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  1. #1
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Exclamation Twenty Questions with the LOTRO Dev Team

    Twenty Questions is a new feature we’re trying out. From time to time we’ll put together a list of 20 questions we’ve seen players ask or that we feel give information about the game, the development process, or just general info about LOTRO we think players would like to know and have the team answer them.

    Here’s your first 20.


    Q1: Is there a separate test team or do the devs beta test and QA themselves?
    A1: Developers do test their own content, but those closest to the work tend to miss what fresh eyes can see. So, we do have a separate test team, Quality Assurance, which does the vast majority of testing. - Temerity

    Q2: How does the bug process work? (From reported to fixed)
    A2: Step 1: Bug Entry
    The majority of bugs are found by individual QA testers during the test cycle and are personally entered. Bugs are also reported by players on palantir, bullroarer, and live servers. Each bug is reviewed by the QA team and entered in to the database if it has not already been entered. Each bug, regardless of where it came from will receive a detailed analysis and writeup from the QA team before it reaches the developers. - Temerity

    Step 2: Bug Triage
    Producers and development leads review each bug to assign them out and prioritize them against all other work being done. This is the step where we decide whether the fix will need to be hotfixed, patched, or go out with the next major update. Fixing bugs in a hotfix or patch carries a higher cost than fixing in the next major update, so a cost/benefit analysis is key here.

    Step 3: Bug Resolution
    Developers will fix the bugs that are assigned to them.

    Step 4: Bug Regression
    QA double checks that the bug is fixed and that no new bugs were created in the process.

    Step 5: Players Rejoice! – Temerity

    Q3: How does the team react to the larger bugs? What is done to see that they get fixed fast and correctly?
    A3: Most larger bugs are found on the day of launch. So, on launch days, we run a meeting known as “Mission Control”. We have Developers, Producers, Testers, Customer Service Reps, Community Reps, and many others all in this one room. We monitor bug reports, server logs, CS calls, game data, etc… to find any issues as soon as possible. When issues do arise, we break teams out to troubleshoot them and offer solutions.
    But, if things are going good, we actually just play the game like everyone else - Temerity


    Q4: Is there an out-sourced translation / localization team?
    A4: In house we have a Localization Department of 11 people which includes native French and German speakers. For LOTRO French and German combined, there are 7 people who provide translations and perform localization QA. When we have large projects or very tight deadlines we also outsource some of the work. In addition to translation and localization QA, the department is charged with localization engineering, partner and vendor management as well as project management.

    Q5: Have you ever considered or do consider using native speakers in the player community to approve / check / editor quest text / context?
    A5: We have and we do. There is a group of German players who actively provide feedback and suggestions regarding translations. They’ve been very helpful. - Sapience

    Q6: How far ahead does Turbine plan content and who decides, and how, what content will or will not be included in the game?
    A6: We have several layers of plans. Some go out a couple weeks, some a few months, some a year or so and some that go out several years. The decision-making process is interdisciplinary. Producers, Designers and Artists sort out what makes sense to move on to next. Collectively we constantly course-correct all the time. – HoarseDev

    Q7: Have Turbine ever wanted to add something to the game, but were prevented from doing so either by Warner Brothers or by the terms of their license, and how restricted/free are Turbine in terms of what content they want to add to LOTRO?
    A7: We police ourselves in terms of what we choose to create. We vet things internally. WB doesn’t really breathe down our necks. We have a strong working relationship with Saul Zaentz (the folks that oversee the Tolkien license). They stop in a few times a year to see what we are working on and give feedback. – HoarseDev


    Q8: Are there any foreseeable additions or updates to the Hobby system (or just Fishing) within the next year?
    A8: Nothing concrete at the moment. - HoarseDev

    Q9: Will there be a significant effort to balance PvMP this year?
    A9: We are going to need to pivot on the Freep class changes coming later this year. It will be a significant amount of work and it will not be easy. - HoarseDev

    Q10: Will there be enhancements for PvMP such as mail, bank, more skills etc.?
    A10: Most likely not in the near term. - HoarseDev


    Q11: How far ahead do you plan expansions\new content? We know we have Helms Deep to look forward to but do you already have plans for the next expansion after that? Or do you normally wait for release of the latest expansion before planning the next?
    A11: The large expansions like Rohan are something we have tentatively scheduled years in advance. For the smaller updates we have a lot more flexibility in what we choose to create. For new region content the actual planning is usually solidified several months in advance to allow the worldbuilders a solid head start on the content design team.

