Lotro Dev chat for June

As I type this, I’m currently sitting in a chat room for the Lotro developer chat for June 3rd.  The last dev chat was pretty flat with hardly any new info.  Questions were along the lines of, “What’s it like to work on the set?”  and “Where do you get inspiration for art?”  You know… fluff.

So far, questions in this chat seem to be more specific.  Questions seem to focus on the Legendary Item system and the radiance requirements of the new raid.  My question was “Any possibility to have a quest (like the rift) to switch a legacy on a Legendary Item?”  My question was quickly typed and kinda crappyily written, because I was litterally fighting with a group in a quest called Defending Dori while typing it.  I had already said I’d do the quest, yet wanted to participate in the chat, so I decided to multi-task!   … Yes… I’m even so much of a multi-tasker that I’m reading the dev-chat while typing this blog.  It boggles the mind.

My idea was that you do something like the rift or helengrod (cheap and easy cause new content is not required) and then at the end you get to switch a legacy on your Legendary Item.  That way, if I’ve gota  first-age staff with a crap legacy, I can put the time and effort into making it better.  Plus, it would finally give my level 60 loremaster a chance to see the rift!

My other idea was to involve crafters in changing the legendary item’s legacy in some way… such as requiring a bunch of those currently worthless “legendary item shards” that sometimes come from a weapon deconstruct.  That way, a crafter could actually do something with their max’d out crafter that meant something.  I submitted a question about it, but I submitted it after the chat started so I feel it’s less likley to get answered.

That’s the kind of questions I feel are best for dev-chats.  Very specific and productive.  Effectively, you should either making a pitch to a developer about a way a system *could* work to make it better, make them aware of a problem with a system that is near to your heart, or ask a specific question about who an upcomming system works.

… Oh snap, my crafters radiance armor just got asked!  Sweet.

I asked, “Crafters can’t make radiance armor and they can’t make LI weapons any better than random drops. Any possibility to involve them somewhow in the future? ”

They basically just acknowledged it’s a problem, but didn’t give details on what we wanna do about it.


Welcome to WarCry’s War Council! Today we are pleased to have the developers of Lord of the Rings Online here to chat with about Book 8 and the new Summer Festival!  Remember that while the chat is going on you can join the general chat in #warcry.
[17:04] <DelmarWynn> Questions can be submitted to  [QT]Otters by double click on his name or typing /msg [QT]Otters or /q [QT]Otters . Also on questions sent to [QT]Otters will be put into the queue for answering by the devs. The chat log will be available shortly after the event at http://lotro.warcry.com and http://www.warcry.com.
[17:04] <DelmarWynn> Now on to our honered guests to introduce themselves!
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[17:04] <Graal> Howdy, I am Graal, part of the Game Systems Team. I focus primarily on class skills/balance.
[17:04] <Raskolnikov> Heya, I’m Tim Lang, a newish System Designer. I typically play with monsters, though my roles have been expanding lately.
[17:04] <Orion> Good evening everyone. My name is Allan “Orion” Maki, a long time Turbinite responsible for a ton of stuff in LotRO. My most recent endeavours place me square in the middle of the New Player Experience.
[17:05] <Sapience> Hi all! I’m Sapience, not Patience and most assuredly a guy. Well, pretty sure. I’m a member of the Community Team.
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[17:05] <Fantus> Hi, I’m Fantus, I am a worldbuilder here.  I build fortresses, camps and landscape, and plant pretty things.  I build instances on occasion. I also place boars.  Many Boars.
[17:06] <Raskolnikov> “Question: I know you guys spent a lot of time working on the LI system, but I can’t help but feel frustrated with it a times. Are there any plans on redesigning it?”
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[17:06] <Raskolnikov> Completely redesigning it, no. It took a lot of work to get the various systems in place to creat the LI system. However…
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[17:07] <Raskolnikov> We’re definitely monitoring the complaints and seeing where we fell short with our goals. So in that regard, we’re going to be making some solid changes.

