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Everything posted by Talisman

  1. I suspect Cord will make an excuse to not do his live stream tomorrow.
  2. Cheapest hardware + cheapest data center + cheapest internet provider = disaster in the making.
  3. Technically, you don't have to do the store. There are several in-game sources of empowerment scrolls - chiefly, chasing down roving threats and completing dailies in Minas Tirith. And you can get the crystals from the festivals. Per Lotroplayers, it takes about 42 days to get enough SOE to cap your weapon. They just introduced the embers route recently. You can deconstruct old gear to get embers.
  4. At this point, we're basically chasing down the Gúrzyul, the former disciples of Sauron. This mainly includes Dulgabêth, the Mouth of Sauron; Karazgar the Weeping Warrior; and Urudanî Stonemaiden, previously the mistress of Nargroth and currently a fire-wraith. Karazgar is involved most of the Black Book story in the Three Kingdoms (Felegroth, Dale, and Erebor) and The Dwarf-Holds (Iron Hills and Ered Mithrin). He also appears in the Vales of the Anduin. His story is never adequately completed, before you are whisked away to help Isildur (himself now a wraith) find a final peace in the final chapters of the Black Book. The other ongoing antagonist is Lhaereth the Stained, the Lady of Blight, a Morroval who is adept at brewing up plagues and poisons. The new area, Wells of Langflood, has started a whole new epic line. In it, players are headed to Gundabad with the dwarfs - Prince Durin (Son of King Thorin III) has decreed that the dwarfs are destined to reclaim it. This area is relatively easy and has no real endgame - there's an ongoing series of quests to defeat some named goblins in various instances. The epic doesn't really go anywhere, and the main non-epic story involves a Rohirric scholar trying to suss out the history of the people. End-game instances are still related to Minas Morgul. There is a series of rep tiers - the reclamation quests - that require you to run them endlessly until you max out your rep with this faction. As you unlock each tier, you unlock an associated quest chain that involves destroying a particular artifact so that you can defeat some random baddie named Thargaun. The state of gear is still bad. The best landscape gear is still obtained from lootboxes, and it's still all about essences. Crafting is still a waste of time. The new virtue system is just another grind, unless you're willing to buy stuff from the store. If you've not played since HD, you have a lot of catching up to do. If you intend to imbue your LIs at lvl 100, you'll be grinding scrolls of empowerment for months (unless you're willing to spend MC), as there is no good solution even now. You'll also need starlit crystals for the main LI stat, and the crystals are even rarer (and I've found it's easier just to MC the tiers - it only costs 10 MCs per tier). They have added both the scrolls and crystals to the embers NPC now. Overall, I feel that the game has become repetitive - it's always kill 10 of these, pick up 10 of that, grind the rep for this faction, and spend the tokens for some cosmetics, housing items, or cosmetic pets. One note: the Minas Morgul currency is account-wide, and capped at 999 sigils. This is perhaps the stupidest idea ever, especially if you intend to take multiple characters through the region. There is very little to spend the sigils on, and so you end up losing them.
  5. https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?680590-Take-the-game-down-immediately&p=8012410#post8012410
  6. So, transfers are back (https://www.lotro.com/en/worldtransfer). And the community is losing their minds because SSG has decided to charge to transfer shared items (storage, currency, wardrobe, etc) if you don't also transfer a character at the same time. This is what happens when people abuse a system.
  7. Available for preview on Bullroarer:
  8. I would suggest that if you're on a wireless connection to switch over to a wired one...that helped with some of the lag I've experienced. Otherwise, welcome to Lord of the Lag Online.
  9. Druidsfire has started a "LOTRO 101" series on the Mythgard YouTube channel. Is there anyone LESS qualified to teach such a course?
