact that if something wasn't mentioned in Tolkien's works, that doesn't mean that it couldn't have existed.
    Alasse: lore-master 100 on Landroval, plus alts of every other class

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    So we found a way to let you that wasn't entirely lore breaking.
    Nice try, but no cigar. If you'd've left that one sentence out, it probably would have been sufficient, but you blew it by adding it in.

  16. #16
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    Nice try, but no cigar. If you'd've left that one sentence out, it probably would have been sufficient, but you blew it by adding it in.
    You disagree that letting you fight a nightmare created by a gauntlord (our creations who primarily create nightmares and other nasty things that never happened) that looked like Durin's Bane but was your own fear and not Durin's bane and thus did not break the lore because you were, for all intents and purposes fighting a hallucination, didn't avoid breaking the lore restriction of not being able to fight a Balrog that was already dead while giving players what they specifically asked for, the ability to fight Durin's Bane?

    If so, then it's pretty clear nothing I can say is going to matter.

  17. #17
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    I guess i'll wait and see but it feels somewhat like lorebr....runekeepers. The general idea of the big battles i do very much like though.
    Nothing here matters.

  18. #18
    I consider The Lord of the Rings Online a parallel universe to the one in The Lord of the Rings. In fact, every person playing the game creates a different parallel universe as we each experience our own, unique, internal dialog while playing. These universes have much in common with the books, but also many notable differences. In my opinion, the game universe remains reasonably true to the source material. Where they diverge, I feel the The Lord or the Rings Online stands upon its own merits. In other words, I think this game tells a good, alternate version of the story.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vexendynamus View Post
    I consider The Lord of the Rings Online a parallel universe to the one in The Lord of the Rings. In fact, every person playing the game creates a different parallel universe as we each experience our own, unique, internal dialog while playing. These universes have much in common with the books, but also many notable differences. In my opinion, the game universe remains reasonably true to the source material. Where they diverge, I feel the The Lord or the Rings Online stands upon its own merits. In other words, I think this game tells a good, alternate version of the story.
    Heh this is kinda how i rationalized the movies pretty much.
    Nothing here matters.

  20. #20
    I have to say I am getting sick to death of this lore breaking stuff. Any time Turbine adds stuff to this game oh it's lore breaking. The game is so restricted as is. Cannot add any fun, no it's lore breaking. I have seen people post here over wanting no festivals because to them it's lore breaking. People have gotten riled up because of certain cosmetics saying that's lore breaking. Heck one person thought it was lore breaking to have people wearing certain cosmetics while being in Elrond's study & wanted certain cosmetics restricted from there. Say what?!?!?! I understand them sticking to certain things & I have no problem with that but this lore breaking stuff is getting way beyond overboard. If this game stuck to the books it would get dull & boring fast & quite frankly I doubt I would be playing it.
    It's not Teal... it's [SIZE=3][COLOR=#00ffff][B]CYAN[/B][/COLOR][/SIZE]!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eartholloth View Post
    I have to say I am getting sick to death of this lore breaking stuff. Any time Turbine adds stuff to this game oh it's lore breaking. The game is so restricted as is. Cannot add any fun, no it's lore breaking. I have seen people post here over wanting no festivals because to them it's lore breaking. People have gotten riled up because of certain cosmetics saying that's lore breaking. Heck one person thought it was lore breaking to have people wearing certain cosmetics while being in Elrond's study & wanted certain cosmetics restricted from there. Say what?!?!?! I understand them sticking to certain things & I have no problem with that but this lore breaking stuff is getting way beyond overboard. If this game stuck to the books it would get dull & boring fast & quite frankly I doubt I would be playing it.
    Well that is one of the facts of the Lotr IP that turbine will have to live with i think. So far i think they did a pretty decent job shipping around those cliffs(German saying not sure how well that translates:P).
    Nothing here matters.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Because it's not their fight, not this time. This isn't filling in some gap, it'd be a clear break with the story. The expectation to be involved in every damn scene just because it's 'SO EPIC' is a bit much.


    Youths, not children. And given that hobbits were roughly the size of four-year-olds, the idea that anyone could mistake them for someone who ought to be running around on a battlefield isn't even the least bit plausible. Dwarves would stand out too, not just from their height and the beards but their build. Only Elves would have a fair chance of blending in.
    How could you say it's not their fight this time?
    Maybe in the sense that they weren't needed?
    Oh but they were! There were maximum 2.000 Rohirrim defending the fort, and they knew they were fighting 10.000 Uruks along with many Easterlings/Dunledings.
    So the argument of "you're not needed here" is not valid.
    Theoden who does not even met our character before would welcome even one more skilled soldier in that battle. And well that's as far as it goes Lore-wise, since the game only sees one more character (eg one Dwarf) and not the other 11. I mean you won't be addressed as the brave 12 that rescued Helm's Deep.

