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  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by cdq1958 View Post
    Yes, but at the time in Middle-earth we are in, birds were specifically said to not be in the Dead Marshes.
    Yep, it's Gollum's mournful description of the lack of birds that I was referring to with that. Otherwise we'd have been sure to include some.

    MoL

  2. #77
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    I enjoyed the most recent dev livestream, and I'm glad the sound was corrected, as I couldn't make out much of the first answer (but kudos for doing so, frickinmuck!). I wanted to highlight and comment on a particular section, relating to the collections system, which I think has significant potential.

    HoarseDev – For a start they’re really only working with pets and mounts, but they’ve got a lot of fancy features to add more.
    This suggests to me that we'll see other collections besides pets and mounts, which is very cool. Here's what I'd like to see:

    Armour Set Collections

    Imagine being able to collect all the various armour sets throughout all the different instances and raids, each ticked off in the Collections window, with ones you might not even know about displayed as objectives. Now imagine that, as a reward, you get that armour set on a manikin as a housing item, where you can proudly display your accomplishments. This, I think, would encourage many people to run older instances and save up for armour sets that no longer have any stat value.

    Ideally this would be filtered by class, because a Captain doesn't want to see a Hunter set that he/she cannot acquire.

    Rowan – Knows they’ve started out with titles as a reward, do they have any ideas for other rewards in the future?
    HoarseDev – The first time out they’ve kept it kind of simple, but they can attach all sorts of rewards through the system so in the future they may do something where they look at a group of rep mounts and add an additional mount for a reward, or practically anything that drops in the game could be dropped through this system. They went with titles to start, but they’re definitely planning on taking the opportunity of blowing this up and giving players all kinds of things to collect and quest for.
    I really would like to see other rewards than titles. While I like titles, we have tons of those in the game, and they don't really motivate me like other rewards. Now, if I'm already collecting horses and pets, what will certainly motivate me is another horse or pet. Ideally collecting all the chickens would reward another chicken in a new skin, and likewise for all the others. Collectors really cannot have too many items in their collections, so rewarding more will go down very well.

    As above, there are alternative reward options, including unique housing items. For example, collecting all five horses of a set could reward a large yard item that is a stable with those five horses in it. There are numerous possibilities for this, and I'm glad to see that collections will be getting more dev treatment in the near future

    -Bel
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  3. #78
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    LoTRO Update 15 Preview Stream 10/30/2014

    LoTRO Update 15 Preview Stream 10/30/2014
    Frelorn says, Welcome everyone to the Update 15 preview stream, we are here to show everyone what is going in for Update 15 which is going live on November 5.
    The team starts out by introducing themselves. Present today are Community Manager Andy “Frelorn” Cataldo, Executive Producer Aaron "Rowan"Campbell, Lead Designer Matt "HoarseDev" Zimmitti, Senior Content Designer Jeff "MadeOfLions" Libby, Systems Designer Trevor "Jinjaah"McEwan, and Senior Content Designer Ben Schneider.
    Frelorn will be running the camera and occasionally helping answer questions so he moves off to the side, joking that we will occasionally see a hand.

    Frelorn: Why don't we talk about where we are first here.
    Rowan: Lets talk about Update 15 in general, Update 15 has a few really large things in it. The first one being a new class, this is Lotro's first new class since Mines of Moria Expansion in 2008. It's an ambitious thing for us we are very excited to bring you a brand new class the Beorning, sort of a race and class combination. We will talk a lot about where Beorning's come from, what their special abilities are and why you want to play one. In addition we are also journeying into Central Gondor, so we will talk a little bit about the Epic Story in Central Gondor . We also have a brand new style of Epic Battle to present that is an offensive battle, Retaking of Pelargir.

    Frelorn mentions that people in the chat are commenting on only seeing part of Rowan's arm on the camera.

    Frelorn: I do apologize what you guys are seeing is what we showed the press in the last few days and we weren't on camera for those.
    Ben: The good news is none of us came to work in our pajamas.
    Frelorn: I did think about it this morning.
    Ben: It is certainly an option in the building.

    Epic Battle Pelargir
    Rowan: All that said we have a brand new style of epic battle we will be taking you into Pelargir, it acts as both a capstone to the epic story and also gives you a new style of siege battle where your actually on the offensive. You are setting the pace of the battle and driving it forward and ultimately your going to be helping Aragorn and the army of the dead to retake the city. What we are launching in Update 15 is a solo/duo version with a six person fellowship version to follow shortly after. So with that said I will pass this over to MadeofLions to talk about the Beorning.

    Beorning's
    MadeofLions: Probably the best place to start is in the beginning when Bilbo was traveling with the Dwarves many years ago he encountered a large gruff man by the name of Beorn who made his house in the Vales of Anduin. Beorn was a skin-changer that doesn't' mean that he skinned animals it means that he could adopt the form of an animal in this case a bear. We know that while Beorn is gone now he had descendants now one of them is Grimbeorn and they inherited his ability to skin change. So with this update we are adding the new player class/race of Beorning which means you are one of Beorn's children or grandchildren we leave the heritage up to you guys. This means that you also have the ability to transform into the shape of the bear. You get a new starting experience in the Vales of Anduin where Grimbeorn and now you live. This is a twenty minute to half an hour experience where you get to meet some other Beorning's, your extended family and you get to learn how to live life as a Beorning and get introduced to your skills and sort of their way of life. So now we transition to their skills.

    Beorning Skills
    Jinjaah: While we are transitioning to Frelorn's other character his level 50 Beorning we can talk about how the Beorning is different from the other classes. If you haven't made a trip to Bullroarer the biggest thing is that the class does not use power it uses a new energy resource called Wrath. Wrath starts at 0 and builds to 100 so the class is a lot more cooldown oriented than the others. The three specs are called The Hide, The Claw and The Roar. The Hide is kind of the tank spec where the Beorning wants to be in bear form as long as possible they have ways to generate wrath while they are in bear they can aoe spike enemies in front of them. They mainly tank through taking hits and debuffing their enemies. The Claw is the damage line that chooses between damage over time and burst damage basically the human skills apply bleeds and get damage rolling and when you switch into bear form is when you unlock the more powerful heavy hitting skills. The Roar line is the support/healing line and this uses a unique mechanic to the other lines that are more offensive this line is more defensive. The Mark of Grimbeorn on a target maybe when sacrifice or get direct damage to yourself you mitigate a portion of that damage or when you use Harken you refund the wrath dots (damage over time). The Mark of Beorn for example if you use Bee Swarm which is a damage over time attack where you summon a swarm of bees and its awesome.
    Frelorn: Here we go with the bees again.
    Jinjaah Yeah everyone likes unleashing bees. It's an interesting play style especially with the healer being kind of an in the pocket healer standing next to your tank almost dealing damage and generating wrath and using it to heal your allies. If you want to spec The Claw and grab a few things and switch into a bear and beat people up.

    Frelorn: Is there any way you would recommend to spec into this tree?
    Jinjaah: One of the cool things about the Beorning's and what we learned from U12 and class development in general is that it seemed liked players really liked transformative traits over passive traits. So one thing we tried to do in this tree was offer some passive traits that you build down the tree but also some transformative traits that alter skills. So for example if you grab five of thrash on the trait on the top left of The Claw you will notice the trait right below it adds a bleed to slash so if Im going to be dpsing then I want to get that since its basically extra damage rolling right off me. If you want to get execute what it does is consume all your wrath and deal massive damage to the target. Slam heal on the top right called Any Advantage is nice if your buddy is tanking and he has aggro then you just stand behind the guy and damage and kinda keep healing and topping yourself off if there is aoe damage going out. Final strike is a nice one the one next to it is actually interesting this is another transformative trait where you have a skill like Biting Edge which is a two strike attack and what this trait does is say I'm going to take away one of these attacks and give you that attack back as a bleed over 12 seconds. A lot of the other trees are like this like maybe you want to be a damage dealer but you still want to kind of help heal or maybe dabble into being a tank to you can kind of build the Beorning that fits your play style. Moment of opportunity is pretty cool to max out because that will give you a chance to proc a free execute that can be used regardless of the target's health threshold and will keep you in bear form longer.

    Frelorn: You've left some space in the trait trees as well right?
    Jinjaah: Yes one of the things we have been talking about over on Bullroarer is this class is gonna launch with 51 ranks instead of 53 which is what all the other classes have and without two legendary capstones. The reason we did this was we wanted to kind of release the class a little while and let you guys play it and get your feedback what's missing and what you would like to see and then add those additional ranks over time based on how you guys like it. We are leaving room to grow so we don't have to pull anything away.
    Frelorn: Im gonna go and find something to try and attack.
    Jinjaah: Yeah but you are severely under leveled for the area. (Frelorn was in Ringlo Vale, Central Gondor)
    Frelorn: Yeah but I'm immortal so that is fine. Yeah when the bucks are purple, generally a bad sign.

    HoarseDev: Can we take a look at the sky out there a second?
    Frelorn: Oh yeah we could. Wow look at that what happened, why is it so dark?
    MadeofLions: The Dawnless Day has arrived. This is Sauron's ploy to make his armies more comfortable as they march and bestow fear in the hearts of any that still oppose him. This is a cloud of shadow that has belched forth from Mordor.

    Frelorn wanders over on his character and starts fighting a bear, jokes are made about bear on bear action.
    MadeofLions: I wish you were fighting a different animal don't fight the bear run away.
    Frelorn: Oh fine I'll run away from the bear. You don't like to see bear on bear crime?
    MadeofLions: I made an entire class quest for the Beorning's which involves a misunderstanding with another bear and it possibly has a happy ending. There is actually an Easter egg in that class quest I'm not sure anyone has discovered yet.
    Frelorn: As he's running around looking for something else to fight, comments all that's around here is bears what do you want me to do, (laughter from everyone) oh wait guess I can fight this buck.

    Frelorn mentions that people in the Twitch chat should feel free to ask questions as they are glancing back at the stream every so often.

    Questions and Answers
    Question:Is the bear form only useable in combat?
    Jinjaah: Yes that is correct.

    Question:Can you speak on some of the Player's Council contributions this year so far?
    Rowan: One of the biggest contributions and this was feedback we were getting from the players as well in a very important way was the importance of level caps or importance in this case of delaying a level cap raise. The focus we needed to bring to region content and legendary items going forward like we will be releasing for Update 16. The decision to not to do a level cap increase with U15 I would give a substantial amount of credit and support to the Player's Council for bringing it to our attention and having a very active conversation about it. In addition a lot of changes that came out of the new style of epic battle came directly from conversations with the council and being able to bring that feedback directly to the team and to Ben's desk which we did some more of yesterday. It's a great way for us to bounce some ideas off them and get direct feedback on it.
    HoarseDev: Another example specifically coming off of talking about the Beorning's, a lot of the early decisions like I intended them to originally start off at level 50 instead of level 1. The council came back and said if its going to be a really Lotro character it needs to have that starting experience and MadeofLions certainly believed the same. At the end of the day they were right, the transition from being a low level character to a high level character is great. That's the kind of feedback we need a small focus group of people from before we barely even announced the class we had these kinds of discussion early on which paved the road for how we actually developed them. It's the one thing in a beta to fine tune what we have but to have a cohort of folks that can be in there obviously under NDA really early and express those kind of community things was essential.

    Question:If you have leftover wrath and you're not in combat can you still turn into a bear?
    Jinjaah: Yes as long as you have wrath you can transition into a bear it is not blocked by being out of combat but it does drain out over time. There is a legacy you can have that will help improve if your chain pulling and can't keep your wrath up that will help you move between pulls and still maintain bear form.

    Question:How much will this new class cost?
    Frelorn: It will be 1000tp as previous classes cost and there will be various packages you can buy on top of that as well.

    Epic Battle Introduction to Pelargir
    Senior Content Designer Ben Schneider takes over the conversation.
    Ben: As Rowan gave it an excellent introduction earlier we can think of this as the first in a line of offensive Epic Battles. For those who have what's coming in the Lord of the Rings books in there mind you know there are some really big things coming up and some battles coming up that we needed to steer the state of big battles to being offensive. The way Pelargir works is the analog between like offensive and defensive skirmishes is awfully similar to the way this new epic battle will work. The retaking of Pelargir is player driven meaning that the Epic Battle will not proceed without you there are places that the defenders stand and wait and you move forward they will follow you. One of the other concepts we have introduced is Epic Foes drawing on the spirit of the cumulated Tolkien lore we've created a series of enemies that step out of the crowd and look for the good hero and those are the people they are going to take on. So while your soldiers are fighting the enemy soldiers you have someone your own size and your own power ranged (indistinguishable word). In Pelargir, we will find the Epic Foes both as stage bosses and as secondary objectives.

    Ben: To set up some of the background story starting in Update 14 we've been following Aragorn as he travels across Gondor gathering troops and chasing the corsair fleet. The corsairs are headed north to join the enemies other forces whereas Aragorn is determined to stop them. As we reach Pelargir the corsairs have just taken out the Gondorian fleet which was sort of the last threat to them and the sort of side flank to the enemies forces. Aragorn is hurrying to Pelargir whereas the corsairs have as we have seen in Update 14 kind of tarried and stopped to pillage a bit. Aragorn was fast and picks up an army of undead oathbreakers and a bunch of Gondorian soldiers and when they reach the city of Pelargir the battle is ready to ensue. The role that you the player play is part of a small forward party that helps the city guards and opens the path for Aragorn and the army to march in.

    They have an issue getting the Battle to pull up due to it not showing the expansion or Battles on Frelorn's account so they go back to question and answer in the meantime.

    Question: How is Turbine handling Beornings killing animals from a lore standpoint?
    MadeofLions: If you are a Beorning and you want to kill animals we do not prevent you from doing so, critters yes, animals you are not prevented from. There is a Beorning class quest that I did design that sort of deals with the issue. There is a bear, you are a Beorning do you feel bad about being tasked with eliminating this bear. The existence of this quest is fairly early its the level 15 class quest, is sort of my acknowledgement that maybe its not okay for Beornings to be slaying animals. We aren't actively preventing you from doing that though because there are a number of quests throughout the game that for various reasons have you slaying animals for the good of the people or supplies. We didn't want to eliminate you from participating in that entire content. If you want to choose not to do that, your welcome to, for my Beorning I will probably try not to do most of those quests because that will feel kind of icky. You will for the most part be able to do that.

    Question:Will the new Epic Battle have a 6 man fellowship option?
    Rowan: The answer to that is yes the Retaking of Pelargir will have a 6 man option available in the first patch following U15, it will not be available at U15 launch though.

    Turbine Ransroth manages to get the Battle unlocked for Frelorn in the interim while Frelorn is relogging Ben continues the conversation on the Epic Battle.

    Ben: One of the things I can talk about is some modest changes to the Epic Battle rewards system, instead of randomly dropping battle jewelry instead when the rewards bar fills up you get Stars of Merit for barter ability. We did want to still give you the feeling of oh cool I got something we are also dropping Victory Boxes when you complete any Epic Battle associated quest, primary and secondary quests.
    HoarseDev: What can they get with Stars of Merit?
    Ben: The primary thing is you can get the treasured Battle Jewelry and we have added a couple of other things in there as well.

    Retaking Pelargir Epic Battle
    Ben: This is the player driven version we have secreted ourselves into the city where the Pelargir Guard Captains have found entry, we are traveling with Elrond's sons Elorhir and Elladan. The first objective is to get to the winch and open the gate. This is player driven in that you stop moving the battle pauses with you, you don't benefit or not benefit. The enemies are corsairs and Haradrim who are the southrons from Umbar and other lands farther out of field. I'm sure there surprised to see a giant bear in the middle of the battle. On the other list of cool new enemies we've got to throw at players are Half-Trolls they've come out to benefit from the Dawnless Day. From lore they are massive and elite shock troop berserkers and are excellent swordsman. As Aaron (Rowan) said this is the solo/duo version we are looking forward to putting out a six man version as well. The goal for this version is you will have challenge you'll still get merit ratings and secondaries and succeed or fail but the real goal is to let players explore the content and putting great challenge in the six man version for players that like to coordinate as a team.

    MadeofLions: The laborer is one of my favorite npcs in this update I like to think of them as really sarcastic as he is telling you his progress on the gate.
    Ben: We had a couple of goals when we set out to create new Epic Battles, one was obviously we needed to create an offensive one to fit the content that was coming up. One of the other things we needed to do was tilt or tweak the ratio of some things and give the player a bit more agency and give the base platforms of characters a little more control. On the list of small things that have cumulatively been changed to make that work, the damage output of the enemies has changed some so that you actually have time to run in and do some fighting if you choose to do so. There are the Epic Foes that I mentioned earlier that are specifically designed for the players to take on. Another big element is we have shifted the way that merit is awarded now so that you start with empty merit and you are accumulating it because what we found when we looked at the feedback is that it was simply more enjoyable to be awarded merit then to have it taken away from you. You will see this more in epic battles going forward always gaining things not as much losing things. We are still supporting the battle classes that were created in the original big battles so that the initial phase is light and you are basically fighting guys but as you get into the second and third stage you'll have siege equipment and battle equipment and commanders.
    Rowan: One thing I like about this type of battle is your always moving from vista point to vista point and always getting a view out over the city and getting a sense of what is going on in a broader scheme.

