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A Letter From Executive Producer Aaron Campbell - October 2014


androclese
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Hello all! I’m Aaron “Rowan” Campbell, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online.

Update 15 is getting close, and the Dawnless Day is upon us! Our last major update for the year goes into public Beta testing this Friday (October 10) on Bullroarer. We have a lot to polish up and fine-tune in the release, but are eager to get your feedback on the new Beorning class, quests in Central Gondor, and Pelargir Epic Battle.

Here are some quick highlights:

Beorning: As a Beorning, you hail from the line of skin-changers that descends from Grimbeorn and Beorn himself. Beornings are closely related to the Rohirrim (and other Men), but are larger and more rugged. Call on the ancestral knowledge of your people with The Roar trait line, strike down your enemies with The Claw trait line, or unleash your wrath to defend your allies with The Hide trait line. When Beornings gather sufficient Wrath they can take the form of a great bear to unleash devastating attacks on their foes. Every new Beorning character will start in the brand new starting area: Vales of Anduin. Visit Grimbeorn’s Lodge while you get comfortable with your own strength.

Central Gondor: The dark clouds of the Dawnless Day loom overhead! Push forward into the Ringló Vale, Dor-en-Ernil, and Lebennin. New quests are available as you drive back the Corsairs, Haradrim, and Half-trolls who now pillage the shores of Gondor. The latest book of your Epic Story resolves in the beleaguered city of Pelargir, home to Gondor’s fleet.

Pelargir Epic Battle: This battle changes up the rules of epic battles! Instead of defending a key point, you will infiltrate the city of Pelargir and clear the way for Aragorn and the Army of the Dead. This offensive battle allows you to proceed at your own pace, completing optional objectives as you advance.

You may have noticed that the Legendary Item Update is not in this list. The team has made a lot of progress on updating Imbued Legendary Items to grow with you, but we’re taking more time to balance and refine the system. We plan to release this update with Update 16 in April 2015 (or earlier!), along with LOTRO’s Eighth Anniversary Update.

Features still to come in 2015:

Osgiliath: We’re advancing north, and now almost in sight of both Minas Tirith and The Black Gate. Osgiliath is a city overrun by Sauron’s army. Expect new adventures as you journey along the Anduin.

Minas Tirith: As the war escalates even further, you will journey to the City of Kings and participate in the Siege of Minas Tirith. Minas Tirith is the largest structure we’ve ever placed in Middle-earth, and the largest city!

There are many other areas that we continue to invest in, such as Roving Threats, a new type of challenge for fellowships, in Central Gondor. Looking forward to Update 15 and beyond!

Rowan

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?557012-A-Letter-From-Executive-Producer-Aaron-Campbell-October-2014

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Will be interesting to see the quality of this.

 

EDIT: Oh, and I just realized that this means that there will be shape shifters fighting at Helm's Deep as soon as the first player gets to level 10..

Yes, just like there were Hobbits there when HD released.

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Nothing is going to be fixed or radically altered is it :) There is a clear game plan now to simply continue with arbitrary PVE content and the only new group content will be variations on epic battles.

 

Turbine will simply rinse and repeat until they have finished their perceived obligation.

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I think the half-orcs are more like those who went to the Shire rather than the Uruks, Spidey.

Also, I suppose we'll have to wait and see what the half-trolls are like, they were mentioned in the book, so that's all Turbine need.

I suppose they'll be taller than most men. Without a detailed description, there's not much choice but to "wing it", really.

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Regarding the mass number of mobs that are in Lamedon and being planned for Lebennin and Pelargir, one must wonder how the forces of Imrahil of Dol Amroth, Forlong of Lossarnach, Duinhir of Morthond, and Golasgil of Anfalas would have passed all through that without incident.

 

In fact, how would Aragorn and his army have passed those enemies by without incident?  It was recounted in RotK:

 

'[We] crossed over Gilrain, driving the allies of Mordor in rout before us; and then we rested a while. But soon Aragorn arose, saying: "Lo! already Minas Tirith is assailed. I fear that it will fall ere we come to its aid." So we mounted again before night had passed and went on... over the plains of Lebennin.'....

'Green are those fields in the songs of my people; but they were dark then, grey wastes in the blackness before us. And over the wide land, trampling unheeded the grass and the flowers, we hunted our foes through a day and a night, until we came... to the Great River....'

