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  1. #1

    Continuing discussion with Raninia

    Not sure why the thread couldn't have been pruned down rather than locked, but whatever. Per directions, continuing discussion in new thread...



    Ran, not a blow smoke up people's kilt sort of guy, so it's not normally my style for thanking someone for responding, but I do appreciate the effort you're putting forth extending to the community. I'm just going to stick on one point in two parts you made rather than all of it. I said:

    Quote Originally Posted by me
    When 28.2 was in bullroarer, the pvp'ers were begging Vastin to make changes to the map to go along with updates to monster faction. They asked them to remove autoflips, to remove backdoors to keeps, and move EC and OC back to where they used to be.

    He had no conception of what on earth they were talking about much less why those asking for it thought it was important. What they did implement was making the back door "at the center castle" out of combat only and none of us were sure what that meant. Turns out it meant the back door of TA. And that didn't work either. How he can improve PVMP when he has no idea of the nuances of the game? How can any of you?

    The same applies to instances, your most expensive content. You constantly launch content that favors some classes and excludes others, something you would never do if you actually knew or cared how that felt. I'm using general "you's" here obviously. Your nerfs to LM's doubles down on this notion.
    You said two things. First one:

    Quote Originally Posted by you
    So, I can't speak to what happened previously, I don't have the context. What I can say about now is we've continued to expand our broader collective experience, but I'm sure there're still gaps - LOTRO's a big game. I'm working to help fill those gaps, but it's gonna take time and it's not gonna solve all our blindspot.
    To fill those blindspots... Become an endgame player. That's where I entered this conversation. And before you say, "I have to support all kinds of players" consider this. While a festival goer may not be an endgame player, an endgame player will participate in festivals. They do for gear. A solo casual player may not participate in endgame, but an endgame player will do the same things as the solo caz, they have to quest too for deeds and levels and skill points. While a crafter may not be an endgame player, an endgame player will be a crafter for gear and relics. In other words, by become an endgame player you will hit many of your niches just because they're all required to become an endgamer. Whereas other areas of concentration may be more mutually exclusive. Become the endgame player will allow you to speak the language of many different silos of interest in the game. And you'll get to know your in game and out of game influencers and taste makers, the people that other players are on these same gear tracks aspiring to be, whether they get there or not. There's noone currently at SSG doing this and it's why you have the blindspots you do.

    Learn to speak the language yourself, and you wont have to rely on us as translators. General you's again. Maybe this isn't the role of the producer. But dang man, someone's gotta be able to do it and they have to be in the organization that will be heard at the decision making level. A QA person for example, is just another translator. The chefs gotta taste their own food first.

    Other point:

    Quote Originally Posted by you
    As for instances that "favor some classes," yeah, that's totally true. That's not strictly an accident either. We don't feel that perfectly balanced instances for each class are generally that interesting, not too mention, extremely difficult to do.
    First I hate to be blunt but I'm a blunt sort of guy. I'm not trying to be rude. But I couldn't care less if it's hard for you guys. I assume you're well compensated and well educated and you all can figure out how to make the game work for everyone that signs up for it. I don't recall seeing any warnings about classes that aren't optimized for instance play or not. So I'm sorry, but that's not a real answer. I don't pay for a service for someone to paint my house and then they tell me it's too hard.

    And here's where not speaking the language comes in.. When you say it's not strictly an accident... You dont' have a conception of the how long it takes to do 130 levels, 5 virtues 75 level each, two legendary items that take aprox 450 scrolls of empowerment total, the gear grind it takes to get to the point where you would be even viable in an instance, and then all your friends on other classes that are going to go play only to be told your class isn't welcome. You could be 15 years into that class at this point, years of /played, literally. You don't seem to have an understanding at all of the emotional impact of your statement where I've bolded it. And you, SSG, Sev, etc, really, really needs to. If you're asking us to devote the kind of time it takes to play this content, then it's not just.. dude, it's unconscionable that you think it's okay that once we get there, you've made it not for us. I don't think you all have considered it in those terms, but why would you because of the point above? None of you have been there.

    Be there. So these things stop being "not strictly an accident". Please.
    Last edited by SingularityNow; Jun 15 2021 at 02:17 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by SingularityNow View Post
    Other point:



    First I hate to be blunt but I'm a blunt sort of guy. I'm not trying to be rude. But I couldn't care less if it's hard for you guys. I assume you're well compensated and well educated and you all can figure out how to make the game work for everyone that signs up for it. I don't recall seeing any warnings about classes that aren't optimized for instance play or not. So I'm sorry, but that's not a real answer. I don't pay for a service for someone to paint my house and then they tell me it's too hard.

    And here's where not speaking the language comes in.. When you say it's not strictly an accident... You dont' have a conception of the how long it takes to do 130 levels, 5 virtues 75 level each, two legendary items that take aprox 450 scrolls of empowerment total, the gear grind it takes to get to the point where you would be even viable in an instance, and then all your friends on other classes that are going to go play only to be told your class isn't welcome. You could be 15 years into that class at this point, years of /played, literally. You don't seem to have an understanding at all of the emotional impact of your statement where I've bolded it. And you, SSG, Sev, etc, really, really needs to. If you're asking us to devote the kind of time it takes to play this content, then it's not just.. dude, it's unconscionable that you think it's okay that once we get there, you've made it not for us. I don't think you all have considered it in those terms, but why would you because of the point above? None of you have been there.

    Be there. So these things stop being "not strictly an accident". Please.

    This Exactly. This is how guardians have been feeling for a long time now. It incredible that they've design raids/instances for specific classes making it very difficult for other classes to participate if they wish. Remmo is 1 example of this kind of stupidity Captain and Guardian. Caverns of Thrumfall was another example but this time it was Range vs Melee. Melee just couldn't get near that last boss or it would almost always be a death sentence. I remember the frustration of the melee classes. Most groups advertise for healer, tank and range or healer. lm and range dps iirc. Its very disappointing to pour over your class to make it the best it can be to find out once you get to the starting line after training and preparing that you just can't participate in the race because they just don't take your kind.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingularityNow View Post

    Other point:



    First I hate to be blunt but I'm a blunt sort of guy. I'm not trying to be rude. But I couldn't care less if it's hard for you guys. I assume you're well compensated and well educated and you all can figure out how to make the game work for everyone that signs up for it. I don't recall seeing any warnings about classes that aren't optimized for instance play or not. So I'm sorry, but that's not a real answer. I don't pay for a service for someone to paint my house and then they tell me it's too hard.

    And here's where not speaking the language comes in.. When you say it's not strictly an accident... You dont' have a conception of the how long it takes to do 130 levels, 5 virtues 75 level each, two legendary items that take aprox 450 scrolls of empowerment total, the gear grind it takes to get to the point where you would be even viable in an instance, and then all your friends on other classes that are going to go play only to be told your class isn't welcome. You could be 15 years into that class at this point, years of /played, literally. You don't seem to have an understanding at all of the emotional impact of your statement where I've bolded it. And you, SSG, Sev, etc, really, really needs to. If you're asking us to devote the kind of time it takes to play this content, then it's not just.. dude, it's unconscionable that you think it's okay that once we get there, you've made it not for us. I don't think you all have considered it in those terms, but why would you because of the point above? None of you have been there.

    Be there. So these things stop being "not strictly an accident". Please.
    this ^^
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingularityNow View Post
    To fill those blindspots... Become an endgame player. That's where I entered this conversation. And before you say, "I have to support all kinds of players" consider this. While a festival goer may not be an endgame player, an endgame player will participate in festivals. They do for gear. A solo casual player may not participate in endgame, but an endgame player will do the same things as the solo caz, they have to quest too for deeds and levels and skill points. While a crafter may not be an endgame player, an endgame player will be a crafter for gear and relics. In other words, by become an endgame player you will hit many of your niches just because they're all required to become an endgamer. Whereas other areas of concentration may be more mutually exclusive. Become the endgame player will allow you to speak the language of many different silos of interest in the game. And you'll get to know your in game and out of game influencers and taste makers, the people that other players are on these same gear tracks aspiring to be, whether they get there or not. There's noone currently at SSG doing this and it's why you have the blindspots you do.
    I would add that this does not consider the topic of time budgets. I agree with the statement, but many "endgame" players seem to assume that everyone has infinite time to play this game - while reality tells us that only a limited size market segment can actually do that. So I would modify that endgame players will do everything, but they are limited by their time budgets - which restricts "everything" to "many things".
    So if Raninia would play "everything", this would introduce a new bias in another direction.

