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Lord of the Rings Online

Global Chat: Wrongs and rights

EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Trove

trove
So often, bloggers are struggling to succinctly answer the same question in a variety of formats: What is right with this game and what is wrong with it? It gets complicated fast when biases, comparisons, and general drama enters into it, although I wouldn't have it any other way. MMOs should be filtered through our various viewpoints to gain broader understanding and (hopefully) provide better feedback.

This week in our journey around the blogosphere, we'll take a second look at Trove, see where ArcheAge messed up, and attempt to understand why PvP sandboxes will wither and die if they're not welcoming to carebears. What's wrong? What's right? That's up to them -- and you -- to decide!

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Lord of the Rings Online's Update 15 coming November 5th

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Free-to-Play

lotro
On a developer call this afternoon, Turbine announced that Lord of the Rings Online's Update 15 is scheduled for release on Wednesday, November 5th.

Update 15 is a substantial content drop that includes the Beorning class, the continuation of the epic story, Central Gondor, and a new epic battle in the city of Pelargir. Massively recently featured a hands-on with the Beorning.

One Shots: Foot-in-Chest disease

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, One Shots, The Secret World, Humor, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

tsw
I don't think a lot of us fantasize about the way that we're going to die. My philosophy is, if it must happen, it should be as cool as possible. I think that getting kicked off of the top of a speeding train after a penultimate boss fight would fit the bill. Of course, I'd probably rather be the one kicking than being kicked, especially if the kickee is a supernatural terrorist like this jerk.

Reader Jonathan shares our first screenshot of the week: "This is from the cutscene as I was finishing the Last Train to Cairo in The Secret World. I think it's a great action shot, even if you can't see my character's face."

Don't forget to do a proper Wilhelm scream, my friend! So what other gruesome fates await us in this collection of deadly images?

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LotRO's Fall Festival running through November 2

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Events (In-Game), Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE

Lord of the Rings Online's Fall Festival starts today, and you've got until November 2nd to collect all the tokens, titles, outfits, mounts, and assorted other Middle-earth paraphernalia that shows up during Turbine's seasonal shindigs.

As always, Goldenstar has put together a comprehensive guide detailing how and where to get all the various knick-knacks as well as the new-for-2014 items.

LotRO's 'current plans' not impacted by latest layoffs

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Business Models, MMO Industry, News Items, Free-to-Play

Turbine's latest round of layoffs won't affect long-running fantasy MMORPG Lord of the Rings Online, according to community manager Andy Cataldo.

LotRO Players reports that Cataldo elaborated during a Twitch stream and said that the firings will have no effect on Turbine's current plans for the game. Cataldo did not reveal whether or not "current plans" refers to the game's pre-existing development roadmap or the plans that have already been shared with the community and which run through the end of 2014.

The Road to Mordor: Test driving LotRO's Beorning class

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Patches, Opinion, Free-to-Play, Hands-On, The Road to Mordor

lotro
November 18th, 2008. That is the last time that Turbine added a new class (in that case, two) to Lord of the Rings Online. The last time, that is, until now in late 2014.

The Beorning is coming in with a similar level of anticipation and controversy that swirled around the Rune-keeper. There are folks excited about the possibilities of playing a skin-changer, and there are those hotly debating its lore qualifications. And if I have to hear "Beornings are a race, not a class" one more time, then I'll... get a free toaster. It turns out that Turbine has a clever response to that, by the way.

I'm on the "anticipation" side of things if only because I've been championing the addition of new classes to LotRO for years now. With the Beorning hitting the Bullroarer test server this past weekend, I knew that I had to get in and give the new class a quick test drive. So what did I discover?

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Warner Bros. confirms Turbine layoffs [Updated]

Asheron's Call, Dungeons and Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, MMO Industry, Rumors, Miscellaneous

turbine
Turbine appears to be going through another round of layoffs that are possibly affecting the Lord of the Rings Online team, according to Twitter messages.

Former Community Manager Rick Heaton seemed to confirm this in a tweet sent earlier today: "Thinking of my friends at #Turbine and #LOTRO and elsewhere today. I'm easy to find if you need me."

Massively has reached out to the studio for an official comment.

[Update: Warner Bros. has confirmed unspecified layoffs by issuing the following statement to Massively: "As part of our normal business process, we're routinely looking at the strategic alignment of our company. Unfortunately, in order for us to invest in growth areas at Turbine, we have to eliminate some positions. These are always tough decisions, which we don't approach lightly, but it's crucial that Turbine is structured in a way that reflects the current and coming marketplace."]

These LotRO Update 15 vids are all about the Beorning

Fantasy, Video, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Game Mechanics, MMO Industry, News Items, PvE

Ready for some more videos from Lord of the Rings Online's forthcoming Update 15? Unlike this morning's crop, these latest blurbs are all about the new Beorning class. Click past the cut for a look at character creation, the new Beorning starter area, and some level 50 combat.

[Thanks Joel!]

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Watch previews of LotRO's new Gondor zones and epic battle

Fantasy, Video, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play

lotro
Get out the popcorn or whatever snacking treat that the inhabitants of Middle-earth enjoy, for it's time to view the landscapes and conflicts of Lord of the Rings Online's Update 15.

