Also, I've been wandering around with that stupid huorn for several days visiting everything possible and he doesn't seem to give me any more quests, but he's clearly not done. Occasionally he'll do his little potty dance trying to get my attention but no rings appear no matter how I try and inch around there to help out. And by the way, there's a number of us that think the huorn's animation looks like a 5 y/o doing a potty dance - whether that's what you intended or not.
Last edited by Beaniemooch; Apr 19 2014 at 03:11 PM.
[CENTER]I'd explain it to you, but I'm all out of Puppets and Crayons.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Moochy, 100 Minstrel R10 ~ Barloren, 100 LM R5 ~ Teelara, 100 Cappy ~ The Storm Crusaders[/CENTER]
That said, we're also aware that there may be a bug that some players are seeing as well. Both of these are being looked into (fixing the bug and finding out why the quests are confusing some players).
One small clarification, question #3 was about Hobnanigans. In case anyone thought it was about the dev team or something else.
Also, I spoke with Jinjaah this morning and I was correct. we haven't made any secret of the fact that The Ettenmoors is intended as a many v many space. Even Kelsan had commented on it in the past. It's definitely not intended to be balanced for 1v1. It's designed for group fights.
Last edited by Sapience; Apr 22 2014 at 11:54 AM.
EDIT: As Sapience has edited the post above to reply to this, I feel the best way to respond would be to follow suit. While its evident that the Ettenmoors has always been intended as group play, rather than solo play, I do not believe that this design reflects the preferences of the long term and high rank Ettenmoors players, on my server at the very least. I would suggest that in the search for the elusive 'balance' the first logical step would be to make each class a match for the others, and thus the next step, of making them equal in a group setting, would be made easier.
Last edited by Tirian-Hammerfist; Apr 22 2014 at 12:07 PM.
There are many players who DO like the style of play found in the Moors.
Hence the Ettemoors would NOT be for for them if its play style were changed.
Change the Moors to be both? That would be yet a third style of play -- think spies sabotaging the efforts of group raids.
LOTRO does not and has never supported PvP; only PvMP, and to try to modify that is to completely change the game. There are many other games out there which support the desired play-style. PvMP differentiates LOTRO from other MMOs.
Bill Magill - Mac Player - Old Timers Guild- Gladden:
Valamar: Dwarf Hunter - Level 100
Valdicta: Dwarf Rune-keeper - Level 100
Valanne: Beorning - Level 80
Just want to give you guys an update in case you've been looking for the Imladris transcript - it will be coming, probably along with the Sirannon one, sometime this weekend. I've had something personal come up yesterday afternoon that has taken me completely away from the game and the forums probably for a day or two. I apologize for any inconvenience.
Q&A Hobbits to Isengard - Imladris
Please note: I am paraphrasing here. Anything said here is coming through my interpretation of what was said, and is subject to being corrected, so don't take all this as the final word.
If anyone who was present has any additions or corrections, feel free to post.
Q&A Hobbits to Isengard - Imladris
Video available here.
- Would it be possible to change festival mounts and war-steed appearances to be bound to account
He was talking to jwbarry today about players having to wait a year to get things like that if they miss it the first time, and they don’t really want to rely on that kind of mechanic moving forward. They want to maybe make it a bit easier for people who like to collect things. While not specific to festival mounts or the question asked, there was a conversation about it so this type of thing is being considered.
- Question about flower recipes for Steel Blue Dye
He knows it’s being discussed, but doesn’t have any information on what will happen with it.
- Why can fireworks still be set off on the Bree stage despite Serious Business being in effect
He doesn’t know if that’s intended functionality, or if it’s a bug. He can imagine there are probably some RP situations where players might want to use fireworks in that area. He recommends bugging it, and if it’s not intended the devs will take a look at it.
- Question about Entwood barter prices
This is another thing that’s being discussed, but which he has no information on beyond that it’s being looked at.
- What was today’s maintenance for
Maintenance is exactly what it sounds like. Usually some sort of back end systems maintenance, or updating the network switches or firmware, updating server OS, database patching or other non-game related system maintenance. Mainly the kind of thing you’d do on your home PC from time to time – applying updates and patches, things like that, at the system level not the game level. So when they say “maintenance” you shouldn’t expect hotfixes, patches, new content or anything like that which might change the game. It’s strictly on the hardware itself.
