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Aylwen last won the day on February 16 2019

Aylwen had the most liked content!

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    100 hunter rnk10/100 runekeeper rnk 10/100 minstrel rnk 8/100 burglar rnk 5/65 captain/40 Loremaster/10 Warleader/10,6 defiler/9 warg/5 ba, rvr, wvr
    LOTRO May 2007 ~ August 2014
    Whispers of the Woodland Realm (BW)
    The Immortal Berserkers (BW)
    XXXX (BW)
    Organization of Freep Spies (BW)
    The Witch Kings Seventh Legion (BW)
    Black Lotus (Iml)
    Serial Killers (Rid)
    LOTRO Systems QA (SoA Book 14-F2P, RoI)

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  1. In regards the map itself, I have mixed feelings. I generally agreed with Jalessa back in the day that a new map would have entailed a lot of work for the end result of splitting an already small player population. I think that reservation still applies and if anything carries much greater relevance now. Even after the promised server mergers I suspect one will often as not see tumbleweeds blowing through the Moors. As far as its implementation goes, I couldn't even guess as virtually all of the older LOTRO team has by now been laid off or otherwise moved on. I suppose I wouldn't expect a masterpiece of design (although miracles can happen).
  2. I've wondered that myself. Certainly it would have made balancing easier from update to update. Probably a bit less laggy as well. That said it's possible that Freepside would lose a lot of its appeal since you'd just be a watered down version of your 'real' toon without enjoying the exotic feel of Creepside. But from a technical standpoint, such a system would undoubtably have been less problematic.
  3. The 'solo revolution', at least on BW, was more of a SoM/F2P thing. I don't recall anyone in SoA purporting to know the 'right' way to play (although the so-called raid babies would have a stronger case there). There was indeed an assumption that Creeps would tend to enjoy a numerical advantage, given the relative ease of access to Creepside (where any player between 10-50 could roll a creep if they wished). This proved true (and would always be so for the most part). But teamwork was expected to be more of an equalizing force than sheer weight of numbers. This also tended to be born out in practice as a solid Creep raid was often the match of its theoretically more powerful but often less coordinated Freep counterpart. But obviously, given the short development cycle and testing window for the Moors, there was a lot of room to improve on what was there. The system was unquestionably hard on newcomers but, when judged by the experience of Book 14 (considered by some, myself included, to be the 'golden age' of PvMP), it must be said in the main, after a lot of tweaks and changes between launch and Book 12, to have been successful in its own way. But it definitely wasn't for everyone.
  4. Leaf, As regards griefing and Turbine's response (or lack thereof), I absolutely agree that this was an area where CS's track record was at best questionable. I certainly had friends who suffered some pretty ridiculous incidents of harassment, in particular females. Some received a measure of justice from CS, other were ostensibly ignored. Basically the enforcement was, while not nonexistent, very uneven. I remember one player (whom I knew in-game) catching a ban for calling another player a bitch in private tells. On the other hand there were players who could launch into the most rancid attacks imaginable and go unpunished. This was frustrating to say the least. As far as Moors-related incidents went, there were a few factors at play. The Moors tended to produce mountains of player tickets, many of which claimed 'griefing'. I saw tickets for griefing for being ganked leaving the rez, for dying repeatedly in a raid, for being camped at Grams, for being kicked from raids, even one for not being invited to a raid. Players would use the ticket system to try to get at personal enemies or simply as an outlet for their frustrations. Just as a vague guess I'd say maybe 1 in 5 Moors tickets were really justified. With a fairly limited number of GMs monitoring both LOTRO and DDO there were going to be a fair number of legitimate complaints lost in the mix. The posture particular GMs held could also come into play. Some were inclined to let a lot slide since the Moors was an opt-in PvP zone and anyway one could spend all night trying to sort out every complaint. Others might have gone too far in the other direction. Arguably Turbine was too lenient generally; there were players with rap sheets a mile long who somehow made it back into the game regardless, despite multiple bans, permas, etc. A couple of the names on the current PC roster would certainly fail a good conduct requirement if such existed. But I agree that Turbine should have posted character names on a weekly wall of shame to make bans carry a greater deterrent effect. Such was not considered 'Turbine-ish' however. As far as Creeps being weak in 1v1s in the first year or so of the game, this was, again, a combination of design intent and the limitations of the system at the time. Grouping was seen as fundamental to LOTRO generally in SoA development and the Moors was to be no exception. The great majority of players were envisioned as playing in groups or raids (and in practice this was to prove true) and socializing. Giving BAs the ability to run around alone wrecking champs was no more contemplated at the time then giving hunters self-heals was. Quinn, IIRC, FG was built by Jon Reynolds and he did a great job with that in my opinion. I remember testing that one in a mixed group of QA and Devs and starting to rage a little at the Devs' play. It was like pugging with Timmy and Jimmy. The sort of pull you describe wouldn't have been an exploit and it is hard to see how anyone would have thought it was.
