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  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColorSpecs View Post
    Lol, trying to discredit what is being said by trolling who's saying it isn't going to work on me. I stick to the subject at hand.

    What I am saying is, tone matters. Unfortunately for Turbine, they don't get to set the tone. Historically they've done a good job staying consistent with the tone with a few gaffs on the way. Lately they seem to be nearly utterly abandoning that. Given the fact that without the IP this game is probably somewhere on the C-List now (being generous) in terms of engine, mechanics, support and infrastructure, it needs to be very strict in tone to make me want to continue to play it.
    Tone is an extremely subjective assessment, one that is honestly hard to take seriously as a critique of a sprawling MMO. LOTR itself varies widely in tone, and trying to compare the tone of a 60 year old novel with that of a 6 year old video game is specious, to say the least.

    You also do a terrible job of sticking to the subject at hand. The subject is lore, and specifically perceived contradictions to who and what was where and when, not tone. Nice try, though.

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColorSpecs View Post
    In Star Wars, as the Rebel Alliance was attacking the Death Star, instead of shooting a laser beams from turrets at the ships, what if the Death Star open up on its axis and started eating the x-wing fights in giant robot crunches like Homer Simpson with a bag of pork rinds in slow-motion. It would certainly have been doable. Its science fiction after all.

    But I guarantee you, there would not have been an Empire Strikes Back.
    This isn't remotely close to the lore situation of players at the Battle of the Hornburg. This situation is more like this: A New Hope only shows Vader, Luke, Wedge, Han and Chewie surviving the attack on the Death Star. Later another medium adds in a storyline where new character X was piloting Red 15 and somehow also survived the battle. Or new character Y was flying a Black Squadron TIE fighter and survived. This situation has happened, in several different media, and has generally been accepted by fans since the movie was the story about Luke and the other heroes, not a detailed historical account of the rebellion against the Empire. There is room for things to happen around the central story.

  3. #103
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    If you're here in big part for the lore (trust me, I am, no other mmo ever held my interest because of the lack), then you must remember that it all gets graded on a curve. In other words, even after hobbits escaped the Shire, even after RKs were born, even after [insert your favourite lore break here] was introduced, LotRO still gets an "A" for its application of LotR to the MMO game genre. Why? Because look at how all the other LotR-based MMOs out there are doing! Or, for that matter, all the other cool epic-fantasy/SF-book-based-MMOs like Wheel of Time Online and Harry Potter Online and Sword of Truth Online and Game of Thrones Online are all doing. Yep, it still gets an "A". That darn grading curve. So I ain't going nowhere any time soon, and I suspect you probably aren't either....if you're driven by the lore.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    You forgot the possibilities of Options C, D, and so on.

    The 20Q thread already made mention fo thinking "outside the box", so why are you restricting Turbine's choices to being inside the previous boxes?
    Then I'll make it even simpler for you.

    Would you rather;

    • Have 10% of the playerbase happy?
      Or
    • Have 75% of the playerbase happy?


    You can take a nab at what those two different percentages refer to (player-wise).
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  5. #105
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    So what was the reason for not using class-based session play in a layered environment for grouping?
    I mean, the technology is there. Why not use it? That way lore is kept and people can still have the fun.
    [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]

  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    So what was the reason for not using class-based session play in a layered environment for grouping?
    I mean, the technology is there. Why not use it? That way lore is kept and people can still have the fun.
    Because huge swathes of the playerbase hate session play. That is why the session play ranger interludes for the latest epic book were optional. Turbine had tons of complaints about session play in the prior epic books.

  7. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    So what was the reason for not using class-based session play in a layered environment for grouping?
    I mean, the technology is there. Why not use it? That way lore is kept and people can still have the fun.
    If I had to guess, it's because they have found that customizing toons is a very popular part of the game and people don't want to play themselves-but-not (name and class and skills/traits/etc. attached, but a male Rohirrim) in such huge endgame content. I would also speculate that the challenges of creating the Big Battle tech are significant enough that layering on top of it class-based session may have been a developmental bridge too far.

    Not to mention wanting to make it part of the Epic, and some place your character actually goes, rather than being told about or reading or flashing back to.