The details haven’t been completely solidified yet, but our main goal is to make it feel less grindy, to better maintain the feeling of advancement and progression.
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[17:08] <Raskolnikov> THere are also other more specific complaints: players want more options to customize their Legacies, and want those Legacies to be better. Crafters want to play a larger part in the LI system as well.
[17:09] <Raskolnikov> Will we be able to address all of your complaints? Nope. But we’re definitely dedicated to keep making the LI system better with each update.
[17:09] <DelmarWynn> MataTahu: Question for Fantus and the rest of the World Team: Any chance you could dangle a bite in front of us, of what areas of the map are due to be released “soon”? Soon meaning in the forseeable but indefinite future, of course!
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[17:09] <Fantus> We are working hard on Mirkwood at the moment, as well as several instances.  As far as when you will get them? Soon.
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[17:10] <Fantus> We plan on going to new areas after that, but that is a bit too far in advance to fill you in on, just yet.
[17:10] <DelmarWynn> nahtastab: I would like to know how exactly EoB is being changed with book 8. As a warden this is my primary threat leaching skill, nerfing it would make tanking even harder.
[17:11] <Graal> Exultation of Battle(EoB) the Gambit is not being changed. What is being changed is the legendary item legacy that increases the threat of EoB. Bad data was causing the legacy to increase threat far in excess of what was intended.  Now the legacy will increase threat more in line with other threat increasing legacies.
[17:11] <DelmarWynn> Ferox: “What effect does Turbine believe the current radiance gear gating system has on the community/playerbase?”
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[17:11] <Orion> As with any new system, Radiance certainly has a mixed reaction from the game populace. Many dislike this as it is a stiff gating requirement and certainly draws hard lines between the casual and hard core players.
[17:12] <Orion> Now, with that out of the way, I can tell you this. We know that this is a point of contention and we are making certain that we are cautious about the way that it is used in the future. For the Book 8 release I can confirm that the smaller instances will not require radiance and that diligent players can utilize a smaller set of radiance gear to enter the new raid.

[17:13] <Orion> We still want to give the system some more time to shake out before we make any major changes to it, so bear with, and we will get things into a much cleaner and clearer state in time.
[17:13] <DelmarWynn> Aregowe: Are there any plans in development for future Guardian Multiple Target Tanking? Currently, the mechanics limit us to tanking very few multiple mobs, limited by a few +Legacies to AE Targets.
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[17:14] <Graal> There are no specific plans for increasing Guardians multi-target tanking, but it is definitely an area that can be expanded.
[17:14] <DelmarWynn> Haladorith: I know the story is about following the fellowship, but are we gonna be able to aid during Helms Deep and the other major battles or are we gonna just be the clean up crew?
[17:15] <Orion> When we get to Helm’s Deep there will be some truly significant changes to the game. We cannot comment on what the players’ role will be in the battle because we are not there yet, but be assured, we have done all we can to make the tale of your journey through the early parts of the War of the Ring very important and I think that we will continue to do this in all of our future content.
[17:15] <DelmarWynn> ootyfast: will there be changes to pvmp that will stop the massivly quick respawn rates in keeps so we can once again have decent keep battles
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[17:16] <Sapience> I never knew Orion could type so incredibly fast. You should see this. It’s really impressive.
[17:17] <Orion> Spawn rates inside of the towers, bases and keeps are a little quick. Honestly, we have no plans to revisit this in the immediately approaching books, but that does not mean that we will not revisit these in the future. We simply need to give ourselves enough time to focus on getting the balance correct so that we do not make taking these locations too easy during off hours.
[17:17] <DelmarWynn> Banaticus: Weapon damage types. Tier 1, 2, 3, do they always provide a set amount of damage (+2=tier 1, +7=tier 3) or does it vary? I’ve seen a website that says Beleriand does 10% to Ancient-Evil, 5% to Spiders/Insects, 2.5% to The Dead/Orc-kind, but that was pre-MoM — how does Beleriand fit with the tiers of damage, is it = to 1, 2, 3, what?
[17:18] <Raskolnikov> You’re touching upon two different things here:
[17:18] <Raskolnikov> Damage Type (such as Beleriand, Westernesse, etc) have different effects on different mob types.

