So glad you're ready to toss loyal customers out for new profits.
Having been here for 5 years and spent a significant amount of money, I'll just go spend it elsewhere and move on. Hope you enjoy the game without challenge.
So glad you're ready to toss loyal customers out for new profits.
Having been here for 5 years and spent a significant amount of money, I'll just go spend it elsewhere and move on. Hope you enjoy the game without challenge.
I'd explain it to you, but I'm all out of Puppets and Crayons.
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Moochy, 105 Minstrel R10
This isn't new. When was the last time they did a music update? Housing? Fishing, or any other hobby? Those have been stagnant for 4+ years, having been de-prioritized long ago. That doesn't mean they'll never get anything new (i.e. housing), but it does mean they'll be refreshed less often.
However, that sort of cutting and priority-shifting cannot go on forever. They have a "core" set of customer profiles they'll have to aim their efforts at, no matter what. Lowered priorities in other areas means increased priorities in the core. I could speculate on just which customer profiles are in the core, but there's no way to be sure. Not without a lot more to go on than a year or two.
Turbine had a great little scam going there, pretending to be a major player in a genre that features groups of players actually playing content together as a major selling point, even going so far as to create a huge amount of content to sucker in a tiny minority of social idiots that actually like challenging gameplay into giving them large quantities of money over the course of several years. Hell, LotRO was even able to keep this ruse up long enough to draw players away from a number of other games that weren't savvy enough to understand that "MMO" was just a sucker play to get 2 or 3 gregarious morons to open up their wallets. Those idiots over at Blizzard, Funcom and SOE need to develop some business acumen, and fast, before Turbine runs roughshod over them with it's tried and true business strategy.
It's hilarious to see the reactions of these idiots that like to run group content now that Turbine has pulled its mask off like a villain in a bad episode of Scooby Doo. "And we would've gotten away with it too, if it wasn't for those meddling Raiders!" Ha ha, the joke's on us- it was a solo game all along and definitely not a major change in course by the company that runs it!
Anyway, populations are up. Way up. Especially now that the word is out on all of the major "MMO" websites that LotRO has dumped grouping in favor of extremely compelling, single player story telling that rivals the best efforts of Bioware's top single player epics like Baldur's Gate, Knights of the Old Republic and Planescape: Torment.
Wait, you're not a harbinger of Doom & Gloom, are you?
Of course you have the figures to back up your claims?
This is what was being said officially in January 2012. Are you telling us we've gone from this to taking in less then they're spending in the course of one expansion cycle? Your description invokes something in a terminal condition. If so, was RoR such a huge flop? Because if it was then this doesn't seem to fit:“2011 was another banner year for The Lord of the Rings Online with consistent growth for the game, a successful unification of our European and North American services and the success of Rise of Isengard, our best selling expansion to date.” said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. “This is going to be another outstanding year as we celebrate our fifth anniversary and introduce a wealth of new content throughout the year, ending with our arrival in Rohan. One of our largest expansions ever, Rohan is expected to be twice the size of the recent Rise of Isengard expansion and includes the most new game systems and technology we've introduced since 2008's Mines of Moria.”
Q10 SabrielofLorien - What types of ideas are there for solo players to have end game play similar to what is offered to the raiding community? #LOTRO
A10 JWB - Hytbold was much more succesful than we anticipated. We'll continue to explore things like that and other options to give everyone something compelling, engaging, and rewarding to do at cap. #LOTRO
Or you could just make a much more logical conclusion - the budget for developing this game has been substantially lowered irrespective of what players actually want. Stripping the expensive to develop content like instances and replacing it with re-badged skirmishes is consistent with that. Otherwise completely changing the successful formula from your, "best selling expansion to date" over the course of two expansion cycles seems a bit short-sighted.
Just a thought.
Taking in less than they're spending I don't see it how. How low could they go? Or shouldn't I wonder? It couldn't have something to do with shamelessly bleeding the game for whatever easy profits whilst giving it only the utter least to keep trudging along, could it? How many years has Warner owned lotro? And yet when they've fallen behind? Have they made something better? Have they given us something novel, beyond the lore in which it's set? Have they pushed Helm's Deep at conventions and trade shows, Have they promoted it well this year? During the year it's slated for launching? No. They've "cut talent and operating overhead." It only leaves me wondering how the changes to Moria -changes I loved- were even slipped in? Was it LSD in the water that day? Rohypnol? Whatever it was, on the whole their logic seems sort of circular and self-defeating.
And before the all the internet -I have a business degree- sorts show up here to talk me down and say, "Warner and Turbine are businesses. It isn't for them to care about you or your feelings..." As just one regular fellow to another- does this- does any of this seem at all right to any of you on the face of it? Even if their good will to us as customers is, in truth, a lie- am I the only one here who still, to the least, expects to hear the lie said for the moneys I'm spending? But let's for a moment take it for true- they're a business- a cold, cruel, and heartless beast bent on lining its nest with filthy lucres.
