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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    2,483

    Why is the barrier for group play at 130 so high?

    It really feels like group play, or more specifically running instances that provide real rewards at level 130, is too inaccessible for most players.

    When I say there is a high barrier, I mean a lot of things:

    1) There are very few instances available that provide meaningful rewards at 130. I know there are more coming soon, but LOTRO has a wealth of high quality instances that can be run at level 130, but the rewards are complete garbage for all but the latest MM ones. Why aren't skirmishes and all instances at L130 designed to reward players? This would encourage more group play and get more people running instances.

    2) The MM instances that are available are all designed for 3 players. This means every time an LFF goes out it's for a very specific set of classes (i.e. LF AOE DPS). LOTRO classes are very unique and you can't cluster them all into 3 roles. In the old days (i.e. SOA) I feel like you could have taken 6 hunters into an instance and made it work. It really didn't matter what your class makeup was or if you were traited a specific way, good players together could make any combination work. Nowadays everything is so calculated, everyone only wants a specific class with a specific traitline with specific stats capped to the exact amount.

    3) We are WAY too dependent on gear, and the gap between levels of gear is way too high. I am a hunter who has finished all of the quests in the MM expansion. I have mostly purple 405/410 gear with some 400 yellow gear, a maxed LI bow with a close to max melee LI. Even in red I am only doing around 30k DPS with captain buffs. When I did a T2 instance today I could tell we were getting through it very slowly because of my gear. Imagine a player who hasn't been able to put in all the time to get to this point? There's no easy way to catch up, it's hard enough to find a group with the limited population on this game, but not having the gear to do the instances you need to do in order to get gear means nobody is going to want to take you into their group.

    4) Building on #3, while we are extremely gear dependent, it's way too confusing to get your gear to where it needs to be. The LI system is too complicated (legacies, relics, that thing you apply to get some extra stats on your item where the best version is in Dol Amroth for some reason), we have to deal with essences, virtues, a bunch of stats that really aren't well documented in terms of what is needed and what is not. If you are just a player without deep LOTRO background trying to understand how to build your character, you would think that the main stats (might/agi/vitality etc.) are what you should focus on, when the reality is there is an extremely high minimum amount of things like physical mastery, resistance, etc. that you need to work up to in order to be able to do basic group content. I have been playing LOTRO since launch and I still don't even know how/where to get a crafted relic for my LI's. This stuff is not straight forward, and very few people want to play a game where you have to spend days researching just one component of how to advance your character's stats/gear (especially when class changes/updates regularly make old stats/gear obsolete so quickly, blue hunter nerf forcing everyone to red hunter perfect example).

    I could continue to list things on and on, but frankly I'm getting tired. Honestly, in my opinion, this is how it should work: You log in to the game, and you want to run a dungeon, you jump into an instance finder, put in your role (tank, heals, dps, support), and you get thrown into one of the MANY available dungeons or skirmishes at L130 with another group of players (ideally cross server), and regardless of where you land and what your gear looks like you should be able to complete the instance if you pay attention and do your job. At the very end there should be some meaningful reward, or at least something to help you get towards a meaningful reward. All this T1/T2/T3/T4/T5 nonsense with so few limited instances that have actual rewards and only 3 man as an option with no way to connect players in such a thinly populated game all while making things extremely gear dependent is a disaster.

    /rant off
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  2. #2
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    Jun 2011
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    It really feels like group play, or more specifically running instances that provide real rewards at level 130, is too inaccessible for most players.

    When I say there is a high barrier, I mean a lot of things:

    1) There are very few instances available that provide meaningful rewards at 130. I know there are more coming soon, but LOTRO has a wealth of high quality instances that can be run at level 130, but the rewards are complete garbage for all but the latest MM ones. Why aren't skirmishes and all instances at L130 designed to reward players? This would encourage more group play and get more people running instances.

    2) The MM instances that are available are all designed for 3 players. This means every time an LFF goes out it's for a very specific set of classes (i.e. LF AOE DPS). LOTRO classes are very unique and you can't cluster them all into 3 roles. In the old days (i.e. SOA) I feel like you could have taken 6 hunters into an instance and made it work. It really didn't matter what your class makeup was or if you were traited a specific way, good players together could make any combination work. Nowadays everything is so calculated, everyone only wants a specific class with a specific traitline with specific stats capped to the exact amount.

    3) We are WAY too dependent on gear, and the gap between levels of gear is way too high. I am a hunter who has finished all of the quests in the MM expansion. I have mostly purple 405/410 gear with some 400 yellow gear, a maxed LI bow with a close to max melee LI. Even in red I am only doing around 30k DPS with captain buffs. When I did a T2 instance today I could tell we were getting through it very slowly because of my gear. Imagine a player who hasn't been able to put in all the time to get to this point? There's no easy way to catch up, it's hard enough to find a group with the limited population on this game, but not having the gear to do the instances you need to do in order to get gear means nobody is going to want to take you into their group.

