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LOTRO, the bright example for other MMO companies

Just felt i have to link this article from T.T.hammer.

If you ever wondered what makes LOTRO so different from other MMOs. And why

Turbine sets the bright example for other MMO developers to follow:

-------------------

LOTRO 2007 Year in Review

By: Martuk

 

As 2007 comes to a close, it is now time for a moment of reflection as we look back on the many changes that our beloved Middle-earth has gone through this past year. With a successful launch, several seasonal events, and three Epic Book updates, Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) is a very different game from the one that launched in April. It has been a long and fun road through 2007. With three huge free content updates fresh off the heels of a successful launch, LOTRO poised itself to be a major player in the MMOG industry. Let's take a look at where we were, and where we are now.

April of 2007 hailed the launch of LOTRO and a new era in the MMOG industry as Middle-earth made its debut on the MMOG scene. The original game client launched with the areas of Eriador such as Thorin's Gate, Bree-land, The Shire, Erud Luin, North Downs, Lone-lands, Trollshaws, Misty Mountains, and Angmar. Along with the areas of Eriador, there were eight Epic Books that tell the story of the player and how their destiny is locked to that of the Fellowship of the Ring without interfering with the original story. The time-line is set with the Fellowship in Rivendell before they set out on their long journey to destroy the one ring. That very story progresses as the free content is released.

Evendim, is artistically one of the best in the game.
Evendim

Book 9: Shores of Evendim – The first free update for LOTRO was released in June, a mere two months after the official launch and it increased the overall landmass by ten percent. Shores of Evendim (SOE) No pun intended) was the first free content update for LOTRO and added a new area called Evendim to the current map. The update brought over one hundred new quests, several new deeds, the ninth chapter of the Epic Book story line, and LOTRO’s first raid instance located in the northern Misty Mountains called Halegrod. Evendim itself offered several new fellowship instances such as Thief-Takers Bane, Elendil’s Tomb, and The Twisted Grove. Book 9 also guides the player on a long series of quests to aid Aragorn in recovering an ancient stone called a Silithar to aid in the re-forging of Narsil, the Sword of Kings. (See what I mean by being locked to the Fellowship, but not interfering.)

SOE provided a massive infusion of content very shortly after launch. This not only proved that LOTRO has a lot to offer any Tolkien or MMOG fan, but also that the Turbine developers are not asleep at the switch, and are working very hard to make this MMOG great.



Book 10: The City of Kings – The developers at Turbine are pretty determined to not allow their players to go without new content for to long. In August, they released their second free content update for LOTRO called Book 10: The City of Kings. This update was just as big as its predecessor, Book 9: Shores of Evendim. The first thing anyone will notice when reading the patch notes is the fact it is four forum pages long. (On to the juicy tidbits.)

Book 10 offered a ton of new features to LOTRO. Session Play may be one of the most unique and interesting mechanics added. This form of play was designed for players who may log in with only an hour or two to play. It allows you to play as a legendary creature in the Player versus Player (PvP) centered Ettenmoores. For a fee paid in destiny points, and a small task, you can play as a Ranger for the Free People, or a Troll for the Creeps. Another aspect of Session Play is the quest line that was added to the Shire. This allows you to play as a chicken. What more needs to be said about this update. You can be a chicken. That alone makes it all worth this massive patch.

Book 10 introduced several new ways to play LOTRO.
Book 10

Book 10 expanded the area of Evendim to include the ancient city of Annuminas. Annuminas includes several quests to aid the Dunedain Rangers within the ruins and three new instances for players to enjoy. A Barter Merchant was also added to the Ranger encampment to allow players to barter specific items they earn along their adventures for various pieces of set armour.

The Reputation System was also implemented with Book 10. This new system works like many of the faction based systems in previous MMOG's and allows players to do a quest for collecting items, slaying creatures, or even crafting to earn reputation points with one of the six factions of Middle-earth. By doing so, you can gain access to reputation merchants that carry items only those in good standing can purchase, and you can receive a substantial discount on repair cost.

