Dev Chat 28 5 08

<zigzag> Good evening and welcome to another great Stratics House of Commons chat! Tonight we welcome the team from Lord of the Rings Online. Tonight's chat is open topic, and we have as a special guest Duwis, who will answer your Lorebook questions!
<Liquilla_CM> Before proceedings get underway, today marks the first day of European subscribers lorebook access! For full details on how you can get involved see the news announcement here: http://www.lotro-europe.com/news.php?id=6320 - Please feel free to ask any questions relating to the lorebook in this chat.
 <Liquilla_CM> Ok, let's get on with the dev chat. With us tonight from Turbine we have the following people:
 <Scenario> Good afternoon/evening all! It's been a while! My name is Matt "Scenario" Elliott, Lead Worldbuilder for the LOTRO team. The World Team is responsible for the design and visual direction of landscape and dungeons of Middle-earth. Recently, we've been very busy putting the final touches on our Book 14 update and diving head first into the deeps of Moria!
<Jalessa> Hi all! I'm Jalessa, a systems designer for LOTRO. I'm currently focused on Monster Play - Go, go Freeps and Creeps!
<TensLOTRO> Hello everyone. This is Ryan "Tens" Bednar, the Systems Team Lead on LOTRO and perpetual Dev Chat newb 😛
<Duwis> Hello; I'm Luis aka Duwis, a recent addition to the Lorebook web dev team.
<Turbilly> Hi everybody! I'm Turbilly, Turbine's International Project Manager for Europe. I work with the Codemasters teams to help coordinate just about everything LOTRO EU related.
<Meghan_Turbine> Hi everyone! I'm Meghan "Patience" Rodberg, community manager for Turbine, and I just received several kilos of coffee in the mail today. This makes me happy. And hyper.
<Liquilla_CM> And Iâm Callum "Liquilla" Rowley, European Community Liaison for LOTRO.
<LadyInRed> Hi kids!
<LadyInRed> I'm a Content designer. I write quests, create mobs and NPCs and items, and place them in game -- also a Dev Chat n00b.

<zigzag> *Erynhenwe* When will we be seeing a proper login screen for monster play characters?
<TensLOTRO> An improved Monster Player login screen is definitely on our list of things to work on, but weâre not ready to commit to a timeframe at this point in time.

<zigzag> *{Ez0}Honvik{GA}* Will we see more fellowship content in book 14 that will be challenging to claw back people to LOTRO?
<Scenario> Hey Honvik! After spending so much time focused on solo-play in Book 13, we figured it was a good idea to spend time with groups in Book 14.
<Scenario> In addition to a hefty number of bug fixes and revisions to our Angmar and Annuminas instances, we are introducing 3 new 6-man instances. These new instances are a style of instance that we have not done very much of in the past and include some interesting new tech and gameplay dynamics!
<Scenario> Urugarth, Carn Dum, Barad Gularan and the Annuminas instances are also receiving a slew of new deeds as well.

<zigzag> *Eona* Hello ! Another question :) Can you already give us some information about Lorien ? Can you show us some pictures soon ? Can't wait to see it.
<Meghan_Turbine> Hi Eona! We don't have anything ready to show yet, but we'll be rolling out information and screenshots when they're available, so stay tuned. :)

<zigzag> *Beanseh* while i am sure alot of thought went into the epic set from the rift the hunter seems to be alittle lacking in the weapon department as the bow dosent stand out from any of the other 31.4 dps weapons and they could use a dagger too (are these the sort of questions im ment to be asking never been to a dev chat b4)
<zigzag> beans up
<Meghan_Turbine> It's okay, Tens is new too.
<Meghan_Turbine> :)
<zigzag> hahaha
* Scenario mocks zigzag.
<Meghan_Turbine> And zigzag. 😀
* LadyInRed snickers.
<TensLOTRO> Thatâs some great feedback! We can certainly take a look at them.
<TensLOTRO> And, yes, those are the types of questions you should be asking at dev chats 😉
<TensLOTRO> Itâs ok. Iâm new to these too 😛

<zigzag> *Flushie* Do you plan to release new session-plays like Chickenplay soon?
<Scenario> We definately have plans for session play in Book 14 and the future. We don't have any specific plans for session play with the breadth of chicken play for Book 14, but you will be able to experience two new session-instances in Book 14 and we have plans for several more within Moria as well.