    4) Building on #3, while we are extremely gear dependent, it's way too confusing to get your gear to where it needs to be. The LI system is too complicated (legacies, relics, that thing you apply to get some extra stats on your item where the best version is in Dol Amroth for some reason), we have to deal with essences, virtues, a bunch of stats that really aren't well documented in terms of what is needed and what is not. If you are just a player without deep LOTRO background trying to understand how to build your character, you would think that the main stats (might/agi/vitality etc.) are what you should focus on, when the reality is there is an extremely high minimum amount of things like physical mastery, resistance, etc. that you need to work up to in order to be able to do basic group content. I have been playing LOTRO since launch and I still don't even know how/where to get a crafted relic for my LI's. This stuff is not straight forward, and very few people want to play a game where you have to spend days researching just one component of how to advance your character's stats/gear (especially when class changes/updates regularly make old stats/gear obsolete so quickly, blue hunter nerf forcing everyone to red hunter perfect example).

    I could continue to list things on and on, but frankly I'm getting tired. Honestly, in my opinion, this is how it should work: You log in to the game, and you want to run a dungeon, you jump into an instance finder, put in your role (tank, heals, dps, support), and you get thrown into one of the MANY available dungeons or skirmishes at L130 with another group of players (ideally cross server), and regardless of where you land and what your gear looks like you should be able to complete the instance if you pay attention and do your job. At the very end there should be some meaningful reward, or at least something to help you get towards a meaningful reward. All this T1/T2/T3/T4/T5 nonsense with so few limited instances that have actual rewards and only 3 man as an option with no way to connect players in such a thinly populated game all while making things extremely gear dependent is a disaster.

    /rant off
    I agree although I have to say I'm tired of so many threads turning into LI rants, so I won't fuel that part of this thread, but as for gearing up etc yes it seems like a catch 22. Simply not worth it when costing that many to craft.

    1. You basically need T2 gear to be invited/accepted into T2 runs, You need T3 gear to be accepted into T3 runs etc. That is the catch 22 for sure.


    2. The crafted gear that could be an option is way too expensive to craft with 3 shards or 5 shards per piece. Shards also needed for essences, so that is a big no no already for that reason alone.


    3. It simply does not work in reality as it should. On paper it might seem like You run landscape to be able to run T1 and yes that far it acctually works. However with T1 gear You can't run T2, or rather You probably could, but it would be so much harder and take so much longer that strangers don't want You in their group if You only have T1 green gear. Simply due to T1 LvL 130 dropping such bad rewards. I would assume it's the same at T2 that it drops bad rewards and very rarely mabye a purple, so going from T2 to T3+ would probably also be a barrier and catch 22 for most. Since i won't even get invited or accepted into T2 runs with my T1 green gear I can't really test that.


    4. Shards being way too hard to get (pure rng and low chance) vs the amount needed for anything You craft, is another one of the issues along with T1 only giving gear good enought to run T1 and landscape and not T2+.

      It feel like this whole expansion is reserved for very small clique of players that have their little groups that will bear with carrying their friends through T2 or T3 with bad gear, and even do that with alts (2 players geared and 1 not as well geared) and farm the instances an the ingredient boxes they can then sell and buy shards for the gold, while the average player is left on the outside to watch it all and not be part of it at all.

      In a perfect design You run landscape, then have gear to run T1. After aquiring complete set in T1 You can run T2. After completing a set of T2 gear You can run T3 etc. However try to get invited for a T2 in green T1 gear. Good luck on that.


    5. To top it all off when I'm on my hunter I often get agility gear with defensive stats, acctually most of the time. When I'm on my guardian I get heavy pieces with offensive stats like phys mastery, crit etc most of the time. At least for the Guardian I can use that gear if I chose to go red line, but still would prefer more might with defensvie stats on. For the hunter, all the defensive gear is useless.


    6. Then we have the ingredient boxes. Again way too hard to get. Especially for the average player that are stuck running solo, duo or 3-man T1. One day we did 26 chest openings between my son and I and ended up with 1. Yes ONE. Other days 2. Most days 0. From what I understand on T3 they are more or less guaranteed. Again making it designed for that clique that can farm them and sell them to the average player. That way that clique can afford as many shards as they like for the gold they get fromselling those ingredient boxes. The average player having to sell their shards to feed them and to afford to buy ingredient boxes they can't aquire enough of through gameplay due to what I just described.


    7. Should I even start about the Reclamation rep grind ??? A whole new layer added on top of it all. The illusion of each tier not requiring so much rep. However each tier is acctually two tiers as there is the acctual tier I, II, III etc but inbetwen each is a tier called "reclamation I continues", "reclamtion II continues etc", so in reality it's more than double the rep neeeded for each tier than it first appears as. Then gated behind daily and weekly grinds. Then what for ??? At the end of Tier III You can barter for purple recipes that cost 3 shards to craft each piece, or even 5 shards per piece for the latest (still purple) recipes after You reach reclamation V. Not to mention that the same relics You need to consume to get rep, You also need 5 of the 1.000 rep versions of the relics to even barter for one such Tier III recipe. Each daily quest only rewarding 200 version ones. Only once a week You get 1.000 versions and not that many. Insanity of a work task in a nutshell.


    8. You even need to get through the tiers of rep up to complete Reclamation IV (which does not mean only 4 tiers as I decscribed above) on each character to unlock a weekly 500 embers hand-in quest, yes only 500, not even a 1.000 hand in quest.


    I have probably even forgotten some of the barriers and hinders, but those are the ones off the top of my head.

