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Bullroarer U16 Notes


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As for IXP, I can't remember the amount of IXP pills I had in my vault but it was of such a magnitude as to laugh about the phrase "IXP grind".

 

SNy

Indeed. At last check a purely rough guess was 100 million ixp in vault, and I think that was underestimating. Wife's account had maybe 80 million.

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Legendary Items ... failure ... They were supposed to "grow with you" from the get-go.

 

Legacies and Relics ... failure ... They either made the weapon OP or worse than it already was. Then they got changed mid-stream.

 

Scrolls ... failure ... Just a way of making you pay real-world money to reset and/or change your LI

 

Crystals ... failure ... VERY rare drop, "convenience" store item, didn't really offer much of an additional buff

 

Imbuing ... Our goal is to take the early promise of an item that “grows with you” and fulfill that ... Wow, that only took seven years.

 

Excuse my french, but all they are doing at this point is piling shit on top of more shit.

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I'm surprised about the amount of feedback they are asking and the fact that they seem to act on it - both on instances and classes/class-specific-post-imbuement-legacies.

 

If it will become a positive surprise is something that remains to be seen, but it looks promising

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Good answer

I see. I just wonder where the interesting rewards come from now?

I don't know about anyone else but for me there a number of reasons for participating in any end game activity, be it raiding, PvMP or crafting. Mostly it is down to fun, if a raid or IC isn't fun then I'm unlikely to participate. However it is also about rewards to a certain extent.

 

Historically from running ICs or raids we could get rare armor, rare jewelry, titles and 1st age (or 2nd age) weapons. Ultimately the purpose of all of this is to increase your stats and improve your character but as well as that there was a certain amount of prestige with being the person wearing the rare raid armor or having a 1st age weapon.

 

With the new system we have essences which negate the prestige of rare armor to a certain extent, also with no stat caps there is little need to theory craft and mix and match essences, just stack main stat and mits and you are good to go. Without a stat cap essences don't really work, it doesn't really matter how much variety in essences exist only a few will be desirable. We also now have weapons that grow with you and can be tailored to your liking however its quite clear that there will be optimal weapons for each trait tree and basically everyone will have the same weapon just at varying levels of quality depending on how much they have developed them. 1st age weapons are also a lot easier to acquire.

 

So I suppose the only unique prestige items coming from ICs now will be jewelry, pets and titles. They just seem less exciting somehow than running around in your hard earned unique armor sets and hard to acquire 1st age weapon of the past.

 

Running ICs and raids to gain marks, seals, medallions, rep items etc... to improve stats on existing gear just seems a lot more boring than gaining unique rare rewards.

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12) We are VERY skeptical of the Devs listening to our feedback and making changes ...

- Let our actions speak for themselves. Jinjaah has been pouring over every post in the Bullroarer forum. Please keep in mind that any experiences with previous LOTRO teams are not reflective of the current team, give us a chance smile.png

 

This is (apparently) from some recent Q&A session, transcribed by Proudcdn on the OF:

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?554350-Frelorn-Q-amp-A-from-Livestreams/page5#109

 

Does it mean the LOTRO team has been shuffled around and drastically changed since the last, say, 6 months?

Also, this differentiation from the 'previous teams' seems a bit unprofessional and cocky. They sucked but we are so fuckin' great.

Right...

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If they wanted to overhall the LI system they should have at least done it properly.. The system is still very clunky and non-intuetive for the new player. While these changes may well make it a better overall expereince they are certainly adding an additional level of complexity.

 

I think this was a missed opportunity to really make the system good and more streamlined. If they could have also introduced cosmetic weaposn for imbued LIs it would have given them a nice opportunity to monetirise the system without haveing to resort to exponential grind increase in order flog scrolls in the store. I'm not really a huge fan of cosmetics but would gladly folk over some mithril coins if I could play around with different apperances. 

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I see. I just wonder where the interesting rewards come from now?

I don't know about anyone else but for me there a number of reasons for participating in any end game activity, be it raiding, PvMP or crafting. Mostly it is down to fun, if a raid or IC isn't fun then I'm unlikely to participate. However it is also about rewards to a certain extent.

 

Historically from running ICs or raids we could get rare armor, rare jewelry, titles and 1st age (or 2nd age) weapons. Ultimately the purpose of all of this is to increase your stats and improve your character but as well as that there was a certain amount of prestige with being the person wearing the rare raid armor or having a 1st age weapon.