    Quote Originally Posted by SingularityNow View Post
    And here's where not speaking the language comes in.. When you say it's not strictly an accident... You dont' have a conception of the how long it takes to do 130 levels, 5 virtues 75 level each, two legendary items that take aprox 450 scrolls of empowerment total, the gear grind it takes to get to the point where you would be even viable in an instance, and then all your friends on other classes that are going to go play only to be told your class isn't welcome. You could be 15 years into that class at this point, years of /played, literally. You don't seem to have an understanding at all of the emotional impact of your statement where I've bolded it. And you, SSG, Sev, etc, really, really needs to. If you're asking us to devote the kind of time it takes to play this content, then it's not just.. dude, it's unconscionable that you think it's okay that once we get there, you've made it not for us. I don't think you all have considered it in those terms, but why would you because of the point above? None of you have been there.
    Exactly. For me, maintenance for one char is already enough. I got 3 other cap chars that would probably need half a year of undivided attention to get somewhere. From grind to gearing to simple training to play that class. Swapping classes because my main became the "unfavored class of the year" would put me on the sideline for a quite long time.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by SingularityNow View Post
    Other point:



    First I hate to be blunt but I'm a blunt sort of guy. I'm not trying to be rude. But I couldn't care less if it's hard for you guys. I assume you're well compensated and well educated and you all can figure out how to make the game work for everyone that signs up for it. I don't recall seeing any warnings about classes that aren't optimized for instance play or not. So I'm sorry, but that's not a real answer. I don't pay for a service for someone to paint my house and then they tell me it's too hard.

    And here's where not speaking the language comes in.. When you say it's not strictly an accident... You dont' have a conception of the how long it takes to do 130 levels, 5 virtues 75 level each, two legendary items that take aprox 450 scrolls of empowerment total, the gear grind it takes to get to the point where you would be even viable in an instance, and then all your friends on other classes that are going to go play only to be told your class isn't welcome. You could be 15 years into that class at this point, years of /played, literally. You don't seem to have an understanding at all of the emotional impact of your statement where I've bolded it. And you, SSG, Sev, etc, really, really needs to. If you're asking us to devote the kind of time it takes to play this content, then it's not just.. dude, it's unconscionable that you think it's okay that once we get there, you've made it not for us. I don't think you all have considered it in those terms, but why would you because of the point above? None of you have been there.

    Be there. So these things stop being "not strictly an accident". Please.
    I also have to agree with this sentiment. Tough to take? I hope so... and I hope it shocks you guys into doing something about the very core of what this game is about.....

    and if you don't know... well Lotro is the story and you keep on creating new narrative which in the most part is a vanity show where it looks and sounds all nice on the surface... until you are suckered into a huge amount of effort to get there and then find you are not welcome.

    As Guardian is the buzzword currently, my original main was Guardian and when I managed to get to cap in 2008 - I felt a huge sense of achievement because believe me when I say this.. the level curve was very low and Guardian was absolutely pathetic in solo play and it would take an age to kill a mob. But, that wasn't the reason we levelled Guardian back then... It was because Guardian was the Tank and needed for every Raid, 6 man and even call outs for Guardians to help in the epic chapters that USED to require a full group. BUT....

    My original character, this Guardian who so diligently fought through SoA and helped to rid the halls of Khazad-dûm of their hateful generals and delved deeper into the depths to rid the filth from below and finally emerged through to smell the beautiful air of Lorien and rested for a while before searching out and defeating the threat in the ruins of Mirkwood. On and On he fought.. tirelessly onwards and onwards

    and onwards and then for some reason this great warrior was no longer required !! He hadn't lost his determination or his tenacity but every way he turned there was obstacle after obstacle and nobody wanted to give succour. Those who he had so bravely and heartily fought for now deserted him and left his tools of battle battered and broken and nowhere could he find the tradesmen willing to help...

