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Reader Comments (58)

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:33AM JaySpeed said

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@Graill440

What would you like them to call it?

Free to log in?
Free to play some of the content but not everything is free so expect to pay eventually?
Free to quest to level 30 but then you have to buy quest packs or grind mobs to level 65?

Those wouldn't sound too good as a marketing tag line. LOL

I like the free to play model. It offers options. You can play some of the game for free and pay for the content you want when you want it. Or you can pay a sub fee like a traditional MMO and play all content. It gives an option for casual players to get into the game and hardcore players to play as much as they want. Makes sense to me.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 5:57PM Utakata said

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@JaySpeed

Drop the "Free" and we have a winner.

It's only free if all the content is provided with the game company asking you to support it thew a PayPal donation which is optional. If you have to pay for anything, it is no longer free.

This is not an arguement whether the model is bad or good, or even right or wrong, it's just its branding of the model is misleading. And as I stated already, reeks of doublespeak.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:21PM JaySpeed said

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@Utakata

It is completely free to log in. It's a different pricing model than something like Guild Wars though. Guild Wars is free to play once you buy the game discs. LOTRO has no game discs but some content is locked unless you pay. Technically neither game is truely free to play if you consider it costs some money to experience every piece of content available.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 7:21AM Jade Effect said

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LoTRO is not free, even if you get turbine points through deed grind. Just because you don't pay money doesn't mean it's free. You're spending time, which is a finite resource.

Well, it's free if your time is worthless.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 7:42AM Ehra said

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@Jade Effect Are you serious? If you're going to say something like that then nothing in the world is "free" because you have to waste time and energy to get it.

"X band is putting on a free concert? But that's not free, I'd have to drive there, using up gas, and then I'd have to watch the show!"

Turbine isn't the one who's misusing the word "free."
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:52AM ScottishViking said

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@Jade Effect

As Ehra says, you can't exactly measure the "price" of a game in opportunity cost, which is what you are describing. So this is hardly a criticism of the freemium/F2P model.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 10:07AM Galahad said

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LOTRO so called hybrid model with upcoming update simply looks like regular F2P title with cash shop. Sure You can play for free, like in every decent F2P, but to have a good experience You'll have to spend real cash.

Subscription, while offering some quest packs(but not all) and stuff like more bank/bag slots still doesn't give You any real edge if You don't use cash shop. +50 to every stat, special mounts, exp boost, craft boost, perfect weapon scrolls, gem removal scrolls, special potions that makes some raid fights much easier(LT + power pots?). They call it "convenience", just like You see "convenience" stuff in Your regular F2P cash shop. It's just that's purely PvE MMO which hides it, till You invested time and money...

Turbine defenders will say it's not so bad, but mind cash shop is only what 6-7 months? Wait few years and You'll see...

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 11:38AM Lenn said

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@Galahad People were doing fine before the cash shop, and they're doing fine now. Content has not been made harder to force people to buy stat boosts or weapon scrolls.

Only the true hardcore min/maxers will feel they are forced to spend money in the LotRO store. All the others are just having fun playing and not worrying whether their morale is 100 lower or higher than that guy over there.

As for special mounts: the one special mount was cosmetic only. There are mounts that are equally fast and unique obtainable by playing the game.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 1:18PM Ehra said

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@Galahad The stat tomes don't matter because everyone caps out their primary stats anyway. The mounts are no better than what can be easily earned ingame. Leveling is ridiculously easy, and they're even going back and making the Moria epic quests completely soloable; acting like xp boosts are some huge advantage doesn't make sense.

The crafting stuff only makes leveling your craft take less time, which isn't particularly long anyway. It's basically there to help people who don't feel like buying or gathering materials.

There's no way I could see someone going through LOTRO without buying any "convenience" items who then thinks the game is some huge grind that you need to spend money on to succeed in. Not if they enjoy other MMOs, because even without touching the shop the game is easy. The only time I can agree that is in any way necessary from the shop is unlocking new zones.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 1:29PM Galahad said

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@Lenn
The very same thing can be said about all F2P titles that aren't focused on PvP. For example Runes of Magic is quite successful in EU. Yet they don't charge subscription and call it "hybrid" model. As simple as that. Again it's been only 6-7 month and You say it's already must have only for hardcore, but I call it thin red line. For me if one pays sub then no matter hardcore or not he shouldn't be forced to use cash shop.