  10. So, in his last stream, Cord finally admitted that the lag in LOTRO is a game engine thing. Actually, he said it not really lag, but it is an issue with a 3rd party physics engine that they use. If I remember correctly, the lag issues started in Update 6, way back in 2012. I believe it started when they "fixed" issues related to The Pits of Iron - There were many places where you'd fall through the ramps/bridges/stairs. They called it a physics problem, and it was at this time, I started to notice a lot more objects and NPCs were slightly sunk into the ground, and that I would be often be dismounted by the mere suggestion of water. They were supposed to issue a fix this week, but the solution caused additional issues.
  11. Greetings! I hope everyone is staying safe! Before looking ahead, I want to thank our players for traveling with us through Middle-earth in 2019. We ventured into the Anvil of Winterstith, explored historic tales in the Vales of Anduin, and braved Minas Morgul itself with our expansion. The Stout-axe Dwarves freed themselves from the servitude of dark masters, player Virtues saw changes, we updated the Hobbit Presents system, and we completed the Black Book of Mordor storyline. As we play through our recent 6-man content and our raid into Shelob’s lair, I want to talk about future events and releases we are excited to present to players. Now that Virtue changes are in place and the Minas Morgul expansion is behind us, we plan to update Legendary Items in 2020. We know players want changes to how these items advance, and to have more opportunity to improve their items in later content. We are also looking at more substantial changes for later in the year. It is important for us that the players feel that their progress on their Legendary Items carries forward into the new system, and we are discussing design changes with that in mind. Out first update in the late Spring unveils a key theme for 2020: war between the dwarves and Orcs. We will be debuting our new major story-line called "The Legacy of Durin and the Trials of the Dwarves". This story-line will continue throughout the year as we weave toward 2021 and visit the ancient dwarf stronghold of Gundabad. The Legacy of Durin and the Trials of the Dwarves story-line will be free to all players, and our regular updates will both supplement the main story and tell their own tales. Our late Spring update, called Mists of Wilderland, will take players to the Wells of Langflood, where they will join Durin's line to begin the march to retake dwarf lands. In addition, a small 12-person raid will be released in the fall. In the early summer we will see our first Challenge League, which is a new temporary server that allows players to fight each other for honor, with the defeated required to retreat from the battlefield, rally themselves, and move back into the world to continue the fight. The sons of Elrond, Elladan and Elrohir, have begun a discussion with perhaps too much pride, and are arguing about which of them would make the greatest leader and support the greatest heroes. Take up the banner of either Elladan or Elrohir and venture forth to complete Deeds and challenge heroes that align with your rival. Brave players can earn milestones for completing Deeds, and those characters will appear in a special Leader-board. Will you rush to honor your patron by completing Deeds, or will you spend your time challenging rivals? Also this summer we are inviting you to one of Middle-earth's most historic moments: The wedding of Aragorn and Arwen. Prestigious guests have traveled vast distances to bless the new king, and there is a need for people to support the celebration. Additionally, artisans are hard at work creating their finest goods and fashions for the wedding, and guests can expect to look their best for the event. In addition, we are unveiling a new seasonal festival event for Lord of the Rings Online which commemorates weddings and merriment throughout Middle-earth, featuring a unique festival questing area within Minas Tirith. In the fall we will see a new type of mega-update, the War of the Three Peaks, which will provide new content for characters of all levels. Durin's line begins war with the Orcs as they prepare to advance to Gundabad. This update continues the Legacy of Durin story-line, but also includes other end-game content. This update will also open up a new area on the front lines of the war that will allow any character regardless of level to come to Durin's aid. While open, players will complete missions, earn favor of both Durin's line and Dwarf artisans and smiths, and support the war effort. This year we will be adding a new premium housing area to the game in Rohan. Rohan Housing is divided into two new housing neighbourhoods, both located in West Rohan. Rohan Housing also brings with it some new features, such as Stable Hooks and Custom Lighting Hooks! This fall will also see a new Legendary server! We are looking forward to adding new challenges and gameplay experiences for this new server. In our current vision for this server, Sauron will play a more active role in punishing heroes who defy his will. At times during play, the Eye of Sauron will open, inspiring all the evil in the world to rally and rise to his dark challenge. These enemies will become far more dangerous during this time. However, when the Eye is open, your characters will rise to the challenge and deliver greatly increased damage in defiance of the Dark Lord. Beware when the Eye of Sauron is open! We intend to keep the current Legendary experience going in 2020 as well, and will continue to open up new content on those servers. Finally, we'll round out the year with an update to the Yuletide festival, with new quests, activities, and rewards. We're excited for the new year, and we appreciate you taking this journey with us. Sev~