    So what did my great warrior do ? Well he hid on an outcrop with just enough view to see if the wind would change again and bring some hope and he waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited.......
    WHY DO PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE LEAST, KNOW IT THE LOUDEST?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SingularityNow View Post
    You dont' have a conception of the how long it takes to do 130 levels, 5 virtues 75 level each, two legendary items that take aprox 450 scrolls of empowerment total, the gear grind it takes to get to the point where you would be even viable in an instance
    Agreed. We really need someone at the helm who did the grind part. From 1 to 130 decently geared, instance ready.

    Like you pointed out, it will touch on other areas of the game and other playstyles (I'm a casual and I still did the majority of the grind out of want, need and spite). It's difficult to discuss and improve things that you haven't experienced yourself. Yes, it will take time but you gotta start somewhere.
    Roaming Gladden since 2013

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by SingularityNow View Post
    First I hate to be blunt but I'm a blunt sort of guy. I'm not trying to be rude. But I couldn't care less if it's hard for you guys. I assume you're well compensated and well educated and you all can figure out how to make the game work for everyone that signs up for it. I don't recall seeing any warnings about classes that aren't optimized for instance play or not. So I'm sorry, but that's not a real answer. I don't pay for a service for someone to paint my house and then they tell me it's too hard.
    Perhaps when he said "its too hard" he actually meant "close to impossible". Consider an instance where the boss mob and minions are around a corner and pounce on you immediately. It requires a different set of tactics to defeat. Ranged DPS is not that useful. Perhaps you need an extra tank. How do you heal without getting whacked? I don't see anything wrong with an instance like this but it does mean certain classes are not as useful in this instance/raid.

    What is the solution? Always design instances so that every class has a role?

    I don't see anything wrong with instances that might favor certain classes. The balance should be that when the instances are looked at in total every class should have an equal need. In my opinion we don't need class balance in every instances - it will lead to every instances being similar. But I could be wrong.
    The key to success is preparation,
    The key to preparation is practice,
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavinDwarf View Post
    Perhaps when he said "its too hard" he actually meant "close to impossible". Consider an instance where the boss mob and minions are around a corner and pounce on you immediately. It requires a different set of tactics to defeat. Ranged DPS is not that useful. Perhaps you need an extra tank. How do you heal without getting whacked? I don't see anything wrong with an instance like this but it does mean certain classes are not as useful in this instance/raid.

    What is the solution? Always design instances so that every class has a role?

    I don't see anything wrong with instances that might favor certain classes. The balance should be that when the instances are looked at in total every class should have an equal need. In my opinion we don't need class balance in every instances - it will lead to every instances being similar. But I could be wrong.
    TBF other games do have a problem with balancing encounters too. One boss favors melee with lots of movement so ranged is at a disadvantage, another boss has lots of aoe so melee is at a disadvantage and ranged can sit pretty pew pewing, etc.

    But you balance those kinds of encounters throughout the instance with different bosses having different mechanics. For single-boss encounters you make have the boss with different phases, etc.

    It's doable. Hard, but doable. The only game I've played that comes close to that balance is ff14 and even that still has some fights that are melee unfriendly and others that are ranged unfriendly. (or have mechanics that favor one tank or healer over another, but usually another boss on that tier will favor a different tank or healer)

    So I'm of the opinion that in any given instance an effort be made to make every class in the game useful on one fight or another. Not necessarily every spec, mind you, but every class.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SniperCT View Post
    TBF other games do have a problem with balancing encounters too. One boss favors melee with lots of movement so ranged is at a disadvantage, another boss has lots of aoe so melee is at a disadvantage and ranged can sit pretty pew pewing, etc.

    But you balance those kinds of encounters throughout the instance with different bosses having different mechanics. For single-boss encounters you make have the boss with different phases, etc.

