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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Posts
    35

    Producer’s Letter – February 2019 – A Look Ahead

    Producer’s Letter – February 2019 – A Look Ahead


    Greetings!


    My latest letter to you will focus on our goals for the upcoming year. This is slightly different than just discussing upcoming content and features, and I hope to give everyone a bit more insight into how we want to improve the game. So, while this does provide a road map for the year, the following letter focuses more on our goals for the game in 2019:


    Story


    First, our most important goal for the year is to continue to tell your ongoing story. We are excited to continue the Black Book of Mordor as it winds through Middle-earth and leads players to our next expansion. The tale will take us to the Vale of Anduin, where we will explore the history, important events, and secrets of that area. As the year continues, we will unveil more tales in the Vale, and then follow the story back towards Mordor to Minas Morgul itself. Among the many dangers you’ll face will be Shelob herself as you learn what she has been up to, and how she is influencing the future of Middle-earth.


    Challenge


    That leads us to our second goal for the year: continue to balance the challenge of the game. The question of game difficulty has split our players, with some expressing concern over the difficulty in Mordor, and others loving the increased challenge. While we wanted Mordor to be a scary place, we heard your feedback about how difficult the region could be. For the next expansion, our goal is to balance the main storyline with the rest of the game’s content, rather than stepping up in difficulty. The landscape and normal instances will not have the same increased difficulty that Mordor had.


    Instead, We will be looking to introduce optional challenge into the game in some instanced content by extending Difficulty tiers up to four, or even higher. Players can test their skill with these higher instance tiers, and earn increased rewards.. We want some solo-, three-, six-, and twelve-character content to have extra tiers of difficulty: tier four, tier five, or even higher. This will allow players looking for more challenge to opt into it, while allowing players who are not interested in more difficulty to play through the story and not be forced to engage in that type of play.


    64 Bit Client


    We are testing our 64 bit Windows client, and updating our code so that environments it can make better use of graphics memory. This will allow the client to overcome some restrictions on how the world loads, how textures load, and how much we are able to use modern graphics cards. We hope to have a client in beta as early as March.


    Class Balance


    With the recent updates to Minstrel, and with an update to Burglar on the way, many classes will have received their initial balance pass. Although this is a good start, we want to continue to work on class balance with updates, bug fixes, and tweaks throughout the year. We will continue to base that balance work on your feedback in addition to our own internal testing, and we intend to improve this feedback process this year and beyond. We have plans for Rune Keeper and Captain, though our goal for the future is to be able to add small changes to several classes at a time, rather than implementing a large number of changes for a single class.


    Crafting


    One of our goals with the expansion is to add a robust update to Crafting, so players can make better use of the system at higher levels. We want players to craft exciting, fun, and powerful items. Although the system has been updated as players have leveled, we want to make Crafting changes that are even more significant and interesting, and give players a way to create better gear as a supplement to other content. We want players to have ways to interact with the Crafting system as they play through the content without making Crafting a requirement to play through the story.


    Virtues


    One of the things we have been looking into is an update to the Virtue system to make it more relevant. Rather than the current system where Deeds reward Virtue points directly, we will shift to a system where completing Deeds (and possibly other content) will award Virtue experience points. Players will be able to choose which Virtue advances, whether that Virtue is slotted or not. Characters with existing Virtue ranks will be converted to the new system with their Virtue level intact. Additionally, all Virtues will provide small passive benefits to your character, even if they are not slotted. These changes will allow players more choice when earning Virtue benefits.


    Kinships


    We are looking into more ways for Kinships to advance, and new rewards for Kins to earn as a group. We like the idea of small and large Kins advancing, earning cosmetic rewards for their housing, and allowing Kin leaders to occasionally activate buffs that benefit the entire Kinship. Activating these buffs would cost less for smaller guilds without compromising the value of maintaining large guilds if that is what players prefer.


    Grouping


    We want to provide a new Instance Grouping feature that resembles the existing Quest Grouping tab on the Social Panel. This feature will allow you to add up to five instances with class and level requirement criteria, and possibly others. Our goal is to replace the grouping functionality of the Instance Finder and lessen the need to send frequent LFF chat requests.


    Legendary Server


    Amidst all this, we want to make improvements to the game as the players on the Legendary servers march forward and we unlock new content on those servers. Players can expect to visit Moria in the near future, and we will continue to update the Legendary servers throughout the rest of the year.


    We have a busy year ahead of us and we are excited to continue our journey with all of you. Thank you for reading, and thank you for playing The Lord of the Rings Online.


    Sev~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    11
    Awesome. What's not to love?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    41
    Where is the LI revamp?

