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: