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  1. #1
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    Hmmmmm.... What is Turbine doing?

    I pre-ordered RoI on separate accounts. Unlike many on this server I enjoyed it, and was more than satisfied with update 5. When RoR came, I did not preorder. It look like a hoax. $70 for declining quests? I'd rather just play through the ND, and Angmar again with my friends. (IMO the funnest part of the game if you have a lot of friends to play with. Many hate Angmar because it isn't "solo friendly" and even the raiders avoid it and just power level because everyone tends to be at cap. Not me, I have people I can group with, so Angmar should be tons of fun. Reliving the old days of SoA.) Eventually I bought the instance pack, and the quests with tp when they were on sale. I was very sad to see the decline of the game.... Update 11 was just terrible. Knowing what turbine can do, I was disgusted. Now comes Helm's Deep. I am not so sure I'll even by the expansion when it is on sale half off.

    This is what I see. Slot machines, trait trees, (Pardon my bad language, but that is so WoW. Disgusting.) and worst of all, nothing to play with my friends when I get to Helm's Deep. So the vast majority of people play this MMORPG casually solo? First, MMORPG solo is an oxymoron. Second, I am not seeing these people. These people I see in one area, crafting halls. When I found someone soloing in the ND, I IMed him, and soon found out he was an alt of a grouper. I have seen little to nothing of the "vast majority of the player base." Why? Because they don't play often. So, suppose that most of the raiders, who have already left, play everyday on the games they play. Also suppose that the "Let's solo an MMO." people play once a week, or less. Suppose that many of these are f2p, and do not hand in money, but only do so when absolutely necessary. (I.E. expansions.)

    Why is turbine destroying the social bulk of the game. Most of these soloers are not on very often, many do not know of glff. (Why would they need to. They are soloing. :-P) When you make the player base ENTIRELY soloers (except for me and my group, moving through Carn Dum, reliving days past.) because there is NOTHING for people who want to play with friends, you get a deserted game. The odds of characters interacting with each other is very small. The social channels are rarely used. LFF is completely obsolete. The game looks and feels dead. The role players will more likely feel a tremendous shortage. many of the raiders are also PvPers to a fault, and with the death of kin-ships, (except for solo kinships, where you help others craft in the crafting hall, where all the soloers spend a good deal of their time; watching them blue bars fill.) Many PvPers find themselves without kinds, and go to some real PvP games.


    The game dies.... Turbine realizes that although the majority of accounts can be given to the soloers; the majority of play-time would be a lot more even. (Well before most everyone left. :-P) Turbine must do layoffs. Maybe we'll get to Gondor, but you can forget about Mordor, or a Shelob's lair raid. (I dream, but I don't hope. What? It is fun to imagine the tactics of beating Shelob, if YOU could design the ultimate Shelob's lair raid.)

    As for me, I'll be in the North Downs, and Angmar; not purchasing HD.

    Rift of Nurz Gashu is so much fun to try to 6-man, btw. Difficult, but what are we left with?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    So the vast majority of people play this MMORPG casually solo?
    I don't know if it's "vast" or not, but it's almost certainly a majority. That isn't unique to LOTRO either. Koster said 10 years ago that players will solo until the game stops giving them a choice - an exaggeration, but there's some truth in it. I certainly hope nobody's going to make an appeal for forced grouping.

    First, MMORPG solo is an oxymoron.
    Nonsense. "Solo" in this context means "solo adventuring", not "hermit". Solo adventuring is clearly the majority playstyle, in any MMO which allows it. Soloers interact with other players in all sorts of ways, from chatting to trading/buying/selling, helping others, joining social guilds (kinships), etc. They just don't spend much time adventuring in groups.

    When I found someone soloing in the ND, I IMed him, and soon found out he was an alt of a grouper.
    So you have a sample size of 1? Congratulations. You do realize that Turbine knows all of this without any of the uncertainty that you and I have, right? They can just pull it from their database, and see which accounts raid, and which don't - how much time is spent on various activities, etc. They do very extensive data mining in order to help them decide what to do, whether forum feedback lines up with reality on the ground, etc.

    I've pointed this out before, but once upon a time a much more raid/instance-centric game (WoW) was instrumented to give extensive (and comprehensive) data on all of the characters on a number of servers, 15-18 months after it shipped. This data was pulled on every character logged in, every 10 minutes, 24/7. What it found was quite surprising. Like... only 1 in 3 level-capped characters even set foot in a single raid during an entire month, and only half of those had stayed long enough to complete one raid. In a month. Those who raided "regularly" (3 or more in a month) were only a fraction of that 1/2 of 1/3. Etc. Many raiders flatly refused to believe it, because "everyone they knew" raided - an excellent example of self-selection bias. Yet it was true.

