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Reader Comments (14)

Posted: May 20th 2011 6:23PM Chris Atlas said

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I like the way Turbine implemented the store. As you said, it is rarely intrusive but it’s always there when you need it. Despite being a subscriber I have plumped down extra cash a number of times (usually on bonus points weekends).

Most of my acquisitions are storage related or cosmetic. Cosmetic gear seems perfectly suited to the store and I wish they produced more store exclusives (store exclusive skins for Creeps please!). The only cosmetic items I have baulked at are the horses. I loved the look of the Steed of Minas Ithil but $20 is just too much. Hopefully I will win one or they will bring it back at discount before mounted combat is introduced so that my Warden will have a proper jousting horse!

Posted: May 20th 2011 7:48PM JuliusSeizure said

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I haven't really played enough to purchase much from the store, but I agree pretty solidly with your assessment.

By the way, I'm curious if you've seen my LotRO CMA on the Massively forum, and if so if you've got any input.

Posted: May 20th 2011 8:21PM Wurm said

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I play Lotro as f2p and I have only bought stuff from the store when there was a discount for it. I have spent most points on quest packs. I bought two more character slots, so I potentially can craft everything with 4 characters. I got a bit surprised when I needed to buy next level in crafting guild reputation.

Posted: May 20th 2011 9:30PM Shazzie said

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I'm a Lifer, so none of the purchases are 'necessary' for me, and my purchases reflect that.

I've purchased a second milestone for one character, and more of my girls will likely get it as time goes on (having a permanent 21st Hall port is very handy, just like you said). I've purchased almost all the shared storage possible, a few wardrobe upgrades, and I've purchased one store-only character vault upgrade for the one with the worst storage issues. I've bought an extra LI slot on two characters, and I'll likely purchase more. I've purchased a couple deed accelerators, and one cloak.

I'd love to get the Steed of Night, as it's all good things a mount should be: a gorgeous max speed horse without that stupidly ridiculous banner. However, I am not about to blow that many points on something, even if I have thousands of unspent points that I got simply by being a Lifetimer, without spending any further money. Just thinking about it being worth ~$25 in TP makes me choke. I'll just keep riding one of my non-max speed non-bannered horses (or one of the max speed stupidly bannered ones I got for free via deeds, if I desperately need that extra 6% run speed).

Everything I've spent points on, I considered it worth it before spending (a requirement prior to doing so), and after spending. In general, I prefer to get stuff in-game whenever possible, but I haven't minded dipping into the store for what I've gotten so far.

Posted: May 20th 2011 10:44PM jastani said

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I agree about the idea of beefing up the store with cosmetics. That somehow makes sense to me.

I pick up the deed enhancers once in a while when I know I'm about to hit the slayer deeds. But because they're time-based, I really only use them on low level mobs that can be downed with one or two hits. Same with the skill enhancers. Obviously, they're best used on skills with quick cooldowns.

What I still don't understand is Turbine's move to allow players to buy their virtues. Yes, the slayer deeds for the most part are freakin' unnecessary tedious grinds, but shouldn't the solution have been to just lower the killcount requirements? Checking out how a player managed their virtues levels used to one of a few indicators of their benefits to a group, as well as getting a little peek into how focused they were with their character. That's now unfortunately gone.

To me, it seems Turbine opted to take the money-grubbing route, knowing that they'd make a profit by selling traits and enhancers.

Don't even get me started on the stat tomes. Those should have been placed in the grind/bartering class, instead of simply allowing players to buy them without any real effort.

Posted: May 21st 2011 6:17AM elliotrock said

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@jastani

Purchasing power-ups is exceptional important for cash shops, simply the purpose is to fund the game you and I play for free.

That 1% of the population that do spend big on assets like the Stat tomes hardly throw the balance out and some times these players have very little time to play. Allowing them to be on an even playing field without getting deep into the fine tuning of playing a rpg game as deep as Lotr is a good thing.

