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Talisman

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Talisman last won the day on January 19 2021

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  1. Hello! For those of you who may not know who I am, I’m Raninia, the producer on The Lord of the Rings: Online. Severlin hasn’t gone anywhere, but I’m now picking up the duties of writing these letters and keeping you all abreast of the goings-on with the game. Which brings me to another change being made to these letters – moving forward, these letters will come quarterly, and they’ll cover the next quarter. So today, I’ll be informing you what we’re planning to do from January through the end of March. Next time – which should be around March – I'll give a preview of what’s coming between April through the end of June, and so on. Ok, on to the meaty stuff you’re here for! Our first big update of 2022 – Update 32 - is expected for mid-February, and will begin our celebration of our upcoming 15-year anniversary, and bring with it several things: First, beyond the Falls of Amgaruslun in the Clovengap lies Abnankâra, the Hiddenhoard. Once a grand treasury housing the golden coffers of Durin the Deathless, it has been claimed by Hrímil Frost-heart as her lair within Mount Gundabad. Within this frozen retreat, Hrímil tends her wounds and slumbers, dreaming of vengeance upon Prince Durin and the Dwarves of the Gabil'akkâ. We’re really excited for you all to experience the awesome conclusion of this storyline as we look towards the future. Look forward to seeing this 12-player raid on Bullroarer soon. Second, we’re bringing player housing to Erebor! One of Smaug's last treasure hoards has been opened and the Dwarves of Erebor have moved to reclaim it. Join them in owning a piece of Middle-earth, in the Great Hall under the Mountain! This new premium neighborhood will include 12 Base Premium Houses, 1 Special Base Premium House, 6 Deluxe Premium Houses, and 1 Premium Kinship house, along with a full suite of town services and social spaces for you to enjoy with your kinship and neighbors! In addition to the new neighborhood, Erebor housing introduces new exterior music and dayfile hook types to allow players even more customization options for their homes! We also intend to extend the usage of housing permissions to allow players to make their yards fully private from uninvited guests. Third, and long awaited, is our Legendary Item Reward Track! Each season of the Reward Track is planned to run for three months, and will give rewards based on your play that will help you progress your Legendary Items and a few other goodies as well. After each season, the rewards will refresh and you’ll be able to progress anew. All of your characters on a world will contribute to your reward track progress on that world –that means your main and your alts all help towards earning awesome rewards! Fourth, we’ll also introduce a new area: the Angle of Mitheithel. Stretching south from the Trollshaws to the junction of the Bruinen and Mitheithel rivers is a wild land of rocky hills and deep pine-woods, and a graveyard of ancient kingdoms. The ruins of Elves and Men alike crumble among the trees, and the Rangers steal through the shadows of the trees, ever watchful, carrying out secret assignments as the north grows more dangerous by the day. The Angle of Mitheithel will be for levels 40 to 45. Finally, Update 32 will see the return of the Spring Festival with new pets and housing rewards! During this time, we’ll also be making progress on our Legendary Worlds of Shadowfax and Treebeard. On January 5th, Treebeard will be making its first jump, entering the fabled Mines of Moria, and Shadowfax will continue progressing, this time to the dangerous lands of Isengard. Two months later, on March 2nd, Shadowfax will be entering the vast plains of Rohan! We’ll have more news on when Anor will be making its way to Minas Morgul in my next letter. Besides all that, we’ll continue with our ongoing work to improve performance and lag, make adjustments to class balance, continue fixing bugs, and further refine the new Legendary Item system. These various things will arrive just about every patch. I’m really excited for you all to see all of the progress we’re making and the updates we’ll be releasing in this quarter, and I’m also excited to hear how folks feel about the new format of these letters. We’re extremely thrilled to celebrate our 15-year anniversary this year, and we’re working on fifteen more! -Raninia
  2. I only started playing again to check out the new LI system, and so I haven't kept up with Cord's Friday streams since earlier this year. I don't know if DF is still moderating that stream. However, I do keep up with Corey Olsen's streams. He has two LOTRO-related broadcasts. The first is the Exploring the Lord of the Rings series, which he streams on Wednesday nights. This stream has two parts. The first part is a line-by-line, paragraph-by-paragraph discussion of the books. It's an exhaustive study - after 5 years, he has just reached the point where the Fellowship is leaving Rivendell. The second part is a field trip into LOTRO, where he engages in "archeo-gaming": attempting to derive a history by examining settlements and ruins in the game. This is fine for the early zones in the game, but I think it falls apart in post-Rohan zones, as the devs literally stopped thinking about things and started copying-and-pasting art assets, maybe with a few tweaks, for Gondor, Dale, Erebor, and beyond. It is during this second part that DF regularly shows up, especially when Valari (sp?), the regular co-host, is absent. He still does his Mythgard in Middle Earth stream on the official lotrostream on Twitch on Fridays. DF is still his stealth healer, and the one teaching him about the new LI system. I often want to punch her in the face for giving such bad advice. I think she still acts as a moderator for his stream. I only watch his streams for the lore aspects.
