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  1. #26
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    I don't understand why everyone feels such a strong need to foreclose on the issue, as though it's some kind of binary; either there will be more traditional raid clusters in the foreseeable future, or there will never be one ever again. Turbine have repeatedly stated that they are not entirely off the table, but they are not currently planned. I think it makes the most sense to simply believe what they say. If the content/story calls for it, and if there is a cost-effective way for them to do them, I think there is every reason to believe we may eventually see some again someday. Until then, we must accept that the semi-regular cycle of getting one every year or so is a thing of the past.

  2. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by frickinmuck View Post
    I don't understand why everyone feels such a strong need to foreclose on the issue, as though it's some kind of binary; either there will be more traditional raid clusters in the foreseeable future, or there will never be one ever again. Turbine have repeatedly stated that they are not entirely off the table, but they are not currently planned. I think it makes the most sense to simply believe what they say. If the content/story calls for it, and if there is a cost-effective way for them to do them, I think there is every reason to believe we may eventually see some again someday. Until then, we must accept that the semi-regular cycle of getting one every year or so is a thing of the past.
    Many of us have accepted that however there is also a perception of evolution of the "no raids" stance. From "not this year", to "where they fit", to "not planned for the foreseeable future". We're far enough along that the foreseeable future includes areas that are prime Instance/Raid locations. So if places like Cirith Ungol are in the planning states, which I suspect but unless someone comments we can't be sure, and it isn't unreasonable to consider those places as in the foreseeable future, then "not planned" and "not in the forseeable future" stance on instances and Raids takes on an entire new meaning.

    At Moria launch, something not planned or in the foreseeable future regarding something in Mordor is understandable. When you're at Gondor it takes on a different significance.
    [CENTER][img]http://www.djelle.dk/sig-lotro.jpg?&f=gp&id=7697947&lo=0e0c0e111pp10&t1=Gedachtnis&u=ironyandspite.guildportal.com&k=Irony%20and%20Spite&i=www.axiomfiles.com/Files/375005/Copy%2520of%2520Irony-and-Spite_LOGO1.jpg[/img]
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  3. #28
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    I was one of the peeps that was disappointed there will be no raids in the foreseeable future. Its one of the things as I progressed thru game I really enjoyed.

    but now its given me a chance to start really enjoying the game and remember what it was I fell in love with rite from the start of playing.

    things change and change is inevitable, u either live with that or u don't its that simple and moaning about it wont change that. Im really looking forward to the new updates! cant wait. raid or no raid this is the lotro we love

  4. #29
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    I have a few honest legitimate questions for Sapience, so if you're forum name is not Sapience please do not respond. I'd like official answers on these and not speculation. Maybe someone could get these into the next run as my server doesn't go for a long while?
    1. If you aren't going to have an instance cluster/traditional instances or give an additional PVP zone, then what is the new strategy going forward to entice new players to the game or bring back the ones that have left? Improving Epic Battles? Certainly it can't be quests that end in cosmetic pets? As MMORPG players (the ones that invest in your game, with monthly subs and content purchases) it would be nice to know what we can expect past update 14 and in the future not only in the way of quest types but also what players are going to do when they reach level cap. This would ensure us our money is being spent to ensure the future of the game.

    2. Some of the server populations are unbearably low. For those of us playing on these servers it has been hard to form lasting kinships or do anything in the way of the remaining group content. Would merging some of these servers be possible or are we all stuck with paying the transfer cost for as many as 10 toons? Wouldn't it be better for the community to simply merge these servers rather than having the players who refused to pay the transfer cost stuck on an empty server because they wouldn't pony up as much as 250$? Simply starting over with new toons on a new server isn't an option for most of us who have done the leveling process many times.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by frickinmuck View Post
    I don't understand why everyone feels such a strong need to foreclose on the issue, as though it's some kind of binary; either there will be more traditional raid clusters in the foreseeable future, or there will never be one ever again. Turbine have repeatedly stated that they are not entirely off the table, but they are not currently planned. I think it makes the most sense to simply believe what they say. If the content/story calls for it, and if there is a cost-effective way for them to do them, I think there is every reason to believe we may eventually see some again someday. Until then, we must accept that the semi-regular cycle of getting one every year or so is a thing of the past.
    Some people want to be able to decide where to focus and invest their gaming time and gaming dollars based on the kind of game play they most enjoy. The good memories of times past only work so long before you choose to find your preferred style of gaming elsewhere. Hazy "maybe yes, maybe no, it depends, just wait and see" statements aren't helpful for those players.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by frickinmuck View Post
    I don't understand why everyone feels such a strong need to foreclose on the issue, as though it's some kind of binary; either there will be more traditional raid clusters in the foreseeable future, or there will never be one ever again. Turbine have repeatedly stated that they are not entirely off the table, but they are not currently planned. I think it makes the most sense to simply believe what they say. If the content/story calls for it, and if there is a cost-effective way for them to do them, I think there is every reason to believe we may eventually see some again someday. Until then, we must accept that the semi-regular cycle of getting one every year or so is a thing of the past.
    When you take them off the table for update 11, HD, Update 13 and now Update 14, how do expect any one left to use the content. Players who enjoy that content are long long gone. How many more updates should go without them before we lose hope of ever seeing another? Do you think at update 22 it's going to be a good time to introduce raids and group instances back into the fold? I would not expect the folks who used that content regularly to be around at that point.
    If you take away a child's rattle at age 2 is he going to want it back when he's 16? There are plenty of other free to play games that will provide these players with the content they are after without begging for it.

