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  #11  
Unread 04-11-2012, 08:09 AM
Uthboth's Avatar
Uthboth Uthboth is offline
The Undying
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Going to miss you Digital Utopia as Palantir has been the bread and butter for me since it first came out. I've pointed a few others to it that have fallen in love with it, but there is still so much more potential if Turbine would just open up more of the API to the users. There have been other projects of yours that I have enjoyed as well. You will be missed, but I do understand why it's time to step away.

I myself have been playing Lotro on the side. Right now Firefall and World of Tanks has been my main game while waiting for content in Lotro. I've steped away from working on my plugin as it was starting to turn into work fixing changes they made. The ui is easier to work on then LUA, but it's still a chore if you don't fully understand everything. Not much of a coder, but if I have something to follow I do alright.

Take care and I wish you the best with school. As parting I shall leave you with this.

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

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  #12  
Unread 04-12-2012, 12:16 PM
K1R4D3L K1R4D3L is offline
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Adding my voice to the "sorry to see you go" mantra. Our recent discussion about LotROMaps is really just a perfect example of your frustration, and I obviously share it. The limitations/frustrations I read about and experience as a plugin consumer are the primary reason I haven't done any authoring myself...full of ideas, but no patience to deal with a sub-par API. Sad to see so much potential wasted...too bad there aren't any good community-developed game engine projects - the gaming community could really get behind something like that. Maybe an Elder Scrolls MMO will get it right....

I still love the game, and given my play style I still have plenty of game left to keep me engaged for quite some time yet, but knowing what's possible interface-wise in games like WoW and what should be possible with modern technology (multiple monitors, meaningful mobile device tie-ins, etc.), it does get rather disappointing to see Turbine seemingly focused entirely on selling more of the same content, rather than updating the engine and ecosystem.

Best of luck to you, and maybe one day Turbine will get the message and convince you that it's time to come back.
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  #13  
Unread 04-12-2012, 04:12 PM
Dwamur Dwamur is offline
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Smile

I'll play advocatus diaboli. Turbine is unlikely to devote a full fte, or even half one, to the api. Lotro does not compete with wow, nowhere close. Last figure I saw put lotro active players at 100k. Old data, but unless turbine feel like releasing more its all we have. That makes lotro a niche mmo. To increase retention, bring back old players, attract new ones, where are your ftes best deployed? Api is going to be low on that list.

I see a steadily improving labor of love by the devs, within the constraints of the content work that has to be the 'day job'. No complaints from me.

Soooo - volunteers to take on palantir maintenance? I love that hud.

Last edited by Dwamur : 04-13-2012 at 05:34 AM.
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  #14  
Unread 04-12-2012, 08:50 PM
K1R4D3L K1R4D3L is offline
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Certainly understand the argument, and agree to some extent. As I said I've still got plenty of content ahead of me to keep me engaged, and the game has steadily improved to a large degree over the years. However, Digital isn't the first active player and community member that we've lost recently. The growing sentiment I hear is that the content additions just aren't enough to keep people engaged anymore.

I say spend one dev cycle enhancing and stabilizing the API to allow the devoted fan community to enhance the game ourselves, then go back to content, content, content. So many of us are willing to do the work for them, we just need the API to make it possible. I think that's a pretty reasonable strategy for them from a business perspective.

*shrug* Just a game though...I'll play until I get bored, dev if I ever get inspired, and eventually I'll move on.
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  #15  
Unread 04-13-2012, 05:52 AM
Dwamur Dwamur is offline
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Kiradel,

I hear your argument. You're saying "take one dev, or half a dev, and devote her to API improvement until U7. We'll take it from there."

Okay. That's a good argument. Now - let me take this seriously and ask: How can something come of it? Is the plugin author community coherent enough to act on this vision?

One possible action would be a marketing drive. Create a website, with content created by plugin authors, that acts as marketing. "Here is what we have done. Isn't it cool? Here's what we could do. It's even better! We'll do it for free. We need you, Turbine, to do this" (and "this" should link to a page with highly detailed, highly technical action items that a manager can give to a dev to implement immediately).

Then, once the site has been up for a while and has good, engaging content, including humorous videos - keep in mind, this would be a marketing effort, so it has to be light-hearted and positive - set a day during which plugin authors will advertise in-game. Plugins will already have been coded to display a message in chat when they start on that day, and every hour thereafter (details TBD, provided you can get date/time from the API and the community doesn't come up with something better), to the effect of "we are ready to make this game even funner and more full of bacon, for free! Turbine, do your part and enable us to do this. www.moarbacon.org".