    Also suppose that the "Let's solo an MMO." people play once a week, or less. Suppose that many of these are f2p, and do not hand in money, but only do so when absolutely necessary. (I.E. expansions.)
    Those seem like very bad assumptions, and if true, you have to also assume that Turbine doesn't care if their flagship game crashes and burns. And that they must actually want more layoffs, since the ones they went through last year were so much fun.

    Uh huh. Sure.

    They're making decisions to try and give the most entertainment to the most people they can within their resource/budget constraints. That's what rational businesses do, and I see no reason to think they're any different. You might not like those decisions, but that doesn't make them wrong.

    Khafar
    Last edited by Khafar; Sep 16 2013 at 04:25 AM.

  3. #3
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    I have been playing this game for over 5 years, running 2 subscriptions and about 8 other Premium accounts. I have 3 kinships consisting only my characters, and I play every day for several (too many according to my wife) hours.

    So, my sample size of one would lead you to the opposite conclusion to the OP's.

    Neither is statistically valid. The only people who can draw any true conclusions are Turbine, and unless they are a suicidal organization, it seems improbable that they would pursue a path that guaranteed doom.


    • How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

      Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, Chap. 6, p. 111
    Last edited by mjk47; Sep 16 2013 at 09:29 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjk47 View Post
    I have been [laying this game for over 5 years, running 2 subscriptions and about 8 other Premium accounts. I have 3 kinships consisting only my characters, and I play every day for several (too many according to my wife) hours.

    So, my sample size of one would lead you to the opposite conclusion to the OP's.

    Neither is statistically valid. The only people who can draw any true conclusions are Turbine, and unless they are a suicidal organization, it seems improbable that they would pursue a path that guaranteed doom.


    • How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

      Sherlock Holmes, The Sign of Four, Chap. 6, p. 111
    Obviously it is all subjective experience depending on each player, but from my point of view I have seen 90%+ of my friends leave the game in dusgust at the direction Turbine/WB have taken. All say the same things, "dumbed down", "Grindfest", "Greedy money grabbing", "don't listen to what players say", "don't fix bugs, but add &&&& content", etc, etc. I used to be in a kin with hundreds od members (players not just characters), now that kin has folded completly due to so few members still playing and I am in a new kin which is an amalgamation of the remaining players from 6 seperate kins, we have EIGHT members!

    It seems our experiences of what is happening to LotRO are quite different!

  5. #5
    I have had the same experience, Imladris at least a year ago, used to be very lively for a low pop. server, my kin was huge and did pretty much everything (raiding, crafting help, casual instances etc....) Activity died down a bit when RoI came out but it was tolerable, managed to get PUGs running quite easily. Then it all started to stagnate soon after RoR came out. You don't need to be a detective to realise that group activity is minimal now compared to a few years ago on the server, even in peak hours there are few calls for groups on LFF channels and most of the raiders have left. My Kin is still 30 pages strong but you never see more than 5 online at a time now, and all of our regular raiders have either quit or moved to hardcore raiding kins.

    Ever since activity died down I've stopped playing and have no motivation to buy HD if it's going to be a lacklustre as RoR, for me there is no joy in a solo experience in a MMORPG.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by podgie_bear View Post
    It seems our experiences of what is happening to LotRO are quite different!
    Indeed, and that is the crux of the issue. It all depends on the relative proportions of the different sorts of players as to which of us is closer to the "norm".

    It appears to be a commonly observed phenomenon that the player base of all MMOs is changing away from the original type of players who were first drawn to the genre. They seem to have been very group-oriented, and you only have to read the many, many posts harking back to the "goold old days" to see that things used to be very different. MMOs have become the victims of their own success. As they have expanded their player base, they have tended to move to support an increasingly large community of more solo/casual oriented players.

    I have long held the opinion that LotRO is atypical in that it attracts a much larger proportion of people who are not long-term MMO players. They came here for the lore, and they do not share the same motivations as traditional MMO player, at least initially. Some of them will become "gamers", and others will not. The key difference is that those who become gamers are more likely to embrace other games, and if they become dissatified with LotRO may move elsewhere.

