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  1. #1

    2013 Player Council

    Hi guys just a few questions about 2013.

    1 did you enjoy it?
    2 Did you feel valued.
    3 did forum(from players) feedback(guessing) get to you?.


    Just a few to get the ball rolling as it was mentioned the thread should be started.

    I would ask any other people thinking the thread is a chance to smack people about that they think again. If you know you should not say it, then do not say it. if you can not keep calm and civil just avoid the thread its easy to do.

  2. #2
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    Thank you! Finally! LOL

    Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the council. I had my eyes opened to areas of the game I hadn't considered before.

    I absolutely felt valued. The devs have some amazing ideas for this game. It was a huge eye-opener to discover they have things that for various reasons they are not able to do. It was a great feeling to see our input taken and make its way into the game.

    Yes, sometimes the attitude of the players on the forums was grating. It wasn't pleasant to be called "shill, stooge or yes-man". It was also frustrating to have people ignore what facts we could bring to a discussion in favor of whatever rhetoric they were trying to put out. It was also a bit odd for me personally to "hear" people complain that we didn't listen to feedback, when I never had a single person PM me a suggestion or idea. I know that other council members had their inboxes blowing up, so ideas were coming from people, but some of us heard crickets. Even in game attempts to solicit ideas and suggestions went unanswered. It kind of feeds that feeling that players really don't want fact muddying up their rhetoric.

    I hope that this thread can keep more questions coming. I have so much stuff to talk about that I can't keep it straight (which is why I haven't just started posting stuff).

  3. #3
    Hey, I have a question.

    What feedback did you guys have for the Epic Battles and the trait trees?

    Also, who should I PM on this years council for questions in the Ettenmoors?
    Withywindle characters-Caesaran (warden), Dernudan (Lore master)
    Brandywine characters- Dernudan (champion), Denthur (guardian), Delphinianic(captain)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dernudan View Post
    Hey, I have a question.

    What feedback did you guys have for the Epic Battles and the trait trees?

    Also, who should I PM on this years council for questions in the Ettenmoors?
    PM any of them, they'll get it to the rest. If you want more specifics, Yicky Mr. Warg and Sezneg all PvMP. Others do to, but those are the big proponents. Just understand that some of the questions they may not be able to answer. They are still under an NDA. A lot of the council PvMPs. At least many of the 2013 does. I'll get to the other question later. I have RW stuff to take care of.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dernudan View Post
    What feedback did you guys have for the Epic Battles and the trait trees?
    The trait trees. Wow. So, I think that goes back to our characters had gotten to the point where there really wasn't any more new skills that could be added. Our skill bars were already full, and there were alot of "Improved X" which never really felt improved. The trees were a way to fix that scaling problem. Yes, I know there were a lot of "just take them off your skill bar" suggestions. For myself, I was intrigued by some of the new skills we saw, and the removal of some that never really felt pivotal anyway. I liked the idea behind the trees. We were able to make suggestions on some of the skill placement within the trees. We also had a rather lengthy discussion on point costs, if I recall. No, not everyone on the council was happy with the trees. We saw some of the same arguments that came up in the BR forums, but again this was something that was happening. Our job wasn't to make it NOT happen. It was to suggest ways to make it a better system. (I think some players still think we should or could have stopped it, sorry. Some things are as immutable as gravity.) All in all, I think we did pretty good. We got some really good feedback from the BR forums, and got things to where they are. Not perfect, but over all its not too bad. I'm thoroughly enjoying the new classes. I even gave the cappy a second (third??) try. I'm enjoying him much more now than I ever did previously. Still can't get into the mini, though. Yes, some of the classes are still a bit OP (rankles me a bit that my wife's Lynx kills things quicker than my RK), but they're getting worked on. Its not a quick process. Which blows, but there's not much we can do about that.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bragard View Post
    1 did you enjoy it?
    2 Did you feel valued.
    3 did forum(from players) feedback(guessing) get to you?
    1. It was a singular experience, very enjoyable, educational, and enlightening.
    2. Absolutely. It became obvious, even when our opinions weren't adopted, that those opinions mattered, and were being discussed "behind the curtain".
    3. In the negative? Not to me personally. I was aware of some sniping at others. That was frustrating.

    Overall, the experience taught me about the facets of the game I don't partake in, and an appreciation of the points of view of players who do partake in those. It got me to try some things I hadn't. I also know for a fact that, even if some things never come to pass, a lot does, simply from discussions between Council and Devs.