  8. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    This is not the same as categorically stating that these things did not happen. There's very little that Tolkien categorically stated did not happen, and it's actually very reasonable to infer that where he made sweeping generalizations in the text, the author of the Red Book may have been ignoring a sea of details in order to paint a broad picture. There is room in the text for all of this.
    You're making a very good point (do I smell a whiff of unreliable narrator? rawr~), and the places in LOTRO where they try to fill in those gaps (some bits with the Rangers, Angmar in some places) manage to tread that delicate line with appreciable subtlety.

    That being said, a story that would use the extra room in the text would by definition have to stay away from the familiar (and marketable) places, narratives and people from the book and be about LotR while being about everything that's not in it (a hard sell indeed).

    And I don't even think that the pseudo-lore-ayatollahs would like it because although that would certainly alleviate some lore-related guilt, it still wouldn't change the fact that this is a friggin MMO, one of the least creative and most exploitative genre of barely-art out there - and if you're buying (literally) into that, you're definitely not as respectful of the lore as you'd like to believe.
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  9. #109
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    If I had to guess, it's because they have found that customizing toons is a very popular part of the game and people don't want to play themselves-but-not (name and class and skills/traits/etc. attached, but a male Rohirrim) in such huge endgame content. I would also speculate that the challenges of creating the Big Battle tech are significant enough that layering on top of it class-based session may have been a developmental bridge too far.
    So...they couldn't think of any endgame besides just Hornburg battle?
    No Isengard assault and/or cleanup, no Huorn watching, no Uruk-survivor hunting? Or maybe even an entirely original skirmish that wasn't mentioned in the books, like securing the other end of Helm's Deep for the Rohan refugees? No? Just Hornburg?
    I know I should be surprised, but I'm not.



    Not to mention wanting to make it part of the Epic, and some place your character actually goes, rather than being told about or reading or flashing back to.
    Why? What is wrong with being told about it?
    And by that I mean, why *must* our character be present at every single event that ever happens during WOTR, even to the point when it regularly conflicts with the timeline and breaks spatial physics by being in several places at once?
    [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]

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taravith View Post
    You're making a very good point (do I smell a whiff of unreliable narrator? rawr~), and the places in LOTRO where they try to fill in those gaps (some bits with the Rangers, Angmar in some places) manage to tread that delicate line with appreciable subtlety.

    That being said, a story that would use the extra room in the text would by definition have to stay away from the familiar (and marketable) places, narratives and people from the book and be about LotR while being about everything that's not in it (a hard sell indeed).

    And I don't even think that the pseudo-lore-ayatollahs would like it because although that would certainly alleviate some lore-related guilt, it still wouldn't change the fact that this is a friggin MMO, one of the least creative and most exploitative genre of barely-art out there - and if you're buying (literally) into that, you're definitely not as respectful of the lore as you'd like to believe.
    Believe you me, I love me some unreliable narrator. Though I think this is even simpler, just relating to simple point-of-view restriction. The narrator might be offering an honest, good-faith retelling of everything he remembers of what the named characters remember, but that still leaves some massive-yet-reasonable gaps in the "actuality" (something absolutely impossible to determine with any accuracy) of Middle Earth. If we treated LOTR as a primary text for the period it is from (which is essentially what the lore monkeys are trying to do in their own way), we would take almost nothing at face value.

    And yeah, everyone has their line in the sand on lore, to some extent or another. Everyone has their threshold. But making oneself the arbiter of lore, based on that threshold, is bogus.

  11. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    So...they couldn't think of any endgame besides just Hornburg battle?
    No Isengard assault and/or cleanup, no Huorn watching, no Uruk-survivor hunting? Or maybe even an entirely original skirmish that wasn't mentioned in the books, like securing the other end of Helm's Deep for the Rohan refugees? No? Just Hornburg?
    I know I should be surprised, but I'm not.
    Because it would be awesome, that's why. We spend SO MUCH time not tagging along right behind the fellowship, they need to make the most of the intersections we do have. Part of the attraction of the game is those times when our story touches theirs; ironically, Helm's Deep is one of those places where it's easier to touch the story of the fellowship, since it's so chaotic and cast-of-thousands. Things like the float down the Anduin and Moria and so on are much harder because they are so clearly alone and strangers would be too remarkable. And that's why I'm genuinely croggled that people are up in arms over this.

