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-   -   Your Opinion on the Current State of Lua in LOTRO (https://www.lotrointerface.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1517)

Merric 06-03-2011 11:20 AM

Your Opinion on the Current State of Lua in LOTRO
 
Hi all:

I am in the process of writing up about the current state of Lua with LOTRO since it's release. How it has progressed, how the community has embraced it vs. how Turbine has embraced it. I was wondering if anyone would care to pipe in about your thoughts on the situation such as if they're going good and steady, dropped the ball, exceeding your expectations, or appear to have abandoned it all together. I'd appreciate any feedback you would have on the matter. If you'd rather comment privately/anonymously feel free to shoot me a message on the board or email me at [email protected].

D.H1cks 06-03-2011 11:37 AM

My current feeling is that Turbine has dropped the ball on LUA plugin support. For the most part, things seemed to go quite well at the start, with good feedback from the devs about issues and such. Recently, it appears that they have all disappeared, with no feedback, and no changes in the last couple of updates.

Overall it makes me a bit sad.

celtictoad13 06-03-2011 11:58 AM

Coming from a users standpoint here....

Turbine has pretty much abandoned the plugin community since the Nov 2010 update. If you were to search the official LOTRO forums it becomes evident of that. Well also on here in LORTO Interface :P

@ Merric I truly hope a blog post about this changes Turbines' mind but I am not holding my breath ;) They are all about making the most $$ not about keeping a loyal fanbase, which the plugins can make or break weather or not someone sticks around in LOTRO.. Just MHO.

Digital_Utopia 06-03-2011 12:42 PM

How has it progressed? Like a one-legged dog in a tar pit. Since the initial release, it's gotten very underwhelming updates, and of those - several of the changes seem more the result of an OCD complex than necessary ones. There have been a few bug fixes, and a couple of new data items available, but not nearly enough to be worth noting - especially considering it's been a year.

Now, I'm willing to entertain the idea that RoI is taking up dev time, so I'm not quite ready to chalk it up to being yet another abandoned project. However, if we don't get some nice new shinnies with RoI, I've got no choice but to assume that Turbine has abandoned it, thus abandoning it myself - until I'm shown otherwise.

Garan 06-03-2011 12:56 PM

I don't believe Turbine has completely abandoned Lua, but it is painfully obvious to the developer community that it is not a high priority. We, the plugin developers, have done our best to show Turbine that if they would just give us the basic functionality, we would provide immeasurable benefit for their product with a myriad of accessories and enhancements. Unfortunately, the only word of that which Turbine seems to have fixated on is "immeasurable" which they seem to believe means it can't be measured and thus must not be worth much. In reality it means it is of such vast value that it exceeds measure.

One indication of Turbine's lack of commitment is the failure to fix the event handling system. Notably, there is still no official means of protecting a plugin from having it's event handlers overwritten by another plugin as well as the significant bugs in the inventory event handlers. Both of those issues were brought to Turbine's attention over six months ago with no sign of a fix in sight.

Another indication of lack of commitment is the lack of responses to the Current API Issues & Discussion forum. We used to get responses from the devs verifying that issues were known and whether a fix was already developed or whether it was being looked into. The most recent dev response was on December 7th by Forsaken Archer regarding the non-functional TrajanPro25 font. Since then, we've had no responses to Current API Issues and in six month's time, they haven't fixed the font which was the last issue they acknowledged as broken.

Another indication of lack of commitment is that Turbine has not fixed even the simplest of issues like the missing enumeration values that have been reported, many of them as far back as last November. These are trivial fixes that simply require associating the correct numeric value with a Turbine provided constant. Since LUA allows us to see what constants are defined, it is woefully obvious that this has not been done.

