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  1. #1

    Question Motivation behind class changes

    Hello!

    The request is quite simple really: to fully understand the motivation behind class traits and skills changes.

    I've spent 7 years with skills and traits, which, to my understanding, have been working quite OK. Trait system was something quite original and deep. Now the move to skill trees seem like a strange choice. Skill trees (at least for me personally) seem to be something of an outdated design solution. They also push towards narrow specialisation (which also doesn't look good to me).

    Maybe I could get an answer based on the opinion, post or explanation by the development team member(s), why this had to be changed? It would be important to understand the direction the game is taking (changing how all classes and their skills work is actually a huge thing, all people should realise that), especially with the preorder at hand.

    Thank you for your time in advance!

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Maen View Post
    Hello!

    The request is quite simple really: to fully understand the motivation behind class traits and skills changes.

    I've spent 7 years with skills and traits, which, to my understanding, have been working quite OK. Trait system was something quite original and deep. Now the move to skill trees seem like a strange choice. Skill trees (at least for me personally) seem to be something of an outdated design solution. They also push towards narrow specialisation (which also doesn't look good to me).

    Maybe I could get an answer based on the opinion, post or explanation by the development team member(s), why this had to be changed? It would be important to understand the direction the game is taking (changing how all classes and their skills work is actually a huge thing, all people should realise that), especially with the preorder at hand.

    Thank you for your time in advance!
    Turbine already pointed out why are they doing this.

    In short: They want to give new players choice to trait in all 3 ways from start of the game (atm some trait lines work only when you get moria legandaries and 5 traits from the line) and they want to make classes devoted to the role they selected, no more everyone can do everything at the same time (example: LM can heal, debuff, dps and cc.. not all roles they do perfectly but they can still do them, or Champion that can take 15k+ dmg in small period of time and be full morale with bubbles, dire need, bracing attack adamant.. dont think champions are made for healing)
    [b][center]LUTZ THE GOD of Whitywindle[/center][/b]

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  3. #3
    Thank you for your answer, if it is really true, that's going into different direction I would want it to go. All the class and trait quests was a nice touch, and getting your legendary felt like a nice achievement (it was also nicely weaved with stories and lore).

    Narrow specialisation, both in life and games, is boring thing of the past IMO, but maybe that's just me

    Do you have any links or citations how exactly it was worded by devs?

  4. #4
    https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...-Class-Changes

    Q11: Raven-EU: What was the primary driver(s) for this change? #LOTRO
    A11: Jinjaah: I think there were two main things that drove these changes: #LOTRO
    A11a: 1. We wanted to design the trait trees in such a way that as soon as you leave the intro, #LOTRO
    A11b: your trait line starts to play as it was envisioned instead of later on down the road when you began to collect traits. #LOTRO
    A11c: 2. We really wanted each trait line to sort of stand out from the rest and reduce some of the class homogenization #LOTRO
    A11d: that had slowly occurred over the years. #LOTRO
    Hunter & alts on Snowborne since 2007, now on Evernight.

  5. #5
    I think the real answer is the same reason they changed the character sheet (which I'm still not used to). They want to get WoW players.

  6. #6
    Not a fan of change for the sake of change, especially after the last 4 1/2 years.

    Goreamir - 100 Cap | Jinwe - 88 Hnt | Celebourne - 90 Champ | Humblefoot - 75 Min | Dorfus - 74 Grd | Creonath - 55 Wdn | Stormcraban - 35 LM | Whippit - 35 Brg | Thangadir - 33 RK | Bucksexton - 24 Bng

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Maen View Post
    Thank you for your answer, if it is really true, that's going into different direction I would want it to go. All the class and trait quests was a nice touch, and getting your legendary felt like a nice achievement (it was also nicely weaved with stories and lore).

    Narrow specialisation, both in life and games, is boring thing of the past IMO, but maybe that's just me

    Do you have any links or citations how exactly it was worded by devs?
    Class quests and trait deeds will remain in game, they will just give trait points instead of class traits they give now. Im not sure about legendaries but i believe they will give trait points too. Legendaries will be part of trait trees now.
    [b][center]LUTZ THE GOD of Whitywindle[/center][/b]

    [center]Z fanboi[/center]

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Maen View Post
    Thank you for your answer, if it is really true, that's going into different direction I would want it to go. All the class and trait quests was a nice touch, and getting your legendary felt like a nice achievement (it was also nicely weaved with stories and lore).

