LOTRO’s Classic server ‘wouldn’t work’ with current tech, SSG says

    
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Standing Stone Games is probably getting sick of being asked all of the time about a Lord of the Rings Online classic server. Despite the studio not officially taking such a discussion off the table, SSG’s Rob Ciccolini said this week that it’s most likely too difficult and ambitious a project for the resources on hand.

“Because the game has gone from Turbine to Warner Bros, to us — to Standing Stone, there’s code and technology for the servers that we don’t have and wouldn’t work on current hardware,” Ciccolini said in an interview with MMORPG.com. “So even if we wanted to set up a classic server and we thought there was a giant demand, I don’t know that a team of our size could technically do it and replace the code that doesn’t exist.”

Meanwhile, the LOTRO community has lowered its Middle-earth flags to half-mast this week to mourn the loss of LOTRO StreamTeam member Wayward Plane, who lost a battle with cancer after a long fight.

“Wheels stop at ~9:00 this evening. Thanks for flying with the Wayward Plane,” Wayward’s Twitter account announced. “Wayward told me the symbolic tweet is all in good fun, but also to make it explicit that this means they’ve passed away. Thank you all so much for making their last couple years the best ones.”

Source: MMORPG.com, Twitter. Thanks Katriana!
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teppic

They’ve not gone after new players for years now, which is why updates are really just milking the very old framework, mob/landscape assets, etc. with content updates but no real changes to the game. The existing players seem to love it, will pay for it and it costs almost nothing in development to make.

There’s no doubt they could do a classic version of the game if they wanted to, but it’d mean hiring new developers (they’ve cut them back, not added more), and a totally new mentality, which isn’t going to happen unless their parent company forces it to.

cambruin
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cambruin

Well, I would be inclined to agree, however, I recently saw an add for the 2 new classic servers. They’re heading in the right direction again. Or so I feel.

And I honestly don’t think that a classic server is what we need. Treebeard for me is best of both worlds and I for one am not leaving. Pop at a steady 550+ as well, which is better than most servers.

Leyaa
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Leyaa

I believe them. From a technical point of view, LoTRO is in a terrible state. The lag spikes still are horrendous, and one of the reasons I don’t enjoy the game anymore.

The announcement of a console port really surprised me because I cannot imagine how they could ever handle that.

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Douglas Lawson

Thats what Blizzard said too..

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Greaterdivinity

And Blizzard is a massive company with nearly endless resources and a team of engineering wizards to make it possible. SSG…not so much, at least on the money front.

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Bruno Brito

And Blizzard didn’t do it completely. They couldn’t/wouldn’t for instance, copy the patch cadence from 1.0 to 1.12.1. They released Classic at the last patch, as Pservers do. Even Blizzard, massive as it is, had hurdles they didn’t want to try to go against.

Do i think it’s possible for LoTRO? Yes. Do i think they should do it? No. Instead of focusing on Classic LoTRO, just improve the retail game to a Classic-like quality, since that’s one of LoTRO’s merits ( the oldschool MMO vibe ).

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draugris

What means in other words “we are unwilling to put in the effort” Of course the client and infrastructure would need some changes, the old wow servers also needed that for classic to come live. But saying it wouldnt work is simply disingenuous.

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Greaterdivinity

Does SSG have the staff and resources of Blizzard? Does the game changing hands between publishers multiple times, which likely also includes proprietary tech they no longer have access to and would have to recreate from scratch, not matter? Does the active playerbase of LOTRO justify such an expense, knowing that only part of them will play the classic server?

SSG is a small company. The LOTRO and DDO teams are fairly small. They don’t exactly have the resources to pull 20-30 people off of live projects (who may as well be the size of an entire live team) to spend an indeterminate amount of time trying to rebuild a lot of the tech from scratch. Logistics matter, a lot.

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draugris

And what has anything you say to do with what i said? Dude at least learn to read… I have spoken about tech. If any of the points you brought up are true, why don’t they say it straight away?

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Bruno Brito

“Because the game has gone from Turbine to Warner Bros, to us — to Standing Stone, there’s code and technology for the servers that we don’t have and wouldn’t work on current hardware,” Ciccolini said in an interview with MMORPG.com. “So even if we wanted to set up a classic server and we thought there was a giant demand, I don’t know that a team of our size could technically do it and replace the code that doesn’t exist.”

Dude at least learn to read.

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Allen Spake

I don’t mind the Classic servers, and think they solve an issue for some players. Besides, the work required to get a new spin of a server, with some small tweaks can’t be that difficult in the grand scheme of things.

I too would like to seen work done on the graphics and engine, and “Louy7’s” Youtube interview with the LOTRO producer “Raninia” touched on these specific issues. @ 42:06 in the interview, the “graphics upgrade” question is specifically posed, as is a question of “optimization of the engine” @ 42:51 The long and short is that that kind of work is going to be an enormous effort, as “LOTRO’s game engine is much older than most modern game engines, and has not been upgraded as consistently as those game engines.”

As someone who works with code, the effort seems massive and could easily be something that takes a metric-ton of work, for marginal (at best) visible benefit. Now I’m not saying they shouldn’t be doing some of that work, but simply that we should keep expectations at least tied to some kind of reality.

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Stephen Montalvo

RIP Wayward Plane. I liked the streams.

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Ardra Diva

“classic server” requests have got to be a small, vocal minority, the kind of thing you shouldn’t necessarily bow to. The 90% would be far more pleased with a graphic update and some stability fixes. Even if development totally stopped today, I’d keep playing the game for as long as it stayed open. There’s probably never going to be another Tolkien game of this depth, detail, and magnitude. So enjoy it while it lasts…