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  1. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curuer_Bauglir View Post
    There are actually a few problem spots along the Anduin. I got bored one day and decided the swim the length of the Anduin beginning in the Wells of Langflood, as this was the furthest north the river extended at the time. There is an insta-death wall between the Vales and Lorien. The transition between Lorien and the Great River region is also impassible. I'm wondering if this is leftover from the days where you needed a certain rep level to reach certain parts of Lorien. I really had to do some navigating to get through Osgiliath, but it is possible. The Beacon Hills was definitely a slog. You could navigate the water, but as you said, it's not really clear whether you're still on the Anduin or the Entwash or Mering Stream, and the transition from the Beacon Hills map to the Far Anorien map is poorly done. There was one area in the Ethir Anduin where the river was randomly blocked by an invisible wall, so I had to hop on my horse for a bit before I could rejoin the river.

    Yeah, that's all "the Kill Wall" from Volume 2 Book 9 to prevent player-passage unless they complete the first expedition part of that book reclaiming the beach-head. That kill-wall goes too far north toward Vales and too far south toward Great River. The whole thing is frankly a "it was good at the time but no longer" form of world development from a by-gone era in the game; I would like to see that kill-wall removed along with the requirement. It shouldn't matter anymore if a lower level player could swim across the Anduin to an already-reclaimed beach with the Malledhrim; making Southern Mirkwood completely contiguous for the map and merely making the Forward for Book 9 a recommendation with a by-pass option would be much more streamlined and allow for proper, modern world-development around the whole region with natural connections that don't feel forced

    Cheers!
    Landroval player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding character in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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  2. #252
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    Seems like there is a Ghost Castle beyond the Andrath gate :P

    I'm sold, SSG. Invisible stairs and towers, please, with invisible mobs inside. Quite a challenge.







    Also, today I noticed this weird spot of badly looking textures next to my Kinship Breeland house. Made me wonder whether it has always been there and I never noticed or... maybe I'm getting a direct tunnel to the Royal Road here, eventually :P






    But for serious, speaking of connections, I've been here today and geez, I do understand the fact that Andrath is this chock point on the road blocked off by half-orcs collecting taxes from caravans passing though and stuff... but it wouldn't hurt to open up this entire artificial wall between Homesteads and Lonelands, it would have been ridiculous if it wasn't opened up, just look at it:









  3. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by seekingerin View Post
    I've also included a screenshot taken as far south along the Anduin as it's currently possible to swim that shows that the mountains are clearly on the west side of the river, in the Southfarthing area.
    I'm sure you mean the Baranduin/Brandywine. So, I may be misremembering since it was years ago, but after swimming all the way south to the invisible wall there used to be a large drop-off to the undeveloped land below. Looks like the entire general zone elevation is higher now. Scenario, you wouldn't happen to want to confirm or deny that would you ?
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  4. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by auximenes View Post
    I'm sure you mean the Baranduin/Brandywine. So, I may be misremembering since it was years ago, but after swimming all the way south to the invisible wall there used to be a large drop-off to the undeveloped land below. Looks like the entire general zone elevation is higher now.
    I think I remember that drop-off!

    - Thread in general -

    I wouldn't get any hopes up though for any vision of the South Farthing. I have a hunch those mountains are going-up along the western shores of the Brandywine precisely to "hide" the South Farthing from player-view (*as they may have different plans after this, just speculating, and so, maybe they don't want to give an impression that something Scouring-related is next if it isn't).

    Otherwise, the land would've been flatter south of Buckland, and we would've started seeing Hobbit holes and tilled fields of pipeweed showing-up on the horizon instead

    There's something I'd kind of hope for though. I wish they'd make a "Far Barrow Downs"; the Northern Barrow Downs and Southern Barrow Downs feel woefully under-scaled compared to what Tolkien described, to an extreme. This new area could perhaps give them an opportunity to have another extension of that area as somewhat wider south of Ost Gorthad, and at least then, on a north - south scale, it would feel more like the imposing "this was once the capital city of Cardolan" the area was supposed to represent.

    I mean, you could fit a hundred Ost Gorthad's in Osgiliath. When I compare Osgiliath or Pelargir to Tyrn / Ost Gorthad, it makes the ruined capital of Cardolan feel like a remote outpost. There'd also be an opportunity to revisit the effects of a certain Master of Mordor, our lovely friend "Sweet Lara" and how the first Great Plague decimated that area along the Royal Road.

    I feel like . . . this is an excellent opportunity for them to revise. The Barrow-downs as they currently stand feel more like a "first draft" because it was ---> the Shire and Bree-land was their "first furtive foray" into the game-world 15 years ago. But now that we know who Lhaereth is and what she did in the game-lore, and now that we know that they are - expanding - the scale in newer regions, at least since Mordor with a couple exceptions: I think its a very good place for them to consider revisiting those areas and maybe giving them some more justice. Since Ost Gorthad is at the south-eastern border of the Barrow-downs anyways . . . why not expand it along those hills leading southward?

    It's also a good opportunity for them to perhaps take the Woe of the Willow instance space and re-integrate it into the game-world (*kind of like how Northcotton Farm has both game-world and instanced versions), and give us some more southeastern / southern exits from the Old Forest.

    I'm just amazed that they are tackling a chunk of landscape this large on the West Rohan scale (*or East Rohan + Wildermore). There's just so much lore they can dig-into and/or revisit from the Barrow-downs stuff south of current Barrow-downs / Old Forest and the history of Cardolan's fall to the Plague to the War of the Elves and Sauron at the Battle of the Gwaithlo to the history of Tharbad and retracing Boromir's steps on his long ranging road to Rivendell to the Stoor stuff closer to the Gloomglens to more actual Fall of Eregion stuff closer to Mirobel and Tham Mirdain . . . what a vast project! I hope it's as amazing as terrain-map and the screenies in this thread suggest!

    Cheers!
    Landroval player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding character in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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  5. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    I hope it's as amazing as terrain-map and the screenies in this thread suggest!
    One thing to bear in mind, dev markup terrain can be around for many years before it gets completed. The tiles that cover the area that became Yondershire have been around for a very long time (in a much less developed form), probably about seven or eight years, possibly much longer, I forget when I first encountered them. Another example is the vast area of dev markup East and South of Mordor - I got tired of matching the somewhat featureless green, so that area is actually larger - which has been around since well before the release of Mordor. The nice thing, though, is when the devs do get around to updating those areas, they usually update the graphics on the tiles in-place, that is, they don't just replace them with new tiles, they update the existing images, so you can sometimes see the progress as they go from rough, computer generated height maps to finished areas with trees and plants and rocks and buildings. The most important thing is to remember this can and often does take several years.

