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For those who are almost miraculously still playing, where are we at for LotRO in terms of story, end-game, regions, and the like?

I never got through Helm's Deep, but I've read a few things here and there since and the last thing I knew was that it's post-Ring destruction and Mordor is being run by the pseudo-Nazgul 2.0 led by the Mouth of Sauron. Are they still the big bads? Has the attention shifted to anywhere else? Has there been any new interesting enemies (like how the Ever-seer in the Rift, or the Mistress and Gwathnor in Moria seem to be unique creatures), or mysterious spirits (like the Huntsman in Enedwaith)? There's very little available on 3rd party sites now for obvious reasons.

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Accurate. One look through Red_Panda's replies in the o-forum's Dev Tracker shows what the priorities are. Note promptness and punctuality pertaining to anything store-reated. Which leads me to t

There was an outage back in 2013 where Turbine blamed a 3rd party for the issues.  It happened over a long weekend.  When it got fixed there was the usual thread thanking Turbine.  I made a post thank

Nice game you got there.  Shame if something would happen to it... We need you to do us a favor tho...

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At this point, we're basically chasing down the Gúrzyul, the former disciples of Sauron. This mainly includes Dulgabêth, the Mouth of Sauron; Karazgar the Weeping Warrior; and Urudanî Stonemaiden, previously the mistress of Nargroth and currently a fire-wraith. Karazgar is involved most of the Black Book story in the Three Kingdoms (Felegroth, Dale, and Erebor) and The Dwarf-Holds (Iron Hills and Ered Mithrin). He also appears in the Vales of the Anduin. His story is never adequately completed, before you are whisked away to help Isildur (himself now a wraith) find a final peace in the final chapters of the Black Book. 

The other ongoing antagonist is Lhaereth the Stained, the Lady of Blight, a Morroval who is adept at brewing up plagues and poisons.

The new area, Wells of Langflood, has started a whole new epic line. In it, players are headed to Gundabad with the dwarfs - Prince Durin (Son of King Thorin III) has decreed that the dwarfs are destined to reclaim it. This area is relatively easy and has no real endgame - there's an ongoing series of quests to defeat some named goblins in various instances. The epic doesn't really go anywhere, and the main non-epic story involves a Rohirric scholar trying to suss out the history of the people.

End-game instances are still related to Minas Morgul. There is a series of rep tiers - the reclamation quests - that require you to run them endlessly until you max out your rep with this faction. As you unlock each tier, you unlock an associated quest chain that involves destroying a particular artifact so that you can defeat some random baddie named Thargaun.

The state of gear is still bad. The best landscape gear is still obtained from lootboxes, and it's still all about essences. Crafting is still a waste of time.

The new virtue system is just another grind, unless you're willing to buy stuff from the store.

If you've not played since HD, you have a lot of catching up to do. If you intend to imbue your LIs at lvl 100, you'll be grinding scrolls of empowerment for months (unless you're willing to spend MC), as there is no good solution even now. You'll also need starlit crystals for the main LI stat, and the crystals are even rarer (and I've found it's easier just to MC the tiers - it only costs 10 MCs per tier). They have added both the scrolls and crystals to the embers NPC now.

Overall, I feel that the game has become repetitive - it's always kill 10 of these, pick up 10 of that, grind the rep for this faction, and spend the tokens for some cosmetics, housing items, or cosmetic pets.

One note: the Minas Morgul currency is account-wide, and capped at 999 sigils. This is perhaps the stupidest idea ever, especially if you intend to take multiple characters through the region. There is very little to spend the sigils on, and so you end up losing them.

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Thanks for the rundown. There was one bit that was particularly interesting about the LIs. Did they really leave a non-cap grind in the middle of levelling that's required for a decent end-game weapon and can't be avoided without using the Store? I'm amazed they never bothered to look into that, but then I wonder just how many players ever go through a filter like that. You're either keeping up with each cap in real time, or you give up as a new player somewhere around Isengard/Rohan and never have to see it anyway.

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17 minutes ago, Doro said:

Thanks for the rundown. There was one bit that was particularly interesting about the LIs. Did they really leave a non-cap grind in the middle of levelling that's required for a decent end-game weapon and can't be avoided without using the Store? I'm amazed they never bothered to look into that, but then I wonder just how many players ever go through a filter like that. You're either keeping up with each cap in real time, or you give up as a new player somewhere around Isengard/Rohan and never have to see it anyway.

Technically, you don't have to do the store. There are several in-game sources of empowerment scrolls - chiefly, chasing down roving threats and completing dailies in Minas Tirith. And you can get the crystals from the festivals. Per Lotroplayers, it takes about 42 days to get enough SOE to cap your weapon.

 They just introduced the embers route recently. You can deconstruct old gear to get embers.

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I started back up 3-ish months ago when everything became free, after 5 years off. Previously, had given up because of lack of end game - epic battles were it and didn't seem to be much coming during each Gondor area in updates.

The story went to the destruction of the ring and going through Mordor about 3 years ago. Black Book of Mordor started there and went to Elves of Thranduil/Dale/Erebor/Iron Hills/Grey Mountains and finally back to Minas Morgul expansion last November.