  12. Ok...did the reply really happen 6 hours ago?
  13. Druidsfire also posted interviews with Dark Celtic (Bill Champagne) and Severlin.
  14. Anor and Ithil are LOTRO's progression servers that supposedly allow players to experience previous expansions as level cap content. The servers are open only to VIPs and lifers, and originally were loaded with the lvl 50 Shadows of Angmar content. SSG is supposed to release each xpac in order roughly every 4 months; Riders of Rohan has just been released. They are somewhat like the classic WOW servers, except that the content (loot boxes; scaled instances) and systems (trait trees; virtues;) mirrors the regular servers. They usually release some new cosmetics or titles along with the xpac.
  15. Actually, it would make a huge difference. One person who buys a $60 LP package a month drops $720 on the game a year. If only 2,000 people did this every month, SSG would have an income of $720,000 (in addition to the subscription income). I'm sure the number of people buying points monthly is somewhat higher.
  16. By Justin Olivetti -January 21, 2020 4:05 PM Following the big (but not unexpected) announcement that Daybreak is fracturing into a trio of studios underneath a publishing arm, one of the questions that has arisen is what might happen to the two MMORPGs that the company publishes for Standing Stone Games. Fans of Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons and Dragons Online can pour a big glass of calm-down juice at this announcement, apparently. According to both SSG and Daybreak, both titles are unaffected by the company restructuring. DCUO’s new studio, Dimensional Ink, addressed this issue in its FAQ: “Standing Stone Games will remain the same and continue to develop and operate Dungeons & Dragons Online and The Lord of the Rings Online. Daybreak will continue to provide publishing support for the games. There will be no impact on LOTRO or DDO service. ” “We’ve been seeing the news as well,” said SSG Community Manager Jerry Snook on the LOTRO forums. “This announcement is expected to have no impact on us, how we work, or what we do.” https://massivelyop.com/2020/01/21/daybreak-says-its-studio-split-up-will-have-no-impact-on-standing-stone-lotro-or-ddo/
  17. 10K logins per day...how many of those are non-paying, either as F2P/Premium or Lifers? I get the impression that there are a significant number of lifers, and I'd guess that 75-80% are not paying a monthly subscription. If only 20% or the regular players are paying, the game is only making $30K a month, or $360K a year. I doubt that covers the salaries for the employees. Someone must be buying a hell of a lot of points to sustain the game. If you listen to LOTRO players (the successor to Casual Stroll to Mordor), at least one of the hosts valars pretty much every character she creates...so she's regularly throwing SSG money. I guess these are the people who are keeping the game afloat.
