Kitty Just Says No To LotRO

Update 9 for LotRO was released a few days ago, bringing the winter festival into the game, crafting XP, worldwide open-tapping and auto-looting, and the first instances post-Rohan.

The Rohan instances have nothing to do with Rohan, much to the dismay of a lot of players. Turbine is creating Hobbit-centric dungeons instead, but no advertising or leveraging of the Hobbit release have been reported at the time of this writing.

Meanwhile, both World of Warcraft and Guild Wars 2 are showing ads at the Hobbit movies instead of LotRO.

Turbine also added more store-pushing in the festival, as well as several new obtrusive store buttons on the interface, including silver coins on the quest tracker to buy an insta-port to turn the quest in, and a large button on the stable NPC (all fast travel NPCs).

This includes a lovely counter (see pic) showing how many store short-cuts you currently own.

I won’t bother bombasting over why dislike these new “features”. I’ve wasted enough time posting in the forums. What I will do is no longer post about LotRO on my blog.

Moreover, I am converting my LotRO guides into guides to Rift instead. My Newbie Guide To LotRO, with 3,668 views in a little over a year, is no longer a 100% happy, positive, pro-LotRO document. I just state the facts. I cannot in good conscience promote this company while in a state of disgust.

Yolari is checking out Rift again, although she echoes what I said in my previous post about too much action and not enough story and immersion. I logged into SWTOR last night and lasted about zero minutes in the game. I didn’t even create a character because most of the races were greyed out. I could not re-create my beta character.

A SWTOR expansion “Rise of the Hutt Cartel” was announced yesterday. If they bring the LGBT content, I will be 100% to buy and play SWTOR this spring.

Here is a fabulous hint to all brain-dead MMO developers out there: players who like their character will keep playing. Players who don’t, won’t. I didn’t get into DDO because Turbine didn’t let me create a viable character without paying at level one. I seem to be in a state of F2P shock. I need a stomach pump and some oxycodone.

Rift honestly treats its player base amazingly. They gave me a special account title over there honoring the fact that my Rift guides have been visited about 50,000 times. I don’t even have a forum title at LotRO.

I was actually thinking about Neverwinter all day today at work, and creating ideas for a campaign I’d like to make. A lot depends on the scripting events you can do, so I’m hoping Cryptic will follow through with the beta invites for Champions lifers.

The Cryptic guys seem supremely confident with this, too, in video interviews. They should be confident given how much longer they’ve worked on this project than either of their previous releases. When I look at the Elder Scrolls rep people in video, I see some tension and uncertainty. Of course, their stakes are probably higher and the expectations are a lot bigger.


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9 responses to “Kitty Just Says No To LotRO

  • iamthetruthseeker

    RIP LotRO. Turbine killed you and DDO with the death of a thousand Freemium cuts.

    While I can’t say if you’d like it or not It’s worth looking for Path of Exile if looking for story with your characters, and a D3-like build/action game without the cash shop auction. Each character class has its own reason for ending up there and the voice work is nice. It’s transitioning to open beta but I’m sure a press-blog person like you would have no problem getting keys.

    • wumpus

      I’d like make one point more clear:

      free/premium resurrected DDO. Pay2win is killing both.

      DDO started out nearly free of pay2win, but still managed to sicken Jacquotte with one of two early p2w options (the other being +1/+2 tomes) on the DDO store. Another rotten stench coming from those stores was the vendor trash being suggested for newbies (Turbine’s DDO operations’s contempt for newbies is legendary, and far beyond what I can imagine from any community).

      Turbine has been repeating the “boiling the frog” experiment with both groups, endlessly coming up with ways to buy critical drops and other options to buy a chance to grind less. This popped up rather blatantly in the DDO expansion: plenty of character builds (melee rangers an obvious one) simply were given no obvious way to advance unless they either ground like mad in useless (paid for no less) epic destiny or bought a “avoid grinding item” from the store. It seems LOTRO is even worse: loading screens seem to say that every possible drop is available in the store. Every harsh grind seems to have an item to shorten it.

      One issue they seem to be indifferent to is any friction between subscribers and those who pay à la carte (premium in Turbine’s worlds). Veteran players are rather likely to have paid at least a year or two’s worth of subscriptions to buy up all available content, but are routinely considered “f2p” buy newer players who have barely started to pay their subscriptions. The real killer is changing the VIP perks after investing in all the content. Turbine changed the rules allowing VIPs to level multiple times faster (see the bravery bonus) without allowing any real option for à la carte buyers.

      I have to agree with Jacquotte that any MMO that includes a store is simply a cancer eating the game with pay2win, but will further claim that the potential to include such a store already means that the cancer is there (if undetected). Once the MMO goes free (due to falling subscriptions) the cancer will be close to terminal. If the game had an infinite lifespan, than including pay2win (which will surely kill it) would obviously bring in less money. With MMOs having obvious lifespans, then scheduling ever increasing pay2win features seems to be the way to “unlock shareholder value”. The only real difference is that there is no reason to assume that a subscription model will stay that way: once subscriptions drop you know the first thing that will be added is a store, and a store in already desperate straits. I see no reason to assume that the decent into pure pay2win is going to be any slower if the store is already there.

      • Jacquotte

        Well said, Wumpus. Thanks for posting, and for the (wonderful or horrible?) boiling frog metaphor.

        I was mostly ignorant about DDO F2P (and still am after playing it for only a few weeks, but I saw enough to make me turn 180 and leave.) That is what Turbine is betting on–an ignorant majority of game consumers/frogs.

        Still. If you constantly turn up the heat and try to manipulate customers and pressure them into giving you their money, they won’t come back to you as a company.

        That’s how the simple potential to include a store does becomes a cancer, in my view. Not just in a specific MMO, but there is also nothing Turbine can say that will make me believe that any future product of theirs will be different than DDO and LotRO, or that they will treat players any better.

  • Jacquotte

    Hi, Truthseeker. I’ve looked at some video of Path of Exile, and I’ve heard some mildly positive things about it. I opened an account but don’t have a key at the moment.

    I have to give D3 respect for making all classes either male or female. I did not buy it last spring, but I will when it’s cheaper.

    I just bought Fable 3 on a Steam sale tonight. Maybe we have a winner. I didn’t log into LotRO tonight for the first time in a while.

    Need to get over to the Neverwinter forums this weekend and see what’s going on, too.

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