To celebrate LOTRO’s 9th anniversary (April 27, 2016) the Turbine team hosted a 6 hour Twitch marathon featuring interviews, Q&As, and nostalgic video clips.
Full Stream: https://www.twitch.tv/lotrostream/v/63137842
Since not all of us have 6 hours to sit through this, I have summarized below:
Vyvyanne (Athena) – Executive Producer
Frelorn (Andy) – Senior Community Manager
EdgeCase (Kevin) – System Design
? (Erika) – System Design
MadeofLions (Jeff) – Senior Content Design
DrOctothorpe (Ben) – Lead Designer
ThePinion (Ryan) – Content Design
Tybur (Barb) [plays a champion] – Senior QA
Arbor (Rebecca) [plays a hunter] – QA
? (Meaghan) – Interface Design (Senior Artist)
Ransroth (Leo) – Systems Engineer
Baccata (Tim) [plays a champion & beorning] – Content Design
HoarseDev (Matt) – Lead Systems Design
QuarterMasterU (Jacob) – LOTRO Market / Store
+Moose (JP) – CS
+SpectreVortex (Jason) – CS
0:58:30 – U16 Promo
2:01:20 – Siege of Mirkwood Promo
2:53:08 – F2P Announcement
2:54:16 – F2P Clip
2:56:08 – Shadows of Angmar Ettenmoors Clip
2:57:40 – Shadows of Angmar
Below is a paraphrased version of the Q&A:
Q: Will there be a 64 bit client?
A: Not at all likely. It is far too much work.
Q: What is going on with the LOTR licence?
A: It is with the legal team and is not something they can discuss (under NDA). It is not something the team worries about, they are focused on content development.
Q: When will we see Mordor?
A: Within the next year.
Q: Will we get another race to play?
A: Not on the radar at the moment.
Q: Content Roadmap – Can you share it?
A: Turbine has shared info too soon in the past that ultimately needed to change. The result is a pissed off player base. Unfortunately when something is communicated the player based writes it in stone and wants to crucify us if it does not come to fruition. Since things during the dev process often change they prefer to not communicate until things are more concrete.
However, they will work to put out Dev Diaries quicker.
Q: NPC Voiceovers – Can we get more?
A: Essentially it is very expensive (actors, translation, etc.). They will reserve these resources for epics and where the situation requires it.
Q: EU Data Center – What happened?
A: It was absolutely planned for Amsterdam but unfortunately some contract negotiations fell through and we could not make it work. After analyzing New Jersey they determined that they could house the EU servers there with similar performance to Amsterdam. There were problems with the NJ move that affected all worlds. The team worked around the clock to resolve them and continues to work with IPs to streamline and make data transfer more efficient. This is a good example of why Turbine does not like to announce things too soon …
Q: Live Events – Are they coming?
A: Yes ! We should be rolling these out shortly. The delay has been a result of efforts to stabilize the servers.
Q: Creep Event – Could they cross-over to the PVE area?
A: Yes, it is technically possible. However, this will not be implemented since there are many people (PVE) that would not appreciate being unexpectedly killed.
Q: Raids – Will there be more after U18.2?
A: Completely possible. Turbine will be implementing ways to track more metrics with the U18.2 raid. The metrics they get from this raid will help to determine if there are future raids. Essentially, if no one plays the raid there is little reason to make another one.
Q: Lifetime Accounts – Will they be offered again?
Q: Expansion – Will there be future expansions?
A: Not likely. It is more efficient to release Updates and allows Turbine to get more content out quicker than X-pacs.
Q: Class Specific Devs – Can you bring them back?
Q: Player’s Council – What is the future?
A: This will be communicated within the coming weeks.
Q: PVP Balance – Are you working on it?
A: Yes, it is a work in progress.
Q: Northern Mirkwood – Will we be going there?
A: Maybe, but likely post Mordor.
Q: Level Increases – Will there be more?
A: Not within the next 6 months. Data drives these decisions. When a large percent of the player base is at cap they get a lot of feedback to raise the cap so that players feel they have something to work toward.
Q: New Hobbies – Will we see any?
A: Not sure, send us your suggestions.
Q: Rift – Why can it not scale?