    The few that seems fine with this expansion that I have observed and how it works for them are mostly the ones that hardly bothers with playing landscape and quests. They often power level in Warg Pens or play landscape to LvL 130 (with xp boosters) then stop that (even if not played through all of it). They run up to the instances and unlock them. Then have friends in their small group that helps them get through T1, later T2, later T3 etc. They do that with multiple alts. The ones that are geared helps the ones that are not. Until they all are geared. They take turns in carrying each other. Only those in such clique or bubbles, a small number on each servers, this design works for. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for them and that this design suits them. However this designs leaves everyone else in the water. Many people even feeding those players with shards, as the average players needs to sell them to buy the ingredient boxes (as described earlier). That leaves the average player with no shards themselves for the gear recipes or essences, while those clioques can afford as many shards as they want. Same with solvents. Average players or even whales buys solvent that then these cliques can buy for gold they earned off selling the ingredient boxes. Much like how rimes worked in EM and Vales. So definetly feeding the store with this design, even if in an indirect way. Not a new thing really, been that way for a long time now. "Smart" plan by SSG as far as that part goes.

    The gap between the have and have nots have never been this big.

    While original Mordor was bad for many (I didn't like it at all), at least once You reached the end and unlocked the dailies and weeklies, You could properly gear up, even via crafting (it was lacking in the gap from 105-115 though, 112 gear not worth it as you were so close to 115 by then). In this expansion You can't even do that due to all the shards needed (as described above) or the insane reclamation rep relics needed (as described above) and the ingredient boxes needed that only drop in instances and really really rarely on T1 (solo, duo, 3-man etc, again as described earlier). It all works together to be this insane of a work task for most people.

    There is simply too many layers upon layers of grinds and barriers. No fun at all.

    By the time the average player is geared up it will be too late and the gear will be outdated, as well as soon another expansion will hit by that time if this keeps up.
    Last edited by Lord.Funk; Jan 20 2020 at 07:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post

    1) There are very few instances available that provide meaningful rewards at 130. I know there are more coming soon, but LOTRO has a wealth of high quality instances that can be run at level 130, but the rewards are complete garbage for all but the latest MM ones. Why aren't skirmishes and all instances at L130 designed to reward players? This would encourage more group play and get more people running instances.
    This game has always had tragically wasted content. When I played ESO there was a reason to do every dungeon via the featured instance, and each dungeon had a set item. There is only ever a reason to do MM here, when there is so much content that you worked hard on that you are blocking because you want people to pay for MM. But what about the people who have MM who aren't buying the others because there is no reason too? When the six mans come out is it going to be the same? Do each twice a week, then play something else because of loot locks? I could roll another toon, but who wants to go through the legendary grind again?
    .


  4. #4
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    Jul 2009
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    The Tower Hills
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    It's a sad shame they have decided to go this route but they have. The goal is to force you to only play the latest instances. This means you have to BUY the latest region - huzzah!

    It's easy to see that the common player wants to try to gear and will try any way to do so aside from playing the latest instances at high tier. This is why the Pel jewelry is "broken" and why other instances like school/Library give reduced gear. Still I was able to get a couple of improvements from there recently. It's exciting to try and skirt the shepherding. Sadly the mathom gear is nerfed so extremely it's no longer worth saving.

    But OP is right - the barrier is higher now than before - higher than Mordor. I've decided to skip it entirely and wait for the next small region. I think it's way way easier to gear up in a small region than in an expansion.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ElanorFb View Post
    It's a sad shame they have decided to go this route but they have. The goal is to force you to only play the latest instances. This means you have to BUY the latest region - huzzah!

    It's easy to see that the common player wants to try to gear and will try any way to do so aside from playing the latest instances at high tier. This is why the Pel jewelry is "broken" and why other instances like school/Library give reduced gear. Still I was able to get a couple of improvements from there recently. It's exciting to try and skirt the shepherding. Sadly the mathom gear is nerfed so extremely it's no longer worth saving.

    But OP is right - the barrier is higher now than before - higher than Mordor. I've decided to skip it entirely and wait for the next small region. I think it's way way easier to gear up in a small region than in an expansion.
    Very wise words here.

    What I would suggest is not get involved in their endgame race for gear. Just play the parts of the content that you can, sell everything and get filthy rich. Remember that all gear you are grinding and paying for will be made obsolete eventually. So get your gear in places where it's relatively fast and simple.
    “ädvëntürës ärë nöt äll pönÿ-rïdës ïn mäÿ-sünshïnë.”

