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LotRO's Devs of the Roundtable sally forth on Update 5's instance cluster


What's better than one developer sharing the thought process behind a major update to a game? Six. Cut out the middleman and go right to "six," we say. Ergo, it's lightning development caught in a bottle to see a half-dozen Lord of the Rings Online designers and worldbuilders gather together to talk about the instance cluster of the upcoming Update 5.

Update 5's five instances -- including an epic raid confrontation with Saruman -- presented unique challenges and exciting opportunities for the team. Worldbuilder Dan Ouellette says that Turbine didn't want to limit itself to merely Orthanc: "After looking at all our ideas we knew we didn't want to have them all in the tower, because that would be a very boring cluster. It's a very small space and in general... just really long."

Instead, the team branched out to focus on the surroundings, inner workings, and underneath of Orthanc for the five instances. The different types of instances -- three-, six-, and 12-person -- allowed the team to try out different tricks as well. "It's an exciting and difficult demand when working on a three-man," Content Designer Bob Hess says. "The types of challenges you present to people have to be a little more outside-the-box."

It's a smörgåsbord of delectable information, so if you're craving good group content in LotRO, you'll definitely want to scoop this up.

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