    The virtue point system sounds like the next lv grind ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Mordor selling hobbits for 10g each
    Posts
    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by Merlindor View Post
    Awesome. What's not to love?
    Surprisingly little to complaim about. I wish there was more info giving on the legendary server based on how popular ita become. Also the new difficulty teirs kinda scare me? It feels more like diablo 3 and idk how I feel about that yet. But I probably wont deal with it much since I'm just nostalgiaing on Anor

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    933
    Brilliant I like the word "expansion".
    Brethwyn Bearsbane of House Breddinga [100-Guardian]
    Hygweard of Rohan, High Protector of Bree-Land and Lord of Emyn Uial
    Children of the Sun - Gilrain

  6. #6
    LoL, SSG do not know how to create decent mechanics so they just higher the tiers of the instances. By just higher the morale and the damage of the mobs doesn't make the game more challenging but boring. Better go back to school to learn creativity.
    Argohald 120 Champion(main), Phokalin 120 Guardian, Helectra 105 Warden Aegean eagles kinship in Evernight
    Aleziana 105 Lore master, Ellinas 100 Guardian, Armonia 65 Captain in Landroval

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Severlin View Post
    Instead, We will be looking to introduce optional challenge into the game in some instanced content by extending Difficulty tiers up to four, or even higher. Players can test their skill with these higher instance tiers, and earn increased rewards.. We want some solo-, three-, six-, and twelve-character content to have extra tiers of difficulty: tier four, tier five, or even higher. This will allow players looking for more challenge to opt into it, while allowing players who are not interested in more difficulty to play through the story and not be forced to engage in that type of play.
    Instead of making tier 3, tier 4, tier 5, or even higher..... why not just go back to T2C? Extra damage and stat bloat is not difficulty, it's just lazy development work and not exciting to play through at all. If the point of switching to T3 from T2C is to save development resources, you will end up wasting those extra resources on frivilous ventures like T4, T5, and beyond.

    We've all witnessed in U23 how broken some boss fights are in T3, to the point where instances like Caverns of Thrumfall is basically impossible to run even with the most optimal group setup. I can already imagine how bad the quality assurance in instance content will be if we go to T4 or T5. They will be broken tiers that nobody will play and they will give marginal rewards anyway, nothing special. You will be able to run T5 for an extra 3 item levels on the same gear, gotta get that +100 vitality RNG drop in a 5 hour run.

  8. #8
    Some promising features from crafting to virtues but disheartened to not see any mention of LI revamp
    lil 'obbit of Evernight...

    Chaos Unbound, Paradox, Silent Paths, Ascension, Bonehunters, Legion of the Valar

  9. #9
    By "expansion" do you mean Mordor-like expansion? With Pre-purchase bonuses and such? Or is it more of the usual "zone update"? Im think the latter since we just had a lvl increase and instance cluster. Would like to get some clarity on this.

    Edit: So Cord said on stream that Vales is an Update and Minas Morgul is an Expansion? Would like a blue name to answer this.


    Everything else sounds ok. The only thing I don't like is the multiple difficulties. SSG has shown that they have trouble with creating instances with multiple tiers and mechanics. I think they should go back to the longer, single difficulty dungeon crawls like Carn Dum and Urugarth. Would be much easier on the dev team if they didn't need to make multiple fights and rewards for the same instance.


    No LI revamp means there needs to be some type of catch up mechanic for scrolls and crystals. I suggest an npc to bring li's up to 74 legacies and 20ish crystals. So players only need 35 scrolls and 5ish crystals per LI. Which is easily attainable imo.


    I've suggested something similar to the virtue change, nice to see something like it.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; Feb 22 2019 at 12:22 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    507
    Hmm...

    Carefully optimistic about Kinship updates and 64-bit client, other than that not much here that interests me as a player. Tier 4 and 5 sounds like an excuse to just slap even more health on enemies rather than make them challenging through mechanics - Tier 3 instances are already ridiculously slow due to inflated health pools while lacking meaningful mechanics, combined with the occasional severely overtuned boss ability. Feels mostly like beating up fancy training dummies. T3 instances were a failure, not something that should be extended even further...

    The Virtues update sounds risky too; if the 'small passive benefits' are statistical benefits or at all combat relevant, minmaxers will now feel obligated to grind all their Virtues to max rank, making the system overall significantly worse. I'm worried. If those benefits are fluff, convenience, cosmetic or only relevant to leveling/landscape, this update could be good though. Will wait and see.

