Dev Chat 11 3 09

Stratics Dev Chat Transcript 3/11/2009

Floon - Thank Bog
Floon - Growing older and older...
Rowan - Talking about your LM pet again Floon?
Sapience - it was cold and dark, and lonely...
Floon - Praise FSM. Howdy, I'm Floon, Art Director for Lotro. I am currently wondering how the Venezuela-USA game is going.
Floon - I can answer questions about art.
Floon - So have some, please.
Amlug - Sorry everyone for the delay... thanks for your patience. I'm Amlug, an instance designer for LOTRO and I too miss baseball and I like chips!
Sapience - I'm Sapience. Remember, Patience is not Sapience and Sapience is not Patience. Oh yeah, and I'm a guy! :)
Rowan - Hello everyone! I'm Rowan, the Sleepy. I'm the Live Producer for LOTRO. Book 7 is almost done and in your hands, and I am very, very glad.
Jalessa - Hi all, Jalessa here. I'm watching Floon's hair turn grey by the second. And I'd like to upgrade my request for a beer to a rum and coke.
Rowan - I'm not sure if Sapience is actually a guy. Except for the beard.
Sapience - HEY!
Floon - Venezuela up 4-1
Rowan - You're a dwarf, right Sapience? I'm not one so I can't tell the difference.
Sapience - Tallest Dwarf around!

Sapience - While you guys are sending in your questions to the Stratics team, we wanted to try something different to help get the ball rolling.
Sapience - We asked players who might not be able to attend tonight to submit questions ahead of time. We had a lot that touched on the same subjects, so we thought weâd start with those.
Sapience - So we'll start with Jalessa

Jalessa - *Barruktp* In the Bullroarer patch notes, you stated that it is becoming increasingly difficult to design new content with IHW at 100%. Could you please expand on this? Do you believe there is an place in game for a 100% damage bubble? Will you be giving captains additional group survivability tools to compensate for this significant loss?
Jalessa - There were cases where the In Harms Way skill was being used with other skills that trivialized or completely negated content in the game. Our content team did not have any reasonable way to address this - doing so on their end would have meant a severe reduction in the amount of content they could produce over time, due to having to compensate for every 'scenario' that would occur. We chose instead to address In Harms Way, which we believe to be the
Jalessa - root cause of concern with this particular issue of trivializing game content. We do not believe there is a place in the game for a 100% fellowship wide damage bubble at this time, so we changed the skill. Making the skill have a 50% damage reduction still means that the skill on its own could be useful, since Captains (via various banners) tend to have a lot of morale. Spreading out the damage for their entire party becomes a preventative tool vs. a
Jalessa - panic button, but it also means the skill can be used without pairing it with another. As always, we will be evaluating the change over the course of book 7, and we will be monitoring your feedback in case we need to make changes.

Amlug - *Mafia* Any chances that 2nd Age weapons could go into a barter system like Khuzdul Tablets and Rusted Dwarf Tools? Getting Captain's Daggers of the 1st Age from The Watcher and a Champ Dagger of the 2nd Age after a week of grinding is not fun!
Amlug - We understand your pain. This is why we are working on a token system for first age weapon drops inside raids. We want you to have a more reliable way to get some of the weapons out there so we have come up with a system to do just that. It is still going through the grinder and will be coming soon to a raid near you...

Zephenia - *Camcoolerman* i'm guessing we send messages to you, I may be wrong lol, anyway if you are the one who takes questions, are there any plans to expand the mount function in lotro in the future? Maybe armor for horses or mounted combat?
Floon - Yes, we have plans for mounts. They aren't quick plans, because a lot of things need to come together. We're working on improvements to the existing system, but have no ETA. The distant future has significant updates being planned.*

Zephenia - *Leeradan* Are 1st Age weapons going to be available anywhere besides the Watcher in book 7?
Amlug - The new raid will have a chance to drop first age weapons as well. Once the new barter system comes online, both of these raids will utilize the system.

Zephenia - *lotrofollower* What was the initiative behind making Book 7 less about combat and more lore-based? I can understand because of the setting, but were there any other reasons behind it?
Amlug - Lothlorien presented us with a challenge since the Galadhrim are very protective of their borders and not much that is evil is allowed inside of their borders. Because of this, we leaned heavily on the lore and relied on adding more content to Moria and to the edges of Lothlorien for combat-based gameplay.

Zephenia - *Frenya* Are we gonna get any new uses for the crafting mats we can collect with the new craftinstances that we get in book 7?
Sapience - Jalessa is typing madly
Jalessa - Book 7 introduces tons of reputation recipes for crafters with Lorien. There are also a slew of new recipes outside of Lorien: resist foods, tactical jewelry, runekeeper and warden class items. There are also plans to continue to add more into crafting through Book 8+. Keep tuned in :)

Zephenia - *Haladorith* Are there any plans for new housing items? I would kill for a Hobbit doll.
Floon - We do new housing items every update. Hobbit dolls sound cool. Killing for one should, of course, be completely mandatory.

Zephenia - *Andross* will you consider lowering the legth of locks currently on the lair raids as it take about 40 - 60 mins a week to complete?
Amlug - As we release new raids, we will be definitely looking into lowering the resets on previous raids. No guarantees, but it is something we will look at during Book 8 development.

