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Tarantula

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  1. From the Bullroarer thread for Update 32, end January 2022: Raninia: I wanna push back on this idea that you can release a "Complete System" ever - there's no such thing, and you should be extremely skeptical of anyone who goes around saying they're going to launch a complete system. The reality is all development, but especially development on a live product, like LOTRO, is iterative. We're always learning from feedback and adjusting things, creating new things, etc. No live product is ever completed, and no new additions to it are ever "complete" in any sense of that term. Our specific goal here with releasing the Reward Track in Bullroarer is to gather feedback so we can better shape development. It wasn't that long ago that you and others were saying that we should be using the community more to solicit this exact feedback, and we've been doing it with Bullroarers for 32 for almost a month, and we have more Bullroarers to come. And even once it releases, we know there will be more feedback to take in and learn from for future iterations. LOTRO is never complete, and it never will be complete. There's always more cool stuff to add I will just comment on this one, as it this my job too to deliver working software. When you decide to refactor/reingeneer a working (no matter how badly) and full featured system, you have to replace it with another working and (at least almost) full featured system. Any failure to do so will result in a terrible backlash from your customers. Even if you deliver the first version of the new system without all the features of the previous one (which is ok, can happen), you should flesh out all the missing features in a reasonable amount of time, a month let's say, a couple sprints. The previous system: * was badly engineered (roughly summarizing the infamous leak post from palantir) * resulted in performance problems (again palantir) * was working from a player's point of view, had soe, crystals, runes, relics, all that is needed to build the weapon * the materials were available to every playstyle, from solo to hard core raiding The new system: * has been in place since october, so almost four months * has still not replaced the old system * has no clear in game tutorial, no in depth explanation on the official web site, players must look for non official sources to understand how it works (not just how to maximize the functionalities in the current meta) * has RNG placed all around to increase grinding (citing alts is a poor excuse given how much alt-unfriendly the game has become) * materials are no more available to all play styles, i.e. gold traceries available as RNG only from T2+ instances, raids (yes I know there are a couple of landscape drops) * has still no reward track on live, the RT on BR is well let's try to be polite here, is unfinished and very very stingy This is your problem. A fully working, grindy system was replaced with an unfinished system, and even more grindy (if one wants to get teal traceries at least). It doesnt matter if it's better engineered from a dev's point of view, you have to sell it to customers, not to engineers who can appreciate the better execution. Let's repeat this: YOU have to sell it, it's not your customers that have to buy it. YOU have to sell it to customers, not the opposite. Even if many of your customers are LOTR (not LOTRo) addicts who keep playing only because this is the only MMORPG about LOTR and they are absolutely scared of the game shutdown, so they keep fuel money in. A final note, agile is about delivering working software, it's the only true aim of the metodology, check the agile manifesto. It's about delivering working software in an iterative fashion, working pieces that blend one after one in a whole functioning piece of software, it's about collecting feedback from your customers and changing plans according to feedback. Again, working pieces, not beta software, not ever unfinished systems, not bug plagued products (gundabad at release, took a month to fix the major bugs, not even most of the minors). It's about learning from feedback, not ignoring it as you do most of the times. I want to say that I love the enthusiasm you provided here but, as it currently sits, there are plenty of older cool stuff that needs to be worked on before new cool stuff should be added. For example, the allegiance (Mordor and Gundabad) UI, and now this horrendous reward track UI, both should be vertical. The LI system has hardly changed at all since its release 3-4 months ago. Past grinds are too long for what they are worth (Fangorn dailies and reputation, Herbalist dailies, MT, Felegoth, Dale and Erebor reputations, etc) I get they were once endgame grind at a point in time but nowadays they just are too long to be considered going back to engage with. I can create a lengthy list but I will leave it to those examples. It is very interesting, that someone from SSG is writing that. Your posting is very interesting also, because you are writing about software development, and you are totally right with what you wrote here. Unfortunately, we didn't see much from SSG in the past, in terms of software development skills on the scale, you are talking about here. Therefore, I am very interested to know which one of the SDLC* are you using resp. which one are you talking about here regarding SSG. Waterfall, Feature-Driven, Agile, Scrum, EP, Lean, Spiral, Rapid, DSM, else? Please excuse me that I ask so, but all the software development models include some basic principles and tools to work with them. Things like using a version management software, to avoid things that happened to SSG multiple times in the past, as to fix a bug in one patch and to re-introduce it in the next patch. Simple things like an issue or task board / tracking software. Just to name one example: the Name of the instances in Minas Morgul: first released on the German client with English names, then fixed the issue in a patch, and then 3 patches later the names were changed back to English. I am thinking it is very nice, that you are talking about software development, but if you do so, please consider that we see each time a patch is coming out from SSG how the software development process is working at SSG. ad *) software development life cycle This is true, we have asked Turbine and then SSG for