Lord of the Rings Online is another MMO which is in a long, slow period at the moment. It has been a few months since the last content patch, which was fun, if a bit on the sparse side.
And the raiding scene is beginning to struggle. Which just means that more people are giving up on raids than are being replaced. And that means that perhaps the barriers on getting into raiding are a bit on the high side.
This warrants more explanation. In WoW, resilience was introduced as a pure PvP stat to differentiate PvP gear from PvE. In LOTRO, Radiance was introduced as a pure raid stat – mobs in raids exude a debuff that can only be countered if you are wearing gear with sufficient radiance.
It serves a similar purpose to resilience and means that players can’t use raid gear to run rampant over the monster play PvP areas. But in addition, there’s no point even entering a raid until you have enough radiance on your gear, so it acts as a kind of attunement/ gating mechanism.
And you get radiance gear from drops in various dungeons. For example, this is a guide written last year on how to get radiance for new raiders. If you are unlucky with drops, you may have to run those instances a lot, them’s the breaks. Oh and of course most other players by now are thoroughly bored with those instances so there won’t be a lot of random groups going.
So with this background, Turbine (and Codemasters) are running a poll to ask players how they feel about the Radiance gear which is used for gating raids.
Astoundingly to me, lots of players have voted for deed related radiance – that would mean that you could up your radiance score by killing zillions of mobs. Deeds are grindy, bears shit in the woods. No, Turbine should get a clue now and ditch radiance. It has served its purpose. It was never popular in any case. The people they need to lure into raiding now to keep the rest of the existing playerbase occupied with them are not the hardcore who will happily jump through all the grouping or grinding hoops. They are the people who may not be willing or able to organise their own group dungeon runs with a bunch of other players who are already bored of those instances and stand to gain nothing from them.
There are other options. EQ used to have a scheme whereby an existing raid guild could quickly attune new members. That type of facility comes into its own later in the expansion cycle when the flood of hopeful new recruits has dried to a trickle. Maybe crafting materials could drop in the raid instances to allow crafted radiance gear for new raider-wannabees also. But the view that you need to work for your raid attunement , whilst appealing to some, isn’t much help when your raidgroup needs new blood.
Gaming has moved on from when raiding was the high pinnacle of PvE to which to aspire. It’s still challenging and rewarding, but there’s no need to force people to grind their way into raid groups any more. The goal is to get more people into the raid game, not fewer. Right?