Dev Chat November 2009

Lotro Developer Chat Transcript November 2009 - Warcry Network

WarCry Welcome to WarCry's War Council! Today we are pleased to have the developers of Lord of the Rings Online here to chat about the upcoming Siege of Mirkwood Expansion! Remember that while the chat is going on you can join the general chat in #warcry.
WarCry Questions can be submitted to [QT]Hobbitesess by double click on his name or typing /msg [QT]Hobbitesess or /q [QT]Hobbitesess . Also on questions sent to [QT]Hobbitesess will be put into the queue for answering by the devs. The chat log (English version) will be available shortly after the event at
WarCry Now on to our honered guests to introduce themselves!

Orion Hi there, I am Orion. Currently, I am responsible for the re-vamp to our lower level content. I do a little of everything and I am pleased to be here this evening.
Jalessa Hi, I'm Jalessa - I am part of the LOTRO Systems team here at Turbine. And Sapience cannot have my Nilla wafers.
Sapience Hi, I'm Sapience and it wasn't me and no one can prove otherwise. Until the test comes back.
jwbarry I'm jwbarry, I've spent the past year working on skirmishes
Graal Howdy Everbody! I am Graal and work primarily on all things class related.

WarCry JaredB: I've heard there will be a special 'Inspired by Greatness' mode in SoM that will enable players to more easily complete Epic Quest content by specially beefing up your stats. Could you elaborate more about this special mode?

Orion Let me start by saying that when I put together the blog about 'Inspired Greatness' I never expected so much response. I figured that some folks would be interested in the system but it turned out that this was going to be a hot button issue for a great deal of folks.
Orion In the current implementation, the buff increases your statistics to allow you to readily handle the foes present within instance spaces. Since the writing of the blog I have been putting in some extra cycles to see if there a better way to handle these moments.
Orion What that means, in the short term, is that a player deciding to take the solo version of an epic quest that contains an instance will be bumped up to the approximate level of an Elite creautre. This also includes some bonuses to regen that make it possible for players to survive against multiple opponents.
Orion In future iterations, I will likely be coming to a more scalable design that will *fingers crossed* address some of the small group concerns as well. For these first tentative steps into the new world, this will require a different - solo - version of the current epic instance quests to be chosen by the players.

WarCry Icemasta: Will all items be available for a certain amount of skirmish marks or will there be a need for higher grade marks from 3-6-12 man skirmishes to get certain items? Will the skirmish barter system be similar to that of PvMP in which you can buy lowest item by just using the lowest marks and buy the best quality item using normal marks, and a combination of purple, blue and yellow marks?

jwbarry All items will be available for purchase for all players. Small Tokens come from and 3 man skirmishes. Large Tokens come from 6 and 12 man skirmishes. Some rewards require Small Tokens and some require Large Tokens, in addition to an amount of Skirmish Marks.
jwbarry Large Tokens can be downgraded into Small Tokens with no additional cost. Small Tokens can be upgraded into Large Tokens with an additional amount of Skirmish Marks.
jwbarry The goal is that with enough time, everyone, regardless of playstyle or preferred group size will be able to get all the rewards they are striving for.

WarCry Brastin: Is there any sign of crafted radiance gear in the near future?

Jalessa We're not looking to add radiance to crafted gear at this time.

EU_Uthadan: Many people may have suggestions for this game, granted at some point you would be inundated, but is there a way to get these suggestions made?

Sapience The best way is to post them in the suggestions forums if you can. The team reads them frequently and some do actually make it into the game. We don't always call out which suggested features are added, but they do get in there! So keep them coming!

WarCry LongascHi! This is my question for the upcoming dev chatWhat kind of legacies for champion legendary weapons can we expect in replacement for the stance (fervor e.g.) legacies that will be discontinued in SoM?
Graal The Champion legacies were worked over the most of any of the classes due primarily to the reduction and consolidation of Stance based legacies. Champions gain several legacies that give damage bonus to individual skills, a critical magnitude legacy and several more utility type legacies.
Graal In addition all of the Ardour/Glory legacies have been combined to affect both stances.

WarCry Brastin: How many bosses is the new 12-man raid encouters.

jwbarry The raid at the end of the cluster features multiple boss fights, it's a full raid not a lair raid.
jwbarry There will also be at least 8 skirmish raids launching. These are designed for 12 players and have been balanced as such, including custom built bosses for each.

WarCry Brangdha: Besides a level bump to 6for creeps, will there be any PvMP changes (e.g. new skills and traits for creeps or another map revamp)?

