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  1. #276
    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    There's a difference between something being passably Tolkienesque in style (which a reinstated Angmar or attempt to retake Moria could be, in principle) and them fully following Tolkien's scheme of things (which neither can). That's what you've stumbled over there.
    There's a difference between slavishly following Tolkien's scheme (which never involved MMORPGs), and making something which is consistent with the internal rules of his universe. Your mistake is inventing a false dichotomy between "being passably Tolkienesque in style," and rigidly adhering to every scribbled note in his composition books. There's a middle ground, and that middle ground is where a game has to be, because fully following Tolkien's scheme wouldn't allow for a video game.

  2. #277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Going back to Helm's Deep, having additional non-humans there would clash with Tolkien's logic as to why they're not there in the first place. The whole situation would have to be different for it to make sense - in the book the Fellowship are presented as utterly exceptional, not a template for groups of adventurers (as LOTRO originally had things prior to the emphasis on soloing). Having multiracial groups of adventurers as a norm is the logic of the typical FRPG, out of place in a Middle-earth setting. Again, a great deal more would have to be different in order to neatly retrofit that - some proper logic for everyone cooperating like that, rather than it clearly ignoring all the differences and mistrust that kept the different peoples apart in the books.
    But as you say, that's been the rationale of the game all along, right? I mean, if the sticking point boils down to that--multi-racial fellowships are shockingly out of place--then you should have stopped dead at the original trailer, right? There was no battle in the forest where a female elf archer, male warrior, dwarf berzerker, and hobbit assassin cooperated to kill a bunch of rampaging orcs, right?

    But that's the premise of the game. We're largely trailing the events of the books, and we don't get to big multi-party raids until after the fellowship itself is formed. The unique necessity of peoples banding together like this and overcoming mistrust is built right into the fabric of nearly every epic quest. Heck, it's the whole point of the Ered Luin Prologue to the first volume of the epic quest! If you're going to discount something based on that, again, what are you doing playing the game at all? The cooperation of people who mistrust each other is built into most of the reputation mechanics, it's a key part of the game, and one of the things your character is heralded for later in the game is their ability to bring people together, to work together, to overcome mistrust. That, as far as the game world is concerned, is your real superpower.

    That's not being "neatly retrofitted," it's a logical continuation of the whole theme of the entire game from Day One! Holy cow, do you not read the quest text? Do you play solitaire on your mobile during drama? How is it possible that you think that is some new concept being freshly introduced? The whole situation is different.

  3. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wiedman View Post
    There's a difference between slavishly following Tolkien's scheme (which never involved MMORPGs), and making something which is consistent with the internal rules of his universe. Your mistake is inventing a false dichotomy between "being passably Tolkienesque in style," and rigidly adhering to every scribbled note in his composition books. There's a middle ground, and that middle ground is where a game has to be, because fully following Tolkien's scheme wouldn't allow for a video game.
    Your mistake was to think of the change in isolation and fail to consider the big picture. This isn't about marginal notes but really big stuff that drives the plot - you simply didn't consider the purpose Angmar had been there to serve, or that the Dwarves had more to worry about than Moria. In order for it to truly make sense to bring Angmar back then a great deal more would have to change. What would it really be there to do? Why would it be needed? The game's version was simple, to provide the player-characters with a Big Bad to fight in SoA but that's an external reason, not an internal one. What strategic purpose of Sauron's would a new Angmar serve? He certainly wouldn't need it to knock over Bree and the Shire. Even the game's version of Middle-earth isn't different enough to make Angmar Mark II a worthwhile proposition from Sauron's point of view. There is no middle ground there - what the game has done is neglect that bigger picture, breaking lore in order to have the scenario they wanted.

    The same applies to Moria - it's the threat that Sauron poses to Erebor that's the problem there, rather than anything about Moria itself once the Balrog's away. With war already looming, Dain would have to be insane to permit something like that to go ahead. It cannot be made to make sense without removing Sauron's threat against Erebor. Now that could have happened, right enough - Dain could have given Sauron what he wanted and told him about Bilbo and the Ring. However, as Dain is meant to be far too honourable for such a betrayal (and also not so naive as to imagine that Sauron would keep his promises), and it would wreck the plot besides, that's a non-starter. Again, the game neglects all of that so there is no middle ground, just Dwarves doing something completely mad so that they need the player-characters to step in and help them.

    Lastly, the game has an assumption that Men, Elves, Dwarves and hobbits will all cooperate at the drop of a hat as if that's the most natural thing in the world, just because the Fellowship do that, and that's what underpins the idea of random adventurers turning up at Helm's Deep and helping out. Again, an awful lot would have to change to have that truly make sense - a lot of history, as well as Sauron's long-standing and largely successful strategy to drive wedges between them all and prevent them from joining forces against him. That hasn't been done, of course - so we have everyone acting out of character in order to fit the bill of a stereotypical MMO. The real middle ground would have been to limit player-characters to Men and maybe Dwarves, with hobbits and Elves left as NPCs, but that's too radical for the mass market.

    So, your 'middle ground' was way too vague - you'd not put in the effort to establish what that might actually be, and you just assumed that the game already occupies it rather than doing what it really does - changing things wholesale, breaking 'lore' in order to make room for a game in the style Turbine are aiming for. Mass popularity, rather than subtlety. Tolkien put a great deal of thought into his work and as a result it's seldom the case that you could change just one big thing without having to change a bunch of others in order for it to remain coherent, so it simply isn't as easy as you tried to pretend.

