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  1. #1
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Exclamation Player Submitted 20 Questions – Supersized to 40.

    Recently we asked players to ask questions about Helm’s Deep, Epic Battles, and Class Changes for our 20 Questions feature. We had so many great questions we couldn’t limit it to just 20 so we doubled the number of questions to 40.

    There were many duplicates, or questions asking the same things in different ways so while we may not have taken your personal question the odds are good we took one that was either the same or pretty close to it.

    To make things a little easier to read, we’ve tried to group questions together by subject as much as possible.



    Epic Battles

    Q1: DanteIL: How will loot/rewards be handled in the context of the Epic Battles? Will there be token drops with a barter system, or specific gear drops for the different-sized Battles?

    A1: jwbarry: The overall system keeps track, separately for each quality of medal (bronze, silver, gold, platinum), how many medals you’ve earned, with bonuses being added for earning them in group spaces, earning them on the main objective, and earning them for the first time. Each of those is represented by a bar within the Battle for Helm’s Deep UI. When a bar fills, based on your selection, you will either get a class specific piece of set piece jewelry (of quality relating to the medal quality), or you will get some points towards filling the next quality bar (we refer to that option internally as turning pennies into dollars). The exception to this is Gold to Platinum, where upconverting is not allowed. Platinum rewards must be earned from completing objectives at platinum.


    Q2: Beltharas: Will Big Battles have difficulty tiers? How will the difficulty level compare with that of current and past T2C raids?
    A2: jwbarry: No. They have opt in difficulty as you play, allowing you to attempt to try to do more things and spread your resources further apart, with greater reward but greater risk of failure. The intent is that getting platinum on raid objectives is roughly the equivalent of tier 2 challenge from the mid to higher difficulty OD or ToO boss fights.


    Q3: Eldarian_Grace: With HD we get class trait re-do's and big battles, but the big battles have us playing as three new roles, separate from our classes. What’s the thinking behind this?
    A3: jwbarry: Roles do not replace, obviate, subvert, or change your class, full stop. Big Battles introduces a lot of new mechanics and sub-systems. You do not select a role. Roles are loose collections of related actions that layer on over your class role. You’re still a hunter, you just have gained the ability to interact with the engineer, vanguard, or officer, (or some combination, the system is more of a buffet style approach) mechanics within the spaces to better and deeper degrees.


    Q4: Bedalin: Will future expansions and updates have more Big Battles or will we see more traditional Raids?
    A4: jwbarry:
    Likely both. The type of story we’re telling and the location we’re telling it will greatly inform whether instances, raids, skirmishes, big battles, or some combination is the best gameplay mechanism to utilize.


    Q5: Thodorin: How many Big Battle instances will there be at Helm’s Deep launch? How many of each group size?
    A5: jwbarry:
    8 total instances. Helm’s Dike, The Deeping Wall, The Deeping-Coomb, The Glittering Caves, and the Hornburg all available on solo/duo (tuned for one player but allowing two in). The Glittering Caves will feature a three player size, Helm’s Dike a six player, and The Deeping Wall a twelve player.
    Q6: Bulldozar: Can you explain exactly how the scaled up lower level players will interact in HD?
    A6: jwbarry: They’ll be brought up to level 95 in stats. Their gear will also be brought up, with level differential maintained. From there, they are free to engage in combat or utilize any of the mechanics within. They will likely be better at support style roles, but nothing prevents them from stepping out onto the front line. The Promotions advancement system is level agnostic, so they’re free to rank up and get better at the various roles as they improve and level.


    Class Changes


    Q7: Cloudfan174: with the class traits becoming skill trees, what will be happening to racial traits and virtues, and will legendary class traits also become part of the skill trees?
    A7: HoarseDev:
    Racial traits and virtues will not be fundamentally changed. Legendary class traits are part of the tree system now.


    Q8: Cheery: How does the new Trait Tree methodology affect lower level characters class quests and deeds (for example finding pages and reaching kin with Moria Guards)?
    A8: HoarseDev:
    Existing quest lines that granted traits will now grant trait points to spend as you wish. If you completed these previously, in u12 you will automatically get credit under the new system.


    Q9: Mirlaen: What was the primary motivation behind the move to the tree system for traits?
    A9: HoarseDev:
    Oh boy! Primary? A lot of things fed into the decision. Reduction of skill bloat, issues with potency of skills, clarity of UI and choices, homogenous class roles… all these things played a role in the decision.


