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  1. #1

    [Music System] Add "Conductor mode"

    *** FINAL POST UPDATE 6/17/2021 ***

    See updated concept post here!

    *** POST UPDATE 5/14/2021 ***

    After having played a number of other MMOs, and comparing their music systems to that of LOTRO, I decided to return from my 6 year hiatus and get back into the music. However, when I came back, I found that most everyone who was serious about music just multi boxed their band for lack of other players who wanted to tour around and just play music. So...I am here to suggest an addition to the music system...

    CONDUCTOR MODE!

    Instead of your toon playing an instrument, you would conduct a band of live players and/or NPC characters that play a specified music file.

    Specifications:

    - Conductor Mode would be a raid function that would become available after a fellowship has been converted to a raid. The raid can have up to 23 other live players.

    - Upon entering Conductor mode (as opposed to the regular music mode), the player will be presented with a UI containing 23 rows and 4 columns (greyed out), and a browse selection box in order to choose the music file OR saved setup file (more on that in a bit).

    - Once a music file has been loaded, the number of parts will be determined and the requisite number of rows will be made active.

    - Each Column will have a drop down selector:

    1) Column 1: The name of the LIVE player already in the group -OR- the word 'NPC' can be selected to indicate the seat will be filled by an NPC.
    2) Column 2: If Column 1 has NPC selected, then either RANDOM, or the Race/Gender combo can be selected (DWARF/FEMALE should be an option!). If a live player is selected, it will display "N/A"
    3) Column 3: The song part assigned to that seat
    4) Column 4: The Instrument assigned to that part (all available instruments will be listed unless the performer will be an NPC. In that case, the instruments available will be only those in which the Conductor is proficient).

    - Once the piece has been setup, a save button will allow the player to store the setup for future loading.

    - To accomodate for live players, a 'Confirm' button on the Conductor UI will send a message to each seat telling the live player what instrument they need to be using. When the live player is set, they can click the 'Ready' button. It would be at this point that game logic could be installed to only allow the 'Ready' button to be available if the proper instrument has been slotted.

    - Once everyone has reported ready (NPCs will always report ready), the Conductor player would hit the 'SYNC' button. At this point, all live players would be controlled by the server and teleported to their seat location and put in Music Mode with their instruments at the ready. NPC's would simply appear in the same fashion. This would also be when the .ABC files would be copied to the other live player clients. Once the copy is complete, a "ready light" will pop on next to the live player's name. The light for NPC's will be instantly on.

    - Once the Conductor UI board shows all green, the Conductor would hit the 'PLAY' button and sync play would begin as with any group music.

    - In addition to this, there should be a 'COSTUME' button that will bring up an interface not unlike the cosmetic tab in the character panel. This will allow the player to specify a costume that all NPC band members will wear when they appear. If desired, this same costume could be applied to live players when the 'SYNC' button is clicked and their character is moved into position.

    To be honest, I would be thrilled to be finally able to play the multi part music files I have been saving for all these years for other players in the game world. I think it would also go a long way to cut down on the number of extra "band member accounts" some players have created, as well as reduce the multiple logins required to multibox bands. It would also allow for Ad Hoc bands created on the fly with willing live players who just want to be part of the band experience.

    Some players, like myself, don't want the hassle of creating multiple accounts, making a new toon on each of those accounts band worthy (and I assume ALL those toons would be Minstrels to save time), and then have to run several instances of LOTRO at the lowest resolutions possible just to be able to have a band when desired. I get tired just thinking of setting all that up. Making the music is hard enough!

    In conclusion, it is my opinion that such a system would benefit LOTRO in many ways:

    1) Every player (even the solo players) would be given the chance either play in someone else's band without a lengthy setup, or play their own pieces with an NPC band big enough for their arrangement.
    2) Multibox bands could be eliminated thus lowering the number of active connections to the server.
    3) Extra "band member" accounts would be unnecessary.
    4) Far more people would be able to partake in live group performances any time.
    5) It would make the skill of the musician about the music they arrange and not about their ability to form a player band in the old Turbine method.
    6) Player arrangements would no longer have to be given to others. This will eliminate theft/plagiary and unwanted public distribution.
    7) This will put all musicians on a level playing field to enjoy the music system equally.

