Dev Chat 11 2 08

LotRO Developer Chat 2/11/2008

Sprite - Welcome to another great Stratics house of commons with the developers of the Lord of the Rings Online! There is no specific topic for tonight's chat, all questions are welcome!

Sprite - Please send those questions to [QT]Legend - to do so type /msg [QT]Legend My question here. Please only send questions to our QT's as those sent to myself or the developers will not make it into the lineup.
Sprite - The full logs will be posted on http://lotro.stratics.com/ after the chat. We'll begin with a quick intro from our guests...now would be a good time to send in those questions!

Scenario - Good evening all! My name is Matt "Scenario" Elliott, Lead Worldbuilder for LOTRO. The World team is responsible for the development of our landscape, the creation of our dungeon spaces and the placement of roving packs of angry toads!

LOTRO_Rowan - Hello, I'm Aaron "Rowan" Campbell, Live Producer for LOTRO. I'll be making sure Saffron doesn't get too wild while Ringleader is away tonight.

LOTRO_Saffron - Greetings, thanks for coming! I'm Vanessa "Saffron" Price, I am one of the Online Community Specialists and I'm an Auction House Bid-a-holic...those Light Hides should have been mine!

Annuvin - Hey all, Cardell "Annuvin" Kerr here. My son just learned how to lift his head! Otherwise, he's done nothing impressive. Just keeping your informed! Oh, and I'm the Creative Director person, here to wow you with how awesome Book 12 is!

Turbine_Rhidden - Paul âRhiddenâ Simon here; content designer and festival maker extraordinaire. You want quests, I got em! Epic quests, boar quests, beer quests, all sorts of quests. Quests, woooo!!!!

Scenario - Fish quests?

Turbine_Meghan - Hi everyone! I'm Meghan "Patience" Rodberg, Community Manager for Turbine. Chicken parm is the new beige. Gratz "Annuvin" on your boy genius.

Turbine_Meghan - In case not everyone here has heard, the latest free content for LOTRO, Book 12: The Ashen Wastes is scheduled for release this coming Wednesday, February 13 on the US/Oceanic servers!

Turbine_Meghan - Book 12 includes new character customization options for clothing and hairstyles, updates to the Guardian, Burglar, and Champion classes, a new PvMP experience, and tons more.

Turbine_Meghan - We hope you'll agree that it was worth the wait! For an overview, see our Book 12 Spotlight at http://www.lotro.com/index.php?page_id=154. If you have some time on your hands and want a lot of detail on what's in Book 12, you can view the full release notes on our Lorebook: http://lorebook.lotro.com/wiki/Release_Notes_Book_12_Official

Turbine_Meghan - Scenario is tired of talking about Book 12 and is dying to tell you all about Book 13, but since the marketing ninjas will come for me if he does, I've asked him not to. Sorry. :)

Turbine_Meghan - In other news, we recently updated lotro.com's video page with several new video dev diaries. You can see them here: http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?t=115381

Turbine_Meghan - Okay, I'm done spamming you guys with links. Thanks again for coming, and to Stratics for hosting us again! :)

Sprite - Feel free to also /join #lotro for open discussion as the chat progresses.

Sprite - *Tiaga* When can we expect to see lands beyond Eriador?


Scenario -
We'd love to explore the lands beyond Eriador. But before we do, we have other regions that we need to get to first.

Sprite -
*Virogar* Hey there, just wondering if there are any plans in the future for a shared map system where players can share marks and planning on a mutual map for quest/raid planning

LOTRO_Rowan -
It's a great idea, one we've talked about a lot. I'll put it in the backlog of excellent projects going forward.
LOTRO_Rowan -
We are definitely looking at ideas to share and facilitate quests in the future.

Sprite - *Godot* Will there be wardrobes for the probably huge ammount of clothes we will collect, somewhen ?

Annuvin -
Sadly, we don't have plans to introduce a "wardrobe" option. With that said, you can assemble a few outfits, and leave them in your bank while you travel abroad, smacking fools up.

Sprite - *Willowleaf* will be ge getting new classes at some point? and if yes, will we be getting more slots to play them?