    Ben: Our world builders did an awesome job making Pelargir looking beat up and beautiful and dark and troubled. This is not the only chance you will have to see Pelargir there is an after battle set of region content to help assist surviving citizens and unravel a mystery as to who exactly let the corsairs in. So we look down and see the banners of Gondor and Gondor region banners accompanying Aragorn into the city. We see the Oathbreakers and now we can head to the piers for the next part. This area leads us into the next stage, where we are making our way to meet Aragorn's troops and on the way we are going to rout some pillagers who have spread out throughout the city.
    Ben: The Oathbreakers have now dawned all of their particle effects and if you look closely you can see Aragorn raising his hand and going, "Come by Isildur I call you" and the Oathbreakers make their sweep over the enemy forces, now because this is a game they are not just cgi movie of Lord of the Rings we wanted to end the battle with actual combat and not just a pretty picture. As the ghosts sweep over, according to the books their primary effect is to strike fear into the heart of the Corsairs most of which just jump into the water and drown but of course they run in every single direction including your direction and to get away they are not above scaling the walls and running. Of course your waiting there, and now we meet one of the Epic Foes I was talking about earlier, he is statted pretty fiercely, of course some of the Oathbreakers follow in pursuit of the fleeing corsairs. So this is our finale we have one final epic battle wave of guys come at you in a giant rush.
    Frelorn: So that was everything we are going to show you today. If you have any questions feel free to ask if not remember Update 15 goes live on November 5th and we are looking forward to you guys all getting in and playing it and giving some great feedback on all the stuff these guys have worked their butts off to get into the game.

    Question: Will there be raid gear for Beornings?
    HoarseDev: The main focus was to make sure Beornings would have suitable gear we had to go back to a lot of older instances and add gear just for Beorning, there will be a time when crafting gear for Beorning's will probably supersede that in certain spots, you should be able to throughout all levels find some really cool gear that is just for the Beorning.

    Question: Are we getting any updated crafting or guild recipes?
    HoarseDev: Off the top of my head I know that we specifically have done a lot to support the Beorning as it comes out. I don't think there was really a broad huge push for a bunch of recipes, we mainly wanted to make sure the Beorning was ready to be brought into the game without being naked. We will be adding a lot more soon though.

    Question: Can you change the bear's appearance?
    Jinjaah: The bear's fur color will actually change with your hair color so you can choose that, for the future its something we have talked about, maybe if you guys really like it we can play it by ear and see its possible to do. Right now its primarily through the hair color changing the hair color of the bear.

    Question: Will Beorning's be viable PvP'ers and will they get PvMP gear?
    HoarseDev: That's the kind of thing where they are supposed to be viable, but as we all well know until it actually goes live , we will see what we need to tweak, but at the end of the day they definitely will be but you guys tend to find all of the wonderful dilemmas and best parts of our classes much more quickly than we find them either on beta server or ourselves. We will send them off into the wild, they do have room to grow and get more versatility and power but we will let you guys point out very soon whether or not they are viable.

    Question: Can you give us details on store prices for Beornings/character slots/gift of the Valar Bundles?
    Frelorn: I don't know the exact price for the bundles I do know the Beorning's are 1000tp. [It has been noted by Frelorn on the forums that their will be a Character Slot and Beorning Bundle for 1295tp]

    Question: Will there be new music system and instrument updates in Update 15?
    Frelorn: The music system changes are in the new instruments did not make it in for this update.

    Question: Will we see Lotteries again?
    Frelorn: Probably not, sorry guys when we changed the website over it kind of made the lottery system not work so good.
    That wraps it up, its been fun thanks for hanging out with us, enjoy it and we look forward to your feedback on the update when it goes live on November 5.
    Eldalleth Altaholic on Gladden and Landroval and Evernight (Formerly of Dwarrowdelf)
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  4. #79
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    I have to say that you did an excellent job Eldalleth! It was hard to follow them streaming and I greatly appreciate you making the U15 preview stream more understandable. Thank you very much, I can digest what they said in printed word better than trying to understand what they were saying during the stream, with my short attention span.
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  5. #80
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldalleth View Post
    Just as a note last weeks and this weeks notes will hopefully be up soon. I am having to use an older laptop while my main one that has the document Ive been putting the notes on is in and out of repair shop for fan issues. As a side note hope everyone gets a chance to take some time this weekend and play on Beta while its up

    Are the notes coming out this week?

  6. #81
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldalleth View Post
    Just wanted to drop a note I am working still on the notes for 12/18 there have been a few technical difficulties with twitch this weekend and yesterday. The video is only loading to a certain point at times wouldn't play past 11 mins for most of yesterday and finally last night not past 30 mins in. I will try and have the notes up tonight if twitch behaves but may be tomorrow as I have a mannheim steamroller concert with the husband to attend this evening. Just wanted to let you guys know it wasn't forgotten
    Thank you very much.

  7. #82
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    Notes are up Thanks everyone for your patience. Twitch was having various technical difficulties for some reason either wouldn't load video or would finally load sound but no video.
    Eldalleth Altaholic on Gladden and Landroval and Evernight (Formerly of Dwarrowdelf)
    I stream on twitch you can find me on twitch.tv/eldalleth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldalleth View Post
    Notes are up Thanks everyone for your patience. Twitch was having various technical difficulties for some reason either wouldn't load video or would finally load sound but no video.
    Thanks Eldalleth for posting this!
    Pherenn: Over ONE year of actual /played time
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  9. #84
    Whatever there putting in the producer's letter, they better deliver because they cannot afford to be losing anymore players.

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    Thanks to whoever posed the question about the early zones being too easy. Sadly Andy's response doesn't fill me with much hope that anything will be done to inject more challenge into Eriador

    I'm sure the lack of difficulty in the early game does put a lot of seasoned MMO players off and I personally feel that it reduces my level of immersion and connection to the game. I don't think that the difficulty needs to be ramped up to frustratingly high levels; it just needs to be made tougher than it currently is...

  11. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Branwyr View Post
    Thanks to whoever posed the question about the early zones being too easy. Sadly Andy's response doesn't fill me with much hope that anything will be done to inject more challenge into Eriador

    I'm sure the lack of difficulty in the early game does put a lot of seasoned MMO players off and I personally feel that it reduces my level of immersion and connection to the game. I don't think that the difficulty needs to be ramped up to frustratingly high levels; it just needs to be made tougher than it currently is...
    It's a pain but pretty much every MMO does it, they nerf the lower level areas to encourage people to get quickly to the higher level areas. There are loads of people who absolutely hate this but they all do it anyway. I'd like to see some content reserved for more difficult challenges (not necessarily just grouping), even the 'elite' stuff is easy currently.

    Thankfully there's a sort of solution in the experience disabler. I use this to keep my level appropriate for the quests (usually just below). They're still pretty easy, but at least I have to do something to win, and the rewards are almost always actually rewarding.

  12. #87
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    Update 16 Preview Stream Transcript

    Update 16 Preview Stream Transcript

    Please note: I am paraphrasing here. Anything said here is coming through my interpretation of what was said, and is subject to being corrected, so don't take all this as the final word.
    If anyone who was present has any additions or corrections, feel free to post.


    Update 16 Preview Stream April 30, 2015
    The team starts out by introducing themselves. Present today are Community Manager Andy “Frelorn” Cataldo, Senior Content Designer Jeff "MadeOfLions" Libby (MoL), Systems Designer Trevor "Jinjaah"McEwan, and Senior Content Designer Ben "DrOctothorpe" Schneider (DrO) with Jacob "QuarterMasterU" (QU) running the camera.


    We start with talking about the story in U16 with MadeOfLions.

    Where are we in the story? We are right after the battle of Pelargir. Aragorn and the army of the dead have successfully reclaimed the city and defeated the corsair threat; the corsairs of Umbar are no more. When this update begins, we need to figure out what to do with the corsair fleet essentially. Aragorn has an idea that he can use the fleet to sail to Minas Tirith and get there in time to save the day. But there is a bit of a wrinkle to this plan: if the word gets out and the enemies know that these aren't corsairs sailing over the river that could cause major problems. One of the first objectives that the players will have when they start this part of the epic will be to make sure no one has heard or word of this victory has not gotten out. You will help out the Grey Company in Pelargir and ready Aragorn for departure before taking your leave of him.

    Frelorn: Lets talk about the regions that players are going to be getting into in Update 16, so that will be Jeff and Ben aka "MadeofLions (MoL) and DrOctothorpe (DrO)".

