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Reader Comments (41)

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:08PM (Unverified) said

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Hello Star Trek Online!

I love the game, I truely do - but I'm beyond believing anything the developers tell me until it actually happens now.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:10PM insilentionocti said

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This was such an excellent wonderful post. Something that needed to be said so bad. I don't normally do this with rival sites, but this is so good I'm going to share it on my twitter and web page.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:16PM fallwind said

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@insilentionocti

other than "never say never", that article was pure hogwash (and watch the down-mods FLY!)

Times change, and I would rather see a dev change with them than stick to some outdated methodology just because they said they would, once, years before when the market and indeed the game they are working on were radically different. It is the same thing with drilling politicians for "flip flopping"... maybe they just got better information, maybe they didn't see all the angles, maybe *things changed* and the right thing to do is change your opinion, not blindly follow your uninformed sound byte.

People change, situations change, if you want an inflexible, un-evolving, stagnated game, then by all means, hold the devs to everything they have ever said. If you don't want that, then give the devs the freedom to innovate, create and *develop* without constant fear that something they said years back is going to kill that great idea that would push YOUR game to be something great.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:28PM Lenn said

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@fallwind You have a point, but I think people would have preferred Turbine to just come out and say "we're going to put armour with stats in the store because we know it will sell and our mighty overlords at Warner like money", rather than "players have been asking for it" when nobody who plays knows of anyone who ever expressed the desire to be able to buy statted armour from the store.

Just telling the truth, no matter how harsh, can increase a company's credibility as well.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:37PM Irem said

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@fallwind
The article discusses developers taking an ideological stance on something. I think we're all aware at this point that a company saying "We will never put pay-to-win items in our cash shop" is saying "We value your good will more than our ability to go swimming in a golden pool filled with nothing but US dollars." It's been shown that stat-based and advantage items sell. They sell a lot. They sell so well that a company that doesn't sell them and says they're never going to sell them is making a statement about the kind of game they've made and the type of gameplay they want to support. Going back on that sends another message, one that's pretty clear.

This is not the same thing as developers changing their minds so that they can innovate and create. If Turbine were being creative, they could probably have found a way to solve the problem they set out to solve aside from "Woohoo! Fix is in the cash shop, guys!"
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:46PM jmerriex said

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@Lenn Ummm what? That gear is not better than what you can craft. I know I've personally wondered why they had not addressed the fact that as several points in the game you get pretty screwed on gear. This gives players some leeway. I don't know that this gear is going to make them a lot of money either. People are freaking out about nothing (which isn't new).
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 5:14PM Lenn said

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@jmerriex I'm not sure why you're replying to me, because your post does not address anything I said.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 7:56PM Krelian said

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Anyone else is tired of fallwind always defending the F2P and Microtransactions business ? I mean, girl, you're annoying in the end. You can't ALWAYS be ok with everything they do, or you fall into fangirl territory.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 8:28PM smartstep said

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@Krelian

yeah, agree
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 9:00PM Utakata said

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@fallwind

"and watch the down-mods FLY!"

I find it highly disturbing that your post is getting up modded instead.

Though Irem has done a wonderful job of deconstructing your arguement on the finer points. I want to add that your libertarian views that games should get with the changing times regardless of which ethics they should sacrifice...is not to me a statement a company moving forward, but entirely backwards Bobby Kotick style. Since it seems to me they care more about lining it's pockets with quick bucks instead of having sense of integrity to their paying customers. And that's a company I really don't want to buy games from. /shrug
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 9:06AM fallwind said

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@Utakata

I think this goes a little bit beyond just LoTRO and their cash shop.

Players are ALWAYS asking for more dev communication, more dev contacts, more community interaction on one hand, then strangling the very devs they want to talk to with each and every post they make (and only in the way the player takes it, never the way the dev meant it) with the other hand.

You want to know why devs can't talk to you? Because to make a comment, any comment, on one of my company's live forums, I need the approval of my manager, his manager, the marketing exec and possibly the lead designer who may or may not even be on this continent at the time (and I'm at a fairly small shop, not a big international one). That's for everything from a silly "lol" to something serious like "we are looking at rogues for the next patch".

It's not that we don't WANT to have communication with our players, it's that attitudes like those shown in this article make it too dangerous for us to without 3-4 levels of approval. It's why Ghostcrawler left the forums, and I can't say I blame the man.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:12PM smartstep said

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In my opinion it is more than convenience thing, but truth be told there were far worse things in Lotro store before added earlier like:
store-only relics (provide stats often 1 relic provide as much as 1 end-game piece of jewelery so you get an idea), store-only relic removal scroll (option taken out of a game), very strong heal and power restore potions on separate cooldowns than those in game.
Stat tomes.

All skills for monster players in pvp. Even as rank 1 you can buy rank 15 skills and use them.
Few quite powerful consumeables for pvp.

+ alot of items like dozens upon dozens that you can get in game they are in store too. Like most rare crafting recipes, scrolls for LW, rarest cosmetic items, etc

Armor is 'medial' but line was crossed long months ago.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:33PM Softserve said

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@smartstep I agree on a lot of fronts. I think, though, a lot of that is "gray area" if you want to be ultra technical. What they think is "advantage" and "convenience" is a matter of semantics.

