April 1, 2018 at 8:49 pm #4747AlarondirKeymaster
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!
– 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
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?
– 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
- This topic was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by Alarondir.
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