Lord of the Rings Online addresses performance issues, LIs, and custom difficulty


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.

source: YouTube

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Your initial legendary Item(LI) should be the only one you get and it should grow with you as you level (maybe allow deconstructing normal weapons so that you can “feed” the LI, this would also make crafting more important), remove the shards and scrolls. The fact that they drop like candy makes them seem boring and not so epic…


The revamp was spoken about years ago and since then it’s been we are looking into it. Like to believe it’s going to change but bullshit.

Just remove the requirement of shards and scrolls.

The legendary weapons level increase will increase on your actual players level. You then can use runes or even just normal xp to level the weapons or offhands.

At least the weapons would be actual growing with you when you level.

If we continue to wait for the revamp that may or may not happen, the next issue will be players max level.

It’s 130 ATM, more likely another ten levels by the end of this year. When does it get to the point it’s to high. Even now any new players to the game must look at where end game sits, then add legendary, class points, virtues, crafting etc to the list and without spending some very big $$$$ the overall grind is huge. That’s even comparing to some games from the east which are known for grinding.

Love the game but the quality of life changes is to slow. 14 yrs , 130 levels and a stack of different grinding systems plus the years of performance issues, ageing graphics you would think need to be drastically improved to continue to be a player in the online gaming scene. You need to gain and keep a percentage of new players on top of the long-term community.

Andrew Schwartz

Would love to enjoy this game. But I can’t with the hitching. I tried to ignore it but I just can’t. It’s been there since day 1 and has never been fixed.


“Hitching” is usually a client-side problem (depending on what you mean by that- troubleshooting is a convoluted world).

Are you running the 64-bit client on a windows-10 system?

Ardra Diva

Always such negative comments here. I love the game and think it’s great. LIs are a good part of the game that I enjoy. I see the same old complaints here every time. “The game is old”.
Yes, it came out in 2007. “It’s grindy”. Yes, and so are many other MMOs.

If it isn’t for you, there’s other games to play. For the Tolkien fan, there is nothing better, and LOTRO may end up being the best Tolkien game we ever get, so cherish it while it lasts. Amazon isn’t going to make a better one, that much is now clear.

Bruno Brito

and LOTRO may end up being the best Tolkien game we ever get, so cherish it while it lasts. Amazon isn’t going to make a better one, that much is now clear.

Imagine being so used to mediocrity that you get so fearful of criticism.

This game is paid for. Customers have the right to demand things. Your pov is honestly a scourge upon gaming. We don’t need more zealots enabling bad monetization and decision making from idiot devs.

Just for the fact that SSG has Cordovan on their payroll is enough reason to nag them until the endtimes.


To be fair…. Cord is DDO’s CM and I doubt they pay him any extra to be LotRO’s CM also. :/

Bruno Brito

They shouldn’t pay him jack.

Roger Edwards

For the Tolkien fan, there is nothing better

For Tolkien fans, there is nothing else. LOTRO exists for many reasons but a prime one is because its the only MMO based on the IP in town. Players endure the games rough edges because of their fandom and the fact that there’s nowhere else to go. Its a bit like living in a small town with only one mall to hang out at and one night club to go to. No matter how shit they are, they’ll get patronage by default.

I enjoy LOTRO but it is far from perfect. It’s age is one reason as you have stated in your comments but don’t tell me that SSG can’t try harder. As for Rob “Severlin” Ciccolini spurious argument against removing LI’s, it is a text book example of poor reasoning and failing to understand what keeps a community engaged with an MMO.

With the competition out of the picture for the present and new owners who at face value interested in expanding the game, you’d think that SSG would now proactively try and refine and improve LOTRO and through good communication, bring the playerbase along with them. But I doubt that they will. SSG seems to be like so many other game development companies. Filled with middle-aged men, who are far too entrenched in their ways.

The Balance

Tried to go back recently, for the last time. The game is insanely dated, the population (while dedicated, for what that’s worth) is very sparse and it seems the only people left are friendly, die-hard game lovers, RP’ers, and the elite jerks that have taken over multiplayer gaming everywhere.

Beyond the players, I honestly couldn’t get past the game play and especially the UI.

The game will be around for awhile thanks to its IP, but if this wasn’t LOTRO, it wouldn’t have made it very long at all.

Wilhelm Arcturus

I just keep coming back to that quote about being afraid to remove grind lest we all wander off and how deeply the executive producer fails to understand what attracts people to MMORPGs and what keeps them invested that I bemoan any future for LOTRO at all.


I think he’s actually right about why they can’t remove them altogether and the fact that we DO need forms of steady progression. However I do think you’re right all the same that he’s completely lost on the big picture and most of the little pictures as well. Either that and/or he’s just giving weak non-answers to the issues he knows damn well they won’t be fixing.

Stormsong Minstrel
Stormsong Minstrel

Since $$G developers have no idea how imbued Legendary items work in reality – well, they should try some. Craft LI, then craft/loot tens of LIs to extract that precious precious legacy…and then grinding scrolls for months.
Nothing “legendary” in it, just one huge grind.
Developers who ignore reality. Ones who can openly state – “If reality does not meat my dreams, let’s curse reality”.
On the other hand, $$G became extremely predictable. If system works logically, making players happy – it won’t appear in game. If system works alogically, making players unhappy – yes, we at $$G will gladly implement it.
$$G, plz stop smoking whatever you smoke, return to reality and try to play your game as standard f2p. Untill then – please, please do nothing, whatever you do turns to be disastrous to the game.


I like the idea of custom difficulty settings. I constantly whine and moan about how insanely easy -every single- modern MMO is. ESO is the worst about this for me. If its outside of a vet dungeon, its brain dead boring.

Ewan Cuthbertson

The lag has been a problem for years I’m not going to give them credit for a problem thats been around for years.


The custom difficulty interests me, will see what it ends up being but should be fun.