Tag Archives: volume 3

Dev Diary – Lua Scripting


The long awaited diary on the new Lua Scripting has been posted with some very cool insight from Narrel on the process to get Lua scripting into the game.  Even more exciting is the confirmation that Lua Scripting will be in the game at launch of F2P.  Granted Narrel does put some caveats in there, but assuming all goes well it will be in launch.

I’m always fascinated about how these things progress and appreciate the insight on how the internals of Turbine work.  This certainly sounds like an impressive effort from Narrel, ForsakenArcher, Agiclaw and Frosty with the support of the whole dev team I’m sure.  It was also very encouraging to see the beta community step up and not only try things out but post some pretty darn cool UI scripts.

At the initial launch they will restrict the system to the following areas:

  • Quickslots – Allows for the creation and customization of additional quickslots.
  • Player self-vitals – Exposes effect information as well as health and morale for only yourself – party member and target vitals did not make it in for this release due to time constraints and will be addressed in a future update.
  • Inventory – Allows for custom organization of your inventory. For example, creating a single-bag view of your character inventory.

In addition Narrel is very specific to mention what applications they’re going to avoid, those being “bot-ing,” “macro-ing,” and things like gear score comparisons.  Also, notice in the list below they’re still not allowing you access to damage or healing output so we won’t see any sort of threat, DPS, or healing meters from this system either, which makes me VERY happy.

In addition to the launch features, they also have a few items on the planned list:

  • Party member vital information
  • Target vitals
  • Vault UI
  • Mouse cursors
  • Chat window customization
  • Kinship UI

Feel free to look at my post and video on the system as well as the video from Merric mentioned in this post and especially the posts from Mike mentioned in the comments of that post.

For me, this could be the single most anticipated system of the entire F2P launch 🙂

Recent Developer Diaries


Turbine has continued to pump out Dev diaries and I’m a bit behind I’ll admit.  But since the NDA has been lifted, I think much of this information is out there but it is always good to see how the Devs see things and get a little more insight on their process.

First up from last week was the Volume 3 Book 2 Quest Line diary talking about that portion of the epic line.  I specifically didn’t do these quests on Bullroarer as I wanted to save them for live.  I’m pretty excited about this portion of the story as not only do we get to follow the rangers path but also get to learn more about their stories.  And of course, there’s the Ranger Session play that’s always enjoyable 🙂  The new technology to show and hide people based on your quest log sounds really cool and I’d love for them to roll that out everywhere as it is a bit lore-breaking to see folks in the wrong areas.  The other big news item in this diary is the announcement that we’ll be able to re-play all the various session plays as much as we want.  There are some really fun ones, so I quite like this idea for quick play-sessions.

The other diary was today’s release of the Wardrobe System, which for me is one of my favorite features of the F2P roll-out.  I probably have a few bags on all my toons that are purely cosmetic and many are storing the same items.  This will not only allow for more storage of useful items but another way to share items between characters.  I’m glad they walked through the usage of the system as I’ll admit it took me a bit to figure it out – putting items in is easy as you just drag the item and it puts a copy into the wardrobe.  You can then feel free to delete the one in your inventory if you want.  To equip though, you need to drag the item directly to the slot on your character panel and not to your inventory.  It is also nice that you can store various color variations using one slot and just use a pull-down to select which color as opposed to each color taking up a slot.  And finally, the requirements to wear the cosmetic items have been loosened such that you don’t need the level or reputation to wear them but you will be limited to armor types.  For instance, you won’t be able to deck your Minstrel out in heavy armor but your Captain will be able to cosmetically equip your Champion’s Rift Set.

Updated: LOTRO Free to Play Launch Date Announced


So we finally have a date!!  Turbine has announced September 10th, 2010 as the launch date for the Free to Play system.  Now I’m assuming this means we’re also getting Enedwaith but it isn’t explicitly stated just that they expanding the epic story line.

In addition, there’s a pre-release for current and previous subscribers starting September 8th.  This post also confirms that Enedwaith is part of the release.  I like pre-releases as it should help on server loads quite a bit.

I’m glad it is happening this quick, but once again Turbine has picked a launch date around my vacation when I’ll be spending time with my family but certainly I’m not going to complain with a earlier launch date then what I expected.  Now I just have to start planning out what to get in the store when it launches 🙂

Beta Armor Snapshots


I promised screenshots yesterday when I posted the stats for the new Warden and Captain radiance armor sets, so here they are.  I took them both on my Warden but you’ll get the idea.  Also, remember there’s no helm for the heavy Annuminas set.