  4. #279
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    Oh but we have. We've killed a lot more than they, and we have defeated stronger opponents. I mean, please, they had trouble with one Moria troll as a fellowship. They couldn't even touch a Balrog.
    Only Eowyn will eventually do a noteworthy feat (with the help of magic), but as explained before that can be attributed to Inspiration buffs.
    The fellowship as a whole didn't try, in no small part because they could not risk losing the ring. Their priority was not to defeat all the enemies in their path, but to spirit the ring safely to Mordor. That necessitated avoiding big stand-up fights. When Aragorn and crew do fight, they're pretty spectacular at it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    You may not be able to, but we do. Hell I can take on 10+ on-level orcs on many classes.
    And indeed, Aragorn & crew do not wade through two or three at a time. I can't think of any situation in the books where they did. I think Boromir tried though.
    Also, why are Anduril or the Cardolan weapons not as awesome as ours? You haven't even seen the damage on it yet. Aragorn may prove to have a stupidly low DPS, we don't know yet.
    Yeah, I bet at Helm's Deep and Pelennor and the Black Gates the enemies were neatly lining up one at a time to fight Aragorn or Legolas or Gimli. Especially outnumbered as they always were, I'm sure the enemy never tried to crowd them out and overwhelm them by sheer numbers.

    I think you're exaggerating unnecessarily. And I think, whatever comparisons you want to try to make, the game itself doesn't treat us as demigods. No one comes up to us and says, "OH WOW, IT'S YOU!" Again, our feats seem impressive, especially as we scale up in challenge and skill, but I still don't think we're beyond the ability of any of the named characters.

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    Oh you mean like...Gamling?
    Honestly, that's just a really bad argument. People were noted not just for being royal or noble, but for their deeds as well, and their interaction with fellowship members (which we have done from day 1 in Rivendell).
    Gamling and Beregond are the exceptions that prove the rule. They are either personal retainers of, or perform exceptional personal service to royal, named characters. Or both. But it's entirely likely that any battle is going to have examples of individual or group heroism, that the main characters might even have logically heard about, but still did not merit inclusion in a chronicle of their deeds and exploits. There's really many multiple factors that would allow our characters to go unchronicled, and yet still have heroic exploits and make some difference, however small.

  5. #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    If we were talking about anything historical in style and content, then sure. But here you're using it as a generalized excuse to try to ram through whatever argument you want to make, which is putting it to the crudest of purposes.
    The Red Book, in style and context, is a meant to be a historical account of the War of the Ring, at least as it pertains to the ring and the fellowship formed to see to its destruction. But it is also not meant to be an exhaustive account of all the activities that occurred during those years. The gaps between "exhaustive account" and "limited chronicle" are big enough to hold most, if not all of our deeds up to this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    As for Bernard Cornwell, if you read the author's notes in his books he freely admits to being mildly cheeky with historical details when necessary for dramatic purposes, rather than making any pretence of always writing in the gaps. Mr Cornwell also has the advantage that none of his protagonists are only three foot six, or indeed are anything other than ordinary human beings, and so they have a rather easier time fitting in.
    But you do have issues of Sharpe being uniquely egalitarian or skilled, and yet being "unknown to history." He was uncommon and remarkable, in being an officer elevated from the ranks, in having captured an Eagle, and so on and so forth.

  6. #281
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Lastly, the game has an assumption that Men, Elves, Dwarves and hobbits will all cooperate at the drop of a hat as if that's the most natural thing in the world, just because the Fellowship do that, and that's what underpins the idea of random adventurers turning up at Helm's Deep and helping out. Again, an awful lot would have to change to have that truly make sense - a lot of history, as well as Sauron's long-standing and largely successful strategy to drive wedges between them all and prevent them from joining forces against him.
    Wrong. You are actually seriously wrong, based on what this game has asked you to do, within its own storytelling, from day one. Seriously wrong. Abjectly wrong. The whole rationale of the game, from the very beginning, especially as highlighted in the Epic Prologue in Ered Luin, but really, informing nearly every quest line (especially the Dunland, Gap, and Rohan stuff), and the reason we do so much fetching and carrying, is trying to combine and overcome mistrust, to foil Sauron's strategy of driving a wedge between the free peoples and so on.

  7. #282
    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    If by mysterious half-animals you mean Elves or Hobbits, then sure.
    Ghan buri-ghan and co actually. They may not be "technically" neighbors of Rohan, but they live close enough and along a major connection between two countries.
    Could also be Dunlendings, though ironically they as Rohan's enemies in this war are initially more "accepted" because they are at least human, not some thieving Dwarf, murdering Elf or a Hobbytla.
    That's where I wouldn't be so sure. They are calling them "wild-men" and, insulting value aside, it's implying both inferiority and a quality of difference in terms of a "lifestyle". They may know very little of Elves or Dwarves, but with them it's more like "we have no clue about them, therefore alien, therefore evil", while "wild-men" sound like "they have to be (insert expletive) to persist in being so inferior". Seeing how they were pushing them back and getting more land over extended period of time, it almost sounds like something out of history, not that uncommon when eg. christian/pagan border was involved in a similar setting. That kind of neighborhood can easily produce enmity and wild exaggeration about "wild-men". Especially if you are clearly winning and yet they have no decency to lie down and shut up.
    But I disagree that if thousands of people are involved, extreme cases are not that loud, at least not in our case. If it were just Hunters or Burglars, maybe even some melee classes, then I can understand that. But we're talking light beams from the sky, Explosions and lightning/frost/fire balls that can be seen for miles around.
    My fault for not being clear. I meant that when you gather thousands of people, taught that mild xenophobia is pretty reasonable, extreme cases among them will have lesser impact when you additionally have a swarm of orcs approaching your gates . Additionally, when those evil aliens have a chance to show they can be orc-repellant on some smaller scale, before the battle proper, extreme cases will be balanced by those who saw those mini-deeds in person. Mistrust and general fear of Elves or Dwarves are perfect reasons not to ask for their help (wherever they live) or to avoid the attitude like "you'd think our neighbors or all those fairy folk would realize they are next on menu and yet they do nothing", and certainly not to expect organized or unorganized assistance. It's another thing when you already have someone around who does not look like an orc and has tendency to abuse orcs. Priorities... at least when fighting starts and forecast says: "doom and gloom". There's a reason even hardened criminals are drafted and armed when things start to look bad. Now, sure, if the battle was lost and there was an account of few dwarves or elves around available for some reason, you could bet an explanation would be immediately invented by some: we were stabbed in the back, Hornburg had never fallen before.