    For the record i'm not asking to be involved in "every damn scene", just because it's so epic. We were not involved in Elrond's Council although i'd love that.
    But i understand, that it would be Lore-Breaking if you were sitting among them and that it serves no gameplay purpose (= there's no challenge), other than have a bit more immersion.


    Youths are defined to be, from 15 to 24, at least that's how the UN defines them. I, personally had another definition (beginning from 12-13 up to the end of teens and a bit more), but even if you go with the UN definition, a 1.22m height for Hobbits (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hobbit#Appearance )or even a 1.45 height for dwarves, is quite acceptable for somebody "too young to have seen a war". Also take in consideration that back then unless you were a Dunadan, the Life Expectancy was what? 40-50? Therefore the definition of a youth would be well down near 10 (and many mid-teens were already taken to war not only in MIddle-Earth but many novels and movies - that was kind of normal even though not quite wanted).


    @Whheydt :

    Actually what you said in your 2nd post (about what you wanted Turbine to say), was in my opinion said and explained even further by Sapience's post here. Is your only problem that Sapience consider's it a minor Lore-break and not a "Lore-break" or a "Big Lore-Break"?
    Maybe you need to define some stuff like
    a) Huge Lore-Break
    b) Big Lore Break
    c) Medium Lore Break
    d) Tiny/Small Lore Break
    are actually.

    To me this battle, having one dwarf OR one elf OR one hobbit fighting (dressed fully with armour and not being understood by others) is a Small Lore Break.
    Otherwise, the whole story of our character would be itself the most titanic Lore-Break ever in Middle-Earth.

    Maybe i'll explain this better in a few days since i won't have much time to post, from now on and i bet it'll take a big post to explain where do i stand.

    Up until then, wish everyone fun and i drink to your health my lords!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    Nice try, but no cigar. If you'd've left that one sentence out, it probably would have been sufficient, but you blew it by adding it in.
    My god, what do you want? How passive-agressive can you be? Common sense alone should tell you that of course we were going to have our characters at Helm's Deep. You've said that you were holding out for something more creative from Turbine, but other than session play (which wouldn't meet the common-sense criterion) I have seen you offer no actual useful suggestions on this topic other than making vague threats about what's going to happen if the lore is broken. What, we were going to be the clean-up crew? Picking up broken arrows and binding wounds in the aftermath? I don't think so. Very few players actually seem to be surprised that, yes, our hobbits dwarfs and elves will actually be fighting alongside the Rohirrim at Helm's Deep. Sapience freely admits that they know this is lore-breaking. He also makes the reasonable point that Turbine has to make these types of compromises in service of the *game* but you apparently don't accept that. Decisions like this don't hurt the books in any way -- the books still exist, preserved in amber for all time to be read and enjoyed the same way as ever. Instead, this lets players of the *game* to experience an exciting part of the *game* that is inspired by, and >adapted from< the events in the book. I can live with that.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Of course we're not unaware. I think what you're saying, after six years of making the game, should all be assumed. Of course any player character that steps foot in Rohan would be a lore break. Obviously there were only a handful of non-Rohirrim present at the Battle of the Hornberg and none of them were you or I and we know that because they were named Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas (sorry movie buffs, no Haldir). Obviously none of you should ever have stepped foot in the golden wood or Rivendell. Most of you couldn't go to the Shire (or leave it). Angmar and Forochell would have to go away. It wouldn't be a very fun game if most of the places people want to visit in Middle-earth were off limits because the lore says it is.

    So yes, we make decisions every day on how to include players in what we call "Big T" moments with full knowledge that if we adhere to the lore we have to skip over those areas entirely or, at best, make them cut-scenes. Fortunately we have people on this team who are responsible for keeping as true to the lore as possible while still affording us the ability to include players in areas the lore says they should never be. We make up stories to give you something to do because you cannot be Frodo. You don't 'die' in LOTRO because unless you are one of a very small number of beings you do not come back from the dead in Middle-earth. You do not fight "the" Balrog, you fight "a" balrog or a "fear" of "The" Balrog (depending on which raid you do). Only Gandalf slew Durin's Bane, but everyone wants to fight him in a video game. So we found a way to let you that wasn't entirely lore breaking.

    So yes, we are acutely aware of where the needs of making a video game intersect and occasionally conflict with being 100% lore accurate. When that happens we have people in this building as fiercely protective of the lore as any of you, probably more so, doing their best to make sure that when we have to have lore breaks they are done in ways that at least works within the spirit of the lore and Middle-earth without, hopefully, running roughshod over it (No eagle mounts!!).
    Hopefully this post is a herald of information finally being released about the upcoming expansion very soon.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    So yes, we are acutely aware of where the needs of making a video game intersect and occasionally conflict with being 100% lore accurate. When that happens we have people in this building as fiercely protective of the lore as any of you, probably more so, doing their best to make sure that when we have to have lore breaks they are done in ways that at least works within the spirit of the lore and Middle-earth without, hopefully, running roughshod over it
    Those people must have been asleep when you sneaked the Middle-earth Slot Machines past them.
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