Posts tagged screenshots
Of course this is all subject to change, but there are some pretty cool aspects to Update 11 that I wanted to share with folks. I also will have a couple of suggestions for folks towards the end. Don’t get me wrong, Update 11 isn’t perfect and it won’t keep end-game folks busy until the Helm’s Deep expansion, but this update is better then what I was expecting. And I haven’t even done any of the Epic line, which always have good stories tied to them.
Visually, the area is quite stunning and unlike the other winter zones in the game – which is quite nice. Turbine always impresses me with how they’re able to keep creating different and unique zones. Adding to the beauty of the area, Turbine has stepped it up with their armor designs in this update. The end-game sets with Rohan were honestly pretty disappointing as the Hytbold sets were incredibly un-inspired. As some examples, check out some of the gear below:
Now as you can tell from these shots, we have all sorts of new tiers:
- new guild obtainable craftables
- requires mastery of the eastenment tier (double anvil)
- More reputation to obtain
- although this time tasks do boost reputation
- More barter items to gather, including another set of dailies
- some have likened the progression to Limlight Gorge
I also wanted to share a completely non-real item as I just thought it looked cool and I thought might be interesting to see if they actually use it anywhere.
I would be curious to see if they decide to do something like the weapon glow already in game for armor or shields.
In addition to all the cool looks of these sets, there are actually some interesting things going on with stats in this update. The guild crafted items all have 5 variants to choose from to give you lots of flexibility. I’m not sure about everything, but at least the Tailor, Metalsmith, and Jeweler items all have 5 options, which is pretty impressive. Granted, you won’t have set bonuses, but for many classes those bonuses aren’t that useful so here’s another series of pieces you can mix and match. Here’s an example of one of these pieces compared with the Hytbold piece.
This kinda makes my head spin a bit from a min/maxing perspective as there are now ALL SORTS of options to play with. As another example, here are the stats for the pretty eye-popped barterable bauble items available in the new zone.
So there’s some pretty cool stuff coming with Update 11, but it would really be nice if they find a way to squeeze in some sort of other update prior to the expansion. If they could do something like last year and add a couple instances and/or skirmishes I think that would go a long way. However, I have a feeling that the reputation grind is all we’re going to have to keep us busy until the expansion hits.
As for those looking for things to do, I’d suggest working on your crafting as the new goodies may require some work. First off, they all require mastery of the Eastenment tier (double anvil) where as the previous build recipes just required access to the tier, not mastery. Also, they do require the large guild items (the weekly cooldown ones) so it might be a good idea to stock up on those. Another option for you is that you can now trade up symbols such that small symbols can be turned into medium ones, and those can further be upgraded to large ones. I haven’t looked at the tasks yet, but it is possible there could be a re-use of item drops – but I’d honestly be surprised if they didn’t introduce new items.
While not a total cure-all for what’s going on with LOTRO, I really think Update 11 is a significantly good update that if more updates (and more often) were of this quality, LOTRO might be in a better state.
I’ve been waiting a little bit to absorb and digest the releases yesterday as there are certain things that just don’t make sense to me. We saw 3 main pieces of news that I wanted to go a little deeper into.
After a delay hit last week, Update 11 finally makes its way over to Bullroarer for public testing. I will admit that I’ve only popped on the server for a little bit, so this isn’t any sort of thorough review of the update. For the most part, we knew much of what is in this update but I wanted to touch on a couple of things. I was a bit underwhelmed by the changes to mounted combat, as Rowan made it out to be a pretty significant change to the mechanics as well as giving the mount trees more options. At first glance, it really just seemed like the removed many of the basic traits and rolled them into the base mount. While I appreciate the change, I was hoping for more of an evolution. But, I will reserve full judgment until I play with it more and see the new content in case they added something spiffy there. I am (as always) happy to see new zones and am VERY curious to see where the story continues, and visually it appears that the new zone doesn’t disappoint. I did check out the new Hobbit Presents, and I really don’t have any personal issues with it – but at least now we should be able to get confirmation regarding non-VIPs and gold boxes. On my first roll I did win 50 Mithril Tokens, so I used those up for research purposes. The main thing that jumped out to me is that the gear in there maxes out at level 80, but there are Teal and Orange drops. Below are some shots of what’s possible to get, notice the orange item is not that far off from my Hytbold gear. In addition to this use of coins, there are new ways to spend them, which is all well and good but I’m just not entirely sure the rationale behind the change. We shall see how much of this build stays the way it currently exists and how many BR builds we get before live, but for the most part I’m liking the Update for what it is.
