In a new interview, Lord of the Rings Online producer Oleg "Raninia" Brodskiy detailed a bit more of the approach being taken by Standing Stone Games towards revamping its Legendary Items. Additionally, in the more than hour-long interview, Raninia also touches again on monetization and more.
The interview was conducted on LOTRO Players' Andang's Twitch channel (industrial clamp on the mic and all), and the more than hour-long interview touches on a wide-range of topics. Notably, LotRO's producer Raninia breaks down a bit more the philosophy behind the revamp which has been promised to be coming to Legendary Items for some time.
While Brodskiy mentions that he can't talk "too deep" about the revamps coming, he does touch on the philosphy behind how the studio is approaching the revamp.
"So I can't go too deep into this," Raninia explains in response to Andang asking for some details on what exactly is changing with the LI grind and system in general. Raninia continues:
"This is somehting that we're hoping to talk about more in the coming weeks and months. What I can say is that part of the change is a shift in philosophy in terms of what is the purpose of an LI. We want our LIs to be more like the way I think players think about them: as this really cool legendary artifact kind of thing that they are carrying around with them that grows with them, that improves with them, but still allows them to make decisions about how they want to play the game.
"Whereas, you know, if you want to focus on particular aspects, you can focus on those particular aspects. And it's looking at hte current model and saying, 'Not only how can we move more twaords that, but where are some fo the places where there has been frustration or difficulty around that grind? And it's basically just categorially simplifying it. I don't have a very explicit thing that I can for you on that right now."
Brodskiy goes on to state the new system is "much more straight forward." The producer states that the system has been in Palantir, which is a test server before the updates move towards the public test server, Bullroarer, and Raninia states that SSG has been getting good feedback on it.
When talking about progression with LIs themselves, Raninia states that progression for LIs will be connected directly with just "playing the game and leveling up."
"And as you're leveling up, you know, getting new things that you can put into your Legendary Item, and giving you the ability to improve your Legendary Itm just by leveling up. There's additional pieces in there that I can't speak to, but they're much simpler than the current implementation. [...] The other aspect of it is, the way that you're able to get stuff [...] to slot into your legendary item is going to be much simpler."
As far as how SSG is going alleviate fears and concerns about what happens to current LIs once the revamp happens, especially considering some players have been using their LIs for years since the mechanic was introduced with the first expansion, Mines of Moria, back in 2009, Raninia states that this is a discussion the team is still having.
"[I]t's been a big debate. There's two schools of thought on that. There's one school of thought that says players spend a bunch of time on this - a lot of valuable time. And we want to make sure that we're rewarding them for that time that they're spending so that when they are stating day one with the new system, they'll have the opportunity to start a little further ahead. [...] The other school of thought is, this is a bit of a clean break, right? We're simplifying things, we're changing things, and there is an opportunity there to sort of get everyone back on an equal footing. I understand that approach. I suspect that, ultimately, we will go with the former rather than the latter, but it's still a conversation that we're having."
Under the new system, Raninia states that the LI systems will start at level 50 and take you through the level cap. He also states that, even at release, they are not removing the current LIs in the game initially, meaning that players will still be able to use their current Legendary Items when the new system launches. There isn't a timetable set in stone as far as when they will be phased out, but it should give players time to understand a bit more how the new system works and get acclimated and "try stuff out" before committing to a LI build. There will also no longer be a distinction between rarities, meaning the Third, Second and First age distinctions will be going away with the new system. Raninia reiterates it's going to be a "much simpler thing."
The full interview is definitey worth a listen, especially if you're like many LotRO players who have been waiting for more meat to the LI revamp pie to be discussed. While Raninia doesn't give a time table as far as its release, it's interesting to note that he does set up that discussions on the topic will start being opened up by the studio in the weeks and months coming up.
LotRO's newest producer also touched on monetization changes coming to the MMORPG, stating that while the discussions are ongoing at the studio, nothing has been "solidified into something cohesive." However, the team is seemingly doing their due dilligence, looking at premium and free-to-play models across the industry to ensure that what they decide to do with monetization, it fits the current market. You can check out the full interview with Andang in the embed above.