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  1. #1

    Lotro: Echoes of Eriador - My vision for a Lotro 2.0

    Hello all. I like to design games in my spare time and with the announcement of a second Tolkien MMO in the works I feel that now would be as good as time as any to share my vision for a Lotro 2.0 MMO game. I have a lot to share and I'm curious for any constructive criticism and opinions. I would also like to apologize for the format, I am a noob a using the forums.

    Before I get started here are some quick notes:

    1: License - I am assume that the license remains the same. From what we know, that contains The Hobbit and the The Trilogy plus Appendices. While I'm sure many players would love a 1st, 2nd or early 3rd age setting, I've designed the game around the same War of the Ring setting as the current game. I'm sure that most of the gameplay elements and philosophies could be carried over if a different license is obtained.

    2: Completely new game - This is not an expansion or update. By completely new game I mean completely new game. Nothing will carry over from character to character.

    3: I've been playing Lotro for nearly 7 years now and have been active in nearly every aspect of the game, from being a casual player when I first started, to running t2c instances to pvmp and everything in between. One area I am lacking in is classes played. Warden is the only class I have extensively played so any examples I use will be likely be with a Warden.

    4: This is rather long and may take some time to make it through all of it.

    With that out of the way, onto the content!



    LOTRO: ECHOES OF ERIADOR

    Welcome to Lotro: Echoes of Eriador, a MMO that allows players to step foot in Tolkien's world of Middle Earth. The story begins at the tail end of the 3rd Age, with the Dark Lord Sauron returning once more to conquer the Free Peoples of Middle Earth. Players will need to traverse the vast world of Middle Earth, uniting together to fight against the growing shadow in the east all while completing stories both past and present. The adventure begins in Eriador where an unsuspecting hobbit has in his possession a weapon of immense power.



    THE WORLD

    As you can tell, the base game will take place in Eriador. While its the same starting area as the original game, Eriador is incredibly rich in lore and works well with my content plan.



    REGIONS - At launch the landscape will consist of the following regions. (I had a map but I cant post pictures for some reason.)

    Ered Luin - Including the Grey Havens
    Tower Hills - No portals!
    The Shire - including the south farthing and sarn ford.
    Evendim
    Forochel
    Breeland
    North Downs
    Lone-lands
    Trollshaws
    Eregion
    Enedwaith

    A lot of the same areas already accessible, with the new additions being the Grey Havens and Tower Hills. Some notable area's missing are Angmar, which is part of the short term content plan. And the Misty Mountains, which is part of the long term content plan.



    WORLD BUILDING PHILOSOPHY

    Lotro EoE Landscape Philosophy will be significantly different from the original game. The overall goal is to create a complete immersive and interactive world. One that players will find themselves getting lost in for countless hours. To achieve this, the plan is to move away from region-based world building and move towards a more lore-based open concept that will allow players to move in any direction they choose.

    I want to push freedom and exploration as well as lore appropriate landscape. This means that border guides like mountains or invisible walls will no longer exist. The region/level design will also be scrapped in favor for lore based design.



    EXPLORATION

    Exploration will play a key role in Lotro EoE. Maps will be blank and uncover as you explore areas. Not all locations will have quests leading to them. There won’t be mountains guiding you towards your next destination. The world is open for players to explore with many discovers to be made across Middle Earth. Maps will be available for players to purchase that will uncover the world map for them if they so choose.



    THE SHADOW RISING IN THE EAST

    While I want to promote Exploration and Adventure, I also want to build a dangerous world. Sauron has returned and his forces have begun to move against the Free Peoples of Middle Earth. The world has become extremely dangerous to travel in outside of a few select areas. The further the player travels from hubs the more dangerous the world becomes; friendly camps will be fewer and far between.

    Certain places tainted by Sauron will have “The Creeping Shadow” debuff. It will be like the Shadow of Mordor debuff, but won’t scale as high and be as taxing on the player.



    WORLD SIZE AND INTERIORS

    To help create a sense of Exploration and Adventure, the World Size will be increased significantly from the current version. 1.5x to 2x the current size. Most of this will be filler or transition land.

    Interiors will also be fleshed out with more locations having indoor areas. Testing will be needed to determine if we will need loading screens between doors.



    TRAVELLING

    Mounts – Mounts will be the primary source of player travel. Because the game world will be larger, players will receive their mounts in the introduction. There will be mount quests and courses to improve mount speed and health.

    Milestone Skill – Players will receive One milestone skill which can be used to travel to a select location throughout Middle Earth. (May add 1 or 2 more if needed)
    Stable Masters – Players can purchase rides to and from major locations via the Stable Master. Players will have to discover certain stable masters to use them.
    Return home skill - Players will receive 1 Return Home skill which will port players to whichever home they chose during character creation.
    Summoning – Certain classes can summon/be summoned. There will also be a summoning horn item.

    Travel Rations – Travel Rations will make a return!



    HUBS

    A Hub is a location where everything a player needs is located. Auction House, Vaults, Stable Masters, Vendors, Crafting Halls and Guilds. Housing Districts. You name it, a hub will have it.

    Hubs will be one of the few places that breaks the lore-based world building philosophy. Since Lotro EoE is an MMO, there needs to be measures in place to ensure that players will interact with each other. Because of this, there will only be a handful of Hubs and as such, certain places that would make sense lore wise to be Hubs, will not be.

    Hubs at launch:
    Mithlond
    Thorins Hall
    Michel Delving
    Bree
    Imladris

    NPC'S - To make the world feel alive, there will be numerous types of NPC's serving specific functions. This list doesn't include named/story/lore characters.

    Auctioneer - Runs the Auction House.
    Bard - Select Virtues.
    Blacksmith - Sells basic gear. Repairs gear.
    Class Trainer - Learn Skills and begin Class Quests.
    Guard - Patrols and defends locations from enemies.
    Grand-Crafter - Only way to obtain specific crafted items.
    Locksmith - Can unlock locked chests.
    Merchant - Buys and sells junk.
    Vault-Keeper - Access Bank Space.