Unfortunately, Turbine's priorities seem to be slightly out of wack as they continue to spend more in-house man hours building UI elements that the community finds undesirable both in appearance and functionality than implementing the system that would allow their community to build UI elements which the community finds desirable. Consider the fiasco with the Character panel - I do not know how many hundreds of man hours Turbine put into that hulking monstrosity that they foisted on the community, all to purportedly fix a UI element which was not actually broken to begin with. Many users voiced the opinion that Turbine only changed the panel so that they could add Store buttons. If that was the underlying cause then Turbine should have done the minimum amount of work needed to add the additional buttons and spent the rest of the man hours adding the hooks to the system to allow Lua developers to create their own Character panels. The community would have gotten far more options in UI display and Turbine would have gotten far better community feedback.

Given Turbine's track record with community based enhancements (XML feeds, skinning), I don't hold much hope for the Lua system in the long term. That said, as long as there is a glimmer of hope, I will continue to develope plugins, even if it's just to add some color to an otherwise bland chat window ;)

Fortunis 06-03-2011 01:28 PM

I tend to agree with everything that everyone has said here and more. Im pretty sure im right in saying that this lotro has had the slowest API/LUA growth rate out of any MMO to date. Most MMOs have an extensive API within the first 2 years, LOTRO is way past 2 years and lacks even the basic of functions.

Like you said Garan, if Turbine decide to put some man power/hours into extending the functionality of the API, then the community can do much more than Turbine can dream to achieve. It will ease the load on them, like the example you gave for the Character Panel (total waste of time). If we had a suitable API we (the community) wouldve had that and more done.

Im not sure if they realise that a good majority of people get their enjoyment in making addons/plugins/UIs and it keeps them and the people that use the addons/plugins/UIs more excited about playing the game, even after a long period of playing it. New UIs come out, New gadgets, etc and it feels like a new game.

Turbine seriously need to pull their fingers out and do something about it. Yes they have quite a few things on their plate, but surely they could spare 1 or 2 people to put some time in to unlock more features of the API for us.

Fortunis, over and out!

MrJackdaw 06-03-2011 03:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fortunis (Post 6581)
Im not sure if they realise that a good majority of people get their enjoyment in making addons/plugins/UIs and it keeps them and the people that use the addons/plugins/UIs more excited about playing the game

This.

daimon 06-03-2011 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fortunis (Post 6581)
Im not sure if they realise that a good majority of people get their enjoyment in making addons/plugins/UIs and it keeps them and the people that use the addons/plugins/UIs more excited about playing the game, even after a long period of playing it. New UIs come out, New gadgets, etc and it feels like a new game.

This x2!

People who know me in the community knows my feelings pretty clearly I think even that I'm from the other part of the UI community. It's unbelievable bad decision from Turbine to not use the manhours that community could (and would) provide for them - for free!

It would be a thousand times more productive for them to just supervise the UI community than keep doing "fixes" to the UI themselves (as we all here know they were talking about UI revamp for ages, I guess the current situation is what they were aiming for back then).

Few words for Turbine that they should look at:

Interaction
with the UI community - give the UI community the tools they need. Work with the UI community.

Supervising
Turbine should concentrate guiding the community rather than spending their workhours on rather non-priority UI enhancements themselves (excluding developing the tools/resources ofc because without those the community can't work). Work for the bigger picture and leave the details for the UI community.

Advertising
basically UI community have been here for years but still only a portion of the player base knows these things even exists. It's not uncommon to read at Turbine forums comments like "Is there mods for this game at all ?" Give the game feature (UI community) visibility.


Having a strong modding community for a game is essential when looking any game's life-span. Many games have proved this time after time (I don't prolly have to give examples as all in the industry knows which games we are talking about - and those games have all been huge hits and had a lifespan extended for years because of the active modding community).

Think about it. The stock UI have been there for 4 years now and it's still basically the same UI that we had 4 years ago (apart for a few minor improvements - and a few not-so-improvements). How boring is that ? Not very media-sexy if you ask me - and even less player-inspiring.

So to answer the original question: Frustrated because of the lack of communication
There's a lot of potential here but we are all worried about if modding is dead as Turbine haven't even bothered to answer any of our questions after the initial Lua release.