    I agree with the short battle. But as for static position, that seems to not be the case the way Turbine described it. Apparently groups are supposed to split up at various times and do their own number of objectives at different locations.
    And no, obviously not that fragment alone.
    Static position of warriors. While we are going to move around and be seen by slightly more of them, every battle having a solo "standard" version can be, unintentionally for sure, a mitigation factor too. It's like having an option to play something that is "merely" controversial or to switch into "maximum loretrollage" mode with twelve bare-chested dwarves traiting fire. As for everyone being able to run it into that mode... well, are emotes lore-breaking because someone can spamslap every single hobbit for hours during a meeting in Lorien and deserve no mention in Red Book as... well, a complete lunatic? When options are allowed, the least offensive one that still lets you go through the content should be taken as default in terms of lore. It's still not solving fire-breathing, gold-boasting, sparkling and exploding kind of problems but I don't think anything can at this point.
    Oh no, we have had far bigger fights than in the Lorien Gimli&Legolas. Many skirmishes and instances require to kill waves of 10+. Which is why I think our roles should be severely turned down.
    Well, Flight was already turning them down, by not having giant mammoths charging at you along with a Gaunt-lord and his magical cauldron - and if you divide the amount of mobs on-screen between members of the raid, it was already far more "realistic" (don't laugh just yet) than many, many solo instances. Not sure if turning it down even further, at least in visual department, is possible.

    Oh I forgot about those. No I actually meant the ones up in the library with the 2 Dwarves. They're the ones who decipher the map to Draigoch's Lair and the crazy one gives you the ominous warning about the dragon when searching for gold.
    Hm, true. No praise = no knowledge though, I am too used to NPCs admiring me by default.

  8. #283
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    But as you say, that's been the rationale of the game all along, right? I mean, if the sticking point boils down to that--multi-racial fellowships are shockingly out of place--then you should have stopped dead at the original trailer, right? There was no battle in the forest where a female elf archer, male warrior, dwarf berzerker, and hobbit assassin cooperated to kill a bunch of rampaging orcs, right?
    Well, that's exactly the sort of trailer you would put together to sell the game to the MMO crowd but there's more to it than that. I'm an RPer and so I tend to play games my own way, trying to avoid such naked stereotypes, even though it's sub-optimal when it comes to gameplay.

    But that's the premise of the game. We're largely trailing the events of the books, and we don't get to big multi-party raids until after the fellowship itself is formed. The unique necessity of peoples banding together like this and overcoming mistrust is built right into the fabric of nearly every epic quest.
    Yes, the devs clearly knew the banding-together thing was a bit off and tried to explain it away, but it was all a bit too pat. Trivialised, really.

    Heck, it's the whole point of the Ered Luin Prologue to the first volume of the epic quest! If you're going to discount something based on that, again, what are you doing playing the game at all? The cooperation of people who mistrust each other is built into most of the reputation mechanics, it's a key part of the game, and one of the things your character is heralded for later in the game is their ability to bring people together, to work together, to overcome mistrust. That, as far as the game world is concerned, is your real superpower.
    The game's never handled it properly because they wanted to treat all player-characters the same - Dwarves vs. Lorien is the most glaring example.

    That's not being "neatly retrofitted," it's a logical continuation of the whole theme of the entire game from Day One! Holy cow, do you not read the quest text? Do you play solitaire on your mobile during drama? How is it possible that you think that is some new concept being freshly introduced? The whole situation is different.
    Reading it doesn't mean buying into it. It lacks conviction, it's just too damn simple and easy, and that's why it's lore-breaking. Now that's only to be expected in a mass-market game - don't get me wrong - but I'm tired of seeing people trying to pretend that it's merely bending things a bit. It all goes back to the question to the thread poses - is it 'lore-breaking' to have extra Dwarves, Elves and hobbits at Helm's Deep? - and the answer is yes, because there were damn good reasons why they weren't there in the first place, why that sort of mutual cooperation just didn't happen (the Fellowship excepted, but then it's meant to be exceptional). And that's it, that's all.

  9. #284
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    The Red Book, in style and context, is a meant to be a historical account of the War of the Ring, at least as it pertains to the ring and the fellowship formed to see to its destruction. But it is also not meant to be an exhaustive account of all the activities that occurred during those years. The gaps between "exhaustive account" and "limited chronicle" are big enough to hold most, if not all of our deeds up to this point.
    The Red Book is a mere literary conceit, an explanation for how these tales supposedly came down to us. You're trying to use that as an excuse to change things to suit whatever argument you make, which is plainly an abuse.

    But you do have issues of Sharpe being uniquely egalitarian or skilled, and yet being "unknown to history." He was uncommon and remarkable, in being an officer elevated from the ranks, in having captured an Eagle, and so on and so forth.
    The point was simply that issues of characterisation aside, it's rather easier for your protagonist to blend in if he's a human being in uniform (even if it's a Rifleman's natty green coat rather than a boring red one) among other human beings in uniform rather than being some teensy little guy with hairy feet in the company of great big strapping Northmen who are tooled up like Beowulf's war-band.

