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AgamemnonV1

Update 6: Shores of the Great River

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http://www.lotro.com/gameinfo/1775?lang=en_US

Well, this is interesting. My eyes may be decieving me, but it seems like they are planning to release this content before June, which is very unlike Turbine's current update schedule timeline.

The Great River Region

Travel along the shores of the mighty Anduin in the expansive new region coming in Update 6! The signs of war are all around you as Isengard and Barad-dûr put their dark plans into motion. Push back the Easterlings, dangerous brigands and an ancient enemy of Rohan, as they gather for an attack on Rohan and Lórien. Explore seven new areas along the upper Anduin including the green plains of Parth Celebrant where treacherous shades roam, unable to rest.

Easterlings? "Dangerous" brigands? And an ancient enemy of Rohan? Well, I must say. The only one I'm excited about seeing are the Easterlings. I very much doubt they would introduce new art resources if they didn't plan on using them extensively later on. Something tells me we'll be seeing a lot of the Easterlings in the future. As for "an ancient enemy of Rohan", this sort of sounds like a new creation in the works. Given they talk about "treacherous shades", I'm guessing this is the "ancient enemy" they are talking about. Given the region we'll be in (Field of the Celebrant), I'm sure it'll have something to do with the battle that took place when Rohan was being born, when Eorl the Young was driving back northeastern invaders.

The Great River Quest Pack is free to VIPs!

Well...this is a surprise. Turbine doesn't even give us a chance to speculate; they come right-out and say the quest pack is free for VIPs. To be honest this is the biggest thing to this update. I had honestly believed they would charge for every landscape update, considering it's what Sapience said after Enedwait. Something must've changed.

Epic Story

The latest chapter in LOTRO’s free Epic Story awaits! Travel to Lothlórien to seek Galadriel’s wisdom after experiencing troubling dreams. Investigate the grim tidings along the Great River but be prepared as the evidence may point to a foe more terrible than your darkest nightmares.

I've got nothing on this. Nazgul? Ivar-like creative liberty? All of the sudden I've got flashbacks to Enedwait, where people are deathly afraid of evil...goats.

Soldier on Landscape

Get the helping hand you need with LOTRO’s new Soldier on Landscape! This new feature allows you to summon your faithful skirmish companion in the field. Customize your skirmish solider to help you tackle even the toughest challenges!

Nothing we don't already know, except maybe that we weren't sure when it was coming. Given the way it's worded here, it sounds like we'll be able to summon our skirmish soldiers where ever we want in the landscape (I'm guessing instances/raids are excluded). That last bit there, however, almost sounds like they expect you to be using your soldiers regularly...I really hope the content isn't designed with that in mind. I really don't want to level my skirmish soldier in alternate roles to accommodate for different situations. Although, if they are any sorts of smart, that's exactly what they'll do and then offer all the soldier stuff on the store.

Instance Finder Update

You spoke, we listened, and now we’re making Instance Finder better than ever! Instance Finder will soon allow you to queue for the specific instances and skirmishes that you want to do. You can also choose to change loot rules and remove players with a fellowship vote. The rewards are being enhanced, too, granting additional XP for skirmish completion and scaling currency bonuses for when you queue for a larger range of instances.

Basically they're turning it into the Matchmaking system from the Xbox. Not necessarily a good thing--the last thing I want to happen in a skirmish is to get votekicked right before the loot box is opened simply because I didn't realize I was playing with butt buddies the entire time and just used me so they could finish the skirmish. Then again, they ruined my favorite skirmish (Fords of Bruinen), so I doubt I'll be using this feature much anyways. Well, if I want to upgrade my soldier if he's expected to be used with the new content, I suppose I'll have to...

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The Great River Quest Pack is free to VIPs!

Well...this is a surprise. Turbine doesn't even give us a chance to speculate; they come right-out and say the quest pack is free for VIPs. To be honest this is the biggest thing to this update. I had honestly believed they would charge for every landscape update, considering it's what Sapience said after Enedwait. Something must've changed.