The announcement that shouldn’t have shocked anyone was the “official” announcement of the Helm’s Deep expansion. My biggest issue with this is that there’s NOTHING new in the announcement that we didn’t already hear last year from Rowan or earlier this year from Kate Paiz. Why make such a big deal about a “huge” announcement around the anniversary that you’ve already made? This announcement is almost identical to the ones for Isengard and Rohan, (Isengard Release & Rohan Release) but those were both a few months earlier in the calendar year. I was thinking possibly they might announce pre-orders and beta, but for each of those last 2 expansions (Isengard and Rohan) those announcements didn’t come until July – so this would certainly be early for that. I’m not sure what else I would have wanted to know, but this announcement just didn’t excite me much at all. Getting to the few details they did announce, I’ve mentioned before that I”m not a big fan of level cap increases so I’m not excited that they included one, but it probably is best with all the class revamp stuff going on. Probably the most confusing part of the announcement is the mention of Helm’s Deep content available starting at level 10! I’m not sure how this will actually work, but it smacks of a money grab that just wants to give everyone a reason to get the expansion and not just those at level cap. However, I can see this happening in a number of ways, but here’s my speculation. For those who’ve been around for a while, you may remember Book 14 of Epic Volume 1 (thanks to twitter for helping jog my memory) had a server wide quest turn-in gate on finishing the rest of the book. Essentially once enough people did enough of a certain group of quests you were able to tip the scales of the battle enough to un-lock the rest of the story. I’m reading into what’s in the release in that Turbine is doing something similar here with this expansion. Notice, no where in the release do we see the mention of instances, raid, skirmishes, etc. which I do NOT expect to be part of the expansion just like they haven’t been for the past 2 expansions. However, this server wide un-lock, could provide a neat tie-in to better “explain” the time gap between the content. They’ll know when the instance cluster should be ready, so they can just adjust the math such that it isn’t possible to unlock the content until it is ready. This would provide a way in which everyone could participate in some way without tossing level 10 players way out into Rohan. Another possibility would be to include session plays in some form, but I’m just not sure how they’d introduce those for folks that early on in the story.
The piece of news that’s probably getting the least amount of publicity is the changes coming to the forums. They’ve been hinting and talking about the change, even going so far as to tell people to export any blogs, but we’re now getting details of what’s coming. Long story short, everything not on the forums is going away. This includes My.lotro blogs, character data, programmatic access to the item and character databases, PvMP and skirmish leaderboards, the Lorebook, and probably a few other things that I’m forgetting. Everyone realizes that the whole system has issues, but this seems like a pretty drastic step. Sapience does reveal that the merging of NA and EU systems has caused a huge assortment of problems so it seems like this is a necessary evil. However, the more concerning part about the announcement is there’s no mention of any sort of upside for players, or any mention of doing something to address players concern over security.
One thing that these 3 announcements all have in common is a very confusing PR strategy that Turbine has embraced. Why roll out the bad news together with the two pieces of good positive stuff? Why wait all this time to “officially” announce the expansion? Why nothing addressing huge security holes that have already been compromised once as part of this forum apocalypse? I think many of the issues the community has stems directly from this lack of quality communication. I don’t know what specifically has changed, but I don’t remember them coming this frequently. Hopefully the Player Council can shake something loose, but only time will tell.
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.
