Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, the massively-multiplayer game set in Tolkien's Middle-earth fantasy world, will feature an intriguing form of Player versus Player combat called 'monster play'.
This will see gamers "inhabit the evil creatures of Middle-earth" to complete quests and engage in battle with other human-controlled characters, according to Turbine, the game's developer.
Shadows of Angmar had originally been announced without PvP support, something that was bound to alienate a number of MMO-obsessives. However, during an interview with games website FiringSquad, Turbine spilled the beans on how the PvP element of LOTR Online will work, as well as discussing new combo attacks available to gamers who quest in teams.
Monster play will require you to take on the role of some of the more evil denizens of Middle-earth, while successfully completing quests and skirmishing with other player characters will enable you to earn experience points that can be spent on upgrading your main character - though Turbine hasn't commented on what monsters you'll be able to inhabit.
Shadows of Angmar, due for release next spring, will also feature coordinated attacks for gamers battling with friends. When one player uses a skill to knock an enemy into a vulnerable position, an icon appears in the HUDs of their fellow adventurers. Those players have a few seconds to click the icon, before a mass co-op attack is launched on the dazed enemy, encouraging group play.
While Turbine may have a few off-beat ideas (one skill called Empathy oddly gives a +2 armour bonus and resistance to fear attacks - if only it was the same in real life) a new twist on PvP combat and the co-op attacks will give LOTR Online: Shadows of Angmar an edge in the war against WoW-alike multiplayer adventures.
December 5, 2006