[17:18] <Raskolnikov> Some mobs might be more or less vulnerable to Beleriand, and some very special mobs (please see certain mobs in Dar Narbagud) are completely immune to Common damage.
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[17:19] <Raskolnikov> Then, there are the different “Slayer” titles you can put onto your IA weapons which give a flat increase to damage against specific mob types.
[17:19] <Raskolnikov> For example: +3 damage vs. Orcs. There are a few tiers of these titles, the higher the tier, the more damage. But it is a flat number, not a percentage.
[17:20] <DelmarWynn> Ryuuroden: Has any thought been made to making a new multi-boss 12 man instance that does not require radiance, as an alternative to “gating up” for places like the new DN 12 man?
[17:21] <Orion> While we have not really talked about removing radiance from 12-man raids, see previous statements, we are constantly looking for new ways to improve the end game and provide players with many avenues of advancement once they have reached current maximum level. There are some interesting ideas in the works, but we are hesitant to share too much of that information at this time because many of the design ideas are still in a state of flux.
[17:21] <Orion> When we have clear information we will share what we can and explain how these new, dynamic systems will further the end game experience.
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[17:21] <DelmarWynn> Suzina: Hi, any possibily to have a quest (like the rift) to switch a legacy on a lI?
[17:21] <Graal> One of the cool features we are working on for “the Future” is the ability to exchange legacies on Legendary Items.  Exactly how this ability is going to be awarded is still up in the air.
[17:22] <DelmarWynn> [PM]Renali: So, where’s the BOAROG? Pretty please, with sugar and sprinkles and Figgy on top? =D
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[17:23] <Fantus> He is coming. I just checked on concept art yesterday, and he is coming along nicely.  Soon [tm]
[17:23] <Sapience> I’ve seen it!
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[17:23] <DelmarWynn>  Falarc: Do you guys plan on adding a lot more session play’s as the story progresses?

[17:23] <Orion> Session play is not gone by any stretch of the imagination. It is a very strong story-telling tool and a system that we have used sparingly thus far. I do not think that we will be putting “a lot” more session play into the game in the immediate future, but I am sure that we will return and highlight the system at some point in the game’s life.
[17:23] <DelmarWynn> Draimen: What kind of new Items will be in the summer festival?
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[17:25] <Raskolnikov> Amusing consumables… basically, just a bunch of silly fun items.
[17:26] <Raskolnikov> Prank items really.
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[17:26] <Raskolnikov> Actually, I would love to know what you guys end up thinking about them… if they’re a hit I totally want to make more of them.
[17:27] <DelmarWynn>  seekerz: will we ever be able to be evil? stealing murder ect??
[17:27] <Orion> Monsters and evil Men were the only pieces of the cast of characters in The Lord of the Rings and as we are beholden to the literature of the books. Heroes, like our traditional players will not be part of those evil deeds.
[17:28] <Orion> Monster players…well they are not bound but such restrictions.
[17:28] <DelmarWynn>  nahtastab: Many of the quests for the various rad run instances only reward silver. This is worthless to a level 60 with maxed out rep. Can we get that changed so they all give item exp, loth branches, or anything like that?
[17:28] <Orion> Funny story about the rewards for those quests that go into instances. Book 8 should put the retry version of the quests firmly into the game via a rotating suite of daily quests that does just what you are asking. In an albeit limited fashion – focusin ong Item Experience primarily. Coin, is icing. At some point, perhaps through my re-vamp process I will get real rewards into those quests.

[17:29] <DelmarWynn> Ferox: How close have the Warden and Rune-keeper classes come to finding the niches you set for them pre-Moria? Have your ideas for them changed?
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[17:29] <Graal> We are very happy with the way the Warden has turned out. I think the Warden is very close to where we wanted it to be as far as class roles. The Runekeeper seems to be doing pretty good as well but has needed a few more tweeks to get it to the right place.
[17:30] <DelmarWynn>  Maelstrom: Any chance of a way to redo your legecy points on a Max level LI? Even if it was a quest with cooldown, or something of that nature.
[17:31] <Graal> There will be a method to reset the legacy points on a maxed out Legendary Item very soon.
[17:31] <DelmarWynn>  gludayers: I am a big fan of the general environment and the little surprises you come upon while questing. That being said, would there be any chance of having a type of treasure hunting quests, i.e. while fishing you “catch” a map and then have to go and find the location it leads you to claim your reward (some really spiffy and cool item)?
[17:31] <Orion> We like it too! In fact, as I go through the game and get some of the structures banged out a little more I am hoping to find enough time to get more and more of these styles of quests into the game.
[17:31] <DelmarWynn>  seekerz: what are the dates for the festivals? or is there a place i can find them(like a calender)
[17:32] <Sapience> I should probably know all the dates by heart but I don’t. However, you can check the calendar on the forums. We have all the tentative start dates posted for the whole year! Also, keep an eye on your mail in game. You’ll get a special notice when the festivals start!
[17:32] <DelmarWynn> Nitz: Here’s a question: Any plans (near or distant future) of adding evil men/wights/goblins/other races as monster players?
[17:33] <Orion> Right now, there are no plans to add these to the game. As many of you may or may not know, I am a huge fan of getting the Goblin Hooligan into the game. Nothing better to me than a bunch of goblins rolling out acting like Manchester United just got finished with brutal game on the pitch. ;-)
[17:33] <DelmarWynn>  Ryuuroden: As a follow up on the session play question. Is there any chance that you will give us the option to repeat them whenever we want in the future? I, for one, really enjoyed the champion dwarf session play in moria.
[17:34] <Orion> Good question. I will make sure to put it on a list to see if this is something that we can get into the game. No time frame obviously.
[17:35] <DelmarWynn> Ryuuroden: Are there plans in the works for a new PvMP zone?

