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Reader Comments (26)

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 12:32PM Joaquin Crowe said

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As a Guild Wars and STO player, I don't have a problem with bringing the Skirmish guy into the "real world." I think it's fun to have a reliable "friend" who doesn't have scheduling or questing conflicts for odd hour play.

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 12:37PM scrubmonkey said

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"I was mulling over the question of whether it's better for MMOs to show all of their big cards up front like Turbine or to parcel them out over the course of the year. Both have advantages, of course."

Or, they could go with the *Turbine* way of doing things, which is front-load a bunch of things in their announcements, then gradually cut them out of the actual release until the expansion is a shadow of what was originally announced...

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 1:01PM SwarlesBarkley said

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@scrubmonkey

THIS....
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Posted: Jan 28th 2012 12:56PM Faction 3 said

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How is this going to impact the Captain? Can I still have my Archer summon, AND my Archer Skirmish soldier too?

If so, thats totally amazing.

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 1:37PM Ehra said

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@Faction 3

That's how it works when you use your soldiers right now, I see no reason to think it'd work differently in the landscape.
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Posted: Jan 28th 2012 1:53PM (Unverified) said

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I would hope at some point they would give us more single zone content to fill out what was in the original game. There are no southern shire areas nor anything west to the coast between the shire. Tons of area still around that could be developed...

I am hoping that after Rohan we get some Lonely Mountain going on.

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 2:03PM Silverangel said

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I think it's better to keep the players abreast of what's going on. Players should always have something to look forward to, and it also gives the ongoing impression that the devs care about the game and are working hard to make it better. In the past, months would drag on when LoTRO players had no clue what was going on with the game. This also responds somewhat, whether intentionally or not, to accusations that F2P hasn't brought the increased level of content updates that were implied by the transition over a year ago.

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 2:14PM pcgneurotic said

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Generally speaking, I'd prefer to hear everything up front, then just have a small reminder as we get closer to the release of each 'thing'. But this seems contrary to modern marketing thinking, which is more like 'as much as possible, as often as possible'. It's like porno in that it's gone from something discreet and titillating to rampant, 24/7 in-your-faceness. Blee!

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 2:15PM Seffrid said

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I know they have to provide additional high-end content but most developers intersperse that with additional low-end content for both new players and veterans rolling alts.

My preferences for this year would include some high-end content along with some alternative low-level areas together with, of course..... improved housing!

If they were to add an additional playable race with its own 1-20 area that is probably the single biggest thing they could do to increase the playerbase and retain the existing players.

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 2:52PM Jymm said

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@Seffrid I was thinking the same thing. I wonder what the new playable race could be. Maybe Beornings or the Jorthkyn?
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Posted: Jan 28th 2012 4:15PM Mister Eee said

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A very good article - thank you.

I am impressed with what Turbine has planned for this year. They seem to be getting their act together again, now that the F2P and European transitions are over.

Posted: Jan 28th 2012 4:31PM moakh said

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@Mister Eee: Turbine has always been very good at planning and announcing big things to come. However, sticking to their plans has not so much been a virtue of them.

Do you remember the initial plan to release a major content patch every 3 months, with new land zones added every 2nd update?
Or their announcement of a second PvMP zone with the Moria expansion?
Or their plans to improve housing beyond what it still is today?
Or their plans to add more hobbies besides fishing into the game?
Or the initial announcement of the ingame shop to be an alternative way to pay for game content and that the sale of items wouldn't be on the radar ever?

I wouldn't believe too much in Turbine before they really deliver something they promise.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 11:14AM moakh said

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@TortoiseCan: I'm sorry if my comment has caused such a stir of emotions for you.

Well, LOTRO is doubtfully the largest MMO availlable on the market, nor does it have *years* of content. It sure is a pretty and big world and there sure is a lot to do, as you would expect from a game at that age. I certainly do not want to make this game look bad, as I have played and enjoyed it quite some time.

But even you can impossibly say that Turbine's announcement policy is flawless. In fact, after years of MMO development they should have some awareness on what workload their project teams can handle and what is just too much to announce.
As somebody that works in software development myself (unfortunately nothing that has anything to do with the heads of cats or dogs) I know that sometimes things need to get rescheduled, maybe even shelved. But constantly and continuously dodging your own announcements and coming short on own promises just makes you look bad.