    I think Sapience has made it quite clear that there are no plans to bring it back. Leaving the hope on the table for those who enjoy that content is cruel. that's called stringing people along. It will be interesting to find out what content replaces it though.

    Not only will this move eliminate the threat of players coming here to ask for raids and instances, but cut down on the infractions that happen due to high rate at which those threads are derailed/flamed.

    Is there any sense in keeping players that will continue to come here on a daily basis upset that the newest group content is over 1 year old?
    Last edited by Minquinn; Jun 25 2014 at 07:02 PM.

  7. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Minquinn View Post
    When you take them off the table for update 11, HD, Update 13 and now Update 14, how do expect any one left to use the content. Players who enjoy that content are long long gone. How many more updates should go without them before we lose hope of ever seeing another? Do you think at update 22 it's going to be a good time to introduce raids and group instances back into the fold? I would not expect the folks who used that content regularly to be around at that point.
    If you take away a child's rattle at age 2 is he going to want it back when he's 16? There are plenty of other free to play games that will provide these players with the content they are after without begging for it.

    I think Sapience has made it quite clear that there are no plans to bring it back. Leaving the hope on the table for those who enjoy that content is cruel. that's called stringing people along. It will be interesting to find out what content replaces it though.

    Not only will this move eliminate the threat of players coming here to ask for raids and instances, but cut down on the infractions that happen due to high rate at which those threads are derailed/flamed.
    I dont think the 16 year old would want his raddle anyways
    But I do agree with the rest of this post and hope BBs can be made as an acceptable endgame in the future.
    Withywindle characters-Caesaran (warden), Dernudan (Lore master)
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gedachtnis View Post
    Many of us have accepted that however there is also a perception of evolution of the "no raids" stance. From "not this year", to "where they fit", to "not planned for the foreseeable future".
    Those terms have all been used interchangeably to describe the raid situation since day one. I haven't seen any "evolution" in this stance. It's been remarkably consistent for many months now. What has evolved is the way in which players try to bargain with what they've been told, as though the answer will somehow change based on how the question is asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Minquinn View Post
    I think Sapience has made it quite clear that there are no plans to bring it back. Leaving the hope on the table for those who enjoy that content is cruel. that's called stringing people along. It will be interesting to find out what content replaces it though.
    I think he's made it clear that there are no current, active plans for a raid in the foreseeable future. He's been really clear that "ever" "never" etc. are not ideas he will entertain, because things change all the time. In fact, as he just pointed out, if the level of interest in raids changes, then they would of course look at making an investment in what players want. It's not 'cruel', nor is it stringing people along. It's just the reality of where things stand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dernudan View Post
    I dont think the 16 year old would want his raddle anyways
    But I do agree with the rest of this post and hope BBs can be made as an acceptable endgame in the future.
    I find the planned tweaks to BB intriguing for sure. I'd like to see them become more engaging and 'raid-like', I think there is potential there for them to at least become more fun for a broader audience.

  9. #34
    The thing is that 1 instance cluster or raid wouldn't change anything. People would quickly get bored of it. To keep people engaged, Turbine would have to release instance cluster/raid 3-4 times a year and have a real progression system. That's a lot of investment, they'd have to employ several experienced programmers just for that stuff. So I can see why that direction wouldn't make sense.

    People who want to raid a lot are mostly playing other games anyway. Lotro has a lot of people who dabble in instances and raids casually, that's my impression based on playing in very casual kinships on 3 different servers. Lots of casual players who will go to an instance as sort of a change of pace / taking a break from other stuff thing. I'm one of those people.