Paying in Aion, WoW, Rift or any sub based game doesn't cost You extra for being min-maxer or hardcore(You sound like they're some kinda of subpar players). Playing F2P titles don't cost You sub on the other hand. So hybrid is just paying more for then in P2P and F2P?

Also Cheers for all peeps that downvote because I'm having different opinion...
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 1:53PM Galahad said

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@Ehra
@Ehra
Sure You can put everything the way it's no big deal. It'll work that way with any other decent F2P on market. It's not like in titles like said Runes of Magic You can't play for free and deal with some minor inconveniences. It's what cash shops are about. Like what for do You need best piece of crafted/raid armour when You can wear lvl 1 shirt. It's just some stats, who needs those. Stat tomes are like directly sold extra pieces of gear.

It's not about if something is easy or not. It's about having two offers poor man and rich man. It's better to have best potions or remove relics or have +50 to stat than not. It's better to skip 1 week of grinding perfect weapon and focus on other stuff one can enjoy like raiding with friends. Grinding mobs to lvl up or buying a quest pack. Don't get me wrong one should pay for MMO entertainment either with subscription or by using cash shop. But I call so called hybrid model shenanigans. It's straightforward F2P with sub on top. Aka the more You pay the better experience You have.
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 9:54PM DiscoJer said

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@Lenn

Well, yeah, that's because there hasn't been any content added since F2P hit, except Enedwaith, which is one small area.

And let me add that my 65 Champ has less morale than the standard mobs in Enedwaith. Yet not only am I supposed to be able to take on two or more of those at once to do the Epic quests (which are supposed to be solo), there are quests where I need to take out special mobs that literally have triple (or 10,000) more morale than I do
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Posted: Mar 13th 2011 12:45PM WriterGuy said

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Looks like Turbine evaded the "rich player would buy the best toys and dominate the poorer player" issue only by having PvP completely separated from the rest of the game.

Games that embrace PvP won't have that evasion option.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 2:21PM (Unverified) said

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I hate the pay as you go model. Nothing is free to play. I've tried these games and the costs are always greater than a flat fee. Plus it introduces real life economics into a virtual world. This is the worst trend in the market and will hurt more than it helps this industry.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 6:20PM (Unverified) said

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Tacking a cash shop onto an existing game is one thing, but as F2P becomes the norm we're going to see more and more games designed from the ground up to support this model.

This means developers and publishers using ever more sophisticated metrics to measure exactly who is spending, how much, and on what. The game design will then be tweaked accordingly to maximise the revenues.

It was bad enough when developers were criticised for using negative and positive reinforcement to keep people playing their games. Now these techniques will be employed to milk you for as much cash as possible in the shortest time.

Paiz may talk about "Quality gameplay and engagement" but ultimately a successful F2P game is just a fancy looking slot machine.

Posted: Mar 13th 2011 8:16PM wondersmith said

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LotRO is close enough to free for me. I paid just $9.09 for the Mines of Moria expansion from Amazon, and have earned enough Turbine Points by playing the game to get everything else I need, including ALL content.

Yes, it took a lot of playing. Emphasis on PLAYING. I had a ton of fun doing it, and having fun is what MMOs are all about.

Posted: Mar 14th 2011 11:05AM (Unverified) said

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I think one crucial element here that's missing is that all F2P games are certainly not created equal, and because LotRO started life as a P2P game, and a pretty darn good one at that, it's got a lot going for it that DDO doesn't, and leaves every other freemium game I've ever tried in the dust. A lot of what helps is the source material, of course, but LotRO has some really amazing quest lines and a world that feels huge without being overwhelming.

I like that the cash store option gives me the chance to decide when I want to adjust my time/money slider to get through a part of the game that is less enjoyable to me, and can give me a bit of an edge when I feel like paying for it. But when I don't, I can just hop on and do a few quests. It's not a matter of how much money I've paid, but what I got for the money I did pay, so simply saying that I've paid more or less for a game isn't all that useful.

No matter how much money I spend on WoW, for instance, I'm just getting subscription time, minipets and a mount. I can't decide to double up my XP or accelerate my deeds for a few hours on a weekend where I have extra time, or boost my stats or open up a new zone when I'm ready to tackle new content. I'm not arguing which model is superior, because they've both got their pros and cons, but you can't measure the cost to the player the same.

Posted: Mar 14th 2011 6:12PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
I think you can technically double up your XP because you can pay to Recruit a Friend and grant free levels, up to 60. Is that right?
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