    DrO: So the first half of Update 16 we make our way through Eastern Gondor which covers Upper Lebennin and cross through Lossarnach until we get right up against the wall surrounding Pelennor Fields and Minas Tirith. We can start on that journey before we talk about whats to come.

    MoL: Since we split Lebennin in two, Lebennin is the land of five streams so we basically covered three of the five rivers last time. So this time we are going to see the Sirith and the Erui, the Erui is interesting because this is where Castamir the Usurper met his end and Eldacar came back from the North and Castamir died at the crossings. There might be plot points involved...

    DrO: To give just a little bit of a hint there are river maidens associated with the five rivers in the back mythology of this land and we met some of them and we might meet more of them. We are excited to be able to finish telling that story. One of things that is happening in the lands as you go through them is all of the people that are not soldiers are getting ready to fight against the enemy in Minas Tirith and the land surrounding it have come south to sort of safe areas in both Lossarnarch and Lebennin. We see a couple of small townships and fastnesses, mainly Tuladen and Imloth Melui where the elderly and young have sought harbor.

    MoL
    : This is an interesting place to go because all of these refugees, many of them have fled from Minas Tirith, so as you're talking to these refugees you will be hearing word of what they saw as they were leaving. One of the things you will keep hearing about from them is that they saw Osgilliath on fire, smoke in the air, basically war is right in front of the white city. These are the people that as they fled are bringing word of what they have seen so you're going to need to investigate and find out what you can do to help on your way there.

    DrO
    : Other big ticket items that may be of interest are that we have placed Denethor the Steward of Gondor's two sisters in these regions as sort of the foreshadowing of personalities that tie into things to come. They are named Vanyalos(sp) and Turnlos(sp) and as you meet them you find two very different personalities, we've woven a whole historical love triangle and a set of relationships. Vanyalos is the wife of Forlong the Fat who by the time we get there he has marched off to war. He is the lord of Lossarnach and much loved of his people and one imagines much loving of feasts.

    MoL
    : Its interesting to talking about Denethor's sisters in that its possible that some of the traits that Denethor has that we as readers of the book know, some of these personality traits might appear in one or the other sisters.

    Now we can move on to Osgiliath

    DrO: Well lets start by crossing the river, so we have been accompanying Angor (sp) the Fearless. He is sort of your assignment from Aragorn as you head off and you come as far as the wall and you've got to cross the river. Timeline-wise he doesn't get that far, so we have to make you stop and send you across the river to help out the Rangers of Ithilien. We should take some pains to point out a few times we are south of the crossroads here and we are meeting rangers that are not the same ones that Frodo and Samwise meet.

    MoL
    : The window on the west is quite a bit to the north. The idea here is that in South Ithilien the rangers almost certainly had other hidden fastnesses, one of which I think we might currently be heading to (in the video). This one is Bar Hurin, which is the ancestral home of the stewards. This is where Denethor and his family hails from many many years ago.

    DrO
    : So you arrive and you find the rangers are as you know them from the books: a small group of fearless men who step in and out of the shadows and attack the enemy from behind. You have to work a bit to earn their trust and they are actually searching for the same thing that you are, which is trying to figure out where Faramir has gotten himself to.

    MoL:
    There are conflicting reports as to where Faramir has gotten himself to. There was a lot of fighting in Osgiliath and people aren't entirely sure.

    DrO
    : We readers of the book have an idea, but the people here in game that were sort of behind him they know that he was in Osgiliath and that things were not going well in Osgiliath, so we have reason for pause and concern. So this leads us to what Frelorn asked us to talk about, which is Osgiliath.

    MoL
    : I suppose its not too much of a spoiler to say that there is an army in Osgiliath [and that] it’s not our army. There are Haradrim and Easterlings and Mumak's (Oliphaunts). There are archers on top of them and those are all things that will try to kill you and likely step on you as well.

    First Video Clip ends here due to sound issues-http://www.twitch.tv/lotrostream/v/4538258 the next video clip for the second half when sound was fixed is found here -http://www.twitch.tv/lotrostream/v/4538789

    DrO: We can basically jump into Osgiliath now. As we mentioned, the army of the enemy has just basically taken the entire city back - they have had half the city for a long time.

    MoL
    : This has kind of happened throughout history. Osgiliath has gone back and forth a number of times. This is just the most recent and pretty frightening occasion of this, since people are missing and we don't know where they are.

    DrO:
    The last back-and-forth has just happened, and when we arrive, some of the rangers have just retreated to deep places under the city; there are culverts where they are hiding. When you find them, you are hoping that they know where Faramir is, and the answer is they don't actually know either. So we began our search creeping through the ruins of an occupied city. This is where we decided to stage our three-instance cluster.

    Instance Cluster Information by Ben aka DrOctothorpe (DrO)

    DrO: We are very pleased to be bringing back to LOTRO a classic instance cluster that is basically following the path of the search for Faramir and what happens in Osgiliath prior to our arrival. It begins down in those culverts. The rangers are just sort of hiding underneath the surface, but you go deeper as you can guess it’s not good things down there. At the end of this instance (Sunken Labyrinth), you catch a glimpse of a mysterious figure who appears to be a ranger and who you suspect might know something about what you're searching for. So we have a quest chain that the instance cluster is wrapped in, and in that you follow this figure and eventually find yourself in the second instance which is The Ruined City where you are pursuing him in and among the enemy troops throughout the ruined streets of the city. You don't quite get a glimpse of him there - he manages to stay ahead of you, although you learn some things and catch up with him at the end. Finally, you ascend out of the sewers into the Dome of Stars for the final six-person instance - the first two mentioned are three-mans. The final one, we bring back some old faces of maybe unfriendly aspect and we had a lot of fun making this one. We are going to show you a distant glimpse of the Dome of Stars itself - the Dome was the ancient capital of Gondor and it’s been in ruins for a long time. It is still partially there and it literally straddles the river. The city of Osgilliath sits on either side of the river.

    MoL:
    The Dome of Stars was smashed by Castamir during the time of the kin strife. It was left in this state pretty much. Some serious stuff will go down up there.

    Frelorn:
    Our wonderful QuartermasterU is steering us along and showing us the sights and sounds of this area. Now its us again.

    DrO:
    So Im sure some of you are wondering about the kind of loot you can win from the instances. I’ll give the quick version for those who don't want spoiling. We have a whole smattering of nice stuff for the Tier 1 including offhander weapons. We have set gear for completing Tier 2 - they come in random drops. For the elite players that complete the challenge, we will let you save up for five-slot essence gear. Which will create some players of truly terrifying power ... terrifying mostly to us. And the armies of Sauron.

    Frelorn:
    We aren't taking questions yet, but I do want to share a question I saw mentioned. What is a rough estimate of time to complete these instances?

    DrO:
    By the time players have learned how the six-man instance works in this case, we are figuring south of 40 minutes, but not by a lot. The small fellowship ones probably 15-20 minutes at least.

    Legendary Item Imbuement

    Frelorn: So next on our list of things is Legendary Item Imbuement, which I know you guys have been giving great feedback on the forums about and I'm going to turn it over to Trevor aka Jinjaah on the forums.

    Jinjaah:
    A quick summary for those who don't know Imbuement is: an alternate way of advancement for level 100 players. It allows legacies to grow beyond a point of potency than there was and to grow in the future. One of the things we wanted to do with imbuement legendary items was we didn't like the idea of legendary items being a grind to level and then destroy to grind a new one. It didn't feel very legendary. So now we have created a new system now that you have created this imbued legendary item you could take this thing all the way to Mordor if you wanted to. So thats kind of the jist of it. There are various things that go into it as you will see on live. Ages change the amount of unlocks you get to start [with], as well as to where your dps legacy will start; progress from your dps legacy will transfer over. So right now, we are looking at a non-imbued legendary item, a very nice spear of the first age.

    So when we wanted to do imbuement, we wanted legacies to be able to extend forever but not all of our legacies carry over into imbuement. The legendary item imbuement panel will show you what legacies will carry over, and you can hover over to cross-compare what is there. There are no points you allocate to specific legacies; it will grow as it gains ixp, [and] the bars across the bottom show how far it has to go to the next tier. On the right side, you can see what your current tier is out of how many tiers there are available. When you hover over it, you can see how many tiers there are to unlock. When you hover over the legacy xp bar, this shows you the current state/tier, what the current tier gives you, what the next tier gives you, and what the max tier gives you. You can use this to judge when you're replacing a legacy to see if there are some legacies that have secondary bonuses and decide if this is what you want to have on your weapon. It’s got some really awesome tooltips.

