Just about a year ago, Lord of the Rings Online opened the doors to its very first progression server ruleset. It was a huge event at the time, triggering large queues that the game hadn’t seen in years and even propelling LOTRO to the front page of Twitch for an evening. Players crammed in the front door, eager to experience the journey through Middle-earth together at a measured pace.
Of course, the thing about progression servers is that excitement over them is always high in the first few months and then falls off dramatically after that. The progression servers — now in Rise of Isengard — are trucking along, but they aren’t the hotbed of activity that they once were. This makes me wonder if Standing Stone Games and other studios should take action to inject something thrilling to attract players back to these server rulesets.
What could studios do to spice up progression servers midway through their runs? Would seasonal pass-type challenges keep the community occupied? Special challenges with exclusive rewards? Character level boosts? Or perhaps even additional tweaks to the server’s rules?