A Cluster F***?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A new dev diary is up on the official site today called Anatomy of a Cluster. In it, Amlug details how their changing the structure of instances to better relate to each other, creating what they call a cluster. In Urugarth, Carn Dûm, Barad Gularan, and The Rift, there is no obvious progression through the instances, nor any relation to them other than the story - if you so choose to read the story. Otherwise, they're just bad, dark places in the world where you kill stuff like trolls and orcs and the like.

Now, certain games have created progressions through instances where you are required to follow a specific path gated through hard locks, gear, or some other means. In LOTRO, this is not the plan. There should be no reason why you cannot do one instance before another (or raid). However, by going through the instances, there will be rewards that give you abilities or stats that will help you in later instances of the same cluster.

For example, going through one of the new instances in Moria and completing it's "challenge" (the objective giving you these rewards) will give you a part of a piece of the corresponding raid's gear set. In this case, that piece of gear, when ultimately assembled, gives you radiance which helps with gloom. Radiance and gloom are apparently an expansion of the hope and dread system. I do not have any details of how this works at the moment, but I will definitely talk about it when I encounter it in the game or in a future dev diary.

Basically, the point of the diary is that instances will now be linked together in a cluster, with a reward system tying them together. By working through this progression, in no particular order, you'll be better set for the raid at the end. So, there is a one-two system here. Instances, then raid.

I've not been raiding in LOTRO, so I do not know what the experience is like, nor much about the raid locking system. I'm thus not a good judge of if this system is better than the not-worded-as-such cluster f*** in Shadows of Angmar (Amlug would have prefered to see the four instances I mentioned above put in a cluster).

0 Responses to "A Cluster F***?"