    Narrow specialisation, both in life and games, is boring thing of the past IMO, but maybe that's just me

    Do you have any links or citations how exactly it was worded by devs?
    To be blunt some of the classes have become broken. Either they can do everything at once or they is really only one of their roles truly effectively. I mean when was the last time someone took a Hunter on a run for its CC. Additionally for some classes the legendary traits are meh by level 85. I would toss out two of my hunters if I could trait deeper into the blue or red builds.

    The idea is the each class can only effectively operate in one of their roles at a time. Still do them all just not all at once, sounds like it might actually be a good idea. In SoA you didn't see 5/6 need anything very often... Now pretty regularly.
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/032020000000bd0ff/signature.png]Aidus[/charsig]

    "Live and Let Die"

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Aidus View Post
    To be blunt some of the classes have become broken. Either they can do everything at once or they is really only one of their roles truly effectively. I mean when was the last time someone took a Hunter on a run for its CC. Additionally for some classes the legendary traits are meh by level 85. I would toss out two of my hunters if I could trait deeper into the blue or red builds.

    The idea is the each class can only effectively operate in one of their roles at a time. Still do them all just not all at once, sounds like it might actually be a good idea. In SoA you didn't see 5/6 need anything very often... Now pretty regularly.
    This is exactly why I'm not opposing. Several classes can only fill one role, while others are all over the place. Some even seem to struggle to have a purpose, if you look at how they fit in current content.

    Every class should at least have 2 roles they can fill effectively, in my opinion. Effectively as in fully rounded dps-trees, where you can choose between both AoE- and ST-skills, to but points in.

    Even if Lotro is easy enough to solo for any class, there is still a huge difference in solo-ability and effectiveness at higher levels in PvE. Compare Captain with a heal stacking, anti stunned AoE-monster like Loremaster, for example. Or ST-restricted Burglars preparing and setting up fights (also a joke mounted) with a bubble-spamming and self healing dps-beast like Champion. Its like comparing bicycles with a sports cars, in terms of solo convenience. I have 5 classes at level cap, all geared out. The lack of balance is striking.

    The game is going more and more towards solo content. I find it sad, while others are happy about it. That is a different discussion. Point is, every class should have the ability to trait for an equally competitive and effective solo spec now.

    There is also these junk skills, traits and legendary cap stones, that no one is using. It needs to be cleaned up.

    I'm not sure the developers will make it work. Heck, they might not even share my concerns. Maybe they care very little about class dynamics in groups and just want to simplify stuff for new players? But as long as my Minstrel gets to be something more than indestructible heal bot, my Captain gets a solo boost, my Loremaster finds a reason to care about pets again, than I am happy.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvatardd View Post
    ... and they want to make classes devoted to the role they selected, no more everyone can do everything at the same time (example: LM can heal, debuff, dps and cc.. not all roles they do perfectly but they can still do them, or Champion that can take 15k+ dmg in small period of time and be full morale with bubbles, dire need, bracing attack adamant.. dont think champions are made for healing)
    Perfectly said
    And since a LOT of people like to faceroll, when the class changes come you'll see a lot of QQ at forums and in-game, and a drop in the player populations (what i know, if Turbine do the update right, the game will recover real fast, or even get more players if the battle system become challenging like Turbine said).
    Things are just stupid now, all this OP classes, make the landscape and PvP so easy and boring.
    And i'll not say much about the PvP faceroll, when you need 4 creeps to kill a full geared mini (they're light armours and finish a battle with full morale while hitting you hard). This is why Turbine are revamping the class, players are complaining about faceroll so now they'll need to think and read their traits and learn how to play (since the first levels), and not just press buttons and click the godmode skills when you're dying (AKA never surrender, bubbles, dire need, last stand, 3 stacks of water lore, winsdow if the council) while doing a lot of dps and finish every single fight (in landscape or PvP) with full morale after killing 5 NPCs/2 (or more) creeps at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maen View Post
    Thank you for your answer, if it is really true, that's going into different direction I would want it to go. All the class and trait quests was a nice touch, and getting your legendary felt like a nice achievement (it was also nicely weaved with stories and lore).
    Probably Turbine will keep the legendary and class quests with all of their lore, but just giving you points when you complete (instead of traits) to spend at the trait trees.

