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Reader Comments (197)

Posted: Aug 30th 2011 12:01PM OutThere said

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@Nerves

Yup. After promising and promising they wouldn't. Now they are designing the game around the store. The most recent is the need to purchase a scroll from the store to safely remove relics from legendaries, when before it was perfectly free. Now that Turbine is owned by a corporation that must feed its shareholders, I expect LoTRO to continue to degrade as an enjoyable gaming experience.

In years past, I looked at cash shops as a way for a small or under-financed developer to keep its game open and its fans happy, who, I supposed would be willing to support it through the cash shop. Now I see cash shops as a corporate profit center. As such, there are no bounds, no promises, no lines they will not break or cross. I believe the term is "all that the market will bear".
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 2:29PM Nerves said

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@OutThere
Wait until you see the changes to monster play. You'll be downright sickened.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 2:33PM (Unverified) said

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@happyfish @Nerves

You know you can always raise your stats the old-fashioned way that people have been doing since the game started and it doesn't cost a dime extra. In fact, F2P people can do it too without spending any money at all. You both act as though the LOTRO Store offers things to improve your characters' skills/stats that aren't available anywhere else.

IMO, LOTRO transitioned very nicely into a Hybrid sub/f2p model with microtransactions. You can subscribe for $9.99 - $14.99/mo (depending upon your subscription plan) and actually get 500 Turbine points a moth to boot, or you can go the subscription-free route and choose to use or not use the store at your discretion. I dropped down from VIP to Premium so I don't pay monthly anymore, yet I am still able to enjoy the game fully. Upon the release of the Rise of Isengard, the only remaining part of the game not accessible to me (PvMP) will be available to all players, regardless of subscription choice.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 2:35PM (Unverified) said

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@OutThere

Are you sure there isn't a way to earn that scroll through skirmish points? Or barter tokens from dungeons?
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 3:17PM Ehra said

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@happyfish

"My favorite part of "convenience" not "advantage" is those stupid maps that drop just to show that everything in the store can be gotten in game, except stuff you want, like stat tomes and relic scrolls. "

You know, for how much people love to complain about how LOTRO's shop is pay-to win, people sure don't seem to have much idea about what's actually exclusive to the shop and what isn't.

Relic scrolls and stat tomes can both be earned ingame.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 3:37PM Nerves said

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@Ehra
Relic scrolls absolutely cannot be earned in game, and although I've run hundreds of instances since ftp launch , I have seen all of 2 drop. 2.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 4:23PM Ehra said

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@Nerves

My bad, I was thinking of something else with the relic scrolls.

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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 7:38PM Masync9 said

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@OutThere "All the market will bear" - so true. The dinner bell is ringing and the money monsters are all running around demanding their share...

I hope at some point the pendulum will eventually swing the other way back to common sense again.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 9:13AM Laurs said

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Regardless of the sub+cash shop thing, at this moment in time, you pretty much have to be crazy either way, if you ever plan on buying / playing anything released by Funcom again. I mean, how much do they need to fail before people stop giving money to them?

Posted: Aug 30th 2011 9:16AM slickie said

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What makes the whole The Secret World cash shop even worse is that it's painfully obvious that the game is going to go Free To Play within a year and a half at most.

Instead of rewarding the game's early adopters who will form the foundation of the game population and keep it from being a failure right at launch, Funcom is punishing them.

If TSW's cash shop is completely free of gameplay-affecting items, I'll eat my hat. It's going to be full of items that speed up your leveling and health regeneration at first, and soon it will feature items that require a massive ingame grind to earn - unless you pony up $20, in which case you can have it right when you want it.

Posted: Aug 30th 2011 7:18PM (Unverified) said

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@slickie

"Instead of rewarding the game's early adopters who will form the foundation of the game population and keep it from being a failure right at launch, Funcom is punishing them. "

How do you know that they WON'T reward early adopters if/when TSW goes F2P?
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 7:56PM slickie said

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@(Unverified) I can't predict the future, no one can, so when we speculate we have to draw upon past observations. Otherwise there's no point to talking about things that haven't yet happened.

Few games reward their veteran players substantially when they switch to Free to Play. Usually it's in the form of a unique cosmetic item or two. The developer may allow the player to enter F2P with a 'premium' account which is halfway between a completely free player and a VIP player who continues paying $15 monthly.

