Standing Stone Games knows it needs to revise Legendary Items in The Lord of the Rings Online to make them less complex and less of a grind. In the meantime, today’s patch for the game made them … well, less complex and less of a grind, but that’s only because it’s partially reversing an earlier patch.
That seems to be the feedback coming from players regarding Update 28.3.1, which goes live today. It adjusts level requirements for Scrolls of Empowerment, which, if it was 10 years ago and I was in the heart of my LotRO playing days, I’d probably find very interesting. Instead, as with most tweaks to the LI system, I just find it a tedious read and wonder if SSG will ever get around to that revamp of the system it’s been promising forever. Fans on the forums aren’t too happy about the patch either, as it apparently only served to partially undo changes that had been made in a previous patch.
And why were any changes made in the first place? Normally, I’m not one to believe “greedy company trying to squeeze out every dollar it can” narratives, but over the years, LotRO and SSG have seemed to grow more and more stingy. As one poster put it, the goal “is to keep the process of levelling a LI as painful as they can possibly get away with, because if there is no pain involved, nobody will bypass it via the store.” Other people on that forum thread question the reason behind the recent changes — “It’s so convenient to throw the word ‘exploit’ around when talking about unpopular changes” — and call the game a “staple of disgrace in the MMO community.” Suffice it to say that the well of goodwill the game has generated through the years is as dry as Frodo and Sam’s water pouch on their trip through Mordor.