LOTRO Players has put together several videos showcasing the new zones: Central Gondor, Lebennin, and Pelargir. There's also a film of the Pelargir epic battle, which the fansite says is a vast improvement from Helm's Deep: "Retaking Pelargir is the shot in the arm the epic battle system needs. It gives purpose to the system and has a clear and satisfying ending."

You can watch all four videos after the jump.

[Thanks to Joel for the tip!]

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Lord of the Rings Online begins Update 15 testing

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Classes, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries

lotro
Good news for those spinning their wheels in Lord of the Rings Online: Update 15, with its brand-new class and additional high-level content, is heading to the test server this Friday.

Executive Producer Aaron Campbell posted an update of LotRO's development on the forums today. He said that Update 15 would be the final big release for the year, and it includes the Beorning class, Central Gondor, a continuation of the epic story, and a new epic battle centered around Pelargir. As for the shapeshifting class, the Beorning will have three trait lines that will allow for choices between tank, DPS, and heal/utility, and will begin in a new mini-zone, Vales of Anduin.

Campbell did notify players that there would be a few adjustments to the previously stated schedule, most notably that the legendary item update is now pushed back to Update 16 in early 2015. Other 2015 additions include Osgiliath and Minas Tirith.

The Daily Grind: Are you playing Lord of the Rings Online?

Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Opinion, The Daily Grind, Miscellaneous

lotro
Lord of the Rings Online has had a busy year in 2014, as the title took its first steps into Gondor, announced a brand-new class, and recently opened up the Dead Marshes for adventurers. I've been playing off and on this year, glad to be moving into the territory defined by the Return of the King. However, I won't deny that the lack of an expansion and the year's other big news have overshadowed this once prominent title.

So out of curiosity, I wanted to ask you if you're currently playing LotRO. Are you? Be truthful and remember that this is for posterity, so do be clear.

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

One Shots: The sacred bosom dance

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Guild Wars 2, One Shots, RIFT, Miscellaneous, WildStar

gw2
It's one thing to dance for the fun of it. But it's another thing entirely to dance to save lives. Apart from an exotic snake charmer who rescued me from a king cobra last year, I've never witnessed a boogie performed for someone's health. At least... not until now.

Reader Jesse kicks off today's community screenshots with this silly-yet-serious jig from Guild Wars 2: "I am submitting this screenshot of my character and a few friends celebrating Pink Day in Lions Arch in an effort to raise breast cancer awareness. Here we are dancing around (and on) a podium."

All she wants to do is... all she wants to do is dance, dance, dance! I wish that I was Jesse's girl! Now I'm dancing for my life!

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Working As Intended: Lessons from the history of MMO housing

World of Warcraft, EverQuest II, Lord of the Rings Online, Bugs, Game Mechanics, Launches, MMO Industry, Opinion, Star Wars Galaxies, Ultima Online, Vanguard, RIFT, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, WildStar, Housing, Player-Generated Content, Working As Intended, Landmark

Hustis House - Daniel Case
Once upon a time, a subscription MMORPG sandbox had open-world housing, only there wasn't quite enough for everyone. Well, there was, but there wasn't enough of it in safe lands, so a lot of the people who wanted a place to live had to live in dangerous places they didn't like, places where they could be killed on their doorstep by other players. Even most of the plots in the safe lands were so remote or allowed for such small homes that they were undesirable. In fact, there were only a few housing plots on every server that afforded a strategic advantage in PvP or trade or storage, and if you didn't own one of those, you were at a distinct disadvantage. And when new lands opened up, scripters and gold farmers were first in line to grab the best plots and sell them on Ebay for hundreds (sometimes thousands!) of dollars. And legit players were pissed.

I speak, of course, not of ArcheAge but of Ultima Online.

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Global Chat: Blaugust triumphant

World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Warhammer Online, Opinion, Humor, Global Chat, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge, Elite: Dangerous

blaugust
Last month, Tales of the Aggronaut issued a community-wide challenge for MMO bloggers to commit to posting (at least) once a day for all 31 days. This challenge was called Blaugust, and it caused a tidal wave of additional posts, top 10 lists, and random cat pictures as writers struggled to keep up with the rate of output.

While not everyone who signed up succeeded in sticking out the entire month, it certainly injected some life into summer doldrums and got people talking. The 2014 Blaugust Wrap-up does a great job giving an overview of the challenge and a list of all of the blogs involved. If you're looking for outspoken opinions put forth at a prodigious rate, I'd suggest checking these out.

Speaking of outspoken opinions, we've also got plenty of them in the form of the most interesting posts from the past two weeks! Global Chat... away!

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Lord of the Rings Online Update 14.2 adds collections system

Fantasy, Lord of the Rings Online, Patches, Previews, Free-to-Play, Livestream

lotro
Update 14.2 might not be the biggest that Lord of the Rings Online has ever seen, but it's substantial enough that the developers took the time to livestream some of the additions and changes that it will be bringing.

Coming in 14.2 is a new collections system to reward players for snapping up mounts and pets. The new system will also help to point you in the direction of where and how to find these creatures as well as give a preview of each one. The team also gave a preview of a rarely visited Middle-earth location, the Dead Marshes.

You can watch the full stream after the jump!

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