Posts tagged instances
For me Update 11 has been a bit of a mixed bag. There are a number of cool little things they’ve put into the game and of course the new epic story line, but I can’t help but be overly frustrated by the lack of quality and revision control that Turbine continues to show with its launches. There’s also the slightly shadier aspect that I’m not sure I like or dislike, and that’s the continual push to have players log in every day.
Let’s start with the good parts, I’ve already talked about the zone and it really doesn’t disappoint from a visual perspective. The whole footprints in the snow things is pretty darn cool! I like the new housing tweaks, especially being able to pay for 20 weeks up front, in case you know you’re going to be gone (or forget) and that 5 weeks just isn’t long enough. Foreclosure doesn’t impact me at all, but I think its a good middle ground way to get out of the corner they backed themselves into. While the launcher has had issues, I do like the fact that it FINALLY respects your default browser when clicking links from within it. I’m also quite happy with the way the epic line (not that I’ve done that much) mixes in your story with session plays to allow you to flesh out the rest of the story and allow us to check in on other areas. The LOTRO story is quite geographically diverse, and this tech is a great way to show what’s going on without forcing us all other the map. They also added in new craftable items for those who have maxed out not only their crafting skills, but their guild reputation. I’m quite happy these don’t require any other reputation (like Wildermore) as it allows for folks with lower level crafting alts to still make usable items for people at the end game. These items are a touch better then the Hytbold items, and offer quite a bit of flexibility with their multi-output options, so they’re definitely worth a look. One other thing that I haven’t checked out, but was mentioned in the LOTRO Reporter interview was mounted fishing, and while you may or may not like the idea, the technology and concept behind it is quite intriguing and points to further growth and flexibility of the game engine, which is always a good thing.
Somewhere in the middle between the good and the bad is this whole new alerts panel thing, I’m actually ok with it, but that’s mainly because, thanks to the folks over on the LOTRO Google+ channel, I found out that you can individually scale the size of the alerts panel in your UI settings. Without making it really small like I have, I think the cartoonish nature of the button would really bug me, but since it is now super tiny (yet still findable to click) it is one of those “out of sight, out of mind” updates. They did add in some warbands and some other stuff for mounted combat, which while I agree is a good thing, but I still don’t think enough was done to make it anything more then a fringe side-game. However, I have yet to see or read if any of the new warbands are challenging, or if they’re as much of a pushover as the others.
While there’s a number of pretty cool things in this update, sadly there’s also a LOT wrong with this update. I’m still quite puzzled how this whole patcher thing wasn’t caught, but it still isn’t completely fixed – perhaps relying on the ancient .net 1.1 for so long and making such a drastic jump was just too much to pull off successfully. There’s also the potential that there’s some nastiness that they had to code in to make the dreaded Pando Media Booster work with 1.1 that’s not playing well with whatever version of .net they’re using now. Whatever the issue is, the fact that is has taken this long (3 days to patch) and it still isn’t resolved isn’t a good thing for Turbine. The next big issue with this update are the broken quests which block you from proceeding in the story, there are now 2 that I know of with one being fixed. Please make sure you check out this post such that you don’t get stuck in a position where you can’t advance further. While I really appreciate and enjoy all the tricks and things they can do with phasing now, it seems like they forgot to put the proper checks in place to make sure that you can’t accidentally phase out someone you need for quest turn-ins. Also, the music system is now broken, and this is troubling for two reasons:
- timing is close to WeatherStock which is one of LOTRO’s biggest events that is noticed and picked up by media outlets outside of the gaming world
- this happened when there were no updates to the system, meaning they don’t have a good system of regression testing to make sure that what worked in previous builds still works in current builds.
Finally, this update has once again brought us back to the time (Isengard did this too) where we no longer get virtue rewards for deed advancement or completion. I really wish Turbine would just pick to something and be consistent about it, but all of the flipping back and forth on this in conjunction with the increase in available ranks just doesn’t sit well with me. It is starting to seem like they are purposefully leaving options out of the game in order to drive folks to the store. And let me be clear, I don’t have a problem with them having traits available in the store (I have bought them) but when you don’t include them in entire regions when they are in others (they’re in Rohan and the Great River, but not Isengard or Wildermore), it appears shady to me as if they don’t want too many options for players in game.
