Oh hey there, Mr. Orc! How’s life treating you? I see you hit up Hot Topic for your outfit today, very skull-and-bonesy. It’s a theme, at least, although I don’t think I’d have so many sharp teeth that close to my crotch.
Anyway, Mr. Orc would like me to spend a bit of time today talking about something that should be coming… soonish? to Lord of the Rings Online. And that’s a new type of legendary server that SSG teased this past spring:
This fall will also see a new Legendary server! We are looking forward to adding new challenges and gameplay experiences for this new server. In our current vision for this server, Sauron will play a more active role in punishing heroes who defy his will. At times during play, the Eye of Sauron will open, inspiring all the evil in the world to rally and rise to his dark challenge. These enemies will become far more dangerous during this time. However, when the Eye is open, your characters will rise to the challenge and deliver greatly increased damage in defiance of the Dark Lord. Beware when the Eye of Sauron is open! We intend to keep the current Legendary experience going in 2020 as well, and will continue to open up new content on those servers.
Unless LOTRO’s server issues and general COVID difficulties have caused a delay in this department, we might be on the verge of getting this new server type in the next month or two. Reading through that description, I get the impression that the goal here is to create a normal server that occasionally ratchets up the difficulty at unpredictable intervals. It’s not hard ALL the time, just, you know, some of the time.
I’ve been mulling over this server idea for a while now and keep coming away unsatisfied with this concept. For starters, I don’t get why SSG would also increase player power during these times of increased hardship, because it sounds like that would even out the tougher monsters. If you’re going to make a harder server, have it be harder. That doesn’t make sense to me.
I also don’t see the appeal in the on-off cycle of hardship. I guess keeping players on their toes is not a wholly bad thing, but I would say that the appeal here isn’t for the unpredictability but for a generally more hardcore shard that would present genuine challenge across the board. And for that, you’d want predictable challenge, not periodic moments of it. I mean, if the bad times come and I’m not really in the mood for it, wouldn’t there be a temptation just to log off and go do something else, knowing that the difficulty spike would eventually simmer back down?
SSG hasn’t said anything more about this server since the spring, and there’s always the possibility that this idea’s been reworked since then. I kind of hope that it has, because there are players who consider regular LOTRO questing too easy these days and would welcome a run for their money.
I’m still in a wait-and-see pattern on whether or not to actually roll a character on this server. New and different is attractive, but I don’t know if I really want to commit myself past a point of curiosity to playing a third character when the first two I have take up more than enough of my time in the game.