Jalessa Monster Players will enjoy changes with the combat system (we've made the system much more responsive for all players - the dev diary for this will be coming soon!). We have also adjusted the diminishing returns system for crowd control effects, updated rewards for Free Players, and increased the amount of infamy/renown received in raids. No new skills/traits/maps with Siege of Mirkwood, unfortunately.

WarCry Longasc: Will the more responsive combat system in SoM just skip animations or did you make some more changes to combat?

Graal The primary change is that auto-attack animations are now interrupted bu skill plays which gives a much better feel for combat. We also implemented a new skil execution type "Immediate" that will absolutely interupt whatever you are doing and execute the skill. We use this for interupt type skills like Clobber.

WarCry IRCGuest781: Can you ask how many new skills each class can get, if possible of course

Jalessa With Siege of Mirkwood, each class will get one skill upgrade at level 62.

Almazar: I read that you are planning on incorporating Skirmishes into the Epic Quest lines. Will this only be for future books, or will you be adding skirmishes when you re-vamp areas like you are with Lone Lands?

Orion We will not be using the skirmish system with the re-vamp versions of the Epic story. There are no skirmishes that have been added as a direct result of the re-vamp of the Lone-lands. The epic is getting a different strain of treatment.

WarCry lotrowarcry: Will the new class quests added in Siege of Mirkwood give a new legendary trait, a new class trait, or something else?

Jalessa There were no class quests added in Siege of Mirkwood. However, the skirmish system will offer a slew of traits that you can use to provide bonuses to your character (while you are in the skirmish) and to customize your soldier.

WarCry Herunaug: In the Lone Lands revamp, is Agamaur being substantially changed? If so, will there be less elites?

Orion Yes! Agamaur will see a significant change with the re-vamp to the Lone-lands. Elites are replaced with the signatures - as is the case with all of the elite areas. Small groups might be recommended for newer players and those not indoctrinated to the world of MMOs, and elder players will likely chew through the signatures without much difficulty.
Orion The goal with these changes is to ease people into the group content areas - like Garth Agarwen - which now has a section that is open to all serving as a lobby to the three separate wings of the instance cluster.

EU_Uthadan: Legendary items by their very name suggest things which are prized and coveted, conversely it's quite a regular occurance to get 1st age LI's with really poor low tier legacies and all too often between 2-3 max. Do the devs intend to keep things like they are, or will t2 and t3 legacies be phased out for 1st age LI's and will we see fewer with only 2 or 3 legacies?
Graal The addition of scrolls that allow legacy tier upgrades and various other improvements to Legendary items allows players to continue to upgrade their Legendary Items far beyond what is currently available. Initial ranks of legacies will be somewhat lower in Mirkwood to make room for these upgrades.

skorpion352: when will the nda be lifted?
Sapience We're getting close obviously but we're not dropping it just yet. That said we know everyone is really excited to get their hands on the expansion. So we're going to be announcing a Skirmishes sneak peek very soon. You'll be able to get into Skirmishes and see what they're all about. Keep an eye out!

Solberg: Are there any plans to change hunter's fleet stance? Since Mines of Moria beta the hunter community has expressed that this ability is less worthwhile than Turbine thinks it is. Infact, I do no know of a single hunter who has this ability slotted on their quickbar, let alone uses it.
Jalessa We have not changed Hunter's Fleet Stance at this time.

Belechannas: A Warden who is defeated and then revived (with their threat reset to zero) lacks any aggro catch-up skill similar to Engage/Rising Ire. Is it intended that Wardens are the only class unable to function in their primary role after being revived in a long fight?
Graal The lack of an instant threat catch up skill is one of the differences in tanking between Wardens and Guardians, just like Wardens dont have a easily used forced taunt. It is unlikely, but not impossible that this will change. Bottom line...Dont die.

WarCry Leatherfoot:Can I submit this question?Are there any plans to revisit the existing less frequented instances like Fornost/CD/Uru to make that great content more useful like hard modes etc.?
Orion First step is to get through the re-vamp. Then we will review the situation and see about getting "Epic" versions of instances. It is unlikely that you will hear anything about this in the next year or so. In terms of re-vamping, however, we are starting that with Garth Agarwen. The next major instance to see revision will be Fornost. (Again, this will be an ON-LEVEL revision)
Orion ...and when I say the next year or so...I could mean ever...

Lionl:Are the Lore-master pet amulets getting moved to the ranged weapon slot with SoM?
Graal Thats something we want to do, but it didnt make it into Mirkwood.

Almazar:How is the Mirkwood launch going to work? Will there be a switch flipped at midnight and all the content will open? Will there be downtime to get the game ready?
Sapience You'll find out on December 1! We'll make a formal announcement about it when we get closer to release.

skorpion352:can i add the devs as my neighbours on facebooks farmville?
Orion I am maxed out. Zynga will not allow any more friends on my list. Get that fixed and we can talk.
Jalessa Only if I can add you to mafia wars
Sapience I have a really big farm! You'd be like a million miles away so, SURE!