  18. The Tolkien Society announced that Christopher died today. He was 95. https://www.tolkiensociety.org/2020/01/christopher-tolkien-has-died/
  19. https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2020/01/13/fantasy-game-maker-taking-big-rival-amazon/eRg12aODnJCG2vXFGGX3VL/story.html?fbclid=IwAR2tNou3AaChTIIJ39qGAE5C2E1APNpBO53KXaKPmpEv6qwq_hrYEBKJ83A Fantasy game maker is taking on a big rival: Amazon By Hiawatha Bray Amazon is now preparing to invade Middle Earth. And only a little-known Needham video game company stands in its way. Standing Stone Games is the maker of the fantasy video game “Lord of the Rings Online,” inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tale of mythical adventure and designed to be played by thousands of people at a time. Such a game is known in the business as an MMO, or massive multiplayer online game. Standing Stone is facing its own battle for survival as Amazon.com spends as much as $1 billion on a TV series based on Tolkien’s work, and is developing its own “Lord of the Rings” MMO game. Amazon began working on the new game last summer, in cooperation with the Hong Kong game developer Leyou Technologies Holdings, though it hasn’t revealed when it will be released. Though nervous about Amazon’s looming competition, Standing Stone executives are a long way from panicking. “Are we worried and wary about having a competing game? Of course,” said executive producer Robert Ciccolini. “They are an excellent company that has a lot of marketing power.” Ciccolini even sees a way his company could benefit from Amazon’s investment, by generating enough new interest in Tolkien’s work to steer customers to his company’s product. “The Lord of the Rings series will reinvigorate everything Lord of the Rings,” he said. “Having this exposure to Tolkien is usually good for us.” In fact, Amazon may not be the fearsome giant in this fight, given the company’s spotty track record in game development. “I’m skeptical that Amazon is going to do anything right,” said Michael Pachter, a gaming analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. Amazon Game Studios, founded in 2014, has yet to generate a major success. Indeed, just last June, the gaming unit announced substantial layoffs, as well as the cancellation of several games then under development. Amazon declined to comment on its plans for the game. Wanda Meloni, chief executive of the research firm M2 Insights, figures it’s not Standing Stone that needs to prove itself. “The pressure is squarely on Amazon to succeed,” she said. Still, it’s Amazon, a global giant with more money than Sauron, against Standing Stone, a low-profile independent game developer that can’t call for help from a rich corporate parent. The Lord of the Rings game, known to its players as LOTRO, and Standing Stone’s other online game, “Dungeons & Dragons Online,” were originally developed by Turbine, a game company founded in the mid-1990s. Turbine launched Lord of the Rings in 2006. As with other online games, such as the better-known “World of Warcraft,” players paid a monthly subscription fee. But in 2010, Rings switched to a “freemium” approach. Basic play is free but special tools and weapons that make the game more exciting can be purchased. In the same year, Turbine was acquired by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, part of the giant Time Warner media company. The new owners poured millions into a game called “Infinite Crisis,” a massive online fighting game based on characters from another Time Warner media property, DC Comics, such as Superman and Batman. But that game, released in 2015, was a massive flop. The following year, Time Warner spun off Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online into a new independent company, Standing Stone. Time Warner has since been acquired by AT&T and is now named WarnerMedia. Like most other MMO operators, Standing Stone won’t reveal how many people have signed up to play its game, but Ciccolini said that on a typical day they see about 10,000 players logged in at the same time. Not everybody comes to fight battles or attempt perilous quests. For some, Rings Online is a social hangout. Ciccolini said one player, a Tolkien expert, conducts seminars on the writer and his work. The software includes a feature to let gamers perform music for the entertainment of other players; sometimes several get together and hold in-game concerts. That social aspect may make it difficult for some faithful players to leave their friends behind and switch from LOTRO to the Amazon game. “I’d need to know more about it before I decide to try it,” said one player, Joris Benzidane, who works as a translator in La Rochelle, France. “However if I play it, it will be on top of LOTRO and certainly not instead of LOTRO.” For Josh Riggins, an operations manager in Tacoma, Wash., LOTRO has become a family affair. “My parents (in their 60s) and my kids (8 & 9) all play,” Riggins wrote in an e-mail. “The casual player (who plays for free anyway) might move to Amazon’s game, but that won’t bother the hard-core LOTRO players. Also, Tolkien fandom is such that many players will play both.”
  20. Has anyone requested a Yule Festival extension yet? Or demanded some kind of compensation for the "inconvenience" of the down time?
  21. Just a reminder: 2 rounds of "testing" (er, "previewing").
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