    SCALING

    Due to the worlding building philosophy, scaling will be used rather sparingly, if at all. Because we are going for a lore-based world, certain areas of Middle Earth are obviously more dangerous than others. Scaling just wouldn’t work in that environment. Systems will be put in place to ensure grouping and playing with friends isn't as challenging as the original is. I also feel that scaling can get messy and time consuming and wish to avoid it if possible.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; Aug 28 2020 at 10:37 PM.

  2. #2

    Lotro EoE - Story and Quests

    Work in Progress




    QUESTS

    Epic Questline - The overarching story of Lotr. The rise of Sauron, the War of the Ring and ending with the destruction of the ring.

    Regional Books - Questlines that stay regional. And example would be Epic Vol 1 of original game. A questline that starts and ends in 1 region (Eriador) and doesn't take the player away from the region.

    Area Questlines - Questlines that stay in one area. An example would be "The State of the Expedition" in the Grey Mountains which starts and ends in one area (Grey Mountains)

    Adventure Questlines - Questlines that tell a story. These quests may take players all across Middle Earth. "Lay of Rust and Rime" is an example of this.

    Class Quests - Quests for specific classes.

    Crafting Quests - Quests that require crafting specific items or acquiring specific mats.

    Crafting Guild Quests - Quests that involve assisting the various Crafting Guilds. May involve both combat and crafting.

    Mount Quests - Quests that require players to use their mounts. Rewards riding skill and mount boosts.

    Filler Quests - There will be as few filler quests as possible! Due to the change in levelling design, the need for filler quests will cease to exist. There will still be a handful of them spread around, mainly for reputation and instance purposes.

    Dailies - Due to the change in levelling design, the need for dailies will cease to exist! There will still be a handful of dailies, mainly for reputation and instance purposes.

    Lost Lore Questlines - Lost Lore Quests are a recent addition to Lotro. In Lotro 2.0 they will receive increased dev support and turn into minor questlines. Lost Lore questlines will have players learn the stories of Middle Earth's past. Characters, Locations, Event and Items will have a lost lore questlines associated with them. Once a player collects all of the pages, they will be able to complete a session play quest that replays the specific event or explore a certain location. This will allow players to experience the numerous major events of past ages while staying in the 3rd age.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; Apr 29 2020 at 03:22 AM.

  3. #3

    Lotro EoE - Character Creation

    Work in Progress

    When creating a new character, players will be able to select the following:

    Race
    Hometown
    Class
    Appearance
    Name

    Name and Appearance are self explanatory. Appearance can be changed anytime at a barber. Name can be changed by purchasing a Name Change Token from the store.



    RACES

    The goal will be to have all available races launch. That includes the numerous sub-races aka Silvan Elves, Noldor Elves, Sindar Elves, Teleri Elves, Half Elves etc. If all races are available at launch there will be no races added in the future.

    RACIAL TRAITS

    1: Combat Traits

    There will be no combat "bonus" racial traits. The reason for this is to avoid have race/class combo's that are "the best/necessary".

    Instead some races will start with a higher skill level than others. For example Silvan Elves may start with "Bow Skill 2" instead of 0. That way there is a lore based bonus while still allowing other races to not be forever behind.

    2: Passive Traits

    Each race will have several passive traits based on lore. For example Men of Rohan will have a bonus mount speed.

    3: Reputation Traits

    All races will start at max rep (or close to it) with there respective factions. For example Elves of Lorien will start with Max rep with the Elves of Lothlorien. Elves of Lorien will also start with Friendly with Elves of Rivendell for example.



    HOMETOWN/HOME REGION

    Players will be able to select where in Middle Earth their character is from. There will be numerous locations for each race.

    Hometown will determine which intro the player partakes in. Ideally this means that there will be several dozen intro's. But that number may be lowered due to time constraints.

    Hometown will also play a part in starting rep for factions with multiple cities. In this case the players hometown rep will start at max/near max.

    Lastly, Hometown will provide a unique trait. For example Men from Dol Amroth will earn gold faster than Men from Minas Tirith.



    CLASSES

    Players will be able to choose the following 9 classes:

    Burglar
    Captain
    Hunter
    Lore-Master
    Minstrel
    Warden

    Like Races, no new Classes will be added after launch. See class design section for more details.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; May 29 2019 at 02:48 AM.

  4. #4

    Lotro EoE - Classes

    Work in Progress - I actually mean that for this one.

    CLASSES

    Class will fundamentally remain the same. I.e. Wardens will still use Gambits, Hunters will still use Focus etc.

    There will be 9 classes at launch. (9 Classes to match 9 members of the Fellowship.) For the sake of balance and workload, no new classes will be added after launch.

    COMMON SKILLS -All classes will have a handful of common skills shared between them. There may be cooldown or effect differences but they will generally do the same thing. The skills are:

    In-Combat Sprint
    Panic Skill
    Corruption Removal



    TRAIT SYSTEM - The old trait system will make a return, with a few changes. 1: All traits will be available from the beginning. There will be no grinding class deeds or completing book quests. 2: No legendary traits or trait set bonuses.

    There will be 7 trait slots and players can pick any 7 traits to customize their builds.



    ROLES - The Holy Trinity plus Support. Pretty self-explanatory.
    Tanking
    Dps
    Healing
    Support

    Raid Roles - In order to provide a optimal raid experience, encounters will be designed around specific class roles. While players don't have to follow the specific class roles, they may find it more difficult than
    *Primary Raid Role (PRR) - If there is one of a class in the raid, this is the expected role. Example - If there is 1 Burglar in the raid, it will be in a support role.
    *Secondary Raid Role (SRR) - If there is two or more of a class in the raid, this is the expected role. Example - if there are 2 Burglars in the raid, one will play the dps while other plays primary support.
    *Casual Role (CR) - This role means that the role is meant less for raiding and more for assisting casual players with progressing through the game. While players can raid with this role, they may need higher tier gear/skill play than if they use other roles.


