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  Council Elections 2018
Posted by: Eresmir - 28 Jun, 18, 00:17 - Replies (4)

Elections are upon us friends!

  • Polls will open on July 10th and we are looking to elect a council consisting of a Leader, a Deputy and 4 officers.
  • Terms will last 6 months.
  • This is a TWA community election, any active member in the community may apply. That means you don't have to log in-game regularly although that would of course be beneficial.
  • Any full member on day one of elections may cast their vote.
Applications for candidacy start NOW!

Leader election:
July 10th to July 12th

Deputy election:
July 13th to July 15th

Officer election:
July 16th to July 18th

For any questions contact an officer or read the constitution (which you obviously have already done).
Interested in becoming an officer? Read our information thread here!

Please consider applying and good luck to all candidates.


  Trouble Logging In?
Posted by: Eresmir - 11 Jun, 18, 23:11 - No Replies

Our forum email service is working as normal however some returning members are still having trouble logging onto the forums, be it having trouble resetting old passwords or not being able to remember their old email accounts.

If that is the case simply contact me on Discord (access through the home page or via this link), and I can sort it for you. Once logged on you should be able to reset your password or update your email account as normal.

See you on the forums!


  Arise TWA!
Posted by: Eresmir - 11 Jun, 18, 00:37 - Replies (4)

Greetings all,

TWA had it's first Kin Meeting in over 4 years tonight, and it's fair to say that it was a big success! The full minutes can be read here
I'd like to thank everyone who not only attended, but also those who got in touch over the last few days, it was brilliant to hear from you all and to hear so many familiar voices again!

I'd like to quote from the meeting's minutes:

Quote:The immediate goals of the kin:
  • Activity: to regain a core group of active regular players in LotRO. To encourage those, and those older players who cannot log ingame but want to remain part of the community, to be active on the forums and on our Discord channel.

  • Encouragement: To help all characters at all levels. With a lot of old players and lower level characters returning to LotRO, and specifically the kin, it is incumbent on all kin members to help out.

  • Build: Towards regular grouping for quests and events. The principal endpoint of a restored kinship will not be endgame raiding, that must be emphasised. But it is an achievable option for those of us who want it.

This will require all of our input. So this thread will form a little to-do list. A miscellany of tasks that we can complete as a community to get ourselves going again.

The Council:
As you guys who attended the meeting will know, we will hold council elections in one month's time (details to follow this week in a separate dedicated thread). Until that time, I think it's important to spell out those who can help you as we get back into the game.
  • Leader: Eresmir
  • Deputy: Kairos
  • Officers: Thoronthor, Arohtar, Crucio, Grimdoin
  • Honourary Council Members: Belegwe, Ingaras
So those above are who you should contact if you have any queries, or want an invite, or an alt invited etc. We will be hosting an officer meeting in the weeks ahead. Minutes will follow as always.

Returning to the Game:
A lot has changed in Middle-Earth in the last 4 years. Players will return to find a better game in my opinion, linked intricately to Tolkien's universe, with more group content, interesting gameplay and beautiful landscapes then ever before. But trait-trees? Gondor? Mordor? featured instances? new skills?  Standing Stone Games?! It can be a lot to take in. 

So current active endgame players, where available, will post class guides to our Class Tactics Board. I will do champ (with help from Hroth I hope), Kai will do Hunter, Aro Warden. I invite every member to contribute or even start their own class thread.

A great place to start for returning/new players is Arohtar's game updates: May 2017June 2018.
Turbine have left LotRO and been replaced by Standing Stone Games.
The most recent release notes, including class updates, can be found here.

Recruitment:
Former members have been contacted through email and via the Facebook Group (which we should all join). All returning members will be automatically promoted to their former ranks.

Recruitment of new members should (and has) start immediately. All new initiates should post an introduction in our recruitment forum. They will then be interviewed by an officer ingame before an invite. The recruiting officer should create a thread in the initiate forum. Any member who has interaction with a recruit should post feedback in the thread which will be deleted after the three week initiation. Any council member, or 3 full members, can veto a recruit.

Website and Discord:
There are some issues to fix here. 
  • The website is in dire need of a spring clean. A lot of outdated stickys, forums, threads etc. from the time of our hiatus. Those hawk eyed amongst you will undoubtedly have noticed that that is already beginning to be addressed. It will continue over the course of the next month.
  • We desperately need an even scheduler. I'll be looking into this with hopefully a little help from Crucio.
  • The layout needs work. Unread posts does not include all forums (open council board for example where I would like to post the meeting minutes). It also doesnt appear anywhere but the home forum page. 
  • Permission for both Discord and the website will be worked on. I made our Discord server public to facilitate the meeting, once permission as sorted with Crucio I will reverse that.
Your suggestions are welcome.