Nope. Turbine always said, that "Updates" (not AddOns) will be free to VIPs. Ok, they tell a lot of BS which will get changed afterwards, but this one thing has always been true. Fortunately.

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I think they will try to stick to the "an update every month" as long as possible

Probably something like:

Jan: 5.1

Feb: 5.2

March: 6

April: 6.1

May: 6.2

June: 7

July: 7.1

August: 7.2

October: 8 (Xpac)

November: 8.1

December: 8.2

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hmm... but for non vip i wonder why i should buy the questpack. I am at max level, the most interesting quests are ringquests anyways - and no instances were mentioned to be added. Well maybe they come at one point and i need the questpack to be able to join them - but they can be sold separately too.

Soldier in normal environment? It is way too easy already to level. If we can use it all the time it will just get boring leveling some alt or such.

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Hmmm. Looking at this with my skeptical Turbine glasses, I see they metion the Quest Pack is free to VIPs and are clear that the Epic Story is free....

However, the wording on Soldier on the Landscape is very ambiguous in true Turbine fashion. I bet that will require an unlock from the store for each character that wants to use it. And of course the content will be designed with having the soldier available (or will require grouping on the landscape and therefore be a convienance, not an advantage). In fact, I bet all the encounters on the landscape are made tougher so a soldier (or grouping) will be needed and so everyone will need to buy the soldier on a landscape unlock. Marks my words that exactly what this is really about.

Sorry for being skeptical but I don't think Turbine would do anything for benefit of their customers unless they can make a buck at it.

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I almost can't imagine them to let VIP's pay for such an unlock; For non-VIP it propably will

Although i won't be suprised if my imagination wasn't good enough and they will let VIPs pay :P

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http://www.lotro.com/gameinfo/1775?lang=en_US

Well, this is interesting. My eyes may be decieving me, but it seems like they are planning to release this content before June, which is very unlike Turbine's current update schedule timeline.

Guild Wars 2 beta testing began this month. According to a poll at the guildwars2guru forum, the majority feel there will be a quarter 2 release of the game. I have a hunch that this may be partially a reason for the timing of update 6, much as the release of update 5 may have been an attempt to stave off losses to SWTOR.

http://www.lotro.com/gameinfo/1775?lang=en_US

Well, if I want to upgrade my soldier if he's expected to be used with the new content, I suppose I'll have to...

I'm considering retiring some of my squishies for that very reason. I'm not going to get on another grind treadmill, so it may just be my level cap guard from henceforth.

I just hope we don't have to contend with braindead skirmish soldiers in the landscape. If this feature is implemented half-arsed with bad AI, ROR will be known as Retards of Rohan.

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In fact, I bet all the encounters on the landscape are made tougher so a soldier (or grouping) will be needed and so everyone will need to buy the soldier on a landscape unlock.

MMORPG or MSORPG?

Less soloplay would be desirable.

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Update 6 raises a lot of questions, many of which have been touched upon here already.

For me the big question is why the fuck do I want to go back to see that bit of scrag Galadriel? Why do I have go and tit about along the shores of the Anduin?

I and a few other people would like to go to Rohan and by that I mean the important places. Not some tedious backwater part of the country, filled with yet more feckless peasants who want me to shovel shit and pick up nails.

Turbine seem hell bent on prevaricating and visiting the most inconsequential parts of Middle Earth, in the pitiful hope of increasing the games lifespan.

I still stick to my prediction that this year is going to be the deal breaker for a lot of fans of this game, as I suspect that the next set of updates and expansions are simply going to fail to meet everyone's very high expectations.

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Guild Wars 2 beta testing began this month. According to a poll at the guildwars2guru forum, the majority feel there will be a quarter 2 release of the game.

Really?

Yes, yes, yes!

Yesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyesyes!

*Ahem*

I'm quite pleased to hear this. ;)

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MMORPG or MSORPG?

Less soloplay would be desirable.