  6. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garan View Post
    One thing to bear in mind, dev markup terrain can be around for many years before it gets completed. The tiles that cover the area that became Yondershire have been around for a very long time (in a much less developed form), probably about seven or eight years, possibly much longer, I forget when I first encountered them. Another example is the vast area of dev markup East and South of Mordor - I got tired of matching the somewhat featureless green, so that area is actually larger - which has been around since well before the release of Mordor. The nice thing, though, is when the devs do get around to updating those areas, they usually update the graphics on the tiles in-place, that is, they don't just replace them with new tiles, they update the existing images, so you can sometimes see the progress as they go from rough, computer generated height maps to finished areas with trees and plants and rocks and buildings. The most important thing is to remember this can and often does take several years.
    Oh, that is very true, and I don't dispute it

    But I would say that, as evidenced throughout this thread, as we start witnessing the appearances of forests south of the Lone-lands and mountains south of the Shire and, especially, a ton of new development northwest of Enedwaith, west of Eregion, and south by southwest of the Angle: this indicates a large zone they are actively working-on across the board, not just the endless sea of green that surrounds Gorgoroth that will probably linger for quite a long time Time will tell, I guess

    Cheers!
    Landroval player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding character in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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  7. #257
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    Quote Originally Posted by TesalionLortus View Post
    Interesting. Or they're doing both, actually. Have the landscape prepared so it's polished enough when new regions become accessible and you can take an early look at Sauthfarthing landscape. AND start preparations for the Southfarthing anyway, since maybe that's where we go next which would be very likely if we assume that we're actually getting Frodo's journey back home as the continuation of the Epic (only we take the detour through this new landscape rather than continue to Eregion). I can actually see this work very well story-wise. Gandalf, Aragorn, Frodo and company hit the road through Dunland but it makes Aragorn wonder what the heck is out there, on the "Royal Road" and shares his reasons why he wouldn't risk taking that road, not yet, until we scout it for him so he has an idea how to handle that place, now that he is king. Since all of the half orcs are purring from there... it would be an actual backstory/setup for the Scouring and setting a stage for the final Saruman's character arc. Maybe. Since the Royal Road is seemingly such a huge piece of content, I wouldn't leap into conclusions that it's just "random" simply because they want to fill-in-the-gaps. That, and a potential tale of the Forging and Eregion.
    Yeah... I wonder to what extent they're do prep work for the next region while they're finishing up work in the current region they're working on. I still don't think it's entirely out of the question, for instance, that they're only planning to release the area east of the Gwathlo in this next update and that the work we're seeing west of the Gwathlo is just preparation for future work. I think I'm still team everything-at-once, but I'm not certain we're right.

    The scenario you describe, of us following the North-South Road back to Eriador and investigating the bandit threat while the rest return to Rivendell via Eregion, is how I've always imagined the buildup to the Scouring. It seems like the natural way for the story to flow.

    Quote Originally Posted by TesalionLortus View Post
    Seems like there is a Ghost Castle beyond the Andrath gate :P

    I'm sold, SSG. Invisible stairs and towers, please, with invisible mobs inside. Quite a challenge.
    It's right next to the Barrow Downs! Of course there's going to be a ghost castle! (I GUESS it could just be a glitch from some terrain reshaping they've done at some point, but I like the ghost castle idea better. )

    Quote Originally Posted by TesalionLortus View Post
    But for serious, speaking of connections, I've been here today and geez, I do understand the fact that Andrath is this chock point on the road blocked off by half-orcs collecting taxes from caravans passing though and stuff... but it wouldn't hurt to open up this entire artificial wall between Homesteads and Lonelands, it would have been ridiculous if it wasn't opened up, just look at it:
    I wonder if they're going to smooth out these hills and make them traversable in the same way the hills at the northern end of the Gloomglens were briefly smoothed out. It wouldn't take much to make this area traversable, and it would go a long way toward making this part of the world feel more open. The only danger, of course, is that a low-level players might accidentally wander into dangerous territory, but there are ways to manage that, I'm sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by auximenes View Post
    I'm sure you mean the Baranduin/Brandywine. So, I may be misremembering since it was years ago, but after swimming all the way south to the invisible wall there used to be a large drop-off to the undeveloped land below. Looks like the entire general zone elevation is higher now. Scenario, you wouldn't happen to want to confirm or deny that would you ?
    I do mean the Brandywine, lol. You may well be right; I don't remember whether there used to be a drop-off here or not. If so, the changes seem even more promising.
    A vote for Saruman is a vote for progress! Vote today!

  8. #258
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    I wouldn't get any hopes up though for any vision of the South Farthing. I have a hunch those mountains are going-up along the western shores of the Brandywine precisely to "hide" the South Farthing from player-view (*as they may have different plans after this, just speculating, and so, maybe they don't want to give an impression that something Scouring-related is next if it isn't).

    Otherwise, the land would've been flatter south of Buckland, and we would've started seeing Hobbit holes and tilled fields of pipeweed showing-up on the horizon instead
    Breaking my post up into three parts, partly because the forums are being glitchy and not letting me post everything at once, but also because I have Thoughts, lol.

    I wonder if the new mountains could actually be the southern spur of the Ered Luin, which appear to form the southern border of the Southfarthing on the in-game Eriador map. As for the rest of the Southfarthing side of the river, I wouldn't expect to see a huge amount of detail at this stage; I would be surprised if we saw actual hobbit villages pop up. If we're allowed to go all the way to the bank of the Baranduin, they need to at least give us terrain that fits with the rest of the game. I would expect a comparable level of detail to what we see across the rivers at the southern end of the Angle, where there's some lightly-detailed landscape, but no actual structures in place yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Garan View Post
    One thing to bear in mind, dev markup terrain can be around for many years before it gets completed. The tiles that cover the area that became Yondershire have been around for a very long time (in a much less developed form), probably about seven or eight years, possibly much longer, I forget when I first encountered them. Another example is the vast area of dev markup East and South of Mordor - I got tired of matching the somewhat featureless green, so that area is actually larger - which has been around since well before the release of Mordor. The nice thing, though, is when the devs do get around to updating those areas, they usually update the graphics on the tiles in-place, that is, they don't just replace them with new tiles, they update the existing images, so you can sometimes see the progress as they go from rough, computer generated height maps to finished areas with trees and plants and rocks and buildings. The most important thing is to remember this can and often does take several years.
    Yeah, it's not the terrain markup itself that make me think the Swanfleet area is coming soon and that the rest of the North-South Road will be coming out at the same time or soon afterward; it's the changes I've seen in-game. Still, this is a very good point, and one you're uniquely qualified to make.

    Honestly, I think I was spoiled by the Wildwood; there was this big chunk of terrain that was finished long before it was released to the public, because it was waiting on content designers to add quests. It's made me eager to spot other landscape work before it's officially announced! I'm sure I'm not the only one, lol.
    A vote for Saruman is a vote for progress! Vote today!

  9. #259
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    I think I remember that drop-off!

    - Thread in general -

    I wouldn't get any hopes up though for any vision of the South Farthing. I have a hunch those mountains are going-up along the western shores of the Brandywine precisely to "hide" the South Farthing from player-view (*as they may have different plans after this, just speculating, and so, maybe they don't want to give an impression that something Scouring-related is next if it isn't).

    Otherwise, the land would've been flatter south of Buckland, and we would've started seeing Hobbit holes and tilled fields of pipeweed showing-up on the horizon instead

    There's something I'd kind of hope for though. I wish they'd make a "Far Barrow Downs"; the Northern Barrow Downs and Southern Barrow Downs feel woefully under-scaled compared to what Tolkien described, to an extreme. This new area could perhaps give them an opportunity to have another extension of that area as somewhat wider south of Ost Gorthad, and at least then, on a north - south scale, it would feel more like the imposing "this was once the capital city of Cardolan" the area was supposed to represent.

