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Amenhir

Lotro PvPers...are they really that bad?

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One might step back and wonder if the level-based system a game like LOTRO uses all but guarantees a problematic end game.

It essentially works out like a pyramid: in the beginning, rolling your toon, you have a ton of content at your disposal, multiple paths to level (in Eriador you can pick and choose your way with some freedom until almost 50). But as the game progresses through multiple expansions, that content begins to taper down to a narrow path until finally 95% of all the content that the game has to offer is now obsolete in the rear view mirror. Assuming a brisk pace, in a month you've burned through hundreds of dollars in expansions representing years of development just to end up standing in an AH in Gondor wondering what you're supposed to do next. All the unscaled instances that came before are pointless now and since scaling means generic rewards, you'll naturally just pick the easiest and spam it via IF from said AH. Any new IC is almost like throwing out bread at a soup kitchen: they're just going to be hungry again tomorrow. And pity the new player faced with that 100 level grind just to reach that AH...9/10 will give up by level 30 having spent zero money and having had no chance to really connect to the game. The prized 'casual' player who decides 100 levels sure doesn't seem like a casual investment.

 

I've often wondered over the years if we had stopped at 50, if radiance/hope had been a character trait applied for doing certain things(and only applicable in certain content) and if LI's had actually grown with you(again with LI bonuses only triggering in certain content, much like the bolster buff), making progression completely horizontal,  while not borking older content and if traits had still mattered how LOTRO would have turned out.  Certainly would have been easier to balance with stable base lines and fewer moving targets. And most definitely less player spread/gating/isolation.   All the while keeping much of the content relevant and working as intended(thereby giving more time to develop more content with less pressure)

 

They weren't selling both XP disablers and buffers because there was a healthy spread vs available content, and people to play it with.

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WoW still has raid locks, but they have evolved in what most people consider a positive direction.

In the most recent expansion, each of the 4 (!) different raid difficulties has an independent weekly lockout. Also, for all but the highest, hard-core difficulty ("Mythic"), the lockouts are loot-based. Meaning, if you've already run something once that week, and your friends who are about to start send you a tell saying they need a healer or a tank or whatever, you can run it again (you just aren't eligible for loot - although even here, if you have any "Seals of Fate", which grant you a bonus personal loot roll for any boss and can be obtained at the rate of about 3/week, you could use them and still potentially get loot that way).

Mythic difficulty still has an old-school lockout, in fact, if you do a pull on any Mythic boss, you acquire the unique lock-out of the whole group, and can't do Mythic for that raid with any other group for that week.

In practice, nobody really does more than two of the difficulty levels in a given week, since if you can do Mythic, for instance, the loot from Raid Finder or Normal mode (the two lowest difficulties) isn't going to be of any interest.

I don't think removing lockouts for the best gear in the game would be healthy.

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I've often wondered over the years if we had stopped at 50, if radiance/hope had been a character trait applied for doing certain things(and only applicable in certain content) and if LI's had actually grown with you, making progression completely horizontal, and if traits had still mattered how LOTRO would have turned out. Certainly would have been easier to balance. And most definitely less player spread/gating

DAOC adopted an approach along those lines and how I wish Turbine had followed suit. If all post Eriador content was on level, everyone wins: the grind to cap is managable and in reasonably short order new players are in position to play with the big kids, all players have the freedom to explore at will (and actually engage with the content instead of clicking through with one eye on the blue bubbles under their skill bar), instances never become obsolete, PvMP is damn sure easier to manage, and developers can get much more creative with how content is offered. Additional progression flows from traits, rep rewards, gear, skill points perhaps, PvMP rewards (why should PvMP rank bonuses be Moors only, it's silly), etc.

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Thinking of some of the points Mallorn raised vis the lack of incentive to rerun spent instances and the Seals of Fate Bele mentioned, it might have been worthwhile to introduce token for instance completions that could be collected for legendary rewards (I don't necessarily mean IA) above and beyond the standard loot you'd normally receive.