[17:35] <Orion> I am going to be coy: Not in the immediate future, but there is something that is in the works that could lead to some very interesting PvMP moments in the mid to distant future.
[17:35] <[QT]Otters> Welcome all! We’ll be getting started shortly. Please /msg <nick>, /q <nick>, or double click on a question taker (names starting with [QT]) to submit your questions!
[17:35] <DelmarWynn> Ferox: Any plans to do more events on live servers, such as the Amarthiel attacks?
[17:36] <Sapience> The Amarthiel events were a huge success and we had a lot of fun with them. It’s certainly something we want to do more of but there are not immediate plans to do so. But I’d keep an eye peeled.
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[17:37] <DelmarWynn>  DelmarWynn: When do we get Book 8? *oh this is going to hurt*
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[17:38] <Raskolnikov> I think… soon?
[17:38] <Fantus> Soon. [TM]
[17:38] <Graal> Soon
[17:38] <Orion> Soon [TM]
[17:38] <Sapience> SOON! {TM}
[17:38] <Raskolnikov> Yeah… looks like we’re in agreement. Soon.
[17:38] <Sapience> I’d say that’s pretty solid info right there!
[17:38] <DelmarWynn> Falarc: Are there any plans to add more hobbies to the game in the near future?
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[17:39] <Raskolnikov> We would love to do more hobbies, and we’re always bouncing ideas around about different things. Unfortunately, hobbies aren’t the highest priority.
[17:39] <Raskolnikov> We *want* to, it’s just an issue of time and priorities.
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[17:41] <DelmarWynn>  Suzina: Crafters can’t make radiance armor and they can’t make LI weapons any better than random drops. Any possibility to involve them somewhow in the future?
[17:42] <Raskolnikov> I can speak to the LI weapons: Yes! We definitely want to bring crafters into the LI system more than we have. I’m going to be a jerk and not give any details.
[17:42] <Raskolnikov> But this is a very large complaint we’ve heard and we fully intend to remedy it.
[17:42] <Raskolnikov> Whether we allow you to make better LIs or components to LIs or who-knows-what. But yes, crafting LI stuff is good.
[17:42] <DelmarWynn>  Nitz: Okay, I’ll bite: what is the highest priority?
[17:43] <Sapience> Game stability and server performance is our number one priority at the moment. We’ve made some great strides in that direction and I’ll think you’ll see more of that when Book 8 is released.
[17:43] <DelmarWynn> [PM]Renali: Any chance of Chicken Kickball making a comeback in an upcoming festival? Maybe even that summer one I heard so much about!!! (or i’d love another shot at that April Fools one, since I was at work for the hour or so that it was working ;_;)
[17:43] <Orion> I have seen the plans. I have commented on the design and I am hoping that this version of the now infamous Hobnanigans will be even more fun!
[17:44] <Sapience> He said the H word!
[17:44] <Orion> The April Fool’s event will hopefully be fixed at some point. There is enough call for it that I am hoping to make it a semi-official type of event.
[17:44] <DelmarWynn>  Durrand: Are there plans to revisit potions and/or foods for champions in the future?
[17:46] <Graal> We realize the current (as of Book8) situation with Champions and food/potions is not optimal. We’ll continue to look for ways to implement the incoming healing penalty from Fervour without impacting these heals and also not compromising our data with many special cases.
[17:47] <DelmarWynn> gludayers: I haven’t seen anyone ask this yet: Are there any plans for a leveling alternative to the North Downs (approx. 25-35)?