    My army of Westemnet Guild Master crafters are still waiting for something relevant to be done with crafting other than making Essences. Like, you know, actually being able to create a basic set of level cap gear without having to grind a million materials, including rare Shards and even Instance drops/daily grind rewards. I don't see how crafting could get worse than it currently is, so pretty much anything is bound to be an improvement. Looking forward to what you come up with there.

    Sadly, no mention at all of the desperately needed ILI revamp (easily the number one issue both in terms of gameplay quality and game balance; trying to address class balance while ILI's continue to get pushed beyond game-breaking levels of overpoweredness is pointless), nor any comments on the future of Lootboxes and their integration into endgame systems. *sigh*

    In short, nothing here to motivate me to buy the expansion you're (carefully) announcing here. Happy for those who find the letter exciting though.
    Earbold (Laurelin [EN-RP])
    Member of the Bandits raid alliance
    Original Challenger of Gothmog and the Abyss

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    257
    Quote Originally Posted by Severlin View Post
    Producer’s Letter – February 2019 – A Look Ahead

    64 Bit Client

    We are testing our 64 bit Windows client, and updating our code so that environments it can make better use of graphics memory. This will allow the client to overcome some restrictions on how the world loads, how textures load, and how much we are able to use modern graphics cards. We hope to have a client in beta as early as March.

    Class Balance

    With the recent updates to Minstrel, and with an update to Burglar on the way, many classes will have received their initial balance pass. Although this is a good start, we want to continue to work on class balance with updates, bug fixes, and tweaks throughout the year. We will continue to base that balance work on your feedback in addition to our own internal testing, and we intend to improve this feedback process this year and beyond. We have plans for Rune Keeper and Captain, though our goal for the future is to be able to add small changes to several classes at a time, rather than implementing a large number of changes for a single class.
    The 64-bit client is very good news. I hope the beta client can be used with the regular servers so we really can give it a good test.

    I am a bit saddened by the next classes in line for an update as I had hoped the Warden would finally get his tanking stance back. To be honest I think both of the mentioned classes are in a good place - the Captain might even be too good currently as it is considered one of the main tanking classes ahead of Warden. I hope Cappys get a buff to their DPS in exchange for a nerf to their package of tanking tools.
    Zohal
    60 Warden - Member of The Last Alliance - Anor
    Challenger of the Rift - Challenger of Helegrod

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,591
    I like what i see here, looks like what is coming is nice.
    Pontin Level 120 Hobbit Burglar Leader of Second Breakfast Crickhollow Server.
    Alts: Legoan Elf Hunter, Belladonea Hobbit Minstrel, Unnari Dwarf Guardian, Jorunn Man Captain, Sallyberry Hobbit Warden. Maradoc Hobbit Hunter. Laurelin Server, Edwell Man Hunter.


    Here's a guide to making ABC files and my Screenshots of Middle-Earth. Also can follow me on Twitter for Adventures in Middle Earth and more!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    370
    I'm quite interested to hear about those plans for Captain after Vastin's latest post talking about how they are planning to tone down the biggest fellowship buffs. Has me a little concerned for the class, especially if that happens and we get nothing else to compensate, but I'll wait to see what happens before jumping to conclusions, hope we hear something soon though.

    Very excited to hear about Minas Morgul being the next expansion though, and seeing what's up with Shelob. Also can't wait to get that 64 bit client revved up.

  14. #14
    Will Lotro ever add 2FA to the accounts?

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Dublin, Ireland
    Posts
    1,745
    All good stuff. Looking forward to it

    -Bel
    Belnavar - Captain - 120 - Brandywine - An Unexpected Kinship

  16. #16
    According to the current Lotrostream: Vale of Anduin is an update with quest pack, while Minas Morgul will be a full expansion.
    Lina Willowwood, biscuit-eating bard on Laurelin
    Hobbit RP? Grand Order of the Lost Mathom
    Songs + videos on me biscuity burrow

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Olore Malle
    Posts
    885
    it looks well and good on paper, but to actually see things in game is a whole another story, so I will reserve judgement for when all these things will be in game, hopefully not broken on release

    oh, addendum... where is the LI revamp? It can't continue like this, it is just a big burden that needs to be shed

    If by crafting being more exciting you mean making it even more grinder, locked behind reputation, instances, rng walls or even worse loot boxes, please no. Just don't touch crafting anymore and do not ruin it even more
    Last edited by miriadel; Feb 22 2019 at 12:26 PM.
    My Lotro blog :)

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleziana View Post
    LoL, SSG do not know how to create decent mechanics so they just higher the tiers of the instances. By just higher the morale and the damage of the mobs doesn't make the game more challenging but boring. Better go back to school to learn creativity.

