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  1. #1
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    A letter from Executive Producer Kate Paiz - Looking Ahead to 2014

    Hello!
    The year is almost at an end -- and what a year it has been! Our sixth year was a very exciting one for us, and I wanted to take a moment to share some thoughts about 2013, and then, of course, talk about what’s coming up for 2014.

    One thing I had hoped, when penning this letter last year, was that at the end of 2013 I would be able to write about the great changes we’d made to housing. But, as you are aware, we had to delay the bigger housing changes we have been working on to 2014. We had some very good discussions with the Player’s Council about what we should include in the housing revamp and there are a lot of excellent ideas out there. It takes time to develop those ideas into good, fun housing features, and while we could have rushed something out just to say we’d done it, instead we decided to take more time and make more meaningful changes. We will continue our conversation around housing with the Player’s Council, and I look forward to giving you an update later in 2014.

    The release of Helm’s Deep was definitely a high point of the year for me! The new Epic Battles system allows us to explore momentous parts of the story and the Class Revamp gives us richer character development in the future. We know the class changes were dramatic, but we feel the game is in a much better state now because of them. Looking forward, balancing the class changes in both PvE and PvMP will be a focus for us, and Update 12.1 will be the first of many updates that address those balance concerns.
    Another set of great moments in the year for me were when I got to meet with members of the Player’s Council and listen to their thoughts. We have a great group that has worked very hard to bring your concerns to our attention, make suggestions and provide invaluable feedback on a number of projects. I really appreciate their perspective and participation, and I thank them very much for sharing their time with us! At our last meeting, I discussed with them a broad outline of our plans for 2014 and I’d like to share that plan with all of you.

    “Take a break from expansions”

    We’ve heard a lot of you suggest we take a break from the annual expansion cycle, and we agree! We’d like to take the time to revisit some older systems, add more region content, and just generally have more Middle-earth to explore throughout the year. When the Players Council last visited, we asked them what they thought of a year that focused on more content and more opportunities to refine and improve existing systems. They echoed the sentiment we’d heard from many of you and were unanimous in their support. They were also very passionate on one point; VIPs should get this new content for free. (Again, we agree!)

    More Content, More Often – Free for VIP.

    In the past we’ve focused on yearly expansion packs that brought big changes and lots of new content at the end of the year coupled with smaller updates throughout the year and a new region in the spring. In 2014 we’re going to focus on a steady flow of content throughout the year. We’re planning on adding new content on a quarterly basis in 2014. Players have expressed a desire to explore a bit deeper into Fangorn Forest and to see Isengard flooded in the battle with the Ents. Both of these are slated for our first quarterly update in March.
    Later in the year we’ll be seeing more iconic locales and moments from the lore including the Paths of the Dead and the Dead Marshes. We will also take our first steps in Gondor!
    If you’re a VIP, these regions and content will all be free with your subscription.

    Inventory and Bag Space

    We know you can never have enough bag space when you’re out adventuring and inventory management and control can almost be its own mini-game at times. We think it’s time to take a new look at inventory in LOTRO and see where we can make improvements. Please share any thoughts you have on what works or what doesn’t work for you regarding inventory here !

    Festivals and Events

    We’ll continue to develop our festivals, new and old, and add more events for you to participate in throughout the year. If there are any festivals or events you’d really like to see us build, please let us know on the forums! A thread for Festival suggestions is here .

    Housing

    As I said earlier, Housing is still high on our list of objectives for the year, and the conversation thread can be found here. We’ll be talking more about this throughout the year.

    We are working on one more secret surprise, but I won’t do more than tease its existence now, other than to say that the class changes have made it possible for us to consider making a new addition to the game… which we will talk about later in the year.

    I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season, and I am so excited to start 2014 off strong and have another great year with you! I wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best in 2014.

    See you in game!
    Kate Paiz, Executive Producer, The Lord of the Rings Online
    Last edited by Sapience; Dec 17 2013 at 03:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Hmmm, wonder if the surprise is the racial traits revamp ive been hearing about

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    We are working on one more secret surprise, but I won’t do more than tease its existence now, other than to say that the class changes have made it possible for us to consider making a new addition to the game… which we will talk about later in the year.
    New class? New creep class?
    Arda Shrugged:Elendilstone

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by oaceen View Post
    Hmmm, wonder if the surprise is the racial traits revamp ive been hearing about

    That would be...racist....