    That said, I think Turbine could do a lot to simply make existing content more popular. If my math is correct, Lotro has 26 scaled 3-6 man instances, 12 scaled raids (if we count separate Helegrod/OD wings), 19 skirmishes. The problem is that people mostly run 4 instances (Sambrog, Thadur, Library, School), and a few skirmishes and raids. That gets boring very quickly. There are occasional groups to other places, but if I can't go there that minute, chances are I won't see another group to these other places for days.

    How expensive would it be to simply put an NPC somewhere in Bree with daily instance quests? I think it would help quite a bit in terms of current instances getting run. For example, today the npc offers 4 daily quests for doing following instances on T2: Warg Pens (3 man), Fornost Fire wing (6 man), Giants wing (Helegrod raid), and Attack at Dawn skirmish. Tomorrow it's Halls of Nights (3 man), Ost Elendil (6 man), Smaug raid and Defence of the Prancing Pony skirmish. Give a significant reward for each daily, like 20-50 seals or something else. I think it would make a difference, and I think it's easy enough to place an NPC with some quests. It wouldn't satisfy people who want progression raiding, but it would make a difference for more casual people who want to dabble in instances and experience the ones that exist.

  10. #35
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    Sapience, since you mentioned the use of data in making the decision about future raid development, I'm curious about the use of data in deciding which new systems to develop that players haven't seen before. For example, cosmetic pets are a new thing that seems to be getting a fair amount of attention, but how did you guys decide that this was something players wanted? Forum requests? Something else? And how would you, going forward, measure whether this new system is successful or not, especially since people can acquire some of these pets as random rewards and don't necessarily set out to acquire them? Is it how many times the pets are out for display? How many grindable pets (as opposed to random ones) do players choose to acquire? Increases/decreases in festival participation when the festival offers a pet reward?

    I've also always wondered what kind of data was used to measure raid usage--were you looking at 12-mans only, or overall 3-6-12 cluster participation? Were you counting total number of times an instance was run, or the percentage of individual characters that ran it, or something else? Are 'raiders' defined as someone who went into an instance one time, or a certain number of times per week, orwas there a different definition? And I know you guys do surveys, so did any of them gather information from non-'raiders' about whether they might be interested in group content under certain circumstances (i.e. during the radiance era: 'I'd love to raid but it's too time-consuming to get the gear', or on smaller servers 'I'd love to raid if it were easier to find groups,' or even a general 'why don't you do group content?' question)?

    That's a lot of questions, sorry, but it really just boils down to: how does Turbine define a population that is/isn't a user of certain content (or would/wouldn't be in the case of newly developed content), and how do you measure whether and why they use it or not?

    Thanks!

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by frickinmuck View Post
    I think he's made it clear that there are no current, active plans for a raid in the foreseeable future. He's been really clear that "ever" "never" etc. are not ideas he will entertain, because things change all the time. In fact, as he just pointed out, if the level of interest in raids changes, then they would of course look at making an investment in what players want. It's not 'cruel', nor is it stringing people along. It's just the reality of where things stand.
    I never said Sapience was stringing players along. I read his message loud and clear.
    And how exactly is the level of interest in raids suppose to increase if there are no new ones and the newest ones at the end of update 14 will be 20 months old? He told us they based this decision on 8 years of data ( I assume ingame).

    He has told us not to expect raids.
    It was your post where you injected the hope back in.

    Raiders listen up, it's over. There is no need to even take this discussion any further. Complain all you want about the absence of 3/6/12 man traditional content. Obviously the cries of the damned have fallen on deaf ears. Every time we discuss these topics on this forum it ends with the people who are happy this content is gone attempting to derail the thread anyways. Quite simply put in my opinion if you enjoy raiding this game is not going to quench that thirst anymore.

    Please refrain from making threads asking for any of this content as it will draw the bees to honey. Like throwing a salmon to a hungry grizzly.

    As a player I would have rather heard the above than what you posted. Honesty should be brutal and to the point.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whart View Post
    Sapience, since you mentioned the use of data in making the decision about future raid development, I'm curious about the use of data in deciding which new systems to develop that players haven't seen before. For example, cosmetic pets are a new thing that seems to be getting a fair amount of attention, but how did you guys decide that this was something players wanted? Forum requests? Something else? And how would you, going forward, measure whether this new system is successful or not, especially since people can acquire some of these pets as random rewards and don't necessarily set out to acquire them? Is it how many times the pets are out for display? How many grindable pets (as opposed to random ones) do players choose to acquire? Increases/decreases in festival participation when the festival offers a pet reward?