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    116
    Yep, just sell everything.. Lyckely i got a few friends that carrys me thru T5's from the start because i just got to MM. New gear will come in a month or so...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    Posts
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    Pugs have always been cancerous imo, finding a group of friends or joining a kin will always be the best way to reliably run group content and enjoy it

    Also you can 100% run t5 instances in the contrary-to-popular-belief GOOD crafted gear, thats just fact, and not in a get carried way. If someone in a pug doesnt want to invite you with all carfted gear then
    A) you crafted the wrong gear like tanking gear for a dps :P
    B) the leader is elitist and stupid, see my first sentence about that
    C) LIs are just bad, which is a whooooooole issue on its own about the grind to get those up to current standards

    Only point C is a realistic concern to me but that really stretches beyond the main point of this thread

    Barrier of entry to run content is extremely reasonable im sorry but its true. Your notion of it being high are shaped by the elitist scum of the game that discourage unknowing pugs from pursuing advancement in end game content. If you really want to partake in that, get in a kin or find group of friends so you can run with people who actually care about you and dont just see you as a vessle to help them get their own loot and will shun you if you arent efficient enough. Ask questions, look for resources on your class, talk to experienced people and trust their word.
    Last edited by Olebenny; Jan 20 2020 at 12:45 PM.
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  8. #8
    At level 112 I decided to come back and give this a try. I have been playing LOTRO since the beginning but haven't done much over the past few years (other than paying for subscription like an idiot). I just don't think its worth it. I mean, I recall that this game always had a grind. And true to my play style, I would come late to finishing the grind. Once I became endgame ready, new content or level or better gear made what I just spent so much time grinding was obsolete. I came back for the story knowing that I wouldn't do much end game. But it is still a long grind just to be landscape ready. Had no idea about the LI grind (because I thought they fixed that). Crafting seemed reasonable. I find myself running around Mordor trying to see what I can kill and sort of following the main quest.

    In the end I am just not having fun. I know the old days are gone and I wasn't expecting anything like that. But I did think that questing would be more interesting (still tons and tons of "go look for, fetch or kill" quests). I think I like some of the story arcs but not enough to grind through it (maybe not grind but sometimes it seems like it). The world building is still amazing for how old the game is. The combat is really showing its age (which I am OK with).

    I have three more months of sub. My kin still has a lot of people but I haven't seen them. I was just hoping it would be better. In the end I think the grind is what is going to keep me on the sidelines or at least showing up from time to time to do some landscape.

    I will be following the forums to see if there is a positive change.
    they are all dead.. they just don't know it yet....

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    2) The MM instances that are available are all designed for 3 players. This means every time an LFF goes out it's for a very specific set of classes (i.e. LF AOE DPS). LOTRO classes are very unique and you can't cluster them all into 3 roles. In the old days (i.e. SOA) I feel like you could have taken 6 hunters into an instance and made it work. It really didn't matter what your class makeup was or if you were traited a specific way, good players together could make any combination work. Nowadays everything is so calculated, everyone only wants a specific class with a specific traitline with specific stats capped to the exact amount.
    If an instances can be completed by basically any combination the result is said instance being way to easy with a good combination

    See the current 3mans..Harrowing and Shadowroost T5 can be done without a healer, so when you have a healer it becomes way too easy and complete faceroll

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElanorFb View Post
    It's a sad shame they have decided to go this route but they have. The goal is to force you to only play the latest instances. This means you have to BUY the latest region - huzzah!

    It's easy to see that the common player wants to try to gear and will try any way to do so aside from playing the latest instances at high tier. This is why the Pel jewelry is "broken" and why other instances like school/Library give reduced gear. Still I was able to get a couple of improvements from there recently. It's exciting to try and skirt the shepherding. Sadly the mathom gear is nerfed so extremely it's no longer worth saving.

    But OP is right - the barrier is higher now than before - higher than Mordor. I've decided to skip it entirely and wait for the next small region. I think it's way way easier to gear up in a small region than in an expansion.
    Buying the newest region, yes, but also buying loot box keys to gamble your way toward addressing each of the specific barriers in OP's points 1-4

    The Devs make good content. I'm amazed at what a good job they do with a skeleton crew. They STILL, after all these years, honor one of the all-time greatest lores in fiction.

    The business decisions that then warp the players' access to and experience of that content is disgusting.
    Landroval - The Council of the Secret Fire Friendly, Casual, Mature, and always seeking more!
    .
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Moondog548 View Post
    Buying the newest region, yes, but also buying loot box keys to gamble your way toward addressing each of the specific barriers in OP's points 1-4
    Honestly, this whole Lootbox meme has got to stop

    If people spend money to get purple 400-402 gear when quests give purple 405 gear, crafting purple 409-411 and instances purple 410(?)-415 then said people have too much money

    I get that the whole Lootbox stuff was appearantly annoying early in 115/120 but since Minas Morgul we get way more ash than we can spend and ash gear is the worst gear in game, so there's like -100 reasons to buy any lootbox key

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    3,588
    The problem has one name Pugs.
    They want it save they want it fast.
    Nearly nobody is willing to waste his time and in the worth case the run for a unknown player.
    If you know a player and his skill you don't pay attention to his gear.
    But if you're not known (by the leader) you've the problem that nearly noone is willing to take the risk to get a bad player from which we've to much in the game.
    So they look at your gear if you succeeded before to if you're good enough.

  13. #13
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by Olebenny View Post
    ...Also you can 100% run t5 instances in the contrary-to-popular-belief GOOD crafted gear, thats just fact, and not in a get carried way...
    You do realize the obstcales facing a player that can not be carried through with multiple alts to farm ingrdient boxes, be able to seel those to finance buying shards, right ???

