Quoted from CaptainNavidad:
I know there has been quite a bit of speculation since the last update - here, on the JJP owner's group, etc. Does anyone have an idea of what to expect? Any leaks? I'm just curious to see what everyone has heard.
Considering JJP is live streaming, I think the update should be substantive (more than simply bug fixes). But who knows? Fingers crossed we see more callouts - particularly Smaug!
Here's a summary I wrote up a couple months back regarding the changes that have been discussed over the past year. Will all of these be in the next update? Who knows but I would think a good chunk of what's below will be there.
1. From Keith last year on the JJP Google Group. "I can say I have plans for various "champion" items, some extra bonuses associated with Feast Frenzy and Super Spinner, and a final mode. Maybe some additional configuration options for more interesting game play WRT Arkenstone modes. Additional modes and multiballs apart from what I've alluded to will not be added as those were not in the design plan, and generating and getting approvals for additional assets required is problematic."
2. Keith mentioned on one of the latest POTC streams that Ted has been working on the update a lot for the past couple of months.
3. Summary of Hobbit code related comments on Head2Head pinball podcast (copied from Pinside).
1. There and Back Again is the name of the super wizard mode. Doesn't want to give too much away but it will concentrate on beating all 31 modes. Mentioned he doesn't know if it will tie everything together (could be referring to also having to beat Arkenstone modes in addition to beat all book modes)
2. Scoring tweaks for a lot of stuff
3. Beast Multiball is being rewritten by Joe Katz and he started working on it last week. Keith said Beast MB will be a lot better
4. Behavior of game changing somewhat. The 31 book modes will have a star raiting assigned to them, 1-5. The number of stars you have completed going into an Arkenstone mode works into bonus. Also, the highest star mode beat affects scoring of your next qualified wizard mode. For example the One Ring mode, an easier mode, will likely be assigned 1 star and Keith said if that is the mode completed when you go into an Arkenstone mode your bonus won't be as high compared to going into it with a 4, or 5 star mode completed.