Änderungen in naher (oder ferner Zukunft):
I hope you all are enjoying the new content and changes in the November Update, Journey to Winter-home. We continue to be very pleased with the success of the free-to-play addition, and extend a very big thank you to all our players who continue to help our new players feel so at home in Middle-earth! Some of the changes in this release and in upcoming releases directly stem from player feedback. Please continue to be active on the boards and on Bullroarer, so we can be sure to take your perspective and experiences into account!
I’ve seen a lot of players asking what our thinking was for some of the changes in our latest update and what they can look forward to in the next few months, so I thought I’d share exactly that!
* Free Epic Quests in Moria & Mirkwood – We’ve had a lot of feedback from former players who came back with the free-to-play launch that they were really hoping to have a chance to play through Moria and Mirkwood without having to commit to the upfront cost of the expansion. We thought this was a great point, and as we’ve said several times, we’ve been exploring what it means to have an “expansion pack” in a game with a free option. We’re very pleased to now allow all players to experience the Epic Story in Moria and Mirkwood and to level freely to max level, currently level 65! We will incorporate the response of the players into our consideration for how to handle future expansions, like Rise of Isengard for next year.
* New Content Type: Tasks & Lone-lands – A lot of players get through the free regions and realize they need more reputation to continue with the Epic Quests in the Lone-lands. We on the dev team really like the Lone-lands (after all, who doesn’t love Weathertop?) and felt it was just a shame that some players were not playing that content because they didn’t have the rep or because they weren’t ready to make a purchase. So we are trying two solutions, and are eager to see how you like them! The first solution has been to make Lone-lands a free region for all players, and we’re certainly curious to know what you think of that choice. The second, Tasks, is a new type of quest that allows you to change your trophies into reputation, and was launched as a Beta feature in the November update. Elder players won’t be able to participate in the system as it is geared towards low level players, but we are happy to extend it once we see how popular it is or what other features it needs.
* Radiance & its removal in Q1 –We’ve received a lot of feedback on Radiance gating since its introduction and are pleased to announce that Radiance gear will no longer be a requirement for any of our instances or raids. In fact, with the release of our Q1 update next year, we will be removing Radiance from the game entirely. It will not be present in the new Instance Cluster or Epic Book and will be removed from all current instances. You should get your first look at a Radiance-free LOTRO on Bullroarer in early February of next year.
* Next Steps with Legendary Items – We’re planning on doing two upgrades to Legendary Items next year – one in the Q1 release, and one later in the year. The goal is to respond to a bunch of your feedback and to incorporate some more versatility, flexibility and less randomness into the system. We’ll certainly be releasing a dev diary on the Q1 changes as we get into next year.
Of course we are also working hard on a whole bunch of other features, which you probably heard some of in the press around our Rise of Isengard Expansion pack announcement. I wanted to touch base briefly on each, and give you a sense for what we are thinking, and potentially when each might be released.
* Cosmetic System Upgrade – The Cosmetic system is a fun and rewarding way to get your character looking good and we’re going to improve the system by giving it more dedicated space, with a Character Panel revamp and creating more outfits slots for purchase in the LOTRO Store. The first phase of this upgrade will go out in Q1, and we’ll see what you think and offer additional changes and revisions later in the year.
* Cosmetic Pets – We’ve received a lot of requests from non-Lore-masters for the other classes to have fun pets, too! We’re looking into how we can make it so that all classes can customize their character by adding cute and fun creatures that may add small buffs to combat, but won’t be combat-oriented in their use. No release timeline is certain yet, but we are actively exploring what would be fun and cool.
* New Raid & Instance Content – We’re planning on releasing one raid with the Instance Cluster in Q1 and another raid and a couple of instances in the Anniversary Update. The Instance Cluster in Q1 will take place across Eriador, now that baddies have gone to fill the void left by the departing Rangers.
* First Age Legendary Weapons – First Age items will be available as rare drops in both raids mentioned above. Yay!
* Expanded Monster Play – While we are still deep in design on the next steps of monster play, the goal with this upgrade, coming in the Rise of Isengard Expansion, is to provide all players with an avenue to participate in monster play.
Another exciting new development is that the WB Shop now has LOTRO-themed mouse pads and coffee cups! Check out the currently available options at WBshop.com - The Official Online Store of Warner Bros. Studios, and check back occasionally as we’ll be releasing more stuff over the year.
On another note, revenues for the game have continued to increase. While we are getting some great feedback on what the LOTRO Store can do better and what other items you’d like to find there, Store usage continues to be much higher than industry averages!
That is all the news we have for now, but we’ll be talking more in dev diaries, dev chats, and other letters after the New Year. As always, a huge thank you goes out to all our players for making LOTRO such a warm and vibrant game. Have a great holiday season, and I’ll see you in game!
Kate “Nereid” Paiz[/quote]