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Kinship Revamp Proposal Idea from the Turbine Suggestions Forums

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Keeping a copy here for posterity, so as to keep it from falling into unused obscurity. Good on you, Galuhad. (Original Link)

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Kinship Revamp

Month of the kinship seems like a distant memory now, however, there's so much potential to improve the current kin system I think it deserves to be explored. Why?

Social interaction within an MMO is one of the most important factors of the gameplay, if it wasn't we may aswell be playing any random single-player game. One of the most common ways to communicate with other players in-game is through joining a kinship. Here you are able to chat with one another, organise events, and really enjoy the online aspect of the game.

At present the kinship system in Lotro is Ok, it provides players the most important feature - kin chat. However, the system can be evolved to something greater that will really help unite kinship members towards a common goal.

Objectives:

- To increase the reasons for joining a kinship

- To encourage players within a kin to work together

- To provide players with rewards for their efforts as a kin

- To increase the options available to kin members and officers

- Update the kinship UI so it's in-keeping with more recent UI changes

The User Interface:

Before setting off into the methods we can use to improve the kinship system, I thought I would kick it off with how I envision the UI to be and how the components will all fit together. As this post is going to be image-heavy I feel it would be best to describe what you are seeing before jumping into the details.

Roster with player note:

kin_roster_playernote-1.jpg

Roster with officer note:

kin_roster_officernote-1.jpg

So you see we have a menu down the left side, here you have the kin's rank, how much money is in the kins bank account, menu options to bring up different screens, and the normal invite, remove, promote, and demote buttons.

Roster:

The roster is where you will find most of the information from the current kin system, so the kin name, message of the day, and the list of players.

The most helpful update to this is a wider member list which will display the player note alongside the rest of the information. I don't know about other kins, but we mainly use the player notes to list our alts and mains so we always know who is who. By bringing the player note to the main window it just makes it that little bit easier to identify.

I think it would also be helpful to have officer notes. Something that can be set by officers with the necessary permissions. This would be a beneficial tool for officers to communicate with one another over particular members, whether it's to highlight someone who is in need of help with something, or someone who has been causing problems.

I have also designed the UI with a larger message of the day box. At the moment it can be a struggle to fit much in there, so more space would be great.

One other suggestion for the UI from a kin leader perspective is an added store button to change the name of the kin.. I know this was a premium service at one point, not sure if it still is, but being able to rename the kin through the store would be helpful to a select few.

Other than that, for the roster view, I just wanted to move things about a bit and make it less cluttered.

Next I'm going to jump down the menu to..

Ranks:

At present we have 5 ranks within the kinship system, taking out the leader and successor we really only have 3 ranks that we can play around with. It would be great to see this doubled with editable permissions for each rank.

kin_ranks-2.jpg

I think that most of this is self-explanatory, there may be some that don't make sense now but they should do by the end of this post. Even if all this gets pushed aside and we never see any further ranks added, it would be great to at least set permissions for each chest in the kin house (whether through the kinship panel as above or through the housing permissions window). As a kin leader, I would love to be able to set aside one chest for officer use only.

I feel it's important to have more ranks and to be able to edit the permissions so we can have more control over our kin members and what they are able to do within the kin. At present we can't really do that. If we want someone to recruit for example we have to make them an officer, which gives them access to a lot of other permissions we may not want that particular person to have.

edit: I recently changed this design to allow players to customise the rank names and titles (the kin title that is displayed if the player wants to display their kin rank as their character title). This was suggested in some of the replies to this post and would be handy for different themed kins to devise their own names and titles.

Log:

This is something that will be a huge asset to the kin system, as a method of tracking kin activity. Whether this is a security measure or just a way to celebrate recent member successes which we may not otherwise know about.

kin_log-1.jpg

The log will have filter options across the top to quickly help you find what you are looking for.