Annuvin -
Hrm... to that, I say, MAYBE. And to answer your second question, it would be inhumane to not grant people additional slots. INHUMANE, I tell you!

Sprite - *Vague24* Book 12 looks great. Thanks a lot for all the work, guys! One question, is there any plans to introduce some sort of key ring? Many players want one, and I believe it would be very well received... Thanks a lot!

LOTRO_Rowan -
We have a few different ideas for this - its definitely something players have asked for. So we may not have a "key ring" exactly, but it's high on the priority list for later this year.

Sprite - *Jables* Will we be able to look towards to more pack space in the future? Even with the new bank packs I'm still out of room :(

LOTRO_Rowan -
Storage space is a perk we love to give. We always have to balance it with performance. I'll huddle with the database gurus and continue to push for more... maybe at home?


Sprite -
*Wrymstrum* Can we expect an upgrade to the LFG tool/functionality? If it was more visible, easier to use, and more robust then more players would use it and gouping would be easier.

Annuvin -
Actually, the LFG panel keeps coming up around here. We have plans to focus on the LFG tool, as we like it when people play together. Expect more news "soon"(tm).

Sprite - *Zanelas* Do you guys have any information about what we can expect for book 13?

LOTRO_Rowan -
New features! (we can't discuss) New region(s) (that we can't discuss yet) New creatures! (that I can't describe) Annuvin - keeps telling me it's too big... sigh.

Scenario -
And fish.

LOTRO_Rowan -
Yes, and fish.

Turbine_Meghan -
We'll get through Book 12, and then start talking about 13. Baby steps. :)

LOTRO_Rowan -
But we're finally giving you fish Patience!

Annuvin -
It is too big.
Annuvin -
Way too big.

Sprite - *Tremloc* Will lotro ever get some sort of character page server that a script can ping for views of characters outside of lotro? I.E. if I want to view my Character Journal for Tremloc outside of logging on to lotro. A few mmos and many other games have this functionality, and it would be most welcome for kin websites and the like....

Annuvin -
And full of stars.

Turbine_Meghan -
Hi Tremloc. That's definitely something we talk about doing; we've already introduced some tech that reaches into the game, like the Lorebook, and would like to extend that into things like leaderboards. It's possible that some day we'll be able to display things like your journal, your character, and so on outside of the game, though it won't be any time soon (if ever). *peers around for marketing ninjas*

Sprite - *Godot* what do you think about a hobby like painting? Where you could hang your made screenshots from the game on your wall, name them and trade them? A possibility for a new hobby to come or merely impossible ?

LOTRO_Rowan -
That's actually something our design lead has been talking about a lot. (I think he's a frustrated artist.) It's a very cool idea - we love the non-combat options as well.

Sprite - *Dornlo* I would like to ask: Many people are concerned about Beryl shards, can you tell us anything to calm our fears?

Scenario -
It has taken us a while to get a spawning mechanism for Rares that we are happy with. The over-all intent is to make them (and their associated gem shards) something that is less campable but more likely to be found over the course of normal play.
Scenario -
The changes we've made are not completely global and there still exist some rares that behave in the old way.

Sprite - *aRabidFlea* are kin houses going to have a bulletin board anytime soon?

LOTRO_Rowan -
Kin support and Kinship Housing as a mechanism for this are definitely on the radar. We agree that a Kin House should be a social center where you can exchange messages, store supplies and prepare for events. We just need to find the time. :)

Sprite - *Wilder* Will there ever be an option to exchange the reward for the level 45 quests, like exchanging the horses in bree?

Annuvin -
We don't have any plans to let you re-exchange quest gear for other quests. I don't know how to say this in a non-inflammatory way, but here it is;
Annuvin -
We trust that the choice you make (for everything except your steed) is a choice you meant. In the case of horses... that's a lot of money. And as we all know, buying the wrong steed leads to angry posts at the least, and seppuku at worst.


Sprite -
*Zanelas* Are there any plans to allow players to trade a house for maybe a deed to another house, so that we can move into a house that might not have been available in any neighborhood when we first moved in?

Turbine_Meghan -
Hi Zanelas! Unfortunately, although it's something we'd love to see too, our tech just doesn't allow it and it's unlikely to happen any time soon, if ever.


Sprite -
*Jables* What are some of the hobbies that are coming out in Book 13 besides fishing?

Turbine_Rhidden -
We currently do not have any other hobbies coming in book 13. Fishing wasnât high on our radar until players continued to ask for it, so enough complaining and you might see a new hobby in the future!


Sprite -
*Mike* Will there ever be a new PVMP area outside of the ettenmoors?

Scenario -
At this time, we do not have any plans for a new PVMP zone in our immediate future. The future is a hazy and amorphous beast, so that may change - who knows!


Sprite -
*Hahn* The Ettenmoors last few days on Elendilmir has seen a significant influx of freeps, and the creepside has become pretty discouraged. Many experienced creeps feel the new book 12 changes will not make a difference with that many creeps. Any input from you guys on this?

Turbine_Meghan -
Hey Hahn. Well, Book 12 is only 2 days away, so we can only suggest that our players log in and try the changes out before deciding. There have been many changes that caused outcries.. until people actually played them and discovered they actually worked.
Turbine_Meghan -
Things often behave differently in live than in test; we think the changes will work out, but as always, if there need to be further balancing changes made we'll investigate and act on it.


Sprite -
*TparGeodotisLandroval* Are there any plans to enhance kinships, perhaps by adding additional ranks and the ability to customize ranks, etc? If so, any estimate on when?

Annuvin -
Well, we've talked about a few different methods to synergize our cosmetic inventory system with Kinships. Stay tuned (as I'm loathe to mention anything that might not happen)!

LOTRO_Rowan -
Patience's new mission is Month of the Kinship


Sprite -
*Wrymstrum* Now that all the classes have had their "month of" where additional skills were added, will you be continuing to fine tune the classes particularly when it comes to traits?

Turbine_Meghan -
Heya Wyrmstrum. As you've probably noticed, even though we focus heavily on some classes during their months, there's not a Book that goes by where every class doesn't get tweaked or refined at least a little. This process will continue!

Annuvin -
I'd be willing to bet there's going to be a large amount of fine tuning. So much so, in fact, it may be more tuning than what's gone into our current classes!


Sprite -
*Falthorn* Will we ever see new nieghborhood instances, and/or more types of housing in the future?

Scenario -
Housing was a fairly significant undertaking on our part and one that we are continuing to assess. There are a number of features that we are considering for implementation. However, as for new neighborhoods, we don't have any new neighborhoods or house types planned.


Sprite -
*Zanelas* I know we've been promised fishing, but when will we get it? We want our fishing! =)

LOTRO_Rowan -
Precious... We wants our Precious. Sweet, tasty fishies! Soon Precious, soon...


Sprite -
*Asriel* Will we ever have the option to change our race (obviously to something class-compatible) for a nominal fee, like the name-change?

LOTRO_Rowan -
There are a lot of features we'd like to implement the player experience. Unfortunately this one is rather difficult, and not currently on the list.


Sprite -
*Willowleaf* if there are MAYBE the possibility to have new classes coming, what sort of classes would they be?

Annuvin -
In a world where these MAYBE classes exist... I think they might MAYBE have abilities that tie them to other potent characters with Tolkien's Epic. MAYBE they'll even have powers, and options that overlap with existing classes. They might even start at level 1.
Annuvin -
That's all rumination, however.


Sprite -
*Orstan* You said earlier that before you get beyond Eriador, you had some regions to get to first. Which of the regions are you specifically talking about, and when can we expect work to be done on them?

Turbine_Rhidden -
The answers to your question are out there for you to find! Take a good look at our book 12 content and you can find our next region.


Sprite -
*footbags* The Ettenmoors seems to get a lot of server lag when there are >100 freeps and creeps online, and Book 12 will bring even more players. Are there any plans to increase server capacity for even more epic battles?

Scenario -
RE: Orstan's Question - Also - the landscape has changed for Book 12! Go you astute observers of the world!