    Q12: About how many {quests, NPCs, words of quest text} does lotro contain?
    A12: There are roughly 6400 quests, excluding tutorial skips, levelups, and test quests. (4300 if you want to drop Deeds.) This also does not include the new quests coming with Helm’s Deep. It does include Wildermore. – Berephon

    Three are around 7,000 NPCs - Budgeford


    Q13: When will the new forums be released?
    A13: The current target is the end of this month. I’ve seen the rough versions and they’re faster and for those who have been asking, yes they are fluid and should scale to the width of your browser instead of the current fixed width forums. - Sapience

    Q14: Where is the Lotro server farm located? Is there really one (hardware) server for each (realm) server?
    A14: The LOTRO live and preview servers are located at a high-availability hosting facility in the New England area. In addition, we host a series of servers at our corporate offices to support our development and QA teams. Each LOTRO world or realm has its own set of hardware servers that run the LOTRO game code. Those servers are supported by a pretty significant infrastructure, composed of many different networking and storage devices. A single world, like Brandywine for example, is comprised of several pieces of hardware not just a single machine.

    Q15: What other games does the team play?
    A15: Tons. We’re all gamers here so we play a lot of different things. Using just this past week as an example? Minecraft (FTB)
    Payday: The Heist
    DC Universe Online
    Star Trek Online
    Blood Bowl
    Dota 2
    LoL
    Marvel Heroes
    War Thunder
    Neverwinter
    Don’t Starve
    …and more.

    Q16: Is there some kind of performance reason that you shrank the mob aggro radius?
    A16: The reasoning behind this change was entirely gameplay oriented. We decided that while a sense of risk is one thing, forming enormous trains when you’re just trying to navigate around the landscape wasn’t fun.

    Q17: When the devs play LOTRO themselves do they ever come across other players who unwittingly praise/criticise content they have worked on in front of them and if so how do they feel about that?
    A17: ALL the time, especially immediately following an update when lots of people are playing new content all at the same time. And it feels like one might expect! Accidentally eavesdropping on praise of our work pretty much validates our existence as designers, and it’s a great feeling. Nothing feels better! On the other hand, hearing when people are hating or struggling with our work tends to make us very sad. The most soul-crushing is probably when a bad bug slips through, and we can see the frustration scrolling by in GLFF. Either way, hearing that feedback given by people who don’t know we’re listening is very helpful for letting us know how our work is being received. We’re generally seeing a pretty honest reaction to our work, and that helps us figure out what works and what doesn’t, and how to improve.- Budgeford


    Q18: A common staple of players asking for Feature X is that it will be 'easy' to implement. Can you give us an insight into what is actually involved in making a seemingly minor change to the game?

    A18: It is impossible to gauge ease of implementation without having a thorough knowledge of how things work under the hood. Things that are conceptually simple aren’t necessarily easy to implement. Of equal importance is resource management. In order to release big things we have to dedicate staff. Diverting them away, even for things that really are easy has a cost. We are constantly prioritizing things as best we can, but day-to-day we are stuck with a lot of ideas that just don’t fit right now. It is a fluid process.

    Now for a practical example…

    Change skill X to do behavior Y.
    OK, go in and change the skill. Done!
    Wait… not done!
    Does it need a new animation or effects?
    Does it need new audio?
    Hmmm… need to translate that text on the skill?
    What about the icon?
    What about the quest that relied on that skill? Rewrite it? Don’t forget to translate that too!
    Is there an external tag for release notes?
    Oh dear… we used to mod that old skill with legacies… Make new legacies.
    Update any vendors or other ui that used to sell the old legacies with the new ones.
    Update the skill trainers with the new skill.
    Translate those legacies.
    By the way, that new skill breaks PvMP… rebalance please… possibly with new text to translate.
    Oh, those legacies were on the store… new store offers… yes, you can translate those too.
    Oh dear I hope that skill doesn’t have an advanced version or deeds related to it. If so, change them and translate.
    And I hope you are only working in one branch of the build… otherwise, you can return to the top of this process and merge everything over. - HoarseDev

    Q19: Of all the systems and mechanics in the game, which was the most complicated/difficult to create?
    A19: Mounted Combat.

