In the Lord of the Rings books and movies, the climactic moment of Frodo destroying the One Ring is followed up with a lot more material — about 20 minutes of film, and several more chapters of the book. Like its source material, The Lord of the Rings Online didn’t end with the destruction of Sauron and the dev team, like J.R.R. Tolkien before them, has a lot of ideas on what to do after that defining moment.
Destructoid had an interview this week with several members of the LotRO design team. Most prominent was Executive Producer Rob “Severlin” Ciccolini, who offered his thoughts on everything ranging from the reasons for LotRO’s continued success (“our players,” who “help guide us”) to upcoming potential competition (“What about it?”).
The potential longevity of the game, however, is what formed most of the conversation. Ciccolini would like the game to go on “hopefully forever,” even outliving him: “If I have to haunt the server rooms and tweak the game to increase player drops, so be it!” The team has a wealth of potential content to explore, including the vast appendices of the novels, which Ciccolini called “a pipe dream sort of thing.”
Designer Ryan Penk offered up several regions of Middle-earth that he’d love to explore, such as Harad, Umbar, Núrn, Rhûn, while his colleague Tim Dwyer said that they’ve got “a good 20 years” worth of content ideas to explore. If the game is still going by 2039, hopefully Ciccolini will still be around by then and not a literal ghost in the machine.