| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (84)

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:10PM pancho72 said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
I don't think 'advantage' is the right term to use for a low-level PvE context. In a highly competive raid environment, or in PvP selling advantage can be a real problem though.

But selling 'convenience' is just as bad. If there is a market for convenience that probably means part of the game isn't as good as it should be, and a cash shop can end up being an excuse for not fixing things properly. The scary part is that some developers probably leave their game in a state that creates a bigger demand for convenience, for instance by designing excessive grinds that is only practical to pass with convenience items. It's a creepy way to design games. I don't think Turbine deliberately does that, but their cash shop can turn out to be very damaging in the long term, if they keep up the strategy they have used so far.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:15PM Poordevil said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
If cash shops can make a profit selling power gear eventually they will all be doing it. It is the price we pay for games going FtP.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:16PM Wisdomandlore said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
Even as a long time Turbine supporter, I see this as a way for Turbine to chip away at the "selling convenience, not advantage" statement. First they sell lower level gear, arguing it's about supplying newer players with gear for their levels. Next they offer level cap and raid gear, because "the demand for gear at lower levels told us that players wanted gear at all levels." Just make it seem like the players wanted it.

A more logical solution would have been to revamp crafting and itemization. Reduce the importance of BOA instance/raid items. Introduce "incomparable" crafted items that can compete. Then reduce the grind of crafting at all levels, to make it profitable for people to both level crafting, and craft crit gear at lower levels. That actually would have added to gameplay.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:13PM smartstep said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Wisdomandlore

Thing is , first priority for a company is making money.

In P2P or B2P without cash shop, making quality game = more money.

In games with cash shop, especially F2P and freemium games cause those have biggest cash shops , making people use cash shop as much as possible = more money.
Quality is secondary as long as people still play & pay.
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:17PM Saker said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Pay-to-win, wallet-warriors are the absolute bane and doom of ftp. or "freemium" (whatever terms used). A step down that road to the darkside, forever will it cloud your destiny!

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:22PM (Unverified) said

  • Half a heart
  • Report
If it keeps the game running, I don't care.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:50PM Brianna Royce said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified) There are days when I adopt this motto, especially for games that appear to be in rocky waters. I didn't raise a fuss over, say, the virtual microtransactions in the SWG card game because I knew it was helping to keep SWG alive (at the time). It was shady and underhanded and lame, but it kept my game running.

Is Turbine in such a position, though? Last year, the company was bragging about how much its revenues had increased over what they'd been before the game went F2P. I don't think we're looking at desperate measures to save a dying game. I think this is just a moneygrab. A perfectly legitimate and legal moneygrab, but it further taints the game for me.

-Bree
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 9:58PM Cyroselle said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Brianna Royce That's what I was wondering. Is Turbine really doing this badly? Were they just padding the numbers or simply using bravado last year? This really gives them a negative strike for credibility in my book.
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:23PM vtravi said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Once you go Ftp you already sold your soul to the devil. Theree are so many problems with the Ftp system (not just lotro but the idea as a whole). Lotro was my all time favorite game until SoM and that was about the time they started switching to ftp, it is no coincidence that the quality of the game nose dived at the same time. Lotro is now dead to me.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 1:03PM SgtBaker1234556 said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
@vtravi

You do know "FTP" stands for File Transfer Protocol?
I believe the widely accepted acronym for "Free-To-Play" is F2P
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free-to-play
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 4:32PM Utakata said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@SgtBaker1234556

...well you are transferring your money so they can file it under theirs everytime you hit their cash hops.
Reply

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 5:12PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@vtravi

LOTRO would not be here today, if not F2P. So the choice shouldn't be... 'subscription vs F2P', its "F2P vs closing shop".

Also, would like to point out that lots of other games managed a F2P environment. World of Tanks is purely based on F2P and manages to handle balance quite well for example.
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:28PM Uthink said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
OK What do you see is the difference between selling "boosts and buffs" (which you seem fine with) and selling stat armor? Both give the rich a unfair advantage. The game play is what is important. So certain players have no problem with games that sell boosts and stat gear. There is plenty of choice in the mmo world.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 1:33PM Plastic said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@Uthink

You're right, there is little difference, and although the community did put up a fuss when their implementation was announced, it was definitely ignored by the gaming media as a whole.

However, I think the main difference with this announcement is that whereas before one could argue that Turbine was merely playing fast and loose with their interpretation of earlier promises, this current announcement of statted armor is a simple flat-out rejection of said promise.

