Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ask Turbine's Jeff Anderson About LOTRO

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the hobbits-hobbits-everywhere dept.

Role Playing (Games) 282

Last month, Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar went live in what was arguably the most well-received launch for a Massively Multiplayer game since World of Warcraft. The game soared to the top of the retail charts, and has been a breath of fresh air for gamers looking to get a taste of something just a little bit different and a little bit hobbity. Today, you have the chance to ask Turbine's CEO Jeff Anderson questions about the process of creating the game, the Tolkien license, and new content we'll see in Middle Earth in the coming weeks and months. One question per comment, please. We'll take the best of the lot and put them to Mr. Anderson in a phone interview later this week. We'll post his responses as soon as we can, so make sure to get your question in today if you want it to show up in his response.

cancel ×

282 comments

Middle-earth (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311223)

not Middle Earth, bah today's geeks, what do they teach 'em...

The smell (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311225)

Why do gamers, particularly MMORPG-playing ones, smell so fucking bad?

Has the game been optomized (-1, Troll)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311233)

For player to use it in their mothers basement

Re:Has the game been optomized (1)

jstretch78 (1102633) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311701)

Has the game been optimized for player to use it in their mothers basement
Since it was probably developed in that same place I would have to say yes.

Re:Has the game been optomized (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19312235)

Modded redundant... I don't know what ratio of funny:sad that is :)

Virtual Economies (5, Interesting)

Raindance (680694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311237)

Can you talk a little bit about the challenges involved in setting up a virtual economy? Did you employ any professional economists to help design in the design or was it all off-the-cuff?

Re:Virtual Economies (follow up). (4, Interesting)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311305)

Do you have any plans to deal with Gold Farming?

Re:Virtual Economies (follow up). (5, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311377)

Do you have any plans to deal with Gold Farming?

I would doubt it, after all its a racial characteristic of Dwarves and Dragons.

Re:Virtual Economies (follow up). (2, Funny)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311615)

Do you have any plans to deal with Gold Farming?

I would doubt it, after all its a racial characteristic of Dwarves and Dragons.
If the devs would be willing to let a Balrog rampage around periodically eating all of the gold farmers, I'd actually subscribe to the game!

Re:Virtual Economies (follow up). (1)

misleb (129952) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311995)

You mean besides developing a functioning, player controlled, in-game economy? I have not played many MMOG's so I don't have a lot to compare, but it seems to me that Eve Online dealt with "farming" pretty well by simply making it a part of the game. In Eve, mining/farming raw materials and breaking down/selling loot is required for the economy to function. That is, you need someone to mine ore to sell on the market (and it really does have a market) so others can build ships and other items. Too many people mining/farming and the value of the ore goes down and it becomes less fruitful to farm and at the same time larger items get cheaper for everone else because they're cheaper to build. I actually made a whole character in Eve based on working the markets, buying/selling ships, building ships, etc. It was pretty fun for a couple months. And it was totally legit.

-matthew

Re:Virtual Economies (4, Interesting)

Puff of Logic (895805) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311575)

The idea of crafting systems in MMORPGs seem to be very popular with the player base, with many individuals quite content to pursue crafting to the exclusion of most other things. Two problems seem to intractable, though: low-level items flood the server and are therefore worthless; and one cannot advance a character's level as a crafter. In WoW, for example, many crafting recipes/skills are restricted by level, necessitating players to grind mobs for the appropriate levels.

How does LotRO plan to handle these problem as the player-base expands? Is it possible that players will be allowed to gain experience from crafting rather than by mob-grinding or quests? Will it be feasible for an individual to gain renown on a server as a master craftsman (which should be extremely difficult to attain) if they only want to spend their time in Bree rather than strangling Orcs?

Re:Virtual Economies (1)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311843)

It seems that it's part of the 'MMO Design 101' that if you have Crafting, you must tie crafting to level advancement. I suspect out of some misplaced desire to keep people on the leveling treadmill out of a belief that only the level treadmill keeps people paying their monthly subscriptions.

I'd love for crafting to be divorced from level advancement, and for crafted goods to be worth more to vendors than the sum of their components - but that, too, seems to be a requirement of MMO Design 101.