If this is tied to the store then I would be surprised if they do not have "solo"-only instances that require people to use their least-favourite skirmish pet (e.g. the Warrior). Look at the linear questing in RoI. If you can't get past a certain instance then you are stuck for that zone. Then you do loads of skirmishes or you use up lots of points in the store to build up the skirmisher so you can get through the instance.

If it is all store-related then I predict new Skirmish soldiers appearing e.g. "Village Idiot", "Turbine Fanboi" etc etc. All will have to be levelled up.

Thankfully I am not a lifer so I do not feel a need to put myself through such bs.

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Well, this is interesting. My eyes may be decieving me, but it seems like they are planning to release this content before June, which is very unlike Turbine's current update schedule timeline.

Not sure why you would think this. The pattern was set last year. Update 3 - Echoes of the Dead (with the In their Absence/Ost Dunhost instance cluster) was released in March 2011, and Update 4 - Lost Legends of Eriador (Inn of the Forsaken, Hall of Night, Attack at Dawn, & Icy Cravasse) was released in May 2011.

It makes sense that they would stick to a similar schedule.

The Great River Quest Pack is free to VIPs!

Well...this is a surprise. Turbine doesn't even give us a chance to speculate; they come right-out and say the quest pack is free for VIPs. To be honest this is the biggest thing to this update. I had honestly believed they would charge for every landscape update, considering it's what Sapience said after Enedwait. Something must've changed.

Again, the precedent it that non-expansions are free for VIPs. This has been true since the start of the game (from my understanding). Content released between expansions (including zones like Evendim, Forochel, & Enedwaith and additions like The Rift and Goblin Town) has always be free. Enedwaith coincided with F2P, but the 2011 clusters were also free for VIPs.

I've never seen anything shady in their release pricing. The worst I can say (and it is pretty bad) is that it's not always **clear** how you can get stuff, especially in relation to the store. CSTM did a much better job of spelling out what comes in the varios xpacs, quest packs, etc.

Epic Story

I've got nothing on this. Nazgul? Ivar-like creative liberty? All of the sudden I've got flashbacks to Enedwait, where people are deathly afraid of evil...goats.

I'm sort of disappointed that this is going to be end-game content. I'd rather it be an alternate to Enedwaith/Dunland, but I guess that was expecting too much.

Soldier on Landscape

Nothing we don't already know, except maybe that we weren't sure when it was coming. Given the way it's worded here, it sounds like we'll be able to summon our skirmish soldiers where ever we want in the landscape (I'm guessing instances/raids are excluded). That last bit there, however, almost sounds like they expect you to be using your soldiers regularly...I really hope the content isn't designed with that in mind. I really don't want to level my skirmish soldier in alternate roles to accommodate for different situations. Although, if they are any sorts of smart, that's exactly what they'll do and then offer all the soldier stuff on the store.

I hope this change brings with it some better controls over the landscape. Otherwise, the soldiers will be as annoying as Orchalwe in Annuminas: no means to control what he aggroes or where he runs off to.

Instance Finder Update

Basically they're turning it into the Matchmaking system from the Xbox. Not necessarily a good thing--the last thing I want to happen in a skirmish is to get votekicked right before the loot box is opened simply because I didn't realize I was playing with butt buddies the entire time and just used me so they could finish the skirmish. Then again, they ruined my favorite skirmish (Fords of Bruinen), so I doubt I'll be using this feature much anyways. Well, if I want to upgrade my soldier if he's expected to be used with the new content, I suppose I'll have to...

Adding the ability to select specific instances is a good thing. As it is now, no one is using it to form groups. Instead, they advertise on the global channels and, once the group is formed, the finder is used to enter the instance. Since they are basically forcing this interface on us (I follow the forums fairly closely, and I've never seen even a hint of a suggestion), at least it should be usable.

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Yum! Well, this is, mmmmm, good! Easterlings, yes! Ancient enemy of Rohan? Hmm, I suspect yet more wights. But what a great part of Middle Earth to add. Now, I make a wish: session play on the banks of the river to see Gollum find the ring! :-)

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I'm considering retiring some of my squishies for that very reason. I'm not going to get on another grind treadmill, so it may just be my level cap guard from henceforth.