    Q10: Calta: Are all skills being reviewed in light of other classes? Some classes have skills that affect other class’s skills.
    A10: HoarseDev:
    Our approach is pretty comprehensive, which is why we are making these changes across the board rather than one class at a time. Month of class x or y eventually is like trying to straighten a tablecloth with one hand. Group play is crucial and we are looking to have great dynamics between classes.


    Q11: Ithrien:
    What is going to happen to armor sets that currently give bonuses to our skills? Scrapped? Revamped?
    A11: HoarseDev: Revamped… loooots of work there.


    Q12: LethalLethality:
    Will landscape mob behavior change to better suit the class changes or will they remain as they are?
    A12: Hoarsedev: Nope. Landscape mobs remain the same as they’ve been.


    Q13: Blkplg13:
    Are the basic stats (might, agil, vit, will, fate) going to affect the same advanced stats (icmr, icpr, crit etc) as in live?
    A13: HoarseDev: We are not fundamentally changing the relationship between basic and advanced stats.


    Q14: Scruffynerf:
    Will existing group content (eg: Fil Gashan) be tweaked to accommodate the new player abilities?
    A14: HoarseDev: Many of these changes have been done to accommodate existing content. Some group content will play differently for sure but we are reaching from our (systems) side first. Specific changes to existing content may come later. The thing is, until these changes have steeped a while on live, their full ramifications are just speculation. Players ALWAYS find things we could not foresee on paper.



    Threat

    Q15: Mirnir:
    What was the rationale behind the changes to the threat system / in what ways will it improve the game?
    A15: HoarseDev: Our threat system as it exists on live pre u12 is largely invisible to players and if you saw under the hood you would likely not be pleased. Rather than expose it, and seeing as we were making fundamental changes to how character builds function, we decided to simplify it. Choosing a tank specialization will give you a tangible amount of threat. We will still have forced taunts, but whether or not something multiplies your damage (which differs from character to character) times a strange number modified by another strange number will be irrelevant.




    Mounted Combat


    Q16: Razorlan: We have heard rumors that there may be a mounted combat revamp coming out with Helm's Deep. What, if any, changes can we expect to mounted combat?
    A16:
    We have actually been doing some significant work to improve the way that Mounted Combat tolerates uneven client performance and internet latency; previously this would create an extremely poor experience which users identified as “lag”. However, most of these changes are already live (they went out with 11.3).


    Q17: Hecki: Will there be mounted combat instances with Helm’s Deep or in the future?
    A17:
    This is something we’ve discussed, but currently there are no plans for any mounted combat instances.


    Q18: ISS_21: Are there new Warbands or group focused region content coming with Helm's Deep?
    A18:
    Warbands? Yep. Several of the Big Battles are designed specifically with groups in mind.
    Raids


    Q19: Yulin-Gladden: Are there plans to scale older raids as part of HD? Specifically Moria and Isengard.
    A19:jwbarry:
    No. The instance designers have been completely focused on delivering Helm’s Deep and Big Battles to the fullest scope and highest quality possible.


    Q20: Bond007: How many (if any) multi-boss, not single boss, raids are planned to be released in Helm's Deep?
    A20:jwbarry:
    None. However, the Deeping Wall does support a 12-man option, of which several of the objectives and challenges presented are being constructed in the style of a more classic full fledged raid boss fight.


    Q21: Fromgaltheminstrel: Are you planning to retrofit Epic Battles into content previous to Helm's Deep?
    A21: jwbarry:
    No. This will be a technology we utilize going forward but we will not be retconning any previous instances or skirmishes into Big Battles.
    PVMP


    Q22: Revannos: Is a big reshuffle of the monster classes expected?
    A22: HoarseDev:
    We have added in a second row of corruption slots. Furthermore, some corruptions will have set bonuses when slotted with other related corruptions. Slot three for a small bonus. Slot six to really specialize your build.




    Legendary items


    Q23: Tomcat211: What Legendary item updates are planned to coincide with the new trait trees?
    A23: HoarseDev:
    Existing legacies will be converted into new ones that jive with the new trees.
    Crafting


    Q24: Scruffynerf: For crafting, as I'm assuming that there will be a new tier of crafting, will there also be a new tier for reputation in the crafting guilds?
    A24:Ayvan:
    There will be both a new tier of crafting and a new guild reputation tier.


    Q25: Minimur: Will there be any crafting resource instances in HD like there are in Hytbolt?
    A25:Ayvan:
    Not for the expansion release, but we do have 3 resource instances planned for a following update.


    Q26: Grhysil: The Hunter Dev Diary mentions changes to traps in the Trapper of Foes line......does this mean crafted Traps are going away?
    A26: Ayvan:
    Crafted traps will be going away, but there will be a new item called Trap Parts that will enhance trap skills. This item will not be in for the release but will be added in a following update.




