Lord of the Rings Online decided to put together a Q&A with the executive producer Rob “Severlin” Ciccolini this past Friday, offering up a chance for players to get answers on pretty much any general questions they had regarding the MMORPG.
A number of questions discussed technical and performance issues such as loading lag, chat server problems and more. Ciccolini acknowledged that there are improvements that need to be made but the developers’ priority right now is fixing the chat server, as that currently has the biggest impact on the game.
Ciccolini also offered up a quick progress report on the LI revamp, arguing that the devs are working out plans to make getting LIs easier and smoother while still being exciting. He also admitted that LIs are “labyrinthian” and that the devs want to be sure that players with current LIs are sufficiently caught up with whatever the new system will end up becoming. Incidentally, he answered the question of why LIs shouldn’t just be completely removed from the game as we (and many players) have suggested:
“We want players to have things to do while they are leveling. I know that some players are ‘Oh, this is too grindy and sometimes we overdo it,’ but ‘grindy’ doesn’t scare me as much as ‘I don’t have enough to do.’ I don’t have enough to do is worse because players want to play the game but they don’t really have goals to pursue.
“[If the LI system is removed], a couple things happen: One, players become much more reliant on weapon drops and if they don’t get the weapon drop they want, their DPS will lag […], and two, a weapon drop is one-and-done; we want to make sure that when [players] get a weapon they can then develop it.”
We’ll leave you to puzzle that logic out. A question regarding Wildwood missions was touched on, with the answer noting that the devs want mission rewards consolidated to offer a unique reward as well as an overall reward for doing missions that ties into completing weeklies.
Another question brought up the subject of upcoming custom difficulty features, which will be more than just be larger enemy health pools but some form of environmental effects triggered by Sauron’s Eye falling on players, causing fire to rain down, creatures get enraged, or players get a corruption affliction that needs to be purged. “One of the goals is that on the highest difficulty, you’ll want to group even on the landscape,” Ciccolini remarked. These features are expected to arrive to the game’s current servers first, but launch details weren’t ready to share yet.
Finally, the stream then went on to talk about the Further Adventures missions, with the first one set to focus on Bilbo Baggins. Ciccolini explained that Further Adventures are basically a series of missions that should “feel different,” with a focus on telling a story that’s meant to be experienced one time while also offering a few rewards for completion.