Lord of the Rings Online talks Update 23, Mordor’s difficulty, lag, and more

Now that Lord of the Rings Online has emerged from Mordor, it’s preparing to go back in the future. SSG’s Rob Ciccolini and Jerry Snook opened up about next couple of updates with MMO Central, teasing an epic confrontation with the giant spider Shelob. Before this takes place, however, Update 23 is going to deliver what sounds like a new region and lots of new instances.

“Our next update will move towards the Grey Mountains, but as we expand we expect to have some reference or maybe even a short appearance because that will be the beginning of [Shelob’s] storyline,” said Ciccolini.

The conversation wound around to a variety of different topics, such as housing upkeep, security issues, the difficulty of Mordor, Daybreak as a publisher, The Hobbit as source material, class balance passes, and the severe lag issues the game has experienced for years now (no reassuring answers for the latter, by the way).

Here’s an interesting fact: Ciccolini says that Daybreak Austin’s Jack Emmert — yes, that Emmert — is his “direct boss.”

Ciccolini said that the studio is in the process of hiring a new engineer to work on the game, which should give hope to those looking for fixes to some of the creaky underpinnings of this MMO.

Source: MMO Central
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15 Comments on "Lord of the Rings Online talks Update 23, Mordor’s difficulty, lag, and more"

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Viktor Budusov

Even more love for dwarves? Great!

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Jeff

So Jack is his direct boss? He spends more time on his Facebook page griping about the current political climate and healthcare than he does actually working. I don’t see that as a win for SSG. Daybreak is such a cluster these days, most of their people have issues making basic changes to their games and retaining personnel, I honestly don’t see Columbus Nova holding on to this Hindenburg much longer.

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Tandor

Lag in Bree is a major turn-off for me, but clearly they have no means of dealing with it so don’t comment meaningfully on it. I still play the game albeit not as much as I used to, but for me the switch from EU servers and localised support to NA servers and support was what created the present unsatisfactory situation.

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Tobasco da Gama

They seem to be pinning a lot of hope on the 64-bit client, and I for one actually find their explanation — running up against the 32-bit memory limit — to be quite plausible. At least, it matches what I’ve seen, where I’ve got well over 4GB of RAM but see stuttering and even crashes in Minas Tirith that a) don’t happen anywhere else in the game (suggesting it’s not network-related) and b) are totally unresponsive to any graphics settings other than the one that culls the number of player characters rendered on the screen (suggesting it’s nothing in the GPU rendering path).

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Vincent Clark

The questions about the license were hilarious (the Hobbit) because it contradicted what they said in one of the recent live feeds with the CM. It’s like the left hand doesn’t know anything form the right hand. And he completely dodged the performance issues question. So basically, a typical day at SSG.

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Viktor Budusov

Eh no. He said 64-bit client will help, whenever it arrives

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Vincent Clark

It’s an 11 year old game, they should have transitioned to the 64 bit years ago. Even now, they are “in the process” of “maybe” hiring another engineer to work on it. Plus, the 64-bit (if it ever does happen, which I doubt it will) won’t fix all the performance problems that curse this game.

styopa
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styopa

“We’re aware of people’s love of chicken play …”
That got weird fast.

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Paragon Lost

“Here’s an interesting fact: Ciccolini says that Daybreak Austin’s Jack Emmert — yes, that Emmert — is his “direct boss.”

Confirming what a few of us were harping about when Standing Stone became a thing and that when we logged into LotRO the TOS changed to one that said we were agreeing to a TOS with Daybreak Games. (shudder)

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Tobasco da Gama

“Difficulty” is definitely the wrong framing to talk about Mordor. Because there’s no real “difficulty” to the mobs there at all.

Mordor have all the same skills and AI behaviours as they do everywhere else. It’s not like Moria where the game introduced a new mechanic (corruption removal) for us to contend with. It’s not even like Stunland where certain existing mechanics gained greater importance.

No, all Mordor has is Radiance 3.0 to make our characters shittier at everything until we get enough Radiance from our gear that the game lets us play on an even field again.

I don’t call that “difficulty”, I call that “wasting my fucking time”.

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Paragon Lost

My champion in tank spec (yeah I know it’s a dirty word to mention champs and tanking in the same breath) did fine in Mordor, Beastmaster LM’s do well, I’ve seen a lot of hunters do well, but my Runekeeper got his ass handed to him repeatedly throughout Mordor. :/

Tedious and frustrating is what I call Mordor, Radiance 3.0 indeed. Good call.

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Robert Mann

Had no issues on my RK. In fact, I didn’t have issues with any of my play there. I’m fairly casual, and all that too, in game.

That said, I do believe that the way it was handled was just not quite what was needed. It really did place a lot of importance for some classes on using CC well, especially in certain areas.

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Vincent Clark

The main issue is that they increased the difficulty without adjusting the sheer number of mobs in specific areas. That is where the tedious part came in. Most people (myself included) enjoyed the challenge but then it quickly became tiresome just to get through some of the zones. That is when you stop having fun and log out and do something else. The quest structure was straight out of 2007 and in some cases, it seemed intentionally set up so that you were resorting to using mithril coin fast travel ($$) just to put yourself out of misery.

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Tobasco da Gama

My main is a Captain, so every time Turbine/SSG decide to equate “damage sponge” with “difficult content”, I always feel it harder than everyone else. :(

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Robert Mann

Aye, HP sponge factor is an MMO problem. :(