    I mean, you could fit a hundred Ost Gorthad's in Osgiliath. When I compare Osgiliath or Pelargir to Tyrn / Ost Gorthad, it makes the ruined capital of Cardolan feel like a remote outpost. There'd also be an opportunity to revisit the effects of a certain Master of Mordor, our lovely friend "Sweet Lara" and how the first Great Plague decimated that area along the Royal Road.

    I feel like . . . this is an excellent opportunity for them to revise. The Barrow-downs as they currently stand feel more like a "first draft" because it was ---> the Shire and Bree-land was their "first furtive foray" into the game-world 15 years ago. But now that we know who Lhaereth is and what she did in the game-lore, and now that we know that they are - expanding - the scale in newer regions, at least since Mordor with a couple exceptions: I think its a very good place for them to consider revisiting those areas and maybe giving them some more justice. Since Ost Gorthad is at the south-eastern border of the Barrow-downs anyways . . . why not expand it along those hills leading southward?

    It's also a good opportunity for them to perhaps take the Woe of the Willow instance space and re-integrate it into the game-world (*kind of like how Northcotton Farm has both game-world and instanced versions), and give us some more southeastern / southern exits from the Old Forest.

    I'm just amazed that they are tackling a chunk of landscape this large on the West Rohan scale (*or East Rohan + Wildermore). There's just so much lore they can dig-into and/or revisit from the Barrow-downs stuff south of current Barrow-downs / Old Forest and the history of Cardolan's fall to the Plague to the War of the Elves and Sauron at the Battle of the Gwaithlo to the history of Tharbad and retracing Boromir's steps on his long ranging road to Rivendell to the Stoor stuff closer to the Gloomglens to more actual Fall of Eregion stuff closer to Mirobel and Tham Mirdain . . . what a vast project! I hope it's as amazing as terrain-map and the screenies in this thread suggest!

    Cheers!
    So. This post led me down a lengthy speculation rabbit hole last night, lol.

    There's something I've been curious about in the terrain markup stuff on the terrain map. There's what looks to be a large square shape on the map southeast of the Barrow Downs, nearly the size of Bree. I've been curious what this is going to be. It appears to be perched on a spur of rock that extends from the Barrow Downs. I wonder if this, and not Ost Gorthad, is actually going to be LOTRO's representation of the capitol of Cardolan, and if the Barrow Downs will in fact be extended to stretch to this point.

    If you look at the area south of the Bree-Land on the terrain map, it looks like the entire landscape slopes gradually downward from this one point, like it's this huge massive hill that dominates the entire area and defines the structure of this part of the game world. SSG seems to have really gotten into the idea of incorporating verticality into the game world and perching points of interest on high hills. It's something that's always been part of the DNA of this game; consider Weathertop, or the some of the ruins in the Trollshaws, or the Gondorian ruins in Enedwaith. But it seems like it's been especially prominent in the landscape they've released so far this year; look at the many hilltop ruins in the Angle, or the way Long Cleeve climbs up the cliffside, or the ruins along the northern edge of the Yondershire. It certainly makes for striking landscape, and it can allow a location to really loom over an entire area and dominate the player's imagination. Thelgarth in the Angle is clearly visible as far away as Mirobel; it's probably going to be visible from much of the landscape to its south and west.

    A hilltop city located on the square visible on the terrain map would absolutely dominate everything around it. It would be visible from anywhere in the zone. It would be visible from Tharbad, from the Bree-Land Homestead, from the Barrow Downs as they currently exist in game, from Bree, perhaps from parts of the Southfarthing, from whatever lies to the south... it would be an incredibly striking location, which would no doubt fire the imaginations of all the new players who find themselves in Bree and catch sight of this huge ruined city looming in the distance.

    I've been imagining Tharbad as the center and endpoint of the new area's story, but maybe it's actually the capitol of Cardolan. Maybe this is Bandit HQ. Maybe this is where Saruman's lieutenants are working out of. Maybe the Nazgul went in and out of this city as they were looking for a Baggins in the Shire and Bree. Maybe this is the source of all the turmoil in the Old Forest. Maybe it's crawling with Cardolan's reanimated dead.

    And maybe there are other ruins of Cardolan climbing down the hill... I'm picturing it as sort of an updated, 2022 version of the Fields of Fornost, with a new Fornost at the top of the hill, and with story tendrils spreading out to everything around it. And since it still looks to me like these hills are contiguous with the original Barrow Downs, maybe the Barrow Downs are not just those two little valleys in the Bree-Land but this entire range of hills.

    It's the story hook this area needs, and I think it fits nicely with both the lore and what we can see on the map.

    ...so this is what I was thinking about last night. But my thoughts didn't stop there. Because I then turned my attention to the idea of extending the Old Forest--which I would definitely love--which led me to look at some maps on Tolkien Gateway, my go-to site for Tolkien lore, to try to figure out if it would make sense to extend the Old Forest. And looking at the maps made me realize that, actually, the landscape of the Southfarthing is already surprisingly well-defined in-game.

    This is Christopher Tolkien's map of the Shire, as it exists in LotR. This is the canonical layout of the Shire as far as the books SSG has access too are concerned:



    The Green Hills serve as the southern border of the Shire as it exists in-game, meaning everything south of those hills is part of the Southfarthing region. One of the central features of the Southfarthing as it exists on this map is the Shirebourn River; and the Shirebourn already exists in-game, at least in some form. You can see it on the terrain map, and you can see the location where it flows out into the Brandywine. They might adjust the course of the Shirebourn as they build the Southfarthing, but I think the location of its mouth will probably be as it exists on the terrain map now.

    Using the mouth of the Shirebourn as a landmark, it's easy to locate where the village of Deephallow should be; it's located in a marshy area just north of where the Shirebourn empties into the Brandywine. These marshes are already visible in-game; they're in the screenshot I posted above looking down the Brandywine. There should be a village called Rushey halfway between Deephallow and Stock, along the causeway road that currently leads from Stock into the Marish; that would probably place Rushey just about at the point where the rocks that keep us from swimming further down the Brandywine are located. And the marshes that are visible south of the mouth of the Shirebourn would be the Overbourn Marshes. As on Christopher Tolkien's map, the Brandywine bends briefly east just south of the Old Forest, then turns to the southwest.

    There are three more villages present on Christopher Tolkien's map of the Southfarthing, whose locations we can guesstimate pretty easily. The village of Willowbottom is located on the Shirebourn; Pincup is located on the south side of the Green Hills; and Tookbank is at the western end of the Green Hills, probably just on the other side of the Southfarthing Gate. There's also one village in Buckland that exists canonically but doesn't exist in-game: the village of Standelf, which is presumably located within the hedged-off area south of Brandy Hall. There's also a location called Haysend at the end of the hedge, but it's not clear whether Haysend is anything more than the name for the end of the hedge.

    That leaves a handful of canonical locations for the Southfarthing that are off the edges of the map. Longbottom is located in the southern part of the Southfarthing; it's probably in a long valley, and it is the center of the Shire's pipeweed industry, meaning it will probably be surrounded by a lot of fields. Sarn Ford is a crossing of the Brandywine at the southern end of the Brandywine; it was guarded by the Rangers until they were chased away by the Nazgul the day before Frodo and company left Hobbiton.

