Dev Chat 3 4 09

Stratic Dev Chat Transcript March 4th 2009

<Zephenia> Welcome Everyone To the Lord of the Rings Online Dev Chat on Stratics IRC... The chat will start shortly. Please post questions to [QT]Dronjak and [QT]Stiv only, all others will not be able to respond. And now the LOTRO team will introduce themselves and we will begin soon.

<CM-Liquilla> Welcome everyone, welcome to the European Developer chat for The Lord of the Rings Online.
<CM-Liquilla> Before we get started with the questions, donât forget you can now refer your friends to LOTRO for Amazon vouchers by visiting ^_^
<Scenario> Good evening all! My name is Matt "Scenario" Elliott - World Designer du jour! When I am not stamping out wild fires and fighting caged lions, I like to dabble as many aspects of design as I can. I would really like to answer your World Design questions - so send them along, pretty please!
<Floon> Hi, I'm Floon, and I'm the Art Director for Lotro. I am impatiently awaiting the start of baseball season. It's like cricket, only more boring.
<Keth_Turbine> Hey there, I am Keth. I'm a Lead Content Designer here at Turbine... which means I wear many hats and have my fingers in many pies. Ask me about my Book 7 Content. I dare you.
<Sapience> HI all! I'm Sapience. I'm part of the Community team. I'm currently recovering from the pain of patch notes editing.
<Rowan> Hello I'm Rowan, Live Producer for LOTRO. I'm excited about Book 7, and look forward to your questions about Lothlorien!
<Jalessa> Hi everyone! I'm Jalessa, a systems designer here at Turbine. I hope Keth washed his fingers before putting them into all those pies. Otherwise, that'd be a terrible waste of pie.
<CM-Liquilla> I'm Callum "Liquilla"Rowley, Community Manager for Codemasters Online
<Sapience> There's lots of furious typing going on.
<Floon> Not from me. Soon as I see some art questions, I might start typing....

*{Ez0}Honvik* When we will see Kinship improvments like Kinship Vaults, Kinship Quests? and improvments to our Homesteads like Party area for hosting parties etc? It is something i asked over a year ago
<Keth_Turbine> It's funny, we were talking about that just the other day and we hope to have some housing neighborhood specific content in Book 8.
<Keth_Turbine> The idea of it is that you will be helping out your neighborhood (or your kinship's neighborhood) and get some housing rewards.
<Keth_Turbine> But you'll only be able to help out your neighborhood or your kinship's, not one you don't have a house on.

*Atador* Hello. In "The Shadows of Angmar" we have the Helegrod-Set and The Rift-Set. I think the biggest difference between these sets are the set-bonuses. With Moria there is the new raidiance set. Do you think it's the right way to define the quality of a set (and especially the next sets) only with the raidiance-factor?
<Sapience> Jalessa is typing wildly. This should be good.
<Rowan> Jalessa is typing... poor Jalessa, we used to tease Tens about this.
<Scenario> We still tease him about it
<Jalessa> Our progress in our raid sets in the future is something that we are continually discuss and plan out. We will continue to use radiance as a requirement for future raids, as you have seen with our current Moria sets. We also plan to improve set bonuses and item bonus amounts.

*Flushie* Will there be any new cosmetic items & haircuts in the near future?
<Floon> There are always new cosmetic items in every update. In Book 7, we have some Lothlorien-themed outfits that are pretty nice, as well as some new armor. Haircuts haven't seen any updates for a while, so I'm making that a priority to get a few done soon. Those are more expensive, as we can't just do one: you have to spread the love around, so that everyone gets something new.

*Gurobin* The guardian is one of my favourite classes in the game, but at the moment he´s really useless during the fight in the vile maw. Will the guardian be able to better fulfill his role with the new raid instance with book7?
<Rowan> There are two pieces to that... first, I think with Book 7 that you'll find Guardian ability to hold threat has greatly increased. In addition, the new Lair Raid for Book 7 will be much easier if you have tanks who know how to work together.

*adamo102* Can you consider adding option to draw your weapon and walk with weapon in hand while not being in combat? Would be nice to show off your legendary weapons. Also adds nice RP factor while exploring dangerous areas. Thanks!
<Floon> There's no particular reason why we couldn't let people walk around with weapons out of combat, I don't think. It just hasn't been high on anyone's list around here. I'll make a note to see if there's any problem with it.

*Hothorix* What are your plans of expansion in the game. Will we soon see the other side of Anduin? Will we go south straight ahead? Or will we go and see all of Rhovanion before we turn south to Rohan and such?
<Scenario> Well.. technically, you can get to the other side of the Andiun in Book 7. You just won't last very long once you get there.
<Scenario> As for our landscape direction post Book 7, we have the road mapped out and our plans are already seeing development. However, we likely won't be discussing those plans until Book 7 is beyond us and Book 8 is closer to release (at the earliest).