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Posted: May 20th 2011 10:53PM DarkWalker said

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In my case, account-wide content before character bound content in almost all cases. Within those confines, whatever is on sale first, except if I need a new quest pack to progress all my characters (i.e., I don't have a lower level alt to fall back).

Anything character-bound is only bought if I'm quite sure I'll never delete that character.

Although, for now (and after noticing I'd lost Undying on all my previous characters), I'm taking it slow. I deleted all my old characters save for one, and I'm using it to farm for trophies to turn for tasks with my new characters. I will only return to playing seriously again on characters that are already Undying and Hot Stuff (and as soon as the first one is ready, the old one that's currently fetching the trophies will be deleted and redone; the most irritating thing is, I will probably never use the Undying title, but I can't bring myself to play characters I know I failed in a way that can't be recovered from). It does mean that I have accumulated TP from doing the starter zone about half a dozen times each, though.

BTW, how does bought cosmetic items work? Are they just normal items delivered to the character? Can they be put in the wardrobe, and do they occupy space there? May we get another copy if we delete the original one, or do it need to be bought again? If they work like permanent, account-bound items, I will certainly start looking towards buying them, but if they are merely character-bound items that can be lost or deleted, I don't think I will buy any.

Posted: May 21st 2011 1:14AM cowboyhugbees said

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@DarkWalker Once you buy a cosmetic item (or any item for that matter), you can equip it on an "outfit tab". Once it has been equipped, you can move it out of your inventory and into your "wardrobe" (the same place as your vault). That way, you can wear the item without taking up space in your inventory.

What's cool is that the wardrobe remembers every color you dyed your cosmetic too, so if you want to wear a Ranger Green shoulder guard instead of a Crimson shoulder guard, all you need to do is select the color in the wardrobe.
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Posted: May 21st 2011 10:32AM markt50 said

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I've purchased nothing, and never will unless they put a future expansion on there that I can't purchase with real money. I've got nearly 10,000 points sat on my account and I hope I never find the need to spend them. Well I guess thats the conundrum really because if they ever tweaked the game to the point where I felt I had to start purchasing things to play, well I'd just stop playing anyway lol.

The only sale registered to my account was for a cosmetic cloak which my Niece purchased while my back was turned, she got a swift slap for that I can tell you (Not really, I love my Niece, I just need to educate her to the evil ways of mmo cash shops).

Posted: May 21st 2011 11:11AM JuliusSeizure said

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@markt50

But... if you have the points anyway, how is it evil to spend them? Don't start on some slippery slope nonsense, that's a logical fallacy. If you can set a limit on yourself not to do it at all, you can set a limit that stops you short of spending real money on more fake money.
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Posted: May 21st 2011 11:39AM Abriael said

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Personally the way the store is set up is what made me pull out of LOTRO. Too many parts of the game have to be purchased, and while I understand that Turbine needs to turn a profit, there are plenty profitable Free to Play MMORPGs out there that turn plenty profits without being THAT invasive with the cash shop.

For the moment I'll stick with Forsaken World as my F2P choice. Much less invasive cash shop, and better quality/content overall. Win/Win.

In any case a LOTR game that doesn't feature rohan/minas tirith/isengard and so forth simply started flawed to begin with.

Posted: May 21st 2011 3:37PM Budukahn said

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As a VIP player, for me the problem is that so many of the things in the store are just flat out over priced, to the point that they're never tempting at all. Particularly buffs and quality of life upgrades are atrociously guilty of this.

I could easily be tempted to spend points on things, and buy more points if I felt I was getting value for my purchases. A one off fast travel journey for £1 a shot isn't value. I'd rather buy a jar of coffee for less than that and go make it while I wait for my horse to make it's way round Middle Earth the normal way.


Posted: May 21st 2011 10:53PM Nerves said

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I must run in difference circles, because everyone I play with uses the stat tomes. I have anywhere from 10-20 of them on each of my 3 mains. I have made a single 20 purchase of TP when stat tomes went on sale, but that's it. Cosmetics are something that I feel that should reflect some achievement - like using the pvp set as cosmetic.