  5. #5
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    WOOT!!!! New areas and revamping older areas sound awesome!!!!! Thank you, Kate!!!

  6. #6
    For the first time in the last 2 years I feel excited about this game. I am hoping that this break from expansions and pushing more content will lead to some good things for us raiding kins. Whether new raids or scaled raids (or I hope some of both). That we can finally do something that requires us to put some effort into our characters and not just face roll everything.
    BlainVM-Champ 95 Urthirean-Hunter 95
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  7. #7
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    Oct 2010
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    Hoping that some of these quarterly updates include som classic raids
    Not dissing on Epic Battles but still, some classic instanced content would be awesome!
    There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad. -J.R.R. Tolkien

  8. #8
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    It could be a racial trait revamp or perhaps classes not bound to race or legendary weapon revamp build on a trait tree form? who knows..

    I am enthusiastic about the quarterly content updates (Free for VIPs) and the housing changes but I still hope 2014 might also bring the much desired Kinship revamp.. one can always keep their hopes up, no?


    Thanks Kate for the little insight!

    Leader of "The Gnomes" of Evernight.
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  9. #9
    Its nice that the Producer's letter contained some substance this time round and that people who are interested in housing, festivals, and landscape content are being well looked after.

    However I see no mention of instance/raid based content. Could Turbine perhaps comment if there is anything on the roadmap for 2014 in terms of raid/instances? A simple yes/no would be fine.

  10. #10
    Now that is more like it! As much as I enjoy expansions, I think a steady stream of content and adding more regional content is even better. Seeing new areas added as well as filling out and revisiting the older parts of the game world are what I am looking forward to the most. Excited to see what the big surprise is and I am glad that you have decided to put off the housing update so it is released in a more complete state....we have a few too many unfinished things already lol I am very excited, it's a Christmas miracle! :-)

  11. #11
    I'm all for new content and revamping. But honestly, the real thing that needs to be fixed are bugs that hinder game play.

    1) Crashes. Ranging from memory leaks to being in Helms Deep
    2) Spawn Lag. Really noticeable in Lonely Mountain instance when sorcerers summon their cats
    3) Surrounding room textures not loading. At some point, I'll stop seeing the next room's textures in an instance.

    4) Downloading of loading screens for every language every time I launch the game. I know this is minor, but it's become slower ever since the power outage and it's just unnecessary.

    With no expansion coming next year, now is the time to truly get the game in solid shape and squash these bugs.

  12. #12
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    I can't even begin to express how happy I am to go back to Fangorn and explore more!

    But, equal is my disappointment at the lack of anything regarding instances and raids. I really hope Big Battles aren't the permanent replacement to instances.

  13. #13
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    Mar 2010
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    I am glad LOTRO is embracing the unofficial motto where I work: "Lets get better before we get bigger!" It has stood us in good stead for quite a while.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    “Take a break from expansions”
    We’ve heard a lot of you suggest we take a break from the annual expansion cycle, and we agree! We’d like to take the time to revisit some older systems, add more region content, and just generally have more Middle-earth to explore throughout the year. When the Players Council last visited, we asked them what they thought of a year that focused on more content and more opportunities to refine and improve existing systems. They echoed the sentiment we’d heard from many of you and were unanimous in their support. They were also very passionate on one point; VIPs should get this new content for free. (Again, we agree!)

    More Content, More Often – Free for VIP.
    In the past we’ve focused on yearly expansion packs that brought big changes and lots of new content at the end of the year coupled with smaller updates throughout the year and a new region in the spring. In 2014 we’re going to focus on a steady flow of content throughout the year. We’re planning on adding new content on a quarterly basis in 2014. Players have expressed a desire to explore a bit deeper into Fangorn Forest and to see Isengard flooded in the battle with the Ents. Both of these are slated for our first quarterly update in March.
    Later in the year we’ll be seeing more iconic locales and moments from the lore including the Paths of the Dead and the Dead Marshes. We will also take our first steps in Gondor!
    This is brilliant news. Just plain fantastic. I am drained by the annual reset/grind and the thought that the effort I'm putting in right now on six characters (ten if including creeps) is going to last perhaps two years is really energising. I had been contemplating not leveling all my toons. Now I know I will.