Does cutting talent and operating overhead and, in turn offering us an inferior game, seem the way to go about that? Is slaughtering the golden goose the best way? Or is it that this generation -or that gaming culture on the whole has been brainwashed?
To one hand you have folk saying nothing's wrong. No! There couldn't be less players playing! No! You're lying, your server isn't a ghost town. Bollocks! The game -this six, going on seven-year-old game runs perfectly well on MY machine... And it doesn't need new artworks. It must be your doings... You're running on ultra low, it's your internets, your face, the feng-shui of your house, and that you never did as should and exsanguinated that cat, stripped naked, and danced withershins when the moon was to its fullest... IT'S YOU!
Then to the other, when for a change it isn't on us, then you have other mealy-mouthed buggers saying it's the "hard economic times we're living in." How long is THAT to be thrown in our faces?
"As long as it takes," I hear some saying even now.
Further still and it's others in turn then saying, "It's an older game- you shouldn't expect it to have such a grand, or loyal following- What it needs is new blood." New blood? Oh, NOW we need new blood? NOW time is running out? Oh damn! I should have guessed!
If we were ever against the clock then- then why have we bloody meandered our way toward Mordor? -No no- toward and then AWAY from Mordor according to the maps. And not even Mordor yet, but into every miserable, far flung corner of the world that the Fellowship never cared for so that only now, as the game is teetering on the knife's edge of make or break.(which it isn't, it's still just YOU, of course.) NOW, when we're come to a set piece that matters, or allegedly mattered, we're being given cut rate artworks, a dodgy talent mash-up, no raid/instancing clusters, and Epic books we're now having to pay for as they're "woven into" skirmishing, the second? Grand.
Let's cut even more talent and operating overhead! And never let's once wonder whether it couldn't be the simplest answer -naught but a long and inglorious string of terrible, greedy-minded decisions. Never mind that that the product I want is cutting, ever cutting, overhead and that they're going to give, are giving me, me less and less of what I pay for. Somehow its MY obligation to keep paying. Right.
Let's keep keep saying it's still on us for not supporting lotro in every wrong and ill-given turn. Let's keep laying it at the feet of kinships full of end users for leaving when instance clusters come six months after expansions launch. Six months after -which is only an eternity in gaming time- and only after slithering attempts to see whether we'll spend extra for them. Let's keep making excuse after excuse for the cheapening, the scaling back, the fat-trimmings and "hard decisions." As though ringing a secretary, having security sack some poor sod, and then escorting them from their cubicle and out of the building is ever hard...
Let's keep painting Warner as the victims here, even when the next Hobbit film makes them a bloody mint.
Let's only make the slightest murmurings of discontent, take the beatings that follow, the beatings given from our fellow players even -wouldn't want management having their hands filthy- and then sheepishly nod in agreement when we're told that, "this is why we don't have better games."
In that way, this one way, I agree - we truly are the best community a failing game could ever hope to have.
MMOs are massively expensive to operate, between leasing hundreds of servers and other network infrastructure, bandwidth fees, data center staff, development staff, customer service staff, community relations staff, etc. EQ once released some numbers, and said it cost them about $8 per month per player to run the service... and that was with a subscription-only business model. No free players to subsidize.Taking in less than they're spending I don't see it how.
"Free" players aren't free - they're subsidized by paying players. Even if you assume they're a mere 1/3 the cost of a VIP (customer service costs are mostly indirect, data storage requirements are lower, etc)... that's not going to be a trivial amount of $$. This is why it's quite important to the game's finances that the vast majority of free players decide within a few months to either stick around and become Premium, or else go play something else. A large population of long-term free players would be a major problem.
Oh this is still going on ?
Look you can discuss that as you wish turbine has made it's decision, if it's wrong or not time will tell. But just looking around Turbine isn't too far off base. None of the newer games had raids at the start nor do they plan to have one.
Trion is struggling bad, SWTOR has been pretty much declared a failure by EA, WOW is down like 30% in revenue and saying they aren't so opposed to F2P anymore. Can you really blame Turbine for trying to go a different route ?
Meanwhile GW2 a game i absoluty despise is doing well without even having one raid instance. And they are mostly getting flag for having one open world raid boss that requires a bit of tactics.
Nothing here matters.
Each company you've been with is/was expected to meet whatever targets were set before them. Grand. And I say this as kindly as I might- we're not talking about your companies.