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Thinking of some of the points Mallorn raised vis the lack of incentive to rerun spent instances and the Seals of Fate Bele mentioned, it might have been worthwhile to introduce token for instance completions that could be collected for legendary rewards (I don't necessarily mean IA) above and beyond the standard loot you'd normally receive.

 

To me it would depend, if I didn't like the content I wouldn't run it(not for long anyway).  Just look at my earlier aside about draig, we ran what was fun ignored what was not.  Not one of my chars sport the cloak, not because the opportunity/ability to run the full thing was lacking(we ran the fire gauntlet every weekend to open raid night) what was lacking was the desire(for various reasons).  Such things to my mind should be a bonus at most, if they become the reason to run the content instead of the content itself..for me there are too many games out there to play something I don't enjoy.  I rather doubt I'm completely unique, otherwise Hytbolt and ROR would have been a LOTRO high  water mark given the sample size of that experiment.  I will likely always go to a game I enjoy playing vs one  that feels like a job, treadmill, or moving target

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Aylwen, do you think a LotRO 2 could ever happen? Or a better game engine for what we have now? Were either mooted in your time there? Sorry if you answered this already. Hope this post finds you well and I pray you are blessed in your life :)

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To me it would depend, if I didn't like the content I wouldn't run it.  Such things to my mind should be a bonus at most, if they become the reason to run the content instead of the content itself..for me there are too many games out there to play something I don't enjoy.  I rather doubt I'm completely unique, otherwise Hytbolt and ROR would have been a LOTRO high  water mark given the sample size of that experiment.  I will likely always go to a game I enjoy playing vs one  that feels like a job, treadmill, or moving target

Hytbolt did represent a nadir: the most blatant bit of busy work disguised as end game imaginable. The fact that it wasn't laughed out of the design meeting speaks volumes about where the company was at. The absolute worst buggy instance, played on a 56k modem, would have been more entertaining.

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Aylwen, do you think a LotRO 2 could ever happen? Or a better game engine for what we have now? Were either mooted in your time there?

It never came up during my time; there would have been a dozen reasons why we couldn't have done it but the experience of AC2 alone (a kind of lingering trauma for Turbine) would have been enough to put people off.

I can't really imagine a LOTRO2 in any recognizable form ever seeing the light of day. A Moors only game would be viable and interesting (and reasonably cheap) but LOTRO herself...I think we're just left with our memories.

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I would have liked to see some level of progression towards items and armour that dropped in instances.  When you first kill the end boss in an instance you get a deed with the reward being the main item drop from that instance that is for your class.  Kill the boss x number of times and you get the item.  If the item drops and you win it, the deed completes but you dont get any extra reward.  This way you dont have situations where players run instances a stupid number of times with no reward.

 

At least you will always know that you will get the item you want want every run bringing you closer even if you dont have luck on your side.  This also removes the option to run the easiest content to get tokens to trade for all your armour.  Longer instances cold have a lower number of runs to get the item.

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I would have liked to see some level of progression towards items and armour that dropped in instances.  When you first kill the end boss in an instance you get a deed with the reward being the main item drop from that instance that is for your class.  Kill the boss x number of times and you get the item.  If the item drops and you win it, the deed completes but you dont get any extra reward.  This way you dont have situations where players run instances a stupid number of times with no reward.

 

At least you will always know that you will get the item you want want every run bringing you closer even if you dont have luck on your side.  This also removes the option to run the easiest content to get tokens to trade for all your armour.  Longer instances cold have a lower number of runs to get the item.

 

to me # of chances per drop is irrelevant, if ones greatest reason to run content is to drop chase.  Sooner or later they will move on to other games that actually have fun(for them) game play.

 

Everyone's tolerance is different, but where they(and the game) ends up is the same eventually.  Carrots can't substitute for game play long term,(Hytbolt and BB's are perfect examples) and good game play has little need for carrots(Rift even years later, until revamps killed it)

 

EDIT they aren't going back and revisiting IC's, after abandoning the concept, because phat lewt is compensating for how people feel about (and participating in) BB content(whether or not the IC in question can stand on it own as content or not s still to be determined, and will have little to do with what shiny is at the end)

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Hytbold really did need something epic as it's centerpiece, like a possibly house location or enough town services to make it a hub.