    More iconic regions to explore, more depth to the content rather than thinly-spread breadth. Great news.
    [CENTER]Tarmas Elf Champion R13 | Tarmeg Elf Guardian R6 | Tarmil 95 Elf Warden | Tarmun Elf Hunter R6 | Tarmot Elf Minstrel R6 | Tarmyr Elf Loremaster R6
    Strawn Reaver R6 | Strawz Warg R6 | Strawk Blackarrow R6 | Strawx Warleader R6 | Strawb Defiler R6 | Strawt Weaver R6[/CENTER]

  15. #15
    Join Date
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    570
    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post

    “Take a break from expansions”

    We’ve heard a lot of you suggest we take a break from the annual expansion cycle, and we agree! We’d like to take the time to revisit some older systems, add more region content, and just generally have more Middle-earth to explore throughout the year. When the Players Council last visited, we asked them what they thought of a year that focused on more content and more opportunities to refine and improve existing systems. They echoed the sentiment we’d heard from many of you and were unanimous in their support. They were also very passionate on one point; VIPs should get this new content for free. (Again, we agree!)

    More Content, More Often – Free for VIP.

    In the past we’ve focused on yearly expansion packs that brought big changes and lots of new content at the end of the year coupled with smaller updates throughout the year and a new region in the spring. In 2014 we’re going to focus on a steady flow of content throughout the year. We’re planning on adding new content on a quarterly basis in 2014. Players have expressed a desire to explore a bit deeper into Fangorn Forest and to see Isengard flooded in the battle with the Ents. Both of these are slated for our first quarterly update in March.
    Later in the year we’ll be seeing more iconic locales and moments from the lore including the Paths of the Dead and the Dead Marshes. We will also take our first steps in Gondor!
    If you’re a VIP, these regions and content will all be free with your subscription.
    Interesting this is being done next year...

  16. #16
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    I keep hoping they will include some more changes on the cosmetics side, things like cosmetic options for shields and weapons. I would think it would be fairly easy to add a cosmetic slot in the legendary weapons. Also new hair styles some longer styles with braids for elves and Rohan!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Housing
    As I said earlier, Housing is still high on our list of objectives for the year, and the conversation thread can be found here . We’ll be talking more about this throughout the year.
    Link is missing. Look forward to really reading the letter in greater depth when I have a bit more time, seems like some good things coming.

  18. #18
    please do something about the kinship... there's a lot of things that can be done with a good kinship system! ^^ don't let be a kinship only a box of gamers!
    [charsig=http://lotrosigs.level3.turbine.com/222190000000930dd/01008/signature.png]undefined[/charsig]

  19. #19
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    So the rest of the year will be spent fixing the HD expansion.
    [url=http://www.siglaunch.com/sigs/index.php][img]http://www.siglaunch.com/sigs/any/5/4/9/0/0/5654900bzdgw.png[/img][/url]

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Hello!
    We are working on one more secret surprise, but I won’t do more than tease its existence now, other than to say that the class changes have made it possible for us to consider making a new addition to the game… which we will talk about later in the year.
    A new creep class? If so i REALLY would love to see this ( https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...orgul-Sorcerer ) added to the game.
    "[...] I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend: [...]"

  21. #21
    YES! Take a break from expansions! Give us smaller little updates more often. Take that extra time and just improve the game on all fronts. Small things like having the same icon for certain things (looking at you Emerald Shards) to big things like 12 mans not working properly adds up to be a lot.

    Holy ####, I'm actually really excited at the thought of having things look at as a whole. Having things changed to be fresh and new and have things work more and possibly even better! This will also give people a chance to level alts without burning themselves out!

    I really, really, really do think you would could get some of the old players back, keep current ones and wrangle in some new ones to boot with this idea of looking back at old content.

    This time off will also give you guys time to go and think how to makes instances more engaging and jaw dropping. Helm's Deep is a beautiful expansion but Moria instances are the best laid out and detailed runs I've experienced in the game. I went running through URU and CD the other day and was just floored to feel the open, massive run that is. It feels DREADFUL which is good. Like you are out numbered, like things are really bad for the my character in the story.

    Rohan is really pretty and is good in it's own right but I don't get that sense of impending doom that Angmar and Moria brought.

