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  1. #326
    MadeOfLions is offline The Lord of the Rings Online Team
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    I've been watching this thread for awhile, but the new forum migration made it so I couldn't sign in to respond. But it's all working now, so I'm back again.

    Very early on in development I sketched out a number of ways that players could be involved with the Battle of the Hornburg in such a way that they would never have shown up in the pages of the book. It was very elaborate, and more clever than good, if we're being honest. It involved a lot of dressing up in armour and wearing helmets to mask your features and leaving through side doors just when Aragorn and company arrived, and showing up immediately after something cool happened and all of the main characters had already exited stage right, like in a 'Lend Me A Tenor' or 'Rumors' style farce. Hobbits would have been mistaken for children a lot, and told to wait in the caves.

    It would have all worked, and would have adhered very strictly to the words of the book, but its biggest problem (aside from providing a rather questionable degree of that rare commodity 'fun') was that it just wasn't believable at all. It really strained the Credibility Wall. Why would players actively avoid running into the main characters? Why inject some grand conspiracy where none exists? It felt like such an approach, while technically correct when comparing it to the source material, was just a Bad Idea for the health of the story. This is supposed to be a singularly important battle for the survival of Rohan, not a 'Where's Waldo?' game of finding out where we can sneak players in between the gaps in the pages.

    It still feels legitimate, actually. It feels like the Battle of the Hornburg. I'm glad your characters are going to get to see it in a way that lets it feel like the Battle of the Hornburg, without having to hide behind an NPC instead, for fear that Legolas might spot you.

    MoL

  2. #327
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    Hi MoL,

    thanks for taking the time to share that insight into the process. Could I ask some.follow up questions to that?

    you mentioned the absurd lengths you would have to go to in order to keep us secret from the main characters. And it really did sound that although true...er to the Two Towers that would have been, it clearly would have had a derogatory effect on the experience. But this leads me to the conclusion that are characters are greeting the main protagonists? is that the case?

    I suppose that's the nature of.the beast really. Were not.the main characters, but if we didn't see the main events I guess it would be an anticlimax. The Helms deep expansion where you don't see the battle of the hornburg, doesn't exactly scream rave reviews. But does departing from the original story so significantly alienate a lot of customers?

    Rock and a hard place, good job your made of tough stuff. (i know -awful attempt at humour )

    I'm actually.looking forward to the expansion wuh a keen interest. the 20 questions about the battles has wet my appetite. I was sceptical about our characters being there: I posted in another thread about how lore-wise we shouldnt be. Some disagreed! Glad you've been open with us about your approach.

    Thanks, keep posting!
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  3. #328
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post
    I've been watching this thread for awhile, but the new forum migration made it so I couldn't sign in to respond. But it's all working now, so I'm back again.

    Very early on in development I sketched out a number of ways that players could be involved with the Battle of the Hornburg in such a way that they would never have shown up in the pages of the book. It was very elaborate, and more clever than good, if we're being honest. It involved a lot of dressing up in armour and wearing helmets to mask your features and leaving through side doors just when Aragorn and company arrived, and showing up immediately after something cool happened and all of the main characters had already exited stage right, like in a 'Lend Me A Tenor' or 'Rumors' style farce. Hobbits would have been mistaken for children a lot, and told to wait in the caves.

    It would have all worked, and would have adhered very strictly to the words of the book, but its biggest problem (aside from providing a rather questionable degree of that rare commodity 'fun') was that it just wasn't believable at all. It really strained the Credibility Wall. Why would players actively avoid running into the main characters? Why inject some grand conspiracy where none exists? It felt like such an approach, while technically correct when comparing it to the source material, was just a Bad Idea for the health of the story. This is supposed to be a singularly important battle for the survival of Rohan, not a 'Where's Waldo?' game of finding out where we can sneak players in between the gaps in the pages.

    It still feels legitimate, actually. It feels like the Battle of the Hornburg. I'm glad your characters are going to get to see it in a way that lets it feel like the Battle of the Hornburg, without having to hide behind an NPC instead, for fear that Legolas might spot you.

    MoL

    Nice post, even though I am not so much of a lore-monkey, honest communication like this is very much appreciated... It shows that you have though long and hard about the tough decisions with regard to the story; even if the outcome is not to everyone's liking I'm sure they appreciate you have considered many options in terms of the best way to handle things. Keep it up!

  4. #329
    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post
    I've been watching this thread for awhile, but the new forum migration made it so I couldn't sign in to respond. But it's all working now, so I'm back again.

