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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    16

    Letter from Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini: A Look Ahead

    Greetings, and thank you for being a part of Lord of the Rings Online! 2017 has been a huge year for us. This not only was our first full year as Standing Stone Games, but was also the year we realized one of the most exciting dreams we've had for more than a decade: bringing you Mordor, the fate of the One Ring, and the Fall of Sauron.

    2017 also marked the start of a new long-form tale of our own with the release of the Black Book of Mordor. We're excited to further explore the lore and setting of Middle-earth for years to come, both by telling our own stories, and continuing to add the most iconic encounters, locations, and developments from the trilogy to the game.

    The Black Book of Mordor's plot continues in Update 22, leading to Northern Mirkwood! We are busy developing this region, including Thranduil's Court, Dale, Laketown, and Erebor. Who is now leading Dale and Laketown? Why are legions of refugees fleeing from Rhûn, with tales of death and horror on their lips? And why are spiders missing from the forest, and where have they gone? We'll answer these questions and more. We are also already planning for our updates between 22 and 23, including new additions to the Anniversary event and Summer Festival.

    Before Update 22 releases next year, we’ll be celebrating the end of 2017 by launching a new raid: The Abyss of Mordath. In a thrilling conclusion to the storylines introduced in Dor Amarth, you and your friends and kin will descend into the Black Pits of Mordor in pursuit of King Váskmun Greytooth and the Firehorn Dwarves. At last, the time has come to put an end to King Greytooth’s misguided quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf-ring, Manthríf, and avenge the threats he levied against the dwarves of Durin’s Folk. Alas, the devoted followers of the Order of the Eye also search the Abyss, for they seek both vengeance on the Firehorns and knowledge of Sauron’s greatest secrets. However, neither the Firehorns nor the Order of the Eye know the truth of the terrors that lurk in the deepest shadows of the Mordath. This Level 115 Raid features three new boss encounters and offers a plethora of new rewards including best-in-slot armour, jewellery, off-hand items, and unique housing items!

    Update 21.3 will feature new Housing Items, some of which will be found in the raid, others will be available through the Quartermaster in-game, and a few will be available in Gorgoroth Lootboxes. Speaking of new stuff, the Yule Festival will see new cosmetics, including a woodland crown, a new Winter dress, and a new Yule-themed cloak. Additionally, we have long heard players request the ability to have an Elk mount which will be offered in addition to two new cosmetic pets.

    One of the projects begun in 2017 that will continue into 2018 is the update of our character avatars. We're planning to release the Hobbit and Dwarf avatar update, and will continue afterwards with further improvements.

    For our musicians in LOTRO, we're excited to announce that a new instrument is being added to the music system: The fiddle! We expect this new instrument to debut in Update 22.

    Looking beyond Update 22, we know you have been asking to see even more classic moments from the trilogy. We have a way to go before we see Aragorn and Arwen's wedding, but we intend to bring you other well-known parts of the book. In Update 23, we intend to visit Minas Morgul, and say a fearful hello to Shelob herself.

    We also plan to make improvements to various systems like class skills and power, evolving player power through the Legendary Item system, and more. We'll update the Anniversary Event along with all of our other yearly Festivals. In particular, we’re looking forward to seeing Bingo Boffin’s Harvestmath Festival tale that began this year continue into next year.

    Once again, thank you for helping us bring Tolkien's world to life. We love seeing your concerts, plays, events, livestreams, artwork, poetry, writing, and more, and we think it's one of the things that really sets our community and game apart. We look forward to another year of celebration with you!

    Sev~

  2. #2
    Some of these ideas are great and wonderful and amazing, and we the players THANK YOU for your continued dedication and hard work!

    However...

    ...elk mounts. Cringe. Nobody rode elk in Middle Earth.

    Also, people have been begging for a homestead in Rohan for a long, long time. PLEASE heed our begging, whining, and pleading.

    New hairstyles for avatars? Another thing people have been requesting since forever.

    How about fixing the boots that bleed through our leggings? The hair that bleeds through our hoods? The backpacks that bleed through chairs? Getting rid of the DESPISED "stand up and scratch/look around for no reason" tic?

    I know you're all about keeping existing players around and drawing new players in, and that requires constant new content. But please don't ignore the players who've stuck around for years and years and have such humble little requests to enrich the game we love so well.
    Administrator - Official Unofficial Lord of the Rings Discord Server
    Owner - "Laurelin RP Group" Discord server - https://discord.me/laurelinrp

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,844
    Praise the Valar I can finally play a Fiddle soon! i been waiting for years!
    Pontin Level 115 Hobbit Burglar Kinship Second Breakfast Crickhollow Server
    Alts: Legoan Elf Hunter, Belladonea Hobbit Minstrel, Unnari Dwarf Guardian, Jorunn Man Captain, Sallyberry Hobbit Warden. Laurelin Server, Edwell Man Hunter.