Belaeren:My questionWill SoM bring guild recipes for crafting 2nd Age Reforged Warden Axes? These were missing when 8.posted and it's a glaring omission, all other weapons for other classes are available.
Jalessa Good news! Warden legendary axes will appear in crafting recipes for Siege of Mirkwood! Celebrate!
Sapience *Waves at Belaeren*
jwbarry woooooo!

skorpion352:question for orion have you decided which region you are goning to revamp next, and if so, which one is it?
Orion North Downs would be next - split in half. West gets treatment first covering 22-32. We draw the Ram Duath into the east revision and it covers a 32-42 stretch with more group content than solo. I am weighing this against a revision to Epic Book content first. Right now...Epic Book revision is winning.

Mikowise: There are rummors (posted by blue name on the forums) that minstrel's post-healing animation root will be addressed in SoM, any chance you can give us some update/more info about it?
Jalessa Woot, I like giving good news. We've removed the post-healing animation root you were experiencing, as a part of the combat changes we are making for Siege of Mirkwood. More rejoicing!
Sapience It's no rumor! I spoke the truth!

Solberg: Are there any plans to make creative raid fights that utilize the music system or maybe even involve some kind of colour matching with the fellowship manuevers?
jwbarry We are always striving to create more challenging, creative and unique raid fights that cause players to think outside of the box and challenge themselves and their patterned responses to situations. Some work better than others, but this is a constant thing all of our instance and skirmish designers push towards.

uldun: Regarding monsterplayThere are some skills that frankly are absolutely dreadful. Warg dread, BA center for example. Are you planning to do a revisit of older skills and abilities and give them a tweak?
Jalessa We'd love to revisit skills and racial traits for Monster Players, but this revisit will likely take place after Siege of Mirkwood.

bandocome: Is there ever going to be any boat mounts, thinking about for Evendim and when the Long Lake comes.
Orion Boat mounts - not likely. Travel across Lake Everswim --err, umm -- Lake Evendim, woohoo! (That's a yes, travel across the giant lakes makes sense and is addressed.)

adarel: i hear i send you questions soWhat is the raiding design philosophy in Mirkwood? How does it differ from that in Moria?
jwbarry With mirkwood and the introduction of skirmishes we're opening up a new style of raiding to lotro. These are more casual raids, that 12 players can group up and join from anywhere and have a 30 to 60 minute play experience tailored for 12 people. We feel this will open up raiding to a much larger portion of the playerbase and provide them an onramp into the more complicated cluster raids.
jwbarry there is still a complicated complex kick you in the pants raid at the end of the cluster for those eager to try their mettle

Merric: Question for the Dev'sWhat can we expect Turbine to focus its attention post December 1st? Polishing any bugs, working on the next conent release, etc?
Orion We have already begun moving our focus to the future and pushing out our next major content update. Just because one part of the cycle ends does not mean that everything grinds to a halt. We'll be resuming a schedule of content releases. Bugs, as always, will be part of these releases.
Orion fixing bugs that is
Orion none of you quote me otherwise
Orion Piranhas!!!
Sapience *sweats a little more*

SeanMc74: Will we beable to raise our traits beyond 10 and will we get more legendary traits?
Graal Existing traits will probably not increase passed 10. We are looking at adding more virtues after Mirkwood. New Legendary Traits are always possible, upgrading existing legendary skills or adding new skills.

Giolon: What new combat skills can Hunters look forward to in SoM?
Jalessa We'll have a dev diary coming that will have more information regarding the level 62 skill ugprades in Siege of Mirkwood (no sneak peeks at this time!).

y adarel: I'm assuming we'll have new factions in Mirkwood - what are the plans regarding repeatable quests and faction rewards/currency - same as Loth or different?
Orion Yes. There are indeed new factions in Mirkwood. Yes, as part of the revision to the game I will be addressing our reputation system. In fact, there is a new faction in the Lonelands - the Eglain. A first step in addressing the future of reputation.

Avocet: Would it be possible at some point to make Festival horses skins, so that we can appear to have a whole stable of horses simply by choosing the skin of a horse we have won?
Jalessa With Mount 2.0 (see the dev diary for this on, you'll be able to convert your Festival horse items into skills, so you can definitely have a stable of mounts to switch between at will!

uldun: About craftingIt seems as if already with SoA you put the "quality" bar a bit too high. We've had extraordinary, exceptional, pure etc etc. Once we reach gondor, will we have items with names such as 'ultra divine' or 'super godly'? At least to me it feels like you are running out of words. 😛
Jalessa There's always opportunity to dig deeper into a thesaurus - and um...we've tossed around the adjective"awesomite". 😀

Goldenstar: With current legendary weapons. Is it best to wait to identify them after SoM to get the new system or since I recieved it already is it already locked into the current legendary system?
Graal Its up to you really. Waiting will give more high quality legacies on identify, but if you REALLY like a legacy that is being removed you may want to identify them now.

