SHIELD Dwarf Run Q&A – Gilrain
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.
SHIELD Dwarf Run Q&A – Gilrain
Video available here.
Sapience reminds everyone there’s going to be a livestream Q&A at 3PM Eastern (server time) tomorrow with Rowan, to discuss U14, his producer’s letter and things to come. It’s just a straight-up Q&A on camera with Rowan – no gameplay or demo.
- Pick a mount – any specific level of lootbox?
He doesn’t believe so. He knows it’s not a guaranteed drop, it’s a random drop within the lootbox, so it’s not in every one.
- Is there any way with Beornings we could have a choice between starting at level 1 or level 50?
Yes, it’s called Gift of the Valar. He knows it kind of comes and goes in the store a lot, but they’ve had conversations about just always making it available so that players always have that choice with any character they create.
The leader takes Tosmii and the group over a short cliff and Sapience comments on how the broken legs are like a bowl of Rice Krispies – snap, crackle and pop. People in the chat talk about how the group are total lemmings. Sapience says by definition he’s a total lemming in these runs.
- Did the difficulty of Paths of the Dead get decreased between beta and launch?
He doesn’t know. It’s possible, but he doesn’t recall any discussions about making it easier.
- Question about the essences system, and being able to control things a bit more
Keep in mind that this is the first iteration. The plan is definitely to expand the system, revise and improve it, adjust as needed. So this is the first incarnation and the team is just looking for how players use it, how they engage it with what they’re looking for and what they build. What are people slotting, what are people adding for different classes. Like so many things, including balance and pretty much all systems, it should be considered a work in progress. Endlessly tweakable and adjustable.
- Why did the game reset all the class traits?
Because there were major changes to skills for all classes, and adjustments for the new level cap as well.
- Question about whether essences will ever be available for lower levels
He thinks they were talking about making it level 50, and that the system is currently live starting from level 50. Someone in the chat confirms that they’ve seen it as low as 49. Sapience says he thinks Eregion is where players will start finding them. Around that level range.
- Question about whether there is more than one list of mounts for the lootbox pick-a-mount
Currently there is just one list of mounts. Whether that will be added to in the future is kind of up in the air. He would suspect it would be added to. He just came out of a meeting talking a number of things about mounts – store mounts, older mounts, access to older mounts. So there are a whole lot of interlocking conversations about the pick-a-mount boxes, what’s in them and what if anything will change.
- Question about imbued LIs
He thinks it’s too early to start drilling too deeply into that. As they get closer to U15 and the end of the year when these things start being more firmed up, and the Players Council has had a bit more time to discuss them and the team has revised their plans a few times, then we’ll start to see a bit more information come out about them. It’s a little early for that right now. He would also caution that it’s going to be a bit like the essences system, where there will be a first pass, then some refinements and work on it, trying to tweak the system as they go along rather than changing everything wholesale in one huge chunk.
- Someone asks about Fangorn Armour
He literally just had this conversation with someone, about a patch for 14.1 that may include changes to Fangorn deeds. Possibly fully removing the cooldowns on the repeatables so there are no longer 18 hour cooldowns.
- Question about Fangorn leaves and the cost for Entwood items
He doesn’t know about costs. The primary focus of the discussion was on reducing or eliminating the cooldowns on the repeatables.
- What happens if Tosmii dies, but the time is still faster than the other servers
Time is the ultimate arbiter. If someone can somehow get him killed and still get the run and deed completed faster than anyone else, then they’re pretty epic. The deaths thing is more of a tie-breaker. So if two teams did the run in exactly the same time, but one had a death and the other didn’t, then the one that did it without killing him would win. Because in a death the run has to start again from the beginning, the odds of someone having the fastest run after a death are pretty slim.
- Question about a rumour that players can get the dormouse housing item from a level 10 lootbox
Not that he is aware of. He doesn’t know the full loot list, so he won’t say definitively, but it’s not available that he’s aware of.
Someone thanks Sapience for doing these livestreams and he says thanks for the kind words. He’s really pleased with how the players have taken to these streams, and getting the opportunity to talk to us directly is fantastic. He knows a lot of the devs really appreciate it as well. Sometimes they hang out watching the stream themselves. If they can’t get away to be part of it, they’ll watch it and shoot him little notes if they see something they can answer.
- What happened on Bullroarer during the TTHTI run?