Zephenia - *Shikadan* Is the fact that IHW no longer prevents inductions from being interrupted an intended change?
Jalessa - Due to the fact that In Harms Way no longer blocks 100% of the damage, you are susceptible to interrupts from damage taken.

Zephenia - *lotrofollower* I realize I might not be asking popular questions, but one area I've always felt this game excels is the music. Not the music system (which is great in of itself), but the composed score for the game. Having not gotten to totally explore Lorien yet, will there be any new music for the area, and are there plans to expand the score in the future?
Floon - Yes, there's new music in Lorien, and even a new music box.
Floon - We always try to do new music for new regions.

Zephenia - *Emeryl* I love the idea of the quest guide and it looks like it was done in a superior way! What made Turbine to go this route?
Rowan - Quest Guide is a response to player requests! We realized that players enjoy their gameplay in many different ways, and we want to be sure to support those approaches to having fun. It was a lot of work but we feel it's worth it... the feature is currently in Beta so please check it out.

Zephenia - *Manorton-UTB* Hi, this is Mike with Under the Banner blog. Many of us in the LotRO blog community have been trying to put our heads together on a way to help promote the lotro community. One question I have is the plans or availability of more tools for fansites and blogers to use as related to the lorebook.
Sapience - We always want to hear from our fansites and we'd love to hear any suggestions you have. You can always drop us a note or PM myself or anyone on the community team with your ideas. I can't give you any specifics or time frame for Lorebook features but I can say our webteam is constantly looking at ways to improve all our websites and features.

Zephenia - *Elfweenia* Are there plans to expand the number of different instruments craftable in the future, ie possibly new crafted clarinets, bagpipes, cowbell?
Floon - Instruments are a very big deal to add: new animations, new music sound assets, and then all the game logic to make them work. There are no plans in the near term, but the middle- to long-term, who knows?

Zephenia - *[PM]Renali* I fully understand why the need to scale back DPS was implimented. However, do you think it went a little too far in some cases? With my own personal testing, my Hunter has dropped a solid 35-40% in overall DPS, before today's update to Bullroarer. (I haven't been able to test it much today to see anything changed) And this is with the same gear/traits as I had on the live servers.
Jalessa - We also scaled down monster hits and resistances to compensate for the change in weapon DPS. In the case of the Hunter though, you also went through additional skill changes, which may reflect the other changes you are seeing in your overall DPS changes. We're still evaluating the data on these changes however, so please keep feedbacking on on the changes.

Zephenia - *Andross* What were the reasons that made you change The Watcher fight for Book 7?
Amlug - The watcher heard that you guys wanted a challenge! Seriously though, we saw a handful of bugs and exploits that we wanted to address and fix during Book 7.

Zephenia - *Elderban* Can LI's no longer be deconstructed if they are not a part of your class in Book 7? I noticed I wasn't able to do it on Bullroarer, but didn't see anything about it in the patch notes.
Jalessa - I'm not sure that this is correct behavior. Please /bug this on Bullroarer if you can reproduce it.

Zephenia - *skorpion352* are there any plans for more video dev diaries in the future? (like the ones currently available on the website, and are they the same ones that are on the SoA Special Edition)
Rowan - We will continue to deliver video dev diaries - I was actually going through some video footage for Book 7 today!

Zephenia - *Elderban* Any plans on updating housing? I noticed much hasn't been done to it since it was introduced.
Floon - Housing is a big deal for quite a few folks on the forums. It's a big system, and takes a lot of work from every department: world, content, game systems, production art, tech art, everyone. Expansive changes to the system itself are difficult to add to the live product. However, incremental improvements are always being considered. I'd like to add more hooks, and we're looking into the server impact on that. But changes here are slow, because the impact

Zephenia - *SarayaOnArkenstone* Will we ever be able to sync our dances?
Floon - Unfortunately no. It seems like it should be easy, but the synch model between client and server doesn't make it so.

Floon - I guess my housing answer got cut off.
Floon - the rest was "on the servers can be large. Other things, like eviction for dead neighborhoods, have been talked about, but there is nothing concrete in the works right now."

Zephenia - *Shikadan* I'm a little confused about what will happen to an alt I'm currently leveling when Book 7 goes live. Will she automatically gain levels to get on track with the new XP curve, or go down to the right amount of XP for her current level?
Jalessa - When you log into your character, the first time you gain experience (whether it's with a quest complete or with a monster kill), you will be granted experience and directed into the new curve. That may mean that you level (once or twice! even).

Jalessa - Personally, I can't wait. It will be an alt-ding day for me
Floon - *amlug* When does the beer get here?
Floon - Not soon enough
Sapience - When Scrop does :)
Sapience - Scorp...see? No typing skils
Jalessa - 2
Amlug - 1!
Amlug - Thanks guys and gals! See you all again next time!
Floon - Yeah, been fun.
Sapience - Thanks for coming everyone! Sorry about the delay. I blame the beer truck!
Jalessa - Thanks for coming folks - I'm sorry that it started so late!
Floo> - I blame the economy
Floon - peace, all

Zephenia - Thank you all for coming. Log of this chat will be posted later this evening.