- Any more thought on getting Turbine folk to pronounce Middle Earth names
He’s been so busy he hasn’t had time to think about it further, but he can think of a few people he’d like to try that with. He’s going to think about it later this week, and see if he can’t arrange some recordings, hopefully on camera.
- Will the next level cap raise of 5 levels be accompanied by a new crafting tier
He doesn’t know, it’s too soon to tell. That type of thing will be discussed as we get closer to the time.
- How excited are you for the new class
He’s very excited about it. He’s known for awhile what it will be. He put in his 2 cents when options were being discussed, and felt that this class was the obvious choice based on player feedback and the overwhelming sentiment of “we would like to see this in-game,” and he was really happy that it was the path they chose to go down. He’ll play one.
- Are you enjoying the chips
Someone sent him “the world’s most expensive bag” of chicken and waffle flavoured potato chips priority mail from Ohio. Anyone who knows him knows he loves all things “chicken and waffle.” He hasn’t opened them yet. He’s going to bring them home and have them while he’s watching Arrow.
- Any class only quests as levels continue to increase
He thinks that would be a great question for the content team. Since none of them seem to be in the office at the moment, he’s going to defer to a later date on that one.
- What do you think was the most positive aspect or influence of working with last year’s Players Council
Multiple attachments in email was pretty good. That and probably just really helping to bring the concept of working with a core group of players to the company as a whole. He thinks probably their best achievement is that DDO now has a Players Council, there is an additional year for the LotRO council. And frankly they are seeing really positive things internally coming from this, in terms of the quality of feedback that they’re getting from the group, and expect to get from next year’s council. A smaller group of players like that lets them have more open communication with that group, which helps things too.
A lot of people don’t know, but Rowan actually was involved with the formation of the first council before he went over to DDO. Now that he’s back, he’s already jumped in with the 2014 group, who are already hard at work even before they’ve officially announced them. So he thinks that’s one of the biggest achievements – that it’s proven its worth and value internally, which results in really good things for the players externally in the long run, even if some of the things aren’t seen straight out.
- Question about checks and balances on the council
That is not anything the council even represents. It’s way outside its goal and purpose and to have something like checks and balances and veto powers are so far outside the realm of the concept that they aren’t even a consideration, honestly.
- Question about design-a-cloak contest
He still really wants to do it but a lot of other things are coming up. He thinks he’s pretty much got the team sold on his idea for a cosmetic pet, which he’s not going to talk about until he’s certain it’s going to happen, but it’s going to be a community-only cosmetic pet, he hopes.
- Question about account-wide gear and cosmetics
There is a lot to consider, especially when moving from a per character item to an account-wide one. The value proposition changes. When you’re talking about a store cosmetic, you’re increasing the value dramatically but you probably can’t increase the price as dramatically. There are a lot of factors to consider. Also rarity of colour, intention of rarity on the part of the devs for certain cosmetics and appearances. So that tends to conflict with the idea of an account-wide item, especially when rarity is part of the devs’ intent.
- Screenshot of the week seems buggy, where to I submit a bug report
Not sure what is seeming buggy, but there is no way to submit a bug report for that. If you mean that the screenshots take a long time to appear, that is because they are manually approved before they appear and that only happens a few times a day. Unfortunately there are some people who like to submit some… ‘interesting’ …screenshots.
- What do you mean by community-only
Something that can only be gotten via some sort of community participation, not in-game. Whether that be through a live meet and greet event, or a Twitter event, a Facebook event, screenshot contest, etc. Sort of like The Sociable title, or The Wise, or The Well Met. Although The Well Met is a lot narrower in focus than those other two examples.
- Suggestion of a Well Met title for creepside
He will think about that one, he thinks it’s interesting.
- Question about the “entering shallow water” dismount bug
He has no information on that.
- Do you have an opening position for an IT student from Turkey
He hasn’t looked at the job board in awhile. But here’s where you can go to see all the open positions.
- Wouldn’t the creep equivalent of “Well Met” be “Well Et”
(laughs) Not sure whether that means that it’s you being eaten or not.
- Question about balance and upcoming level increases
The same team that is doing the level cap increases is doing the balance so he’s sure they’re well aware and considering everything.
- With the round of official invites having expired, will there be a second round of invites
They intentionally over-invited so that there wouldn’t be a need for that. They have enough people even though about a half dozen invited people didn’t respond.
