So let me get this straight. In the news in the last few days:
LotRO added a patch with Hobbit Presents, a new gambling-style lockbox that they spam daily at players. Why bother with giving lockboxes a chance to drop from a monster? Just shovel them at players and try to rake in the cash. And LotRO added a literal in-game store shopping mall in Bree.
SWTOR’s new patch supposedly adds nothing but store items.
And Rift today announced that it’s going Free To Play. But it will be fair with no tricks or traps–they promise. Bill Fisher says the stigma of F2P is going away, but if it is, then why do they have to make that promise in the first place?
This is probably the main reason that Hartsman left Trion. It’s because the man is a god of integrity, like I always said. He’s really cute too. Can I say that without being reverse-sexist? I’m not sure, but I did. This is the way of the kitty.
So. I said I’d never blog about LotRO again, but since I quit the game, I feel like I can make an exception to say that I hope it dies in a fire. I hope they pull the license. I hope it shuts down ASAP so I never have to hear about it again.
My elves have diminished, abandoning the world to the greed of men. And women, in this case.
I made my goodbye post. I updated my LotRO Interface page to say that I will no longer be supporting those 14k downloads. I’m leaving my LotRO boxing guide up on my blog. It’s top post today, I think from some press it got in the forums.
Boxing is kind of a rebellious activity. It’s also a way for players to get as much from F2P as possible without paying. It’s okay with me.
I’ve almost condemned Neverwinter also. I’m still on the fence. I was reading the 1500+ post F2P-complaint thread in the forums until the mods closed it down and ejected it with no explanation. I heard about the Orwellian world chat spam whenever someone wins the lottery. I heard about the high prices for basic things. The double-diamond earning weekends or whatever.
To be fair, I don’t just assume the whiners are right. Neverwinter might be the most smokin’ deal going in an MMO right now. Once you wade through all of the currency exchange rates and calculate out a monthly estimate of what you mind need–it might well be fair. (A degree in accounting or a genius IQ is useful for playing a F2P game.)
F2P is just not a game I want to play. I want immersion, not a meta shopping experience where I buy things for my characters like they are barbie dolls. F2P is a symptom of the sickness that is pervasive in American culture.
So the kitty is now left with WoW, Guild Wars 2, Skyrim, and Dragon Age 2. Guild Wars 2 is double-dipping, but it’s non-obtrusive. I haven’t really needed the store yet. The store will move forward, though. The corruption might be inevitable.
On a positive note, I’m working on a fun new comic strip titled “The Forsaken Inn Of Unplayable Races”. It’s a place where races go when they aren’t wanted in an MMO. It’s cute. I’ll have it posted soon. A new strip is needed in the yonder sidebar to replace the one about SWTOR.