The log itself will be made up from:

- Promotion/Demotion activity

- New members

- Players who have left the kin

- Mile-stone level advancement of each player (10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 65)

- Deposits made to the kin bank

- Withdrawals from the kin bank and why

- Deposits to the kin housing containers

- Withdrawals from the kin housing containers

- Blessings that have been earned by the kin

- Kin quests that have been accepted

- Kin quests that have been completed

This will give officers a much greater way of knowing what has been going on in the kin while they haven't been playing.

Permissions for who can view the log will be settable for each rank.

Kin bank:

This will give kin members a chance to pool together money to use for things like paying house maintenance, buying house items, buying items for kin events, and any other ideas players may have (lottery ftw!).

Players will be able to contribute at any time from the kinship panel, by clicking the button which will pop up a new window:

contribute.jpg

This will work similar to sending money in the post.. you enter how much of each coin you want to contribute and that's it.

Players will be able to withdraw money (depending on permissions) to spend on the kin. Of course there is a security risk here, but it will be down to the kin leaders to decide who will have permissions to use this feature, and the log will keep track should any money start to mysteriously disappear.

withdraw.jpg

To withdraw you will have to supply a reason which will go down in the log for everyone else to see.

Having a kin bank may not be the top priority, but it sure would be awesome.. At the moment I have to keep my kins money in a separate character so I don't confuse it with my own.. I'm sure plenty of other people do the same.. A kin bank would help in so many ways. Also, kin members may be more generous if they can see where the money is going.

One great thing we can do for sure with this kin bank is link it to the kinship house's maintenance and have it as the default for paying upkeep.

house.jpg

(A brief update to the mail system):

As you can only put 4 images to each post I thought I'd sly this one in here.

With the new ranks and permissions, it would be helpful if we had an option to send a mail to officers only - this would work like the current kin mail system, but the mail would go to officers (with the permission set of course) only. Also, an increase in attachment size whilst we're at it.

mail.jpg

Kin Quests:

This is where I want to encourage players to work as a team to meet kin-wide objectives.

kin_quest-1.jpg

With this UI we have the current active quest at the top, showing the objectives and rewards.. We then have the leaderboard, which will show the ranks of all the kin members for the current quest, and all the quests. This leaderboard will only be visible to kin ranks with the set permission to view. The reason for this is that some leaders may want to know how each player is taking part, but perhaps not want to encourage competition from members by hiding the leaderboard from their view.

Rewards:

As you can see from the quest above, there would be a new barter token, Medallion of Affinity.. I probably could have made this anything, or just used a point system, but Medallions seem to be the way forward.

kinmedallion.jpg

(Yes I do have too much time on my hands - although I wouldn't mind a job offer from Turbine *hint hint*)

These Medallions will be bound to the kinship, they will not appear anywhere in your inventory (huzzah!). This means you won't be able to spend them on personal loot, they will be used only for items you can use for your kinship. You will see more about this in a bit.

Quests:

Out of all of this revamp proposal, I feel this would be the toughest area to overcome.. taking into account the original objective to unite the players of the kin towards a common goal, what kind of quest could be offered that could do this.. that also must be achievable by players of all level.

In the above example the objective is to defeat 1000 monsters in Dol Guldur. This would be an obvious style of quest. Where every member in the kin will contribute towards this objective. However I wouldn't expect every quest to be a slayer quest otherwise people will get bored. Also, the system needs to take into account that some kins may be new, formed by low level players.. So the quests available need to cater for them too.

I would perhaps group the quests under different headings, offering the kin the chance to do one quest from each heading per week.

Also, only one quest will be active at a time, and the quests will have a one week cooldown.. also in terms of slayer quests, it would be important to make grey monsters not count towards the objective - this way players will have to focus on monsters their own level.

Another type of quest which will be accessible to most players would be to utilise the skirmish system, where instances that scale from 20-65 can be run x amount of times by everyone in the kin.. but again, the instance level would have to be within your level range for your contribution to count.

When I have more time to really think about the quests I will add more in.

