We were able to get a question into the LotRO Dev chat hosted by Stratics last night.

Zephenia - *Manorton-UTB* Hi, this is Mike with Under the Banner blog. Many of us in the LotRO blog community have been trying to put our heads together on a way to help promote the lotro community. One question I have is the plans or availability of more tools for fansites and bloggers to use as related to the lorebook.

Sapience - We always want to hear from our fansites and we’d love to hear any suggestions you have. You can always drop us a note or PM myself or anyone on the community team with your ideas. I can’t give you any specifics or time frame for Lorebook features but I can say our webteam is constantly looking at ways to improve all our websites and features.

Sapience, one of LotRO’s Online Community Specialist, gave a very. . . controlled response to my broad question.  Why was my question broad in the first place?  To allow any information that pertains to the Lorebook, online tools, fansites and you to come through.  Well . . so much for subtlety.  Besides, the questions and suggestions I have would take far to long to ask and I would in no way wish to monopolize the short time we had for the dev chat.

We are very glad that Turbine is open to suggestions and feedback, and we know that they have busy schedules, but a few in our community have found it hard to make contact with them.

MMeoW, over at MMeOw blog wrote:

I’m glad that they’re open to suggestions, but I have to say I’ve had a really hard time reaching them. Some people might have noticed that I don’t have access to the official fansite forum yet haha.

Visiting the official Lorebook forums I discovered that a thread on XML and Itemstats that was posted on Aug 31, 2007 has gone unanswered by a dev, even though they have the tools in place for, built upon framework.

So, hear is a chance to make some suggestions and see if we can get an answer.  However I feel it is crucial to state the purpose and reason that such suggestions are being made.  So we can build a community of players who will stay and/or return to the game.

Suggestions Link to heading

Website/forum item rollover with link.

Many in the mmo community use forums, blogs, and other online means to communicate with guild/kinships.  Many times the desire or need to post an item is desired.  With other games we have that functionality via 3rd party sites.  An example is wowhead with World of Warcraft.

Example: Skyshatter Cover (Mouse over)

This functionality is already provided while on the Lorebook site.  Please give us a way to include this on our blogs, linking back to the lorebook via links in the mouse over.

Drop Information on Lorebook

Provide a call to the database internally to list out the drop, reward, or mats of an item.

The advanced search feature is wonderful at helping you find and narrow down that perfect item for your character.  The only downside is often once you find that item and click on the link it only lists the item.  We are left with no way of discovering if its a specific mob drop, random mob drop, reward for a quest.  Granted if its crafted it will list mats, but for non crafted items we are left in the cold.

Since we will have lorebook access inside the game it only makes since to expand this functionality.  Going to one of the other sites to search often leads to frustration due to inaccurate data, or simply outdated content.

User Weighted Comments

I am a huge fan of the wiki system, but it is open to abuse.  Right now I and others are attempting to enter user content to items and quests when we can, but that will require more people, a community, to update and make relevant.  And who is to say that someone’s tip is correct or sending them on a wild goose chase?

Implementing a user weighted comments system per entry could allow the community at large to help police the content.  Only those comments, IE tips, that are useful and receive a positive vote will rise to the top, while those that are voted in the negative will sink to the bottom.

Thank You Turbine

I do not wish to sound as the one who is QQing because a small nerf affected my class.  On the contraire, I salute Turbine for being one of the more proactive companies in the market place.  They do listen and have made strides to provide us with a great game.  We just ask that you help us help you.

These are just a couple of suggestions/ideas that could enhance the fansites and even kinship forums.  Not everything is easy to do, but possible, and would be extremely welcomed by the fanbase.  As the old saying goes, “If momma is happy, everyone is happy.”  Help us keep the community happy :)

Please leave your suggestions and feedback in the comments below, I would love to hear what you think, and as Sapience said last night, so would Turbine.