    Mostly, it demonstrated time and again that, regardless of our differences, we really are a community. We all have things that we are passionate about, often they are different from our neighbor. But ultimately, all these passions go to trying to make the game the best experience there is in the world of FRPG MMOs, a way to experience Tolkien in unique ways. Even when the discussions got heated, they invariably stayed respectful. We could debate without negativism, and explore things from "other camps" without being told to sit down and mind our own business.

    Being on the Council was the most positive experience in general open MMO gaming I've ever had. For anyone considering it, I can't encourage your application enough for next year.

    In the mean time, be supportive of the folks on the Council for 2014. They are being listened to by the people at Turbine that can and do make plans and changes to the game we have come to love. Give the new team your support, and tell them your dreams, fears, and desires. You never know when something you tell one of them will end up becoming part of the game. If you don't share, it has zero chance.
    [SIZE=2][B][I]Concerts, Crafting, Cosmetics, Horse Races, Chicken Runs, Role Play, Exploration, Screenshots, Video Capture, ... Oh, yeah, and some fighting the forces of evil bent on world domination and tyranny. [/I][/B][/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Thanks for your service, council members.

    I would like to add another question:

    What, in your opinion, were the 2013 Players Council's greatest accomplishments? What did you convince the developers to do that they would not have done otherwise?
    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. ~ Faramir

    Undo the U12 class changes. The trait trees were, are, and will always be a bad idea.
    Maedhric 100 Captain, Nunion 93 Champion, Taraviel 85 Minstrel, etc...

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Bragard View Post
    Hi guys just a few questions about 2013.

    1 did you enjoy it?
    2 Did you feel valued.
    3 did forum(from players) feedback(guessing) get to you?.
    Yes, the time on the PC was great. It was really hard work though and a year is a long time to give 110% everyday and on every item. So I was tired at the end of my term but happy to have participated.

    It was greatly valued. We got feedback from the Devs and via Sapience about how much an impact the PC made on the Turbine Organization as a whole. Individual Devs working on a particular issue would post back to us about how valuable the information was. The entire 2013 PC forums were archived for the devs to go back and extract more information. I don't know if they 2014 PC can see them, we had discussions about hiding them so they could form their own views independently of the 2013 PC.

    The negative/guessing was a bit hard to take, because we all knew those assumptions were not correct and we could say nothing because of the NDA. We did let-off-steam inside the PC forums from time to time when it got to be a bit much to take alone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dernudan View Post
    Hey, I have a question.

    What feedback did you guys have for the Epic Battles and the trait trees?

    Also, who should I PM on this years council for questions in the Ettenmoors?
    Epic Battles got had a very long set of discussions about their current state: how they play, the roles, the class-skills, side quests and a lot of it was "well that's nice but it really needs MORE x, y, z". There was a big focus on the way the current roles work (Vanguard being a zippo) and how to get class skills to be included as part of the process of the battle (currently class skills are not really necessary). Discussions of 12 man BBs vs Classic Raid 12 man got a lot of hits too. Side quests, medals and loot table were there too.

    Trait Trees had a good number of PC members running calculators to figure out points, distributions and effects. We saw early prototypes and later on the more finished versions. Trait points took up a lot of discussion and mirrored what was in the main forums about out of spec points costs. Some focused on what the trees did (red, blue, yellow), some focused one what the points did (1 pt / 2pts) and some focused on class specific issues. These often mirrored what was said in the main forums except there was a lot less doom and gloom about them in the PC. Once we knew it was coming no matter what, we spent time to mitigate, alter, change, suggest options to make things less of a shock.

    You can PM any member of the PC for your questions and those mentioned above are good ones.

    I would offer that if you have questions or suggestions on the moors or any other aspect of the game, that you flesh out the question/suggestion and put it in the forums. Having it in the forums means that more than 1 member of the PC will see your question/suggestion and also the general player base can see what is proposed. Depending on the question/suggestion the 2014 PC members cannot reply to you at all. So you will not get a response other than a basic thank you. Once it goes up the pipeline you won't get anything back and it's a violation of the NDA to do so.

    So, if you want to get some return information the only place is here in the main forums but again the 2014 PC members have to be mindful of their NDA so you may not see posts from them. I certainly had to cut back my posts on the main forums for this reason. Once a topic hits the PC forums it's off the table for us to talk about with anyone.

