The STO community lavishes praise on Cryptic for their transparency, but I think Turbine deserves at least as much credit–and perhaps more for not over-sharing. A case in point is Orion’s latest dev diary post about the upcoming changes to the Champion.
My first LOTRO character was a champion based on a character from a LOTR-based NWN persistent world. Gameplay with that champion (rolled two years ago this month) felt a little lethargic and uninteresting compared to my eventual love, the runekeeper. I’ve dabbled with champions since then and liked what I’ve seen in changes to the class and overall combat engine.
From Orion’s latest post, this update to the champion class will be significant. I’m not a big enough champion nerd to appreciate subtle changes in how skills and stances relate, but a few things stand out: no more shields, no fervor penalty for two-handing, and far fewer on-defeat skills. That last one is big for me as a solo; I don’t get to use on-defeat skills as much wandering around alone.
My sense is this champion tune-up is on par with or bigger than what the runekeeper got a few months ago. Some of those runekeeper changes didn’t stand out in the dev diaries but ended up being fantastic; i.e., Master of Writs. Pairing solid posts like Orion’s with Turbine’s usually-well-delivered updates has me eager to roll a new champion and see how it feels when the time comes.
I’m not so eager for STO Season 4 and the Duty Roster System: Cryptic’s having problems in the discussion and delivery departments lately, and they’d do well to take a few pages from Turbine’s book. Turbine’s communications with the LOTRO community are more measured and better timed. It may help that the LOTRO community seems better behaved but no less passionate: their forums suffer less from heat/noise–except for those trash-talking PvMP forums, of course.
It also helps that forums.lotro.com supports RSS feeds to get around the heat, noise, and overload that trying to stay on top of STO’s forums inflicts on me. Hint, hint.