 

Turbine's just putting mobs in an area for the sake of putting mobs in an area.  If Aragorn hadn't dealt with these, the lords of Gondor surely would have on their way east to Minas Tirith.

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Nothing on expanding the crafting tier....nothing on fixing the broken loot system.

 

Granted, he said "some quick highlights", but still...

Those certainly would have been talking points that would excite people and would have been included.

 

It's possible the "broken loot system" will never be fixed.   I saw your conversation about it on the o board and quite frankly there are people still standing up for the systems incompetence.  Not sure if they were just trolling, turbine defending or serious, but really finishing instances and getting, relic, bounties and nothing else usefull for entire groups can't be WAI. 

 

I do wonder how long they will keep pushing off the LI revamp.  Maybe until they give the announcement that "The Legendary Item update referenced numerous times has been put on an indefinite hiatus".  This is something that should be fixable with the current staff though. 

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It's possible the "broken loot system" will never be fixed.   I saw your conversation about it on the o board and quite frankly there are people still standing up for the systems incompetence.  Not sure if they were just trolling, turbine defending or serious, but really finishing instances and getting, relic, bounties and nothing else usefull for entire groups can't be WAI. 

 

As I recall from my conversations a couple years ago with people who like the new loot system, the defenders of it seem to fall into three camps:

 

1) Those that swear they never won a single roll in the earlier system;

2) Those that tell campfire stories of the scary "ninja looters!" that exist in every pug ever, and;

3) Those that defend Turbine's decisions, almost no matter what.

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As I recall from my conversations a couple years ago with people who like the new loot system, the defenders of it seem to fall into three camps:

 

1) Those that swear they never won a single roll in the earlier system;

2) Those that tell campfire stories of the scary "ninja looters!" that exist in every pug ever, and;

3) Those that defend Turbine's decisions, almost no matter what.

I find the ninja looter thing funny. 

And also the folks that claim they have been victimized by a DKP system.  And a raid schedule that prevented them from loot.

 

I started playing WOW in 2006.  I never saw 1 ninja looter until the group finder was made cross server (meaning the ninja looter would never be seen again).  Sure i saw the youtube videos and read the forum posts about it but never saw it personally.  As far as my 4 years in Lotro I never saw a tradtional ninja looter.   Did a dumb ass hunter roll on my guardian BOA shields at times, sure.  That has more to do with Turbines systems than the players.  If items that can not be equipped by characters they should never be able to roll on them in the first place.  Some players just naturally roll on everything they can.  I've never run across a raid leader who did not have fair loot rules.  The best loot rules for raid leaders have always been main spec item> roll.  If you already received an item you can not win another until the others that share your spec get something.  You can still roll and if no other roll you get the item.

 

I've heard this foolish argument about the DKP system.  Those are usually used in guild/kin runs.  If you don't like the system leave the guild/kin.  I've been a part of enough kin/guilds that do not use that idiotic system to know that more exist that don't use than those that do.  I joined a guild in WOW early on that used that system.  Shit I left and started my own guild.  Our loot rule was the one I stated above. 

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Hoping he mistakeny left out the part about a new IC in the future.

 

You're kidding right? There will never be an instance cluster.

Yeah, the letter is pretty weak. Expect the LI changes to be completely underwhelming or for level cap players only. So one new battle and some new zones is what we get now in place of an expansion.

Housing improvements have been completely given up on. I think they will tweak but never really change the awful loot system either.

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basketball reference?

He did a pretty bad job of making a joke if he was kidding. Lots of people think, and are posting today on the OF, that an IC is coming.

Quotes please

I think there is a possibility of a new instance here and there but not putting money on it being any time soon or ever unless the game starts to turn around. IC prolly never. Going to be interested to see what you can come up with.

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Quotes please

I think there is a possibility of a new instance here and there but not putting money on it being any time soon or ever unless the game starts to turn around. IC prolly never. Going to be interested to see what you can come up with.

 

People in the OF thread clearly think there may be an IC coming. They are asking if one is coming in 2015:

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?557012-A-Letter-From-Executive-Producer-Aaron-Campbell-October-2014

 

I don't really want to debate this. I don't care how many people think Turbine may make an IC. To me, when you get several people asking Turbine if there is an IC coming out, then there are also more people not posting who think this also. It doesn't really matter at this point.

 

Superswim, you are Dernudan over there right?

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