    The Fonstad Atlas, which the world designers rely on heavily, and which seems to have dictated the locations of Tighfield, Long Cleeve, and Gamwich in the Yondershire, places two more villages in the Southfarthing. One of them is Hardbottle, the hometown of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. Hardbottle's location is unclear; various people have placed it in the Far Downs or the Northfarthing. Since Karen Wynn Fonstad places it in the Southfarthing, though, there's a good chance that SSG will do so as well.

    The other village is Sackville. It's not unclear if Sackville is an actual village or just a family name, but it's reasonable to think that there's an actual village called Sackville that gives its name to the village's most prominent family. So Fonstad decided that there was probably a village called Sackville; and she placed it both near Hardbottle, since Lobelia married into the Sackville family, and in the Southfarthing, because of the Sackville-Baggins family's connections to the pipeweed industry.

    There's one more location of note: Old Winyards. Old Winyards is the name of a wine, but there's a good chance that there's also a vineyard named Old Winyards. Since SSG needs to fill out the southern half of the Southfarthing, I imagine it might be located there.

    Once I'd pieced this all together, an interesting thought occurred to me. If a player wanted to, they could currently level to the mid-20s without leaving the Shire. The Shire zone proper will take a player to around level 15. A player could then go to Buckland and do the Buckland and Old Forest quests, which would likely level them to around level 20. They could then go to Yondershire, which would take them to the mid-20s. I wonder if the plan, then, is for the Southfarthing to be a level 25-30ish zone that players could go to after they finish Yondershire. Then, once they finish the Southfarthing, players could go to Evendim and quest out of Oathbarton, Dwaling, and Northcotton Farm, which begin at around level 30. Thus players, if they wanted to, could level to around level 32 without having to stray far from the bounds of the Shire.

    Which allows for an interesting story progression. There's relatively little evidence, in the original Shire, of what's going to happen to the Shire over the next year. The only real hint is that there's a strange bandit camp near the Marish. Players can then go to Buckland, where they find out that there are some hobbits who were robbed by bandits (I've been doing the Buckland quests the last couple of days on a level 19 burglar, so those quests are VERY fresh in my mind.) Then players can go the Yondershire, where hear about a "Chief" who has installed his own bounders, where Fredegar Bolger helps them discover that there are bandits changing the borders of the Shire, where they find numerous bandits and half-orcs stationed in the ruins just beyond borders, and where they confront Lotho Sackville-Baggins directly. Then, perhaps, they go to the Southfarthing. If SSG goes with Fonstad's map, the Southfarthing is Lobelia's birthplace and the seat of the Sackville-Baggins family, and the center of the production of pipeweed, the control of which is Saruman's entire reason for taking over the Shire. It's also the location of Sarn Ford, which was recently abandoned by the Rangers, and which is likely the entry point for many of the bandits entering the Shire (perhaps from Cardolan's ruined capitol city, located a short distance to the northeast!). So the Southfarthing would be an excellent place for players to continue to experience the events leading up to the Scouring. And then players could go to southern Evendim, where they discover Dwaling, a village that has been fully seized by bandits.

    Played through sequentially, from level 1 to level 32, the Shire, Buckland, the Yondershire, the Southfarthing, and southern Evendim could allow players to experience in full the story of how the Scouring comes about, escalating gradually from Hiders and Seekers to rumors of bandits camps to highway robbery to bandits changing the borders to confronting Lotho to visiting the very heart of the conspiracy in the Southfarthing to realizing that the Rangers are gone and Sarn Ford is controlled by the enemy to a fully-scoured Dwaling.

    And then, of course, hopefully we'll get an alternate level 140 version of the Scouring to play around in, which would complete the story.
    A vote for Saruman is a vote for progress! Vote today!

  10. #260
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    Quote Originally Posted by seekingerin View Post
    I do mean the Brandywine, lol. You may well be right; I don't remember whether there used to be a drop-off here or not. If so, the changes seem even more promising.
    So in the past when I escaped the boundaries there was a substantial drop-off from the proper zones into the unfinished areas. I saw this east of the North Downs, south of Mirkwood, and north of The Shire (long before Yondershire). I think the base 0 elevation mark is represented by those drop-offs and the developed areas are worked up from 0. By the way, if you ALT-TAB back and forth a few times you can briefly see many of the assets which are 'underground' which are obscured by the final ground textures. Try it on the character select screen with a Man for instance and you'll see the little nubs of rock on the field are actually just the tops of big rock models placed on a level far lower.
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  11. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by seekingerin View Post
    Once I'd pieced this all together, an interesting thought occurred to me. If a player wanted to, they could currently level to the mid-20s without leaving the Shire. The Shire zone proper will take a player to around level 15. A player could then go to Buckland and do the Buckland and Old Forest quests, which would likely level them to around level 20. They could then go to Yondershire, which would take them to the mid-20s. I wonder if the plan, then, is for the Southfarthing to be a level 25-30ish zone that players could go to after they finish Yondershire. Then, once they finish the Southfarthing, players could go to Evendim and quest out of Oathbarton, Dwaling, and Northcotton Farm, which begin at around level 30. Thus players, if they wanted to, could level to around level 32 without having to stray far from the bounds of the Shire.

    Which allows for an interesting story progression. There's relatively little evidence, in the original Shire, of what's going to happen to the Shire over the next year.
    LOVE this idea. What a brilliant RP opportunity to level a Hobbit (or soon, River-hobbit ) completely within the Shire and Shire-adjacent areas without ever encountering the larger epic story.
    Arda Shrugged : Elendilmir (RIP) -> Arkenstone -> Anor (RIP) -> Landroval -> Treebeard

  12. #262
    Just discovered this thread and I love all the suggestions. I would be completely satisfied if they just plunked landmasses into many of these spots without content.

  13. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by seekingerin View Post


    I wonder if they're going to smooth out these hills and make them traversable in the same way the hills at the northern end of the Gloomglens were briefly smoothed out. It wouldn't take much to make this area traversable, and it would go a long way toward making this part of the world feel more open. The only danger, of course, is that a low-level players might accidentally wander into dangerous territory, but there are ways to manage that, I'm sure.
    When my first toon reached lv 50, in Eregion, I adventured southwards. I passed through Enedwaith very easily, but when I reached Dunland I got one-shooted by an archer that I don't know yet where he was. I saw it as advice of "come here much much later" and I entered Moria. I don't understand why it is a problem to have different level zones together: when doing wrong, you get killed and you learn where you can go and where you can't.

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    Quote Originally Posted by provamail10 View Post
    When my first toon reached lv 50, in Eregion, I adventured southwards. I passed through Enedwaith very easily, but when I reached Dunland I got one-shooted by an archer that I don't know yet where he was. I saw it as advice of "come here much much later" and I entered Moria. I don't understand why it is a problem to have different level zones together: when doing wrong, you get killed and you learn where you can go and where you can't.
    I was one-shot by lvl 50 Half-orc in Breeland while exploring Northern parts of Chetwood and got to the higher lvl epic story mobs, it was a cool surprise and a nice thrill of the future unknown, actually made me want to play the game even more. So I agree, really no problem there. They should just collapse all the artificial and invisible walls they possibly can.

