SSG Plans for 2018/2019

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    • #4750
      Alarondir
      Keymaster

      Hi, folks!

      Corodvan (Community Manager) hosted a Q&A on March 23rd, 2018 with Dr. Octothorpe (Lead Designer) and Severlin (Producer) for LOTRO, and that’s been posted on YouTube here:

      I figured I’d share a few of the highlights from that Q&A, followed by a more detailed transcript so that you can jump to the specific questions of interest in the video. I found this to be a useful window into LOTRO plans for 2018/2019.

      If you have any comments/questions, or have any feedback on whether this sort of summary is useful, please reply to the thread. Thanks!

      //Alaron

      Highlights

        – class balance is a major focus this year; going to do across-the-board tweaks iteratively over several updates
        – Beorning is the one class that needs more sigificant work and will thus take longer
        – PvMP plans/balance is dependent on the class balance being improved first; thus looking more at 2019
        – SSG is expanding the dev team
        – 64-bit client should be getting attention this year; it had been delayed due to other more pressing back-end technical issues
        – expect more instanced content later this year, including possibly some new scaling content
        – end-game / raid content isn’t going to get much attention until this Fall or 2019
        – LI system likely to get redesign once class balance is under control

      Transcript

      2:00 Anniversary event coming up; 11th year added

      3:00 Connecting North Mirkwood to rest of world
      – more plans coming up in this area

      3:30 Plans for Ash of Gorgoroth
      – will stick with general approach; based on feedback from players as alternative to pure RNG, particularly for getting last piece of a set
      – will keep current Ash as long as equipment is along same lines of capability
      – once there’s a new tier of equipment, then that’ll use a new type of ash/currency

      6:45 Any new races to play?
      – Not ruled out, but nothing to announce

      7:35 PvMP plans / class balance (and 15:00)
      – dependent on class balance, so always trails a bit behind the PvE
      – thus likely looking more at 2019 for significant PvMP attention
      – current challenge is that class balance needs to be addressed first, before PvM can then be balanced
      – they’re going to do several rounds of class balance over the next few updates
      – will be done across the board; not going to do “the X class update”, but instead do 3-5 changes per class for each class
      – trying to iteratively get things into balance, instead of doing a mega “fix class X”
      – Beorning is a special case because it’s so far behind the others; it’ll take more time to get into shape

      11:00 64-bit client
      – been on hold due to more urgent technical issues (primarily in the backend of the game) that were essential to keep game working
      – due to strong player support for the game (aka finances doing well), they’re expanding the team and hiring an additional member now
      – which will then allow them to tackle this

      13:30 Fellowship maneuvers
      – they’re aware they’ve fallen behind
      – lower priority than more impactful issues such as class balance

      17:15 More Premium Housing?
      – may come; possibly Rohan?
      – will be investigated “soon” and will figure out what’s possible & where

      18:00 End-game plans
      – Mordor end-game is “done”; players doing alts now
      – going to focus on more instanced content for later 2018
      – but want to make sure they don’t *only* do group content, since so many players solo or duo
      – as much as possible, want to do instances that scale from 1-6 people

      20:30 Update to last Producer’s letter?
      – going to stay out of Mordor a bit longer, but will then go back there
      – a lot of stuff going on in Mordor that players will have to address eventually
      – some iconic places to visit in “a big way” next year
      – Minas Morgul / Shelob now pushed back to 2019 so that they can do bigger stuff with it

      22:30 Dungeons of Naeband plans?
      – will this get some TLC given how broken T2C is?
      – it’s possible, but isn’t scheduled in the near term
      – they’ll have to decide on value of spending time on DoN vs new instances
      – also dependent on how significant a part DoN will be playing in the end-game “rotation” later this year; TBD

      25:30 Console version of LOTRO?
      – no announcements here
      – need to work on current infrastructure & 64-bit, before they even consider other platforms

      16:15 Raid later this year multi-boss or single boss?
      – not decided
      – next update will be more dungeon content, not so much raid content
      – subsequent major update (early 2019??) will be more end-game focused
      – may add some scaling instances to festivals where people of different levels can participate?