    THE CLASSES

    BURGLAR (PRR - Support. SRR - DPS)

    Assassin Traits - Traits that focus on dealing high critical damage on a single target.
    Stealth Traits - Traits that focus on sneaking.
    Trickster Traits - Traits that focus on CC, Buffing and Debuffing.

    Unique ability - Open locked chests.

    Raid Roles - Burglars primary role in raids will be support. If more than one Burglar is in the raid, then the extra will be dps.



    CAPTAIN (PRR )

    Healing Traits
    Tanking Traits
    Leadership Traits - Herald and Fellowship Traits

    Unique Skill - Can summon players to their location.

    Raid Roles - Captains have a unique role of acting as either a Tank or Healer while offering support buffs to allies. If for some reason there are more than four Captains in a raid then the raid group may need to rethink its strategy.



    HUNTER (Role: DPS)

    1: Bowman Traits - Equivalent to Red Line. The Hunter stays Stationary for maximum damage output. *PRT
    2: Ranger Traits - Traits that focus on Hunter Melee skills and moving while shooting.
    3: Trapper Traits - Traits that focus on CC using traps.

    No major changes to the hunter. (Maybe)

    Unique Skill - Can place a camp at specific spots in ME. Can port themselves and others to camp.

    Raid Roles - Hunters will primarily be the main dps in raids. In the event that numerous hunters find themselves in a raid, one may find more use as a support class that uses traps to CC enemies.



    LORE-MASTER (Role: DPS/Support)

    1: "" - Equivalent to Red Line. Damage Dealing Line.
    2: Beast Keeper Traits - Equivalent to Blue Line. Tame beasts to use as allies.
    3: Lore Keeper Traits - Equivalent to Yellow Line. Buff allies and debuff enemies.

    Unique Skill - Lorebook skill that shows details of enemies.

    Raid Roles - Lore-Masters will primarily be used as a support class in raids, buffing allies and debuffing enemies. In the event that multiple Lore-Masters are in a raid, the extra Lore-Masters could be more effective as AoE damage dealers and may even be able to use the bear pet to tank a specific add.



    MINSTREL (Role: Healer)

    1: Healing Traits - Traits that focus on
    2: Warrior Poet Traits - Traits that focus on damage.
    3: Bard Traits - Traits that focus on buff fellow players

    Unique Skill - Can teach other players how to play instruments.

    Raid Roles - Minstrels will primarily be healers in raids. In the event that multiple minstrels are in a raid (3+), the extra minstrels would be more effective as a support class that buffs the raid and even deal a little damage if needed.



    SWORDSMAN (Role: Tank/DPS)

    1: Guardian -
    2: Champion -
    3:

    WARDEN (Role: Hybrid Tank/DPS)

    1: Spear Traits - Traits that focus on single target bleeds.
    2: Shield Traits - Traits that focus on tanking.
    3: Fist Traits - Traits that focus on AoE gambits and skills.

    Wardens will lose their ranged stance in favor of a more in depth ST and AoE dps builds. All javelin skills will receive an upgrade to damage and a powerful effect, along with extended cool downs.

    Unique Ability - Warden - Can select an outlying settlement or outpost and port there.

    Raid Roles - Wardens can either be tanks or dps in the raid.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; May 02 2020 at 02:22 AM.

  5. #5

    Lotro EoE - Character Progression

    Work in Progress

    LEVEL PROGRESSION - 15 Levels. Start at Lvl 1. Level to Lvl 5 in the Intro. Landscape is Lvls 6-15.

    Level 1 - 50 Morale, 15 Power, 5 Might, Agility, Will, Vitality, 2 Fate, Characters Start at Level 1.
    Level 2 - +3 Morale, +2 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, LI, LI Glyph
    Level 3 - +5 Morale, +3 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Trait Slot, Class Skill
    Level 4 - +7 Morale, +4 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, LI Glyph
    Level 5 - +9 Morale, +5 Power, +2 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +3 Vitality, Trait Slot, Class Skill
    Level 6 - +10 Morale, +6 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Virtue Slot LI Glyph
    Level 7 - +11 Morale, +7 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Trait Slot, Class Skill
    Level 8 - +12 Morale, +8 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Virtue Slot, LI Glyph
    Level 9 - +13 Morale, +9 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Trait Slot, Class Skill
    Level 10 - +15 Morale, +10 Power, +3 Might, Agility, Will, +2 Fate, +5 Vitality, Virtue Slot LI Glyph
    Level 11 - +16 Morale, +11 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Trait Slot, Class Skill
    Level 12 - +17 Morale, +12 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Virtue Slot, LI Glyph
    Level 13 - +18 Morale, +13 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Trait Slot, Class Skill
    Level 14 - +19 Morale, +14 Power, +1 Might, Agility, Will, Fate, +2 Vitality, Virtue Slot LI Glyph
    Level 15 - +20 Morale, +15 Power, +5 Might, Agility, Will, +2 Vitality, +3 Fate, Trait Slot, Class Skill, Lesser Ring of Power

    Why 15 Levels? - There are several reasons for only having 15 Levels.
    1: Content. As I have said many times in this thread, content is the most important aspect of an MMO. With 50 Lvls, the game has a large amount of content that becomes obsolete once players out level it. 15 Levels allows a vast amount of content for players to complete because there is no out levelling the content.
    2: Start at Endgame. As I browse various MMO forums, a common topic I see is "If most of the game is focused on endgame, then why don't players just start there." This is something that I have come to agree with. Having only 15 Levels allows players to immediately begin gearing up for end game. No spending dozens/hundreds of hours catching up to friends. Just roll a character and begin playing.
    3: Elimination of filler/dailies. Because players will be starting at endgame, this allows all questlines that would originally be used for levelling to be used as end game quests instead. Instead of using dailies and filler quests to keep players playing. End game will consist of story driven questlines for interested players.
    4: Less dev work. No need for 50 levels of gear. No need for dozens/hundreds of levelling quests. Testing xp gains etc. When there is only a limited time to develop a game, finding things to cut is always a plus.



