For monster players in The Lord of the Rings Online, to say it’s been an easy life would be…well, not true. Player versus Monster Player, or LotRO’s version of PvP, has felt stagnant for years now, with issues stemming from a lack of perceived support to clear performance issues. The LotRO team wants to start to address this.
The forum post penned by Lead Systems Designer Orion goes into some of what has made PvMP feel lacking of late, starting right off by acknowledging that the stagnant Ettenmoors hasn’t seen an "appreciable change in structure, game play, or flavor" in years.
"First, let us acknowledge that the Ettenmoors has not seen an appreciable change in structure, game play, or flavor in a long time – years. This leads to stagnation and a deteriorating player base. The numerous iterative changes, balance passes, and alterations were less bold than requested and have the appearance of placating the tenacious fan base that remains here still."
Orion has only recently returned to the LotRO team, after working elsewhere for the past nine years, so approaching the Ettenmoors problem seems to be in good hands thanks to the fresh outlook they can bring. As a result, the developer is proposing some changes to the community, despite the cynicism and wariness Orion acknowledges has crept into the community over the years.
While not overtly promising anything concrete, or even large, sweeping changes overall, the dev is instead talking about minor adjustments that could build up and make an impact. Stating that Monster Play is "at a crossroads," Orion is proposing changes based on the team’s observations, collected player feedback, and more.
Some of these changes include moving the Orc and Elf camps back to their original locations, changes to the Delving of Frór, tweaks to the number of NPCs in the keeps and tower forts that dot the Moors, as well as tweaking how healing works in the Ettenmoors only to speed along battle encounters.
Orion closes by stating that the proposed changes, or even getting the Ettenmoors back up to its former glory won’t be easy, quick, and painless. The team also acknowledges that the changes will need to happen transparently, working with players to incorporate feedback in order to reinvigorate the Moors to a place where Freeps and Creeps can enjoy ganking each other once more.
You can check out the full forum post on the official LotRO forums.
Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he’s not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don’t get him started on why Balrogs *don’t* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore