Lord of the Rings Online previews its new speedy and plodding progression servers

    
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Ah, no.

Even as Lord of the Rings Online shuts down its underpopulated Ithil legendary server this week, Standing Stone Games is preparing to launch a pair of new progression servers for the community to enjoy. The twist? This time each one will come with a speed adjustment.

According to SSG, Shadowfax — named after Gandalf’s swift horse — will be an accelerated progression server, while Treebeard — named after a ponderous Ent — will feature slower-than-usual leveling and more lengthy content unlocks. These servers will also allow for the new difficulty adjustment settings, allowing an unprecedented control over a player’s challenge and progression.

There’s no date currently announced for these servers, but they could launch soon. In the meanwhile, the Midsummer Festival is coming this week to keep players occupied.

Rob Ciccolini did confirm that the higher difficulty settings award better XP and that the team is contemplating some cosmetic rewards to show off personal achievements. He said that the team is working on new character customization options for later this year or early 2022. Other projects in the works include purchasing new server hardware, playtests for the Brawler class (and its “brutal punching style”) and tackling lag (“Outside of delivering you awesome story, lag is our number one priority,” Ciccolini said.)

Source: YouTube
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Mark

So can I transfer my char made on the Anor server when they opened that and I played a ton over to the new slowbie server? I’m guessing not.

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GumpsGang

Seems to me SSG is just giving different groups of players what they have been asking for. As stated, by Sev, it also is a good way to introduce and test the new difficulty setting in limited parts of the game at a time.

When I log into various servers, I usually see 500+ visible players at a time (no way to count those who use the anonymous setting). The launch of Anor seemed extremely successful. Adding a level of difficulty will be fun, time for another server alt soon.

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Mallus

Will a subscription be required for these servers? I think this is where they make a big mistake and why these new servers never work out.

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teppic

A sub is required yeah, and the full cash shop is active on top.

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teppic

Most of the servers can barely manage 300ish population at peak and they introduce *two* new servers at the same time, both of which will pull from the existing small population but won’t have any balancing work for instances or raids at all and so will be horribly imbalanced.

I guess they’ll get a bit of novelty interest from the slider, but with no existing rewards for it I can’t imagine people will stick around.

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rk70534

Some servers do have healthy populations; my server Evernight has gone up to 1400 players at peak in recent times (that I have personally witnessed) and usually breaks thousand each day when I’m personally logged in. Clearly there is a huge imbalance.

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Stormwaltz

If you don’t mind my asking, how are you able to get concurrency numbers? I’d love to check my own server. :)

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teppic

Evernight is their biggest server by far according to them. I haven’t seen it that high since lockdown though, but I guess a new update will raise it a bit while people do the story.

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Hikari Kenzaki

So… I get the fast one. What’s the appeal of the slow one? Can’t you just turn xp gain off entirely in LOTRO?

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Baron von Munchausen

Honestly, it’s kind of annoying to have to equip and unequip a magic turn-off-xp stone. And it has the same kind of problem: if you like the tickle that gaining XP gives you, you want it constantly. Turning it off just to finish all the quests feels the same as running them all over-level.

If everything’s slower, there’s the constant XP flow and the feeling of ‘this is giving me some reward’. It’s hard to explain, it’s a weird brain thing.

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Eliandal

.. my ‘weird’ brain likes the idea for exactly those reasons :D

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Mark Temby

Some people don’t have much time to play, or want to keep playing on their live server as well as level a toon on the progression server.

One of the great problems with Lotro at present is that you often have to play a red line (dps) role all the way to cap as its difficult to get low level groups on your server in your timezone.

A slow progression server capped at say 50 for 6 months would be a great way of trying out a new class (eg a guardian) and getting to play in a raid like role on that class at level 50 before deciding whether to take it all the way to 130 or that you would rather play say a healer or a dps instead.

I’m expecting any toon played on SF or TB will be able to be ported to a live server afterwards.

I’ll definitely try out a new class on one of these progression servers, and probably with level 2 or 3 difficulty to test whether I prefer the harder difficulty for more xp model.

Leyaa
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Leyaa

Well, if you do (almost) every quest in LotRO, you are vastly overleveled. The Stone of the Tortoise is a means to block XP entirely, but its not the best solution. If it comes with higher difficulty as well, then I know some people who’d like that very much.
However, if the cash shop is still there like with the other progression servers, I don’t see a point. Usually, progression servers are accessible with subscription only without a cash shop. As soon as legendary system becomes available, the cash shop makes the game a mess.
In addition, the pace with which expansion are unlocked on previous progression servers, is too fast in my opinion to enjoy the content to its fullest.

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teppic

Yeah, they even include all the XP boosts and instant travel to quest points. Since the progression servers are identical to the normal ones (aside from a level cap), there’s no dev justification for having the cash top on top of a sub requirement I think.