I think people are finally waking up to the fact that NOTHING is off the table for Turbine in terms of store items. Gambling, power, etc. Turbine has demonstrated that it is willing to trounce through the pits of monetization as deep and as dirty as any of the sleaziest Asian F2P fly-by-night cash grabs we've all grown to hate.

It's a sad realization of a company that many championed as the best example of the hybrid model, and the last hold-out of a non-advantage cash shop.
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 2:48PM aurickle said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Uthink
In LotRO's case it's not really giving the rich an unfair advantage due to the fact that you also earn TP just from playing the game. You don't have to pay one real-world dime to buy anything that is available in the store. A little time and effort are required, but not money.

In fact, due to that point even raid-quality gear through the store would still not truly be an advantage. Today you have to earn that gear in-game via time and effort raiding. If the same type of gear was in the store, you would also be able to earn that gear in-game via time and effort earning TP. In both cases it is earned. Money then becomes a shortcut but not a true advantage.

That being said, I still wouldn't be happy if Turbine did this. As long as the quality of your raid gear effectively gates your access to the more challenging raids it would be a mistake to offer such gear via any method other than raiding. Otherwise you're giving people the gear to get into those higher raids without the actual skill that comes with practice raiding.
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 3:53PM Uthink said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@aurickle I agree. That stat armor gives no unfair advantage. I was just trying to point this out to the author. That his point that stat gear is somehow "Pay to Win" but Boost and Buffs are somehow different. Turbine should be allowed to do what is wants. Its your choice to play the game or not.
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:29PM chum said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I'd like to see one these feedbacks with someone saying they'd like an alternative due to the sparcity of lower level gear in the AH. Quest gear is fine at these levels, this is them simply testing the waters with lower level stuff in order to prep us for the inevitable mid level and then higher level gear. I've had a lifetime since launch and while I've always thought their CS was pretty terrible at least they seemed to be a dev with integrity even after f2p. Sad to see what they've become.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 3:51PM Onyx Soulbane said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@chum There is no shortage of gear on the AH, and this stat armor is better than lvl 25 barrows armor, and is comparable to lvl 28 critted crafted armor. It is also account wide meaning you can trade it around between toons if you have shared bank space. This is way beyond convenience, and is way over the advantage line. Crafting is a mess in lotro, very time consuming, tier 7 is a joke, mat's are rep gated, and i am sure i know why.

At some point they will throw armors in the store all the way to cap, i see no other reason for tier 7 mats to be rep gated, along with the recipes to craft anything at tier 7, and the stats between old cap at 65 to 75 now are pathetic, with most 75 armors/weps/jewelry/anything being a useless waste of time to even attempt to craft, let alone actually wear.

Sapience's response of responding to complaints from players about no low level armors on the AH was no doudt a hasty response with no forthought of what was about to happen on the forums that day, i know, i was there. Dont know if he was told to say that or did it on his own, but that was the biggest lie i have even seen. And since then, threads and posts mysteriously dissappear regularly, and that thread got slammed down to a forum buried so deep most people dont even know of it;s existance, nor see it. They are neck deep into damage control, and everything i see is what CCP did with EVE a few years ago. I know about that, i was there too. We all know the story of EVE i am sure.

Now the sock puppets and the fanbois troll anyone who is very vocal as of late(myself included), and several including myself have recieved a few infractions/warnings on their forums, just like CCP did a few years back. It's ok though sap/cel, i can make several new emails/f2p accounts to post my displeasure with Turbine daily, and i can live behind proxy's all day everday. This aint my first rodeo kids, been through this with CCP.
Reply

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:36PM happyfish said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
For me playing Lotro began to feel a lot like flying. Fundamentally we all get to the same place, but depending on how we pay, the experience is radically different (shorter security, boarding first, more leg room etc). Anyone who has ever flown with some with executive perks know what I am talking about. Yes Lotro is playable without using TP (haha) but IMO the gaming experience is diminished by not buying the buffs and stats the store offers. Why would you run around doing 5% less DPS when you can by a stack of boosts for a couple hundred points? I just want to log in a kill some orcs without being bombared with ads and links to buying something in the store in every window and that is something the game doesnt do for me anymore.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 12:53PM Brianna Royce said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@happyfish Awesome metaphor. Yeah, you can fly coach and suffer three layovers with no meals if you value money over time and comfort. But if you value comfort and time over money, you can pay through the nose for upgrades to your flying experience.
Reply

Featured Stories

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW