LOTRO Developer Twitter Chat – Did You Get The Answers You Wanted?

LOTRO Twitter Dev Chat

Yesterday’s live LOTRO Developer Twitter Chat panned out exactly as expected. A full transcript can be found on the official forums. It was an immaculately stage managed process and a broad selection of questions were addressed. Innocuous and non controversial issues were clearly explored. More problematic questions were handled in a far more political manner. Phrases such as “ongoing process” and “no simple solution” were used instead of anything definitive. It was a textbook example of contemporary public relations. Effectively we learned exactly what Turbine wanted us to learn and nothing more.

If you compare the official and the unofficial LOTRO forums, you’ll find a balance between those who were please by some announcements and those that felt it avoided all difficult questions. Overall I think it clearly shows that Turbine’s  communication policy is now clearly driven by the business practises of their owners, Warner Bros.  The devil is very much in the detail, or in this case lack of it. The Developer Twitter Chat maintained a conspicuous degree of plausible deniability regarding timelines on long standing  bugs and technical problems. Also, as we’ve seen before in prior press releases, seeds of ideas are publicly sown but no specific details are given, often leading to catastrophic leaps of logic from existing customers.

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So I will not be foolish enough to say, beware the class changes that will be coming later in the year because I personally have no data regarding what they are. I would say the same of the mooted housing upgrades for the same reason. However, what I will do and would encourage others to do is reflect upon Turbine’s past form. Both of the changes could be potentially linked to the store in some fashion. In fact from a business perspective Turbine would be foolish not to do so. It is in their interest to give the player base what they want and if that can be done at a price that players will tolerate then so much the better. So I think it is fair to surmise that positive improvements are coming to LOTRO but it may be worth considering at what specific cost?

4 thoughts on “LOTRO Developer Twitter Chat – Did You Get The Answers You Wanted?

  1. Jonathan Baron says:

    This just in!

    A company seeks to control its message.

    Capitalists explore more ways to make money.

    Lord of the Rings Online is North Korea.

  2. Roger Edwards says:

    Now, now. I’m just trying to draw attention to the fact that things may not pan out in the way that some players hope.

    I do not think that that this was in anyway a “sky is falling” article but if you’re looking for one, I can point you in the right direction.

  3. Flatfoot says:

    I don´t care if they think some players have a printed poster of their LotrO avatars glued above their bed or something, they need to update the look BADLY!

    ATM it´s almost impossible to come back to LotrO, when one had ran around in more recent games like GW2 or Tera.
    It´s basically like booting up an old 8bit game and trying to get back into it.

    And yeah, lots of “in the works” and “looking into it”, but at least there´s an overall sense of change. Right now any change can only be good for the game.

  4. Kris Fruin says:

    After reviewing the developer twitter chat and sitting back to think on my LOTRO experiences in the last year, I am starting to have some concerns about what is ultimately going to happen with the game. For background, I’m a VIP (subscription player) with 3 characters at cap and a few other crafting alts, so I can always find something to do in-game and don’t totally exhaust my options so quickly into new content.

    But here’s where my concern lies – New Content, where is it? Since Free-to-Play we have had 9 updates and are aware of 2 more forthcoming (highlights below). Please note I have not included class changes, festival changes, etc – only ‘core’ items such as landmass, epic story, expansions and instances.

    Free-to-Play – September 2010 – Skirmishes, LOTRO Store, Epic Story V3.2
    Update 1 – November 2010 – Enedwaith landmass, Instance join panel, scaled instances (GB, School, Library, Helegrod, Annuminas)
    Update 2 – March 2011 – Epic Story V3.3, Echoes of the Dead instance Cluster
    Update 3 –May 2011 – 2 new scaling 3-man instances and 2 new skirmishes
    Update 4 – September 2011 – Rise of Isengard Expansion – Level Cap to 75, Dunland/Isengard landmass, Epic Story V3.4
    Update 5 – December 2011 – Isengard instance cluster, Epic Story V3.5, Instance finder
    Update 6 – March 2012 – Great River landmass, Epic story V3.6, Roots of Fangorn Instance
    Update 7 – May 2012 – Fornost revamp, Moria Revamp, New Skirmish
    Update 8 – October 2012 – Riders of Rohan Expansion – Level cap to 85, East Rohan landmass, Epic Story to V3.9, mounted combat, Hytbold
    Update 9 – December 2012 – Revamped DG instances, ½ of Rohan Instance Cluster
    Update 10 – February 2013 (TBC) – ½ of Rohan Instance Cluster
    Update 11 – May 2013 (suspected) – Landmass update, Epic story

    At first glance it seems not bad as we get an expansion almost yearly (although Mirkwood in 2009 shouldn’t count, and F2P was a large change in 2010). And sure we get an update every 3 months (approx.), but it’s what in the updates that’s troubling. The RoI instance cluster became an update of its own with an Epic story update in Update 5. Update 6 brought us a new landmass and epic (good). Update 7 was nothing special. RoR gave us Rohan, mounted combat and the Epic story, but following RoI – the instances were not part of the expansion. They were moved to not one but TWO updates. And neither of those updates included land or the epic story.

    The twitter chat was contrived to tease out Update 10/11, but did little to address the increasing lack of content – or re-distribution of content in the game. Unlike Roger, I suspect we will get an expansion this year, or at the latest, this time next year as a 2-yr cycle to go from East Rohan to West Rohan /Helm’s deep is too much. However, they are slowly spreading out the content and it really is becoming ‘like butter spread over too much bread.’

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