The Decorator’s Q&A (With SSG Team)

I went to get some information about housing from SSG…

Twice over recent months, I launched a “Housing Survey” on D&Co.

This little investigation had a few different goals: to learn some information about your habits, build a list of needs for D&Co (the latest updates come from your ideas!), and get some questions for developers.

In all, I’ve received and read more than 900 responses to the survey, and I thank you!

It is now time to answer some of your questions.

I’ll start the little Q&A game myself. I have selected here the questions that were asked the most on the survey and I will try to give you some answers.

Questions and Answers about D&Co du Milieu

"1 - Concerning the website: "Having the opportunity to ask for 'buys, research, exchange, borrows' on the website in order to be able to get/exchange rare, inaccessible, or even related decorations with other players! An announcement on the page of the decoration (with if possible a symbol on the thumbnail) so that players can easily find takers for their loot."

This is an idea that has already crossed my mind, but, frankly, I do not see how to implement it technically on the site. I have already reached the limits of my capabilities as a website developer (which I am not)!

However, there are two things I can do to help you in fulfillment of this idea:

  • Create a "Sell/Trade" channel on the D&Co Discord Server.
  • Create a page (similar to the address sharing page) where everyone can post their sales and trades.

The first item will be put in place quickly, the second deserves some more consideration yet (because I would have to do all the dirty work :p).

2 - Concerning Contest Rewards: "Is it possible to obtain pre-order items (unwelcome mat, caged bird etc ...), some rare decorations of Raids/Instances, or more available decorations like those of Bounders Bounty? In short, exclusive or very rare things..."

I try, but it is not up to me ;).

I have already won the right to award the Best House Trophy thanks to Cordovan, who pushed my wish to the team. I have not given up on winning access to decorations from Bounders' Bounty, but you can put the idea of competing for Raid/Instance decorations out of your mind, and for pre-order decorations especially.

3 - Concerning Contest Rewards: "When it comes to kinship house contests, if there are LotRO points as rewards, it would be nice to have several small coupons, rather than a big one. wins, we can share among the people who helped decorate!"

Of course! I’ll keep that in mind for the next kin house contests.

4 – Concerning Website : "Only thing I'd love to see is more decoration items listed on one page as some categories you have to get through several pages before finding what you're looking for, or something similar to how decoration items are listed on the Lotro Wiki."

This was made possible by the last update of the website this summer. The decorations are now loaded one after the other and are no longer divided by page breaks.

On the other hand, creating previews in the style of the Wiki is something that I can not (don’t want to?) do at the moment considering the technical limitations of the website.

5 - Concerning Website: "I would like inspiration to make a farm in my garden but I do not know how to find this reference." "Is it possible to have a category that includes all dwarf/elven/hobbite/human decos?"

On the "Search" page of the site, you will find what you desire by searching for decorations listed with the "Farmhouse" tag. There are also many tags representing other qualities that groups of decorations have in common (for types like tables, chairs, kitchen, food, etc.).

A category that includes all dwarf/elven/hobbit/human decos is a different matter. These tags already exist on the site, and you can use them, but some decorations are difficult to classify, and I would have to update and refine the lists somewhat.

6 - Concerning Contest Rewards: "Idea: A free deluxe house in the upcoming Rohan neighborhood. :D"

I do not think that SSG will give it to me as a reward, but I'll lobby for it!

The points awarded in each contest can help you purchase this kind of thing but I would this time buy myself as many points as necessary for the first contest preceding/following the arrival of this new neighborhood to afford this home."

So here are some answers to your various questions concerning the website, contests, and D&Co in general.
Remember that I only have two hands (well, last I heard that was still the case) and that you too can participate in D&Co’s adventure in various ways as outlined on the "Help Us" page.

Let's move on to the second part of this post. I selected 10 common questions from your survey answers and I asked those directly to the game team. Here is a short Q&A with Cordovan (Community Manager) and Silorien (System Engineer):

Questions/Answers with Standing Stone Games Team

Yao (D&Co du Milieu)
Cordovan (CM)
Silorien (Software Engineer)

(Quick reminder here : Silorien did a huge work with Belfalas Housing...)

"Yao: Do you plan to add some additional decoration slots?

Cordovan: We don't have anything to announce, but we know players would love to see as many decoration slots as we can give them.

Y: Will you ever be expanding the amount of available storage in our houses past the current (purchasable) cap?

C: This is something that comes up, and is something we would love to be able to do in the future. There are various technical considerations to be had, but that does not mean it won't happen.

Y: Can more of the items that are found in NPC areas that are race appropriate be turned into official housing items?

C: It depends greatly on how the decoration/art/item was made and brought into the game world.
Sometimes it is a different process to make a look for an NPC, for example, than it is to make the same look for a player avatar.

We love to hear more from people about what they are seeing that they would like for housing, and while we can't promise anything, we often try to make suggestions happen.

Y: Can some rare items that are no longer available be added to the store? (Bounders Bounty…)

C: We would love to hear more from people about items that are no longer available that they are interested in, especially if that item is not formally marked as exclusive to a certain promotion or expansion.