    Very early on in development I sketched out a number of ways that players could be involved with the Battle of the Hornburg in such a way that they would never have shown up in the pages of the book. It was very elaborate, and more clever than good, if we're being honest. It involved a lot of dressing up in armour and wearing helmets to mask your features and leaving through side doors just when Aragorn and company arrived, and showing up immediately after something cool happened and all of the main characters had already exited stage right, like in a 'Lend Me A Tenor' or 'Rumors' style farce. Hobbits would have been mistaken for children a lot, and told to wait in the caves.

    It would have all worked, and would have adhered very strictly to the words of the book, but its biggest problem (aside from providing a rather questionable degree of that rare commodity 'fun') was that it just wasn't believable at all. It really strained the Credibility Wall. Why would players actively avoid running into the main characters? Why inject some grand conspiracy where none exists? It felt like such an approach, while technically correct when comparing it to the source material, was just a Bad Idea for the health of the story. This is supposed to be a singularly important battle for the survival of Rohan, not a 'Where's Waldo?' game of finding out where we can sneak players in between the gaps in the pages.

    It still feels legitimate, actually. It feels like the Battle of the Hornburg. I'm glad your characters are going to get to see it in a way that lets it feel like the Battle of the Hornburg, without having to hide behind an NPC instead, for fear that Legolas might spot you.

    MoL
    Actually I'm surprised that you didnt go for the mistaken Identity option.

    To Rohirrim, All Dwarves and Elves look alike.

    The Dwarves could have gotten called Gimli by the Men, The Elves could have gotten called Legolas (They all have long hair anyway). And again Hobbit Children.

    Just Have the NPC call them the wrong name once and then call it a day.

    Still its nice to know the effort was made.
    Ararax

  5. #330
    Quote Originally Posted by madeoflions View Post
    i've been watching this thread for awhile, but the new forum migration made it so i couldn't sign in to respond. But it's all working now, so i'm back again.

    very early on in development i sketched out a number of ways that players could be involved with the battle of the hornburg in such a way that they would never have shown up in the pages of the book. It was very elaborate, and more clever than good, if we're being honest. It involved a lot of dressing up in armour and wearing helmets to mask your features and leaving through side doors just when aragorn and company arrived, and showing up immediately after something cool happened and all of the main characters had already exited stage right, like in a 'lend me a tenor' or 'rumors' style farce. Hobbits would have been mistaken for children a lot, and told to wait in the caves.

    It would have all worked, and would have adhered very strictly to the words of the book, but its biggest problem (aside from providing a rather questionable degree of that rare commodity 'fun') was that it just wasn't believable at all. It really strained the credibility wall. Why would players actively avoid running into the main characters? Why inject some grand conspiracy where none exists? It felt like such an approach, while technically correct when comparing it to the source material, was just a bad idea for the health of the story. This is supposed to be a singularly important battle for the survival of rohan, not a 'where's waldo?' game of finding out where we can sneak players in between the gaps in the pages.

    It still feels legitimate, actually. It feels like the battle of the hornburg. I'm glad your characters are going to get to see it in a way that lets it feel like the battle of the hornburg, without having to hide behind an npc instead, for fear that legolas might spot you.

    Mol
    thank you!
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  6. #331
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    The only "lore breaking" thing I can think of being included in BB would be if you kept in the "Dwarf Tossing" or "Shield Surfing" bits.
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  7. #332
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    Quote Originally Posted by ararax2 View Post
    Actually I'm surprised that you didnt go for the mistaken Identity option.

    To Rohirrim, All Dwarves and Elves look alike.

    The Dwarves could have gotten called Gimli by the Men, The Elves could have gotten called Legolas (They all have long hair anyway). And again Hobbit Children.

    Just Have the NPC call them the wrong name once and then call it a day.

    Still its nice to know the effort was made.
    But what if you meet Gimli and Legolas? I don't think they'll suddenly assume there is a mirror in front of them.

    I'd argue there's a spectrum on this one. So long as we don't end up being some sort of saviour of Helm's Deep - the fact that we will personally kill over a hundred orcs by the time we finish I'll excuse as a gameplay mechanic - then I don't think our presence is that much of an issue. That said, I've long been of the opinion that game and book diverged somewhere six years ago. The book is on my shelf, the game on my computer. No reason I can't enjoy both as separate works.

  8. #333
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    Out of interest MoL what was the 'justification' for our characters being present in dale and Erebor etc. for the 'Rohan Instance cluster'? I suspect there is absolutely none at all and as a result the believability of any story associated with them was greatly diminished. While I appreciate the motivation for wanting to do a 'hobbit themed' instance cluster it would be nice if this was just a 'one-off' and something that is not repeated in the future. I think a lot of LOTROs raiding community do still appreciate a strong story running through an instance cluster so please try to keep it credible.