 

With the new system we have essences which negate the prestige of rare armor to a certain extent, also with no stat caps there is little need to theory craft and mix and match essences, just stack main stat and mits and you are good to go. Without a stat cap essences don't really work, it doesn't really matter how much variety in essences exist only a few will be desirable. We also now have weapons that grow with you and can be tailored to your liking however its quite clear that there will be optimal weapons for each trait tree and basically everyone will have the same weapon just at varying levels of quality depending on how much they have developed them. 1st age weapons are also a lot easier to acquire.

 

So I suppose the only unique prestige items coming from ICs now will be jewelry, pets and titles. They just seem less exciting somehow than running around in your hard earned unique armor sets and hard to acquire 1st age weapon of the past.

 

Running ICs and raids to gain marks, seals, medallions, rep items etc... to improve stats on existing gear just seems a lot more boring than gaining unique rare rewards.

 

Contrary to many I've said I didn't think that LotRO was in maintenance mode but was rather setting up for it post Mordor and I still think that. Quite a while back I predicted that we wouldn't see many new Systems added, if any, but rather a tuning and consolidation of current Systems that would allow the game to run as well as possible and to make any character progress spreadsheet simple. Since then we've seen Essence Gear, Character Overhaul/Trait Trees, LI Imbuement. So we now have Gear/LI's'Characters set for for exactly that scenario.

 

With the new IC they are apparently going to start working through the Loot System and bringing back Instance Tier Differentials according to Tier. I suspect that loot will be the next major overhaul bringing Loot Tables in line with Essences etc. My guess at this point is the final touch to this process, if I'm correct, will be another major Character Balancing just to bring characters up to date with everything, this will be after the major Systems are applied to the 1-100 content.

 

In this scenario, post-Mordor they can do any progress they add, if any, with minimal staff and cost, mob art is mostly done, character advancement is easily added, new loot is just an adjustment to existing Loot tables etc. With them out of the main story of LotR, the game can run and move on with very few dedicated Systems people and a couple of good Story Tellers, anything new will be very small, even compared to current standards and mostly handled by teams shared between titles.

 

All in all it's very bleak in a traditional MMO sense, because as you said there will be little special/unique rewards for end game. However for a MMO that is limited by a stagnant IP but can possibly go beyond the main story to some extent I'm not sure it's such a bad move. If they set it up right and have decent Stories past Mordor the game can go for years and turn a small but tidy profit.

 

In an odd way it might be a better game than it ever was. Some of my favorite parts of the game are when they take something from the books that was never fleshed out and create the story. The entire line from Rivendell where we go to the Trollshaws looking for the Nazgul is one of my all time favorite questing moments and it's all based off of what, one or two lines in the book? Even the ToO story was very good, imo, the only problem being, to do it we were torn from what we knew happened in the lore.

 

Such a scenario suits people in my place pretty well, I play TSW pretty much full time, logging into LotRO once a week to hang out with friends and do something. So having to not worry about leveling or new LI's etc. and getting a new Story Line every now and then is fine. But if I was playing LotRO full time or was looking for a full time MMO, it just wouldn't fit the bill, and with the limits on the licence and an aging engine I'm not sure it trying to continue to be a traditional advancing MMO would even be possible.

 

Again I really think it's all about what one is looking for and how one chooses to look at LotRO. The past is gone, it isn't coming back, and they aren't focusing on that direction.

 

I do agree with you about what makes a fun and great end game, hence I don't play LotRO much.

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This is (apparently) from some recent Q&A session, transcribed by Proudcdn on the OF:

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?554350-Frelorn-Q-amp-A-from-Livestreams/page5#109

 

Does it mean the LOTRO team has been shuffled around and drastically changed since the last, say, 6 months?

Also, this differentiation from the 'previous teams' seems a bit unprofessional and cocky. They sucked but we are so fuckin' great.

Right...

 

It was a strange moment. On the one hand it was nice to see them acknowledge past issues but it did come across rather rude. I would say from watching it and to put my own spin on it he was talking directly about Sapience but wasn't for what ever reason going to name him directly.

In the long run I think the sentiment was Sapience fucked things up pretty hard but we can't/won't name him directly so yea it was the old team, which is actually us but without Sapience.