- Question about level cap increases
Level cap increases, stuff that’s further out in the year, all of that is too far out for him to discuss now. When things get closer those discussions can start to happen.
- Is the red skeleton steed only available from certain level lootboxes
No, it’s not a level-specific item
- Any news on the lottery system
YES! The previous lottery system no longer exists, and will not be returning. However, he’s supposed to be having a sit-down later this week with a couple of engineers to talk about bringing in an entirely new system. One that works better and functions more like a lottery and less like a raffle. It won’t be out anytime soon, but as long as the scope doesn’t get too crazy they are talking about building a new one.
The old system was terribly named because it was more of a raffle – you’d enter and then the system would go in and pick a winner from those who entered. Instead of like a lottery where you’ve got a number and then people who are assigned numbers, and if the two match, you have a winner. There is a slight possibility based on discussions so far that it may function more like a lever pull, but the whole lottery thing is just a really broad discussion at this point. But a discussion will be taking place on what a new lottery should be, how it should function, etc.
- Question about housing and major improvements to housing
Rowan made it pretty clear in his producer’s letter, so if you have questions he recommends reading that. But there is not a major housing change coming this year.
- Question about the lever pull approach for the lottery, comparing it to hobbit presents
The functionality wouldn’t really be any different than the previous raffle system. You’d either win or not, and you’d just know right away rather than having to wait 4 or 8 or whatever hours to find out. Once you’d had your lever pull on that lottery, you’d either win or you don’t. The end results would basically be the same with no waiting. The primary difference is that with the previous system, if there were say 1,000 winners per world, that’s great if almost no one enters, because then most people will win. But if almost everyone enters, then the winning pool becomes very small. So depending on the number of entries, your odds change. Whereas with a straight lottery your odds would never change.
Also keep in mind the lottery system exists completely outside the game. Comparing the two it could be argued, how are hobbit gifts any different from the lottery? The only real difference is that with hobbit presents you can get extra pulls for a cost, whereas with the new system you would not be able to buy more pulls.
With the old system another big issue was that when they’d post a higher valued item, they’d inevitably get a ton of entries, so people’s chances of winning would plummet.
- Question about the new class
Not going to be talking about that until it gets closer to the time. Any conversations will be happening with the Players Council first, then it will go to Palantir, and then to the larger community.
- Question about Palantir vs DDOs discontinued program
They are different programs serving different needs – different games run by different teams – so any comparison is pointless.
- How did washing out the beard dye go
It went well. At first he wasn’t sure it was going to come out, but it eventually did, and thankfully didn’t color anything else. His bathtub is still white. ?
- Define ‘active’ in Player Council terms
Based on Turbine’s definitions and specifications, and what they require. If you’ve been on the PC for four months and haven’t posted, played or done anything, you will be removed. That’s one thing that is changing this year. Also, if they remove one person that doesn’t mean they will be adding another. They wanted to have between 30 and 50 people for this council, and they have more than 50 right now.
- Has any consideration been given to offering other ways to acquire the huorn pets
There have been no discussions about that.
- Are you working on another Bullroarer installer
Yes, they are. He doesn’t know when it will be available. They’re actually working on an entirely new installer that uses Akami, it’s just not done that. Since there’s nothing on Bullroarer right now it’s not that important from a player standpoint. He doesn’t know what the projected time for that new installer is.
- What about the live installer
Same answer – he doesn’t have a date.
- What if a group decided to take a casual stroll to Isengard instead of a run
There isn’t really a cap on time, although after 3 hours or so it would probably be a lost cause because he’s not sure he could sit in a chair for 3 hours doing this. Maybe.
- Appreciation and congratulations to The Triple Gryphon Confederacy and the Northern Kingdom – two kinships that helped with the run – and everyone else who helped with the run.
- Question about getting previously mentioned rare titles and items back in-game
He did have a broad conversation about this recently and some of it is going to require dev work, which will of course get prioritized behind other things, so he doesn’t have a timeline on this yet. But he does have a bunch of requests in that are now official ‘on the books’ type requests, so we’ll see where we end up and how fast we’ll get there.
- Who is the guy with the blue shirt behind you
He’s a member of the QA team.
- When is the next update
The next update is 13.1, but he doesn’t have a date for that one yet. He can’t really speak to what will be in it yet, but point releases tend to be small – bugfixes, etc.
