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Reader Comments (41)

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 6:24PM (Unverified) said

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@Irem

".. 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..."

We can quibble over this point but I agree with Eliot's description as not all that unusual or game-breaking. I think your analogy would be more apt if Turbine released a unicorn mount.

"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?"

I totally agree with not paying for something if it's not enjoyable or you wish to make an impression. Obviously the decision to keep playing depends on enjoyability and judgment about the direction of the game. It's not unreasonable to argue that it's too early to judge the direction of the game. If one does make a hasty judgment about the direction, why not leave the option open to return to your characters? You might never return, but I doubt Turbine cares whether you delete your characters. And your judgment might be hasty.

"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."

I respect not paying for something if you don't think it's worthwhile. It's not worth it to me to pay a subscription for LOTRO, but I enjoy the game. It's the part about walking away from a game that is largely free (especially with a stash of TP from being VIP) based on low level armor in the Store. I can only presume that the game as a whole wasn't that fun anymore.

Imagine if there were a band that I loved and I owned all their albums. Their newest album was a serious departure and I hated it. Not only do I not buy that new album, but I throw out their old stuff. I could just leave it on the shelf if I'm that dispirited, but no...I must make like a tree falling in the woods and let them fall into the trash (as far as metaphors go, what is this I don't even). Maybe the band will return to their roots in their next album and I certainly enjoyed my past listening, so why not leave the door open to enjoy them again?

Perhaps a better analogy is refusing to watch a movie because of the political views of those involved - especially since OP is swearing off anything Turbine ever does. Alec Baldwin and Harry Belafonte have nutty political views. If someone refuses to buy their products, I understand and respect that principle - even though the connection between their artistry and politics is tenuous at best. I'll watch Beetlejuice all day long, but I still respect their choice.

That they throw out their old Belafonte records and stop watching 30 Rock is excessive in my view, but politics is a touchy and often personal issue. I can see how they would get so riled up.

To my eye, deleting characters from a formerly beloved game is a reaction befitting the second analogy but based on the reasoning from the first.

Okay, last analogy, one close to my own heart. I'm one of those dismayed Star Wars fans who was disillusioned by the prequels, frustrated by Lucas's alterations to the Original Trilogy and his refusal to re-release the original unedited versions in proper HD quality. To throw out my VHSs? To me, a thoroughly disenchanted SW fan, that would be excessive. I never got around to buying his shabby 2006 LD transfers, but that was due to a lack of motivation. I hold out hope Lucas will see the light and release a proper OT. Until then, I'll enjoy my VHSs or perhaps LD versions.

There are parts of LOTRO that are better than ever - Evendim, for example. I get that the f2p model causes consternation for those accustomed to paying a subscription. Turbine has stumbled badly with ROI and has been boneheaded with some of its recent Store items. But until you get to "endgame" (that was a lackluster finale for ST:Voyager, btw), it's as good an experience as it was before.

Call me optimistic, naive even, but I'm betting Turbine can do much better in the future.

Sorry for the long post, but I find my many analogies and non-sequiturial asides (typically as parantheticals) amusing :p
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 7:09PM Zeddakis said

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Anyone who is so mad over this that they are thinking about deleting their characters and need a place to drop your in game stuff off at just let me know. I'll be more than happy to take your in game gold and any other good stuff you have. I am still enjoying the game and this takes nothing away from the fun I am having.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 7:41PM Irem said

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@(Unverified)
The entire thing comes back to Eliot's point: it's an issue of trust. MMOs are unusual in that their development actually is something of an ongoing relationship between player and creator. We are continually consuming their product, which they're continually providing to us. Plastic said it very well down below; to paraphrase: we put a lot of work into our characters and our ingame activities, and the devs have the power to essentially invalidate all of that any time they decide to switch things up. We can start playing and spend money thinking the game is one thing, and two years later have it transform into something totally different--that's both the good and the terrible thing about the genre, and it does require some trust between developer and player. If I can't trust them to keep their word on certain things, my interest in a game dies. At any time they could decide to make the game into something I don't want to play, so what's the point of putting in any more effort?

