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Lotro PvPers...are they really that bad?


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What does it mean to 'own' the event? The different departments argue that they want to be the one in charge (why?), or they argue they don't have time for this and would like someone else to do it? I.e. the arguing is in which direction? :)

 

How interesting and also voyeur-ish :) Did you learn something you totally didn't expect out of those... inclusions?

'Owning' it would be to be the guys in charge. OCR believed that such events fell under their jurisdicition as it were. QA was more concerned about something going wrong and being blamed for it. Dev's posture, I was told, was that if they were to do any work on the event they wanted to participate. In the end the original advocates said, the hell with it.

I confirmed that BW and E really were in a totally different category than most servers when it came to PvMP. Main raids I'd watch on servers even like Menaldor were more comparable to secondary raids on B or E at the time. On the same token there was often a lighter atmosphere, a bit more fun possibly. There was definitely a lot of rank farming one saw, although that was an issue throughout PvMP. For whatever reason E generated the most complaints to CS about farming, although whether that was because farming was more frequent, or players more likely to report, wasn't clear.

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It's entirely up to the companies to decide how to interpret the NDA in relation to my comments. If they want to 'come after me', as you put it, they know who I am. I do appreciate your concern on t

Modbreak: Dear GameDev, Please refrain from posting personal information on this board. Given your geolocation, it might be perceived as a rather vengeful thing. Say hi to the rest of Turbine

I agree with this on a personal level. First post here although I consider this forum superior to the official one (where most of my posts over the years were confined to grants on rank x threads)

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It is a shame that more events didnt happen, I never got to see the Amarthiel event, but Codemasters did a troll one in the run up to F2P. They would play as a troll in different regions and would be level appropriate for that region. They would also spawn so more smaller trolls if there was enough players around. There was a lot of lag at the events but they were still fun.

I also remember once a GM spawning mobs to attack Ost Guruth that were higher level then Loanlands mobs would normally be. After a while the GM log out, I think they went to another server, but something went wrong and the mobs just kept spawning making it impossible for low level players to get into Ost Guruth.

For LOTRO 2nd anniversary one of the Kins on Snowbourne, Element Zero lead by Honvik, organised a conga from the party tree in The Shire to Bree, not long after entering Breelands Faya, one of the forum community staff, spawned high level orcs to attacked us. This lead to much fun and almost crashing the server. The next year she was not allowed to spawn mobs but we did the conga to Esteldin and she spawned bear and fireworks

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MueR

It's probably Jared then. Rachel was more the "force in the background", only really available on the forums. That they were let go is a shame. He was a load of fun every day, randomly showing up in the Inn as a massive troll or balrog while we were working out how to break the next instance, or killing all NPCs so we could have a PvMP fight in the creep base...

Talking to Jared one could readily see how invested he was with the test server community. Thinking back now the core Isengard testers were like a kinship to him; he knew them as individuals, their personalities, could rattle off their specific concerns and feedback on everything that had been put in front of them. Of all the guys I knew at Turbine, Jared was absolutely the calmest and most thoughtful. Incredibly patient fellow. His layoff was in my mind easily one of the most regrettable.

I did notice the huge amount of players that were never on, until rumours of an update surfaced. Suddenly, I would see them come in and signing up for that test-run of instance X. Pretty sad really. They were there just to figure out tactics so they could beat an instance quickly after release. I can honestly say that while I was actively raiding on the live servers, not once did I use tactics I figured out in Isengard.

That's an issue that I remember coming up a lot from Rachael around SoM beta, that a fair number of people were participating just to get a head's-up on the content. Which is probably always going to be a factor. But what could be really nettlesome was having those players discover exploits and then sit on them for use on Live, which certainly did happen.

I was usually roped into instance testing towards the end of a development cycle but I tended to want to experience the content on Live like everyone else so I wouldn't tend to memorize tactic either. Even if my frequent bungling in said instances might have been avoidable if I had.

Also adding in the move to the laggy Turbine servers, because no one believed that latency would become an issue once you're going trans-atlantic.