  9. #334
    Quote Originally Posted by Elithandir View Post
    But what if you meet Gimli and Legolas? I don't think they'll suddenly assume there is a mirror in front of them.

    I'd argue there's a spectrum on this one. So long as we don't end up being some sort of saviour of Helm's Deep - the fact that we will personally kill over a hundred orcs by the time we finish I'll excuse as a gameplay mechanic - then I don't think our presence is that much of an issue. That said, I've long been of the opinion that game and book diverged somewhere six years ago. The book is on my shelf, the game on my computer. No reason I can't enjoy both as separate works.
    Well Gimli and Legolas arent the recorder of events. I doubt either of them wrote a book later on in life.

    Considering that the recorders of note is Frodo and Sam (Red Book of West March), and they werent there.
    (as seen by the Little People; being the memoirs of Bilbo and
    Frodo of the Shire, supplemented by the accounts of their friends
    and the learning of the Wise.)
    So all that has to have happened is that Gimli or Legolas not mention the other dwarf or elf that they saw to Frodo or Sam.
    Ararax

  10. #335
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    I just don't see what has so many fine folk all riled up about seeing the hero's or interacting with them. We have been doing it since we met Strider in the Prancing Pony. How is this a "New Thing, and Lore breaking"? I have read all of the books and felt like a comfortable ghost running along with the fellowship for years. Now, I can chat with them from time to time, and participate in the same adventures.

    I am happy to be here! For those who cannot abide any change from the lore, the books are still there; I do enjoy them still.

    Kudos to the Turbine team for bringing this wonderful adventure world to life for me.
    Why yes, I do remember the 1950's. Nuf said :)

  11. #336
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bel-Astarte View Post
    I expect he took offense because you're being a bit of a condescending jerk. Actually more than a bit of one.

    In the area of making your point, I think you should be more concerned about your own piscine clearance than you are.

    I also expect you will continue not to be.
    Careful, you're breaking the code of conduct. Oh wait, sorry I forgot, the code only applies to those Turbine disagrees with. Carry on.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions
    Very early on in development I sketched out a number of ways that players could be involved with the Battle of the Hornburg in such a way that they would never have shown up in the pages of the book.
    Least you're being honest when you say that you're breaking the lore for expediency sake and you don't care. Next time...

    Please care.

  12. #337
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    Quote Originally Posted by Granlif View Post
    I just don't see what has so many fine folk all riled up about seeing the hero's or interacting with them. We have been doing it since we met Strider in the Prancing Pony. How is this a "New Thing, and Lore breaking"? I have read all of the books and felt like a comfortable ghost running along with the fellowship for years. Now, I can chat with them from time to time, and participate in the same adventures.

    I am happy to be here! For those who cannot abide any change from the lore, the books are still there; I do enjoy them still.

    Kudos to the Turbine team for bringing this wonderful adventure world to life for me.
    Yes, this is the point. The epic story has put our individual character into the story of the Fellowship. We've quested with them, we've advised them and we've run interference for them.

    As MoL said - nothing could have been more artificial than 'contriving' reasons why all of a sudden we were at HD flitting around shyly in the shadows instead of stepping forward to stand with our friends.

    This is just one more of a myriad of examples where lore has to give way to fun. Most of us wanted our characters to be there. I hazard a guess that like me a lot of us also want to take part in the last ride of the rohirrim. We want to sweep down on the armies beseiging Minas T with Theoden even though it's very clear that the host was not a mixed bag of men from all across middle earth, a swarm of hobbits and assorted elves and dwarves. Otherwise what's the point of the mounted combat mechanic?

    I've not played this game for years, I've not paid Turbine/codemasters hundreds of pounds to be elsewhere when climactic events are happening.

    We couldn't be at the Breaking of The Fellowship without changing the whole nature of the incident. But when big iconic battles are going down that's a different matter.

    I'm comfortable with 'Necessary lore break, nicely done. Now let's have some fun.'

  13. #338
    MadeOfLions is offline The Lord of the Rings Online Team
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bhoris_they_spider View Post
    Out of interest MoL what was the 'justification' for our characters being present in dale and Erebor etc. for the 'Rohan Instance cluster'?
    I wrote the quests for the 'In Their Absence' instance cluster, but there was too much development going on for the Epic while the Erebor cluster was being conceived for me to write a similar quest chain. My understanding is that the story underlying the cluster was more 'thematically related' than 'plot related,' if that makes sense; sort of like the way Thievery and Mischief takes place out of the flow of time of the main storyline. Since I usually try to comment only on things I know a lot about, I'm not going to talk much about this one.

