Lord of the Rings Online tackles Q&A on progression server, plans November release

    
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Lord of the Rings Online’s surprise announcement of an incoming progression server certainly stirred up interest and debate this week. While it’s intriguing, a lot of players were left wondering about the various specifics that Standing Stone Games didn’t cover in its press release and asked about them on the forums.

The studio did address some of these questions on this Friday’s LOTROstream. Here were the most important details:

  • The team emphasized that this is a progression and not a legacy server with a heavy focus on leveling up with a community.
  • There is a name for the server but it wasn’t announced yet. They’re not quite ready to announce a release date, but it will be in November. [Updated: After the stream, SSG said it’s November 6th.] [Now it’s retracted that date and says just “November.”]
  • Standing Stone Games said that it cannot go back to trait lines since they won’t function on the modern servers. It would take far too much work to get them to work (including Beornings, which never had them). The studio said that it’s not 100% happy with where classes are right now and invites feedback on them.
  • Forochel, Evendim, and all Volume 1 content will be available at launch but won’t be able to go into Moria. Solo options to go through epic story instances are still available, and the instance finder will still be usable.
  • The modern, not the old, mount and stable system is going to be in place.
  • Housing and neighborhoods are going to be there on Day One, including Belfalas.
  • It won’t be the 64-bit client, since that’s still in the works. Work is going on to fix the live servers.
  • Sounds like there might be a rush to grab kinship names and housing plots.
  • The virtue cap is still being worked on, but it will be announced later. Also, there will be the same stat caps as on live.
  • If there ends up being multiple legendary worlds, the team might allow character transfers between them.
  • PvMP as a future possibility is under discussion but not ensured.
  • There has been a lot of work done to keep players from going into areas that they’re not allowed (initially).
  • No cosmetics will be gated.
  • Scaling loot is going to be available from instances.
  • All content will look and function as it does in the current live version. The developers are making small cosmetic adjustments to lighting and landscape on all servers. Character and monster balance will be the same as it is on live and will not be tougher.
  • New content will roll out approximately every four months. No schedule is going to be posted, but it will proceed chronologically.
  • The team has disabled skirmishes at launch but will return with Moria. As with instances, the team made a judgment call on each depending on where the story is on the legendary server.
  • These are new servers and won’t be separated by region.
  • Some festival content will be disabled if they require players to travel to regions that haven’t been unlocked yet.
  • The team is looking at store items, like experience tomes, but no decisions have been made as to what will and won’t be available for purchase. The team is also considering how these items may be used to help players catch up after launch.
Update
Now SSG’s posted a date for the rollout: November 6th.

Update 10/29
SSG has now retracted the November 6th date.

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Mallus

Requiring VIP to play is a dumb idea, it prevents you from casually playing and enjoying the content…

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teppic

I like the idea of the server but they way they’re executing it is entirely wrong. They shouldn’t even consider allowing any cash shop items other than cosmetics on a server like this, allowing for stat tomes, xp boosts, attack bonuses, etc. just ruins the idea. Requiring VIP to play the server should be enough to justify removing all of these things.
Secondly, it sounds like very little is really being done except content gating. The levelling system is way too easy for older content, and from what they said it sounds like nothing is being done to balance to older content for the newer class systems. People will get to cap without any real effort and quickly get bored.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

Lol, the desperation of squeezing every last bit of $$$ with minimum effort is real…

Also, it is both sad and amusing seeing delusional people thinking that this move would “bring more new people in”… Are you actually serious? There is absolutely NO new content being added with these “legacy” (or Legendary, whatever you prefer to call them) servers, it’s the same exact content that exists RIGHT NOW in the current version of game, and anyone “new to this game” can experience it TODAY, in same exact way (you can artificially gimp your XP progression and just set a rule for yourself to “not progress past Angmar” or any current zone you want).

Also, the “new players” who value the attractive aesthetics and good game performance – they will quit this game after first few hours since it will still use the current poorly performing engine with terribly outdated graphics (and the worst case of “forced instancing” I’ve seen in any game, especially in places like Bree where you can easily miss the player music performance simply because game “forced” you into different instance of Bree) even for new “legacy” servers.

Come on now, try removing your rose-tinted glasses at least once in a while… The game needs much, MUCH more than “same exact content just artificially gated with some walls” and “same awful game engine” for a PROPER re-launch which would actually attract many “new players” and “hold” most of them for more than a couple of weeks.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Okay, be honest. You LOVE LOTRO and it BUGS you that SSG hasn’t YET upgraded to 64-bit.

And I’m pretty sure those rose-tinted glasses can only be had during Spring Festival.

Alex Js.
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Alex Js.

64-bit client won’t do much – it’s not a complete engine upgrade that this game needs.

And yes, I used to love this game, back when its graphics were attractive enough (for that time), the engine performed good enough (on a much worse hardware I used to have) and there were plenty of people to play with. But all those things has changed for the worse and the silly “Legendary” servers won’t do anything to improve any of those.

