Daily Archives: July 14, 2010

Beta and Enedwaith Re-cap

There’s been a rush of news lately with quite a few putting out updates on the beta, new zone, and Turbine Store.  Folks have covered some of these already but I will include my take on them as well.

First up is the interview Mordor of Bust conducted with Kate Paiz, LOTRO’s new Executive Producer who was also part of DDO’s transition to the Free to play model.  A couple things that jumped out at me but certainly take a read for yourself:

  • Since DDO went F2P (Sept. 2009) they’ve released 5 updates and they’re expecting similar frequency with LOTRO.  Now we’ll see how big those updates are but 5 updates in 9 months is pretty darn nice.
  • She does mention that they’ve already made changes due to Beta feedback, and that the stat tomes from the Turbine Store are also world drops which is nice to know.
  • It is nice to see how much Middle-Earth Enterprises is engaged with the entire process, so I feel comfortable that things will still remain close to the lore.
  • Interesting to note the LOTRO hasn’t released in China yet and that they’re still looking for a business model that will work over there.  That should provide a nice revenue stream for Turbine when that kicks in.

MMORPG.com has a pretty lengthy article on their playtime in the beta including information on the new zone, the instance scaling, and the store.  From what it sounds like from the descriptions I’ve read, Enedwaith sounds like a gorgeous zone and I can’t wait to wander around in the bright sunshine again.  I’m really excited for the new instance scaling part but a tad disappointed that we’ll have a new set of tokens to fill up our packs.  Plus rumor has it there’s no progress on a “wallet” to keep all these things in so we’ll be forced to most likely buy more vault space.  But this all does pale to the prospects of returning to some of the places I haven’t been to in a long while and gain (hopefully) useful rewards to go along with the fun challenges.  In discussing the store, they do confirm that not only will you be able to accelerate deed completion but also buy the virtues outright.  I’ve waffled back and forth on this concept quite a bit but I think I’m coming around to it and am sure I will take advantage of it on my main and my alts.

Ten Ton Hammer also has a similar preview posted but the do include some screenshots including the shot below of the ruins of Enedwaith:

Very similar information but always fun to hear others describe what’s going on and what the new toys are.  I’m getting pretty anxious to go back and see the Annuminas instances as those were fun, challenging, and not terribly long.  Not to mention the prospects of not having to horse to the instance door is very welcome, although I will concede a tad lore-breaking 🙂

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Lua Scripting and LOTRO

I’m a bit behind here on the breaking news here, but as you can see on Casual Stroll to Mordor and the LOTRO Reporter Turbine is adding Lua scripting to LOTRO.  Now I know very little about Lua (even though I do have a programming background) but from what I have seen from the other folks it can be used to create add-on or mods to the game.  We don’t really know too much about what can and can’t be done with it, so this will be a bunch of speculation on my side but I figured I’d post a bit on what I’d like to see and what I don’t want to see.  I will be a bit biased and say that I love this concept, but I understand and can see the point for those who don’t agree with it.  For me there’s a line, as long as Turbine doesn’t cross it we’re all good, but if they do cross it (which they’ve proven to me at least they won’t) my assumptions could be totally off base.

I’m quite the fan of customization with regards to the User Interface (as my screenshots will show) and will admit that I’ve been a bit frustrated with what’s available currently to the folks willing to spend the time developing new UI skins.  For me, I’m really hoping Lua gives us more access to the sub-elements of the UI and just more options as a whole.

I will admit in this area that I’m not so much excited about what I can do I’m more excited about what others will be able to do.  I’ve been a huge fan of the LOTRO Interface site and am always amazed at what folks can do with the limited current assets available so I’m SO excited about what will be possible when that’s opened up.

What I want are ways to streamline the user interface to make it such that I don’t need a ton of buttons for all my horses or ports, or a better way to manage my bag-space.  I think those are my 2 biggest issues, quick-slots and inventory management so any options here would be very welcome on my end.  I also think there are many other ways the overall user interface can be tweaked to make it more friendly for the individual playing the game.

Now what scares me about this option is in the area of playing the game for you.  I want customization but not macros or idiot proof screens that allows folks to hit the “I Win” button.  To further explain this, I don’t want to see it possible to have a macro to automatically take a morale potion if you drop below 50% morale or cast a heal if player X is below 50% morale.  I personally don’t have an issue with alerts or popups that tell you to do something but I do see an issue with making that process automatic.  I’ve heard (although haven’t seen or played) the stories from folks from WoW so I will admit I am a tad skeptical that this won’t pose a larger problem down the road, but from what I’ve seen from Turbine I’m optimistic they can make this work.

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