    Q20: What is being done about Multi-boxing/Rank Farming?
    A20: We’ve been having a very active discussion with the Players Council about this recently. One of the challenges here is breaking the issue into its component parts.

    Multi-boxing in-and-of-itself is not inherently bad or against our TOS. The Launcher allows you to run multiple clients and the bug preventing this was recently fixed.

    Rank Farming, which doesn’t require mutli-boxing by the way, is another matter entirely. We’ve run several investigations to figure out how best to address it and so far haven’t been happy with the results. False positives, which could lead to potentially banning Top Tier PvMP players because they accumulate more renown/infamy than most rank farmers over the same period of time, are a major concern.

    It’s a much more complicated matter than simply checking a database and banning those who rapidly accumulate infamy and renown. It’s a complex issue and we continue to discuss and investigate reasonable and appropriate ways to address it. - Sapience
    Last edited by Sapience; Feb 06 2014 at 11:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    One small update to the forums update question. I was just told the update will be delayed until after the July 4th Holiday. So look for it in early July now and not the end of June.
    Last edited by Sapience; Jun 19 2013 at 05:25 PM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    One small update to the forums update question. I was just told the updat will be delayed until after the July 4th Holiday. So look for it in early July now and not the end of June.
    As long as it works... that's fine with me.

  4. #4
    Fascinating! I especially enjoyed reading about the QA team.

    I think it would make an interesting developer diary in the time between major updates if someone from the QA team could pick one specific bug and walk us through its discovery, investigation, resolution, testing, and deployment from start to finish.

  5. #5
    Thanks for answering some really good questions but why are the big questions from last months not answered (have u seen the forums lately??)

    1.What do u guys at turbine see as a Casual player in lotro? because u have said many times they are the big crowd in Lotro instead of the raiders and PVMP players who are just minor from your words.

    2.After the announcement from Helm's Deep 24 apr. 2013 we have not heard any information about the Expansion at all(not even a hint) When are we finally going to get some more info or at least some more hints?

    3.Is it a total Solo experience or does group playing have a big part in this Expansion aswell?


    And i think this is one of the most asked question i have seen in the last months and didnt had any answer yet...

    4.Does Helm's Deep has a Instance cluster (with a raid) at launch?

    I hope some of them will get answers because we the players and long time fans of Turbine and Lotro deserve some answers on this.


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    Fascinating! I especially enjoyed reading about the QA team.

    I think it would make an interesting developer diary in the time between major updates if someone from the QA team could pick one specific bug and walk us through its discovery, investigation, resolution, testing, and deployment from start to finish.
    that, plus I've love to see the designers notes of before they even start the process of re-working classes, and then being able to see the finished product. it doesn't need to be much work, I'd just be fasinated how a designer balances a class in his head towards others classes and content.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post

    Q19: Of all the systems and mechanics in the game, which was the most complicated/difficult to create?
    A19: Mounted Combat.
    I have to give you props, I love Mounted Combat 2.0. the refresh and class changes / riddermark line was an amazing accomplishment. I nary hear any complaint about classes being miss-matched on Mounted Combat now. congrats and thank you. looking forward to a bright future for war-steeds.

    P.S. This post does not include my thoughts on close quarters forestry war-bands,
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    All my forum posts are my opinions and may not even be that. Also On Twitter: @leixicon

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Q20: What is being done about Multi-boxing/Rank Farming?
    A20: We’ve been having a very active discussion with the Players Council about this recently. One of the challenges here is breaking the issue into its component parts.

    Multi-boxing in-and-of-itself is not inherently bad or against our TOS. The Launcher allows you to run multiple clients and the bug preventing this was recently fixed.

    Rank Farming, which doesn’t require mutli-boxing by the way, is another matter entirely. We’ve run several investigations to figure out how best to address it and so far haven’t been happy with the results. False positives, which could lead to potentially banning Top Tier PvMP players because they accumulate more renown/infamy than most rank farmers over the same period of time, are a major concern.