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    Why? What is wrong with being told about it?
    And by that I mean, why *must* our character be present at every single event that ever happens during WOTR, even to the point when it regularly conflicts with the timeline and breaks spatial physics by being in several places at once?
    We're clearly not present at every single event, so the hyperbole is a little misplaced, though again, understandable. But, well, it's customer expectation. As others have said, the session play/flashback/whatever method of seeing other parts of the story has been massively unpopular.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    So...they couldn't think of any endgame besides just Hornburg battle?
    No Isengard assault and/or cleanup, no Huorn watching, no Uruk-survivor hunting? Or maybe even an entirely original skirmish that wasn't mentioned in the books, like securing the other end of Helm's Deep for the Rohan refugees? No? Just Hornburg?
    I know I should be surprised, but I'm not.
    Would that not be just as lore-breaking? Most objections to HD come from the fact that JRR didn't explicitly state that outsiders other than Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli fought there. By that same logic, he also didn't explicitly state that outsiders helped secure the other end of Helm's Deep. In fact, I don't think he mentioned any forces securing the other end at all. That is the problem with falling back on that very narrow lore argument- everything that our characters do and have done breaks lore, and everything Turbine could have us do breaks lore, because we were not part of JRR's manuscript.

  13. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColorSpecs View Post
    Sorry you took offense, but not sure why you did. if every response you make refuses to acknowledge the point, eventually I have to come to the conclusion that you can't grasp it.
    My. You're quite the little charmer aren't you.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Believe you me, I love me some unreliable narrator. Though I think this is even simpler, just relating to simple point-of-view restriction. The narrator might be offering an honest, good-faith retelling of everything he remembers of what the named characters remember, but that still leaves some massive-yet-reasonable gaps in the "actuality" (something absolutely impossible to determine with any accuracy) of Middle Earth. If we treated LOTR as a primary text for the period it is from (which is essentially what the lore monkeys are trying to do in their own way), we would take almost nothing at face value.

    And yeah, everyone has their line in the sand on lore, to some extent or another. Everyone has their threshold. But making oneself the arbiter of lore, based on that threshold, is bogus.
    Which would be true, if we did. But we take more from Tolkien's letters, UT and HoME, because people kept asking Tolkien about these things, so he clarified them where needed;
    Filling gaps is good, but conflicting directly with what the author and creator of the world said and wrote down is not.
    It is one thing to have, for example, a never-mentioned Balrog because it was hidden and defeated before it rose to the surface. In a way that makes sense; very few knew about it, it was no longer a threat, it never made a history for itself, and so it was not written down.
    And it also makes sense to have us face 'lesser' versions of much more iconic and powerful enemies, like Mordirith instead of Witch-king, Cargul instead of Nazgûl, Regmyl instead of Belryg, Drakes instead of Dragons, etc. The more iconic versions' histories and fates are already known so we can't fight them, but the lesser versions are Turbine's own creations which could be made to fit within Tolkien's lore because they do not contradict the writings. All of the above are simply filling gaps or creating new material that does not contradict old.
    BUT the ugly side of "creative license" shows itself when making things that go directly against what Tolkien wrote. Examples are the Iron Garisson, Rune-keepers, the Golden Host, Draigoch, Lieutenant of DG being everywhere at once, and so on. This recent Helm's Deep thing is just one in a long line of lore-breaks. We know those particular things I just mentioned could not have happened because Tolkien was very specific about them. These are the directly contradicting ones.
    In this case, we know that Tolkien specified the warriors at the Hornburg as being our beloved Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn, fighting alongside roughly 3,000 Rohirrim. 1,000 were of King Théoden's own cavalry, ~1,000 were infantry already garrisoned at Helm's Deep, and ~1,000 were of Rohirrim army troops that were rallied by Erkenbrand and Gandalf, after they had been scattered during Isengard's taking of the Isen Crossing. None of those three groups would be able to contain an Elf, Hobbit, Dwarf, or any man from outside Rohan. And the only way a (male) player character from Rohan would be able to participate would be by somehow joining Théoden's cavalry, because they cannot be part of the latter two groups for obvious reasons. A disguise would be a possibility, but Dwarves and Hobbits would not get away with that.
    It's a case of Filling Gaps vs Direct Contradiction.(*)


    I'm assuming most people play this game for the story, since the game itself is mediocre at best (when compared to other MMORPGs, the combat system is poor, the graphics are 'meh' and the PvP system is probably the worst I've ever encountered). When you throw the story out the window, the above is all that you're left with and this is what the game has already become: mediocre.
    But it doesn't have to be. They could go for following lore and bring in the storyphiles, or they could try spending money and making a quality game in terms of gameplay itself. OR even both. But currently both gameplay and lore are severely lacking when compared to the competition.