End game is Remmorchant raid in Shelob's lair. Reasonably hard raid that I've yet to complete. Still gathering gear.

I just did the the level 120 endgame raid, Anvil of Winterstith, which seemed good fun. Tier 2+ runs is the only way to get the single BiS crafted relic for your LI since Helm's Deep.

Crafting effectively died with Helm's Deep/Dol Amroth. Recipes are mostly locked behind different area's reputation and isn't all that good. They added a new crafter's guild level with Morgul but not really sure (still) what one gets from it.

There's a number of ways to get SoE but a grind nonetheless. The Mordor area/gear gives Motes of Enchantment so can still be fairly useful. Newer areas give Embers of Enchantment that you can trade for better SoE or other end game gear.

They recently opened a 3-man in Moria of all places. I haven't done it yet except at level 50 just to see it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Several months ago, I finally made it to the destruction of the ring and started into Mordor. Haven't played since, since Mordor looks like poop, as did almost the whole of Gondor, especially with the awful darkened sky effect (I get the lore reason, but it's still too dark and ugly). I feel like I can never play the game again and have no regrets. I'd like to see the northern zones, but I don't know if I have the patience to get through Mordor, and I'm a zone completionist. 

The gear situation is a nightmare grind. I simply gave up ever hoping to finish my LI or have decent armor or raid. I really wish the Amazon game takes Lotro back behind the shed and puts it out of its long-standing misery. 

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  • 3 weeks later...
7 hours ago, Macdui101 said:

Lotro seems to be in it's death throws this week. Only three servers functioning today, then they decide to switch on a few more and they all go caput!

Cheapest hardware + cheapest data center + cheapest internet provider = disaster in the making.

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fwiw - SWTOR having problems today as well - but at least not into day 6 (yet?)

 

edit: looks like they cleaned up their servers - or at least when I tried earlier

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They've kept a few servers "open" (a.k.a. on life support, feeding tube) while taking others down. No chat /channels, no mail, no auction house, no friend-list functioning. Put another way, keeping the addicts who cannot function without being plugged into the game on life support/feeding tube. Interestingly, in this unstable server environment, the $tore has not been disabled.

I've logged in a few days ago out of curiosity, to check out the new festival in what (I thought) would be a less-laggy environment due to new restrictions.
Result: extremely choppy movement, massive rubberbanding on foot simply running around, toon getting randomly insta "ported" 10 - 15 meters backwards which often results in being trapped behind columns or in-game assets, inability to interact with quest objects due to prompts not loading or having the click commands "interrupted" by said rubberbanding.

tl;dr : I don't suffer from motion sickness but two minutes of this "Lotro experience" was enough to induce physical nausea and I had to go lie down. But hey, now that they've made the entire game world "free", you get what you pay for, right?

You know the grass is not green on SSG's lawn when servers have been down for more than a week (they've now shut them all down) and there's not even any rage threads on the official forums, just a handful of "concern" threads amid the summer peace and quiet. (Though I can't help adding... seeing Arkenstone server as the one that's been down the longest made me smile at the thought of Maarten A. being deprived of his playground for that long)



 

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Day 9 of the SSG server crisis. They need to fire whomever is their community manager at the moment,  little to zero communication on what is actually going on, bringing down the servers for hours with a 30 second in-game notice. 

I mean, where is all the money from those loot-boxes going lol?

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Whatever happened on the normal maintenance last Wednesday, the 15th, messed something up. Been crap since then. Mornings weren't too bad but by evenings virtually unplayable. Then they'd bring down all the US servers for a restart. By next evening really bad lag again. Then Laurelin. Ithil wasn't too bad for a while.

All worlds down since yesterday afternoon.

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I've divested myself form this game sometime ago. I tried several others since that time, but don't voyage through them with any real intent of commitment. I have on occasion logged back in and still maintain a presence on the LotRO forums. Still, finding very little motivation to play more than an hour, on those various random days. Even then, its mostly me watching and reading the chat, and not actual gameplay.

 

Most of the complainers on their forums have seemingly forgotten the game has been 100% free for months.  I did log on and follow the wedding epic quests. Mostly I did not read MoL's boring adventure. Though I admit, I have had a negative leaning bias to his creative products, after he openly stated he will not pursue the Tolkien Lore progression if it doesn't fit their (SSG) longevity model. Once the two of us exchanged words directly with the result being less than satisfactory to me, I was like. OK there. Have fun with that.

I don't care how or why their servers are down, or for how long. It's their problem and burden. It is my opinion SSG has moved the physical server to a new location and it didn't go well.

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13 hours ago, Wrath of Winter said:

(Though I can't help adding... seeing Arkenstone server as the one that's been down the longest made me smile at the thought of Maarten A. being deprived of his playground for that long)

As long as the other forums are up, that ignorant waste of jizz still has their true playground.

 

So servers are fucked but the Store is completely fine for those few that can still log on, at least from what I spotted people saying on Shitter. I'm not surprised.

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7 hours ago, Doro said:

So servers are fucked but the Store is completely fine for those few that can still log on, at least from what I spotted people saying on Shitter. I'm not surprised.

