LotRO: Update on my LotRO break

Guys, this is tough. I’m torn on not playing because I love this game so very much. I’ve been playing LotRO since January 22nd of 2007 (came in via a stress test invite). It’s a huge part of my online life! Part of me thinks, ‘You’ve ignored stuff like this in the past, saying they need to make money’ but then another part of me thinks, ‘ that’s why this is happening … we keep making excuses, as a community’. Leaves me feeling a bit unsettled to be honest.

I think very highly of Turbine, overall, for many reasons. When I started in the closed beta they went out of their way to communicate with the players, work with us on finding what needed fixing, I even remember +Fantus popping up out of the blue one day on the first private ‘beta’ server to give me gold so I wouldn’t have to grind to get something new to test. I’d made the comment in OOC that I needed to go grind out some brigands for enough dosh to buy whatever and BOOM. There he was giving me a ton of gold so I could go ahead and test the new whatever it was. I not only bought it (can’t remember what “it” was for the life of me) but spread that gold around to other members on the test server so they could, too. Turbine worked hard to foster that kind of environment for us to help them make the game better. We even went as far as to post auctions for just 2 or 3 copper (first heard of doing this from Gramps and Mel), regardless of what it was for, just to help each other out. The community was tight and helpful, very goal oriented. We were a part of something and it felt grand.

The forums and social media, Twitter to be specific, made the “online family” connection even stronger. I remember +Patience talking about how her boyfriend would jump off the bridge in Trestlebridge and make funny proclamations as he went over, just to help her with her rez deed. +Clover posting her recipes, many fond memories there. I don’t remember her name but I remember one Turbine lady who had or wanted a black and yellow (trans am? ‘vette?). Think she quit and moved to Texas best I recall, to be with family. What I’m trying to say is that my connection with LotRO and Turbine has gone beyond just a bunch of gamer pixels. The last almost 6 years have been full of wonderful memories.

That’s why this is so hard.

I’ve read about the changes coming down the pipe. They won’t be selling the Hobby Horse for $50. They won’t be taking the golden festival tickets away if you don’t spend them before the festival ends. The deed that’s gating the ‘good’ vendor has had the number of quest turn ins reduced. That’s awesome and I applaud the changes. I’m glad they listened to us.

What I can’t look past, however, is that it was ever ok to take away something that required us to grind daily to acquire, just to promote a store sale (or forced log ins, whichever). When they took away our ability to save our relics when deconning legendaries, I was upset. You can spend a TON of ingame gold getting those higher level relics. They did that to push the store item that saved the relics before you deconned the weapon. I looked past it at the time, however, because my thinking was along the lines of ‘they need to make money to make this game better for me’. I excused it. I don’t propose to speak for everyone but, in general, we’re paying for a game because we want fun, an escape, an adventure. We also want innovation and I think Turbine has brought that on many levels over the years. The flip side is that they need to make money so they can continue to innovate and expand the game. It’s a fine line to walk I’m sure and I don’t envy them.

I just can’t wrap my head around the idea that it was considered an idea even to take those festival tickets away if we didn’t spend them. My understanding is that originally (last Friday) it would take around a couple of weeks to earn them all via daily grind. I want to feel like my time in game is valued on a level more than just another coin in the coffers. Is that too much to ask? I could very much be wrong in that as they are a business and I am a customer. I’d just rather get my sandwich from someone who gives me a heartfelt smile and a wish for a good day than someone who ignores me as soon as my money is in their hands. So to speak.

My break is still on. I haven’t played in a solid week now and I feel the withdrawals. I still feel bitter, though, and I can’t yet get past it. I’ve read the comments on my post about why I abandoned my houses and I appreciate them a lot. It just feels so weird to be posting any of this about a game and company I’ve loved for so long … Feels a little like being lost in the ether.

Signed,

The dramatic one 😛

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Posted on December 6, 2012, in Gaming and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Okey my second Comment on your Blog’s Postings (because I feel really sorry for you) : As Fans we all experience Things like you do at the Moment from Time to Time – especially in the MMO Market where the Corporations wanna squeeze the last Drop of Money out of the Players.

    I have been playing a lot of MMO’s and I experienced the Problems you describe also. I played Guild Wars I – they changed the PvP in it and I left. I was a huge Fan of Age of Conan, Funcom ruined it absolutely in the last Years – I left with bitter Feelings. I know and play Lotro from Time to Time – started it at Christmas 2008. Had lots of Fun in Lotro – it has been my second most loved MMO right behind Age of Conan. But now Warner Brothers involves itself more in the Game and what you recognize now is their greedy Behaviour as they are not Makers, nor Fans but just a Corporation with the ultimate Goal to make Money.

    It helps nothing to leave a Game with bitter Feelings – but if you feel really bad about it, it is understandable that you leave.

    Best Thing a good Community can do is showing Unity (as it is Part of CommUNITY) and write as much Flames and Hatemails as possible to get the Makers changing their Minds. It really works. Saw it in EVE online and other Games – if the Community is strong and a UNITY it got much Power over the Corporations.

    so far, Head up 🙂

    • Agree with you, do think this is coming down from WB even though Turbine says it’s not (or said that about another fiasco that upset the community. WB coming in brought about a shift and that can’t be ignored.

      I feel very silly letting a game get to me like this but it has and yes, I’m bitter. I haven’t left as in no plans to come back, just need a break as the bad is outweighing the good right now. I hope that as a community we can do something to let Turbine know how we feel and they’ll respond accordingly. With the new festival coming out, however, and the hobbit tie ins coming, I doubt that will happen. People will be too excited to get something new I’m afraid.

  2. I agree, they have a very fine line to walk. I’ve only started playing since Free to Play. I don’t like the idea of being forced to pay a monthly fee just to have the option to play a game (I’m too old school I guess), so when LOTRO went Free to Play, I gave it a shot. As my only MMORPG, it quickly became my game. I know there are a lot of F2P people now on board, and I really do feel bad for any VIP’s since all the changes appear to be nickel and diming them specifically. As F2P, I didn’t know any better than there are items I need to pay for and some I want to pay for.

    I hope Turbine can find some good middle ground. Posts in the forums have been encouraging Turbine to focus on what makes this game unique and not to try to be like all the others. From some of the responses, it does sound like the Admins are listening and hopefully the higher ups are listening to the feedback as well. It really sounds like the devs and admins close to the users are being told.. you will implement this, lets see what the feedback is. Some of the feedback we as the players have given, have changed things, some have not.

    I fully understand the need for a break. Enjoy your time off from Middle Earth and although I don’t know you in game, perhaps we’ll run into each other in the future. Regardless, keeping giving Turbine the feedback. If enough of us constantly direct them in what we want to see and have (and back it up with the purchase or refusal to purchase of store items) hopefully they will get the picture.

  3. I’ve played pay-to-win games (browser RTS war games … LOVE them!) and will gladly buy from the cash shop to support the game and, I’ll be honest, up my chances of kicking butt. Sometimes it’s just $5 a month, other times it might be $30. It’s not the cash shop I have a problem with, I don’t feel bad for VIPs because we get a LOT of bang for our buck. It’s that it was ever ok to make us grind daily for something they planned to take away just to push a store item (or force log-ins). That’s just wrong to me, goes way too far.

    Enjoying GW2 (tho currently stuck trying to finish a couple heart quests … grrr) for now. Thanks. 🙂

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