    I encourage SSG to give serious thought to this venture as it will not require any changes to the core music system, just a modification to the "band" system already in place. If there is anything I can do to make this happen, I will gladly entertain suggestions

    Cheers!
    Last edited by Zyriel; Jun 17 2021 at 04:42 PM.

  2. #2
    This is an interesting idea.
    And about multiboxing many do it cause its hard to find players to do music together as many play different times and can't always join together, but there are bands that don't and are real individual players, and some of them allow others join them if want, but that depends on the server you play on, if there are any active groups.
    But for those who can't this would help some, but many players like fashion they have outfits bought and made for their characters to have a special look for their bands, I think adding NPCs for that limits the option of of having a unique band look.
    Then again still a nice idea for those who chose not to multibox and would help many who can't, or just don't want to go though all the work making alt accounts. luckily i don't have to do that, i play with real friends in game every week who gather for music playing.
    Anyway don't know how much work this would take but /signed
    Pontin Level 130 Hobbit Burglar Leader of Second Breakfast Crickhollow Server.
    Alts: Belladonea Hobbit Minstrel, Unnari Dwarf Guardian, Jorunn Man Captain, Anemonellie Hobbit Guardian. Laurelin Server, Edwell Man Hunter.



    Taken many Screenshots of Middle-earth, Also a Moderator of the LotRO Community Discord server

  3. #3
    Bump in hopes that we might get a developer response to this and my other suggested upgrades to the music system

    My other suggestion was Make instruments character unlocks

    #ConductorModeFTW
    Last edited by Zyriel; May 14 2021 at 05:54 PM.

  4. #4

    An example of how music could sound with Conductor Mode

    Greetings!

    How many of us have been able to attend a big band performance in LOTRO? I'm sure a few of you have and I'm sure it was wonderful!

    Personally, I've never been able to attend one. Mainly because I am not available when they perform and there are very few bands (much less big bands of more than 5 people) on the Gladden server. Sure, there are the small bands that occasionally perform in the Bree Crafting Hall or (like me) out at the Bree Boar Fountain. The quality of the music might be adequate, but have you heard the difference between how it is and how it could be with a large band that Conductor Mode would allow?

    I offer, for your consideration, a single piece that has been arranged for 2, 3, and 9 parts.

    This particular piece, "O Holy Night" (also known as "Cantique de Noël") is a well-known Christmas carol composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847. There have been numerous adaptations and I found one that would work well with the various instruments in LOTRO. Because I cannot multi-box 8 more accounts (which I refuse to create just for music purposes) just to have a band big enough to play the full arrangement (9 parts), I am limited to using my wife's account, and another friend who is occasionally available to perform with us. Thus, I had to whittle this 9 part score down to a 2 part and 3 part arrangement. I have linked these here so you can hear the difference the Conductor Mode would make if a single player could summon a band large enough to play the full arrangement (in appropriate places outside, of course).

    The 2 and 3 part arrangements were performed by my group, the Warrior Bards of Gladden. The 9 part was created using the ABC Player.

    O Holy Night (2 Part),
    O Holy Night (3 Part)
    and finally,
    O Holy Night (9 Part)

    Clearly, only those individuals who are capable of multi-boxing 9 (or more) LOTRO accounts or have that many LOTRO friends they trust IRL to form a reliable band can perform the best sounding arrangements. While that may be quite a feat, it limits the potential of some great performances to a very small number of people.

    It is my hope that SSG will see that times have changed. Many people prefer to play their MMOs solo and only have a few ingame friends that they've never met in real life. Most people have very few real life friends that play LOTRO with them, and even fewer they could rely on to form a band with...much less a 9 (or more) person band. I won't mention all the other external things that need to happen to get a band playing, since once a band is finally geared, skilled, and supplied, performances are not that hard to start.

    I think the time has come for SSG to expand the music system to allow all the players in LOTRO who have the desire, but not the time or ability to get a large player band going, the opportunity to share their talent with other players by allowing them to conduct an NPC band for their arrangements. Even using the Conductor Mode for just 2 instruments would be better than the solo performances I hear now and then. I have many arrangements I can't even perform because they just don't sound good with less than 7 instruments or more!