  5. There are a couple of subjects a few folks have asked me about so I figured I'd address them here (and speaking of walls of text...) Farming-why the lack of Turbine response? Tackling this issue was problematic. For starters, identifying farming wasn't always easy. There were a variety of fringe cases that often prompted reports of 'farming' (and remember that most of CS was not overly familiar with PvMP) but were questionable as being farms. Take for instance the player feeding himself to GV/Grams campers. Simply running out of the rez repeatedly to be killed in this situation isn't necessarily being farmed in the 'illegal' sense of the expression as the players accepting his largesse aren't doing anything outside of normal play. Then there were situations where a raid would target a specific player repeatedly (above and beyond any readily apparent 'tactical' considerations). This could be construed as farming-as well as griefing-but rests in a very hazy area. Both of those cases prompted farm complaints. 1v1 circles could also be seen as a form of farming as both combatants theoretically have a 50/50 chance of making a nice chunk of points and with rezzers standing by can rinse and repeat ad nauseam. But presumably the intention of the players isn't to farm per se. Nonetheless these generated farm reports as well. True farming-a corner of the map, private rez and repeat farm-is usually more cut and dry but presents Customer Service with a logistical burden. With each report of farming (whatever the circumstance) the CS worker has to put the rest of their workload on hold to teleport in and try to determine what is happening and if anything 'illegal' is actually occurring. Even if CS concludes that a true farm session is in progress, and bans the offenders, the payoff for the time spent would be marginal. Turbine's policy of keeping bans private tended to mitigate the value of bans as a deterrent, especially in individual, one-off cases. Certainly, the time spent would add up fast, between all the real farming that went on and the numerous false farming reports. Finally, farming didn't really seem detrimental enough in general to invest the requisite effort into policing. As we saw, when Turbine did eventually make farming an offense, the new rule was scarcely enforced and scarcely heeded. Creep Design Intent-why were Creeps so weak? I think I've discussed this elsewhere but the intent of the Moors was that it would substantially be RvR. Hence (in part) Creep classes being highly specialized. A BA wasn't seen as needing a lot of escape skills or CC because he was presumably going to be in a raid or otherwise supported by his fellow Creeps. His job was to stand in the back and pew pew. Wargs were intended to be scouting and providing secondary DPS and CC plus debuffs. The weaver's intended role as primary CC didn't really pan out and in fact they were a frequent problem class, often broken (either too weak or too strong or doing silly things like rooting their own raids). Warleaders were healbots and buffs. Reavers, needless to say, were primary DPS, with no more life expectancy than their lore counterparts. Later on the Defiler was intended for secondary heals and debuffing, neither of which the class did very well in SoA, and like the Weaver it ended up being something of a fifth wheel in search of a raison d'être. One could say that Orion shoehorned the Defiler in, not so much as a uniquely realized class in its own right as to pick up the slack for other classes. Above and beyond the design intent, the fact that Creeps were playable NPCs limited how complex their systems could be. In fact some years would pass before Creeps were entirely separated from global NPC tables (and hence the hated CJ change that effected Reavers so much). That Creeps would individually be weaker than their Freep counterparts was fully understood and Creep players were expected to work together to win. Not anticipating that many players would take PvMP as seriously as they did the challenge this system promised newer Creeps wasn't seen as being a big problem going into SoA launch.
  6. Not knowing the kind of game being proposed makes proffering advice difficult. If one is talking about something grand and labor intensive, the best that could be suggested is: land a starting position at a company, eventually work up to senior developer, assemble a credible body of work under your belt, and then start shopping the idea. And be prepared to have 20 chefs stirring around in your pot and be prepared to make a lot of sacrifices for the sake of feasibility. This course isn't necessarily the most attractive but it is the most (potentially) realistic. We are of course talking about years of effort and all that goes with the industry lifestyle, including relatively frequent moves and general job insecurity. But one certainly needs the credibility of industry experience to have check books opened to their idea, however inspired it may be. To this end my advice (to anyone interested in landing a spot at a company) is to do one's homework. If one wants a QA spot (not a bad place to start strategically) then study the science of QA, from basic concepts like white vs black box testing to STR writing to an understanding of programs like Test Track Pro, Bugzilla, JIRA, and so on. Having more to your credit then 'I love games' can be a big advantage. Once you are in the door put on your political hat and make friends: the importance of personal connections in the industry cannot be understated. If the idea is more modest then it may be possible (as others have suggested) to bring on board others with the requisite skills and have a go at putting it out independently. This has its own sorts of pitfalls (perhaps 4 out of 5 such attempts fizzle from design disagreements, team members drifting away, lack of the necessary free time , etc.). If nothing else you will hopefully acquire some basic experience that could be of some value later. Or, if practicable, develop a mod based on an existing title that approximates your vision. Whatever the case may be, one needs more than just a good game idea to see that idea become reality. The truth is that in 99% of cases you can no more sell a game design off the street then you could walk into the Pentagon with a plan to restructure the Marine Corps. At best you'll be politely thanked before the door is slammed in your face. At worst they'll slam the door in your face and then file away your idea for their own future consideration.