    MoL

  14. #339
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    Quote Originally Posted by ararax2 View Post
    Well Gimli and Legolas arent the recorder of events. I doubt either of them wrote a book later on in life.

    Considering that the recorders of note is Frodo and Sam (Red Book of West March), and they werent there.

    So all that has to have happened is that Gimli or Legolas not mention the other dwarf or elf that they saw to Frodo or Sam.
    But in this lotro version of the story we saw them off in rivendell, did loads or tasks prepping them for setting off, caught up with them in lorien and mourned the loss of Gandalf. so if we did meet them, and they just didn't tell Frodo about it, that would be a little odd. Granted, other important things happen etc. but you'd expect the hobbit/elf/dwarf/man who counseled Frodo into the journey from rivendell etc. would likely get a mention for yet again showing up and helping out.

    at least, that's how I see it.
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  15. #340
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    Quote Originally Posted by ararax2 View Post
    Well Gimli and Legolas arent the recorder of events. I doubt either of them wrote a book later on in life.

    Considering that the recorders of note is Frodo and Sam (Red Book of West March), and they werent there.

    So all that has to have happened is that Gimli or Legolas not mention the other dwarf or elf that they saw to Frodo or Sam.
    Nuts. MoL's disarming honesty has made Turbine's approach quite plain: lore broken through necessity, because the alternative involved silliness. That'd include silliness like everyone simply forgetting any additional heroes - unless you were still imagining they'd have so small a role that nobody would remember them. Somehow I very much doubt that is what MoL meant, so the answer to the question originally posed by this thread would really seem to be yes, it will be lore-breaking but for good reason. Fair enough.

    The only fly in the ointment will be if the player-characters' role is bloated into being the mighty saviours of Middle-earth yet again, with everyone else made to look hapless (like the Grey Company were, for example) in order to shoehorn that in. Having them as participants but not 'the' heroes of the piece would seem sensible given who's there.

    Oh, and for the love of Eru no 'helping' the Huorns deal with the fleeing Orcs.

  16. #341
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radhruin_EU View Post
    Oh, and for the love of Eru no 'helping' the Huorns deal with the fleeing Orcs.

    Session play! Yes! You have great ideas!

    Boulder throwing, Mighty Burning Branch slapping and Orc-Tossing!

    Get him underground with one toss and you have an Orc-in-One!

  17. #342
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmyrSelyf View Post


    Get him underground with one toss and you have an Orc-in-One!
    As a child of the Great Bandobras ... I MUST say .. FORE!
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  18. #343
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadeOfLions View Post
    I wrote the quests for the 'In Their Absence' instance cluster, but there was too much development going on for the Epic while the Erebor cluster was being conceived for me to write a similar quest chain. My understanding is that the story underlying the cluster was more 'thematically related' than 'plot related,' if that makes sense; sort of like the way Thievery and Mischief takes place out of the flow of time of the main storyline. Since I usually try to comment only on things I know a lot about, I'm not going to talk much about this one.

    MoL
    Thanks for the answer. I must admit I was a huge fan of the underlying story running through the 'In Their Absence' cluster; I thought it did an excellent job of connecting the landscape environment to instances and raids it a believable manner which really heightened my enjoyment of the cluster. Thank you very much for that.

    I appreciate you weren't involved in the Erebor storyline but I would like to give one bit of feedback... While having certain 'thematic' encounters placed outside of the accepted timeline is fine for certain mechanics such as skirmishes and session play (in fact I think it works very well in skirmishes) I strongly dislike it for the current end-game cluster where our characters may spend many weeks/months trying to defeat a particular instance/raid etc. Simply put, the raid has to feel relevant and connected to my character otherwise what's the point? For example: Making our way through Moria for our final confrontation with the watcher and then devling deep within the foundations of stone to tackle the mistress, battling through Mirkwood to face the Lieutenant, confronting and defeating the gaunt lords, scaling the pinnacle of Orthanc for a final confrontation with Saruman... All of these felt related to my characters journey through middle earth.... The Erebor cluster was exactly the opposite and the 'tacked-on' Gandalf quest line just didnt work, even with a big suspension of disbelief! Please keep raid clusters related to where our character is at the time and leave any timeline shenanigans to skirmishes... Believe it or not these things are quite important to the raiding community.
    Last edited by Bhoris_they_spider; Aug 16 2013 at 01:16 PM.