    Quote Originally Posted by podgie_bear View Post
    Yes, Turbine has decided to move 'forward' by reducing choice, limiting abilities and forcing players into narrower skill trees.
    Maybe is just me, but IMO this means: Challenge, i'll not be able to just aggro 6 mobs 2 levels over me and kill them all with full morale, cause if i focus DPS i'll losse all that OP heal i had.
    The complainings about not being able to do more than one role remember me from a friend playing Skyrim with a archer using heavy armour, it's weird IMO.
    And every class will have 3 trait lines, i bet there'll be a lot of choices if you know where to spend your points. We need to wait, see, test, retest before criticize.

    Quote Originally Posted by medwulf View Post
    ... the Dev's reasoning for the changes is understandable, there are too many classes doing too many things. I will wait and see how it works, and hopefully this will not change the core of the gaemplay in Lotro.
    You already said the reason, they're changing cause too many classes do too many things, they want every class doing one single traited role, this is why LOTRO have 9 classes, if they wanted everyone being abble to tank/heal/DPS/debuff they would just made a single class.
    Last edited by Snabur; Sep 16 2013 at 09:02 AM.

  11. #11
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    I personally feel that the excuses of 'making the classes easier from the beginning' and 'reducing homogenization of classes' are a load of manure.
    Forcing characters down a tree structure and limiting skills to specific trees make classes MORE homogenous because every player is going to be forced into cookie cutter builds.

    The real reason IMO is that it makes content design easier because there are LESS configurations for each class due to the limitations imposed by a tree based skill system.

  12. #12
    I hate to break this to the Devs, but there is only 1 way to reduce class homogenization and that is to make everything so vanilla that it doesn't matter what you do. As long as one loadout is better than others 90% of gamers will go for that setup.

    As for champs, I am not sure what they are trying to achieve - there is almost no content in the game today where you significantly benefit from AOE damage, almost every fight in the game where damage output matters is a single target fight or fights where CC is required which renders AOE pretty useless. Everybody and their grandma traits red and since they have been kind enough to make only some of the red traits relevant for DPS, there really isn't much choice.

  13. #13
    My personal belief: they are competing for players from other MMOs.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Traur View Post
    As for champs, I am not sure what they are trying to achieve - there is almost no content in the game today where you significantly benefit from AOE damage, almost every fight in the game where damage output matters is a single target fight or fights where CC is required which renders AOE pretty useless. Everybody and their grandma traits red and since they have been kind enough to make only some of the red traits relevant for DPS, there really isn't much choice.
    AOE makes sense in some cases with the champ. But I've never been in a raid/group where I've thought.. "Gee.. I should trait all yellow for this.."

    Take the "Full pull" method of the school farm for example. Everything from the start up to the door is gathered in a big ol mess and AOE'ed to death (about 20 mobs). If you've got a Warden, Champ and whatever in your group. That Champ's AOE is really nice. Enhanced Battle Acuity + Shwing shwing. But... as you said, red traits still make the most sense.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traur View Post
    As long as one loadout is better than others 90% of gamers will go for that setup.
    Maybe. I'm almost never in that 90%, though... I value "fun" over "optimal load-out" every time. That's why every single character I had in Asheron's Call took a skill which contributed nothing to combat ("Lockpick") and my favorite character didn't have the game's single "must have" skill (Life Magic) at all. I valued different things than many players, and don't really care what anyone else thinks of my choices.

    "Optimal loadout" has no entertainment value for me on its own. In fact, whenever I've tried the "optimal template" in past games, I've lost interest in those characters quite a bit earlier. They're easier, for one thing. And it just rubs me the wrong way to be one of the lemmings.

    If they reduce the number of skills but make each one more impactful, I might enjoy these changes. Why? Because I may be able to build a nice hybrid that I enjoy, even if 90% of the other players go for the "clone effect" (which is often "max specialization", something I never do).

    Khafar

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dunford View Post
    I personally feel that the excuses of 'making the classes easier from the beginning' and 'reducing homogenization of classes' are a load of manure.
    Forcing characters down a tree structure and limiting skills to specific trees make classes MORE homogenous because every player is going to be forced into cookie cutter builds.

