Monday 29 November 2010

No degree of knowledge attainable by man is able to set him above the want of hourly assistance.

The assist window in Lord of the Rings Online is a rather useful tool, allowing the fellowship leader to designate a player as the ‘assist’, at which point a small UI window pops up displaying that player’s unit frame as well as the unit frame of anything they target. In basic terms it allows all members of the group to focus their fire on one target, making the tank’s life easier and generally leading to the group dispatching mobs safely and efficiently.

One does have to wonder how it would be realised in the game world, however. Perhaps the ‘assist’ is simply shouting out what they are looking at for the rest of the group to act upon.

“I’m attacking this Orc!”

“I’m fighting this badger!”

“I’m changing target to this bigger badger!”

“I’m not looking at anything!”

“I’m looking at the tank’s fine arse in that sexy elven armour!”

“I’m looking at an angry tank walking towards me!”

“I’m looking scared!”

“I’m looking at my bloody teeth lying next to me on the floor!”

Watching the assist window outside of combat is the MMO equivalent of getting an accidental call from someone’s mobile phone where the caller doesn’t realise they’ve dialled you up, and where you can hear everything going on in the background at the other end of the line. And as with such a phone call, the assist window leads to quite voyeuristic tendencies. You get to watch whatever the other person is watching. It’s like a double-blind peep show and it can be quite fun to watch the ‘assist’ flicking between various targets as your group wanders along between fights. Of course, as with the accidental phone call, voyeuristic experiences may vary; I wonder if an adventurer has ever left their assist window on after a hard day at work fighting the forces of darkness. What occurs when they travel home and, exhausted, go about their evening routine oblivious to the fact that the rest of their group can still see everything they target…

Groktar: “Night folks”

Groktar -> Map of Recall

Groktar -> Keys

Groktar -> Door

Groktar -> Keys

Groktar -> Bowl

Groktar -> Left Boot

Groktar -> Right Boot


Groktar -> Kitchen Cupboard

Groktar -> Bottle of Wine

Groktar -> Cloth

Groktar -> Puddle of Wine

Groktar -> Broken Glass


Groktar -> First Aid Kit

Groktar -> Plaster

Groktar -> Cloth

Groktar -> Puddle of Blood

[Various targetings of frozen fish fingers, microwave ovens, baked beans and stoves. Followed by four hours targeting a TV]

Groktar -> Bedroom Door


Groktar -> Bed post

Groktar -> Big toe

Groktar -> Axe

Groktar -> Bed

Groktar -> Kindling


Groktar -> Pyjamas

Groktar -> Playelf, May 3018 Third Age edition

Groktar -> Sock

Groktar -> Tissue

Groktar -> Sock

Groktar -> Tissue

Groktar -> [REDCATED]

Groktar -> [REDACTED] -> Tissue (Target of Target)

Groktar -> Bin

Groktar -> Duvet

Groktar -> Light switch


On further consideration, I might insist that we stick to simple target marking in our group for the time being.

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