Whenever a new content update for href="http://lotro.tentonhammer.com/" target="_blank">Lord
of the Rings Online comes
around, the Ten Ton Hammer staffers always look forward to talking with
the developers from Turbine. You’ll rarely meet a group of
people, and there well-spoken passion about their game is contagious.
During our tour, we had the opportunity to ask a number of questions to
LOTRO’s live producer, Aaron Campbell, who was gracious
enough to
answer all of our questions. Enjoy!

Ten Ton Hammer: Are there
any major mechanics changes going in with Book 7?
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There are a
number of game balance changes coming with LOTRO's Book 7.

Aaron Campbell:
There are some
pretty substantial changes to the overall game balance with this Book.
These are meant to bring classes that were doing tactical sort of
damage – like Minstrel and Loremaster – more in
line with
classes that do weapon-based damage like the Hunters and Champions.
There have been a whole list of changes that have gone in because of
that from changing the attacks players use to adjusting monster
resistances to lowering casting time on Minstrel skill to tweaking
monster health. There’s really just a package of things that
included in this update. It’s really just trying to balance
things out with the numbers that we’ve been seeing since the
launch of Moria.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will
monster play be changing at all?

Aaron: We
haven’t changed
the content as it exists so much as definitely rebalancing some of the
content based on the feedback and gameplay mechanics. We recently had a
play test and the new tweaks are feeling very well balanced. Primarily,
we’re upping monster resists, better damage and better perks
get them up to speed. After a major expansion, its always good to take
a step back and make sure that your players are happy with the content
and we make the adjustments where they’re necessary.

Ton Hammer: Was there
a big “concern” for players with the Mines of Moria

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developers at Turbine really examined their existing content post-Moria.

Aaron: Sure.
I think that the
combat changes we’re looking at doing are going to alleviate
big chunk of those concerns. We’ll continue to do that as
we want to make sure that classes are attuned well to their roles. The
classes got pretty specialized in Mines of Moria, but now
broadening them again and taking a step back. We want to make sure that
classes are fun for a variety of different environments and playstyles.

We also took a look at the types of content we’re providing.
want to keep a good balance between the small group, large group, and
solo-based instance spaces. There’s a lot of very focused
play in Moria as part of the expansion, and we wanted to take a step
back with this update. We’re introducing a new twelve-man
but we’re also introducing a lot of solo content for the
There are daily crafting instances now where players can go in and get
different crafting nodes. We’re also doing some things with
“item advancement” instances by blending these with
crafting instances and merging both of those things with reputation
advancement systems. We’re building on top of the systems
we’ve built that have worked.

Ten Ton Hammer: So gamers
really only saw part of Lothlórien at the end of Moria,

Correct. We gave them a
peek with Galadriel’s Garden and the outskirts of the area.
was basically the location where Haldir meets with the Fellowship and
offers to guide them through Lothlórien. That space is
really a jumping
off point for what many of the players will experience in Book 7.

Basically, players will need to insure the elves that they can be
trusted in Lothlórien, or else the guards will shoot them
down if they
enter the golden wood.

Ton Hammer: How do
players show they can be trusted?

It’s actually
fairly straight forward. One way is to complete Volume 2 Book 6, which
is the peak of the epic quest line shown up to this point. The
conclusion of that is obviously the audience with Galadriel at her

The other way is to meet with Haldir and then take some of the quests
that are associated with that area.

Ten Ton Hammer:
What’s with all the weird platforms?

Aaron: Those
are actually
called “flets.” These are the platforms that the
elves use
to watch over the wood. There’s also no buying or selling
within Lothlórien, because the elves don’t use
money. Instead,
it’s all barter using these leaves and branches of
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Ten Ton Hammer: Will
players still get normal money too when they complete these quests?
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Lothlórien will
be the first reputation "gated" LOTRO area.

Aaron: Some
of the basic
mechanics still apply, like if there’s a repair vendor. But
there are reputation rewards or most of the actions located here in the
wood, it will be focused around those barter items. A lot of the quests
in Lothlórien grant these items, and there are even quests
within Moria
itself that give you these barter pieces.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are they

Aaron: Nope.
They’re bound to the player.

Ten Ton Hammer: So what
kind of combat quests are players going to be doing in

Aaron: We
really wanted players
to be able to explore Moria in a little wider way in this Book.
Essentially, we put in a solo experience that kicks off with an
interaction between Legolas and Gimli going on an orc hunt, then we go
back into Moria itself.

Ten Ton Hammer: So how do
we get back to Moria in the story?

It’s based on things you learn while hunting with Legolas and

Ten Ton Hammer: So the
players aren’t done with Moria once they finish the Book 6

Aaron: Oh
no. We have more than a couple things that lead back that way.

We'd like to thank Aaron for taking the time to talk with us about
Volume 2 Book 7. Check back in with us over the next few days to read
our experiences in the LOTRO Book 7 walkthrough!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016