    CLASS SKILLS - Players will receive their class skills from either their class trainer or from their class specific questline. Once players complete the intro they will be directed to their class trainer to being the questline.



    LEGENDARY ITEM

    Legendary Items will return. Class LI’s will not. Wardens and Hunters will lose their Javelin/Sword LW so each class will have only ONE LI equipped instead of two.

    The Legendary Weapon/Item can be any of the following; Main Hand, off hand, bow, shield or class item.

    Players will receive their legendary weapon/item during the intro so they cant miss it. There will be no First Age/Second Age/Third Age variants. It will simply be “Legendary Weapon” (Can be named).

    Legendary Weapons will be linked to player level. Players will be level 2 when they obtain their Legendary Item. Whenever the player levels up, the LI levels up. Once the player caps at 15, the LI will cap at 15.

    Players can use gold to purchase addition LI's for off specs or min/maxing.

    GLYPHS (LEGACIES) - At levels 2/4/6/8/10/12/14 players will be able to select a glyph.

    Legendary Weapon/Item Glyphs will be Active Focus. Meaning that all Glyphs a player chooses will have some effect on the way a player plays the game (via rotations and skills). Using Wardenas an example, a glyph may be: “Using a Finisher Gambit in order will trigger a second copy of the Gambit on the target.” This glyph will actively get a warden to use gambits in a certain order to get the extra trigger. What a Warden glyph won’t look like: “+100% Light Damage.” This glyph has no effect on player rotation at all as it is just a passive boost.

    Glyphs can be changed during reforge or using a replacement scroll.

    SCROLLS, CRYSTALS and TITLES - LI’s can be empowered using Star Lit crystals (max of three) and scrolls of empowerment (Max of 8, 1 scroll per trait.) The crystals will boost dps while the scrolls of empowerment will change/empower the trait.

    Titles will return, giving players the option to specify the type of damage LW’s do.

    REFORGING

    Players can reforge their LW/LI at any time.

    Reforging will allow players to change any glyphs freely.

    Reforging will cost the player any starlit crystals or scroll of empowerment currently on the LW. There will be a trait replacement scroll to allow trait swapping without reforging. (Imbuement scroll)

    Reforging will also allow players to select a hilt/class relic for their weapon to use. Hilts will come from several types of content and will have gem slots. (The more difficult the content, the better the hilt. Gems = Relics)

    Reforging will allow players to select which type of LI they want. For example, if a player starts with an axe and then decide that they want to use a sword, they will be able to do so.

    INFUSING - Throughout Middle Earth, players will find weapons from ages past. Players can take the weapons and infuse them with their LW for unique upgrades. Infusing requires reforging. (1st agers found in raids. 2nd agers in difficult landscape/instances. 3rd agers from anywhere.)

    OVERCHARGING - Once the player caps the LW, they can continue gaining ixp. Once the ixp bar fills up, players will be given a choice of either a starlit crystal, scroll of empowerment or imbuement scroll as a reward. The amount of ixp needed will be substantially higher than normal LW levelling to avoid over grinding. The goal is to make this something that rewards players for playing over time, but not something that players actively chase.



    LESSER RING OF POWER AND ESSENCES - Once players reach Lvl 15 they will be summoned by Elrond who will give them a Lesser Ring of Power. Players will then complete a ring lore questline that takes them to a ring forge in Eregion.

    Metals and Gems - There will be several metals and gems that players can choose to customize their ring. Both will have different stats/effects to choose from.

    Ring Lore - Throughout Middle-Earth there will be pages of ring lore that players can recover. Pages of ring lore will allow players to refine their ring, making it stronger.

    Players can only have ONE Lesser Ring of Power.

    ESSENCES - Essences will return. They will only be used with the Lesser Ring of Power. The Lesser Ring will have 5 essence slots.

    Stat essences will not exist. Instead essences will be; class based (similar to central gondor), non-combat passives (for example +5% ooc run speed), or Legendary essences (powerful, single-use effects)

    A majority of essences will be crafted. Some basic ones will drop from enemies. Some will be rewarded from class or rep barterers. Some strong unique ones will drop from raids.

    ESSENCE RECYCLING - All essences can be broken down into Essence Fragments, which will be stored in the player wallet. Essence Fragments can then be traded for Malleable Essences, which are used to craft essences. Essence Fragments can also be traded for essences as well.

    RING FORGE - Players may take their ring to the ring-forge at anytime to reforge it. Reforging allows players to swap essences, pick different ores and gems and refine their ring.



    WEAPON SKILLS - Weapon Skills is a kill-based system. Whenever the player kills an enemy with a weapon, the player tallies a kill towards that weapon. Kill an orc with a sword, get a sword point. Kill fifty enemies with a sword, get a level in sword use, gaining a boost with sword damage. This will allow players to pick whatever weapon they wish to use in combat and not have to worry about class bonuses or other systems to determine what weapon they use.

    SLAYER SKILLS - Like Weapon Skills. Kill a Blue Mountain Orc, get a point. Kill 50 Blue Mountain Orcs, get a damage boost to Blue Mountain Orcs. Applies to all enemies and replaces slayers deeds. Will not be locked by zone or area. Follows the world building philosophy.

    VIRTUES - Virtues will return. Obtaining them will be different. After completing certain quests and deeds, players will receive a Virtue Point. They can then go to a Bard and spend the Virtue Points on up to five different Virtues. Players can acquire more Virtue Points than they are able spend to ensure that players can reach the max without having to hunting down every point. They can change virtues at a Bard using gold.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; May 01 2020 at 10:17 PM.

