Cheers, jeers and happy thoughts. Last night we got our monthly dose of the Stratics developer chat with the developers of Turbine. The night was filled with discussion of the coming Book 11 update, player housing, and myriad of other topics relating to the third free content update for Lord of the Rings Online.
Player housing was the subject discussed the most last night. Many people wanted to know if we might see some form of crafting stations for player housing, but Matt "Scenario" Elliott responded to people stating
For the initial release of housing, players will not have access to craft facilities in their homes or neighborhoods. While housing is a great new addition to LOTRO, we want to be careful about features that could potentially turn our towns and craft centers into shades of their former selves.
Going forward, we are interested in introducing craft and town services into neighborhoods, but we want to be careful about it (empty towns are no fun for anyone!).
One hot topic when it comes to player housing is the decoration system. The current system is limited by only allowing the player the option to place certain items in certain places, but Cardell "Annuvin" Kerr, Creative Director for turbine let us know that plans are in the works for a free form system that will allow players to have a more expanded method of decorating their homes. When will we see this? That is a good question and the only answer we could get last night was in a future feature set.
Last week Turbine offered a free preview of player housing on the Roheryn server and since then there have been many questions about the current prices on the test server for player housing being the final, but Cardell "Annuvin" Kerr hinted that those prices may not be final after all. When asked about current prices Annuvin responded
As for Housing Prices, who can say? Middle-Earth's economy is a fluctuating thing. We want to price our housing so that anyone can hope to purchase one, not just the extremely affluent.
Other discussion about housing confirmed a few things. Players will not be able to share a joint home with shared ownership. You can share a home with the owner granting permission to a guest, but that person will retain ownership and can at anytime rescind the permission of their guest. The option to have a recall to house option for all characters on an account will have to wait a while. The mechanic is being looked at, but it may be some time before our alt's gain the ability to recall to the home of whoever on our account owns the house.
During the free preview on Roheryn it was very easy to become lost inside the massive neighborhoods. There were no maps so you were left to find your own way, but the developers did hint at some coming changes that will make things a little easier for those with a bad sense of direction. According to Matt "Scenario" Elliott the map panels will soon have indications for roads and housing locations as well as directional indicators that will point you to the entrance and exits of a neighborhood.
The last concern for the night in regards to player housing was the space and if there would be enough homes for everyone to have one if they so desired. The developers did say they felt their approach to the use of housing instances will leave plenty of homes for players to have.
With book 11 we will see several new areas, but those were not the ones on peoples minds last night. People wanted to know when we might see places like Lindon and Isengard, but to their dismay those locations are still a good distance off. While Matt "Scenario" Elliott confirmed Isengard is in the works for the future, he made it clear that we may not see it anytime soon. There are many places between Rivendale and Isengard and our journey may not take us on a strait path.
There was some good news about those seeking new landmasses to explore. Matt "Scenario" Elliott explained that there are new landmasses in the works that will again increase the size of Middle-earth. Unfortunately those areas will not be ready for the Book 12 update. Scenario was hesitant to go into great details on these new areas. No doubt he feared the marketing ninjas. That means we will have to be a bit more patient and wait for the marketing ninjas to loosen their death grip.
With book 11 Lore-masters will gain a few new non-combat pets to have some fun with, but they may have a few more in a future update. The change of the Fear skill had a few people concerned, but the developers introduced the change as a modification (i.e.: balance). Annuvin did mention that Minstrels will be getting two new skills before level twenty that will drastically change the way you can play that class.
For Reputation fans there will be one new faction coming with the Book 11 update, but Rhidden couldn'tt go into details on who or where this faction is located. It is clear that he too fears the marketing Ninjas.
The last major topic was about gold sellers and the decrease in spam tells and we have to give credit where credit is due. The developers took a major step in the right direction by restricting trial accounts. The gold seller spam has decreased greatly and many from last night let the developers know they appreciated it. It is also important to note that contrary to what one gold seller site is saying, Turbine does not allow or support gold sellers. This was confirmed again last night by Cardell "Annuvin" Kerr when this question was asked and he responded with a resounding
We do not support any gold selling/farming or leveling service sites and are constantly taking measures to keep them off of our game. Just recently we introduced tell filtering to try to stop the gold spamming that had bothered our players.
So ended another night of the developers chat. While there was nothing really ground breaking revealed last night, we can all rest easy knowing that Turbine still has major plans for Middle-earth in the future.
You can read the House of Commons developer chat transcript Here.
Share your thoughts and comments on our Forums.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.