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LotRO's Mounted Combat Will Continue Evolving

in Lord of the Rings Online

lotro warsteedLord of the Rings Online's Mounted Combat has been one of the major features introduced in 2012. Previous updates to the MMORPG continues to improve the mechanics of the mounted combat. The latest Update 11: Treachery of the White Hand introduced new class-specific traits that enhances mounted combat skills. It also removed the bonuses to mobility from traits and added them to the base steed. LotRO's Mounted Combat has been developed in years and it looks like Turbine is going to continue improving it in the coming updates.

 

Mounted Combat 2.0 and beyond

I remember at least a few developer diary posts on LotRO official about mounted combat improvements that they have been planning to release in content updates. Another developer diary revealed how long Turbine has been working on mounted combat. As a part of the latest Treachery of the White Hand update, developers introduced an enhanced version of the Mounted Combat.

Mounted Combat was one the main features of Riders of Rohan. The main concern of players about the first iteration of the mounted combat was that war-steed movement was very clunky unless they spent points on turn rate and agility problem. In other words, war-steeds were almost not playable. This is basically a problem that developers call a balance problem. So the developers at Turbine started working on this earlier this year.

The goals were:

- remove all movement based traits from the trees and build them into the base functionality of the War-Steed.

- replace the removed movement branch with a new brand. Developers also made it class-specific.

So what has changed?

8-10 new traits for each class. It makes more than 80 traits for 9 classes. It took multiple developers to work on this task each developer worked on a class or two. 

update 11 warsteeds

  • 1 Forced Movement Trait
  • 1 Group Buff
  • 1 Discipline Buff
  • New Class Skills: This one is particularly interesting. Every class gets at least 1 new mounted skill. This is going to be creating an identity for each class, making mounted combat a very rich experience with a lot of variety. 
  • 3-4 Skill Enhancements: There will be traits that either buff a skill or add a new effect or increase player's DPS.
  • 1 Riddermark Capstone: This was kepts as original Mounted Combat. No change here.

So what's actually changed? That's a good question. I see that Turbine is trying to fix game mechanics related to mounted combat first. They are also trying to add class identity to give players something to work on, and create a unique mounted combat experience for each player. With 9 classes and 90 traits, mounted combat is only going to get better in time. With so much polishing and balancing to work on, Turbine developers are going to be busy with Mounted Combat in the rest of the year and chances are, this is going to go on for a long time. When I read some of the feedback on LotRO message boards, I see that, not all of these improvements have been taken positively. Some players are constantly complaining about latency issues with mounted combat. The classic LAG & rubberbanding problems...

Mounted Combat was a major feature of Riders of Rohan and it looks like it's become a very important part of LotRO and has changed the gameplay forever. With so many balancing/polishing to do, Turbine is most likely going to keep on introducing newer versions of the mounted combat in the coming updates. Fighting from mounts in MMORPGs is very exciting and it's how developers continue to introduce mounted combat in their games and the newer games have this feature by default. 

 

 

 

 

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