    Besides, players should be encouraged to be more careful of their surroundings too, so they can learn to explore this game with attention to detail rather than stroll through its world like zombies probably on their horses, always protected by the comfort of 'safe zone' and limited 'tunneling' between zones (if the tunneling is natural, like bridges, ravines, then ok, but sometimes you can still tell they're pretty much forced geographical barriers, for example there should have been the connection from Northern Shire to Yondershire too, not a road but some of the landscape opened up, leading to a bear den or two in Yondershire perhaps)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TesalionLortus View Post
    I was one-shot by lvl 50 Half-orc in Breeland while exploring Northern parts of Chetwood and got to the higher lvl epic story mobs, it was a cool surprise and a nice thrill of the future unknown, actually made me want to play the game even more. So I agree, really no problem there. They should just collapse all the artificial and invisible walls they possibly can.

    Besides, players should be encouraged to be more careful of their surroundings too, so they can learn to explore this game with attention to detail rather than stroll through its world like zombies probably on their horses, always protected by the comfort of 'safe zone' and limited 'tunneling' between zones (if the tunneling is natural, like bridges, ravines, then ok, but sometimes you can still tell they're pretty much forced geographical barriers, for example there should have been the connection from Northern Shire to Yondershire too, not a road but some of the landscape opened up, leading to a bear den or two in Yondershire perhaps)

    Oh yeah, totally agreed. One of my funnest "games within a game" to play is actually to see how far I can get a lower level alt without getting killed - a very fun activity. The level threshold to play it though is probably more like level 30 - 50, whereas I could barely eeek by getting a level 20 to the Gap of Rohan.

    I remember some of those adventures fondly. Barely getting into Galtrev and hiding in the Crafting Hall felt like a great accomplishment XD!

    I remember adventuring with a friend down to Dol Amroth. Don't ask me how, but somehow, we miraculously navigated even all the war-bands and riders of West Rohan, and we got through the Paths of the Dead. As Tarlang's Crown was of course impossible, we had to take the longer way down through Lamedon, and I was the "protector" on a level 100 (*it would've been harder-core if we were both lower levels).

    Well, there I am riding ahead, and we had just crossed the fords near Tadrent, and I turn around, and watch to my utter horror as a goat rams-up and 1-shots my friend right in the rear. We laughed so hysterically, and still it's a running joke: there is one brand of "beast mob" in this game I am unusually cruel to in-game, and that's the GOATS. Oh, the infernal creatures, fearsome beasts, worse than Morgoth's Balrogs! Hahahahahahaha! LOL!

    I still want to pay that herd of goats in Car Bronach a visit. "Have at thee, knaves!!!" Hehehe

    It makes me want to do it again and try a very ambitious trek to get down first to DA, have a respite through the Cape of Belfalas, and try to get past the Haradrim runners and get out to the Anduin, and to then try to follow the Anduin all the way up to Car Bronach. Wow, that would be a multi-hour adventure and no mistake!

    Though, truth be told: there are too many warg-riders out in Wells of Langflood, and there's those Gundabad guards at the Floodfells entrance. Hmmm..... looks like I'd have to test "stay on the path" through Eryn Lasgalen and then try to make it up there via Ered Mithrin.

    Cheers!
    Landroval player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding character in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by seekingerin View Post
    So. This post led me down a lengthy speculation rabbit hole last night, lol.

    There's something I've been curious about in the terrain markup stuff on the terrain map. There's what looks to be a large square shape on the map southeast of the Barrow Downs, nearly the size of Bree. I've been curious what this is going to be. It appears to be perched on a spur of rock that extends from the Barrow Downs. I wonder if this, and not Ost Gorthad, is actually going to be LOTRO's representation of the capitol of Cardolan, and if the Barrow Downs will in fact be extended to stretch to this point.

    If you look at the area south of the Bree-Land on the terrain map, it looks like the entire landscape slopes gradually downward from this one point, like it's this huge massive hill that dominates the entire area and defines the structure of this part of the game world. SSG seems to have really gotten into the idea of incorporating verticality into the game world and perching points of interest on high hills. It's something that's always been part of the DNA of this game; consider Weathertop, or the some of the ruins in the Trollshaws, or the Gondorian ruins in Enedwaith. But it seems like it's been especially prominent in the landscape they've released so far this year; look at the many hilltop ruins in the Angle, or the way Long Cleeve climbs up the cliffside, or the ruins along the northern edge of the Yondershire. It certainly makes for striking landscape, and it can allow a location to really loom over an entire area and dominate the player's imagination. Thelgarth in the Angle is clearly visible as far away as Mirobel; it's probably going to be visible from much of the landscape to its south and west.

    A hilltop city located on the square visible on the terrain map would absolutely dominate everything around it. It would be visible from anywhere in the zone. It would be visible from Tharbad, from the Bree-Land Homestead, from the Barrow Downs as they currently exist in game, from Bree, perhaps from parts of the Southfarthing, from whatever lies to the south... it would be an incredibly striking location, which would no doubt fire the imaginations of all the new players who find themselves in Bree and catch sight of this huge ruined city looming in the distance.

    I've been imagining Tharbad as the center and endpoint of the new area's story, but maybe it's actually the capitol of Cardolan. Maybe this is Bandit HQ. Maybe this is where Saruman's lieutenants are working out of. Maybe the Nazgul went in and out of this city as they were looking for a Baggins in the Shire and Bree. Maybe this is the source of all the turmoil in the Old Forest. Maybe it's crawling with Cardolan's reanimated dead.

    And maybe there are other ruins of Cardolan climbing down the hill... I'm picturing it as sort of an updated, 2022 version of the Fields of Fornost, with a new Fornost at the top of the hill, and with story tendrils spreading out to everything around it. And since it still looks to me like these hills are contiguous with the original Barrow Downs, maybe the Barrow Downs are not just those two little valleys in the Bree-Land but this entire range of hills.

    It's the story hook this area needs, and I think it fits nicely with both the lore and what we can see on the map.

    ...so this is what I was thinking about last night. But my thoughts didn't stop there. Because I then turned my attention to the idea of extending the Old Forest--which I would definitely love--which led me to look at some maps on Tolkien Gateway, my go-to site for Tolkien lore, to try to figure out if it would make sense to extend the Old Forest. And looking at the maps made me realize that, actually, the landscape of the Southfarthing is already surprisingly well-defined in-game.

    This is Christopher Tolkien's map of the Shire, as it exists in LotR. This is the canonical layout of the Shire as far as the books SSG has access too are concerned:



    The Green Hills serve as the southern border of the Shire as it exists in-game, meaning everything south of those hills is part of the Southfarthing region. One of the central features of the Southfarthing as it exists on this map is the Shirebourn River; and the Shirebourn already exists in-game, at least in some form. You can see it on the terrain map, and you can see the location where it flows out into the Brandywine. They might adjust the course of the Shirebourn as they build the Southfarthing, but I think the location of its mouth will probably be as it exists on the terrain map now.

