Dev Chat 25 3 08

Stratics Dev Chat Transcript 3/25/2008

[21:01] <Brannoc> Welcome to today's House of Commons chat with the developers of Lord of the Rings Online!
[21:02] <Brannoc> We'll begin with a brief introduction and some announcements from our guests and then jump straight into the questions. The full logs will be available at shortly afterward.

[21:02] <Liquilla_cm> Before proceedings get underway, the Spring festival ends on the 31st March so don't forget to take part in the in-game festivities before it's all over for another year!
[21:02] <Liquilla_cm> We're also tightly under wraps about the first LOTRO Expansion Pack, Mines of Moria, and Book 14 so please save your questions on these for when we have more information to give :)
[21:02] <Liquilla_cm> Ok, let's get on with the dev chat. With us tonight from Turbine we have the following people:
[21:02] <Scenario> Good evening all! My name is Matt "Scenario" Elliott, Lead Worldbuilder for the LOTRO Team. The World Team is responsible for the landscape and dungeon design of Middle-earth. Be warned - I just learned how to make Deeds today! Mwhahahahaha!
[21:02] <MadeOfLions> Hi everybody! I'm Jeff 'MadeOfLions' Libby, and I'm a quest guy! For awhile now, I've been delving too greedily and too deep! But that's all I'll say about that. 😉
[21:02] <DangerDan> Hello everyone! This is "DangerDan" Parke, systems designer on LotRO. I work on a bunch of things including monster behaviors, class design, and instances.

[21:03] <Turbilly> Hello everyone. My name is Billy Lazzaro and I am Turbine's International Project Manager. I work with the Codemasters team to coordinate LOTRO EU.

[21:03] <Meghan_Turbine> Hi everyone! I'm Meghan "Patience" Rodberg, community manager at Turbine. Thanks for coming tonight, and to Stratics for hosting us. :)

[21:03] <Liquilla_cm> And I’m Callum "Liquilla" Rowley, European Community Liaison for LOTRO.

[21:03] <Brannoc> *Sneaker* Good evening, i have one question. is there any planning to release or develop the area between shire and thorins hall?I think the district is called "Far Downs" and "Tower Hills"?
[21:04] Hey there Sneaker! While we would love to fill out as much as Eriador as we can (and in particular the Tower Hills/ Far Downs), we do not have specific ETA for that portion of landscape. The future can hold many things - including the Tower Hills.


*Iduwyn* Why is it not possible that someone uses the mailbox of my house if I give him all possible permissions?

[21:07] <DangerDan> Sadly, no matter how much you open your house to someone, copy your keys and let them rifle through your stuff... the post apparently still just wants to send your mail to your mailbox. Seriously, though, its not a hard and fast rule, but there are also a lot of things we could do given time. Thanks for asking!

[21:08] <Brannoc> *ceredirond* Can you give us any more information on Fishing? What kind of Leveling will there be? Are there different fishing poles? Where will the first fishing npc be (Forochel presumably?)?
[21:11] <DangerDan> Ah, fishing for details, eh?
[21:11] <DangerDan> Yes, there will definitely be different kinds of fishing poles... and different kinds of bait.
[21:11] <Scenario> As far as NPCs go - before you can fish, you'll need to visit a Hobby-master. They can be found in each racial capital. At that point, the Hobby-master will provide a quest to visit the nearest Fishing Supplier.

[21:11] <DangerDan> Lots more information (such as how you get better) and other juicy details are coming in a Dev Diary.
[21:11] <Meghan_Turbine> *rubs hands together* Fishing.... at lasssst... my precious...

[21:12] <Brannoc> *Hydrosine* Hey, is there any chance that the lorebook will be updated so you can review your characters out of game. so you can compare armor very easy?

[21:12] <Meghan_Turbine> Hi Hydrosine, that's definitely something we want to do, though there are undoubtedly issues to deal with since the US and EU run on separate systems. However, being able to view character info from outside of the game is something we're actively interested in doing. No promises (or even estimates) on when :)

[21:12] <Brannoc> *Ebb* Do you plan to add more audio sliders to change varius sounds in the game? I feel the combat system is very load in compare to weather/rain effects, footsteps and other ambient sounds. At the moment, they all share the same slider.