The Captain and Hunter class received a revamp and content pass in what has become known as the “Month of (insert class here)” update. These new updates are class focused and seem to occur in two’s. The Hunter received a lot of new neat skills like tracking and a group travel skill to instantly take their group to a camp site they have acquired in various areas of Middle-earth. The Captain received several new healing and combat skills and a nice assortment of Herald armaments for his pet. Both classes have been made more engaging since these updates.

Book 11: Defenders of Eriador – This update launched in October and was a mammoth undertaking by the development team. It brought to a live game four distinct Player Housing areas in a free update and not an expansion. Included with this massive housing option were accompanying neighborhoods. The neighborhoods are massive in size and each of them reflects their respective races. The housing received several items a player can buy or craft for their homes to make them unique and personalized. The developers even included a Taxidermy barter merchant as an option to obtain more items. Players can make use of the rare dead corpse drops from certain enemies and have it stuffed to make a nice trophy.

Book 11 also expanded some of the areas already in Middle-earth. The Trollshaws was expanded further south unlocking the new area of Tal Bruinen and the Northern and Southern High Pass was opened in the Misty Mountains and with it the dungeon classic known as Goblin Town. (Fans of the Hobbit rejoice.) We also received a new twelve man raid instance in northeastern Angmar called The Rift of Nurz Ghashu, complete with our very own Balrog.

Book 11 added housing and the first Balrog raid.
Book 11

This update also hailed several changes for the Minstrel and Lore-master class that changed the way each class is played and even improved their ability to solo. Lore-master’s received the ability to impact the dead more effectively while Minstrel’s received the new War-speech skill. Each class received a fill out of skills in the level 40-50 range and many other changes.

These free Epic Book updates have added a ton of new content, but the developers have also been busy offering up seasonal events. The most recent is the Yule event currently underway in Middle-earth and allowing players to earn a Yule-Tree for their homes for the holidays. While this event is relatively small, we have seen much larger events such as the Solstice Festival and the Harvest Festival. These events have all allowed players to play and compete in various games for fun and to earn prizes.

In retrospect, we have come a long way since April. That small little corner of Middle-earth has grown in leaps and bounds. To look upon the game now and as it was in April will show a very different picture. The developers are making a great effort to keep their players happy and in doing so they have added a ton to LOTRO. With all this added in 2007, the multi country launches already underway and in progress, one can only venture a guess of what they have planned for 2008. Whatever it is, I expect it will be huge.



Comments

  • openedge1openedge1 Member Posts: 2,582

    I will admit it...

      The Dev's did really go out of their way to make this game the best for the fans of LOTRO...The updates, patches, addons have all been just what the subscribers needed....and maybe going into 2008, they can expand the content more...

    This game I think was also a make or break for Turbine...if this game would have went the way of their other titles, they would be closing doors right now.

    Luckily, dedicated LOTR fans have kept the dream alive, and Turbine on life support for another year, and the hopes are Turbine can keep offering their spectacular deals of cheaper monthly rates, and next to nothing costs for the game itself...

    Good luck

    And cheers!

  • Redline65Redline65 Member Posts: 486

    I read that article yesterday and thought it was a pretty good recap of the year. Turbine really has added so much to the game just since launch. Actually it's all pretty overwhelming, there's so much to do that I haven't even started questing in Misty Mountains or Angmar yet and I've been playing since day 1 of open beta.

  • CzzarreCzzarre Member, Newbie CommonPosts: 3,742

    Although LOTRO has some failings, I honestly believe it is a decent PVE game. Also, it is still in its infancy. players these days somehow expect something comparable to WoW right out of the box. WoW has had 3 years to develop. I remember WoW in the beginning and there wasnt nearly as much content as there is now.

    I believe LOTRO has a great potential for expansion and flushing out. I wager 1-2yrs it will be one of the best.

    Torrential

  • FikusOfAhaziFikusOfAhazi Member Posts: 1,835
    Originally posted by openedge1


    I will admit it...
      The Dev's did really go out of their way to make this game the best for the fans of LOTRO...The updates, patches, addons have all been just what the subscribers needed....and maybe going into 2008, they can expand the content more...
    This game I think was also a make or break for Turbine...if this game would have went the way of their other titles, they would be closing doors right now.
    Luckily, dedicated LOTR fans have kept the dream alive, and Turbine on life support for another year, and the hopes are Turbine can keep offering their spectacular deals of cheaper monthly rates, and next to nothing costs for the game itself...
    Good luck
    And cheers!

