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Reader Comments (84)

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 3:04PM Softserve said

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@Dunraven Listen, you can believe what you want... but this notion that it only bothers people who are obsessed with the value of pixels is ridiculous. Just jumping around the various blogs (many of which are casual at best) says otherwise.

There are a lot of people who enjoy this game and have pumped decent amount of money into it over the years. Some, like me, don't raid enough for it to even be on our radars. I'd be considered more near the casual end of the spectrum -- this is the ONLY MMO I play often enough to matter. And even then it's maybe once or twice a week, if that.

The fact is they said they weren't going to do this and now they are. There are a lot of balance things to consider. But beyond this, I put money in this game under their own promise that the game would not go this route. Should I not be bothered by that?

When's the next level of this going to happen? After I blow another wad of cash on this game?

I'm just not pleased. It has little to do with how good this gear is or isn't.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 1:07PM OutThere said

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From the article: More recently, Adam Mersky said, "This is us coming up with solutions to problems players are reporting to us. We're trying to create solutions for players."

I nearly fell off my chair when I read this. As though Turbine were so attentive to the mewlings of their players that they whipped on their capes and flew to the rescue! Tell that to the Wardens! Unfortunately, you have hit the nail on the head, and it is a sad, sad day to say that Turbine has lost its integrity, which was once so pronounced, but it has.

But here's the rub, I don't think players would much mind what Turbine did with the store, what they did or did not put in it, if the last 18 months had been seen regular updates, more content, and better content. But the last 18 months have been abysmal, and so it seems that Turbine has put its resources and best creative minds into expanding the store, not improving the game. And that, more than any of this other petty BS, is driving people nuts.

When DDO went F2P, the content and quality of the game immediately improved, which could only have made the store acceptable and understandable. No such thing happened for LOTRO, which has made the store contentious.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 1:19PM Azaetos said

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This is the roadmap for F2P, or are people forgetting the number one premise behind this model ... getting people to spend money. Looking at it I'd say that the revenue with what they were selling in the cash shop was slowing down, so they are indroducing more things for people to buy.

Don't worry, max level gear will be in the cash shop eventually, it seems the natural progression for Turbine.

Personally I can't stand the F2P model, I'd rather the devs working on keeping me interested long term than trying to find ways to fleece me.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 1:39PM kimowar said

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It is an advantage to the player leveling up. I played lotro from alpha til it went f2p. It was such an awesome mmo and I have a lot of fond memories. Glad I left when I did

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 1:45PM (Unverified) said

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Sad fact is that new folks want to catch up to their friends that already play and are higher level and the higher level folks normally don't want to grind through the whole game again. I've found this out first hand and it ends up either driving off the friends trying it, or making you utterly bored with the low level quests.

This is an old game and has to figure out how to keep the playerbase they have and also not let the folks just finding it feel like they are 1,000 miles and 3 years away from the higher end content where everyone is at.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 1:59PM Crapplebag said

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When lotro first announced the f2p model and the store I was pretty bummed. But after a while I got over it (being a lifer helped) and I felt pretty good about the store truly offering convenience and novelty only. Sure selling dye's kinda pissed me off - but when it didn't really seem to prevent me from moving them at the AH I got over it. But now they are doing it again and offering something that competes with the crafters and I'm sad. It doesn't ruin the game for me but I definitely would prefer it not be offered. That said...it doesn't mean every new player is going to buy it. Some people do not want to spend real money and for some there is a stigma associated with it. My feeling is that critted low level gear will still sell at the AH.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 2:07PM Arachnella said

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@ "Sad fact is that new folks want to catch up to their friends that already play and are higher level and the higher level folks normally don't want to grind through the whole game again."

The fact is, the current in-game gear is more than enough for the on-level quests and even for higher level areas. There are quest rewards, world drops, skirmish barter items and the instance/reputation sets. Not to mention help from the kins or crafters who often make gear for low level players for free, or give out free items. There may be not enough on-level gear ***on the AH*** as Mr. Mersky said but this does NOT mean that there is no adequate gear in game at all for those mysterious low level players who don't socialize, who don't bother to ask for help from fellow players in crafting hubs, who don't do quests for rewards and don't run skirmishes nor instances. The in-store gear is a response not to the problem of lacking gear in game but to a new way of making people to pay for something that they should have earned through normal gameplay.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 2:17PM Arachnella said

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@Arachnella Correcting myself: Of course the fact that the in-store gear is better than the critted versions of the on-level gear or comparable to the armour 8 levels higher makes things even worse. Not only this disrupts the normal game mechanisms of effort and reward, but it also sets a very glaring precedent for adding more gear in the store in the future.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 2:08PM hami83 said

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I have no issues with this, though I think it should definitely raise some red flags with players where this sort of thing COULD go.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 3:00PM aurickle said

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In fairness to Turbine:

You asked: "Couldn't Turbine add better gear rewards to quests?"
This idea isn't a true solution. If they did this there would be even less demand for gear via the auction house which in turn means even less incentive for crafters to make that gear.

You asked: "Add more gear to the game via barter NPCs?"
See my answer above. You're only substituting barter tokens from completing quests and the like for direct rewards from completing quests and the like. A difference that makes no difference, is no difference. This idea is not a true solution.