  10. #285
    Quote Originally Posted by BackAgainAndThere View Post
    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.
    Peter Jackson had elves AT THE BATTLE OF HELM'S DEEP, unlike Helm's Deep in the books. Most people haven't read the books (a shame, but I digress) and as such most people playing LOTRO are playing it because of the movies, not the books. To borrow from another famous British writer,

    "If Turbine has here offended,
    Think but this, and all is mended,
    That you have but slumber'd here
    While these visions did appear.
    And this weak and idle theme,
    No more yielding but a dream"

  11. #286
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The Red Book is a mere literary conceit, an explanation for how these tales supposedly came down to us. You're trying to use that as an excuse to change things to suit whatever argument you make, which is plainly an abuse.
    Making it seem like the heroes did it all themselves without help from anyone else is also a literary conceit; likewise, it's a literary conceit to generalize populations to the point of homogeneity. So, I can't say that the stated method of collecting and authoring the accounts in The Red Book leave room for things to have gone unchronicled, or were chronicled elsewhere, unseen by us, but you can insist that the unnatural and frankly unlikely sharp demarcation between adjacent nations and peoples (which is clearly more intended to emphasize the diminishing of non-human races and the ascendancy of Man toward the "modern" arrangement of men, with nothing to remain of Elves, Dwarves or hobbits, having diminished or died off).

    If we want to take Tolkien's other writings as definitive and true (even if they were unfinished, contradictory, etc.), doesn't that mean that we have to treat The Red Book as a "real thing"? Tolkien wrote or intended to write, at certain points, definitive connections between our modern world and Middle Earth. So, he intended for The Red Book to be more than a "literary conceit."

    Look, if you want to treat every word of LOTR as unimpeachable, exhaustive truth about exactly what happened, how can you discount the "authorship" of The Red Book, and the vagaries it necessarily implies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The point was simply that issues of characterisation aside, it's rather easier for your protagonist to blend in if he's a human being in uniform (even if it's a Rifleman's natty green coat rather than a boring red one) among other human beings in uniform rather than being some teensy little guy with hairy feet in the company of great big strapping Northmen who are tooled up like Beowulf's war-band.
    Again, you're mischaracterizing the battle. The combatants were not all "great big strapping Northmen." How could they be? They were youths and the elderly. And do you really think they were in uniform?

    Would it surprise you to learn that there was really no such thing as a uniform in military service in medieval times? The uniform that we think of these days is really a development of the 17th, 18th century or so. Not to mention that a good chunk of the defenders were emergency levies from among the refugees, so even if Theoden's guard were in uniform, most of the rest of them weren't, nor were they all tall and strapping. Not that I think this is particularly relevant to the discussion, I hasten to add, because I'm comfortable with the idea that the make-up of the defenders was simplified for the sake of expediency, since any variations from it were minimal and largely immaterial.

  12. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Well, that's exactly the sort of trailer you would put together to sell the game to the MMO crowd but there's more to it than that. I'm an RPer and so I tend to play games my own way, trying to avoid such naked stereotypes, even though it's sub-optimal when it comes to gameplay.

    Yes, the devs clearly knew the banding-together thing was a bit off and tried to explain it away, but it was all a bit too pat. Trivialised, really.
    Honestly, I'm gobsmacked at this point. Your argument is that there was no way to explain these peoples trusting one another after years of mistrust. But the entire game is predicated, literally, on the idea that you are setting out into the world to help overcome that mistrust and undo Sauron's schemes of divide and conquer. Entire quest lines are built on. A massive chunk of Volume 3 of the Epic Questline revolves around it constantly and yet that is "explaining it away" and "trivialising" it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The game's never handled it properly because they wanted to treat all player-characters the same - Dwarves vs. Lorien is the most glaring example.
    Never? Never!? What game are you playing? Or, is it the game where you just click through quest text and use the tracker to find the objective, rinse & repeat? Because my criticism of Turbine in this respect usually runs contrary--no matter what origin I choose for my character, they get treated with as much mistrust initially as all the rest of the outsiders. I don't (or didn't) get into Lorien without grinding rep if I choose a Lorien-based elf at character creation, I have to submit to the same tests as any stinky dwarf from the Iron Hills.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Reading it doesn't mean buying into it. It lacks conviction, it's just too damn simple and easy, and that's why it's lore-breaking. Now that's only to be expected in a mass-market game - don't get me wrong - but I'm tired of seeing people trying to pretend that it's merely bending things a bit. It all goes back to the question to the thread poses - is it 'lore-breaking' to have extra Dwarves, Elves and hobbits at Helm's Deep? - and the answer is yes, because there were damn good reasons why they weren't there in the first place, why that sort of mutual cooperation just didn't happen (the Fellowship excepted, but then it's meant to be exceptional). And that's it, that's all.
    It's explained. I can't help that you're not convinced by it, but it's there in black and white, as it were. That's the world of the game. Their vision of HD is consistent with the game overall, especially on this point. You can be as cynical as you want about it, I prefer to see that they have very clearly seen the same potential issues with the multi-racial MMO that customers would be expecting and very cleverly found a way to show the ways that Middle Earth is changing in the wake of the fellowship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Making it seem like the heroes did it all themselves without help from anyone else is also a literary conceit; likewise, it's a literary conceit to generalize populations to the point of homogeneity. So, I can't say that the stated method of collecting and authoring the accounts in The Red Book leave room for things to have gone unchronicled, or were chronicled elsewhere, unseen by us, but you can insist that the unnatural and frankly unlikely sharp demarcation between adjacent nations and peoples (which is clearly more intended to emphasize the diminishing of non-human races and the ascendancy of Man toward the "modern" arrangement of men, with nothing to remain of Elves, Dwarves or hobbits, having diminished or died off).
    They didn't do it all themselves, they had plenty of help (a cast of thousands) - if anything it's the game that's guilty of having the player-characters doing too much. And it's not treating populations as 'homogeneous' by saying there that there most probably weren't any other Elves or Dwarves within Rohan's borders - nobody's saying that they all behaved the same, just that they were someplace else rather than hanging around a land of Men. There really was a sharp demarcation around Lorien because it was a closed land (and because it was at war besides), and there simply weren't any Dwarves living anywhere nearby. And yes, the rise of Men and the decline of the other races meant that there were great swathes of Middle-earth with no Elves or Dwarves at all.