I'd be playing on Live at Turbine, with our data shack barely a state away, and still be lagging out!

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Talking to Jared one could readily see how invested he was with the test server community. Thinking back now the core Isengard testers were like a kinship to him; he knew them as individuals, their personalities, could rattle off their specific concerns and feedback on everything that had been put in front of them.

Well, that feeling was pretty much mutual among the regular testers. We got a teamspeak server setup somewhere, we spent a lot of time talking about things.. He would log in during his days off and just talk, or help us do things if he had the tools available. A lot of personal stuff (though not too personal) passed on the kinship chat too, illustrating the level of trust people had. That dried up quickly when "strangers" came in.

That's an issue that I remember coming up a lot from Rachael around SoM beta, that a fair number of people were participating just to get a head's-up on the content. Which is probably always going to be a factor. But what could be really nettlesome was having those players discover exploits and then sit on them for use on Live, which certainly did happen.

Yup. Especially during the semi-open beta. On Isengard, we typically had Jared with us to keep an eye on things. When I saw the Mirkwood raid after it was released, I was kind of annoyed too. A rug that was in the entrance had been removed, probably because it was one of the first things I noticed and always told people on our test runs not to cross until ready. A room right after the first boss that has stealthy wargs suddenly.. they weren't there before. The room used to be packed full of elites, not a bunch of elite masters.. Maybe I should not have just ran in with my Warden and pulled everything in one go, while screaming "Leroy Jenkins" on teamspeak.. Yeah, they probably made that more difficult.

But that was all fluff. Whenever we managed to break stuff, Jared was there to notice. Some of the devs dropped in on us too at times. We really couldn't pull off any exploits. Granted, the Dol Guldur raid was the worst ever to reach Isengard. We never saw the whole thing. It was Gauntlet, Boss 1, part of area to boss 2, Boss 2 itself. Never saw the Nazgul or any of the hallways between boss 2 and 3. All of that wasn't ready for us, all of that was "done" during the semi-public beta. And while there was one member of one of the more die-hard raiding kinships on Isen, there's way more on a semi-public beta. They'll sit on exploits. Shame that we never really got to test it.

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MueR

We never saw the whole thing. It was Gauntlet, Boss 1, part of area to boss 2, Boss 2 itself. Never saw the Nazgul or any of the hallways between boss 2 and 3. All of that wasn't ready for us, all of that was "done" during the semi-public beta. And while there was one member of one of the more die-hard raiding kinships on Isen, there's way more on a semi-public beta. They'll sit on exploits. Shame that we never really got to test it.

I should definitely clarify that the exploit-finders were almost always confined to BR.

In my memory the Nazgul was finished very late in the development cycle; I remember us doing in-house QA runs just a few weeks or so before it went Live.

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Aylwen, I've always wondered this, and I'm not sure whether or not you would have been privy to it if it happened, but have Turbine employees ever posted under the guise of regular posters on the official forums, in order to counter criticism?

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Aylwen, I've always wondered this, and I'm not sure whether or not you would have been privy to it if it happened, but have Turbine employees ever posted under the guise of regular posters on the official forums, in order to counter criticism?

 

Also, have other Turbine employees ever posted here?! (apart from that GameDev guy)

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I'm inda hopen he dodges that question.  Their really is no where constructive that discussion could go :D  Most of this thread is a solid cautionary tale about certain facets of game design, that's just gosip

 

Ignore Bendin, give us names!!!

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I really liked the Far Chetwood area in Breeland, really quiet and serene, usually nobody around, I would spend hours on my low levels up there grinding Barrow-Iron and enjoying the ambience. I also was a big fan of the North Downs, I thought it had a great atmosphere. One thing that just made me shake my head with the Moria revamp was suddenly seeing these travel mount spots everywhere. I mean, really...down in this terrifying, alien hellhole with Nameless and pus-dripping Glosnaga trolls wandering around, dwarves are just chilling there renting out goats...totally legit.

 

Aside from the rent-a-goats, what are your other impressions of the Moria re-vamps?  