The other aspect that rubs me the wrong way is this shift to not only reward players for logging in every day but in some ways penalizing them for not. Penalizing may be a strong word, but there are certain very clear advantages to logging in every day now that just weren’t the case prior to Update 11. And I’m not just referring to the Hobbit Presents, which are just another addition along the same lines as festivals in that there are just certain things that are on a daily timer. The big shift that I’m refereeing to is the new “VIP Perk” that is the change to rested experience. Prior to update 11 you could “store” up to 20% of a level per day up to a cap of an entire level’s worth as rested experience, but now with Update 11 that cap is at 33%, but it can be refreshed daily and applies to all experience not just monster kills. So this is really only a perk if you’re able to actively QUEST on a daily basis on whatever character you want to work on. I’d suggest if you really want to take full advantage of this “perk” make sure to try and get in some good quest time on your alts, perhaps run a skirmish or two on them to get not only monster kills but quest xp.
Overall, I still think this was a pretty decent update for LOTRO but the bugs and lack of regression testing could pose some huge problems when they do their class overhauls with all these instance options and technologies as something is bound to break, and who knows when Turbine will not only catch it but be able to fix it.
Shockingly enough, there’s a known issues list already posted. Pretty significant especially when there’s so much in there regarding loot not hooked up, which was one of the main selling points for this update. Seems like a minor issue – and I don’t understand why Turbine springs a release with no warning when there are this many “little” things un-resolved. Granted, it probably will take them time to wrap everything up but it seems like another pass of polish would’ve done quite a bit of good and not let the community down at all.
I was a little surprised that they sprung Update 10 on us yesterday, mainly because there had been so little PR for it. Pretty much the VERY light “developer diaries” were the only things leading up to this update, without too much fanfare. Maybe Turbine feels guilty that many people paid for this update almost a year ago, but oh well. There’s not much that’s in the notes that we haven’t seen from the pushes to Bullroarer so this should mainly just be a compilation of those patches. The full notes can be found here, but I picked a few that jumped out for me:
- Mithril coins are in – don’t forget to log into your alts to gather all these up
- All sorts of Critical Damage changes – hopefully this isn’t too broken
- Tons of power changes – there were mixed reviews of this on Bullroarer, but expect to need to do some tweaking to adjust to the changes
- Fate is now the leading contributor to critical rating
- New 6 man (Bells of Dale), and 3 new 12 man raids (Flight of the Lonely Mountain, Fires of Smaug, Battle for Erebor)
- In Their Absence instance cluster is now scalable
- Warden’s are now agility based
- All sorts of PvMP changes
- Forced emotes have a toggle now so you won’t be impacted by them
- No more defeat dread
- I’m still not sure why this was removed – was it really that big of a deal for people?
- Tasks and quests can now be completed in a raid
- I don’t get this one either – seems like this creates more potential farming issues like the Hytbold areas
- Trail foods can be made at ovens now – another “why did this take so long” thing
Overall it is good that they’re adding more instance content, but the massive system changes are always scary since they never seem to get them right the first time.
What are folks most excited about with Update 10?
I didn’t even realize there was going to be a patch today but there was and 2 things from this really jumped out at me.
First, I was surprised that they’re doing server side performance enhancements ahead of Wednesday’s extended downtime. I’m all for them doing things, it just seems strange timing to me. But hopefully it will help as I know since Rohan many (including myself) have been having issues.
It seems like Turbine is still dealing with farming issues (or at least that’s my guess) as loot is being completely removed from certain (they’re not saying which) public instances. After all the initial issues, I’m surprised they didn’t do more but this seems like the logical step.
The other note in there is that the drop rate for legendary crafting recipes will be increased from the bosses in the Rohan crafting instances. I’m assuming these are the “Horse Lords” recipes that for now are the best gear in the game. Now we don’t know what it will be increased to or where it was at, but this does seem like a move to try and get these spaces some more attention. Looks like they’re trying to put more of these out there for folks not running group instances, which I can’t complain about but again the timing is interesting with all the changes coming with Update 10.
