Lord of the Rings Online recently hosted a 56 minute livestream Q&A with Executive Producer, Rob “Severlin” Ciccolini and Community Manager, Cordovan at Standing Stone Games. We’ve summarized the hot topics, community questions and answers from the video here in this article.
What’s New At SSG?
Standing Stone Games is in a transition period, they have been hiring, and are training personnel. Producer Raninia moved onto another opportunity and SSG wishes him all the best. They will hire another Producer, though right now they are focused on filling a Lead Content role.
Players can expect to see Producers Letters around every 4 months and they would like to have more Q&A livestreams, and weekly newsletters.
Customer Service is actively working through their ques and hope to have those cleared up soon.
LOTRO Has a Big Update Coming Soon
Executive Producer Severlin explained there is a big update coming in the Fall, that is about the size of the War of the Three Peaks expansion. There will be an announcement coming soon with more information and he hinted that it will feature some new systems to help players gain loot they are specifically looking for.
There will also be an alternate leveling experience from 1 to 30 that follows a different path from the racial themes.
A 6-man instance that will be for end game, and a new Skirmish.
He also spoke of a new Delving system to add difficulty to content that can add new rewards. As you gain rewards you can buy traceries you need. They want to start with adding the delving system to Missions, with Skirmishes eventually getting this system.
Severlin gave an example of the delving system, a player will place a delving stone onto a pedestal in the instance increasing the difficulty, and at the end rewards extra loot.
An overflow server is in the works for players to flow over to when there is a dramatic increase in population, characters will be able to transfer off of this server.
What About End-Game Content?
Severlin explained that they shouldn’t have had three updates in a row that had nothing for end-game content, and then have a large update at the end of the year that doesn’t have enough of it. This was a mistake and he agrees that there hasn’t been enough end game and that they need to change.
He apologized for not having more content for this area and asked players to hang in there. Rolling into update 35 will focus on end game, and they hope to have a new raid early next year.
PvMP updates are ongoing and being worked on. They would like to see about having Orion on a livestream to help answer PvMP questions.
You might be interested in this Q&A PvMP & System talk with Orion from July we found on YouTube.
What’s Being Done About Lag in LOTRO?
Severlin responded that engineers are doing a pass on lag, and there are some places they are looking at specifically the effects system, damage, and conditions, its become larger over the years and they are looking at this to reduce lag. In addition, the quest system was never intended to have tens-of-thousands of quests and it’s growth is causing character lag. They are also working on database cleanup code.
The previous lag pass reduced the amount of hitching and a future longer term goal is for the servers to be worked with modern compilers and modern memory.
For EU specifically, Severlin replied that they don’t have the capability to move servers to EU, and that most the lag there is likely performance stuff on our side that we’d like to fix.
Graphic Updates for LOTRO
They are currently looking at a refresh of graphics code and some of the actual art in game, the goal is to take some older art in the game and update it to make it some of the best art in the game. They are working on graphics updates and will continue to, they are hoping to get something to show off sooner rather than later.
Questions from the Community
Severlin answered additional specific questions from the community about LOTRO, here’s a breakdown of those:
Character Creation Updates?
We are working on a large amount of character creation options, focusing on the race of Man (humans) right now. And as part of the remastered art updates Severlin would like to touch up on the avatars making them look better without making them look too different. We won’t see all races updated at the same time.
Looking into that for next year.
Will ray tracing be added?
It’s far off and it requires high end performance PC’s, they don’t plan on adding it right now. (Ray tracing explained)
What about multi factor authentication?
It is in the works, making progress but no actual date yet.
What about VIP Subscribers?
Our plan is to explore somethings being cheaper for the VIPs. There is no plan to offer lifetime subs anytime soon.
Will there be other Supporter Packs?
Severlin explained that Supporter Packs are a way for players to support the company and LOTRO so they can continue to provide things for free in different ways. They don’t want to put them out too often and overwhelm players. They will offer other Supporter Packs in the future.
Any plans for larger carry-alls to hold more stuff?
We certainly can, and will look into that. It’s possible.
Will carry-alls be available in other ways?
Can’t comment on LOTRO Store specifics, they haven’t heard of any plans to make carry-alls obtainable in other ways than they are right now, via store or expansions.
Will golf come to LOTRO?
New hobbies is always something they are looking at but they seem to fall off the list of things to do when it comes to priority of content.
What about custom markers for the map?
Our UI is not the best to work with, it might be something that can be done.
Will Landscape Difficulty Come To Normal Servers?
Landscape difficulty will come to the normal servers at some time, yes. (These options are currently available on Legendary servers)
Will there be more Epic Battles?
Not planning on revisiting the epic battle systems in the short term.
Will there be Kinship updates?
They will probably revisit Kinship updates next year.
What happened to renaming Kinships?
Renaming Kinships is done by hand and it’s something that is on hold right now until the CS queue is reduced.
We’ll always look to put more housing in the game based on players requests over the long-term.
Will there be alternate ways to get pets from Loot Boxes?
You should be able to earn some small amount of loot box keys in game, once a pet has cycled out of a loot box it should come around in other obtainable ways, it’s something they can look at.
Character transfers from retired servers?
Character transfers from the legacy worlds is being done, hopefully soon they will have something to say about this.
Will you be able to keep your name when transferring off Anor?
If there is a name conflict, characters will get a free name change token. (Anor is the Legendary server set to retire at the end of August 2022)
That’s a Wrap
We certainly are excited to find out more details about the updates that are coming to LOTRO this fall and we will post any news about that as soon as we know more. Happy questing!