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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Feb 19th 2010 6:19PM (Unverified) said

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Oh god how i hope they're going to get rid of radiance for this expansion!!

Posted: Feb 19th 2010 8:12PM Wensbane said

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That would get me right back in the game, to be honest.

How I miss SoA days...
LotRO really was my favorite MMORPG back then. So much was lost on the "road to Mordor", wasn't it?
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Posted: Feb 19th 2010 7:06PM Cinnamoon said

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"So easy an 11-year-old could do it"? That's just silly. An 11-year-old can do those quests now -- so long she has a full group.

And that has long been a problem with LOTRO, both in the epic quests and the open zones. The game ages, the playerbase sits at the end, and low/mid-level questing zones were stuffed full of quests that require groups of players that simply aren't around at those levels. And the Lone Lands in particular was a weak, dull zone. Incidentally, that's where my husband and I first canceled our accounts, too, that very first year of the game. (We've gone back several times since.)

The LOTRO forums are filled with some outrageously elitist "we got here first" types. Pay 'em no mind.

Posted: Feb 19th 2010 7:46PM Tom in VA said

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I absolutely agree with you, Cinnamoon.

It would be a terrible mistake for Turbine NOT to "solo-fy" all regions pre-Moria (and maybe including Moria, as well). My inability to find player groups for the elite areas, the elite quests, the elite dungeons, and the elite epic storyline quests was the reason I left this game.

Most of the "dumbing down" complaints, I suspect, come from people who nostalgically remember going through these areas when there were actually other players in the same zone to do the group content with.

Until Turbine finishes the job and solo-fies the epic quest line and all of the regions pre-Moria, there's just no way I'm going back to LotRO. It's just too darned frustrating otherwise.
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Posted: Feb 20th 2010 2:27AM aurickle said

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I've played multiple characters to max level and done all of them solo. The only dicey stretch at this point is the many group quests in North Downs, but you can honestly skip right past those by doing most everything in Evendim. Not that Evendim is the greatest of zones, but you're certainly not forced to group in LotRO. There's more than enough content to solo the game -- especially since they've adjusted the XP curves.

That being said, I would like to see them continue to refine the zones beyond Lone Lands. There's a large amount of content that I've never played because it is tough to find groups and I feel that having multiple possible paths to level really adds to the game. They've done a great job with the newbie zones through Lone Lands, and I think that similar treatment for North Downs, Trollshaws and Misty Mountains would only benefit both new players and those of us who get altitis after reaching max level.

Evendim doesn't have much group content, although the quests could certainly stand to be streamlined a bit more for less running around. For that matter, there really should be one or two more boat destinations! Even with the one they've added, it lives up to the "Everswim" moniker.

Angmar has been streamlined once already and doesn't really need it again. But it could stand to be a lot less group focused.

I think Forochel is just right, along with Eregion.

And by the way, who's brilliant idea was it to have NO stable masters in the whole bloody Misty Mountains?????
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Posted: Feb 20th 2010 12:54PM (Unverified) said

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Pete: Radiance isn't going anywhere at this point, but if it does it will simply be replaced by another mechanic. As these kind of games continue, they usually create a new combat mechanic that requires a new set of equipment to overcome. Whether its elemental damage/elemental resistance or gloom/radiance, this is a staple of MMORPG raiding and we will probably continue to see it in some form in LotRO.

Aurickle: Stablemasters are being added to the Misty Mountains in the Oath of the Rangers update. Also, Evendim is getting (or has gotten) a boat to facilitate travel across the lake.

Also, by the time you are done with the solo quests in Angmar, you can move on to Eregion.

Tom: Turbine is making all the group quests in Volume I soloable with this patch. You will be given an item that only works during the group encounters giving you a large, temporary boost in morale and power regen as well as dps. Volume I will be entirely soloable. However, if you still want to it with a group, that remains an option. If this is seen as a success, I'm sure Turbine will roll this out to Volume II as well.

