LOTRO Lord of the Rings Online F2P

Discussion in 'MMOs' started by Deliverancexx, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. sammy_b0i

    sammy_b0i Laugh it up, fuzzball!

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    Game has a great story, but it is an MMO, and will take a fair bit of time to get through it all. It's a fair bit grindy as well.
     
  2. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    Queenie, my work hours vary so the times when I play vary.

    Turbine have announced server closures. There are currently 29 active servers, 19 of them will be closed, 10 will stay up. The servers scheduled for closure will remain playable until the end of this year, and creation of new characters on those servers will be disabled in Oct.

    I currently play on Elendilmir but it's one of the servers listed for closure. The Kinship I'm in needs to decide which server we will move to (or disband the kinship and go our separate ways).

    There are some issues transferring characters to another server due to technical details. The short version is that a UK company (Codemasters) ran the European servers under contract (except the Russian LOTRO servers, they were run by yet another management company in Russia). Turbine supplied the game code to Codemasters and Codemasters ran the EU servers. As part of this deal, Codemasters developed their own database schema for LOTRO character data, which is different to the character database schema used on the US servers. Although Turbine took over directly managing the EU servers a couple of years ago, they never migrated the character database schema of the EU servers.

    As a result, characters on the EU servers can transfer to other EU servers, and characters on US servers can transfer to other US servers, but character transfer between a EU and US server, in both directions, is not supported.

    Characters on the closing servers that have not been moved to a new server by the start of next year will be archived and can be reactivated on a remaining server for free, provided the server supports the character database schema the character is based on.

    In terms of game-play, all servers play the same way. A character on a US server plays exactly the same way as the same character on an EU server, and game content is identical on all servers. Some of the EU servers are language specific (French, German) and the client does not support changing the displayed language, so if you wanted to play with German text, you can only do that on a server set to use German as the default language, using a German language version of the client.

    https://www.lotro.com/en/game/articles/world-closure-announcement
    https://www.lotro.com/en/game/articles/world-transfers

    The game is clearly in decline now. The current licence to use LOTR as the setting of the game expires in 2017. The licence might be extended, it might not, and Turbine is part of the Warner Brothers corporate stable these days so if the game doesn't maintain a certain profit viability, WB might use it's influence to not extend the licence anyway. The story line of the game is almost up to the siege of Minas Tirith/Battle of Pellenor Fields, so there's not a whole lot left in terms of story from the book that isn't in the game yet.
     
  3. flopper

    flopper Member

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    Game engine way to old.
    lotro needs to go and be replaced by a new dx12 engine as then I could sit under the white tree doing nothing enjoying the scenery
     
  4. rap

    rap Member

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    Is it possible to level without doing deeds (except for skill ones)? I find I get to about 30 or 40 and the incessant grinding of birds or goblins makes me stop playing!

    I just want to play and enjoy the story.
     
  5. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    You do not need to complete every deed in the game, but let's talk a little about the purpose for completing deeds in the first place, with the acknowledgement that LOTRO deeds are a grind.

    All characters have stats, some are obvious (might, agility, will, vitality, fate, morale, power, armour rating, etc). Some are not so obvious (in-combat morale regen, in-combat power regen, resistance, physical mitigation, tactical mitigation, etc).

    A character's stats can be improved by equipping "virtues".
    https://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Virtues

    The main rewards given by completing deeds are permanent improvements to virtues. There are 20 different virtues, but only 5 of them can be equipped on a character at any given time. Each deed improves one particular virtue.

    You do not need to grind out every deed because you cannot slot all 20 virtues at the same time. Identify which virtues will be most useful to your character and concentrate on the deeds which improve those virtues. Also, you don't have to complete every deed while it is "on level" for your character.

    For instance, you don't have to complete every deed in Angmar when your character is on-level for the Angmar content. You can keep levelling up and come back to Angmar later to complete any deeds there that you want. One advantage of out-levelling deeds then going back to them later is that random landscape mobs won't aggro onto you once your level is high enough, and you can concentrate on completing specific deeds without having to fight mobs that you have no interest in. You'll also complete fights faster because of your higher level, all of which reduces the time it takes to complete deeds. I've done this on all my characters.