    The real reason IMO is that it makes content design easier because there are LESS configurations for each class due to the limitations imposed by a tree based skill system.
    *ding ding ding*

    We have a winner.
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  17. #17
    I think Id rather see trait trees than the current system.
    One class that is good at everything is too op while other classes are good at much less.
    Trees make players decide which one or two roles they want.
    I cant remember where I read it, but to my understanding, players can pick and choose all class trait trees, but they wont be as good as another that is devoted in just one tree. By the sound of it, classes that can, will still have the option, but wont be as op. Maybe theyll be underpowered.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by borges_maze View Post
    *ding ding ding*

    We have a winner.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dunford View Post
    I personally feel that the excuses of 'making the classes easier from the beginning' and 'reducing homogenization of classes' are a load of manure.
    Forcing characters down a tree structure and limiting skills to specific trees make classes MORE homogenous because every player is going to be forced into cookie cutter builds.

    The real reason IMO is that it makes content design easier because there are LESS configurations for each class due to the limitations imposed by a tree based skill system.
    I don't think it's a good idea for Turbine to go this route. I can foresee a situation where, even if they wanted to lessen the workload in doing this, in order to keep the game active and engaging, they ended up setting a different target for players: in a broad sense, Themselves (their formula), rather than the monsters in the world. (which may increase the tasks they have to do, as these things may need regular adjustments.)
    You'd then find yourself battling against a set target, with swiftly obvious standards - and that's supposed to DEcrease homogenisation, how, exactly? I kind of wish we had absolutes to get some impression of the reality of these changes. If they had just said "we have this thing we're doing, here's where we're going with it - what do you think?"

    Instead, the majority of players reading those diaries get left playing second-guess, and there's a murk left in comments threads about the game for other potential players to read, and interpret.

  19. #19
    I believe the reason behind the trait tree system is to force you to choose a role before entering combat. Right now, wardens, minis, guardians, and champs can all push a button and completely change their role instantly. For example, on my warden I can start in recklessness then if I get overwhelmed or an elite shows up, I push determination and go from dps to tank and walk away with full health. If a hunter gets in the same situation its time to either stun or run, and usually run is the better choice. I believe this creates a horrible imbalance between classes when doing at least landscape stuff. On my warden I can even change from tank to dps to tank to dps at will through out a fight. Frankly, its a balancing nightmare for the devs I am sure. The only issue I have is that I feel its better to boost the weak than to nerf the strong. I just hope this isn't an NGE kind of change.
    Welleg - brandywine, Kelleg/Gelleg - Landroval
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  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Dunford View Post
    I personally feel that the excuses of 'making the classes easier from the beginning' and 'reducing homogenization of classes' are a load of manure.
    Forcing characters down a tree structure and limiting skills to specific trees make classes MORE homogenous because every player is going to be forced into cookie cutter builds.

    The real reason IMO is that it makes content design easier because there are LESS configurations for each class due to the limitations imposed by a tree based skill system.
    As much as I abhor change, especially when an established game says "up yours" to existing players, in favor of making something easier for new players,
    I think you'll find "mix & match" will be available on your trait trees, just as it is now available on the war steeds. That said, I still think it's the height of
    stupidity to tell your entire player base "You have to learn how to play this game all over again", just so they can possibly drag in a few new players with
    a very old play setup...

    Considering how wonderfully the last few updates have went and the immediate lack of real communication, to explain what got broken each time, I am not
    holding out much hope this one won't be a disaster as well. Between these issues, all the changes on the way and what seems like apathy towards the
    community, where information is concerned, I have stopped myself from pre-ordering so far. I just can't shake this sense of foreboding that seems to be
    looming over this release. Don't get me wrong, I love the game and want to keep playing, but some of the blatant errors, combined with how our concerns
    and questions were ignored when we repeatedly asked for info about said errors, just really gives me pause.

    That said, I do appreciate all the work done to correct issues that come up, but I don't appreciate being kept in the dark about those issues for as long as
    we were, or the fact that things we were promised haven't been delivered. The lack of communication seriously gets old after a few years...

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Iluvatardd View Post
    Turbine already pointed out why are they doing this.