We're not opposed to bringing these items to the LOTRO Store if it is a good fit, so let us know what you'd like.

(Yao : as far as I know, Bounder's Bounty items are the only items concerned here)

Y: Can we have wine-related decorations? (wine cups, decanters, grapevines, etc)?

C: We have a long wish list when it comes to decorations, but this seems like something that would be totally possible to do sometime.

Y: Festival quest (doormats) was great for housing ! Anything like this in your mind for the future ?

C: We are glad you enjoyed this kind of event, and we liked making it too.

While I don't have anything to announce, it would not surprise me at all if we did something similar to this in the future, or possibly even expand upon what is available already someday.

Y: Is rohan housing really coming ? Can you tell us more about it ?

C: Yes, we do intend to offer Rohan premium housing in the future. Its exact timing is not yet announced, but we expect this to be offered sometime around the arrival of the Riders of Rohan expansion to the Legendary Worlds.

The exact timing will likely become more firm as we get closer to release, and it could end up being perhaps a bit after Rohan arrives to the Legendary Worlds, but we’ll see how things go.

Y: Are there any fun housing ideas that were scrapped that you wish had made it into the game, and what were they?

C: Heh, "ideas" are pretty wide, and it is not uncommon for brainstorming sessions to turn into joke imaginary creation sessions. 🙂 But for sure there are things that seem great and due to various factors don't get made. I sadly can't think of anything to use for an example, though.

Y: What was the reason behind having a limit of one personal house per account? Why was this not an issue when Belfalas housing was introduced? Would the classical personal homes ever be upgraded to be like the Belfalas homes so we can have more than one per account?

C: One of our engineers may answer this one...

Silorien: Classic personal homes can be relatively easily obtained, and there are a limited number of them. So that we can provide players hope of obtaining this kind of house, they are limited to one home per account.
Belfalas housing, however, is gated by Mithril cost, which prevents them from being arbitrarily hoarded. Technically, we could allow more than one classic house per account, but we are not currently expecting to make that change.

Y: What prompted you to initiate the recent changes in Housing (ability to move deoration items, premium housing, etc), after years of nothing ?

C: Again for Silorien.

S: The Belfalas housing tech improved housing code somewhat, during which time the engineer was able to become familiar enough with the system to quickly add some new things. Over the summer, an engineering intern was able to expand on this work.

C: I would add that it isn’t uncommon for someone to ramp up their expertise in a certain area, especially when approaching systems that have been in the game for a long time.
That can sometimes give us an opportunity to do this kind of work in a way that also happens to fit into a real-world development schedule.

Thank you for your excellent and fun work, and we look forward to speaking with you again!"

Finally, a big thank you to the people who took D&Co’s survey, and thank you also to the SSG development team for humoring our questions.
Believe me, I will be bothering them again with a new Q&A when the Rohan housing release approaches. 😉

D&Co du Milieu 

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Explorer of unexplored places and collector of decorations, Yao offers you a whole range of items brought from the four corners of Middle Earth. If you like what I do, or I’ve helped you in some way please consider buying me a coffee.

7 Responses

  1. What great news to hear that we’re being heard. Thank you for all your excellent work as usual Yao! Your site is blowing UP and we’re getting more and more of what we hope for. Rohan housing woooohoooooo! I do hope at some point they give us bigger buttons on the sliders in decoration mode. Nothing more annoying than trying to move something a smidge, only to have it SHOOT across the room because you miss-clicked the tiny arrow button. EARRRRGH >.<

  2. So, because SOME people might “arbitrarily hoard houses”, the entire community gets punished and restricted? What about allowing each account two or three houses? That way, nobody’s “hoarding” but we could have so much more flexibility and enjoyment in the game by not being restricted to one house per account (which, by the way, is absolutely ridiculous).

    1. There are tons of the little classic houses available. I don’t know why they don’t let VIPs have as many of those as they like. As it is now, I have to make one-man kins for my characters who want houses. You can only decorate so many Belfalas houses before you tire. I would also be willing to pay for additional classic houses, I don’t understand why they’ve not offered that.

  3. Good interview. Not a decoration, but an item that is no longer available that I want is a red shield from the pre-scaled Stoneheight instance. It is no longer available in game and I threw mine out before cosmetic weapons/shields were allowed.

  4. It’s great to have an interview that focuses on housing. One feature that would really improve housing is the ability to teleport to the houses of friends directly: either by a manual summon, fellowship teleport, or a UI option. Houses would surely be even more popular with this feature. This would also prevent the situation at present where there’s no way for low levels to visit a maxed capacity neighborhood in Belfalas as the portal exiting other Belfalas neighborhoods sends them to Bree.

  5. I am so glad that LOTRO is recognising your work and support. You are a shop window for them, as well as aiding them and ensuring that their artistry and creativity is shown to the world! I anticipate you’ll get even greater recognition as we move forward. Thank you.


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