An interesting and busy day for Turbine as they released a pair of Developer Diaries and also pretty stealthily the launch date for Update 6 – Shores of the Great River.  An article over on Massively prompted the response and confirmation from Sapience that Update 6 will hit live next Monday the 12th of March!  I have to admit that I’m pretty surprised they’re releasing it so soon as there once again has been VERY little time to do anything on Bullroarer.  It is becoming more and more clear that Bullroarer is nothing more that a sanity check that there’s nothing terribly broken and not the test server it used to be.  I haven’t had enough time to play around over there and most likely won’t before things launch, which is unfortunate.  Here’s hoping there was some serious bug squashing on the builds after they hit Bullroarer.

As for the diaries, they focused on the changes to the Instance Finder.

First up was the diary on the specific changes to the Instance Finder specifically:

  • The biggest change being the ability to choose specific instances to run or not run
  • the tier, type, and size buttons not only are selections but filters to restrict the choices
  • There’s now a simple tab which just allows you to pick a role and type, nothing else
  • And there’s a “Specific” tab which essentially replaces the Instance Join tool
  • There are also options you can choose at the creation and have fellowship wide votes to change if needed.

The second diary by Zombie Columbus focuses more on the changes to the rewards from using the Instance Finder

  • :Full reward of +50% currency and +5% power/morale is only available when allowing full flexibility in instance choice
  • This number will scale based on the instances available, so at level 20 it is still possible to get the full reward
  • Since the removal of Skirmish Daily quests upset so many, Skirmish Completion Quests (always available) will now award XP, IXP, Reputation, gold, and marks.
    • However, the bonus XP for monster kills has been toned down to compensate

All around some good changes and another pretty good case of Turbine listening to the community.  The actual launch date is a bit concerning to me, but I like most of the changes coming and how many are direct responses to what we’ve been asking for.