    Are deeds necessary? Deeds which unlock improved versions of character skills are fairly important. Deeds for virtue points are not as important but are useful to complete because they do improve your character. Raising the virtue "Zeal" from 5 to 6 will only be a small improvement, but there will be a more significant difference between a character that has Zeal at 5 and another character that has Zeal at 15, as long as both characters have Zeal equipped.

    Pick the virtues that will be most useful to you, don't worry about the deeds for virtues you do not use.
    https://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Virtue_Deeds
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2015
  6. Ricardo

    Ricardo Member

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    Hi GarethB, what server are aussies transferring too?
     
  7. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    sorry for the late reply, I've been town for a while.

    It depends on which server you created your character(s) on.

    There were two main groups of servers, one group in the US and another group in Europe. While they both ran the same game software, the European servers used a different database setup for character data compared to the US servers (I don't know why they did that).

    Because of this, you cannot transfer from an old European server to a US server, or vice versa, the character data is incompatible. If you started your character on a US server that's scheduled to close, you must transfer to a US server that's staying open, and the same for the European servers.

    I started on Elendilmir, a US server, and transferred to Arkenstone, another US server. From what I've seen, a lot of Aus/NZ players on closing US servers have moved to Arkenstone.

    If you are in a kin/guild on a closing server, your kin/guild leader needs to move to an alternative server first to move the kin/guild onto the new server.

    Here's an official announcement from Turbine regarding which US and EU servers are closing, and which ones are staying open.
    https://www.lotro.com/en/game/articles/world-closure-announcement
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  8. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    LOTRO is still chugging along. A new zone was added about 2 months, set around the elf zone in north Mirkwood, through the area of Lake Town and Dale up to Erebor (the Lonely Mountain), areas that are mostly mentioned in The Hobbit rather than LOTR. Erebor and Dale were attacked by human allies of Sauron from the east of Middle Earth at the same time that Gondor and Rohan were fighting Saruman and Sauron (very briefly mentioned in the LOTR book, mostly in the appendicies). The new zone is set after the One Ring has been destroyed and Erebor/Dale are recovering from fighting off that attack. With Sauron finally destroyed and Mordor defeated, some of the leaders of Sauron's eastern allies are trying to hold onto their authority/power and continue to cause problems for Erebor and Dale. That quest line is still ongoing.

    In other news the devs are testing a revamp of some of the character classes, Champions, Guardians, Hunters, Lore Masters, Minstrels and Wardens. The other classes may get a revamp as well, just not right now. This revamp went public on the Bullroarer test server on the 9th. Patch notes for the revamp are here: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?663861-Bullroarer-Update-22-2-Release-Notes

    I play a Guardian the most and this class has been struggling ever since the Mordor expansion was released, low DPS and skills that don't reliably perform as described. This has been especially evident to me in the newest zone. It's been a very long time since I have needed to use as many extra buffs such as buffing scrolls, food and hope tokens at the same time as I have in the newest zone on my Guard. I've been able to regear a bit in the new zone and have stat-stacked for critical chance to score more crit hits with skills to improve my DPS and it has helped a bit, but Guard skills have been very lacklustre for quite a while, especially in solo content.

    My test server client is patching with updates as I'm typing this post, so I might have something to say about this revamp in a couple of days after I've had some time to test my Guard and a couple of other classes.. There's over 10k separate update files for my test server client to patch so the update is going to take a while to install.
     
  9. yanman

    yanman Member

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    Hah wow :) Still going strong!

    Have they made any changes to the engine or art work? It looked pretty good already but I guess it might be starting to date a bit.
     
  10. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    Not on the live servers, it's still the same basic engine and art that's been in use for years now.

    My test server client has finished patching, and the test server is closed with no clear statement on when it will be open again. My guess is that it might be a closed for the next few days, it's midnight on a Friday where the server is located (Eastern US) so it wouldn't surprise me if the test server stays closed until Monday morning their time. Still, if they wanted the most player feedback, you'd think they'd make sure the server was open on a weekend. Maybe they're re-open it later this evening for the US Saturday morning time zone.

