LOTRO Developer Diary – Solofication of Volume 2

A new voice for today’s diary, Bob “Maurath” Hess walks us through the process of re-working Volume 2 in a similar fashion as Volume 1 such that these first two volumes of the epic line can be solo’d.  Where this gets stickier with Volume 2 is that many of the spaces are also key for group content and quite close to current end-game instances.  As an aside to the diary itself, Bob does give a quick intro which is always nice to get a better feel for who’s doing what and how they work together.

On to the meat of the diary he walks us through the team and the designation of method of breaking up the work into more digestible pieces.

For the entire process they mainly wanted to accomplish the following:

  • Allow for Volume 2 to be completely soloable
  • Allow those same solo players to still experience some of the instances and encounters
  • Smooth out the Volume with regards to difficulty and travel time

In order to do this there’s quite a vast overhaul of all the quest levels for the various pieces of the Volume with it starting at level 53 for Book 2 and ending with volume 9 Chapters 10 and 11 at level 64.

Quest objectives were also tweaked quite a bit in order to accomplish these to resolve the following issues:

  • low mob drop rates
  • poor quest tracker guidance
  • just plain difficult based on the landscape
  • too difficult based on the mobs in the area
  • reworking the travel between objectives

The other big portion of the diary is focusing on the re-vamping of the various instances included in the Volume.  Not only do they want to bring folks into those spaces they also were very concerned with making sure the item drops were appropriate for the group versus solo experience.  Probably the biggest item is that the Cloak of Shadow and Flame will be included in the Book 6 Chapter 8 loot table, even if you run that quest in the solo configuration.

  • 2.4.7 – Drowned Treasury will see little re-work and will utilize Inspired Greatness.
  • 2.6.8 – New Devilry has been tweaked quite a bit to differentiate between the solo/duo experience and the full group experience.
  • 2.8.3/4 – These were kept fairly intact with the addition of inspired greatness (I’m assuming) with the only major change being the removal of the Barter Items in the chest loot.
  • 2.8.6 – another tough one to re-work as this happens inside the Halls of Crafting instance that has been reworked for a solo/duo experience such that it is different from the full group experience.

And don’t forget this diary doesn’t address the changes made to make Volume 2 Book 5 Chapter 5 a series of skirmishes.

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