    For those whose only game is LotrO, that is just not an option. They are likely to be more tolerant of change, and also less affected by it as they have less investment with, and place less importance on the detailed mechanics that are so crucial to some other players.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishFingers View Post
    I have had the same experience, Imladris at least a year ago, used to be very lively for a low pop. server, my kin was huge and did pretty much everything (raiding, crafting help, casual instances etc....) Activity died down a bit when RoI came out but it was tolerable, managed to get PUGs running quite easily. Then it all started to stagnate soon after RoR came out. You don't need to be a detective to realise that group activity is minimal now compared to a few years ago on the server, even in peak hours there are few calls for groups on LFF channels and most of the raiders have left. My Kin is still 30 pages strong but you never see more than 5 online at a time now, and all of our regular raiders have either quit or moved to hardcore raiding kins.
    .
    Same on Eldar. It used to be a very busy server. During weekends GLLF would generally be around 800 or so a few years ago, and 500-600 or so a year ago. Even in the great post moria, pre-f2p content lull it was well over 500. I logged in for a ride around a few areas on friday and sat night around 10pm GMT. GLFF was under 200 both times.

    I started off in The Shire, saw 2 people at the Farmers faire, rode to Evendim and around the lower half, saw no-one, same in the north downs and esteldin. I ported to Bree, saw one other person whilst running from one end to the other and looking around the Pony. Ported to 21st, no-one there, ported to Galtrev and saw one other person. Ported to Stangard, no-one there. Rode to Rohan and all around there, saw one person. Took about 1 1/2 hours, and I saw about 7 people during that entire time. The chat during that time consisted of one person asking in vain for others to do HoC, one person trying to sell something, and one person asking for others for another instance- a total of about 8 messages, and this was during what used to be a busy time on a weekend. It's a long way from when the 21st hall used to lag like crazy from all the people standing around both in the main hall and the auction bunker. Even at 1am, that was always busy with people at one point, same at Galtrev not that long ago.
    My kin had nobody online, both leaders hadn't been on for 5 months. At 3am on Sunday morning, there were 10 people on GLFF.
    A once busy server is pretty much a ghost town now. It's easier to find elite mobs now than it is other players in most areas. That's pretty sad.

  8. #8
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    I play on two servers regularly. One is a higher populated server and one is a lower populated server. Both are NA servers and I play at odd times fairly often. Both are active enough (the fests are 'popular') and I often run across other players in out-of-the-way areas. Raiders are raiding (maybe less than they used to, but to me, so what), casuals are doing their own thing. Pugs still advertise in LFF and GLFF, though GLFF gets spammed with junk that makes actually looking for a group tedious. YMMV. I dislike the 'old school' MMO. Always have, always will. This game will die one day, but I plan to continue playing until the end.
    "No sadder words of tongue or pen are the words: 'Might have been'." -- John Greenleaf Whittier
    "Do or do not. There is no try." -- Yoda
    Indeed, in a world and life full of change, the only constant is human nature (A is A, after all :P).
    We old vets need to keep in mind those who come after us.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    So the vast majority of people play this MMORPG casually solo? First, MMORPG solo is an oxymoron.
    Two things you need to understand. First, you have a limited point of view. Do you play on every server all day long? I think not. Second, 95% of the game is designed to be played solo. You and I might group to complete it, but you can do nearly everything solo. Open your quest panel, click on a quest and you will see the vast majority of quests are designed to be completed solo. That is no different than any other MMO I have ever played. The best part about this game is that they don't restrict a lot of the content. If you have a full fellowship, you can still do a large amount of solo quests, faster and easier than people soloing. Only have a full fellowship, you can still give the rift a shot.

    You shouldn't complain that this game isn't restrictive enough, it wouldn't be what it is if everything were designed one way or the other.

  10. #10
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    nothing to play with my friends when I get to Helm's Deep.
    Epic Battles support group sizes of 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12.

  11. #11
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    Im just here to answer the question in the title...

    Ghmm... They be doing da cha-cha..yes da cha-cha

    ............And im off

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Epic Battles support group sizes of 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12.
    We've been told that it does not support the same size configuration in all spaces.

    It is entirely possible that we won't be able to bring the group size we want to the space we want.

    Hopefully this doesnt happen often.
    Crell-L85-Champion - Riddermark ; Swego-L85-Burglar ; Kotvi-L95-Runekeeper
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  13. #13
    Sapience is offline Former Community Manager & Harbinger of Soon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crell_1 View Post
    We've been told that it does not support the same size configuration in all spaces.

    It is entirely possible that we won't be able to bring the group size we want to the space we want.

    Hopefully this doesnt happen often.
    This is true, and not inconsistent with how we have presented instanced content (like instance clusters) in the past.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    This is true, and not inconsistent with how we have presented instanced content (like instance clusters) in the past.
    True. With all of the parallels to skirmishes being made around the forums , I felt it was an appropriate point to make.

