Please note: The following post was an April Fool’s joke and is not real.
Normally critters or cosmetic pets aren’t that huge a part of leaks or spoiler season. Normally they are released and known quite quickly, part of a NDA or specific pets are part of a story line that would spoil too much of the upcoming quest lines. But with U18 on the bullroarer server. With earlier posts on the Turbine forum we can finally confirm there will be a new gameplay type released in the not to distant future.
Battle instances for “cosmetic” pets!
Parts are being tested in U18, but with the push of the raid to patch 18.2 it will probably be partly released in U19’ish. They as usual couldn’t confirm a specific date. Just a timeline and that it’s mostly a side project of a community manager such as Bingo Boffin is. First the travels to my discovery (skip that if you want to get to the goodies) and secondly a short interview i was allowed to submit about the new battle system.
High reward vs little effort
In older statements and the State of the game article it was said that Turbine doesn’t have the resources to completely overhaul the lotro engine, new mechanics or engine additions like mounted combat or complete new expansions. Hence their resources are usually devoted to maintaining or expanding older content that doesn’t require much of their employees. Most critter models from bingo are already in the game and just made available to players. A Minas chicken run is another “high” influx – little effort project that was made by a developer on his own.
Ever since osgiligath there has been an influx of non-combat critters that had no clear reason to be there. We’ve always had a single new pet or a simple cosmetic added only in festivals. But with Bingo, Osgiligath and Minas Tirith we’ve had bundles of critters added to the game. Not that I’m complaining. They are the reason Critters journey is possible now. But it always had me wondering why they were made now.
Battle raid/instance in U18 beta
In the first description that was available on the Bullroarer Turbine store with Update 18 beta 1. The raid was spoken as being in update 18.2. But it was also described as a Battle raid. This scared a few people who though it would have been another big battle raid. In another post turbine mentioned they would have liked a new combat instance with . Turbine responded it wasnt a big battle, there would a mounted combat quest instance. But made no statement or denial on the new combat instance or if that was a mistake and was supposed to be mounted combat.
Clues, scraps and positive thinking = interview
Clues, news scraps and a bit of logical connection magic made me think about the possibility that new combat was connected to Critters. I loved the pet combat system Blizzard had made in WoW a few years ago before it was moved to no new support (Overview of what this pet battle system is Wow pet battle system/. But the pieces of it are there available in lotro. It would have only required more pets and a new UI system with a collection mechanic. With the new design philosophy and critter influx it would only need a new UI.
Q. What made you decide you wanted a pet battle made in lotro?
A. Myself was always a fan of the Pokemon games and Loremasters. Internally we used to have loremasters or skirmish soldiers spar each other for fun. But that lacked the depth or wealth of characters that we would like to use for such a system.
Q What changed that it might come into lotro now?
A. With the creative process of the Episodic content and Minas Tirith gave us new insights into what would be possible with the current game engine in new mechanics. It came from a default thought that it wouldn’t be possible to that it might be possible to make this new system without having to create new art of new codelines. Minas Tirith, Bingo boffin and the new collection UI added a lot of options to our palet that we missed to make such a thing possible before.
A. Also with the succes of the Bingo Boffin series we could make a case there would be enough interest in the community to validate the resources spend on the new system.
Q. What will the system be like?
A. As the final system is still in beta i can’t comment to much on this. But we’re trying to make a system close to what you would expect from where pets battle each other. It won’t a copy of Pokemon or World of warcraft since we’d have to keep within the boundaries of the books and lore (edit Lord of the rings, not the Silmarilion or Hobbit). Dont expect to have a mini-balrog to capture in moria with a Lemba ball that you would have it fight a mini-gandalf you captured in Fangorn forest.
Q. Where or when will we be able to battle?
A. As to where i can give you some information. With the upcoming ending of Bingo boffin (edit 15’ish weeks left) and the focus it gave to older or unexplored regions for new players we’d like to have different “bosses” you could fight (like the Pokemon gyms) in different regions across Middle Earth. Some cosmetic pets lend themself better for certain regions than others. A beetle boss would be a good spot in Moria where an Auroch/Elk would be out of place there.
A. As to when it will be released i can’t be make any comment or promises. Our main focus at this moment is on U18 and continued improvements to server stability and graphics in place like Minas Tirith. But it’s true parts of the system we’re supposed to be in U18 beta before. But that was pushed back with new release date of the upcoming raid in 18.2 this summer. We’d like to have the system in place after the summer to be able to have a small release in U19 and replace the weekly Bingo Boffins with this.
Q. How will new battles or content be released?
A. To have a new hobbit going on a Bingo style quest would feel strange. We’d like to have the player make a journey across the available areas in lotro. And again be able to truly adventure into new places and get a sense of discovery of places where you’d normally not venture. To direct new and old players to parts that they might have forgotten over the past 9 years or never ventured into cause they had no reason to go there. We’d like to keep to the weekly schedule that was set in motion last year and have new battle or directional quest available for players.