    First they need to play more or less all content (not all but almost all for the deeds). Unlock dailies to start the reclamation rep grind. Play the instances on T1 solo, duo or 3-man and maybe like my son and I do 26 chest openings (between 2 people) and get 1 such box (again between 2 people). 1/2 box each. So no we can't make enough such boxes to sell and buy shard. We together finally had 10 such boxes to craft a shioeld for my sons guardian, then 2 days later a better recipes for 12 such boxes was released. It takes 3 shards for each piece, then 1 shard + 1 solvent for each essence. 5 shards per piece if want the latest purple crfated gear. That is after You first grind rep through multiple tiers up to reclamation III or V. Again since we can not have people taking turns to carry us through on multiple alts and farm, those boxes to sell, we can not afford to buy enough shards. To try and farm the shards, well there is no way to really farm then. It's all RNG running around hr after hr, day after day opening chest in MM or farm nodes.

    I'm sorry but my son has school and I have a real life too and can't sit and play 24/7. Someone has to pay the bills You know and put food on the table. Easy enough to access the forums and post, but to play 24/7 to simply be able to gear up in a game. Not doable as an adult or even when younger if still have school, unless You have very few or no real life obligations. Just running the instances basically takes up all gaming time each day. Many days we don't even have time to run them all, some days none. And usually end up with 0 shards and 0 ingredient boxes anyway whan we do. Only thing we get are the 200 xp relics then a few larger ones once a week, but since we don't have enough shards we can't craft gear. In any case we still use the relics to try and max rep, so can't even use them to barter for any recipes yet.

    You do the math and figure out how much getting all slots filled with well crafted gear taking 3-5 shards each would cost. Then 1 shard and 1 solvent per essence. That's after getting to the point of having enough reclamation rep and relics left over to even barter for recipes. Or how long it would take to try and farm enough shards. Yeah seems like a real viable route...NOT... Unless, as I said, You have a group that takes turns in carrying each other on multiple alts farming the ingredient boxes and selling those to finance it all.

    Naaa, this expansion has gone way over board with barriers and hinders for the average player, as decscribed in my previous post. The 6-mans that will be added will be of no use what so ever to most. They will be run on day one by those with T3+ and T5 gear. The rest will stand by the side and look, or try some solo version that doesn't drop any gear just to play through it once, but probably they will be too long to be worth it that way, even on T1 with 6 people, due to bad rewards. Those that will be able to run them on T3, T4 or T5 will.

    I don't disagree with Your other conclusion that getting into a kin or some kind of alliance to get people to run with. It's always been the better option. I have been in such alliances with discord channels as well as in-game private channels etc. However they have also fallen apart lately due to less and less playing. From full channels with people, having problem fitting everyone in runs and having to decline some in some runs, to same channels now having like 4 people playing LoTRO even if 29 might be logged into the channel on discord, but the rest playing other games or just being AFK. Those 4 not even playing on same server or being on the same part of the game. Even those that are at LvL 130 often prefer to play old stuff as they are so sick and tired and fed up with running MM content already. They have given up, not even geared yet some of them. They got their green T1 gear, maybe 1-2 purple pieces and then just stopped.
    Last edited by Lord.Funk; Jan 20 2020 at 11:51 PM. Reason: Fixed some sloppy typos as usual.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    It really feels like group play, or more specifically running instances that provide real rewards at level 130, is too inaccessible for most players.

    When I say there is a high barrier, I mean a lot of things:

    1) There are very few instances available that provide meaningful rewards at 130. I know there are more coming soon, but LOTRO has a wealth of high quality instances that can be run at level 130, but the rewards are complete garbage for all but the latest MM ones. Why aren't skirmishes and all instances at L130 designed to reward players? This would encourage more group play and get more people running instances.

    2) The MM instances that are available are all designed for 3 players. This means every time an LFF goes out it's for a very specific set of classes (i.e. LF AOE DPS). LOTRO classes are very unique and you can't cluster them all into 3 roles. In the old days (i.e. SOA) I feel like you could have taken 6 hunters into an instance and made it work. It really didn't matter what your class makeup was or if you were traited a specific way, good players together could make any combination work. Nowadays everything is so calculated, everyone only wants a specific class with a specific traitline with specific stats capped to the exact amount.

    3) We are WAY too dependent on gear, and the gap between levels of gear is way too high. I am a hunter who has finished all of the quests in the MM expansion. I have mostly purple 405/410 gear with some 400 yellow gear, a maxed LI bow with a close to max melee LI. Even in red I am only doing around 30k DPS with captain buffs. When I did a T2 instance today I could tell we were getting through it very slowly because of my gear. Imagine a player who hasn't been able to put in all the time to get to this point? There's no easy way to catch up, it's hard enough to find a group with the limited population on this game, but not having the gear to do the instances you need to do in order to get gear means nobody is going to want to take you into their group.

    4) Building on #3, while we are extremely gear dependent, it's way too confusing to get your gear to where it needs to be. The LI system is too complicated (legacies, relics, that thing you apply to get some extra stats on your item where the best version is in Dol Amroth for some reason), we have to deal with essences, virtues, a bunch of stats that really aren't well documented in terms of what is needed and what is not. If you are just a player without deep LOTRO background trying to understand how to build your character, you would think that the main stats (might/agi/vitality etc.) are what you should focus on, when the reality is there is an extremely high minimum amount of things like physical mastery, resistance, etc. that you need to work up to in order to be able to do basic group content. I have been playing LOTRO since launch and I still don't even know how/where to get a crafted relic for my LI's. This stuff is not straight forward, and very few people want to play a game where you have to spend days researching just one component of how to advance your character's stats/gear (especially when class changes/updates regularly make old stats/gear obsolete so quickly, blue hunter nerf forcing everyone to red hunter perfect example).

