Standing Stone Games Interview

Dungeons & Dragons Online, as well as The Lord of the Rings Online are two staples of online gaming that are going strong for about a decade, all the while other, flashier projects started, peaked, and faded into obscurity. So, the recent transition of these two games and the developers behind them from Turbine to Standing Stone Games is quite the piece of news. It is quite understandable if you didn't have the time to listen to the lengthy audio interviews with the developers at LOTRO Reporter and DDOCast. But fear not, now you have the opportunity to read an interview with them conducted by Massively Overpowered.

The interview's topics discuss choosing Daybreak Game Company as Standing Stone Games' new publisher, and future plans for DDO and LOTRO. Here's an excerpt:

What are the specifics of your publishing arrangement with Daybreak?

Rob Ciccolini: We are an independent studio, but our goal is to leverage Daybreak's technology and scale when we feel it is best for the players. Daybreak will be providing global publishing support for both Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online.

Why did Standing Stone decide to go with Daybreak over other publishers in the games industry? What did they offer that others didn't? Or did better?

Jerry Snook: It was a good arrangement for everyone involved, and Daybreak has experience in this kind of game transition.


Is DDO in competition with Neverwinter in the eyes of Wizards of the Coast? Is its future threatened by Neverwinter's success in the market?

Jerry Snook: We've never felt like we were in a heated competition with Neverwinter or other games that use the D&D license, and we've never felt threatened by the success of others. Historically, we have found that another D&D game's success has also had a positive impact for us.

You mentioned possible character avatar upgrades for LOTRO. Could you elaborate on that project?

Ben Schneider: Avatar upgrades are looking great. New animations are being added, faces are being redone, hair is being looked at, and the whole is to us a vast improvement. Our current goal is that players who prefer our classic look will have a UI option to allow for that.

Is anything similar planned for DDO, seeing as how they share the same engine?

Jerry Snook: While we do share the same core engine, the two engines have diverged significantly over time. So it's unlikely that we could take the avatar work on LOTRO and "copy it over" to DDO. It would be an entirely separate project.

You've stated that you're working on expansions for both DDO and LOTRO. Are there any new features or classes planned for them on top of more quests and regions?

Rob Ciccolini: Yes. For [LOTRO's] Mordor expansion, we are looking at the High Elf as a new playable race, and we are adding a system that allows players to pledge their sword to Men, Elves, Dwarves, or Hobbits in their battle against Mordor.

Jerry Snook: For DDO, yes! We have Dragonborn coming as a playable race, perhaps as early as the 11th Anniversary in late February, and the Ravenloft expansion could include new playable race or races as well.

Rob Ciccolini: Sentient weapons are also in the works for DDO.

Are there any plans to change or revamp LOTRO's housing system? The eternal question.

Ben Schneider: We have some exciting things coming to Bullroarer tomorrow that will allow players to adjust the placement of their interior hookpoints, and we can't wait to see what kinds of things people come up with.