LOtRO: Dev Chat Transcript 06-12-2009

| 12 Jun 2009 20:20

time out of their busy schedule to chat with us. Here is the transcript from the developer chat if you missed it:

Also a German translation has been made available at http://www.buffed.de/forum/index.php?showforum=44

WarCry: Welcome to WarCry's War Council! Today we are pleased to have the developers of Lord of the Rings Online here to chat with about Book 8 and the
WarCry: new Summer Festival! Remember that while the chat is going on you can join the general chat in #warcry.
WarCry: Questions can be submitted to [QT]Otters by double click on his name or typing /msg [QT]Otters or /q [QT]Otters . Also on questions sent to
WarCry: [QT]Otters will be put into the queue for answering by the devs. The chat log (English version) will be available shortly after the event at
WarCry: http://www.warcry.com.
WarCry: Now on to our honered guests to introduce themselves!

Amlug: Hi, I'm Amlug. I am an instance developer. If you don't know who I am, you should read my blog on mylotro.com. I can't wait to answer your questions! I also am very excited that the Red Sox are 8-0 against the Yankees this year!
Orion: Hello everyone! I am Allan "Orion" Maki. You may know me from such great hits as Weathertop, The Librarof Tham Mirdain, The School of Tham Mirdain, The Witch King's Retreat, Monster Play and most recently the re-vamp to lower level content.
Sapience: I'm Sapience. I'm part of the Community Team. I herd cats.
Faya: Hi all, I'm Claire "Faya" Chamielec, the Community Manager for Codemasters Online
Jalessa: Hi all, I'm Jalessa from the LOTRO Systems team. Hope you have lots of questions about Book 8. I like pie.
ZombieColumbus: I'm ZC. I'm a game systemes developer. I do class balance and itemization these days. I'm also working on Skirmishes, but we will likely not be talking about them much ;)
Artician: Hey guys, Artician here. I am a World Builder who did some choice selections from Moria and a great deal of upcoming content.

WarCry: TLBOH|Fenrir: is there gonna be other remake's of the starter/lowlvl areas as now book 8 starts with bree and book 7 got some new material to Ered Luin , do we see remake of north downs and evendim in the future maybe ?
Orion: Indeed there is! I am already working on the Lone-lands and after that I will be heading to the North Downs. When we started the low level revamp earlier this year we made the decision to carry that forward to at least level 50! So there will be updates that touch all zones.
Orion: By the time that we are done there should be at least zones to level from 22-32, 3 for 32-42 and four for 42-52!

WarCry: Flaps: on one of the dev chat's i asked if there were to be anymore 24 man instances. Unfortuntely the response was that you guys were not planning on making anymore of them, any particular reason to why?
Amlug: Flaps, I may have been the one who answered you before. While there are no immediate plans for 24-person spaces, that does not mean that we will never do one again. Right now, the sweet spot for raids is 12-person spaces and for the forseeable future it will remain that way. :)

WarCry: fabian: I rolled a Dwarf Guardian, and I like "Endurance of Stone" however it seems that it has not been updated to include the "new" resistances. Is this intended? If it is, are not elve and man guards favoured because their trait is much more useful by now?
ZombieColumbus: We decided not to update Endurance of Stone in Moria because felt the ability was already quite good. Even without adding the additional damage types, the skill can save your life in many situations. There has been some talk of adding an additional Racial trait for Dwarves that upgrades the skill, but no plans yet.

WarCry: Althorix: ask if the tokens only let you get first agers for your class?
Amlug: There are no restrictions for buying 1st Ages. If you really want to buy a hunter bow for your Runekeeper, be our guest!

WarCry: Marqlar: Do you have any plans about "scaling" old content so lvl 60s (or the new lvl capped chars) have a valid reason to go back there? Personally I find it a bit sad that a lot of the great instances/raids like the rift or the annuminas instances go unnoticed by new players. Those are in fact great instances, And I would love an incentive as a lvl capped character to go back there and do those again...
Sapience: Amlug is typing a very long and complex answer. I think Spellcheck is going to crash
Amlug: Marqlar. We have talked about this internally with much debate. It is a very compelling and interesting idea to entertain. There are a lot of things to work out to make it work properly and not feel like a recycle of old content with nothing new to put in. This won't be happening in the forseeable future, but it is something we have not ruled out completely either.

