With this expansion, comes quite a few changes to the UI to accomodate the many systems Turbine has built for Rohan such as mounted combat or automatic quest bestowal. These changes are rather minor compared to the grandeur of Rohan and it’s many lands, cultures and peoples. Nevertheless, they will undoubtedly have an effect on your gameplay. Some may be rather welcomed, others cursed and disparaged. But whatever new feature may irk you, there’s most likely a switch to turn it off in the game options. Most, but not all, of these options are discussed in the Hytbold developer diary.
Automatic Quest Bestowal
One key function introduced with Riders of Rohan is the Automatic Quest Bestowal. You’ll be seeing this quite a bit in Rohan when you’re out questing. Suddenly you’ll have a big quest button pop up alerting you to a new quest in the area. Entering a certain area or defeating certain creatures will trigger this. You can then either accept or decline the quest. Some will autocomplete and others will have you turn them in at an NPC. This feature is meant to streamline questing and make it flow better with all the constant running back and forth to turn in quests and accept new ones.
You can move this button like any other UI panel (default key Shift+) and there’s also a UI Setting that allows you to accept these quests automatically. Instead of the big quest button, you’ll see a little icon in your alerts panel telling you you’ve accepted a new quest, and when clicked, will take you to the new quest in your quest log. But if you’ve reached your max quest limit, you’ll see the big quest button.
Combat Options – War-steed auto-slowdown
Riding and controlling a war-steed is very different from a normal steed. The standard controls for the war-steed is like a gearshift. Press forward once to get going, and press it again to go faster. Press backward to slow down and backward twice to stop. This option changes that behavior so that you hold down your forward key to move and release it to stop. It’s more similar to a normal mount, but you lose the granularity of speed control. Personally, I keep this option on all the time; I don’t feel comfortable controlling a war-steed without it.
Another byproduct of mounted combat is Floaty Damage on Selection Portraits. This shows a damage number or combat state jumping off your selection’s portrait. This is helpful if you’ve zoomed past an opponent and you don’t see the damage you’re doing. It’s pretty unobtrusive, but you can still toggle it off in UI Settings.
Something that you might notice right as you log on is the new selection indicator, a translucent yellow arrow hovering over your current selection. This arrow persists as your selection moves out of your immediate view so you can keep an eye on where your target is at all times. You might find this annoying, but useful during mounted combat, so you can set it to display only in combat or toggle it off completely.
Even if you have six inventory bags, you’ll likely run out of space at some point while out questing. Instead of having to leave behind any extra loot, it will go into a special overflow for sixty minutes. That should give you enough time to finish your questing and get to a vendor or your vault.
The Mounted Combat Panel now has a default key of Shift+M, but you can change that binding. You can also bind a key to your Pending Loot panel and Showing Remote Quest Actions (the automatic quests that bestow on the landscape). I’ve got my Pending Loot set to CTRL+I and my Remote Quest Actions set to SHIFT+U. Something I haven’t yet seen, though, are key bindings for changing toolbars between war-steed and unmounted.
New item highlighting
Introduced in a recent update, new item highlighting showed a spiky, red shape in the bottom-right corner of newly acquired items. With Riders of Rohan, this has been upgraded to a swirling outline. The indicator disappears after mousing over the indicator or if you open and close your inventory. Of course, Turbine realizes not everyone will appreciate this, so it comes with a toggle in UI Settings.
Audio – Focus Loss Behavior
The Persistant Sound option will be removed and replaced with a drop-down menu for Focus Loss Behavior. If you Alt+Tab out of the LOTRO client, you can choose one of three options:
- Persist Sound: Sound from the client continues playing
- Disable Sound: Sound from the client stops rendering in the background; all sounds restart when focus on the client is regained
- Mute Sound: Sound continues rendering on focus loss but is muted and resumes when focus is regained.
Other miscellaneous options
- You’ll also find two new filters for your map: selection and warband.
- You can now change your toolbar slots (the little buttons on either side of your toolbars) to point to either the Mounted Combat Panel or Bag 6
- Adv. Graphics – Animation Smoothness is removed; Volumetric Sun Light is added (I was messing around with this, but wasn’t seeing any differences so I don’t know if this was implemented in beta)
- Audio – You can now toggle NPC Color Text Voiceover Sounds
If you want more comprehensive and in-depth list of changes, read the UI changes in the official Riders of Rohan patch notes.