Friday, March 16, 2012

I Hate Tharzog

If that name rings a bell for you, it's probably because you've played Lord of the Rings: War in the North. You'll recall that he's the big one, and the Dwarf is excited for the challenge. In fact, you can probably recite the entry lines to this first boss.

War in the North is a pretty run-of-the-mill button masher, set in the LOTR IP. We're playing it on PS3, though it's available on other platforms. There are some RPG elements, like a talent tree and equipment slots. The story is pretty much on rails, though you have conversation options, but they don't appear to effect anything.

It's a simple, straightforward game. Nothing groundbreaking, yet it's been pretty fun so far. It' a great game for playing co-op with your brother while he's visiting for a week over spring break. All good, until we got to the first boss.

Chieftain Tharzog was, well, awful. It took us three days to kill him. Three days of wiping as if we were raiding or something. The fight represents all that is soulless and wrong with game design.

Now, don't get me wrong, once we got through the boss, we've gone back to enjoying the game. Even with the three day frustration, I've not been spoiled on it. It's a nice little side break from my general MMO fare.

But Tharzog made me want to punch a developer. There's a big boss, and then constantly re-spawning adds. Four of them, at all times, and three of you. One person could tank the adds, but they die pretty fast. Also, you don't really hold aggro. The big guy himself isn't too bad, but his guards hit like trucks, too. And once you get in the room, you can't go back and level any more or anything like that. You  just have to l2play, or perish.

I don't like such a challenging fight so early in a game. From all I've been able to look up online, there is no trick strategy we were missing out on. You just have to get lucky, time your rezzes right, and hope for the best. You don't even have a whole lot of abilities at this point (being as you've not leveled a lot yet). It's just dumb and discouraging. Save the ball-breaker fights for later, says I.

Any of the rest of you play this game? Do you have similar nightmares about Tharzog? Google tells me I'm not alone in my frustration. And we're passed it now. The game is fun. Similar, I think, to Diablo (or at least what I've heard about Diablo), so if you're looking for something to do in the mean time... maybe worth checking out. Just... don't let that first boss get to you.


  1. True that... Trying to play witn with my wife almost caused divorce...

  2. lol. We got stuck later in the game, too. It's not for the faint of heart, apparently.