Medium Annuminas Set:

MediumAnnuminas

Heavy Annuminas Set:

HeavyAnnuminas

Warden Helegrod

WardenHele

Captain Helegrod:

CaptainHele

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Updated Warden and Captain Armour Sets


As I promised in my previous post today I did capture the new set information for the Annuminas and Helegrod armour sets.  I have since updated both the spreadsheet and Google Docs version of my previous armor comparisons for those who care.  I have not updated the Minstrel sets, but I will include the light and medium Annuminas sets for that one.  Overall the sets aren’t bad but really they’re just providing another path and option for folks if they want to get the required radiance.  When Bullroarer comes back up I will post with some screen-shots of what these look like and the barter levels but essentially they look like the original versions with different color schemes.  Basically the same idea as what they did with the moors sets.

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LOTRO F2P Beta Initial Details


As Sapience has posted, the NDA on the LOTRO Beta has been lifted.  I’m pretty surprised they did it this early, but I’m not going to complain if they decide to release this sooner as opposed to later.  There are tons of posts up on the boards but if you don’t want to sift through those I will share my thoughts so far.  I will admit that I haven’t done everything but will break my post up in a few different topics as well as spread them out a bit.  I’ve already talked a bunch about the store so I’m not going to talk about that.  Once the servers come back up I will be posting some screen shots as well but I’m sure others will have them up shortly too 🙂  Also, if you have any specific questions let me know and I’ll see what I can do to answer them.

Starting off with my main class, the Wardens have gotten some nice bumps at the cost of a potentially nasty bruise.  The biggest change is that our various carvings now apply to not only the gambits but the builders themselves.  For me this not only made a significant difference in my power usage, but since I didn’t have to pull back as much I also had a nice DPS boost.  Also Wardens will be getting a Muster to Forochel which while not game breaking is nice to fill out the skills.  The biggest “nerf” is that our Gambit recovery skills are now “fast” skills as opposed to immediate which means you can’t use them to interrupt long animations like Defiant Challenge.  I’m a bit on the fence about this one as Defiant Challenge really is now back to a crappy legendary but I understand that they need to be careful as it could be overpowered.  Not much else changed, but for other thoughts and ideas, check out the live boards for other reactions.

The Captain class was changed pretty significantly and for the most part I think for the good. They’ve added an additional combat skill “Sure Strike” available at level 1, which does the same damage as Defensive Strike but cannot be blocked or parried. This really does help smooth things out such that you’re not waiting for cooldowns during combat. The other changes are in the trait lines as they’ve made some tweaks to the Leader of Men and Lead the Charge lines. Essentially the pet buffs from the Leader of Men lines have been moved to the Lead the Charge lines including the Oathbreaker pet as part of the Lead the Charge capstone. The Leader of Men capstone now has the increased threat mark and the application of the Shield brother buffs to your entire fellowship. The downside for Captains is the nerf of our banners to now provide rating increases and not percentages. Pretty much across the board this will result in a hefty drop in damage and a drop in morale/power. They’ve helped this a little bit with the addition of level 65 armaments and standards but it still doesn’t quite balance out. Essentially they’ve balanced it out more such that Heralds are viable again, but at the sacrifice of banners.  Heralds also did get some other tweaks, but being a banner Captain I didn’t look at those at all but check out this thread on the live forums as folks are posting their thoughts as well.

There are two new armor sets available and I will have new versions of my armor spreadsheets posted here shortly as I did grab the info for both Wardens and Captains.  They’ve updated both the Annuminas sets (so there’s a light, medium, and heavy) as well as the class specific ones from Helegrod.  You can still get the old sets, but there are completely new level 65 sets as well.  One real cool thing here is this now provides a Medium Armour Radiance set for Minstrels 🙂  I do like the idea of the sets as it gives another option for radiance progression and doesn’t make the current sets irrelavent either.

And finally, I wanted to touch on the new Lua scripting.  The community really has taken off with the scripting and there’s all sorts of very cool things folks have posted.  It really has been cool to see how people have been using this new tool but also working together to propose ideas and explain why certain things can’t work.  The main ones I’ve enjoyed have been the inventory tweaks, travel windows for Hunter and Warden ports, combat enabled quickslots, and changes to the “vitals” display.  The scripts only allow access to your own information but provides another way to display health/mana and a customizable way to see buffs and debuffs.  A couple of examples are making the expiration of buffs/debuffs easier to understand and pick and choose which buffs/debuffs you care about.  I’m pretty sure I’ll be using some of these when this goes live as I don’t see them as game breaking or cheating but just making the User Interface more effective for me and my play-style.  These plugins also really help with the cluttered quickslot bars as it allows you to clear off a bunch of things and order/display them exactly how you want.