    In short: They want to give new players choice to trait in all 3 ways from start of the game (atm some trait lines work only when you get moria legandaries and 5 traits from the line) and they want to make classes devoted to the role they selected, no more everyone can do everything at the same time (example: LM can heal, debuff, dps and cc.. not all roles they do perfectly but they can still do them, or Champion that can take 15k+ dmg in small period of time and be full morale with bubbles, dire need, bracing attack adamant.. dont think champions are made for healing)

    Turbine is making the game easier for new players to transition from other MMO's. They are after the money and I understand that from a business perspective. HOWEVER it is a complete joke to think that from the start of the game any new player will be to effectively trait anything similar to what they will at the "end" of the trait tree. No you did not say that...but Turbine more or less IMPLIES that new players will be effectively traiting similarly. They will start out just the same as now...weak and as they progress get stronger (but shouldn't take them too long to make their way into 'Big Battles" at lvl 10). Yes it will be a new system that is much more familiar to their new target revenue stream (i mean new customer). New players won't be as critical or compare things to the "way it used to be" simply because they won't know how it was at XXX amount of time ago. I am not saying this new direction is wrong from Turbine's point of view but as a player for almost 3 years now I see a lot of potential for change for the worse and I'd be lying if I said that didn't concern me. Now with that said I have really liked many of the things that Turbine has done in the past and I will only be able to wait and see how badly the changes affect me as a player (and my army of alts--one of each class). Only time is going to tell if this was a big success for Turbine or a big failure and only time will tell how many long time players enjoy the changes or decide that it is time to move and donate their cash to another company.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Southy2010 View Post
    They will start out just the same as now...weak and as they progress get stronger (but shouldn't take them too long to make their way into 'Big Battles" at lvl 10). Yes it will be a new system that is much more familiar to their new target revenue stream (i mean new customer). New players won't be as critical or compare things to the "way it used to be" simply because they won't know how it was at XXX amount of time ago.
    That makes me wonder. How many beta testers will start a new alt from scratch to check the new system in the 1-85 level range instead of focusing in the new content. For all we know, some of the classes may be broken at mid level areas.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southy2010 View Post
    Turbine is making the game easier for new players to transition from other MMO's.
    Maybe that will be one of the outcomes for it, but that's not the primary reason. The current system is quite broken and doesn't scale well. For the long term health of LOTRO it either needed to be rewritten or Turbine has to keep applying band-aids regularly. I'm glad they finally decided on the former. To be honest it was way overdue.
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  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyveil View Post
    Maybe that will be one of the outcomes for it, but that's not the primary reason. The current system is quite broken and doesn't scale well. For the long term health of LOTRO it either needed to be rewritten or Turbine has to keep applying band-aids regularly. I'm glad they finally decided on the former. To be honest it was way overdue.
    This!

    I am glad that this is being addressed. I hated the yo-yoing of skills as they tried to balance things (landscape, instance, raid, and pvp). Hunters for example would be like nuclear bombs for a couple weeks, then like little kittens for a couple more, and so forth until things got all balanced. Legendary skills like BotR are pointless above 60...
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/032020000000bd0ff/signature.png]Aidus[/charsig]

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  25. #25
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    For me the success of the skill tree will depend on whether it's fun for me *and* whether it makes sense to me. The "makes sense" is important to me, and it's also why I'd like to see the legendary weapon system scrapped.

    The skill tree system used in EVE-Online makes sense to me: you learn skills, which may be prerequisites for other skills. There are more skills than anyone can learn. Once you've learned a skill, you don't forget it unless you screw up badly in extremely avoidable ways. You make decisions about what you want to be from the very beginning, and you can become very good at a narrow but very useful range of skills in a short time, but you can't reallocate those skill points.

    What wouldn't make sense to me is sitting down and assigning a bunch of points to give myself a totally different skill set, temporarily forgetting some of what I've learned. I can see not having access to some learned skills unless you're prepared -- for example, if you don't have flammable oil you can't shoot fire arrows; if you don't have special arrows you can't do rain of thorns.

    But it doesn't make sense to me to wait until a lull in the combat and say "OK, now I know how to do rain of thorns for this next boss, but I can no longer afford to know how to set a bear trap." Customization is good, but it should be persistent.
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