[21:13] <Meghan_Turbine> We don't have any plans at this time, but it's a good idea. There are some sounds especially that can be overwhelming when you're trying to coordinate over voice chat!

[21:15] <Brannoc> *Future* Questions: Book13 notes mentioned new horse(s). Are these just another reskin or a completely new model?
[21:15] <Scenario> Book 13 is introducing a new mount variant - much like the variants that can be found in the various Reputation lines.

[21:16] <Brannoc> *Yasemine* Any plans for the future, that we are getting bigger bags for our inventory? A tailor can make larger bags for example?
[21:17] <Meghan_Turbine> Hi Yasemine, we're not currently planning on offering more inventory space, but I believe in an upcoming Book the team is looking at ways to help with pack space. We'll have more information on that as the plans are developed further.

[21:17] <Brannoc> *Nyadach* In Book 13 you've mentioned war mammoths, complete with mounted this an early test for possible later developments as we progress towards Rohan and mounted combat?
[21:19] <DangerDan> Nyadach, we're always trying out new things... the War Mammoths are an experiment in monster behaviors. If folks respond to them positively, we might try to do more, similar things in the future and build on it.

[21:20] <Brannoc> *Luthrin* Could we have more kinship functionalities? It could be: Custom titles, event calendar with signups eg. raids, kinship bank vaults, profession lists, kinship shop etc.
[21:21] <Meghan_Turbine> Hi Luthrin! We have a long list of things we'd like to do in a Month of the Kinship, many of which are in your list too. However, we don't have a date for when those will be done. It's on the radar - we know kinships are a very important part of the game.

[21:24] <Brannoc> *{Ez0}Honvik{GA}* Question: Will we be able to in future play our via Session Play the famours char's from the books e.g Gandalf vrs the Balrog etc to feel and experiance what it was like?
[21:26] <MadeOfLions> That's the great thing about Session Play -- we can use it to let you experience exciting moments from the book in ways that don't contradict the written word. We're being very careful to stay within the boundaries of the Lore, but we're not announcing any specifics yet.

[21:26] <Brannoc> *Dizzi* will we be seeing any big raids like the 40man raids in WoW? if there already are some (haven't reached endgame yet), will we get more?
[21:27] <Scenario> As you've seen in our raids to date - we are not focusing on the massive 40+ person raid encounters. While LOTRO does support raids, none of our existing encounters go beyond 24 people. We do not plan on going beyond that number - we feel 12- and 24-person raids hit the threshold of fun and ease of organization pretty well.
[21:27] <Scenario> Also - LOTRO is not a raid-centric game. They will have their place but we do not intend them to be the be-all-end-all of our game experience.

[21:27] <Brannoc> *Hteh* will balrogs be raid encounters only? or will they exist outside in a larger game scape?

[21:29] <MadeOfLions> Well, there's Thaurlach in the Rift, but aside from him there's only one other Balrog, and he's accounted for. I'm not really comfortable with talking about lots and lots of these guys in some greater scope than that.

[21:29] <Brannoc> *[HdRO-de]Anrangar* will there be more optical flexibility for the dressmaker or blacksmith in creating individual selfemade patterns and so on ?
[21:31] <DangerDan> We're always looking for ways to let you make your character more unique and distinctive. You saw a lot of that in our Book 12 updates to customization through the Barber and the Outfit System.
[21:31] <DangerDan> There are technical hurdles to overcome with allowing players to design their own patterns, but there's no denying that it could be cool to make unique designs, putting them clothing or banners.
[21:31] <DangerDan> I'm hopeful that we'll continue to push this further and further, though I can't talk about specific plans at this time.

[21:31] <Brannoc> *Angel* Are there any plans to have "key rings" added since each key takes up a much needed character bag or bank space

[21:31] <Meghan_Turbine> Hi Angel. Keyrings are something that get asked for... a lot... and are actively being looked into as part of the Month of the Pack Space. (Okay, it's not really called that, but... :D)

[21:32] <Brannoc> *{Ez0}Honvik{GA}* Question: Will we see more fellowship orintated content rarther than the mass solo content we have been seeing to give the game lasting appeal?
[21:36] <Scenario> Hey there Honvik. Forochel is intended to be focused towards solo and small fellowship play. We are also taking a look at our instances (Annuminas in particular for Book 13) and developing ways to encourage players to run them multiple times. After Book 13, our focus is swing towards content for small and full fellowship groups.

