In just over a month since going free-to-play, The Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO) has managed to double its revenue and increase its playerbase. But what does this sudden success mean for players? Executive Producer Kate Paiz has posted her October "Producer's Letter" detailing plans for LotRO moving forward. Kate reflects on the game's recent successful switch to the new model and details Turbine's philosophy of game design, but what really sticks out is that the approach to game content updates are going to be changing. While previous updates have been centered on the advancement of the Epic Story, future updates will not necessarily have that same focus. Those updates will still come, but Turbine plans to step up content production a bit, so we could see some new stuff without the usual epic book attachment.
On the topic of updates, I wanted to let you know that we have shifted the way we think about our releases. In the past our updates depended on new Books being added to the Epic story. Going forward, updates will not always feature a new installment in the epic story line. By decoupling the Books from Updates weÂll have the flexibility to offer different types of new content and new features in each release. This will also allow us to do more releases each year. DonÂt worry, continuing the Epic Story and continuing along the path of the Ring is very important to us!
Kate goes on to detail some of the content in the works for the November update, which includes: a major revision to the vault (again), new skills and updates for the Lore-master and Rune-keeper classes, a new content type for players known as Tasks and a change in the way the Mines of Moria and Siege of Mirkwood expansions are handled.
This change could be a good thing for content updates in LotRO. By decoupling the epic books to content updates the devs will have a lot more flexibility to add new content and with any luck we'll get some new stuff flowing in with a quicker turn around.