<zigzag> *{Ez0}Honvik{GA}* When will we see some enhancements to develop our char's? i.e improved trait system, improved divercity?
<TensLOTRO> The short answer: Moria.
<TensLOTRO> The long answer: This is one of the core focuses of the LOTRO Systems Team for the Mines of Moria Expansion Pack
<TensLOTRO> You can expect at least a couple of new features that will add additional ways for you to make you character different from the others of your same class
<TensLOTRO> Also, we will be adding new Traits for all of the classes in game, across all levels
<TensLOTRO> So, yeah, there's alot in the works on the character customization front!

<zigzag> *Nyadach* Forochel brought some intriguing ideas, but anything you can say about Eregion?
<Scenario> Forochel was a very experimental region for us in terms of landscape planning and artwork. For Eregion, we are taking the core design direction of Forochel (mixed spawn planning, low impassables, for example) and incorporating them into the region. We are playing it a bit safer and less "extreme" in terms of visuals - both to make the development less stressful on us and to make the lead up to Moria all the more impressive.
<Scenario> As with all things, we aren't willing to discuss Eregion in much more detail until we get closer to its launch. So - stay tuned!
<Scenario> (PS - You'll get a sneak peek of Eregion as part of Book 14!)

<zigzag> *{Ez0}Honvik{GA}* Will we ever see player controlled keeps for PvMP?
<Jalessa> A great suggestion for Monster Play - and one we have been considering for the Ettenmoors. However, we are not yet ready to commit to a timeframe for this particular feature request.
<Jalessa> We do have some nice plans for Moria regarding keep play. :)

<zigzag> *ISVRaDa* Hola! Have you plans of creating and including more hobbies in the future? - Greetings from Spain!
<TensLOTRO> Greetings Spain! :)
<TensLOTRO> Weâre currently in the planning stages for our next Hobby, however weâre keeping what it is under wraps for the time being.
<TensLOTRO> But donât worry - there are definitely more Hobbies to come!

<zigzag> *Dalir* Heelo, do you have some plan to cap instance (like Garth) for stop power-leveling low level (exemple : a level50 who make instance following by 4 level 30)
<TensLOTRO> We donât have any plans to level limit our instances at this point in time.
<TensLOTRO> But if it becomes a greater issue in the future, it's certain something that we will consider doing if push comes to shove.

<zigzag> *angelod* There seams to be a problem with small Wight Barrow Treasures. The are not changeable at the barter merchant. Is this being looked in to?
<Meghan_Turbine> Hi angelod! This fix should be fixed in a patch coming soon. It might even be live already. 😉

<zigzag> *Cuth* Lately a group of my friends and I have Noticed a increase in Metalsmith Drops from Monsters, and a decrease in Other profession recipy drops. Is this going to be re-balanced at some point or are us 4 just unlucky?
<Meghan_Turbine> Hi Cuth, this is due to a change to the recipe drop rates in Book 13. You may run into streaks where you are getting more of one recipe type than another, but overall it should be balancing out. For more info on the change check the Book13 patch notes :)

<zigzag> *Nyadach* With such variation in creep/freep winning/losing on each server. Even more so with how on certain servers the creeps are walking all over the freeps, any thoughts on restoring balance to the moors? side number balancing or anything?
<Jalessa> We're definitely aware of the balancing issues (both population and class) and we're looking into ways to address them.

<zigzag> *Cuth* Are there any plans to bring in poison, to use like we do with light-oil ect. for hunter and Burglers?
<LadyInRed> Hi Cuth! Well, here we run into a lore restriction. In Tolkien's world, poison is always and unrelentingly a tool used only by the side of Evil.
<LadyInRed> We cannot have goodly Freep player characters using an Evil mechanism or substance, even if it is toward a Good end. It's all very black and white in Middle-earth.

<zigzag> *Stile* Hi! Will the power consumption of captains be re-evaluated in the near future, book 14 perhaps? :)
<TensLOTRO> Hello Stile!
<TensLOTRO> We are well aware that Captains have the ability to chew through their power if they are executing their skills aggressively.
<TensLOTRO> But pacing yourself is part of the challenge of playing a class as flexible as the Captain is.
<TensLOTRO> However, with that said, Captains will gain a few new ways to offset the power consumption of their skills in Moria.
<TensLOTRO> As well as a few new bonus tweaks/buffs in Book 14.
<TensLOTRO> Just for you 😉

<zigzag> *Loucypher* Will there be a complete Item Makeover in Book 14, or happens this in the Release of Mines of Moria
<TensLOTRO> While it wonât be a complete Item Makeover, we will be implementing some significant upgrades to our Combat Systems in the Mines of Moria.
<TensLOTRO> These changes will likely affect at least a few items in our game.
<TensLOTRO> Although we're doing our best to preserve the current balance of our game's itemization scheme across all levels.
<TensLOTRO> And all classes.