    DrO
    : To make things as clear as humanly possible: on any one of these legacies, as you play the game you earn up to 25 tiers on these legacies. If you want to go above 25 tiers, you're going to need to do something to unlock those. With U16 you can unlock another 10. There are a number of items you will be able to find in-game or go through mithril coins. It’s 29 mithril coins to increase maximum tier. The idea is that, in future updates, we will extend that upper limit so that this weapon is something that can grow with you to Mordor and beyond.

    Jinjaah:
    Yep there is no more recycling, no more reforging - this is your weapon to carry into the future.

    Questions and Answers

    Can we get imbued legacy scrolls in-game at the moment?
    Jinjaah: The normal way of getting legacy replacement scrolls has been reworked for Imbuement. One scroll that acts as a legacy box: you use it on the item and you have a giant list of legacies you can choose from. I believe we hooked some up to the content, I believe in the epic/questing.

    Can you post an updated official legacy change chart when U16 goes live?
    That depends on if Jinjaah ever gets it to Frelorn... we've been asking/heckling him for that.

    Guardian AOE targets - will they be increased from 5?
    Jinjaah: We talked about increasing it to 7. I'm not sure if we did that or just talked about it off the top of my head. I'm not sure if its going into 16 or 16.1, we had a lot of discussions like these for the individual classes, so trying to remember it off the top of my head is hard. I can check and let you know. If we didn't do it in 16, it means that we are currently monitoring it for 16.1, which will be a large batch of imbuement fixes, and that sort of stuff could definitely be one of the bullet points.

    Is it time yet to update us on the current status of the Osgiliath PvMP map investigations? If not, when will we next hear an update on this?
    Frelorn: Its funny you should mention that. Investigations have definitely... intensified a bit, we will say Wheels are turning, things are being looked at, a meeting … some dedicated meetings on it have happened. As soon as we are ready to give more information on this post-U16 you will be the first to know. Right now the focus is on Update 16.

    Since this might be our last LI's, will cosmetic weapons ever happen?
    DrO: Its definitely something we want to do. We are investigating the possibility. It is definitely not something that's going to fit in U16.

    Do I have to buy an expansion for Osgiliath?
    QU: Quest Pack East Gondor will 795 turbine points and it will be in the store day of launch.

    Any Mithril Coin sales coming up for U16 release?
    QU: Maybe…

    Why the loot rule change? It only encourages some people to take advantage of others. It's hard enough to get good players to group, let alone ones who will honor the "old rules". Why go backward with this?
    DrO: So there are a couple of answers. One is that we came at the instance cluster from kind of a blast-from-the-past angle. We saw loot rule as a way to get back to the classic Lord of the Rings Online feel. We like that you get to see what everyone is getting; it's a bit of an intangible. It is not the first thing you think of when you get loot, but we believe that you feel better about everything you're doing when you have a better sense of what everyone is getting. It was getting to more of a sense of “I'm in my own little bubble” with the individual loot system. Which in some senses is great, but we hope more people will try out the master loot option when they can and make sure that their fellowship leaders are trusted and trustworthy. We are investigating ways to mitigate potential downsides; we actually believe that there are at least as many upsides in the long run overall.

    Episodic content: Is it coming with U16?
    MoL: No but it is coming after U16.. but more information later. Stay tuned!

    Will the marks/medallions price for Scrolls of Empowerment go down? The current prices will encourage Sambrog farming all over the place.
    Jinjaah: Thats something that we are looking at. There will be low and slow changes on those; we don't accidentally want to go too far, but we will be monitoring that over the next couple of dot updates.

    Will there be an update about virtue traits? And will there be older mounts and newer available to buy?
    Jinjaah: Virtue Trait updates no, but there are some trait updates in that some of the legacies we needed to remove for imbuement. We built the points back into traits, but in terms of mounts and stores and such...
    QU: So currently not slated to have any new mounts in the store for U16. However, it is something that has been talked about, and there were some questions in last week’s livestream, where people were talking about dyeable appearances to support their warsteeds. We are talking about it in ongoing conversations.

    Any news on server transfer information?
    Frelorn: No news yet. Let’s get through Update 16 first.

    Can we go see Minas Morgul?
    That would be great, but not in this update.

    Frelorn - which will come first - episodic content or the PVMP update? And can we confirm officially that there indeed *will be* a PVMP update?
    You will have to wait and see.

    Server upgrades: what exactly is being upgraded with this hardware upgrade?
    Frelorn: Everything! So we will be moving to a new data center, which [as] we have shown with one of our other titles, has improved latency with individuals. We will be moving the European servers back to Europe, and while all that's being done everything is being put on new hardware.

    Are you completely done going through the Player's Council applications?
    Frelorn: No, I’m still completely buried in them. Update 16 took precedence over this. We had to make sure Dev Diaries and release notes were done. I'm digging through them - there are literally hundreds upon hundreds of them. I’m getting through them as fast as I can. If you don't get an email, assume you didn't get in, because I'm not going to email everybody to just do a thank you for trying. If you get in, hooray, if you didn't, then try again next year.

    Now that West, Central, and East Gondor are out, are there plans to make a "Gondor Quest Pack" Bundle in-store?
    QU: I don't see why not.
    MoL: We could call it the South Kingdom!

    Imbued Legacy Replacement Scroll: the ways of acquiring them mentioned were all from quests, so I assume one time. Will there be a more consistent way to get more?
    Jinjaah: Yes. For U16 we are patching them to quests, but for 16.1 we are talking about attaching them to loot drops as well as potentially putting them on a barter vendor.

    Have the drop rates for Star-Lit Crystals and Crystals of Remembrance been increased to compensate for their higher demand?
    Jinjaah: They were changed but they weren't changed dramatically. It goes back to what I was saying of there will be more tweaks. We are going to slowly ramp them up until we feel they are in a good spot and that will be over time.

    Can we get level 100 crafting recipes please?
    We were just talking about this today; stay tuned post-Update 16.

    How is the PvMP map coming?
    After Update 16.


    Is there a lockout on how many times we can do the new instances each day?
    Jinjaah: No.
    Last edited by Eldalleth; May 02 2015 at 05:23 AM. Reason: Readability edit
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  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldalleth View Post

    Is there a lockout on how many times we can do the new instances each day?
    Jinjaah: No.
    Thanks for this Eldalleth

    On this point, while I know Jinjaah clarified that there isn't a lock out on how many times we can do the instances each day, it doesn't answer the question as to whether we can do the challenge quest multiple times in a day (considering that this is the only place that the Morgul Crests can be acquired). I assume that the challenge quests are only daily, but if anyone knows the answer, that'd be great.
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  14. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian-Hammerfist View Post
    Thanks for this Eldalleth

    On this point, while I know Jinjaah clarified that there isn't a lock out on how many times we can do the instances each day, it doesn't answer the question as to whether we can do the challenge quest multiple times in a day (considering that this is the only place that the Morgul Crests can be acquired). I assume that the challenge quests are only daily, but if anyone knows the answer, that'd be great.
    They're not.

  15. #90
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    This is a bit off topic, but I have a suggestion for the lotro live streams.
    I've seen turbine point giveaways, t-shirt giveaways, starter packs, ect, ect...
    What I think is missing, is Frelorn action figures. The live streamers should have a box of those to giveaway to followers of the streams.
    I guess cosmetic pets would be a nice giveaway too but what I really want...is a Frelorn action figure for my desk!
    How epic it would be, to have a Frelorn action figure!!!

    P.S. A Kool Kyle action figure would rock too. Complete with kool kitty sidekick.
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  16. #91
    Quote Originally Posted by Eldalleth View Post
    ... Why the loot rule change? It only encourages some people to take advantage of others. It's hard enough to get good players to group, let alone ones who will honor the "old rules". Why go backward with this?
    DrO: So there are a couple of answers. One is that we came at the instance cluster from kind of a blast-from-the-past angle. We saw loot rule as a way to get back to the classic Lord of the Rings Online feel. We like that you get to see what everyone is getting; it's a bit of an intangible. It is not the first thing you think of when you get loot, but we believe that you feel better about everything you're doing when you have a better sense of what everyone is getting. It was getting to more of a sense of “I'm in my own little bubble” with the individual loot system. Which in some senses is great, but we hope more people will try out the master loot option when they can and make sure that their fellowship leaders are trusted and trustworthy. We are investigating ways to mitigate potential downsides; we actually believe that there are at least as many upsides in the long run overall.
    ...
    That blast from the past is going to backfire. I was around during those days & people were discontent with the system. Distribution of rewards was never fair, people stopped running, even trying any instance because since they knew they will not get rewarded unless the person was a favorite of the leader, they will not earn anything. If you dare to roll you will be yelled & sweared at so you will not have a good time, it was a utter waste of time. That was the “I'm in my own little bubble" mentality. At the moment most people have completely stopped running skirmish raids & most people i talk with agree that they don't plan to run them again until they change to the new system (smart distribution autoloot). People are sick of ninja looters & leaders favoritism. No one like to get out of a instance with only a repair bill, aka worst than when you started it.

