Dev Chat 23 1 08

WarCry LotRO Developer Chat Log 1/23/2008

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 12 and and maybe even a hint of what is in store down the road! Lord of the Rings Online is has won several awards of late including WarCry's Best New MMO of 2

Ringleader: Hey everyone - thanks for coming out to speak with us! I'm Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of LOTRO. So I am here simply so the designers can mock me publicly.
Scenario: Good evening folks! My name is Matt "Scenario" Elliott, Lead Worldbuilder for the LOTRO team. My day-to-day responsibilities include managing a rowdy pack of world designers, aiding them in their rowdy world designing and, at times, dropping cryptic tidbits about future landscape additions on the message boards.
Rhidden: Hello, I'm Rhidden; content designer and lorebie for LOTRO.
Keth_Turbine: Hi, I'm Keth! I am the very model of a modern Major-General,
Keth_Turbine: I've information vegetable, animal, and mineral,
Keth_Turbine: I know the kings of England, and I quote the fights historical...
Keth_Turbine: I suppose I won't bore you with the rest.
Keth_Turbine: Oh, I also make content!
TurbineMeghan: I'm going to kill you.
TurbineMeghan: Hi everyone, and thanks for coming! I'm Meghan "Patience" Rodberg, and when I'm not snuggling my Companion Cube and searching for cake I'm the Community Manager for Turbine.
TurbineMeghan: Many thanks to Warcry for hosting us tonight, but even more for choosing us as Best New Game of 2007 in their Editor's Choice Awards! 😀
TurbineMeghan: The team's been hard at work on Book 12: The Ashen Wastes, the next free content update for LOTRO. Book 12 offers more character customization options, updates to the Guardian, Burglar, and Champion classes, a new PvMP area in the Ettenmoors, and lots more tweaks and features.
TurbineMeghan: The release notes for Book 12, although still in progress, can be seen on our Lorebook at
TurbineMeghan: As many of you know, Book 12: The Ashen Wastes is now available on our public preview server to anyone with a valid LOTRO subscription. More information about Roheryn is available on our forums at
TensLOTRO: Hey everyone. This is Ryan "Tens" Bednar, Systems Team Lead on LOTRO.
TensLOTRO: Patience forgot I was here 😛
LOTRO_Saffron: Evening! I'm Vanessa "Saffron" Price, Online Community Specialist for LOTRO. Apparently I'm suffering from a classic case of space dementia...but I'm getting a second opinion.
TurbineMeghan: On to the questions! :)
LOTRO_Saffron: I am currently "Stealthy" today.

Sargo_of_Meneldor: What can we expect for changes in reguards to the housing system? And will there be more revamps of that system forth coming?
Scenario: Book 12 sees the additions hook rotation, usuable hooked items and better functionality for identifying the homes of your friends and neighbors.
Scenario: There are also numerous new items on tap for your decorating purposes and we have plans for other new and improved features down the road.

Jov: Do you have plans for giving us something to DO in our housing? IE: Crafting stations, or games (tag). Will you give us the ability to light our torches and fireplaces?
TensLOTRO: Funny you should ask about that...
TensLOTRO: You will be able to light your torches and fireplaces in Book 12.
TensLOTRO: In fact, one of our Engineers were bugfixing that very feature today!

aharon: Some of the NPC clothing art is excellent in LOTRO (Elrond, Gildor, etc). Is there any chance we will see social clothing on par with these designs?
Keth_Turbine: Well, I suppose it's a matter of opinion, but since we have a lot of new social clothing outfits coming in Book 12, I think you'll find at least something as cool amongst those new clothes.

littlehobbit484: Hello Turbine I am enjoying this game very much. Does Turbine have any plan to introduce Lotro to some other areas except North America and Europe?
Ringleader: We've always said that we're launching LOTRO as a global brand. We're already in North America and throughout Europe and we've launched in Japan.
Ringleader: We are launching in China and Korea this year and we'll be announcing another new territory as early as next week.
Ringleader: We are also working on even more regions around the world. So...YES!