years to listen to community feedback. You are now beginning with that and I really appreciate your effort to come here read the forum and answer to issues and question. Even EG7 CEO Ji Ham admit that LOTRO "have been underinvested under Daybreaks ownership alone" (fun fact: he was the CEO of Daybreak for the last 6 years), so we know that there are more issues with LOTRO as just some software development problems. Just ... well, there is no time to rest on the laurels. You are in a very unfortunate position, as many things that have been ignored for years, are now escalating. The only thing what could help is to listen more than ever to the customers' feedback. For example, one of the most shared feedback about the legendary reward track here is: removing the RNG from it. It is now up to you to prove your words. Hold it right there, Satan ! I'm usually on board with what you write, but this had me fall off my chair. It's quite the opposite, as far as endgame goes lvl 85 was the worst. Makes one wonder if you were there at the time ! - Remember farming t1/t2 instances for abysmal chances of getting gold gear ? Ask any champion that never managed to get his Malledhrim boots (+16% critical multiplier) what he thinks about it. Remember, there was no other way than RNG to get those. - Remember the farm trains to drop Horse-Lords recipes off of random mobs ? - Remember it was so horrendous and led to so many raiders quitting the game that French kins got world first and second of Flight to the Lonely Mountain ? Lvl 85 was the epitome of unhealthy abysmal RNG-driven bullc**p. I agree that current iteration on how to get gold traceries is terrible. If you want my take on it, which likely none does, the current RNG path should contribute to a non-RNG path. Say that you drop a gold (respectively teal) tracery that is useless to you, then disenchanting it should give you (on top of the Ancient Scripts) a token. When you have 3 tokens, you can trade those for a Cracked (resp. Shattered) tracery.
  2. Tomorrow the game will see some maintenance and 'an updated LOTRO.com will be launched'. Quite interesting that we get that update now, and I have no idea whether old forum content will survive. So here are, for posterity's sake, a few more highlights from our much beloved developer and some of the responses he received. I am making a second thread about another discussion with some priceless discussion beside this one, because it becomes way too much when a second post in this thread would be merged with the first post. Bear with me. This is from the 'Comments on the new reward track' thread. Sentences in italics are what Raninia is responding to: Raninia: Hey folks, thanks for the comments, gonna try and answer as much as I can. 1. Please stop using Horizontal UI's - Make the reward track UI vertical - Please! Sorry, we won't be able to fundamentally change the UI at this time. We're going to continue to iterate on the current version, as there's a lot of additional UX we want to add to make it more pleasant of an experience. 2. The ability to apply multiple runes at once is an ABSOLUTE MUST. Clicking on heritage runes for hours on end to apply all the ones you've got is just going to lead to RSI. This is something we addressed in the Bullroarer notes, but to reiterate, yes. 3. There are no values associated with the purple scroll bars i.e. you should be able to hover over them and see how many points you have and/or how many you need to finish that level/award. This is intentional. We'll see how this plays out in the first season, and decide on the future from there. 4. Traceries awarded should be via a tracery selection box and not randomly assigned My understanding is that this is intentional. The Reward Track is a supplemental system, not intended to be the main way you progress your Legendary Items. If you get drops that aren't useful for a particular character, many will be useful for an alt, and any that aren't can always be turned into Ancient Script. BTW Everybody - Be Warned - If you double click on a box containing Ancient Scripts and you are cap then you just LOSE the lot. There is no warning that you are at cap or a mechanism to stop you opening the box - Perhaps there should be one of these. That's a good thought, we'll think about that. Also BTW - Which developer thought it was a good idea to change the sorting of heritage runes in our vaults. They used to be sorted on rune value so that if you wanted a low value rune you went to the left hand end of the line and if you wanted a high level rune you went to the right hand end of the line. I'm not entirely sure what they are sorted on now (perhaps name?) but they are totally jumbled up and you can't find the one you want without hovering over each and every one you've got. I'm not sure if anything has changed, but if so, it sounds like it may be a bug. Please go ahead and file one so we can investigate. Questions: #1 does your progress get erased when they start a new season if you dont finish the season you were on? Yes, as there will be new rewards and a new track, any rewards you don't earn or claim in one season won't be available for you to earn or claim in the next. This doesn't mean that rewards won't be repeated - we expect Traceries, Tokens, and Ancient Script to be pretty consistent in every season. Even new unique rewards may reappear in future tracks after their initial appearance, once we begin to add them. #2 Do we really have to have so many different heritage runes? There's a 320,000 and a 335,000 for example. The number of different ones could probably be cut in half with no ill effects. I know it takes up bag space which is monetized, but I literaly cant buy anymore space. For whatever reason, I have single Tomes of defence taking up 5 different spaces in my shared storage and I cant even sell them in the AH. It makes me question the "free" hobbit gifts and code of the week. I don't think we need to in the future. We'll be removing the heritage rune grants from Gundabad quests with this update, and we'll be thinking about more broadly reducing the number of runes and their correlated drops throughout the game, but there's a lot of sources of them in almost fourteen years, so it'll take some time to find all of the ones we want to change. ==== Here are a few responses:
  3. Of course attitude like this is going to rub off. It's meant to silence, not promote improved interactions with the devs.
