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Reader Comments (127)

Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:04PM mastrgamr said

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lol at Turbine's pathetic marketing campaign. they keep doing this and they'll be gone

Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:11PM Svenn said

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Funny, DDO has done amazingly well since it went f2p. Lotro has had a big surge of new players with the f2p as well.

What exactly makes you think that they'll be gone? Also, what's pathetic about their marketing campaign?
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:19PM Arrakiv said

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Chalk me up as a little confused as well. DDO definitely has been doing better since it went F2P, and I expect LotRO will do similar.
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:21PM mastrgamr said

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it's a matter of opinion on what you would call free-to-play, in my opinion this crap is not free AT ALL. If you ask a true free to play gamer what they think about what Turbine is doing with "free to play" they'll laugh and say its pay to play in disguise (which it is) because there will always be players that will do (or pay) whatever it takes to 'win', and ruin other people's fun
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tl;dr extra:
sure they have to make money somehow but selling upgraded weapons in a "free to play" game, won't bring a surge of gamers running to your game. if people prefer to do that, thats on them. but my gripe is how premium companies are twisting and changing the definition of free to play, hence why this post was posted
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:27PM CCon99 said

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They must be doing something right, every server even in off-peak hours still has a queue to get in game.
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 4:05PM Wisdomandlore said

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The only thing that is "Pay-to-Win" in LOTRO F2P are the store bought potions, which have no CD and are superior to in-game potions. Stat tomes are iffy, but they're available in-game, and anyone who understands how stats work in LOTRO will understand what a minuscule effect this actually has for a level 65 player. The other things you mentioned (XP, morale buffs, etc) have always been available in-game. You can buy them with Destiny Points, which many veterans have tons of.

Posted: Sep 16th 2010 10:27PM (Unverified) said

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Except the pots do have a cooldown. They were changed to have a 10s duration, 20s cooldown.
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:08PM (Unverified) said

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nicely said.

Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:09PM Svenn said

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I am against the idea of item shops in games, period. I can deal with a minor amount if they don't have drastic effects on gameplay.

What I don't understand though is how you can refer to buying content as "pay-to-win". Buying content is how these games should work. It's when you buy items, stat boosts, buffs, etc that it becomes crap. Buying content is like playing an episodic game where you buy the content as you go through it. You're not getting any real "advantage" over other players this way, other than access to more content. Not much different than buying an expansion really.

Posted: Sep 15th 2010 5:11PM shocktheshammy said

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Personally I look at buying content like the old days of paper and pen gaming where we would buy the individual modules for $5 or so (Tomb of Horrors still sits on my bookshelf). It is an awesome way for players to help keep the company rolling without a monthly commitment. Coupled with the fact that a developers are or soon will be offering point cards that you can buy retail it becomes even better for those of us who do not wish to give out our CC information. As for the potion buffs etc....it would be nice to see a game offer a title or some type of recognition to players that get to endgame with the use of these things. After spending $105 a month on 6 subs about a year ago it is pleasant to just spend my $15 to blizz and maybe spend $30-40 in cash shops on games that I WANT to play, rather than games I feel obligated to play because i subbed them that month (Im looking at you warhammer...time for you guys to give it up and join the revolution)\

Peace All.
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Posted: Sep 16th 2010 8:45AM Ocho said

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Sven, the point Beau's article is trying to make is that DDO and LotRO DO sell items, stat increases, buffs, and potions and thus ARE as close to "pay-to-win" as you can get.

Turbine also sells lots of content in their stores as well, but that is not seen as the "pay-to-win" aspect. In fact, if I buy anything from the store, thats the only stuff I'm buying is content (and account-wide stuff, like bag space, gold cap removal, etc.). I refuse to buy any item with real money that can be consumed. If the choice is potions in a game or a cheesesteak in real life, cheesesteak always wins.

"After spending $105 a month on 6 subs about a year ago it is pleasant to just spend my $15 to blizz and maybe spend $30-40 in cash shops on games that I WANT to play, rather than games I feel obligated to play "

Shock, I completely agree with you. THIS is what the f2p resurgence is about... not about end-game raiding, or player housing, or potions, or new zones, blah, blah, blah... its about the REAL hit on somebody's wallet and allowing people to be lifted from that obligation. With that obligation, I'd only play 1 MMO with a sub, and forsake every other game. That incurred major burnout from the one game, and I would give up after about a month or two. With F2P, knowing I'm not pushed by time anymore to play a game, I can enjoy it a lot more, and play multiple games.

And truly, if someone wants to pay for a set of uber-potions... let them. Who cares? Truly, I don't care how other people play a game and worry that I'm not playing it right. The only person I worry about when I game is myself. If somebody else trys demanding and forcing their playstyle on me, its a job at that point, and I leave and go elsewhere.
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Posted: Sep 19th 2010 6:22PM EngadgetSoFunny said

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Selling stat buffs = What the hell?