 

Most of those in the room have been there a while. Actually the only surprise I had was to learn Pinion is doing the IC. I never did find out if JWB was let go last layoff but I haven't seen him at all since so my guess is he is gone.

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Build 2 Notes

 

 

The following release notes are for the Bullroarer public test server only and may not reflect the final list of changes or updates included at release.

 
These notes are not final and should be viewed as a work in progress and subject to change.
 
Due to the method of gathering information for the patch notes, there may be duplicate/similar entries or topics that are not included.
 
The Eyes and Guard Tavern is now open! Please note you will also not be able to advance class and race traits for Beornings at this time.
 
Important Note: Given the scope of this update please be aware that the build you are seeing here is a work in progress and is by no means the finished Update 16 product. There are many items that are not yet complete or added into what you are seeing. There may also be items missing from this initial list, this is not intentional and will be added as we progress. 
You can use Character Copy to bring over an existing character from the Live servers.
 
PLEASE NOTE: The New Legendary Item Imbuement system is not yet 100% complete. We did however want players to get their hands on it and give feedback as soon as possible. Most of the work that still needs to be complete is User Interface and Cosmetic, and there still may some functionality that will be adjusted or changed based on feedback. 
 
 
Imbued legendary items
 
Based on feedback, we are making the following changes:
Increasing the maximum amount of DPS/HPS legacy tiers to 25, up from 20. This includes other primary legacies like Champion incoming healing, Loremaster tactical damage rating, etc.
Lowering the number of unlockable tiers on all class legacies to 10, down from 15. This means class legacies will have 35 maximum tiers available in u16, down from 40.
 
The level bar for Imbued LI should now show IXP progress towards next time when one of the legacies will tier up.
You can no longer reforge Imbued LI.
Minstrel - Rally cooldown legacy should now properly reduce the cooldown of Rally!
Fixed an issue where Hunters Merciful Shot Critical Multiplier was increasing Merciful Shots Cooldown instead of decreasing it.
Resolved issue where Champions Fear Nothing incoming healing was vanishing at max rank.
Resolved issue where Champions battle frenzy Physical mastery legacy was too small. This should properly give the intended rating.
 
 
Epic Story
 
Fixes to Bandron's Waggon and Nethadan in Lossarnach
Rewards for Epic Book 3, 'Voices of the Past' have been hooked up.
 
 
Osgiliath Instances
 
Instance Finder has been updated to have buttons to look for groups for Osgiliath.
Osgiliath Instances should now be hooked up with the Osgiliath map
The Ashes and Stars quest should now advance when you play through the instances
Sunken Labyrinth
Muzgásh has relearned some of his abilities and should be more challenging on tier 1 and tier 2
The tier 2 challenge quest has new requirements
 
Ruined City
Boss reset mechanics are now in for Jukotor,Thrug, and Lumithil (Lumithil's has some more refinement coming to it in the future)
Thrug now has some regen on him to counteract the effects of orc-on-troll violence
Jukotor's Fell Feint is now about half as deadly
Fixed an issue where Jukotor's adds get stuck in tents
Now you can't leap into Jukotor's camp from an illicit pack window
When Lumithil dies, the wraith illusion he projects dies too
 
Dome of Stars
You can now face all three bosses, although the final two fights are still being balanced.
 
Lossarnach 
 
Madness of Vanyalos has been considerably shortened and streamlined
Vanyalos is now a better pacifist and doesn't get stuck due to combat
 
MISC.
The "Revive Tomes" link from the "Enhance" panel in the Character Panel has been replaced with a "Virtues" link.
Helgrod Quest - "Raid: Storvagun the Traitor" now has a class-specific weapon available for Beornings.
Set Several challenge gear items and weapons to Bind on Acquire
Beorning - The Forest Bounder's set now has stat bonuses.
Mounted Combat - Skills - Favour of the Mearas no longer requires Power to use
Based on feedback, we are making the following changes:
Increasing the maximum amount of DPS/HPS legacy tiers to 25, up from 20. This includes other primary legacies like Champion incoming healing, Loremaster tactical damage rating, etc.
Lowering the number of unlockable tiers on all class legacies to 10, down from 15. This means class legacies will have 35 maximum tiers available in u16, down from 40.
 
