Developer Q&A Part 2

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Not sure if I linked to the first part of the Q&A, but you can find that link here. This post will pretty much be a run down of the questions I personally find interesting and my thoughts. To simplify, I'll just quote the answers. So, here goes...

AMD’s recent announcement of their first DirectX 11 video cards included a mention that LOTRO was adding DX11 support. You will not see it with Siege of Mirkwood, but you should expect it to arrive sometime next year.

I'm really stoked that the dev team is putting effort into adding support for the next gen technology in an previously existing game. There's no doubt LOTRO has some amazing graphics. Anything to further enhance that is good, so long as it doesn't seriously hamper performance. The great thing about the DX10 support is it is activated via check boxes in the graphics options. There's no forcing players to use DX10 cards. I hope their comitment to their graphics engine continues as the game does - perhaps a ways down the road we can see a graphics overhaul similarly experienced in Eve and Ultima Online. This kind of work can certainly prepare them for such an endeavor.

Mirkwood is roughly 75-80% of the size of the Northdowns.

A little disappointed in the size, but oh well. I guess I'm just partial to a grand experience in size and scope of Middle-Earth.

Not for Siege of Mirkwood, though we’d love to revisit [housing and guilds] at some point in time.

Vague enough that I'm pretty positive they do not have any plans in the works yet. I too would love to see this "at some point in time" but previous posts from the dev team have pretty much said housing isn't a priority because it would require enough resources to cut significant work in other areas of the game. Still, at some point in time that priority has to change.

Many of the questions are very specific and reminiscent of dev chat type responses, rather than a press release. That's a good thing. I hope to see more of these types of articles in the future. Perhaps a better method then a dev chat? Maybe that's where they're going. I haven't seen a dev chat in quite a while, now that I think about it.

4 Responses to "Developer Q&A Part 2"

Green Armadillo Says:

"A little disappointed in the size, but oh well. I guess I'm just partial to a grand experience in size and scope of Middle-Earth."

More to the point, how does Foroschel compare in size to the North Downs? The map they showed at PAX with all the auto-horse points made Mirkwood look almost as large as Moria. Now they're saying that it's going to be smaller than a zone that was previously included in a non-paid book update.

The more I hear about this expansion - the actual amount of new content, the fact that they're basically not charging current subscribers, the $20 fee for 2 character slots and a shared bank feature that would be included in the base subscription in any other game - the more it sounds like they've already made the call to move LOTRO to the DDO model without A) announcing it or B) removing the fee.

Jaxom92 Says:

Forochel is about the same size as ND. I'm not too keen on the way they marketed the Siege of Mirkwood either. It does border on a "microtransaction" simply by the type of content they're asking us to pay for, but it's not really a microtransaction at 20 bucks. I honestly think it was to use the word "free" in their advertising, but it completely convoluted the process. Just let us pay for the expansion - 20 bucks, and be done with it. Maybe 5 extra for the Adventure Pack, but even that is unecessary. Just included it in SoM.

Longasc Says:

I think you are both right, they are going away from subscriptions and might offer *optional* lifetime subs for less/little money in future.

But at the price that we will have to pay say 5 bucks for every new feature in future.

I am a bit scared that innovation in the MMO market, and especially at Turbine at the moment, seems mostly to evolve around finding new creative payment schemes, aka how to make people pay more money and still feel good, because the game is free to play... :P

unwize Says:

Yeah, Forochel is a big zone, but the content is quite sparse and spread out within it. Mirkwood seems quite congested, and with 5 extra levels to gain, it needs to have quite a lot of content. Of course, they may be expecting us to gain some of that XP in skirmishes.

A couple of other things to consider:

Moria was the first area to fully leverage the new tech to support multiple height landscapes. Some areas of Mirkwood could potentially have a lot more up and down than the older landscape zones did.

Also, as far as I know, we don't know quite how many skirmish instances are going to be introduced. We could be looking at quite a lot of new content there, albeit non-traditional content.