  4. Well, then I am one too. I had said I would not return and yet I did just that, after a hiatus of over 3 years. Why? Because of the landscape, stuff to catch up on, some new areas to explore, and plain boredom. It's a game, it provides me with diversion when I play it my way, with beauty (despite the graphics), and when I play with my way too many alts across way too many accounts, and all their houses, kins, and aimless crafting, playing the AH, creating more kins, running a festival, and so forth. Even the amount of gold from daily opening lootboxes adds up. Because I only do a bit of grinding when I feel like it (= want something) I avoid burn out from running repetitive content. I can't be bothered with gearing or my LIs. So I am an idiot, and my only saving grace is that I am not a spending idiot. My thermometer for whether I continue to play is this: am I having fun? It leads to nowhere because there is no future for this game, yet I still want to spend time (hey, I am spending something) on being in Middle Earth. That being said, of course SSG are idiots. Oleg is digging a deeper hole today than he was yesterday and he is taken to task and slowly pushed over a cliff. Reading all that for free is fun too. Let it burn! There is beauty in trainwrecks too. Will copy/paste some more, because there are some real nice responses. For now though I am singing 'Diggy, diggy hole, diggy, diggy hole' It's a good day. Apparently the newest shards from crafting no longer drop from nodes... you can buy them in the store easily though... It's nice to see many posters express their discontent with all these different in game changes. Yay for a revolution: people are done with the grind. And here is MassivelyOP: https://massivelyop.com/2022/01/13/lord-of-the-rings-online-defends-controversial-pay-to-win-currency-changes-as-the-forum-explodes/ Lotro thread now at 20 pages.
  5. when you plan to take these Embers away. I earned at level cap and at tier caps 1/2/3/4 & yes T5. Took days/weeks/months without rewards as well as having completed a few of them. The Embers in my wallet should be mine to keep and save as i see fit and when i am ready to make a selection to use as 'EMBERS EARNED'. The value is now 1/10 of the original and you.re worried it is not what i want ? This is Wrong.
  6. Well, he sure is involved and has pushed the new train wreck, revealed this week! And what a new mess it is! Well said. He is Producer... yeah... Producer of money. Not Producer of a game. Well, they could all quit. They don't have to take it up the rear. But apparently they do. Maybe that comes with some discomfort, doubt. Just like the playerbase has been groomed to accept the ambivalence of continued monetization towards p2w. The thought of this debacle symbolizing the end of Lotro crossed my mind this morning. We still have the books. Shame, the Moors. With regard to that new issue around embers/motes/figments: no fanboys in that thread at the moment. Someone clearly pointed out what started your post here with: It's been a pleasure reading your posts for many many years now. Your OF sig points to a very good reality. Keep up the good fight and take good care of yourself and the ones you love. You will be missed.
  7. Good post. New concept: being paywalled in game...
  8. One would almost think that all this doesn't matter? Players have spent their money on the expansion, on MC, on sales over December, on Rohan housing, on housing writs now for Erebor coming soon, and so forth. That was what this was about, right? What is those players' problem? Do they actually expect to play a game and have fun? The nerve... Let them eat cake.