    It’s a much more complicated matter than simply checking a database and banning those who rapidly accumulate infamy and renown. It’s a complex issue and we continue to discuss and investigate reasonable and appropriate ways to address it. - Sapience
    Glad as a multiboxer to see the standing against multiboxing is not hostile :-) I think multiboxing is a great Challenge and its fun to know that it is possible to do both instances and raids either on Your own or With a few less friends :-). I also don't see the running around in ettenmoors multi-boxing being a big issue either as any player With a bit of skill can easily take out a multiboxing raid more or less single-handed... A bit of Muhammed Ali tactic and take out the boxers leader and the rest of his Group will immediatly struggle. BUT I do see the other point.. Rank Farming... But here I must agree With Sapience, I don't think its the multiboxers that would try to rank-farm.. it would make more sense that two raids that speaks With eachother on teamspeak or similar can arrange such events and that is more negative. I would happily try to take over TA or an Outpost With a multiboxed raid, and I think its doable as well if you was able to be left alone. BUT that day when there is nobody around for you to actually do this is not there very often :-).

    look out for my conga-line :-)
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  9. #9
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    Thanks for the Q&A - very interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Q20: What is being done about Multi-boxing/Rank Farming?
    A20: ...
    Rank Farming, which doesn’t require mutli-boxing by the way, is another matter entirely. We’ve run several investigations to figure out how best to address it and so far haven’t been happy with the results. False positives, which could lead to potentially banning Top Tier PvMP players because they accumulate more renown/infamy than most rank farmers over the same period of time, are a major concern.

    It’s a much more complicated matter than simply checking a database and banning those who rapidly accumulate infamy and renown. It’s a complex issue and we continue to discuss and investigate reasonable and appropriate ways to address it. - Sapience
    A not very thought out suggestion... Would it be possible, or a good idea, to have a diminishing rewards system so that if you kill <pick-a-reasonable-but-fairly-high-number> of the same class type or mob type in a particular area per day, your renown gain in PvP-land, and your loot chance in PvE-land, for killing more of the same, drop towards zero until reset?

    Could something like this discourage the freaver trains and bot farming for recipes in certain orc camps? At the moment these things just seem too rewarding and profitable.

  10. #10
    First off: Thanks for sharing some much requested insights about what is happening in our game.

    What currently concerncs me the most is the final Q/A:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post

    Q20: What is being done about Multi-boxing/Rank Farming?
    A20: We’ve been having a very active discussion with the Players Council about this recently. One of the challenges here is breaking the issue into its component parts.

    Multi-boxing in-and-of-itself is not inherently bad or against our TOS. The Launcher allows you to run multiple clients and the bug preventing this was recently fixed.

    Rank Farming, which doesn’t require mutli-boxing by the way, is another matter entirely. We’ve run several investigations to figure out how best to address it and so far haven’t been happy with the results. False positives, which could lead to potentially banning Top Tier PvMP players because they accumulate more renown/infamy than most rank farmers over the same period of time, are a major concern.

    It’s a much more complicated matter than simply checking a database and banning those who rapidly accumulate infamy and renown. It’s a complex issue and we continue to discuss and investigate reasonable and appropriate ways to address it. - Sapience
    Just yesterday our server Gilrain saw another rank farmer. 200k renown in 2 days and still going. He doesn't even try to hide it ( why would he do that anyway if nothing gets done about it ? ). It has even been recorded by several players. Regarding this :

    1. How is this complicated to notice? the leaderbords clearly show it, not to mention the screenshots/recordings.
    2. A much heard argument from rank farmers is : '' why do you care about what i do? it doesnt affect you anyway ''. This is very untrue. I recently achieved rank 11 in ettenmoors and that is something that took me months/years. Now i see someone doing the same in 5/6 days..... it compleetly destroys any value of the achievements done by people.
    3. Are you aware that multi-boxing not only leads to people rank farming, but also gives birth to ''bots'' that follow a specifiek player , healing/defending them IN a Player vs Player ( not Player vs Multi-boxers please ) envirorment? ( also it killed the whole in-game economie on our server in the form of multi-boxers farming recipes , and selling them for gold , thus gold farming )
    (4. Are you aware that there are known rank farmers among the Player Council ? )

    ~Edhun of Gilrain, a concerned lotro ( PvMP )player
    Last edited by edjepredje; Jun 19 2013 at 06:33 PM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brastin View Post


    And i think this is one of the most asked question i have seen in the last months and didnt had any answer yet...