    Pricing/Store


    Q27: AmicitiaNight: How can we get the helm's deep expansion for someone else without knowing their account and password?
    A27:
    For those who wish to gift Helm’s Deep™ for others they can purchase keys on store.turbine.com


    Q28: Cheekster: How many Turbine points will you be charging for the full Expansion and, will there be multiple zones within HD that will be purchased seperately i.e broken down into smaller quest pack areas?
    A28:
    Helm’s Deep™ expansion will cost 4295 Turbine Points in-game. Multiple zones will not be broken down into smaller quest packs.


    Q29: Lethallethality: Will Big Battles be considered a part of the quest pack or will they be treated as instances and raids have been treated in the past, and be required to be purchased separately or via the full expansion?
    A29:
    Since there will not be separate quest packs for Helm’s Deep™, Big Battles will only be accessible to those who purchase the full expansion.




    General


    Q30: SpongedarkSquarepants: Will we hear any new info on the housing update before the release of Helms Deep?

    A30:HoarseDev: We have some of the early bits in (changes to house inventory). We are prototyping more features and will continue to develop and add to live. Housing work is going to come in phases.

    Q31: Cheery: Will there be expanded use of Mithril Coins?

    A31: Amlug: Mithril coins will be expanded to include: new Housing Storage slots, trait tree configurations, and new barter vendors in the newbie areas.

    Q32: RJFerret: With the introduction of up-scaling, are there any plans for down-scaling to fixed instance levels in the future?
    A32: jwbarry:
    Not currently. Once upscaling has been out and pounded on for a while and we feel it’s gotten a chance to get really dialed in we’ll start to evaluate the opportunities to extend and expand it. However, in general, consistency is an important and powerful thing, and it would be odd to have some instances scale themselves and others scale you when both are the same style of instance and content

    Q33: Roxxy: Do we need to have Riders of Rohan to be able to participate in the Helm's Deep content?
    A33:
    No. As long as you have purchased the Helm’s Deep™ expansion you will be able to enjoy all the content in Helm’s Deep™. No previous expansion packs are required.

    Q34: Frickinmuck: Will this expansion include any revamps of earlier content or regions?
    A34:
    No revamps this time around, but this is something we’re hoping to continue as soon as we wrap up development on the expansion pack.

    Q35: Witch0King: Will the epics in this expansion finally end Volume III?
    A35: MadeOfLions:
    Not just yet. After the three Books of this expansion, I think Volume III will have one more Epic Book before Allies of the King concludes.

    Q:36 Grimdi: Will there be a seals reset at HD launch?
    A36:jwbarry:
    Yes. We’ll also be evaluating the sources of seals and the quantities and frequencies with which they’re delivered through those means.

    Q:37 Brya: Will skirmish raid loot be made BoE instead of BoA, to bring it in line with other endgame loot?
    A37: Verizal:
    Yes, as it stands, all incomparable (and lesser gear quality) loot drops are intended to be BoE .

    Q38: Honvikuk: Will 1st ages be available for level 95's on release and how will we be able to get them?
    A38: Verizal:
    No, 1st Ages will not be available until later updates

    Q39: Eyeslayer600: I heard you guys would possibly update the System Requirements of LotRO. If you are, what are the new requirements?
    A39:
    You heard right! This is an ongoing discussion and has been for some time. I will say that we have a proposal on the table for new computer min specs, but until we make a decision on whether or not to pursue this proposal it would be premature to publish any specifics.

    Q40: Palantorio: According to rumors, the Epic quest line will no longer be playable for free to play players and will only be available if you purchase the expansion. In the past we were told the Epic story would be free. Why the change?
    A40: MadeOfLions:
    The Epic Storyline began life as paid content, and when LOTRO became Free To Play we converted many of the Epic Books in order to make them playable by anyone. Every Book of ‘Volume I: Shadows of Angmar,’ every Book of ‘Volume II: Mines of Moria,’ and every Book we’ve released so far of ‘Volume III: Allies of the King’ is free. That’s thirty-four Epic Books, and those will remain free. Since we wanted the Epic Story for this expansion to tell the story of the Battle of the Hornburg, we needed to tie it into the Epic Battles system, which is a paid part of the expansion. Sometimes the Epic Story needs to tie into the region content or into a new system in order to properly represent the tales of Middle-earth we’re telling. It provides a more compelling experience to those who purchase the expansion, and I think that’s worthwhile.
    Last edited by Sapience; Feb 06 2014 at 12:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    Interesting... So mobs will not change... it makes me wonder if Trapper of Foes will go unused again as traps are never needed for landscape as is.