The level bar for Imbued LI should now show IXP progress towards next time when one of the legacies will tier up.
You can no longer reforge Imbued LI.
Minstrel - Rally cooldown legacy should now properly reduce the cooldown of Rally!
 
 
Epic Story
 
Fixes to Bandron's Waggon and Nethadan in Lossarnach
Rewards for Epic Book 3, 'Voices of the Past' have been hooked up.
 
 
Osgiliath Instances
 
Instance Finder has been updated to have buttons to look for groups for Osgiliath.
Osgiliath Instances should now be hooked up with the Osgiliath map
The Ashes and Stars quest should now advance when you play through the instances
Sunken Labyrinth
Muzgásh has relearned some of his abilities and should be more challenging on tier 1 and tier 2
The tier 2 challenge quest has new requirements
 
Ruined City
Boss reset mechanics are now in for Jukotor,Thrug, and Lumithil (Lumithil's has some more refinement coming to it in the future)
Thrug now has some regen on him to counteract the effects of orc-on-troll violence
Jukotor's Fell Feint is now about half as deadly
Fixed an issue where Jukotor's adds get stuck in tents
Now you can't leap into Jukotor's camp from an illicit pack window
When Lumithil dies, the wraith illusion he projects dies too
 
Dome of Stars
You can now face all three bosses, although the final two fights are still being balanced.
 
 
Lossarnach 
 
Madness of Vanyalos has been considerably shortened and streamlined
Vanyalos is now a better pacifist and doesn't get stuck due to combat
 
 
MISC.
 
The "Revive Tomes" link from the "Enhance" panel in the Character Panel has been replaced with a "Virtues" link.
Helgrod Quest - "Raid: Storvagun the Traitor" now has a class-specific weapon available for Beornings.
Set Several challenge gear items and weapons to Bind on Acquire
Beorning - The Forest Bounder's set now has stat bonuses.
Mounted Combat - Skills - Favour of the Mearas no longer requires Power to use Guardian - Traits - The tooltip for the Fighter of Shadow Specialization Bonus which stated that attacks against your marked target have a 5% chance to restore 10% of your Max Morale has been updated. This bonus has actually been giving a 10% chance to restore 5% of your Max Morale.
 
 
Eyes & Guard Tavern
 
Stars of Merit, Gift-Giver’s Brands, and East Gondor Silver Pieces can all be acquired from Rock via daily quests in the Eyes and Guard tavern basement.
 
 
Known Issue:
 
The Ruined City instance will be closed for repairs during this Bullroarer round of testing.
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Contrary to many I've said I didn't think that LotRO was in maintenance mode but was rather setting up for it post Mordor and I still think that. Quite a while back I predicted that we wouldn't see many new Systems added, if any, but rather a tuning and consolidation of current Systems that would allow the game to run as well as possible and to make any character progress spreadsheet simple. Since then we've seen Essence Gear, Character Overhaul/Trait Trees, LI Imbuement. So we now have Gear/LI's'Characters set for for exactly that scenario.

 

With the new IC they are apparently going to start working through the Loot System and bringing back Instance Tier Differentials according to Tier. I suspect that loot will be the next major overhaul bringing Loot Tables in line with Essences etc. My guess at this point is the final touch to this process, if I'm correct, will be another major Character Balancing just to bring characters up to date with everything, this will be after the major Systems are applied to the 1-100 content.

 

In this scenario, post-Mordor they can do any progress they add, if any, with minimal staff and cost, mob art is mostly done, character advancement is easily added, new loot is just an adjustment to existing Loot tables etc. With them out of the main story of LotR, the game can run and move on with very few dedicated Systems people and a couple of good Story Tellers, anything new will be very small, even compared to current standards and mostly handled by teams shared between titles.

 

All in all it's very bleak in a traditional MMO sense, because as you said there will be little special/unique rewards for end game. However for a MMO that is limited by a stagnant IP but can possibly go beyond the main story to some extent I'm not sure it's such a bad move. If they set it up right and have decent Stories past Mordor the game can go for years and turn a small but tidy profit.

 

In an odd way it might be a better game than it ever was. Some of my favorite parts of the game are when they take something from the books that was never fleshed out and create the story. The entire line from Rivendell where we go to the Trollshaws looking for the Nazgul is one of my all time favorite questing moments and it's all based off of what, one or two lines in the book? Even the ToO story was very good, imo, the only problem being, to do it we were torn from what we knew happened in the lore.