      27:30 Can LOTRO start including Hobbit content?
      – current IP license doesn’t include Hobbit; no changes at this point
      – who knows about the future…

      28:30 More music instruments?
      – yes, more planned
      – both new instruments & variations on instruments in planning

      29:00 Alternative ways to get trait points for alts?
      – yes, they’re away of the problem
      – there’s a design issue to be figured out first though
      – likely later this year or early next year
      – maybe add way to get traits either with old content or with new content? TBD

      30:45 4K UI?
      – yes, that’s on their radar and are aware of how bad it looks
      – it’s not an easy thing to solve; there’s work to be done here
      – but it’s on the way

      32:00 Update 22 sound track?
      – still figuring out, but actively working on it now
      – maybe release on youtube?

      32:20 Armour set bonuses/mistakes
      – they made some mistakes with Abyss raid equipment (due to new developers not knowing classes well enough)
      – no comment on fixing specific issues at the moment
      – more likely that current armour will be replaced with newer/better armour instead of “fixed”

      34:45 Gold spammers
      – Customer Service team working hard on this
      – been doing infrastructure changes and filter enhancements to try to help combat this
      – tricky to entirely stop, at least w/o blocking legit players
      – continuing to very actively try and improve this problem

      36:20 Will LIs be reworked / streamlined?
      – they’d like to revamp it, but really hard to a) do well, and b) not have players feeling that their time/effort wasn’t rewarded
      – really want to make them fun again
      – still brainstorming on design approaches to make this work
      – not only need a new system that’s more streamlined & makes sense, but also have a logical way to transition from current system w/o existing players feeling shortchanged
      – long discussion around challenges here & philosophy
      – probably next major system to revamp after class balance work

      41:00 When is 4th fiddle being release?
      – soon
      – might be anniversary event reward, but needed to double check that

      41:25 Beorning plans
      – yes, more is being looked at than just bugs
      – will be working on the 3 trees, not just individual skill bugs
      – won’t be complete revamp, but does need more work than the other classes to be made fun & effective
      – “bears don’t have bugs; they have flees”

      42:45 Could minstrels show instruments on their backs?
      – good idea; will need to see what’s technically possible
      – if there’s a slot in the animation system they could use, then they could do it
      – if not, then would be prohibitive
      – will look into it

      44:00 More details on end-game focus?
      – instances to arrive in the (early? mid?) Fall
      – one smaller raid, and 2-3 instances?
      – details not really nailed down

      45:45 Warsteed update plans?
      – no plans at this point, other than cosmetics

      46:00 Anniversary event
      – will come later in April
      – do not need to re-do quests you’ve already done

      46:20 Scale Rift to 115?
      – would be a lot of work
      – have an alternative in the works; pulled one of the bosses out of the Rift and will be playable during the Summer festival
      – scaling up existing content is surprisingly expensive, depending on the instance
      – in some cases, can be up to 90% of the effort of just creating a new one
      – they will do some evaluation of the older raids to see how much effort it’d be and make that assessment
      – if it can be done w/o insane effort, then it’s a good way to expand the end-game

      48:50 Scholars/Cooks craft essences?
      – they decided not to since they can craft desirable potions
      – they have heard the plee from the forums and will discuss further

      49:30 SSG Merchandise?
      – under discussion; TBD

      49:50 Tower Hills and Scouring of the Shire?
      – yes, will visit at some point
      – but there’s actually a lot of content to cover before they actually get there lore-wise

      50:55 Shared Steeds similar to Shared Vault?
      – they’re looking into the binding status of some of the steeds, their pricing, etc
      – actively looking into this & evaluating how to make clearer; may make some changes

      52:20 Reworking healing skills to be percentage instead of level based?
      – probably not; need a way for these to “improve” as you rise in level
      – also makes it too easy to hit an “immortality line”
      – but will address some cases where healing skill progression has fallen behind

      55:00 More quests like the Secret Stone puzzle?
      – maybe. :)
      – they loved how the player base delved into it, worked together, etc
      – felt it was good community building

    • #4754
      Cayrith
      Participant

      Thanks, Alarondir! This is is indeed very useful.

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