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Posts posted by Talisman

  1. Apparently, Update 32 versioned The Trollshaws, and so now you have to rediscover all the stablemasters.

    Since you can only discover them by actually visiting the settlement/camp, it seems like they are deliberately making players waste their time or spend mithril.


  2. I'm not a lawyer, but if I read this correctly, the sale will simply transfer the rights to a new entity. Basically, Saul Zaentz has passed the gaming rights - pending approval - to SSG, and any contracts between SZ and SSG will remain in place until that contract expires.

    The main motivation in any deal is profit, and, based on that leaked E7 presentation, I doubt the new rights owner will take an ax to the contract since LOTRO still seems to be profitable.

  3. The developers' disdain for the players seems to be on the rise these days. I thought at first, Raninia was just be blunt, but the other developers seem to be taking his attitude to heart and are no longer trying to be tactful.




    He does seem like the perfect target of a Level 15 quest, doesn't he? Notable for his role in the story, but not out of the league of a fledging Brawler, and he's got a name that people know! He checks all the boxes, a game design home run.

    But you don't need to worry about it - it's no secret that Brawler isn't for you.




  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 2 hours ago, Tarantula said:

    He has been with Lotro since April. I don't think that he has a say about the monetization, that comes from higher up.

    If (and I think they were) already working on the new LI system before April then why the hell were they not able to finish a complete new LI system in October? Or is the implementation exactly WAI, which I think it is and are the players again strung along.

    We know that the people working on the new LI system have been deeply divided between allowing the appraisals and transforming former LI components into AS vs. implementing the system without appraisals etc. = leaving people to fend for themselves without a stash of resources.


    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.

  7. 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/

  8. 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.

  9. The Release Notes for Bullroarer Update 28.3 - Preview #1 includes these gems:

    • Scrolls of Empowerment from the Rangers of Ithilien Quartermaster now cap at max-tier 35.
    • Scrolls of Empowerment from the Dol Amroth Quartermaster now cap at max-tier 35.
    • Scrolls of Empowerment from Narnaith in Minas Tirith now Cap at max-tier 44.
    • The quest "March on Gundabad: Additional Steps (Daily)" now awards 2 Scrolls of Empowerment with a max-tier cap of 83.
    • The quest "The War Effort: Threats to the Battlefield" now awards 3 Scrolls of Empowerment with a max-tier cap of 83.
    • Note: These changes will not affect items that are already in the player's possession, be they in the inventory, vault storage, housing storage, mail, or elsewhere.
    • Tradeable, unbound reputation granting tokens now have appropriate region quests gating their usage.
    • Small Reputation Accelerator Tomes offered on Skirmish Vendors now Bind to character on acquire and have a Max Usage Level of 100.

    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.

    • Like 1
  10. On 12/7/2020 at 8:48 AM, Urwendil said:

    This "Page 12" of the presentation (first link in Moderate Peril's post above) has an entry: "Daybreak acquires Turbine and Standing Stone Games..." hence my remark.

    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).



    Today we have some momentous news! The game teams responsible for The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) and Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) are now moving from Turbine to Standing Stone Games, a newly formed indie game studio. In addition, we’ve partnered with Daybreak Games to provide global publishing services. They’ve had a long, successful history developing and publishing MMOs, and we’re happy to lean on their expertise.
    With the announcement out of the way, I wanted to talk to you about what all this means.
    We're embarking on an exciting adventure as Standing Stone Games, a newly-independent studio staffed by people who have been working on DDO and LOTRO for many years. The teams remain very much committed to both games and are thrilled to continue development and operations of these games as an independent studio.  This is an opportunity for us to bring about our dreams while still working on two of the biggest licenses in video games. It's a huge honor, and for you this means your games will continue to grow and improve. We love to focus on games with a high level of depth and scope, and we can't wait to show you what the future brings. 
    Although a great many exciting things are happening on our end, you'll be able to continue playing the game(s) you enjoy with as little interruption as possible. Our development continues on track, and the plans we have already announced remain firmly in our future view. Again, although we are a new studio, we are also the same developers who have been and will continue to work on our games. 
    Our success has always been possible because of your support. As we move forward, this is more important than ever. The ultimate goal of our new studio is to continue to bring you amazing experiences. We are excited for the future, and we’re thrilled to have you with us on this journey. 
    Here's to great games, epic adventures, and memorable times with friends!