    If we want to take Tolkien's other writings as definitive and true (even if they were unfinished, contradictory, etc.), doesn't that mean that we have to treat The Red Book as a "real thing"? Tolkien wrote or intended to write, at certain points, definitive connections between our modern world and Middle Earth. So, he intended for The Red Book to be more than a "literary conceit."
    We can take it as a 'real' thing in context, but that doesn't give you carte blanche to throw inconvenient details out the window whenever it suits you.

    Again, you're mischaracterizing the battle. The combatants were not all "great big strapping Northmen." How could they be? They were youths and the elderly. And do you really think they were in uniform?
    Even the youths and the old guys would still be way taller than a hobbit or a Dwarf. And no, I was talking about Sharpe, and the fact that he wore uniform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Would it surprise you to learn that there was really no such thing as a uniform in military service in medieval times? The uniform that we think of these days is really a development of the 17th, 18th century or so. Not to mention that a good chunk of the defenders were emergency levies from among the refugees, so even if Theoden's guard were in uniform, most of the rest of them weren't, nor were they all tall and strapping. Not that I think this is particularly relevant to the discussion, I hasten to add, because I'm comfortable with the idea that the make-up of the defenders was simplified for the sake of expediency, since any variations from it were minimal and largely immaterial.
    Theoden's guard could easily be in livery, making them--heraldicly--identifiable as being associated with Theoden.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Honestly, I'm gobsmacked at this point. Your argument is that there was no way to explain these peoples trusting one another after years of mistrust. But the entire game is predicated, literally, on the idea that you are setting out into the world to help overcome that mistrust and undo Sauron's schemes of divide and conquer. Entire quest lines are built on. A massive chunk of Volume 3 of the Epic Questline revolves around it constantly and yet that is "explaining it away" and "trivialising" it?
    No, I'm saying the way it happens is facile, way too easy.

    Never? Never!? What game are you playing? Or, is it the game where you just click through quest text and use the tracker to find the objective, rinse & repeat? Because my criticism of Turbine in this respect usually runs contrary--no matter what origin I choose for my character, they get treated with as much mistrust initially as all the rest of the outsiders. I don't (or didn't) get into Lorien without grinding rep if I choose a Lorien-based elf at character creation, I have to submit to the same tests as any stinky dwarf from the Iron Hills.
    Yes, I'm saying the game has always had really simplistic mechanics when it comes to rep, so it has never handled it properly. What used to happen to player-character Elves who went to Lorien too soon? They didn't get any head start on rep, they didn't even get recognised as Elves, they used to get one-shotted like everyone else (something that was lore-breaking as hell, not to mention counter-intuitive and unimmersive for the player). You might likewise expect Dwarves might have a harder time getting into Lorien but we're in MMO-land here with MMO-logic, so no.

    It's explained. I can't help that you're not convinced by it, but it's there in black and white, as it were. That's the world of the game. Their vision of HD is consistent with the game overall, especially on this point. You can be as cynical as you want about it, I prefer to see that they have very clearly seen the same potential issues with the multi-racial MMO that customers would be expecting and very cleverly found a way to show the ways that Middle Earth is changing in the wake of the fellowship.
    Comprehension fail on your part. This 'vision' is lore-breaking in itself (always has been) so it remains lore-breaking when applied to Helm's Deep. It's not really been an issue before because our path tended to trail after the Fellowship, or parallel it, or go off on some wild tangent - but not to be in the same place as them for a battle. That's why there's a bit of discussion about Helm's Deep.

  16. #291
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    The fellowship as a whole didn't try, in no small part because they could not risk losing the ring. Their priority was not to defeat all the enemies in their path, but to spirit the ring safely to Mordor. That necessitated avoiding big stand-up fights. When Aragorn and crew do fight, they're pretty spectacular at it.
    Didn't try what? Killing a troll that was attacking them? Please. Of course they fought it, and they barely made: if not for his vest, it would have killed Frodo.

    And when they do fight, they are indeed pretty spectacular at it. Gimli for example kills 42 Orcs in a single night, which is considered pretty extreme.
    But even so, that is NOTHING compared to what we do. 42 Orcs in one night is pathetic compared to our hundreds per day.



    Yeah, I bet at Helm's Deep and Pelennor and the Black Gates the enemies were neatly lining up one at a time to fight Aragorn or Legolas or Gimli. Especially outnumbered as they always were, I'm sure the enemy never tried to crowd them out and overwhelm them by sheer numbers.
    At no point is there an indication that Aragorn wades through enemies like we do. Gimli has managed to take down two orcs at the same time in the books. Aragorn and Eomer managed to push some off a ledge by brute force. That's pretty much all I can think of.
    At the Morannon Aragorn had 6,000 warriors with him and had positioned them in between two swampy areas, forcing the enemy to come at them in waves in precalculated positions. Sure, the orcs had 10 times their numbers, but they could not use their numbers effectively because of this tactic. At no point is Aragorn said to be surrounded and fighting off hordes on his own.