That'll do for starters. Its only a rough guide and all of the above is subject to change.
Please reply to this thread with your own suggestions, ideas, solutions, etc.

It's great to be back folks. Let's all push to be active ingame or on the forums/discord as we push towards our shared goal, a vibrant TWA community once again.

Le meas,

Eres


  Running instances with the kinship
Posted by: Kairos - 08 Jun, 18, 08:54 - No Replies

I am happy to join in instances at any level to help members move up. My game times are currently a bit too irregular for me to be available at set times, but if you PM me in-game or on this site, adding when you plan to be online, we can set a date and time. I will in any case be logging on daily.


  General Meeting set for June 10th
Posted by: Kairos - 02 Jun, 18, 17:25 - Replies (2)

A date and time have been set for the meeting: Sunday 10 June at 4.00 pm UK time. Meet up at the TWA kinship hall (1 High Road / Lightgard / Breeland housing). Please all try to make it if you possibly can, and if you come across any ex-Kin members, pass on the invitation.


  Current State of LOTRO: June 2018
Posted by: Arohtar - 01 Jun, 18, 09:58 - Replies (3)

Just over a year from my last update, it’s once again time to fill you in on the current state of the game.

LOTRO is currently on Update 22, Legacy of the Necromancer, which was released on March 6th of this year. This takes players away from Mordor and into a new region, the Strongholds of the North. This consists of two areas: Eryn Lasgalen (North Mirkwood) and the Dale-lands. Excerpts from the release notes are below:

Quote:Strongholds of the North

Visit the Strongholds of the North! Encounter the Elvenking Thranduil, discover what is causing trouble in Dale and Lake-town in the Dale-lands, and help the renewed dwarven kingdom of Erebor. Accomplish unique goals with new deeds, and defend yourself against the scourges of these three kingdoms. This update includes over 125 new quests and deeds, which can be accessed by travelling to any hub in the Strongholds of the North. Access this content in the new Legacy of the Necromancer adventure pack, available in the LOTRO Store and FREE for VIPs! Players who have completed the main quest arcs in the Strongholds of the North will receive in their mailbox a "Missive from Dale". This is a vector to the episodic content that will unlock starting on March 14th.

Eryn Lasgalen

The name Mirkwood is no longer. The Wood-elves are reclaiming their forest with the name Wood of Greenleaves, but all is not cleansed yet. Trouble lurks in corners, and mysteries confound the Elves. Where have the spiders gone? Who would steal from the Raft-elves goods? What else has long dwelled, unseen, within the woods?

The Dale-lands

Nearly eighty years have passed since a company of Dwarves, a Wizard, and a very short burglar woke a dragon and Lake-town was set aflame. A new Lake-town has been built, Dale has been re-settled, and the Kingdom under the mountain thrives, but change has not lessened its pace. Mere days have passed since Jangovar Easterlings were repelled from Dale. However, new Easterlings have arrived from far Rhûn, dressed in rags, and telling tales of sorrow.

In addition to 125 quests and deeds, the update continues the Black Book of Mordor (which has largely replaced the Epic quest line) and introduces new episodic content - The Lay of Rust and Rime. Three factions (or kingdoms) exist in the region and achieving kindred with each allows players to access BiS rewards.

[Image: 600px-Eryn_Lasgalen_map.jpg]