    On a side note about suggestions:

    Many threads start out with a suggestion and then the /troll, /rofls and other less-than-helpful posts happen in a thread. Those less-than-useful posts get ignored - except by Sapience who's on-the-job 24x7 for them, and the meat and potatoes of the suggestions and comments get noted. So, even if someone /rofls your ideas, the ideas themselves get noticed and that's what's important to know.
    Whoever says “I” creates the “you.” Such is the trap of every conscience. The “I” signifies both solitude and rejection of solitude. Words name things and then replace them. Whoever says tomorrow, denies it. Tomorrow exists only for him who does not seek it. And yesterday? Yesterday is Kolvillàg: a name to forget, a word already forgotten.

    The Oath: A Novel by Elie Wiesel

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dietlbomb View Post
    What, in your opinion, were the 2013 Players Council's greatest accomplishments? What did you convince the developers to do that they would not have done otherwise?

    Wow, there were a lot of issues that we addressed. I think Rank Farming was the hardest of all to deal with. It dove-tailed into the re-write of the Code of Conduct. I think every member of the PC had a view on what was and wasn't rank farming. It was tough to hold the conversation in a "positive" tone as it was a very hot-topic, and it taught a lot of us (me) to be more respectful of other viewpoints especially when I didn't like them. So, I think Rank Farming was the big one for me.

    Sometimes, the devs asked us about an topic or ran-it-by us as it was being created but nearly everything was presented more after the fact than before. What I mean here is that we didn't see the project time lines or their development and release schedules. Often it was more like: We are doing X, what do you think? In the case of the riding traits from the store, there are multiple versions available in the store and that was likely impacted by the PC suggestions. Things like: skipping the name-the-item-on-crit option on crafting, was a long time coming but when we got the "hey what about this...", we discussed various ways to implement it and currently it's a tick-box on the crafting UI.

    There was a small group of the 2013 PC that got to visit Turbine and are under a totally separate NDA and I'm pretty sure they saw more than the rest of us and had more direct talks about Do or Not Do items. The NDA for their visit was not lifted.
    Whoever says “I” creates the “you.” Such is the trap of every conscience. The “I” signifies both solitude and rejection of solitude. Words name things and then replace them. Whoever says tomorrow, denies it. Tomorrow exists only for him who does not seek it. And yesterday? Yesterday is Kolvillàg: a name to forget, a word already forgotten.

    The Oath: A Novel by Elie Wiesel

  10. #10
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    I made a video discussing the kind of things we did and stuff we talked we talked about in the council.

    I'll also answer questions here though.

    1. Did I like it -- Yes!
    2. Did I feel valued -- Yes! I felt like I didn't have quite as much to input as others most of the time, being a casual solo player. Especially since a lot of our big discussions were PvP farming/events or class revamps that required more intricate knowledge of classes and their skills than I have. But despite that I felt like my input was valued. I remember at one point a number of us voiced the concern that we felt we didn't have much to say for similar reasons I listed above or because of our time zone we would wake up to have whole new threads with multiple pages already written. Sapience told us that even if what we feel or think about a given issue has already been said, we should reiterate that idea and make sure we point out posts we agree with.

    3. Did we talk about Epic Battles -- Yes both before they went live and afterwards. Most of the discussion before happened in the beta forums though but I definitely remember a long discussion about them a month or two after HD went live. Like others have said, the EB roles were heavily discussed as well as side quests (my personally biggest peeve with the system right now).

    4. Greatest Accomplishment -- This is quite hard as we gave input on such a wide variety of things. A huge amount of time was given to the discussion of rank farming and multiboxing and I'd say its a big accomplishment that anything was finally decided because of how heated the discussion got.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for these responses so far. Just an observation, but it seems like it would have been useful for a thread like this to exist *before* the 2014 applications were sent in. It might have encouraged some to apply, and discouraged others, depending on their take on this feedback.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanteIL View Post
    Thanks for these responses so far. Just an observation, but it seems like it would have been useful for a thread like this to exist *before* the 2014 applications were sent in. It might have encouraged some to apply, and discouraged others, depending on their take on this feedback.
    That may be true but it wasn't until April 24 when the new 2014 Council was announced that we were freed from our NDA. And in fact up until a day or two before the 24th we thought we would still be unable to discuss what does on in the Council after we were let go. Luckily Sapience and Rowan decided otherwise. I think they realized the good this discussion would do for both those leaving the Council and those joining it. As well as those unsure of if they would want to serve in the future.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bragard View Post
    1 did you enjoy it?
    Yup!