    Quote Originally Posted by Sthrax View Post
    Would that not be just as lore-breaking? Most objections to HD come from the fact that JRR didn't explicitly state that outsiders other than Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli fought there. By that same logic, he also didn't explicitly state that outsiders helped secure the other end of Helm's Deep. In fact, I don't think he mentioned any forces securing the other end at all. That is the problem with falling back on that very narrow lore argument- everything that our characters do and have done breaks lore, and everything Turbine could have us do breaks lore, because we were not part of JRR's manuscript.
    Incorrect, see above. There's a difference between filling gaps and going specifically against what Tolkien wrote. We know who the warriors at the Hornburg were. We did not know if any warriors at the other side of Helm's Deep were present to secure the cave exits. So we can fight there because it isn't mentioned, but we can not fight at the Hornburg because it's mentioned we are NOT there (only Men of Rohan). The former would be creating new material where none exists, the latter would be contradicting existing material.




    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Because it would be awesome, that's why.
    That is an opinion, and I do not share it.


    We spend SO MUCH time not tagging along right behind the fellowship, they need to make the most of the intersections we do have.Part of the attraction of the game is those times when our story touches theirs;
    I agree, but only to the extent that it follows Tolkien's story. We can meet them before, we can meet them after, we can meet them at Edoras, we can meet them at Dunharrow. But we can NOT meet them in the Paths of the Dead or at the Hornburg, because we know who went to those locations; and we weren't them.



    ironically, Helm's Deep is one of those places where it's easier to touch the story of the fellowship, since it's so chaotic and cast-of-thousands.
    Thousands of Rohirrim. If you're a (male) Rohirrim, go ahead and fight. If you're female Rohirrim, a Man from somewhere else, or and Elf, you maaay get away with it if you disguise yourself well. If you're a Dwarf or Hobbit, you're out of luck.



    Things like the float down the Anduin and Moria and so on are much harder because they are so clearly alone and strangers would be too remarkable. And that's why I'm genuinely croggled that people are up in arms over this.
    People are up in arms over this because it breaks lore. There were no lore breaks by meeting the fellowship in Moria or floating down the Anduin. Because we never did, even in this game.
    You can't compare an actual lore-break vs an imaginary lore-break that never occured and act surprised that people complain about the actual lore-break.




    Quote Originally Posted by zalladi View Post
    Then I'll make it even simpler for you.

    Would you rather;

    • Have 10% of the playerbase happy?
      Or
    • Have 75% of the playerbase happy?


    You can take a nab at what those two different percentages refer to (player-wise).
    And yet 87% of the playerbase expressed joy with the Session Play mechanic three years after it had been introduced. Have those numbers changed in recent years? Now you.

    What's that? You want my source?
    Oh I'm sorry I thought we were playing the Make-Up-Statistics-As-We-Go-Along-In-An-Attempt-To-Make-A-Point Game. Guess the joke's on me.






    (*) Please note that filling gaps and creating new material that doesn't contradict Tolkien's writings doesn't mean "anything goes". In order to sustain a sense of belief, there has to be a certain connected logic to the newly created material and the world in which it is set. Which is why I am against laser guns, giant goat mounts, space ships and house-sized, immortal turtles in LOTRO. Nothing about them makes sense in the context of Tolkien's Middle-earth.
    Last edited by BirdofHermes; Aug 08 2013 at 06:09 PM.
    [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]

  15. #115
    Hey guys, I think that everyone should calm down. We are debating about The Lord of The Rings, but for some it looks like they are debating about the Bible...

    If you are so concerned about breaking the lore, then simply do not play: as Sapience has mentioned, you broke it the moment you stepped into Middle Earth. Instead of whining, spend the same energy to have fun on the game, and I am sure we will with HD. Let's be constructive. We are not talking about an instance where Darth Vader will appear, just of a battle where our character will be there despite not being explicitly mentioned in Tolkien's books. So let's relax :-)

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by zalladi View Post
    Then I'll make it even simpler for you.

    Would you rather;

    • Have 10% of the playerbase happy?
      Or
    • Have 75% of the playerbase happy?


