Daily Archives: October 16, 2009

Orion’s belt blog

If you’re not following his blog (like I wasn’t until today) I highly recommend it.  He put together a great series on the design process for the Lone lands and Garth Agarwen revamps and today he posted on the reputation system.  Not only is it nice to get such an open perspective on how they not only approach problems but take into account player feedback.  Lots of good nuggets for how they plan to expand on the reputation system which sound pretty darn nice.  Rep always felt to me as lacking something, and I usually only worried about one or 2 factions if that.

So the first part is how the rewards will work for the various rep levels (starting with Eglain, but then expanding to others)

  1. Acquaintance- title and some items are available
  2. Friend – title, more items, and 10% reduction for appropriate stable routes (which stacks)
  3. Ally – title, further rewards, and 5% discount on vendors including repairs.
  4. Kindred – title, more items, and a port!

He then tosses out some teasers:

  • Deeds for completing multiple reputations – with titles and possibly specialized rewards.
  • Kindred cosmetic rewards to display individual factions as cloaks.
  • Kindred mount rewards
  • Ally and Kindred recipes
    • cosmetic items
    • food recipes serving multiple people at once
    • class specific gear (rep clothes for your banner-bearers, unique looks for your summoned pets, special instruments, etc…)
    • housing items (functional and non-functional)
  • Swift travel routes to areas of importance to the group or relevant relation.

If the Eglain concept and half of the teasers get applied to other factions, this would be VERY cool.  It will really make the reputation system much more involved and worthwhile!  Plus I just can’t get enough cosmetic items, and custom banners-bearers might actually make me use my herald again 🙂

His article is a good read, check it out over here.

Friday News

Two pieces of news from LOTRO today – the Dev Q&A part 2 and a skirmish dev. diary.

In a continuation of the Dev. Q&A (Part One) the second part of this series has been posted, which seemed to answer a few more questions that weren’t softballs like the first one.  Of note for me:

  • Confirmed that minstrel healing root is working as intended.  While this is annoying, it is at least good to know the status of it.
    • although it is teased that this might change later on
  • Wahoo for crafting panel re-vamp as that is incredibly annoying.
  • Mirkwood will be pretty darn big – 75-80% of North Downs
  • Insight on the log-out delay.  Which actually I think is pretty standard, but good to understand their stance on it.
  • The housing and kin revamp seems like it is pretty far off on their timeline.
  • The last note about PvMP and PvE being kept separate pretty much confirms open PvP won’t happen in LOTRO (which isn’t a surprise)

Here’s the link to the full article- Dev team part 2

Also, there’s another dev diary on Skirmishes (Link) from Zombie Columbus (ZC) focusing on the randomization and scaling of these instances.  Both will be critical for the success of the re-playability of Skirmishes for most people (myself included).  Some really cool ideas coming off from this more detailed look at the mechanics of the skirmish.

There will be a pool of mob types (Orcs, wolves, goblins, etc.) that can be pulled from as appropriate for the location of the skirmish.  So a skirmish in the Shire will be different from one in Bree, Trollshaws, etc.  These mob types will be randomly selected for each wave of the fight.  Mixed in with them will be Lieutenants which are basically mini-bosses.  They all have unique elements to them, which from the example ZC gave, sound like pretty new mechanics that we haven’t seen before.  The example ZC gives is that the Lt. gives a damage buff to all the mobs around him when he’s hit.  So, killing the Lt. last will make things go much smoother.  These elements are the same across all skirmishes, so once you figure out the trick for one it will be the same in other skirmishes too.

Another key random aspect is the Encounter system.  Essentially these are random events that you’ll have to recognize and figure out how to trigger in addition to beating them, basically a puzzle element.  These are tied to deeds such that you’ll be able to track which ones you’ve done and compare notes with others.  I have a feeling this will drive completion-ist crazy trying to figure out that last encounter and how to trigger it 😉

And finally he touches on the scalability aspect which I think was already partly covered – but the cool part for me is the difficulty setting.  So not only can you pick the size (solo, 3, 6, 12) of the skirmish but you can also crank up the difficulty if you find them too easy for you.  This is a great compromise as there’s always content some feel is too easy or too hard (based on player skill or gear), so this allows for the player to decide which path they want to take.

Overall some good stuff posted for Mirkwood – still lots of unknowns (like how our characters will grow, and skirmish rewards) but the skirmishes are shaping up to be amazing.  Next part of the Skirmish diary series will be focused on Soldiers.