LOTRO Twitter Developer Chat Transcript 3/21/2013

The LOTRO dev team recently took to Twitter to answer questions from the community and we’ve put them all together for your convenience.

Developer and community team members over at Turbine took to Twitter today for a new Twitter Developer Chat to field questions from the community about future content and upcoming changes to The Lord of the Rings Online. Taking part in the chat were Senior Producer Aaron Campbell, Design Director Derek Flippo, Lead Systems Designer Matt Zimmitti, Senior Content Designer Lauren Salk, World Builder Matt Fahey, Associate Systems Designer Evan Graziano, and Community Manager Rick "Sapience" Heath, also known as the Harbinger of Soon.

Since trying to read a Twitter chat is often enough enough to give some people a brain-bursting aneurism or send them into uncontrollable spasms of pain, we’ve put together the full Q&A list from the chat in one easy to read list. Give them a look below.

Q1: Drunken_Valar – Any plans to update the stability of the game? (Link)

Aaron Campbell: With Update 10 we hit some unexpected issues that required us to close “Flight to the Lonely Mountain.” The engineering team is tracking those down, and we hope to have them fixed soon. We’re also looking at ways to add more monitoring to the game servers to help us track down bugs. We continue to push the boundaries of our game engine with new features like mounted combat. Those are great for new gameplay, but also create new challenges for our engineers. (Link #1, Link #2, Link #3, Link #4, Link #5)


Q2: Rsmuppet – What sources do you use in checking lore, story, and history of Middle-earth? (Link)

Matt Fahey: For all things Tolkien, we have experts who pour through pages upon pages of text to make sure we are as accurate as possible. We also have almost every book written by or about Tolkien and LOTR. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q3: Thodorin – Will we earn daily rewards just for logging in like DDO? (Link)

Derek Flippo: We’re considering a similar type of system for LOTRO. (Link)

Q4: ISS_21 – Will there be a level cap increase with Update 11? (Link)

Aaron Campbell: No. (Link)

Lauren Salk: No level cap increase at this time. U11 features solo end-game content and rewards. (Link)

Q5: Midford - Can you guys focus not just only on new content, but also the bugs? (Link)

Lauren Salk: We always fix many bugs each update! If you see something broken, feel free to /bug it in game so we’re aware of the issue. (Link)

Q6: Elemiire - Any plans for a 'combine all' and / or 'refine all' option for the Relic Master? Carpal Tunnel isn't fun. (Link)

Matt Fahey: This is a very good suggestion. I'll ask around and see if it is a viable option. (Link)

Q7: Raowyn - Any plans towards making landscape barter tokens upgradeable to the endgame factions tokens and/or shared accross an account? (Link)

Evan Graziano: Although there are no immediate plans, shared tokens are something that I could certainly look into for the near future. I’m probably going to steer clear of upgradeable tokens though, at least for the time being. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q8: OverlordGate - Can we expect new instances within the new area of U11 this summer? (Link)

Lauren Salk: No instances this time. Instances were the focus of U10, and U11 features a new region & epic. (Link)

Lonely Mountain

Q9: Nasami - Since Dale and Erebor now appear in instances, ANY chance of them being added as instanced missions, or even better - zones? (Link)

Matt Fahey: Currently we have no plans to make Erebor part of our open world. As for instanced missions, you'll have to consult Budgeford. (Link)

Lauren Salk: Our content focus is actually on another part of Middle-earth at the moment. No plans for Dale or Erebor currently. (Link)

Q10: LS - Zalladi - Are there plans for a new skirmish due for release? (Link)

Lauren Salk: No plans for a new Skirmish currently, but we have new “stuff” in the works. Handwavy vague! (Link)

Q11: FatMeff With the upcoming class revamps, what sort of juicy changes are you making to the Burger? I MUST know! (Link)

Matt Zimmitti: Lots of extra cheese! (Link)

Aaron Campbell: I like Bacon. (Link)

Q12: Joene - In the last dev chat you mentioned you might revamp vanilla zones if time allows. (Link)

Matt Fahey: Unfortunately we have no vanilla zones scheduled for revamp. On a personal note, I would love to revamp Trollshaws. The World team also mentioned North-downs (Drachyn) and Enedwaith (Iceman). (Link #1, Link #2)

Lauren Salk: My personal wishlist, IF time allows: Bree, Ered Luin, Misties, Trollshaws, Forochel, North Downs. (Link)

Q13: AC - Levanas - When we would to hear about new expansion? Like its name or possible release date? (Link)

Aaron Campbell: Kate Paiz already mentioned Helm’s Deep… that’s all I can say at this time. (Link)

Q14: ISS_21 – Will there be mounted combat instances? (Link)

Battle for Erebor

Lauren Salk: All content now incorporates some Mounted Combat gameplay, but there are no group MC instances atm. (Link)

Q15: Midford - Can we get more news on the Player Council? (Link)

Rick Heath: The official announcement, information, and how to apply will be posted tomorrow. (Link)

Q16: Fexalicious - Will there be raider representatives in the upcoming council? (Link)

A16: RH - Yes. One of the questions on the application is about your preferred playstyle. (Link)

Q17: Levanas - When we would to hear about new expansion? Like it's name or possible release date? (Link)

Rick Heath: I can only say our 6th Anniversary is coming. Keep an ear to the ground! (Link)

Q18: Radspakr - Any news on improving tanking gear especially vitality jewellery to better match the might and will drops? (Link)

Evan Graziano: A lot of tanking gear was released with Update 9. Although I might typically veer away from changing pre-existing gear, I see no problem with taking a look to make some of the tanking items more beefy. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q19: Avengingbananaslug - Are there any plans to rework the legendary item system? (Link)

Evan Graziano: At this time, no, there are no plans to rework LI. (Link)

