The Developer Diary for Hytbold was released today. For those who may not know what town this is, this is the town that Ten Ton Hammer mistakenly reported as Snowbourn (which is another town located in Rohan). Hytbold’s creator, Joe ‘jwbarry’ Barry describes it as “a new solo-able endgame experience being delivered with Riders of Rohan.” The town will feature “a large suite of rotating, randomized, daily quests” that will focus around the rebuilding of Hytbold.
If you’re like me and hear the words “endgame” and “daily quests”, visions of World of WarCraft start to surface in your mind of where you spent endless days grinding out a set of the same quests repeatedly until you finally reached the point where you could purchase a steed, a set of shoulder enchants, or some other single reward that usually meant that you were now ready to grind out the next faction. So why as a LOTRO player with these horrible memories should I bother with this?
Simple; this is not that kind of endgame.
Its rewards are class specific, trait line specific armour sets with raid level set bonuses that are bind to account. Upon completing the town, players will be able to take part in a capstone experience that culminates the storylines of Eastern Rohan. If successful they will be named as Thane and considered an honorary noble of Rohan.
This doesn’t sound like the endgame daily quests that I’m familiar with. Those quests of old drove me insane; to the point I didn’t even want to log in anymore. This set of quests sounds like it has *gasp* a story that ties into the entire expansion. Plus, instead of one reward I gain access to full sets of armor? That’s pretty spectacular. Joe goes on to state that as we progress there will “over 2 dozen different buildings” within the town that can be rebuilt and upgraded including a stables, a study, an armoury, and a Mead-hall.
Wait… a Mead-hall? That’s awesome!
So how do we gain access to these quests? Jwbarry hints at it with the following statement:
Once you have proven your value and worth to Fastred, Thane of Snowbourn and Reeve of the Sutcrofts, he will ask you to venture to Hytbold and entrust you with rebuilding the town and restoring its place within Rohan.
Examples given for the quests found within Hytbold vary quite a bit too. The examples given in the diary range from battling on your warsteed to playing a game with orphans. There will also be some very familiar quests such as travelling to different areas and “defeating the denizens within.” My hope is that the pool of quests is in fact large enough so that players such as myself won’t grow tired of them too quickly. However, if Turbine and Joe’s track record holds up I won’t be disappointed.
Jwbarry goes on to say that Hytbold can be progressed at any time either on your own or with the help of a group. However, since the progress of Hytbold is tied to the character, the group experience will make use of some “new technology” coming with Riders of Rohan to complete the experience; i.e. instance public questing areas, open tapping, and remote looting. For more information on these technologies I highly recommend reading at least this part of the developer diary.
Let’s admit it though, the ultimate reason we come back to quests like these is usually the reward. As mentioned before access to armour sets will be a primary reward for completing quests in Hytbold. This isn’t just any armour though, it’s armour with “raid level set bonuses and skill modifiers” that can be earned solo (or in a group, depending on your playstyle).
Each piece of armour is tied to an upgrade within the town. Once that upgrade has been acquired, you are able to barter for that piece of armour. Once you have completed rebuilding the town, all of the armour vendors for all of the classes will become available to you. The armour sets themselves are bind to account, meaning once you have completed Hytbold with one character, you can continue to use that character to accrue currency and purchase the armour for your alts without them having to have complete Hytbold themselves.
This is pretty awesome. I’m not sure how long it would take for me to earn enough armor for all of my characters, but I really like the accessibility being implemented here.
Last, but not least, another advantage of upgrading Hytbold will be the unlocking of crafting stations. Apparently once a station is unlocked, the previously discussed resource instances will also open up.
These instances allow you to venture forth and collect crafting resources for Ore, Lumber, and Scholar Materials. These will be accessible once per day and have the potential to award bonus rewards.
It’s obvious from his writing that Joe Barry has high hopes for this area and that’ he’s proud of the work that he’s done here. I have to admit that it sounds like an amazing experience and that I’m looking forward to diving into it once I reach the appropriate level. What about you?