    Using the mouth of the Shirebourn as a landmark, it's easy to locate where the village of Deephallow should be; it's located in a marshy area just north of where the Shirebourn empties into the Brandywine. These marshes are already visible in-game; they're in the screenshot I posted above looking down the Brandywine. There should be a village called Rushey halfway between Deephallow and Stock, along the causeway road that currently leads from Stock into the Marish; that would probably place Rushey just about at the point where the rocks that keep us from swimming further down the Brandywine are located. And the marshes that are visible south of the mouth of the Shirebourn would be the Overbourn Marshes. As on Christopher Tolkien's map, the Brandywine bends briefly east just south of the Old Forest, then turns to the southwest.

    There are three more villages present on Christopher Tolkien's map of the Southfarthing, whose locations we can guesstimate pretty easily. The village of Willowbottom is located on the Shirebourn; Pincup is located on the south side of the Green Hills; and Tookbank is at the western end of the Green Hills, probably just on the other side of the Southfarthing Gate. There's also one village in Buckland that exists canonically but doesn't exist in-game: the village of Standelf, which is presumably located within the hedged-off area south of Brandy Hall. There's also a location called Haysend at the end of the hedge, but it's not clear whether Haysend is anything more than the name for the end of the hedge.

    That leaves a handful of canonical locations for the Southfarthing that are off the edges of the map. Longbottom is located in the southern part of the Southfarthing; it's probably in a long valley, and it is the center of the Shire's pipeweed industry, meaning it will probably be surrounded by a lot of fields. Sarn Ford is a crossing of the Brandywine at the southern end of the Brandywine; it was guarded by the Rangers until they were chased away by the Nazgul the day before Frodo and company left Hobbiton.

    The Fonstad Atlas, which the world designers rely on heavily, and which seems to have dictated the locations of Tighfield, Long Cleeve, and Gamwich in the Yondershire, places two more villages in the Southfarthing. One of them is Hardbottle, the hometown of Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. Hardbottle's location is unclear; various people have placed it in the Far Downs or the Northfarthing. Since Karen Wynn Fonstad places it in the Southfarthing, though, there's a good chance that SSG will do so as well.

    The other village is Sackville. It's not unclear if Sackville is an actual village or just a family name, but it's reasonable to think that there's an actual village called Sackville that gives its name to the village's most prominent family. So Fonstad decided that there was probably a village called Sackville; and she placed it both near Hardbottle, since Lobelia married into the Sackville family, and in the Southfarthing, because of the Sackville-Baggins family's connections to the pipeweed industry.

    There's one more location of note: Old Winyards. Old Winyards is the name of a wine, but there's a good chance that there's also a vineyard named Old Winyards. Since SSG needs to fill out the southern half of the Southfarthing, I imagine it might be located there.

    Once I'd pieced this all together, an interesting thought occurred to me. If a player wanted to, they could currently level to the mid-20s without leaving the Shire. The Shire zone proper will take a player to around level 15. A player could then go to Buckland and do the Buckland and Old Forest quests, which would likely level them to around level 20. They could then go to Yondershire, which would take them to the mid-20s. I wonder if the plan, then, is for the Southfarthing to be a level 25-30ish zone that players could go to after they finish Yondershire. Then, once they finish the Southfarthing, players could go to Evendim and quest out of Oathbarton, Dwaling, and Northcotton Farm, which begin at around level 30. Thus players, if they wanted to, could level to around level 32 without having to stray far from the bounds of the Shire.

    Which allows for an interesting story progression. There's relatively little evidence, in the original Shire, of what's going to happen to the Shire over the next year. The only real hint is that there's a strange bandit camp near the Marish. Players can then go to Buckland, where they find out that there are some hobbits who were robbed by bandits (I've been doing the Buckland quests the last couple of days on a level 19 burglar, so those quests are VERY fresh in my mind.) Then players can go the Yondershire, where hear about a "Chief" who has installed his own bounders, where Fredegar Bolger helps them discover that there are bandits changing the borders of the Shire, where they find numerous bandits and half-orcs stationed in the ruins just beyond borders, and where they confront Lotho Sackville-Baggins directly. Then, perhaps, they go to the Southfarthing. If SSG goes with Fonstad's map, the Southfarthing is Lobelia's birthplace and the seat of the Sackville-Baggins family, and the center of the production of pipeweed, the control of which is Saruman's entire reason for taking over the Shire. It's also the location of Sarn Ford, which was recently abandoned by the Rangers, and which is likely the entry point for many of the bandits entering the Shire (perhaps from Cardolan's ruined capitol city, located a short distance to the northeast!). So the Southfarthing would be an excellent place for players to continue to experience the events leading up to the Scouring. And then players could go to southern Evendim, where they discover Dwaling, a village that has been fully seized by bandits.

    Played through sequentially, from level 1 to level 32, the Shire, Buckland, the Yondershire, the Southfarthing, and southern Evendim could allow players to experience in full the story of how the Scouring comes about, escalating gradually from Hiders and Seekers to rumors of bandits camps to highway robbery to bandits changing the borders to confronting Lotho to visiting the very heart of the conspiracy in the Southfarthing to realizing that the Rangers are gone and Sarn Ford is controlled by the enemy to a fully-scoured Dwaling.

    And then, of course, hopefully we'll get an alternate level 140 version of the Scouring to play around in, which would complete the story.

    All brilliant ideas! Ditto on the idea of a lower-level South Farthing to dig more into the "Sharkey - Lotho" connection, and that would actually open the door to a "Scouring version" that is level cap: say . . . starting with Tharbad on the Royal Road and heading up toward a Scouring South Farthing and Shire combined. Kind of like Mordor Besieged versus Dor Amarth.


    Here's another thing I'd point out with South Farthing. The Devs admitted the Shire was under-scaled on-purpose. But there is room to expand the current areas southward. So, maybe thicken and extend the forests of Woody End, maybe expand the Green Hill Country a bit southward so it has some verticality to it, and then include the newer towns and such, perhaps even including Southern Ered Luin as the zone's southwestern borders.

    I'd definitely want to see them prioritize scale -- the Marish also should be extended southward at least.

    I really like your Cardolan ideas also and hope they'll listen, especially having the ruins on a greater height. I'd also like to see a return of some of the Draug wight models from the Wold and Entwash Vale. They, including the manner of their deaths, were more terrifying than the basic wights. It would make sense to have "the worst wights" haunting the ruins of Cardolan's capital - and maybe they could even introduce Gortheron for the first time as a sub-zone antagonist and have him more involved in earlier levels before encountering him again later in the Lich-Bluffs / Ost Dunhoth. He's the only Gaunt-Lord who doesn't appear in the earlier content; Thadur does, as does Ivar and Drugoth and Ferndur (*all prior to "In Their Absence" I mean). Maybe the Witch-King and the Nine spoke with him prior to overrunning the Dunedain at Sarn Ford --- plotting the "In Their Absence" plot as either part of "the new rise of Angmar" or, alternatively, as the "fail-safe" in case Mordirith should fail him. Would also be nice to get some Minas Morgul flashbacks to learn how the WK had gotten involved with Gaunt-Lords in the first place; some of the newer instances only hint at this, and maybe Lhaereth "ensured" the spreading of the Great Plague that far north. Lots of possibilities game-lore-wise.

