2015 Producer's Letter
Hello all! I’m Athena “Vyvyanne” Peters, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online.
Thank you for welcoming me. I am really excited to be exploring Tolkien’s world and all the adventures that have and will take place here!
2014 was a great year for LOTRO, and we hope you agree! Our focus for the year was expanding our story into Gondor, improving Epic Battles with Pelargir, and introducing a new class – the Beorning. Our progress in these areas sets us up for ambitious goals in 2015.
Our story continues in 2015 with both Osgiliath and Minas Tirith! Although there will be multiple updates throughout the year, these major locations will be the focus of our largest releases. Each expands the world of Middle-earth even further, and puts us in view of the Ephel Dúath and Mordor itself.
Major 2015 Initiatives:
Legendary Items: With the Osgiliath update, you will be able to Imbue Level 100 Legendary Items. An Imbued item continues to gain experience and will no longer need to be deconstructed to advance. These items are already in internal testing! There are many details still to work out, but you should expect a developer diary on the topic early this year.
New Fellowship Challenges: As we push into the heart of the War of the Ring, this is the perfect time for us to renew our focus on group content and instances. Expect new instances in Osgiliath, along with additional Roving Threats and group content on the landscape.
Quality of Life: We have been working to identify your most persistent bugs. You can expect a renewed focus on resolving issues that may be small but troublesome, to improve overall gameplay experience.
Episodic Content: We are currently in development on a new type of quest content that will roll out like an episodic TV show, a little at a time, as you follow a new friend across Middle-earth seeing familiar places in a new light.
Server Populations: Based on your feedback, we’re taking measures to get everyone onto the more populous servers, so that finding parties is easier and festivals and live events are more fun. We are working on both improved server transfer tools and upgrades to our environments to improve playability. Also we will be moving our European servers back to the EU! More details on this coming soon!
PvMP: The team is also seriously investigating a new PvMP map in Osgiliath. This landscape would tell the story of the Battle of Osgiliath, and the layout of the city (split by the Anduin) is perfect for smaller and more tightly focused conflicts than the Ettenmoors. This would make the perfect platform for gradual improvements to the PvMP experience, overall. We’ll provide additional updates on this initiative as we get deeper into 2015.
And that is just for the first half of the year! Stay tuned for more detail on all of the above and more on what will come along with Minas Tirith as we get deeper into the year. As always we look forward to your feedback and suggestions as we take this journey together.
We look forward to seeing you in Middle-earth as LOTRO enters its 8th year!
Happy New Year!