How about it, plugin authors? Is this a bunch of trollshaw lynxes that cannot be herded under any circumstances, or can the authoring community rally behind a marketing push?
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  #16  
Unread 04-15-2012, 12:05 AM
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Renegade-Rivers Renegade-Rivers is offline
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Hate to See you Go

Just wanted to say that I have appreciated your work on Palantir and it has become over the months an interface I used faithfully. I just hope that someone will pick up the dev. on it.

As for your decision to go back to WoW, i don't envy you a bit. I played Wow for over four years, and it became a grind. How ever I remember a time when frustration ran high in WoW as well, especially when all of the accounts were getting hacked, which happened to me, and was why I gave up on it. Hopefully their security is better at this point.

As for LOTRO, I can understand your discontent, but I do believe that down the road we will see some improvements, because it is going to have to happen in order for Turbine to keep their product fresh. RoR may help bring back some players, and add some new ones at the same time. I look for a big recruitment drive about the time of the release of RoR. Hopefully it will be done in a way that will excite returning players, and encourage new ones to try LOTRO.

There is no doubt that their is a lot of things that could be improved in LOTRO and make it a much better, and more powerful game. Whether Turbine will have the foresight to see this, or whether they will attempt to continue to use LOTRO as a "cash cow" remains to be seen.

There are many interface improvements that I would love to see made, and of course in many cases, the materials to work with need to be supplied by Turbine, and LOTRO, but whether that will be done or not remains to be seen. I keep hoping that there will be a solution that will make it possible to make an efficient auction interface, and one for crafting projects as well, however those are only wishes.

Once again I wish you the very best in your game play, and hope that you find the joy and relaxation you are looking for going back to WoW. We will miss you being a part of the LOTRO community, and of course you have all of our best wishes. Until we met again, may all your paths be safe, and may all your wishes be granted.
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  #17  
Unread 04-17-2012, 06:21 AM
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Digital_Utopia Digital_Utopia is offline
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Thanks everybody for the well wishes, and Uthboth for the lyrics posting. That sums it up nicely I think. I'm certainly not saying I'm never coming back - never is such a final word, and time is never final. I just had to admit that instead of continuing to lead people on, it was just best to say that, for the foreseeable future, I was completely done with the game.

That being said, I do feel the need to clarify something, as I've gotten the feeling that some have mistaken my frustrations with Turbine's actions, and my loss of interest in the game, as criticisms against Turbine and LotRO as a whole. With that in mind I want to say that I have nothing but the utmost respect for Turbine, and the dedication they've given and still give to LotRO to bring Middle Earth to life, within the confines of an MMO. I did not lose interest in LotRO because of the store, or because I thought the game was inferior in quality to another. If anything, it simply boiled down to the fact that I was no longer the player they were developing for.

One of the main responses on the LotRO forums to someone suggesting more attention to PvP, better gear in raids, or such oddities as flying mounts (for lack of a better example), is that LotRO isn't that type of game - and I completely agree with that assessment. So instead of trying, or attempting to suggest that LotRO should change to fit my style of play, or what's important to me in an MMO, I simply found an MMO that was a better fit.

So really, there's no reason to play devil's advocate, because I realize my frustrations were of my own making. For example, if you want a cat to bark, and you get frustrated because it isn't, it's not the cat's fault; but yours for expecting it to be able to.

@Dwamur

To be honest, I really don't think this is a case of Turbine not caring about plugins; rather, it's a case of just way too few devs. Deep down, I think they want the same things we do - based off of some of the responses I've gotten from the devs and Sapience regarding Palantir (and other experiments). The trouble is, that when compared to the game itself- these are side projects, stuff created by the devs on their own free time, and not under the same structure (for better of for worse) as actual game content/stability/improvements.

The only real solution is for WB to hire more devs for LotRO, so that Turbine has the flexibility to devote resources to things like the data API and the plugin system. While that would net a vast improvement - maybe something fairly close to WoW's plugin functionality, and a data API closer to this, that alone won't make things as great as they could be. Unfortunately that requires more than what Turbine could do - as it will need to come from the community itself.

It's one thing to look at Blizzard's data API, or addon API and point to how a developer that has the ability to devote the necessary resources, can improve the out of game experience for their players. However, it's quite another to see something like this site [url=http://www.pxr.dk/wowdev/wiki/index.php?title=Main_Page] that pretty much gives detailed information about every single file type the game uses. Everything from terrain, world objects, meshes, animations, textures, etc. That didn't come from Blizzard, that's the result of people with the necessary skills being fans of the game. Unfortunately, I've yet to meet anybody like that who plays this game. I've certainly tried my best - with my limited knowledge/experience; but it would probably be years before I made any sort of serious headway.
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  #18  
Unread 04-17-2012, 09:13 AM
K1R4D3L K1R4D3L is offline
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Some of us are just venting, to be sure...hijacking your thread to an extent to make a point. If we didn't like the game, we obviously wouldn't be here either. Completely agree with your barking cat metaphor. Apart from the API, I'm actually perfectly willing to accept the game for what it is, and isn't, feature-wise, knowing that Turbine will continue to slowly evolve and expand it, both in terms of pure content and minor features/capabilities. You'll never hear me whining about this or that missing game feature...like you said, it is what it is.