  6. #6

    Lotro EoE - Group Content and End Game

    GROUP LANDSCAPE

    While most of the landscape will be solo friendly, there will be a decent amount of Group Content across Middle Earth. This content could require from 2 to 12 people to tackle and offers unique rewards to those who wish to explore these zones.

    You will notice that a lot of the group landscape areas will also have an instance or two associated with them. As a rule, all instance entrances will have fellowship/raid mobs around them. This section is written more towards the landscape areas that are specifically designed for groups.

    Landscape Bosses – These bosses are like “Roving Threats” but they will stick to one spawn point and wont wander as much. These bosses will usually be surrounded by mobs of the same difficulty.

    Small Fellowship Bosses – Named Elites that wander specific areas. Will drop shards and rare crafting mats.
    Fellowship Bosses – Named Rare Elites that wander specific areas. Will drop unique crafting mats and recipes.
    Raid Bosses – Named Nemesis that spawn in specific areas, will drop various unique crafting mats, unique gear and collectibles.

    Landscape Small/Fellowship/Raid Areas - These areas will be designed outside-in. For example, the outskirts of Annuminas will be 3-man focused, the inner city will be 6-man focused and the Palace area might have a boss or two that requires a raid to take down. Some Examples:

    Barrow Downs
    Annuminas
    Outskirts of Fornost
    Sarnur



    GROUP INSTANCES

    I’ll start off by saying that Skirmishes and Epic Battles will not return. (Epic Battles may return as 3-man casual content. Will decide on this when the time comes.)

    Skirmish Camps - Because skirmishes will be removed from the game, the purpose of skirmish camps will be revamped. Every instance will have a skirmish camp placed close to the entrance. The camp will consist of vendors and quest givers associated with said instance, along with a stable master and summoning horn so players can gather and travel to the entrance as a group. Think of Iorelen’s Camp outside the Rift, but for every instance

    Instance Finder - There will be no instance finder. Groups must be formed the old-fashioned way (Talking!) and players will need to travel to the entrance in order to enter the instance. There will be questlines for each instance to set up a story and point players to the direction of the entrance, as well as skirmish camps and mustering horns to be able to gather fellowships/raids quickly.

    Tiers – Group Instanced Content will have 1 (Yes, I said 1!) Tier.

    Originally, I was going to go with multiple tiers, but after thinking about it for some time, I decided to go old school and only have one tier. One Tier will be easier on the dev team (less work and testing needed) and will hopefully improve the quality of the instances.

    Instead of having multiple difficulties, Instances will interlock with each other, with some instances rewarding items and gear needed to progress through other instances. For example, the Draigoch’s Lair Raid may require Fire Mitigation Essences that only drop from the Fornost Raid.

    Instance gear will also overlap, with some instances giving same quality gear as others. For example, Draigoch’s Lair may reward the same gear as Fornost, but with a different set bonus. The overall goal of this philosophy is to give players a plethora of instances to choose from, while ensuring that content doesn’t become out of date too quickly.

    A note on mechanics – Bosses will be designed as a fight, instead of by mechanics. I believe that designing fights by mechanics leads to poor boss encounters and below average raid experience for the player. Instead of saying “All boss fights will have 5-7 mechanics”, boss fights will be designed with lore and encounter in mind. This means that some bosses could have 2 mechanics and other boss could have 8. It all depends on the lore and how I envision a fight with said boss would go.



    FELLOWSHIP INSTANCES - The name of the game will be 6 mans. 6 mans, 6 mans 6 mans. Did I mention 6 mans? In my opinion, 6 mans are the bread and butter of group instances in Lotro. From Fornost and Carn Dum, to Moria 6 mans, to Lost Temple and Sari Suma to Dome of Stars and Silent Street, some of the best instances are 6 mans. Which is why 6 mans will be the focus of end game group content.

    The fate of 3-mans - While I’ve enjoyed playing 3 mans over the course of Lotro, I feel they aren’t as fulfilling as end game content. 3 man’s will still be in the game however in the form of crafting resource instances and landscape instances (think Eregion and Moria LI instances). They will have one difficulty and be tuned toward the easier side for accessibility.

    6-Mans at launch:

    - Rath Teraig, Ered Luin
    - Blackwold Camp, Bree Land
    - Troll Caves, Trollshaws
    - Sari Suma, Forochel
    - Garth Agarwen, Lone-Lands
    - Northcotton Farm, Evendim
    - Sarnu, Ered Luin
    - Ost Elendil, Evendim
    - Mirobel, Eregion
    - 4 Barrow Down Barrows (2-3 Bosses Each), Bree Land
    - Tomb of Elendil, Evendim
    - Ring Forges of Mirobel, Eregion

    *Other Possible Instances - Not fully fleshed out
    Underwater Annuminas Instance that has players start underwater then move up through the city and end at Glinghant.

    RAIDS

    Raids will see vastly increased development support as I feel raids are extremely important to the health of an mmo. I currently have 8 raids planned in the short term content plan.

    Raids can only be accessible at lvl 15 as end game content. They are the most difficult PvE content in the game and as such will reward the best gear (stat wise) in the game.

    Raids at Launch:

    Unnamed Troll Raid (Single Boss)
    The Great Barrow (Multi-Boss)
    Fornost (Multi-Boss) Releases 3-4 months after launch.

    Raids will require a team of 12. I am considering raising that to 18 or 24 for more of a challenge. (Heavily leaning towards 18)
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; Feb 19 2020 at 03:30 AM.

  7. #7

    Lotro EoE - PvMP

    Work In Progress

    FREEP characters can start PvMP at lvl 24. Their character will be scaled to level 50. Players can earn exp while playing so leveling through PvMP is possible.
    CREEP Characters will start at lvl 45 and will level to 50 by completing a few intro quests.