The way Hytbold worked feels like a huge missed opportunity.

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The idea behind Hythbold is a good one and I think the way it currently functions on live, doing all quest 2 times is probably enough to have whole Hythbold rebuild and even get a part of the armour set. The grind was just to enormous.

 

Finding the right balance between when grinds are still fun/ a minor inconvenience and start feeling like work is something LotRO has missed the mark way too often. And the same with loot. Because a lot of people run instances to acquire the loot the loot should be balanced correctly between all instances.

 

In an optimal situation there should be a couple variations of loot/ loot chests

1. Unique loot

2. Gold/Silver

3. Regular end game (or on-lvl) stuff like morale/power potions etc

4. Instance tokens

5. Housing items

 

Raid locks should lock out people from chests, not from entering the instance. And maybe especially the tokens chest.

 

I'll explain some of them in more detail:

 

1. Unique loot

- Unique loot obtainable in a specific instance only

- Unique loot obtainable in a specific instance cluster only

- Unique loot obtainable in instances only

- Unique loot obtainable in world drops

 

The chance that loot is dropping should depend on instance group size, instance length, instance difficulty, instance tier and possibly also on the age of the instance (new instances slightly higher drop chances)

And there should also be different sorts of unique loot: Gold (very low chance), Teal (higher chance, but still low) and purple (average chance).

 

4. Instance tokens

Every instance should drop instance-specific tokens that could be used as an alternative way to get the unique loot, possibly with the option of upgrading the purple and teal items to a better 'tier'. That way running an instance for example 50 times without having luck also guarantees you get the item. I think if there was a Rift HM you have succesfully completed 50 times, so almost a year with raid locks, you should be eligable to barter for wig-feld for example. 

Those tokens could also be traded in for cluster-specific tokens which could be traded in for world-drop tokens.

The amount you are rewarded with should also depend on the same criteria as loot drop chance

 

That way people will always have a reward, but also an incentive to run a specific instance. And if the drop chance for a 1st age barter item is f.e. 2% in HM, you should get 5 tokens every succesful attempt and need 250 of them to barter it. 

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Hytbold really did need something epic as it's centerpiece, like a possibly house location or enough town services to make it a hub.

The way Hytbold worked feels like a huge missed opportunity.

 

I thought the concept of Hytbold was fantastic. Its execution however ...

 

Non of the tedious daily instances had any logical relation to rebuilding the town. They just felt abstract.

 

I always thought Hytbold could've been great if they went in a different direction than combat.  They could've had us actually rebuild the town with craft resources. Woodworkers would provide wood, prospectors metal etc. I would've loved that.

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Hytbolt did represent a nadir: the most blatant bit of busy work disguised as end game imaginable. The fact that it wasn't laughed out of the design meeting speaks volumes about where the company was at. The absolute worst buggy instance, played on a 56k modem, would have been more entertaining.

Interesting. I always thought Hytbold was somewhat a success across the playerbase. It was a long grind for sure, but the rewards were granted to you after an amount of time/effort you can calculate. And it was easier for every alt afterwards. This, as tedious of a grind it was, was the complete conceptual opposite of the RNG-based mechanics which are the worst that can happen.

Or maybe that was the strategy of Turbine - make every next thing worse than the previous, which itself will now be remembered as a good thing. Maybe that's why I consider Hytbold a nice thing. One annoying thing about it was that the renovated objects that appear after rebuilding it with every quest had to be there in advance, invisible walls in front of you all over the place.

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Hytbold itself as a little side game is fine, but as a major part of the end game its terrible. Had it been something to do between raids etc.. I don't think I would have minded it so much.

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Hytbolt did represent a nadir: the most blatant bit of busy work disguised as end game imaginable. The fact that it wasn't laughed out of the design meeting speaks volumes about where the company was at. The absolute worst buggy instance, played on a 56k modem, would have been more entertaining.

 

I don't quite agree about that.  It was aimed at the solo-players who insisted on getting raid gear.  With Hytbold they could get it, but they had to work for it.

Everybody else could just skip it.