Re:Virtual Economies (1)

SScorpio (595836) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312059)

Final Fantasy XI had a crafting system where the character level was not tied to the crafting level. You could reach the maximum crafting level without ever leveling your character. There were artificial barriers due to the acquiring components of later items.

Crafted items can never sell to a vendor for more than the sum of their components. If this was the case people would just plan up shop next to a vendor and setup a macro to keep buying the components and then selling off the finished products to the vendor and then keep adding new gold to the economy. Overtime gold would become worthless and the economy would fail.

A properly designed crafting system should have every craft item be worth something in the game to other players. Make the finished product of the lower levels be components for the higher level items. A higher crafting level player could then spend time on creating hundreds of these lower level components or buy them off a low level crafter. Final Fantasy XI is like this; however, the crafting grinding is horrible and there are many worthless items used to level with. LotR:Online seems to have a slightly better system from what I saw in the brief time I played the open beta.

Re:Virtual Economies (1)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312011)

I don't know if it would be good or bad, but if crafting was separate, I bet a lot of players would use their main character for gathering and have an alt character or two camped in Bree to do all their crafting. I would. Some people do this to a degree now, but you have to level up both your crafter and gatherer for them to be any good.

It would probably make the economy more complex and more difficult to balance. It could be more interesting though.

Re:Virtual Economies (-1, Flamebait)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311733)

obviously the people who modded that question up never played the game.
The economy in the game appears to have been dreamed up between the time it took someone to get really drunk and then fall off the stool.

There were no challenges because it seems like they didn't even try.

Re:Virtual Economies (0, Troll)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311937)

its really only flamebait if its untrue.. perhaps the person who modded that down would actually bother to demonstrate where they thought any effort was put in to the creation of the economy?

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311269)

How can I mine fish in LOTRO?

Re:I wonder (4, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311351)

You can only mine fish if you're Gollum

Any plans for a (2, Interesting)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311271)

Direct X 10 client in the future? I haven't gone to Vista yet, but that might drive me if it made an already great looking game even better.

Re:Any plans for a (-1)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311467)

Can we please take moderator points away from morons, this is a legit quetion?

Re:Any plans for a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311973)

OpenGL client in the future? I haven't gone to Linux yet, but that might drive me if it made an already great looking game even better.

Re:Any plans for a (1)

bealzabobs_youruncle (971430) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312163)

Since this game is part of the "Games for Windows" logo program your attempt at a point is completely useless.

Gaming Addiction (4, Interesting)

Raindance (680694) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311273)

Behavioral addiction in general, and gaming addiction specifically, are increasingly on society's radar. Now, being addicted to an online game is obviously different from being addicted to heroin- but it can still be extremely serious and destructive for geeks with addictive personalities. Do you think being attentive to gaming addiction is a responsibility of MMORPG developers? What steps has Turbine taken or considered?

Re:Gaming Addiction (1, Troll)

aabxx (1108623) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311471)

It's a messed up society we live in when we're asking game developers to not make their games too addictive.

If a game is extremely addictive, it basically means normal, healthy people will enjoy it a lot. The few mentally unstable who get too addicted... well... they can be sacrifised for the benefit of the greater good.

Certainly, game developers should not have any obligation whatsoever to make their games LESS addictive. That just sounds insane.

Re:Gaming Addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311661)

Certainly, game developers should not have any obligation whatsoever to make their games LESS addictive. That just sounds insane.

I agree.

I don't want a game designer deliberately making the game less fun for ME because someone else can't balance their own life.

It is very popular for addicts to blame the thing to which they are addicted. It is always a nice ego-saving measure to externalize an internal problem. Making a game a lot of fun to play doesn't force one to play it, nor does it drive one to confuse his priorities and mess his life up. Those are all the addict's own fault, not the game's fault.

Re:Gaming Addiction (1)

butterflysrage (1066514) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311685)

we have controlls are other addictive behaviour... most regions have a restriction on bartenders that they can not sell to anyone who is already drunk, some areas have restictions on how long one can gamble in a day and we have age requirements on tobaco and alcohol. Is a similiar requirement too far out of line for games?

Re:Gaming Addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311709)

Yes

Re:Gaming Addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311727)

Yes! Unless of course you want to start restricting television. Or for that matter time spent in front of a computer in general. Maybe then your argument will have merit. Oh, and also tobacco is a physical addiction.

Re:Gaming Addiction (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311865)

Is a similiar requirement too far out of line for games?

