Friday, November 19, 2010

LoTRO News Tidbits

A lot of little news tidbits have been piling up around Lord of the Rings Online lately. First off, the next expansion has been announced, the Rise of Isengard. Ardwulf posted a preview video on his site earlier today. Details include a level cap increase and a major revamp of monster play, including a new PvMP zone. My experiences with monster play in LoTRO have always been a lot of fun, I'm glad to see it getting some attention after all this time. I also can't wait to see Isenguard and Orthanc.

In other news that I can't believe I missed, back in September it was announced that Radiance is going to be removed from LoTRO. All I can really say about this is "thank god." The radiance system single handedly made high end crafted gear and the gear you can earn doing PvP useless for end game activities. Not because the stats on Radience gear are really all that much better than other gear that's available, simply because they have a "radiance" stat that is needed for end game instances. The entire radiance system struck me as a baldfaced attempt to stretch the limited endgame content of launch Moria. Presumably due to the addition of scaling instances, such system is no longer needed in current LoTRO. Endgame options now abound.

Finally, the upcoming Yule festival activities are generating some controversy. An entire new town is being added just for the event, which I am very much looking forward to. The contoversy has arisen because it is possible to complete the main quest chain either via normal heroic options (feed the homeless, give money to the poor, ect.) or by being a complete bastard (e.g., destroying a man's source of income and then stealing from him). Some players that have tested the content on Bullroarer feel a quest chain which rewards you for being a selfish jerk is out of place in LoTRO.

I have mixed feelings about it from what I've read. The option to act like an evil bastard certainly goes against the feel of the rest of LoTRO. However, I think that choosing to solve a problem through kindness doesn't mean as much if you don't also have the option of being a selfish jerk. Being a hero isn't nearly as heroic if it's your only choice.

Edit (Update): Blue Kae and Syp also have posts up about Rise of Isenguard, and Massively published a story with many details not mentioned in Turbine's press release. One thing that really stuck out is the mention that the Legendary Item system is also being revamped to make it less random and focus more on player choice. While I am delighted that the system is getting a revamp, I have to say that it's about freaking time they did something with it. The current LI system is more like a really grindy take on roulette than what I envisioned when legendary weapons were first announced pre-Moria.


  1. Lots of great news. I hadn't heard about the radiance gear change. Not that I've ever came near a radiance gate, but it seemed like a horrible system.

    And hey, shoot me an e-mail (anjinmarty*at*hotmail*dot*com). I have something to ask.

  2. @Anjin: it was indeed a horrible system imo. And e-mail sent :-)

  3. "the Legendary Item system is also being revamped to make it less random and focus more on player choice"

    Wasn't this a prominently marketed feature of Mirkwood? I'll believe it that LI v3.0 actually improves the system when I see it.

  4. With every big LOTRO update, I get motivated to level my Minstrel all over again. I've vowed to take her all the way to the end, but it's just taking a lot longer than expected with being distracted by console games lately and real life in general.

    I agree being rewarded by being a bastard doesn't really fit the spirit of LOTRO. But at the same time, I'm sure Middle Earth had its share of evil jerks, like any diverse society. I can see how it would ruffle feathers for some RPers though.

    Anyway, I'm a hobbit (who I think are kind hearted beings by nature?) so I'll be good!

  5. @GreenArmadillo: I have a vague memory of that as well. Post Mirkwood the LI system changed roughly 0% as far as I can tell. Not at all what we were promised, pre Mirkwood. We'll see how this new promise pans out.

    @MMOgamerchick: "But at the same time, I'm sure Middle Earth had its share of evil jerks, like any diverse society." For the past year, LoTRO has been adding more "idgit" options. First the evil dwarf brewing society, now this. It seems that a diverse society is where we are headed.

  6. Thanks for getting all of this information in one place. It sounds generally positive.

    Maybe it will even get me out of my nagging "LotRO burnout".