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.
The dramatic one 😛