Today, Elliot “Avon” Gilman released a Developer Diary focused on Mounted Combat. Within the diary, Avon discusses the evolution of Mounted Combat including its predecessor, the Mount System.
Again, not known to many, Mount 2.0 laid down some of the framework for mounted combat. In 2009, prior to Mount 2.0 being released, a few of us started to experiment with fighting on horseback. It was fun, but there were a great number of issues extending not just to gameplay but also to the engine. Still, it was an important experiment because, for the first time, it offered a glimpse into what mounted combat could be in LotRO.
While there was a lot of good information in the diary, some of the highlights for me were:
- All of your class skills will be granted to you upon completing the mounted combat tutorial.
- Other more generic skills can be unlocked to you by ranking up specific War-steed traits.
- The experience gained is not tied to your active War-steed but to all three types, thereby reducing the amount of grind one would incur by having to level up three different steeds.
- The War-steed will gain experience in Rohan even as you play dismounted, although there is a penalty to the amount gained per kill.
- Some quests in Rohan will also grant your War-steed experience.
- As your War-steed levels it will be granted points and these can be spent on traits to improve the steed, your character, or unlock skills.
- These points can be refunded at any time using Gold.
- You will have a combat bonus against monsters who are not mounted while you are on your War-steed.
- While on a War-steed the camera can be zoomed out twice as far and your awareness range is increased
- Player crowd control skills have been updated to affect mounted monsters differently.
- You can spar other players while on War-steeds (outside of towns).
I want to thank Avon for taking the time to release all this information and provide it to the players. This diary answers a lot of questions that players may have about the system and does a good job describing the issues that Turbine faced in developing the process. If I had one criticism it would be that this would have been an excellent diary to have at the beginning of the Diary releases instead of one of the last (although it might have been held to reflect changes made to the system in the Beta).