No Level Cap Increases Planned for 2015

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Vyvyanne, LOTRO’s new Executive Producer, has been very active on the forums today with six posts already.

In one of the posts, she informs the community that there is no planned level increase for this year.

“Level Cap increases: Not in the cards for this year”

While this is understandable with a lot of things already planned for the next year, it would be nice to have my Champion leveling again.  I know for some players the main reason they play is for the leveling experience. While that is not necessarily what LOTRO is about, I think it is nice to have a goal.

The last level increase was to 100 on July 14th with Update 14.  Add another year plus however long until the next level increasing update in 2016 and LOTRO might have a two year gap without a level increase.  This could cause a large amount of overlapping leveled content to be skipped by some players.

Vyvyanne has already said that they are willing to change their plan based on player feedback and I personally hope that this becomes one of the things they change.

23 comments

  1. I understand your frustration Andang but really think that the game has a problem when the only thing drawing players back to play is the leveling aspect…(and I am tired of the ‘roll another alt’ response that this always induces…)

    It would be interesting if LOTRO could get some kind of content that was not level dependent…

  2. Leveling is not what drove me back to the game. The world and the community did that. In fact, leveling in itself is rather tedious. But running around Middle-earth, even as a non-fan, brought me back.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t want the level cap increase, for those who enjoy leveling! Just that tastes od vary. This is the one game I havent hit the level cap for, because that is not my personal aim.

    If you enjoy the game, and the world, it won’t hurt to wait 12 months for another 10-15 levels to popup (which probably is too little in gametime turns anyway, right?).

    And yes, it would be interesting if there was content that wasnot level dependent. Isn’t there already? :S Honest question.

  3. Karvett /

    I am curious about that “episodic content” comment I read in the letter. Like another over laying quest series that occurs across Eriador and spills into other zones? It brings to mind the later parts of Vol 1 in the epic. It would be cool to have that lead to instances that scale to your current level so you can do those along with level appropriate regional questing… or save them all for an end game run like the In Their Absence was at 65. Options, Options…. 🙂

  4. Amenhir /

    Right now all a few extra lvls brought you is a couple of trait points, more gear to grind, more LI crap to worry about. I don’t care if I’m lvl 100 or 120. Though it will be hard to imbued LIs to lvl with us if we no longer lvl up, unless of course LI exp will still be awarded.

  5. Kaleigh Starshine /

    I have always agreed with the idea that ‘levels’ are only an artificial enticement, something that gives us the illusion of our characters growing in power. It would be nice if methods of ‘advancement’ were implemented that are independent of level, like Tsu says 🙂

    The problem, as I see it, is that all of our forms of ‘advancement’ have been inextricably tied to ‘levels’, and it would take a massive amount of labor and reenvisioning to reverse things:

    Skill Points: From November 20, 2013 to sometime now in 2016, our characters will have only gained two skill points from leveling, which is really only one due to cross-specialization costs. Given that one of the primary reasons stated for the trait tree changes was skill stagnation, this is an absolute failure, unfortunately. Skill points should never have been tied to leveling if there were not going to be level increases. I hope the new quest areas give, at least, 10 skill points, if not 15 or 20, to help alleviate the skill stagnation that is worse now than ever before.

    Crafting: Crafting is, virtually, a dead industry now. New crafting tiers have always been tied to both expansions and level increases, but it does not need to be this way. I hope we get a new tier of crafting, new recipes, and that they are worth pursuing.

    Itemization and something to pursue One has to wonder from where the motivation to pursue the new content will come, for those who are not completionists. The change to itemization that occurred with Helm’s Deep needs to be redacted 🙂

    One also has to wonder what will be the cause in 2016, or later, that might initiate a level increase, but that has not already occurred and is not a part of our current circumstance.

  6. Barnabras /

    It would be disappointing if there was no level cap increase this year. I am more of a goal orientated person, and if there isn’t something to work toward (becoming more powerful) I would get bored. All of the games that held any long term interest for me were ones where there was some level progression.

  7. Andang /

    The main thing for me is that we will have possibly all of Gondor with only a 5 level increase. By the time 2016 comes around we will have had an equal amount of content to the 20 level increase of Rohan but only be increasing 5 levels.

    For me it is not about becoming more powerful or getting more armor but just having goals. I don’t care enough about the LI system to use its goals, our warsteeds are already at cap and so what goals do I have aside from getting further in the story.

    Also for my play-style, I like to do all the quests on alts and so the more quests and zones that are added at a single level range, the easier the zones are because my character becomes over-leveled. This causes the zones and the class I am playing on to seem boring.