    On contrast, people are a lot happier with the new system, people cooperate to run instances with smart loot distribution. They know that they will always get rewarded for their effort & since gear isnt bound anymore, sharing & bonding is a common practice now. Pety fights between players over pieces of gear right to roll & loot have vanished. Instead to put their mind on rolling against the fellow, they put their mind in fighting the enemies & or helping fellows.
    Last edited by YamydeAragon; Jun 05 2015 at 02:46 PM.

  17. #92
    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    That blast from the past is going to backfire. I was around during those days & people were discontent with the system. Distribution of rewards was never fair, people stopped running, even trying any instance because since they knew they will not get rewarded unless the person was a favorite of the leader, they will not earn anything. If you dare to roll you will be yelled & sweared at so you will not have a good time, it was a utter waste of time. That was the “I'm in my own little bubble" mentality. At the moment most people have completely stopped running skirmish raids & most people i talk with agree that they don't plan to run them again until they change to the new system (smart distribution autoloot). People are sick of ninja looters & leaders favoritism. No one like to get out of a instance with only a repair bill, aka worst than when you started it.

    On contrast, people are a lot happier with the new system, people cooperate to run instances with smart loot distribution. They know that they will always get rewarded for their effort & since gear isnt bound anymore, sharing & bonding is a common practice now. Pety fights between players over pieces of gear right to roll & loot have vanished. Instead to put their mind on rolling against the fellow, they put their mind in fighting the enemies & or helping fellows.
    Gee, speak for yourself... Sounds like someone is bitter about a bad personal experience and never recovered from it, making blatant generalizations instead. If you ran with ninja looters or petty 'favorites', all I can say is - be careful who you PuG with. The world is a harsh and cruel place.

    I for one am very happy to see the loot roll brought back in the new instances. My hat is off to the devs for listening to the players who have been asking for it repeatedly: thank you! ./bow

    No more walking away with a mere bounty after investing a ton of time into running an instance. At least I get a fair chance to roll on items that pop up. Round robin with roll/pass is music to my ears. Seeing the loot items popping up is encouraging and motivating, knowing they are there and I have a chance at them each time I do the instance. I'm actually excited to run instances again

    What puzzles me the most about the post I just quoted above is... if " sharing & bonding is a common practice now", then why whine about loot change at all? Sounds like everything is already peachy. Surely the same generous souls who enjoy sharing their unbound loot with friends will also enjoy hitting "pass" on loot rolls to give their friends a chance. Nothing's being taken away from them. And if they were never generous to begin with, well... as I said, the world is a harsh and cruel place, be careful who you PuG with.

  18. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Aelir View Post
    Gee, ... What puzzles me ...
    You will not feel so puzzled if you where there to see it happen. That was years before 2014.

  19. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    You will not feel so puzzled if you where there to see it happen. That was years before 2014.
    My forum userID is new-ish, but I've been playing this game long, long before signing on these boards.

  20. #95
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    Update 17 Preview Stream Transcript

    Update 17 Preview Stream Transcript

    Please note: I am paraphrasing here. Anything said here is coming through my interpretation of what was said, and is subject to being corrected, so don't take all this as the final word.
    If anyone who was present has any additions or corrections, feel free to post.



    The team starts out by introducing themselves. Present today on the stream from right side of screen to left are Athena “Vyvyanne” Peters the Executive Producer, Game Systems Lead Engineer Leo "Ransroth" Zelevinsky, Content Designer Ryan “Pinion” Penk, Senior Content Designer Jeff "MadeOfLions" Libby (MoL), Design Lead Ben "DrOctothorpe" Schneider (DrO) with Jacob “QuarterMasterU” working the camera and Community Manager Andy “Frelorn” Cataldo helping with Q&A and narrating.

    Epic Book Quests

    MoL: This is Volume 4, Book 4, Siege of the White City, in which we will get to Minas Tirith. I can hardly believe it. I mean I've been working on Lord of the Rings for almost 10 years now, and when I started there was Archet and a little bit of the Chetwood and now we are in Gondor getting to Minas Tirith. It's amazing and I love it. In terms of the story we are probably in March 13, 3019, of the Third Age. Osgiliath is lost, if you have been playing the epic story up to this point you know things in Osgiliath were really bad at the end of the last update. The city's defenders are pretty much routed and an army out of Mordor has pretty much taken it under the command of Gothmog who is essentially the second in command to the Witch-King of Angmar, who serves Sauron.


    MoL: At the beginning of Book 4 the players are going to need to retreat across the fields of Pelennor to get to Minas Tirith. It’s going to be escaping from the city and the armies of Mordor are going to follow you. That brings us to Minas Tirith, the White City, built by Anorien towards the end of the Second Age. Anorien was the brother of Isildur who you may have heard of, when he built the city it was called Minas Anor, the Tower of the Sun. There was also a Tower of the Moon, Minas Ithil. You may know it by its current name Minas Morgul because it’s been taken by the enemy. Osgiliath used to be the capital of Gondor but now since Osgiliath has changed hands so many times over the course of history. That now Minas Tirith, renamed when Minas Ithill fell, to Minas Tirith the Tower of Guard. Essentially this is where the Men of Gondor are keeping an eye on the dark land basically across the river. This brings us to the city itself.

    Minas Tirith

    DrO: As you can see we are in the city on the first tier, the city has seven tiers. We have a great map that our team put together. So to pick up where Made of Lions left off this was originally a fortress and as it turned into the capital city they filled it in with residences and everything you would find in a city. One of the things that was built was this giant pier or ships prow that looks over the top of the city and forms sort of its defining feature. If we run around a little we can see in this main courtyard inside the gates all of the soldiers of Gondor gathered. They all arrived a couple of days ago, in the books they describe how the boy Bergil and Pippin get to watch them filing in and they see Prince Imrahil and Lord Forlong and a lot of people that we have heard about as we have played through the region content. People who in the last couple of updates had already marched off, well they are all here and all their soldiers are here. As you may remember it’s a lot of men but not as many as they had been hoping for. When we go to look above we will see the enemy host surrounding the city and it’s a scary, intimidating mass of enemies for the men that we have.

    MoL: Building Minas Tirith has been one of the really interesting things to do because for the last three updates or so we have been talking about Minas Tirith in the game. You have basically been encountering people that have been evacuated from Minas Tirith. When you go to Dol Amoroth you hear like all these soldiers left and they were marching to Minas Tirith. They are going to go defend Gondor and so however many months it’s been it’s amazing to finally get here.

    DrO: Of course many of us and many of you I'm sure were looking forward for years to getting here because it is such a monumental feature of the storyline.

    MoL: Now it is so funny to be able to finally make a quest in here and to realize with seven levels of the city to play in essentially you have to learn your way around. You have to figure out where everything is which is an interesting and fun challenge for us and I hope for you guys too. One more interesting thing about the design of the city is that each of the seven levels is connected by ramps and passages which lead up to the next one. These ramps are on alternating sides of the city for purposes of defense during a siege. It was constructed in such a way that for an enemy army which we will be seeing shortly, for an enemy army to assault the city they basically like have to turn left and walk a whole bunch and pass through a tunnel and then go back the other way. I think it is smartly made for defensive purposes.

    DrO:I think we have come up from the first tier to seventh tier and the white tree which died under care of one of the stewards.

    MoL: Do we want to talk about the tree? So, Professor Tolkien had a favorite tree it was at the Oxford Botanical Gardens and we thought it would be a nice homage to model the white tree here at Minas Tirith. The design of the tree here is inspired by that tree which has since been cut down for health reasons.

    DrO: It is really worth stepping back and taking a look to say that we have sort of made a labor of love out of building this city the thing is huge. As you get to wandering through it you'll see that we sort of spared no cost in adding in details including the people walking around. There is a handful of taverns that you can find and almost everything else you can imagine. This city lives and breathes and we are all actually really proud of it. As you can see the skies are still dark. If you can recall in the storyline the Dawnless Day came over this part of the world some days ago and it will remain a little while longer. So we get to see the gloomy version of the world at this moment. As you can see on the red skies in the distance is where Mordor and the enemy lies.

    DrO: So we would like to make one last stop before we move on to our next topic, which is the Dome of the Sun. We are first of all proud of it and it’s where the seat of Gondor makes its battle plans to sort of step back in the story for a moment. Gandalf arrived a few days ago with Pippin and Prince Imrahil arrived so we are entering the stage now where Faramir has come in wounded and Denethor is in the process of getting wrapped up in his grief. Gandalf who we will see named as Mithrandir which is what Gondor calls him and Prince Imrahil are taking control of things. Which we will see both here and in the Epic Battles we have to show.