    You were doing fine til the part in red. After that, it became dumb.

    See you in the dream..
    The Fires from heaven, now as cold as ice. A rapid ascension tolls a heavy price.

  • LobotomistLobotomist Member EpicPosts: 5,935

    Originally posted by openedge1


     and Turbine on life support for another year, and the hopes are Turbine can keep offering their spectacular deals of cheaper monthly rates, and next to nothing costs for the game itself...


    Turbine is trying their best to steal users from World of Warcraft. Thats as we all know, not that easy.

    They managed to gather decent player base. 300 000 Players which at this time makes them the second subscription based MMO (and this is the all lowest estimate on which even sceptics agree)

    Cheaper monthly rate, and cheap game box is just another marketing strategy - it does not mean the game is doing bad.

     



  • openedge1openedge1 Member Posts: 2,582

    Originally posted by FikusOfAhazi

    Originally posted by openedge1


    I will admit it...
      The Dev's did really go out of their way to make this game the best for the fans of LOTRO...The updates, patches, addons have all been just what the subscribers needed....and maybe going into 2008, they can expand the content more...
    This game I think was also a make or break for Turbine...if this game would have went the way of their other titles, they would be closing doors right now.
    Luckily, dedicated LOTR fans have kept the dream alive, and Turbine on life support for another year, and the hopes are Turbine can keep offering their spectacular deals of cheaper monthly rates, and next to nothing costs for the game itself...
    Good luck
    And cheers!

    You were doing fine til the part in red. After that, it became dumb.

    Again, if you would have been doing that part in red, you would not have made your post in the first place...

    I apologize you do not understand it's meaning!

     

  • LobotomistLobotomist Member EpicPosts: 5,935

    Originally posted by openedge1


     
    Originally posted by FikusOfAhazi

    Originally posted by openedge1


    I will admit it...
      The Dev's did really go out of their way to make this game the best for the fans of LOTRO...The updates, patches, addons have all been just what the subscribers needed....and maybe going into 2008, they can expand the content more...
    This game I think was also a make or break for Turbine...if this game would have went the way of their other titles, they would be closing doors right now.
    Luckily, dedicated LOTR fans have kept the dream alive, and Turbine on life support for another year, and the hopes are Turbine can keep offering their spectacular deals of cheaper monthly rates, and next to nothing costs for the game itself...
    Good luck
    And cheers!

    You were doing fine til the part in red. After that, it became dumb.

    Actually it was the make or break deal for Turbine.

    AC2 was abruptly closed. DDO was abomination (yes i did hate Turbine with passion)

    Not to mention high expectations for LOTR licence (since they screwed D&D one allready)

    But than (in my eyes) miracle happened

    Turbine redeemed them selves in every possible way.

    And I said it before on several ocasions , when finally Bioware MMO surfaces - people will be surprised how similar it will be to LOTRO (not by story , but design philosophy)



  • openedge1openedge1 Member Posts: 2,582

     

    Originally posted by Lobotomist


     
    Originally posted by openedge1


     
    Originally posted by FikusOfAhazi

    Originally posted by openedge1


    I will admit it...
      The Dev's did really go out of their way to make this game the best for the fans of LOTRO...The updates, patches, addons have all been just what the subscribers needed....and maybe going into 2008, they can expand the content more...
    This game I think was also a make or break for Turbine...if this game would have went the way of their other titles, they would be closing doors right now.
    Luckily, dedicated LOTR fans have kept the dream alive, and Turbine on life support for another year, and the hopes are Turbine can keep offering their spectacular deals of cheaper monthly rates, and next to nothing costs for the game itself...
    Good luck
    And cheers!

    You were doing fine til the part in red. After that, it became dumb.

     

    Actually it was the make or break deal for Turbine.

    AC2 was abruptly closed. DDO was abomination (yes i did hate Turbine with passion)

    Not to mention high expectations for LOTR licence (since they screwed D&D one allready)

    But than (in my eyes) miracle happened

    Turbine redeemed them selves in every possible way.