- Any plans to turn Evendim lake into jello
No, but he loves the idea. It would be like the world’s largest bouncy castle.
- If you could have any recipe added to the game in the next update, what would it be
Probably some cold-water seafood from Forochel. Chicken and waffles would be great, but not terribly lore-appropriate.
- Have you ever had frog legs
He has, and he really enjoyed it. That and gator tail, escargot – he’s tried it all and enjoyed it. He’s also had conch, and urchin. He’s never had grasshopper, but he’s tried ants, worms, scorpion – scorpion was kind of funky. He’s had snake, boar, bear, deer, bison (which isn’t that unusual) – that’s most of the unusual foods he’s had.
- Have you gotten any new model planes
No – he’s kind of reached maximum occupancy in his loft
And also thanks for doing this.
What you do shows people who would never be able to make it to the runs able to see them, and this greatly benefits the attitude that players have because they feel like Turbine is answering questions. Questions that they would never hear about it without your write ups.
This really helps the community
Withywindle characters-Caesaran (warden), Dernudan (Lore master)
Brandywine characters- Dernudan (champion), Denthur (guardian), Delphinianic(captain)
My partner and I have a couple of parrots as well, and I just get sick whenever anything happens to them. One of ours got nipped on the toe by another bird we were fostering and started bleeding. I freaked out so bad and wound up running all over our town trying to find an avian vet who was open. And that was for what was basically just a scratch. So I can only imagine how harrowing the last week has been for you!
[b][SIZE=3][COLOR="#FFFFFF"]Cainwen Ciaphas[/COLOR][/SIZE][/b][COLOR="#C3C3C3"], Captain of Crickhollow, [url=http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Literature/CiaphasCain]HERO OF MIDDLE EARTH[/url]!!!
[i]I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered![/i] My opinions are my own![/color]
However, It will never be vice versa.
Most of the action that takes place in the ettenmoors, and always has taken place has not actually been raid battles.
Probably more than 80% of the fighting that occurs on any given server won't top more than 10 people at any given time outside of prime time (which is probably on average around 2 hours, maxing out at around 4. All out of every 24 that happens in a day).
Let's try to stay on topic, shall we?
Q&A Hobbits to Isengard - Sirannon
Please note: I am paraphrasing here. Anything said here is coming through my interpretation of what was said, and is subject to being corrected, so don't take all this as the final word.
If anyone who was present has any additions or corrections, feel free to post.
Q&A Hobbits to Isengard - Sirannon
Video available here.
Guest for this run - EP Aaron "Rowan" Campbell
- Do you know if any of the new Players Council members are from France
The new council has been announced, they’ve been hard at work already a day before the announcement was made, and he believes there are two members from France.
- Any news on U13.1 date
No solid date yet, but it’s looking like probably early May as long as nothing unexpected comes up.
- Question about maps in the new zones for French and German players
Yes, they were supposed to be in the final build for U13 but they didn’t make it. The team is aware of it and they will get them out there as soon as possible.
- Question/comment about a specific bug
Make a bug report, even if you’re not 100% sure it’s a bug, and be as descriptive as you can so that the team can reproduce the issue. Screenshots also help.
- When will you have more news on the Beorning
He can’t answer that. Major things like that tend to be discussed much closer to the time they’re released.
- Why was the cosmetic pet based on RNG drop
That’s just the mechanic for this particular pet. It was largely used as a test to see how players receive the whole concept of cosmetic pets, and it seems they’ve been received very very well. There will be more ways to acquire different pets, but they are meant to be a reward for hard work. Everyone wants the rare thing because it’s rare, but not everyone can have the rare thing or it wouldn’t be rare anymore.
- Question about 2013 Players Council NDA
The 2013 council was released from their NDA and can talk about their work with the Council, with two exceptions. Those who went to the Turbine officers are under a separate NDA, because walking around the offices, you may see or hear things that are not related to DDO, LotRO or Infinite Crisis, or that aren’t to be made public yet. They haven’t been released from that NDA and so can’t talk about their experiences at the offices. The 2013 council have also been asked not to talk too much about the Beorning yet, and there wasn’t a lot said about it anyway. [FYI, people are asking questions of the 2013 council in this forum thread - Frick]
- Question about the cries and shouts that were tested on Bullroarer for various classes, and whether they will be used in some other way
Not to the best of his knowledge. They were held back because they were not well received by players. If the team does find an appropriate place to use them he thinks they’d do that. As for the suggestion that they be made into emotes, he recommends posting that as a suggestion in the forums.