The Strongholds of the North offer a nice contrast to Mordor (both landscapes are beautiful, but remarkably different), but play is also still focused around the latter - massive as it is. Here's a breakdown of endgame content:
  • The level cap remains at 115.
  • The Abyss of Mordath (raid), Dungeons of Naerband (6-man), and Court of Seregost (3-man) make up the current endgame group content. The 105-level Battle of the Pelennor Fields cluster (released with Update 18) was not scaled and is now seldom played as a result. COS is frequently run at 105 (T1 and T2) as it drops many LI scrolls and - very occasionally - BiS offhand barter items.
  • Dailies! Daily quests from both the three factions mentioned above and the Allegiances (the racial faction system which launched with Mordor) reward Black Steel Keys. These keys open Gorgoroth Steel-bound Lootboxes, which in turn reward 'Ashes of Enchantment'. Still with me? Essentially, to reduce the grind, rare items that drop via RNG can also be bartered for by deconstructing other rare items into 'ash'. That way, those players who can't run the raid (or do but that one item never seems to drop) can still access particular items. 'Ash' can also be bartered for essences, housing items, mounts and pets.
  • Deeds! Mordor's deed-count is astronomical - I cannot emphasise that enough. From landscape exploration to crafting instances to Scourges, it's enough to keep even the most active player occupied for an age...
  • Featured Instances. Every week, a specific scaling instance (or raid) from LOTRO's old favourites is featured in the Instance Join panel. Characters level 100 and higher can run these daily at level 100-114 and at cap (115). In addition to the regular loot, each of the two runs has a specific featured quest and extra rewards associated with the instance.
  • PvMP. Still going strong on Laurelin, but players typically only log in the evenings and at weekends. Balance is an issue at present and devs have warned it will not be addressed until freep-side class balance changes are complete (more on that below).
[Image: 600px-Mordor_map.jpg]
 
So, what’s coming in the future? Well, Update 22.2 is just around the corner. Here's what it will include:
  • Major class changes are afoot in an attempt to address growing imbalance amongst classes. The changes are varied and comprehensive. Some have been welcomed - others ridiculed - but the devs have made many adjustments based on feedback. They are too numerous to list here, but this link leads to the BR sub-forum focusing on each class.
  • Update 22.2 will also bring a 'region polish' to Breeland and southern Ered Luin. "Expect to see fewer impassable cliffs – and polished impassable cliffs where they are needed. Some terrain textures have been replaced with newer, better looking textures. New waterways and polished water materials have been added to make the landscape feel more like an ecosystem. Trees and frills have been updated in places to take advantage of newer and more detailed assets. Plus – a few small surprises have been added here and there to keep things interesting." The official thread - and photos - can be found here.
Further out, we will be returning to explore the rest of Mordor but not before Update 23 takes us to the Iron Hills and the Grey Mountains. The following is taken from Severlin's (LOTRO's executive producer) most recent letter:
  • Update 23 will increase the level cap to 120 (+5).
  • The Iron Hills and the Grey Mountains will have 80 new quests, and the Black Book of Mordor will continue its story.
  • Update 23 will also come with an instance cluster and, later in the year, a new raid.
  • "Beyond Update 23, we have some threads to tie off before we are done with North Rhovanion, including Gundabad, the Vales of Anduin, and landscape contiguity with Lothlórien".
  • The return to Mordor - specifically, Minas Morgul - is projected for 2019.
  • Further waves of class balances and "incremental improvements" will continue beyond Update 22.2.
Also coming down the road:
  • LOTRO’s PC (playable character) avatars have been updated! However, those who like their old appearance can toggle between the two. Man and Elf avatars were updated with Mordor, Dwarves with Strongholds of the North. Still waiting on Hobbits. However, Beornings and High Elves - being later releases - have not required much work.
  • SSG have confirmed efforts towards a 64-bit client are currently on hold while other issues take priority. But it is something they're actively considering and researching.
That seems enough to be getting on with!


  The Auld Alliance
Posted by: Kairos - 30 May, 18, 22:39 - Replies (13)

I am back once again with the Western Alliance after a long absence. Before anything else, I must pay tribute to Eresmir, Ertana and Arohtar, as well as to other TWA members who stuck with the kinship through thick and thin, keeping it alive throughout the grim years when its survival hung by a thread. This must, I think, make us the oldest and longest surviving kinship on the server, and surely one amongst no more than a small handful across all servers.

I left, like so many of us, after Rohan, when the publishers had made it perfectly clear that there would be no more endgame content. I did make an attempt to return three years ago, but the endless round of half-witted grinding across the length and breadth of Rohan got me down (remember all those unavoidable quests that involved helping old ladies across the road, looking for lost pets and placating stroppy children?).

Upon coming back to LOTRO this past winter, I was delighted to see that the game has finally pulled itself together, and despite a small number of poor design decisions, I think Mordor was a success, and so is Mirkwood. Maybe it's time to try and get the Western Alliance fully operational again? The meeting Eresmir has proposed is an essential first step; let's get together and see how everybody feels about this idea.

I'll be posting some ideas and suggestions in the days to come, but I wanted first of all to say hello again, and thanks to all who kept the kinship alive!


  General Meeting (Sunday June 10th, 1600 UK Time, Kinhall, 1 High Road, Lightgard)
Posted by: Eresmir - 27 May, 18, 13:26 - Replies (24)

Greatings all!