    It's doable. Hard, but doable. The only game I've played that comes close to that balance is ff14 and even that still has some fights that are melee unfriendly and others that are ranged unfriendly. (or have mechanics that favor one tank or healer over another, but usually another boss on that tier will favor a different tank or healer)

    So I'm of the opinion that in any given instance an effort be made to make every class in the game useful on one fight or another. Not necessarily every spec, mind you, but every class.
    In LOTRO (and perhaps a lot of games) the challenge is made even harder because of the constant tweaking of the classes for class balance - balance in solo play, balance in PVP, balance in instances, etc. This has blurred the lines between class specialties. To make matters worse, who knows what it does to the older instances that might have been well balanced when created, but now are totally unbalanced.

    A perfect example of all the tweaking is the Guardian. It started life as the ultimate tank - something that any raid would need. Then bit by bit other classes became tank like and the guardian got improved for solo play. Who knows which class will be the ultimate tank in 12 months as SSG tries to make everyone happy.
    The key to success is preparation,
    The key to preparation is practice,
    The key to practice is Guinness!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavinDwarf View Post
    In LOTRO (and perhaps a lot of games) the challenge is made even harder because of the constant tweaking of the classes for class balance - balance in solo play, balance in PVP, balance in instances, etc. This has blurred the lines between class specialties. To make matters worse, who knows what it does to the older instances that might have been well balanced when created, but now are totally unbalanced.

    A perfect example of all the tweaking is the Guardian. It started life as the ultimate tank - something that any raid would need. Then bit by bit other classes became tank like and the guardian got improved for solo play. Who knows which class will be the ultimate tank in 12 months as SSG tries to make everyone happy.
    I doubt they're all that concerned about balancing older instances.

  11. #11
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    More and more so-called endgame players are the tail wagging the horse. There aren't that many of them but they have disproportionate influence because they have a high percentage of "whales".

    If SSG under new management sees the pot at the end of the rainbow as new players coming in after watching the TV shows - they need to do almost exactly the opposite of what they have been doing for years. Pay loving attention to the horse and let the tail do whatever it wants.

    Stories will matter to these new players. The size and quality of the world will matter to these now players. Having a wide variety of classes that can function well especially at lower levels will matter to these new players.

    Having a better system for bringing them in to the game and explaining the game features like virtues and traits will matter - a LOT.

    Simplifying things like the LI system, traits, virtues, attributes and all the other things a new player has to learn will matter - a LOT.

    The quality and balance of a T4 raid at level-cap? Not important except to a tiny percentage of the player base.

    So if they want to focus on keeping what they have, as it steadily declines, I agree with most of what is said in this thread. If they want to look to the future - sorry guys but none of this matters as much as it used to.

    Of course, I want the whales kept happy too - it helps all of the minnows if they continue to fertilize Middle Earth. As the Producer said we should value and support all of our communities. My point is simply that more and more the love needs to be spread around brand new clueless casuals are about to get a lot of it unless I badly misread what is happening.
    Last edited by istvana; Jun 17 2021 at 12:31 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thinx View Post
    .


    Exactly. For me, maintenance for one char is already enough. I got 3 other cap chars that would probably need half a year of undivided attention to get somewhere. From grind to gearing to simple training to play that class.
    Oh yeah, me too.
    "Grandchildren are God's reward for not killing your children when you wanted to."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SniperCT View Post
    I doubt they're all that concerned about balancing older instances.
    The thing is, you never know what's going to motivate their next series of changes. When they tried that "pvp" server, it turned out that Guards were practically invincible at lower level, so that got Guards a nerf.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DKenny View Post
    The thing is, you never know what's going to motivate their next series of changes. When they tried that "pvp" server, it turned out that Guards were practically invincible at lower level, so that got Guards a nerf.
    ...see that's why I don't want pvp in this game lmao

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by DKenny View Post
    The thing is, you never know what's going to motivate their next series of changes. When they tried that "pvp" server, it turned out that Guards were practically invincible at lower level, so that got Guards a nerf.
    no flash of light damage was very overtuned and that was a well deserved need for early levels

    however the code implemented caused the damage to be overall decreased and the apparent legacy that was supposed to increased it isn't providing the right amount of damage

    guards were "invincible" much the same way vastin was influenced into nerfing blue hunters when you got called out on it

  16. #16
    There are so many modifiers now which work to influence each character in the game that I am not surprised they're having trouble achieving clarity and balance through the complicated web they've tangle themselves in. Between now-enormous trait trees, bloated LI's with all of their legacies, essences, and virtues, the task is daunting.