    I could continue to list things on and on, but frankly I'm getting tired. Honestly, in my opinion, this is how it should work: You log in to the game, and you want to run a dungeon, you jump into an instance finder, put in your role (tank, heals, dps, support), and you get thrown into one of the MANY available dungeons or skirmishes at L130 with another group of players (ideally cross server), and regardless of where you land and what your gear looks like you should be able to complete the instance if you pay attention and do your job. At the very end there should be some meaningful reward, or at least something to help you get towards a meaningful reward. All this T1/T2/T3/T4/T5 nonsense with so few limited instances that have actual rewards and only 3 man as an option with no way to connect players in such a thinly populated game all while making things extremely gear dependent is a disaster.

    /rant off

    #4 is my number one pet peeve. I hate spending all that time on LIs. UGH.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Moscow, Russia
    Posts
    1,354
    We have 2 different situations. 1)You just want to get into T3-T5 PUG without good gear and experience. 2)You have guild run when all 3 members of your team sit in discord/TS, can relog on other characters, discuss tactics, craft gear for you...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    5,921
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    It really feels like group play, or more specifically running instances that provide real rewards at level 130, is too inaccessible for most players.

    When I say there is a high barrier, I mean a lot of things:

    1) There are very few instances available that provide meaningful rewards at 130. I know there are more coming soon, but LOTRO has a wealth of high quality instances that can be run at level 130, but the rewards are complete garbage for all but the latest MM ones. Why aren't skirmishes and all instances at L130 designed to reward players? This would encourage more group play and get more people running instances.

    2) The MM instances that are available are all designed for 3 players. This means every time an LFF goes out it's for a very specific set of classes (i.e. LF AOE DPS). LOTRO classes are very unique and you can't cluster them all into 3 roles. In the old days (i.e. SOA) I feel like you could have taken 6 hunters into an instance and made it work. It really didn't matter what your class makeup was or if you were traited a specific way, good players together could make any combination work. Nowadays everything is so calculated, everyone only wants a specific class with a specific traitline with specific stats capped to the exact amount.

    3) We are WAY too dependent on gear, and the gap between levels of gear is way too high. I am a hunter who has finished all of the quests in the MM expansion. I have mostly purple 405/410 gear with some 400 yellow gear, a maxed LI bow with a close to max melee LI. Even in red I am only doing around 30k DPS with captain buffs. When I did a T2 instance today I could tell we were getting through it very slowly because of my gear. Imagine a player who hasn't been able to put in all the time to get to this point? There's no easy way to catch up, it's hard enough to find a group with the limited population on this game, but not having the gear to do the instances you need to do in order to get gear means nobody is going to want to take you into their group.

    4) Building on #3, while we are extremely gear dependent, it's way too confusing to get your gear to where it needs to be. The LI system is too complicated (legacies, relics, that thing you apply to get some extra stats on your item where the best version is in Dol Amroth for some reason), we have to deal with essences, virtues, a bunch of stats that really aren't well documented in terms of what is needed and what is not. If you are just a player without deep LOTRO background trying to understand how to build your character, you would think that the main stats (might/agi/vitality etc.) are what you should focus on, when the reality is there is an extremely high minimum amount of things like physical mastery, resistance, etc. that you need to work up to in order to be able to do basic group content. I have been playing LOTRO since launch and I still don't even know how/where to get a crafted relic for my LI's. This stuff is not straight forward, and very few people want to play a game where you have to spend days researching just one component of how to advance your character's stats/gear (especially when class changes/updates regularly make old stats/gear obsolete so quickly, blue hunter nerf forcing everyone to red hunter perfect example).

    I could continue to list things on and on, but frankly I'm getting tired. Honestly, in my opinion, this is how it should work: You log in to the game, and you want to run a dungeon, you jump into an instance finder, put in your role (tank, heals, dps, support), and you get thrown into one of the MANY available dungeons or skirmishes at L130 with another group of players (ideally cross server), and regardless of where you land and what your gear looks like you should be able to complete the instance if you pay attention and do your job. At the very end there should be some meaningful reward, or at least something to help you get towards a meaningful reward. All this T1/T2/T3/T4/T5 nonsense with so few limited instances that have actual rewards and only 3 man as an option with no way to connect players in such a thinly populated game all while making things extremely gear dependent is a disaster.

    /rant off
    Hunters are lowest on the tier list of DPS right now (other than maybe champs) and they have no AOE. That's why it feels so slow. Roll a burg, get the same level of gear and you can do 120k dps on the trash pulls easily.

    (I would have responded to all of your points making note of ascending tiers and business models but you would have called me elitist scum so the above is easier.

    One thing I will note though is that you are nostalgic for a time in the game where the game was very casual. Champs could tank all content in fervor because there were no dev crits or spike damage. So you certainly could take 6 hunters into content.
    .

    You currently have 1337 reputation point(s).