LOTRO_Rowan -
One of the big features coming with Book 12 is public space you can enter below the Ettenmoors. We expect that this will bring additional Freeps and Creeps into the Ettenmoors, but also split the load between those contesting the keeps and those pushing deep into the Delving of Fror.
LOTRO_Rowan -
Prepare for even more epic battles far below ground!


Sprite -
*fanofringleader* Hello Turbine!Is it possible to bring the big battle scene such as Helm's Deep or Pelennor in the game?

Scenario -
Is it possible? The answer is a resounding maybe! Will it happen any time soon? Not until we cross the Misty Mountains... maybe.


Sprite -
*Carnifex* Ever think about giving players a hope bonus for listening to musicians? It'd be cool if there was an incentive to form up bands and listen to em.

Annuvin -
No plans, but it's a good idea! I don't know that it boosts my hope to hear a LOTRO rendition of Stairway to Heaven, but I do accept the fact that I might be in the minority.


Sprite -
*OdomLeah* Are there any plans to add an 'auto-fill' feature in the 'TO' field of the mail system UI? My fingers will thank you for not having to type out friend's names that are longer than 10 characters. 😛

Turbine_Meghan -
We don't have plans for it currently, but if you haven't suggested it through /bug, you should :)


Sprite -
*Elviz-AltKing* Mr. Full Bags and Banks here -- any plans for an "auto-stack" button to help aggregate storage / cleanup bags quickly? 😉

LOTRO_Rowan -
Great idea! This is the kind of polish we like to add, we'll definitely keep it in mind.


Sprite -
*JaySpeed* Are there any plans in the future for a Mathom Society rep cave or some kind of public instance to get mathoms? Thorins, Bree, and Rivendell all have their own rep caves. Don't neglect the hobbits. =)

Annuvin -
Ahh... the mathom's... Sadly, it is unlikely that the most coveted of all rep drops will get its own dungeon. The Hobbits are very, very picky about their developments, and unlike other factions, they have standards.
Annuvin - You don't choose the Mathom Society, it chooses you!


Sprite -
*Elviz-AltKing* Any plans for more 12-member raids or doing a 12-man option for Helegrod? on less-populated servers 24 people is a lot to get together and organized

Turbine_Rhidden -
Hi Elviz, we recognize that people are enjoying our 12 man content more than our 24 man content. Our current plans for future raids have them slated for 12 people.


Sprite -
*Zanelas* Is it a possibility that certain vehicles, such as boats or wagons that seat several people, will ever be included in game?

Annuvin -
Yes, I would say it is a possibility. When/if we do a corsair update, I think it's possible we'll have little fleets of hobbit flotilla, pwning some angmarim fools. It brings a tear to my eye.


Sprite -
*Wrymstrum* Can you tell us anything about plans for live events?

LOTRO_Saffron -
Hiya Wrymstrum, let's just start out by saying that we have got lots of plans for live events. Some include the elusive Riddle-master, and other assorted characters. Also, we've got an awesome Spring Festival in the works!
LOTRO_Saffron -
It'll be a fun and exciting time for all!

Turbine_Rhidden -
You may even see some letters from secret admirers, check your mailbox often!


Sprite -
*LoTrO_Rawkzzz* Elves in LOTRO take a big hit in morale and traits, will there ever be a "Month of the Elf" where some of our grievences are dealt with? Thanks for LOTRO 😉

LOTRO_Rowan -
We also have a dedicated Live Events team at work with seasonal festivals throughout the year, along with special events and plotlines.
LOTRO_Rowan -
And I'll defer to Annuvin - discussing Elves :)

Annuvin -
Ahem.
Annuvin -
Dirty Rowan.
Annuvin -
Well... if we dealt with the elven "grievances", would there be any elf left? Seems like you might just have a Vulcan, or something similar.

LOTRO_Saffron -
(Everyone is so polite here.)

Annuvin -
Anyhow, I expect we'll be reviewing traits a decent amount in the upcoming months... Stay tuned!


Sprite -
*NWLB* If a Hobbit leaves the Shire at 9 p.m., and an Elf leaves Rivendell at 10 p.m., when will the two hit each other?

