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Reader Comments (20)

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 2:51PM (Unverified) said

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Slightly worried now.
I really enjoy LOTRO (A LOT!) and a lot more than WOW and I really like the continous free content patches and updates. This is really great and makes a lot of the appeal of this game versus WOW, where you have to pay for every update (and these are not any bigger than what LOTRO had for free so far).
I hope the fact that the subscription model is to go away does not mean the (rather unfair and pretty dum and demotivating model) of buying items for real money in order to level up is going to take its place.
That would completely tak the the fun out of the game for me (why play and fight and do quests if you have to buy all the stuff that is relevant anyway?).
It would be nothing different than going to a goldfarmer to buy money for the best gear. Where is the fun in that? I might just as well pay someone else to play the game for me and ummm spend my time doing ummm... something fun... ummm...
So the day they introduce that,I might just as well quit playing this game.
Now if it became a model like guidwars, I might like that, but I think that is rather unlikely to happen.
I also think that this might piss those people off that have life long subscriptions. They would feel betrayed (I sure would).

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 4:38PM (Unverified) said

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I know what you mean Skipjack, but for the record you don't need to pay for every update in WoW, only for the expansions (which so far are coming about every 2 years) just like the upcoming LotRO expansion.
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Posted: Sep 2nd 2008 9:02AM (Unverified) said

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I'm not a WoW fanboi but I will point out that you don't have to pay for every update. They actually release a lot of free content.
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Posted: Sep 1st 2008 3:15PM animagnum said

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What if they let people play for free and only charged for what are currently the "free" updates? That would be really interesting. It could basically cost the same as paying $15/month (or less) and would be an interesting way to charge for additional content -- almost an 'episodic' approach to MMO gaming. Sort of like Guild Wars, but with more frequent, mini-expansions for a lower cost. For example, imagine if Book XX cost $15, but you didn't have to have it to play. Players with lower level characters wouldn't need it, but once they hit that point, they could spring $20 and explore the new content. After a few of these come out, Turbine could bundle the older ones and sell them at a lower price - OR - every time a boxed expansion comes out they could bundle all of the previous books on the disc. Sort of like Guild Wars, but with more frequent content updates.

This would play well with a console version as the substantial updates every few months would be optional, yet the game would remain free to play barring any existing online subscription for the system itself (e.g. Xbox Live). This type of model would also work with the lifetime subscribers as they would be given access to the paid updates as soon as they become available -- or at least that is what I hope they do if such a system is implemented (I am a lifetime subscriber, lol).

This is just one idea, I have no indication that they are doing this. Just a thought. Personally, I would like this method of payment because I often take breaks from MMOs and it would be great to feel like my money went toward actual content instead of just dumping it into a monthly subscription fee. Then again, I have a lifetime subscription so I'll sit back and see where that takes me!

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 3:21PM (Unverified) said

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Well, as someone who got into the game late and just picked up the lifetime membership, I do hope that if they get rid of monthly fees that they provide those who spent the money for that membership some sort of compensation.

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 3:25PM animagnum said

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Yeah, good call, Neko. If their new subscription model conflicts with lifetime subscriptions, I am sure they will work out some sort of fix.
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Posted: Sep 1st 2008 3:47PM (Unverified) said

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I got a 2 week trial of LotRO when I got my new computer about 2 months ago. While I thought the graphics made WoW look cartoonish, I couldn't get into the game.

Maybe for me, part of it is the friends and the community. I have friends I play with on one server, and family members I play with on another. Most of these people I don't get to see very often so online play is a way to keep in touch.

I didn't get that sense of community from LotRO.

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 3:57PM (Unverified) said

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So I am not the only one. Also I did really not enjoy the kill 10 of this and that and get this quests like the combat was soooo slow. I think Warhammer is more likely to become the next WoW.
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Posted: Sep 1st 2008 5:34PM Softserve said

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Well, if you're not into kill x quests Warhammer isn't exactly breaking the mold there either. Certinaly LotRO has plenty of these, but there's also a lot of quests that break this up... For example, quests in the Shire are designed to fit into the lives of hobbits there and aren't all so typical.

But beyond that, community is kind of one of those things that's hard to address. I've met some awfully nice people in LotRO and I and friends are in various guilds that are fun, but also motivated.

If you just want to play with your friends and family and their in different places, that's not really the fault of the game... and unfortunately that situation could be true of any MMORPG out there. I've never, ever been able to get all the people I know together because they all have various attachments to where they are now.

I don't think that's a problem with the community of the game as a whole as much as it's a problem with your situation and who you want to play with.
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Posted: Sep 1st 2008 6:18PM (Unverified) said

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The quality of the quests in LOTRO varies a lot. I really like the story quests. Some quests also involve treasure hunting and exploration.
This is very welcome as I love to go "where no man has gone before"... well not literally maybe... The achievement/deed system also rewards these things with actual stat boosting rewards (or sometimes you get a fast traveling skill, or at least a new title,which is luckily rather rare). Some quests just involve finding some people or places or traveling somewhere. That is fine with me, after hours of killing creatures it is a welcome variation.