 

Such a scenario suits people in my place pretty well, I play TSW pretty much full time, logging into LotRO once a week to hang out with friends and do something. So having to not worry about leveling or new LI's etc. and getting a new Story Line every now and then is fine. But if I was playing LotRO full time or was looking for a full time MMO, it just wouldn't fit the bill, and with the limits on the licence and an aging engine I'm not sure it trying to continue to be a traditional advancing MMO would even be possible.

 

Again I really think it's all about what one is looking for and how one chooses to look at LotRO. The past is gone, it isn't coming back, and they aren't focusing on that direction.

 

I do agree with you about what makes a fun and great end game, hence I don't play LotRO much.

 

When you lay it out like that, it does seem like there was a plan they were following to get the game to a point where they could keep it going but not need to devote many resources to.  I think they do want to keep the game going for the players that still do make it their main game, it'll be with smaller offerings overall going forward but still around for those that want it. That's all folks can realistically hope for now, I think.

 

I'll keep popping in to run thru the update content once for old time's sake, but my time of grinding for rep and barter tokens has been over since Wildermore came out.

It was a strange moment. On the one hand it was nice to see them acknowledge past issues but it did come across rather rude. I would say from watching it and to put my own spin on it he was talking directly about Sapience but wasn't for what ever reason going to name him directly.

In the long run I think the sentiment was Sapience fucked things up pretty hard but we can't/won't name him directly so yea it was the old team, which is actually us but without Sapience.

 

Most of those in the room have been there a while. Actually the only surprise I had was to learn Pinion is doing the IC. I never did find out if JWB was let go last layoff but I haven't seen him at all since so my guess is he is gone.

 

That was my take on it too - "we won't name names, but if you've been following along, you know who we mean."

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Again I really think it's all about what one is looking for and how one chooses to look at LotRO. The past is gone, it isn't coming back, and they aren't focusing on that direction.

 

 

this!  regardless of what we want LOTRO to be...or what we think other companies could have done with it...it is what it is.  the glory days of raiding two or three nights a week, clearing each wing of ToO are gone.  for better or worse, people have moved on to other games.  i feel the same as warspeech, i will log in to run through the updated content, but the rep grind and barter tokens i'll leave it for the new folks.

 

the straight forwardness in the q/a with frelorn was refreshing.  and they finally said something about the neglected crafting tier.

 

just my two cents...i don't think we will see another character level increase.  i think 100 will be it (and that's not necessarily a bad thing).

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this!  regardless of what we want LOTRO to be...or what we think other companies could have done with it...it is what it is.  the glory days of raiding two or three nights a week, clearing each wing of ToO are gone.  for better or worse, people have moved on to other games.  i feel the same as warspeech, i will log in to run through the updated content, but the rep grind and barter tokens i'll leave it for the new folks.

 

the straight forwardness in the q/a with frelorn was refreshing.  and they finally said something about the neglected crafting tier.

 

just my two cents...i don't think we will see another character level increase.  i think 100 will be it (and that's not necessarily a bad thing).

 

I've thought that for a while myself. Level 105, then 110 etc. would seem odd. 

 

I think what Spiteful said about the game not being in maintenance mode yet, is correct. They are doing all this work with the LIs because it will mean they will never have to introduce any more character cap increases. Instead, all future levelling will be LI only. Also with LIs locked at level 100 they won't have to introduce any new lvl 100+ LIs, symbols and recipes. In the long run this will simplify things, hence why at the moment only level 100 LIs can be locked. I don't imagine we will ever see these changes made to all level LIs.

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49) Do you know about the Creeps being able to get in to Grams?

 

Yes, We are working on it.

 

Wut? Creeps are now homeless?

 

As to another level cap? 100 is stupid, it's stupid in WoW, it will be stupid in Rift if it ever gets to that. Higher levels that require exponentially higher XP is sooooo 2000's. GW2 got it right, after level 20 all XP needed for the next level is capped. TSW got it right, somewhat. ESO failed miserably in this aspect and created their own clusterfuck by trying to re-create the wheel with VR levels.

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49) Do you know about the Creeps being able to get in to Grams?

 

Yes, We are working on it.

 

Wut? Creeps are now homeless?