    2 Did you feel valued.
    Yup!

    3 did forum(from players) feedback(guessing) get to you?.
    Ask my infraction list. XD

    Though I quickly recognised that a handful (3-4) of people were responsible for most of the really obnoxious stuff, so I just put them on ignore.

    Really, it wasn't the direct personal attacks that got to me. I don't care what a bunch of people I don't know think of me. But, you know, there are two ways to post about disliking something: one that's productive and helps improve the game, and another that exists solely to suck the air out of the room and shut down discussion. The latter really sets me off, because the people who post that way aren't just failing to contribute anything, they're actively making the game worse by interfering with the work of the people who want it to be better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palentian View Post
    It was also frustrating to have people ignore what facts we could bring to a discussion in favor of whatever rhetoric they were trying to put out. It was also a bit odd for me personally to "hear" people complain that we didn't listen to feedback, when I never had a single person PM me a suggestion or idea. I know that other council members had their inboxes blowing up, so ideas were coming from people, but some of us heard crickets. Even in game attempts to solicit ideas and suggestions went unanswered. It kind of feeds that feeling that players really don't want fact muddying up their rhetoric.
    Yes, this is exactly what I'm talking about above. There are a lot of people out there who are critical of the game but actively contribute good suggestions. I like those people a lot. Then there are the ones who just want to sit on the sidelines and throw mud at everybody else. I don't care for those people much. I also noticed a strong correlation between the people making the claim "Turbine doesn't listen to feedback!" and people who never actually had any feedback other than "Turbine sucks and the Council sucks and everything sucks and I hope you all die". There really isn't a way you can respond to that other than either breaking the CoC by stopping to their level or just saying, "Ok, I'm sorry you feel that way" and moving on. Sapience, the other devs, and most of the other Councilors are better about doing the latter than I am.

    [QUOTE=Palentian;7152170]The trait trees. Wow. So, I think that goes back to our characters had gotten to the point where there really wasn't any more new skills that could be added. Our skill bars were already full, and there were alot of "Improved X" which never really felt improved. The trees were a way to fix that scaling problem. Yes, I know there were a lot of "just take them off your skill bar" suggestions. For myself, I was intrigued by some of the new skills we saw, and the removal of some that never really felt pivotal anyway. I liked the idea behind the trees. We were able to make suggestions on some of the skill placement within the trees.[quote]

    Yes, and that included getting a sort of paper write-up sketching the broad strokes of the system, well before any of the coding work was being done. The class devs essentially came up with a "first draft" picture of the revamps, which we got to respond to and make suggestions on. The devs were very active in those discussions, and there was some really healthy give-and-take. That's why, in the other thread, I highlighted the class revamps as one of the high points of my term. It was an extremely collaborative process. The devs got the final say, of course, but nobody was sitting around dictating anything.

    I don't think people appreciate enough just what a huge accomplishment that is. There are nine classes, and each of those classes has dozens of competing visions of "What a Captain/Lore-Master/Etc. Is". You can't implement all those visions, and trying to do so gives you a pile of mush. So you go into the process knowing for a fact that a bunch of people are going to be unhappy, no matter what you do, and you just try to do the right thing as well as you can.

    We also had a rather lengthy discussion on point costs, if I recall.
    Very lengthy, yes. I'm still not totally happy with the outcome, but you can't say we didn't spend a lot of time trying to work out the kins.

    Personally, I think we have too many trait points, but there are tradeoffs no matter which way you go with it. Too many points relative to the number of options means there's a false sense of choice and everybody looks the same. Too few means players feel too constrained, especially when there are "must-have" traits on the table that they can't live without. The old system definitely fell victim to the latter problem, in my view. I think the new system probably went a little too far in the other direction, but what's done is done.

    No, not everyone on the council was happy with the trees. We saw some of the same arguments that came up in the BR forums...
    This is something that really bears reiterating, I think. There wasn't any criticism of the trait trees brought up on the BR forums that wasn't brought up in the Council forums, in some fashion. All the criticism was heard.

    Whether it was addressed... well, see above about the class revamps. A lot of the criticism out there is mutually exclusive. Game difficulty is a good example of this. A lot of people feel the game is still too easy after U13. Others feel that U13 utterly destroyed their experience because it's too hard now. No matter what you do, someone's criticism got "ignored" or "dismissed". And most of the issues we had to take on weren't binary issues by any means, so there was rarely any way to just split the difference and call it a day.

