In an hour-and-a-half Q&A video this past Friday, Standing Stone Games’ Allan “Orion” Maki took the center stage to field numerous questions from the Lord of the Rings Online community.
- Lag: It’s a “main issue” and the “highest priority from an engineering standpoint.” Maki said that the studio has done some “significant investigating” and identified some areas that need to be fixed. Some of these backend changes should be finding their way into the game this fall. “This is something we know is important, and we need to make sure we address it.”
- Class changes: Classes need a “freshening up.” Most of the controversial Minstrel changes are “set in stone” at this point. “We are looking at every class moving forward. Some need more help than others.” Wardens, Guardians, and Lore-masters were specifically mentioned as in need of assistance. Some classes will see yellow turn into a utility line, but not all classes. The studio wants all classes to be able to DPS in raids, although Hunters and Champions will be “top dogs” in this department.
- Virtue grind: The team is looking at some changes to virtues, but not immediately and not radically.
- Traversable boats: No plans at this time. Mounted combat was cited as a reason not to pursue this, as that system was “costly” on the servers. Mounted combat will be looked at in 2023.
- Treebeard server: SSG wants to draw more people to this legendary server.
- Level cap increase: There is one planned for the future, but no further details.
- UI upgrade: SSG doesn’t have the time and resources right now for a complete UI overhaul.
- Skirmish: A new skirmish is coming out soon. System won’t be getting a revamp, but SSG will be looking at it.
- Monster play: SSG is at “Step 2 of 4 or 5” of changes planned for this system. Some “significant” and “sweeping” changes will be hitting at the time of Before the Shadow.
- Before the Shadow and delvings: The goal of the mini-expansion (coming Q4 2022) is to provide “cool new ways to engage with the game.” Specifically, the delving system has the team very excited, giving non-raiders a way to pursue endgame goals and get raid-worthy gear with earned currency. There will be rotating “challenges” to keep missions spicy. Delvings will be rolled into old instances as well and will be “pretty difficult.” Orion said that players can expect up to two dozen new missions with the release. Delvings won’t be coming to skirmishes.
- Early leveling: Orion acknowledged that 1-20 isn’t as fast as it should be thanks to too many quests, too much running, and the overlong Archet newbie experience.
- Crafting and kinships: The team is looking at crafting and kinships as old and clunky systems in need of streamlining and improvements.
- “We all really love this game, and by proxy, the players.”