Thursday, October 21, 2010

LOTRO Halloween Holiday Quality/Quantity

Stargrace, Zubon, and Syp (and his twitter friend), are all fans of LOTRO's new Halloween haunted cellar.  The atmosphere is really great.  Further, this content is located firmly in the free portions of the game's new business model (you will need to level to 5 to get out of the starter instance), so this event is available to just about everyone who wants to see it. 

Unfortunately, as with many things LOTRO, the quality isn't necessarily backed with quantity.  If you want the title for doing each of the quests in the cellar once, you will end up exploring most or all of the area a total of eight times.  It's really cool the first time, suitably challenging when you try to solve the two quests that have relatively short timers, and will probably have gotten old by visit number eight.  Even this may not be your last trip through the area if you're after your daily shot at the Halloween decorated horse. 

(Irritatingly, your shot at the horse is treated as a 24-hour debuff rather than a daily repeatable quest, so players who come back at the same time tomorrow will find that they must make their attempt slightly later on each evening of the event.  Still better than once an hour I suppose.)

The Wait For Content
Doc Holiday was the first I saw to notice the schedule for LOTRO's latest patch, which is due out in November.  Endgame players will have spent basically an entire year with only a single full group (6-player) dungeon and a single (12-player) raid at the level cap, supplemented only with scaling skirmishes, and, in the last few months, newly scaling versions of old leveling dungeons. 

The patch will add some variety to the dungeon game (I have not seen details of pricing or intended level range), but Turbine is also taking care to announce in advance that this is the first major patch in the game's history that will not include an update to the game's epic story.  New outdoor leveling/questing landmass is also officially off the table for the new patch, leaving a period of at least a year in which September's Enedwaith zone was the only new area added to the game. 

Perhaps the game's touted free to play success will someday lead to an increase in new content, but that clearly won't be starting with this patch.  I suppose that most players who have made it through the lean times of the last two years are probably used to the pace by now.  Quality over quantity has been the game's calling card pretty much from the beginning.  That said, the quantity is going to have to catch up eventually if Turbine is hoping to convince former subscribers to spend money on a regular basis, especially as the best of the limited content is often available for free. 


Argon said...

"Irritatingly, your shot at the horse is treated as a 24-hour debuff"

WoW avoids this problem (for things like transmutation cooldowns) by making them 20 hours, so if you play at the same time every day, it will be available right away. Although I believe at least some (like the transmutation cooldowns) have been changed to resetting at a fixed time each day.

mbp said...

I deal with the Lotro content issue by playing for a few months and then taking a long break. It has only taken me about six weeks to catch up on the latest content after more than a year's absence. I do have friends in Kin who have played all that time and they have a lot of alts levelled up but I don't think I could handle that much repetition.