    Quote Originally Posted by SabrielofLorien View Post
    Yes, the time on the PC was great. It was really hard work though and a year is a long time to give 110% everyday and on every item. So I was tired at the end of my term but happy to have participated.
    This is ultimately why I chose not to reapply. If you want to keep track of all the discussions and take the time to really think things through and reply thoughtfully, it adds up to being a lot of work. I probably spent over an hour a day, on average, just keeping up with the Council forums. During a few of the really busy periods, that would go up considerably.

    Epic Battles got had a very long set of discussions about their current state: how they play, the roles, the class-skills, side quests and a lot of it was "well that's nice but it really needs MORE x, y, z". There was a big focus on the way the current roles work (Vanguard being a zippo) and how to get class skills to be included as part of the process of the battle (currently class skills are not really necessary). Discussions of 12 man BBs vs Classic Raid 12 man got a lot of hits too. Side quests, medals and loot table were there too.
    And, to be clear, none of that discussion stopped on release. We were still discussing these topics right up to the end of our term. It was vitally important to many of us, especially the raid/group oriented Councilors, to figure out what worked about the Epic Battles and what didn't. There was even a really big discussion on the topic of "What does it mean to call something a 'raid' anyway?", which I thought was pretty significant, considering that a fair proportion of the raiding community believes that Deeping Wall 12-man doesn't count as one.

    I would offer that if you have questions or suggestions on the moors or any other aspect of the game, that you flesh out the question/suggestion and put it in the forums. Having it in the forums means that more than 1 member of the PC will see your question/suggestion and also the general player base can see what is proposed. Depending on the question/suggestion the 2014 PC members cannot reply to you at all. So you will not get a response other than a basic thank you. Once it goes up the pipeline you won't get anything back and it's a violation of the NDA to do so.
    Yeah, posting forum threads is the best bet. There were a number of times, particularly when the class revamps were in progress, when I'd post a link and say, "Here's this suggestion in the Captain forum that seems interesting, let's talk about it here for a bit."

    EDIT: Also, FYI, I answered a couple of questions on reddit as well. http://www.reddit.com/r/lotro/commen...ouncil/ch1930s
    [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]!!!
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by dietlbomb View Post
    Thanks for your service, council members.

    I would like to add another question:

    What, in your opinion, were the 2013 Players Council's greatest accomplishments? What did you convince the developers to do that they would not have done otherwise?
    I will answer this one.

    For me, it was from day 1 Turbine saying PvMP was off the table for vaious reasons but a few of us kept bringing up suggestion after suggestion and discussion after discussion some of these going for pages that finally the developers took notice and started tweaking things here and there such as adding 6 more corruptions and set bonuses to creeps. We had a lot of input into that and the discussion went for weeks trying to figure the right balance between masterys and defense ect. We also continued the PvMP discussions until the final day of the 2013 Council where there still were 2 or 3 active threads going.

    So, we did listen. A lot of the discussions honestly were from things mentioned in game and taken directly from the suggestion forums.

    Did I have fun? Sure
    Did I feel Valued? Sure
    Did some things bug me? You try not to let things get to you on a personal level. It is a game after all and I am here to have fun.
    [CENTER][I][B][FONT=comic sans ms][COLOR=#00ffff]I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?[/COLOR][/FONT][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana][/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#2BC936]According to my Sister... Video Games can only get better...... unless it's Madden
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  15. #15
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    Okay, now that NDA is dropped, I have a question. Can someone from the 2013 Player Council who visited Turbine either confirm or deny that Sapience's desk is within view and range of Rowan's? No, really! Are we sure it'll be noticed if he drops a few more hints about things like the new class, the areas to come with 2014, etc.?

    In seriousness, though, what can you tell us about the back-and-forth decisions that have been made regarding housing? First they are at the top of the list, then they get put to the side, they go back up, now it seems we'll hardly get any revamp at all. Any light that can be shed on the whys?
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  16. #16
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    Nice idea for a thread

    Perhaps someone from the 2013 Player Council could tell me if the subject of Kinships ever came up and what was discussed, if anything?
    Thank you
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Mar-Evayave View Post
    Okay, now that NDA is dropped, I have a question. Can someone from the 2013 Player Council who visited Turbine either confirm or deny that Sapience's desk is within view and range of Rowan's? No, really! Are we sure it'll be noticed if he drops a few more hints about things like the new class, the areas to come with 2014, etc.?