    And I said it before on several ocasions , when finally Bioware MMO surfaces - people will be surprised how similar it will be to LOTRO (not by story , but design philosophy)

    Thank you...Fikus was just trolling my posts to get some digs in...had nothing better to do after holidays I assume...

     

    It is totally agreed that if LOTRO went the way of DDO...that would have been it...the money and man hours spent to get this to market wasted..

    Personally, I am glad they made it, as competition is good in this market, and hopefully as games progress in this genre, they will learn from these mistakes, and maybe look to make MMO's unique again..and not the lackluster cookie cutter's we are getting now..

    As to you comment on Bioware's MMO...I think the fact EA is making the effort to bring in NEW IP's, and trying to open their horizons, I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt...SOE may have blew it with SWG, but EQ2 is shining for them right now, and Vanguard is getting overhauled big time..and people still throw their SOE hate around, without actually going and seeing what they have done...I will treat EA the same way, and hope they pull a turn around...just like Turbine!

    Cheers!

  • FikusOfAhaziFikusOfAhazi Member Posts: 1,835

    Originally posted by openedge1


     
    Originally posted by FikusOfAhazi

    Originally posted by openedge1


    I will admit it...
      The Dev's did really go out of their way to make this game the best for the fans of LOTRO...The updates, patches, addons have all been just what the subscribers needed....and maybe going into 2008, they can expand the content more...
    This game I think was also a make or break for Turbine...if this game would have went the way of their other titles, they would be closing doors right now.
    Luckily, dedicated LOTR fans have kept the dream alive, and Turbine on life support for another year, and the hopes are Turbine can keep offering their spectacular deals of cheaper monthly rates, and next to nothing costs for the game itself...
    Good luck
    And cheers!

    You were doing fine til the part in red. After that, it became dumb.

    Again, if you would have been doing that part in red, you would not have made your post in the first place...

     

    I apologize you do not understand it's meaning!

     

    Apology accepted.

     

    See you in the dream..
    The Fires from heaven, now as cold as ice. A rapid ascension tolls a heavy price.

  • AckbarNLAckbarNL Member Posts: 458

     

    Originally posted by Redline65


    I read that article yesterday and thought it was a pretty good recap of the year. Turbine really has added so much to the game just since launch. Actually it's all pretty overwhelming, there's so much to do that I haven't even started questing in Misty Mountains or Angmar yet and I've been playing since day 1 of open beta.

     

    Same for me i have done some part of the misty mountains, but there is so much to do, i have never been once to goblin town yet , and played since lanch, and only on book 8 ...but i have done a lot in monsterplay aswell, and other side things, right now im trying to make a good warleader creep in monsterplay afther that i will continue on my main aigan , im half way level 49 so im almost at 50 (yes i realy played since lanch) Then i can do Carn dun, Anuminnas and Urugarth, Aswell as Raid for The Rift :)

    Playing: World of Warcraft.
    Played: Lord of the Rings Online, Starwars Galaxies.
    Tried: Starwars the Old Republic, Everquest 2, Guild Wars, Vanguard, Age of Conan, Aion.

  • KhaunsharKhaunshar Member UncommonPosts: 349

    Out of curiousity: I stopped playing LotRO roughly 2 weeks after Shores of Evendim, for the lack of any sort of challenge whatsoever. I used to play Guardian, had the best available equipment easily, and found Helegrod and all other endgame content to be extremely easy for my tastes.

    Has this changed? Is the new content more difficult? I used to play with a very good healer, which probably helped a bit, but all in all I just couldnt find any challenge anywhere. It was just victory after victory even with screwing up.

    Now, I am a year-long MMO veteran, and I know this game was made for newcomers and/or genre newbies. But did this change?

  • openedge1openedge1 Member Posts: 2,582

    Originally posted by Khaunshar


    Out of curiousity: I stopped playing LotRO roughly 2 weeks after Shores of Evendim, for the lack of any sort of challenge whatsoever. I used to play Guardian, had the best available equipment easily, and found Helegrod and all other endgame content to be extremely easy for my tastes.
    Has this changed? Is the new content more difficult? I used to play with a very good healer, which probably helped a bit, but all in all I just couldnt find any challenge anywhere. It was just victory after victory even with screwing up.
    Now, I am a year-long MMO veteran, and I know this game was made for newcomers and/or genre newbies. But did this change?
    I had played after the housing update...and the challenge was less than admirable...