    I've also always wondered what kind of data was used to measure raid usage--were you looking at 12-mans only, or overall 3-6-12 cluster participation? Were you counting total number of times an instance was run, or the percentage of individual characters that ran it, or something else? Are 'raiders' defined as someone who went into an instance one time, or a certain number of times per week, orwas there a different definition? And I know you guys do surveys, so did any of them gather information from non-'raiders' about whether they might be interested in group content under certain circumstances (i.e. during the radiance era: 'I'd love to raid but it's too time-consuming to get the gear', or on smaller servers 'I'd love to raid if it were easier to find groups,' or even a general 'why don't you do group content?' question)?

    That's a lot of questions, sorry, but it really just boils down to: how does Turbine define a population that is/isn't a user of certain content (or would/wouldn't be in the case of newly developed content), and how do you measure whether and why they use it or not?

    Thanks!
    Excellent post as always. You are my hero. I'm not good at wording things.

    I find that limiting myself to one type of content bores me. I would say I'm a user of everything expect PVP. Although Turbine would define me as a solo quester since I do it the most.
    Mostly as a means to an end rather than enjoying that content exclusively.

    If had one wish for that content it would be no more quest hubs like Woodhurst.....it was terrible.
    Last edited by Minquinn; Jun 25 2014 at 07:54 PM.

  13. This is the question I have, and it will take a bit of build-up, sorry

    Here is the list of Moria instances:

    Dark Delvings
    Fil Gashan
    Skumfil
    The Forges of Khazad-dum
    The Forgotten Treasury
    The Grand Stair
    The Sixteenth Hall
    Filikul
    The Vile Maw
    The Mirror Halls of Lumul-Nar
    The Water Wheels: Nala-dum
    The Halls of Crafting
    Dar Narbugud

    This list, of course, does not count the many instances within the Epic Line [2.6.8 anyone? ] that were effectively full group instances, nor all the other instances that were just a part of the normal questlines in Moria.

    Goodness knows how many instance/raids there were in Shadows of Angmar. Likely more than listed here.

    So, given:

    A. Instance/Raid development takes an incredible amount of money and resources, and…

    B. “The percentage of players involved (in instances/raids) has remained largely constant (and quite small) since launch. (This is from Sapience further above in the thread)

    C. There has been a determination made that, currently, it is cost-prohibitive to produce much more than a single 3-person instance going on close to two years or so

    Turbine must have been losing money hand over fist when they were making, literally, dozens of them. If the percentage of players has been more or less the same (usually quoted as a single-digit percentage) the entire life of Lotro, why weren’t instances/raids cut out entirely, right away, purely as a “stop the bleeding” business decision?

    If only a single-digit percentage was taking part in them, why not take the vast amount of resources, money, and time put toward them and move it toward the things you know more people enjoy? Why make raid/instance loot the best loot able to be found in the game? Why make special barter currency, camps devoted to end-game items, only acquirable by doing instances/raids? Why, for years, would you continually throw precious resources away, knowing from the very start that so few people were taking part in them, that they were horribly cost-inefficient, and you are seeing, year after year, only the same percentage of players taking part in them?


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  14. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by frickinmuck
    Those terms have all been used interchangeably to describe the raid situation since day one. I haven't seen any "evolution" in this stance. It's been remarkably consistent for many months now. What has evolved is the way in which players try to bargain with what they've been told, as though the answer will somehow change based on how the question is asked.
    You may not see an evolution, others do, is it your position that because you don't see it that others that do have no point? As the person who did all the transcripts for HtI, and thank you btw I really appreciate them, I don't understand how you haven't seen an evolution, but ok.

    Here let me put it a different way.

    How far is the foreseeable future?
    [CENTER][img]http://www.djelle.dk/sig-lotro.jpg?&f=gp&id=7697947&lo=0e0c0e111pp10&t1=Gedachtnis&u=ironyandspite.guildportal.com&k=Irony%20and%20Spite&i=www.axiomfiles.com/Files/375005/Copy%2520of%2520Irony-and-Spite_LOGO1.jpg[/img]
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  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minquinn View Post
    Excellent post as always. You are my hero. I'm not good at wording things.

    I find that limiting myself to one type of content bores me. I would say I'm a user of everything expect PVP. Although Turbine would define me as a solo quester since I do it the most.
    Mostly as a means to an end rather than enjoying that content exclusively.

    If had one wish for that content it would be no more quest hubs like Woodhurst.....it was terrible.


    I play the same way you do, which prompted my question. I RP, craft, do 3/6/12 instances, skirmish, solo/duo/trio quest and deed content. I love festivals and music and events and cosmetics and I am an obsessive completionist. I'm a kin leader and housing decorator. And I do really like a good 12-man when I can get it, and that challenge keeps me motivated to keep doing the other types of content. So am I counted as 'one who raids' in the official numbers? I've always wanted to know that.