    In seriousness, though, what can you tell us about the back-and-forth decisions that have been made regarding housing? First they are at the top of the list, then they get put to the side, they go back up, now it seems we'll hardly get any revamp at all. Any light that can be shed on the whys?
    We had a rather lengthy dicsussion on housing and were just as shocked as everyone else when it was announced that it was not happening this year

    Quote Originally Posted by Galuhad View Post
    Nice idea for a thread

    Perhaps someone from the 2013 Player Council could tell me if the subject of Kinships ever came up and what was discussed, if anything?
    Thank you
    Yes, there were a few discussions on kinships one of those was generated from a huge thread in the suggestion forums. Hopefully some of the things in that thread will eventually see the light of day.

    One thing not a lot of people realize is that when a suggestion is given if they decide to do it, they have to budget for it, decide when to implement it. Program it, QA it, Debug it, QA it again, Beta test it, than release it. Believe it or not this takes A LOT of time. So things we discussed were able to be done quickly while others may make it in sometime this year or next year.
    [CENTER][I][B][FONT=comic sans ms][COLOR=#00ffff]I know. It's all wrong. By rights we shouldn't even be here. But we are. It's like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn't want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened?[/COLOR][/FONT][COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana][/FONT][/COLOR]
    [COLOR=#2BC936]According to my Sister... Video Games can only get better...... unless it's Madden
    [/COLOR][SIZE=3][FONT=comic sans ms][COLOR=#b22222]Long Live Meneldor![/COLOR][/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/I][/CENTER]

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Galuhad View Post
    Nice idea for a thread

    Perhaps someone from the 2013 Player Council could tell me if the subject of Kinships ever came up and what was discussed, if anything?
    Thank you
    Very much. I recall several of us going through your revamp idea. You should know the devs are well aware of that. I am very sure that some kind of revamp will occur, but the final form of it is up in the air still.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar-Evayave View Post
    Okay, now that NDA is dropped, I have a question. Can someone from the 2013 Player Council who visited Turbine either confirm or deny that Sapience's desk is within view and range of Rowan's? No, really!
    No, that's one of the things that must remain hidden, thanks to the building NDA.

    In seriousness, though, what can you tell us about the back-and-forth decisions that have been made regarding housing? First they are at the top of the list, then they get put to the side, they go back up, now it seems we'll hardly get any revamp at all. Any light that can be shed on the whys?
    I think Sapience/Rowan are the guys you ultimately have to look to for the answer to "why aren't we getting a housing revamp", and they pretty much answered already. The Housing threads came out with a maaaaaaaaaaaaaasssive bunch of wishlists. A treasure trove of stuff that would be totally cool to have. And the devs really, genuinely wanted to do all of them.

    But, we got to hear a little bit about how housing is implemented. And... it's a bit scary, frankly, from a programming perspective. I might be botching the explanation a little bit, but it's like this (and some of this comes from public comments, too, I think, not just Council Forum discussions):

    You might naively expect that there's a single "house" object, like the Platonic ideal of a house that you can modify and have the changes propagate down to all the concrete instances of houses in the game. But it turns out not to really be the case. Each individual house is its own unique entity, and most of the Housing changes that everybody agreed would be really cool things to have would require drilling down and individually modifying each and every house in the game. The alternative, of course, would be totally ripping out the entire Housing system's code and rewriting it from scratch.

    I don't think I have to explain why both of those options are incredibly unappealing.

    Generally speaking, the Council doesn't really hear much about the "implementation" phase of our suggestions until there's some kind of alpha prototype that Turbine wants our feedback on. So none of us really know exactly what happened to the Housing project once it left the design/concept stage. But I can speculate that, ultimately, the amount of work projected to complete the task was simply far out of proportion to the benefit of having it done. Or, at least, that Turbine utlimately decided that the same amount of work could provide a much greater benefit if applied to other parts of the game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Galuhad View Post
    Perhaps someone from the 2013 Player Council could tell me if the subject of Kinships ever came up and what was discussed, if anything?
    I'm not a kinship leader, so I didn't really participate too much in those discussions. I can say, however, that there were a lot of discussions about kinships. I think everybody agreed that kinships are, in a lot of ways, the soul of the game. Kinships need to be a useful tool for allowing people to come together both for social events and for gameplay events. The discussions were very much along those lines. How do we make kinships more useful? What tools do kinship officers need to have? That sort of thing. Hopefully, someone who was more in tune with those discussions can fill in some details, but my general rule of "if it was in the Suggestion forum, we probably talked about it in the Council" applies here as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mar-Evayave View Post
    Okay, now that NDA is dropped, I have a question. Can someone from the 2013 Player Council who visited Turbine either confirm or deny that Sapience's desk is within view and range of Rowan's? No, really! Are we sure it'll be noticed if he drops a few more hints about things like the new class, the areas to come with 2014, etc.?