Nymriel: Here is my question, what kind of mount advancements will we be getting in the future?
TensLOTRO: In the short term, you can expect additional mount variants to come along with our future Festivals and Book content.
TensLOTRO: Aside from that, we're looking into a new type of mount to take you into places horses would dare not go.
TensLOTRO: But that's all I can say about that. :)

Falthorn: Will we be seeing any live events soon, such as attacks on Trestlebridge?
LOTRO_Saffron: Yes! We currently have tons of live events plans, including attacks to areas at some point in the future. 😉

King_of_Dragons: What are your plans to combat the ever-present gold selling spam in the public channels?
TurbineMeghan: Hiya! Funny you should ask...
TurbineMeghan: Gold spam is an ongoing issue in just about every MMO, and ours is unfortunately not an exception. We've introduced several new tools in the last few books, and Book 12 includes a new "Report as Spammer" right-click function and "Report as Spam" in in-game mail as well.
TurbineMeghan: We've also added a couple more internal tools. We'll continue to fight spam (we've banned thousands of accounts over the past few months) as long as it's in the game. I do have to applaud our players for adopting so many spammers through the Pedigree system lately. :)
TurbineMeghan: It's nice to see our players offering so much love to the spammers (which coincidentally messes up their scripts and silences them) :)

Tetrasodium: There has been a lot of talk about the changes to infamy in the MP forum. In one thread someone tested 3 grouped freeps vrs a 1.0 rating creep and got 33 each, but someone else was seeing "signifigantly more than normal" in a group of 20. Are there any details you can give on what size group is needed before the changes start to kick in?
TensLOTRO: While I don't recall the specific math changes off the top of my head, the updates to the way we distribute Infamy and Glory will be much more noticeable in larger groups.

Ryvick921: Can you clarify the kinds of bosses that will be dropping Housing Trophy Barter Items with Book 12?
Keth_Turbine: Well, let's see. We wanted to give out trophies from some of our more iconic boss characters.
Keth_Turbine: These items will reflect their unique character, items that you could put in your front yard (or your kinship's) to show off your accomplishment.
Keth_Turbine: So you might get a bosses weapon or something else... I don't want to tell you what bosses, because that's for you to discover!
Keth_Turbine: By the way, these trophies will be bound to the person who initially picked it up.
Keth_Turbine: so if you put it in a hook and it is removed, it will be returned to the escrow of the person who originally picked it up.

bubba: I heard that Lotr will be supported til 2010 - True and if so any longer? Tks!
Ringleader: ::Ringleader checks budget to see how far it goes.....::
Keth_Turbine: HOLY CRAP, I'm only employed for 2 more years!?!?! I can't retire then!
Ringleader: ...ummmmm
Ringleader: OK, seriously...
Ringleader: This is just the beginning for LOTRO, Middle-earth as a world and all of our adventures in it.
Ringleader: The fiction is HUGE, the world is HUGE and our appetite to work on it is HUGE
Ringleader: LOTRO has a long happy life ahead of it.....
Ringleader: Keth is no longer employed for 2 more years...
Keth_Turbine: Yeah cuz I said "crap" in a dev chat.
LOTRO_Saffron: Twice
Ringleader: ::regaining control:::
TurbineMeghan: I am going to kill you.

Sargo_of_Meneldor: Please confirm that there will NOT be any asian based items/armor added to the game please!
Keth_Turbine: nope, we are not planning on adding any specifically asian themed items or armor appearances to the game. As always, we plan on staying as close as we can to the Lore.

Orladen: Will we ever see the costline in the areas we currently have to explore?
Scenario: Our next new region, currently slated for a Book 13 release, will allow players to see the ocean for the very first time. The time for speculation is now!

