Lessons from beta
Aloisio -- also known as "Zombie Columbus" on the forums -- was the most excited at the inclusion of the new scaled instances. Previously ignored by a good portion of the fast-leveling playerbase, the Great Barrows became a smash hit in beta due to the instant world join tool and the restructuring of the dungeon into multiple wings. The team hopes that additional quests and escorts in the area will raise the visibility of the dungeon and pull groups together earlier on in their individual journeys. The next instance up for a scaled revamp? The Rift, which the team hopes to separate into both a multi-winged and a "long hard slog" version.
Enedwaith has proved to be an enormously popular zone, and those who dismiss it as being a "mere" zone of additional content are doing the content team a disservice. Bob Hess estimates that the new area should keep players busy with 50 hours or more of fresh content, including the next book in the epic storyline, additional quests, reputation advancement and special instances.
launched its F2P version with only one new server, LotRO
is adding four when it hits live next week. This number wasn't a wild guess for the team; Turbine's seen two-and-a-half to three times the interest and participation in the LotRO
F2P beta as it saw in DDO's
. In fact, over 100,000 players have poured into the beta over the past few months, testing every facet of this mammoth patch.
While the much-anticipated legendary item revamp won't be seen in this patch, the team is hard at work "making it gooder" after collecting metric tons of player feedback on the controversial feature. The goal of the updated LI system is to place an emphasis on accessibility over grind, more customization, and less clutter. Would Turbine allow for cosmetic weapons to replace the limited selection of LI swords, axes and staffs? Aloisio grinned and merely said, "That's GOOD feedback."
We noted that there seems to have been an uptick in voice acting as the game's progressed, and the devs confirmed this. "Everyone loves V.O.,"
Campbell said. Every time the team needs to add a new layer of voices, from quick quotes to lengthy monologues, it has to hire a professional to come in to the studio. Thus far, over 40 voice actors have contributed to LotRO
The feedback from beta testers had a major impact on the dev team's focus, and likewise, what players enjoy and clamor for in upcoming weeks will be shaping the course of the game's future. We pressed Campbell for a hint as to the future of the game, and after a pause he smiled and said: "If this goes well -- your wildest dreams."