Thursday, 12 November 2009


WarCry Network had a chance to chat with Turbine's developers on 11 November. The full transcript is available on their site. Nothing earthshaking was revealed, and in fact most of the responses were either disappointing or else offered nothing new.

Dev Orion clarified the new development he calls 'Inspired by Greatness', a mode which will enable players to solo Epic Quests by temporarily increasing stats: "In the current implementation, the buff increases your statistics to allow you to readily handle the foes present within instance spaces. What that means, in the short term, is that a player deciding to take the solo version of an epic quest that contains an instance will be bumped up to the approximate level of an Elite creature. This also includes some bonuses to regen that make it possible for players to survive against multiple opponents".

One of the most eagerly awaited elements of Siege of Mirkwood is the new multi-boss raid in Dol Guldur. In answer to a question about how many bosses this would include, dev jwbarry replied "The raid at the end of the cluster features multiple boss fights, it's a full raid not a lair raid. There will also be at least 8 skirmish raids launching. These are designed for 12 players and have been balanced as such, including custom built bosses for each" - so nothing really new, there.

Little of interest was said about legendary items, other than Graal reiterating "The addition of scrolls that allow legacy tier upgrades and various other improvements to Legendary items allows players to continue to upgrade their Legendary Items far beyond what is currently available. Initial ranks of legacies will be somewhat lower in Mirkwood to make room for these upgrades".

More fuel was added to the debate about whether Wardens make good main tanks by Belechannas' question: "A Warden who is defeated and then revived (with their threat reset to zero) lacks any aggro catch-up skill similar to Engage/Rising Ire. Is it intended that Wardens are the only class unable to function in their primary role after being revived in a long fight?". To which Graal responded, rather discouragingly for Wardens, "The lack of an instant threat catch up skill is one of the differences in tanking between Wardens and Guardians, just like Wardens dont have a easily used forced taunt. It is unlikely, but not impossible that this will change. Bottom line...Dont die".

To questions about the availability of new skills in SoM, Jalessa disappointingly responded "With Siege of Mirkwood, each class will get one skill upgrade at level 62", and "There are no class quests added in Siege of Mirkwood". So with five new experience levels, we get just one new skill - confirmation that current policy is for improvements to come largely through the acquisition of new gear. Unfortunately for those who aren't into raiding, or hate the radiance gating system, Jalessa also pointed out that "we're not looking to add radiance to crafted gear at this time".

reassured a questioner that Skirmish rewards would be available to all, even those who were unable to take part in 3, 6 or 12-man skirmishes: "All items will be available for purchase for all players. Small Tokens come from and 3 man skirmishes. Large Tokens come from 6 and 12 man skirmishes. Some rewards require Small Tokens and some require Large Tokens, in addition to an amount of Skirmish Marks. Large Tokens can be downgraded into Small Tokens with no additional cost. Small Tokens can be upgraded into Large Tokens with an additional amount of Skirmish Marks. The goal is that with enough time, everyone, regardless of playstyle or preferred group size will be able to get all the rewards they are striving for".

Champions have been particularly worried about the loss of their Fervor stance legacies with the new SoM legendary weapons. According to Graal, "The Champion legacies were worked over the most of any of the classes due primarily to the reduction and consolidation of Stance based legacies. Champions gain several legacies that give damage bonus to individual skills, a critical magnitude legacy and several more utility type legacies. In addition all of the Ardour/Glory legacies have been combined to affect both stances".

Finally, to my mind the most interesting new feature revealed here (I may have missed an earlier announcement, however) was the "Immediate" skill execution type. Graal described this as "a new skill execution type that will absolutely interrupt whatever you are doing and execute the skill. We use this for interrupt type skills like Clobber".

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