Today Kate “Nereid” Paiz released a letter today talking about the state of the game since the launch of Enedwaith, Book 2, and Free to Play on the Turbine servers. She includes mention of her time at the Austin Game Developers Conference speaking about the doubling of LOTRO’s revenues and how a million new accounts were created; which most of us have already heard about. She also goes on to talk about Turbine’s philosophy on “… making great MMO’s” and how “… we have grown our view on how to develop new content and features for the game.” Most of this is positive, but it’s also very “executive speak” as well.
Regardless, she does include some interesting new information:
- Updates will not always feature a new installment of the Epic story in an effort to increase the number of updates released each year. (The Epic story will still continue.)
- Tasks- a new content type for all players to enjoy in the early game will be coming to the game.
- The Vault will receive (another) major revision.
- The Lore-master and Rune-keeper classes will be receiving updates.
- The Moria and Mirkwood areas will no longer be gated behind the purchase of the expansion. You will now be able to travel through those areas to play through the Epic storyline. (It reads as if the rest of the advantages of purchasing the expansions will remain locked.)
- We will be seeing a Dev Diary on the vault system this week; another diary on the Task system is upcoming; as are other Dev Diaries.
The only thing that stands out to me here personally is the first note. If the Epic storyline is what holds up the majority of updates, then I’m fine with this change as long as the Epic storyline does in fact, continue. As a former Star Wars Galaxies player, I remember being promised constant updates to the story and how they almost never were released. Or when they were, they were about 10 paragraphs of text, 30 minutes of play, and then you were done for several months. That was until they finally gave up and just stopped doing them altogether. I cannot stress how important the Epic storyline is to players. That being said, if we can release 4-6 updates a year in contrast to what… the 3 or 4 we have currently? That’s fine, as long as we see at least the progress of the Epic Storyline maybe every other update. The story is a very important draw to the game and for now, I will trust that Turbine will do the right thing.