    Here's some of my Screenshots Throughout Middle Earth. and Travelling Event! also can follow me on Twitter for Adventures in Middle Earth and more!

  4. #4
    Looks like good stuff! I know me and many other folks on the forums have been critical of LotRO recently, but that is only because we all love this game and the world so much. I'm very interested in dale and seeing how the fourth age will start in LotRO, ever onwards!
    Last edited by Ronimli; Nov 21 2017 at 02:32 PM.
    "The road goes ever on, down from the doorstep where it began."

  5. #5
    Elk mounts.. No. The rest Yes!

    And the 64 bit client??????
    Phrasing! Doesn't anybody do phrasing anymore?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portugal
    Posts
    713
    Hoho epic news on Master Christopher Tolkien birthday /toast
    Always hoped to ride back North but wasn't expecting! awesome! great stuff coming! A new journey begins \o/

    PS: hope we do follow the rest of the book events in a later future! FOR FOG!
    Rucagorn, The White Guardian - Portugal
    fellowshipguardians.guildlaunch.com/
    .

  7. #7

    Cool

    Soo much awesome! Thanks Sev for sharing the future with us!

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Severlin View Post
    Greetings, and thank you for being a part of Lord of the Rings Online! 2017 has been a huge year for us. This not only was our first full year as Standing Stone Games, but was also the year we realized one of the most exciting dreams we've had for more than a decade: bringing you Mordor, the fate of the One Ring, and the Fall of Sauron.

    2017 also marked the start of a new long-form tale of our own with the release of the Black Book of Mordor. We're excited to further explore the lore and setting of Middle-earth for years to come, both by telling our own stories, and continuing to add the most iconic encounters, locations, and developments from the trilogy to the game.

    The Black Book of Mordor's plot continues in Update 22, leading to Northern Mirkwood! We are busy developing this region, including Thranduil's Court, Dale, Laketown, and Erebor. Who is now leading Dale and Laketown? Why are legions of refugees fleeing from Rhûn, with tales of death and horror on their lips? And why are spiders missing from the forest, and where have they gone? We'll answer these questions and more. We are also already planning for our updates between 22 and 23, including new additions to the Anniversary event and Summer Festival.

    Before Update 22 releases next year, we’ll be celebrating the end of 2017 by launching a new raid: The Abyss of Mordath. In a thrilling conclusion to the storylines introduced in Dor Amarth, you and your friends and kin will descend into the Black Pits of Mordor in pursuit of King Váskmun Greytooth and the Firehorn Dwarves. At last, the time has come to put an end to King Greytooth’s misguided quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf-ring, Manthríf, and avenge the threats he levied against the dwarves of Durin’s Folk. Alas, the devoted followers of the Order of the Eye also search the Abyss, for they seek both vengeance on the Firehorns and knowledge of Sauron’s greatest secrets. However, neither the Firehorns nor the Order of the Eye know the truth of the terrors that lurk in the deepest shadows of the Mordath. This Level 115 Raid features three new boss encounters and offers a plethora of new rewards including best-in-slot armour, jewellery, off-hand items, and unique housing items!

    Update 21.3 will feature new Housing Items, some of which will be found in the raid, others will be available through the Quartermaster in-game, and a few will be available in Gorgoroth Lootboxes. Speaking of new stuff, the Yule Festival will see new cosmetics, including a woodland crown, a new Winter dress, and a new Yule-themed cloak. Additionally, we have long heard players request the ability to have an Elk mount which will be offered in addition to two new cosmetic pets.

    One of the projects begun in 2017 that will continue into 2018 is the update of our character avatars. We're planning to release the Hobbit and Dwarf avatar update, and will continue afterwards with further improvements.

    For our musicians in LOTRO, we're excited to announce that a new instrument is being added to the music system: The fiddle! We expect this new instrument to debut in Update 22.

    Looking beyond Update 22, we know you have been asking to see even more classic moments from the trilogy. We have a way to go before we see Aragorn and Arwen's wedding, but we intend to bring you other well-known parts of the book. In Update 23, we intend to visit Minas Morgul, and say a fearful hello to Shelob herself.

    We also plan to make improvements to various systems like class skills and power, evolving player power through the Legendary Item system, and more. We'll update the Anniversary Event along with all of our other yearly Festivals. In particular, we’re looking forward to seeing Bingo Boffin’s Harvestmath Festival tale that began this year continue into next year.

    Once again, thank you for helping us bring Tolkien's world to life. We love seeing your concerts, plays, events, livestreams, artwork, poetry, writing, and more, and we think it's one of the things that really sets our community and game apart. We look forward to another year of celebration with you!