I’ll have more updates as well go, but wanted to get this out up front.

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The News Pours in About Beta and Enedwaith


This past week has been quite busy on the news front for LOTRO and I will admit I’ve been quite behind.  This has just been a pretty long week for me with my job and as such I’ve barely been able to keep up on the news, let alone comment on it.  However, I wanted to touch on a few of the releases as there’s some good (and not so good) updates of late.

First up is the HUGE Developer Diary covering the new region Enedwaith which covers pretty well the new zones, their history and influences, their general storylines, and some of the kinds of enemies you’ll face.  I’m looking forward to not only exploring all of the new spaces, but I really like the idea of pulling from Medieval Welsh and Briton influences.  I’m also very impressed by the size (bigger and more quests then the North Downs) and all the new artwork as I will admit I’m getting a little tired of not only the darkness of Mirkwood but goblins and orcs 🙂  There are lots of new screenshots in the diary, but these were 2 of my favorites:

Speaking of screenshots, if you’re curious at all about what kinds of items will be available in the upcoming LOTRO Store, go check out Mordor or Bust as he’s posted over 200 pictures of what’s coming.  Now before you flip out too much about the specifics, remember that the store is still in beta and things are likely to change.  Some of these items may not be purchasable come launch, the prices may change, or we might see some restrictions placed on the use and/or purchase of them.  Overall I do like the general look and feel of the store and most of the items seem to fall in line with what I’d like to see from the store.  There are a couple of things (reputation horses for example) that I’m not thrilled are in store, but it really isn’t going to impact my enjoyment of the game. I will admit that I’m being somewhat hypocritical when I say I’m all for buying virtue ranks (I LOVE this) but that I don’t want to be able to purchase reputation mounts.  At the end of the day, the store is allowing us to decide what our time and money are worth and which we’d rather spend based on the rewards.  I know that I will be spending lots of points buying Virtue ranks, but probably not as much on the mounts.  As long as the items in the store are priced appropriately for the amount of in-game work required, I’m growing more accepting of the options.  The line I’m hoping (and trusting) they don’t cross is when armour, legendary items, or rare crafting drops (The Symbol for example) are available from the store.

For more thoughts on the LOTRO Store, make sure you check out the Beta Journal which contains comments from actual beta participants on the store.  I love this idea from Turbine as it gives those of us not in the beta an insight into new features but also provides people in the beta a means to share without breaking the NDA.  Hopefully this is the first of many of these Journals!

There have been a couple of Developer comments on the new Lua Scripting interface including a very good post from Narrel walking through what’s currently possible and what the future holds.  The key thing here is that they’re specifically NOT allowing folks to make a macro or bot interface to the game purely re-work or tweak the way the user interface works.  However, a key item I wish they’d add is the ability to re-skin the mouse cursor but sadly Narrel further points out that you can’t do this now but it might be an option down the road.  I can’t wait to see some of the things people will come up with and this will really help out with various user interface problems I think LOTRO has.  Plus it allows everyone to solve their own perceived problems how they want to and not rely on Turbine to recognize that problem or solve it the way you want them to.

The final news piece I wanted to mention is JWBarry’s post on the new Instance Scaling mechanism we’ll see.  This one has me a little torn as I really like the idea and direction but it also is a little depressing.  I’m very excited for the option to revisit some of the spaces I haven’t seen in a while as it will provide something else to do, but I will admit I’m a little worried that the rewards won’t quite be worth the effort.  If you look at the current content, most folks only do a couple of instances (Sword Halls, Sammath Gul, and Grand Stairs) based on the difficulty and the associated rewards.  I’m just not sure there will be enough unique and desirable rewards for each of these spaces to drive enough folks to form groups to tackle these.  Especially when you consider the instance group size doesn’t scale, so you’ll still need 3, 6, or 24 people to complete them and I’m just not sure that will be the case long term.  The biggest downer about all this for me is that this will be another content update without new content for end-game raiders as most of them will have already done all of that content before.  Yes I know it will feel “new” but unless there are seriously cool rewards, I just don’t see folks doing it.  At least this will provide a diversion for those groups if they get burnt out on the current content, but without the prospect of a new raid I have a feeling a good portion of that community might be lost.