That means more heavy armour running around and fewer minstrels, with more problems finding groups.

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Here's my question...

Will this new area be max level? Like Enidwaith (sp) was.

To me this is ridiculous. Why add a new zone that is max level? If that is what they are planning.

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Here's my question...

Will this new area be max level? Like Enidwaith (sp) was.

To me this is ridiculous. Why add a new zone that is max level? If that is what they are planning.

Have they ever added a new zone that wasn't max level?

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Here's my question...

Will this new area be max level? Like Enidwaith (sp) was.

To me this is ridiculous. Why add a new zone that is max level? If that is what they are planning.

Considering it seems to be tied to a new book (or the start of a new volume) in the epic line, it pretty much has to be end-game.

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Have they ever added a new zone that wasn't max level?

Yes, Evendim was not max level.

hmm... but for non vip i wonder why i should buy the questpack.

I'm interested in this region as a way to bypass ever having to own Isengard on my second account. Do it like the people who skip Moria with Lothlorien.

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Yes, Evendim was not max level.

So was Forochel. Seems like creating new zones to give players alternative levelling paths was something that went the way of the dodo once Moria came along. Since then new zones have been exclusively about getting to the level cap as fast as possible and then treading water. It's unfocused, dull and is a waste of Turbine's resources because it makes half the content they generate utterly purposeless beyond being a venue for grind.

The opportunity is there for alternative kinds of progression. There's no sense in creating content that gives xp when the people there are already at the level cap. What about zones that give no xp, but are rather designed for legendary item progression? That way you'd be able to keep questing and keep advancing at the level cap and never have to bother with grinding, as you'd only head to these LI-centric zones once you have the LIs you want to level.

Hell, every single piece of level cap content since Moria could have been designed with this in mind. Imagine if Lothlorien had been created not filled with redundant and boring nonsense for players already at l60 to dash through on their way to the end of the story and Dar Narbugud, but crammed with LI-centric content, giving people an incentive to actually spend time there.

That sort of thing would be proper solo endgame content, and would give a feasible alternative to raiding for level cap advancement. Then, once the level cap is raised, it'd be a cinch to yank out the LI rewards and just replace them with xp, and bam - alternative levelling paths for the journey to the new cap!

It's really not rocket science to come up with stuff like this. It's such a shame the people in charge of Turbine are morons.

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Evendims addition was before my time and Forochels beginning may have not been max level, but the end was, basically an alternative to East Angmar. That being said, I think additions that aren't max level are a good idea, but I doubt it will happen. Moria doesn't bother me all that much, but Lonelands and North Downs are 2 zones that keep me from leveling on other servers.

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http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?445388-Update-6-Commendations-Developer-Diary

Anyone else see the pvmp "improvements" with this update? And how Destiny Points will only be available through leveling from now on?

Turbine never learns, it seems....

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I can certainly see them designing content that more or less forces you to level up your skirmy soldier, since they can charge for it in the store. That is totally in keeping with their financial practices lately.

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“…a foe more terrible than your darkest nightmares.”

Maybe a sad old worm slithering its way down from the grey Mountains to revenge it’s ancestor Scatha and reclaim a certain horn? Nah, not very likely, we’ve had our fair share of braindead dragons….

No, my bet is on the rise of the Balchoth and maybe a 2nd battle of Celebrant since it fits the area. I doubt we will see any chariots but that would have been a fun element to throw in with the mounted combat.

Edit: On second thoughts, the nightmare must of course be the ancient Easterling tribe of the "Corporate Bean Counters" who worship the LotrO Store. Then again that wouldn't be a new introduction since we've had them for quite some time already, darn....

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I specifically remember Sapience, sometime before or after Enedwait, saying that Enedwait was the last "free" landscape update. Although perhaps he meant "free to everyone". Maybe Dal has a quote of it or something, but it's been something that's been burning in my mind and has weighed heavily on my opinion of Turbine since Enedwait. I honestly believed we'd be paying for the quest pack, therefore I've been hoarding my points.