    I know there are XP disablers but I have vowed not to use them until Turbine decides which side of the XP curve they want to charge on because right now they require players who want to go faster or slower, need to pay. It should only be one side so make the XP accelerators or disablers free. One of the two.

    If the disabler was free, a level increase would not be nearly the issue it is for my play-style.

    • lotrofan /

      Something tells me we are not going to see a level increase for the duration of the game. Level 100 will be it. Look at where we are and how much of the Epic Story is left to tell. For better or worse, the we are in the final chapters. Just my two cents.

      • I don’t think so. Imbuing of LI’s seems to indicate that at least some kind of additional leveling is currently planned.

    • Kaleigh Starshine /

      I think Turbine will charge for both sides as long as people will buy both. There is a huge market for the XP boosters, so that side likely will not go away. The Tortoise stones are only 100 TP now, so that may be as good as it gets. They definitely help keep a lot of content challenging and fun 🙂

  8. Simple article: chunky comments, I like lots 🙂

    @Daenelia: Sure there is non leveling content in game at the mo but I was thinking about non leveling content that incentivates players to explore the new areas…instead of leveling. AND like you I am still FAR from level cap in LOTRO 3+ years in! HIGH FIVE 🙂

    @Karvett: The episodic content if used cleverly could be used to incorporate more fellowship content, incentivate area exploration (including earlier areas that have become ignored), silly fluff that adds that layer of FUN that LOTRO has sometimes, and even KIN activities…in fact could be used for an infinite amount of things 🙂

    @Karleigh: Skill Trees have been left to rot… how they intend to add to them is a mystery…and I really enjoyed crafting until Moria, after that it became pretty pointless…

    @Andang: I am also with ya in that leveling in LOTRO has been the main motivation for most and can understand a certain amount of trepidation induced by these statements..the XP bonus/XP disabler is a strange one.

  9. Theobryn /

    My main, a hunter, is level 100, and I’m slowly working a champ (83) through Rohan, and a warden (54) through Angmar. I like the levelling experience, though have always been more interested in following the story rather than journeying through regions ‘on-level’. Probably because I’ve always come at LOTRO as a Tolkien fan first, and a gamer a distant second.

    If we think about levelling as ‘growth,’ then I see this ‘No-Level-Increase’ announcement as being problematic. Not on a logistical or mechanics level, but on a ‘growing-on-the-journey’ level. All roads have always been leading to Gondor, and we’re now entering the true eye of the storm. Everything we’ve learned, every skill we’ve developed, every weapon and armour piece we’ve crafted, is being put to the test. To have to run the coming gauntlets without seeing tangible evidence of further ‘growth’ just doesn’t add up, in my eyes.

    Secondly, the ‘no-level-increase’ announcement also renders the news of Imbued LI’s competely obsolete. If one cannot imbue an LI until they reach level 100, then it simply means you’ll be able to keep the same top-level LIs until 2016 without having to worry about them losing their potency. There’s now no need for Imbuing items at Level 100 if there’s no level 101, 105, or 110 to shoot for next. To me it seems the game devs have already taken a chance for making LIs seem legendary, and made them common again (which is my major issue with the LI systm in general – LIs are so abundant and we move through them so frequently, that they’re simply complicated ‘common’ items).

    That’s enough. And that being said, I’m looking forward to more Gondor. Thank you.

  10. Goblinbane /

    So most important regions, climax of story, and no level cap rise?

    Somehow my interest in new regions fell down a lot. Also I see no point in leveling other toons in 2015. Having all toons at 100 is for me totallly pointless cause there is for me nothing interesting at lvl 100,

    Alas, Lotro is doing a lot in last months to keep me in other games. Already almost do not play the game since September. I am coming online mainly to see some people from the kin and often I only chat and do not play. Now there will be still no point to play for at least one year more.

    I am afraid that they just want to release Osgiliath and Minas Tirith and end the development of the game… I see no other reasons for not increasing the level cap

    • Perhaps the reason is that they need more time than anticipated to get the imbuing to work the way they intended, and pausing leveling at 100 buys them the time? Also, new levels=more development time because more LI levels, more traits, more skill points, more skills. They’ve said they’re working on an instance cluster so perhaps the resources that would otherwise be working on all of the things that come with additional levels have been allocated to the new instanced group content mentioned in the producers letter?

      Also, I don’t think that they’d call out both imbued LI’s AND server hardware upgrades as major initiatives this year if the plan was to cease development after 2015. These are both costs that could be avoided if no additional content was planned.

