Players argue LOTRO’s latest update ruined the pristine beauty of the Shire

    
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Don’t let scary dragons distract you from the real threat of Lord of the Rings Online’s newest patch. This past week’s Update 23 did more than add sky lizards and Dwarves; it managed to make the Shire a lot less homey than before.

Lina’s Biscuity Burrow details how Standing Stone Games ruined the Shire with the unnecessary addition of ugly shrubs, flapping flags, and other out-of-place objects. “This gives the Shire an odd, uniformed, artificial look that pretty much ruins any sense of immersion or care for the lore,” she says. “It nukes the organic feel of the old land. The hand of the game designer is too obvious.”

It should be noted that the community has been fairly critical of the landscape changes, especially in the cases where they impacted quests. “For some reason, LOTRO devs are very comfortable with placing objects half-embedded into the ground or other objects,” one player noted.

The good news is that SSG will be fixing some of these errors: “We are indeed looking to address many of your concerns in a patch next week. Some of what is being seen is accidental in that some in-progress work made it into the build for U23, but we are also listening to your feedback and making quite a few changes that will hopefully better meet your approval.”

Another thing getting fixed? An unspecified bug in the Grey Mountains instances. “The Grey Mountains instances have been temporarily disabled in order to address a bug with them,” SSG wrote this morning. “We expect to reopen them in an upcoming patch.”

In any event, sky lizards ahoy! Check out the latest Update 23 trailer:

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Amorey

As I said on the official forums, things change, trees, flowers, and shrubs do grow bigger over time but frankly some of the ‘new’ greenery seems to have dropped there with complete disregard of hobbits stature and day to day life. if you put a hobbit next to a 5 ft tall shrubs you most will not see that 3 ft tall hobbit at all. They just need to tone things down a little, honestly the Shire has always been absolutely perfect ( I would say that of course, I am a hobbit ) but trust me, it was. It was magnificent back in 2007 and still is. I would advice SSG to be very gentle with the most beloved and most iconic area in game. The good news is that they listened and will make some changes soon . As the old hobbit proverb goes….

” Less can be more, and small can be beautiful” 😊

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Bango on Laurelin

Sometimes if things are not broken they should be left alone.

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jealouspirate

Perhaps we could get some comparison photos?

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Stormwaltz

There are some in the linked forum thread and on Lina’s site (and on her Twitter, IIRC).

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teppic

People will complain about changes no matter what they are. It’s great they’re going to older areas to try to improve them.

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Paragon Lost

Over all I think most are over reacting. I love how the lakes now look. A lot more natural. I do agree that they went too far with things like the flag poles and man are there a lot of Sunflowers now, too many Sunflowers.

Basically they just need to tone down a few things things and they’ll be fine.

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BalsBigBrother

I think the eagles have been on a sunflower seed diet and then they visited the shire. Nature took its course I guess :p

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Paragon Lost

lol! Yeah that’s it. Basically I like the vegetation changes over all. The smoke coming from the chimneys in use and things like that. They went over board here and there and need to cut it down a bit but over all I’m for the improvements.

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Peregrine Falcon

You say people are over reacting, and I tend to agree, but are they really?

People may not be all that smart but we are fast learners. And what have we learned from the last 20 years of playing online games and posting in their official forums?

Game developers ignore all calm and reasonable posts and threads.

Game devs have taught us over the last 20 years that the only way to get them to listen, the only way to get them to change anything, is to over react and drown their official forums in flames. They simply flat out ignore anything less.

So people have learned to over react simply because it’s the only thing that works. When it’s the only option that works then what else are they supposed to do?

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Paragon Lost

Well, OK. You’ve got a valid point there, unfortunately. :/

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Stormwaltz

Some of the changes are good (updated water, better riverbed textures, Rushok mist).

Some are good intentioned, but not pulled off well (animated fish everywhere… but often sorting under the landscape sheet, or obviously all animating in unison).

Some are just… bad. Ugly monochrome flowers in Frogmorton, Scary, and Stock. The now-ubiquitous shrubs with a yellowish tone that dilute the Shire’s distinctive “idealized reality” green to something more muted and Bree-ish.

What puzzles me is that one of the stated (and best-realized) goals of the Bree / Ered Luin revamp – removing landscape “fishbowls” in favor of gradual slopes and disguising rock outcrops – has not been done anywhere in the Shire. There’s no fundamental improvements to the terrain, just a bunch of relatively quick, superficial changes.

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BalsBigBrother

There are a number of issues over and above your own personal taste in aesthetics.

As an example this is one of a few I have bugged to SSG. In the very first area a new hobbit player visits and one of the first quests they will see. The table with the quest clicky item has a bush growing on it. I have found several things like this which I hope they will address in the near future.

On the whole I quite like the idea of refreshing old areas but they do need to take more care when they do so to avoid that negative first impression.

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Paragon Lost

QC, always something that needs work when it comes to LotRO and most mmorpgs really.

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Hirku

Looks like Sharkey found a new career in game development…