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Ben Stone

Truthfully though the graphics were a bit of a mess even at the time. It definitely wasn’t cutting edge, although they did well with the environments despite that. The character models though?…. *shudders*

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Roger Melly

Sooner than I thought it would be should give me just enough time to get to 120 on my main . Thinking about a high elf Rune Keeper this time around .

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Vincent Clark

So when someone said it was simply going to be a copy and paste of what is currently on the live server for levels 1-50 they were quite literally spot on. Why would anyone pay money for this?

serariron
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serariron

Because it’s nice to see the earlier quest zones finally populated again? Because people enjoy doing group content at the current level and it is hard to find players for that kind of content on the live servers? Because people enjoy a new start with tons of players? There are tons of reasons. Same reasons why Rift Prime and the EQ2/EQ1 progression servers where so popular.

Truth of the matter is that not a single MMO studio could put up the funds to develop a true vanilla version of their game other than Blizzard, so this is a happy medium.

I’ll be there for all the reasons above and since I have a lifetime subscription I don’t even have to pay anything extra.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

This, pretty much. It’s also a good way to bring new people in. They’re getting all the 11 years of development, but as though it’s a brand new game. Worth checking out.

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Vincent Clark

Everything you listed can be done/created by the players right now on the live server. It’s insane to think that people are ok with essentially paying SSG more money to create an environment that already exists. Worse, it’s being done on the cheap (majority of it being a simple copy and paste).

The issue with doing group content at current level could have been fixed years ago if Turbine/SSG spent the resources to make sure the instance finder actually did the job it was supposed to do, i.e. pull people from across the EU servers (or NA servers) and allow them to group up for a dungeon/raid. They could also use FFXIV’s Duty Roulette system as an example to get level capped players into older dungeons to help out low level players.

But instead…they are banking on nostalgia and a false sense of “leveling with the community” for a quick cash grab. Sadly, as you’ve already proven, it’s working.

serariron
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serariron

I don’t have to pay a single buck and won’t since I am a lifetime subscriber, like I already mentioned in the last paragraph.

But you probably didn’t make it that far. I can understand.

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Vincent Clark

That’s your response? LOL You may not have to pay a single buck, but alas not everything is about you.

smh

serariron
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serariron

What else should I say? You are clearly completely negative towards it, which is fine, that’s your opinion and you are entitled to it just as I am to mine, that I will be enjoying the server.

I am way too old to get into silly internet arguments when it’s clear that the opinion of the other person is made up. I explained why people may enjoy the server, you dismissed it and said that SSG is basically a shit company for not putting that stuff in the live game (paraphrasing here but what you mean is obvious considering that you called them $$G in the other thread).

Then I explained to you that I don’t have to pay because you specifically mentioned me and that their “scheme” is working on me . And now you say that not everything is about me when I explain something that targeted me in your previous reply.

Dude, seriously, you do you. Enjoy what ever game you are playing and I will enjoy what I will be playing. Life is way too short for arguments on the internet, at least for me. You can obviously do what ever you want in your spare time.

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Roger Melly

People don’t do a lot of the early instances , dungeons and raids anymore this way if you missed them the first time around you get to do them for the first time and if you were there you will get to do content again that you probably haven’t done in many years .

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Besides, doing them on-level is actually damn exciting.

Carn Dum, anyone?

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serariron
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serariron

That’s a whole lot quicker than anticipated. Freakin’ awesome

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Barantor

Yeah, I’ll go vote and then play this all day lol.

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Bango on Laurelin

Good. Just after wow classic demo finishes!!

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Barantor

Yeah, there is no joke they are angling towards that lol.

UpayaBlossom
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UpayaBlossom

There is a good chance my partner and I will do this. We have been discussing a return to the game for awhile now with new characters.

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Wilhelm Arcturus

I wish them luck in this venture. This is probably about all a small team like theirs can manage, so I hope it is worth the effort.

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Barantor

I don’t think this will be for everyone, but I like how it’s being done.

serariron
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serariron

This is the only way how they can even do it. They are small and yet I am always impressed how such a small team is able to bring out new zones (often multiple) every 6 months. It’s the same way the tiny EQ2 team did progression servers.

Doing a true classic server would basically be a death nail for them.

This way it’s relatively easy because all they basically do is just force a shut off point for level and zones, maybe tweak a few numbers but that’s it. It won’t interrupt their normal work flow, so new patches for the current servers still come out, which in return brings revenue.

This may bring some old players back which is nice but even if it “fails” it will not make that big of a dent in their pockets and if it doesn’t even better.

It will also be nice to finally see a lot of people in the earlier zones as well. The last time it happened was basically when the f2p transition happened.

What I also highly appreciate is that liftime subs like me can roll there for “free”. I originally thought maybe we would need an additional sub because it’s a sub only server but it’s super cool that we can just do it without having to pay extra

That being said, I will roll there as well. Currently I am a burg main so now it’s time to hop onto a Loremaster, which I then can hopefully transfer once the server “concludes”.