<zigzag> *Lava* How come we have a book 15 in the current deeds log, i thought there was only 14 in the shadows of angmar 😉
<Scenario> RE: Book 15 - Book 15 (the quest arc) will be the conclusion of our Volume 1 epic story. Book 14 (the update) will be the last content update before the launch of the Mines of Moria. Book 15 (the quest arc) will be included as part of the Mines of Moria launch and will be available to all players, regardless of whether or not they've purchased the Mines of Moria.

<zigzag> *Krispy* Q: I'd like to know how much gametime the devs actually rack up on the public servers - and does it still surprise them to see people in 'their' world?
<LadyInRed> Hi there Krispy!
<LadyInRed> The answer varies, of course, from dev to dev. Many of us play on the Live servers on our lunch breaks or after work, and that some teams will have weekly playdays, or raid together on certain evenings.
<LadyInRed> I know of one dev, on the other hand, who was given 'homework' by his boss to play more and level his character to 50, as he hadn't been playing nearly enough.
<Jalessa> I'm addicted to LOTRO, but I tend to play casually (mostly weekends). I love taking keeps, slaughtering by the elf and orc camps, and chasing after the fleeing enemy. I only PvE when my thirst for blood has been slaked....and that may take a long, long time! :)
<Meghan_Turbine> Oh, goodness... when I'm actively playing I play way too much. I stayed up til 7:30AM on Saturday farming ore to sell on the auction house. 😛
<LadyInRed> I can't speak for others, but I am usually secretly delighted to watch characters run around Forochel (the first region I had a hand in) after having seen it empty and waiting for months during development. And there's a guilty sort of thrill to hearing complaints and compliments and problems and answering questions on /OOC or /advice.
<Scenario> Hey Krispy - I love spending quality time with my Burglar on the live servers. I'm one of those who is fast to cap (I was first here at Turbine to hit level 50 last summer) but slow to complete - I just recently wrapped up GM Weaponsmith and have been playing my way through Forochel. With Team Fortress 2 and Grand Theft Auto 4, my time in LOTRO has been less recently, but I try for at least 2-3 evenings a week (sometimes more depending
<Meghan_Turbine> I love watching OOC. It's another great way to sort of measure the pulse of the community, see if there are any recurring topics, and so on.
<TensLOTRO> My Captain has 4 pieces of Rift Gear (instant cast EfD! woot!) and I have a Champion alt in his mid-30's.
<Liquilla_CM> I <3 playing my captain, woop!
<LadyInRed> So in conclusion: yes, it's constantly surprising and rather wonderful to see all of you playing in our sandbox. And yes, pretty much all of us spend time in-game and love doing so!
<LadyInRed> ^_^ I play mostly at lunch. Hope to see you all there!
<LadyInRed> (EST lunchtime, obvy. ahem.)
<TensLOTRO> And, yes, it's just awesome to see all of you guys having fun in our game! 😀
<Scenario> (clarification - I was one of the first, I forgot that there were some folk in QA and CS that beat me to the punch *shakes fist*)
<Meghan_Turbine> My minstrel hit 37 but spends way too much time socializing and farming mats. 😀

<LadyInRed> Thanks so much, everyone!
<Liquilla_CM> Well I'm afraid that's all we have time for folks. Thanks for all the great questions and if we were unable to answer yours tonight, then be sure to bring them along to the next one.
<Liquilla_CM> A big thanks to Stratics for hosting the LOTRO European Dev Chat!
<Meghan_Turbine> Thanks for coming everyone! Visit the Lorebook and check it out - log in with your PAS!
<Scenario> Have a great evening all! Thanks for all the questions!
<zigzag> That will wrap it up for tonight. Thanks for coming! You can join #lotro to chat more about the game. The log for tonightâs chat will be up shortly on http://www.stratics.com Thanks everyone - and we'll see you next time!
* Jalessa *waves.
<Liquilla_CM> woot!
* LadyInRed waves ciao!
* Meghan_Turbine waves goodbye to everyone.
<TensLOTRO> Thanks for coming out all! Have a great night!
<Meghan_Turbine> Thanks again! :)