    I think you're exaggerating unnecessarily. And I think, whatever comparisons you want to try to make, the game itself doesn't treat us as demigods. No one comes up to us and says, "OH WOW, IT'S YOU!" Again, our feats seem impressive, especially as we scale up in challenge and skill, but I still don't think we're beyond the ability of any of the named characters.
    The game treats us like it, the NPCs do not. There's a difference. We only ever get admiration after we kill a Balrog, from Glorfindel. Gandalf just shrugs it off and says there's no time for praise now.
    If you don't think we are beyond the ability of the named characters, you should really play those instances again where you join Gimli and Legolas on their hunts, at Rivendell and in Lothlorien. Barely any DPS, no CC, terrible healing. They're just big sacks of morale on legs. The only one who can outclass us is Gandalf when he is alone and removes his power restrictions; like when he fought off 5 Nazgûl at once. Or when he fought Durin's Bane. And he's a Maia; he IS a demigod. His unrestricted abilities are pretty close to ours when we have inspiration buffs: He took a whole night to fend off 5 Nazgûl, and we defeat one in a few hits.



    Gamling and Beregond are the exceptions that prove the rule. They are either personal retainers of, or perform exceptional personal service to royal, named characters. Or both.
    When did Gamling ever perform an exceptional personal service to royal, named characters? Nor is he a personal retainer of. He's just a really old guy who happens to have been given command over the Hornburg garisson. I think you're thinking of Háma.






    Quote Originally Posted by Ferthcott View Post
    Ghan buri-ghan and co actually. They may not be "technically" neighbors of Rohan, but they live close enough and along a major connection between two countries.
    Indeed. They live close enough to be hunted by the Rohirrim. Such lovely people, those Horselords. I guess Dwarves and Elves should consider themselves lucky the Rohirrim either fear them or can't be bothered to ride so far.


    That's where I wouldn't be so sure. They are calling them "wild-men" and, insulting value aside, it's implying both inferiority and a quality of difference in terms of a "lifestyle". They may know very little of Elves or Dwarves, but with them it's more like "we have no clue about them, therefore alien, therefore evil", while "wild-men" sound like "they have to be (insert expletive) to persist in being so inferior". Seeing how they were pushing them back and getting more land over extended period of time, it almost sounds like something out of history, not that uncommon when eg. christian/pagan border was involved in a similar setting. That kind of neighborhood can easily produce enmity and wild exaggeration about "wild-men". Especially if you are clearly winning and yet they have no decency to lie down and shut up.
    Oh I don't deny that. But they are seemingly considered to be of the same category as Rohirrim themselves and not as "evil" like Orcs (or Elves and Dwarves). After the battle the Dunlendings are spared and sent back home after swearing not to invade again, so there seems to be some form of kinship between them.



    My fault for not being clear. I meant that when you gather thousands of people, taught that mild xenophobia is pretty reasonable, extreme cases among them will have lesser impact when you additionally have a swarm of orcs approaching your gates . Additionally, when those evil aliens have a chance to show they can be orc-repellant on some smaller scale, before the battle proper, extreme cases will be balanced by those who saw those mini-deeds in person. Mistrust and general fear of Elves or Dwarves are perfect reasons not to ask for their help (wherever they live) or to avoid the attitude like "you'd think our neighbors or all those fairy folk would realize they are next on menu and yet they do nothing", and certainly not to expect organized or unorganized assistance. It's another thing when you already have someone around who does not look like an orc and has tendency to abuse orcs. Priorities... at least when fighting starts and forecast says: "doom and gloom". There's a reason even hardened criminals are drafted and armed when things start to look bad. Now, sure, if the battle was lost and there was an account of few dwarves or elves around available for some reason, you could bet an explanation would be immediately invented by some: we were stabbed in the back, Hornburg had never fallen before.
    Agreed.
    Though I think the main reason Gimli and Legolas were so readily accepted at the Hornburg was because they were seemingly big pals of the big pal of the king. Commoners know better than to point out that Mr FriendoftheKing is an evil Elf that lures people into the forest and eats them.





    Hm, true. No praise = no knowledge though, I am too used to NPCs admiring me by default.
    After years of slaying giants, dragons, belryg, trolls, gaunt lords, nazgûl and everything else, our characters likes to keep a low profile whenever possible just to relax in the Prancing Pony without 20 people buying us a drink and the fangirls fawning over us.
    "Whazzat? Dead dragon found in Enedwaith? I had nothing to do with it, piss off."
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

  17. #292
    There are some posters here that seem to have came to a point where literally nothing that Turbine does, or anything that Turbine says will satisfy them anymore. If it's not one thing it's another, if one answer is given a issue is found within that answer, you see the point. It really ruins any actual constructive criticism that is given, as the aggressive attitude is the only thing that comes through. I think we've all went through those spells. I know I have with RoI. But I'm over that and can again post in a reasonable manner, but others seem to have been unable to do so for the past year.