    Perhaps the cancellation of the Amazon LOTR MMO will breathe new life into LOTRO. It is my hope that SSG will take this opportunity to make a good impression by at least upgrading the music system with this proposed change. (P.S. A significant graphics upgrade would be nice too )

    Best Regards,
    Zyriael of Gladden
    #ConductorModeFTW
    Last edited by Zyriel; Apr 30 2021 at 01:04 PM.

  5. #5
    Just for fun, here are a couple of those 9+ part arrangements I spoke of in my previous post that I cannot currently perform. Enjoy

    Raider of the Lost Arc (9 Part)

    Star Trek Voyager Main Theme (12 Part)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Pontin_Finnberry View Post
    This is an interesting idea.
    And about multiboxing many do it cause its hard to find players to do music together as many play different times and can't always join together, but there are bands that don't and are real individual players, and some of them allow others to join them if want, but that depends on the server you play on, if there are any active groups.
    But for those who can't this would help some, but many players like fashion they have outfits bought and made for their characters to have a special look for their bands, I think adding NPCs for that limits the option of having a unique band look.
    Then again still a nice idea for those who chose not to multibox and would help many who can't, or just don't want to go through all the work making alt accounts. luckily I don't have to do that, I play with real friends in-game every week who gather for music playing.
    Anyway don't know how much work this would take but /signed
    you have pointed out a flaw yes why not add a full cosmetic area instead of just the instrument so that players can choose what their NPCs look like as well and also select from the races the NPCs are from the already existing race types.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BagsExtra View Post
    you have pointed out a flaw yes why not add a full cosmetic area instead of just the instrument so that players can choose what their NPCs look like as well and also select from the races the NPCs are from the already existing race types.
    I had thought of this as part of the Conductor Mode system, but I figured that could be an upgrade for down the road. It's hard enough to get an idea adopted by SSG, and I didn't think it would help if I threw too much into this idea at first.

    Ideally, yes, there should be a costume slot that could be populated with cosmetics you have acquired, and more costume slots that could be purchased just like in the character panel. This way, all of the NPCs would be dressed alike. There should also be drop down lists to select the race and gender for the NPCs...just in case you want an all female elf band for example There should also be a "Random" checkbox that would disable those drop down lists in lieu of making each band NPC a random race and gender.

    Personally, I think Conductor Mode would be a boon for LOTRO and should it happen, I would probably never leave LOTRO again as I would have way too much fun making and performing arrangements.

  8. #8
    Some great ideas you have
    ( read your other threads also )
    As for "big band" there are some options to help a bit you can do when creating a song piece.
    Our band, is three players now. two of us dual log, so we have 5.
    When we put a music piece together, I will make a "solo play" piece, a "string piece" a "wind piece" these are batch pieces, to fill out the dead space you get from lacking players.
    Then any additional instrument added in, helps fill out and create that nice music sound you want.
    A solo piece, and the flute piece ( which I use for voice on almost allour songs ) with only 2 players sounds great. Adding drums fills it out more. A horn, a fiddle, a theorbo etc etc.. can only improve the sound.
    creating your batches like the solo, the string and wind piece, need care and adjustments otherwise it can sound bad.
    ( I really miss firefern's for making music, I had so much more control with that.. volumes fades etc... alas.. )


    Anyways, back to your conductor mode idea! ( this is how I am imagining it )
    If this happens, I would love it, if you could syncronize with the fellowship still with other members, and, by doing so, each person in the fellowship could add characters from their own account as an npc band member.
    So for example, I have Lemlifor, and Balifor, on my main account, on my second account I have Balimbor and Dwalifor, currently I'd have to choose one or the other from each account. How nice would it be, to use your existing characters? Each fellowship member would go into conductor mode, and be able to select their extras.

    Imagine in entering conductors mode, you have the option to either use default npc, or, appearance copies from your account. Also, band location, could be important moving the npc members etc. So in conductor mode, By clicking on an npc in your panel you suddenly posess, that npc, and can move them to a position, select outfits if needed, and swap instruments, and assign a 'part number' to the song.
    So for instance, if you have 1 player and 3 npcs you are going for, you can assign, say part 5, to one, part 7 to one, and part 6 to another.
    As conductor, you fill in the filename in your panel, everyone auto-sets their part.
    THis coudl be very interesting.

  9. #9

    Setting up a big band is not for the faint of heart...

    I just had a interesting conversation with someone who recently formed a 10 seat band (I won't mention the server). They were trying to be nice and help me get started quickly making a big multibox band. That and convince me see that my whole idea of the Conductor Mode concept is worthless...