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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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Enedwaith, beta, and subscription news


Well in some cases it does help to be a bit delayed in getting news out as sometimes numbers do change and fluctuate especially when subscription numbers are mentioned.  Yesterday, Mordor or Bust posted an article from the PatriotLedger which originally stated 200K new LOTRO subscribers since the F2P announcement – but that has since been clarified to be 100K-200K beta applicants, via Turbine.  Now, while not quite as impressive as new subs, when you consider that subscribers were automatically signed-up (and hopefully not counted in this number) that’s still a pretty good sign of new blood to the game.  So my thoughts are this will be a pretty substantial influx of new folks to the game and some portion of those will certainly transfer over to subscriptions, or buy things through the cash shop, which will bring new revenue and resources to Turbine.  Most people peg the current subscription base around 250K to 500K for LOTRO (still hard to figure out) this will most likely mean about a community twice the size it currently is.  Which yes, will bring some annoyances but will all the tools we have to get around those, I’m more excited for all the cool people who will be joining us!

The other piece of news lately that has stirred some commotion was the article over on Massively where they get to sit and chat with the Turbine folks about the new toys and such coming with Enedwaith.  If you haven’t read the article, I highly suggest it but I figured I’d share my thoughts on what we’ve learned so far.

  • There seems to be lots of focus and effort on helping people learn the game.  From the re-works to the intro tutorials and the UI tweaks I think that will be a big help for people just hopping in to the game.  Plus hopefully they’ll get to some of the annoyances us current players have.
  • The whole instance thing is exciting, assuming they don’t screw it up.  I like the idea of an “instance join” mechanism and of course the scaling mechanism.  Now the scaling is similar to Skirmishes but you can’t change the group size, only the level of the instance.  They’re also breaking up some of the longer instances into wings, which was part of the initial confusion as these were quoted as entire instances when in fact it is just a part of one.  So far I’m all positive, the scary part for me is the rewards as I want these instances to be rewarding and not just diversions.  I don’t expect to get the highest tier radiance gear but I want stuff that could actually benefit my character and not another skirmish mark grind for runes and relics for my LIs.
  • And finally they did talk about Enedwaith which everyone should be happy to learn is a happier more open place!  It is a large zone with a pretty good amount of quests (over 160) so this should provide a nice alternative for folks who are scared (or tired) of the dark.  It also is the continuation of the epic story which I’m quite addicted to and can’t get enough of.  I also found it interesting (not knowing the lore) that we’ll see quite a few different Middle-Earth cultures including men and hobbits.  Also, there’s a race specific quest line mentioned which will be interesting as well to see how that plays out – sadly I only have men so I’ll need others to fill me in on what I’ve missed.

Nothing but positives from the news side of things for me, but there still are lots of unknowns so we’ll still have to wait and see how everything fleshes out.

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Tell the Community Thread – Captains


So it looks like the next wave of the Tell the Community Threads are focusing on the various classes.  I’m cautiously optimistic about this as I’m not sure when we might see these changes, probably after the legendary item, radiance, and monster play tweaks Kate Paiz mentions in her letter from last week.  So that would put this towards the end of this calendar year, but possibly as part of an expansion.  But I’m thinking our next expansion is a bit further off as it appears most resources have been tied up in the F2P conversion, so hopefully one of the first couple of updates after the F2P launch will have these class tweaks.

Today’s thread covers the Captain class and since my captain was my original main I figured I’d share my suggestions.  I would highly suggest folks contribute to these threads when they regard classes you’re familiar with, as Sapience’s post highlights.  It certainly has gotten me thinking that maybe I should dust him off a bit which would give me something to do this summer.

Question 1
Give three examples of changes or improvements you would make to improve the Captain class (e.g. skills and abilities). Please limit your responses to 3 brief examples. Captains only please! Other classes will get their chance in coming weeks.
1. Update Banners
2. Additional attack
3. Mark combination legendary trait

Question 2
If you could create one new legacy to add to the Captain’s Legendary Item pool, what would it be? Please specify whether you feel it should be a Pool A or Pool B legacy.
Revealing Mark heal bonus – Pool A Weapon

Question 3
Thinking about set bonuses, what bonuses do you find most useful? Least useful? Please give 2 examples of each.

Most Useful
1. Defeat skill recovery time reduction
2. Useful (and sizable) mitigations on Banners (Rift Armor)

Least Useful
1. Stats
2. Rez cooldown reduction

Now there are some other things I’d like but many of them are mentioned elsewhere in that thread.  I just cherry picked a few of them below that I almost added myself.

Question 1:

  • Power Returning Mark
  • Skill cooldown reduction
  • I still think the Leader of Men path needs major work to be viable, but I’m not a herald fan so it doesn’t bother me

Question 2

  • Power reductions
  • Melee crit magnitude

Question 3

  • Instant rez
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