Ya, I added postscripts as I watched the vids.
It is of course fair enough that you comment whatever you like about anything you like. What someone likes about a game, what someone doesn't like about a game and how they play that game, is esentially really none of my business. They play it, put it up for views, and I can watch it or not. Plenty choice for everyone... Sure, if someone records a critical review, then, as a modder responsible for some decisions, I feel obliged to explain or justify them. Why some things are as they are, etc. But
, playthroughs or let's-plays, should be more about the game experience, with some subjective criticism just mixed in, yet at the same time they are very helpful tools for someone deciding about a game. I know I watch all kinds of them, when deciding whether to buy some game. So, as a regular viewer of various playthroughs of many games, I can also give some of my criticisms and comments about them. In general, not just specific to your one.
To all guys making playthroughs: Edit the damn things! Many games have long loading screens, long map travel, long menu clickings, stuff, etc. Noone cares. I wanna see the menu for 10 seconds, then I don't care about all the buttons you tick on it. So I end up skipping through YouTube videos and spend on average 5 minutes on a 20 minute video, fast forwarding all the boring shit. Only keep the full thing if it is really substantial. Positive example in your first video, a good detailed explanation of the start game side/race/faction choices, there each detail was good to note, so I observed carefully. Negative example, 5 minutes messing with your character's face setings... Could easily edit it out and just present us with your character. (I know I can be ridiculously obsessive with avatar creation in games, to the extent that I could restart the game after 10 hours of play, just because I don't like some detail about the player character. So prolly the first hour of my playthrough, if done this way, would be just designing the player character...) In Total War playthroughs they bore us with building menus, in other games with other endless selections and tweaks of weapons/units/stats, etc. Unless it's relevant to the play and the player, skip through it.
Funnies are good. Humour is the key. Every time the guy playing does voices, play-acts stuff, roleplays stuff, goes a bit over the top with emotion or drama, tells anecdotes, other interesting info, that's fun. Some dull people drone along "So then I click this... ... and here ... ... and now I select this ... ... and this..."
. Stfu bitch, funny or gtfo, to put it eloquently. In your case I did get quite some such lol moments, but can always do with more.
A YouTube video is meant to be entertainment after all, and you're the director... So as a director it can't do any harm to have a bit of script ready even before your play.
Taking things for granted. Just because it's logical to the player why they clicked something or selected some unit or some weapon or quickly clicked through some conversation, doesn't mean the viewer will get it. So, with the boring stuff I fast forward, but with some conversations I actually have to pause the video to read through the dialogue. In your case, it's good when you slowly and in an appropriate voice act through some dialogues (except when Borat of Rohan breaks your tongue
), but sometimes some menus were just clicked through with lightning speed, before I got what's being debated (sure I know most of the dialogues, but I still like to get into the whole narrative of them). So... dialogue, possibly acted out, throughtful pause, a bit of commentary on what was said, then only comes the next action.
Repetitiveness & storytelling. After a 3rd or 4th video, the same cycles of quick menu->quest giver->new quest->shop->battle, if there's nothing more to it, gets very boring and likely won't hold my attention to watch them for long. Again, that may be the force of habit of playing Vanilla for most players. Or any games for that matter. You know...playing for effect. Making all the best and most efficient choices by quickly clicking through, to beat the game effectively. But hey, if LOTR was meant to be like that, the eagles woulda carried Frodo to Mount Doom on Gandalf's command, dumped the ring in there and voilá, Sauron falls, game over in 5 pages of the book. But instead it's about telling a story. And a darn long one too... You the character, your choices, your interactions with people, etc. That's what makes a story. How you find it fun to play is one thing, but how viewers find it fun to watch, is quite another! The mechanics of Mount&Blade engine can be understood in 5 minutes of watching, so no need to record 2 hours then. But to keep us watching for hours, you need story. Drama. Tension. Roleplaying your character. Like, you pass a town, but not go talk to the lord of the hall, cause "you've already got some quests to do"
? Why? What fun is that? How about some common courtesy of saying hello to the lord, introducing yourself, meeting your allies, sharing info? You been figthing nasty goblins in out in the wild, an allied patrol comes by and you don't click on them to share news with the commander, but just speed along instead? How about a chat, sharing info, maybe give them some troops to help em survive longer? You see a caravan, you don't stop and ask for info and if they need help? Some moral dilemmas, perhaps? I am from Pelargir, shouldn't I clear my area of enemies first, because they threaten my home, rather than go for an adventure to Rohan? If you read LOTR you know the distances are big. The fellowship mostly travels and only meet a few encounters in the long travels. We tried to portray that. For a Gondorian even Rohan was far. And Lorien was just a legend. And dwarves in the north, noone ever even saw them... That's why one rumour says "Dol Guldur, never heard of it..."
and why we have separate "resource points" for various factions. They didn't trade with each other much. They didn't like or trust each other much. You have to win over each faction to earn their points, to make them trust you, to give you items. This isn't Disney with everyhting accessable, and a happy ending around each corner. This is Tolkien, the guy who built a functioning and sometimes very grim fantasy world, with all its intrigue and death and sorrow too, and we've only the gentlemanly times Tolkien lived in to thank, that he wasn't a dick to his characters like GRR Martin is nowadays.
Chapters. Let's-players that divide games (particularly adventures and RPG's) into enclosed chapters are most fun to watch. Some games do that for them, by their internal structure, others are skilled enough to do that with their editing/storytelling. So, your limit shouldn't be 15 minutes as such, but a nicely rounded chapter/adventure. Like a trip from Erech to East Emnet, for instance and all the jolly adventures during that particular trip. And exploration should be part of such trips. Why bother building a fully made Minas Tirith and every other custom place, with accessible towers, viewpoints, etc, if it's only breezed through once, then shops are accessed by quick menus only? Sure, just for quickly playing through that may be preferable, but is it fun for a viewer watching to just watch endless menu clicking, inventory screens and battles only? If oyu have some talent for voice acting (and I think you do) and drama and fun narrative, use it. Give us entertaining 15 minute chapters that'll make us eagerly await the next one.
So, something that'd be a nice story like this, with a lot of personal involvement of the player/narrator, his interpretation of events, dialogues, relations between characters, an involved approach to battle, why attack the archers, why the left wing cavalry, what the allies are doing, how he feels about companions performance in battle and their wounds or death, talking to prisoners, discussing with allied commanders, exploring all terrains, settlements, little anecdotes or made up fan-fiction about them, relationships with rulers, etc... Basically, a real adventure and roleplay in the rich LOTR world, that'd be something I'd find a joy to watch. An endless cycle of quest-battle-merchant is something we've seen plenty of already (you got some such even on this forum already) and quickly get bored of and start ignoring after a few episodes.