 

As to another level cap? 100 is stupid, it's stupid in WoW, it will be stupid in Rift if it ever gets to that. Higher levels that require exponentially higher XP is sooooo 2000's. GW2 got it right, after level 20 all XP needed for the next level is capped. TSW got it right, somewhat. ESO failed miserably in this aspect and created their own clusterfuck by trying to re-create the wheel with VR levels.

 

Level caps work great in games with healthy solid viable and enjoyable horizontal progression systems, however horizontal is something Turbine has always failed with in regards to LOTRO   hobbies, Radiance, crafting, LI's, MC to name a few.  Even so however I think it likely 100 will remain the cap as I suspect this version of "they will grow with you" will be as borked in practice as the first one was if they added more levels. I also agree the plan since at least ROI has to progress to a simpler and and more cheesy game to save on recourses to support other more worthwhile projects like IC, it should work out well for them.

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I think what Spiteful said about the game not being in maintenance mode yet, is correct. 

 

It depends on how you define "Maintenance mode". Lotro has been on a very low budget but of course not zero money spent on it.

 

I don't think this is all as carefully planned and perfect as Spiteful is making it out to be. When has Turbine ever designed and developed Lotro correctly and smartly. They might have a plan, but their ideas often do not work out. But I can believe they are setting it up so they can spend even less on the game. I am not confident they will keep Lotro running for years -  nothing would stop a manager from deciding they need to cut this game. Tubine will not survive unless they can focus on a new profitable game.

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It may have been the plan originally years ago, however that was many layoffs, resource diversions and dev movement to other projects ago.  To change a system, no matter how complex/simple, to a simpler system(in your mind) one must understand the original system at a fundamental level.  Getting to point B without really understanding your starting point is highly likely to end you up in boondock location Y.  It's painfully evident these days personnel at Turbine lack the fundamental understanding required, which is why their efforts as a company so much resemble keystone cops analogies.  A lot of people campaign on "changing how govt. works" then get lost in the morass of just figuring it out.

 

Going gracefully into that good night is not something this game is doing, it's on a drunken ramble through side streets, and streaking across campus, all on cheap beer.  Hell their former CM got more press than the whole company did.

EDIT most titles that transition into maint mode do so with a modicum of good will, nostalgia, and class.  Turbines efforts with Lotro however, will likely never raise above the level of pity, scorn and cautionary tales..

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Heh, nice one Aylwen.  I mean look at it logically.  Concidering where pop levels are now and have been trending regardless what cheap system they half ass in,  they could have reached the same #'s without investing what little time/effort they did with  item revamps, class revamps bb's whatever.  They could have ignored the game completely saving whatever time and $ they did spend and prob ended up with a higher revenue stream.  Usually if it isn't broken and your not interested in fixing what IS broken best advice is leave it well enough alone.  I mean can anyone argue that the game could be WORSE, in both playability and profitability than if some intern and a server farm was the only resources devoted to LOTRO, I reference AC.

 

EDIT the revamps alone prob cost them in orders of magnitude in regards to future revenues.  Many of whom might have still be playing and just perhaps PAYING if they still had the characters they spent years with.  If you can't do something well perhaps not doing it at all is a more viable outlook.  Having a cure that's worse than disease isn't perhaps the brightest thing one could do.  The many things turbine did to it's game in recent years makes me think of a mild allergy medicine with the unfortunate side effect of causing a coronary,  well I guess your not sneezing anymore.

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It may have been the plan originally years ago, however that was many layoffs, resource diversions and dev movement to other projects ago.  To change a system, no matter how complex/simple, to a simpler system(in your mind) one must understand the original system at a fundamental level.  Getting to point B without really understanding your starting point is highly likely to end you up in boondock location Y.  It's painfully evident these days personnel at Turbine lack the fundamental understanding required, which is why their efforts as a company so much resemble keystone cops analogies.  A lot of people campaign on "changing how govt. works" then get lost in the morass of just figuring it out.

 

Going gracefully into that good night is not something this game is doing, it's on a drunken ramble through side streets, and streaking across campus, all on cheap beer.  Hell their former CM got more press than the whole company did.

EDIT most titles that transition into maint mode do so with a modicum of good will, nostalgia, and class.  Turbines efforts with Lotro however, will likely never raise above the level of pity, scorn and cautionary tales..

