Bullroarer: Update 7 Moria Visual Changes

May 7, 2012


I popped over to Bullroarer over the weekend to poke around a bit in Update 7. Some of the complaints I am here is revolving around the visual changes being reported. Mostly that folks find Moria to be “too bright” with the changes.

In an effort to be helpful, I’ve run about on the current live server and then travelled to the same locations on Bullroarer and took some screenshots of the same views to show comparison. No alterations were made to how I normally play the game or to the photos themselves (I didn’t even rename them). My character light was not on and I made sure that it was considered night-time in game for all the photos. It may not have been the exact same time for all photos taken – I seriously don’t have the time to spend waiting for such an event, but the indicator on my mini-map radar was that it was night-time (it was showing the moon in the time indicator) when taking each of these photos.

I visited the four regions that were specifically called out in LOTRO’s Update 7 announcement post.

All the photos on the left were taken on the live server (Landroval) and all the photos on the right is a screenshot from roughly same location on Bullroarer.

I say roughly as the area I decided to take a screenshot from in Durin’s Way was different. Update 7 changed the pathing in that area and a walkway that was there for me to take a photo from on Bullroarer doesn’t exist on the live server. I just did the best I could.

The Great Delving

ScreenShot00301 ScreenShot00295

Silvertine Lodes

ScreenShot00292 ScreenShot00293

Water Works

ScreenShot00300 ScreenShot00294

Durin’s Way


The only one that looks significant (and honestly I do say I prefer it) would be the Silvertine Lodes photo where I can definitely make out the detail of the scaffolding that I fall from oh so very often. Great Delving has a bit more detail to it as well.

While playing, I can say that I do feel like it’s easier to see. Some of that may be that they have reduced some of the mobs that are always in the way while trying to travel. For example in Durin’s way I was able to ride up a ramp and I noticed a cool eagle sculpture thing I never noticed before as I am typically running through that hallway screaming and trying not to die. For the record, the cool statue is on live as well, I just never noticed it before so it wasn’t a new addition.

I don’t know if I would fall into “its too bright” category. It still feels like Moria to me. What do you think?

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29 Responses to “Bullroarer: Update 7 Moria Visual Changes”

  1. Damper Says:

    I think it looks great. It’s good to be able to see your surroundings a little bit better, so to keep your footing. While I do understand the complaints, I think the amount of lightning is just enough to keep some of the necessary darkness.


  2. Bryandt Says:

    I think they need to do the same thing for Mirkwood. For reals.


  3. Adhrean Says:

    I would rather have it considered ‘too bright’ compared to what it was previously. From the photos above, it looks much better now and I appreciate the brightness and everything will come to detail nicely now if I’m in the area. And since I play on my laptop, I used to increase the brightness to maximum level when in Moria. Looks I won’t have to now, and that’ll do a whole lotta good for my battery. Woots.


  4. Cluck Says:

    I definately prefer it, particularly the Silvertine Lodes. I’ve always had problems finding things in that area so I look forward to being able to see where I’m going for once!


  5. susan Says:

    It seems like they modified areas of concern with big changes and subtle changes in other areas, based on these pictures. Doesnt seem as bad as was reported. Was the dynamic lighting changed? cant tell by the pictures… thanks for doing this. I was too lazy to run down there on br myself.


  6. Dirstel Says:

    It is glorious! I can see!!!! Happiness!


  7. Alexandra & Bogdan Epureanu Says:

    We think the new ones look way better. Nice job, Turbine!


  8. Luinori Says:

    Too bright. Too bright! It’s UNDERGROUND, it’s not supposed to be daytime in there. Sheesh. All we’ve had to do so far is tweak our brightness settings a LITTLE BIT to see better. I don’t see why that has to change. I liked that Moria had such a different feel than the rest of the world. BOO, Turbine. Boo. Thumbs DOWN.


    • Mephet Says:

      I see your point of view, but I think that the fact that you have to start messing with your brightness settings when in Moria already tells you that there’s a problem. It takes you out of the game world more than Moria being a little lighter by default would. As I play in front of a window (so the space behind my computer screen is usually light = the contrast makes it even harder to see in Moria’s darkness), I’m extremely happy about this change: now I won’t have to close my curtains every time I go to Moria :D A playable game + a little suspension of disbelief > Moria pitch black as the lore demands it + a headache from trying to make out what’s happening on the screen


    • LD Says:

      If Moria was one small, optional zone then I’d agree with you, but it isn’t. Moria is a huge area spanning ten levels of content which everyone has to play through. Spending a week or two underground without being able to see your character, the things attacking your character or the items your character is supposed to pick up wasn’t exactly good game design.

      Besides, Moria still looks dark in those shots.


  9. Falobrand Says:

    I think it is an adjustment that helps gameplay wise. I always turned up the ‘ambient light’ setting in the graphics options a bit to be able to see the surroundings better (but not affect the colors too much). If you think it is too bright now, you might want to downtune the ambient light setting a bit.


  10. bob101910 Says:

    A lot of people I know have to turn up their brightness in Moria already, so this update looks great. The only problem I can see is the blocked paths for people that have been to Moria before. I imagine they will be quite annoying at first.