WarCry: Eregnos: Will there be the possibility to pass the redhorn pass? May the orcs have digged through? The possibility to walk from Eregion to Lothlórien in the daylight would be great!

WarCry: Tiren: The devs are very active at the official US forums, cudos for that. It gives players a chance to get answers from devs directly and i believe it greatly enhances the way the game is being understood and recieved by its users. We EU custommers however can't take part in the debate with the devs because we can't write on the US forums without registering a US trial account. Are there any plans to change this?
Orion: While we do not always post on the Codemasters forums, I can assure you that we visit there with regularity. We may not post, but we are there lurking and gathering information from you as well.

WarCry: Vaelien: Don't you believe that by making the changes with the special ingredients in crafting you start to oversimplify the process? Where is the magic in crafting if everyone can make everything?
Orion: The changes that we are making to the crafting system do not provide the ability for all players to craft in every vocation. It simplifies the process of gathering the optional ingredients and allows for more interdependency between the vocations.
Orion: The goal is not to make crafting a superfluous system. In fact, the goal is to make it more robust and prep it for some larger changes in the future. To do this, we need to ensure that we provide better detail to players and one way to do this is by introducing a standardized set of ingredients that do not drop from umpteen numbers of random locations.

WarCry: Cosmo: "Do turbine intend to add any more graphical or performance focused enhancements to the game over the next twelve months?"
Artician: @Cosmo - We're constantly working on our engines performance and quality, but typically it's all in small, unnoticable chunks.
Artician: For example, in upcoming books there are a number of changes to the graphics engine, player lighting improvements, per-pixel shading for frills, etc. These all result in slight improvements to look and performance, but for the foreseeable future there are no *major* changes coming up other than this normal, slow evolution of it overall. I hope that makes sense...

WarCry: Marqlar: Are there any plans on incorporating an instance based freep vs creeps battles where we could battle it out on equal terms?
Artician: Its hard to for me to forumlate answers because I'm sitting next to Orion, and he's loud and wordy.
Jalessa: We'd love to be able to do this, someday :)

WarCry: Meeko: Any chance that some of the epic instances in volumn 1 will be eased as not so many people are around to group with who are interested in doing them... or a way to hire npc's to help complete them in future?
Orion: Funny you should ask this. Book 8 will see the first change along these lines. Chapter 11, Orthongroth is already set this way. Moving forward - post Book 8 - we are taking a different approach. My recent work has been focusing on providing both solo and group version of the Epic instances to allow players to choose the way that they want to complete the overall epic story.

WarCry: Templar|Silind: Will there ever be elite classes? Classes that you can start from a higher lvl.
ZombieColumbus: There are no current plans to add new classes in Book 8. If we do add more classes in the future, we could make them start at higher then level 1 if we decide to go in that direction.
ZombieColumbus: Though, we like how the Rune-keeper and Warden worked out.

WarCry: TE|Melgarond: In Book8 we see Armor Sets with 20 Radiance. Im wondering if this is going to be WoW-like, means, you need Set 1 for getting Set 2, this one for getting Set 3, and so on?
Amlug: Part of this is sort of correct? But Set 3? What set 3? Who said anything about Set 3? I'm confused!

WarCry: Vetaro: Does it feel discouraging when players tend to only focus on bad things about new content a while after it went live? Critics always scream louder than happy players...
Orion: Not at all. In fact, criticism is excellent it lets us know where we need to improve. The only frustration that arises in when you cannot answer someone as honestly as you would like, due to the rules and regulations in place. Every time that we see something negative we look at the complaints objectively, go back into the game and see what the core of the issue is and see if we can find out what the loud voices are truly trying to say.
Orion: More often than not the screams can be addressed with something fairly minor. Sometimes, the negative highlights deep-seeded issues and we can make people feel better. I learned a long time ago that you need to have a thich skin in this industry. Keep on smiling and never let them see you sweat.