[21:36] <Brannoc> *Jesters_Freewind* evening from evernight server my question is when is a firm date for book 13
[21:37] <Liquilla_cm> though we dont have a firm date nailed to the floor, we do hope to release more information about when Book 13 will grace our servers in the next few weeks :) until then, keep an eye out for the upcoming developer diaries which will highlight some of the features you can expect!

[21:37] <Brannoc> *Gale* Do you have any plans to change/remake/improve game maps?
[21:38] <Scenario> We currently have no plans to change or revise the artwork for our world maps. Their style is largely consistent across each region and they have a great hand-drawn feel that I personally enjoy.

[21:39] <Brannoc> *cike* I'm a fan of monsterplay - but since book 12 freeps flooded the ettenmoors and there is no fair relation anymore. Is there anything planed to regulate the difference of MPs and Freeps, eg. 1 more Troll on 20 players difference and so on?
[21:42] <DangerDan> Well, one major addition coming in Book 13 is a new class for Monster Players: The Defiler. We've been playing with the class on our testing servers and it has pretty interesting impact on the dynamics of fights in the Ettenmoors. That will certainly shake things up in interesting ways.

[21:42] <Brannoc> *UrbanRider* I have an open question to the team, as a long-time MMO player I've been on the fence with LOTRO and wondered whether it would hold my attention long-term. Do the team have more plans for free content and story? And are newbies welcome? :)

[21:44] <Liquilla_cm> Yes, there are huge plans for more free content and story (with two more free content updates coming before the big expansion pack) so you'll have plenty to sink your teeth into.
[21:44] <Liquilla_cm> and newbies are always welcome! One thing in particular you'll notice about the LOTRO community are our warm open arms!

[21:46] <Brannoc> *Jonwah* Are there any plans/ideas going around to include any more player content in the game through upcoming contests?
[21:48] <Liquilla_cm> Yes, we have plans to do more contests :) They're something we enjoy doing a great deal and are a great way for us to get the community involved in the games development.

[21:48] <Brannoc> *Mich-666* First LotRO birthday is near - we would really appreciate some inside look into your studios, some video which would introduce us to people and place where our favourite game is being developed 😉 Do you think it is possible we get something like this?
[21:49] <Meghan_Turbine> Hi Mich, nice to see you again. That's a really fun idea and maybe we could do it - I'll ask around! :)

[21:54] <Meghan_Turbine> Sorry for the delay. We're trying to find non-Moria questions to answer. If you have questions specific to Book 13, please ask them! 😉
[21:54] <Brannoc> (I'm looking at you, mister flood me with questions about "can I r play legolas yet?"

[21:56] <Brannoc> *DBSRick* If there was one element of Book 13 you could show everyone right now, what would it be and why?
[21:56] <Brannoc> good job rick!
[21:58] <Scenario> The art team has developed some great POIs for us in Forochel. If I could show you guys anything, it would be one of those. Alas - I don't have an approved screenshot handy and there are Marketting Ninjas skulking about, so you'll have to wait for those shots. :)
[21:58] <MadeOfLions> I'd show a really cool confrontation that's part of the Epic Story! In fact, a few moments in the Epic would qualify. :)
[21:59] <DangerDan> There's a new kind of monster that will first appear in Forochel: The Grim. We've gotten positive feedback on testing servers and it looks fantastic. I would love to let people see it now now! Oh, and there's a new kind of Gauredain, too... oh, and the War Mammoth... and... mmm. Yes, many new threats to overcome in Forochel!

[22:00] <Brannoc> *Darkmane-Snowbourn* isthere any plans for a gift for the first anniversary
[22:01] <Liquilla_cm> Look out for some events running over the course of the anniversary, i'm sure there will also be some in-game treats in store for people 😉 We also have some great competitions running now and in time with the Anniversary so look out for those and make sure to enter to win some great stuff!