We're talking about Warner, a company that, so far as I know it, deals in entertainment. They don't make widgets. They don't make wheels for automobiles or even mobile phones. They've made films, television programmes, and now, as of a few years gone and thanks to purchasing Turbine, they make video games. So how is cutting back on talent, in a service industry that rises and falls on the backs of the talented, helping? Swallowing the sort of bitter pill you're on about- cutting wages, jobs etc... How is turning out an inferior product to make more money for them? If they're so hard up. If they're so stretched, then imagine the poor slobs who are setting aside moneys in their own, much tighter, budgets to pay for their service. Appealing to the better natures of consumers on behalf of a corporation, after yes- the last six and more years in which the lot of us have been robbed in so many ways by corporations isn't cutting the mustard.
And Helm's deep. For worrying so muhc over where the next cheque's coming from they're not pushing Helm's Deep so hard. They're not selling it much at all. With an expansion in the offings they had to meet with fans in a pub over the last PAX. Warner's made, is still making money hands over fists and they shouldn't be moved, if only to save a property from becoming a loss? Moneys flow in from lotro but are filtered through Warner first. Warner sets the budgets and only then does money come back to the studio I know that. Again- more lessons nobody needs. So with all this money coming in- all of this money that should be hanging hands as lotro's doing better than ever - that Free to play has done so much to make our once flagging community so vital - to not even have a booth? A booth where you KNOW good will and word of mouth is going to sell you for perhaps the year to come?
Not even to let them say- "Hello! You've heard little from us of late, but we're still here. What more we have this to talk about." So whatever happened to that worn little chestnut about spending money- even a bloody pittance to make a bit more money? A youtube video linked here in its place isn't selling the game. At best it's preaching to the bloody choir. If I wasn't paying and playing I wouldn't even be coming here to read a thing.
But never mind that. Or mind it more- It must be a clever play on Warner's part. Giving less and less, for more now. And the moment even one player complains then have other players come out of the woodworks to defend it, or to tell the players feeling cheated to bugger off. The 'Nature abhors a vacuum' defence. Well enough, then. And what's next after Helm's Deep? A digital download whereby we're leveled another ten levels without even playing, given another pocket item, but no new questings, no skirmishings, no epics, no battles, nor even a new land to explore?
"Lord of the Rings Online: Gondor and Some Other Rubbish What Came After." Spend extra - near twice the base cost and get the "All of It Happened, You'll Just Have to Trust Us." Edition. Which comes with a title, a cloak with "I paid for Gondor and All I got was this lousy cloak" on the back, another worthless pocket item, and a fuzzy bit added to the in-game mapping which says "EPIC" in ye olde letterings where "Gondor and the Rubbish What Came After" should have been, but isn't. Whatever.
As for Everquest, who bloody cares? That's Everquest. And for this crying over budgets and overheads and free players let it go, would you? Every game out there has the same worries, the same hardships, and yet Lotro -with arguably the grandfather of all fantasy properties- is the one just a stone's toss away from the gutter. What does that say? It's near as scandalous, nearly as shameful as finding the king of rock and roll, pants around his ankles, colder and bluer than the water in the bog he's copped it on. You knew the end could have come -had to come for him someday- but never the king- not that way.
But free players. We've never truly had them. Even when it was said free to play, we know that was done with more than a cynical eye toward promotion. Either keep them -the dabblers- or send them off once they've had a go. Before free to play, as you well know it, we'd had welcome back weekends and over and again so many free trial weekends that subscribers would come in to find the game they were paying for nearly unplayable. Such was planned for then, and what came after was- for the sake of the store only making it more official. Set free weekends or even free to play under a nebulous item of "advertising" and have done. Whatever they're spending for a bit of extra bandwidths isn't bleeding them white. If it was then then Warner should never have let Turbine press on with Dungeons and Dragons Free to Play, should never have let Lotro press on with Free to Play, and should have had the lot of us back to subscription-only payment schemes posthaste.
I know what I had for my moneys in the past from Lotro, I see what I've gotten over the last two years after the coming of the store that was going to save the game from all its ills. I see what they're trying to pull again with Helm's Deep, big battles, and the talent trees - something every bit as dodgy as an over-bothered teenager telling his girlfriend, "I love you. You still love me, don't you? I'll only put the tip in, I swear..." Now, you're free to keep believing and defending that sort of rubbish. But for me?
Words of love - soft and tender won't win a nerd's heart anymore.
I like ice cream.
If WB were going to "invest" in Turbine, there would have been no layoffs last year. We wouldn't see cutbacks on features some players pretty much live for in Helm's Deep. WB is operating very much like the parent company where I work does. We don't make "widgets" either, and over 50% of our revenues have always come from products we've invented in the previous 2 years... layoffs in development staff are "bad". We're expected to do what it takes to make a solid profit, and if we don't... we'll see layoffs and more layoffs, and eventual closure.
