Lotro is entering its 11th year and there’s a buzz about what’s in store for Middle Earth in 2018. In mid December last year, the producer’s letter revealed that more content is coming. What’s exciting is that again, we’re off to zones that players have not been to before. Update 22 will take players into Norther Mirkwood with new story lines and things to do. We’ll also drop by other iconic places such as Dale to see what’s happened since the destruction of the One Ring.
Exciting stuff for content, but there’s more. The letter mentions a revamp to older systems such as the Legendary Item system. While players can certainly appreciate that, it got me thinking. What else can Lotro do to spice up their MMORPG and give it new life?
Scaling Could Be A Game Changer
One of the things that SSG can maybe consider for the year(s) ahead is scaling. Scaling could do a few things for the game:
- Freshens up older zones
- Makes older instances relevant again
- In some occasions it can be seen as new content
While it’s easy to sit here and speculate, the above will obviously come down to two very large factors. The first is the groundwork that’s been build. Considering the game is pretty old, are the early instances actually scale-able? And if so, just how much work will it take for the devs to rework a whole bunch of things? While to the rest of us it may sound easy – just give mobs higher stats etc – it’s actually not. Plenty of things needs to be considered such as the current stat caps, mitigations, loot tables and so much more. But if they can pull it off, the benefits far outweighs the cons.
Early Zones Gets New Life
If they do introduce zone scaling, new players and even old ones would probably have a better time leveling. Modern MMOs do this a lot. Think Elder Scrolls Online’s One Tamriel, and even Guild Wars 2. Heck, even World of Warcraft is introducing scaling this year. It keeps early zones interesting and challenging. But how would it work in Lotro? Looking at the forums, many old timers prefer to leave it as it is, for they dislike the idea of losing effectiveness when returning to old zones. That’s a fair point. Guild Wars 2’s zone scaling means that even the best geared and capped player will scale down to a zone’s level, and a few folks hate the idea.
The Best Instances Will Enhance Replayability
If zone scaling can’t be done, then at least scale the game’s best instances and raids. We’ve seen many great new dungeons and raids in the past few years, but nothing beats the early group content. Angmar, Moria and even Dunland’s instance cluster is fantastic on level thanks to classic mechanics, iconic villains and atmosphere. It’s a shame that they weren’t built to scale. Angmar and Moria at least, were made before the start of this decade, so scaling was not a thing to consider.
But think of all the awesome content that players can run should they become relevant again. The Watcher raid at 115. Saruman’s Tower of Orthanc at 115. These are excellent group content that hardly anyone runs these days seriously.
So would you like to see scaling add in The Lord of the Rings Online?