-Daimon

Digital_Utopia 06-03-2011 10:51 PM

The trouble is that Turbine plays things close to the chest, if for no other reason than to not look like the bad guy (and get crucified) if there needs to be a change of plans. Adding to that is the fact that this is not a large company - and not large enough to acceptably implement and maintain the numerous great ideas we've er...I mean they've come up with :p

They need to double their development team - put one guy (or girl), all the time, on each of the following:
  • Skinning
  • Lua Plugins
  • Web API and tools

And the remainder could assist the existing devs with the game itself.

This would not only accelerate improvements and maintenance on these systems, but allow for a quicker turnaround between us making a suggestion, and the appropriate dev either implementing it, or giving us a reason why they're not.

Right now, no joke - I have at least 20 different ideas - in Lua and out, that I could work on. The only thing keeping this stuff basically on the drawing board, is lack of a feasible way of doing it. I'm fairly certain if I were to spend 1 day in Turbine's offices, I'd have all I'd need.

ZhuHanuku 06-04-2011 01:35 AM

Like Daimon, I'm not a LUA author but Turbine's engagement of the UI community in general has been extremely poor. We are a small community but we have a lot of ideas and a desire to create better interfaces to share with other players. Unfortunately without Turbine's support there is very little we can do with these ideas. Browse the forums here and you'll see player request after request for things that aren't possible with the tools Turbine gives the community.

I searched the dev tracker on the official forums going back to the initial release of LUA tools. Here are all the posts I could find related to Lua Scripting (as an indication of Turbine's communication with the UI community). There are additional posts not included in the dev tracker (for whatever reason). For instance see all of Narrel's posts, including the most recent one from 2 Dec 2010.

I did a similar search for the User Interface section on the official forums going back one year:Frosty last posted the Skin Art Pack for V3B2 on lotrointerface back in 18 Nov 2010. We haven't heard anything from Turbine on the UI art since; other than Sapience's posts above saying Frosty no longer works on the UI team and that the new team would "look into" posting an updated art pack.

Turbine has not engaged the UI community significantly within the past 6 months. Turbine's communication drastically decreased shortly after the switch to Free to Play.

MrJackdaw 06-04-2011 01:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZhuHanuku (Post 6587)
Turbine's communication drastically decreased shortly after the switch to Free to Play.

Perhaps this is the cause? The switch to F2P means they have to focus resources on getting money into the company and anything that doesn't, in their view, accomplish this obviously has to go. They are running a business after all.

What we need to do, and I have no idea how, is to show Turbine or their taskmasters that giving a little time to LUA, Skin and Data would benefit them financially.

daimon 06-04-2011 02:56 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrJackdaw (Post 6588)
Perhaps this is the cause? The switch to F2P means they have to focus resources on getting money into the company and anything that doesn't, in their view, accomplish this obviously has to go. They are running a business after all.

What we need to do, and I have no idea how, is to show Turbine or their taskmasters that giving a little time to LUA, Skin and Data would benefit them financially.


Could be. Financial benefits ? Well I would imagine an active UI community would be enough to keep at least amount of gamers interested in Lotro that it would pay the salaries of one or two dedicated devs. Better community > better results > happier end-users > more players

Not instant cash but in time it could matter.

Or they could gate mods from free-players via the store and to enable the feature by spending some TP. In that case they would need to provide us more resources - but in that case they would need to support mods officially however for the end-users.

unclecid 06-04-2011 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MrJackdaw (Post 6588)
Perhaps this is the cause? The switch to F2P means they have to focus resources on getting money into the company and anything that doesn't, in their view, accomplish this obviously has to go. They are running a business after all.

What we need to do, and I have no idea how, is to show Turbine or their taskmasters that giving a little time to LUA, Skin and Data would benefit them financially.


more likely the cause is Turbine S.O.P.

roll out a great new feature....

give it some support at outset....

and then pretty much ignore/abandon

examples....hobbys....housing....kinships....Lua.. .UI skins

:(

MrJackdaw 06-04-2011 10:56 AM

Perhaps if we can put a petition together from concerned players such as ourselves?