Turbine_Meghan -
Last question, right? :)

Scenario -
They will never meet! The hobbit took 10 steps outside of his smial, decided that the adventure was over-rated and when back in for all the various meals that hobbits eat during the day.

Turbine_Meghan -
*grabs calculator*
Turbine_Rhidden -
Twenty seven days, depending on morgul wounds.

LOTRO_Rowan -
If it's actually the same time, but the server says they're not at the same time... the server is not longer in sync. *AAAUUGGH* /headexplodes

Turbine_Meghan -
They don't hit each other. The hobbit goes through the elf's legs, and the elf pretends not to notice the stubby little one.

LOTRO_Saffron -
I know if I was the Hobbit, the trip would be delayed due to fishing...and the collection of light hides.

Scenario -
Well... they could hit each other if one initiated a duel with the other.

Turbine_Meghan -
Saffron's obsession with the Auction House is worrying me. I think we may eventually need to have an intervention.

Turbine_Rhidden -
Wait, are we stopping at the golden perch?

LOTRO_Saffron -
I don't need an intervention, I need light hides.

Annuvin -
Well, assuming that the Elf wasn't using fast travel (getting to Thorin's is pretty easy, and all)... and that the Hobbit wasn't a hunter (fast recall gets you pretty far)... and they were running towards each other?

Annuvin -
I think the Elf would give up in the lonelands, as it's very, very depressing...
Annuvin -
The Hobbit probably wouldn't make it out of the Shire (see Scenario -'s answer).
Annuvin - *shrug*

Turbine_Rhidden - D
id he click on the keg of doom?

Turbine_Meghan -
Some poor character named Saffron on every server is going to be smothered by piles of hides in mail. 😀

Annuvin -
good point.
Annuvin -
After a night like that...
Annuvin -
*shudder*
Annuvin -
You could end up anywhere.
Annuvin -
Without your pants.
Annuvin -
Or your epic gear.

LOTRO_Saffron -
I'd check for missing pants.

Annuvin -
I'm glad someone volunteered.

Turbine_Meghan -
Hey, did I mention that LOTRO has an official Turbine-sponsored group on Facebook now? http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23445441072 😀

Annuvin -
Cause I'm not doing that.

LOTRO_Saffron -
Hopefully, they're elsewhere.

Annuvin -
No way, no how.

LOTRO_Rowan -
I think pants can be disassembled into light hides...

Turbine_Meghan -
SPRRRIIIIITE...

Annuvin -
Ugh... who's pants?

Scenario -
Maybe the pants are on Facebook.

LOTRO_Saffron -
Oooh! Good thinking Rowan!


Sprite -
Time for me to end this!
* finishing blwo! *

Turbine_Meghan -
I think Sprite passed out!


Sprite -
That will wrap it up for tonight. Iâd like to thank the developers for coming! The log for tonightâs chat will be up shortly on http://lotro.stratics.com/

Sprite -
Thank you all for joining us! You can join #lotro to chat more about the game.

Turbine_Meghan -
Phew!

LOTRO_Saffron -
Pants?

Turbine_Rhidden -
Thanks for coming, see you in book 12! *Bring your own pants

Scenario -
Have a good evening all! Thanks for joining us this evening and sending us your questions.

LOTRO_Saffron -
Thanks everyone for coming! (Don't worry my pants are firmly attached.)

Scenario -
PS - pants have been indevelopment since beta!

LOTRO_Rowan -
Thanks all, and good night.

Turbine_Meghan -
Thanks for coming, everyone. See you in Book 12 on Wednesday! Servers down from 6:00AM - 12:00PM Eastern. If you want to pre-patch, check out this post! http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?t=119222

Turbine_Meghan -
Night all :)

Annuvin -
Bye all! Thanks for coming. Meghan will be checking for pants on your way out... so be orderly!

Turbine_Meghan -
*flex*

Turbine_Meghan -
All I know is, guys, only YOU can prevent forest fires.

Turbine_Meghan -
I'm not kidding that I just went to get the link for the patch and found my browser on smokeybear.com. I have NO idea how that happened :) Turbine_Meghan - But it was awesome.