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Reader Comments (50)

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 4:11PM (Unverified) said

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They did put the stat tomes as rare drops in the new 'classic' instances so there is another way to obtain them at least.

I don't mind the virtue ranks either since I will still do them since many of them will give TP and I'm a cheapskate.

I can see folks being upset about the rep horses as well, especially if the character that bought them didn't even have that area open or something, but I think with everyone having the ability to have a horse as soon as they get out of the tutorial will make it a bit less of a problem.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 8:18PM Tom L said

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I was one of the few people to grind out a cross-faction mount (Troll) in vanilla WoW and when they made those rep grinds insanely easy, practically a consequence of leveling, I felt a twinge of anger over it. My orange raptor was no longer nearly as cool as it once was.

Then I got over it, in about 20 seconds, and moved on with my life.

Buying them in the store or completing 100 quests you would complete anyways? Minimal difference, IMO.

Big pots and stat tomes? That's a different story, but if they will be available through normal play, that's fine.

The virtues are annoying to grind. I'd rather they fix them, as the author suggests, but, as a sub I'll gladly use TP to speed/finish them off. I want Turbine creating content with my money than fixing old systems.

Ta,
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Posted: Aug 20th 2010 4:25PM (Unverified) said

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"Fifty stat points is nothing to sneeze at..."

Slight correction here. Although at first it may appear to a total of +50 to a stat because of the way its worded in the store, it's actually only +30 if you buy all three tomes. The store lists the cumulative bonus from the tomes (probably to help distinguish between the three tiers) so you'd think it would be a +10 tome, a +20 tome, and a +30 tome. However, it's actually just a +10, then another +10, then a third +10.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 4:27PM (Unverified) said

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Remeber this is beta. Those Mega-pots are now 10s with a 20s cooldown. They are still a nice thing to have but very expensive you intend to drink them non-stop.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 4:39PM GreenArmadillo said

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"I don't know why, other than price, people would want to buy the buff when you can just get the rank outright"

Completing deeds counts towards increasing the number of slots in your quest log, sometimes awards rep with a local faction, and will award a very small amount of TP (like 5 or so) when F2P launches. Plus, some people are completionists who can't stand to see unfinished deeds in their deed logs. (In fact, this also reduces server load since the server thinks of that deed as an active quest, which is why you sometimes complete slayer deeds while doing a skirmish set in an old zone where you haven't done enough killing.)

But yes, at a minimum the relative pricing on these perks is off. The deed accelerator option needs to be very cheap (and/or very long lasting) compared to the cost of buying the reward outright for it to make sense to pay for a buff.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 4:50PM Tanek said

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Rep horses:

I don't mind this because a) I don't generally care so much what another player has or has not accomplished compared to me (MMOs with level expansions always end up trivializing something you have done in the past, so fretting over specifics does no good), and b) as a collector, I'm happier that I can still get items in-game rather than having too many store-exclusives.

Mega-pots

For me, the issue is less that they are available in the store than it is that they exist at all. I'll touch upon this with the stats as well, but my fear is that once these super potions become widespread enough, content will need to be designed that assumes people have access to them lest new content become trivial.

Virtue ranks

Again, you bought yours, I finished a deed. I'm not the biggest fan of the slayer deeds as it is, so I'd not argue if they wanted to "fix" something there, but considering I'll also be getting a trickle of Turbine points for the deed completions, this is not one of the battles I'd pick (now, blocking trait slots until you buy them in the store...that is a rep horse of a different color, but a topic for another time)

Stat tomes

While the boost may be seen as a minor and unnecessary thing, you hit upon the part of this that bothers me. This is, straight up, selling you stats for a more powerful character. And depending on the droprate/rng gods, not an item that will be readily available in-game. Something about this just feels wrong to me and I worry that the taint will harm the perception of the game in its new incarnation. Plus, as with the pots, does this have the potential to affect how encounters are designed?

All told, I do like most of what Turbine is doing. There are just some areas where they seem to go off-message and if there are problems once the store goes live in September, there will be bells that can't be unrung.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 4:54PM (Unverified) said

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One of the bigger "niggles" w/ the rep horses isn't just that they are available, but that you require absolutely NO rep to use them. Some have suggested, and I agree, that you should at least have one rank of rep for the store versions of the horses.

Personally, I find the idea of being able to purchase the riding skill at level 5 and then purchase a rep horse [and ride it] a bit annoying. Horses used to be something you would earn and they became something to look forward to (like Capes in City of Heroes... anyone remember WHY Capes are at level 20? And what the story reason is?).

Times are changing, as a Lifetime Founder not much will change for me but I don't have to be happy about it all :)

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 4:57PM Danieros said

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Reputation horses & Virtue Ranks: Pay-to-not-play.
Mega pots & Stat Tomes: Pay-to-achieve (effectiveness-wise).

Yeah, many people don't mind these, but this is why I prefer the monthly fee or the B2P model over any of these.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 5:16PM EdmundDante said

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Yeah - I'm not a big fan of someone being able to just by a Rep horse. One thing that drives an MMO is the rarity of an item or possession, and watering it down by allowing anyone with money to buy that item instead of actually do what is required to obtain that item - is kinda like cheating big time on an exam.

New skinned purchasable horses should be fair answer, instead of not giving a hoot about all of us who worked hard for the rare rep horses.

Everything else is so so for me - and I can live with.