    Really, this thread should have ended with Sapience's first post. He explained EXACTLY why this was done, and I'm not sure how any further debate is still going when the question "is the Big Battle Lore-Breaking" was answered with a "yes, and here's why." The decision is made, the battle is happening, the reasoning was given, and that's it.
    [b]The thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty forever beyond its reach.” - J.R.R. Tolkien[/b]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    They didn't do it all themselves, they had plenty of help (a cast of thousands) - if anything it's the game that's guilty of having the player-characters doing too much. And it's not treating populations as 'homogeneous' by saying there that there most probably weren't any other Elves or Dwarves within Rohan's borders - nobody's saying that they all behaved the same, just that they were someplace else rather than hanging around a land of Men. There really was a sharp demarcation around Lorien because it was a closed land (and because it was at war besides), and there simply weren't any Dwarves living anywhere nearby. And yes, the rise of Men and the decline of the other races meant that there were great swathes of Middle-earth with no Elves or Dwarves at all.
    So I've worn you down to "most probably weren't any other Elves or Dwarves within Rohan's borders." Which isn't the "none at all, period" that you and others have been trumpeting. "Most probably" leaves plenty of room, again, for our characters to slip through.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    We can take it as a 'real' thing in context, but that doesn't give you carte blanche to throw inconvenient details out the window whenever it suits you.
    I'm not and never have been saying it's carte blanche. I'm pointing out where the details can reasonably be fudged or understood to be over-broad generalizations, rather than ultra-specific details, in order to slip in more exciting game elements. That is a far cry from carte blanche and, again, a mischaracterization of my argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Even the youths and the old guys would still be way taller than a hobbit or a Dwarf. And no, I was talking about Sharpe, and the fact that he wore uniform.
    Regardless, if you're going to be so precise about who and what is where and when, I find it amusing and silly that you generalize so dramatically about who was there when you want to emphasize how out of place they would be. There are degrees of obviousness, and amidst not-yet-full-grown youths and stooped old men, they'd look less out of place.

  19. #294
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    No, I'm saying the way it happens is facile, way too easy.
    Well, yes, because all you have to do is click a button. Of course, you occasionally have to grind hard to get to a decent level of rep. Or would you prefer there be "Rep Raids"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Yes, I'm saying the game has always had really simplistic mechanics when it comes to rep, so it has never handled it properly. What used to happen to player-character Elves who went to Lorien too soon? They didn't get any head start on rep, they didn't even get recognised as Elves, they used to get one-shotted like everyone else (something that was lore-breaking as hell, not to mention counter-intuitive and unimmersive for the player). You might likewise expect Dwarves might have a harder time getting into Lorien but we're in MMO-land here with MMO-logic, so no.
    Well, okay, so we're in agreement, it would be nice if choosing a Lorien elf would change how other Lorien elves react to you... but I can also see that being along a line of diminishing returns, especially as you'd need to come up with ways for "born trusted" folks to be doing the same things the rest of us need to do to gain rep. So, on the balance, I'm fine with it since they center so much of this game on those very issues, mending all those bridges and bringing people together, to work together, to follow in the example of the fellowship.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Comprehension fail on your part. This 'vision' is lore-breaking in itself (always has been) so it remains lore-breaking when applied to Helm's Deep. It's not really been an issue before because our path tended to trail after the Fellowship, or parallel it, or go off on some wild tangent - but not to be in the same place as them for a battle. That's why there's a bit of discussion about Helm's Deep.
    Oh it so is not. There's nothing to suggest that the peoples of Middle Earth were unable to put their differences aside and work together; quite the opposite. Heck, that was the point of the Council of Elrond, wasn't it? Dwarves and Elves and Men of Gondor and hobbits and suchlike sitting together to discuss grave events, grave changes that required them to seek each others' counsel for the first time, to put aside enmity, because a larger threat loomed. The fellowship were not exceptional in their willingness to work together, they were the product of other people overcoming their lack of trust, to band together and share information and seek advice in the face of dire threat. It was a blueprint of cooperation, and there's nothing to suggest that other people elsewhere could not independently come to the same conclusion and overcome enmities in the face of dire threat, and nothing to suggest that the likes of Elrond and Gloin and the rest walked away from there and said, "Yep, forget you all! Back to untrusting jerks we are." Or that once having opened their borders to the fellowship, Haldir and Galadriel and all them, having their minds changed at least about one dwarf, would be all, "Yeah, but the rest of you can rot, I don't care if you can help defend the Golden Wood."

    But, you've got a vision of the lore, and it's inflexible and immutable. Which is too bad, but to each their own, I guess.

  20. #295
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    Didn't try what? Killing a troll that was attacking them? Please. Of course they fought it, and they barely made: if not for his vest, it would have killed Frodo.
    The troll and how many other orcs? I was more referring to Durin's Bane.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    And when they do fight, they are indeed pretty spectacular at it. Gimli for example kills 42 Orcs in a single night, which is considered pretty extreme.
    But even so, that is NOTHING compared to what we do. 42 Orcs in one night is pathetic compared to our hundreds per day.
    Can we reserve judgment on that until we see how many we kill that night? And I thought they were mostly Uruk-hai, not just orcs, and those do seem to be tougher when we encounter them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    The game treats us like it, the NPCs do not. There's a difference. We only ever get admiration after we kill a Balrog, from Glorfindel. Gandalf just shrugs it off and says there's no time for praise now.
    So... the NPCs aren't part of the game?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    After years of slaying giants, dragons, belryg, trolls, gaunt lords, nazgûl and everything else, our characters likes to keep a low profile whenever possible just to relax in the Prancing Pony without 20 people buying us a drink and the fangirls fawning over us. "Whazzat? Dead dragon found in Enedwaith? I had nothing to do with it, piss off."
    You know, that is what they say about the truly elite warriors, the ones who have nothing to prove; it's almost impossible to get them to talk about themselves or their exploits. Just saying.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    So I've worn you down to "most probably weren't any other Elves or Dwarves within Rohan's borders." Which isn't the "none at all, period" that you and others have been trumpeting. "Most probably" leaves plenty of room, again, for our characters to slip through.
    Nuts. You've not worn me down anywhere, because I never said that in the first place. And oh sure, plenty of room if you don't it being implausible that they could be there and not be noticed.

    I'm not and never have been saying it's carte blanche. I'm pointing out where the details can reasonably be fudged or understood to be over-broad generalizations, rather than ultra-specific details, in order to slip in more exciting game elements. That is a far cry from carte blanche and, again, a mischaracterization of my argument.
    Nope, you want to fudge it so they conveniently ''forgot' the usual over-the-top heroics, scene-stealing and so on which are bound to ensue if there are player-characters there.