    4.Does Helm's Deep has a Instance cluster (with a raid) at launch?


    That was answered long ago. The answer is no instance cluster at launch, no raid at launch. Possibly an instance cluster (no mention of a raid) after HD launch, but they will not decide if they will release one until after HD launches.
    Work like no one is watching, dance like you don't need the money...

  12. #12
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    Will zones like Angmar and North Downs get a revamp?
    Nerf healing in PvMP and just maybe it will be worth it again.

  13. #13
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by AmazingHassel View Post
    Glad as a multiboxer to see the standing against multiboxing is not hostile :-) I think multiboxing is a great Challenge and its fun to know that it is possible to do both instances and raids either on Your own or With a few less friends :-). I also don't see the running around in ettenmoors multi-boxing being a big issue either as any player With a bit of skill can easily take out a multiboxing raid more or less single-handed... A bit of Muhammed Ali tactic and take out the boxers leader and the rest of his Group will immediatly struggle. BUT I do see the other point.. Rank Farming... But here I must agree With Sapience, I don't think its the multiboxers that would try to rank-farm.. it would make more sense that two raids that speaks With eachother on teamspeak or similar can arrange such events and that is more negative. I would happily try to take over TA or an Outpost With a multiboxed raid, and I think its doable as well if you was able to be left alone. BUT that day when there is nobody around for you to actually do this is not there very often :-).

    look out for my conga-line :-)
    We view it as a question of hammers. Is a hammer a bad thing? Nope. Can a hammer be used to do bad things? Yes. Does this mean banning hammers? No. Does this mean investigating ways to make people who do bad things with hammers wish they hadn't? Yes.


    Quote Originally Posted by edjepredje View Post
    First off: Thanks for sharing some much requested insights about what is happening in our game.

    What currently concerncs me the most is the final Q/A:
    (4. Are you aware that there are known rank farmers among the Player Council ? )
    I'll adredd this directly. Yes. Intentionally. Because it is impossible to have a conversation with out all parties involved present. So, yes there is. There are also PvMP players there. They have all been part of this discussion.

    While I appreciate players think using their own data is revealing and insightful, the reality is we did a very focused and deliberate test where we did not tell the people looking at the data who was who. Only to look at the data and tell us who the rank farmer was. They couldn't. In fact the singled out the full time PvMPers because their renown/infamy accumulation was orders of magnitude higher than the known rank farmer in the group. In fact the known rank farmer was dead in the middle of the pack. Completely unremarkable.

    If we had used the players 'simple' version of how to do things we would have banned people who did absolutely nothing wrong and never touched the one who had admitted to doing it. Sounds like a terrible policy and course of action to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Frisco View Post
    That was answered long ago. The answer is no instance cluster at launch, no raid at launch. Possibly an instance cluster (no mention of a raid) after HD launch, but they will not decide if they will release one until after HD launches.
    As far as I know we haven't said anything about Helms Deep beyond our initial press release and letting players know that we have a schedule for information releases and we'll share more info at the appropriate times. Anything beyond that is either rumor, speculation, or flat out invented information.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    As far as I know we haven't said anything about Helms Deep beyond our initial press release and letting players know that we have a schedule for information releases and we'll share more info at the appropriate times. Anything beyond that is either rumor, speculation, or flat out invented information.
    Well, absence of evidence is evidence of absence, after all.

    Oh, wait, no, I think I got that backwards. ;P
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    As far as I know we haven't said anything about Helms Deep beyond our initial press release and letting players know that we have a schedule for information releases and we'll share more info at the appropriate times. Anything beyond that is either rumor, speculation, or flat out invented information.
    That sounds a lot different than the March 21st Twitter chat:

    A28: Derek Flippo
    Right now we’re focusing on prototyping Helm’s Deep instanced content for the upcoming expansion pack. After we’ve shipped the expansion we’ll evaluate the remaining potential revamps vs. making new instances.
    Glad to hear the possibility for a raid and an instance cluster at HD launch is still alive and well! Or at least revived and kicking.
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    Sapience, I applaud your choice to fix the broken things in the freep class system and get them right... but do you guys worry at all that leaving the moors "as is" until at least Helms Deep Launch (and likely breaking it further in the short term with the class changes) is going to be problematic?

