GameSpy Lothlorien Preview

Thursday, March 5, 2009

There is more stuff to talk about with Book 7 approaching than I know what to do with. March is shaping up to be another epic month in terms of post count. But honestly, I can't get enough of this stuff. Despite reservations about some of the changes in Book 7, notably DPS, XP, and In Harms Way, I'm still excited about the Lothlorien content. For all of Moria's Dwarven glory, I'm in the mood for a little sunlit sylvan bliss. GameSpy's recent preview has given me just the taste I'm looking for.

"In a lot of ways, designing Lothlorien was very much like designing the Shire back before release. We have to be true to the books so we need to design content that's based around the essential character of the land." Aaron Cambel, Live Content Producer, LOTRO.

Didn't I say somewhere (can't remember which posts so no self-link) that Lothlorien should be handled as delicately as the Shire? I'm so happy to see this comment. I wasn't particularly worried about the design of the zone. I can't think of any zone that hasn't been designed to fit within the lore of the IP. It's all been great. But that they keep their heads with it is wonderful.

The other item of note in this preview is an additional detail of the reputation system. To summarize, there is the chance that you can lose rep with the elves. You have a morale choice presented to you in the form of a quest or quests as well as "protected" creatures who's death will lose you rep. This is a wonderful new dynamic to the rep system that I think should have been there from the beginning. It's a direction that the rep system needs to go in order to be more robust, more exciting, more interesting than just a simple grind for rewards. Give players an interactive choice and you have much more compelling content. The MMeOw blog also has posted some thoughts on this feature.

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