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Amenhir

Lotro PvPers...are they really that bad?

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But shipping too soon at the behest of the execs has brought woe to countless titles over the decades.

True for everything in all companies, it seems, and then the ones who get sacked for poor sales of crappy product aren't the ones responsible for those decisions. Yaaaaay.

It already exist in Rift.

A great casual endgame, tad addicting. LotRO would have been a great game for that.

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Aylwen, were you around for planning/development of the Instance Finder?

 

Was there ever talk of providing a proper grouping tool, instead of the bizarre idea of throwing players into random instances?

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Aylwen, were you around for planning/development of the Instance Finder?

 

Was there ever talk of providing a proper grouping tool, instead of the bizarre idea of throwing players into random instances?

That whole thing was so idiotic! And it didn't even start out with instances, only skirmishes. I was so flabbergasted that Update 5 happened like that, christ. The excuse that they needed more players to QA was BS; they should have given incentives for people to get on BR instead of testing on live. By the way, it seems the U5 Developer Diary (Instance Finder) no longer exists on the LotRO website.

http://web.archive.org/web/20121218183118/http://archive.lotro.com/gameinfo/devdiaries/1614-update-5-instance-finder-developer-diary

So out of touch with what players were requesting...

Edit: ^And thanks for that insight, Aylwen. Blizzard is a mammoth for a reason! (Agh, this forum's edit box is driving my browser nuts.) Moria's poor sales, wow?

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That whole thing was so idiotic! And it didn't even start out with instances, only skirmishes. I was so flabbergasted that Update 5 happened like that, christ. The excuse that they needed more players to QA was BS; they should have given incentives for people to get on BR instead of testing on live. By the way, it seems the U5 Developer Diary (Instance Finder) no longer exists on the LotRO website.http://web.archive.org/web/20121218183118/http://archive.lotro.com/gameinfo/devdiaries/1614-update-5-instance-finder-developer-diarySo out of touch with what players were requesting...Edit: ^And thanks for that insight, Aylwen. Blizzard is a mammoth for a reason! (Agh, this forum's edit box is driving my browser nuts.) Moria's poor sales, wow?

You know, I was originally going to write "skirmishes", not "instances", but then I thought I was mis-remembering and it couldn't have been that stupid, right?

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Aylwen, were you around for planning/development of the Instance Finder?

 

Was there ever talk of providing a proper grouping tool, instead of the bizarre idea of throwing players into random instances?

That was being polished and tested during my second stint but I wasn't involved with it. It was a rather belated take on the Dungeon Finder that came out for Lich King. I do recall thinking, is this really something we need? For one thing, especially then, the rewards for running group skirmishes weren't exactly mind-blowing.

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I am remembering correctly that the instance join where you could simply see a list of all instances and skirmishes available to you and enter them with your premade party existed long before instance finder, right? That was a very convenient part but I could swear that was already in since forever. The WoW copy part of it where you queued and it matched you with other people and all was rather un-nessecarry for Lotro's environment. WoW made that system work later on with cross server functionality ensuring players could always get a group at peak time or at the most dead hours. No such thing here.

 

 

With one of Lotro's major strengths being it's environments and immersion, I've no idea why they didn't have the instance finder party port to the nearest campfire site first and then travel there way to the instance portal. Build some camraderie and familiarize yourselves before you get into the thick of it. But now I'm just rambling.

 

 

 

I found the warden class to be incredibly unique class design that has yet to be copied by any other MMO I'm aware of. Do you know who spearheaded that?

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Ken Burd, LOTRO Systems, developed the Warden. Really nice guy, solid dev. If I remember correctly he was let go shortly after RoR.

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Alywen, I found your posts very interesting. Thanks.

What is your impression, considering that Turbines license with Tolkien is up in 2017? Will WB bother with negotiating a new one? I'm certain the Tolkien estate will ask for more money, if they want to negotiate. They are in a lawsuit with WB now as it is.

I will probably stay in until the lights go out if for no other reason than to see where the ride ends.

Sorry I missed this one.

Your guess is really as good as mine. WB is hard to divine. I assume WB would make an offer simply to keep the IP in house whatever the status of LOTRO might be at that time. And since I doubt the Tolkiens will have many people lined up to pay them for the MMO rights, they'll take the money in the end. But yeah just taking a guess there.