Brandorn: Hello there! Any plans on taking off/reducing the cooldown on Burglar stealth? Thanks guys
Annuvin: Hola! I'm Annuvin, and my wife could be delivering my first born RIGHT NOW... but I'm here with you.
Annuvin: That's how much I love all of you. Dwell on that! (crazy gleam in eyes)
Annuvin: Sadly, my first answer shows no love. There are no plans to shortening the burglar stealth cooldown.

Beneros: Any plans to make classes more unique, I often feel like im the same as every other hunter my class, a branching system would be neat.
TensLOTRO: For Book 12 we've wrapped up our major class updates with the Month of the Guardian and Burglar.
TensLOTRO: But, to be perfectly honest, we think that giving our classes more customization options is neat too.
TensLOTRO: So much so, it's currently a large portion of what the Systems Team is working on, now that we've got our major class updates out of the way.
TensLOTRO: While I can't reveal any hard details, I can say that future class specialization will lean heavily on Traits, Items, and a feature to be announced at a later date.
TensLOTRO: Don't worry - we're on it :)

Smilingbandit: Is there the possability to make a message/bulletin board in the kin house for people to post short term (daily/weekly) events or messages?
TurbineMeghan: There's lots we want to do for kinships, and that's one of the ideas under discussion. You may see it in LOTRO at some point, but it's not currently more than an idea at this time.

Godot: When is switch to a cosmetic armour slot, will my weapons still be visible? can i switch them off somehow ?
Keth_Turbine: Even with one of your outfits visible, your weapons will still be visible, and when Book 12 launches, there will be no switch to hide them in-game.

Kohnan|LoJ|: As a former AC1 player for several years, I really enjoyed the "tinkering" system that was set up for weapons, armor, items, etc. I found it fostered a lot of cooperation and camaraderie between members of the same group and in between groups. I'd love to see a similar system in place in LotRO. Anything like this in the works?
Annuvin: So, having worked on Ac1, I'm a big fan of a lot of their work (Much love to AC1/Crowley).
Annuvin: One of the benefits of working here is we have a lot of industry experience in the building.
Annuvin: Having worked on some of the initial tinkering approach, I think it's an invaluable system, and one
Annuvin: that we can learn a lot from. That said, we pride LOTRO on it's approach to setting and atmosphere,
Annuvin: so we'll need to find a very different approach with it.

WarCry: lotrowarcry353: I see in the b12 update you are getting rid of the captain/summoning with chair thing..its the only reason my wife plays! (jk) in all seriousnes tho things like this are a fun distraction for a few seconds, any reason you are taking it out other than its just a bug?
TensLOTRO: Nope. It's a bug. Sadly, we try to fix those.
TensLOTRO: Sadly... :(

Samuraise_Gamgee: I loved the Screenshot and Cloak contests, will you offer more things like this, for example, contests to supply the loading splash screen for the game, etc... It would be wonderful for this to change more often and include the community.. :)
LOTRO_Saffron: WE love those contests as well and we're happy to tell you that there will be a loading screen contest coming up in a few weeks.

Frieden: Are there any plans to modify the upkeep/foreclosure systems for player housing in the future? There seems to be a lot of negative backlash regarding foreclosures and losses of storage items.
Keth_Turbine: Yep, we are planning on increasing the escrow time, so items from your house will stick around longer after you lose ownership of your house.
Keth_Turbine: Unfortunately I don't have how much longer they will stick around, but it'll hopefully address some of the problems.

Halgron: for the great angmar revamp, will you be changing the whole way angmar looks? or just the quests and rewards?
Scenario: The primary goal for our Angmar revisions was to focus effort on polishing the region both in terms of content and landscape design. With the exception of a few minor tweaks and a lot of bug fixing, there are not broad changes to the visuals of Angmar.