      • Goblinbane /

        Imbued LI and hardware improvements can be just words. Where is the proof they really work on it?

        Instance cluster? Not long ago we heard that they have no resources to make instances and they will not make them because few people play instances, so no point to invest in them. Now they make instances, while we see that they barely have the resources to do anything with such quality like in previous years.

        Last months are a big chaos in their development info. No long time strategy, plans change a lot every few months…

        For me it is not funny to run for so long with the same top leveled toon and see no new skills. It already became boring for me a few months ago and Turbine proposes me to play with him without “new toys” for more then a year longer…. Sadly, it is more funny to level toons in other games. Lotro devs are IMO suiciding the game…

        I have declared some time ago, that I will for sure buy for real money expansion with Osgiliath and Minas Tirtith. But when there is no levels rise, I see no point in spending any money.

        There is nothing for me to wait in 2015 in Lotro, no Chance music, no new levels, Boredom.

  11. Hi Folks, I’ve been missing Middle Earth. I played LOTRO for a long time, on Elendilmir. Been thinking of coming back.

    Did they ruin the Champion?

    Did the skill trees change make a mess?

    Is mounted combat cool?

  12. Zimzeebo /

    Oh Joy!!! I HATE leveling! In fact, I would not be disappointed if lvl 100 becomes the highest we can ever get! Lvl 105 sounds so….wrong.

  13. Thraorin /

    …and Level 111 sounds just…perfect 😀 (this one goes to eleventy-one 😉

    • Why stop there, how about lv: 1111…?

      But seriously I agree with many who have pointed out that imbued LI’s at lv100 if there is no level char lv increase is pretty pointless.

  14. Haralgrim /

    Is anyone having problems to enter the forums of Lotro?? I do, but it’s good lotroplayers informs these kind of things, so thanks.

  15. Gabriyel, Man Warden of Dwarrowdelf /

    I think LOTRO needs to do exactly what Guild Wars 2 has done and is doing. Right now in GW2 your level is scalable. So if you have a capped character and you want to help a kinmate in a lower level region your character would be scaled down to there level. This way you never out level a region that you are in. Imagine if you leveled all the way to cap and LOTRO and you wanted to go back and finish a region that you may have bypassed you could do that on you capped character and still feel like it’s a challenge because you were scaled down to the regions level.

    I agree when the GW2 director said that said this “We will never add more levels to the game, we will never add more tiers of gear to the game,” Guild Wars 2 director Colin Johanson told Eurogamer. “The tiers and levels we have today will be the tiers and levels we have for the rest of the life of Guild Wars 2.”

    I get tired of getting to level cap and working so hard on the grind for the best gear, only to turn around and do it all over again. If there was a level scale you wouldn’t constantly be outgrowing the game and leaving content in the dust behind you. Neither will you need to hunt down the latest gear and weapons. If the capped people want something to challenge add some kind of content for capped players that gives them a goal. Like the mastery system that GW2 is launching for capped players in there new expansion.

    I know many of you are saying well why don’t you go play GW2 if it is so much better. and that is a valid point. However since LOTRO was my 1st MMO and I have this tenacious need to see this game through to the end it doesn’t mean that I don’t think turbine could learn from other game makers to make the game that I love better.

    • Andang /

      I would totally agree if LOTRO were not already over 8 years old. LOTRO has attracted certain play styles, just like GW2. GW2 also has the advantage of designing their game from the beginning with the mastery system in mind.

      I have already said that if there is ever a LOTRO 2 that they should take a lot of things from GW2 and I think no level increase is definitely one of them. That being said, I think they should have the option to turn off the down leveling for those that don’t want it.

      Also if LOTRO has no level increase then there really is no point to the imbue system for LIs.

    • Ivan /

      As a GW2 player myself, where are you getting your facts from? The GW2 director has long since turned on his promise that there would be a permanent level cap and permanent tier system, ever since the expansion was announced several months ago (and now available for prepurchase at an unreasonable price). Level cap is going to move up 10 levels in the expansion and ascended armour is still considered one of the biggest grinds in the game (second to legendaries).

      In GW2 you outgrow the game immensely. Killing level 50 mobs as a level 80 thief is significantly easier than a level 60 thief, since the introduction of the new NPE (which Anet merged several dozen threads and thousands of posts into multiple threads, and then buried). You don’t unlock everything until level cap, so once you cap, you effectively outlevel everything PvE, sub-80.

      There is very little to like about GW2. It’s a magnet for toxic teenagers that might as well have been taken directly from “x” MOBA, new people who haven’t been frustrated by Anet yet, and fanboys who throw money at Anet after every release.

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