  9. Players/posters are shredding his words to pieces and are having none of his intent. I will quote a few responses but it's much better to read them on the OF. That would be far too easy and make too much sense. Seriously SSG...it's like watching a train wreck over, and over, and over again. Complaining that the ember barterer is a better source of gear than RNG drops seems a little bit disingenuous. You guys design the RNG, you guys design the ember barterer. If RNG drops are supposed to be superior to the barterer, how about you have instances drop selection boxes rather than random pieces? The reason embers are the fastest way to the gear we want is because instance drops are often useless, while the ember barterer lets us choose the piece we want. Seeing the removal of selection boxes from the Storvagun quest leads me to believe you are not interested in this option, for reasons one can only speculate on. Giving the player a bigger cap [on figments] will make it a bit easier for us to adjust pricing, but we're not planning to double the cap and then double all the costs, there's no value in doing so. Sure there's value in that. Increased figment cost + reduced figment supply = lootbox sales. I'm not saying you WILL increase the cost of existing items... I'm pretty confident you won't. But let's not claim you wouldn't profit by doing so. Regardless of our mutual opinions, I'm glad to see you putting on your asbestos suit and wading into the fire to communicate with us. Thanks for the math. I couldn't be bothered to work it out, because we all know how it is going to turn out. And as has already been said, they know it, we know they know it, and they know that we know they know it. I don't believe all this stuff about it not being about key sales. Every single excuse they've given for making the change - still exists as long as a player can reach into the store and buy their way around doing the content. That's the bottom line. If its about the integrity of game content, then go for it, and nerf away - but all avenues, including the buy out. I'm confident enough that they will never go that route to say it in here. It will only ever be in game earning that is stifled, the pay-go-round will always keep on turning. They are fine with allowing the integrity of content slip for a price. If you want players to play the content then remove the non-content. Remove the lootboxes and make the game itself fun and rewarding. Stop adding roadblocks and grinds that are only intended to increase store sales. Dares ya. I started a new character in April/May 2020 with the aim of completing everything possible for a solo player in each zone before moving on. The first 75/85 levels were really enjoyable, then I hit the end game grinds for each zone from Wildermore onwards and as I'm just entering Mordor it is getting worse and worse with each zone. I've just spent 3/4 weeks in North Ithilien and the Wastes and what a pita the end game grinds were there. The zones themselves were fantastic and I really enjoyed questing through them but I never want to do them again. If I compare them to pre moria zones, yes there might be the odd slayer deed that is a slog but on the whole the zones are fun and I would go back and do everything again. I can't say the same for the newer content. It's clear to my eyes that for the first half of the game the focus is on playing but for the second half the focus is on paying. I'd like to see more of the former again please and this change does not appear to be that. I hope I'm wrong. Agree. Hey, here's the increase in embers cap you have all asked for!! The more you use it the more you will be penalized for using it makes it the worse. And under capitalism a company can only make a profit if they create a quality product that satisfies customers, that's why it works. And it's why LOTRO will strangle itself if it keeps going down this road.
  10. Yesterday, Cordovan posted this announcement: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?&postid=8118189#post8118189 Soon after players started to respond in this thread, which has since then exploded: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?692005-Changes-to-Motes-Ember-Figments Keep reading in next post (upon posting second post the forum magician merged them into one post): This afternoon dear old Oleg/Raninia attempted to temper the waters: post 272 here: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?692005-Changes-to-Motes-Ember-Figments/page11 Except this greatly backfired on him. Keep reading. You may wonder why I have quoted so many posts. Well, I don't trust this thread to stay on the forums for a long time. So I am saving some here.
  11. 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. More and more dirty details about this system are surfacing on the forums. For example: someone who leveled to 140 with one set of new LIs and now wants to create a second LI set is not able to add level 121 legacies and enhancement runes to that new set, even though they still function on his first set. Surprise: from tomorrow's patch notes: Legendary Items can now increase to item level 470. If your character has reached level 140, speak to a Forge Master and Reforge your Legendary Items to access the new item levels. The question is whether it is smart for players to reforge at 140 only to be able to enhance traceries. Reforge was supposed to happen at 141 but that is years away. What else happens with that reforge? Does anything become disabled that you don't want disabled yet? Forger beware! This site was sailing west and then the skipper took us back east again. We are now on Discord too though. Exactly. I used to play a game that had a store, 'for convenience only'. I now play in a store with graphics. Huge difference.
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