Below is a brief chat log of the LOTRO Roundtable chat with Jeffrey Steefel which took place at Connect. Our LOTRO Brand / Product Manager kindly took some notes.
Q. Is there a way of seeing which part of the PC the game is using and how effectively it is using it?
A. We would like to know this and are looking into ways of understanding this. This would be a fantastic resource tool in helping us manage what the game is using effectively and what it isn’t.
Q. Why can’t we access US LOTRO Lorebook or their website from Europe?
A. This is something Codemasters Online and Turbine are looking into and updates will come periodically.
*Codemasters comment: Lorebook access is still on the priority list and is looking to be released in three individual phases, beginning with standard access to the American version.
Q. Would it be possible to introduce more community / neighborhood interaction and / or events i.e. grow the biggest vegetable competition etc
A. Yes, this will happen in future developments
Q. Can we have more cinematic content and drama?
A. Yes this is coming with Moria.
Q. Are there plans to modify the kinship management system?
A. Yes, this is one of many plans that make up a very long list. It’s not currently the highest priority but Turbine regards it as something which needs to be revisited over a long period.
Q. Can you develop the facility to export a list of people in a kinship?
A. Yes, discussions are in progress about this. It was commented upon at this point that something which appears to be such a simple task, usually ends up being massively complex.
Q. We would like you to develop the auction facility i.e. ABILITY fix items before selling
A. Yes, this is on the radar for development.
Q. Talking to the games master when just starting a battle is frustrating - can you do something about this?
A. We appreciate the annoyance it causes and we could definitely explore this issue further.
Q. Could you develop a mentor system such as in EQ2?
A. This has been discussed extensively but is currently weighed down by the pros and cons on both sides of the coin. In order to successfully pull off a mentoring system you need to make sure you have every constraint considered and covered.
Q. Why don’t you get any kind of equity with housing system?
A. It is currently set up as a renting system as any other way would be too complex to manage.
Q. There has been no events on server since last year- can we have more?
A. There will be more and more happening in the future but GM events rely upon Codemasters Online.
*Codemasters comment: Now that we’re becoming more and more stable with our new GameMasters we can begin to look into hosting in-game events again. Things will start out small but we should be able to get things back up to a position where all the servers frequently have events running.
Q. We would like to see more choice of furniture.
A. This will change but is not a priority. The current amount of hooks and furniture was agreed on as to not swamp the user and to reduce the load it causes on the server. Now that the foundation has been placed, expansion can occur.
Q. What content is in book 13?
A. There are development diaries coming within the next few months to look out for. These will show the new content in its various different lights.
Q. What do you see as the future of the game? Will you not run out of content?
A. There is never going to be an issue with lack of content as LOTR is a massive and deep world. There is lots of content to explore before we even reach places like Mordor.
Q. How do you keep level 50 significant / important when you introduce level 60?
A. We are aware of the issues which will occur with the level cap raise and we’re putting measures in place to keep this fair for existing players and content.
Q. How do you deal with Tolkien family for approval of areas that are perhaps not in the book?
A. We work closely with them at every stage of the design process and show them exactly what we’re thinking and doing. We then follow a formal process of submission and approval.
Q. Can you give us any information on the new mount?
A. It's not a new player mount, it's a mount for monsters. Once you kill a monster its rider will fall off and continue to attack you – this is just one of the many new AI enhancements coming LOTRO’s way.
Q. The monster play system needs improving.
A. We recognise this is needed and will be giving this attention at some point in the future. The first stage of these improvements comes as the new Monster Player class in Book 13.
Q. How will you ensure the new classes don’t affect the other classes?
A. We have paid attention to this to ensure the new classes compliment rather than rival the existing classes.