Deeds:

As well as having kin quests, we could also have deeds.. The quests would offer the medallions needed to rank up blessings.. Deeds on the other hand could award titles and kin cosmetics for example.

kin_deeds.jpg

Here are some examples.. They don't just have to be slayer deeds, but could also be awarded for raid success, craft success, or perhaps taking part in a festival food event such as pie eating. In the case of slayer or raid deeds - the numbers seem high but this is because it would count per person in the raid - so for example for 'Complete the ten guards 180 times' deed, in a raid of 12 kin members, completing this challenge will increase the deed 12 times, once per person.

Cosmetics:

Kin Cosmetics would allow selected ranks in the kin to create a kin outfit that members could select from a new cosmetic option in their character window.

kin_cosmetics.jpg

So you can see that you could select the different ranks at the top, each rank could have its own outfit.. If you wanted them the same however you could set the outfit for one rank, and then copy it for the rest using the option at the bottom of the window.

I thought perhaps there would also be room for a wardrobe to store select clothing items, this way other players in the kin can contribute an item that could be added to the look at a later date, with this there's also an opportunity for Turbine to sell more storage. Any cosmetic items received for completing a kin deed would also be automatically stored here.

Cosmetics would only be changeable by those ranks with permissions set.

Alliance:

Based off the response to this thread and other threads on the forum I wanted adjust this proposal to include some sort of alliance system and a calendar with events planner.

kin_alliance.jpg

This is a mock up of how an alliance system could work.. I based this on a three-way alliance. It could be adapted to allow for more kins, but I think 3 is a pretty solid number. Each kin would be listed with its name, leader, and up to three selected officers who would automatically be allowed to set the messages in the alliance notice board, and they would also be able to create alliance events through their own kins calendar.

An alliance will be formed when a kin leader invites another kin leader to join an alliance, by default the originating player will become the alliance leader.. The alliance leader will be the only one who can invite an additional kin or disband the alliance.

The leader will also have the option to merge the alliance kins into one kin (by default the alliance kins will fold into the alliance leaders kin - to change this the alliance leader would have to resign). I have seen in the past that some alliance kins end up getting a strong enough bond to fold into each other and form one kin, at present the only way to do this is to leave one kin and be invite to the other, but there's a good chance of some players going missing. This way it's all handled automatically so everyone gets transferred across, at the same time. If the old kin has a house then the items would be placed in escrow storage.

A system would have to be in place however to prevent a merge from happening if it would result in more members than the kin can handle.. Perhaps a pop-up saying that your kin can only have 1,500 members and that there are too many members for a merge - then the kin leaders will have to decide maybe if they want to stay as they are or remove some old inactive members to make room.

I tried to demonstrate the three kin panels to show the various options that could be available.

One thing not mentioned here is that the kins will have access to the alliance channel - this will be a new channel that players in each kin will be able to use instead of needing to create their own channel. If anyone leaves one of the kins then they automatically lose access to this specific alliance channel, no need to worry about people being in the channel you may not want.

Calendar:

The calendar will allow your kin and alliance to organise events, hopefully with no need for an extra raid planner.

kin_calendar.jpg

Permissions to add, edit, and delete events will be set in the ranks window.. If your kin is in an alliance, the alliance officers you select will automatically have rights to these permissions. When posting an event they will have the option to share it with the alliance. Shared events will then show up in all two or three kins calendars and allow each member to sign up.

You can view who has signed up at any time by clicking a raid and pressing the view button.

This would be a great help for organising events between alliances and through kins that want to raid occasionally but can't necessarily get the traffic to their forums. The only downside is that this won't feature any loot systems such as DKP or SK. Those would still have to be maintained manually.

Blessings:

"The world is changing.. A great shadow is spreading from the East. Sauron has returned. He can't yet take physical form but with the ring of power, he will regain his strength. He is seeking it so desperately. Everywhere across Middle-Earth his loyal followers are gathering. Your kinship has seen it. From the icy heights of Forochel, right across to the borders of Lothlorien. They unite for one thing, to capture the ring and cover the world in darkness.

