The first review I ever did a review on the Plugin Manager that I personally use; however it seems that with Update 5 I will be ditching this manager in favor of the built-in manager that seems to be an (at least so far) undocumented change coming with the update.
There are two ways that you can access the Plugin Manager. You can either do it through a new button on the right-hand side of the character select menu or through the System Menu within the game. There doesn’t seem to be any way to tie the interface to a key-binding that I saw, but it’s possible that I may have missed it. However, if it’s not possible to bind a key to it hopefully there will be an option in the future.
There are several options from within the Plugin Manager that you can use to manage your plugins. As you can see below, on the left-hand side of the interface is a list of the plugins that you have installed. The unload, refresh and load commands now have a button assigned to them from within the menu; although the commands should still work from the chat menu. Also new to the Lua system is that there is now room for authors to include a 32×32 icon to associate with their plugin as well as an embeddable options menu.
And finally at the bottom there is a dropdown menu that the player can use to choose which characters will load the selected plugin upon their logging in. In the following examples you can see what it looks like when all characters are set to have TonicBars load when the log in (left image) and when only one character is selected to have the plugin load when they log in (right image).
Note, that this option is the only accessible menu item that is available when accessing the interface from the Character Select screen; the other options will be greyed out unless you are logged in on a character.
For me this is a very welcome change to the Lua system. I am enthusiastic about the direction that Lua is going in LOTRO and I hope that the momentum keeps up. So what about you? Do you think you’ll be using the in-game plugin manager?