Q20: Bamatram - any news on when u11 will be hitting bullroarer? (Link)

Aaron Campbell: Update 11 is on Palantir! We’ll bring it to Bullroarer when it’s ready. (Link)

Scuttledell Elves

Q21: Brya - When can we get auto-loot in place for skirmishes? (Link)

Evan Graziano: Although I can’t really commit to an exact date at this time, this is something that is being planned for the near future. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q22:Thodorin – Do you plan to improve localization and fix some of the translations errors? (Link)

Aaron Campbell: Yes! We continue to fix bugs. (Link)

Rick Heath: Our translation team is working on improving translations with every update and patch. There are also players who routinely submit suggested translations to the team. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q23: Hurant - Can healers expect items with proc on heal in the future? Like the golden Rohan final ring upgrades or mooncandle necklaces? (Link)

Evan Graziano: There are two new healer rings being released with Update 10.1, one that is might-based and another that is will-based, both with on-heal procs. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q24: GingerAJ - With us now receiving items, that have effects when causing or receiving damage,will we rcv items that activate on other FX? (Link)

Evan Graziano: Simply put…yes. Although there is no set timeline, you should start to see a larger variety of proc effects being released with future updates. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q25: Elemiire - Will you fix the 'procs' on the Upgraded Rohan Rings to benefit healers and support classes? (Link)

Stone Giant

Evan Graziano: As mentioned above, there are two new healer rings being released with 10.1. (Link)

Q26: Nasami - Cosmetic gear slots? My LM has found some gorgeous staves, only to lose how they look because she found better quality gear. (Link)

Evan Graziano: Unfortunately due to tech limitations, this is not really an option. (Link)

Q27: Nasami - Verizal: Is there a way to make war-steed riding 'smoother'? (Link)

Evan Graziano: This is another tech limitation that we are forced to deal with. Given their inclusion in combat, war-steeds have a heavier set of restrictions that they must abide by in order to keep combat as flowing and functional as possible. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q28: OverlordGate - Which instance cluster will be scaled and revamped next and when can we expect it? (Link)

Derek Flippo: Right now we’re focusing on prototyping Helm’s Deep instanced content for the upcoming expansion pack. After we’ve shipped the expansion we’ll evaluate the remaining potential revamps vs. making new instances. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q29: Nyrion – Any plans to change the virtue system? Slayer deeds in particular? (Link)

Matt Zimmitti: We’re considering changes to slayer deeds to get them to fit in with future class changed. They may no longer be directly tied to specific skills, but rather, give you progression you can choose. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q30: JeauxLOTR - Who is the RK Developer and when will they begin to engage the RK Community? (Link)

Matt Zimmitti: While there are principle designers for each class, I do want to stress that this is a team effort. That said, Jinjaah is the principle on RK. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q31: Tulcavaryar - Any plans to help hunters and burglars get their mitigations above 40% more easily? (Link)

Matt Zimmitti: That will be dependent on what build you choose =) (Link)

Q32: MrWarg - Can we have more details about the class revamp please, specifically the implementation of skill trees? (Link)

Scuttledells Spider

Matt Zimmitti: Three trees per class. Some degree of blending at a higher cost than sticking with a pure build. Bonuses granted based on an early-level specialization choice that grows as points are spent. You can have multiple specs. You can respec. (Link #1, Link #2, Link #3)

Q33: Zalladi - When will the next 'Player-designed relic' poll be started? (Link)

Matt Zimmitti: That’s up to Sapience. (Link)

Rick Heath: Wow, I'm in charge of something? *marks calendar* Soon™! Seriously. Look for a post after PAX East. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q35: Nendis_Nenar A Housing-Question: Will empty houses from inactive players be available to rent again? (Link)

Matt Fahey: Yes. (Link)

Q36: @andrewscorgie Having seen the improved maps for bree and areas, will all maps be given a more modern look, as they do look dated. (Link)

Lauren Salk: We generally update maps as we revamp zones. (Link)

Q37: @bob101910 Any idea how much the new region in U11 will cost? (Link)

Aaron Campbell: Wildermore will be free for VIPs. (Link)

Q38: @Honvik Any idea if you will bring in a PvP tournament system I.e 12v12 or smaller PvP warzone (Link)

Derek Flippo: We have no plans to add additional PvMP content. (Link)

Bells of Dale

Q39: @MikeWestYYC Do you feel the current state of LOTRO is not challenging enough (too easy) to keep new players engaged? (Link)

Matt Zimmitti: Our present classes don't require difficult choices in how to play. Future changes should increase the challenge level because you won't be able to do everything as any class. (Link #1, Link #2, Link #3)

Q40: @ArtsySuvi Scarycrow, Bree looks awesome! You said you'd try to revamp the Prancing Pony interior; will we be seeing that soon? (Link)

Matt Fahey: Yes I do plan to revamp the interior for the Prancing Pony. This is a personal project of mine. So when I have time, I'll get on it. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q41: @Mithrandir99 any plans to give us cappies mounted helpers? (Link)

Evan Graziano: Although captains aren't getting mounted helpers, all classes will be seeing new mounted traits and skills with U11. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q42: @PArriola Will we be able to have crafting in houses? (Link)

Matt Fahey: Yes we will be adding crafting facilities to housing. (Link)

Q43: @Zyaxis the DMG and heal from conjunctions has not kept pace with our skills. Any changes coming? (Link)

Matt Zimmitti: We're looking at both the balance and timing of conjunctions. An update should come with the class changes. (Link #1, Link #2)

Q44: @jordan_rose72 is content meant to be this easy or is it a bug? (Link)

Lauren Salk: Content is not 'this easy' for everyone. The goal of most landscape content is to let everyone play and enjoy it. Instanced content is intended to be more difficult. (Link #1, Link #2, Link #3)

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