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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 6:22PM gildhur said

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Finally! Details! Enedwaith sounds great, and has hobbits!

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 11:32AM dustindeckard said

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Awesome article! I can't wait for the stuff to go public. I recently reactivated my account (I only played a couple of levels when it launched) and have been having a blast. I just hit level 20, so the game's really opening up for me now.

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 11:33AM Tom in VA said

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This was an interesting read, Justin. Thanks!

I am still puzzled as to how this instancing scaling works; however, it sounds like a step in the right direction.

It'd be nice if I could put my character in a "queue", for example, to do Great Barrows but then go on with my questing in North Downs or wherever until a full group is formed. Grouping in this game (as in most MMOs) is still something of a pain.

I'd love to see Turbine ...

-- Improve travel options in this game (travel in LotRO is painful and time-consuming [much worse than those endless flights in WoW, imo)
-- It is still very difficult to form fellowships for noninstanced group quests :(
-- It'd be better if the character creator would tell you PRIOR to creating your character if a name had already been taken
-- Better still, if the game allowed name/surname avatar combinations, this would vastly increase the number of usable names (in other words, two people could use the name "Jon" but with different surnames)
-- Improve pet AI. LotRO (and DDO as well) have absolutely terrible pet AI compared to other games.
-- Do something to make player housing more useful, accessible, and worthwhile. As for me, I'd be delighted to have an (instanced) home right in a major city such as Bree or Rivendell
-- Allow more light (a torch skill/buff?) to use in Moria that works day or night

All in all though, it sounds like Turbine is making some good improvements.

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 11:40AM Thac0 said

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Travel time is crazy, the amount of solo quests I have to run is boring and yes housing is costly and too limited. However I will go back and play on my account when its F2P; it will be the best F2P game evar!
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 2:15PM mode7overworld said

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Isn't there a torch option already in the game? Alt+F10 or something like that? Does it not work in certain areas, or what?

Also, isn't the instanced housing like a half-minute horde ride from Bree? What's wrong with that?

Pet AI is pretty much exactly the same as every other MMO pet class. Dunno what you're expecting.

I only played for a few weeks, so maybe I don't know nothin bout nothin, but it seems like some of your complaints are already taken care of.
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 3:22PM Tom in VA said

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@Cameron

-- The torch still only works at night (which makes no sense, of course) in Moria (i.e., 20 to 25% of your playing "day")

-- Housing is located in dead zones away from high-end crafting stations and requiring still more travel (in a game that already requires too much travel time); putting housing out in the (dead) "burbs" was a really bad idea

-- Pet AI in LotRO is vastly inferior to the pet AI in Guild Wars or WoW, imo
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 12:32PM (Unverified) said

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Sorry not sold. I would love to resub to LotRO with my family but I'm just not convinced. I don't understand their roadmap. Regardless of the F2P model there's no excuse not to improve LFG. It's great they are re-factoring their dungeons, but I'll wait to try them before declaring a success. And frankly it would have been a hell of a lot easier to just start by implementing cross-zone, cross-region LFG chat with maybe the hope of quest indexing by players. You know, real LFG. People don't seem to understand that you can't flag LFG out of zone or chat (unless via a player created channel). It seems it would've been easier and faster to start with those basic features.

.

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 7:11PM Graill440 said

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Your correct to be wary.

Here is the project in a nutshell; gain new paying subs through Free to pay play (item store) and hope these folks move to a paying sub so they can access the new content or through the item stor pay to access the new content. A gamble they will eventually lose.

The hope of the free to pay model is that the one end game draw, Monster Play, will convert those just paying the item store to a monthly paying membership to reach it. However since Monsterplay is very poor at the moment and restrictive the new free to pay folks will try it but probably not buy it.

Monsterplay according to Turbines own server stats have the same set of folks flipping between MPplay and "freep play" this is a bad mechanic and shows just how empty the ettenmoors actually are. The hopes by Turbine that free to pay folks become monthly subs wont happen on the scale they think. Monsterplay was supposed to be a break of sorts as Orion stated, instead it grew out of control and the devs have just let it fester in its small form for years.

There are only two servers with any substantial population, those that cannot be transferred to at this time, the others have skeleton populations spiking at odd times. The hope is that the free to pay crowd will populate these servers and even things out.

Everything is a bank on new folks liking the game and subbing, the free to pay gimmic is just that, folks will try it and then quit like they did with DDO, a rise in curiosity, and then it will fall back to normal.

What Turbine needs to do is first fire Orion or whatever that devs new monicker is and fix the lore they have torn up so badly. The monsterplay that for so many years has been neglected AND is a big selling point in the free to pay model as a carrot on a stick, in its current form will not garner the subs as intended. The endgame is stagnant and without the attention it desperately needs the game will continue to falloff into niche status, which it is approaching.

I actually like this game, the MPplay aspect that is, but the lore is so dumbed down and restricted its like watching the Lord of the rings movies with no bad guys, just parties and wonderful meadows to frolic in, pve paradise.

To turn free to pay players into monthly subs you need a big endgame draw, LOTR does not have it.