    Sev~
    Hmm.. Elk mounts... which had 1 thread recently. Update 22 in January/ February. Avatar updates for the two races that don't already have them (in spite of the incomplete fixed for the 2 that do).
    Finally the musicians are getting a fiddle/ violin. So that's a plus.
    No mention of fixing problems or putting Mordor in the store, so we must assume that late February or March will get here before we can spend our points. The future is getting bleaker by the day for LotRo. So many people alienated or bored and playing other games. Maybe they should be paying attention to what happened to Battlefront 2 and why it crashed so bad. And then try to avoid doing the same thing.
    Anyway, I wish SSG luck in this last minute money grab. I won't be spending any more on this game. I spent all the money I could afford up front and can't spend any more on a fading game. This latest letter just reinforces the decision as they move toward a more greed based system.
    Feadel Morauko
    Brotherhood of Crimson Knights
    "Peace must prevail, even if the wicked must die." - Jasmine Boreal

  9. #9
    Please reconsider elk mounts - not even a hint of this in the lore. If you MUST do it have them come from some remote area not covered by the lore rather than someone finds a 3,000 year old elk sleeping in a forest near Bree.

    Much higher value to many of us - a new premium housing area ideally Rohan. Or non-premium for that matter.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    10,540
    All great, great news! I can't wait to meet Thranduil myself! The most significant Elf added to the game since launch.

    As for the elk mount pushback, meh. People didn't ride goats underground in Middle-earth either. I think it's fantastic. And would love to see war-hog mounts (for dwarf/hobbit players only) in the future!

    Arda Shrugged - Elendilstone & Landroval

  11. #11
    so the loot-boxes are staying...
    Don't tell me, show me...

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Snowlock View Post
    And the 64 bit client??????
    Not a single mention...nothing at all about one of the biggest problems this game faces--performance.

    So it kind of makes the news about seeing Dale and the rest of Erebor, etc. fall pretty flat (imo)
    Don't tell me, show me...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    In the cupboard under the stairs. (or is it under the stalls?)
    Posts
    3,302
    Quote Originally Posted by Denhith View Post
    so the loot-boxes are staying...
    I hear ya...

    Wise players don't buy keys for loot-boxes.
    Responsible developers don't sell keys for loot-boxes.


    The real Boraxxe... wearing his "Get off my lawn!" face
    This has to end. I do not play LOTRO because I want to gamble. I play LOTRO because I like the game.
    Buying keys is not playing the game.

  14. #14
    This all sounds great, looking forward to it!
    "Out of the Great Sea to Middle-earth I am come. In this place will I abide, and my heirs, unto the ending of the world."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    2,617
    Enjoyed reading the quick update from Lotro's EP, though after 9 years of playtime I take everything with a grain of salt.

    As always, I look forward to the landscape and regions. If Dale/Northern Mirkwood/Erebor are anything like the grandeur of the Allegiance Hall under the mountain I will be ecstatic. I can't see this happening though, with the current skeleton development team the most recent regions are gorgeous, but hollow. You have your typical vendors, stable masters, and not much else. I don't mind waiting on new regions if they are fully fleshed out. Would love to go back to SoA style updates, IE Annuminas/Evendim.

    Underwhelming that there is no news of a 64 bit client, though I can appreciate the difficulty in creating one based off a client and code structure as old as this one.

    Elk mounts, meh.

    Not feeling optimistic about the quality of the Dwarf avatar updates. I love my dwarf right now, and by comparison, I really dislike the new Man avatars. Despite my best efforts my man characters (when update enabled) still look thuggish and heavy browed. Here's hoping dwarves and hobbits don't get the same treatment and end up looking like a cross between a bugan and troll.

    Looking forward to soaking up more of the Black Book of Mordor, I really enjoyed my first playthrough the content.

  16. #16
    This all sounds awesome!!
    I hope they look at the Guardians a bit. Its just my experience in Mordor has not been good. I work my butt of killing mobs (which is OK to a point) while other classes, you know which ones, run by destroying everything in their path faster than my dog trying to catch up to me. And I have decent amour and weapons.
    But...all this looks so great. I'm soo excited to see everything up north! And the Elk will be fun to ride with my Mirkwood Elf. Winter fest is my favorite time. After 10 years of playing this game, this is just exciting.

    EDIT: I noticed some people don't like the Elks. Its OK. You don't have to get one. But the Black Keys are really an issue. I do think that needs to be seriously looked at.
    Last edited by hobbit1968; Nov 21 2017 at 03:53 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    In the cupboard under the stairs. (or is it under the stalls?)
    Posts
    3,302
    Quote Originally Posted by Murtanion View Post
    .....Here's hoping dwarves and hobbits don't get the same treatment and end up looking like a cross between a bugan and troll.