    Give us more interesting quests! Or redo old quests to give them a fresh feel. As I've always said, the game is here to serve the story and not the other way around. So I get why my toon is doing a lot of menial tasks to serve the story but I think you should approach quests and instances as you would write a story. Build the base of the quests, step back and look at it and ask yourself "what can I do to put a fun unique twist to this?"

    Solo play is great but I really do feel we are headed to a solo exclusive game. I don't mind a happy medium here but right now it feels solo heavy.

    For new content, we NEED more challenging content when you guys do come around to making new areas and content. 12 BB isn't an easy task but I could see that being cracked sooner than past instances/raids. We are really strong now as classes and we need content to reflect this (I know you know this) so instead of nerfing us (which is the wrong way to go because NO ONE wants to feel like they haven't gained an improvement with new content) so bring new content to match our abilities. This games needs to lure back those hardcore raiders that I feel have left due to the shift in solo/easy content. NO 1st age symbols in skirm camp! I rarely get a 1st ager and I think that this shouldn't be that easy to get high end gear.

    But getting back to what started this long winded post, PLEASE take a break and look at old content, systems and mechanics. Refine them, tweak them, make them better and I think word of mouth will be strong from the players because this will show to everyone that you care about the game as a whole and not just pumping out new content for money. And the time off will give you time to creatively recharge your batteries!

  22. #22
    “Take a break from expansions”[/B]
    We’d like to take the time to revisit some older systems, add more region content, and just generally have more Middle-earth to explore throughout the year. VIPs should get this new content for free. - Awesome and double awesome!



    More Content, More Often – Free for VIP.

    We’re planning on adding new content on a quarterly basis in 2014. Players have expressed a desire to explore a bit deeper into Fangorn Forest and to see Isengard flooded in the battle with the Ents. Both of these are slated for our first quarterly update in March.
    Later in the year we’ll be seeing more iconic locales and moments from the lore including the Paths of the Dead and the Dead Marshes. We will also take our first steps in Gondor!
    If you’re a VIP, these regions and content will all be free with your subscription. - Wooo, so exciting!

    Inventory and Bag Space
    Great, don't make it cost the earth though please, the housing storage costs way over the top when you can't even access it unless you go into your house. This should be added to shared account space in the vault and the vault should be accessible from home.


    Festivals and Events
    - really not got many suggestions - perhaps some more racially themed celebrations?

    Housing

    We’ll be talking more about this throughout the year. - it was disappointing to only have the storage space added, plus the bug that lost me most of my trophies and dyes that never returned I'm hoping for a lot here, way overdue.

    We are working on one more secret surprise - ooh! ooh! I like surprises! Can't wait!

    I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season, and I am so excited to start 2014 off strong and have another great year with you! I wish you all a Happy New Year and all the best in 2014.
    - The same to everybody involved in the production and maintenance of LOTRO - especially to Rick Heaton, who has done a wonderful, wonderful thing with the Extra Life fundraising

  23. #23
    Sapience and Kate Paiz, thanks for the letter and sharing us with your plans for the new year .

    But alot of players want to know if this year we will see some new raids (instance), and i dont mean for more Big Battles raid group contect, but real raids like Too OD BG and etc.
    I loved what i read on the letter and i agree with most of it, but i feel like this piece of information is really important to me and other players as well.
    I hope you can shed some light on it so we will know what to expect this year.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Fist off, thank you very much for giving an outlook on what's ahead for the game.

    This is actually what I was hoping to hear about the plans for next year, more content through the year without sticking it all into an expansion. The part about adding more locations from The Lord of the Rings books has me excited, I would love to be able to explore more of Middle Earth that has yet to be touched. The festivals do need a bit of an update and more of them would be a nice change, I will try to add some feedback in the thread. I just hope with this new change in direction that there will be some upgrades to the Lotro engine to make it run better, maybe going back over the zones will do that.

    Bugs/issues aside I am, overall, very pleased with Lord of the Rings Online. Been here since 2007, Lifetime Membership, so I plan to be here until the end.
    "Yet it is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." Gandalf the White [J.R.R. Tolkien]

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Any news on the upcoming "Month of the Kinship"??

    I was present in that dev chat, long ago, and still no kinship revamp...
    *Landroval*
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    **Evernight**
    Fearmur 65 Minstrel, Arliriel 65 Loremaster, Amather 65 Captain, Ordvald 65 Warden

 

 
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