    You can take a nab at what those two different percentages refer to (player-wise).
    Quote Originally Posted by Sthrax View Post
    Because huge swathes of the playerbase hate session play. That is why the session play ranger interludes for the latest epic book were optional. Turbine had tons of complaints about session play in the prior epic books.
    The "statistics" are unprovable. We know that there are people who hate session play because a small number of people on the Forums have said so.

    We don't know how many people who *don't* post on the Forums liked, disliked, or just shrugged their shoulders and moved on over session play.

    So far as I can tell, the reason why the session plays (which were pretty good, but with one really "out of the blue" unexplained point) were optional is because they were actually unrelated to Vol. III Book 10 altogether. They were a kind of "meanwhile, back at the ranch..." sort of thing. Not doing them would have no effect on understanding the story line of III.10.

    I'll grant that there would have been more unhappy people if they couldn't take their characters to Helm's Deep. I submit that the ones that would be really upset about it would probably be no more numerous than those who dislike what is being done, so long as they were given something else to do with enough combat in it together with some activities that tied in the story of the battle (session plays, cut scenes, etc.). After all, the hot and heavy raiding commenters on the Forums have been whinging all over THIS Forum for the last two months about the ABSOLUTE NEED to have an instance cluster with raids--more and better raids--and how an expansion isn't a REAL expansion without the inclusion of an instance cluster with raids.

    Nowhere has there been much fuss over whether or not the Battle of the Hornburg just HAD to be the raids in question. Suppose instead (to create an example) a classic raid were built around Second Isen instead? Would that be an adequate substitute for letting PCs into the Hornburg for the battle?

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    If you don't want to engage with my critique of the lore, that's fine, but don't set yourself up as some kind of arbiter of what is and is not "true to the lore." It's what's acceptable to you. I find your vision of the lore depressingly narrow, and I wish you would stop smearing it through every thread where it's even remotely germane.
    Would you prefer that I make my points in threads where it *isn't* germane?

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tourquoise View Post
    Hey guys, I think that everyone should calm down. We are debating about The Lord of The Rings, but for some it looks like they are debating about the Bible...
    Amen!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. #119
    LOL at dismissing a debate about a work of fiction by offering as example another work of fiction.
    The first one is MUCH better written btw.

    PS: You don´t like my message? do you think it demeans your religion? well then I submit a simple solution: do NOT bring your religion into these forums.

    As for the Lore debate... I tend to side with the "you broke it as soon as you entered Middle Earth" crowd. I LOVE the books, but I really don´t mind that much. If Turbine can create an enjoyable experience that keeps LOTRO motoring till we get to the very end, I´m happy with a few lore breaks (including giant goats! but that´s for another thread ahem).
    Last edited by Diego_Alatriste; Aug 08 2013 at 06:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Did you see what I said before about the lore-within-the-lore? The historicity of the Red Book itself?

    The "lore" itself, within its own construction, is a memoir of sorts, assembled out of the remembrances of some of the people who experienced it, long after it was over. According to the text, Legolas did not run around fighting wood trolls in the Trollshaws. But, it also doesn't say that he didn't. It doesn't say that there were any other adventurers abroad, just that the fellowship didn't encounter any that they could recall years later AND that the author felt were significant enough to include in the Red Book.

    This is not the same as categorically stating that these things did not happen. There's very little that Tolkien categorically stated did not happen, and it's actually very reasonable to infer that where he made sweeping generalizations in the text, the author of the Red Book may have been ignoring a sea of details in order to paint a broad picture. There is room in the text for all of this.

    Tolkien worked in legend and fable. By their nature these things present a world that is very simple, almost impressionistic. It is not meant to be a detailed, "realistic" detail of every bit of working of Middle Earth, if it existed as a real place. Treating it that way, I would argue, is just as disrespectful to the text as having a hobbit juggling chainsaws on the top of Barad-dur.
    This is simply using historicity as an excuse for trying to jam hugely unlikely things into the story by brute force, while forgetting what sort of fantasy it is natively (hint: it's not sword-and-sorcery like the game is, with these 'adventurers' turning up out of the blue all the time and joining battles). If there were any more outlandish (literally) people at Helm's Deep, people would have noticed. They'd have stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Rohirrim defenders. It's as simple as that. And besides, you'd have to make an excuse for why these outlandish folk didn't stop by to say hello to Aragorn & Co., who they know and have even fought alongside before. So where are they supposed to be, hiding at the back for no good reason?