Your kinship however is one thing they did not expect. A team of heroes such as yourselves uniting against them to protect the mission of the fellowship. Already you have achieved so much but I fear the greatest battles are still ahead. To aid you in this I will bestow upon your kinship the blessings of the Eldar. May they help your kinship lead the free peoples of Middle Earth to their victory."

kin_blessing-1.jpg

When you complete a kin quest your kin will earn Medallions of Affinity. On the blessing screen is where your officers can spend those Medallions.

Originally I designed 7 banners that could be used in groups, but I have recently updated it based on the feedback in this thread to allow for personal rewards as well so those kins that are more casual can enjoy this system too. The banners would work like an item that can be dragged from the UI to your quickslots, and then placed when needed. The personal rewards would work alongside the trait system. Once the kin has earnt those personal rewards they will appear in the trait trainer window for you to slot.

The group banners all Rank from 1 to 5. You have to earn rank 1 before you can use that banner, the cost for each rank will be shown above. In the UI you can see for example that the last banner on the top row is Rank 0 (unearned), so to be able to use this banner at Rank 1 an officer would have to spend 25 medallions from the kins total. Once earned any kin member will be able to use the banner when in a fellowship or raid. They could do this by either clicking the 'Use' button, or by dragging the banner to their quickslots for faster access.

The current rank of the banner is shown in the icon.

Rank costs:

1 = 25 Medallions

2 = 50 Medallions

3 = 100 Medallions

4 = 150 Medallions

5 = 200 Medallions

I did consider if the banners should be one-use only, but I don't think that would be a fair reward for the grind that will need to be done to rank them all up.

One thing that should be important is that only one banner can be placed at a time. So in a raid, if one person places the banner of offence and someone else later places the banner of hope, the banner of offence will despawn, otherwise you'd end up with kins using all the banners in a raid which would be insane.

Banners:

The benefits are based on the assumption that most people using them will be at the level cap.. however the benefits would scale depending on the level of the individual player.

Banners_group.jpg

Banners_Resistance.jpg

Banners_Reward.jpg

Banners_Excelled.jpg

Banners_Ascension.jpg

Of all the banners, Kinship Banner of Ascension is my personal favourite.. chucking one of those down before a wipe would save so much time.

Personal Rewards:

The personal blessings will be similar to traits, once an officer has ranked a blessing up to one it will appear in the trait trainer window for you to slot into a new trait section.. I have reworked the trait window a little to demonstrate how they will appear once they are slotted..

Trait_Equipped.jpg

and also a new 'Blessings' tab which will show you what blessings are available to you and the current ranks..

Trait_Blessings.jpg

With the help of the suggestions in this thread I put together 10 personal blessings as a starter, most of them are just out-of-combat benefits such as run speed, XP, map CD etc. I thought it would be good to allow up to 2 blessings slotted at a time. One just looked silly on its own, and three would be too much of a benefit.

Blessings: (This image will likely be shrunk but you can drag it to a new tab or save it to view in full)

ALL.jpg

I think that's it..

I hope you all like the suggestion and fingers crossed for some development.

I will keep you posted if I think of anything else.

Feel free to post comments or any other suggestions you may have.. and thanks for sticking with me to the end of the post if you managed to read it all - huzzah cookies for you

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Have read half of it, but so far good ideas. Will read maybe the rest later, not much time now. But I wonder why the rest of the images aren't shown, only a link? It'd have made my reading easier. ;)

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Galuhad put SO much work into this, and has a lot of good ideas, God knows the Kinship functionality at the moment is basic at best.

The sad thing is, the thread on the Turbine forums is many pages long, with almost universal praise, but not one single Turbine rep or dev has even acknowledged it.

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This is an amazing proposition, but the bottom line is: How can the store be involved in all this?

If Turbine can get money out of it then it will eventually appear on Live.

