Video games that are based off of movies/books always fail to draw my interest. I actually took the time to ask some of my friends, and they all said pretty much the same thing.
It's like turning a move into a book; it just doesn't work. They aren't compatible. Imagine if someone released a Matrix book. You would ASSUME that it would be bad, and never even try it. The same goes for video games. LotR was meant to be a movie, not a video game. People, I being one of them, automatically assume that the game is going to be bad because it is based off of a movie.
This community will most likely disagree with this statement. But just remember that this community represents an incredibly small amount of the Bnet population. Casual gamers are far more common on SC2 than hard core gamers.
Another important point is this. It took some of my friends months to finally buy SC2, just because it was called "Starcraft". If you hesitate at buying the game for that reason, there is no way that you are going to play a game as "nerdy" as LotR. Might sound stupid, but it's a sad truth. Name the game "Ultimate Showdown" or something, then you might find different results.
The maps are by no means based off the movie, though many people that play the maps in the community already have never read the books. The movie is a laugh compared to the book if you ask anyone who have read any of the books. If it was based off of just a movie it would be difficult to get the depth into it. This also isn't a hardcore gamer map or a casual, it is actually more or less the way people play it, at times its casual and at times its hardcore competition depending on who's in the game. It is a decent size community with a ventrilo server where you are having fun even when not in the game, with many games being memorable among more than just yourself. It is a game that involves some micro, some strategy, alot of variance in how you can play it out, while yet still starting out the same way every time. It is a game I think if any of you who will post 1 disadvantage of it actually logged on and played a game or 2 with a few people in ventrilo, you would not only like the game but the people playing it, which makes it even more enjoyable. I'm also a firm believer of you shouldnt knock on something until you experience it, though that is easy for me to say because I am a very easy going person, and like many things. Example i play pretty much every type of map out there except a few (dont like tugs) :/. Same with music though. If anything is a major downfall of this gameset is it the fact that new players get targeted first many games if they are mostly all decent players, however all games have a problem with new players, you can't just not target them. There will be other maps i'm certain that are LotRish however like there was in sc1 where you can fit it into space age stuff and give different names but at the same time LotR is very easy because it is something people can relate to. I may base my map off the book and not the movie, but even people who don't read the books can relate to the maps because the movies are quite popular also. Ask anyone and they'd tell you Aragorn is a pimp and you don't want to lose him as a hero, easier to learn what is less or more important in game if you know something already.
Sorry for all grammer and my super paragraph, I get carried away :)
So there are no imported models.. lol. Sorry, i would never imagine one without it...
and you are right.. some people don't care about the lore or the "perfectionism".. feel?? and that's ok.
Others are dubious why it's not AS important as the rest (gameplay/features) and that should not deter you from trying..
you should advocate the addition of "lotr" models and you'd probably get huge accolades ...
Adding models would disenchant the game imo, I don't just enjoy the game without models, I couldn't even bear it WITH THEM. What are you afraid of? Really...The Lord of the Rings games are some of the most amazing on battle net. I dunno about anyone else, but I like the small family like channel, and imo, it would suck if the community was too big. But I think that more people is always good, and we always welcome good people to our community. I hope that people can come to channel "lotr" and at least make an attempt to try.
In my opinion most of the LOTR custom games aren't very well designed from a gameplay standpoint. These maps aren't suited for pub matches. More often then not there are 12 available factions to play, and said factions already have a ton of buildings and units on the map. Needless to say that even if you fill up your lobby in the begging most of the players will rage quit because of lag.
Most of the LOTR are confusing to newbies that aren't LOTR fans and know nothing about the lore. Normally each faction has unique victory conditions and objectives presented in a wall of text. By the time your finished reading the tips section or get an answer from someone that is willing to help you your army is already dead.
The fact there is no faction selection screen with details of each unique faction isn't helpful either. Most newbies will play one, be confused and RAGE QUIT NEVER TO RETURN.
Even though WOW units can be used, most custom LOTR games use SC2 models and rename them. A marine as an Archer.... lame. I don't want to use my imagination while playing a video game and imagine his bullets are arrows.
Honestly, I believe that a decent remake of LOTR will have to be a Co-OP/RPG episodic campaign. Instead of renaming sc2 models after units and assuming everyone knows about the movies, some one needs to adapt the premise of the LOTR movies to the starcraft universe.
One night Zeratul has a mysterious vision regarding the arrival of the Xel'naga. The preservers interpret Zeratul's vision and reveals to him that the Dark Voice (Ulrezaj) is seeking out a powerful Xel'naga Artifact that happens to be a ring that has the power to open a temporal dimensional rift that will allow the xel'naga to return to their version of the universe. Upon the Xelnaga's return they will destroy everything and everybody in this universe to reshape the universe into something new. In order to prevent the destruction of the universe Zeratul must find the artifact ring before Ulrezaj and the travel to the edge of the universe and destroy said ring in a unique quantum singularity that leads to the outside of existence or whatever.
Zeratul seeks out James Raynor and other Protoss allies. (Perhaps other sentient alien species or a few guys from Azeroth) and they embark on a quest to find the ring and then destroy the ring and essentially save the universe.
However, others are seeking this power... Kerrigan, Renegade Zerg Broods, the Tal'darim and other minions of the returned dark archon Ulrezaj.
This would be an awesome open formula for a LOTR cross Starcraft custom co-op campaign. Data banks can be used so heroes could be carried over from map to map. Each new world or location could be similar to areas in LOTR thematically.
You could even throw in some plot twists such as Tassadar reappearing to Zeratul and helping him on his quest. However, before Zeratul and the gang can bring the xelnaga artifact to the edge of the universe to be destroyed It turns out that the Tassadar that appeared before Zeratul was really Ulrezaj in disguise!!!!! Tassadar made the ultimate sacrifice after all!!! Is was a mind freak.... yata yata yata.
Character development and lore is very important, in books, movies, and now video games/custom mods. This element ultimate determines if a game is critically acclaimed or a forgettable piece of crap.
In a nut shell, the LoTR games are okay but they only appeal to a particular demographic so thats why they aren't that popular on bnet. That and the fact that the game development is amateurish
LotR, other fantasy, and Sims games worked wonderfully in SC1 because the graphics were so bad you could imagine things to be other things. In SC1, it was totally normal and believable to call a zergling a "Child" or a machine factory an "Oven." You couldn't really tell what the zergling was so it was anyone's guess if it really was a child. However, it takes much more imagination to pass off a zergling in SC2 as a child. I played Cortex RP here and there to mess around with units but I noticed that everyone always kept there RPing strictly in the world of SC2, which I thought was interesting. Anyway, I think it mostly comes down to people who liked the out-of-theme games in SC1 being divided due to conflicting mental capacities and traits.