    The only thing this conversation left me with was a sense of financial dread and the sneaky suspicion they worked for SSG as they stand to gain the most financially from not using the Conductor Mode suggestion.

    Personally, I think the best way to make a large, multibox band, is to take your time...especially with F2P accounts as they can be rather costly. That being said, I have broken down (for grins and giggles) what quickly setting up a 10 seat band would cost based on the standard prices on the LOTRO Store.

    According to this individual, their main account is lifetime and the other 9 are F2P. I will use this as my starting point. If you don't have a Lifetime account, then add whatever you've spent so far on your main account to the grand total. Just know that there IS a way to do this completely free...it will just take a long time, especially if you have a life and like sleeping

    First, you'll need to make 9 more basic Free To Play accounts. This will require 9 more unique email addresses. Good new...those are generally easy and free to make (for the most part).

    Then, on each new F2P account, 1 minstrel should be created. This is to minimize instrument training time. Then, each minstrel will have to be levelled to at least 20 to be able to play all the instruments, but that takes time (about 2-3 days per toon). If you want to avoid this, you will have to buy a Gift of the Valar (boost to level 50 @ 3995 LP) for each toon totaling about $55 per account (3150 LP @ $35 + 1600 LP @ $20 = $55 for 4750 LP). This will leave 755LP on each account (4750 - 3995 = 755).

    Then there is the costume. You can go with crafted or free stuff to save money here, but we all know the best looking stuff is on the store or from events. If you can't wait, then with the remaining 755 LP per account, you can get a body and head cosmetic for 295LP each (590 LP), plus 2 (1 for each cosmetic) general dyes at 50 LP each (100 LP). This will leave 65 LP per toon (755-590-100=65). The current total setup cost is $495.

    But now I would need to purchase instruments based on what music I wanted to play. Again, I one could wait for the events and play to acquire what is needed, or get them from the store. For me, I'd need a Lonely Mountain Fiddle, a Spritely Fiddle, and a Bardic Fiddle (195LP x3) Thankfully, I would only need one of these on three different toons, so that would limit the expense to 585 LP on the main toon (another 600LP @ $8). The total setup cost is now at $503.

    Then each minstrel would have to be taught how to play the Bagpipe and Theorbo. Since it takes 2 weeks to get each toon trained on both instruments (1 week cooldown per mentoring session), each toon will need to buy both skills. Each skill costs 25 Mithril Coins from the Minstrel trainer. Thus, the remaining 65LP on each toon can be used for this (no additional cost) leaving 5LP on each toon. You can, of course, save this LP by finding other players in the game willing to burn their mentor cooldown on your toons. That would take time if you don't know 20 minstrels already.

    Finally, there is the matter of operating a 10 account multiboxing session. Flipping between all those accounts is one option and would take some time and skill to get everyone moved around, not to mention setting each one up to play a song. As for playing songs, Songbook and Bandaide are two very useful and free LOTRO plugins for this. In my opinion, they are both required to make things as painless as possible.

    Moving that many toons around, however, is another story. Without multiboxing software, this will be a bit of a chore. While there are free multiboxing packages out there, most are designed for World of Warcraft or other such MMOs, and are a lot of work to get things setup properly. The only software package suggested to me was "IsBoxing". The software is free, but it runs on a subscription operating system that costs $36/year (or $10/90 days).

    Assuming I took this option, the grand total to quickly setup my band would be $539 plus $36 per year after. Bear in mind, SSG gets the $503. I would only suggest this route of you are 1) Wealthy, and 2) Wealthy and in a hurry.

    I am not wealthy, so setting up a 10 seat band for me would take well over a year, depending when all the events hit and the fact I need to sleep. The limits on F2P accounts adds even more time as you have very limited inventory (45 slots), no Wardrobe slots, and no Shared Storage. You will also need to be running back and forth to town often for banking and selling purposes. I won't mention the 2G gold cap as I doubt you'll hit that with all of the travelling and repair expenses while levelling up each toon to 20. God forbid the Hobbits gift you with a pile of scrap worth 2G! And don't worry, getting a horse on each toon will only cost 95 LP per toon, which can be made by taking time to deed as much as possible!