    I'm kind of thinking that the Cardolan ruins and Tharbad would be centers of the newer content. Of course, my "dream upon dreams" would be a "Mordor Besieged" equivalent of the War of the Elves and Sauron from Eregion to the Battle of the Gwaithlo, *laughs.* Lots of layers to the history from the Numenoreans chopping-down all the forests and then the War in the SA to the fall of Arnor and the Plague and the Barrow-Wights in the TA to Saruman's doings in the late TA. Lots of history across those regions

    Cheers!
    Landroval player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding character in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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  17. #267
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    Oh, the infernal creatures, fearsome beasts, worse than Morgoth's Balrogs! Hahahahahahaha! LOL!

    I still want to pay that herd of goats in Car Bronach a visit. "Have at thee, knaves!!!" Hehehe
    I really love LOTRO's goats yes and that place in Car Bronach is... charming though that exiled giant who is friends with them must be sad when he sees all that... slaughter...
    There are also the mysterious, possessed Enedwaith goats and Mordor dire-horns - they really are infernal fearsome beasts!


    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    It makes me want to do it again and try a very ambitious trek to get down first to DA, have a respite through the Cape of Belfalas, and try to get past the Haradrim runners and get out to the Anduin, and to then try to follow the Anduin all the way up to Car Bronach. Wow, that would be a multi-hour adventure and no mistake!
    Sounds like fun. But even without a challenge, I just enjoy strolling through some places on the valared alt, no goal in mind, just the road and seeing places again. Unlike many other games, there is something about LOTRO and the integrity of its vast world that makes that kind of sight-seeing unique here (well, I remember something very similar from Enderal: The Shards of Order, although I haven't got to replaying it yet, but it too got great storytelling and world-building, so maybe that's why). But my dream come true on an alt would be if they added self-contained auto-bestowals in empty places of the world... so I can do both sight-seeing and getting exp, perhaps even a challenge like crossing from Ered Luin to Yondershire through Lune while still under-leveled and then doing some landscape quests there that popped up or were encountered when interacting with the item in the wild, so things like gathering stuff while trying to avoid mobs or trying to take on higher level mobs, and still be rewarded decent amount of exp if I succeed so there is character progression to it



    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    I'd also like to see a return of some of the Draug wight models from the Wold and Entwash Vale. They, including the manner of their deaths, were more terrifying than the basic wights. It would make sense to have "the worst wights" haunting the ruins of Cardolan's capital
    I loved the Draugs, they were a welcome sight of a fresh air (kinda reminded me about mummies though, so my imagination immediately went far South when I saw them : P). In general, I love the idea of making the potential capital of Cardolan hunted by something "fresh" and "the worst" only not sure if just reusing Draug model is a good idea, since they're really different in style and the way their body is embalmed/decomposes ( I guess they were Dunlending ancestors?) seems to be a bit different (i guess?). But maybe if they could create something new based on the Draug model and put the Arnorian clothes/armor on them and gave some of the "Cardolan Draugs" skeleton treatment at least in portion (rather than rocks and earth from the burrow stack to their body?)
    So something between the Wold Draugs and these ones:



    then that would work, probably, so not as weakly pale looking as these traditional ones:


    I guess these new scary well-armored mobs could represent the royal guard of Cardolan or something



    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    Would also be nice to get some Minas Morgul flashbacks to learn how the WK had gotten involved with Gaunt-Lords in the first place; some of the newer instances only hint at this, and maybe Lhaereth "ensured" the spreading of the Great Plague that far north.
    I would love them to come back to the Great Plague and flesh it out a bit. What was the entire business with Ferndur and the Lost Temple anyway (well, I guess it was more of a local plague, in any case, that annihilated Rhuadar once they were no longer useful?), and how that plague differed from Lhaeret's, did they ever team up maybe or something? There isn't any direct contradiction and conflict between the two, but I would love them to actually put that entire story of the plague into a coherent picture, as of now it's all vague and one of the less perfect, less clear parts of the lore.

  18. #268
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    Yep! I also enjoy traveling around on my Valar'ed alts - and good idea for making the Draugs more unique. Never thought of them as Dunlendings per se (*the Lich Bluffs and Bonevales have more "traditional wights"). What I mainly like is more of the fear-factor with the Draugs. I was legitimately terrified in those burial mounds in Rohan - the regular Wights just feel like regular fantasy skeleton mobs hehehe

    ---

    I definitely want to underline that these southward expansions of the game can rectify what I believe is a very significant world-design issue.


    My dream: I'd love them to actually just re-design the southern Shire. They wouldn't need to touch Tookborough or Michel Delving or the main quest hubs: but I'd love a more expanded, more winding Green Hills Country. I'd like the Abandoned Elf-Camp to be deeper in the wilderness and farther from Wood-hall, which you could see its lights in the distance from it, not right below it. I'd like the bogs of the Marish to be larger. While they can't quite change much on a West - East axis, they could expand from North to South, make the road wind a bit more, make it feel . . . more like Tolkien's descriptions of that journey - when they do touch what will become the South Farthing.

    You see, that's what Yondershire did so well. It took the North Farthing, a relatively narrow corridor north of Brockenborings and up to Oatbarton and Dwaling - and made it super-expansive all the way out to Gamwich (*Sam talks about his cousin Hal's encounter with a giant-like being on "The North Moors" - so, I know the Dev's have framed it as Yondershire as kind of not in any farthing, but I'd beg to differ from the text with the exception of Foxden Heath that's more West Farthing).

    So, if they could just re-shape that landscape, make it feel much bigger, and it'll do wonders for the area. I know their original intention was to make it "not so daunting" for new players. But the Shire was waaaay too under-scaled in my view - compared with say Rohan, West Gondor, even Gorgoroth. I think it's fine to add an extra five minutes somehow to wind-around to get between Tookborough and Bamfurlong in the Marish, make the place where Gildor Inglorion camped feel more remote and mythical (*as it's supposed to be from the text), make Pippin's whining about the bogs of the Marish feel legitimate in-game and not just crossing a simple stream, etc. Expanding the Shire is definitely the way to go in my book - and some artful re-designing can do a lot of wonders

    ---

    Similarly, I'm hoping the new area with Swanfleet will somewhat expand what we think of as "The Lone-Lands" - so that they don't just feel like an odd, dry valley but even more remote and "out there" hence their name, make the Barrow-downs feel bigger from north to south and maybe thicken the fog in there a bit more. This is a prime opportunity to do real in-game justice for Eriador's scale - and if the trend with Yondershire continues, that's looking very hopeful right now

    Cheers!
    Landroval player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding character in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    Never thought of them as Dunlendings per se (*the Lich Bluffs and Bonevales have more "traditional wights"). What I mainly like is more of the fear-factor with the Draugs.

    I was legitimately terrified in those burial mounds in Rohan - the regular Wights just feel like regular fantasy skeleton mobs hehehe
    It's because Dunland was done before and they didn't really have new models back then. So that's the kind of inconsistency that can sometimes pop up in the game. But the quest text (from the Entwash Vale, I think) suggested the burrow was from before the time of the Rohhirim and the Draugs had some Dunlending medallions on them or something

    But yeah! They felt really different. I would love more variety among the weights in the game.



