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Reader Comments (78)

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 6:24PM Cristiano Cenizo said

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Argh, that Reply was meant for Soln.
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Posted: Jun 10th 2010 6:30PM (Unverified) said

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the move stands to triple the size of their community in one day.
That and for the most part, the F2P players will be indistinguishable from the P2P players.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 7:03PM (Unverified) said

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I am with Keen.
Turbine has been lieing. They lie when they say that nothing changes for subscribers, because that it is not true.
As an example look at that number of available character slots. I currently have 7. As a so called VIP, I would only have 5. That is only the tip of the iceberg, but for those that need to put the thing into numbers, these are two numbers to think about!
Otherwise, I can only repeat the concerns that have been listed before.
For me it is mostly that immersion is totally ruined by the constant reminders that I might have to pay for something, or that someone has paid for something etc. Currently Money, realy money is of no importance in the game. I have to deal with money and money problems all the time in RL. Currently I only have to pay 26 Euros every 2 months, or so and then not bother with money.
With F2P they will require you to reach for your wallet more often. Small content updates, quests you will ahve to pay extra for, maybe new raid dungeons. All small amounts of money, but you will have to pay extra for them, even as a VIP (since they were not part of the original package). I am absolutely certain that the days of free content updates, as we had enjoyed them in the past, are gone now. I am also sure that the quality of the content will suffer. Moria was good for the price. I dont think we will get a simillar quality and extensive update for the same price. The other problem will be for those that dont want to use credit cards, or Paypal. For me there is just to much fraud with those and Codemasters Credit card system is both convoluted and by a 3rd party (I have troubles trusting Codemasters, how can I trust yet another party to handle my credit card info?) and it is not instantaneous like a game card (instant gratification there). Mirkwood was not available for purchase in stores and that is why I dont have it yet. I just dont want to spend money online. If it was as convenient as the steam store, maybe, but I even dislike that one, to be honest.
I wished that Turbine offered non F2P servers for those that dont want it and who just want things to continue the old way.
They seemingly can run both models side by side in the beta, so why not later?
Anyway, I will start looking elsewhere. Maybe Guildwars 2 will actually offer some interesting gameplay. I dont know, at the moment there are no real alternatives. AOC maybe, but they need credit cards too (have not seen any gamecards for those).

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 7:04PM (Unverified) said

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Oh an I think it was with Codemasters Credit Card thing , where I had the problem of not being able to pay for two accounts with just one credit card (my wife and me), could have been WOW as well, or AOC. I cant quite remember. So far my experiences with Credit Card payment have been less than exciting.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 7:26PM Deadalon said

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What moron here thinks that the buisness model is not controling the outcome of this ? We all know free to play does NOT mean its free. It just means you can start playing without paying. The DDO model is to let ppl pay for every bit of content extra. You can't get into areas unless you pay - You can not get certain races without paying... So... 99% sure that you will have to pay extra for the two new classes in LOTRO...

Basicly - the game is NOT making enough money to continue the current buisness model (and develop the game in same manner as before). So.. they change it...

Anyway - we are only half way into the story... Now we just have to wonder if Turbine will fix the crap that is actually keeping ppl away... like the animations and character models + mount models. Every freaking free trial.. I can't get past the fact that this SUX in this game... Free or not ... Same in DDO - I gave up after 2 days... sooo fucking annoying ...

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 9:12PM (Unverified) said

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While I tend to agree that going F2P is not the end of the world for communities I think it's fair to say that widespread access by free and potentially anonymous accounts in any game or world does vastly increase the possibilities for griefing those communities.

It is a balancing act. A well-run niche community really does depend on having a semi-permeable barrier between itself and the rest of the world. You couldn't have a good baseball game if there was no custom of preventing random people from wandering onto the field and walking off with the bats and such, could you? So a certain degree of "elitism" or club exclusivity is necessary.

A lot of this could be addressed by expanding on the existing reputation and housing features already in the game - for instance, holding the get-togethers in the back rooms of the inns where you need to have done at least a little bit of reputation grinding to get in. And a lot will depend on the extent to which Turbine stays on its toes and moderates any griefing activities. There are a lot of things like this to demand answers on long before suggesting that the community will be destroyed.

But if nothing is done to address those commitment requirements at the edges, yeah, it could tear things apart.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 9:14PM Jenks said

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What an incredibly naive read.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 9:19PM Jesspiper said

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I am in Keen's camp. Perhaps not with as strong language, but in that camp all the same. To think that LOTRO's current relatively small community of a couple hundred thousand players can in any way shape the incoming community of millions is almost as severe a delusion as that of the article writer pretending he's a female.

LOTRO's community is not being invaded by the F2P crowd, LOTRO's community WILL BE the F2P crowd.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 9:45PM (Unverified) said

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"LOTRO's community is not being invaded by the F2P crowd, LOTRO's community WILL BE the F2P crowd."

hmm, Warner Brothers acquires Turbine thanks to the success of their ftp model with DDO, and suddenly (and otherwise surprisingly) the decision has been made to apply this same profit formula to the good folks that have been sticking it out in LotRO all this time. as many have said above, those who are still playing LotRO aren't doing so for the quality of gameplay (which has become ludicrously dumbed down and flavorless), but for the communities which they've created within the server environments. unfortunately, good friends and the ability to enjoy your personal time with those friends doesn't pay the bills. so, thanks to all of you who've been around all this time, but now we're going to risk challenging your current comfort zone so we can continue to make money while not really improving the game beyond it's current goal of "do the least amount possible to make more money."