- Question about Dev Diaries
There were only two for the past update, because they’re shifting a bit over into the video approach like the tour they did for U13. There will still be some things that stay as text, but there will be more of a mix. MadeOfLions dev diaries will likely stay as they are, since they work so well in that format.
- Recommendation of great resources for French LotRO players.
- Question about whether loot mechanics or drop rates will be changing
To the best of his knowledge there have been no discussions about that among the team, so he’s going to say probably no.
- Sapience mentions that from where he’s sitting, he can see Aaron at his desk, playing LotRO. He’s not close enough to quite see where he’s at or what class he’s playing. There’s a whiteboard partially blocking the screen so it’s hard for him to tell.
- Has there been any thought to racial quests for elves, and the call to the sea or Valinor
Interesting question, good idea. He encourages the suggestion be posted in the forums. It’s a ways off and a bit outside of what they’d presage in terms of what quests or what type of quests will get included in future content. That’s the type of thing they tend to talk about much closer to the release of said content.
- What content are you most looking forward to playing as a Beorning
Probably the Trollshaws because it seems like a natural setting for a Beorning. That or Moria – that would be a blast.
- Question about adding difficulty levels to Big Battles
Technically there are already difficulty levels to those. The difficulty is in completing the tasks and doing a better job of them all as you go through them. You’re rated on your performance, so the tier system is there but not quite the same.
- Do you play DDO
He’s played it from time to time, but he generally doesn’t have a huge amount of time and what time he does have for MMOs he tends to spend on LotRO, or on trying out different games. He used to play a lot of pen and paper D&D as well, but not much time in his schedule for stuff like that lately.
- Of all the zones that were revamped, what’s your favourite
Probably Moria, because now he can get through more quickly and there’s not as much back and forth. The darkness tends to get to him after awhile, too.
- Can we get Bullroarer added to the official standings
He thinks that’s a great idea, and he likes the “DNF due to Balrogs. 10 deaths.” line someone posted in chat, but he thinks 10 deaths is being kind. There were probably a lot more than that. For him that run was mostly about seeing really big legs, a “Do you want to revive” screen, and hearing Raina cackle.
- Is there an approximate release date for Gondor
Later. That’s the only answer we can get from him right now.
- Have you given any thought to a monthly Q&A session on Twitch
Yes, they have. To some extent these hobbit runs function that way, but they want to get a different vibe going on a semi-regular basis. Maybe something where there’s just a static screen up, they bring the devs in and just chat with us. They’re definitely going to be doing more livestreams like the one with Chris Martin when he revamped the inventory system. There have been some initial discussions about Hobnanigans, and maybe doing a couple of broadcasts of the games.
EP Aaron “Rowan” Campbell puts leveling his hobbit on hold to join the chat.
- What can you tell us about Beornings that you haven’t told us already
Rowan – The best part about Beornings for him right now is the massive amount of information and research he’s gotten from the Player Council regarding them.
Sapience – Yes, there’s already been an interesting thread about Beornings in the Players Council. They’ve already been put to work, even before the announcement was made. And they’ve not just posted about Beornings, but about other things they’re interested in talking about as well.
Rowan – One thing he can say about it, and he thinks he’s alluded to this in his producer’s letter, but they really view it as a mix of a race and a class, which makes it a unique thing, because of the racial characteristics that are specific to it, and the skills that they want to pair with that as well.
Sapience – Thinks that’s great because there have been questions about “Why are you calling it a class?” when it’s kind of a race, so that’s a great answer. Because Tolkien said he’s a man, but he’s also this other thing that is a little bit more than a man.
Rowan – The other part that they’re thinking about right now – part of the pitch for it – and this isn’t confirmed yet, is to start it at an advanced level, like level 50.
Sapience – Thinks this plays well into the “I’d like to play it through Moria” comment he made earlier.
Rowan – That’s kind of what they’re thinking, because the Beorning homeland is kind of between Dale and the Misty Mountains, so the Misty Mountains seem like a reasonable place to start.
- Sapience brings up the question about racial quests, and the Elves and the call to the sea, and the fact that we’re starting to get closer to more oceanic areas soon, and asks if Rowan has any thoughts on that
Rowan – Thinks that’s a great idea, might be something to pitch to MadeOfLions, if he wants to include variations in the epic quests, or if he wants to introduce something new as they build out those regions.