Merric 06-04-2011 01:31 PM

Thanks all, I appreciate your candor. I had figured this was the case, but I wanted to double check with the community first in the chance that I had just missed something. I plan to start up my videos centering on plugins again because they're still a very active part of my play style, but I first wanted to explain why I had stopped in the first place; which was that I was disappointed in Turbine's attitude towards Lua (and they were a lot of work). But I'm over my laziness and I'd really like to start showing people how awesome Lua (and skins) can be.

Thanks guys and gals, and of course any more feedback is readily welcome.

MrJackdaw 06-04-2011 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Merric (Post 6592)
Thanks all, I appreciate your candor. I had figured this was the case, but I wanted to double check with the community first in the chance that I had just missed something. I plan to start up my videos centering on plugins again because they're still a very active part of my play style, but I first wanted to explain why I had stopped in the first place; which was that I was disappointed in Turbine's attitude towards Lua (and they were a lot of work). But I'm over my laziness and I'd really like to start showing people how awesome Lua (and skins) can be.

Thanks guys and gals, and of course any more feedback is readily welcome.

I'll be fascinated to see which plugins you do next!

And, on a more serious note, thank you for raising this here. For all the many, many things Turbine do right - I think this is one area where they really need not to drop the ball.

Gramps 06-04-2011 03:10 PM

As a USER of LUA plugins I'm very disappointed in the way its shaped up. The UI still needs more options, many more options. Skinning and the existing permissions (or what ever they are) just dont cut it IMO. I want options, I want authors to be able to use the creativity they obviously have and run with it.

When the API launched it was a nice start. The dev talked a big talk. But its obviously been scrapped and the dev/s responsible has been let go, moved to other projects, or lost interest.

I hope one day we'll see some cash thrown towards this feature.

Almagnus1 06-04-2011 10:07 PM

After seeing the six months of the broken inventory event handling, without so much as a word that they acknowledge the problem is there, and they're working on it....

With Update 2 I had some hope for further improvements, however, the lack of communication and complete absence of anything Lua in Update 3 killed what little hope remained.

Eili 06-06-2011 12:54 AM

Be very careful on those both subjects.

After somes posting on the official forums concerning UI and asking to know Turbine's decision and the futur of UI, some members have been either frorum banned or received forum warning infractions.

This is definitivly a touchy subject for Turbine.

unclecid 06-06-2011 09:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eili (Post 6601)
Be very careful on those both subjects.

After somes posting on the official forums concerning UI and asking to know Turbine's decision and the futur of UI, some members have been either frorum banned or received forum warning infractions.

This is definitivly a touchy subject for Turbine.

*raises hands*

i have had 2 accounts banned since update2 went live.
one ban was for posts about the ui/lua
posts deleted...threads removed etc.

the head forum mod uses their position to go after folks whom they take a dislike to and will FIND a interpretation of the rules to use against one.

this kinda of thing never happened under the previous head forum mod.

the forums are a sad place...many good voices have been silenced since he took over.

Digital_Utopia 06-06-2011 01:06 PM

I think it's worth noting that there is a difference between being critical and being outright rude/mean. There's also a huge difference between voicing a complaint while following common sense forum guidelines, and doing so because you believe your complaint/suggestion is more important. For instance, creating a new thread about something that is already being covered by an existing one- in an example of doing the latter. Other ways of incurring moderator wrath (on any forum) are repeatedly posting topics in the wrong forum, or recreating deleted threads that were deleted - because you feel that you're some kind of journalist in an oppressed country.

Now, I'm not accusing anybody of any of these; but based on my own experiences - both from what I've posted, and what I've seen others - with these same complaints, post - you'll have to forgive me if I'm not going to blindly jump on the anti LotRO moderator bandwagon.

I say this as someone who has been quite critical of their incomplete/abandoned projects - and strangely enough, have not been banned, warned, or had anything deleted because of it. I'm not going to blame anybody here of doing anything, but before you start trying to pin LotRO moderators as a bunch of oppressors, I'd suggest you ask why this might be.