i'm not saying Landroval or Brandywine will die... but change is inevitable. you've already seen that in the shrinking number of players on the servers. sure, there's a chance that some quality people will be introduced to LotRO for the first time due to this change in payment model, but if Turbine continues down the road they've already paved for themselves in regards to this franchise (i.e. streamlined PvE content for the instant XP gratification of the masses) instead of further enhancing the Middle Earth experience for those who have stuck it out there so far, they'll likely find that those quality people (both new and existing) won't have much more to do than continue hanging around the Prancing Pony smoking pipeweed and talking about current events.
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Posted: Jun 10th 2010 11:07PM Its Utakata stupid said

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Jess wrote:

"I am in Keen's camp. Perhaps not with as strong language, but in that camp all the same. To think that LOTRO's current relatively small community of a couple hundred thousand players can in any way shape the incoming community of millions is almost as severe a delusion as that of the article writer pretending he's a female."

...or the delusion that Jess understands transgenders.
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Posted: Jun 10th 2010 11:52PM (Unverified) said

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Awesome job attacking the article writer, whining like an emo that can't get money from mommy to buy that new journal, and generally making yourself look like an absolute fool.

You and the rest of the 'community' continue to call yourself mature, but you prove time and again how immature you really are, especially with all of the crying just like you're doing here.

Mature doesn't mean running around and talking dirty with people in private chats while you have yourself a wank. It means acting like an adult, recognizing that things change, and going with those changes in a mature manner, or taking your things and leaving.

Perhaps you should stop, take a deep breath and think about it with the big head for a little bit, you know, the one on your shoulders? That is how a mature person handles things.
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Posted: Jun 11th 2010 1:32AM Seraphina Brennan said

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Jess, I know your a long time reader on the site here. You've been around long enough to see my slow evolution towards being more of myself. To be honest, I'm pretty hurt that you would say such a thing about me over an issue such as a video game.

But guys, just because the comment is seriously offensive doesn't mean it gives you the right to troll Jess. As I always say, attack the point, not the person. I encourage differing opinions, even when I myself don't agree with them.

In accordance with our Code of Conduct, I have every right to edit your post, Jess. However, I will not, mostly because I am that saddened to see something like this appear on my column.

~Sera
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Posted: Jun 11th 2010 9:56PM Jesspiper said

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Colin, I find it hard to believe that someone with your abnormalities is as thin-skinned as that. Just because somene throws you a mean left hook in an OPINION column doesn't mean you need to get all bent out of shape and hurt. Just like I don't care if a couple of Massively sycophants flame me for making a wisecrack about your delusions, both LOTRO and gender. Since it's your column, I'll not make a scene and make this my last comment. But you should probably learn to take a punch or two, especially with the road you've decided to travel. There are people a hell of a lot worse than me out there (you know, in the real world) and you're about as prime a target as they come. Throw up more armour, preferrably plate.

Good luck with your column and the incoming F2P LOTRO hordes.
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Posted: Jun 10th 2010 9:34PM (Unverified) said

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Excellent post, Sera. I'm shocked to hear that the LOTRO community (or parts of it) is not liking this change. I have to say, as someone on a limited budget, that I like this move as much as I liked it for DDO. There are a ton of MMO's I really want to play but lack the money (or time, but that's a different argument) to play. This business model gives me a chance to play and engage at least two of these games and, when I have some pocket change, buy a new game for less than the cost of a new title/expansion. And as far as I can tell, the content is still just as good as it was when it was P2P (I could be wrong in this but that's my perception). As to worries of the community being disrupted, well, of course, some truly moronic people will make their way in. But listen to the Trade channel on WoW for, oh, 20 minutes during rush hour and we realize that the $15 dollar/month barrier isn't keeping any sort of intellectually inept individuals at bay. I don't think the DDO community is now filled with Chuck Norris worshipers and I truly hope the same will be said of LOTRO. So, with that said, see you this fall.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 10:43PM wjowski said

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I would suggest that the author look up the phrase 'Eternal September' and how it can be applied to games that suddenly go f2p.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 11:00PM Eamil said

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"Can be" doesn't translate to "will." DDO doesn't seem any worse off for being F2P.
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Posted: Jun 10th 2010 10:59PM Eamil said

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Very good article!

You can count me among the "returning subscribers" who will be able to keep playing more because of this switch. I'm actually subscribed right now but I only renew occasionally because even though I enjoy the game (AND the excellent community), I can't always spend enough time on it to justify the $15 a month. I don't even have a level 50 (let alone a 65) even though I've had my account for years. Being able to play the game at your own pace and buy new content as you reach it will be a godsend for people like me.

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 11:15PM Its Utakata stupid said

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In general...I have mixed feelings about this. I agree, one can't claim that this is the end of the world for the LoTRO community as we know it. But at the same time I think we're deluding ourselves to say it won't effect it. But we'll never really know how until long after this F2P transition is made. /shrug

Posted: Jun 10th 2010 11:45PM Valdur said

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Unfortunately,this business model will change the quality of content,how it is implemented and distributed in the game.

I guess this has been brewing in Turbine's kitchen since the Moria's expansion if you look at the updates since then till Mirkwood.
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Posted: Jun 10th 2010 11:43PM (Unverified) said

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My only concern with the F2P is that it seems like LoTRO's Premium tier is more restricted than DDO's, so you're going to find people who sign up, maybe even spend some money on points, and then realize - after they've bought in - that they can't really get the experience they were expecting without subscribing.

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