Flandamier: Will there ever be mailboxes in the crafting area's like in Bree?
Scenario: Many of our crafting areas already have mailboxes either at or nearby them. We do our best to catch things like this, but sometimes we miss it. For those oversights, they'll be handled via our normal task and bug processes (but I can't assign any specific ETAs at this time).

orich: Will there be tailor recipes to make the new "casual wear"?
TensLOTRO: Yes there will be.
TensLOTRO: You will be able to find new tailoring recipes from loot, the reputation system, and through other content.

Kreshnek: Hiya there! Just wondering if the barter items for the new PVP armour will drop from the Chest's of the First Marshal etc., and will they be dyeable?
Keth_Turbine: The barters items will only be available in the Delving of Frór, and once you have the armor, you'll be happy to find that it is dyeable.

Heronin: Hey, loving Book 12! Question: Will Armorers ever be able to repair equipment?
Keth_Turbine: Nope, we don't have any plans for that right now. If you are looking to repair in the field, there are some repair anvil recipes available from a couple of the Reputation Factions. Or Guardians can help you out if you are near a camp site.

thy_dungeonman: any plans to give guardians an option in heavy crafted sheilds, besides an elven style sheld?
TensLOTRO: Sure! We'll look into it.

Perdiccas: will maps and hunter ports be diabled in the Delving of Fror?
TensLOTRO: This is a known issue that we're currently looking into.
TensLOTRO: We might not end up disabling the skill, but we're intent on fixing the "problem".

Kreshnek: Are there any plans for kinship houses to show the kinship name as the player houses show the owners name?
Keth_Turbine: Yep! In Book 12, the owner's name or kinship name will appear when you enter the house's yard. You will also see it below your mini-map.

dakar: what can we expect, content wise, in the area between the shire and ered luin...and when might one expect to see it?
Scenario: The Tower Hills and Far Downs are locations we would love to get to at some point. However, before we can think about getting there, we have some more pressing places to visit first.

Ryswald: Are there are plans on upgrading some of the loot tables in late Carn Dum? At present almost no one goes past Mormoz (2nd floor boss and last class item quest dropping), leaving 3 wonderful encounters unvisited.
Annuvin: Actually, we've revisited a good deal of the instance loot (Great Barrows, Garth Agarwen, Fornost) in book 12.
Annuvin: We plan on revisiting all of the instance loot in the game, to make it more appealing (as there are some
Annuvin: wonderful, challenging encounters that no one has incentive to complete).

Wyrmslayer: Please sire, can I have some Rohan?? :)
TensLOTRO: If you don't eat your Eriador, you can't have any Rohan!
TensLOTRO: :)

Well it is time that our devs head off to eat their Eriador and Cake
Keth_Turbine: that and I need to head out for an Urugarth run!

WarCry: We thank them for taking the time to visit with us today and look forward to book 12 hitting live soon
Scenario: Just in time for us to go wipe in Annuminas again!
Annuvin: Seriously.
* Scenario curses Nengon.
LOTRO_Saffron: Do you mean it this time?
Annuvin: If only my stealth cooldown was faster, we could TOTALLY not get owned there. 😉
Annuvin: Sigh.
TurbineMeghan: By the way, everyone, we're having a monster play event on Roheryn on Friday - come play with the devs in the the Ettenmoors! Go here for info: :)
Annuvin: Oh well.
TensLOTRO: You should suggest that to a dev 😛
TurbineMeghan: Thanks for coming, and thanks again to Warcry for hosting us. :)
Annuvin: Night all!
LOTRO_Saffron: Good night! Thanks for coming!
Rhidden: Bye everyone! Thanks Warcry!
WarCry: Thanks all for coming!
TensLOTRO: Good night everyone. Thanks for coming out!
Keth_Turbine: g'night all
Scenario: Good night all! Thanks for sending in your questions - and have fun speculating! (mmm.. Eriador... so good!)
Ringleader: Thanks for comin' - have a great nite!
WarCry: Warning! Chat enabling now
LOTRO_Saffron: *Braces herself