    Also interesting to hear that HD will not be split up, so it's all one pack at one large price. Kinda sucks but understandable.

  3. #3
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    How about the +10 Quest slots? Will these be available for separate purchase? If so at what price? Will it be an Account or character level purchase?
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  4. #4
    Why not just make only a few epic battles necessary for the epic story? After all one of your slogans is that the Epic story will always be free and it kind of looks bad if you go back on that.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scienzkid View Post
    Why not just make only a few epic battles necessary for the epic story? After all one of your slogans is that the Epic story will always be free and it kind of looks bad if you go back on that.
    Let's be honest here. How many people are level capped that don't have access to the endgame content? I'm not counting bots and alts that are run in instances five levels above with a level capped character. I'm talking about people who are playing the game to play the game. I would say the vast majority of people playing to endgame have the content, and if not, will soon. I find it extremely unlikely that a sole F2Per who's bought nothing would be experiencing the Epic Quest line at endgame levels.

  6. #6
    Will big battles be released with the launch of Helms deep?
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/0520 a00000006a7cc/signature.png]

  7. #7
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    Re question 19 on scaled raids, what about instances and skirmishes? Are any of those scaling to 95?

    Also, you mention BB as part of the "Full Expansion," is 4295 TP the cost of that Full expansion or just the quest pack?
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hudson7 View Post
    Re question 19 on scaled raids, what about instances and skirmishes? Are any of those scaling to 95?

    Also, you mention BB as part of the "Full Expansion," is 4295 TP the cost of that Full expansion or just the quest pack?
    There is no quest pack. There is only the expansion which has everything in it.


    Q29: Lethallethality: Will Big Battles be considered a part of the quest pack or will they be treated as instances and raids have been treated in the past, and be required to be purchased separately or via the full expansion?
    A29:
    Since there will not be separate quest packs for Helm’s Deep™, Big Battles will only be accessible to those who purchase the full expansion.

  9. #9
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    Q39: Eyeslayer600: I heard you guys would possibly update the System Requirements of LotRO. If you are, what are the new requirements?
    A39:You heard right! This is an ongoing discussion and has been for some time. I will say that we have a proposal on the table for new computer min specs, but until we make a decision on whether or not to pursue this proposal it would be premature to publish any specifics.


    Shouldn't you release the new system requirements before you put the product out for pre-order? Makes sense to me.

  10. #10
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by crl13107 View Post
    Will big battles be released with the launch of Helms deep?
    Yes, they will.

  11. #11
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    I've been critical of the promotional and superficial nature of the dev diaries and lack of information. Thank you for actually answering many of these queries, without much side-stepping, and in clear and concise ways, it's appreciated!
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  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by JustAmy View Post
    Q39: Eyeslayer600: I heard you guys would possibly update the System Requirements of LotRO. If you are, what are the new requirements?
    A39:You heard right! This is an ongoing discussion and has been for some time. I will say that we have a proposal on the table for new computer min specs, but until we make a decision on whether or not to pursue this proposal it would be premature to publish any specifics.


    Shouldn't you release the new system requirements before you put the product out for pre-order? Makes sense to me.
    HEY! There is no room for that sort of logic here!
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  13. #13
    Continued respect to JW Barry. I think he's a truly outstanding game designer. I hope for the best for Big Battles. It's not sounding like my cup of tea, but if it's JW there is a very good chance it will be creative work.

  14. #14
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    What???? No one asked a question about Guardians and their beloved acorns? What kind of a Q & A was this??????

    Seriously, I think an overwhelming percentage of Guardians want our Acorn back. Has there been any further thought to this given by the Dev Team???
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Q35: Witch0King: Will the epics in this expansion finally end Volume III?
    A35: MadeOfLions: Not just yet. After the three Books of this expansion, I think Volume III will have one more Epic Book before Allies of the King concludes.
    Thanks for the answer, I can't wait for what Volume IIII will bring

  16. #16
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    One of the most important questions that hasn't been asked is whether the loot reward system outside of the Big Battles will remain the same. That is the teal/gold rewards from the scaled instances and the 2nd age crafting tokens from the skirmish raids.

    This is something that will define the end game for the next year or so, or until they introduce something else and it is rather important for the re-playability of the BBs, which according to the Q&As will offer class specific items and jewelry sets.

    Will those class specific items and jewelry sets be in addition to the scaled up gold/teal items that we currently get from the scaled instances/skirmishes?

    What will happen to the items that we currently get from the scaled instances/skirmishes?