    The story itself has no room for this, because it would have had some obvious consequences. Changing the story is another matter.

  21. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    Which would be true, if we did. But we take more from Tolkien's letters, UT and HoME, because people kept asking Tolkien about these things, so he clarified them where needed;
    Filling gaps is good, but conflicting directly with what the author and creator of the world said and wrote down is not.
    Here's another fun irony. The letters, UT, and HoME are actually technically off-limits to Turbine. If Tolkien clarified anything in them, that is not stated explicitly in the text of LOTR and The Hobbit, I'm pretty sure they can't actually use it. I don't know how nitpicky it can get, but Christopher Tolkien has made sure to defend the bounds, as it were, of the intellectual property he inherited from his father rather vigorously. I'm not saying he created a toon in LOTRO to police it himself, but I'm sure Turbine is well aware of how ornery he can get if they step off of the SZC reservation.

    That said, you can also get into a lovely theory of story. And that is that, once you release it into the wild, in some sense it's no longer yours. I know that when I first read LOTR (admittedly between the first and second movies--I was always more sci-fi than fantasy), I was fascinated by the gaps in the story, the glimpsed but unseen places, the history unexplained. And imagining what might have filled those gaps made the story mine, and it's one of the things I love to do when rereading the books, I love to peer again into those gaps. But, with the game, I also love to explore the way the artists and writers at Turbine have chosen to fill those gaps, I love to understand how other people engaged with the story. The only thing that really gets up my nose is when people insist that there are no gaps, and when they set themselves up as the arbiters of "too much." Again, we all have lines, but it's not really anyone's place, as consumers, to get up and say, "Here and no further! You shall not p-- enjoy this thing, because I do not find this thing enjoyable!"


    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    BUT the ugly side of "creative license" shows itself when making things that go directly against what Tolkien wrote. Examples are the Iron Garisson, Rune-keepers, the Golden Host, Draigoch, Lieutenant of DG being everywhere at once, and so on. This recent Helm's Deep thing is just one in a long line of lore-breaks. We know those particular things I just mentioned could not have happened because Tolkien was very specific about them.
    Tolkien was not specific (within LOTR) about the Iron Garrison, Rune-Keepers, the Golden Host, Draigoch, or the specific and precise whereabouts of the Lieutenant of DG throughout the events of LOTR. He wasn't. I've read the books. That stuff is definitely "in the gaps" stuff. And, to be very precise, given how Tolkien sets up LOTR as the Red Book, written by Bilbo, Frodo, etc. and passed down, and collected recollections after the fact, he was also saying very clearly that this is not a complete and exhaustive record of everything that happened, or even everything that happened to these people. That uncertainty, that remove of the narrative from the events is itself part of the lore. Even if "absence of mention is mention of absence" were not a screaming logical fallacy, and it so, SO is, the way the story is constructed is both very clear and very fuzzy. There are very concrete details about the immediate surroundings and immediate experiences of the fellowship themselves, but as soon as you attempt to look around them, everything is slightly fuzzy and out of focus, and details drop off the further you get away from them.

    (As an aside, sometime, you should go watch the BBC series Wallander. They actually literalize this as a technique of cinematography. There are a number of scenes where the characters will be in very sharp focus, but the surroundings, even to, say, the chair next to them, is actually out of focus. This is a deliberate technique, and a fascinating literalization of memory.)

    As the details drop off, so does the reliability of the chronicler to be authoritative about the areas beyond the focus of the story.

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    In this case, we know that Tolkien specified the warriors at the Hornburg as being our beloved Legolas, Gimli and Aragorn, fighting alongside roughly 3,000 Rohirrim. exactly 1,000 were of King Théoden's own cavalry, ~1,000 were infantry already garrisoned at Helm's Deep, and ~1,000 were of Rohirrim army troops that were rallied by Erkenbrand and Gandalf, after they had been scattered during Isengard's taking of the Isen Crossing. None of those three groups would be able to contain an Elf, Hobbit, Dwarf, or any man from outside Rohan. And the only way a (male) player character from Rohan would be able to participate would be by somehow joining Théoden's cavalry, because they cannot be part of the latter two groups for obvious reasons. A disguise would be a possibility, but Dwarves and Hobbits would not get away with that.
    But that argument rests on the notion that because he didn't mention any others, that there could not have been. Yes, there is some sense of this in commenting on how remarkable Legolas and Gimli are to them, but again you have to think of how even in the context of LOTR as presented that remarkableness is filtered through recollection, in a story specifically meant to highlight the remarkable heroism of these particular people. I'm not trying to do the "Gandalf was really a jerk, but portrayed as a hero" thing, but just because Legolas was awesome, doesn't mean that Begolas wasn't running around being awesome somewhere in the same zip code. You didn't hear about Begolas because it wasn't his story. But there's room, so much room!, for all these other stories.