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You could always make upgrades buyable with points :)

E.g. "Be able to rename your officer ranks!" 2000TBP

"Extra kinship chest!" 300TBP

...etc. etc...

(let's not suggest that :P)

-Nimlith

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For a minute I was thinking this was an actually Turbine plan because it was worked out so well and then it hit me! it was worked out too well and there was no downside to it so it couldn't be from Turbine!

I hope they take notice of it and give it the attention it deserves.

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Some good work the person has put into making these proposals and even going as far as designing the interfaces. I do hope Turbine will at least acknowledge their ideas.

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I can see Turbine looking at it, agreeing it's a great set of ideas but too much work.

Still, you never know...if they can find some way to get something from that into the store, they may look at it seriously.

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thanks for reposting it here, saw it on the other forums too. love this idea!! really hope the devs look at it and seriously consider just how many players would love to see this... but... with the devs... who knows

well done Galuhad!

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If Turbine were to only glimpse at this, they might see how this would be a gargantuan improvement and do something about the issue. I don't think most of the things in this plan would be too hard to do either.

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Have read half of it, but so far good ideas. Will read maybe the rest later, not much time now. But I wonder why the rest of the images aren't shown, only a link? It'd have made my reading easier. ;)

I imagine there is a limit to the number of images that can be shown in a single post. Once that limit is reached, links are provided instead.

If Turbine were to only glimpse at this, they might see how this would be a gargantuan improvement and do something about the issue. I don't think most of the things in this plan would be too hard to do either.

Galuhad has made it difficult for the designers at Turbine by keeping his interface clean. It will require a bit of vision on their part to picture the UI covered in store buy logos. })

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Galuhad has made it difficult for the designers at Turbine by keeping his interface clean. It will require a bit of vision on their part to picture the UI covered in store buy logos. })

They'll do the same as they did with the LI panel. Invisible store buttons over the close button :P

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They'll do the same as they did with the LI panel. Invisible store buttons over the close button :P

Which is one of the most irritating things i have ever seen in LOTRO in over 4 years...

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Just quickly read through that & it looks pretty good to me. I don't see why some, if not all, of this couldn't be implemented...

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Excellent idea! Well thought out and laid out. If I was a bank manager I'd only want to see a profit/loss sheet and I'd lend you a few k to go and do it!

As a kin leader myself I've thought many times about what could be introduced to make being a part of a kin more enjoyable and, also, easier to run. Things like a kin deeds, a calendar, log and kinbank.

I really hope this proposal gets the attention it deserves as you've obviously put a lot of time and effort into the idea and presentation.

Good luck... I await the day with baited breath...

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lol Muer and here I thought I was just mis-clicking all the time _O-

ever wondered why I was sometimes suddenly lagging when running? Now you know the answer. I accidently clicked on that darn invisible button, making my game freeze for a second or two _O-

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Now now, let's be fair. At least they promised not to have microtransactions...oh wait...never mind...

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I imagine there is a limit to the number of images that can be shown in a single post. Once that limit is reached, links are provided instead.

It's true, and I did notice that limit when I set up my profile/settings on these forums. It's odd, though. I'd actually attempted to spread the sections out into separate posts/replies, but they all got lumped into the original. Perhaps I've done it wrong.

Nevertheless, I'm just happy to have a place for Galuhad's work to be preserved. It's good work.

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It's true, and I did notice that limit when I set up my profile/settings on these forums. It's odd, though. I'd actually attempted to spread the sections out into separate posts/replies, but they all got lumped into the original. Perhaps I've done it wrong.

There was a limit set at 10. It's been raised. The fact that your posts got merged into the original is a feature of this forum. There are certain criteria under which double posts get merged together. Keeps the conversation cleaner. It's probably originally thought up to combat people who thought a post count matters :P

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It's probably originally thought up to combat people who thought a post count matters :P

To me, post count is marginally as useful as the points from Whose Line Is It Anyway?.

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