    I suppose if I had the chance to ask another question (sorry), it would be how is the producer's thread being read and reacted to by other Turbine staff? I know that we forum users aren't the whole player base, but the overwhelming majority of posts are about LIs (disliking) and classic group content (wanting). Lots of other really interesting opinions and ideas expressed there about quests, housing, RNG, gear, BB, traits, etc. What are you guys thinking about this? Sparking any new inspiration? Or mostly 'sure we wish we could do that but not able to happen'? Or something in between? (ok, that's more than one more question--can't help myself)

    (and I just ran through Woodhurst for the first time this week--was so glad to get out of there!)

  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Whart View Post
    Since you mentioned the use of data in making the decision about future raid development....I've also always wondered what kind of data was used to measure raid usage
    The data by itself isn't my concern. What is my concern is the interpretation.

    Consider:

    -My kin needed a Burg when the Draigoch raid was coming out. The only reason I leveled that toon was for my kin to have fs maneuvers for that raid.
    -My kin was low on tanks so I leveled a tank.
    -I waited around doing grindy stuff while waiting to group up.
    -I crafted items so newly leveled new kinmates had reasonable gear to do group activities.
    - I ran Hybold so that my gear didn't make me a liability during group content.
    - I worked on virtues, again so that I wasn't a group liability
    - I ran festivals quests while waiting for that final group member to join up
    - I optimized second age weapons, legacies etc for group play. (As of now, only one my toons has a 2nd age level 95 legendary - they aren't needed to successfully complete content being ran on my server)

    The data would show all of this time was not spent grouping etc.... In reality it ALL was associated with the goal of or waiting on group play.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by swt46 View Post
    The data by itself isn't my concern. What is my concern is the interpretation.

    Consider:

    -My kin needed a Burg when the Draigoch raid was coming out. The only reason I leveled that toon was for my kin to have fs maneuvers for that raid.
    -My kin was low on tanks so I leveled a tank.
    -I waited around doing grindy stuff while waiting to group up.
    -I crafted items so newly leveled new kinmates had reasonable gear to do group activities.
    - I ran Hybold so that my gear didn't make me a liability during group content.
    - I worked on virtues, again so that I wasn't a group liability
    - I ran festivals quests while waiting for that final group member to join up
    - I optimized second age weapons, legacies etc for group play. (As of now, only one my toons has a 2nd age level 95 legendary - they aren't needed to successfully complete content being ran on my server)

    The data would show all of this time was not spent grouping etc.... In reality it ALL was associated with the goal of or waiting on group play.
    Wow, what a great point. I never would have thought of that! I wonder how this gets considered in the calculation of raiding numbers?

  18. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by swt46 View Post
    The data by itself isn't my concern. What is my concern is the interpretation.

    Consider:

    -My kin needed a Burg when the Draigoch raid was coming out. The only reason I leveled that toon was for my kin to have fs maneuvers for that raid.
    -My kin was low on tanks so I leveled a tank.
    -I waited around doing grindy stuff while waiting to group up.
    -I crafted items so newly leveled new kinmates had reasonable gear to do group activities.
    - I ran Hybold so that my gear didn't make me a liability during group content.
    - I worked on virtues, again so that I wasn't a group liability
    - I ran festivals quests while waiting for that final group member to join up
    - I optimized second age weapons, legacies etc for group play. (As of now, only one my toons has a 2nd age level 95 legendary - they aren't needed to successfully complete content being ran on my server)

    The data would show all of this time was not spent grouping etc.... In reality it ALL was associated with the goal of or waiting on group play.
    Meta data does not show intent(the why) but its great for the what and the when. Obviously you were playing the game wrong, shame on you Here's a huge shrew as a consolation prize.

  19. Quote Originally Posted by swt46 View Post
    The data by itself isn't my concern. What is my concern is the interpretation.

    Consider:

    -My kin needed a Burg when the Draigoch raid was coming out. The only reason I leveled that toon was for my kin to have fs maneuvers for that raid.
    -My kin was low on tanks so I leveled a tank.
    -I waited around doing grindy stuff while waiting to group up.
    -I crafted items so newly leveled new kinmates had reasonable gear to do group activities.
    - I ran Hybold so that my gear didn't make me a liability during group content.
    - I worked on virtues, again so that I wasn't a group liability
    - I ran festivals quests while waiting for that final group member to join up
    - I optimized second age weapons, legacies etc for group play. (As of now, only one my toons has a 2nd age level 95 legendary - they aren't needed to successfully complete content being ran on my server)

    The data would show all of this time was not spent grouping etc.... In reality it ALL was associated with the goal of or waiting on group play.
    Quote Originally Posted by Whart View Post
    Wow, what a great point. I never would have thought of that! I wonder how this gets considered in the calculation of raiding numbers?
    Hello, Whart!