I do see the plugin/API platform a bit differently though - this is Turbine's opportunity to engage the community, to invest them in the game more deeply, and allow us to improve the game and ecosystem ourselves. True, the LotRO community hasn't put out resources like the site you point to for WoW, but how much of that is because many of those that could do such a thing aren't willing to invest that kind of time and effort without a more powerful/stable/supported API/data platform?

Why put in the effort if your ability to leverage it is minimal? Ask 20 plugin devs about their plugins and you'll hear more about what they wanted to do with their plugins but couldn't (or couldn't do right, or had to hack a solution for and then have to fix after every other game update), than what they did do. You're an example of someone who tried and is now moving on, at least partly because of frustrations with these limitations. How many other capable people that play or have played this game never even tried, for these reasons? I'm one. I think the community is out there, willing to engage more deeply...it's just the chicken-before-the-egg problem....

Even the lack of response to Dwamur's call-to-arms, though I think it deserves its own thread here and on the official forums, doesn't mean much. I'm not sure how many people that would be interested are even still watching. I only happened across this thread while looking for plugin updates. I could and would participate in such an effort, but until I hear about major upgrades to the API, I'm just not paying much attention. Chicken/egg.
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  #19  
Unread 04-17-2012, 09:42 AM
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Digital_Utopia Digital_Utopia is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K1R4D3L
Some of us are just venting, to be sure...hijacking your thread to an extent to make a point. If we didn't like the game, we obviously wouldn't be here either. Completely agree with your barking cat metaphor. Apart from the API, I'm actually perfectly willing to accept the game for what it is, and isn't, feature-wise, knowing that Turbine will continue to slowly evolve and expand it, both in terms of pure content and minor features/capabilities. You'll never hear me whining about this or that missing game feature...like you said, it is what it is.

I do see the plugin/API platform a bit differently though - this is Turbine's opportunity to engage the community, to invest them in the game more deeply, and allow us to improve the game and ecosystem ourselves. True, the LotRO community hasn't put out resources like the site you point to for WoW, but how much of that is because many of those that could do such a thing aren't willing to invest that kind of time and effort without a more powerful/stable/supported API/data platform?

Why put in the effort if your ability to leverage it is minimal? Ask 20 plugin devs about their plugins and you'll hear more about what they wanted to do with their plugins but couldn't (or couldn't do right, or had to hack a solution for and then have to fix after every other game update), than what they did do. You're an example of someone who tried and is now moving on, at least partly because of frustrations with these limitations. How many other capable people that play or have played this game never even tried, for these reasons? I'm one. I think the community is out there, willing to engage more deeply...it's just the chicken-before-the-egg problem....

Even the lack of response to Dwamur's call-to-arms, though I think it deserves its own thread here and on the official forums, doesn't mean much. I'm not sure how many people that would be interested are even still watching. I only happened across this thread while looking for plugin updates. I could and would participate in such an effort, but until I hear about major upgrades to the API, I'm just not paying much attention. Chicken/egg.
While I'm certainly not underestimating the value of plugins - it's important not to overestimate them either. Content will, in almost all cases, have a lot more value than plugins - and the plugin system is nowhere near as robust, and likely due to its implementation, never will be, robust enough in order to do so. So if it's a case of manpower - where those devs are too busy working on content to provide more in terms of API, then there's not much that can be done about that. Short of, begging WB to hire more devs.

And really, at least in my opinion, that's the real issue here. It's not that LotRO isn't solid enough to not gain an advantage from attention to these extra features; but rather that they simply don't have the manpower to make them more than side projects. Hopefully RoR is a hit, and earns Turbine some extra help in the dev department - because that's the only way I see plugins and the data API getting the attention and organization that it demands.
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  #20  
Unread 04-17-2012, 10:37 AM
Sethladan Sethladan is offline
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For what it's worth, it sure seems like Turbine/WB is trying to expand their development team. 38 open positions in Needham, Massachusetts, free Turbine Points for retweeting their job listings link, and free iPad 3s if you manage to recruit engineers for them. I'm just hoping they still have space when I finish my CS degree, heh.

I dunno what the LotRO forums are like, but I see the wiki here on LotroInterface and it sure seems like community activism in fully documenting the API, workarounds, bugs, and example code is lacking. I'm guilty here, too, of course.
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