    It would be great to see some of these old areas expanded in scale. The only question is whether they would have the time for it, sounds like a big project. Well, in any case, at least opening them up a bit from the Sothern direction, without much of artificial barriers (so the barrier couldn't have been as big as the one between Shire and Yondershire in the North) would have been a lot - naturally, with further extension into the Royal Road area, so we end up with bigger Barrow-downs/decent capital of Cardolan further South, Lonelands effectively extended further South, and yeah, potentially something more done with the Shire once we get to South Farthing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantion View Post
    and maybe thicken the fog in there a bit more. This is a prime opportunity to do real in-game justice for Eriador's scale - and if the trend with Yondershire continues, that's looking very hopeful right now
    Nah, I love the fog, it's very climatic for the place.

    We'll get the next letter soon, I wonder what will be announced...

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    @Scenario Regarding Goblin Town connection, this is what someone said elsewhere:

    "Tried crossing the Misty Mountains, but apparently, you have to go through the Goblin caves for that, and as soon as I exit the caves, the level jumps to 125, and I get immediately murderized."

    So there IS a functioning connection from West to East, evidently. There really should be one from East to West as well. Please fix it or add it in the near future if possible : ) The Eastern Gate of Goblin Town is inaccessible without an associated quest and not sure whether that's a bug or design miss that was never spotted

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    Quote Originally Posted by TesalionLortus View Post
    @Scenario Regarding Goblin Town connection, this is what someone said elsewhere:

    "Tried crossing the Misty Mountains, but apparently, you have to go through the Goblin caves for that, and as soon as I exit the caves, the level jumps to 125, and I get immediately murderized."

    So there IS a functioning connection from West to East, evidently. There really should be one from East to West as well. Please fix it or add it in the near future if possible : ) The Eastern Gate of Goblin Town is inaccessible without an associated quest and not sure whether that's a bug or design miss that was never spotted
    Is there though? I thought i remembered an exit as well, but I was messing around in the Public Instance Dungeon version for Gobtown with my 140 main, and mapped the whole thing out. The place that should have been the exit, was a dead end tunnel collapse. And all the old maps i found online show the tunnel collapse where the exit should be. I think we're all misremembering. But i do wish the Gobs would get together and unblock it, even if it would be a bit of a surprise for the people doing the dungeon on level. Perhaps a level 120 exit guard to discourage trespassers?

  22. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feral_Yoda View Post
    Is there though? I thought i remembered an exit as well, but I was messing around in the Public Instance Dungeon version for Gobtown with my 140 main, and mapped the whole thing out. The place that should have been the exit, was a dead end tunnel collapse. And all the old maps i found online show the tunnel collapse where the exit should be. I think we're all misremembering. But i do wish the Gobs would get together and unblock it, even if it would be a bit of a surprise for the people doing the dungeon on level. Perhaps a level 120 exit guard to discourage trespassers?
    This really needs some clarification from the devs. @Cord @Scenario anyone!

    I wasn't sure whether there was one but the thing I quoted comes from the recent post by a newbie who tried to get into Rhovanion/Rohan on a Valar'ed character and that's what they wrote - they entered the Goblin Town in Misty Mountains and when they left they were insta-killed by high level mobs (so I assume they did got into the Vales though the tunnels, like, there is literally no other way to read these exact words and I doubt they were lying :P). So interesting

  23. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by TesalionLortus View Post
    This really needs some clarification from the devs. @Cord @Scenario anyone!

    I wasn't sure whether there was one but the thing I quoted comes from the recent post by a newbie who tried to get into Rhovanion/Rohan on a Valar'ed character and that's what they wrote - they entered the Goblin Town in Misty Mountains and when they left they were insta-killed by high level mobs (so I assume they did got into the Vales though the tunnels, like, there is literally no other way to read these exact words and I doubt they were lying :P). So interesting
    They didn’t even know where Rohan was, so I was taking their post with a pinch of salt! There is no entrance inside Goblin Town, and the one in the Vales is only an instanced version. A proper link needs to be introduced.
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  24. #274
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tirian-Hammerfist View Post
    They didn’t even know where Rohan was, so I was taking their post with a pinch of salt! There is no entrance inside Goblin Town, and the one in the Vales is only an instanced version. A proper link needs to be introduced.
    True, but still, it made me curious. Since they evidently spoke of the Goblin Town/tunnels and there is no other tunnel that they could possibly take in Misty Mountains ;P and I assume they aren't just total idiots talking about the mountain pass to the Vales? and acting like this is a tunnel? ; P

    In any case, I would like the devs to clarify what's the history here. It's strange lots of us think they remember things but maybe we're misremembering things... very strange. And I still so vividly remember that connection from the instanced version to the regular town just before the throne room :P Maybe it's a ghost gate or something?

  25. #275
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    Well, we can glean three things from the new Producer's Letter:

    1- The Swanfleet / Minhiriath zone is probably the 6-month area Scenario described at some point in his "Yondershire" live-stream. That tracks with the timing of the quarterly Producer's Letters: it's going to be a Fall update if not a late Fall / Winter one, explaining why it isn't mentioned in the current one. The "surprise" the Producer's Letter mentions is probably smaller-scale since the Angle and Yondershire were announced more directly in advance in the Producer's Letters in the past.

    2- Whether that new zone is level-cap or not is an open question. But it isn't coming in the near-future. That also tracks with many of the areas south of Bree-land and Lone-Lands / southwest of the Angle remaining hidden or under-developed. It'll be interesting to see if more and more appears on newer Bullroarer builds via point-updates and whether those point-updates will get the landscape changes reflected over time, which I'd suspect they would.

    I'm a bit concerned though that the level cap really needs an update and that Swanfleet would be a remarkably bad place to have it; a level 140 zone next to a level 14-20 zone would mean getting 1-shot if you make a wrong step, not even a chance for survival at all. I think a great compromise would be a level 140 expansion centered on the War of the Elves and Sauron including parts of Swanfleet, Eregion, and the Angle, and having the Third Age Swanfleet area be level 50-60 as a Moria alternative. That way, if you accidentally bumped into "the red zone" from Bree-land, you'd still have more of a fighting chance to escape back into "Safe Territory," and at the same time, it would give the end-gamers some engaging content to play-through.

    Also, exploring "Sharkey's" - rise - of influence in the South Farthing and in the Swanfleet / trading between the regions I think would be a bit more interesting; by the time Frodo returns to the Shire, it's the "wind-down," "Sharkey" vastly reduced in power and really just at the downward spiral to rock-bottom.

    TBH, if I had to choose between Frodo's return to the Shire / pre-Scouring stuff and . . . the biggest battle Sauron ever fought in Eriador and actually legitimately - lost - even with the One Ring on his finger? Never mind the whole tragedy of "Antheron" tricking the High Elves and Celebrimbor's downfall. I'll gladly take the latter; far more interesting than a pack of ruffians and half-Orcs trailing a broken ex-Wizard with a crawling Wormtongue behind him, thank you very much

    That's something Gundabad had me very excited about, in a certain "Epic instance" with a ton of flashback sequences. That was . . . a delicious dessert; would love even more of that.

    Cheers!
    Landroval player; I am Phantion on the forums only and do not have a corresponding character in-game with that name on any server. Cheers! :)

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