 

Do you like the new reliance on auto-bestowed quests?  How about quests that require you to be in exactly the right spot before you can get them to pop up?

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MuerR

Well, the content was utterly disappointing at that time. It just wasn't fun. The grind made it even more boring. In the post-Moria areas, there was no mob grinding to be done for things like reputation, it was all daily quests. Everything went from "here's the world, have at it, you might find something awesome along the way" to "Here's a daily, do it a million times or we won't give you a thing". No more stockpiling some reputation items to quickly level an alt's reputation. Oh no no, that would mean you could take shortcuts over the daily grind.

Something I took away from post-Moria LOTRO is that it's a fun killer to always know exactly how long you will need to reach a certain goal while being unable to deviate from (that is, speed up) the process, eg, 'I need to do x numbers of dailies to get x amount of reputation requiring x number of days'. If I really want kindred with a certain group, for example, why can't I just invest in a case of Rockstar drinks and power-grind all weekend? Is the game going to be broken because Aylwen on Brandywine takes less than two weeks to hit that mark? This 'keep them busy as long as possible' approach was a legacy for practical purposes of the original design philosophy. A lot of elements in SoA were specifically designed to take time. As the story was explained to me by a number of hands from the SoA team, there was debate over putting swift travel in the game and if so, how much? The idea was to extend playtimes as much as possible. I think there's always a fear with MMOs that if your customers burn through the content too quickly, they'll just leave. And to an extent this had happened on DDO. But others provided an alternative version of the thinking at the time, this being that time sink requirements such as limited swift travel routes were designed, in view of certain zones needing additional polish and content that wasn't going to be ready for launch, to try to pace leveling. The former explanation seemed more probable to me as a driving factor but in either event the 'time sink' side of LOTRO was never noticeable to me until SoM and beyond.

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Aylwen, I've always wondered this, and I'm not sure whether or not you would have been privy to it if it happened, but have Turbine employees ever posted under the guise of regular posters on the official forums, in order to counter criticism?

It did happen on isolated occasions that I knew of, with the individuals in question saying so in my presence. I would have to beg off on identifying them as the practice was a personal decision rather then being per some policy designed to counter criticism. And I suppose you could say that I myself fell into the category as I frequently posted on my player account while an employee.

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MuerR

Well, the content was utterly disappointing at that time. It just wasn't fun. The grind made it even more boring. In the post-Moria areas, there was no mob grinding to be done for things like reputation, it was all daily quests. Everything went from "here's the world, have at it, you might find something awesome along the way" to "Here's a daily, do it a million times or we won't give you a thing". No more stockpiling some reputation items to quickly level an alt's reputation. Oh no no, that would mean you could take shortcuts over the daily grind.

Something I took away from post-Moria LOTRO is that it's a fun killer to always know exactly how long you will need to reach a certain goal while being unable to deviate from (that is, speed up) the process, eg, 'I need to do x numbers of dailies to get x amount of reputation requiring x number of days'. If I really want kindred with a certain group, for example, why can't I just invest in a case of Rockstar drinks and power-grind all weekend? Is the game going to be broken because Aylwen on Brandywine takes less than two weeks to hit that mark? This 'keep them busy as long as possible' approach was a legacy for practical purposes of the original design philosophy. A lot of elements in SoA were specifically designed to take time. As the story was explained to me by a number of hands from the SoA team, there was debate over putting swift travel in the game and if so, how much? The idea was to extend playtimes as much as possible. I think there's always a fear with MMOs that if your customers burn through the content too quickly, they'll just leave. And to an extent this had happened on DDO. But others provided an alternative version of the thinking at the time, this being that time sink requirements such as limited swift travel routes were designed, in view of certain zones needing additional polish and content that wasn't going to be ready for launch, to try to pace leveling. The former explanation seemed more probable to me as a driving factor but in either event the 'time sink' side of LOTRO was never noticeable to me until SoM and beyond.