    This is my worry as well. I remember a while ago, someone was trying to make the point that a low percentage of players/characters do little more than dabble in end-game content. They were using Mylotro data, which they claimed to show that, of all the level-capped characters that have taken part in raid-level skirmishes, only a very small percentage of them had done a high number of them.

    I pointed out a few things:

    1. Many have a select character with which they are completionists. They might have 8 characters that have tried skirmishes, but only concentrate on one to try to complete all the skirmish deeds.

    2. Like swt46 put so well *waves* - Many try to keep a variety of characters available for end-game content. But skirmishes are not really end-game content, and well-balanced groups are not required for them. So, many likely just default to their 'main', or to Champions to get through them as fast as possible

    How data is interpreted is absolutely critical.


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    The Life and Times of Kaleigh Starshine: Curing insomnia, one reader at a time, and a proud resident of The Cottage of Pen and Play

  20. #45
    I think that those who want or miss raids/instant clusters are in a no win situation based on the conversation from the devs. If interest in raids increase then they will look at reintroducing them? How can interest increase if there are no raids? We ran various group content for years. There was always the hope of the next Rift, ToO or DN. When little effort is put into fixing raid bugs (Draigoch’a Lair) or even updating the loot then essentially Turbine removes the interest. My personal opinion is that it is money related. I would rather they be transparent about it instead of bemoaning how much effort and cost a new raid is and yet telling us that there is no interest or lack of interest in raids as the reason. You are a business and it does come down to the bottom line.


    I was talking to a kin mate and we were trying to pinpoint where and when LOTRO seemed to lose some of its magic (I do not speak for everyone just myself). What was unique about LOTRO is that they had something for everyone. Causal players, group players, raiders, social players, crafters, RPs, hobbies (I threw that one in as a joke) all had something to do. Most raiders I knew were not raiders only. Sure there were some that the whole purpose of playing was to conquer the end game content but most enjoyed other parts of LOTRO as well. I have some things I loved about LOTRO and raiding was one of them. Over the last few years it seems that the game no longer has something for everyone. After I finish a storyline and explore the world I go in hiatus. It did not used to be this way. On the other hand my son plays LOTRO and the storyline and the cosmetics are his favorite part. I am happy to spend money so he can enjoy the game.

    BTW I think most MMOs start out appealing to a large crowd and soon find its niche and refine its focus. ESO has a little bit for everyone but how long will that last? I think maybe LOTRO maintaining that larger focus up through RoI is probably the exception rather than the rule.
    they are all dead.. they just don't know it yet....

  21. #46
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    Just an interesting data point -- While Turbine does not release participation numbers, the game occasionally does.

    During Build 1, the total number of players going through the Paths of the Dead was 579, and the total number of players hitting Level 100 was 469.

    These number come from the server-wide numbers needed to unlock quests in the Paths of the Dead and the Caves of Emyn Enril.
    They are displayed on the Banners in Dol Amroth. The numbers are from Tuesday 17 June at 1pm shortly before BR was shutdown.

    What can one infer from these numbers and monitoring of the new /World chat channel?
    Easily 90+% of the /world chat was about getting the high end gear and essences.
    (This ignores the "how do I get the the E&G" and "Why can't I auto-level my copied character?" questions.)
    There were surprisingly few questions about the quest lines as it seemed that everyone was "leveling-up" by running Sword Hall instances.

    "We report, you decide."
    Bill Magill Mac Player Founder/Lifetimer
    Old Timers Guild - Gladden
    Sr. Editor LOTRO-Wiki.com

    Val - Man Minstrel (108)
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    Valamar - Dwarf Hunter (120)
    Valdicta - Dwarf RK (107)
    Valhad - Elf LM (66)
    Valkeeper - Elf RK (87)
    Valwood - Dwarf RK (81)

    Valhunt - Dwarf Hunter (71)
    Valanne - Beorning (105)
    Ninth - Man Warden (66)

    "Laid back, not so serious, no drama.
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valkrist View Post

    How data is interpreted is absolutely critical.
    The strange thing about data - like literature, but with stats in place of words - is that there is no scarcity of creative interpretations it can provide.