You asked: "Give a helping hand to crafters to encourage more gear production?"
This is actually the kicker. Let's face it: Turbine has done a LOT to encourage more gear production. They overhauled the way you get crit ingredients, making them more accessible and thus making it easier to make the best items. They've changed the crafting system so that you only need to START mastery at any tier before you can start critting items rather than having to complete mastery. This makes it easier for crit items to be made from the ingredients you're gathering at your tier as opposed to having to go back and farm low-level zones. As a result it's also easier to reach mastery for each tier as you go rather than falling behind. They've also added multi-output recipes so that there are more choices for each tier of gear. And they've added repeatable quests at the lower tiers to acquire shards, ingredients and recipes.

They've done all these things and yet crafters are still not putting sufficient gear on the AH. How much more can they do? And even if they do it, what guarantees are there that it will have the desired effect? If it didn't work the last few times, why will it suddenly work the next?

My point here is not to defend Turbine's choice to put stat gear in the store. It's to point out that the alternate "solutions" people are putting forth aren't really solutions at all. And that since the cash shop was opened, Turbine really has done a LOT to try and resolve the problem without putting stat gear up.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 3:15PM JaySpeed said

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@aurickle This is a good post. Turbine has done alot to try to get low level gear out there. They've added armor sets to the skirmish camp vendors at various levels. People just don't want to grind skirmishes to get the sets which I think it the real problem. The prices are too high on the gear. I haven't checked prices since the update 5.1 skirmish mark price drop but it used to be like 4000-5000 marks for a level 20 chest piece! Maybe they should make vendor sold armor more appealing. I've used the armor bought from vendors in Rivendell as cosmetic. Maybe bump stats on the low level vendor armor. Or they could make armor sets for each region that you buy with reputation. You finish all the quests in Breeland and you're kindred with Bree so you can go buy a nice set of lvl 20 armor. That would give people options all the way to level cap. Then switch them over to raid/instance armor.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 3:20PM Arachnella said

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@JaySpeed Not even that. The real problem with scarcity of low level crafted armour, in contrast to its perceived shortage on the AH, is that it (a) not profitable to make -- there is no incentive for crafters; (b) it gets outgrown and out-leveled very quickly -- there is no incentive for players to update their armour in a radical way. For that reason alone the store stats armour is not *actually* needed, so the only explanation I see for it is that, for Turbine/WB, it's a probe to gauge the reaction of the players and see if they can get away with adding gear for higher levels.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:51PM Celtar said

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@Arachnella

The Auction House has always been weak in my opinion, I've never depended on that for items though I have looked for mats occasionally when I was pressed for time.

I'd totally forgot about the Skirmish system, that as was pointed out really does cover gear well enough for those who won't gather mats or work crafting. On top of that you get exp and coin for doing them as well.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 3:31PM EdmundDante said

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Game playing shouldn't be a market. But many corporate beanheads who now have taken over some of the games and are producting them - are turning many games into mostly a place to sell stuff.

It's why I no longer play LOTRO. All I get in my email these days is - SALE ON NOW, COME ON DOWN.

I get enough of that in real life. Greed - corporate greed.


Posted: Jan 21st 2012 3:41PM Theodorus said

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Two quick points here:

Anyone who needs to buy stat buffs to play the existing PvE game to lvl 30 probably needs to find something else to do. This iseasy stuff in terms of game play.

If you want crit armour for your lvl 20 character, join my guild and send me a tell in-game. I'll craft you a set for free.

I don't see this as a big deal.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:39PM Hipster said

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FTP games are bad. Period. Too bad lotro had to go this route also. Doubt I will ever buy another turbine product.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:49PM Celtar said

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I never had a problem working crafting interlocked with two other characters of mine so that I was able to craft gear as I leveled that was better then quest reward items.

It is even easier to do today then it was to do in the first couple years of play of the game. So the only reason I see for this being offered is for those who don't want to do crafting.

Since I feel that crafting and interaction with others are a must for this genre I guess I come down against it over all. Grinding mats takes no amount of real time I've found. So gathering the mats and making the gear yourself or trying to contact a player craft person to do it for you shouldn't be an issue.

The mmorpg genre has been changed for the worst if you ask me when the worlds became all about racing to the cap. It became all about the destination and not the journey. MOBA's really are what those sort of players should be playing.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:55PM Cyclone Jack said

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If this was about helping out low to mid level players who complain that there isn't any good drops for them, then why not tweak the drops that are already in the game? Why not tweak crafted gear, or the recipes? No, this has nothing to do with that, but instead its about how they can nickel and dime more customers.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:59PM (Unverified) said

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imho, selling best-in-slot level 20 gear in the cash shop means that at some point in the future we will see best-in-slot endgame gear in the shop. Guaranteed. No matter what Turbine say.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 6:25PM Mister Eee said

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I would like to commend the author on a very well written article. You covered all the main points the LOTRO community has been dealing with the past week.

The saddest part of all of this in my opinion is that Turbine cannot give a detailed reply to the community on the topic. Instead of having an honest dialogue with their player base, Turbine just sits there in silence. Imagine if the rest of the world acted like that, not giving any answers, explanations, or any dialogue to speak of.

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