 

This isn't quite so bad when there's lot of other content to keep you busy after you run the dailies, but when quest content runs out and all you're left with is dailies (and random ones at that, with random rewards), it gets old really quickly.  That's what ultimately drove me to quit.  Starting up another alt or a Beorning wasn't going to do it for me anymore.

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Also, have other Turbine employees ever posted here?! (apart from that GameDev guy)

I couldn't say but I think whether or not one would find a developer or any other member of a game team posting on fan forums would depend on how personally involved they felt with their game (some live and breathe it, others leave it at the office at 6), how resilient they were to reading criticism (for some it's crushing, for others it's like water off a duck's back), and so forth. One reads a lot about the 'abuse' developers suffer at the hands of fans, certainly it does come up among my friends who are in the industry, and some of it is pretty bad. What Zoe Quinn has endured is abuse and really despicable. But in many cases one is seeing the price of fame in the age of the internet. Players will tear each other to pieces over a game...why in the heck would they give developers a pass? But in a lot of cases the response, and it's understandable, is to avoid seeing the criticism as much as possible.

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This isn't quite so bad when there's lot of other content to keep you busy after you run the dailies, but when quest content runs out and all you're left with is dailies (and random ones at that, with random rewards), it gets old really quickly.  That's what ultimately drove me to quit.  Starting up another alt or a Beorning wasn't going to do it for me anymore.

 

That's exactly why I am not playing at the moment. There's nothing to do but dailies and I hate dailies.

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Time sinks the things we love to hate.  TBH I've always been mixed where the balance should be just for myself let alone everyone else.  But imho before one can worry about time sinks shouldn't you be thinking about enjoyable game play elements?  To a certain extent if something's fun people will do it, Hell look at the rift people were still running it daily 7 yrs later for absolutely no reward shiney or pat on the back.  If time sinks are part of the core design of a piece of content I honestly believe it detracts from that content.  To me it would make more sense to design the content piece first then add brakes /throttles as needed(in moderation).  To a certain extent if you NEED slowme downs, shineys, or gimmicks just to KEEP people playing, doesn't that say quite a bit about the playability of the core design?

 

EDIT even if your only worry is content locusts, I don't care what you do if the content is playable at all they will eat it b4 you can whip out the next serving period, so why not worry about replay ability, balance, polish, and dare I say it? fun

At least that way your not chasing a moving target and pissing people off in the meantime.

 

Dbl EDIT that does however mean you have to play the piece of crap your designing so you can determine YOUR definition of fun as you'll never ever be able to define another individuals definition.  Design by that yardstick and let the chips fall where they may.

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Aylwen,

 

Were you around when they removed the Fog of War from the map?  What was the reasoning behind that?  I absolutely LOVED the "danger" that made me feel when exploring new zones.  It also tickled my exploration need.  Exploration and danger are two of the things that need to be in an MMO.

 

Also, I just want to say it's refreshing to actually see a (former) Turbine employee that actually played the game and enjoyed playing it.  You have to believe in the world that you're creating and actually enjoy being there to make it something special.

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I'm trying to remember when they started doing that. Was it RoR or before? But I don't know what the reasoning was. Definitely deep-sixed whatever sense of exploration there was.

 

I'm kinda sorta almost maybe thinken it was between enedwaith and ROI.  I left during the dry spell that was enedwaith and game back when River dropped one of the first things I noticed was the FOW..or lack

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I like how it's phrased as being a benefit.

“Fog of War” on the world map no longer exists. You will now be able to see the world map in its entirety without having to visit every area.

...because who wants to explore the whole map?

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Oh!  I have another question Aylwen!

 

I think I posted this during the Helm's Derp beta.  They often ran contests during stress tests on Bullroarer where they say they would give out high end video cards as the grand prizes.  I posted a thread on the Bullroarer forums asking if anyone had ever won one of these cards or if they had ever heard of anyone winning one.  Only one person (an apologist who ran blocking for Sapience) piped up and said they won once but that person also would talk about things someone with a higher end video card wouldn't have a problem with.

 

Do you have any idea if Turbine really, genuinely gave out video cards to "winners" during those stress tests?

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