After the joke that was the Erebor cluster & the clear message from the devs that HD would not include an instance cluster, there simply aren't many end-game PvE players still interested in this game. It doesn't make financial sense for Turbine to invest in challenging group content, so they won't.
Scale the Rift from 50 and 95 and everyone will be happy.
I do not understand all the people that say; "Scale the old stuff." I for one am sick of running the same runs over and over again; the same festivals over and over again ... Develop NEW CONTENT !!! Without new content, the game will die; plain and simple. They launched LOTS of new great content with HD and it could have kept us busy for months but it didn't (see below for why).
I know that we have been through droughts of No New Content before but this time it is different. Here is why:
- Helm's Deep - Big Battles (most hate them, those that like them are burning out fast)
- Helm's Deep - Lots of new quest content but they made it sequential meaning that if you plan to run alts through you have to do the EXACT SAME quests in the EXACT SAME order ... or if you get to the point where you can branch off you will be near 95 and not be getting any XP for doing them. This was a major flaw. Perhaps this can be fixed with an update to the OP nature of our toons, at least we might be level 91-92 when we hit the point that you can branch off and do quests as you see fit and still get XP for them.
- Helm's Deep - Skill Trees forced many to completely re-learn how they play (not a good a thing in my opinion) and many just said; "If I have to re-learn I might as well start a new MMO." The flaw with the skill bars not saving correctly makes no-one want to respec (I am sure they will correct this though).
- Helm's Deep - Scaled the same old runs we can now do with our eyes closed (repeated scaled instances such as school, annuminas, etc.) but did not make them hard at all. In fact, they are easier now at level than they were at 65, 75, or 85 at level. An update to the balance of toons may correct how easy these are but it does not change the fact that we are re-running the exact same content.
- Helm's Deep -Every single class is OP. There is no challenge left in the game. We are completing Tier III skraids without blinking an eye. Most of us hit level cap in a matter of days (those that did not power-level Sword Halls) just by doing the quest lines. At least the OP can be fixed with a tweak to the system (and it has been alluded that this is coming with Update 12.2).
I love LOTRO. It has IMO been the best MMO on the market since it's launch. I am VERY concerned about its future.
- A concerned gamer
The big problem I see with BB's is that they can't easily extend them in future. They've tied the BB trait tree points to the medals you get so if they added more instances they'd either need to break that relationship or extend the trait trees, or cap trait tree points or something. Seems to me that BB's are a once-off "gimmick".
On a side note, my hunter just hit 93 last night and I've barely been questing her. She's done some crafting (didn't realize jewelers would be basically useless this expac) but only does quests til her blue XP bar is gone for the day. Because of the insane amount of XP on the quests when they get 100% bump with the blue bar she's 93 but still doing level 88 quests - they're light blue to her now. It literally takes about 15 minutes a day, she doesn't even log on every day, and she's 93.
I also think the quests are nice, but they sure wouldn't keep my attention for months. I get real tired of cleaning up after NPCs who are too lazy to clear their own tables and repair their own roofs. I expected that sort of activity out of Hytbold, not 10 levels of questing.
LOTRO is being run on a shoestring. There aren't enough devs, testers or GMs. This has been obvious for some time. All the resources are going into Infinite Crisis.
Instances are very time/labour intensive to design, create and test. The dev team simply does not have the resources. The decision to pause the annual expansion cycle is an acknowledgment of this.
Of course, it doesn't help that the producers decided that having a new gimmick/mini-game for the expansion (Big Battles) was more important than doing the old stuff well.
It also doesn't help that Turbine has and always has had a policy of omerta on almost any form of open conversation with players.
But really, anyone who is surprised at the "no cluster" news really hasn't been paying attention. I wouldn't be surprised if no more traditional instance clusters are ever developed for the game, at least unless there is a fundamental shift in Turbine's budgeting priorities (which I can't see happening).
They just need better decision makers, that's all.
I used to spend a lot of money in this game, and now I spend nothing. Questing won't cause me to open my wallet again, but raids would. I enjoy end game.
Existing players already own most account-based upgrades, and often have no problem obtaining enough free TP to unlock new content/upgrades (e.g. my cappy got like 300 TP just from levelling 85-95, if I'd do the same with my other 85 alts I'd have more than enough TP to unlock a new zone without any TP grinding). New players on the other hand with only one/two chars will most likely spend money to get TP/VIP for upgrades and content to avoid grinding TP (assuming they know about free TP in the first place). Plus they don't know all the details on how this game works, so they may spend money on stuff that they don't need/can obtain in-game, or things to bypass certain areas (crafting tier skips, gift of the valar). Many/most existing players only spend money on VIP and new expansions at best even if not being disappointed by the recent expansions. It's in their specific business model with free TP, permanent upgrades, keeping VIP benefits and Lifetime accounts.
Number of new player accounts will also show "the management" that the game has a growing userbase as old accounts are not removed even when they are inactive. In a world where success is measured in growth that can be pretty important.
Make ALL old instances scalable, integrate them ALL into the Instance Finder, and FIX the Instance Finder to accept raids and improve its grouping mechanisms!
Show queued instances in the IF that are waiting so we can directly jump in! People might finally use the IF if they see open groups that are currently waiting!
If these things are not implemented, THE GAME WILL BE DEAD!
Rift Raid scaling:
T1-Everything the same as 50, just scale up morale/damage.
T2-Add a few new mechanics for each boss (extra waves of adds, debuff that requires co-ordination between players to prevent deaths etc), ramp up damage and morale even further.
T2 Challenge-Add challenge befitting boss fight to increase difficulty by a great deal (Ie, Kill Barz without killing any of the waves [requires extra focus, more tanking and less dps], Defeat Fruz after only killing 4 healing Grashfra orcs etc)
The MMO business is probably different from brick&mortar world. I think that over time I've become far more savvy about LOTRO's Turbine Point Store. Whereas early on I would occasionally buy things with my money, over time I've learned their true value; whether it's worthless or you get accustomed to the fact that the item is frequently on sale; basically at this point I don't buy anything but inventory space, and I wait until there's a sale for stat points. Everything else is a bloody waste. But new players aren't aware of that yet. They're more willing to spend, because they haven't learned what's a suckers deal or not.
If you've never seen a server or switch pretty much eat itself alive under those conditions, you've been very fortunate thus far.
And for the OP, I'm glad someone actually made a post a couple of weeks ago. I have tried to tell people that the raids comment isn't new. In truth, before the live stream on the 10th, I had said it on the one you're referencing and we've been telling players since about August of last year that HD would have no traditional instance cluster or raid associated with it.
* Isengard? Logged in, played to cap, couldn't find any groups doing instances so I never did them. Stopped playing.
* Eastern Rohan? Logged in, got sick of the "end game" rebuilding quests. Never finished because it was such a grind.
* Wildermore? Didn't care.
* Helms Deep? Logged in, currently playing up to 95. I expect I'll stop again once I finish the questlines.
I just don't bother anymore. I once got 6 characters up to level 65, though I think it was partly because we were stuck there for so long, but now I just level my main captain and everyone else is stuck around 60-70. There's no replayability. Maybe I might roll one of them to 0 to play the beginning of the game for nostalgia, but it's doubtful.Quote:
[LIST][*]Helm's Deep - Lots of new quest content but they made it sequential meaning that if you plan to run alts through you have to do the EXACT SAME quests in the EXACT SAME order ... or if you get to the point where you can branch off you will be near 95 and not be getting any XP for doing them. This was a major flaw. Perhaps this can be fixed with an update to the OP nature of our toons, at least we might be level 91-92 when we hit the point that you can branch off and do quests as you see fit and still get XP for them.
Yup. I used to play with a buddy of mine. I've been trying to convince him to come back (we're lifetimers, so it's not even like we have to pay) so we can do Rohan together. He won't. He logged in, couldn't figure out anything, and said "I might as well reroll, they've changed everything". Instead he quit playing altogether.Quote:
[*]Helm's Deep - Skill Trees forced many to completely re-learn how they play (not a good a thing in my opinion) and many just said; "If I have to re-learn I might as well start a new MMO." The flaw with the skill bars not saving correctly makes no-one want to respec (I am sure they will correct this though).
There is all kinds of speculation about this; any chance you could let us in on some of the rationale behind the decision not to develop any new instances any time soon? Are raids/instances something the devs would like to continue adding to the game but are unable to due to limited resources? Or do you just intend to develop the game in other directions?