Yes.

The other requirements were also out of line. They ought to be repealed, not used as a basis for further restrictions.

Re:Gaming Addiction (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311895)

You know, I despise the Libertarians around here who screech incessantly about a "nanny state", but think about what you're saying. The reason for laws mandating that bartenders cut people off is because excessive alcohol causes violence, DUI, etc. Age requirements on tobacco are a way of deterring cigarette companies from advertising to kids who haven't developed critical thinking skills, and getting them physically addicted to a drug. They're to prevent people (and businesses) from hurting other people.

The closest parallel you have here is gambling addiction. That's not pretty, and god knows most casinos are pretty scummy, but such addictions are entirely mental problems. It's absolutely not the responsibility of an otherwise honest game developer to cater to the mental health needs of a tiny minority who are predisposed to such obsessions.

Re:Gaming Addiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311853)

How about accountability for one's own actions? The only other addiction I can akin this to is gambling.

Although I support public awareness to educating people on addictive behaviors in general... I do not feel it should be the responsibility of the Developer (or Casino) to provide that.

Also, I've heard Running (as in jogging) can be addictive... Should Nike provide educational material on their running shoes packaging?

Re:Gaming Addiction (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311917)

So, really, you're asking if the game is hobbit-forming?

End Game (5, Interesting)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311275)

Do you have a plan to deal with the destruction of the one ring, as in does the game end then? Any consideration of opening up the entire game map at that point for a massive PvP war?

Re:End Game (3, Interesting)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312291)

To expand on the OP's question, one of LOTRO's (which I play and I'm enjoying very much) biggest talking points is it's creative license. What's are some of the challenges, benefits, and surprises when working on a set story licenses? A license that has been around the bend many times from fan art, to multi-million dollar movies, to endless cartoon adaptations. Are there any challenges in creating something 'new' when there's so much already out there?

WoW influence (4, Interesting)

MacBrave (247640) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311287)

What kind of influence did the overwhelming success of World of Warcraft have on the development of LOTRO?

Re:WoW influence (5, Interesting)

Kleedrac2 (257408) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311497)

As an avid WoW player I always keep one eye open (no pun intended) to see what the next "big thing" is going to be. Why should I consider switching to your game and what advantages do you claim over WoW?

Re:WoW influence (2, Insightful)

EvilMagnus (32878) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311887)

Dude, have you played LOTRO online? "Inspired by WoW" would be a polite way of putting the similarities. :-)

It's clear that Turbine learned much from both the failure of AC2 and from the success of WoW ... in that they've copied wholesale many of the 'good bits' of WoW. It seems the game might be described as 'WoW 2.0' or 'WoW: Tolkien Total Conversion Mod'. I mean that in a good way, of course: LOTRO's great fun. But it's clearly standing on the shoulders of WoW.

Re:WoW influence (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311933)

...Wow was just everquest in a new world, with a much cleaner UI, less "mess" (lots of useless crap in EQ that no "serious player" would look at twice, a lot less in WoW), graphical and user base update, the fact blizzard made it (and it is therefore cool), less classes and races with talent tree options to allow classes to branch out a bit (basically only 8 instead of 24 classes, but each class gets 3 trees and therefore function like 24 distinct classes, with options of dipping into other classes).

But, honestly, all of WoW's updates to EQ were "making it more mainstream" (removing stuff like "swimming skills" and "navigation skills", making quests with detailed detailed stories, etc...) and throwing it TONS of jokes into the world (name puns, referances in maps, etc...).

Personally, I want to see a non-instance based Dungeons and Dragons Online *not* set in Eberron (Forgotten Realms or Oriental Adventures!!!).

Re:WoW influence (1)

leathered (780018) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312083)

I've played both WoW and LOTRO beta. There are a lot of similarities between the two games, most notably the UI which is probably one of WoW's greatest strengths. Of course this has led to accusations on sites such as mmorpg.com that LOTRO is a WoW clone. I suppose this is inevitable for any new fantasy MMOs given WoW's extraordinary success. But people seem to forget that all the '2nd gen' MMOs including WoW borrow heavily from 1st gen games such as Everquest, UO, DAoC etc.