Posted: Jun 1st 2011 3:49PM maevel said

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I'm certain the virtue grinds are intentional. I'm VIP, and also bought some points during one of the sales, and I'm probably going to end up topping off the last rank or two of a few of one of my toon's virtues, just like Turbine wants me to (only one toon gets to spend points, that's my rule).

The decision came after four hours in a group in the Lone-lands to find 80 bog-lurkers - only 190 left to go! - and a few other grinds that are on a par, many that I did manage to complete, but don't fancy doing another several weeks of. I know it doesn't sound as bad as some of the 450+ grinds, but when you've got four people and that's all you get in an entire evening of play-time...it could've been bad luck on our part, maybe someone else had recently been through and not enough mobs had respawned, but somehow I doubt that.

Ironically, I have full ranks of some virtues I can't use, because those come mostly of questing and exploring. Charity, anyone, or compassion? They're good for some classes, just not for mine, and I'm sure every class has at least three or four grind-intensive virtues, or in my case - five. I feel awful for the people who have six or seven - there are times, especially for certain fights, when you need to re-trait.

Even the deed accelerator tomes don't help much in the case of few-and-far-between mobs, unless, of course, you buy multiples for the same grind. But mindlessly grinding the same mob for hours isn't what I want to do when I'm playing. I don't get any sense of achievement out of having killed a million mobs to get a full rank of virtues. I just wish I could've done something with my game time besides grind a million mobs.

I do enjoy the non-grind aspects of the game and the lore, which of course is why I'm still playing, which I think is something Turbine banks on - those of us old enough to have an income and limited play-time not wanting to spend all our time killing the same monster over and over to advance our characters.

Customer support is non-existent, and it all drives people to the store. A couple of weeks ago, my soldier was auto-dismissed during a skirmish because I dinged a level and the message was that you aren't supposed to play with an under-levelled soldier. This is new and worrying, I thought.

After I finished the skirm I levelled up my soldier a bit - got a general error message as it took out the requisite skirmish marks from my account - twice over. Tried a help ticket. They said report a bug. I did, but I've yet to have a response on any kind of bug ticket, including that one to date. My cynical prediction to my kinmates was that soon we'd see a store-only scroll that refunds the skirmish marks you spend on levelling up your soldier. I was not happy when I logged in a couple of days ago and saw exactly that.

That aspect of the store I dislike intensely but like so many folks who can't play all day every day, I've bought into it. Under normal circumstances, I'm happily a paying customer for things like cosmetics, extra wardrobe space and shared storage. When it comes to game advantages, I'm not so keen, yet I'm doing it now.

I know Turbine/TW could make a fine profit by keeping the store cosmetics-only, and now we find not only virtues and stat tomes, but some of the best legendary relics for some classes (me again, and that one I won't do) as store-only items. And let's not think about the LI grind.

It's a good game, on balance. Why not give crafters a bit of beefing-up so that we can craft some of these relics? Cut down the grinds. Let scholars make a potion that cures everything so that the cure-all potion in the store won't be so tempting because it saves you four bag spaces, or those morale and power pots on a separate timer to the reguar ones. What's the point of having crafts in-game if the store is going to out-do all of them?

Almost all of us are cosmetics freaks and the wardrobe is a stroke of genius. That, storage, wardrobe storage and extra outfit slots, shared storage, and other truly 'fluff and convenience' items would more than keep the store afloat and highly profitable. This 'buy your way through the game because we've made it so grindy that all you'll do is grind to keep up if you can't play all the time' is not a good move. I expect it will hit a point when I quit in disgust if it keeps going this way - just I'm not to that point yet. And that's what Turbine is counting on - how much will most of us accept and still stick around, even though we don't like it?

It hasn't completely ruined the game for me yet. But I suspect a lot of people feel the same way I do.

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