  7. Heya Azsouth. Though outside of an RoI PvMP beta event we never played together I was certainly aware of you (like most serious PvMPers I followed the leader boards on a daily basis) and your career. It sounds like your interview fell somewhere between my first departure and the move to the new building if you saw the sections I posted pics of (so summer to fall-ish 2010 or perhaps later, I can't remember exactly when the move fell at this point). Had I been there at the time I would have lobbied hard on your behalf. I'm not sure why they gave you a test or why, given your play time, they didn't hire you although I guess it depended on what department you were interviewing for.
  8. The epic ranting of Grynch, circa May 2010, as recorded by Cynicalpride. [OOC] Grynch: 'you only logged a creep to make things worse' [OOC] Grynch: 'Meregash your easily the worst player in your kin' [OOC] Grynch: 'You reall lack any skill' [OOC] Grynch: 'that why you lead raids for protection and hide lack of skill' [OOC] Grynch: 'Evil are immature as he is leads more effectively than you' [OOC] Grynch: 'Pinglug, coming from you approval is actuallly bad' [OOC] Grynch: 'You pulled AN with 12 freeps in EC and then jumped on a pillar thinking AN coulnt hit you' [OOC] Grynch: 'then releaseed only to let NPCS kill AN and you got nothing except a run from rez circle' [OOC] Grynch: 'Ask Mrergash to join his raid?' [OOC] Grynch: '100% youll get turned down' [OOC] Grynch: 'Untribed, you say that as an insult' [OOC] Grynch: 'Why tribe with useless dregs?' [OOC] Grynch: 'thats like going a loser gang thats in jail dead or has a drug addiction by the time they are 18' [OOC] Grynch: 'LEARN what goldtag means before using in a sentence' [OOC] Grynch: 'you have NO clue what the word means' [OOC] Grynch: 'you clowns use that word Goldtag like your actually saying something' [OOC] Grynch: 'Sad thing is i have not seen 1, not 1 person use it correctly' [OOC] Grynch: 'Like you are a user of Oxford's dictionary' [OOC] Grynch: 'give me a break' [OOC] Grynch: 'Your guild has about 3 good players who happen to also be nice people' [OOC] Grynch: 'the rest are leeches with no skill and only brag about rank, as if rank equates to skill.' [OOC] Grynch: 'NO' [OOC] Grynch: 'let AN kill you' [OOC] Grynch: 'I watched you die' [OOC] Grynch: 'and enjoyed it' [OOC] Grynch: 'Rank 0 means low rank, isnt an indicator of having skil [OOC] Grynch: 'there is no legit reason to take stab' [OOC] Grynch: 'The high Rank morons encourage new low rank creeps to take STAB to be bait for Freep' [OOC] Grynch: 'New creeps on STAB lures greey freeps to it, then when they new creeps die the high rank ones Leeech and kill the freeps' [OOC] Grynch: 'New creeps use you brains' [OOC] Grynch: 'Why would you listento high rank creeps tell you take STAB when they WONT let you join their raid?' [OOC] Grynch: 'If your no good to raid with them , dont do what they want you to do' [OOC] Grynch: 'You cant if we have it, but the golden question if WHY do we have it' [OOC] Grynch: 'And thats why i am waiting for a burg to kill you' [OOC] Grynch: 'NO you Pang the othe r guy' [OOC] Grynch: 'No RatCrab' [OOC] Grynch: 'AM still laughing at the untribed remark, that is funny as heck' [OOC] Grynch: 'As if being in a tribe makes you somehow magically a better player or person' [OOC] Grynch: 'Pingug I saved you' [OOC] Grynch: 'Were I not a super nice person' [OOC] Grynch: 'I would have let him killed you THEN killed him' [OOC] Grynch: 'But I am kind' [OOC] Grynch: 'IF The Grynch didnot appear out of the mist, you would have died and gotten no infamy' [OOC] Grynch: 'a lose-lose situation' [OOC] Grynch: 'Dont get me wrond, some tribes are based on helping each other out and chatt during lulls in battle' [OOC] Grynch: 'Ping you were down to 1k health, the RK had 3k and was at near or MAX attunement' [OOC] Grynch: 'ITs ok, Grynch doesnt have a back so not looking for a pat' [OOC] Grynch: 'Just pointing out even though you tried to TAKE STAB, i didnt hold it against you and let you die' [OOC] Grynch: 'I am a creep after all, not a freep on a creep' [OOC] Grynch: 'Pinglug I AM THE GRYNCH, please so NOT be duped by FALSE grynch's' [OOC] Grynch: 'if the chat doesnt say G R Y N C H it isnt the real deal' [OOC] Grynch: 'Grynchy is a lackey, a tool, he keeps the chang of a 10 when I need a perrier' [OOC] Grynch: 'Grynchy go gather some grimwood kindling and isendeep ore ok' [OOC] Grynch: 'LOL at pulling NPCS to STAB when all STAB ones are dead' [OOC] Grynch: 'a spider named Grynchy, how very ...... Original?' [OOC] Grynch: 'Must be a freep a mured so many times they came over to the grynch side' [OOC] Grynch: 'happens more than I care to know' [OOC] Grynch: 'I won Mr. Nice Guy 7 times' [OOC] Grynch: 'IMNGC' [OOC] Grynch: 'Internatioanl Mr nice Guy competiotion' [OOC] Grynch: 'You wouldnt' [OOC] Grynch: 'you have to be NICE to get an invite' [OOC] Grynch: 'Ok you won a prize , BRB' [OOC] Grynch: 'Grynchy why attack a fresh Guardien and not a half dead LM? Thats not very Grynch like behaviour' [OOC] Grynch: 'You can now return to your regularly scheduled slup program' [OOC] Grynch: 'Slug'
  9. 'This is the way the world ends Not with a bang but a whimper.'
