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Lotro Dev Q & A July 2013

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Like I told earlier, we’d gotten developers answers to burning questions. And so we did! It seems this is going to be a monthly feature. I won’t post everything here, but I’ll highlight a few things for.

Let’s start with the sneak peek questions

Q13: I wish I knew the real reason for the lags and if and when you are going to eliminate them. I suppose it is a problem in the server code/engine and/or client/server protocol which is not easy to fix?

A13: There is more than one cause for lag today, and as time goes on and the game (and the internet) change, new causes of lag are introduced. We have folks who work on this all the time, and if you are not satisfied with the results, well, know that we aren’t either. We have some brand-new performance monitoring technologies that we have recently put on the live servers, which have started to provide important clues. We are hoping for some significant improvements with the expansion pack, especially for some of the Mounted Combat cases. – Nathan

I can imagine it’s not an easy thing to solve. If I look at my “case”, it turned out to be my own computer which was causing all the problems. Internet connection slow? Not enough RAM in my computer. Graphics on a real low setting or Lotro will crash? Well, having a videocard with only 64 MB memory will do that. I can name a few things more like that which were all due to my computer. Since I’ve got a new computer, I don’t have these problems anymore. The only thing I need to remember is NOT to login with two account with the maximum graphics and sound setting and have both characters be in Bree-town at the same time at times when everyone’s in-game. That’s a guarantee to get things crashing. It’s no problem when the west of the world (aka USA, Canada zone) sleeps.

Then now the one that’s has been bugging loads of people for quite some time already! Personally I never had any doubt about the answer, but here it is:

Q16: Given player concerns about the license and Turbine’s relationship with Saul Zaentz/Middle-earth Enterprises, can you say anything about LOTRO ending in 2014 as some have predicted?

A16: We plan to support LOTRO for many more years to come. We are very fortunate in that we enjoy a great relationship with Middle-earth Enterprises. They visit our offices several times a year to check out our upcoming plans for LOTRO and continue to be very supportive. – Sapience

An addition from Sapience to this:

On Facebook someone suggested the wording for Q16 should be ‘developing’ not ‘supporting’. So, ok. Developing, supporting, making, cavorting in the shire, whichever works better for you.

This is an answer that should have reassured people, but there were still people who were having doubts. So, Sapience posted a not so subtle, very clear (in my opinion at least) answer to those doubts:

It a very straight foward answer. We can neither support nor develop the game without a license. We will be doing so for many more years. Not a single bit of vagueness there.

So, for those who were still having doubts: please throw them in the recycle bin and let them recycle to something else 🙂 Lotro is here to stay for loads of years to come!

Okay, let’s see what else was interesting. There were quite some Q & A’s about the technical part of developing. Although I find those highly interesting because I’m currently developing a game of my own, I’ll not post them here. If you want me to, please let me know!
So, other things which are worth mentioning….

Q1: Are there ever going to be plans to do single server dev fun nights, for instance like the end of beta’s where you guys release Balrogs in bree or Thorog in Rivendell? How about Sauraman in the Shire?

A1: We’ve recently (just yesterday) discussed the possibility of creating some live events with developer participation. We’re continuing to investigate what it would take to make this happen, but for now we’re focusing on the expansion pack.- Derek

I think it would be a lot of fun to have these kind of events. I’ve seen screenshots (and I think even a video or two) about such events, I’ve never actually been to/in one. I do understand, though, right now they have to focus on Helm’s Deep.

Did you have doubts about the, seemingly not so, Random Number Generator (RNG)? You were not the only one as this Q & A proves:

Q2: Are there any plans to change the RNG? I know a lot of people are beyond frustrated at it, as it doesn’t seem as random for some as it does for others.

A2: We have no plans to update the random number generator (RNG). It’s normal for individuals to receive runs of luck (good or bad) in the short term. The random element of the game, may appear to be broken, but the RNG is running for the entire server instance, not for one player at a time. – Nathan

So…. those who are unlucky are just in a bad spawn or something? Not sure what to think of this. Well, let’s just hope different times and places might change the luck.

For those who were hoping for addition/changes to the music system or any other hobbies for that matter, alas, you’re in for a disappointment.

Q10: Do you have plans to extend the music system with a (or more than one) new instrument?

A10:
Revisiting the music system or adding on to the number of instruments isn’t in our upcoming plans. – Derek

With the amount of alts and profession I’ve got, I found this very interesting:

Q20: Why can’t we mail more than one item at a time? How hard is it to change this?
A20: This has come up for discussion several times. It’s difficult to concretely answer a question like “how hard is it to…”, but suffice to say this is more than a few days of work – “bigger than a breadbox”, as we like to say. – Nathan

Unfortunately this answer so far leads us nowhere, but at least it’s not being ignored. That’s a good thing. Only mailing my Scholar everything I find and loot with Shriya takes quite a while. Which reminds me, Shriya really needs to do some Goblin and Brigand hunting in the Shire, since my Guide Scholar needs a hell of a lot basic material and my other scholar could sure use some extra basic material as well. Yeah…. I’ve got two scholars 😀

Anyway, I think these were some interesting highlights. Let me know if you want to know more of the technical stuff of developing or the Moors!

What do you think about it all? And what would you like see answered next time?

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About Ilse Mul

Junior Game Designer, Author, Lotro addict, Puzzle Pirates addict

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