That's one of the reasons I quit LOTRO is becasue I had maxed my stats out before the cash shop arrived. I play a minstrel and with my equipment I have 650 fate, 650 will and the maximum tactical outgoing healing modifer possible. Basically, I CANNOT increase my healing output any more.

Until the level cap is increased. I have like 656 fate and 676 will but since there's hardcap of 650, the extra fate/will will do no good. So I started to tweak my character for items with more max morale/max power/vitality and less fate and brought it down close to 650/650 but now my vitality is almost maxed too. Really, the core-stats important to a healer (will/fate/power/morale) are already basically maxed and buying stats would serve no point. Already healing through the instances is a joke/super easy and there's not really any 'new' dungeons to run in Mirkwood(when I quit) and I had all the BG tokens I needed to upgrade my legendaries to lvl 70 which have all the best legacies, get all the +25 rad armor, etc.

I even leveled up crafting all the way just for the fourth relic slot bonus...etc

Frankly, there's not a whole lot to do for me in LOTRO. I started to do skirmishing a bit an upgraded every tier legacy to Tier 6 on my legacies but there was only a few that weren't already tier 6. After that, you just kind of are 'maxed' and need to roll a new char or move onto a new game with more content.

I moved back to wow and did the Lk citadel which I hadn't really touched since I left wow a month or two after Ulduaars release.

Anyways, point being there's gear good enough in the game ot MAX YOUR CORE STATS so STAT UPGRADES DO NOTHING. So ...stop whining about items that have no effect for anyone else novices?
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:16PM kjhasdfjkhk said

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I don't like how they did the stat boosts and mounts and stuff, that stuff should be free to everyone.

However, the name says it all. Free to PLAY. Can you PLAY the game without spending any money? Sure you can. Does that mean you'll have an amazing character and have access to every item and quest in the game? Nope, but you can still PLAY it.

Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:27PM (Unverified) said

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The thing that i've noticed with Turbine's shop is that damn near everything you can pay for with $$$ you can pay for with gold/gil/donkeydollars/silvermonkeys/etc.,. I have not seen one game that has a cash shop and not have 1 single item that you can not "pay to win." It would be very difficult to make a free-to-play game and have only non-game changing items in it and still make a profit.
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:19PM mastrgamr said

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@svennethir it's a matter of opinion on what you would call free-to-play. If you ask a true free to play gamer what they think about what Turbine is doing with "free to play" they'll laugh and say its pay to play in disguise (which it is) because there will always be players that will do (or pay) whatever it takes to 'win', and ruin other people's fun
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tl;dr extra:
sure they have to make money somehow but selling upgraded weapons in a "free to play" game, won't bring a surge of gamers running to your game. if people prefer to do that, thats on them. but my gripe is how premium companies are twisting and changing the definition of free to play, hence why this post was posted

Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:20PM Boruk said

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Um...unless the Lotro store changed while I am at work this morning...the only "buff" I know of are the +stat tomes you can buy.

No gear unless you mean cosmetics and then if that makes you win...go back to Hello Kitty Online...

No "hirelings"

nothing that makes you better than others at end game...nothing.

You also forgot to show that while it is probably faster to pay for points to get the things you need to progress (content), you CAN earn the points in game, albeit at a slower pace, to purchase all of this for FREE

this sounds a lot like the recent Keen rant on Lotro's change....

Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:36PM jimr9999us said

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I honestly saw no "rant" at all in Beau's column...simply observation over judgement. In fact, he encourages players who enjoy the game to spend some $.

If I read anything into it, it was (rightful) puzzlement over players who feel they should enjoy an immerse online experience 100% free of charge. AAA mmog's are entertainment's bleeding edge and cost enormous amounts of money to develop and maintain.

Those who feel a true quality f2p mmog are their birthright bewilder me as well.
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 3:39PM Tom L said

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I think you missed Beau's point, which is that the term 'pay-to-win' is idiotic. Anything that gives you an advantage in levelling/completing deeds/downing bosses is 'paying to win.' So, buying quest packs is 'pay to win' b/c you will have an advantage over the guy in leveling who didn't buy that quest pack and has to grind.

He's right, the term is beyond stupid. It pre-supposes that your fun is predicated on someone else's playing style. The only way that can happen is in PvP and both Lotr:O and DDO have minimal PvP, so neither game really applies.

Thanks for a good article, Beau. I would only add that so much of this negativity is based on a sense of entitlement some people have towards something that is not theirs. I'd like someone to tell me why it's not fair for me to spend my money to play a game I like simply b/c you can't or won't. By that argument, all those who sub (like me) are also 'paying-to-win' and that's just stupid.

Ta,
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Posted: Sep 15th 2010 5:48PM ilikain said

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I wish I could make Jim9999us's post glow, but I can only rank it up. Comment number 14, if this doesn't display in the proper place.
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Posted: Sep 16th 2010 12:59AM Its Utakata stupid said

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So you're saying Beau's article was being sarcastic instead of objective, Tom?

Ta,
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