    CREEP CLASSES

    The 6 CREEP classes will return, along with 3 more CREEP Classes to bring the total to 9 (To match the 9 Freep Classes and 9 Ringwraiths)

    Some ideas

    Black Numenorean
    Troll
    Human (Haradrim, Easterling, Angmarim, Dunlanding, Bandit)
    Goblin Leader
    Warg Rider

    Could also use recommendations.

    *Because balance is never ending work, no new classes will be added to the game after launch (similar to freep classes.) Adding more balance work to the dev team is dangerous and could lead to a drop in quality. The only exception to this is if the player base grows to some crazy number (15 million +) so that I could afford hiring extra devs to make new classes and help with the added work needed to balance PvMP.*



    RANK

    The 15 current ranks will return. Rank can be gained by earning renown/infamy.

    Rank will be account wide. *This falls in line with the account-wide shift the game will take.* The amount of renown/infamy needed to gain a rank may increase because of this.

    No new ranks will be added, unless player support for one is significant.

    RENOWN/INFAMY - Needed to gain rank. The primary way to gain renown/infamy is by killing players of the opposite faction. There may be small amounts rewarded for winning an arena, battleground or capturing the flag. However the most efficient way to gain renown/infamy is to kill opposing players.



    REWARDS - While some players play PvMP for fun others play it for rewards. Having a large amount of rewards for actively participating in PvMP is vital to attract players to PvMP. I plan on having rewards earnable through multiple means and will continue to update the rewards constantly.

    RANK REWARDS - Upon reaching a new rank, players will receive the following:

    Title - aka the current titles.
    Mount
    Cosmetic Outfit
    Character Frame

    These items are free and rewarded immediately upon ranking up.

    VENDOR ITEMS - Players can use commendations to purchase items from various vendors. Commendations can be earned from quests, objectives, deeds and killing opposing players. *The reason for using commendations instead of gold is because I want players to earn this stuff while playing PvMP, instead of hoarding gold from PvE and then simply buying them without any involvement in PvMP.*

    The vendors:
    Cosmetic
    Crafting
    Housing Furniture
    PvE Supplies - Scrolls, crystals, essence items.
    PvE Gear - Interested players will be able to gain PvE gear. The gear will be equivalent to 6 man instance gear. *This is too provide an alternative path to gearing up for raids. Running the 6 mans is still the primary way to gear up, this path will be somewhat slower.*

    DEED REWARDS - There will be dozens/hundreds of deeds to complete with varying objectives. Deeds will mostly reward titles and commendations, however some of the more difficult ones may give other items such as a portrait frame or a mount.

    CREEP TO FREEP LINK (and vice versa) - In my opinion MMO's are at their best when they are designed around players having ONE character (aka MAIN.) Because of this, it may be difficult to convince FREEPS to play a CREEP, or CREEPS to play a FREEP without some sort of benefit to their main character. So I may make Rank or Commendations actually account wide, or provide other benefits so that players don't feel their efforts wasted playing on Alts.



    THE ETTENMOORS - Open PvMP landscape.

    BATTLEGROUNDS - An instanced 6vs6 game

    ARENA - Instanced 1v1, 2v2 or 3v3 game.


    ARMOR

    There will be specific PvMP armor to help with balance. FREEPS and CREEPS will receive a set when they first enter the moors. The armor will improve with Rank and can't be used as PvE gear.

    Overtime I may allow PvE gear to be used in PvMP. This will be at a piece by piece basis to ensure balance doesn't get too crazy.






    CREEP INSTANCES (more of an idea at the moment)

    During down periods CREEPS may enter instances. Some ideas would be the slaying of Aragorns father Arathorn or The Battle at the Ford of Isen.

    This is on the bottom of the list and may get cut.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; May 20 2019 at 03:14 AM.

  8. #8

    Lotro EoE - Cosmetics and Crafting

    Work in Progress

    CRAFTING

    Crating will receive a significant overhaul. Crafting is something players can choose to participate it and is in no way required to play the game. The more time the player puts into crafting, the better the rewards will be.

    Crafting will be rank based instead of tier based. Players will start as a Student and gain experience through gathering/crafting. The ranks are:

    Student – 1 ore per node/Need 10 ore to craft/5s craft-gather speed/
    Novice – 1-2 ore per node /Need 9 ore to craft/4.5s craft-gather speed/
    Apprentice – 2 ore per node/Need 8 ore to craft/4s craft-gather speed/
    Journeyman – 2-3 ore per node/Need 7 ore to craft/3.5s craft-gather speed/2x consumables
    Artisan – 3 ore per node/Need 6 ore to craft/3s craft-gather speed/2x consumables
    Expert – 3-4 ore per node/Need 5 ore to craft/2.5s craft-gather speed/3 x consumables
    Master – 4 ore per node/Need 4 ore to craft/2s craft-gather speed/3x consumables
    Grandmaster – 5 ore per node/Need 3 ore to craft/1s craft-gather speed/4x consumables

    As you can see, the higher the rank, the better the crafter the player will be. Grandmasters and Students will be able to craft the same items, but it will be easier for a Grandmaster to gather and craft than it will be for a student.

    The philosophy behind this change is to remove the needless catchup and grind of tiers once they become useless while still making crafting enticing to the player. The number of ingredients and resources required will also be lower.

    Critical Chance: In an effort to limit the amount of RNG in the game, Critical Chance will be removed from the game entirely.



    PROFESSIONS

    Players will be able to choose TWO Professions from the following list:

    Gathering:
    Prospector – gather ore
    Forester – gather wood
    Leatherworking – treat leather

    Crafting:
    Tailor – craft cloth and leather armor
    Jeweler – craft jewelry
    Woodworker – craft wood weapons
    Metalsmith – craft heavy armor
    Weaponsmith – craft metal weapons

    Both:
    Scholar - gather and craft scrolls
    Apothecary – gather herbs and craft potions

    All players will be able to:
    Fishing - catch fish
    Cooking – cook food, drinks and pipe weed.