Kaiyadis: Has the animation difference between Bows and Xbows during Improved Swiftbow been addressed in SoM?
Jalessa Good news everyone! We've fixed the slower animation with bows when using Improved Swiftbow for Siege of Mirkwood 🙂
Sapience Woot! Pew PEW!

kroto: Would like to know if there is another way of gaining access to the dol guldor raid other than having the Dar Nar gear?
Orion The preliminary instance in the Mirkwood release will be another way to earn the necessary radiance to enter the new raid.

Kaiyadis: Are there any plans to address the level 4class quests the require items out of Carn Dum, etc.? It is extremely difficult to find groups to obtain some of these (Rune of Winged Dominance) since they're so far into the old dungeons.
jwbarry For those who are unable to find groups for Carn Dum etc, the level 4class quest items that come out of there will be barterable for Skirmish Marks.

Azariah: Considering that the captain is supposed to be an all-around class, are there any future plans to enable him to have a long-range weapon, even if not as powerful as a warden or hunter?
Graal Captains will probably never have a truly long range attack. Their Marks and Battle Cry will have to suffice.

Ferox: Will there be "epic" loot in the Dol Guldur to satisfy raiders?

Jalessa Outside of the raid set gear, there will be some unique hard-mode rewards available in Dol Guldur.

WarCry Solberg: During the orginal SoA beta there was a feature to autocomplete the Toin mail based on friends list. Why was this removed, and I hear it is coming back?

Jalessa We never actually had autocomplete in mail (as far as most of us can remember). However, with Siege of Mirkwood, you get autocomplete for the Tofield. A dropdown will appear that populates with the names of your friends and characters on your account.

WarCry DelmarWynn: Will players be aable to do the extra encounters in skirmishes even if they finish the boss battle?

jwbarry Yes, the skirmish takes a couple of minutes to shut down after victory, during which time players may attempt any Encounters that are still around they have missed during the playthrough. But be quick!

WarCry Bad: Are there any plans to make available the seasonal horse races in future festival events? Will they be modified in some way?

Sapience Budgeford has been hard at work on revamping the festival horse races. The Yule festival should be the first time you get to see them!

WarCry IRCGuest640: How big is the Mirkwood area in general, size of Eregion?

Orion Bigger.

WarCry emeryl: After Mirkwood is released, does Turbine have any plans to add in any additional raids besides the current one coming with Mirkwood?

jwbarry We've begun spec writing and initial design of several new raids for next year. In addition, skirmishes will be continuing to come online throughout next year, and those all scale from solo to 12-man.

WarCry Maggi: Will we see more and new cosmetic items (especially dresses) in siege of mirkwood? There are so many NPC wearing nice dresses, why cant we have those, too? 🙂
Jalessa We will have tons of new cosmetic items available for purchase via skirmish marks in Siege of Mirkwood!

WarCry nonamejoe: What kind of rewards will the skirmishes offer, and how long will it take to get enough skirmish marks purchase them?

jwbarry There are a large variety of rewards from the skirmish system, from upgrading your soldier, to armor, weapons, class quest items, legendary items, crafting materials, rep turn ins, etc
jwbarry and we're only going to be adding more as the system continues to grow and expand throughout next year
jwbarry the amount of time depends on the quality of reward you're going from, some you might be able to get from a quarter of a skirmish run, some might take skirmishes.
jwbarry One of the cool things is you can go to the skirmish camps, browse through all the different barter vendors, see what is for sale, and see exactly how many points you need and set yourself a target

WarCry gumanela: What changes are being made to the hope/dread system

Orion Minor changes - the most important being the point at which a player will cower is being set to a higher level than 4 dread.

WarCry And with that answer, we are going to have to let the devs head on back into Mirkwood
WarCry or at least back to there pizza and cheesecake
Jalessa Mirkwood? I'm going home to my nice warm bed. This lady is tired!
Graal We have cheesecake? WHERE??
Sapience Jalessa shared her cookies!
WarCry We thank you all for coming tonight and we will have a log posted at shortly
* jwbarry waves
Orion Until the next time; be good and keep reaching for the stars!
Sapience Thanks for coming everyone!Remember! Skirmishes Sneak Peek is coming! Watch for it!

Thanks again to the Turbine developers for taking time out of there busy day to chat with us.