Is the store not run by a third party

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https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?681724-Stating-the-obvious-is-NOT-quot-Keeping-us-updated-quot

Their gripe is, in essence, "We know the servers are down, and we know you have no clue what's wrong. Telling us what we already know is not keeping anyone updated."

I love it.

I love watching these idiots wallow in the mediocrity they've enabled for the past 10 years. I also love watching them slap down the same handful of shills with their heads up SSG's asses (Armenna, maartena, etc), who are trying to gaslight the community into believing an entire week of downtime with no explanation or update other than "The servers are down and we still don't know why" is normal and nothing to be upset about when you're paying 15 bucks a month to play an already terrible game. SSG could literally hold the shills down and bind their hands and feet while they defecate into their open mouths, and they would STILL praise the downsized Z-tier developers for their quality feces. Now more than ever, I believe those accounts to be SSG employees, or at least on the social engineering payroll.

It's no great mystery what's happening. LOTRO players were promised upgraded datacenters years ago, but instead the company opted for cheaper, cost-cutting hardware, resulting in a downgrade, and that hardware is now failing. It doesn't take a week (nor a team of stoners pretending to be IT specialists) to diagnose that. The issue is clearly that they can't afford to replace the hardware, and are desperately trying to apply a band-aid onto a sucking chest wound.

But in other news, the cash store is working just fine. Priorotie$.

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Those 2 deserve every bit of being trolled or put down, because of the amount of BS and licking Turdbine/SSG arses over the years. This server meltdown has been a long time coming. Because the game has free access because of the corona epidemic, those few people who came back to try out this shit again have caused the entire game to crash, because server can't handle the workload. 

I even logged in a few weeks ago because it was free and for old times sake (I'm not giving SSG another cent of my money) and decided to try to get my main to lvl 130. I even enjoyed the black book story somewhat, but when this meltdown started happening on 17th of july, I was really happy that I was vindicated once more about not giving SSG any more money. 

It'll be interesting to see if they will ever manage to fix this. Servers were lagging horribly from 17th of july to 22nd when they shut them off for maintenance. That maintenance lasted for more than 30 hours almost and it's made no difference. Today the servers were fine for a few hours and then everything went to hell again. 

This in itself could really be the end of LOTRO, there's been alot of doomsaying over the years, but this implosion could really be the final nail in the coffin. Not that there's much of the game left anyway. 

EDIT:

If anyone still bothers to check the official forums, there's been a lot of threads of people bitching and complaining that the game is down. Just don't forget to bring the popcorn with you haha.

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Well the servers are fucked again. Unable to move, or use any skills and 85% or even higher packet loss. The so-called maintenance did absolutely nothing. It's now clear that they really have no clue how to run this game. A bunch of idiots. I just feel sorry for all those people who helped to create this game in the first place. 

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There's gonna be a bunch of arse licking idiots going through withdrawal if the game went dark. I'd wager the forums will go offline the moment the statement is given, because those same drugged with optimism will be trolled to death. Their denial will be real world problems in their minds.

 

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From the above article;

 

What boggles my mind is seeing the fan apologists come out in defense of SSG this past week. Yes, there is no call for rudeness and demands to fire staff, especially toward those trying to fix the problem, but even reasonable requests for more information and transparency was met in some quarters by fans defending a studio that wouldn’t even defend itself. “Why do you need to know more? What would that solve? You’re so entitled!” defenders would say. My favorite line was one where a forum poster said, “You’re not on the board of directors, you don’t need to know the details.”

No, I’m not on the board of directors. But do you know what I am? A customer, a member of the community, a journalist, and a player. A game service that I enjoy and pay for and engage with frequently has been inaccessible without explanation, and I’d simply like more information for my peace of mind and to manage my own expectations. When there’s a problem, we like to know what’s going on. It’s as simple as that, and it’s not even close to an unreasonable request.

 

And my favorite line;

There was one thing this crisis did amplify, something we’ve known for years now: SSG is flat-out terrible at talking to players. It’s not the only studio that has developed this reputation (Daybreak and ArenaNet quickly come to mind), but it’s been bad for a while, and this whole mess showed how much this could blow up in their faces when they fail to address it.

I am reminded of when Cordovan showed up here in a bid to rebuild bridges Sapience et all burned long ago, with a promise that he would be more communicative, transparent and honest than his predecessors. Yet when pressed for ANY information at all about the outage during his livestream today, he repeatedly replied, "I don't want to talk about that." All he did was precisely what he did on these forums a couple years ago; try to blow smoke up players' asses.

 

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Severlin

Severlin!

Severlin! Where are you?

Shut up! I'm not here hiding under this desk. Move on nothing to see here. Btw make sure to permaban that dude Justin for making me and SSG look terrible.

Cordovan get back on the forums but don't tell them anything. Well, tell them cool cool and they will love us again.

Sev why you whispering from your closet? I can't see you on skype.

Just do it before I scarecrow you!

 

 

"I’m not one to call for the dismissal of a person from a studio, so I won’t, but I will encourage SSG to invest in proper training for its chosen community managers, and I call on the studio’s executive producer to make a public commitment toward better communication and transparency in the future."

 

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