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General_Grievous

Where Should the Game Go Next?

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As the title says I am firstly being hopeful that the game will be back, perhaps in alooking to see what the thoughts are 

 

- more sailing but in the North seas this time with 4 new ships but being able to play with the ones from Dreamchaser for more cool connections. We could go find out what is on the island of Himling. See what sort of creatures are in the Icebay of Forochel and maybe even go off the map! Obviously more encounters with sea monsters, pirates but in a more northern theme, so even have to icebreak through waters.

- shire is certainly an option for a reduced high acuity change of pace (which may actually make it a good post Mordor cycle quest). Could start with in the Shire quests that branch out to Bree Land and a non-saga romp into The Old Forest/Barrowdowns. 

- they could bump up the timeline a bit and let you play during the War of the Ring. Battling in Moria, Orc-hunting in Lothlorien, raising forces with the Dunedain to ride to their king, moving the Huorns in Rohan, helping fight pirates in south Gondor. Supporting quests throughout the saga timeline that were occurring offscreen.

 

So what is everyone else's thoughts? Any ideas on specific quests, stories or locations?

Edited by General_Grievous

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Lost Beleriand -- Ruins of Belegost is such a cool concept, if we can use sailing to get a glimpse of Numenor we should get a glimpse far north.

Forochel -- let's see the snowman.  I also note that Angmar cycle left other parts of the North untouched, basically everything north of Fornost and west of Angmar was ignored.

Shire/Bree -- Beech tree walking north of the shire?  Visit to Old Forest and Barrow Downs outside the saga context.  Scouring of the Shire *in* saga context.  Strider says Butterbur lives within a days march of foes that would freeze his blood -- the Trolls and Orcs we saw in Angmar cycle are more than a  day away, and the wights are stationary -- who *is* that close to Bree that we haven't seen?

Misty Mountains -- we've been to Angmar, Gundabad, Caradhras, Moria, and Methedras, but only went to the High Pass in the saga.  We know that's only open thanks to the valour of the Beornings; there's an ongoing war there we haven't seen in the game.

Rhun -- the East is *vast*, and yet we may be turning back to Mordor before even crossing the territory once controlled by Gondor.  Let's go *far* East.

Mordor -- yes, the current cycle is ending there, but I'm guessing it's a jaunt in, not an exploration.  I've alwasy been curious about the slave-worked fields around the Sea of Nurnen.  Where there are slaves, there is potential for conflict.

Khand -- We need Varaigs!

Far Harad -- although we spent more time in Harad than the East gets, Aragorn went to where the stars are strange.  Why can't we?

Gondor/Rohan -- Ringmaker had hardly any quests actually *in* Rohan.  The White Mountains are dangerous to travel in, and for many years orc refugees were a danger there.  For long enough to fit in the time period of the game?

The Past -- the appendices contain a *lot* of great stories that don't fit into the narrow window between Bilbo's Party and the ring leaving the shire; a single independent big box covering an older story with period characters and multiple quests would rock, sort of a mini-saga.  Things like:

Thorongil's raid on Umbar.

The Dwarf-Goblin War.

The original War of the Ring

The Fall of Arnor

Kin-Strife

Helm Hammerhand

Eorl

Balin's recolonization of Moria

Dozens of stories from the Silmarillion -- the Tolkien Estate may be more open to that sort of thing than they were when the game began.

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One idea I had a few years ago was for a deluxe box-size or smaller release made up of 3 or 4 quests linked in a mini-campaign. The quests would focus on a relatively small region and be accompanied by a modest assortment of player cards, including a hero from that region with abilities particularly useful to those quests. Or, as has been done before, the hero could start as an objective ally whose story unfolds in the campaign, and then joins the player. This would give some extra resonance to FFG-created heroes and also allow proper exploration of places like Forochel, Dunland, Fangorn, Andrast, Eryn Vorn, Khand, and the wider Shire region.

Now, I doubt that's the exact form any reboot might take, but I can imagine something akin to it, as expanding the campaign aspect in some form is a likely route.

I'd also love to see stand-alone packs focused on famous events, even those that pre-date the time frame if possible. These could be more like the standard POD quests in size, but perhaps also include a new hero present at the event. My choices would be the White Council's attack on Dol Guldur, the Battle of Azanulbizar, Aragorn raiding the Umbar shipyards (more sailing mechanic please!), defending the Shire during the Fell Winter, Balin in Moria (founding or end – or possibly both), and the Dwarves and Dalemen escaping Smaug's attack (fighting a rearguard action to allow a certain number to escape).

And – I don't know quite where this fits in – the Old Took and his remarkable daughters on some sort of adventure with Gandalf.

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Great list Dale! See Caleb, tons of content left! And also yes Campaigns would be awesome. Ways to upgrade your heroes like the Sagas, earning new heroes maybe even getting access to one hero and their forces or the other depending on choices. Lots of cool ways they could go. 

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i believe we're not getting another cycle. There's just so much product it's hurting ffg in a way - people are still mostly hunting old product, and not a single game store can store all of lotr lcg, ever. Mordor feels final and it's fine. I would love another cycle, but we haven't even finished the nightmare for same reason. Even if the customer base is good for the game, with the amount of product there is, new content just drowns in the sea of it rn. I think we might get a pod scenario every year or two, maybe sth like final game of thrones lcg expansion every now and then (bigger than AP, smaller than deluxe).

If we are getting another cycle, i feel ffg will do a soft reset. Let people use old cards, but stop printing and selling cycles 1-4 and nightmares, start over from mirkwood, list old content as legacy. Maybe that's why the break is needed. Also most of broken and errated cards are in those cycles. 

If i can fantasise, i would want "campaign packs" that convert old cycles to campaign like saga. And i want cycle 7-8 and final saga nightmares.