Marll 06-06-2011 01:19 PM

I'm pretty sure that Lua is dead and won't be updated, just like the list below of other things that seem like they should be, but are not likely to be:

Lua
UI Skinning
Hobbies
Housing
Kinships
Virtues

I'm sure I've missed a few as well...:(

Loosing more and more confidence than they can make a good game, keep the community involved and not just turn the game into Lord of Shopping Online...

Eili 06-07-2011 03:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Digital_Utopia (Post 6603)
I think it's worth noting that there is a difference between being critical and being outright rude/mean. There's also a huge difference between voicing a complaint while following common sense forum guidelines, and doing so because you believe your complaint/suggestion is more important. For instance, creating a new thread about something that is already being covered by an existing one- in an example of doing the latter. Other ways of incurring moderator wrath (on any forum) are repeatedly posting topics in the wrong forum, or recreating deleted threads that were deleted - because you feel that you're some kind of journalist in an oppressed country.

Now, I'm not accusing anybody of any of these; but based on my own experiences - both from what I've posted, and what I've seen others - with these same complaints, post - you'll have to forgive me if I'm not going to blindly jump on the anti LotRO moderator bandwagon.

I say this as someone who has been quite critical of their incomplete/abandoned projects - and strangely enough, have not been banned, warned, or had anything deleted because of it. I'm not going to blame anybody here of doing anything, but before you start trying to pin LotRO moderators as a bunch of oppressors, I'd suggest you ask why this might be.

I dont want to turn this thread into an arguement battle over so i apologize if you took it the wrong way.

I was not personally under Sapience Wrath but rather wrote this because if the result of this was to really post the players feeling reality about LUA and UI, as the result is mostly negative from us, i am not sur it would be appreciate at all by Turbine. (beeing pointed out by CSTM when you know how is its impact on the community, may result in some more negative actions)
No i am not paranoid (i think at least :D)

-----------------
In Feb 2011 i posted on the forum :
@+Sapience : is there any new rules against modifications of the UI ?
Title says all i think.

Until 4 months ago, we were giving by Lotro (Frosty : still working for Lotro ?) the tool (Art Assets + Definition +Dictionnary) allowing us to modify the UI.

So could you please tell us if there is a new policy against modifying the UI or if we will have those tool posted as usual on LotroInterface for the futur ?

Thank you

That was never answered by Turbine (may be my question was too direct and badly formulate)

unclecid 06-07-2011 10:10 AM

i came under his wrath after i and others reported him for abusing the rep system.

his abuse of the system and our reporting him is the reason mods can no longer participate in it.

after that...every post i made was under scrutiny.

he takes things VERY personal.

so be wary of how you post...while the rest of the mod staff are all fair-minded the current CSM is all 1984.

Digital_Utopia 06-07-2011 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Eili (Post 6610)
I dont want to turn this thread into an arguement battle over so i apologize if you took it the wrong way.

I was not personally under Sapience Wrath but rather wrote this because if the result of this was to really post the players feeling reality about LUA and UI, as the result is mostly negative from us, i am not sur it would be appreciate at all by Turbine. (beeing pointed out by CSTM when you know how is its impact on the community, may result in some more negative actions)
No i am not paranoid (i think at least :D)

-----------------
In Feb 2011 i posted on the forum :
@+Sapience : is there any new rules against modifications of the UI ?
Title says all i think.

Until 4 months ago, we were giving by Lotro (Frosty : still working for Lotro ?) the tool (Art Assets + Definition +Dictionnary) allowing us to modify the UI.

So could you please tell us if there is a new policy against modifying the UI or if we will have those tool posted as usual on LotroInterface for the futur ?

Thank you

That was never answered by Turbine (may be my question was too direct and badly formulate)

There are a ton of questions Turbine never answers - they have a tendency to play things very close to the vest when it comes to stating their plans, with the only time they actually do, is when they know 100% that it's going to happen.

This isn't to defend, just to explain. It's possible they do this just to avoid backlash for "breaking their promises" if they need to change something; but regardless, no matter which way you look at it, it leaves us in the dark. And in that regard, it drives me just as nuts as anybody else.


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