Orion’s posts always are good at stirring up quite a bit of interest and this one is no different.  Today’s blog talks about what he’s doing now that Mirkwood is wrapped up.  The good news in the post is that he’s working on the re-vamp of the entire series of the Volume 1 epic storyline.  However, it does push off the planned work for the North Downs.

One of the major complaints regarding the Book 2 revamp was that large areas were made “solo-friendly’ and it was a concern that the game was being overly simplified.  So, the new concept they’re working on is to have a scalable quest specific buff that will allow you to better handle content and will allow you to solo or take small fellowships through traditionally group content.  This buff will be for open area quests as well as instance ones.  Since these buffs are tied to the quests, it would be hard to exploit from a gold farming perspective.  Whether this is an item with a specific duration (long enough to finish the quest) or an NPC would depend on the quest but the effect would be the same.  But the idea being that the buff would only work in specific areas and a time period that makes sense for the quest.

To me, this sounds like a great compromise as the zones themselves are just as deadly and nasty if you’re roaming around but the epic line is no longer gated by them.  It also doesn’t force you to solo a quest or to avoid grouping – you can pick what you want to do.  Both this idea and the skirmish idea from Volume 2 Book 9 are great for me an my playstyle in that when I want to group I can – but I’m not forced to nor gated by it.  I’m also excited to hear that if all goes well this same concept will be carried forward into Volume 2 (I’m looking at you 2.5.5)

Certainly a good read, check it out on Orion’s MyLotro Blog.