    MoL: Denethor would normally be sitting with the council but he is preoccupied with his grief so he has left it to others to manage the city for the most part right now.

    DrO: If we look on the dais you can see our scale model.

    MoL: There is kind of an interesting design back and forth on this model in particular. When it was originally requested I pictured kind of a table with a model on it that the council of Gondor would be like planning the battle strategy and then it ended up being more table than model. So you have a really neat version of the white city but it ended up being very small on the table so one of our artists had the idea of well lets just get rid of the table and make the model bigger. So now we have like this really interesting center piece for the Dome of the Sun which is certainly better than the version on the table before.

    Vyvyanne: So I just have to point out here that we managed to build not one but two Minas Tiriths for this update there is your evidence right there.
    DrO: One is slightly smaller than the other of course.
    Vyvyanne: Yep just a little bit.

    DrO: The stretch of time that we have to tell at this point because the story gets very closely packed. The sort of final moment that we depict in this update is the assault that ends the Siege of Minas Tirith. We decided to tell that story through two Epic Battles. I think this is a great time to let Ryan “Pinion” talk us through them.


    Epic Battles

    Pinion: So the first epic battle is called the Defence of Minas Tirith and it is sort of the opening assault by Mordor and the axe-wielding Easterlings that are mentioned in Return of the King. So that sort of begins at the start of them shelling the city. They haven't really made a full scale assault just yet. You kind of get there just in time with Mithrandir and you get right into the battle with all the lords of Gondor that you have come into contact with in Minas Tirith. Just a reminder that Mithrandir is Gandalf. He has a couple of names. So I think we will show a couple of minutes of this. The audio for Gandalf put together by Ransroth is wonderful you just can't hear it right now since the sound is turned down. This is definitely the cleaner of the two battles things definitely get way out of hand with the second battle. In the second battle you will come against siege engines that approach the wall and and actually participate in destroying them. There are many side quests and boss matches tucked into these also Epic Foes and more.

    MoL: These are incredibly technical I've seen Ryan “Pinion” screen while he has been working on these and there is a lot going on.

    Vyvyanne: I think these really epitomize the biggest challenge we had coming into Minas Tirith not only building this massive city that people always hear about but is rarely ever seen in any kind of visual format. We also had to tell this tale of these people's Epic Battle quite literally and we didn't want you to have to walk through the same story a million times so we had to find ways to shake things up a bit. I'm not going to go too much into that but you should definitely hop into it with us when it’s released and check out that.

    Pinion: A lot of the side quests that we have in these epic battles are dealing with stuff straight from the books, some liberties taken here and there but we wanted to give you the full experience of what you might have seen at the siege of Gondor.

    DrO: Yes that is a fell-beast flying in the distance we should get a good glimpse at it and the battle below. You can't fall off. Might get shanked though as QuartermasterU about gets himself impaled on a grappling hook. You get to see the enemy preparing as it is mentioned in the books them digging trenches and setting fire in them and all these siege machines ready. We had to figure out how to pull all that together and honestly we are still a little surprised ourselves with how we got it to all come through. So we actually have a lot of the personalities that you have heard about and may have met on the battlefield a bit here. You can find Forlong, Parthadan and many others [unable to catch all the names mentioned] so more strong backup and some really nice lore moments for the people here for the story.

    DrO: So the first epic battle The Defence of Minas Tirith is solo/duo and three man and the second epic battle is solo/duo and six man. One of the things that came out when we did Pelargir was people mentioning they would like a three man.

    Pinion: Within about 40ish seconds we should see a Siege Tower approach the wall.
    DrO: Not that Pinion has the timings memorized or anything.
    Pinion: No not at all. You will know it’s coming though Imrahil calls it out. So now you have to actually go out on the towers and bring it down and fortunately the enemies were nice enough to leave powder kegs out there for you to do it with.

    Pinion: So now we can go to the second battle and it becomes obvious that they have repaired Grond since the events of the last book and it’s now rolling toward the gates of Minas Tirith and everyone is doing whatever they can to stop it.
    DrO: Grond as a refresher is a head shaped battering ram with evil defenses.
    MoL: It should be noted that we run across Grond in the end of the last volume but this volume is an on ramp so you don't have to have done the previous ones to start it. Though I encourage you to play all of them. Sauron thinks he’s about to win so he has opened the floodgates and this is gonna be it as far as he knows. He hasn't read Lord of the Rings.
    Pinion: Our world builders had fun destroying Minas Tirith after it was built. As this battle progresses you'll see Grond slowly make his way toward the gates.

    DrO: So we have tried to make this as real an experience as possible for LoTRO. This is the bigger longer battle so we will say if you want to see the rest you'll have to play.


    Ransroth:
    I have to say I'm very excited to actually be a part of the stream this time I'm usually the one helping with the stream or watching it this time I'm a part of it. One of the things I want to talk about is some of the tech work I got to do was making it to where we can actually see Grond while we are on the wall. Generally when things are very far away you can't see them but that was unfortunate for Grond so we fixed that.


    Cosmetic Weapon Updates

    Ransroth: One of the things people have been asking to do cosmetic weapon wise is to pretend to not be wearing any weapons at all especially our role players who would prefer to not have their mace showing equipped while they are walking around the inn. So we added a little eyeball icon to the shield and weapon. It works similarly if you uncheck the eyeball it will look like you’re not wearing it in the game, it works a little differently in that it will still show on your cosmetic interface but not in the game world. If you get into combat it will show though but not while you’re walking around not fighting anything. When we first started to do cosmetic weapons we decided to see what it would look like if we let any weapon look like any other weapon and we just opened the floodgates and just sent our QA team after it and they said that looks horrible. So if you were using a halberd and had it looking like a sword it didn't look right. So we decided to say in the beginning if your using a sword then you have to have a sword cosmetically. In this release we are moving more to the freedom side. So if you’re wearing a sword you can cosmetically equip a mace and it will look fine we also were able to make it where say if you’re wanting to wear a fish-slapper like QuartermasterU is you can now do that. There are still some restrictions if you are using a two-handed weapon you can't pretend to be using a one-handed weapon. Two-handed weapons come in groups and there is a release note that describes what those are but I think this is now a compromise. We did fix it to where you can no longer fish while using a cosmetic weapon because that looked pretty silly.

    Ransroth: One of the other things we did was make it to where you can turn off your combat music in the combat options so if you want to have just the nice calm music all the time. The other user feature we looked into about turning the names off above peoples heads. What we ended up doing was giving you the ability to control the opacity of the names. We also did a bug fix for helping some of the instances that were freezing.
    MoL: One of the quickest to mind was Bingo learning to swim.

    Crafting


    DrO: There is a new tier of crafting and there will be a dev diary out about it. The dev diary will be Monday morning hopefully. New stack sizes for crafting as well.


    Crafting Nodes
    We have now made it to where you can harvest nodes/scholar items etc while on a horse. If that affects immersion you are still welcome to get off the horse.


    Q&A

    Frelorn: I will ask that we try and keep the questions to stuff coming up in Update 17 but we will try and answer a couple of non 17 things if we feel they are relevant.

    Q: When does Update 17 go live?
    A: Within the next couple of weeks when we nail down a date we will be sure to announce it. We are in heavy polish mode at the moment.

    Q: Is the level cap remaining at 100 with Update 17
    A: Yes it is but the imbued legendary item cap is being raised so you will be able to make your LI stronger and more powerful.

    Q:We see that you have Big Battles for Update 17. Will we ever be getting a raid again?
    A:It is a possibility, it is something we are looking into and we want to give the ability for the players to come in as a larger group of friends and really enjoy the experience. It is just finding the right place in the story to tell that type of story. It is definitely on our plate and we are finding a way to do that in coming updates but I'm not going to give specifics on when just yet. -Vyvyanne
    Speaking as a fan of Lord of the Rings there are places and things ahead that would certainly qualify. -MoL
    There are things coming up for sure where a raid will be completely appropriate, -Vyvyanne


    Q: Beyond Update 17 are you planning any more updates for the rest of the year.
    A: Not for 2015, so basically we will have Update 17 and probably a few patches and hotfixes but after that anything will be in the 2016 time frame. Bingo will keep going into next year.

    Q: Will Gandalf have voice acted lines in the Big Battles or will it mostly be written text?
    A: It is mostly voice acting but there are some written lines. There are a lot of voice acted lines throughout this update we didn't want to spare it on such big moments.

    Q:Are there any changes to the Stars of Merit for the empowerment scrolls and crystals?
    A: The new Epic Battles will yield more Stars of Merit than older Epic Battles so if you play the new stuff you will get more and have more to spend. There have been changes since the last build on beta.