We account for maybe 0.5% of the larger company's gross revenues, so they're not going to stay up nights over whether we can make that 0.6%. The only way they're going to "invest" in us is if the returns on that investment are going to be quite spectacular. There will be no "charity" from on high. I rather strongly suspect that Turbine is in the same sort of situation with WB.
Iozeph, many of us are in complete agreement with you, so don't go thinking you're anywhere near to being the only that feels the way you do. As I pointed out about a month ago, most of the people on "our side" have stopped posting all together due to being constantly drowned out by the same 5-6 "Usual Suspects" that all have literally thousands of posts, far too many of which are endless variations on "Turbine and I are 100% right and you are 100% wrong". Most of these 5-6 "Usual Suspects" are essentially solo-only players that aren't at all affected by borked loot tables or lack-luster group content. They didn't just witness their giant, stable, years-old raiding kin almost completely empty out within just the last year due to dismay with Turbine's new direction. They turn off chat channels, and would neither notice nor care if the rest of us have all left. They won't ever address the larger gestalt of displeasure which has already caused so many to leave and has so many others on the verge of leaving, instead only choosing to nit-pick a few minor little pedantic points around the edges of our arguments.
Khafar's claim that Turbine is taking in less money is completely at odds with his ongoing contention that the game is doing just fine, and that it's actually errant players like ourselves which are the problem. It's either Rube Goldberg-esque double think or blatant hypocrisy.
I think LOTRO probably would too, except for the bit about having to pay a major amount of money for the license. When their license extension expires in 2017, that would be a logical place to pack it in. If it weren't for the license, I think it too could be running 14 years after it started.
I have also been playing since August 2007 spend 30+ hours a week playing the game and I have never liked the "raiding" aspect of the game, I have been gaming for 30+ years starting with D&D in 1977. Lotro has attempted to satify most everyone and as such has satisfied no one completely. But. this is the best game (board, online, role-playing) I have ever played even with all its faults. I enjoyed Great River area the best from the story lines to limelight gorge and the big nasty spider, I wish more areas would force players to group more. I miss the days of having to group at lower levels to complete a quest line (ie the cave in north bree,) or Red pass in epic book 2. I actually have a level 85 mini who has never died, how unrealistic is that. my first character died 10 times before I beat the troll at rushock bog...... now u sneeze and it falls over.... End game is cool but I enjoyed the game more making it difficult to get there. I have 4 accounts 1 each for my 2 sons and I and a f2p account so I could see how the other 1/2 live. I think turbine for the most part is doing a good job overall, but don't forget the players who just like the game itself and not the extras, like raiding, instances and end game content. How about a real reward at the end of hytbold, like a private house in hytbold with all the housing amenities once u spend the 45+ days recreating the city.... easy enough to program. since hytbold is specific to each character now.....
HerrGligger 85 Guard Thane of Hytbold and leader of men
Some long-time player do believe that they are a sort of core player and developers should listen to them to make the game better.
It is only valid to some degree. The game should always get new players and what core players advise is often not suitable for newcomers because core players want to adjust game for core players and not for newcomers.
And this on top another bloody half of rohan- more bollocky questing, more factions grinding- as though I should give one whit what happens to Theoden after having done the work of nearly the whole of eastern Rohan and then after coming banished from his hall and the western half? So that I'm given the dubious pleasures of having to try and have into his good graces, after he's wronged me? What's next? "Welcome to Western Rohan, here's a pick and a shovel. Build us another town. Defend our half-arsed wall of vomit-coloured lego, Do what we say or we won't help you help us... Some more."
What it feels they've done of late is little more than handwaving and saying, "Adapt..." and,"Change," and, "Wave of the future..." That between the setting of their fingers to their ears and chanting, "Lalala, lalala, vocal minority, lalala... And did somebody hear something? No? Nothing wrong then. Nothing wrong. Carry on. Lalala." When players even dare to say they don't fancy what the game's being turned into.
Oh but what am I saying? They care. They listen. We've the player council now, so it must be true.
It looks like you are half-unhappy with the future of LOTRO, and you try to make us aware about it?
What was that about grid? What is your opinion? What should be done? What is your solution? What's wrong with grid?
You've said the game gets older with each passing year?
Please make it a bit more clear.
This may have been discussed already somewhere else, but if Turbine did include instances/raids in this expansion, what bosses would they include? I am a big proponent of raiding, I love the challenge, and every person working together in their own way to a common goal. That being said, the big battle system seems to make more sense for this section of the lore. And I believe (perhaps wrongly) that we will see more raids, etc. when those game mechanics make sense with the lore. So, although I would really enjoy an end game raid, I play this game to enjoy the lore of middle earth.
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