    Why bothering scripting a challenge when when you can simply multiply the damage / resistance of the mobs and remove some work for the devs.
    This game has reached the point of no return.

    #Stop_T3_T4_T5_We_Want_Challen ge_Back_!
    Last edited by MolagBal; Feb 22 2019 at 12:30 PM.

  19. #19

    Sounds good, but...

    ...yeah LI revamp?

    Nothing about fixing bugs, like boss 1 Glimmerdeep reset, etc. (which ties into proper testing before releasing quirky content)

    Nothing about making stat tomes relevant with main stat nerf...we'll have to wait and see about the new virtue system. I'd recommend deeding your @$$ off now so you get grandfathered in.

    Mordor wasn't hard (smh)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Skarháld
    Posts
    1,528
    I like Minas Morgul being an expansion, but I'd be interested to know how they plan to make a full expansion out of it, unless including some further zones like Nurn and the Sea of Nurnen.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Zohal View Post
    The 64-bit client is very good news. I hope the beta client can be used with the regular servers so we really can give it a good test.

    I am a bit saddened by the next classes in line for an update as I had hoped the Warden would finally get his tanking stance back. To be honest I think both of the mentioned classes are in a good place - the Captain might even be too good currently as it is considered one of the main tanking classes ahead of Warden. I hope Cappys get a buff to their DPS in exchange for a nerf to their package of tanking tools.
    Captains are not in a good place. Their ability to heal is hampered by scaling issues and they have no personal DPS they can use for leveling. Their support is good and tanking is in a fine place, but that doesn't mean they are in a good place. Also just because Warden isn't in a good place for tanking right now is no reason to take away Captain's ability to tank in Yellow. There's no reason a Captain shouldn't be able to be played as one of the main tanking classes. It's just that Wardens need to get to a point where they are also considered one of them.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Location: Location:
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    534
    Quote Originally Posted by Severlin View Post
    Crafting


    One of our goals with the expansion is to add a robust update to Crafting, so players can make better use of the system at higher levels. We want players to craft exciting, fun, and powerful items. Although the system has been updated as players have leveled, we want to make Crafting changes that are even more significant and interesting, and give players a way to create better gear as a supplement to other content. We want players to have ways to interact with the Crafting system as they play through the content without making Crafting a requirement to play through the story.
    i'll believe it when i see it. i've seen this touted before with nothing to show for it. crafting has been on the back burner for years now, all for the glory of lootbox/instance gear.


    Virtues


    One of the things we have been looking into is an update to the Virtue system to make it more relevant. Rather than the current system where Deeds reward Virtue points directly, we will shift to a system where completing Deeds (and possibly other content) will award Virtue experience points. Players will be able to choose which Virtue advances, whether that Virtue is slotted or not. Characters with existing Virtue ranks will be converted to the new system with their Virtue level intact. Additionally, all Virtues will provide small passive benefits to your character, even if they are not slotted. These changes will allow players more choice when earning Virtue benefits.
    please don't. there is nothing wrong with the virtue system. all you really need to do is increase the max level, just as what was done before. think trait lines and what happened after that.
    The Lover®: So suave. So cool. So debonair. So smooth.

    This is CYAN. This is TEAL. Know the difference.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    725
    I know that rk and cappys did Not get their big update yet but there are really other classes that are in a way worse state right now
    RKs and cappys are actually very welcome and needed in every (!) raid.
    Not saying they do not deserve their update, esp blue cappys and blue RKs but still.... :/

    As a main tank warden with 95% t2 raid equip I am taking a break right now tbh. I do Not get why they won't give us these very few tweaks that would Help us getting a Spot in more than a kin raid or a t3 raid. It gets more annoying with every year more the warden tank gets ignored and many were forced to switch to DD.
    This is not a "they do Not what i want so i leave" Statement but I am just really not motivated anymore. The love for this game is slowly fading.

    Overall I am also Missing the Leg Item revamp and i am not impressed by t4-x.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Lothlorien
    Posts
    987
    No LI revamp? Would love to see it easier to get an LI to cap status so I can start playing more alts again. Whether its an instant level from imbuement or an NPC that we can talk to to boost it to a higher tier needing only few scrolls and crystals (I like the 35 scroll and 5 crystal suggestion)
    Death's Bane : Arkenstone : Endgame
    Mirage : Arkenstone : 75 Capped
    Meneldor Native

  25. #25


    I can not believe the Warden isn't at the forefront of class balance revamps. And no LI revamp is incredibly demotivating to boot.
    Spear Request: Fix me.
    Warden Request: Fix our red line! We need +3 DoT pulses and meaningful/significant spear gambits!

 

 
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