WarCry: Morymmus: My Question:I'm playing a lvl 60 Guardian on Morthond. Now we face the problem that guardians are no longer needed fort he watcher- or Filikul-Raid. In fact, most instances are easily solved without us. Are there any plans to bring the guardian back in the game? Some Instances which are not Damage-focused i.e.?
Amlug: We do not want to make guardians obsolete. Tanklug would be very unhappy! We have made improvements to the Watcher and we also have several bosses in Dar Narbugud that need one or MORE tanks to succeed. We will continue to keep the Guardian role viable from a content perspective as much as possible.
Jalessa: From the LOTRO systems perspective: There are several upcoming systems changes that will increase the overall desirability of the tank role in Instance play. We're still in the initial stages right now so we are not able discuss any specifics at this time.

WarCry: Vaelien: Are there going to be introduced more craft recipies, especially from drops that give variety? At the moment everything is pretty standard, and crafting seems to be far behind item drops or quest rewards.
Orion: We have plans. We need to keep them veiled in obscurity for the moment, but I can tell you this: I am very excited about what I have seen thus far and it is going to make crafters throughout the game, very, very happy.

WarCry: Sylvatica`Snowbourn: and, as new classes to the creep side, classes? I mean origins like Gondor, maybe have a Men on the creep side, from Harad, or Rhûn?
Jalessa: Not at this time, Sylvatica.

WarCry: Sasco_BW: Any chance you will make more quests group friendly in terms of objective drops; dropping for the whole group not just one person?
Orion: I hope to be able to address these in terms of items that can be taken from landscape going to the group. There are some restrictions, tech-wise, that make parsing all quest objectives directly to fellowships. Where we can address this issue, we will.

WarCry: Oli|Reborn: my question would be: will the watcher drop a hope-buff aswell? like thaurlach & thorog?
Amlug: This is not something that is in the watcher or the Book 8 raid currently. Sorry! :(

WarCry: Eregnos: Will there be some kind of fast travel for mp's?
Jalessa: Because Monster Players already have travel via maps, we do not see a need for additional "fast" travel options at this time.

WarCry: Firemozzi: Will it can be a recorder or Editor to edit music.ABC music Files for Lotro? or something?. It would be very nice, to Componise ingame new Songs and something
Orion: There are many .abc editors out there. We have no intention to create one that is meant for use with LotRO.

WarCry: Tholori: As for new content, did you ever think of adding wooden boats into the game as a way of travelling, like with horses?
Artician: Yes we have considered adding various options for travelling, given the larger bodies of water in the game, and the anduin now bordering Lorien. We have added a fast travel route across Evendim, for example. We don't have any near future plans to add boats specifically, but it is definitely one thing that has been discussed for those who don't like Fast Travel, or swimming a lot. ;)
Amlug: I like swimming!

WarCry: hakhu: After the changes to the experience system in Book 7 I feel that I am leveling too fast. I've skipped Forochel completely (sadly) and have not yet done any end-region content like Carn Dum, Goblin Town (Misty Mountains) or Library/School (Eregion). I am already level 55 1/2. I've not even started Moria content. Is this as you intended the leveling experience? Any plans to readjust this?
* Artician slaps Amlug around a bit with a large trout
ZombieColumbus: While we do not want players to feel they are leveing too fast, it's a better problem then the opposite ;) Since SoA released, we have added more and more content with the intention of giving players the ability to choose what content they play through, as requiring all players to follow exactly the same route through the game.
ZombieColumbus: We are reaching a place where you could roll and alt and play till cap and play a completely different set of content then you did the last time. We believe this is a good thing, not a bad thing :)

WarCry: Sasco_BW: Naming crafted items on a critical success was great, any chance of expanding on that to include choices in the appearance of the item to further character variety?
Jalessa: That's an awesome idea Sasco - one that we've had in our own wishlist for a while.
Jalessa: We'll keep it tucked away.