[17:48] <Orion> Excellent question! As many know Book 8 continues our re-vamp plans and furthers them into Breeland. Breeland will now cover levels 14-22 and be the current, don’t read into that too much, single track for getting to 14-22. The next stage is to get two tracks from 22-32, three from 32-42 and four from 42-52. More on all this as we move forward with these changes. But the long and short is that the Lone-lands and North Downs will bother service 22-3
[17:48] <Orion> both service 22-32 in the future. Complete with more quests and a stronger version of the second Book of the Epic story.
[17:48] <Orion> both not bother. Sorry about that.
[17:49] <DelmarWynn>  Ryuuroden: Will you be giving Loremasters something to put in thier ranged slot? Something like +% tactical dmg parchments or something of the sort?
[17:49] <Graal> We have plans for moving the Loremaster pet appearance amulets into the ranged slot. I don’t know when that’s going to happen but it should be “Soon”.
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[17:51] <DelmarWynn>  [PM]Renali: September’s not *TOO* far off. Will we be seeing the Bilbo Baggins Birthday Quest again this year? (Gotta get my new alts the toy!) And
[17:51] <DelmarWynn> are there plans for any more nifty fluff like this and *Jingle, Jangle* coming down the pipe?
[17:51] <Sapience> Birthdays happen every year right? It’s one of those things I think we all look forward to and those quests are very popular so my magic 8 ball says all signs point to yes!
[17:51] <Sapience> Jingle Jangle, Big shout to the Big E!
[17:52] <DelmarWynn> Ararax: Question for the devs. Do they feel that class balance is currently where they want it, or should we expect major changes including a possible revamp of the DPS/tanking balance, as well as the balance of non DPS classes starting to move into DPS rols as we saw with the pre book 8 minstrel and loremaster. Looking forward is Turbine comitted to balancing the classes and their roles?
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[17:53] <Graal> Class balance is an ongoing process. Each update makes system changes and you guys are always finding new and unique ways to use existing skills and items. We’ll never be finished with class balance but that’s what I spend most of my time on.

[17:53] <DelmarWynn>  Ferox: I noticed in the recent dev diary, “get to the action faster”. How do you compare the endgame’s importance to the journey there?
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[17:54] <Orion> End game and the journey there, the journey around the journey there and the time that you spend with friends and the family that you make inside the world are all equally important. Playstyles vary from person to person and we must, as designers, do what we can to try to appease all different playstyles. Thankfully, we have time to try to get to as much as we possibly can to attempt to make everyone a little happy along their own journey.
[17:55] <DelmarWynn>  <abaddon80> Not sure if this is how we submit a question, but… Going back to the server stability and performance being addressed in bk 8, does that mean buggy mobs like those in Annuminas or ransackers in the crafting instances (bugging out right in front of you and sometimes reseting) will be resolved?
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[17:57] <Fantus> We have made quite a few improvements to our pathing system, and have done a huge pass on a lot of the current instances in reguards to pathing bugs.  We are always looking to make it easier to allow monsters to path, and that goes for pets aswell.
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[17:58] <Fantus> Some of our new 3 mans have actually been optimized to show this.
[17:58] <DelmarWynn> deusdictum: Is anything going to be done about the lvl 50 class quests? Now that they’re not at the level cap, CD and Uru are harder to find groups for.
[17:58] <Orion> YES! These are in dire, dire need of an overhaul. I will be tackling them on at some point in the future. No guarantees as to when these might get changed, but they need to be changed; very badly, very very badly.
[17:59] <DelmarWynn>  DelmarWynn: Can you tell us about skirmishes?
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[17:59] <Sapience> Well we could… but I think you know how that would end. :)
[17:59] <DelmarWynn> yep I knew I should have ducked from that question

[18:01] <DelmarWynn> And for our final question
[18:01] <DelmarWynn> [PM]Renali: I know a lot of people are quick to flame and hate *cough*champforums*cough*, but they never commend you for the things you do right. Thanks for all the time and effort you guys and gals put into this project.
[18:01] <DelmarWynn> well comment more than question
[18:01] <Raskolnikov> That’s not a question! YOU’RE FIRED!
[18:01] <Sapience> lol
[18:01] <Orion> Aww how sweet, thanks Renali.
[18:02] <Orion> I guess I have to pull the flag out of the game that autokills your characters now.
[18:02] <DelmarWynn> wi-flag?
[18:02] <Orion> there is no wi-flag!
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[18:02] <Orion> Even though, I was on the team when we found the wi flag…
[18:02] <Orion> that was amusing
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[18:02] <DelmarWynn> yes my wife thought so
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[18:03] <DelmarWynn> We want to thank all of you for coming tonight and thanks to the Devs for taking time out of their busy schedule.

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Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband. Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

One thought on “Lotro Dev chat for June”

  1. Thanks for the transcript. Overall, not much I’m interested in, but I did like Orion’s mention that Book 8 includes a revamp of Bree for levels 14-22 and that they’re going to add multiple tracks for the 22-32 and up. I was pretty happy with the changes made to Ered Luin when I took two alts through. It’s nice to see a MMO company continue to improve the early parts of their game instead of continually focusing on adding to the end.

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