    In the end, making big band music in LOTRO is NOT for the faint of heart. This is why most people just play things solo since the current way to make a band is either time consuming (even if you know other players who want to make a band with you), or costly.

    So this, my friends, is exactly why I came up with the Conductor Mode idea. Yes, I'm sure SSG would rather have your money, but why not make players enjoy making quality music in LOTRO without all the headache. If you stay to do this, then you'll spend more money in the long run. Wouldn't you agree?

    Cheers!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hoppa_Joel View Post
    Some great ideas you have
    ( read your other threads also )
    As for "big band" there are some options to help a bit you can do when creating a song piece.
    Our band, is three players now. two of us dual log, so we have 5.
    When we put a music piece together, I will make a "solo play" piece, a "string piece" a "wind piece" these are batch pieces, to fill out the dead space you get from lacking players.
    Then any additional instrument added in, helps fill out and create that nice music sound you want.
    A solo piece, and the flute piece ( which I use for voice on almost allour songs ) with only 2 players sounds great. Adding drums fills it out more. A horn, a fiddle, a theorbo etc etc.. can only improve the sound.
    creating your batches like the solo, the string and wind piece, need care and adjustments otherwise it can sound bad.
    ( I really miss firefern's for making music, I had so much more control with that.. volumes fades etc... alas.. )


    Anyways, back to your conductor mode idea! ( this is how I am imagining it )
    If this happens, I would love it, if you could syncronize with the fellowship still with other members, and, by doing so, each person in the fellowship could add characters from their own account as an npc band member.
    So for example, I have Lemlifor, and Balifor, on my main account, on my second account I have Balimbor and Dwalifor, currently I'd have to choose one or the other from each account. How nice would it be, to use your existing characters? Each fellowship member would go into conductor mode, and be able to select their extras.

    Imagine in entering conductors mode, you have the option to either use default npc, or, appearance copies from your account. Also, band location, could be important moving the npc members etc. So in conductor mode, By clicking on an npc in your panel you suddenly posess, that npc, and can move them to a position, select outfits if needed, and swap instruments, and assign a 'part number' to the song.
    So for instance, if you have 1 player and 3 npcs you are going for, you can assign, say part 5, to one, part 7 to one, and part 6 to another.
    As conductor, you fill in the filename in your panel, everyone auto-sets their part.
    THis coudl be very interesting.
    I could not have said this better myself! Conductor Mode does not mean the death of player bands...it means the expansion of them! My band has 3 members...myself, my wife, and an ingame friend. One toon from each account can go into Conductor Mode with either the same multi-part .ABC file, or broken down as you have done. Then, each player will setup a number of NPC players to maximize the music density of the parts they will be playing. The only problem will be the synchronization of the separate files as conducted by 3 different people.

    If I were SSG, I'd want to limit the total band to 24 members (i.e. a raid). Thus, if each of you were your own band, you'd have to find a way to sync up playing without being in the same group. I currently know of no way to do this as the server bases sync play on the members within the group.

    I envision Conductor Mode being a "raid" function that would use the other live players (not the Conductor) as performers and let the rest of the open slots be available for NPCs. This would allow a single player to conduct, while the other live players can be performers accompanied by the selected NPCs. This would max out the raid at 24, with 23 total performers and a conductor.

    EDIT: I updated the Conductor Mode specs to incorporate the Ad Hoc Band suggestion I made 10 years ago. You might want to re-read the original post
    Last edited by Zyriel; May 14 2021 at 05:56 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    5,489
    A very interesting idea. Would love to see something like this happen. Not just for those that do not have large bands, but for grand occasions within the game. Twelfth Night Ball and such. Would have been a fun aspect of the Wedding of Aragorn and Arwen.
    The Lonely Mountain Band
    Pouncival-Rank 15 aroo-Leader of the Pouncing Pwny
    We Pounce Because We Care

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Aedon View Post
    A very interesting idea. Would love to see something like this happen. Not just for those that do not have large bands, but for grand occasions within the game. Twelfth Night Ball and such. Would have been a fun aspect of the Wedding of Aragorn and Arwen.
    Couldn't agree more! I'd love to have a Dev comment to know if they are even aware of this idea, but until then I will continue to spread the word

  13. #13

    A new approach to Conductor Mode!

    Last edited by Zyriel; Jun 17 2021 at 04:40 PM.

 

 

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