Big Delays Hit LOTRO: Rohan And End Of Nations

Time. The gaming industry – like everything else in the past, present, and future – exists inside of it, but often, it seems to observe time less as an incontrovertibly defining law of the universe and more as a set of loose guidelines. So delays happen right and left, and everyone cries while conveniently forgetting that their backlog can be seen from space. That in mind, I can’t really complain when developers decide to do things right instead of cutting corners en route to a quickly forgotten whimper of a release. And I especially can’t complain when said developers are super graceful about it, as both Turbine and Trion have been with Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan and End of Nations, respectively.

Unfortunately for avid LOTRO players, Rohan’s initial instance cluster has ended up decidedly less, er, clusterier than expected. December’s “Against the Shadow” update, then, will only include three three-mans: Iorbar’s Peak, Webs of the Scuttledells, and Seat of the Great Goblin. Four larger-scale instances, meanwhile, will now ride into Rohan in February. Among other things, that means 12-man The Fires of Smaug will miss its chance to hop aboard The Hobbit movie’s bandwagon and then eat it, but Turbine’s giving top priority to getting things right above all else. “We’ve chosen to honor our commitment as best we can with the limited time remaining in 2012 while still insuring the highest quality possible,” said the developer of the rather difficult decision.

End of Nations’ image in the crystal ball, on the other hand, is quite a bit blurrier. After several trillion rounds of closed beta testing, Petroglyph’s pinpointed some areas of the large, in-charge, in-charge-of-large-things MMORTS that need serious work. No, it’s not going back to the drawing board, but the planned open beta’s been put on hold “until further notice.” If, however, you purchased End of Nations early to get a head start, you’ll be offered a full refund for your troubles.

Admittedly, that may not bode particularly well for Trion and Petroglyph’s ambitious genre Frankenstein, but it’s at least nice of them to let dissatisfied customers take their money and go home. Plus, this gives me more time to rush my competing title, End of Nathans, to market. It’s a tragedy, obviously. Probably the saddest ever.


  1. DiiGiiTAL says:

    Just a hunch, but I think the article picture is slightly amiss. :)

    • SocraticIrony says:

      I’m not the only one who thought he’d missed the attack helicopters in Return of the King.

      Turns out that’s for End of Nations though…

  2. Dana says:

    Good. End Of Nations is pretty mediocre game, from the beta I played at least. It can only make it better, hopefully.

    • Trithne says:

      It appears to be *incredibly* spammy. To the exclusion of the game having anything else.

      Which, to be fair, is kinda understandable for Petroglyph-formerly-Westwood, creators of Command & Tank Spam, but Universe at War, for all its other failings, did really well at discouraging unit spam.

      • Dana says:

        Not only it’s spammy, but the unit count is pretty small too, you can command like 2 tanks and 4 jeeps at once. And Rock Paper Scissors on top of that means mixing your units is discouraged, it’s better to build one type and hope you can counter whatever enemy brings.

        Why can’t they use World In Conflict system. Where each player would pick his army branch (Infantry, Armor, Air, Artillery etc.) and develop it through their skill trees, garage upgrades and what not. And then field it with other players, matched by matchmaking to create healthy balance of forces. Yes I know you can pick from different types of “armies”, but they don’t seem to be different enough.

        And no, it’s not MMO.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Really, tank spam isn’t the most effective strategy in earlier C&C. That’s a more recent, EA-tinged illness.

        • Hatsworth says:

          Uh, what? RA2 was all about constant tank production. It was glorious. Unless you don’t count that as early. Fairly sure that was the case in RA1 too though, but I didn’t play it online so I might be wrong.

          • LionsPhil says:

            The gulf between RA1 and RA2 is pretty big, yeah.

            I don’t count RA2 as “early” because it’s one of the last Westwood RTSes before they were completely digested by the belly of the beast.

          • Hatsworth says:

            That’s true. YR was particularly bad with the lack of support, it really needed more balance patches.

    • DK says:

      No surprise there, considering it’s made by “we haven’t looked at RTS game design or interface design since CnC 1”-Petroglyph. All of their games have been ugly messes that took far more horsepower than was appropriate, were incredibly dumb in terms of AI and pathfinding and had horrendous UIs (to the tune of – “we don’t know what Shift-queue is”). They have tremendous concept artists, and their high-level faction design is awesome. Everything else they’re literally decades behind on.

      • Trithne says:

        I was of the opinion that Universe at War’s interface was actually pretty fantastic. It had shift-clicking, it had smart-casting, It was well designed.

        U@W was an overall good game with no support and in dire need of balancing and updates.

        • DK says:

          Universe at War didn’t even have Harvester that walked to the next patch of resources to harvest on their own. It was probably the most obvious example of Petroglyph simply not knowing how to make a RTS, but having brilliant faction design – the robot faction would have been incredible had anything they were supposed to do actually worked or been supported by the interface

  3. caddyB says:

    I hope the best for the guys. It takes guts to come out and say “it’s not very good, so we will be working on it a bit more”.

  4. killuminati says:

    I’ve tryed a couple of hours End of nation and found it very shallow. To the point it didn’t deserve for me to download the client and have it sitting in my HD for a quick play. Hell, I stil have AoE online installed even if I’ve played maybe 4 hours in the last 4 months…
    I cannot say what was worng with EoN to be honest.. maybe lots of small things.. :/

  5. sabasNL says:

    Ironically, End of Nations was worse than Command & Conquer 4. The worst achievement Petroglyph could get.
    On the other hand, they did deliver End of Nations, which was not that bad, and Empire at War, which was great. I believe they can do it, but End of Nations was just rushed and not very well built.

    I think it’s a good idea to re-build the game, instead of rushing it out to the market.