    But they also made all of these things. There was a point in this game's history during which our characters were much more simple, yet more fun to build. Essences really need to go, old trait-trees need to return, and bloated LI's should be replaced with rare gold weapon drops which can sport two legacies MAX when taken to the forgemaster.

    These things are solutions, but unfortunately when they try to address this stuff they end up applying the equivalent of duct-tape so that when everything finally goes wrong, it goes wrong fantastically.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kudurru1 View Post
    And here's where not speaking the language comes in.. When you say it's not strictly an accident... You dont' have a conception of the how long it takes to do 130 levels, 5 virtues 75 level each, two legendary items that take aprox 450 scrolls of empowerment total, the gear grind it takes to get to the point where you would be even viable in an instance, and then all your friends on other classes that are going to go play only to be told your class isn't welcome.
    +1 more. This is the reason many of us are always so concerned with class balance, and it's why it needs to be a priority. It's the worst to be told class balance is "constantly ongoing" and then not seeing changes for months, or at worst years, on end. I think we all understand it will never be perfect, and always changes, but it often doesn't change fast enough when its need is dire.

    Quote Originally Posted by BinaryTertiary View Post
    no flash of light damage was very overtuned and that was a well deserved need for early levels

    however the code implemented caused the damage to be overall decreased and the apparent legacy that was supposed to increased it isn't providing the right amount of damage

    guards were "invincible" much the same way vastin was influenced into nerfing blue hunters when you got called out on it
    Can't argue that it was without a doubt quite overtuned at low levels and deserved an adjustment there. Though I'd still say it's a good example of how something can get heavily nerfed on a whim for the short term, and then never fixed for the long term. Now this ability really needs a buff/fix, but a year later and nobody has cared enough to go back and properly scale it for all level ranges. So I'd say the initial point still has some ground to stand on. At the time with how quickly they got to nerfing this skill, and how heavily, it's fairly clear that as long as the ability no longer hurt the PVP server then they didn't really care much beyond that. If they did then the ability wouldn't be in the state it currently is now. Not that you were defending the ability being fine how it is overall now, but just to say in general.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by BadJuju View Post
    old trait-trees need to return
    If only you could be read.
    It was my dream when the Legendary Server was talk about.

    And strangely enough, just not having three traits tree but just one would be much easier to balance after.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TearMaker View Post

    My original character, this Guardian who so diligently fought through SoA and helped to rid the halls of Khazad-dûm of their hateful generals and delved deeper into the depths to rid the filth from below and finally emerged through to smell the beautiful air of Lorien and rested for a while before searching out and defeating the threat in the ruins of Mirkwood. On and On he fought.. tirelessly onwards and onwards

    and onwards and then for some reason this great warrior was no longer required !! He hadn't lost his determination or his tenacity but every way he turned there was obstacle after obstacle and nobody wanted to give succour. Those who he had so bravely and heartily fought for now deserted him and left his tools of battle battered and broken and nowhere could he find the tradesmen willing to help...

    So what did my great warrior do ? Well he hid on an outcrop with just enough view to see if the wind would change again and bring some hope and he waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited.......
    This is exactly why this new crop of team have no idea what the emotional value that has been poured into these characters. They have zero context and I would say the majority of the team have no idea what it is like to have put all that effort into this game and absolutely none of them would have pure end game characters that have had to grind over and over to get in a place to be able to raid. Even QA I would hazard to guess will have many builds which they create at will.....

    That is why they cannot be as invested as us and all these new faces just come in with their fancy business jargon - trying hopelessly to impress or cover the fact that they have no clue about Lotro and making out that experience in other games somehow gives you authority over how we should feel about what is happening currently.

    I am really guessing that this livestream will be a bunch of "I don't know" - "I will have to get back to you" or "look at this shiny thing that I can say and divert your attention away from my ignorance"

    To the above poster... nice tie in to the new story and yes we are all still waiting and waiting

  20. #20
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    "And strangely enough, just not having three traits tree but just one would be much easier to balance after."