  10. Poor Supergirl. That trailer came off like a painfully unfunny parody. 1/10, wouldn't watch again.
  11. SR2 is solidly in my top 10 favorite games of all time; 3 wasn't quite up there with it but (and especially with mods) a lot of fun. Co-OP (especially 2) was a blast. The char creation system was one of the real selling points of the games. That instantly gave the SR series a big leg up for me over GTA. It is strange that MMOs as a rule have only basic character customization; looking back LOTRO could have dispensed with the work invested in expressions for more face templates. As things stood, only the hobbits in my opinion really offered a decent range of appearances. The Art team buggered up the human females trying to fix their expressions after SoA when they stopped working (and afterwards, true to form, steadfastly refused to admit the meshes were bad despite most of them now looking like Ike Turner had worked them over), most of the elf females looked half-Martian, the elf males were virtually indistinguishable, and most human males could have come from a Dick Tracy comic. The dwarves at least were OK.
  12. That was the great abiding conundrum of PvMP. Improve accessibility and attract more players...only to negate the improvements through the consequent decline in performance. Impose hard population ceilings to improve performance only to thereby limit accessibility. And so on. Looking back now with some time and distance I'd have to say that ultimately the Moors as we experienced it was all the Moors realistically could have been. I cannot, knowing what I know, envision a scenario where there would have existed the necessary resources, command interest, and technical work required to take the Moors from its state of perma-beta to a fully realized and functional system. Certainly more could have been done (or less, in some cases) but just what such ought to have been is up to the imagination of the individual player. At the crux of it all there remained-and remains still-the very nature of the system and that couldn't have been meaningfully addressed save by a massive overhaul. When you pit two totally different sides-one being composed of fully realized characters, the other being fleshed out NPCs-in a game that sees one side constantly evolving and the other constantly trying to react to that evolution, the likelihood of the results being truly satisfactory are virtually nil. And then there was always the lag... I suspect that most of us never quite achieved the level of Zen-like sangfroid required to simply accept the zone on its own terms. In fact the shared frustrations probably acted as a subtle bonding agent for the community. But even back in the first few years I saw the Moors as essentially an accidental social experiment: turn these guys loose in a sequestered, persistent area with little direction or oversight and the occasional pot-stirring and see what they do with it. Personally I found the results very interesting and well worth experiencing.
  13. I used to get super spooked whenever I heard horses riding up near me. As a warg this was part of my ingrained survival instincts. Problem was, when I happened to pop over to play my hunter of burg I'd still be getting all jumpy whenever a player rode by me whilst I was questing or tooling around about town. Ha I remember that sensation well. Especially for the first few years, that sudden clatter of hooves spelled doom: one CC application and it was often as not gray screen time. On the same token I remember catching myself randomly tracking on my hunter while running around in pve, apparently unwilling to accept that wargs hadn't followed me to Mirkwood or wherever I was. I well remember the arrival of TvT/VVV on BW and the negative reaction of some to their brash ways. Others among us welcomed the shake-up; in a system like PvMP there's always the danger of a stagnant status quo that stifles any development in the community and just makes things dull. And TvT not only backed up their talk, they maintained their own identity and relevance for quite some time. Most xfer groups, for all their posturing and baiting, made little to no impact on the zone over the long term. TvT was definitely not one of those. The reporting bit was a little ridiculous (after all, someone in CS had to sort through that stuff and that slowed down ticket response times for the entire game) but hardly unique to TvT or even PvMP.
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