- We heard last chat that Fangorn barter prices were being discussed and might change, any update on that
Rowan– He hasn’t dug into that issue specifically. That’s kind of a combination of HoarseDev and jwbarry. He’ll follow up with them on it.
Sapience – Says he knew it was being discussed and wasn’t sure about what was happening with it. He’ll see if he can get an answer from HoarseDev on it and post it to the transcript thread when he has it.
- How many days did you grin when hearing you will return to LotRO
Rowan – Well, it’s been well over a month and he hasn’t stopped smiling, so he guesses that’s good.
- Can you give us any kind of rough estimate on how long of a heads up you had that you were coming back to LotRO, before the players heard
Rowan – About a week. It was a really fast process. They make changes and commit to them. He’d expected to come back for a long time, but the actual transition was a pretty short time-frame.
Sapience – Talking about Rowan coming back and how involved he is with LotRO on a player level, both now, and even before he left – one thing a lot of people don’t know is that he was part of the sounding board process when the Players Council concept was first being developed. He’d write something up and send it over to Rowan for feedback, so he doesn’t think most people realize at what level PC took shape, and how important it is to Turbine – wants Rowan to share his thoughts on that.
Rowan – He’s been a player with LotRO since 2006, and he’s run beta feedback since Mines of Moria, so it’s a long history with getting in and talking to people and getting connected with that, and the Players Council is just another way to pull together people to talk about what they’re doing. He even dropped in on the players who came to visit last year, even though he was working on another project, to make sure he could go out to dinner and make HoarseDev’s life difficult.
Sapience– That’s right, he recalls Rowan crashed the Players Council dinner. He’d forgotten about that. It’s interesting because he didn’t realize it until he just heard Rowan saying it, that he and Rowan came in roughly around the same time in terms of working on LotRO and being in front of players.
- Challenge, difficulty, balance – are you still working on that
Sapience – Knows they just did a pretty dramatic pass with regard to mitigations and stats, thinks right now the focus is on tweaking and fine-tuning that first.
Rowan – The change they made was the dramatic shift. You start out by tweaking in large pieces, and then you zero in gradually on the specifics. Specific classes, specific level bands, specific details. In addition this gives them a lot of opportunity to put effort and energy into making the items we find into something that is really valuable to us, because they will mitigate some of the difficulty and give us different options in how we want to build out our characters.
- Prior to LotRO were you a fan of Tolkien. If so, for how long and how did you start.
Rowan – He thinks he first read the trilogy 32 years ago – so he’ll let us guess what age he was – but he still has a collection that was his father’s, that has his name written on the end of it.
Sapience – He was probably 8 or 9 the first time he was introduced to the Hobbit, and then he was probably 10 or 12 when he read the Lord of the Rings, or started reading it. Since then he probably reads all four books every couple of years. And since then he’s written pretty much everything Tolkien wrote except some of the poetry and Beowulf, because he’s a horrible person and even when he had to read Beowulf he didn’t enjoy it, so he didn’t read his translation even though he’s been told it’s an excellent translation. His favourite Tolkien work is the letters, hearing him explain and express his sometimes shock about how successful the books were. It’s interesting and he recommends checking them out.
Rowan – Is open to admitting he got stuck in the Silmarillion, it was a tough read for him, but he does remember one plane trip where they were heading to GamesCon, and he was reading the Fellowship of the Ring and Jeffrey Steefel looked over at him and said, “This isn’t for work right now!” and he said, “Actually I’m reading it for fun!”
Sapience – That’s one thing that players may not know is that most of the people on the team do read the lore for fun, because they enjoy those works so much. Working on the project is something that as a little kid he could never have imagined he’d be in some way associated with this amazing thing that Tolkien wrote. And that’s probably true of everyone on the team.
Rowan – Absolutely it’s true of everyone on the team, without exception. And it’s also a selling point when people come to the team, that they can say, “You come here to work and you can think about Mordor, or Osgiliath, or Rohan.” These are not things you speak lightly.
Sapience – And around there, if you speak an opinion, you are going to get several back, and they will be as well-informed or more so than yours, in most cases, from a lore standpoint. He learned early in his career with LotRO that the worst thing that you could do is drag Libby and Pearson into a corner and say, “I have a question and I want your opinion on something,” because now you’ve just blown your whole lunch, and it will be an endless topic.