In advance of the new Update coming for LOTRO, Turbine has released a number of screenshots showing off the new instance spaces. As much as I may be disappointed about what’s not in the Update, there are a number of good aspects of it and I do like 3-man instances. And these spaces do look pretty darn cool! The other thing I like about these shots is they do show off some different looking mobs and not just a re-hashing of what we’ve seen before. There also appears to be a potential teaser for some of the new allies we may have in these instances, what kind of bird is that in the last image?
Here they are, and as usual they are quite large.
Seat of the Great Goblin
Webs of the Scuttedells
Well, this certainly is an interesting update to the next LOTRO Update that’s posted to Bullroarer. This is one of those updates that I can honestly say I have no clue what Turbine is thinking. The actual patch notes are pretty small, but there’s a lot there that they’re not fully explaining.
I’ll start with the good part The new raid gear is in game, and it appears to be the same set bonuses as the previous BG set but with scaled up stats. I actually really enjoy the look of at least the Warden set, but the fact that it is all Might based, is not going to work for many Wardens. I wish they would’ve done multiple sets per class like the other recent sets, so this does feel like a bit of a cop out. I am surprised by the cost (1554 SMs, and 538 Medallions) as I was expecting it to cost Seals like the previous top tier sets. This does make me believe that there’s another set coming with the raids, which will be nice.
As for the source of much of the outrage, the new Yule festival is live with this patch to Bullroarer and its a bit of a dozy. They’re redoing all the tokens and such (surprise, surprise) and as such the horses are now all deed gated. The normal Yule horse is available for a mere 20 quests (quite a significant jump from previous years, roughly 2 days of questing), but at least they’re removed the Mount Ownership Document so there’s a little bit of savings there. But to get a similar look on your War-steed, be prepared to do a whopping 200 quests THIS YEAR to obtain the appearance (good lord how much will this be in the store?). I just don’t understand the punishment for folks wanting to trick out their Warsteeds, I could see a doubling of the quests such that is was like a tier 2 deed, but a 10 fold increase is just ridiculous. Not to mention, we have NO clue how long this festival will be live so you have no idea how many quest per day you need to do. At the current rate, it is 17 days to complete which doesn’t leave a whole lot of margin unless they either get this out soon or extend it well into January.
Now while many of you might look at this as purely a cosmetic thing and not really an issue for anyone who doesn’t care how they look, I really think this shows us that Warsteeds have very little future in LOTRO. This is looking more and more like a way to fleece customers of their money for a system that will never change from its initial release. Let me remind you they did a stealth dye sale over the American Thanksgiving holiday of 50% off only to then include a very public 20% sale for this week. And I’m not just complaining about the pricing here, many of the current complaints about the system (too easy to kill stuff, no variety, etc.) were all raised VERY early in Beta and have never been addressed. As much as it pains me (I really do like Mounted Combat) I don’t expect to see anything more from the system until we get to Gondor. I’m going to stop this part of the rant now, as I think I will save it for a whole separate post
All of my good feelings I had for LOTRO coming off of the Rohan expansion are VERY quickly being erased by Update 9. Here are the current issues I have with Update 9:
- no story progression
- instances have nothing to do with our current story, and a shameless Hobbit tie-in
- We have to wait almost 5 months for our full expansion, and it isn’t even fully a Rohan expansion
- Yule festival fiasco, on top of all the other recent grinding festivals
- Hobby horse for 5000 TP, really?
- Interrupt nerfs
- This smacks of another case where the instance devs are too lazy to deal with an existing mechanic and instead want to nerf classes without realizing the full impact. Or its a PvMP nerf that is the same laziness
- little utility in the new raid set
- VERY little new content for the next few months
I was hoping that this next update would continue all the good stuff that LOTRO had done (IMO) with Rohan, but it seems like they’ve just taken the money-grubbing mentality of the Rohan pricing and continued to figure out ways to make things worse. I just hope Turbine realizes that they’ve made a bit of a mis-step here, but I honestly don’t think they will.