  3. I think during his first interview with Cord on the weekly stream, Raninia said that he wasn't involved in the development of the new system - all that had been done before he started work at SSG. Which tracks, since the new system was announced in the 2020 Producer's Letter, with work planned to begin in Summer/Fall 2020. I think it got postponed until early 2021 due to COVID. Don't get me wrong...I'm not defending the new system. It's a complete mess.
  4. To be fair to Oleg (Raninia on the forums), he was hired after the new LI system was pretty much completed. I figure he's probably feeding off Vastin's descriptions and intentions, and Vastin is not exactly the best-intentioned developer. But, yes, the new LI system is a complete mess at this point. BTW, what happened to this site sailing into the west?
  5. With Raninia joining the SSG development team as the LOTRO-specific producer and EG7 pouring money into the game, could it be heading for a Renaissance? EG7 seems to value communication between their teams and the players, and Raninia, Cord, and Severllin seem to be trying to communicate more. But will it last? I can't help but remember how many gimmicks the LOTRO team has introduced as a means to attract new players, and then just abandoned them: Skirmishes, Warsteeds, and Shadow/Light, as just a few examples. I can't help but wonder about the future of the Missions system. Will they bother to continue? Honestly, I find them tediousj/
  6. There introduced 2 new Legendary Servers: Treebeard, which is designed for slow leveling. The amount of XP you receive for completing quests, killing MoBs, and doing other things is reduced. The xpacs will be applied every 4-6 months. Shadowfax, which is designed for fast leveling. You get normal XP, and the xpacs will be applied every 2 months Both servers have a new mechanic that allows you to set the difficulty of the landscape. There are something like 10 levels of difficulty. You also periodically get the Eye of Sauron debuff that increases the amount of damage you take.
  7. The Release Notes for Bullroarer Update 28.3 - Preview #1 includes these gems: So no more grinding the Minas Tirith dailies to get SoEs. And there seems to be relatively few chances to get SoEs from the current end-game content. It seems the only way to get them is to grind one or two a week or buy the scrolls from the store (or using Mithril). Plus, the change to the reputation accelerators means that end-game reputation becomes that much more of a grind (unless, of course, you buy the large ones from the store). I haven't been playing the game much lately, but have been putting off cancelling my subscription because I still love it. But I just logged on and cancelled.
  8. For only 2495 LOTRO Points, you get the ability to change your race or gender and to grind out the racial quests/deeds yet again.
  9. I am referring to the original press release and FAQs from 2016, when SSG was created. I seem to be wrong about it being employee-owned (but I clearly remember this being discussed somewhere). https://www.lotro.com/en/game/articles/standing-stone-games-–-message-rob-ciccolini and https://www.lotro.com/en/game/articles/standing-stone-games-transition-faq
  10. Actually, Turbine was not sold to DBG - Turbine remained a part of WB, which also kept Asheron's Call, although the company was at the time fully integrated into WB and became WB Games. In the same press release, it was said that SSG was an employee-owned company, with DBG as its publisher. However, because neither SSG nor DBG are publicly traded, the exact details of their relationship has never been disclosed (until now). It is now clear that DBG owns SSG. If there are truly 41K subscribers (not including lifers), their revenues would be on the order of 5.5 million for the 3 quarters. That would mean they generated around 4.4 million from the store. Overall, though, it seems the game is surprisingly healthy. Projecting out to the end of the year, the revenue from subscribers would be around 7.3 million and from the stores would be around 1..5 million - for a total of 13.2 million. BTW, the numbers do not include any revenue from the War of the Three Peaks mini-xpac, since it was released in October.
  11. From Severlin: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?684810-Daybreak-Acquisition-News-and-Standing-Stone-Games&p=8049624#post8049624
  12. I just can't believe these prices, or that anyone would be stupid enough to pay them.
  13. https://www.mmorpg.com/lord-of-the-rings-online/editorials/opinion-lotros-mini-expansion-pricing-feels-tone-deaf-2000119417 Isn't this the site Druidsfire writes for?
  14. I think SSG is in financial trouble. They've been offering too much to VIPs for free for too long, and it's now coming back to bite them. I don't mind paying for content, but the pricing for the packs beyond the basic is ridiculous.
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