This thread is a response to the impending class revamps mentioned in the Jan. 31 Producer’s Letter and again mentioned in the Feb.21 LOTRO Developer Twitter Chat. PKCrichton started a thread the day of the Producer’s letter where some folks discussed whether or not we, the lore-master community, should be worried about how it could affect the class that we play and love. Whether you are worried or not, there is potential here for a very significant change to the class. I therefore believe it best to err on the side of caution and make ourselves heard while we can still have influence.
First, though, it is important to note that we do not know exactly what the developer’s intend to do with the lore-master class specifically. A history professor I once had would often say, “Where we know so little, we can speculate so much”. It is certainly true in this case. I could literally count on two hands the few, general sentences the developers have offered to us so far, and in no way can that communicate anything specific about plans involving nine distinct classes. Thus we are left to fill in the blanks with our imagination. I don’t have to tell you how foolish that can be. The developers, after all, are the ones who created this class five years ago and have evolved it over the years since. As Nyrion succinctly pointed out:
That is a very valid and reasonable position. However, there is one particular sentence from the Developer Twitter Chat that, though still quite vague, gives me reason to worry. This is a response to question twenty-three by Jared Pruett, the developer who seems to be in charge of the class revamps:
Combine that with the Producer’s Letter, where Kate Paiz wrote:
and things have the potential to get very worrisome. Who knows exactly what that means, but, in my mind, it leaves open the possibility that classes may get more streamlined. It’s not a bad goal necessarily—there are certainly some positive adjustments that can be made—but the fear is how far that streamlining will go as Goatgullad alluded to in his response. The joy of this class is in its complexity. A threat to that complexity, however small, is cause for concern. Like others have said and I second, every single skill and trait we currently have can be useful given the right situation. Why should any of them need to be pruned?We’ll be pruning out skills that just feel disappointing in play and increasing the potency of others. The end result will be fewer skills, but a more profound impact on moment-to-moment play. How you choose to specialize your class will make a real difference!
Again, as I wrote above, this may be all for naught. There are some very good reasons to trust that the class is in good hands. However, in the absence of certainty, I believe it best to be proactive. john_anthony had this to say in the thread referenced above:
I heartily agree.
My intention for this thread, then, is to show exactly what makes the lore-master such a joy to play and create a resource for the developers while they re-examine the class. Hopefully, by showing them which elements endear the class to us, we can ensure those elements are preserved.
I will use three approaches. First, I will give a brief, I hope, testimonial about why I choose to play this class and this game. Second, I will provide links to forum threads and blog posts from around the internet that show why other people find the class so enjoyable. The third is by encouraging you to contribute. This is a class played by thousands and thousands of people. I’m sure everyone gets their own unique joys from the class, but there are similar things that we all enjoy. Make yourself heard!