The new emote tab on the in-game collections panel is one of the big initiatives announced in the end of the year Producer’s Letter, and much to our surprise, it arrives sooner than expected. Along with new Minas Tirith quests, some housing fixes and a new chicken play quest (yay!), Update 17.2, set for release in January, includes new emote collections and is available for previewing this weekend on the Bullroarer preview server.
It may not sound like much, but this emote catalog is an advance into modern digital design and functionality. However, while players complete collections in the mounts and pets tabs to earn unique titles, the emotes tab is only a record of earned emotes with no new rewards attached.
When opening the emote collections panel for the first time, the most striking addition are all the colorful icons. Aside from the non-animated and mood emotes, each emote gets its own unique icon – green for emotes everyone gets when they start a new character and yellow for emotes that are earned.
I’m also happy to report that instead of the bulky, blocky text and buttons common to the game’s UI, the designers opted for smaller text and a more compact layout. All the pretty colors are much more visually appealing than the rest of the UI. The only critique might be that it isn’t Middle-earthy enough. But I still think this is a sign of good things to come.
The preview window in the top-left corner serves the same purpose as with the mount and pet tabs, demonstrating every animated emote. Below that are filters used to see which emotes a character has earned, which emotes have animations and where to acquire them. Likewise, you can double-click each icon to perform the emote directly from the panel or drag them onto quickslots for fast casting.
Of the 177 emotes available to freeps, 55 must be earned in some way. Common methods of acquisition include festivals, hidden emote deeds, bartering with reputation factions and, of course, purchasing in the LOTRO store. Here’s a handy-dandy checklist created by Lotro-wiki user Jmm which lists all the emotes including many that aren’t yet available to freeps such as /blowglass and /sniff but revealed through the in-game /help dialog.
However, unless there is some reward for learning all emotes, there are no new titles like with mounts and pets; it’s strictly for keeping track of which emotes you’ve earned. Is this the way they’re going with collections or only how they interpreted emotes to fit into this scheme? I hope they’ll go the other way and revamp mounts and pets to fit this format and somehow keep the original collection titles which would make actual collections for emotes possible. Let’s just hope the developers remember to update collections periodically and don’t get abandoned for another year.