@Shadow: Can we really stop with the whole "they must be scrambling because of new hyped-up MMO x" bit? This was said time and time again when: AoC came out, Darkfall came out, WAR came out, Champions came out, and STO came out. Tell me, where are most of these MMOs now? And what exactly makes you think TOR will be any different? Because they've got a million or so upstart lookie-lous? Yeah, that's a recipe of success; just ask Funcom. If anything Turbine is probably more concerned with the fact that they are still alive when so many other MMOs with bigger budgets have fallen flat on their faces.

@Xusia: You pretty much said it. They're dragging the experience along as much as possible. They know that once they go down the actual path of the Battle of the Hornburg then there's only a month left of in-lore time before the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. And it's not exactly like Rohan stops in Esgaroth and ensures all of Rohan is secure by sending would-be heroes to the four corners; Theoden immediately musters the Rohirrim so they can begin the trot to Minas Tirith.

Even then, however, I'm willing to bet that they'll be able to stretch it out there as well. We'll go halfway to Gondor with the Rohirrim and then they'll send us through to Western Gondor through the Paths of the Dead with the Rangers. Then they'll throw us back with the Rohirrim, who will stop again to maybe see what's going on in Cairn Andros or something.

The biggest slow down will probably take place after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. They'll have plenty of chance to slow the game-time down and have you explore different areas. This is probably where they'll have us going to Osgiliath, Henneth Annun, the Morannun, and Minas Morgul, all without forwarding the timeline.

I'm kind of two-sided on the issue myself, to be honest, because if we just go with the flow of time, the adventure will end soon enough. This way Turbine is covering almost all of the territory the Fellowship traversed, which, as a Tolkien geek, makes me happy (if I had to guess, Update 6 will be setting us up to follow the Fellowship's path and then meet up with the Ents and march with them on Isengard before they then switch us back to also witness the Battle of the Hornburg). Just keep in mind that they are slowing down exponentially. Notice the nice big, bold letters after the announcement of the title of Update 6: The Journey Toward Rohan Begins!

Apparently the journey didn't begin with Volume III.

@Talisman: As for their update schedule, you must be having a laugh. Update 3 (Lost Legends of Eriador) were instances that were supposed to come with Update 2 (Echoes of the Dead) but they just never finished them in time. You're talking about an update schedule that looked like this:

September 2010 (Volume III Book 2, new zone) --> March 2011 (Update 2, new instances) ---> May 2011 (Update 3, instances they didn't finish in March) ---> October 2011 (expansion)

So far, here's what our "new" update schedule looks like:

December 2011 (Update 5) ---> March/April 2011 (Update 6, new landscape)

That's THREE MONTHS LESS than the time we had to wait from Volume III Book 2 to Update 2. So yeah, tell me again how us not waiting a half year for new content this time is not a change in their standard operating procedure? Or maybe you'd like to compare how long it took us to get a new zone from the last cycle's update schedule? Because it took a year and a month before we saw something other than Enedwait. Now, if Update 6 does indeed come out in March/April, we'd have only waited five to six months for new landscape.

They've effectively cut the waiting for actual new substance in half. If I didn't know any better I'd say they were actually working.

@Silverangel: Evendim was a zone that was meant to launch with the game but never got a chance to. And Forochel was a response to the leveling problem a lot of folk were facing in Eastern Angmar, as most of the content there was group content (Forochel was the first update to start us on the whole path down to a solo-centric game).

Although I really do wish they would go back and fill in some more of the empty spaces on the map in Eriador. And now that it seems that we are coming down south from Lothlorien, an alternate means from 50 to 60 through the High Pass, saying hi to Beorn at the Carrock, and then passing through the Gladden Fields.

A day may come when we'll get a chance to see all the fabled settlements and areas that are mentioned in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings...but it is not this day! This day we wait!

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