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by cwswim03 View Post
    One thing I will note though is that you are nostalgic for a time in the game where the game was very casual. Champs could tank all content in fervor because there were no dev crits or spike damage. So you certainly could take 6 hunters into content.
    excuse me... what?


    The game has never been more casual than it is now.


    The difference between now and then is that the devs have overbuffed classes to the point where everyone has a boatload of superman-tier godmoding skills (as compared to the classic era lvl 50-85).

    as a result, the devs had to also overbuff the mobs/bosses that people are fighting to at least give an illusion of content not being a complete joke.


    What ends up happening is both mobs and players are buffed to the point where the combat system itself breaks, and anything that isn't the META group composition is ineffective or undesired.


    as it stands right now, if you are running the meta group compositions, the game has never been easier/more casual... the instances are an effortless joke. You don't even have to be good at your class.

    If you're running anything different (warden/champ tank, etc) then you're gonna have a bad time.
    The Black Appendage of Sauron

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    2,483
    Quote Originally Posted by cwswim03 View Post
    (I would have responded to all of your points making note of ascending tiers and business models but you would have called me elitist scum so the above is easier.
    Huh? What in my post gave you the impression that I would call you elitist scum?

    Anyway, it seems based on the responses that a lot of people agree. I will boil this down to a simple example. When I played WoW I could hop into an instance finder and within seconds to minutes be dropped into a dungeon with 5 other players. Sometimes it was easy, sometimes it was hard, but the point is we all got to enjoy the dungeon content of the game and once we finished we earned something (maybe nothing amazing, but something) to make us feel like we are improving our characters. I honestly don't care at all about l33t gear or higher level items or tiers 1-5, I really just want to play dungeons in this game and feel like I'm progressing something by completing them. It's just not an option for most people who have jobs or real lives because of all the barriers I and several others listed in this thread.
    Erendil 50 Hunter Rank 7, Mavellen 45 Warden; Officers of Disciples
    Ragaroth Warleader Rank 7, Marhawk Stalker Rank 5; Members of Cuddle Squad
    Other Characters: Arthilius - Captain, Arthilias - Guardian,
    Claireth - Runekeeper, Harbuckle - Burglar, Lothlirien - Hunter

  19. #19
    I don't really see all these barriers you want to see in grouping. Doing quests in Mordor besieged and Imlad Morgul you get a full set of 400-405 gear if I remember correctly. Using this gear and even an LI with legacies in the range of 50-60 you can do at least Shadowroost and Harrowing without having much problems. Of course you won't be as fast as a fully maxed character, but you get the job done and receive level 410 gear as a reward and also a good chance to get a crafting box. Do this a few times and you will be able to run T3/4/5 of these essences. If you are getting problems with people in pugs just make your own group with your own rules and stop playing with unkind people.

    Not that much of a problem if you ask me.
    Server Gwaihir - Kinship Nightfalls

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    3,588
    Quote Originally Posted by Schaijian View Post
    I don't really see all these barriers you want to see in grouping. Doing quests in Mordor besieged and Imlad Morgul you get a full set of 400-405 gear if I remember correctly. Using this gear and even an LI with legacies in the range of 50-60 you can do at least Shadowroost and Harrowing without having much problems. Of course you won't be as fast as a fully maxed character, but you get the job done and receive level 410 gear as a reward and also a good chance to get a crafting box. Do this a few times and you will be able to run T3/4/5 of these essences. If you are getting problems with people in pugs just make your own group with your own rules and stop playing with unkind people.

    Not that much of a problem if you ask me.
    The problem with this is, many want to join but not to lead/organize.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Location
    In Bree with the homies
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    592
    Quote Originally Posted by Saruman_Of_Numbers View Post
    excuse me... what?


    The game has never been more casual than it is now.


    The difference between now and then is that the devs have overbuffed classes to the point where everyone has a boatload of superman-tier godmoding skills (as compared to the classic era lvl 50-85).

    as a result, the devs had to also overbuff the mobs/bosses that people are fighting to at least give an illusion of content not being a complete joke.


    What ends up happening is both mobs and players are buffed to the point where the combat system itself breaks, and anything that isn't the META group composition is ineffective or undesired.


    as it stands right now, if you are running the meta group compositions, the game has never been easier/more casual... the instances are an effortless joke. You don't even have to be good at your class.

    If you're running anything different (warden/champ tank, etc) then you're gonna have a bad time.

    I'm pretty much in agreement here. LOTRO is WAAAAAAAAY more casual friendly than it was before. Not just the combat, but other things too, like getting your mounts early instead of level 35, no more riding quest to be able to have a mount, mounts not costing over 4 gold, more swift travel routes, xp accelerators, buying buffs from the Store, the existence of the Store, and this is just stuff off the top of my head.

    It's more grind heavy with the LIs, but that's just more time consumption more than anything else, and it takes a LOT of time.


    But casual gameplay? This game has never been more causal than it is now.

    I'm in total agreement with Saruman here.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Mukor View Post
    The problem with this is, many want to join but not to lead/organize.
    But than they have to blame themself and not the game - oh wait, I see the problem now ;-)
    Server Gwaihir - Kinship Nightfalls

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    Huh? What in my post gave you the impression that I would call you elitist scum?

