LOTRO Developer Diary – The Reputation System
The latest Lord of the Rings Online Developers Diary features the Reputation System that will be included in the Book 10 City of the Kings update. Jessie “Vastin” King, the developer responsible for most of the Deed quests that earn players new virtues and titles throughout the game explains reputation.
Reputation in LOTRO represents two things:
1) In lore/story terms, it represents how indebted a faction is to you for favors you have done for them in the past. In some cases, a faction might not deal with you at all until you’ve managed to curry some favor with them.
2) In gameplay terms, it represents an alternate ladder of advancement, a form of gameplay that players can pursue to give them access to high-end rewards that might otherwise only be accessible through group play.
Although Fellowships will have their share of elite monsters to fight, the reputation system is a slow but steady way for solos to earn the end-game rewards. Players will be able to fight non-elite monsters. Crafters have quests aimed at them and players can also purchase trophies through the Auction House to earn reputation.
King notes that the Northern lands where players start are pretty friendly as far as interracial harmony goes, but as players move south, they will confront racial enmity head on. This is where currying favor by raising your rep with the local will pay off.
In a Q&A king answers several questions raised by the new reputation system admitting that it has it’s draw backs.
Let’s call a spade a spade: reputation ladders are a system that encourages you to go out and kill monsters and/or collect objects in large numbers, and they can take quite a bit of time.
However the system has its advantages such as giving players who don’t want to group or have little or no time to group options. The quests are similar to Slayer deeds and don’t require massive chunks of time to complete. Players can invest 20 minutes here and there and still receive a nice pay off.
Players will not have to complete reputation quests in order to gain entrance to group content. Crafting quests will only be available to crafters who can produce certain goods themselves. Players may purchase kill trophies but won’t be able to turn other craftsmen’s good in to complete reputation quests.
King concludes that LOTRO developers are striving to create content for all players from the casual to the hardcore. The reputation System is geared towards more casual players. For all you hardcore players out there King is working on raid housing trophies and similar content. Look for these in future Dev Diaries.