    I do not recall any official Lotro surveys in recent years asking the playerbase to indicate what they want, what they love, and what they hate. Have there been any? Anybody who is reading this please correct me if there have, as I have not been thus surveyed. As to how to implement solicitation of feedback from actual active players (as opposed to us vocal minorities on the forums), putting a survey link on the game launcher would certainly ensure that any active player sees it.

    This leads me to wonder how it had been determined that group content was unpopular. As another poster before me has shown, even "solo" activities like crafting, virtue grinding, and landscape leveling can be engaged with the intention of preparing for group content. Without an extensive survey of the playerbase to account for their varieties of purposes, intentions, and motivations in using different kinds of content in game, I sincerely wonder where and how the "single percentage" data has been calculated. Why hasn't it been calculated in time for the Moria expansion, which shipped with instances and raids? Mirkwood? Isengard? Rohan? All with instances and raids - some delayed, but not cancelled. Why, for so many years, has so much investment been made into unpopular content used by a mere split fraction of players?
    Last edited by Herwegur; Jun 25 2014 at 10:12 PM.
    Éalá Éarendel engla beorhtast,
    ofer middangeard monnum sended,
    ond sóð
    fæsta sunnan léoma,
    torht ofer tung
    las, þú tída gehwane,
    of sylfum þé symle inlíhtes!

    -
    "Leaving the game plan is a sign of panic, and panic is not in our game plan." - Chuck Noll

  23. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by Herwegur View Post
    The strange thing about data - like literature, but with stats in place of words - is that there is no scarcity of creative interpretations it can provide.

    I do not recall any official Lotro surveys in recent years asking the playerbase to indicate what they want, what they love, and what they hate. Have there been any? Anybody who is reading this please correct me if there have, as I have not been thus surveyed. As to how to implement solicitation of feedback from actual active players (as opposed to us vocal minorities on the forums), putting a survey link on the game launcher would certainly ensure that any active player sees it.

    This leads me to wonder how it had been determined that group content was unpopular. As another poster before me has shown, even "solo" activities like crafting, virtue grinding, and landscape leveling can be engaged with the intention of preparing for group content. Without an extensive survey of the playerbase to account for their varieties of purposes, intentions, and motivations in using different kinds of content in game, I sincerely wonder where and how the "single percentage" data has been calculated. Why hasn't it been calculated in time for the Moria expansion, which shipped with instances and raids? Mirkwood? Isengard? Rohan? All with instances and raids - some delayed, but not cancelled. Why, for so many years, has so much investment been made into unpopular content used by a mere split fraction of players?
    Meta data is a pretty nifty tool, but like any tool some things it's good for some not so much. What and when, MD is your guy; the why? That takes a little leg work. Going by pure meta data I'm sure paying house upkeep could be argued as one of the most popular activities. Considering there some number of people who log in once a month just to pay upkeep, log-off for extended durations.

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by cossieuk View Post
    In every expansion before HD there was a instance cluster (RoRs was late but still there), and now it is not cost effective to make them. Given the the percentage of players that raid has remained largely constant over the life of the game this leads me to two possibilities, either they have never been cost effective, which I doubt, or the overall player base has shrunk.
    Very true, but I would point out again that Turbine is a business. And yes, they are owned by WB. However, and I say this as nicely as I possibly can (and through no fault to Turbine)... Turbine is probably a very small fish in the WB pond. What is their funding like? How has the current state of the economy effected them? Well, we know that some unspecified number of employees have been laid off on (IIRC) at least two occasions that I'm aware of. Raids (and general large-group instanced content) have been cut back. Are there possibly other corners being cut to save money?

    The economy is going downhill and I would not be at all surprised if the Great Depression is soon considered a small problem compared to the here and now. The country is digging itself into a hole and either one of two things will happen. A: A miraculous and painless recovery. Or B: We just go flat-out bankrupt, possibly leading to the government being overthrown and general chaos ensuing. To borrow a little from Tolkien, we have woken the Balrog.

    While the rich are still rich and the big companies are still big, everyone is gonna feel the squeeze eventually. Turbine, being a more smallish company, is already feeling the squeeze. And, before anyone starts suggesting things like, "But MMO XYZ is still releasing raids and all kinds of stuff, so Turbine must be doing wrong..." keep in mind that many of the big-ticket MMOs are being developed by big companies. EA is funding SWTOR (and they pretty much went F2P as a life-saver mechanism because the game was such a flop), Bethesda is funding ESO, and so on. Bigger companies are going to be able to last longer without having to cut back than the littler companies. But they'll all get the squeeze eventually, if the economy continues on its current path.