    This raises an interesting conflict between three major objectives that in and of themselves are good objectives.

    1. Keep it simple especially if you are preparing for a flood of players that are drawn by the lore and the story and do not have the interest (or at least toleration) we old-timers have for complicated systems and spending many hours or days or weeks to learn the ropes and figure out how to make powerful characters. One trait tree is a good step in that direction. *No* trait trees are a bigger step. Just give the abilities as characters level.

    Can this work? Unfortunately I think it can. At level 10 or 20 let the player choose "tank", "healer" or "damage". The character will then get the abilities that go with the choice. The player at any time can change the role selection and get a new set of role-based abilities just as if he or she changed colors.

    2. Keep it interesting and give players choices. The more choices the more interesting. And the more complicated. Objectives one and two conflict.

    3. Balance. Almost all of us would agree that balance is good if it does not make classes bland and boring and reduce or eliminate choices. But unfortunately the fewer choices the easier it is to balance the classes. So option one above makes balance easier.

    So do we want a simple, better balanced game that new players can dive into more easily? Without trait trees (or maybe only one). Without virtues or maybe with no choices of virtues (if one trait tree is better than three why have dozens of virtue choices?) Or will this be too simple, bland and uninteresting - where character creation and development are unimportant and the guts of the game are cookie-cutter characters enjoying the world and the story?

  21. #21
    In an ideal world. Yes I would like to have a "tree" like in Path of Exile where there is a lot of possibles customizations.
    Even if for very high end players they tend to have the same and this will be repercuted on lowers players and so all have more or less the same tree.

    But in LotRO case, there are too many to balance. Classes, Traits Specs (with possibilities to take traits on three differents trees), LI, Essences, Sets and equipment bonus, Virtues.
    And we can see it's not working very well.
    PvP players waited a long time before change to balance heroes and monsters and I'm not sure it's perfect for them.
    PvE players wait for some classes to be able to compete with one all mighty even when the very name of the class mean what they must be able to do well or even better than some others (look at the guardian).
    Why is it so hard to do? Because there is too much complexities involved and probably not the manpower to do it.


    as for the: "So do we want a simple, better balanced game that new players can dive into more easily? Without trait trees (or maybe only one). Without virtues or maybe with no choices of virtues (if one trait tree is better than three why have dozens of virtue choices?) Or will this be too simple, bland and uninteresting - where character creation and development are unimportant and the guts of the game are cookie-cutter characters enjoying the world and the story?"
    I don't think that's a real question. Characters ARE already the same. Players will tend to copy the best they can know/see/find and will have the same LI, the same Traits, the same Virtues.
    So yes I will take a better balanced game before all those systems.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by istvana View Post
    "And strangely enough, just not having three traits tree but just one would be much easier to balance after."


    This raises an interesting conflict between three major objectives that in and of themselves are good objectives.

    1. Keep it simple especially if you are preparing for a flood of players that are drawn by the lore and the story and do not have the interest (or at least toleration) we old-timers have for complicated systems and spending many hours or days or weeks to learn the ropes and figure out how to make powerful characters. One trait tree is a good step in that direction. *No* trait trees are a bigger step. Just give the abilities as characters level.

    Can this work? Unfortunately I think it can. At level 10 or 20 let the player choose "tank", "healer" or "damage". The character will then get the abilities that go with the choice. The player at any time can change the role selection and get a new set of role-based abilities just as if he or she changed colors.

    2. Keep it interesting and give players choices. The more choices the more interesting. And the more complicated. Objectives one and two conflict.

    3. Balance. Almost all of us would agree that balance is good if it does not make classes bland and boring and reduce or eliminate choices. But unfortunately the fewer choices the easier it is to balance the classes. So option one above makes balance easier.

    So do we want a simple, better balanced game that new players can dive into more easily? Without trait trees (or maybe only one). Without virtues or maybe with no choices of virtues (if one trait tree is better than three why have dozens of virtue choices?) Or will this be too simple, bland and uninteresting - where character creation and development are unimportant and the guts of the game are cookie-cutter characters enjoying the world and the story?
    One thing to keep in mind here is that LOTRO drew a non-traditional crowd from the beginning. We weren't all experienced MMO gamers when this game launched (my sister had never played *any* PC games). A lot of the decisions were made with "casual" gamers in mind, because they knew that the lore and story would bring in inexperienced players.