 

I'm sure that moving the game in this direction wasn't planned early on. If it had been most of these systems would have been in place at launch. The move to this was likely taking shape during the same time frame as F2P launch. My guess is the Mounted Combat sealed the deal to actually move in this direction. Between the lag introduced in U6? and the Mounted Combat fiasco I think it finally hit home that the engine and code had reached its stress point.

 

But at that point Epic Battles were already planned and probably already in production and it wasn't something they could change directions on, though my guess is they are quite a bit different than the original plan. My guess is they were going to be more similar to Wulf's Cleft but much more dynamic and with MC incorporated, but the code and engine just couldn't handle it.

 

It's easy to say that they're incompetent and don't know what they're doing, but I think the major factor is that there isn't much more they can do. You can give the best mechanic a car to soup up but if he's limited to all stock there's only so much that can be done.

 

With no funds for an engine upgrade or total code overhaul, what are you going to do, if the plan is to keep the game going? Because while WB may not be into throwing money at the game they probably aren't in a hurry to shut it down, if they were it would have been by now.

 

Look at the Systems that have been overhauled:

 

Trait Trees -  Love them or Hate them the fact is, they work very smoothly and did, except for 1 bug that they fixed quickly, right from launch. I'm talking about the System, not balancing, etc. There are some design choices that I think could have been different but as a System it's very solid. It ties to the Store, has a built in gold leech, and is simple to add progression. It allows players to feel like their character is theirs. All in all, and taking into account the way I think things are playing out, it's actually very well done.

 

Essence Gear - Again Love or Hate aside it's a very solid system that allows players to feel in control of their character. Limited art work needed to progress, simple to upgrade and worked well straight from launch. Store tie-in, AH tie-in, and "busy" work time sinks.

 

LI System - Not released yet but is looking very solid with all the elements listed above.

 

That isn't some "where the hell am I" boondoggle but a planed shift in business model. And the incompetent couldn't have made those systems that solid and bug free.

 

Moving in that direction alienated many players, myself included, but honestly, if my thought is correct it was going to happen anyways. Putting the decision off would only stress the code/engine farther and make streamlining that much more difficult. They have many players that will love this type of shift, allowing them to piece together a new playerbase from the ashes of the old. It will never be as big as it was and they would know that, but look at the people who do like it. They spend in the Store, they don't worry overmuch about bugs that don't totally disrupt play, they run many alt's and keep themselves occupied with minimal content.

 

While my scenario of what is happening may be far off, I have a hard time believing these things are just falling into place for a bunch of people with no clue. It seems much more likely to be the result of a plan in motion triggered by an unplanned/unexpected limitation of code and engine, to me. Of course that's just my opinion ymmv. :)

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Heh, nice one Aylwen.  I mean look at it logically.  Concidering where pop levels are now and have been trending regardless what cheap system they half ass in,  they could have reached the same #'s without investing what little time/effort they did with  item revamps, class revamps bb's whatever.  They could have ignored the game completely saving whatever time and $ they did spend and prob ended up with a higher revenue stream.  Usually if it isn't broken and your not interested in fixing what IS broken best advice is leave it well enough alone.  I mean can anyone argue that the game could be WORSE, in both playability and profitability than if some intern and a server farm was the only resources devoted to LOTRO, I reference AC.

 

EDIT the revamps alone prob cost them in orders of magnitude in regards to future revenues.  Many of whom might have still be playing and just perhaps PAYING if they still had the characters they spent years with.  If you can't do something well perhaps not doing it at all is a more viable outlook.  Having a cure that's worse than disease isn't perhaps the brightest thing one could do.  The many things turbine did to it's game in recent years makes me think of a mild allergy medicine with the unfortunate side effect of causing a coronary,  well I guess your not sneezing anymore.

I remember an exchange I had with ZC in the PvMP scrum after RoI where he declared the Moors needed to be shaken up, his reasoning being that it was a system he personally wouldn't play. I was too amazed to even respond. Firstly he didn't play LOTRO period, secondly his job wasn't to design for Zombie Columbus; his job was to design for the LOTRO players. But looking back LOTRO dev was always in Skunk Works mode, pouring effort into new systems that nobody had asked for in the first place and that never turned out well. IA, Radiance, Skirmishes, instance finder, mounted combat, spec trees, BBs. Did any of them materially enhance the core game experience? Dubiously at best. All I ever wanted as a player were new lands to explore, instances to enjoy with friends, and some nice loot to map out with. But it was like-actually I'd go so far as to say it was a fact in many cases-that dev couldn't really understand why anyone would play LOTRO as is. So they rolled out an endless stream of gimmicks and pet projects that brought in no more customers than if they'd simply cranked out a few new maps and instances a year while managing to lose vast chunks of their core (money spending) audience.