Edit: also marvel's lcg new cycleless design hints at ffg being done with cycles

Edited by Zura

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I agree they are done with cycles for this game, and if memory serves they said as much when the hiatus was announced.  The dependency between Deluxes and APs is part of the problem with adopting the game, since it's so rare that both are in stock at the same time.  Self-contained mini-saga address that problem -- I expect post-hiatus product (if it materializes) to be entirely free standing, aside from a dependence on the core (or the starter edition).  Further, I'd expect it to take a page from Champions and come with two pre-made decks (plus supplemental cards to balance out spheres and provide 3x of the cards in the pre-made decks), and modular elements to both vary the quests and increase difficulty.

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17 hours ago, Zura said:

i believe we're not getting another cycle. There's just so much product it's hurting ffg in a way - people are still mostly hunting old product, and not a single game store can store all of lotr lcg, ever.


This isn't necessarily an insurmountable thing, from FFG's perspective.  While no local gameshop can afford to keep the entire line of the LCG in stock, FFG could treat the game as a direct-to-customer sort of product.  When FFG/Asmodee's webstore sells a pack, they pocket 100% of the profits and avoid the cut that would go to distributors and retailers.  While this is unfortunate for the FLGSes of the world, for a game as long-lived as LotR LCG it becomes the only realistic way to stock and distribute product.   Besides, FFG/Asmodee is already pretty comfortable undercutting the FLGSes of the world anyways, since they've started offering those full art promo cards for people who pre-order LotR LCG sets directly from the webstore.  For a primarily solo/co-op game like LotR LCG, it's much less crucial to have a community-fostering hub that offers players a chance to meet and find opponents to play against (though I really really really want to do a Fellowship event in 2020, so fingers crossed...).

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There are some really great suggestions in this thread.  I also feel like the Blue Mountains and the Iron Hills are woefully unexplored and underdeveloped.  The only glimpse of Dwarven communities we get in the Third Age is the skeletal architectural remains of Moria and Erebor.  Having a chance to flush out and explore an active Dwarven Kingdom would be pretty interesting, in my opinion.  Creating more under-deeps (akin to the "thousand caves" network of Menegroth) would be perfectly plausible in any of the mountain ranges of Middle-Earth, though we only ever really delve into the Misty Mountains.


 

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The cool thing to do would be to release a campaign kit for existing cycles, with boons, banes, and a booklet desciribing transition rules between scenarios. Maybe also an online pdf that puts player cards on different levels so you'll have to purchase them with experience, like in Arkhame Horror.

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5 hours ago, General_Grievous said:

Great idea like a Return to kind of thing.

Which makes me wonder whether I should invest in the rest of the Nightmare packs now (I only have a handful), or take my chances and wait for the possibility of "Return to" products. I would much rather purchase the latter. 

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3 hours ago, TwiceBorn said:

Which makes me wonder whether I should invest in the rest of the Nightmare packs now (I only have a handful), or take my chances and wait for the possibility of "Return to" products. I would much rather purchase the latter. 

I hear you, we are slowly picking them up but only ones that are sweet sales or from the first cycle as those need it the most. 

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On 1/31/2020 at 4:58 AM, Zura said:

If we are getting another cycle, i feel ffg will do a soft reset. Let people use old cards, but stop printing and selling cycles 1-4 and nightmares, start over from mirkwood, list old content as legacy. Maybe that's why the break is needed. Also most of broken and errated cards are in those cycles. 

I think you're spot on with your post.  I'm curious about what you think a soft reset might look like.  Both Arkham and LOTR use the same LCG format which makes it tough for new players to join.  Marvel Champions presents a new LCG format by making everything stand alone with prebuilt player decks.  Perhaps a soft reset could include pre-made player decks in a deluxe expansion and then release standard packs as has already been done in the past.  We're bound to get reprints in a pre-built deck, but it might benefit the overall health of the game.

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Just because cycles are stopping doesn't mean an end of content in general, they would be insane to do so with the amazon series on the horizon. I know it would be on a much smaller scale but the Witcher 3 hit its all time player record years after release after the Witcher Netflix series released which shows how much a show releasing can boost up the popularity of related products.

Personally I'm fine with a lot of directions they could go in. Just releasing standalone adventures, Just releasing big boxes that have a couple quests in them like the deluxe expansions, but serving more as mini cycles etc.

I haven't tried, and am not overly interested in the competitive encounter deck building products, but I am down with them doing experimental things like that if they need a break. 

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Some very interesting thoughts. 

I personally do not think it would viable to declare the first 3 or 4 cycles as "rotated out" and move on. Since the card pool has grown so slowly this would mean that at least half of the tribes would not function anymore. Especially as many of the later cards were in part build on the foundation laid out in earlier cycles.

 

I would actually prefer a more radical step. I think that while the game is great that in terms of quests there is not much design space left to explore. I would like them to iron out some of the few weaknesses of the core game (travelling and role of locations in particular). At the same time the problem of the slowly growing card pool would roar its head again. Some my hope would be a soft reboot so to speak in that the game would be backwards- compatible in that old cards could be used but the designers would not take them into consideration going forward. Obviously some old cards would no longer with the new mechanics and would be needed to be rotated out. So we would start anew with an 1.5 core set so to speak. I know that this scenario is not very likely, especially for business reason (confusing for costumers; they might have to stop reprints, even though those still sell out, etc.). Nonetheless I think that would be great.

 

 

My best bet on the most probable outcome is that they leave the rules as they are and try to get license agreement more in line with the new Amazon series and release them as "saga expansions" maybe with core set size every 6-12 month. If they don't get that then they reconsider if it is worth to continue support for this game.

 

 

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