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Hello Aylwen,

 

I've played AC 1 since Feb of 2000, and have also played LoTRO quite a bit.  I've experienced Turbine's antics for years, since the early days with Ken Karl, Jessica Mulligan etc, to the most recent with Rob Ciccolini (who seemed to truly want the best for AC, and was probably the best dev in recent years imo).  

 

This is somewhat off topic, but I was wondering if you have any other interesting recollections about Asheron's Call.  I found it pretty hilarious that they just happened to find AC 2 code, which I assume is why Sev was able to reboot AC 2 a few years ago.

 

Thanks for the insight, it was pretty interesting hearing about the inner working of Turbine.

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Aylwen

 

Thanks for all the answers.  One more question:

 

 

Could you shed some light on Enedwaith? [region delivered when F2P launched]  Because it seemed like this reqion was a patchwork made from more or less random bits & pieces sewed together.  

 

Like literally there was a task to prepare some relatively substantial content patch,  and in order to speed things up various old artwork, quests and other content from some unfinished older projects was pieced together into Enedwaith.

 

 

I am remembering correctly that the instance join where you could simply see a list of all instances and skirmishes available to you and enter them with your premade party existed long before instance finder, right? That was a very convenient part but I could swear that was already in since forever. The WoW copy part of it where you queued and it matched you with other people and all was rather un-nessecarry for Lotro's environment. WoW made that system work later on with cross server functionality ensuring players could always get a group at peak time or at the most dead hours. No such thing here.

 

 

With one of Lotro's major strengths being it's environments and immersion, I've no idea why they didn't have the instance finder party port to the nearest campfire site first and then travel there way to the instance portal. Build some camraderie and familiarize yourselves before you get into the thick of it. But now I'm just rambling.

 

 

 

I found the warden class to be incredibly unique class design that has yet to be copied by any other MMO I'm aware of. Do you know who spearheaded that?

Nope, not since forever.   Instance join panel was added around the time F2P happened.  I don't exactly remember if it was after f2p announcement, but before actual f2p implementation or after f2p implementation, but anyway around that time.

 

Immedietaly after Instance Join Panel was added there was big outcry why this is not Instance Finder like in WoW, that allows to queue, etc

 

I personally think you can't have it both ways.   Either you build your game around having full Instance Finder like in WoW or you don't have Instance Join / Finder and people need to travel to dungeon themself.   Anything in between will create this constant rambling, crying and threatening in order to change less featured Instance Teleport into Full Instance Finder.

Same goes for many other design and feature decisions in an MMORPG imo.

 

 

 

I found the warden class to be incredibly unique class design that has yet to be copied by any other MMO I'm aware of. Do you know who spearheaded that?

 

Ken Burd, LOTRO Systems, developed the Warden. Really nice guy, solid dev. If I remember correctly he was let go shortly after RoR.

Yeah. This was great class.  Very unique in how it was played. I haven't saw anything like it in any other mmorpg.  Creative piece of work.

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Aylwen, few questions from me...

 

In your opinion would new raids/instances and revitalise the game?

Who is owner of the rights of the tolkien world and untill when?

Is it possible to make new game, based on Beleriand days, 1st age and would you be interested in working on that project?

 

Now, i only need 1B $ to earn and I will give you infinite funds and full control! :)

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On the subject of PvMP. For me Audacity killed it. I used to be an avid PvMPer, for a while my BA was one of the higher ranked on the server (back when rank 7 or 8 was high!) and for a long time PvMP was the only activity I really did. I then took a break from LOTRO for about a year or more to play SWTOR, once I tried to return I found myself so far behind the Audacity curve I just couldn't be arsed to catch up, Audacity was PvMPs radiance and a huge mistake and an unnecessary gate.

 

An interesting read Aylwen, thanks for posting. I was one of those council members you mentioned that visited a couple of years back and it seemed to me on the face of it like quite a fun place to work, although smaller than I imagined.

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Thank you for taking the time to answer my question Aylwen (sorry I forgot to thank you yesterday). I guess I have slightly rose tinted specs with Codemasters and there is always two sides to every story :)

Do you think Turbine regret jumping into bed with WB or was it do or die?