I feel sorry for developers of new MMOs as there will always be endless comparisons with WoW. Truth is WoW is good but not great, it merely satisfies in all areas but excels in none and has a rather poor endgame. An 8 million + subscriber MMO is not going to happen again.

Re:WoW influence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19312181)

Probably the same influence that Everquest had on WoW. Why is there a question to this?

Paying Multiple Times & Continuously (1, Interesting)

Blahbooboo3 (874492) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311289)

Do you think that all game makers will ultimately start requiring purchase of both the online software and then a (IMHO ridiculous) monthly fee to play an online game?

Paying Multiple Times & Continuously-cheapskat (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19312185)

What's ridiculous about it? You buy appliances and then have to pay a monthly fee to the electric company. Infrastructure isn't free, and it's upkeep is an ongoing expense. Deal with it, or move to a different genre.

Preference: oil- or water-based lubrication... (1, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311325)

...for the sodomizing you're going to suffer trying to take on WoW?

Farming? (5, Interesting)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311341)

Many RPG's and MMORPG's to some degree encourage farming (playing the game in a way that isn't entertaining but to increase your virtual wealth). This monotonous activity leads to bots and other forms of automating the game.

Have you done anything to decrease (or possibly eliminate) the need to farm, and if not what is your stance towards automated play?

Linux Port (5, Interesting)

EvilRyry (1025309) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311389)

So, when is the Linux port coming out? (Yes, I've read the FAQ)

Mod UP (5, Insightful)

LDoggg_ (659725) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311749)

Doh, just when I ran out of mod points...

Get this question up to +5 and watch Zonk ignore it like he's does every time there's a game dev interview.

We understand the size of the target market. We understand that it may not be economically viable. But does it hurt to ask for a port? I'd drop wine/WoW for a native LOTR online port.

Why linux, Why no Mac Client. (4, Interesting)

Mr. Arbusto (300950) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311991)

I'm one of 30 people I know shelling money out to Blizzard for WoW. I went to beta LOTROL and found no OS X client. I could boot into Vista on one of my machines.....but I'll just keep playing WoW.

Tolkien (1, Funny)

untaken_name (660789) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311393)

Has anyone reported any earth tremors near Wolvercote Cemetary? If so, are there any plans to re-bury Mr. Tolkien in a spin-proof coffin?

Future MMOs (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311405)

What is your vision for MMO games in the future, 10 or 20 years down the road?

Polish (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311423)

I own the game, and played it for a while. But the other day I cancelled, and went back to WoW. The main issue was simply a lack of polish in the UI. Things like the UI itself being too small on my display (a UI scaling option is sorely missed), having to change tools constantly (Explorers have two gathering professions, basically forcing me to leave a bag open all the time to swap between a mining pick and an axe), the chat text box losing focus constantly, and so on.

None of these individually are game breaking issues, but them and a host of other UI annoyances all pile up to make it a much less enjoyable experience then playing with WoW's incredibly smooth UI (which is even more so once you start using mods).

I'm curious if the developers are going to take some time to go back and improve the UI?

Re:Polish (5, Interesting)

maroberts (15852) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311689)

A rational follow on to the previous post is whether LOTR is going to encourage the independently developed add-on/plug-ins that WoW has done.

Re:Polish (1)

zukakog (909670) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312259)

Mod up! This question definitely needs to be in the interview.

I think that the current UI is pretty usable for overall game-play, but I personally like to tailor my UI to each character. As it stands now, you can skin (change the graphics) the UI, and move the components around. It offers lots of quickslots too. But, one of the things that really made WoW fun for me was the addons. I love the HUD addons. When you've got the resolution cranked way up, it's a long way to the edges of the screen, where all your info is displayed.

Re:Polish (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312287)

Definitely, wish I could go back and edit the post now to add it in. :) Addons add a lot to the game. They create a community, allow people to do really neat new things, make the game more personalized, and at this early stage in a games release, allow the community to fix UI problems.

Back in WoW 1.0 the first mod almost everybody downloaded was one that let you have more then one action bar. I wonder who these people were that actually only played with 12 buttons.

Re:Polish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311897)

"Things like the UI itself being too small on my display "

Try a lower resolution.

"having to change tools constantly (Explorers have two gathering professions, basically forcing me to leave a bag open all the time to swap between a mining pick and an axe)"

Put the tools in one of the 5 tool bars you have and simply click on the one you need when you need it. You can even have the crafting window open and change tools at the same time by clicking the different tool in your toobar.