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I still restate my point they could have done NOTHING no new content, or patches, no net code/hware tweeks, no revamps and just SAT on the damn thing and be in at least as good a position as they currently are(at a fraction of the cost). A decision that results in a lower return than doing nothing is in the real world generally considered a bad thing and shows a lack of understanding of what you have vs what you want it to be, what you want to do vs what you can do.

 

it being "A Plan" doesn't make it a good one.  Turbines internal lack of familiarity of it's own product/market and/or ego trips largely precluded them from ever revamping complex systems that worked to simpler entities in a manner that actually made them money.

 

EDIT the only meaningful change one can make to a system/market they don't understand is to destroy it.

 

 

DBL edit and yes on a technical level the class revamps work, however, characters/content are irretrievably linked to the players that play them and the time/emotional attachment they form.  Screwing with one screws with the other, do so at your peril.   People didn't drop the game like a bad habit with HD(in droves) because the class changes didn't work, they left because they no longer felt it was their character.  The results of designing by spreadsheet.  And largely an example of wasted resources they spent on the revamps that equals a net loss.

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I still restate my point they could have done NOTHING no new content, or patches, no net code/hware tweeks, no revamps and just SAT on the damn thing and be in at least as good a position as they currently are(at a fraction of the cost). A decision that results in a lower return than doing nothing is in the real world generally considered a bad thing and shows a lack of understanding of what you have vs what you want it to be, what you want to do vs what you can do.

 

it being "A Plan" doesn't make it a good one

 

You really think sitting on it would have been at least as good?

 

End Game players were already fed up with no new content, sit on the game and you lose them anyways, so you're no better off than you are now.

 

Sit on the game and eventually the other part of the player base gets tired of running around in the same spaces and they leave.

 

F2P gold rush came and went very quickly and those that would still come in fall into the same trap depending on where they fall into the new groups.

 

Rework the core systems and you lose the end-game players, which you were going to lose anyways but you set up for longevity of the rest of the playerbase. Even when they leave they'll come back for every update no matter how small, open their wallets and try to bring friends. They don't need a lot and are willing to pay for it.

 

Sorry, I don't see that sitting on the game, as is, would be anything but the worst plan/decision short of shutting down.

 

The money is budgeted, it's going to get spent, there's no way to make a big short term gain, you have to play the long game.

 

Just because a plan isn't good for some doesn't make it bad for all.

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Yup sure would the pure endgamers are gone in either case so that's a straw man

currently the content that gets run most often is what Sammy? over and over and.. oh noes

F2p again same same

Rework so we're still talking about the same general ppop base just one path being one hell of a lot cheaper to get there

Longevity...Lol

 

 

Ok we obviously don't see risk/reward the same way so I'll end with

but yes it was a master plan, any day now Turbine is going to announce it's plans to buy out both WB and EA...any day now.

 

 

EDIT Just look how long PVMP lasted being IGNORED for years, yup totally impossible that yup

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There's a point to be made in either direction. Personally, as of 2012, I think my outlook would be: this is an old game with an ancient engine in a marketplace that is moving in other directions. We know from experience that the vast majority of f2p customers probably won't spend much money, if any. But your core fans, who have already invested hundreds of sub dollars and years of their lives in the product, will spend money. A strategy that alienates them while preparing for the 'future' of a geriatric title planning overdue server mergers would be, at best, exceedingly optimistic.

The problem with LOTRO isn't that it doesn't make money; it just doesn't make as much money as WB would like it to. It's like, almost 8 years later, Turbine is still chasing those 'millions of players', still think belatedly glomming ideas off WoW (spec trees, socketed armor) will make LOTRO the game to 'rule them all'. I suppose one could even argue that LOTRO is in the unique position of having both its players and creators being in denial that the jig is up and that there isn't going to be a corner turned, not in pve and certainly not PvMP. But as long as some people can still enjoy the game and its world, I am glad. I fully expect to get choked up when I hear the lights are being turned off, no matter how far it has sunk.

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