In the end, such rewards are trivial in the face of the game-corrupting force that is the cash shop. Whether you pay your $15 a month before or after The Secret World goes Free to Play, your access to the game is still incomplete. You'll have to spend more money if you want more cosmetic variety or access to powerful consumable items.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 9:19AM PrimeSynergy said

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"Where am I going with this line of thought? If the cash shop plus sub model truly bothers you, stop supporting the games that feature it (and yes, that unfortunately means the majority of new AAA MMORPGs). A lot of you are supporting these games despite bitching on forums about how they suck, elsewise we wouldn't be seeing this business model take over."

My problem exactly.

It's the same problem console game have with dlc. People say they don't like it, but they'll turn around and support it without a second thought. Vote with your wallets people. Say anything you want on forums, but all companies care about is the money you do or do not give them at the end of the day.

Posted: Aug 30th 2011 10:50AM SnarlingWolf said

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@PrimeSynergy

Sadly all it takes is 1/10th of the people who hate micro-transactions and DLC to spend 10 times as much to make it all worth it. That is what is happening.

For every 10 of us that say how much we dislike stores/DLC and DO NOT EVER PAY FOR IT (I have not bought a single store item in any game. The only DLC I've ever bought were Halo2 map packs because they evily made you have to buy them to keep playing online matches), it simply takes 1 guy to go out and spend $100 each month on crap. There are people doing that and it is ruining it for everyone.

Eventually I am hoping companies will realize there is a market for the ridiculous pay for every last little thing model and there is a separate market for the "I want it all in a sub" market and will start developing both types of games independent of one another.

Hopefully that day is soon because I can't remember the last time I bought a game that wasn't some $5 indie title on steam. It's been a long long time and I'm ready to give an MMO company a year's worth of subscription for a good game.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 8:01PM (Unverified) said

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@PrimeSynergy

I hate DLC, too. I remember the days when you bought a computer game and it was complete. Then game sequels came. Then game expansions came. Now the thing is DLC. That's why I wait until they stop making DLC for a game and include it with the original game at a reduced price. Sega did this with Empire: Total War. Sure, I had to wait a while, but I have friends and plenty of other games, movies, TV shows, and books to keep me occupied.
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Posted: Aug 31st 2011 5:29AM (Unverified) said

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@PrimeSynergy

As far as consoles are concern, I don't have a problem with it because it extends the game. I brought most of Mass Effect DLC and have zero regret.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 9:20AM Paradigm68 said

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The problem with the 'its not required' argument is that it fails to take into account that nothing is required. Its a game. Pay nothing and walk away. You don't require gear, you want it. Keep your subpar weapons and armor, winning battles or completing quests isn't required, its just what people want.

As far as the items that are for sale,what is key is that these items are desired. Some people will scoff and say who desires that vanity stuff? It should be obvious: These companies aren't selling stuff no one wants. There is no money in that. To charge a sub but then offer the items people want for extra is a rip-off. Period.

Posted: Aug 30th 2011 9:20AM Wispur said

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The part of this post that stung me the most because I've noticed it quite vividly in all the MMO's I've been playing lately are the comments on how the genre has devolved.
I absolutely agree that most MMO's nowdays aren't worth the 15$ a month I used to pay. Let alone add a shop on top of that.
Gone are features like non-human/elf/orc races, gone are housing, gone are armour dyes, gone are non-instanced dungeons, gone are unique leveling systems (Asheron's Call). So much has been stripped out, but yet they still want me to pay them the same amount or more?
I hate it.

Posted: Aug 30th 2011 10:16AM Amusednow said

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@Wispur Sadly games like Asheron won't be seen again as it required people to think their builds out with skills, learn their spell taper rotations, walk or portal tie to dungeons, actually interact with their world with terrain spawns and respawns, scan vendors for junk people might accidentally sell off, have actual fun doing corpse runs for your death items and now what are seemingly dirty words grind and farm. Nothing was more satisfying than to head into a olthoi, lugian, tusker, reaver area grouped with a couple of friends and just buzz through waiting on the respawns. Obsidian plain clearing group? Caldera(think that was it) up and down the valleys of it was certainly fun. Spending a couple hours just grinding to see what gear would drop was the norm since loot tables weren't random not the junk of fixed WoW style. Enjoying quests like the Atlan firestone dungeon in crater that would kill your fps with all the fire sprites going off at first? No won't see that anymore as it is now raid systems handing you everything on a plate. Way off tangent but the last thing that made Asherons great, in combat self healing as long as you had enough supplies you could keep going and going.
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Posted: Aug 30th 2011 10:53AM SnarlingWolf said

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@Amusednow

Well it is still running. Send the MMO world a message and sub to the game it is only $12.95 a month.

If their subs start going up and they spread that good news, maybe companies will take notice.
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