- Is the data that you’ve gathered on epic battles so far making it easier and faster for you to create new battles, and to fine-tune them, or is it still an onerous process to do anything involving creating or tuning an epic battle
Rowan – He thinks they’re really at a two-stage process on that. One is making quality of life tweaks and digging into some of the direct feedback they’ve had. Some of the most direct feedback has been that solos are too difficult, that the secondary events are not always balanced in a way that works well for solos, they work better for duos and groups. So that is their first avenue of attack. Following that, they will be building new ones, but he wants to take the time to think about the system as a whole, how it fits into skirmishes and classic raid instances. He’s not completely convinced these things need to be entirely separate. He thinks there’s a lot of room for overlap, and for just telling great stories.
- Can we hijack you and HoarseDev and jwbarry anytime soon for a livestream chat – just a roundtable discussion with players, with no hobbit run or feature tour
Rowan – Says Sapience should set the agenda and let them know.
Sapience – Says he’ll do that, and put that answer down as a yes.
- You’d mentioned in your producer’s letter that an epic battle is coming later this year. Can you tell us if there are any tech changes coming with that battle, or is it just going to be different setting, different battle
Rowan – The honest answer is that he just doesn’t know yet. There are some ambitious ideas – Army of the Dead – and he doesn’t yet know what direction they are going to take on it yet, he thinks they’re going to experiment.
Sapience – Sarcastic thanks to Rowan for the thousand new forum threads that will likely launch.
- Is that a description of the next battle, or a “we’re thinking about it”
Sapience – He thinks it’s just a “we’re thinking about it.”
Rowan – It’s just purely a “We’re thinking about it” which is why he didn’t describe it in more detail. They know they’re going to Pelargir, they know they’re going to touch on Aaragorn’s story, they’re still defining what manner they’re going to do that in.
Sapience – We don’t need 10,000 “Army of the Dead is the next epic battle!” posts. No, they’re thinking about it.
- Were there technical reasons why we didn’t actually see the flooding of Isengard when going through the epics, or was there some other reason
Rowan – He’d go with the tech and the art costs on that. They don’t really have a good system that would allow for water flow – they’d have to draw a lot of it and simulate a lot of it. But they wanted us to be able to experience being a part of that ent march and breaking in and so forth, so they tried to find the best compromise.
- Is the next epic battle going to require the completion of the first 5, or will it be something we can just jump right in even if we haven’t done the Helm’s Deep epic battles
Rowan – Good question. He doesn’t know yet. He expects it to be further down the story. The new Gondor regions they’re doing are all free to VIPs and are not gated behind Helm’s Deep, so his guess would be that it doesn’t require an expansion but he doesn’t think they’ve decided or defined it.
Sapience – Doesn’t think that was the question, he thinks it’s more like, when we want to do epic battle 6 will we have to have completed and participated in the previous 5.
Rowan – He doesn’t see any reason why you’d have to have participated in the Helm’s Deep epic battles to do the next one. Although it may be challenging. They’ll see how it goes.
- Spontaneous dynamic events throughout the world – something that could be added to LotRO?
Rowan – Right now they’re talking a lot about boosts and bonuses and festivals and different things you can do in the world, and different directions you can go. Not thinking as much about the whole world changing. The world is very linear, different places represent different points in the story, so doing something that affects everything globally is a bit more touchy.
- Sapience gives a shout out to the Lonely Mountain Band to thank them for a gift they sent the team. It was a 7th Anniversary box full of edible arrangements and chocolate covered strawberries. He gave them to Aaron and let him distribute them amongst the team, after he got one for himself, and he thinks they were gone in under 2 minutes. Thanks everyone in the LMB, says it was a great gift and very thoughtful.
- What do different player colours mean
White means the person is role-playing, yellow is just normal. It’s a handy way of identifying who is interested in RP.
Thanks, everyone, for your patience and kind words!
The Sirannon transcript is up and it's worth the wait. EP Aaron Campbell stopped by and there were a lot of interesting topics discussed.
Huge thank you to Frick, and obviously Sapience/Rowan, for the questions and answers during this latest stream. I wasn't able to make this one, and what's posted above addresses a lot of scuttlebutt that's been floating around. Thank you.
Neddor, Untrustworthy Guardian of Arkenstone
Massan, Captain Nutter of Laurelin
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