  19. #344
    So, where does it end? Are we there when Eowyn and Merry kill the Witch-king? Do we have a raid protecting them? Why not deal the final blow ourselfs? Those npcs are stupid and the Witch-king is too great a boss to let him in their hands. And don't forget the loot. By the way, can I be the one that kicks gollum into the lava at the end?

    Where it stops being LOTR and becomes something else?

  20. #345
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erlindur View Post
    Where it stops being LOTR and becomes something else?
    That happened a long time ago. In the later days of SoA and certainly at the beginning of MoM, the LOTR lore became the LOTRO lore and was vastly different. Dwarves trying to reclaim Moria....ugh.
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
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    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
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  21. #346
    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    That happened a long time ago. In the later days of SoA and certainly at the beginning of MoM, the LOTR lore became the LOTRO lore and was vastly different. Dwarves trying to reclaim Moria....ugh.
    That was Middle Earth lore. I'm talking about the LOTR books. If we start going away from the actual LOTR books, then where do we stop before we have to drop the tittle altogether.

  22. #347
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erlindur View Post
    That was Middle Earth lore. I'm talking about the LOTR books. If we start going away from the actual LOTR books, then where do we stop before we have to drop the tittle altogether.
    That's happened already as well. Remember the Golden Host. Yeah...
    [I]In the sea without lees standeth the Bird of Hermes.
    [/I][I]When all his feathers be from him gone, He standeth still here as a stone.
    Here is now both white and red, And all so the stone to quicken the dead[/I][I].
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  23. #348
    Quote Originally Posted by Erlindur View Post
    That was Middle Earth lore. I'm talking about the LOTR books. If we start going away from the actual LOTR books, then where do we stop before we have to drop the tittle altogether.
    You do realize that Turbine would have to go to extreme lenghts to not be lore-breaking, correct? There are only a few possibilities
    1. Your character has a minor role in the battle and therefore does not get noticed (Total let-down)
    2. Your character, as MoL said, hides through trapdoors and makes escapes as to avoid the main characters (Seems extremely pointless and nonsensical considering we already have met all the main characters in the game)
    3. They break the lore
    As you can hopefully see, #3 is the best option. There's no way to deliver an epic battle that actually makes sense that also does not break the lore. Most customers, myself included, don't care enough about the lore to make the battle a bit on the "this could've been more epic" side. I honestly don't care if they break the lore as long as it's fun

  24. #349
    Quote Originally Posted by Bhoris_they_spider View Post
    Out of interest MoL what was the 'justification' for our characters being present in dale and Erebor etc. for the 'Rohan Instance cluster'? I suspect there is absolutely none at all and as a result the believability of any story associated with them was greatly diminished. While I appreciate the motivation for wanting to do a 'hobbit themed' instance cluster it would be nice if this was just a 'one-off' and something that is not repeated in the future. I think a lot of LOTROs raiding community do still appreciate a strong story running through an instance cluster so please try to keep it credible.
    Interesting article here on the 'time travel' in LOTRO

    http://massively.joystiq.com/2013/07...ible-in-lotro/

    They did have a dev diary back when the Erebor raids were arriving. They talked about the development process and how with no logical 'big targets' for raids that fit into the lore for Eastern Rohan, they decided to let you basically do a session play into the future abit that tied in with the Hobbit movie release and take part in the Battle for Erebor. As you're still playing the same character in them, it does make something of an impossible leap.
    Leafblade, Captain
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  25. #350
    Quote Originally Posted by BirdofHermes View Post
    That's happened already as well. Remember the Golden Host. Yeah...
    Well, that is lore breaking, not book breaking.

    Quote Originally Posted by warthogonfire View Post
    You do realize that Turbine would have to go to extreme lenghts to not be lore-breaking, correct? There are only a few possibilities
    1. Your character has a minor role in the battle and therefore does not get noticed (Total let-down)
    2. Your character, as MoL said, hides through trapdoors and makes escapes as to avoid the main characters (Seems extremely pointless and nonsensical considering we already have met all the main characters in the game)
    3. They break the lore
    As you can hopefully see, #3 is the best option. There's no way to deliver an epic battle that actually makes sense that also does not break the lore. Most customers, myself included, don't care enough about the lore to make the battle a bit on the "this could've been more epic" side. I honestly don't care if they break the lore as long as it's fun
    and my question is where does it stop? Do we get to kill the Witch-King? Do we get the chance to kill Gollum? Can we raid Sauron? At what point book breaking is a red line we cannot cross?

 

 
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