    Quick note on Farming: Farming will not be included in the game. If player interest is high enough, then I may reconsider.



    CRAFTING TIERS

    The power of recipes. Applies mostly to gear.

    Common – Requires mats
    Uncommon – Requires mats and shards
    Rare – Requires mats, shards and unique items (Solvents or unique landscape boss drops)
    Instance – Requires mats, shards and items from a 6 - man instance
    Raid – Requires mats, shards and items from a raid
    Legendary/Epic – requires a unique 1-use recipe as well as numerous materials from across Middle Earth.



    CRAFTING GUILDS

    Guilds will have unique questlines and a reputation associated with them. The rewards for gaining rep and doing the quests in a Crafting Guild will be unique recipes, unique tools and a resource bag for crafting items associated to whatever profession the player chooses. All professions have a guild. Players may join ALL crafting guilds, but can only reach max rank in ONE of them.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; Mar 19 2019 at 11:40 PM.

  9. #9

    Lotro EoE - Other

    Work in Progress

    RIDING SKILL

    Due to the game world being larger than it currently is, the riding skill will be available to players immediately.

    Players will be able to level up their riding skill by completing Quests, Challenges and Races. The levels are:

    Novice – Players start as Novice. 50% mount speed.
    Apprentice – 55% mount speed. 10% more mount health. Can have two mounts
    Journeyman – 60% mount speed. 20% more mount health. Can have three mounts.
    Expert – 65% mount speed. 30% more mount health. Can have four mounts.
    Master – 70% mount speed. 40% more mount health. Can have five mounts.
    Grandmaster – 80% mount speed. 50% more mount health. Can have six mounts.

    MOUNTS

    Players will receive their first mount either during the intro, or shortly after. There will be several horse and goat types to choose from.

    Mount Appearances – Instead of collecting hundreds of mounts players will collect appearances instead. Players will be able to change their steed’s appearance anytime at a Stable-Master.
    Stable-Masters – Stable-Masters will be present at numerous Hubs throughout Middle Earth. Players can go to Stable-Masters to change the appearance of their horse and purchase other mount if they have additional slots.

    MOUNTED COMBAT

    Mounted Combat will be in the game at some point. While the current iteration is shaky at best, I feel with enough work it could become a great feature in the game. Mounted Combat and War Steeds most likely will not make launch.

    There is also a chance that players will see War-Steads before they see mounted combat. It is possible that war-steads will be a launch as a normal mount, but no mounted combat option.



    FACTIONS, REPUTATIONS AND RENOWN

    FACTIONS AND SUBFACTIONS - Throughout Middle Earth, the Free Peoples will have formed numerous Factions. Factions will have specific questlines to complete and rewards to barter for. Sub-factions are smaller factions within a single larger faction.

    An example: The Rangers of Esteldin is a sub-faction of The Rangers of Eriador.



    The reputation system will receive a significant overhaul.

    REPUTATIONS AND FACTIONS -



    HOUSING

    Housing will return. Players will be able to own one house using gold. Players may purchase “housing writs” which allow them to buy one house per writ. There will be a hard cap of houses owned.

    There will be 2 house types. Personal and Kinship. Kins will be able to own one house.

    In following the world building philosophy, all housing districts will be placed in safer locations. I.e. In the actual towns, not in the countryside.

    Housing districts at launch:
    Bree
    Michel Delving
    Rivendell
    Thorin’s Hall
    Mithlond (Grey Havens)



    BUSINESS MODEL

    In my opinion there are two parts of an mmo that need funding. The CONTENT that players play. And the SERVICE that keeps the game running 24/7.

    CONTENT - All players must pay for content, regardless of what type of account they have. In my opinion, this is 110% necessary for an mmo to be successful. The base game will cost $40 at launch. Post launch, all content will come via Content Updates every 6 months(ish). Content Updates will cost between $10-$30 depending on the size. Everything released in the six-month period will belong to that update. For example:

    - Content Update 1 released October 1st, 2019. Includes landscape + instances.
    - Content Update 1 Raid released October 22nd, 2019
    - Content Update 1 Lost Lore Questline released November 15th, 2019
    - Content Update 1 6-man Dungeon released December 15th, 2019
    - Content Update 1 Single Boss Raid released January 15th, 2020
    - Content Update 1 Lost Lore Questline released February 15th, 2020
    - Content Update 2 released April 1st, 2020

    Everything released between October 1st, 2019 and February 15th, 2020 will fall under Content Update 1. Players will not have to pay for each individual piece of content.
    A player who owns the content will have access to everything the game has to offer. There will be no features that are locked based on being a sub or not.

    Expansions – A quick note on expansions. I believe that Expansions are traps for a game company. They simply require too much work to meet player expectation. For that reason, Lotro will not have any expansions.

    Long Term Content Price Plan – Once a content update reaches 2 years old, it will be rolled into the original price of the game, to avoid having dozens of content updates in the store to purchase.

    SERVICE - The second thing players need to pay for is the service. This includes server cost, GM and customer service support as well as any other cost to keep the game running 24/7 (sans downtime)

    The SERVICE cost will be paid for by a MONTHLY SUBSCRIPTION. The Monthly Subscription will cost $15.00 and cover everything.



