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Standing Stone Games | Official Site
MMORPG | Setting:Fantasy | Status:Final  (rel 04/24/07)  | Pub:Daybreak Games
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Interviews: Book 7 Q&A

By Jon Wood on March 03, 2009

Book 7 Q&A

Can you tell us exactly what the quest radar is and what it's going to look like in-game?


The Quest Guide is set of features designed to make navigating through Middle-Earth more intuitive. For quests that you choose to track, the radar mini-map on the UI will display an arrow guiding you to the focused (or closest) quest objective that is available. On the main map, you will also have different indicators for objectives available over a wide area, individual quest targets such as NPCs, and quests that would lead you into an instance space. You can expect to see a developer diary with more detail (and screenshots!) soon.


There is a school of thought amongst some players that making quests too easy to track down via systems like the quest radar makes games too easy and removes a layer of challenge. Can you speak to this?


A primary goal of any game is to have fun, and as you would expect different players have fun in different ways. For players who are new to MMOs or prefer to have a helpful hand finding quest objectives, the Quest Guide provides added features to enhance their gameplay. For players who prefer to explore the world without a guide, we recommend that they disable the Quest Guide through the Options menu (Options>UI>Enable Quest Guide).

If you have run through the winding passages of Moria I believe you'd agree that a marker on the map does not necessarily make the challenge easier; much of the challenge of Moria is simply figuring out how to travel from "A" to "B". We have also taken steps to remove the Quest Guide from situations that were not appropriate, such as quests based on riddles. Ultimately this is a feature that our players have asked for, and we believe will enhance the experience of many players.

Second Life Screenshot

Can you tell us about the new raid that's going into the game?


"Strange Happenings" is a quest arc that begins deep within the Waterworks of Moria. As players unravel the mystery, you will move closer to unlocking the gate to the source of the corruption. Strange Happenings is intended to be slightly less challenging than The Vile Maw, but by no means a pushover. It will take teamwork and strategy with eleven of your comrades to overcome this challenge.

Book 7 is going to introduce new quests into the game. Are these quests targeted at the upper end in terms of character level or is new content being added for other areas of the game?


Book 7 continues the epic story and reunites the player (as a Hero of Middle-Earth) with The Fellowship. As such it focuses a great deal on the reclusive Galadhrim, the Elves of Lothlórien, and their relationship to the Iron Garrison Dwarves who seek to reclaim Khazad-dûm. The majority of the quests we have introduced are for players who have proceeded through Moria and entered into Lothlórien.

With that said, there are also many new things to discover back in Ered Luin. With Book 7 we have revisited the new player experience for both Elf and Dwarf and implemented many of the lessons learned over the last two years. We do hope that players will take the time to revisit these spaces, invite friends to try, or enjoy them with new characters.

Can you tell us how Book 7 is going to expand the land of Lothlorien?


Lothlórien is now expanded east of Nimrodel and west of the Anduin. Some highlights of this include the ancient hill of Cerin Amroth, the Banquet Lawn and Hythe along the Anduin River, and the home of Galadriel and Celeborn at Caras Galadhon. Access to Lothlórien is not free, however. As we know, the Galadhrim are cautious and reclusive - players must earn the trust of the Elves of Lothlórien before they are granted access to the Golden Wood, and must prove themselves as a true friend before they are allowed to enter Caras Galadhon. Those who not heed the warnings of the Galadhrim will be shot down by sentries before they set foot within the protected forest.

Second Life Screenshot

Book 7 plans to enhance the new player experience. Will this be done by way of a more detailed tutorial, or through some other means?


Revisiting the early levels of the game was a great opportunity for our designers to put into practice the lessons they have learned from almost two years of experience and community feedback. The early levels do include some tutorial elements, but also focus on making the experience immediate, streamlined and focused. During that early time the game must be engaging, varied and fun while introducing players to gameplay concepts. There are now more quests within these early levels, more to do at each quest location and an updated early Epic story specific to Elf characters. The audience for these games has expanded since we started building LOTRO- we think the changes represent how MMO games have evolved even in recent years and help to make the game accessible to an even broader group of new players.

When can we expect to see Book 7 implemented into the game?


Players can expect to see Book 7 this month.