    The real Boraxxe... wearing his "Get off my lawn!" face
    This has to end. I do not play LOTRO because I want to gamble. I play LOTRO because I like the game.
    Buying keys is not playing the game.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Severlin View Post

    Before Update 22 releases next year,...

    Is the ability to purchase Mordor or High Elf with LP's still only going to be allowed AFTER this takes place? So in effect, sometime "next year"?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    In the Ninky Nonk
    Posts
    5,547
    Looks good but with gambling firmly entrenched in the game it’s hard to see myself playing much if at all.
    It must be your PC...

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Oregon City, OR
    Posts
    55
    Now if we could only get that elusive Hobbit_Dance3 I see Gylwyn traipsing about doing, the ability for hunters to purchase additional campfire ports, and an in-house vault or vault-keeper. Then I'd be happy. (I am not going to complain about the expected ash system revision, game performance, etc. ) I am VERY happy about the fiddle. Now maestro, abc player and songbook will need updating.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sunny So. Cal.
    Posts
    280
    I was curious to hear how Christopher's retirement would affect LoTRO and not one word. Should I be worried at all?
    Moved from Nimrodel to Arkenstone!
    Do unto others as you would have others do unto you! Pew-Pew-Pew!

    Officer - Seekers of The Silmarils - Arkenstone

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    21
    Hey everybody, look at everything that you don't have yet that you might get at some point in a year or so! Ignore those loot boxes and broken mechanics and all the rest of the problems the game has that we don't care about. ELKS! FUTURE! GLORIOUS!

    All his life has he looked away to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. -Yoda
    (Also... raid with three whole bosses? lol)

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by BangoTwinkletoes View Post
    Looks good but with gambling firmly entrenched in the game it’s hard to see myself playing much if at all.
    This is stance many players have already taken.


    SSG should look into making sub worth it with suggestions that have been tossed around here on the forums. People happily pay sub if it eliminates most of the pointless grind and lets players enjoy what really matters. The experience (and the removal of lootbox driven gear economy).

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by SilverHug View Post
    I was curious to hear how Christopher's retirement would affect LoTRO and not one word. Should I be worried at all?
    SSG is in no contractual relationship with Christopher Tolkien or the Tolkein Estate. The rights for lotro are from Saul Zaentz Company.

  25. #25
    SSG Team,

    Well done on your first year as Standing Stones Games. Congratulations to the Team. I’m sure that this first year has been an education, and that all the things you’ve learnt over the course of this year will prove helpful in building the game, growing the community and moving the game forward.

    Whilst Mordor itself has been great, some of that positivity was lost with how the expansion launch, the various expansion editions and the High Elf Race were handled. Hopefully we will see clearer communication and intentions with how any future expansion and it’s content are handled.

    I would prefer to see proper, well thought out Exclusive Pre Order Editions that are available for cash until release date. With Non Exclusive Editions being available for Lotro Points (as well as cash) from the day of launch. On that point, please let those people waiting to get Mordor and High Elves for Lotro Points know as soon as possible when they can purchase these. It's really not acceptable to make them wait this long and you'll make a lot of people happy releasing this to them as soon as you possibly can.

    Once again Story telling has been great with the Black Book of Mordor and I’m really excited to see where the story will take us next.

    It’s a really great to be heading north to Northern Mirkwood and visit some super iconic locations that people have been dying to see for years (Especially after all that darkness!). Really looking forward to seeing Thranduil’s Realm, Dale, Laketown and Erebor in all their glory! Will we be seeing areas such as Central Mirkwood/East Bight or further along the Vales of the Anduin? or is this something planned for the future? How and where will these new lands connect to our existing locations?

    Looking forward to new additions to Festivals, particularly further adventures with Bingo.

    With regards the New Elk Mounts - Please keep them simple and leave the tablecloths for the Horses.

    Good to see areas such as Music getting a bit of love with the new instrument. Perhaps some other areas of the game that haven’t seen much development or improvement in recent times will receive some attention in the future.

    So, After Northern Mirkwood - back then to Minas Morgul and a date with Shelob! This makes good sense. And then, do we head south to Nurn or Harondor? East into Rhun or explore other parts of Middle-earth? So many options. But where ever we go, don’t rush us - We don’t want to Sail into the West just yet!! If no expansion next year, then maybe we could have an Expansion in 2019 continuing our Mordor adventures into Nurn.

    Would love to see more open communication, producer letters, dev diaries, and generally more communication on the forums with regards to what is going on, especially on some of the more “controversial” topics where an early and clear statement would set people’s minds at ease.

    Keep up the good work, and keep away from the bad!

    Cheers

 

 
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