A new Developer Diary has been released by Jonathan “RockX” Steady discussing Itemization changes coming in Update 10. Within the diary he touches on the “two main areas which have seen some major changes”.
- All Classic Instances (other than Helegrod) have had their loot completely revamped.
- Completely new loot
- Ranges from Rare to Legendary
- Each instance cluster has loot focused around different gear types
- They will now use Remote Looting
- 3 and 6-man Dungeons
- The final boss’s chest will be able to drop equipment
- Other chests will drop Legendary Item (LI) materials (I’m assuming relics, sealed runes, Item XP relics, etc.)
- Equipment will be linked to each boss chest
- Challenge modes will have an additional chest
For the most part I’m a fan of these changes. The only thing I’m a bit hesitant about is the way that they focused the loot of instance clusters for different group roles. To quote RockX:
Each instance cluster is now focused on a handful of different gear types, so DPS looking for a necklace would want to run instances and raids from cluster X, while Tanks looking for a necklace would want to run cluster Y.
While I haven’t had any experience running the recent clusters in LOTRO (so I may be speaking out of ignorance) I do foresee that this decision could cause a potential problems in the formation of groups. If DPS people only want to run certain clusters and Tanks want to run others, then will there be enough motivation for them to compromise on which ones they’ll run? In past games it has been my experience that people typically queue for the dungeons for which they feel they have the potential to gain the most rewards. This results in different roles queuing up for separate clusters which leads to groups taking longer to fill; especially in LOTRO since there is no easy way for players to switch their traits and virtues on-the-fly. It’s also been my experience that when it comes to pre-existing/regular groups there can be some additional discussion about which cluster/dungeon the group should run since some roles in the group are generally going to have to resolve to running the dungeon without the opportunity for loot. (Yes, I know that most of these groups are formed and maintained for social reasons, but everyone likes new toys once-in-a-while.) Again, I haven’t looked in-depth into how the loot is split up between clusters so please feel free to input your thoughts in the comments below.
Update: It’s been clarified that the instances will contain items for all group archetypes, but that each cluster will focus on a different slot for each one.
It appears there was definitely room for confusion with what I wrote for the Dev Diary, and I can definitely see why now in hindsight. I apologize for the confusion which has been brought up in this thread.
To expand a little on what Rowan wrote yesterday:
Each Instance Cluster is focused around a handful of item types and roles. For example, Cluster A might give DPS Bracelets, DPS Off-hands, Tanking Heads, Tanking Rings, Healing Hands, Healing Legs, etc.
Each Instance within the cluster has its own Rare and/or Incomparable loot, based off what was assigned to the cluster, and every revamped instance has equipment which is usable by each class.
This should help to encourage players to run different instances, as different pieces of gear will drop for them in different spaces.
I have to say I do like the option of running a cluster of dungeons rather than a single dungeon for items, but we’ll have to see how this will affect grouping post Update 10.
- Sets will now either give stats or skill modifying effects
- Skill modifying effects have been moved from the 3 & 5 set bonuses and moved to the 2 & 4 set bonuses
The reason behind this change, RockX states is begrudgingly logical in that when the end game gear gives both bonus stats and skill modifiers, players will only want to replace that gear with similar gear; i.e. the next end-game armor. Also, Turbine would need to keep increasing the stats on end-game armor sets as they are released in order to make the bonuses seem a worthwhile upgrade.
Admittedly this makes sense to me. It’s very logical. However, when I compare the armor I have in-game now to what it will be once Update 10 is released I can’t help but feel a pang of loss at all the stats that will be disappearing. In essence it makes me a sad panda. .
Other highlights of the diary include:
- Two new sets of gear from the Erebor raids
- Each class will have a “lesser” and “greater” set
- The lesser set is available for marks, medallions and seals at the skirmish vendors and will require the completion of Tier 1 raids.
- The greater set will require the corresponding lesser piece, new “gems” that drop from the raids, and the completed Tier 2 of the appropriate raid.
- There are four gems
- They are not bound (they can be traded and sold on the AH)
- They are also used to upgrade the Rohan Warband rings to Legendary Quality
- They are also required for some new crafting recipes
I’m pretty interested to see some of how this plays out. I think that making the “gems” not bound is a good move, but their existence does leave me wondering if there really needs to be another (random?) currency implemented towards earning “the best” gear. Shouldn’t the completion of a T2 raid be enough of a requirement to get “the best” gear in the game? Let me know what you think chiming in on this and the other changes in the comments below!