And that is why you should take everything with a grain of salt. In the case of Turbine a grain might just not be enough.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 11:29AM aurickle said

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@TortoiseCan
Nothing like a few personal attacks to prove your points, huh?

Bluster all you want but moakh is right. I enjoy the game a lot, have a lifetime subscription and continue to play several times a week. Yet I have to say that when it comes to LotRO, Turbine has consistently over promised and under delivered. It's consistent enough that like moakh, I've learned to take everything they say with a grain of salt.

The only AAA title I can think of that might be worse in this respect is AoC.

The truth of the matter is that over the last couple of years, Turbine has -- as moakh pointed out -- all but stopped putting out meaty new content, new systems (like more hobbies), or fixing old systems (like housing and LI's). Never mind that they promised those items. Instead, their focus has shifted toward putting out more and more store items while trickling out new content at a rate that's just fast enough to keep people around. Or at least, coming back every so often.

RoR promises huge zones. But they've also stated that you NEED to ride through them. So some of us have genuine concerns that these new zones are big just for the sake of giving you room to ride. If they don't introduce proportionally more content to fill these bigger zones, the result will likely be that the world will feel empty. North Downs is a good example of what that could be like, except that rather than 5-10 minute rides to get to your destinations, it might now be 10-20 minute rides.

RoR promises mounted combat. But they've also said you'll be leveling your mount. OK. Except that you're already leveling your skirmish soldier and your LI's -- and many, many people are deeply unhappy with both of those systems. So many of us are concerned that your mount will represent yet another miserable grind. What's more, Turbine promised a second part to their LI overhaul, but it never happened. Turbine has also now stated that you'll be able to have your skirmish soldier with you in the world. That means they're also without doubt building the new content to require a soldier in the same way that trying to run a solo skirmish without one is all but impossible. So those people who don't like the soldier grind will now have no choice but to do it anyway.

Now let's see if you respond to these legitimate points with any type of actual debate, or if you'll resort to personal attacks against me as well...
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Posted: Jan 28th 2012 9:13PM cowboyhugbees said

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So, are they going to remove Heralds for Captains then? Because having two controllable pets going at the same time is just going to be ridiculous to work with.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 12:52AM Kynmarcher said

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@cowboyhugbees
I doubt it...

What they'll probably do is make it so that you can either have a herald, or have a mercenary, not both.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 12:18AM Nerves said

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I understand the mounted system is more like the skirmish soldier (yay) - in that you can upgrade it's abilities and stats, and slot in different cosmetics etc. I also have heard that there will be some common mount skills, some shared mount skills based on class type (heavy/med/light), and one or two class specific skills. I'd imagine that while riding, your regular skills will be greyed out, and you'll get a riding ui pop up, which will have your skills on there.

I also understand that they will only be usable in rohan.

As for captains/loremasters that already have pets - you already use one in skirmishes, and I've never had an issue contolling both - the skirmish soldier more or less does whatever the hell it wants, and your directions be damned. I've come to terms with this.

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 12:19AM Kynmarcher said

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Am I the only one who would like to see Turbine revisit the engine for LotRO? I enjoy the game, no doubt about that, and the engine they are using certainly works, but I just get the feeling that it could be so much more. Maybe it's just me being spoiled by games like Skyrim and to an extent Age of Conan (like the game or not I doubt many can deny that the graphics engine is top of the line) not to mention all the other LotR games (like the ones released on PS2 that follow the movies), but I would love to see the engine reworked to give it a more realistic edge. Hell... just imagining LotRO within the Skryim engine is enough to make me drool >.>

Posted: Jan 29th 2012 3:13AM TortoiseCan said

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@Kynmarcher

I actually think the engine is perfectly fine the way it is. My only issue with the graphics is the character models - more specifically faces could use a bit of a boost. But there's no way in hell that they would revamp their engine like you suggested, In order to do that, they'd basically have to re-create all of their assets.
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Posted: Jan 29th 2012 1:41AM (Unverified) said

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"I was mulling over the question of whether it's better for MMOs to show all of their big cards up front like Turbine or to parcel them out over the course of the year. Both have advantages, of course. Front-loading the year with a broad overview like this gives players long-term reasons to stick with the game, but it also can steal the exciting thunder from these events down the road." At this point they will have to do this from here on out because they tried to keep the lid on their expansion and when it was released it disappointed ALOT of people, including me. The innovation wasn't there and they knew they had to compete for time with other titles and didn't deliver when it was released. It was a whole bunch of hype for nothing.

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