Not too much else in the notes, but you can check them out on the Lorebook.
The second build hit Bullroarer today and it included quite a few additions that were not there previously. You can find the full patch notes here, but there aren’t too many changes mainly the finishing off of the changes they had already announced:
- Fate determines out of combat power regen, not Will
- Quests can be completed/advanced in raids
- All sorts of class tweaks – mainly power related
- Various Mounted combat tweaks, again mainly power related
- All sorts of creep changes – shockingly enough, power related
- Freeps now get Battlefield Promotions while in the Moors based on rank which boosts Power, Morale, and Damage
- only active while in the moors
- Various tweaks to the new instance spaces
- New Armor sets at the skirmish vendors
- Warden sets flipping over to Agility (even existing Hytbold sets, which is nice)
As for the sets, we get not only one set per trait line but also two tiers of those sets. The first tier is simply deed gated by completing Tier 1 of the various raids. The second tier is obtained by trading in the first tier piece and two separate drops from the raids. The Tier one pieces cost:
- 2600 – 3500 marks
- 673 – 807 medallions
- 31 – 92 seals
I have no clue what the drop rates for any of these will be in the new spaces, but I’m sure folks will be finding out soon. Also, since the gear is deed gated, we don’t yet know what the level requirement is for that deed – but I’m sure someone will find out for us.
As for the stats on the gear, Tier 1 is essentially the same as the Hytbold sets with slightly different stats and bonuses but overall just as powerful. Tier 2 is a step up, but not a significant one, although it does include an additional set bonus. Below are some snaps of the pieces as well as some comparisons to the existing Hytbold sets I’m wearing. I’m not sure these are final as especially the Captain one is clearly not finished. Personally I love the looks of the sets and will probably be working towards them for that reason, but there are some nifty set bonuses that are intriguing.
The initial build hit Bullroarer yesterday for Update 10, and we also have some patch notes. There’s a decent amount in the notes, but also a number of things that are not in the notes, so I’m expecting not only Dev. Diaries to clear things up but also a couple other builds before it goes live. Here are the notes, but I also wanted to discuss a few items in more detail.
There’s a lot of debate on these new Mithril coins but in all honesty I don’t really care that much. The biggest thing that bothers me about the whole is that it was the first thing they decided to talk about, really ANOTHER currency added to the game is the most exciting and pressing thing for Update 10? But this really has very little impact on me since I don’t use those items and it will actually clear up some inventory that I was hoarding from lottery winnings, so there is that bonus. But I am wondering what’s behind this move and if we’ll see more of this kind of consolidation going forward.
The other big “new” item in here is all the combat system revisions. We already knew about the Warden changes, but we also get news about the Critical Effect changes, power changes as well as stat changes for Will and Fate. I can kind of understand where they’re going with all this and the general idea behind it, but it certainly seems like a whole lot of change coming and I just don’t have all that much confidence in Turbine’s ability to do system changes like this effectively. Every major combat revamp has taken at least another patch or two to actually get working, and I’m not even convinced the previous revision was understood since many are reporting issues with existing content. Essentially the changes boil down to the following:
- Wardens are now Agility based (we knew this from the dev chat)
- Agility provides 1 point towards Critical Rating
- Fate provide 2.5 points towards Critical Rating and is the main source of in-combat power regen
- Will no longer determines power pool but provides 2 points towards Tactical mitigation
- Power grows at a set rate per level
- Champs get 6 points of Parry from Might instead of 4 parry and 2 block
However, even with all these changes there will be no changes to existing armor sets (outside of Warden Hytbold sets) as all new armor sets will be built around this model. So I wouldn’t spend too much time or effort getting any armor (or jewelry for that matter) until after Update 10 hits.
In addition to all these changes we’re also getting the 3 raid “wings” as they’ve been described, a new 6 person instance, and scalable versions of the In Their Absence instances.
Other then that, there’s a lot of other little things here and there but I think those were the big three items I pulled from the list. I’m always happy when we get new content, I’m just worried that the shear amount of combat changes will make either this content or other content unplayable.