With a modest amount of Kin activity in-game this past week (we actually ran instances together!), and with the reinvitation of Kairos to our ranks, a meeting seems in order as we look to kickstart TWA in LotRO.

Our kin activity dissolved around Rohan due to a lack of group and endgame content. Anyone who has played LotRO since we entered Gondor at level 100 two years ago can attest that Turbine, and now Standing Stone, have addressed that imbalance. The impetuous is there friends to get going, and eventually raiding, again!

So lets use this thread to organise a meeting to discuss future plans. I invite any players, past or present, to attend. As well as those of us who are logging regularly, I urge any past players to redownload the game and see for yourself how LotRO has returned to fine form. I personally don't think the game mechanics, instances, quests and general gameplay have been this good since level 75, and Mordor and Erebor are brilliant fun. 

Hopefully see you all ingame soon,

Eres


  Email Issue
Posted by: Eresmir - 27 May, 18, 13:25 - Replies (7)

Hi all,

There appears to be an issue with the forum’s mail server, as reported by Kai and Hroth yesterday. This is particularly annoying given old players returning trying to reset their passwords. 

Crucio, I don’t know if you have any insight into how to fix it. I’ll certainly give it a go. The workaround fix until then is to contact me in game and I can reset passwords for you. 

Regards,

Eres


  Turbine Exits Middle Earth! Hello SSG
Posted by: Arohtar - 05 May, 17, 11:43 - No Replies

In December 2016, Turbine spun off it’s Lord of the Rings Online (and DDO) teams into a new studio called Standing Stone Games (SSG). The transition was pulled off very smoothly and thus seems to have been in the works for the best part of a year. Here is the announcement from EP Rob Ciccolini which accompanied the takeover:


Quote:Greetings,
 
Today we have some momentous news! The game teams responsible for The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) and Dungeons & Dragons Online (DDO) are now moving from Turbine to Standing Stone Games, a newly formed indie game studio. In addit
ion, we’ve partnered with Daybreak Games to provide global publishing services. They’ve had a long, successful history developing and publishing MMOs, and we’re happy to lean on their expertise.
 
With the announcement out of the way, I wanted to talk to you about what all this means.
 
We're embarking on an exciting adventure as Standing Stone Games, a newly-independent studio staffed by people who have been working on DDO and LOTRO for many years. The teams remain very much committed to both games and are thrilled to continue development and operations of these games as an independent studio. This is an opportunity for us to bring about our dreams while still working on two of the biggest licenses in video games. It's a huge honor, and for you this means your games will continue to grow and improve. We love to focus on games with a high level of depth and scope, and we can't wait to show you what the future brings. 
 
Although a great many exciting things are happening on our end, you'll be able to continue playing the game(s) you enjoy with as little interruption as possible. Our development continues on track, and the plans we have already announced remain firmly in our future view. Again, although we are a new studio, we are also the same developers who have been and will continue to work on our games. 
 
Our success has always been possible because of your support. As we move forward, this is more important than ever. The ultimate goal of our new studio is to continue to bring you amazing experiences. We are excited for the future, and we’re thrilled to have you with us on this journey. 
 
Here's to great games, epic adventures, and memorable times with friends!
 
~Sev


Here’s some of what we’ve learned about SSG thus far:
  • SSG is fully independent and “Turbine will no longer be involved in the development of LOTRO and DDO.” However, the SSG remains at Turbine HQ where  the existing office was split into two separate spaces
  • The games will continue on with their existing data centres, business models, account systems, and so forth
  • A direct quote here: “Daybreak Game Company’s role as publisher for LOTRO and DDO should have no impact on any existing Daybreak games”
  • All of the devs/employees who worked on the LOTRO and DDO teams moved over to SSG with the transition
  • SSG seem to have more money at their disposal. Additional staff members have joined the team and they’ve confirmed research is underway and resources have been put aside towards a 64-bit client
  • Communication has improved hugely from the Turbine days. Devs are now regularly seen on the forums and LOTRO is now far more conspicuous on social media. The 10th Anniversary livestream (on FB/Twitch/YT) is a great example of this, with every dev from Localisation to Landscape showing up to discuss their work
 
So far the mood amongst players has been mostly positive with the typical reactions ranging from “cautiously optimistic” to “refrained enthusiasm.” Long may it continue!
 
Be sure to check out my report on the current state of the game here.


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