WarCry: Lem: Will you be introducing any neww skills for the classes in book 8, and onwards, before the level caps raised?
ZombieColumbus: There are no plans to add new skills in Book 8. Many players already have very full quickslots, and the classes have skill-play rotations we are happy with. We will continue to tweak existing skills, but do not expect any new skills any time soon.

WarCry: Meeko: I would love to see an option added, per character, to ride my horse side saddle or to stradle it. That way I could have my female characters ride side saddle.
Artician: That's a really cool idea. We have no plans to make that an option, but I am going to take that idea to the rest of my team and present it as my own.
Artician: :;)

WarCry: fabian: oh i forgot one: when will book 8 go live? :-)
Jalessa: Soon (TM)
Sapience: Soon! (no really...)
Amlug: Stay tuned...
ZombieColumbus: Soony
Faya: Soon!
Artician: huh? what?
Orion: Soon-ish!
Jalessa: 2009
Sapience: Woot! Confirmed!
Amlug: maybe ;)
WarCry: I am so glad I didn't as that question this time :)
Orion: Wait, where am I?
ZombieColumbus: who are you people?!?
Amlug: BRAINS!
ZombieColumbus: in Amlug? doubtful
Jalessa: burn
Amlug: 4+3 = ??
Sapience: He can do math!
ZombieColumbus: 0:-)

WarCry: Vincent: do you plan more features for housing in the future
Artician: We would certainly love to!

WarCry: IRCGuest320: Will creeps have class trait bonusses like freeps?
Jalessa: This is definitely something that we can look into for Creep additions/changes in the future.

WarCry: Felou: Hi, i'm a RPlayer on Estel. All players are now in moria and lorien because of weapon XP... do you plan or ever think of making others new quests or craft-instances in the whole eriador like breeland/the shire/Ereld Luin/Evendim/etc... to make others country living with hi-level?
Orion: Creating higher level content for earlier leveling areas is going to be difficult. This does not mean we will not so our best to try and get some higher level areas into Eriador. But the time-frame for getting anything like this in is post the re-vamp that I currently working on.
Orion: err so = do
WarCry: TallJohn: Why is that in the more serious quests there's not a reward for every class? Sometimes when you finish a tough one, there's only rewards for a few classes...
ZombieColumbus: aking a reward for each of 9 specific classes for every quest is not really feasable. We try to apread the rewards as much as we can, but we do not intend every quest to give out a perfect reward for every class.
ZombieColumbus: *Making

WarCry: Meeko: LMAO tell Artician I think I am in love
Artician: That's not a question.
Jalessa: awwww
Orion: Ewww!!! He's hairy and smells like Bigfoot!
Sapience: *Averts eyes*
ZombieColumbus: ::turns to stone::
* Gatzby puts on the Barry White.
Amlug: pictures or it isn't true
* ZombieColumbus turns to stone
Artician: Hey it's my turn to answer! You guys aren't supposed to type now!
ZombieColumbus: forgot my irc commands...
Amlug: Artician and Meeko sitting in a tree....
Orion: Someone get an axe
* ZombieColumbus crumbles to dust
Amlug: And my Bow!
ZombieColumbus: lol
Sapience: Oh man... I think I'm gonna need a job after this.

WarCry: Well on the final lovely note...
Jalessa: me and my eight legs just curled up and died.
* Artician sighs
ZombieColumbus: TY all
Amlug: Thanks everyone! :) It has been fun! :)
WarCry: We would like to thank the devs for taking time out to hang with us
Faya: Thanks everyone!
Artician: Thanks folks. See you next time
WarCry: The log in english as I you don't want me to translate it will be up on www.warcry.com shortly
Orion: Good Night everyone! Meeko, don't keep Artician out too late, he needs to work tomorrow.
Sapience: Thanks everyone! Have a great weekend!
* Amlug goes to cut down a tree.
Jalessa: Night all, thanks for coming!
* Sapience goes to wash eyes

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