*Fruuto* As you surely know alot of people are craving for 12man content... why where the battlegrounds not designed as 12man content?
<Keth_Turbine> It depends on which battlegrounds you are talking about.
<Keth_Turbine> If you are talking about the three Moria battles that were part of "Mines of Moria," it didn't make sense to have them be 12 mans, as they were involved in the Epic quest line.
<Keth_Turbine> Getting a 6 man together seemed like enough of a challenge to add to completing that quest line!
<Keth_Turbine> As for upcoming content, such as the battle that is found in Book 7, we decided to keep it a 6 man, but provide some new dynamics in it to mix it up a bit. I think they're kinda neat, and I hope you like them.
<Keth_Turbine> In the end, the overall decision between 6 man and 12 man is determining how much of our player base will be able to make use of our content and really enjoy it.
<Keth_Turbine> Overall, we feel there is a larger audience for 6 man than 12 man content.
<Keth_Turbine> However, that doesn't mean there isn't 12 man content in Book 7. (It's just not a battleground!)

*Hothorix* Will it be possible to have own design on kinship cloaks in the future or will this never be possible?
<Floon> OK, so kinship cloaks. This has been a big deal on the US forums. Other games have done customizable cloaks, but we have have really big textures, and compositing custom cloaks on the fly for other players would be a significant performance hit: bad hitching every time a new player enters your scene. So it's something we need to be very very cautious about.
<Floon> When textures are smaller, it's less of a load.
<Floon> But our textures are large, and customizing systems start getting very bloaty.

*Alash* The concept of a hardmode and a softmode version of an instance seems to have catered to a broader group of players than with the previous 1-way instances. Is this something you plan to further develop in the future?
<Keth_Turbine> Yes, definitely.
<Keth_Turbine> Our goal is to support those modes better in new instances such that there is more and better feedback on them and when you fail them.

*{Ez0}Honvik* Will there be more chances to obtain Relics/Scrolls for Legendary items and perhaps better rewards when we deconstruct an item
<Jalessa> Absolutely, for the first part. Without giving away too much info - we're hard at work in the next book update...

*Performer* Would it be possible to allow having a second Hairstyle, that can then be toggeled (like the Outfits) ? The Selection should probably depend on the first Hairstyle, to keep the Length fairly equal - so you could switch unruly <> combed, or open <> pinned-up, ...
<Floon> What, you can't get a haircut every now and then? Barbers have to eat, too. Support your local merchants. But likely no, the appearances aren't structured that way.

*S|r_Drunk* Lotro promises much at begining of the game. But now going to be lineal gaming. all the chars must go on same road between lvl 15 and 40. You will develope new areas? giving more atention to have new kind of quest becouse all quest are the same.
<Keth_Turbine> Yeah, Orion is currently in the middle of evaluating our current regions and making changes such that there are multiple regions for you to play through as you advance.
<Keth_Turbine> You'll see the start of those changes in Book 7.
<Scenario> This doesn't rule out the possibility of new low-mid level regions in the future.

*SMeK* When lotro went live it already had in it a cloak with the white tree of gondor yet we did not have access to gondor. Are there any plans to create more themed cloaks for other areas and i dont just mean the big iconic areas, but ones maybe relating to the shire or thorins hall, etc
<Floon> Well, we have been putting out themed cloaks for a while. There are the Moria cloaks we just put in, and there's a Lorien cloak coming out in Book 7 (two, I think, actually).
<Floon> We try to enhance the cultural appeal of the outfits.

*mandarina1* Hi all, The captain community understand that IHW skill can be abused. Consider the outcome, if you will, of Boromir defending Merry and Pippin with 50% effectiveness. The mitigation of all damage is core to the captain class. Have the devs considered any alternatives to the 50% reduction?
<Rowan> We absolutely hear the feedback, and are watching the data from play experiences very carefully. The team has a number of ideas about ways that we might enhance this class.
<Rowan> Oh, and Boromir is a Guardian. But he did a noble job with his Challenge skills.

*Sko* Are there any plans about changing the system of distributing legendary weapons? Or will it stay the way it is (random type of weapon opposed to barter item)
<Jalessa> We've got your feedback on it - particularly for the Watcher (a lot) - and we're reviewing it. No promises.

*[WSX]Sierandir_Aberglynen* when do we get to kill sauron?
<Keth_Turbine> Actually, this content is in-game already. I'm really surprised no one has discovered how to access it yet.