PJ

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Aylwen, few questions from me...

 

In your opinion would new raids/instances and revitalise the game?

Who is owner of the rights of the tolkien world and untill when?

Is it possible to make new game, based on Beleriand days, 1st age and would you be interested in working on that project?

 

Now, i only need 1B $ to earn and I will give you infinite funds and full control! :)

 

I ain't Aylwen, but anyway...

 

The film, stage, and merchandising rights for Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit are owned  by The Saul Zaentz Company (aka Middle-Earth Enterprises/Tolkien Enterprises).   They in turn provide licenses to companies like Warner Bros or Turbine.

 

Just about all other rights are owned by the Tolkien Estate. (Currently mainly controlled by Christopher Tolkien - JRR Tolkien's youngest son.)

 

Those ownerships will last until they either sell them to someone else, or copyright on the works expire and go into public domain. (Won't happen for quite a while yet.)

 

 

If you want to make a game set in the 1st age or anything else based on the Silmarillion you would have to talk to the Tolkien Estate for a license.  You are very unlikely to be given one - at least not while Christopher Tolkien is still alive and in control. 

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Aylwen,

 

Have you seen the news about this "exploration" on the feasibility of a "new" pvmp map? Osgiliath is on its way with U16 (I think) and Turbine is considering re-purposing a layer of it for pvp.  Thoughts?

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The film, stage, and merchandising rights for Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit are owned  by The Saul Zaentz Company (aka Middle-Earth Enterprises/Tolkien Enterprises).   They in turn provide licenses to companies like Warner Bros or Turbine.

rights which should be noted, Zaentz acquired, (1976) from the original negotiators of said rights, United Artists (1969).

 

but unlike so many, [cough] "Green Eared Tolkien Scholars"[/cough] thankfully you are able to distinguish the vast difference between Tolkien Estate & Tolkien Enterprises.

 

i get soo utterly fucking sick of those either too stupid, or just flat out dishonest; who perpetually obfuscate those 2 entirely separate entities.

 

so thank you for that. & thank you everyone who is able to make the distinction...

 

 

 

 

to everyone else who can't make the distinction...

fuck_you.jpg

 

 

Aylwen,

 

Have you seen the news about this "exploration" on the feasibility of a "new" pvmp map? Osgiliath is on its way with U16 (I think) and Turbine is considering re-purposing a layer of it for pvp.  Thoughts?

Aylwen mentioned Zombie_Columbus' proposal of a MOBA style addition...

7203388_b5ca782e2b_l.jpeg

 

7203389_2c04ca6af7_l.jpeg

that is probably what they are aiming to add for Osgiliath.

 

now i am not a gambling man, but i would say betting for the Osgilaith PvMP addition seeing the light of day,  would be a bad call.

 

they don't have enough time, or skilled bodies to throw at this.

 

and with the moving of servers to 2 new hosting locations...

 

this is destined to abide right beside all hoped for housing improvements.

 

frankly, i have little faith they'll even manage the smaller instance cluster.

 

just don't see it happening.

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Hello Aylwen,

 

I've played AC 1 since Feb of 2000, and have also played LoTRO quite a bit.  I've experienced Turbine's antics for years, since the early days with Ken Karl, Jessica Mulligan etc, to the most recent with Rob Ciccolini (who seemed to truly want the best for AC, and was probably the best dev in recent years imo).  

 

This is somewhat off topic, but I was wondering if you have any other interesting recollections about Asheron's Call.  I found it pretty hilarious that they just happened to find AC 2 code, which I assume is why Sev was able to reboot AC 2 a few years ago.

 

Thanks for the insight, it was pretty interesting hearing about the inner working of Turbine.

I wish I had more to say about AÇ-by my day it had already faded into the background, maintained by a dev or two and a QA guy (they lost a guy with the Moria layoffs, I remember). I couldn't have even located their nook in Westwood. As I mentioned at one point I was somewhat envious of the forgotten nature of their work, they seemed to be free to tinker with AC with no inference from Marketing or anyone else. I believe the hitherto lost AC2 code was found on Andy Gillis' old machine. His happening to have that build saved an entire game from oblivion. AC2 definitely had a core of dedicated fans and they owe their chance to revisit the game to Mr. Gillis. Speaking of AC fans, Jeff Siadek, lately a producer and formerly our excellent QA lead, was a huge AC fan and wanted nothing more than to work on the game. Despite being out in the Midwest he applied to Turbine QA. Being accepted he came all the way to Mass with basically nothing but a suitcase and a few bucks in his pocket. He had to spend some time couch surfing at the office but made it work. No question Turbine attracted many great people to the ranks-even when in his thread I have been critical of the work of some vis-à-vis LOTRO I was still glad to have known them. In QA particularly Jay, Peter, my brother in his day, had a knack for finding good souls.