Re:Polish (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312061)

You know what happens when you change resolutions on an LCD? Things get very, very ugly.

What would the professor think? (5, Interesting)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311429)

Tolkien was, to say the least, picky about his work. He specifically expressed it should never be dramatized and also made it clear that no one should dare edit the writings besides his son, Christopher.

As an avid fan who knows this, how can you justify, to me, putting the professor's world into a game genre. Why should I play it knowing Tolkien would most likely disapprove?

Re:What would the professor think? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311577)

The professor tells you to crawl back into your basement and take your vitamins.

Re:What would the professor think? (1)

hidannik (1085061) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311687)

I realize it's not the most reliable source, but Wikipedia claims otherwise. In their article he is said to have sold rights for cinematic adaptation to United Artists in 1968, though he was critical of one script that passed through his hands and forbade Disney from ever being involved.

The rights sold included stage, film and merchandising. Wouldn't merchandising cover games?

Re:What would the professor think? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311849)

Have you ever kissed a girl?

Re:What would the professor think? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312201)

Yes. I have a child. You?

Re:What would the professor think? (2, Informative)

abigor (540274) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311953)

Tolkein had no objections to the dramatisation of the LoTR. It was first performed on the BBC back in 1955-56. Tolkein was dissatisfied with it, however. He also expressed interest in a cartoon version of LoTR: "As far as I am concerned personally, I should welcome the idea of an animated motion picture, with all the risk of vulgarization; and that quite apart from the glint of money..."

Re:What would the professor think? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312145)

Look for a quote regarding his, "it uniquely lends itself to not being dramatized" or something along those lines.

Also, the Tolkien estate was against the early incarnations of d&d if I remember, and isn't this the reason "hobbit" was removed and replaced with "halfling" in the game. I could be wrong on this last point.

I do know this, Tolkien said a lot of stuff, and if you look long enough you can find him saying about anything. No, wiki is not the best source. There are more reliable sources such as his letters which are published.

In the very least, Tolkien was picky, even arrogant, about his work. It was a book (later split) and a book he felt it should remain.

Does the fact that Christopher (christened to represent) was against the movies even play into counter arguments?

Mr. Anderson (4, Funny)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311437)

We'll take the best of the lot and put them to Mr. Anderson in a phone interview later this week.
Tell me, Mr. Anderson, what good is a phone call when you are unable to speak?

Re:Mr. Anderson (1)

b3nbr0wn (795558) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311827)

lol! well played

LOTRO and WoW Interfaces (1)

MatrixCubed (583402) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311465)

Albeit somewhat delayed, I played World of Warcraft for the first time about 2 weeks before I played the LOTRO beta. I instantly found the controls, user interface, and layout to be surprisingly similar (character status UI, map zoom system, key bindings). Was this a strategic move to ease the migration of WoW users to LOTRO, or did it have some other purpose?

Feeling the love (1, Interesting)

cyoung1035 (539131) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311473)

I've been playing LOTRO since closed beta, and I'm thoroughly hooked. It's obvious to me that the developers gave a lot of love, fun, and attention to the game: rainbows in the Shire, facial expressions that reflect your mood, the ever-annoying nosey/hungry hobbits, that lame man in Combe(!), emotes (picking a wedgie?), NPCs who remember your name and whether you've completed a quest for them as you walk by. It all works together so well to make you feel truly a part of the world. Were those delightful touches included in the master design, or did they just develop on their own as the game was built?

Re:Feeling the love (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311629)

So do you work for Turbine or their marketing firm?

DDO (0)

RobFrontier (550029) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311475)

What, if anything, does this mean for the future of DDO? Yhe best MMORPG ever created IMO.

Re:DDO (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311773)

him and the six other people who play it really want to know.

Water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311485)

Water is dead in LOTRO and many fans would like to see it deep, drownable, and full of adventures. When will underwater content be added?

Player Housing and Crafting (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311509)

Any thoughts on possible player housing and expanding the crafting line ?
Some people just really like to spend their time crafting rather then chasing boars.