    I much preferred being able to select my own skills as a I leveled. Sometimes this meant I did not have the "optimal" build for a specific "role," but that was fine with me.

    What I really do not like now is the virtue system. I liked the old system where you could build up multiple virtues at the same time just by playing the content. I get the purpose of the new system, but it requires more micromanagement and is more tedious than the old system. This kind of goes against the "keep it simple" idea. The players were not required to focus as much on the mechanics of the system as we are now.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by phaelan2 View Post
    One thing to keep in mind here is that LOTRO drew a non-traditional crowd from the beginning. We weren't all experienced MMO gamers when this game launched (my sister had never played *any* PC games). A lot of the decisions were made with "casual" gamers in mind, because they knew that the lore and story would bring in inexperienced players.

    I much preferred being able to select my own skills as a I leveled. Sometimes this meant I did not have the "optimal" build for a specific "role," but that was fine with me.

    What I really do not like now is the virtue system. I liked the old system where you could build up multiple virtues at the same time just by playing the content. I get the purpose of the new system, but it requires more micromanagement and is more tedious than the old system. This kind of goes against the "keep it simple" idea. The players were not required to focus as much on the mechanics of the system as we are now.
    I agree with you that LOTRO attracted many people interested in living the Lord of the Rings. This is the first (and to my memory, ONLY) MMORPG game I've played where the storyline was important to me. All the other games I enjoyed were all about me and my guild having fun working together to beat the game (never really liked PvP because of the type of people it tended to attract). LOTRO is the first online game I ever felt like imagine and becoming a part of the story. From that point of view it reminded me of playing D&D a bit (NOT D&D online).

    I also agree with you that many parts of the game became overly complex (LIs, and YES, the Virtues). I too much preferred the old system. The new Virtues seems a bit like one more job to perform - just likely weekly chores LOL.
    The key to success is preparation,
    The key to preparation is practice,
    The key to practice is Guinness!

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by phaelan2 View Post
    One thing to keep in mind here is that LOTRO drew a non-traditional crowd from the beginning. We weren't all experienced MMO gamers when this game launched (my sister had never played *any* PC games). A lot of the decisions were made with "casual" gamers in mind, because they knew that the lore and story would bring in inexperienced players.

    I much preferred being able to select my own skills as a I leveled. Sometimes this meant I did not have the "optimal" build for a specific "role," but that was fine with me.

    What I really do not like now is the virtue system. I liked the old system where you could build up multiple virtues at the same time just by playing the content. I get the purpose of the new system, but it requires more micromanagement and is more tedious than the old system. This kind of goes against the "keep it simple" idea. The players were not required to focus as much on the mechanics of the system as we are now.
    The new virtue system has become way to burdened and makes sure that even finishing all deeds is not enough to cap all virtues. In fact I have problems just capping my 5 slotted through deeds alone (I had all landscape virtues when the change came, so basically all were capped). All they really needed to do to make it more player friendly, instead of a specific virtue give a virtue point to slot into any virtue. Cap virtues, done. Now they have made it an end game grind and it seems to become never ending like the ILI.

  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by istvana View Post
    More and more so-called endgame players are the tail wagging the horse. There aren't that many of them but they have disproportionate influence because they have a high percentage of "whales".
    You're incorrect on a lot of points. First, the size of the world makes no difference to the new player. They're stuck in level bands. So it doesn't matter to the new player if Harad exists in game, they're in The Shire and months if not years from Harad.

    Second, who do you think champions most the simplification of things like virtues systems, LI systems and things of this nature? The players that grind them the most, which are endgamers. Just like they'll champion crafting updates, trait updates and things of this nature. There are many silos of interest in this game that are mutually exclusive to each other. The endgamer touches on most. In fact, they're not the tail. They're the horse.

    Finally, an Endgamer isn't a necessarily a T4 player. You're conflating endgamer and elitist I think. Try not to let your perceived inferiority complex shade your input.

 

 
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