    I am almost glad that the leaderboards are gone at this point, because if those had revealed data that lined up with the declines we're seeing in community voice chat logins (~75% collapse over the last month), it's a really bleak picture.


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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frisco View Post
    That sounds a lot different than the March 21st Twitter chat:



    Glad to hear the possibility for a raid and an instance cluster at HD launch is still alive and well! Or at least revived and kicking.
    I'll save Sapience the reply and say that it's more like Schroedinger's Cat. It's both alive and dead until Turbine opens the box and lets us know for sure.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredelas View Post
    Fascinating! I especially enjoyed reading about the QA team.

    I think it would make an interesting developer diary in the time between major updates if someone from the QA team could pick one specific bug and walk us through its discovery, investigation, resolution, testing, and deployment from start to finish.
    Re Q9: Clearly the Freep class Changes are MAJOR!

    Re Q12: Deeds are a kind of quest?

    Does that NPC number count each NPC by name, or simply each NPC /loc? (IE are all of the 'Gandalfs' (and I use the descriptor losely) counted as 1 npc? or the phased NPCs of say ... nona counted as multiples?

    Which NPC has the most incarnations?

    Re: Q18. That was almost possibly the most complicated 'change existing feature' request I think you could have managed to pick to post

    Could you maybe pick an actual bug to walk through for Q2? It is especially frustrating to see some things which are harped on in a pre-production environment make it through to live, even when we suspect they will be in a hotfix in 2-3 days. (See the Farm issue in Wildermore as an example.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Q9: Will there be a significant effort to balance PvMP this year?
    A9: We are going to need to pivot on the Freep class changes coming later this year. It will be a significant amount of work and it will not be easy. - HoarseDev

    Q10: Will there be enhancements for PvMP such as mail, bank, more skills etc.?
    A10: Most likely not in the near term. - HoarseDev
    Always nice to see more information coming from our Blue Named Gods.

    Whilst I can appreciate that the PvMP community seems to be very much in the minority, from what I've read in other posts, and therefore The 'Moors is probably low in the list of priorities to say the least I still feel disheartened by the responses to both these questions.

    At best the answer to question 9 feels like avoidance, at worst it almost reads like a no. Clearly finding the balance is difficult as it doesn't ever seem to have been achieved. Do we now have to wait until "later this year" for the Freep changes to come into effect for any improvement? If so, it would be much easier to endure if there was some solid commitment to poor fulltime monsters, such as myself, that light may one day be at the end of the tunnel.....even if that light just looks like a tiny speck of a dot.

    Not even so bothered about question 10, although as a Stick Shaker I have to admit that news of no new skills is a bit of a downer considering it seems forever since my class has seen anything but a smack in the face with the nerf bat. Worry not though, I'm a fully qualified doctor by trade and can self medicate by increasing my daily dose of fungal spores to soften the blow. I'd much rather see the effort taken to provide some semblance of balance if that's at all possible.

    I have sent my goblin scribe Maude on the wagon from Gramsfoot to wait outside your office in order to deliver any reply. Do NOT tip her, she'll only come to expect such things.
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  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Q20: What is being done about Multi-boxing/Rank Farming?
    A20: We’ve been having a very active discussion with the Players Council about this recently. One of the challenges here is breaking the issue into its component parts.

    Multi-boxing in-and-of-itself is not inherently bad or against our TOS. The Launcher allows you to run multiple clients and the bug preventing this was recently fixed.

    Rank Farming, which doesn’t require mutli-boxing by the way, is another matter entirely. We’ve run several investigations to figure out how best to address it and so far haven’t been happy with the results. False positives, which could lead to potentially banning Top Tier PvMP players because they accumulate more renown/infamy than most rank farmers over the same period of time, are a major concern.

    It’s a much more complicated matter than simply checking a database and banning those who rapidly accumulate infamy and renown. It’s a complex issue and we continue to discuss and investigate reasonable and appropriate ways to address it. - Sapience


    Finally glad to see a staffer member finally come out say multi-boxing is ok/legal game play. Me personally I dont pvp ranks farm, I dont farm gold or items. I played for 3 years before I started boxing. The only reason I started is I could never find a decent team to do quests and raids. Here it to all the anti-boxers and haters. How I play Lotro is my business not yours. I dont press how you should play the game on you so dont do it to me.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    St Louis Mo
    Posts
    1,999
    Thanks for the Q/A, even if I had heard a good part of it over the years, it did clarify a few things and highlight that, at least on a policy level, not much has changed. Glad to hear devs are getting some of their feedback in-game without people knowing who they are, even if some of it seems severe. Know what tho? When I get real feedback like that, it gives me incentive to not make that mistake again.