  11. Andy Says:

    The silvertine pic almost looks as though they’ve tweaked the colour palette for the “sky” to lighten it up rather than anything else. Given the location there’s not a whole else they could do other than making the light from torches etc travel further. A lot of this might come down to the actual settings we each have for draw distance etc.

    When I first read about moria being better lit I was hoping for not much more than a burning torch you could pick up at the start and “equip” as you travelled about.

    In it’s glory days I can see moria being a bright well lit location, for a cave, hence the plot of the mirror quest and possibly the crystal one as well. If the crystals acted as prisms you could reflect daylight fairly well.

    However it’s been a while since dwarves lived in moria so it should be for the most part dark and hard to see with the various camps or safe havens well lit to aid the passage of those moving about. Certainly if the dwarves knew there were orcs and goblins about they probably wouldn’t want to make their regular travel routes too obvious.

    It’s a fine line being walked with the lighting in moria, brighten it too much or light it the wrong way and you kill the atmosphere and ambience of the location and people will hate it for a similar but different reason.

    Me, I actually enjoyed the gloom of the caves, and only issues I ever had was from sunlight reflecting off the monitor.


  12. Tony Says:

    Could always turn down your ambient light settings to have it be as “dark” as you like it, I suppose.

    Personally, I think this is fine. I like that Moria is dark when it should be, but often I’m finding myself turning up the ambient light anyway.


  13. Ian Says:

    It looks like theyve just increased the brightness one area at a time. Be much more interesting if they introduced new lightsources or increased the brightness of existing small lightsources. Otherwise you get yourself into the poistion whereby globally increasing the brightness tends to really show up the textures.

    Just try playing about with the brightness settings whilst in moria to get a feel for that and how it effects the look/quality/depth of the walls, rocks, floor etc.


  14. Knify-Riddermark Says:

    Love it I stoped playing my lvl 55 mini until the revamp comes out just so i can see the differance between when i took my champ through


  15. Fredelas Says:

    Opthamologists around the world are cheering at the further eyestrain these changes will prevent!

    When Moria first came out, I initially appreciated the dark atmosphere. It felt dangerous and foreboding. However, I quickly found out that when I was playing in a well-lit room of the house, I had to squint to make out details on the monitor, even when I cranked up the game’s ambient lighting and gamma settings. After about half an hour of playing, my eyes were noticeably tired.

    Eventually, I bought some light-blocking curtains and switched back to my clunky old CRT monitor for its superior contrast. I’m happy to say that I didn’t need either of these crutches after exploring the first half of Moria on Bullroarer for almost 3 hours last weekend. I’m glad I no longer have to simulate a movie-theater-like setting in order to enjoy the beauty of the mines.


  16. Yulan Says:

    The thing is, in pre-U7 you can adjust the Ambient Light settings whenever you really want to sacrifice the ambience in order to higher your survivability. But you can never do the opposite, there’s no way to turn Ambient Light lower than 0.

    In the book there are Moria areas reported to be in completely darkness. Of course, this is not just a game but a MMO, but the option to “turn the light on” was always there. Now they’re turning the light on and forbidding us to turn the light off. I fail to see how this can be a good thing.


    • Andy Says:

      Good point, when they removed the “fog of war” from the maps there’s was a lot of folk that expressed the wish that they’d given it a toggle. Hopefully they do allow us to rollback to the gloom if we want it.


  17. Pointy Says:

    ‘Too bright’? Wow. The main reason so many people dislike Moria is because it’s so very dark in most of it and you can’t see – then the game kicks over to daytime and your personal torch goes off and it gets even darker. The other reason people dislike it is the mob concentration tht makes it difficult to go ten feet without something attacking you.

    Neither of those things make for an enjoyable experience in a zone, and for me personally are why I level myself as far as I possibly can outside, then leve Moria as soon as possible at around level 55. To me, this change is a good thing.


  18. davidt Says:

    Ever have your Grandfather tell you how he used to have to walk to school in the winter 3 miles uphill each way?

    Now players can tell newbies what Moria used to be like back in the old days.


    • Bryandt Says:

      Are you kidding? Some of us can tell new players what *Angmar* was like back in the old days.


  19. Flatfoot Says:

    Just a “tad” bit darker in Silvertine than the current Bullroarer party setting on would go a long way towards keeping the mood IMHO.

    Don´t be so girly peeps! The game is too easy already.


  20. Kanatii (Silverload) Says:

    I prefer the darker look. Moria is the “black pit” after all.

    I do agree with Pointy’s comment above that the mob density in Moria is too high, if only along the main pathways. Actually, the entire game before the Gap of Rohan seems to have too high a mob density as the bulk of the players have moved out of these areas. However, that wouldn’t be such an issue if the respawn timer for trash-mobs wasn’t so short. I’d hate to hold up someone else’s questing, but I also hate having to kill the same mobs more than once just because I stayed in the same area for more than 30 seconds.


  21. Lorgelas Says:

    Blah. It’s not supposed to be bright. It’s Moria, the lost city of the Dwarves taken over by the Orcs.It’s supposed to be dark and dank, scary and tough. People aren’t supposed to want to go wandering around in there. It’s not disneyworld



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