Leveraging fans (3, Interesting)

palladiate (1018086) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311543)

As a fan and former Vanguard member on AC2, I noticed Turbine's greatest strength was a rather fast and sane response to player feedback (despite many claims to the contrary). I recall many AC and AC2 fans and 3rd party developers ended up on your dev teams. I witnessed all of this first-hand when you were developing the hero-class endgame mechanics. And despite the system's friendliness, balance, and incorporation of player feedback, most players were unhappy (they thought the system was too simplistic, a la WoW, or had other esoteric gripes).

Do you have any plans to try and continute to leverage your community, or do you find vocal MMOG players just too darn irrational and hard to please? Blizzard seems to regularly ignore players, and does quite well from what I hear.

And thanks for making games that don't suck. Asheron's Call was, to me, the finest example of storytelling with thousands of players done yet. Logging in to find my Monarch was Bael'zharon ranks as the coolest moment of my 20-odd years of gaming.

Re:Leveraging fans (1)

crossmr (957846) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311809)

Go to the forums and read up on sweet gelanas (unless they've "sanitized" those threads). There is nothing sane about their decisions this time around. Its knee-jerk reactions to satisfy one outcry after another. In one fell swoop they managed to entirely destroy a crafting profession, and bend over and take it from a group of people who didn't even understand what it was they were bellyaching about.

Re:Leveraging fans (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312125)

Sadly Asheron's Call was the only thing Turbine did right, and even that was a mistake.

Slidecasting? Mistake.
S2M/Revit cycle? Mistake.
Animation Break? Mistake.

Everything that made AC awesome was a mistake, and everything they intentionally do to the game ruins it more and more.

Lessons Learned (5, Interesting)

Mac_Daddy (21452) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311549)

In light of the eventual closure of Asheron's Call 2, what were the biggest lessons you and the rest of Turbine have learned?

End-game content (3, Interesting)

eieken (635333) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311561)

What happens in the game when a user finishes the very large amount of quests in the game? I know about the player-vs-monster-player area, and it is rather fun. Is there any other end-game content other then the monster player area?

learning from the past (1)

EvilPoster (1090123) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311573)

what has turbine learned from the flop-of-a-mmorpg ac2 that they have applied to lotr? also, did turbine try to make an original mmorpg when creating lotr, or is it just a cheap wow copy designed to get a piece of the online gaming pie?

Ebay sales (1)

vengeful_ferengi (1103091) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311583)

What kind of policies do you have in place regarding sales of in-game virtual items on Ebay? What about duplicated items created due to exploits regarding unchecked buffers and other such "hacks"?

Re:Ebay sales (1)

jstretch78 (1102633) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311769)

What about duplicated items created due to exploits regarding unchecked buffers ....
There is no such thing. There is no such thing.

Re:Ebay sales (0)

vengeful_ferengi (1103091) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311873)

Yeah...until there is ;-)

Leap of faith... (5, Interesting)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311599)

Your team no doubt learned from all of the succeses and failures within World of Warcraft and did their best to retain what aspects had player appeal and shy away from those that illicited public outcry. Stepping away from those choices, what would you say was the most daring leap of faith the team made in the game mechanics, balance, graphics, or any other facet that jumps out at you? Is there anything in the game that really made you say, "Dang, we're hanging our butts out there on this one, but we believe in this feature/mechanic and are gonna run with it."

User created content? (2, Interesting)

LetterRip (30937) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311617)

Will users be able to create content? If so what free tools (http://www.blender.org/ [blender.org] or http://www.artofillusion.org/ [artofillusion.org] ?) and formats will be supported? Will we be able to export animations or create normal mapped items?

LetterRip

Plans against spammers (1)

Anarchysoft (1100393) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311631)

Today I got my first gold farm spam mail as did several other people in Bree town (from IMs on the public channels.) What steps is Turbine taking or going to take to prevent or minimize annoyances caused by gold farmers, spammers, etc?

Object Reuse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311633)

Lots of turbine games have shared the same underlying game engine now (AC2, DDO and now LOTRO), can you comment on how easy of a transition it was from AC2->DDO and now LOTRO? I know that some people complain about the sameness of some of the in-game objects, but thats what comes from art (and artist) reuse.

Also, (based on a comment above) is there a better transition plan to close the game (a la AC2) if/when the sequence of book events has transpired?

Re: gold farming (1)

Clockworkalien (1099495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311649)

The buying and selling of virtual currency in MMORPGs have proven to "sour" the game environment, the worst effects being inflated prices and in-game spam. What steps have you taken to control gold farming and spam?

