Weekly Wyrm ~ Dec. 6, 2013

Tonight I’m coloring installment #4 of Forsaken Inn of Unplayable Races, my labor-of-love sidebar comic strip. (edit- it’s now up.) I’ve been seasonally sick for the last few weeks. I’m starting to feel better.

I bought and played a good bit of Tomb Raider this week, which I’m really enjoying overall. My mage is still stalled at L58 in Rift, while I’ve pushed ahead to L91 with my Lore-Master in LotRO. Helm’s Deep isn’t the best expansion ever, but it’s far from the pile of rubbish that some have labelled it.

Helm’s Deep has some excellent character writing. I’ve rarely seen such characterization in an MMO, from the old fisherman down by the river who is trying to eke out one last cast before he has to leave his love behind, to the depressed and hopeless one-armed town leader who overcomes personal tragedy to fight by your side.

The Turbine writers have thrown the book at this one, digging deep to cast a tapestry of literary quality across the plains of west Rohan. Aside from one small grammar quibble I noticed (“further” down the passage instead of “farther” down the passage), Helm’s Deep is tighter and more polished than the previous Rohan installment.

I continue to have no problem with the class trees, although the additional save slots seem a bit expensive. This is the numero uno cash “extra” in the F2P design. Last year it was the warhorse colors. I bought one at full price.

I’m concerned that upping the expansion ante during an arguably lackluster expansion could have a strangling effect on the game. I personally believe that expansion attendance is down based on GLFF numbers (number of people in global chat).

Maybe players are waiting for the inevitable sale. Maybe they just hate their characters cut into fragments of their former selves.

While the Helm’s Deep writers did Tolkien proud, the Turbine artists have also impressed me with their mead halls presentations, each one lovingly unique. Below are some screenshots from my recent adventures in LotRO and Rift. Have a good weekend, and happy adventuring.

Rift: Ardent Domain. Finally a beautiful Storm Legion zone!

Ardent Domain in Rift

Mead Hall Tapestry. Beautiful artwork, one of many hand-painted works in the Rohan mead halls.

Ardent Domain in Rift

Mead Hall of King Theoden. An odd angle showing pillar art. There are three levels to the mead hall with billowing smoke in the rafters.

Ardent Domain in Rift

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About Silverangel

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2 responses to “Weekly Wyrm ~ Dec. 6, 2013

  • commenter formerly called wumpus

    As far as LOTRO’s TP sinks, I suppose they need them to soak up the TP of anyone who bought the quad pack during the Black Friday sale. A roughly complete list of my spending/purchases:
    Spending [money]
    Mithril edition ($10 sale last January)
    Moria boxed edition [Moria expansion + VIP bonuses] (~$20)
    Quad pack ($20 on Black Friday)
    Spending [TP]
    All packs [not part of Mithril Edition](recent sale. Yes, even the North Downs)
    Barter Wallet (seems to come in handy, said to be required. Bought during a sale while VIP)
    At least one extra slot
    Three guild unlocks (One for my unguilded explorer, plus scholar and cook unlocks. Most characters have high guild levels stuck due to VIP status running out).
    the first shared wardrobe

    The kicker: I have over 4000 TP left. As somebody who dumped much, much more into DDO and was conditioned to buying quest packs, class/races, the shared bank, and almost *nothing* else I have no idea what to do with these TP. While this hardly shows that LOTRO is particularly free (you would need to start twice as many characters as I did. It was getting old after awhile when I was still trying to figure out what I wanted in a character/server. I wouldn’t want to *have* to do it) as those expansions take quite a few TP, and the mithril edition was 2000TP and likely another 2k TP to replace the packs. And don’t make me go back to no fast travel or make me pay per character for the riding skill/5 packs/virtues of pre-VIP status.

    I’m not quite sure what Turbine’s strategy is. I’m guessing that they sold quite a bit of TP to VIP players who kept buying the baubles in the store. Maybe they noticed that players who had already bought everything they needed tended to stay longer than those who didn’t have as much “invested”.

    Whatever it is, it feels weird. Turbine seems have the way to buy the game on two levels here: the first is just for the game (cheap, and I’m sure you can get it for even less than the $50 I spent) and a second open-ended one you are complaining about. The open-ended system scared me away from Neverwinter (along with the game being rather boring on its own), I can only hope that since Turbine already has collected money for just paying for the game, they can avoid nickel and diming the rest of the game.

    • Jackie

      Buying the quad pack helped you immensely in savings. I purchased Rohan and now Helm’s Deep up front. Helm’s Deep is $40, or your 4k points right there. Good for you to be patient and wait for sales, but a lot of players don’t. Turbine’s primary income in terms of size of the pie slice is surely the annual expansion sales at full price. I noticed there is now no rest bonus, or at least I’m not getting it as a lifer VIP, so I’m not even sure what the point is of VIP any more. Agree, the monetization strategy seems weird. Maybe they are just out of ideas, and their horse sales are dried up.

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