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I don't quite agree about that.  It was aimed at the solo-players who insisted on getting raid gear.  With Hytbold they could get it, but they had to work for it.

Everybody else could just skip it.

 

Except when it was released there was no new raid to get gear from.  RoR came out in October 2012 and the next raid content was released in March 2013.

 

Hytbold was a good idea, but it was poorly implemented.  The 5 quests a day limit it takes around 45 days to finish all the quests, or if you want you can pay to speed it up.  The small number of quests and the only other new end game of war bands meant that you didnt need to play for long each day to have done everything.  They could have allowed you to do more quests each day and just upped the number of tokens to unlock things, so it still took the same time, so that people had more to do.

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Hytbold really did need something epic as it's centerpiece, like a possibly house location or enough town services to make it a hub.

The way Hytbold worked feels like a huge missed opportunity.

agree.  no vault.  no AH.  made no sense.

 

even small additions would have been nice, like getting an additional 2.5% crit chance at the forge I helped "build".  something.

 

but you are right, when you think of the possibilities, HUGE missed opportunity.

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Hytbold was a good idea, but it was poorly implemented. 

 

This pretty much sums up LotRO.

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For me Hytbold's only redeeming quality were the armor sets. The set bonuses were excellent (the RK's maybe not as much imo). I think for me it was just one grind too many and once completed, there wasn't any particular reason to go there (and definitely no reason to complete it on my other toons). I think if there had been a communal element of some kind-maybe once Hytbold was completed enough times on the server something is unlocked-I'd have been more enthused.

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For me Hytbold's only redeeming quality were the armor sets. The set bonuses were excellent (the RK's maybe not as much imo). I think for me it was just one grind too many and once completed, there wasn't any particular reason to go there (and definitely no reason to complete it on my other toons). I think if there had been a communal element of some kind-maybe once Hytbold was completed enough times on the server something is unlocked-I'd have been more enthused.

 

They were pretty swiftly out done by the basic Scaled pieces. I remember my champ had mostly BG pieces, some crafted gold pieces and some gold drops from instances (depending on tank or DPS mode). After I'd already wasted all of that time grinding on my champ for Shytbold, there was no way I was doing the same for my mins when the skirmish camp stuff was easier. Even a communal element wouldn't have lured me in.

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They were pretty swiftly out done by the basic Scaled pieces. I remember my champ had mostly BG pieces, some crafted gold pieces and some gold drops from instances (depending on tank or DPS mode). After I'd already wasted all of that time grinding on my champ for Shytbold, there was no way I was doing the same for my mins when the skirmish camp stuff was easier. Even a communal element wouldn't have lured me in.

 

Wasn't Hytbold set up where you only needed to grind it out on 1 toon? I seem to remember being happy I only had to do it once but could get the gear for all my toons.

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Wasn't Hytbold set up where you only needed to grind it out on 1 toon? I seem to remember being happy I only had to do it once but could get the gear for all my toons.

correct, if you completed it on one toon, it opened up all the armour sets for each class.  my minstrel pretty much equipped my two other toons at the time.

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Wasn't Hytbold set up where you only needed to grind it out on 1 toon? I seem to remember being happy I only had to do it once but could get the gear for all my toons.

You still needed to grind for the tokens. I'd already seen enough of it to unlock them in the first place, there was no way I was repeating it again.

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@Bendin: I think your view may be atypical or you have rose-coloured glasses on about the Rift. Now, I will say I started in June 2009, about 7 months prior to SoM. By the time I got to cap people weren't running Rift more than the odd time to show people. Once I'd done it once there was no reason to run it since the loot was out of date (though Wig-feld was almost useful). Of course, that's a levelling issue and how MMOs do things at times.

Still, Rift is run, if at all even now, for loot of some sort - whether it be a title or housing item or deed or to blow through it just to show people - and then not run much. I can't imagine even 7 years ago that people ran it much only for the joy of friendship and challenge. There was loot that drove people to do it for the 5th+ time on their 2nd alt. I'm guessing that's how the bulk of the player base ran it.

What drives people away, IMO, are lair raids with no locks with little-no difference in loot based on tier. They become one and done for many. YMMV

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