Dev Diary: Hytbold

September 20, 2012


endgame_07The 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?

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About Merric

Co-founder of CSTM and an avid LOTRO fan.

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8 Responses to “Dev Diary: Hytbold”

  1. Thurinphir Says:

    I’ll be a very happy hobbit if it starts similar to (after intro) Archet and ends up like Combe (all with a Rohan theme of course)
    that orphan game sounds familiar :)


  2. Stando Says:

    This is a great move on Turbine’s part. It shows they really understand the new trends in MMO’s and aren’t afraid to try a new approach to endgame. For a soloer like me I love knowing I will have something to work toward at endgame.

    I’m sure once the raiding cluster comes out the raiders will have access to better gear but for those of us who don’t have that kind of time it’s great to have a variety of progression to look forward to.


  3. Avatar of Azakael
    Azakael Says:

    This, as well as having finally entered the 21st century with broadband, will certainly keep me in LotRO after my lag and Minecraft induced hiatus.
    But do I return to Nimrodel with my capped characters but without my Kin who have all but effectively migrated to GW2? Or do I hang on Landroval and bring those characters up? Decisions, decisions, decisions…


  4. Pakita Says:

    So the new repeatable content is lots and lots of dailies? What a revolutionary idea! After all it has been done before only bannanabilarilion times! lame. And they expect us to pay for opportunity to do this grind? The only good news here is that you don’have to grind on all your characters.


    • Groo Says:

      Yes, it does sound like it is dailies, but, endgame content is always dailies, it has to be since you are at the end of the game with nowhere to go. However, these dailies appear to be
      1) tied to a story
      2) have a specific end if you want to be done doing the dailies
      3) once you’ve completed the dailies you should have full access to all armor sets so you don’t have to run them all again just to get the next piece (like normal mmo dailies work)
      4) although not mentioned, I would guess that this will get you prepared for the 3, 6, 12 man instances which will arrive hopefully by the end of the year. These are the ones people will run to death to get every last sparkly if that’s your thing

      All in all, I am looking forward to this to see how it all pans out.


  5. Lythiea Says:

    “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”

    Or, you know, more immediate visions of say Limlight faction, or Theodred’s Riders, or either Enedwaith faction, or Lothlorien/Mirkwood rep…

    Now, clearly, I don’t mind all grind, or I wouldn’t have stuck with the game as long as I did. But, well, odious rep grinds based on dailies are not something unique to WoW.


  6. darkeye Says:

    Yeah does sound like the Firelands progression of dailies in WoW. I prefer the background story though, and the possibility of becoming a thane. If only it could become my new house, that should be the ultimate reward and should be possible with phasing, maybe when they get around to revamping housing.

    The remote looting sounds like a really fluid system, will definitely be turning off auto-loot for the first time since I started playing the game because it does seem like you’ll be able to stay out questing for longer without having to worry about bag space.

    Most excited about the public instances because it was one of my main wishes for the game that going forward there would be more extensive playfields and an abundance of public dungeons. Hope the public dungeons are big and diverse and that it will be a foundation that is built on.


  7. scott Says:

    Spoiler alert…. I love the Hytbold concept. Basically all the villages (I call the towns in Rohan that) are all being evacuated because of the Orc and other nastys threating them. Hytbold is the new refuge camp for all of these villagers and its our job as toons to help rebuild the town so they can move in. As you rebuild stuff it goes from burnt out looking to new, so you can monitor your progress. Other NPC become available and crafting instances like in Moria back in the day open up. Overall, it s a much better end game experience than the old way of grinding the same old stuff over and over again. Also for an alt-o-holic like myself, once the town is fully built, I can use that main toon if you will to continue to do dailys to earn the tokens to buy the armor for your other up and coming toons. Awesome!


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