    What is happening to Turbine?
    Turbine will no longer be involved in the development of LOTRO and DDO. They will continue on the development of their products. 


    • Like 1
  11. 12 hours ago, Urwendil said:

    Many of us have suspected that SSG was a subsidiary of DBG. What's revealing is that it turns out to be a subsidiary of another DBG subsidiary 😹 Turbine, apparently, was sold by WB to DBG, which explains their office, virtual servers and retaining the IP deals.

    I know nothing about this EG7. Are they a gaming meta-company or another "investor?"

    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.

    • Like 1
  12. From Severlin:



    Greetings! As our players have read, Enad Global 7 (EG7) entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares in Daybreak Game Company today. We are excited about EG7 and we welcome them into our family. We are also excited to be part of such a great collaboration. We just wanted to let our players know that this will have no impact on the development of Dungeons and Dragons Online, The Lord of the Rings Online, and operations for us at Standing Stone Games. Our teams are working as hard as always to bring new and exciting things to our games in the months and years to come.

    We've been encouraged by your support this year, and we're hard at work planning 2021 and beyond. We'll have a more forward-looking Producer's Letter in the new year, and that is where we'll talk about Gundabad, our next class, and a whole lot more.

    From everyone at Standing Stone Games, we wish you and yours well throughout this season of holidays around the world.




    • Like 1
  13. 4 hours ago, psalm8818 said:

    8+ hours worth though? You'd expect that amount of downtime for the rollout of a new patch or expansion, not routine maintenance. 

    If they have to change out hardware or install security patches, it could very well take a big chunk of time, especially when you consider that each world is hosted on a cluster of servers. 

  14. 2 hours ago, psalm8818 said:

    More extended downtime, with no explanation.

    There's definitely something to be said about a "need to know" philosophy, but surely the idiots who still sub to such a piss-poor game NEED to know why they're never able to play the game they're paying for, right?

    SSG has designated Wednesdays as the regular day to restart all the servers, if there's not a patch or update. Cordovan comment on the forums today that they sometimes use this time to perform any additional hardware maintenance.

  15. 6 hours ago, Urwendil said:

    What is a Bombadil char?

    Bombadil is the "special events" server - it just hosted the Tournament of the Twins event.

    1 hour ago, berry said:

    what was the issue?

    What should happen is that an existing character that has not been logged into for more than a year is supposed to be renamed with at ~1 at the end.

    What is actually happening is that the character being transferred onto the server is always being renamed.

    • Upvote 1
  16. 1 hour ago, Doro said:

    I've had some time to think about it and I actually don't mind this now. It's not an integral, necessary part of the game, and was never promised as free to VIPs, so it's fine for it to come with a cost. If people want it, they can buy it. If they don't, then there's regular housing still available. There's too much self-entitlement these days. People should be grateful they get to help keep the game they love alive, warts and all.

    I don't necessarily have a problem with charging for this feature. I do have an issue with the fact that 1) they did not advertise that there would be a cost associated with the feature and 2) at 20 MC (200 LP, or roughly $2.00 USD), the cost is just too high. It should be 1-5 MC at most.

  17. A deluxe house costs around 400-600 MC or 17-22 writs

    A deluxe meed hall costs around 900 MC or 36 writs. 

    Writs are 250 LP or 25 MC each.

    There's only one mead hall per housing neighborhood, and they are in high demand.

    Oh, and you now have the ability to convert mounts and cosmetic pets to housing decorations. At a cost of 20 MC each...that's a bit steep for a freaking housing decoration.

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