    In seriousness, though, what can you tell us about the back-and-forth decisions that have been made regarding housing? First they are at the top of the list, then they get put to the side, they go back up, now it seems we'll hardly get any revamp at all. Any light that can be shed on the whys?
    To your first question: Sorry, the visit to T is still under NDA. Suffice it to say that if Rowan sneezes, Sapience has to wipe off his chair. LOL

    To your second: Housing hit every one as a bit of a shock. Again, there were and are some very interesting things talked about, and they still may be on the table. It may well have been a logistical issue rather than a financial issue. We on the outside don't understand this much of the time, but some of the systems under the hood as it were, don't like to work well with each other. Several times things don't work because the systems simply WON'T do what we want them to. And short of scrapping the game and re-writing it its probably not going to change. The devs are very good at figuring out what they can and can't do within the limitations of the systems. I know that they have their reasons why housing didn't get in, and I know that they'll get it in as soon as they can.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kickman77 View Post
    One thing not a lot of people realize is that when a suggestion is given if they decide to do it, they have to budget for it, decide when to implement it. Program it, QA it, Debug it, QA it again, Beta test it, than release it. Believe it or not this takes A LOT of time. So things we discussed were able to be done quickly while others may make it in sometime this year or next year.
    A great example of this is the Journeyman Riding trait. I think we started giving feedback on that in early May -- it was one of the first major Feedback items presented to us, if not the first --, and it took us about a week for that discussion to come to a natural stopping point. So the Council discussion on it ended in early May. And then it didn't actually get into the game until, what, August? That's a lot of lead time on something that seems to players like a really "simple" feature.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kickman77 View Post
    Yes, there were a few discussions on kinships one of those was generated from a huge thread in the suggestion forums. Hopefully some of the things in that thread will eventually see the light of day.

    One thing not a lot of people realize is that when a suggestion is given if they decide to do it, they have to budget for it, decide when to implement it. Program it, QA it, Debug it, QA it again, Beta test it, than release it. Believe it or not this takes A LOT of time. So things we discussed were able to be done quickly while others may make it in sometime this year or next year.
    Thank you for the response. I understand things take a while to get into budget, develop and test etc. I posted the Kinship Revamp Proposal on the suggestion board over three years ago, with very little confirmation one way or another about whether it will ever see the light of day. You have no idea how good it is to read that it was discussed between Turbine and the council. Turbine have hinted more recently at looking into Kinships, but it's still a bit ambiguous. I have been campaigning for the revamp for such a long time now, I really hope it gets the attention it deserves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Palentian View Post
    Very much. I recall several of us going through your revamp idea. You should know the devs are well aware of that. I am very sure that some kind of revamp will occur, but the final form of it is up in the air still.
    Thank you for the update. Was there any preferences leaning more towards certain parts of the revamp than others?

    Quote Originally Posted by furtim View Post
    I'm not a kinship leader, so I didn't really participate too much in those discussions. I can say, however, that there were a lot of discussions about kinships. I think everybody agreed that kinships are, in a lot of ways, the soul of the game. Kinships need to be a useful tool for allowing people to come together both for social events and for gameplay events. The discussions were very much along those lines. How do we make kinships more useful? What tools do kinship officers need to have? That sort of thing. Hopefully, someone who was more in tune with those discussions can fill in some details, but my general rule of "if it was in the Suggestion forum, we probably talked about it in the Council" applies here as well.
    Thank you That's very reassuring to read.