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drul

Could you shed some light on Enedwaith? [region delivered when F2P launched] Because it seemed like this reqion was a patchwork made from more or less random bits & pieces sewed together.

I was so heavily invested on the f2p transition that I was only dimly aware that Enedwaith was being developed at all. I want to say that Sarah Gardner-a dedicated LOTRO fan herself-covered that scrum for QA but my memory is a bit hazy on that era given the f2p pressure. Trying to coordinate the transition for QA was no small task and many times Jared Edwards (who was for quite some time the QA coordinator for the test server as Amlindor or something similar) and I would take walks outside around the building brainstorming how to go about covering all our bases. But Enedwaith did have a patchwork feel to it, with some areas playing better than others in my opinion. One thing that I will say somewhat disappointed me about LOTRO was the 'canyon shot' nature of many zones and in fact large chunks of the game. Being an old Ultima guy I think I had imagined a more open, sprawling Middle Earth. Obviously the decision to use linear level progression dictated how the zones were designed. But there is a definite 'on rails' quality in LOTRO that takes away from the sense of being part of a real world. WoW is the same but the sheer size of Azeroth made it slightly less obvious to me as a player.

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Aylwen, every so often on various LOTRO fansites and the OF, the idea comes up suggesting that Turbine start selling "visitor's pass" access to the world that would let interested people be able to ride around and explore but not engage in combat.

 

Is this something they could implement?  Would it be very hard to do?

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An interesting read Aylwen, thanks for posting. I was one of those council members you mentioned that visited a couple of years back and it seemed to me on the face of it like quite a fun place to work, although smaller than I imagined.

No problem. We had such a good and loyal community, the best in gaming as far as I'm concerned, and sharing a few stories is the least that I can do, certainly, to say thanks for all the cherished memories I have of Middle Earth.

One time at Westwood I was out by an employee door having a smoke and a fellow walked up to ask where the visitor's entrance was as he was there for an interview (I don't recall which media outlet he was with). On a whim I said I'd bring him through the building to the secretary's desk and took him through the QA section, kitchen, dev pit, and so forth (Westwood was a bit of a maze). He was obviously surprised by what he saw and commented that he had no idea how small we were. I always thought that if our fans knew what a shoestring operation we really were they'd have respected us more, not less, for what we did accomplish.

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Yeah, notice how Snowlock returned after insulting people on this forum and saying he wouldn't be back.

Oh I'm sure there are a lot here that said they wouldn't beback, including the guy that said it 4 times :)

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Aylwen,

Have you seen the news about this "exploration" on the feasibility of a "new" pvmp map? Osgiliath is on its way with U16 (I think) and Turbine is considering re-purposing a layer of it for pvp. Thoughts?

Frankly I'd be amazed if that happened. But anything is possible-if you had told me two years ago that LOTRO would still be developing content at all by 2015 I'd have been somewhat dubious. That said I think there was one window for a really meaningful PvMP update and that was shortly after RoI. WB itself had commanded that PvP in LOTRO be given some love. Sadly, as previously related, this bandwidth was frittered away on the attempt to create instanced MOBAish battles and all we got for that glimmer of hope was the calamity of RoR PvMP.
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Frankly I'd be amazed if that happened. But anything is possible-if you had told me two years ago that LOTRO would still be developing content at all by 2015 I'd have been somewhat dubious. That said I think there was one window for a really meaningful PvMP update and that was shortly after RoI. WB itself had commanded that PvP in LOTRO be given some love. Sadly, as previously related, this bandwidth was frittered away on the attempt to create instanced MOBAish battles and all we got for that glimmer of hope was the calamity of RoR PvMP.

WB itself commanded it?

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