<Keth_Turbine> Hint - It involves the Shire!
<Floon> I thought you guys did a great job on the Sauron instance...
<Sapience> *hides

*Juss* Hi, why was there no hotfix for monsterplayers. I mean as a temporary solution resists/mitigations should've been raised to stop the slaughterfest that is going on every day in moors since moria. PPPPPP was changed in few weeks, but creeps are left alone for months?
<Jalessa> Unfortunately adjusting resists and mitigations was too large of a task for a hotfix. The adjustments I made for those stats alone were about about a month's worth of work. If I were superwoman, I could have gotten it done faster for a hotfix. Unfortunately I'm not

*menestrockx* The raid in book 7 will be a one boss raid like the watcher raid or a 7-8 boss raid like the Rift?
<Keth_Turbine> The final encounter consists of one boss, something we've been calling a "Lair Raid."
<Keth_Turbine> However, accessing the encounter will require a bit of work, from quite a few people, actually.

*Sannas* Is there any plans for kinship of the month or has that been abandoned
<Sapience> *Looks at Rowan*
<Rowan> It was a comment that I made to tease Patience at the time. It is something we'd still love to do, but we need to balance it with everything else currently in the works... and we have some great ideas.

*lanorin* what was the key reason behind making leveling quicker in book 7, reducing XP requirements etc
<Rowan> So something for the future? Absolutely. Just not something I can tie a date to yet.
<Jalessa> The patch note makes it sound simpler than it is. The change was primarily focused towards our low-mid level players, in effort to make our early game more approachable to the casual user.

*Flaps* I personally loved Helegrod, the 24 man raid was alot of fun... are there any plans of adding in more tougher, longer 24 man raids in the future books?
<Keth_Turbine> For the foreseeable future, we aren't going to be doing any more 24 man Raids. Twelve man will be the largest encounter size probably from here on.

*Leomer* Will there be new festival content in the near future?
<Keth_Turbine> Yes, and it's kinda neat. We are adding some more content to the Spring Festival in Book 7.
<Keth_Turbine> In addition to another Horse for you to try to win, there will be a Hedge Maze for you to try to find your way through.
<Keth_Turbine> This Hedge Maze will be instanced, so you'll never see more than a handful of people in the Maze at a time.

*Danni* Hi. Will it be possible to hang up a flag on your house or above your door? I always wanted a flag on my house...
<Floon> Flags on houses sound like fun to me. Unfortunately, the team that would be dealing with adding all of that to all of the houses is busy with other world creation tasks. And the artists needed to create nifty housing flags are busy creating new monsters and content for the next updates. So it wouldn't happen very soon. But I like the idea.

*Belnavar* Is there a new radiance set in Book 7, or has this been pushed back to Book 8?
<Jalessa> The new radiance sets are in Book 8, they will be unveiled with the instances and raid that were pushed from Book 7.

*Alash* There has been quite a bit of debating about the lack of action towards removing crucial exploits, and even though you're fixing most of it with Book 7 - thumbs up, the hour is somewhat late. What is in the woodworks to prevent a similar situation in the future?
<Keth_Turbine> We actually do spend a lot of time trying to work out "undesired player behavior" in our content. Some of this behavior is made aware to us through player reports, while others we learn about via server logs.
<Keth_Turbine> Some of this behavior involves players dropping groups, restarting instances, etc, while other behavior is a bit more complicated and malicious.
<Keth_Turbine> I really can't tell you specifics on how we are addressing issues like these, though, because that tends to give people a heads up on how to work around it.

*Anrangar* Will there be more different types of Quests in future? some more puzzling or thinking not only killing ?
<Rowan> Our quests in Lothlorien are quite a change of pace. As you're in the homeland of the Elves of Lothlorien, there is not much killing involved. Instead we take the time to explore the story and history of Lorien. We hope you enjoy it!

*Frenya* What kind of rewards can we expect from the new lair raid?
<Rowan> Yes, one of the primary things you can expect is a token for radiance gear. We expect this to be an alternative to the current hard mode instances and another opportunity for kinships to "gear up" for the challenge of the Vile Maw. This raid also has some items specific to that boss.
<Jalessa> Something really cute too.

*Jono* Hey, Since Boromir was a Guardian could you let us know who the Captain of the fellowship was! I always assumed it was Boromir, especially since our Class Quests at level 45 took us too him.
<Rowan> Oops... sorry, I'm getting my leveling mixed up. Keth has corrected me. Boromir is the Captain, while Samwise is the Guardian. I apologize to all the Captains.
<Floon> Oooh, Rowan is burned...