    And that's not to say that even within what's there and what's reasonable for them to believe is "actually" what happened, and it's not to say that "in the gap" is some unlimited license to invent whatever. (We've answered why the eagles didn't just fly Frodo to Mount Doom in the beginning! They were schlepping our butts around, ah-ha! It fits!)

    What it is saying is: everyone's threshold is different and no one has been appointed by Eru as the arbiter of the threshold.

    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    I'm assuming most people play this game for the story, since the game itself is mediocre at best (when compared to other MMORPGs, the combat system is poor, the graphics are 'meh' and the PvP system is probably the worst I've ever encountered). When you throw the story out the window, the above is all that you're left with and this is what the game has already become: mediocre.
    But it doesn't have to be. They could go for following lore and bring in the storyphiles, or they could try spending money and making a quality game in terms of gameplay itself. OR even both. But currently both gameplay and lore are severely lacking when compared to the competition.
    I'm assuming that's a poor assumption. In fact, the only thing I'm willing to assume is that anyone who assumes anything about a diverse playerbase is almost certainly wrong beyond a very general level of commonality. I enjoy the story as presented and I think it's very well done. You can have your own idea of what would be better, but I'm content for the moment to follow along with Turbine's collective creative vision. I don't think I'm alone. I also think I enjoy the gameplay well enough, and I've tried other MMOs that have been released since, and found them lacking, and not just in the presentation of their IP. There's something I find compelling beyond the ability to visit places mentioned in the books and seeing polygonal representations of the heroes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whheydt View Post
    Would you prefer that I make my points in threads where it *isn't* germane?
    I'd prefer you take it as granted that Turbine is well aware of your opinion, and could probably predict your opinion for any particular element of the game going forward with a high degree of reliability.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    This is simply using historicity as an excuse for trying to jam hugely unlikely things into the story by brute force, while forgetting what sort of fantasy it is natively (hint: it's not sword-and-sorcery like the game is, with these 'adventurers' turning up out of the blue all the time and joining battles). If there were any more outlandish (literally) people at Helm's Deep, people would have noticed. They'd have stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the Rohirrim defenders. It's as simple as that. And besides, you'd have to make an excuse for why these outlandish folk didn't stop by to say hello to Aragorn & Co., who they know and have even fought alongside before. So where are they supposed to be, hiding at the back for no good reason?

    The story itself has no room for this, because it would have had some obvious consequences. Changing the story is another matter.
    Your definition of "hugely unlikely" is... strange. Until you see how Turbine chooses to integrate our characters into the fight, it's premature at best to opine on how much they would have "stuck out like sore thumbs," or otherwise been remarkable enough to have made it into the account of the Red Book.

    Further, it's somewhat silly to talk about "what sort of fantasy it is natively" as if to suggest that some arcane assignment of a fantasy subgenre dictates what could or could not happen in its world, given that Tolkien predates the parceling of fantasy into subgenres, as well as predating most of fantasy as a genre altogether. If you want to take it on its face, it's no kind of fantasy at all, but legend, and one of the defining aspects of legend is to redraw as larger-than-life the formative events of an earlier age. The redrawing itself obliterates much of the historical representation of the "actuality" of the events. (True fact: many considered Troy itself to be a fictitious place because it was the setting of the clearly-fictitious Iliad, and were surprised when someone went out and actually dug up what seems to be historical Troy in the place described in the Iliad. This does not, however, mean Achilles was actually the almost-invulnerable son of a no-kidding Greek god.)

    But, let's keep saying it: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This isn't a blank check, but please be more creative than this particular (fallacious) train of thought.