    On the other hand, the game ownership has changed hands (again) and from what I understand, the current owners have fewer devs than there were in the past. Maybe there's a manpower issue regarding keeping the test server running outside normal office hours.

    I've been looking through comments from players who did get to try the changes being tested. This revamp isn't a complete overhaul of all the classes listed. The devs are currently addressing server code for class skills that is overly complicated and hard to debug when skills do not perform correctly or consistently. For Guardians, the changes are mostly related to red line traits and related skills which is supposed to be the main DPS line of the class, but has been consistently weak and inconsistent in results for quite a while now. The general opinion from Guardian testing so far is that red line DPS is up but perhaps not quite enough, and red line self-healing is down but could handle being reduced a bit more.

    Not everyone is happy with the changes, there are a few Guardian melee skills that calculate their damage based on the character's tactical rating stats rather than their physical rating stats. The importance of the tactical rating stat to those Guardian skills is getting seriously nerfed, so players who put a lot of effort into developing an edge-case character build that emphasises tactical rating on their Guards are seeing a large drop in skill damage for those specific skills. I'm not one of them. I was aware of that style of build but went with a build that is considerably more conventional, with the exception of emphasising critical chance rating on my Guard. In red line on the live servers, Guards generate self heals when certain melee skills crit for high damage, as well as the extra DPS from those crits. The red line self heals from melee crits is being changed so I expect to see my DPS go up from the general damage increase to Guard melee skills, and also expect to see my self heals in red line go down at the same time. I'll have to check to see if my current build is still viable with less self healing to keep me on my feet through the fight.

    Edit: It turns out some new art updates are being tested at the moment as well. Some of the art updates will be global as they replace less detailed models of things with more detailed models, and some of the art updates are area specific as the landscape devs fine tune the landscapes of old areas as well as using the newer art models in those areas. https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?663911-A-Fresh-Coat-of-Paint-Region-Polish
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2018
  11. yanman

    yanman Member

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    Not bad at all!

    Gee I wonder if they'd get backing if they started a crowd-fund campaign for a VR client/version? Even if it was limited to a separate server, though ideally not.
     
  12. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    Hmmm, a VR LOTRO. Would they create a new playable race/class of Ugandan Knuckles for it? :)
    Then again, if they crated a loli trap class, I think I'd finally give up on the game.
     
  13. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    The next game update is on the Bullroarer test server now. The exact date for live release has not been announced yet, but unless open beta testing uncovers some serious flaws, it should go live within 4 weeks. The new zone will be the Iron Hills which are northeast of the Lonely Mountain (it's where most of the dwarves from the Battle of the Five Armies in The Hobbit came from). The beta test was announced yesterday, and my client for the test server is patching right now so I can't comment on the new content yet. Level cap will be 120 with this update.

    Patch notes for the new update are here: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?666154-Bullroarer-Update-23-Preview-Release-Notes

    Since this is still in test, patch notes are provisional.
     
  14. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    Surprised that effort is still being put in, I thought the playerbase died off a lot after the restrictive F2P model was introduced. I know I did.
    Might check it out later after all the updates.
     
  15. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    As far as I know Standing Stone Games (the current LOTRO owners) haven't published player figures, so I don't know how many people play LOTRO, but obviously it's enough to keep creating updates for the game. SSG also owns/runs Dungeons & Dragons Online. I've never played that game so I can't say anything about it.

    Just reviewing some of my more recent posts from the last few months, I mentioned changes to class skills, both increases and decreases. My highest and most played character is a Guardian, a main tank class for group content. Before the changes I mentioned in May, I was struggling with that character in level cap content. DPS was weak. In a group situation, you don't need the main tank to do a lot of DPS, just to collect the mobs and keep them under control. Soloing was another matter. Low DPS meant fights were taking a long time and self healing was struggling to keep up. After the updates, things were different. A significant boost to DPS and to self healing, even when losing one of the heals, has made soloing much less of a struggle but not a faceroll cakewalk.