That does not mean that there are no grind quests in LOTRO,but I think that WOW is a lot worse than LOTRO when it comes to that. In addition to there being more of this kind in WOW, there are also more of the really annoying loot quests (kill bears until X bearpaws have dropped). In WOW the droprates in these quests is also A LOT worse. I mean you know it is NOT fun if you have to kill 160 wolfs for 24 tails (seriously done that).
That is a lot better in LOTRO where (at least to level 37 now) the drop rate for quest items has been almost 100%. LOTRO makes up for this by having an insane amount of quests. So you stay busy without spending hours over hours grinding for items and if you really would end up killing 120 wolfs for a quest, you would at least get a nice achievement for it... probably patience +1 ;) which usually boosts one or two stats of your character by a couple of %. That might not seem much, but it adds up over time and it is at least something that rewards the player for the frustration of that last tail just not dropping...

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 6:21PM Pagan said

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All Turboine has to do to blow the lid of the beautiful game that is LOTRO is add real PvP in the game. Let players play minions of Sauron in the context of the game design (not Monster Play). If that ace is up Turbine's sleeve, then becoming the next big MMO is in their grasp.

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 6:28PM (Unverified) said

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Well the console game isn't really a console version of the MMO (not sure how well that'd do), but the getting money from there and putting it into LotRO and DDO is nice if feasible. If that works well I suppose there is space for changes to the business model.

Will be interesting to see how Tolkien does in Asia, no idea about it really. Depends on the expectations as well I guess, if the new movie goes down Jackson's path I'm not sure how much that'll help them in regards to stayers, but it'll be nice publicity to at least get some new people to look at it. Which it definately deserves.

Posted: Sep 1st 2008 8:41PM (Unverified) said

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MMOs nowadays are really pulling out all the stops to stay competitive: World of Warcraft makes it much easier to level with a buddy, City of Heroes combined with Villains and lets players design their own missions for even more content, Final Fantasy XI revamped their sidekick system, and Everquest and Tabula Rasa players recently got a free month; it'd be very interesting if LOTRO does axe their subscription fee.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2008 9:13AM (Unverified) said

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I was a big LOTRO fan for a while. And I still re-sub from time to time cause for me the game is a lot of fun.

But to think that this game could "blow up" and get huge is very wishful thinking.

Many, many people don't care for this game. I have at least 10 people I know who couldn't stand the combat in this this game. Read online about how many people hate the qued-up combat. What I'm talking about is that when you push a button for a skill it doesn't activate instantly, it gets put into a que of abilities that will trigger in time. LOTS of people HATE this mechanic. It seems so small of a thing, but it's true.

If so many people can't stand such a basic aspect of the games design then it doesn't matter what new content is added because the content is not the problem here.

Hey, personally I never had issue with it, but the number of people that did is large. I think this is the number one thing holding this game back from getting bigger so far.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2008 10:56AM breezer said

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Don't developers know to not even suggest their gonna be like WoW by now?

Super hardcore MMOers don't want their games to be like WoW. WoW players don't want their precious game threatened. And the in-betweens don't want to be disappointing when the promised product doesn't live up to expectations.

Saying you're gonna kill WoW is a bad move.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2008 11:08AM (Unverified) said

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I have to agree with the queued combat not only taking time to get used to, but also getting in the way at times. I wonder whether it would not be possible to simply have an option that lets users use their skills without the queuing.
Personally the combat mechanics are not that big an issue for me. I rather have lots and lots of nice quests, wonderful content, atmospheric and beautiful graphics (that still look better on low end systems than WOW does, hu Blizzard!).
Biggest problems I have with the game (occasionally) are occasionally breaking off or missing sounds (on two of my laptops, one a dell and one an acer). The other one is that laggs, when they occur, affect combat and character- movement a lot more negatively than in WOW.

Posted: Sep 2nd 2008 11:37AM jardude said

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I don't believe this game will ever go F2P, but what they might do is have like a 4.99/mo model in which you would then pay a bit extra for the free content updates. It seems this is something they want to do for casual gamers without as much time on there hands. Or they might chagre a small fee for access, like 4.99/mo for 30hrs of play. Something like that.

Posted: Sep 3rd 2008 11:04PM (Unverified) said

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Keep dreaming Turbine!!!! LoTRO is SO GREAT that I and half my Guild moved to playing WoW because of the dodgy game you have created!!! Tolkien would be rolling in his grave over what you have done to his 'world'.

Posted: Sep 4th 2008 8:43AM (Unverified) said

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LOTRO has got a lot going for it (although also it has its flaws, of course), but really, I don't think anything is going to take a year-and-a-half old game and suddenly boosts it's playerbase from a couple of hundred thousand to WoW-like numbers.

Doesn't matter how good Moria is.

Posted: Sep 4th 2008 2:51PM (Unverified) said

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Yes LOTRO's version of Middle Earth is really pretty. Although you have to spend a fair bit of your time at higher levels in areas which are anything but. Angmar is lore appropriate, but it's a horribly depressing place to spend level upon level.

The character models are not terribly attractive, especially the animations which look like they were sub-contracted to an alien race who had never seen humans walk. It rather spoils the look of the world to have these odd PCs lurching through it.

I really wanted to love the game, but after getting one character to 50, I just couldn't go back and grind through all the same territory for alts. Also got tired of everything having to be a money sink and feeling as though I was being punished for wanting to get a bit of gold put by.

I bought a lifetime sub and keep trying to go back, but I just can't get into it again. So no, despite their hopes, I really don't think Turbine has the next big Wow.

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