Character Generator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311653)

the character builder is limited in an age where sliders are the norm for real customization of faces and bodies. Are there plans to upgrade the character builder to current standards or to add more choices to the stock choices provided?

Hobbit Info (1)

ak3ldama (554026) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311665)

Is the only way to level up as a hobbit to just sit around, tend your garden, eat six meals a day, and be ... generally boring?

Re:Hobbit Info (1)

jstretch78 (1102633) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311829)

Dont forgot about hobbits engaging in the act of making little hobbits. Thats always a crowd pleaser.

Had to be asked... (1)

Creeker (983099) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311667)

Can I have your stuff? :)

What is the end-game? (5, Interesting)

Vicegrip (82853) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311693)

Where World of Warcraft has largely failed in my mind is in the end-game. Here the content is, aside from reputation quests, entirely Raid driven and controlled by harsh unforgiving bosses and large time sinks. Blizzard's PVP system isn't really anything to get excited about as it is totally un-interesting outside of arenas.

Essentially, there is no other story line in World of Warcraft other than to kill Illidan and spend a lot of time farming farming farming for reputation. I so miss the innovations that Ultima Online had with housing or seafaring ten years ago.

What does LOTR bring to the table in the end-game that makes it different from other MMOs?

Indoors Areas require Zoning (1)

Mankey (827252) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311711)

I have been playing the game for only a few hours and must say I am impressed with the stability and watching my home city burning. That really made me feel like it was an epic event. The one question I have is - Why the decision to have to zone when entering a small building like a tavern. Wouldn't it have been better to have them as an open environment similar to World of Warcraft ? That is my only complaint so far, keep up the good work !

Re:Indoors Areas require Zoning (3, Informative)

mrjimorg (557309) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311909)

I can answer this one. Its so that the zone can change with the story line. The first time you go into a particular house there may be a person there who gets murdered by brigands. You kill the brigands and continue the story line. If the guy was alive and well again when you went back then you would have a schism in the story line.

In-Game Music System (4, Interesting)

Soukyan (613538) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311755)

As a former subscriber to Asheron's Call 2, I was disappointed to see that game go for a particular social aspect that goes unrecognized and unimplemented in other MMOGs - the music system. As a beta tester, you can imagine my delight at finding out that Turbine had added a similar system to LoTRO. I am now a paying subscriber based upon this one feature that I feel adds depth to the world and serves as a great community building tool. Could you expound upon the music system and its implementation as well as future plans for the system?

What I want to know (1)

Mr. Bad Example (31092) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311791)

What has it got in its pocketses?

Re:I was going to ask... (1)

Clockworkalien (1099495) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312111)

What has roots as nobody sees,
Is taller than trees,
Up, up it goes
And yet never grows?

Ent (2)

blahlazer (750906) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311877)

Can I play as an Ent?

Downtime / Patches (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19311893)

Patch Tuesday! FTW!

Play Cycle (1)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311899)

For an average hardcore-lite gamer (20-ish hours a week), what is the realistic play cycle for the game? How many months of play, for one character, before a player has accomplished the majority of what the game has (and is planned) to offer? (For example, for many such players, WoW (imho) has about a two year play cycle before a player has achieved the majority of what the game has to offer.)

Excluded countries (1)

Andabata (778566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19311975)

Living in Portugal, and thus unable to participate, I would like to ask: when will users from other European countries besides the current ones be able to participate? I see no reason for being excluded from LOTRO...

Where is the PvP focus? (1)

brooke_nobody (972787) | more than 6 years ago | (#19312221)

First off, I will admit I haven't played the game myself, but from what I've read and heard from friends' experiences I am curious where you plan to go with the PvP elements in LOTRO. According to my research, LOTRO didn't initially intend to include PvP as a major component of the game and it was merely tacked on as an afterthought. As I'm sure everyone knows who has ever read the Hobbit and LOTR, war and combat are central themes of the story. To me, it would appear LOTRO missed the boat on a dynamic, war-like environment by not fully integrating PvP in a cohesive way. Fighting NPCs or even other players in a boring environment without focus just doesn't get my adrenaline pumping.

Please don't tell me to go and play a Tolkien-based MUD... been there, done that! :P

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...