Raina happened. She unleashed multiple Balrogs on him and the group, and through most of the run he could hear her evil cackles from the other side of the wall. All he remembers is, run a few steps, giant legs, die, run a few steps, giant legs, die, run a few steps, giant legs, die. That was pretty much his view for the whole event.
- Question about how far that run got
Sapience says he thinks he got as far as the Forsaken Inn, but others in the chat remind him that they did get a ways into the Trollshaws once or twice.
Players discuss what types of mobs Raina spawned and there are fond reminisces of Nurzums and multiple Barz across the landscape, Balrogs, etc. Druidsfire posts a link to her awesome personal account of that run, which has a lot of hilarious and terrifying screencaps for those who are interested.
- Would I be correct in thinking you’ve seen a huge jump in $25+ donations to your Extra Life campaign since the reveal of the cosmetic pets?
He thinks there are about 520 donations so far this year. Last year they ended with just under 1,800. The average donation last year was about $28, and this year it’s $43 for an average. The average is higher by quite a bit. It’s only July and already there has been more money raised than in all of 2012, and we’re far ahead of where we were at this time last year. We’re still about $77k short of him getting a tattoo.
- Question about changes to big battles for U14
He knows there were some changes made for U14, but he doesn’t know specifically if there was any change to the quest ending before the side quests are done. Keep in mind the point of big battles is to be a progression through an event. As the event unfolds, we kind of follow through it.
Sapience comments about how nice it is to get out of Moria after 25 minutes in the darkness. He recalls the first time he ever got out of Moria, how it felt like exhaling after holding one’s breath for a long time, being in the darkness and the gloom. It was such a great relief, but then of course they just went right back in again.
- What will the tattoo be?
The tattoo will be the Extra Life logo, which is on his Extra Life page. It’s the controller with wings and a halo.
- Are there any plans for ceremonial sets of the Erebor and BG armour?
Not that he’s currently aware of.
In a previous run someone asked Sapience what the goal would need to be to get him to get his logo tattoo placed on his lower back, and Sapience jokingly said $250k before August 1st. In the chat Hurch says that if he wins the lottery he’s going to donate enough money to ensure that goal gets met. Sapience says that if that goal gets met he will just extend it and make the new goal $500k for him to be able to place it wherever he wants, and he’ll personally donate the rest of the money when he wins the lottery, to make sure that goal gets met. He says there was a really good reason why he didn’t give players the option to choose where it was placed. In fact, a couple of devs have made some pretty interesting suggestions on where he should put it. Forehead being one of them.
- Does it worry you that so many of your loyal audience want to see you with a tramp stamp?
It worries him more that in order to prove that he got it, they’d more or less need to see his butt, and he’s worried that’s what they really want. That scares the bejeezus out of him.
- What was the first character you ever created on LotRO?
It was a hunter, and he still has it.
- Question about how to post a new discussion thread in the forums
The main thing is to pick the correct forum for the topic you want to discuss. Skirmishes, for example, would need to go into the Skirmishes forum.
- Any plans to update the engine and graphics?
Probably not in the way you're thinking. A major overhaul that involves redoing everything and making everything look dramatically different – no. But tweaks and adjustments happen all the time. If you go through and look at original regions and some of the newer ones, you’ll see that new tech has been added to increase draw distances, make trees more realistic, shadows and lighting improvements. So little things like that, yes, but an overhaul from the ground up – no.
Sapience shows everyone the Steed of the Red Dawn, a mount that was originally part of a European edition of Riders of Rohan. It was not available outside of Europe, but he’s making it available as part of his Extra Life campaign this year. That will bring the number of mounts available to four – the Cremello Steed, the Perlino Steed, the Steed of the First Marshal and the Steed of the Red Dawn. He’s not having a lot of luck with the Steam steed that people were asking for.
- Could you do world announcements when these runs are about to start?
These are community events that are set to take place in specific areas at specific times. World announcements are a sort of “at the last minute” thing. Plus he thinks it would invite a certain group of individuals to take the opportunity to ruin the run. Those who want to take part in it already know about them, where they are and how to find the info for them.
- Question about Gilrain being a preferred server
He’s asked for that a few times, but he doesn’t think it’s happened yet. He will request it again.
Sapience reminds everyone again that tomorrow, Wed July 16th at 3pm server time, he and Rowan will be doing a Q&A livestream about U14 and his producer’s letter. Server time is set to eastern time. He shows everyone how to check the current server time by mousing over the sun/moon icon at the top left edge of the mini map.