I don’t really like making my first post in a long while a rant, but I just couldn’t help it. There are so many things I feel are wrong with this announcement that I needed to write about it. I have been expecting this news pretty much any day since the middle of June, so I can’t be terribly surprised it came yesterday. I’m also not surprised by what was actually in the announcement, but I was really hoping that Turbine would change its model from previous expansions.
Sure, Isengard was their best expansion ever, and one that I snatched up the legendary pack for immediately. However, we’ve never heard a peep about how Rohan did and one can only guess that it didn’t do all that well. I know from my own highly scientific polling, most people were either not getting the pack or using their Turbine points for it, like I did. What Turbine failed to do with that pre-order was include items that people really cared about and wanted. After 6 years, I think players are getting tired of titles (does anyone still care what title they show?) and have more cosmetic items then they know what to do with. Combine that with the fact that we can only show off one horse at any given time, it makes it hard to really need all these extra things.
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.
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.
RockX released a new Developer Diary (of sorts) that is pretty short and to the point. In it he discusses the upcoming conversion of Seals to Medallions coming in Update 10. In case you were unaware, with the upcoming release of a new raid set all current seals will be converted into medallions at a rate of 1 seal to 20 medallions. Within the diary RockX explains the motives behind the conversion:
I missed the announcement but as of around 9:30pm Eastern yesterday, the LOTRO store (and all other Turbine services) are restored. [source]
The store page on the LOTRO site is not yet updated but I thought I’d get the store sales I was able to see in the LOTRO Store. This list may not be exclusive as I may not have logged in the right class or level to see some extra sale so if you find something I missed, please let me know in the comments.
It does appear that at least at the time of this posting, last week’s sales are still active so you can check out those items as well.
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.
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