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Posted: Jul 3rd 2010 10:29AM shipwreck said

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@Graill

While I appreciate your apparent expertise, I take issue with that last statement about LotRO being "like watching the Lord of the rings movies with no bad guys, just parties and wonderful meadows to frolic in, pve paradise".

This tells me you've clearly not left the starting areas of the game, which causes me to question the validity of your previous statements. Yes, the areas of the Blue Mountains, Bree-land, and the Shire (read, the starting & festival areas) are quite beautiful and peaceful, they're meant to be and the "lore" supports this. All throughout the introductory epics there are hints of trouble coming to these calm and happy lands and as we progress further (it picks up with Volume 3) we see that the events of the book are starting to unfold in these iconic starting areas of Middle-earth.

The other areas of Eriador are not quite as dangerous, though they certainly aren't peaceful, but once you make it into Moria and Mirkwood beyond it's hard to call it "pve paradise" unless you mean it's a game that's paradisical for pve, not pvp players. It's true that enemy AI is stupid, typical MMO fare (meaning they don't bother with you unless you're in their level range and proximity) but it's not all peaches and cream with trolls ready to attack you at every turn. You won't be picking flowers and sharing them with your newfound Orc friends.

I also think it odd that you're on about the lore but you fully support Monster Play, when there are no real records of battles ever taking place in the Ettenmoors at the time of the War of the Ring.

Just my opinion, though.
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Posted: Jul 6th 2010 7:35PM Graill440 said

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@shipwreck

Not an expert on the hobbit lore by any means, though i know a large amount, and i know "what i like".

I am tracking with your sir. Again my own opinion on what they have done to LOTR over the years. as for the the danger in the lore, and fully understanding the angst people have over poorly done pvp, wouldnt more areas in LOTR be suited for the MP mechanic? I have zero problem with pve or pvp, but each has its place and needs well thought out mechanics, not doing this leads to games like AION and LOTR, both hollow, both missing important mechanics. Dev failure in both cases.

Whether the ettens were involved in skirmishes or combat of any sort Turbine and Orion have deemed it the only happening spot for actual conflict. the same players flip flopping, makes absolutely no sense. i have a creep, only a creep, leveled the regular toon enough to access the MP aspect. My opinion is if you have a creep then no freep, its a choice, and right now a very restricted on at that.

With some common sense (yes sorry to use common sense and dev in the same sentence) the devs could make some sweet pvp in quite a few areas, both restricted and fun.
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 1:19PM Wisdomandlore said

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@Tom

Turbine has said they're going to look at Housing after the F2P update. We'll see. They have a bad habit of introducing new systems (Housing, Hobbies, PvMP) and then letting them waste away.

As for the LFG system, it baffles me why Turbine doesn't just port DDO's LFG system to LOTRO. Not that LOTRO's system is so bad. Honestly, the real problem with the system is that no one uses it. Everyone used zone chat, and then player created GLLFs. No one ever gave the the system a chance.

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 3:37PM Tom in VA said

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"Look at" how, I wonder? Still, what you say is encouraging.

If a given character could keep an instanced house/apartment in a given location, I'd be all for it -- or if Turbine were to create new (instanced) human, dwarf, hobbit, and elf towns with ALL the amenities (high-end crafting, bank access, vendors, trainers, etc.) of a major town like Bree, then that would work for me.

LFG would be greatly improved if (1) you could audit the LFF channel in other regions (not just the one you are currently in) and (2) fellowships, once full, had the option to instantly muster to the instance/group quest location, perhaps by allowing a group leader some kind of "muster" skill like the captain has, only for the entire group perhaps usable only once and on a cooldown or something.
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 6:26PM gildhur said

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They're not going to replicate essential city services in housing areas because that would empty the towns that already have them. If you could just port to your house, craft, sell, retrait, and everything else there, you would never travel to a major town, no one would ever see you, and the world would feel that much less alive.

They've said they're going to improve housing later this year or next year. We'll see what that means, but I seriously doubt it will include more services within housing districts.
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 2:06PM Seffrid said

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"Alongside the bag slots will be a new button that accesses the skirmish/instance interface (more on this later) as a way to encourage players to use this feature."

An additional bag slot in which to hold all the different skirmish marks would be better utilisation of the space in my view!

Great article, have only managed to get part way through so far, but will definitely read the rest later - thanks!

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 2:33PM Tanek said

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An additional bag slot would only delay the problem a bit. I would like to see some form of currency storage that would automatically handle any bound barter items just like they were gold/silver/copper. No reason to keep them in your bags if they can't be traded or sold.

Not only would this cover skirmish marks, it could be extended to items like the Lothlorien leaves and twigs.
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 3:25PM Tom in VA said

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Great idea, tanek. LotRO has tones of reputation items; it'd be nice if they automatically were assigned to the given reputation.
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 6:27PM gildhur said

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If they were automatically processed by the reputation faction as you acquired them, then you couldn't sell them once you were capped (or achieved whatever particular level you wanted). Yes, the way various currencies could be improved, but I wouldn't want to see this particular one done this way.
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Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 3:00PM (Unverified) said

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I'm not too thrilled about another set of tokens.

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 3:32PM Seffrid said

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I agree entirely.

Posted: Jul 2nd 2010 3:33PM Seffrid said

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My agreement was with tanek's comment.

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