    Q:Will we ever be able to list more than 30 items in the auction house?
    A: If that is something that players are interested in we can definitely look at. - Ransroth

    Frelorn: I can tell you guys this ahead of time because I am seeing a lot of PvMP questions, our main guy that works on PvMP couldn't be here today he had car problems to take care of.
    Vyvyanne: I do want to clarify we are not dropping PvMP it is something we are still working on. We are in discussions about stuff we will be doing for the next year. PvMP is an ongoing process.


    Q: Have they already or when will the virtues cap be increased?
    A: DrO: We can definitely look at that, it’s not in 17 is the short answer.

    Q:When will the hunter get heavy armour and a machine gun?
    A: “massive laughter” That may be immersion breaking.


    Q:When will Made of Lions get a substantial raise?
    A: Vyvyanne: we work on that every year.

    Q: Any changes to loot drops from the classic Tier 2 raids?
    A: For U16 instances I know we added morgul crests to the base tier 2 quests so you will get one even when you run it without challenge on tier 2. I think we added a barter for scrolls of empowerment for Morgul crests as well.

    Q:There is a new crafting level will there be an increase in the crafting guilds too?
    A: Not in update 17, we did level but not guilds this time.

    Q:When will we get war pigs?
    A: Various comments about wanting war pigs. Jokes being made by Frelorn and a few that they would love them too.

    Q: Are we getting more Class Trait Points with Update 17? How many?
    A: At least 2 you get for the big battles.

    Q:The Update 16 instances are tailored to tactical and ranged dps as opposed to melee classes are there more plans/fixes to allow more people to get involved in the instances?
    A: I don't know if we have plans for the U16 instances but I know that’s something we always keep in mind for balancing new spaces. Coming as an MMO Player that primarily has always played melee classes I know that kind of pain so I will keep an eye on that in future things. - Pinion

    In the current epic battles especially in the fellowship versions everyone will need to be busy if you want to platinum it. There will be plenty of roles for everyone, class roles change in epic battles and we are aware of that and we have been working to move epic battles towards a place where your actual class role has a bigger place. - DrO

    Q: During boss fights or big fights there are three to four lines of debuffs on a boss or creature, we noticed that there is more lag. Are there any plans to fix this?

    A: We are always looking at how to make the game perform better and I do have an item on my rather large to-do list that is to look at whether having more lines of debuffs contributes to lag as strong as it used to unfortunately we are just really busy doing other things. It can be fixed sort of on the system side try to put fewer of those debuffs on skills it’s a lot of work or fixing it on the engineering side make it not hurt so much. It is on our list. -Ransroth

    Q:Are we moving straight to Mordor or are we going to move in other directions as we press forward?
    A: This is definitely going to be a stay tuned answer let’s say there is business in the Kingdom of Gondor around Minas Tirith that is not yet finished. It will take us a while to finish it. - DrO
    We have a no spoilers note on our door which you can't see which is why we are dancing around the question a bit. There are a lot of exciting things going on in the next week in the chronology of the story. - MoL
    The next week will not take just a single update. - DrO
    Mordor will be in our sights though - Vyvyanne
    We are working hard not to miss any parts of the story that we all love. - DrO

    Q:Can we jump off of the citadel like Denethor did?
    A: You are going to have to try it and find out. - DrO

    Q:Will there be a non-gloomy or less gloomy version of Minas Tirith after the battle?
    A: You'll have to wait and see.

    Q: Definitely not in Update 17 but can you make a dog/hound for Hunters like Lore-Masters have pets?
    A: We can think about that.

    Closing Notes:

    Vvyanne: Definitely come out and play the Siege of Minas Tirith and see how gorgeous it is. I am looking forward to seeing festivals thrown by roleplayers in the garden it’s such a fantastic space.

    Ransroth: I already have my lvl 100 ready and can't wait to go to Minas Tirith.

    Pinion: I am also excited to see Minas Tirith and can't wait to see the epic story and epic battles.

    MoL: One of my favorite characters has kinda gotten short shrift and it’s Denethor. So I’m excited because this epic book kind of gives you an insight into Denethor's frame of mind. He is living right on the edge of the black land and there is an army that is coming to do the final decisive strike on the people of Middle-earth and he is the guy that is responsible for trying to stop it and he doesn't know what he can do. I think it is great and I am super excited for this part of the story in particular and I'm very proud of it.

    DrO: These guys have said it as well as I possibly could have we are super excited to be taking you guys into Minas Tirith and we hope that you are looking forward to it too.
    Last edited by Eldalleth; Nov 02 2015 at 05:49 PM. Reason: grammar dudes
    Eldalleth Altaholic on Gladden and Landroval and Evernight (Formerly of Dwarrowdelf)
    I stream on twitch you can find me on twitch.tv/eldalleth
    I am also a member of the Official Lotro Stream Team twitch.tv/lotrostream :)
    I am a Director on the Lotro-wiki feel free to ask questions or let me know if something is missing.
    Need something Lotro related retweeted player event etc? Tag Lotrofamily on Twitter twitter.com/lotrofamily or me twitter.com/eldalleth
    Moderator of LotRO Community Discord Server and many others https://discord.gg/CQxRf33Wd7

  21. #96
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    2,075
    Thanks, Eldalleth!

  22. #97
    Frelorn: I can tell you guys this ahead of time because I am seeing a lot of PvMP questions, our main guy that works on PvMP couldn't be here today he had car problems to take care of.
    Vyvyanne: I do want to clarify we are not dropping PvMP it is something we are still working on. We are in discussions about stuff we will be doing for the next year. PvMP is an ongoing process.


    Lmfao. Oh god, this game is just comedic relief for me now.
    Ukrush | Meneldor | Dark Impulse

    The immersion is too real.

  23. #98

    Thumbs down

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldalleth View Post

    Frelorn: I can tell you guys this ahead of time because I am seeing a lot of PvMP questions, our main guy that works on PvMP couldn't be here today he had car problems to take care of.
    Vyvyanne: I do want to clarify we are not dropping PvMP it is something we are still working on. We are in discussions about stuff we will be doing for the next year. PvMP is an ongoing process.

    To be honest, you've run out of excuses and just restarting them all over again.

    Just simply admit once and for all, that you have zero, nada, no plans to update PvMP to a good enjoyable level where the fights are close, that the bugs that are still in the game since the actual launch will be sorted or the fact you actually have a team truly wanting to work on PvMP.

    The whole PvMP council is a scam and I feel sorry for all those on it, myself included. I have finally given up on any small belief that I may have had, that this side of the game, especially towards the creep side, would improve and get a proper and very over-due look at. Both sides of this game needs to be on-par yet you simply don't see it or react and sort it.

    All promises of huge greatness only to give out limp results, followed by comical excuses.
    [CENTER]BiteMarks
    ~ the names Marks .... BiteMarks ~
    [/CENTER]

  24. #99
    PvmP has been in-balanced since the ettenmoors revamp couple yrs ago.....give us bk the old oc/ec points,give both freep/creep npcs more outgoing damage,take away keep buffs and auto flips,bring bk the relog time for both sides and ffs look at ur own CoC about unfair advantage,therefore get rid of multi-boxers.

    Creeps need a complete over-haul to make it as frelorn said of being a group based pvmp, cant put in any opinions how to do it as I mainly play freep but surely the creeps should get an extra 5% outgoing damage boost or summit.

    Fix the damn bug that allows stealth classes to lag us out from stealth,its been known issue for how many months now and still not been hotfixed even though there has been hotfixes for pve that was only 2 or 3 weeks old.

    Another thing the creeps should get (even tho some may think its minor and has no place) is a hobbit gift box equivelant that could give them some added to help towards maps or a boost,just summit as a daily reward,after all some creep players don't even bother loggin a freep.

    Bitemarks ive known for many yrs and is a great player,and personally I would say any input he would've put in via the player council would've been un-biased and could've possibly helped towards any future PvmP changes.

  25. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Laura_Everett View Post
    ... With each and every update you make freeps more and more and MORE powerful, and overpowered, without a regard at all at what you are doing to the PvMP aspect of the game. ...
    Quote Originally Posted by colhelm View Post
    ...Creeps need a complete over-haul to make it as frelorn said of being a group based pvmp, cant put in any opinions how to do it as I mainly play freep but surely the creeps should get an extra 5% outgoing damage boost or summit....
    I really wish peeps would get off this "Creep/Freep" comparison and start focusing on CLASSES.

    ie: Weavs need nothing....Hunters need much love.
    All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a thousand enemies. And whenever they catch you, they will try to kill you. But first...they must catch you. Be cunning, and full of tricks, and you will never be destroyed...

 

 
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