  17. #17
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    Supersized Q&As are healthier for you! Btw, the Raids and Crafting sections are missing header formatting.

    Who do I need to bribe for more details on the current/future threat system? I imagine that simplifying the threat system will make it easier for low-level/newbie tanks. Would be more interesting if threat complexity increased with level, if that's doable.

    Quote Originally Posted by FromgalTheMinstrel View Post
    How have you solved the landscape connection between the Eriador and Rhovanion landmasses in the Ford of Isen area? With a loading screen?
    Aww, this one wasn't answered. The fate of chicken runs hangs in the balance!
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  18. #18
    Q38: Honvikuk: Will 1st ages be available for level 95's on release and how will we be able to get them?
    A38: Verizal: No, 1st Ages will not be available until later updates

    Currently R13+ can get a FA weapon in the moors for 7500 comms, will the vendor offer level 95 weapons at release?
    Same question for SA weapons, those who are R10+ can obtain them.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    ...
    Q5: Thodorin: How many Big Battle instances will there be at Helm’s Deep launch? How many of each group size?
    A5: jwbarry:
    8 total instances. Helm’s Dike, The Deeping Wall, The Deeping-Coomb, The Glittering Caves, and the Hornburg all available on solo/duo (tuned for one player but allowing two in). The Glittering Caves will feature a three player size, Helm’s Dike a six player, and The Deeping Wall a twelve player.
    I count five, not eight. Extra tasks dont make an extra instance, but I´m open to be convinced otherwise if, oh if HD delivers.

    Whats worse, we continue the six-man dearth. Sad, cheap and totally expected. Even only one of the simple 3-mans, not to speak of raids. The new system requirements might as well include "no internet connection required". I like how the defining characteristic of the LotrO "Big" battles shapes up to be that they are fought alone.
    Last edited by Vandervahn; Oct 03 2013 at 05:55 PM.

  20. #20
    Since you are scaling up players from level 10 to 95 for big battles do they earn any XP for their real level from participating?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorpen View Post
    Since you are scaling up players from level 10 to 95 for big battles do they earn any XP for their real level from participating?
    They'll earn exp as if they completed a quest at their original level. I believe that was stated in the last 20Qs.

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    Q:36 Grimdi: Will there be a seals reset at HD launch?
    A36:jwbarry: Yes. We’ll also be evaluating the sources of seals and the quantities and frequencies with which they’re delivered through those means.
    I recall a discussion with a previous expansion not that long ago, it went in the lines of "We are changing seals and medallions now, that way we can have a working situation going forward and for the future".
    Unable to find the discussion since the forum change, so not a quote, but that was the thinking behind the change.
    Guess the future was closer than anticipated.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post

    Q39: Eyeslayer600: I heard you guys would possibly update the System Requirements of LotRO. If you are, what are the new requirements?
    A39:
    You heard right! This is an ongoing discussion and has been for some time. I will say that we have a proposal on the table for new computer min specs, but until we make a decision on whether or not to pursue this proposal it would be premature to publish any specifics.
    I'm glad Turbine is still reevaluating this. However, I'd like to know if my computer meets the new minimum or recommended requirements before I think about purchasing an expansion. I don't want to buy something my computer won't be able to handle.

    If I'm satisfied with how my computer performs now with the content in the Riders of Rohan expansion, should I expect similar performance in Helm's Deep? Or could things like Epic Battles push my computer beyond its limits?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    I'm glad Turbine is still reevaluating this. However, I'd like to know if my computer meets the new minimum or recommended requirements before I think about purchasing an expansion. I don't want to buy something my computer won't be able to handle.
    This. It's utter foolishness to consider purchasing an expansion while system requirements are up in the air. There's no reason not quite a month out from launch these should still be up in the air.
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    Thumbs up

    So... I think it is a bummer that the Epic Quest Line won't be f2p, since I always use those Epic Quests to see if the region itself is worthwhile. However, considering the circumstances (especially the high level) I can understand the decision. If you've truly been playing to get to 85 ( almost 95 :3 ) then you shouldn't be too averted to actually having to pay for an area. This will be the true high level, that which was previously 50, 60, 65, 75 and 85, but considerably more difficult to obtain than i.e. level 50.

    I just hoped that we'd have a separate quest pack for Helm's Deep, but since we don't, would that mean that we can assume that Big Battles - which is the main new feauture of this expansion - is considered intertwined with the general quests in such a manner that they are inseparable? Would that also mean that we have no other new features worth consideration that we could possibly play the game without (like I don't need heavy war-steeds)?

    As always I greatly appreciate the answers you have provided to the questions given.

 

 
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