    LOTRO STORE - The Lotro Store will return. It will only be accessible OUTSIDE THE GAME from the launcher. The Lotro Store will sell the following:
    - Content Updates (Every 6ish months there will be a new Content Update added to the game. In order to play the newest content you will need to purchase each update. See Content Update section for more details.)
    - Housing Writs (Players can purchase 1 house using gold, can purchase addition houses using housing writs.) *This is dependent on technical issues. If I can find a way to provide infinite housing cheap, then I will do so. But if there is a large cost to having infinite housing then I will have to charge extra for it.
    - Account services ala Server Transfers, Character Rename, Race Change, Class Change (if possible)
    - Any bundles (Any bundles sold elsewhere, ala Pre-purchase bundles, collectors bundles, magazine or convention bundles will be sold in the store at later dates)
    - Donation Items (Any extra life items or other charity items will be available in the store year round. All proceeds will go to specific charity)
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; Nov 30 2019 at 12:52 AM.

  10. #10

    Lotro EoE - Short Term and Long Term Content Plans

    Work In Progress

    SHORT TERM CONTENT PLAN - 2 Years Content Plan

    After launch the team will work on stability and bug fixing. Eventually the focus will switch to content update 1.

    3-4 months after launch - Fornost Raid

    6 months after launch - Content Update 1 (Northern Blue Mountains, Harlindon Landscapes, Dragoich's Lair Raid, No lvl Cap increase)

    11 months after launch - Content Update 2 (Southern Blue Mountains, Farlindon Landscapes, Rift of Nurz Gashu Raid, No lvl Cap increase)

    15 months after launch - Content Update 3 (Minhiriath, Tharbad Landscapes, Ost Dunhoth Raid, No lvl Cap increase)

    21 months after launch - Content Update 4 (Ettenmoors, Forodwaith Landscapes, Mount Gram Raid, No lvl Cap increase)

    26 months after launch - Content Update 5 (Angmar Landscape, Carn Dum Raid, No lvl Cap increase)



    LONG TERM CONTENT PLAN

    I have a outline for where the game will go after Content Update 5.

    2.5 years after launch - Content Update 5 Misty Mountain (Larger than usual Content Update)
    3ish years after launch - Content Update 6 Moria (I have interesting plans for Moria, completely different from the current version)
    3.5 years after launch - Content Update 7 Grey Mountains, Iron Hills, Dale, Erebor (Basically where we are now)
    4 years after launch - Content Update 8 Northern and Central Mirkwood
    4.5 years after launch - Content Update 9 Southern Mirkwood, Dol Guldr.

    From there we will move south into Rohan, then over to Isengard, Dunland and Endewaith. After that South into Gondor then East towards Mordor.

    At some point 6-8 years in, there will be a War of the Ring Content Update which wont add any new landscape but instead revamp the current landscape.
    Last edited by WhiteWolf21x; Nov 30 2019 at 12:56 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    You go very in-depth with the practical details here, which is great. I'd love to hear more about the lore-based worldbuilding. Not sure how to imagine it. What I figure is a world that is built around cultures: elf, dwarf, man. Your gameplay would really be based on which race you belong to. As an elf, you'd feel like an elf through and through. You'd be exposed primarily to elven culture and you'd learn to think like them. As a race of men character, your experience would be vastly different. You'd really belong somewhere that would determine your world view, your goals and outlook on life. These cultures and their players would then clash in various ways.
    “ädvëntürës ärë nöt äll pönÿ-rïdës ïn mäÿ-sünshïnë.”

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by NeebPlayer View Post
    You go very in-depth with the practical details here, which is great. I'd love to hear more about the lore-based worldbuilding. Not sure how to imagine it.
    Current Lotro uses Region Based world building, meaning that Middle Earth is broken up into dozens of geographical regions. Each region tends to stand alone, having a specific range of levels and story. Regions also never interact with each other, with some extremely rare exceptions. Now while the landscape is solid, the world itself feels a lot like a theme park ride. Going from zone to zone in a specific order and rarely returning to past zones once you out level them.

    What I am proposing is to open up the world, make it less region based and more lore based. What this means is limiting the mountains/walls that block the landscape, and making the levels of each region dependent to the lore. For example, the Barrow Downs are a more dangerous location then Bree Land. So the Barrow Downs should be a much higher level zone then the Fields of Bree. (I have the Barrow Downs being a level 50 area, while Bree Fields would be lv 15ish.)

    So essentially the world will feel the same. But instead of the path being: Bree-Land (lvl 1-20), Lone-Lands (lvl20-30), Northdowns(lvl30-35), Trollshaws(lvl35-40), Misty Mountains(lvl40-45), Angmar(lvl45-50).

    It will be: Bree-Land, Lone-Lands, Bree-Land, Northdowns, Lonelands, Bree-Land, etc. (Or whatever the path takes you.)

    Regions will not be level locked and instead have a variety of levels, all depending on the lore of the locations in relation to the other locations. The goal is to have all locations active instead of pushing players to the end game region. And quests will take players all over the world instead of limiting them to the specific region the current end game is. So you could be questing at level 15 and see a group of level 50's run by on their way to the lvl 50 quest area near by.




    Quote Originally Posted by NeebPlayer View Post
    What I figure is a world that is built around cultures: elf, dwarf, man. Your gameplay would really be based on which race you belong to. As an elf, you'd feel like an elf through and through. You'd be exposed primarily to elven culture and you'd learn to think like them. As a race of men character, your experience would be vastly different. You'd really belong somewhere that would determine your world view, your goals and outlook on life. These cultures and their players would then clash in various ways.
    I plan for the game World to be larger, so there would definitely be room for quests like this.

    For example, some Elves will start in the Grey Havens instead of Celondim. So having a lot of quests detailing the fading of the Elves and leaving Middle Earth is definitely a quest topic.
    And the same can be said for Men, as they will have plenty of quests that deal with the fall of Arnor and its 3 successor kingdoms.

    The plan is also to add more quests at all levels as I add content, so that players can experience a variety of stories, locations and characters as they play. The goal is to have numerous different paths to progress instead of just following the same region path.

  13. #13
    Updated the character progression post and instances post. Reworked the levelling and essences. Added Lesser Ring of Power. Would love to hear some thoughts and opinions.

 

 

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