Good weekend to be out of town

Luckily for me, I was out of town this weekend and wasn’t online that much or I would’ve been ranting quite frequently about the explosion on the LOTRO forums about the F2P system.  I think it has been pretty well covered and beat to death there and certainly the Turbine CM team has done an amazing job.  For me, I’m just anxious for this summer to be over so we can see it all live :)  my general positive attitude hasn’t changed at all and the only downer is the lack of new content.  I’ve very confident that Turbine will stick to a similar model to what they have in DDO and actually everything I’ve heard so far from Turbine leads me to believe there will be more restrictive in the kinds of things on the LOTRO store.

I’m also not too worried about the community, sure we’re all in shock now but that’s mainly due to it being new and unknown.  I’m sure as we start to learn more about it and actually experience things we’ll start to see that this isn’t all bad.  And the other important thing to realize is that Turbine has been very responsive in putting in technologies to help prevent spamming, griefing, and other such nastiness that folks are worried about so I’m sure they have a few tricks up their sleeves.  Plus they also have the DDO roll-out to experience so I’m sure the new Executive Producer (she worked DDO) Kate Paiz will have some lessons learned.

I did want to pass on a few of the weekend posts that I thought were either informative, clarified points of confusion, or just plain fun :)

  • I posted this on Friday, but this Q&A post on the forums is maintained with all the updates.
  • Mordor of Bust has also has a great re-cap of the forums so check his list out as he not only broke the story early ;) but has been quite vocal about it.
  • You might want to check out the DDO Store as you’ll get a good feel for the item types and prices
  • Sadly bag space has been confirmed to be capped at 5 bags. However, the 20 slot wardrobe mechanic seems intriguing and I like Patience’s comment “it does a couple of other nifty things.”   I smell a Wardrobe Developer Diary in our future…
  • For those of you who’ve missed out on the Lifetime offers, Sapience has confirmed that there are no plans to reintroduce the lifetime subscription option.
  • Switching gears a bit, I enjoyed Sapience’s post on the Lottery system for 2 reasons.  One it is always nice to get an insight in what they’re spending their time on, and after what he did on Skirmishes I can’t WAIT to see what JWBarry’s been working on!!
  • And I’ll end with Syp’s post on the 10 Probable Consequences of LOTRO going F2P. Number 10 though is a bit of a stretch, we all know that means the entry of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.  Or maybe that’s the new raid boss?

That’s about it for now, I’ll have some other updates here shortly but I can’t stress how much I agree with Sapience’s Signature right now so I’ll repost it:

Questions about LOTRO F2P? Read This, then Read this, THEN Post your question. ;)

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4 Comments

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    So this is quite the pessimistic episode. I appreciate the post, and I like having the flip side of the discussion – we certainly do have different views :) I’ve said this before and many other have as well but I think ya’ll just need to calm down and wait for them to actually release details before jumping to conclusions. I’ll point out that LOTRO isn’t going completely F2P it is a hybrid model with a F2P option complementing the current subscription option. So this really is more like the model you love with WoW and Cryptic (who ironically MANY hate based on their MT system) where you have a cosmetic cash shop. This means they will have cash coming from their subscribers (just like DDO) and as such they won’t be purely relying on the cash shop to drive their business. I’m not sure of the numbers for DDO (they’ve commented their subscriber base has grown significantly), but I’m guessing their subscriber base isn’t something they’d be willing to just toss away. Not to mention that LOTRO also has a pretty significant Lifetime community and it would be silly to anger them such that they miss out on any potential revenue from them in the cash shop.

    Certainly some of these things you assume could happen, but you’re basically saying that Turbine has no credibility and you can’t trust them at all. With the economy the way it is, why are you punishing them for trying to apply a successful mechanism they’ve already put in place to try and be a more successful company? The assumptions you make haven’t happened in DDO, and it has been F2P for over a year with content updates since they switched.

    A few other things I wanted to touch on:
    – They’ve stated they’re not selling balance changing items just cosmetics and convenience items. Some I will admit can be seen as balance but to a certain degree that’s a matter of personal choice.
    – If they introduce things like power leveling like you assume, it will destroy the game and hopefully they realize that. The XP boost they currently have in game (and I’m assuming will be in the cash shop) is only a boost to the xp you get from mob kills which is a small amount when compared to quests. On the flip side though, this is a PvE game and I will admit that if I could PL my alts, I honestly might consider it. However, for it to work in my opinion, you would have to have at least 1 toon at max level and probably a few other requirements before the PL option is available.
    – Getting to the max level in ANY game (including WoW) is blocked by paying for it as every level cap increase is accompanied with a PAID expansion. If you want to see Moria and level 60, buy the expansion pack – that part hasn’t changed. Same thing with Mirkwood and level 65.
    – On your forum posts, I don’t know the specifics and they quite well might have blown away your posts. However, there are LOTS of negative posts currently on the forums so I’m guessing one of the following was true:
    1) it was in the wrong place, all F2P discussions have been requested to be in the F2P forum
    2) the thread started to get nasty or flamish (you hint that this actually did happen)
    3) your post was deemed to be nasty
    – You argue that Turbine will suck you dry of money, I’ll argue the other way in that after WoW’s $25 pony, I GUARANTEE Blizzard/Activision will expand that and look for every possibility to milk their customers. They’d be stupid not to, or at least see how far they can push it. They obviously haven’t reached the tipping point yet :)
    – And finally, you don’t lose anything you’ve paid for, that has been mentioned numerous times

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    Thanks for the feedback, being the least passionate of our group (I dont really play much LOTRO) I appreciate your taking the time to listen and address our issues. Hope you keep listening as we have definite opinions on many games and issues and love people to voice their opinions!

    Omniac

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