This is a common pattern among long standing MMOs: when content is first released it's hard to get to and hard to complete. Then, a few expansions later that original content is simplified in terms of travel and soloability to help new players.

Dan O'Halloran
Features Editor

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 5:34PM Tom in VA said

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Thanks for your post, Dan.

I actually enjoyed LotRO, but the group content was a pain. Aurickle's suggestion of just doing other quests is valid, I know, if all I wanted to do was level upward, but what was frustrating (to me) was having to skip a lot of cool, story-based content because I couldn't find other players to help me do the "player group-only" sections.

I've said it elsewhere, but I'll say it again here: being able to achieve maximum level solo is NOT the same as being able to enjoy all (or even most) of a game's content. One of the chief draws for this game for me was the interesting epic storyline. The fact that it was so hard to find people to get help through the group sections of the epic storyline left a really sour taste in my mouth.

However, I may have to give this game another try. Thanks for the helpful information.

Posted: Feb 20th 2010 8:28PM aurickle said

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Hey Dan,

Great to know that Misty Mountains is getting stable master(s). Thanks!

I know about the boat in Evendim. It takes you to the NW corner of the lake. But you still have two islands you have to swim to, the ruins in the south that you have to swim to, and the Blue Lady's grotto that you have to swim to. That boat is nice, but in practice it did very little to change the amount of swimming that is necessary.

As for Angmar, I know you can get to Eregion by the time you've finished the solo content. Well before, in fact. However there are also things like the class quests that require drops from the instances. Yes, I know you can get those by grinding skirmishes, but that only has the effect of making it even harder to find groups for the group content in this zone. Even before skirmishes I have yet to do a single one of the group quests in Angmar. Which is why I feel that the zone is a good candidate to get some modifications done. :)

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 8:36PM (Unverified) said

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I'm sorry I have to tell you that, but the very first answer you give is wrong:

"Turbine hasn't announced any plans to revamp the other original zones in the game."

This part is not true. Not true at all. Actually, the plan is to rework all (or almost all) areas of the original game (Shadows of Angmar). Given the success of the Lone Lands rework (with rare exceptions like the opinion given in your introduction), I highly doubt that Turbine will be holding back on their plans to rework the North Downs and all other areas. The only reason we're not seeing reworked North Downs together with Volume III Book 1 is the work done on the epic questline for Volume I. Orion, the dev responsible for the revamp, deviated from his original plan of reworking area after area after he realized how a) greatly appreciated by and b) important to the players the rework of Volume I Book 2 was. His original plan would have been to rework the western part of the North Downs together with Volume I Book 3. Since all of the epic questline is done now, he will most likely continue his work on the North Downs. In the end, the level path will be (drawn from memory!) like this:

1-14 => Ered Luin OR The Shire OR Archet (and parts of Breeland)
14-22 => Breeland
22-32 => Lone Lands OR North Downs (western part)
32-42 => North Downs (eastern part) OR Trollshaws (possibly only parts of it) OR Evendim
42-52 => Angmar OR Misty Mountains OR Forochel OR Eregion

As mentioned above, this is only a rough plan intended to give you an impression of Orion's intentions. Up until 22-32 I'm pretty sure it's correct, but I can't recall how exactly it continues from there. The idea behind that is to have several separate level paths, with the number of paths increasing as you reach higher levels (makes sense, since you spend more time on 42-52 than on 22-32).

I don't have links (since I can't do a forum search for Orion's postings), but there are numerous posts and blog entries about all of this.

Posted: Feb 22nd 2010 6:11PM (Unverified) said

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Dear Dan,

Thanks for your response; Radiance did nothing for LotRO except put a massive division in the community and drive a lot of people away from the game, it is still one of two biggest turn-offs in the game. I agree that if it goes it will be replaced by something else, that's probably the point though, a high proportion of players do want it replaced with something else, it just seems that we're stuck with the inertia of someone's "favourite child" and an unwillingness to admit it was a mistake and correct it.

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