Posted: Aug 20th 2010 5:20PM (Unverified) said

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Well, I get what turbine is trying to do, but it still bothers people that worked hard for their virtues and rep horses. I only worked for the one I liked the most (Mirkwood one, for the color, since my Hunter is in all black gear). I could get other horses, since my rep is kindred with most factions, but I didn't find the grind to hard. In a way I wanted to get high rep not for the reward, but for the satisfaction. I know a lot of people that did the same. But I do know many people in the game that are going to be mad about this, since it feels like a slap to people that worked for the rep. Same with virtues. Mine are all at cap (the ones I use the most for my hunter), so it sucks that now all that work seems to be wasted. On the other side, I was leveling a Warden last time I played, and thinking about leveling my virtues all the way to cap again was going to drive me crazy, but in a way buying them from a job would be great, if you wanna skip those 250+ kill ones (on my hunter it was easy, mostly 1-2 shot beast, any other non dps class would be... hard). So everything I see has their negative, but positive side. Can't wait to go back to the game. Any word what they will do with accounts that are in "non payment status", but have all expansions and stuff? I stop paying my sub, and I can't find what will happen to it when launch of F2P comes.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 5:25PM (Unverified) said

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I think they should just sell something in the store that makes you an instant 65, gives you all the deeds, virtues and achievements, let's you open a dressing room and pick any armor, clothing and mount in any color or pattern. Then they can let you print out a certificate that says you're an Uber Middle Earth Hero to hang on your wall. Charge $300 for it and promise that no one will ever know the difference in game. Then you can just stroll through the content having the best of everything. Sound fun?

Everyone would be happy - Turbine makes their ching, players get 'choice' and get to see the content. Basically, that's a year of using the item store condensed into one session.

Another point - I played for two years and paid a subscription. From time to time, the devs would adjust the difficulty of a mob or a quest that players had problems with. That work was covered under the subscription fee. Under the new model they don't need to adjust anything, just sell a pot in the item store to get you over the hump.

That sounds fine until you look at it from the other direction - Turbine is a business and as a business their main focus is to increase profit. If the game is free, people aren't paying a sub-fee and items in the item shop are the way they make their cash, then how do they increase profit? Sell more items.

What's the most cost effective, profitable way to sell more items? Building new content or adjusting the difficulty level of mobs and quests up a couple of notches? Which method would their shareholders have them choose?

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 6:34PM (Unverified) said

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Actually the twist that worries me is double dipping. You still have to pay subscription(or be lifetime) to play LOTRO seriously and there is cash shop that could lead to issues You described.Foe example the horrible LI system is still unchanged and I just hope they won't fix it through selling special scrolls from cash shop(of course that also drop in game raid boss with 1% chance to silence anyone protesting).

Then I have to admit that I'm very suspicious for basically adding cash shop to subscription game. Still I will try it out and see myself. Hopefully Turbine will make it okay, they seem to act smart so far.
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Posted: Aug 20th 2010 5:46PM EdmundDante said

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They would be better off offering ways to buy new alternate content items rather than devaluing items many of the players worked hard for and value.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 6:06PM wondersmith said

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It's nothing unusual for MMOs to introduce new content that trivializes players' prior efforts. When Burning Crusade came out for WoW, players complained that 15 minutes of questing got you items surpassing those that had previously required many evenings of raiding or reputation grinding to obtain. DDO introduced purchasable Veteran Status that allowed players to roll new characters starting at level 4. Voyage Century Online added starter vessels and gear that rivaled what older players had to spend months attaining. EverQuest created a bazaar that enabled one to sell items with a few clicks instead of spamming in East Commonlands tunnel for hours.

Unfairness is the cost of progress. If LotRO's move to F2P succeeds like DDO's did, the developers will have funding to make the game even better. Maybe that will ameliorate the disappointment of longtime subscribers.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 6:20PM EdmundDante said

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You can have progress with fairness as well.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 6:33PM Graill440 said

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I must make this comparison. Simply sounds like Democrats and Republicans not watching their own lanes.

The stores are here to stay, "you" will do nothing to change that unless you close your wallets, which "you" wont do. (grin)

There is nothing unfair about a game, you either choose to keep playing that mechanic, or you can comment on it and move on as i do, problem solved. Now i think we still have a problem with world hunger, lets tackle that now............

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 6:38PM EdmundDante said

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>> There is nothing unfair about a game

Balancing issues is one of the most common game designs in theory and practice. It is especially important in an RPG and an MMO - where rewards equal the effort given.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 9:16PM (Unverified) said

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"where rewards equal the effort given"

Unless there's a cash shop.
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Posted: Aug 20th 2010 6:42PM Sonoran said

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The problem with stores in general is that it creates some new areas where the development company's interests diverge from that of the player. The attractiveness of the items in the store directly affect the company's bottom line, so there's a tendency to want to co-opt the most desirable items into the store, and a tendency to build the game so that store items become more necessary.

This isn't as big an issue for appearance and convenience items, it is a big issue when the store starts selling what are in effect, stat buffs or other items that have some effect on the outcome of gameplay. The distinction between making a player "better" in a "situational" way and making a player overpowered is a fine one, and pretty subjective.

In the end the company will want you to feel you really do need to buy some store items in order to be "competitive" and feel like you have a solid character that's desirable in a group. That's what will drive their profits.

To counter this the player is relying on some kind of vague notion that the game will get a repuation as being about money and not skill or gameplay if the developer doesn't exercise some restraint.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 6:55PM aurickle said

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You are correct, but you're also overlooking something that Turbine did. Virtues and stats have caps. There are no buffs that will raise you past that cap, which means you can't buy your way into being overpowered. All that you can do is buy your way into being equal-powered.

If you are already at the max, the item will have zero effect. A waste of money.
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