Ok, so I’m mainly gong to be posting the links here and adding my comments as I’m sure most of you have already seen some of this before.
The first post came from MadeOfLions and is a Dev. Diary talking about the behind the scenes mechanics of the Drama sequence system. Pretty interesting as he walks through that they have to account for not only the options the characters can chose but also how they might have chosen up to this point. He also talks in vague terms about Volume as a whole that “will bring us to new lands, new threats, and new adventures “ and shows some of the epic book rewards. I think the rewards are pretty nice as it gives characters without swift-travel options (i.e. non hunter/wardens) better ways to move around as they do tend to have many of these “travel the land” quests. Further discussion on the Volume 3 quest rewards can be found on the live boards.
In addition, the preliminary patch notes on for Book 1 have been posted by Sapience as well as the announcement that Bullroarer is now live. For me there are some really nice additions:
- Duo Skirmishes! Nice to see the devs respond to the community, I had no idea that some 40% of 3-man skirmishes were duo’d 😉
- Lots of updates to skirmish mark reward rates, drops, exchange costs, and to the specific skirmishes
- The skirmish starting quest has been tweaked to drop more easily (which I”m all for)
- Volume 1 revamp!!
- New Skills (ok, one per class) but overall I think they’re better then the Mirkwood ones
- Crafting updates – especially like the cooking updates! Will and Fate food will be VERY nice
- Also, they increased the duration of the OOC regen buffs from 30 seconds to 5 minutes, or 10 minutes on crit crafted food! This one I never understood the short duration, so this will be very nice for all aspects of the game.
- Notes on your friends/ignore lists!! Can’t tell you how many folks I remove cause I can’t remember why they’re on the list
- Hounding fear is gone!
- Legendary item legacy costs are hopefully fixed 🙂
I’m sure there are other things, but for me those are the big ones. Even for just a book update, this is another big “system” update. Just like Mirkwood, the Volume 1 revamp will be HUGE for Turbine (assuming they do it well). As they push newer content it will continue to get harder for people to find folks willing to do those quests again (and again) but still not preventing people from doing them as a group if they wish. While some may see this as dumbing the game down, I believe it is allowing all of us to re-roll and enjoy the content in a new way without missing any of the story – which is why most of us are here anyway! Plus you know you all want the pretty horse 😉
Now, for the class skills I’m not going to cover all of them, just the 3 I can intelligently debate – for the loremaster skill check out the LOTRO Reporter.
Warden’s get a new gambit called Unerring Strike which sounds cool at first as it is less likely to be block, parried, or evaded and has a damage over time component. But, as mentioned on the Live boards the builders needed for this will be a bit clunky as there are 2 spears at the end of the Mighty Blow gambit. What this means is there will be an artificial delay in using this gambit which will make it less appealing then its counterpart Mighty Blow. So while I like the idea, the implementation leaves something to be desired.
Captain’s get a buff to their shield brother skill which does sounds kinda nice as it adds both a boost to morale and power to the shielded character. Now the stats aren’t all that hot (page 2 of this live thread) but hey 100 morale and 150 power buff that can be cast pre-fight isn’t worthless. Sure, I think it should be a bigger buff but it is at least useful (unlike our Mirkwood upgrade) – perhaps making it a regen buff, or have it pulse every so many seconds. However, probably more importantly they fixed one of our traits not boosting healing (deeds before words now boosts inspire) and fixed the lag on Last stand (which was rather annoying).
The minstrel upgrade for me is interesting but I”m really not sure how useful it will actually be. Essentially now our “power bubble” which we can cast to have damage drain power instead of morale will not be broken by knockbacks nor will you be interrupted by knockbacks. Various folks discuss this on the live boards and I think it will be nice for bosses with large AOE knockback skills but I’m not sure how often I’ll be putting this up without a pocket LM feeding me power.
So for me, the skill updates are better this round but still nothing compared to the upgrades from SoA to MoM. These are at least marginally useful as opposed to the generally worthless Mirkwood ones. But I’m still not feeling the character progression love from Turbine quite yet.
And finally, with this update there’s also an update to the fishing system. Now I haven’t fished too much as it really didn’t seem worth it once the novelty wore off, but with the fate/will food and the updates it might be more worth it. Check out the Angler’s guide to fishing 2.0 for more details.
Overall, I like the patch and am excited for it but I think they could’ve made a couple of tweaks and made it really good. Make sure to check out the full notes as I very well have missed something that you care about.