A: Essentially it was built in pieces. The mobs in the Rift are also out on the landscape. If they scaled the Rift mobs they would also scale in places that they should not. To have the Rift scale they would need to completely re-create the raid. It makes more sense to have Dev time spent on new content.
Q: Burglar Bows – Why did they get taken away?
A: Player feedback on the forums, the Player’s Council, and players on Bullroarer overwhelmingly wanted to remove them. There was even a poll done by EdgeCase (https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?605512-Burglar-Bow-Feedback).
Q: Housing Hooks – Can we get these improved?
A: They are working on investigating the how and what behind this. Plans are in motion, but no promises yet.
Q: Storage – Can we get more?
A: This is a complex scenario as more storage effects performance so there is a balance to be had. But yes, we are looking in to it.
EdgeCase / Erika (3:05:45)
Q: Loot Tables – Are you fixing them?
A: Essentially no because it is too large a task to do so globally. What we are doing is working on doing smaller releases / fixes with new content (i.e. Instance of the Week, Osgiliath Instances, etc.). We are committed to reducing the RNG and making loot commensurate with effort.
Q: Minstrel Instruments – Will we get new ones?
A: Not likely. This seems like a simple implementation but it actually is very involved.
Q: Crafting – Will there be new Guild Tiers?
A: No, never. There is too much grind involved.
Q: Crafting – Will there be new recipes?
A: Yes. We are looking at new guild recipes at the Westemnet level. U19 will see 105 crafting …
Q: IXP Runes – Can we combine them?
A: On the radar for the possibility to multi-use and/or combine them.
Q: Moors Skill Lag – When will it be fixed?
A: Engineering is working on it.
Q: Emotes – Will we get new ones?
A: U18 we introduced the Seer’s Orb (Blue – Anniversary Gift) (Red – Store) emote. These actually involve many teams (systems, sound, art, etc.) and are resource heavy. There are no new ones on the radar for now.
Q: Class Trait Points – Tracking missing ones?
A: There is a feature being worked on that may be able to be adapted for this purpose. We are also looking at the possibility of alternate methods of obtaining trait points so if you missed one (or would like to do something different) you will have options. The issue right now is that LOTRO does not currently track where you get your trait points from so it is difficult to give an alternate route.
Q: Class Changes/Updates – How do you decide what to work on?
A: We read the forums regularly. We play the game. We look at data. From there we implement changes internally and test them. They get feedback via alpha and then decide whether to implement or trash.
Q: Class Changes/Updates – Any coming?
A: In U18.1 we are working on balancing the Guardian as we feel they are too strong (nerf ???). We are also working on Burglar Signals – added morale, added agility, secondary skill improvements, and avoidance penetration (similar to what T2 mobs have). We also have RK damage (nerf) on the radar for the future.
Q: Raid Loot/Itemization – What is coming?
A: Legendary rarity class or range items and armour bonus sets.
Q: LIs – Will the level increase?
A: No, never. They will continue to grow with you such that you do not need to re-create them. We continue to look at ways to reduce grind and we feel with U18 we have accomplished a huge increase in consumables that are available.
Q: Relics – Can we combine them quicker?
A: Something that is being looked at.
Q: Loot Itemization / RNG – What is being done?
A: Looking in to a barter system whereby you could trade one piece of gear for a different piece so that the RNG is not so frustrating. This may make it in to U18.1.
Q: Finesse – Is it WAI?
A: Yes, it is not supposed to penetrate partial BPE.
ThePinion / Tybur (3:55:15)
Q: Raid Locks – What will they be?
A: Not yet decided. Looking in to the potential of a hybrid system (locks for T2 but not for T1).
Q: Raid – Lots of questions.
A: There will be at least 5 bosses. The complexity should be greater than Orthanc. It will be one large space.
Q: Minas Morgul …
A: Not in 18.2, but it is coming …
ThePinion / Arbor (5:35:10)
Q: Character Portraits – Will we get festival versions?
A: No, but this is something we could look in to.
Q: Silent Street Challenge – It does not reset, can this be fixed?
A: Yes, but this is not an easy task. We will look at it.
Q: Dyes (Festivals) – Will the dye recipes be able to be bartered?
A: Not sure, but the dyes should be.
Q: Texture Updates – Any coming?
A: This is something that is constantly being worked on in small increments.
Q: Floor / Wall Colours – Any new ones coming?
A: Yes, one of those two are coming …