    Being able to take part in these discussions was one of the main reasons I wanted to join the council last year and again this year. Unfortunately I was not selected for either, but I am pleased to know that the discussions took place none-the-less.
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  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Palentian View Post
    Yes, sometimes the attitude of the players on the forums was grating. It wasn't pleasant to be called "shill, stooge or yes-man". It was also frustrating to have people ignore what facts we could bring to a discussion in favor of whatever rhetoric they were trying to put out. It was also a bit odd for me personally to "hear" people complain that we didn't listen to feedback, when I never had a single person PM me a suggestion or idea. I know that other council members had their inboxes blowing up, so ideas were coming from people, but some of us heard crickets. Even in game attempts to solicit ideas and suggestions went unanswered. It kind of feeds that feeling that players really don't want fact muddying up their rhetoric.
    This blame for this one can be laid squarely at the feet of Turbine. While I realize an NDA is absolutely necessary for this kind of thing, the only feedback we were given from Turbine throughout the year cast the PC as an ineffectual joke. We were told that you helped price the Journeyman Riding package, and removed the stacking limit on fish, which was a non-issue. Prior to U13 and the mail changes (which didn't come until after the 2014 applications were over), that was all we were told about what the PC was up to. A complete lack of communication would have been bad enough, but what little info we did get was worse than nothing.

    Going forward, a monthly update about what the PC is working on would be a huge help towards correcting this issue. It doesn't have to be an NDA-violating detailed description of the meetings and future plans, but just some vague generalities about things already announced as being in development like "we talked about ideas for a housing update, and discussed quest chain flow for the upcoming zone". Even a brief list of the things being discussed with no promises that they'd actually make it into the game would be an improvement.

    As a previous poster said, I wish this thread had gone up *before* the applications for this year had closed, as I know many people who would have been good for the council who didn't want to apply because of the impressions we'd been given. Every day on GLFF I see detailed discussion of game mechanics, balance issues, and flaws in the game, along with solutions for how to fix them. When you get 100+ people in a conversation throwing around ideas, the flaws in any proposal get whittled away pretty quickly. Why didn't anyone send a suggestion to the council? Well aside from the aforementioned impression that it would be pointless, nobody knew who you were or even that we *should* be filling your inbox if we did.

    Communication is key, and I hope that's something that can be dramatically improved in 2014.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ameranth View Post
    This blame for this one can be laid squarely at the feet of Turbine. While I realize an NDA is absolutely necessary for this kind of thing, the only feedback we were given from Turbine throughout the year cast the PC as an ineffectual joke. We were told that you
    Quote Originally Posted by Ameranth View Post
    helped price the Journeyman Riding package, and removed the stacking limit on fish, which was a non-issue. Prior to U13 and the mail changes (which didn't come until after the 2014 applications were over), that was all we were told about what the PC was up to. A complete lack of communication would have been bad enough, but what little info we did get was worse than nothing.

    Going forward, a monthly update about what the PC is working on would be a huge help towards correcting this issue. It doesn't have to be an NDA-violating detailed description of the meetings and future plans, but just some vague generalities about things already announced as being in development like "we talked about ideas for a housing update, and discussed quest chain flow for the upcoming zone". Even a brief list of the things being discussed with no promises that they'd actually make it into the game would be an improvement.

    As a previous poster said, I wish this thread had gone up *before* the applications for this year had closed, as I know many people who would have been good for the council who didn't want to apply because of the impressions we'd been given. Every day on GLFF I see detailed discussion of game mechanics, balance issues, and flaws in the game, along with solutions for how to fix them. When you get 100+ people in a conversation throwing around ideas, the flaws in any proposal get whittled away pretty quickly. Why didn't anyone send a suggestion to the council? Well aside from the aforementioned impression that it would be pointless, nobody knew who you were or even that we *should* be filling your inbox if we did.

    Communication is key, and I hope that's something that can be dramatically improved in 2014.


    I'm sorry, but no. If someone actively complains that the PC wasn't listening to suggestions or complaints, yet makes none themselves, that is their own fault and no one else's. Likewise, personal attacks at others are the fault of the person making them, no excuses. Yes, Turbine had a part to play in this, but you can't shift the blame from the specific person making the actions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by furtim View Post
    The alternative, of course, would be totally ripping out the entire Housing system's code and rewriting it from scratch.
    This was actually my expectation when they said they were doing a housing revamp, considering the original implementation is so incredibly bare.

    From what HAS been put down on the list as going forward for the rest of this year, myself and a lot of others are under the impression that Turbine's resources allocated to this game are minimum and that things that are more costly-- a new, multi-boss raid, a whole new system like housing, and so on-- are out of their budget entirely and that the only thing they seem to have a budget for are landscapes and the quests associated with them. I know the Council was not privy to Turbine's budgets, but that is the impression.

    I would *love* to be wrong. But the outline for 2014 does not give me that impression. I only get the 'we can only afford a landscape, since that will be something that people have to buy to level', which is a right shame. But, it is what it is.
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