    Anyway, it seems based on the responses that a lot of people agree. I will boil this down to a simple example. When I played WoW I could hop into an instance finder and within seconds to minutes be dropped into a dungeon with 5 other players. Sometimes it was easy, sometimes it was hard, but the point is we all got to enjoy the dungeon content of the game and once we finished we earned something (maybe nothing amazing, but something) to make us feel like we are improving our characters. I honestly don't care at all about l33t gear or higher level items or tiers 1-5, I really just want to play dungeons in this game and feel like I'm progressing something by completing them. It's just not an option for most people who have jobs or real lives because of all the barriers I and several others listed in this thread.
    I'm in the same boat, it's been like this since Mordor. Before there was some form of meaningful group play also for people with less time to play, say one hour a day maximum, now it's out of question. My kin has basicly died because of end game designed on dailiy grind, the server I play in has very low group activity, I'm able to join a nazgul run weekly, but that's all. The end game is purposely designed for people who have time enough to grind all the reps, shards, tokens and whatever or/and play all the route from t1 to t5, and are in big enough kinship. The funny thing about all the t1/t5 segmentation is that if you miss the first two weeks because you actually play the content and read the quest descriptions you are screwed, because from the second/third week onward you'll find only people willing to run t3 to t5.

    This has been the tune since SSG took over, and I see no reason they'll change it in the future. Just play the content you enjoy/can afford and leave the rest for the people it was designed for. There are many other good games to play in groups, and ultimately it's SSG best interest to keep the game alive and popular, if they keep designing group content like this it means it's working as intended, either this or they have no idea on how to turn things around and keep milking the cow until it's dry.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Posts
    5,921
    Quote Originally Posted by Saruman_Of_Numbers View Post
    excuse me... what?


    The game has never been more casual than it is now.


    The difference between now and then is that the devs have overbuffed classes to the point where everyone has a boatload of superman-tier godmoding skills (as compared to the classic era lvl 50-85).

    as a result, the devs had to also overbuff the mobs/bosses that people are fighting to at least give an illusion of content not being a complete joke.


    What ends up happening is both mobs and players are buffed to the point where the combat system itself breaks, and anything that isn't the META group composition is ineffective or undesired.


    as it stands right now, if you are running the meta group compositions, the game has never been easier/more casual... the instances are an effortless joke. You don't even have to be good at your class.

    If you're running anything different (warden/champ tank, etc) then you're gonna have a bad time.
    Warden tank is one of the best tanks for the 3 mans. It has enough survivability/self-heals to clear trash without a healer. Champ tank is bad (not impossible) and requires a dedicated healer where as the other 4 tank classes really don't. Right now, there are two polar ends to this game and very few players in between. The people clearing T5 Filth Well and the people doing festivals. It's a balance that the game has to strike. 90% of the players in this game don't do T5s. The game has to cater to that.

    If SOA/MOM was so hardcore, why could a champ tank all content in fervor? (A stance that gave you 0 BPE and -30% incoming healing) I did every Moria instance within two days of launch as the tank... in fervor.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strider5548 View Post
    Huh? What in my post gave you the impression that I would call you elitist scum?

    Anyway, it seems based on the responses that a lot of people agree. I will boil this down to a simple example. When I played WoW I could hop into an instance finder and within seconds to minutes be dropped into a dungeon with 5 other players. Sometimes it was easy, sometimes it was hard, but the point is we all got to enjoy the dungeon content of the game and once we finished we earned something (maybe nothing amazing, but something) to make us feel like we are improving our characters. I honestly don't care at all about l33t gear or higher level items or tiers 1-5, I really just want to play dungeons in this game and feel like I'm progressing something by completing them. It's just not an option for most people who have jobs or real lives because of all the barriers I and several others listed in this thread.
    You can play the dungeons at T1/T2/T3 with landscape gear. T5 can be done in landscape gear or even old anvil gear, it's just more of a challenge. I honestly think your ire should be directed at whoever does class balance because they did a piss poor job. The three "DPS" classes (hunter/rk/champ) are all doing worse in DPS than bear/warden/burg. That's a flaw in design and needs to be corrected immediately.
    .

    You currently have 1337 reputation point(s).

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by cwswim03 View Post
    If SOA/MOM was so hardcore, why could a champ tank all content in fervor? (A stance that gave you 0 BPE and -30% incoming healing) I did every Moria instance within two days of launch as the tank... in fervor.
    It wasn't, people who claim that SOA/MOM was hardcore were just plain bad back in the day and consider that content harder than it actually was because difficulty is relative. And that isn't meant in a bad way, Lotro was my first MMO too and I was bad in those days too.

    Pre Ost Dunhoth content was a joke in many ways..you had raid bosses were you could just run in again because there was no closed door at the bossroom, you could conjunction stun raid bosses and interrupt their special attacks which were designed to be uninterruptable, there's so much bad design in early content that makes said content anything but hardcore

    I understand if people think that current content is more dps check and less mechanics check, that's true to a certain extent, but that doesn't make older content more hardcore. Anvil ID4 is the best example that a mechanics check isn't difficult at all if not accompanied by a dps/hps check. Newer content has introduced many things other games always had, like hard enrages on raid bosses, which were just absent in the old stuff and which provided so many loopholes to cheese stuff

 

 
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