    My test server client finished updating while I've been typing this. Time to take a look at what's new.

    Edit:

    OK, I've had a couple of hours to run around, look at the new areas and try a few things.

    First, as part f this update, SSG are changing how stat scaling on gear/equipment works. https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?666168-Upcoming-Global-Balance-Changes

    My guard lost a bit of morale (health), about 10k. On live I normally solo in a gear set that has about 97k morale, it's down to about 87k in the current beta build. I have a second set of gear that stacks more morale, 120k on live, just under 110k in the beta. On the other hand, mobs have lost morale as well, enough that they're a bit easier. I have a level 109 Champion in the early stages of Mordor at the moment. I didn't notice much morale loss on him, but he is still gearing up. On the other hand, after a quick run with him in Mordor, the elite landscape mobs are a bit easier for him to deal with.

    The hall inside the Lonely Mountain has been changed with a new section between the main front door and the hall itself. They've enlarged the inside of Erebor by close to 10 times.

    The new zone is actually two new areas, one east of the lonely mountain, the other to the west. The main map for the west zone is bugged, no working icons for your current location, points of interest or NPC's like stable masters, vendors, etc. SSG have changed the style of the landscape background for the maps for the two new areas. It's still drawn, but it looks a lot closer to a satellite photo style depiction of the terrain compared to the maps for other zones. Years ago the game used to have a rendered global map of the playable areas and you could toggle the map background between the rendered terrain or a more artsy style map. The rendered map was eventually dropped. A quick check of some other older zones shows they still have the standard map backgrounds.

    For the moment I'm wondering if they haven't made the content too easy again, but I've only been looking around and doing some very simple tests so far, not enough to reach a strong conclusion on that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  16. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    I've stopped looking at the new zone for the time being, until a new test build is done. The map system not working in the western part of the new zone is the reason. There are a bunch of quests that are a major pain in the arse to complete because it's difficult to tell where you need to go for them. I'll try again when the map system for that area works properly. I've found and reported a couple of landscape bugs so far.

    I'm quite impressed with the look and feel of the new areas, especially the new area west of the lonely mountain. Despite the dated look of the graphics engine, the landscape/environment devs have done some really nice work in both area, especially the west area.

    I'm also waiting for a new test build to see if much changes with the new stats system. My previous comment about the content being too easy may be premature. Due to the current map problems, I've given up trying to complete some quests and pushed on to some higher level quests. I've probably skipped a bunch of chained quests that give intermediate gear as rewards by doing that. This means I've been trying to do content while I'm a bit undergeared, and it's been showing.
     
  17. Sphinx2000

    Sphinx2000 Member

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    Thanks for keeping us updated
     
  18. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    Test build 2 is currently up, and the map bug that was so annoying is gone. I've done most of the quests in the new zone. The new stat scaling looks like it is going to work reasonably well but may need a little more tweaking. The new zone looks pretty good and will go live with a bunch of new 3 and 6 man instances and a 12 man instance due to follow (this is typical for LOTRO, release the smaller group content with the new zone, and the larger group content for that zone a couple of months later).

    Landscape difficulty for the new zone looks like it's in a good place, care will be needed but it won't be as steep as Mordor/North Mirkwood were when they went live. This is the point of the new scaling system, to smooth out sudden jumps in difficulty. Things may get adjusted depending on how well players rushing to the level cap cope. Players who rush too much and come into a new zone less prepared will have more problems, but that's true for any levelling game where gear is important.
     
  19. yanman

    yanman Member

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    Whoa... logged in for first time in ages.. 24k coins :D
     
    sammy_b0i likes this.
  20. GarethB

    GarethB Member

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    Just a note to say that the next update, Update 23, will be going live in a few days. SSG haven't mentioned it on the official forums yet that I can see but it's on their official Twitter feed. https://twitter.com/lotro/status/1048606342250938368

    This update is mostly about dwarves, in the Iron Hills (northeast of the Lonely Mountain) and Ered Mithrin (northwest of the Lonely Mountain).
     

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