I don't shop at Target any more because of the kinds of things they donate money to. I don't typically support the projects of people with nutty political views because I don't feel like contributing to their coffers. And I don't play games that have P2W cash shops because the only way I have to demonstrate my dislike of the entire model is to not add to the population numbers on their servers. I wouldn't destroy CDs just because I disliked the last album a band put out, but an album doesn't keep putting content into my ears while slowly making older songs that I liked better obsolete. I couldn't bring myself to delete characters, either, but for some people it's a statement. And maybe you and I just differ, but the screwed up political views of a creator can absolutely make me not interested in anything they put out. I've actually seen very few cases in which a person's f'd up ideas did NOT make it into the things they create somehow, and in the case of a cash shop, I have seen very few examples of a game that didn't creep over the line and keep going, changing elements of the game to make the payment model more attractive. No matter how fun the game is, that's the point at which I can see my future fun going downhill considerably, so there's really not much point in continuing to play and waiting for it.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:51PM Irem said

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Excellent post.

There are always details to be argued in these situations as to how much impact whatever has been implemented will have on the game, but these things start out small for a reason. Why wait until a company -does- implement something that has a significant impact? I'll usually give a wary benefit of the doubt to companies that creep up toward the line, or poke it, but once they've stepped over the line, I'm usually done with them. They've obviously found a better customer than me, and I'd rather not stick around to beg for table scraps.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 3:59PM dndhatcher said

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The stats armor in Lotro is a drop in the bucket.

When Turbine took Lotro F2P they wholeheartedly embraced the asian F2P model of putting huge amounts of grind in the game then selling items to reduce it.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:04PM Nenene said

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What a great post.

Once trust is gone with a company, it's gone. A company isn't a person, it's an entity that exists to make money, and as such you can never really fully trust them again not to screw you after they lose your trust once.

I really feel for the people that lost their favorite game over Turbine's abuse of their customers' trust and goodwill. An MMO you've played for a long time becomes like a beloved home, and to see all the good feelings you've attached to it destroyed in one blow is a hard thing.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:18PM Plastic said

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Playing an MMO is a lot different than playing other types of games. You invest a lot of time and money building a home there, so it sucks when that home slowly becomes uninhabitable.

This is why I'm quicker to completely write off an MMO company than other gaming companies. I don't want to get invested in a game when I know it's likely to end poorly. Funcom games are a good example; been burned one too many times to ever want to go down that path again.

Unfortunately, for me, I've added Turbine to that list as well.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:29PM xilr said

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@Plastic

Wow man, those first two sentences say it all. So many times I hear people (losing an arguement) fall back on "its just a game" and other useless comments, but you've just penned the ultimate shutdown to those type of comments.

It does indeed suck when your home becomes uninhabitable.....

+1
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 5:00PM Irem said

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@Plastic
Thank you. That's an excellent way of putting it.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:26PM SocksForYou said

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I have a hard time believing there were significant numbers of people clamoring for statted low-level gear in LOTRO's item shop. How is that even possible?

I haven't played the game in a long time but don't ever recall there being any major challenge in the leveling content. Not only that, but between crafting and quest rewards there was no shortage of gear whatsoever. There's no world pvp (or real pvp system for that matter) in the game so what spurred this supposed demand for cash shop gear?

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 10:01PM insilentionocti said

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Bingo
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 4:48PM happyfish said

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Personally, the part of the f2p switch that offends me is the idea that turbine is trying to sell one idea but actually implementing another. If the company really wants to monetize everything and sink the game, it's their product so whatever. Dont tell me you are selling armor because of some overwhelming demand, just say "hey were selling armor now because what are you going to do about it?" I expect that sort of doublespeak from my politicians, not my entertainment providers. Turbine needs to grow a pair and say this is how f2p is either get used to it or quit, they are just stringing along their older playerbase on what might be, trying to squeeze out an extra buck or two.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 6:03PM Theodorus said

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Who would pay money for statted lvl 20 PvE gear in LotRO?