    Regardless, if you're going to be so precise about who and what is where and when, I find it amusing and silly that you generalize so dramatically about who was there when you want to emphasize how out of place they would be. There are degrees of obviousness, and amidst not-yet-full-grown youths and stooped old men, they'd look less out of place.
    And there are degrees of talking rubbish, and by trying to pretend that nobody would notice Dwatves or hobbits you're really pushing the envelope. I'm short IRL but I'm still a whole foot taller than a Dwarf would be, two feet taller than a hobbit would be - and by contrast those Rohirrim lads tended to be tall by Middle-earth's standards, very tall in some cases. And that's not even allowing for how Dwarves were proportioned differently, which again would stand out.

    There'd certainly be no stooped old men fighting because they wouldn't be up to it. Old is one thing, doddering another.

  22. #297
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Well, yes, because all you have to do is click a button. Of course, you occasionally have to grind hard to get to a decent level of rep. Or would you prefer there be "Rep Raids"?
    Plot-wise, not gameplay-wise.

    Well, okay, so we're in agreement, it would be nice if choosing a Lorien elf would change how other Lorien elves react to you... but I can also see that being along a line of diminishing returns, especially as you'd need to come up with ways for "born trusted" folks to be doing the same things the rest of us need to do to gain rep. So, on the balance, I'm fine with it since they center so much of this game on those very issues, mending all those bridges and bringing people together, to work together, to follow in the example of the fellowship.
    However 'centered' you might pretend it is, in game-mechanical terms it's Mickey Mouse stuff.

    Oh it so is not. There's nothing to suggest that the peoples of Middle Earth were unable to put their differences aside and work together; quite the opposite. Heck, that was the point of the Council of Elrond, wasn't it? Dwarves and Elves and Men of Gondor and hobbits and suchlike sitting together to discuss grave events, grave changes that required them to seek each others' counsel for the first time, to put aside enmity, because a larger threat loomed. The fellowship were not exceptional in their willingness to work together, they were the product of other people overcoming their lack of trust, to band together and share information and seek advice in the face of dire threat. It was a blueprint of cooperation, and there's nothing to suggest that other people elsewhere could not independently come to the same conclusion and overcome enmities in the face of dire threat, and nothing to suggest that the likes of Elrond and Gloin and the rest walked away from there and said, "Yep, forget you all! Back to untrusting jerks we are." Or that once having opened their borders to the fellowship, Haldir and Galadriel and all them, having their minds changed at least about one dwarf, would be all, "Yeah, but the rest of you can rot, I don't care if you can help defend the Golden Wood."
    The Council of Elrond was only some people, not representing everyone, and as can plainly be seen the Elves of Lorien (for one) had their own ideas. So did the Rohirrim. And the Men of Gondor, as it happened. And what happens on the ground isn't always what the leaders might want, in any case. And no, one Dwarf isn't all Dwarves because in case you'd forgotten, not all Dwarves could be trusted (some of them had even been known to serve Sauron), The Elves of Lorien still had every reason to be cautious of Dwarves because some of them could easily be bought.

    And besides all that, insisting that the player-characters get the same or even better treatment than the Fellowship is a bit much. Look who was vouching in person for Gimli when they were on Lorien's borders, and they still insisted the Dwarf had to be blindfolded. They'd not suddenly change to letting anyone and everyone in 'just because', they couldn't afford to.

    Besides, after all that talk about how I'd supposedly been treating races as homegeneous, what exactly do you think you're saying here? Don't be two-faced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    The troll and how many other orcs? I was more referring to Durin's Bane.
    A Balrog can not be killed by physical means. That's why Gandalf went. We can kill one though.



    Can we reserve judgment on that until we see how many we kill that night? And I thought they were mostly Uruk-hai, not just orcs, and those do seem to be tougher when we encounter them.
    Judging by previous raids, we'll be killing many. Sapience said the fight would half an hour if all goes smoothly. FLM only lasts 10 minutes and you already kill 100 enemies.
    They were mostly orcs, and also a large number of Dunlendings. Uruk-hai were very few.




    So... the NPCs aren't part of the game?
    Of course they are, either you are deliberately trying to twist my words (and failing) or you do not understand there's a difference between the game's combat mechanics and the game's NPCs. I wonder which it is.



    You know, that is what they say about the truly elite warriors, the ones who have nothing to prove; it's almost impossible to get them to talk about themselves or their exploits. Just saying.
    Unfortunately that doesn't work here because we're nearly always sent by someone to kill those things. That's the MMO quest system.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
    The Bird of Hermes is my name, Eating my wings to make me tame.[/I]

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    Common sense suggests that if any elf, dwarf or outsider human warrior had been present Aragorn and Theoden would have seized on them like drowning men clutching a passing piece of driftwood.

    These would by definition be many cuts above the old men and young boys. They would have been prominent. They would be drafted in to organise, to lead defences, to do the kind of stuff we will be doing. It would have come to Frodo's and Bilbo's attention when they wrote the book. Especially as our characters have been helping the fellowship out repeatedly. Or characters would have stepped forward to help.

    'Hey look - it's our old friend SuperFly. He's proven himself handy in a fight.'

    Or maybe later we make a crude pass at Galadriel and we're airbrushed out of history.

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    Getting the feeling all positions have been staked out, all significant contributions made, for the time being, and now we're just recycling our varying opinions back and forth at each other, over and over. There is an evolution that comes with debating, and all who come into the discussion with open mind will find their position shifting, even if it be ever so slightly, as others make valid points. After some time of this, however, the shifting stops and everyone settles into positions in which they are comfortable. I think we're at that point. For that reason, I'm out of this particular thread. Thank you all for the insights, it has been great fun.

 

 
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