Travels with Troy; Episode III

If you have not checked out episode III of the Travels of Troy, please visit and listen or head over to my page on GAX and you can find it there as well.

In this week’s episode, I have four segments of the show. In the first, I offer a bit of history on the writer and originator of the Conan mythology, Robert E. Howard. Many of his fans, and soon many MMO gamers, may not know the sad history behind the creative genius. Without letting too much out of the bag, let us just say that we should have had many more tales of Conan in Hyboria than we did.

The second segment deals with my ongoing discussion of Phantasm Adventures pushed into the MMO genre, and how I would like to see a MMO created. This week, we talk about the 60 playable races in Phantasm, and highlight a few of them with examples. It is interesting to note, that there were 12 races left out at one point due to their difficult playbability — such as not having hands to manipulate treasures or objects in the world. A MMO would be a perfect place to experiment with tough races, allowing seasoned players the option of “rolling” characters that are much more difficult to play.

I then move on to what I have been playing — which is mostly Everquest II and my new method of dual-boxing with Multiplicity. Even though everything about Lord of The Rings says I should adore the game, I am having a very rough time wanting to spend any time in it at all. The game is utterly beautiful and rich to travel through — its character creation and advancement is smooth and very engaging — treasures and appearance tabs are generous and plentiful. The question, however, is why I cannot find a sustained reason to stay in the game? I am even in a great guild, but there is something hollow about the game — and I cannot put a finger on it.

In my segment, I discuss the Free MMO Dungeon Runners. To summarize my review, you get what you pay for. With that, and without going into much detail, unless you are on a severe budget or you have very little time to invest into a MMO, I would move on to something else.

Next week: Karen, from the Journeys with Jaye stops over and we talk about Women In Gaming. We also will disucss Background Picks in Phantasm Adventures. And for those who have not discovered the site, if you are looking for bargains, surf over to



  1. I have a couple theories on the Mystery of LOTRO, aka “it’s great, why aren’t I enjoying it?”

    1) It’s the only low-fantasy game out there. Even then, to get in all the traditional class roles and have some flashy effects they had to raise the fantasy level a bit. We’re all used to very high fantasy with flashy armor, flashy mobs and flashy spells and weapons. LOTRO is very decidedly down to (Middle) Earth and can seem a little “off” compared to all our prior fantasy experiences. For the longest time I would do LOTRO for LOTRO then switch to Vanguard to balance things out and get my high fantasy fix.

    2) The game is designed and presented in a totally different way than we’re used to. Every other game says “here’s our game world” *PLOP* “go have fun.” From the get-go, you’re in the thick of things and while you may level up and get to even more crazy adventurous lands, you always know what you’re in for. Horde vs. Alliance, Freeport vs. Qeynos, whatever… it’s all there from Day One. LOTRO is taking an approach following the books. What we have this first year of the game is only up to where the Fellowship reaches Moria. We’re adventuring in Eriador during the timeline when most free peoples have no clue Sauron is up to anything; no clue war is imminent. So we mostly have a happy-go-lucky atmosphere and we adventurers spend a lot of time (especially the solo time) acting as medieval Orkin pest-control employees, enacting population control on the local wildlife. As we get into the higher level areas, closer to where some of Sauron’s forces are more in the open, the mood and overall atmosphere of the zone and its peoples drop, which is appropriate. The first expansion will take us into Moria itself and a couple zones on the other side of the Misty Mountains, so we’ll see what Turbine has in store for us then. I personally like this approach, but coming from… well… every other game out there, it’s easy to take a look and say “meh, LOTRO is nothing but whacking wolves and boars.” We’ll see how/if things take a turn once we’re adventuring right where Sauron has his armies out in force… I’m hoping the action and excitement cranks up quite a bit so I’m not wondering how much 401(k) retirement I get from grinding my Orkin reputation…

  2. In Civilization 4 the AI will really try its best to pursue one of the victory conditions. Expecially if you patch the game and have the latest expansion, Beyond the Sword, the game is not easy at all šŸ™‚

    Back to your question, doesn’t matter how good the relationship with the other countries are, if they think you are an easy target they will attack you.
    What you want to do is to check quite often the Military Power graph and see how well placed you are there. Consider that the more cities you have, the more power you need to have to have the enemy consider you dangerous.
    In other words, the actual power of a country is the level of the bar in that graph, divided by the number of cities.

    Let us know how the next game goes.

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