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Further, it's somewhat silly to talk about "what sort of fantasy it is natively" as if to suggest that some arcane assignment of a fantasy subgenre dictates what could or could not happen in its world, given that Tolkien predates the parceling of fantasy into subgenres, as well as predating most of fantasy as a genre altogether. If you want to take it on its face, it's no kind of fantasy at all, but legend, and one of the defining aspects of legend is to redraw as larger-than-life the formative events of an earlier age.
    It makes many of the points being dealt with into a meta-discussion. It's an old SF fannish discussion technique. Discuss what could or could not occur in a particular piece of fiction by assuming that the work is factual and historically real. It even gets back into fiction itself. Poul Anderson wrote some fiction based on the idea that everything Shakespeare wrote was factual, such as "Bohemia has a coastline". One can also use the techniques to cross two or more different fictional "universes", such as, what would happen if you dropped the (OS) NCC Enterprise into the Lensman universe? (Spock winds up with a Lens and Kirk does not, for instance.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by daveamongus View Post
    Your definition of "hugely unlikely" is... strange. Until you see how Turbine chooses to integrate our characters into the fight, it's premature at best to opine on how much they would have "stuck out like sore thumbs," or otherwise been remarkable enough to have made it into the account of the Red Book.
    What, because Dwarves and hobbits wouldn't stand out among all those big, strapping Northmen types who live in Rohan? And I seem to remember that the player-characters are supposed to be heroes (super-heroes, really, given the plot of the game) but you're now trying to imply that at this one battle they're going to do so little of note that nobody will even notice them.

    To call this unconvincing would be putting it mildly.

    Further, it's somewhat silly to talk about "what sort of fantasy it is natively" as if to suggest that some arcane assignment of a fantasy subgenre dictates what could or could not happen in its world, given that Tolkien predates the parceling of fantasy into subgenres, as well as predating most of fantasy as a genre altogether.
    The sort of OTT heroic fantasy the game engages in actually predates LOTR and even The Hobbit, it's got far more in common with 'pulp' fantasy written by the likes of Robert E. Howard. The trope of the solo hero overcoming all obstacles is notably lacking in LOTR, in case you hadn't noticed. Likewise the casual flinging about of magic.

    If you want to take it on its face, it's no kind of fantasy at all, but legend, and one of the defining aspects of legend is to redraw as larger-than-life the formative events of an earlier age.
    It's constructed legend, which is a type of fantasy.

    But, let's keep saying it: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. This isn't a blank check, but please be more creative than this particular (fallacious) train of thought.
    You've not shown it to be fallacious, and the only creative thing I'm seeing from you is in the manufacture of one excuse after another. Take what you said earlier:

    Tolkien was not specific (within LOTR) about the Iron Garrison, Rune-Keepers, the Golden Host, Draigoch, or the specific and precise whereabouts of the Lieutenant of DG throughout the events of LOTR. He wasn't. I've read the books. That stuff is definitely "in the gaps" stuff.
    Not even close: those things cannot be said to simply fill gaps in the story because it is beyond credibility that they could have happened and not had consequences, nor passed unnoticed. Diverting resources away from Erebor when it was about to be attacked by Sauron? That would have had consequences. We know the Galadhrim did NOT attack Dol Guldur until after Sauron's fall, because there's a clear if very brief account of what happened in LOTR itself so that one is a straightforward (and significant) change. RKs are simply not credible (even if the idea behind them was even self-consistent, which it isn't, much less consistent with Tolkien's take on magic) because their existence could hardly have passed unnoticed for thousands of years, yet accounts of Dwarves in battle simply (and only, and always) have them going all medieval on the foe, not using any sort of magic (other than that in their weapons and armour). Draigoch? What, everyone just forgot to mention a dragon, of all things? People do tend to remember dragons, you know. And the people who kill them. Stuff of legend and all that. (Especially when they're so far off the beaten track for dragons, too). Real filling-in of gaps would be relatively low-key derring-do that might feasibly pass unnoticed among the general mayhem, not all this massively OTT epic stuff that Turbine are so fond of because it's exactly the sort of thing that people would tell stories about.

    You can't have continual epic goings-on and then try to pretend everyone forgets everything about them every single time. They're changes to the story, not things that fit neatly into gaps. There's nothing wrong with such changes in principle but to try to pretend they're not changes is disingenuous at best. And that's before I point out what should be the obvious fact that the player-characters couldn't 'really' have been involved in all those events because there simply wouldn't be enough time to do all the travelling that would be involved, at Middle-earth's true scale. The game's story is a fudge, which should make it even more obvious that you shouldn't try to treat it as something that dovetails neatly with the books.

 

 
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