    Sigh.. the bug reporting system.. interesting, but.. some of the weighting seems to ignore long lasting problems that go back years and in previous expansions that are now blown through in days instead of weeks.. Now that I think about it, maybe bugs in levels not 85 are not really that important. NM.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Sulking in the Corner...
    Posts
    1,369
    I like the concept of a 'twenty questions' thread every so often, but I do hope there will still be occasional twitter Q&A sessions, at least once a year.

    Also very good to know you are looking for ways to remove rank-farming, because it has increased severely in the past year.

    Might be eating more than I can chew here, but could we have one more teaser about Helms Deep? At most it is about 6 months away and only the expected introductions have been published.
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  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    7,583
    Over the course of my time, we've had a few things specifically show up changed in one build, stay the same through the next build, only to be reverted in a subsequent build. All without any patch notes along the way.

    What kind of version control is in place? What kinds of processes are inplace to ensure that there is no..quality regression when it comes to bug fixes?
    Crell-L85-Champion - Riddermark ; Swego-L85-Burglar ; Kotvi-L95-Runekeeper
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  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    England. north-west
    Posts
    2,685
    you've probebly thought of it already. but no matter how you try and find a way to fix rank farming, there will always be those that slip the net anc cheat. maybe it's not about banning them, instead making it much harder to do.

    could you look into updating the rating system instead?

    here's a quick idea I had anyway.

    Rating information
    - Rating goes between 2.00 and 0.00
    - rating directly changes the amount of renown/informy opposing players earn.
    for example, killing a player with 2.00 rating multiplies glory earnt by x2
    killing a player with 0.00 rating always drops no glory
    - each time you are killed your rating goes down 0.10
    - getting a KB on another player increases your rating by 0.05
    - participating in killing another player increases your rating by -0.01
    - taking a keep increases your rating by 0.30
    - taking an OP increases your rating by 0.25
    - killing a DoF boss increases your rating by 0.20 - your rating does not effect what you earn, only what you drop.
    making rank farming harder
    you can ignore most of what I put and focus on 2 new factors. after being killed >20 times without killing another player in any form, that charactor will no longer drop glory points. the obvious way to get around this is to make a new freever every 10 kills
    . how long do you think that takes? how much harder is that? going that one step further it's be much easier to track who is rank farming if all there kills are from now deleted reavers...

    How does this effect the rest of PvP?
    I'm sure many of you could pick holes in this idea better than I could. but mostly, this would cut down of farming graveyards very quickly. however I don't think it'd be that hard for the adverage player to stay around a 10:1 kill death ratio (not KB btw) to still give the enemy some glory points. I would make "noobs" slightly less of a target as they probably have low rating regularly.

    I also put in a heavy bonus to your rating when taking an OP and keep. your rating does not change how much glory you earn, only how much you drop. so this actually rewards players for fighting back after losing a keep instead of the other way round. high standing PvP players who can keep there rating high would be much more of a prize goal, and would be interesting how this would pan out

    what do you think?

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  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    While I appreciate players think using their own data is revealing and insightful, the reality is we did a very focused and deliberate test where we did not tell the people looking at the data who was who. Only to look at the data and tell us who the rank farmer was. They couldn't. In fact the singled out the full time PvMPers because their renown/infamy accumulation was orders of magnitude higher than the known rank farmer in the group. In fact the known rank farmer was dead in the middle of the pack. Completely unremarkable.

    If we had used the players 'simple' version of how to do things we would have banned people who did absolutely nothing wrong and never touched the one who had admitted to doing it. Sounds like a terrible policy and course of action to me.
    Would you be willing to provide the same or similar data, but with the character/player name obfuscated so that the community could try to devise a way of determining a rank farmer?

    Netflix did a similar thing with their suggestion algorithm a few years back and received a bit of a performance increase.
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