My 8-year-old has levelled his hunter to 25 all by himself, and is currently working on the "undying" title for his new guardian. Without paying a dime at the cash shop. This isn't a very challenging game until you start the raid stuff.

Seriously, this falls under the heading of "a sucker born every minute". I play LotRO, and pay the monthly sub, and I don't care about this at all.

How about if we stop calling the Asian micro-transaction model "free to play"? That would clear up a lot of the confusion.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 6:25PM (Unverified) said

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@Theodorus

Indeed. There is much furor over this armor and the lootboxes, but only fools or the ignorant will buy them. In practice, these are harmless. In principle they're still dumb.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 7:55PM Theodorus said

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@(Unverified)

Truth here.

I think this is an embarrassing waste of real world cash, and I actually paid money for the female "underarmours" in Vindictus...

Confession is good for the soul; especially when employing an internet pseudonym.
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Posted: Jan 24th 2012 8:41PM Utakata said

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I guess I'm alone in saying it does bother me immensely of having stat based items available in cash shops regardless of whether they're used in the endgame or start-up zones or what not. And a company that stoops to that has already serious credibility issues with me whether they promised that in the first place or not.

Though I'll agree, it certainly doesn't help their cause when they do commit such an about face. And to those that purchasable stat items available don't bother, it's certainly a nasty burn from a company that's always maintained they would never do that. Thus you least have my sympathies.

Posted: Jan 24th 2012 10:04PM insilentionocti said

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Its not "get with the times". Its the companies trying to pad their own pockets with greed. Greed is NOT good. There was a time when customer loyalty meant more than greed.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 6:13AM (Unverified) said

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Really, low levels ASKING for good armor in the STORE? I browse the forums daily and havent seen a post for people asking for armor in the store anywhere (more lies). Why not make them skirmish rewards?? Lowbies get their armor, and Turbine saves its integrity, or whats left of it. Turbine his just added more grease to the slippery slope to endgame armor in the store, we shall call it the Store-Thanc Set.

Posted: Jan 25th 2012 8:32AM Theodorus said

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@(Unverified)

The Barrows armour is the popular mid-20s set which is available as a skirm reward. I suppose the cash shop variant is targeted to people who don't want to grind out skirm points. That part is fine by me; I don't want to run repeatable instances all day long either, so I wear guild crafted stuff.

But the idea that you need a stat boost to play the PvE game in the mid 20s is laughable. I guess this is test marketing, in which case the feedback has been mostly negative.

By the way, I don't really have a problem if they want to sell full-on raid gear in the cash shop: time and money are both commodities; people don't possess them in equal amounts. If you have more money than time, good for you. It's not as though spending all your time doing PvE raids in an online game is a virtue...
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Posted: Jan 25th 2012 1:23PM Wargfoot said

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Turbine's credibility problems are many, the armor issue being only the first in a long list of problems.

I used to play a monster character on Firefoot. I started the character with the intent of playing it for many years because there was a ranking system that required years of work to maximize - even after 5 years only a very few people have obtained max rank.

So I started to play only to have the following changes fundamentally alter the game:

1: Many of the rank earned skills (rite of passage skills) were suddenly given away for free at rank 0 because the team couldn't be bothered to really work out class balance.

2: Pay-to-Win was introduced into the Turbine Store. (The enemy has potions, horse food (speed buff) and other little treats.

3: Skills that used to take rank to achieve may now be purchased for Turbine points.

4: Special items that may be found require the use of a store bought key to avoid grinding.

5: Ranking which used to be achieved only by PvP is now obtainable through PVE.

So basically the game started with an attractive PvP ruleset but that was all discarded because of laziness and for the sake of the store. It's so bad right now (and getting worse) that it would be more accurate to say that the game is now a feature of the store, and not vice versa.

I purchased 3 lifetime accounts to give to friends/family - blowing over $750.00 on that game. I was willing to spend considerably more but the game world has no integrity - and neither does Turbine.

So no, I won't buy a Turbine product again and will actively work to discourage other from spending money with these people.

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