For example, stat tomes would have been a far bigger sore point IF they were equipment that went into some special new slot... but by making them usable items, Turbine more or less avoided that reaction. I personally don't think that makes sense -- if they're equipment or not is irrelevant to me personally -- but there technically wasn't a "lie" yet.

This kind of just flies in the face of what they've outright said so directly that it's impossible to ignore.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:47PM smartstep said

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@Softserve

Well it is as you said semantics.
So it can be spinned all the way Turbine wants ,but for ME they LIED long time ago.

Lie covered with clever disguise (read semantics) is still lie for me.

Simple.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:27PM xilr said

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Yep Im thinking Star Trek Online too. I also loved the subscription game and dislike the new free to pay model.

I remember an interview where they said ships will remain account unlocks. I remember another interview where they were talking about ship prices, and $25 being "about" the highest they intended to go.

Enter the Jem'Hadar attack ship. Way overpowered, some people spent over $100 to get one. Single character, one use ship. They "sidestepped" all their promises by saying "Ya but this ship is tradeable!" Like anyone playing legitimately will have something to "trade" for a ship that costs multiple hundreds of dollars to acquire.

And I forgot how many times we heard promises on more feature episodes....

Like the first guy said, dont believe anything until it actually happens. I'll add this though, unless it sounds expensive and damaging to the player, then believe it, because that is exactly how F2P works.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:41PM (Unverified) said

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Indeed. Turbine could have sold the recipes for the armor - even as one time use recipes. Some crafters would buy the recipes just to have in their repertoire. Some would make items for friends who wouldn't otherwise buy the armor from the store. I don't know whether the revenue from such recipes would have been higher, lower, or about the same - but would have been a nice little loophole and given crafters a little something special.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:49PM lannadhor said

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Outstanding article.

After almost six years, THIS was the straw that broke the camel's back, for me. Subscription cancelled, Account liquidated, Characters deleted. It has reached the point that not only do I no longer want to pay for the game in any manner whatsoever, I also no longer wish to interact with the game or Turbine in any way.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:56PM Irem said

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@lannadhor
I'm sorry. I know it sounds kind of weird to express condolences for losing a game, but...yeah.

It's weird how it works, but for all the people who say "You'll be back!" when someone quits over something like this...I don't think they've ever experienced that moment when the company does something that absolutely kills any desire to play their game. It happened to me with WoW, and I still remember the feeling of going from incredibly hyped over Cataclysm and checking MMO Champion and WoW Insider every day to just never wanting to log in ever again. It was a matter of seconds. I looked at the game and just saw a computer program instead of Azeroth.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:15PM (Unverified) said

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@lannadhor
I must say, I don't understand this attitude. It's a game that is either enjoyable or not.

I agree with Eliot's first paragraph where he observe it's not a big deal in and of itself and really is just about convenience. On principle it's stupid. It may portend more evils later on. But for now, it doesn't doesn't provide much of an advantage. It's not like there are competitive GB runs where only the best gear will suffice. And there are solid in-game alternatives. And it's not like crafting is so loved (or used) at those lower levels to cause a disruption.

As you say, it's merely a straw (an excuse?) that broke the camels back. So I can assume the game as a whole wasn't enjoyable for you. But what if Turbine decides next week to stop selling such armor and apologizes. And then in Update 6, the ROI bugs are fixed. And they add a new PvMP area, improve LIs, and add some new content. On principle, will you stay away? I know, I present a very optimistic scenario, but it is not outside the realm of possibility. I understanding unsubscribing based on principle and to make a point...but deleting your progress?

Not trying to inspire a defensive post about how it's your opinion, it's your choice, etc (that's all obviously true). But wondering what makes some portion of the MMO crowd so reactionary. Or perhaps to put it more kindly, how they develop such a personal relationship with a game?

Eh, an idea for a Soapbox column, perhaps. I've had friends who would threaten to unsubscribe based on any number of minor things and have wondered about it ever since. Shooting oneself in the foot seems like an extension of that way of thinking.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:49PM Irem said

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@(Unverified)
You can absolutely enjoy a game up to the point where the "straw" falls. And it's not really reactionary. It's like having a conversation with someone you've been good friends with for years, and they suddenly and unexpectedly come out with something out of left field that's so completely nuts that you realize they aren't the person you thought they were and you don't want to be friends with them any more. Maybe you've had disagreements before, and worked through them, and your relationship was fine, but while they had their quirks at no point previously did you have any idea how truly incompatible your entire worldview was with theirs.

On a much smaller scale, games and development companies can be the same way. If I strongly disagree with something they're doing, and they clearly have completely different ideas about the direction of the game that have just become apparent, why would I want to keep playing, or give them money? You ask why people develop such a personal relationship with games, but the poster you're replying to is the one walking away because a company did something they didn't like enough to keep paying for. Why is it considered reactionary to never purchase a product or support the company that makes it if the product has changed so drastically that you no longer want to buy it? There's a distinct difference between people who constantly complain about quitting but never do, and people who play and support a game for years but are willing to walk when it becomes something they don't like.
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