    Either the mobs were too weak, or the aggro too large to contend with...so either feast or famine depending on where you were...

    But, guess we need to wait and see what the fan's say

    CYA

  • dragonacedragonace Member UncommonPosts: 1,185

    Originally posted by openedge1


     
    Originally posted by Khaunshar


    Out of curiousity: I stopped playing LotRO roughly 2 weeks after Shores of Evendim, for the lack of any sort of challenge whatsoever. I used to play Guardian, had the best available equipment easily, and found Helegrod and all other endgame content to be extremely easy for my tastes.
    Has this changed? Is the new content more difficult? I used to play with a very good healer, which probably helped a bit, but all in all I just couldnt find any challenge anywhere. It was just victory after victory even with screwing up.
    Now, I am a year-long MMO veteran, and I know this game was made for newcomers and/or genre newbies. But did this change?
    I had played after the housing update...and the challenge was less than admirable...

     

    Either the mobs were too weak, or the aggro too large to contend with...so either feast or famine depending on where you were...

    But, guess we need to wait and see what the fan's say

    CYA

    Why "wait and see what the fan's say" ?  If that is your opinion on it... then no matter what anyone else says... it won't change that.  YOU are the only person who can decide if you are having fun playing the game or not.  (Granted, we are all VERY aware of your opinion of the game play by now!)

     

    You tried it... found it not to your liking.  That's just fine.  Why do we all need to like the same games?  It would be  a very boring world indeed if we all liked the same things. 

    I've played quite a few MMOs out there.  I play them until I stop having fun.  It doesn't make them a bad game just because I stop playing (well... not all of them anyway).  It just means that I no longer have fun playing that game anymore.  End of story.

     

    For the OP:  Some think that the Rift is a pretty good challenge if you like End-game raiding.  I'm not that big on raiding though... so, I'm not a very good person to speak one way or the other on it.   If you found the game that easy or "un-challenging" before, and you are looking for a more challenging MMO; I don't think it will be what you are looking for yet... and it may never be.  It's just not designed to be that type of  an MMO.

  • DruzDruz Member Posts: 276
    Originally posted by Khaunshar


    Out of curiousity: I stopped playing LotRO roughly 2 weeks after Shores of Evendim, for the lack of any sort of challenge whatsoever. I used to play Guardian, had the best available equipment easily, and found Helegrod and all other endgame content to be extremely easy for my tastes.
    Has this changed? Is the new content more difficult? I used to play with a very good healer, which probably helped a bit, but all in all I just couldnt find any challenge anywhere. It was just victory after victory even with screwing up.
    Now, I am a year-long MMO veteran, and I know this game was made for newcomers and/or genre newbies. But did this change?



    Coming from someone who has actually played in the Rift and isn't talking out of his ass I can say that the Rift truely is challenging MUCH more than carn dum and urugarth, the update has been out for quite a while now and only a few raiding guilds(its a 12 man raid) have been able to beat the Balrog



    Of course just like a raid in any game once you know how to beat the bosses it's pretty easy

  • piotrsanpiotrsan Member Posts: 58



    Just as i was browsing the main page this tread showed up in the current forum activity with the title   " LOTRO, the bright example for other MMO companies".I was about to ignore the topic untill i read the 2nd sentance of the first post  "If you ever wondered what makes LOTRO so different from other MMOs", this and the glut of lotr advertisement on the main page made me wonder ,do they pay you for making such threads ? No , don't answer its just a rhetorical question and i wont be back to read it anyway.I must admit though Turbine has learnt how to make a successful advertising,marketing and pr ,shame its so late...

  • LobotomistLobotomist Member EpicPosts: 5,935

    Originally posted by piotrsan




    Just as i was browsing the main page this tread showed up in the current forum activity with the title   " LOTRO, the bright example for other MMO companies".I was about to ignore the topic untill i read the 2nd sentance of the first post  "If you ever wondered what makes LOTRO so different from other MMOs", this and the glut of lotr advertisement on the main page made me wonder ,do they pay you for making such threads ? No , don't answer its just a rhetorical question and i wont be back to read it anyway.I must admit though Turbine has learnt how to make a successful advertising,marketing and pr ,shame its so late...

    But lets take another MMO , that we can all agree is sucessfull and critically aclaimed shall we ?

    Lets take WOW

    It cost 80 million $ to make , and a top of that Blizzard invested 40$ dollars to market it !!!!!!

    It worked

    So yes. LOTRO does have some obnoxious adds on MMORPG.com. And why should they not , it is the top mmo site around.

     

    And to answer your question.

    I am not payed by Turbine. I am just a grizzled old mmo veteran that hates everything, mainly because i was served shit over and over by MMO companies for past 4 years.

    And LOTRO is also a PILE of SHIT too like every other MMO around. Including WOW or EVE...

    But at least TURBINE is TRYING!

    Not as other MMO companies that are there just to take all the money and give you nothing in return ...

    Thats my cup of tea, mate

     

     



  • Torquemada40Torquemada40 Member Posts: 71

     

    Originally posted by Khaunshar


    Out of curiousity: I stopped playing LotRO roughly 2 weeks after Shores of Evendim, for the lack of any sort of challenge whatsoever. I used to play Guardian, had the best available equipment easily, and found Helegrod and all other endgame content to be extremely easy for my tastes.
    Has this changed? Is the new content more difficult? I used to play with a very good healer, which probably helped a bit, but all in all I just couldnt find any challenge anywhere. It was just victory after victory even with screwing up.
    Now, I am a year-long MMO veteran, and I know this game was made for newcomers and/or genre newbies. But did this change?

     

    Yes. With The Rift. It's actually pretty damn hard. First parts are challenging. The last two bosses are damn hard outright.  It's the fights you are gonna wipe if you don't know the strats/have experience.

    So...content is getting more difficult, and I only expect more is to come, hopefully. At least with this half-raid instance Turbine did prove they can cook a interesting and challenging fights coupled with some great storytelling (bosses/NPC's have voice-overs and all).

    IMO, the good and bad of the updates (been playing since beta):

    - Evendim - should have been in original release, very nice, solo friendly otherwise. But give us boats!!

    - Helegrod - what a boring raid...thank gods the Rift is here...strictly personal opinion, this

    - Barad Gularan - clean, quick, farmable, fun - nuff said

    - The Rift .... OOOH YEAH!

    - Goblin Town - what a nice farming instance...superb atmosphere, quick play, solid cash-it-out drops... has everything you need for your fun farming sessions

    - new Misty Mountan areas and Tal Bruinen - gorgeous, great atmosphere 

    - Housing - furniture hooks blew it, so I'm not too keen on this,  although kin houses are both nice and functional - for kin gatherings before raids, events, etc (you get a travel skill for kin house, that alone is very useful)

    - Armor sets - Rift bosses drop tokens which are exchanged for epics...so everyone can roll, not just 1 class...yay for that, excellent

    - Epic quest  line - Book 9 - 4 / 5, Book 10 - 3 / 5, Book 11 - 4,5 / 5

    - Reputation - was very skeptic, hate the grind, but actually it plays great in times of boredom and gives good opportunity for extra rewards (aka customizing character, house etc)

    - Events - Festival horsey and racial dance emotes FTW!!

    - PvMP - imbal but fun

    All in all, I'm satisfied, having fun and the community on my server is great! I really mean it. All in all, looking good. Not totally perfect, but you know what I mean.

     

    Anyway, good luck in finding "ye different MMO", until we all do, I'm enjoying this smooth rehash of everything else.

     

  • docminusdocminus Member Posts: 717

    the devs did a lot after launch.

    they did nothing before it. didn't listen (or at least not very much) to beta players,  most likely  because of the deadline they had with the april launch. if they had been a bit less greedy, and made the launch later in the year, it would have been much much better.

    as it stands now, they offer a lot, yes, but in an average mmo, with great graphics (which you only can use if you have a great machine). otherwise, except for the middle earth world, what is different from existing mmos? not much, considering it is a brand new one, supposedly of the 3rd generation.

    oh well, *shrugs*, to each his/her own. i gave it a good shoot during beta, and 6 months after launch and it just doesn't keep me captured.

    imageimage

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