    So yes, RoR (and all the ones before it) had an instance cluster. For that matter, a lot of regular quest packs had some instances as well (Evendim, Angmar, Enedwaith, Great River, etc). But this was years ago. The layoffs and cutbacks are more recent. Based on what I've seen, I'd say that they really have not ever been cost effective. If the percentage of raiders has always been small (which apparently it has), then the return on Turbine's investment has likewise always been small. Only in previous years they've apparently been able to afford it. The same is no longer true, it would seem.

    And I imagine there are many factors (economy not being the least of them). Perhaps in previous years they have said to themselves, "Well, they aren't hugely popular, but let's make some and see it how plays out. Maybe things will pick up a little bit." And then say the same thing year after year. Eventually they realize it's really just not going anywhere, and now the economy is getting even worse, so perhaps they have decided to just cut it off for the foreseeable future. And perhaps, in the case of HD, they thought to themselves, "What can we do to liven things up and maybe bring in more interest?"

    EBs, in concept, are terrific. They are group sizes with a distinct story. No longer do players have to be a certain level. Now they just get scaled up automatically. This means all those poor players in low levels can join in with their friends. Hasn't a big reason behind power-leveling been to reach level cap and go raiding? If players can go raiding (with level-cap friends) without that need, wouldn't that be a good thing?

    Unfortunately, EBs, in execution, are perhaps... not so terrific. At least not in my opinion. And, perhaps, they were the life-line Turbine threw at large-scale group content. When they (seemingly) did not help the situation any, perhaps Turbine decided, "Well... we gave it a try. I guess now we go to Plan B. Maybe someday we can come back and try again."

    We are now in a spoon-fed model. Group content is coming bit by bit (such as the 3-man I've heard is coming with West Gondor). Gone are the days (at least for now, aka the foreseeable future) of having an all-out instance cluster every year. Perhaps we'll get the odd 6-man (or maybe even a 12-man) further down the road. We just don't know. Maybe if the economy recovers Turbine can bring them back. Or maybe if we suddenly get a surge of activity regarding group content. There's no way to know what will happen. Not for us, and I imagine not for Turbine either.

    At least that's my impression.
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bendin View Post
    Meta data is a pretty nifty tool, but like any tool some things it's good for some not so much. What and when, MD is your guy; the why? That takes a little leg work. Going by pure meta data I'm sure paying house upkeep could be argued as one of the most popular activities. Considering there some number of people who log in once a month just to pay upkeep, log-off for extended durations.
    Popular indeed. It amazes me how possessive Lotro players are about their houses (myself included, who owns 5), taking the effort to maintain their upkeep regardless of how often or how infrequently they play. Housing may as well be called the no. 1 feature of Lotro that holds the players' interest regardless of their playing regularity. And we all know how the long-hyped housing update has turned out...


    Quote Originally Posted by anthonyx View Post
    BTW I think most MMOs start out appealing to a large crowd and soon find its niche and refine its focus.
    This is a fair point, but unfortunately there appears to be no dearth of confusion as to what the intended focus and niche is in Lotro's case.

    Catering to the immersion/role-playing crowd? Yet the long-promised housing update has very publicly fallen through the cracks.
    Catering to the lore-loving crowd? Yet the recent proliferation of cosmetic pets like walking huorns and enormous shrews isn't very lore-appropriate.
    Catering to the raiding c---oops my bad, cross that out.
    Catering to the Middle Earth tourists and lovers of landscapes who just want to see more places? This seems to hit the spot.

    Nothing wrong with targeting this last demographic -- if only this had been made explicitly clear at the outset, rather than stringing along players with other playstyles into hanging on to a false hope of a turnaround. Why drum up a housing update for over a year without first ensuring that it can indeed be realistically delivered? Why not give a definite "never" on raids/instances before HD went live? Why not simply announce, as far back as a year ago, "Lotro is moving away from traditional MMO experience towards an interactive tour of Middle Earth's famous places in a consistent environment, with emphasis on visual immersion rather than hectic gamer action - the only one of its kind." This would be true - and again, nothing wrong with that - if only it had been made transparently clear to the paying customers. Instead, we were promised the moon (housing) and been allowed to nurture a false hope (raids/instances) until too recently. Too many things are wrong with that.
    Éalá Éarendel engla beorhtast,
    ofer middangeard monnum sended,
    ond sóð
    fæsta sunnan léoma,
    torht ofer tung
    las, þú tída gehwane,
    of sylfum þé symle inlíhtes!

    -
    "Leaving the game plan is a sign of panic, and panic is not in our game plan." - Chuck Noll

 

 
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