    I am however encouraged that each of the size configurations is supposed to be built from the ground up mechanically, rather than just attempting to scale encounters within them.

    Hopefully they leave us all impressed, because it's the defining new 'feature' of this expansion.
    Crell-L85-Champion - Riddermark ; Swego-L85-Burglar ; Kotvi-L95-Runekeeper
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    These people <soloers> I see in one area, crafting halls.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    I have seen little to nothing of the "vast majority of the player base." Why? Because they don't play often.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    Most of these soloers are not on very often, many do not know of glff. (Why would they need to. They are soloing. :-P)
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    ....and with the death of kin-ships, (except for solo kinships, where you help others craft in the crafting hall, where all the soloers spend a good deal of their time; watching them blue bars fill.)
    Do you have even the vaguest shred of evidence for any of this? Or is it just the usual anti-solo player rant?
    Never mind, the answer's pretty obvious.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapience View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Bronzesquire View Post
    nothing to play with my friends when I get to Helm's Deep.
    Epic Battles support group sizes of 1, 2, 3, 6, and 12.
    Not only that, but available at level ten means you don't even have to "get to Helm's Deep", just buy the expansion, spend an hour leveling a character out of the intro or afk craft to level ten, then jump into Big Battles with friends/strangers, no need to purchase any other regions, unlock or buy anything for your character.

    It might help to log in daily for the slot machine to give you better armour though. ;-)
    [center]Click here for our community [url=https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0As1T2ZXLPqhTdE05T21qYklYRFF3emVuM18zTnU0aGc&hl=en]LOTRO store pricelist, conversion rates and pictures[/url], please contribute too![/center]

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJFerret View Post
    Not only that, but available at level ten means you don't even have to "get to Helm's Deep", just buy the expansion, spend an hour leveling a character out of the intro or afk craft to level ten, then jump into Big Battles with friends/strangers, no need to purchase any other regions, unlock or buy anything for your character.

    It might help to log in daily for the slot machine to give you better armour though. ;-)
    Which is why I think the way Big Battles have been implemented is smart and clever. This game can do well with new blood in it's community.

    I'm also going to say something really wierd: Big Battles could be sweet for raiding kins. As a recruiting ground! There will be an influx of new blood to LOTRO, and that will bring a fresh breeze to this community, including raiding kins.

    But much of the fate of raiding kins hinges on the way loot is distributed. It's safe to say that the RNG dominated mechanism has alienated a substantial part of the raiding community.

    Still, I eagerly await some good press about Big Battles! Bring it on!

    Joining dates 11-2013 or 12-2013 may become a defining population. Mind my words.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainothon View Post
    Which is why I think the way Big Battles have been implemented is smart and clever. This game can do well with new blood in it's community.

    I'm also going to say something really wierd: Big Battles could be sweet for raiding kins. As a recruiting ground! There will be an influx of new blood to LOTRO, and that will bring a fresh breeze to this community, including raiding kins.

    But much of the fate of raiding kins hinges on the way loot is distributed. It's safe to say that the RNG dominated mechanism has alienated a substantial part of the raiding community.

    Still, I eagerly await some good press about Big Battles! Bring it on!

    Joining dates 11-2013 or 12-2013 may become a defining population. Mind my words.
    Raiding kins based around old raids and big battles, i don't see it happen. Most raiders get bored if there is no new raid once a year and many already left the game. As Turbine said earlier Big Battles won't be difficult instances, but based upon how well your character performs you get better rewards. And no raider wants easy content to repeat over and over. For example Rift and Helegrod were challenging raids even when you already completed them before. Only the real veterans could do them with closed eyes and even then you had to be on your toes. I'm sure Big Battles won't offer this kind of challenge.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Khafar View Post
    I don't know if it's "vast" or not, but it's almost certainly a majority. That isn't unique to LOTRO either. Koster said 10 years ago that players will solo until the game stops giving them a choice - an exaggeration, but there's some truth in it. I certainly hope nobody's going to make an appeal for forced grouping.

    Nonsense. "Solo" in this context means "solo adventuring", not "hermit". Solo adventuring is clearly the majority playstyle, in any MMO which allows it. Soloers interact with other players in all sorts of ways, from chatting to trading/buying/selling, helping others, joining social guilds (kinships), etc. They just don't spend much time adventuring in groups.

    So you have a sample size of 1? Congratulations. You do realize that Turbine knows all of this without any of the uncertainty that you and I have, right? They can just pull it from their database, and see which accounts raid, and which don't - how much time is spent on various activities, etc. They do very extensive data mining in order to help them decide what to do, whether forum feedback lines up with reality on the ground, etc.

    I've pointed this out before, but once upon a time a much more raid/instance-centric game (WoW) was instrumented to give extensive (and comprehensive) data on all of the characters on a number of servers, 15-18 months after it shipped. This data was pulled on every character logged in, every 10 minutes, 24/7. What it found was quite surprising. Like... only 1 in 3 level-capped characters even set foot in a single raid during an entire month, and only half of those had stayed long enough to complete one raid. In a month. Those who raided "regularly" (3 or more in a month) were only a fraction of that 1/2 of 1/3. Etc. Many raiders flatly refused to believe it, because "everyone they knew" raided - an excellent example of self-selection bias. Yet it was true.

    Those seem like very bad assumptions, and if true, you have to also assume that Turbine doesn't care if their flagship game crashes and burns. And that they must actually want more layoffs, since the ones they went through last year were so much fun.

    Uh huh. Sure.

    They're making decisions to try and give the most entertainment to the most people they can within their resource/budget constraints. That's what rational businesses do, and I see no reason to think they're any different. You might not like those decisions, but that doesn't make them wrong.

    Khafar
    As per usual, Khafar has hit the nail on the head here. 100% agree. Excellent points.

  20. #20
    If Turbine is targeting new players at the expense of existing long-time players it must mean that new players are more profitable. I suppose I can see that. New players are more apt than long-time players to buy store assets (as opposed to consumables) like Shared Storage, Stat Tomes, Virtues, etc. It's not that old players don't want that stuff, it's just that they've already purchased it and don't need more.

    Khafar is right though. It's pretty undeniable that end-game players are a small minority. If they were Turbine would be freakin irrational, and I don't believe they are irrational. Marketing 101 is all about segmenting your market. You don't want to compete with everyone on everything. You want to target specific niches and be the best at those to attract a customer base. Turbine has decided to target the casual segment. Guild Wars is very focused on the PvP segment. I suppose that RIFT is kind of in the raiding segment. WoW and TOR seem to still be targeting the whole MMO market. Segmenting the MMO market makes sense. As a "raider" I'm sorry to see Turbine leave those customers behind, but I can understand why they are doing it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bastiat1 View Post
    If Turbine is targeting new players at the expense of existing long-time players it must mean that new players are more profitable. I suppose I can see that. New players are more apt than long-time players to buy store assets (as opposed to consumables) like Shared Storage, Stat Tomes, Virtues, etc. It's not that old players don't want that stuff, it's just that they've already purchased it and don't need more...
    Old player here! I still buy store only passive skills & extra shared space. I feel like i can never have to much discount skills, stats improvement & space is never enought. I havent purchase all them yet. They are too expensive to buy all at once.

  22. #22
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    you get irked 'cause people don't know how to play their class in a group. 'cause indeed they've soloed most
    you get level 85s going: ###? why don't you want ME in your level 20 or 30 instance
    you get spammed with: sammy pls

  23. #23
    It's insane to me that everyone is saying "there's no group content, there's no raids" simply because Turbine chose not to use the word "raid". They should have called Epic Battles "Dynamic Raids" just to quiet down all furor. Turbine has said clearly that epic battles DO have raid level settings and do support raid-sized groups. That makes them raids--perhaps not in the typical "Tiered multiboss gear ladder with locks" mindset, but a raid is group content designed for 2+ full fellowships. 12-man group Epic Battles are raids.

    Now, I'm not saying they will be as good, better, or worse than traditional raids. But they are group content designed for raid-sized groups, and that makes them raids. As of now, no one has seen the finished product of epic battles. So for raiders to say automatically that there are no raids and no content that caters to their playstyle is patently absurd. They have said they will have raid-sized epic battles with scaling difficulty.

    Again: I'm not saying these will be as good, better, or worse than traditional raids. I don't know any more than anyone else does, as I have seen or played an Epic Battle. Certainly they have the capacity to turn out great or terrible or anywhere in between. But they are group content, and it would be nice if people would at least try something or at least even SEE it before insisting that it is terrible and stupid.

    Now, if AFTER people have seen it they still hate it, that's a different story. But as of right now no one has. And to say that HD will not have raid-level or group-level content is simply absurd. There IS such content. It will just be different.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by YamydeAragon View Post
    Old player here! I still buy store only passive skills & extra shared space. I feel like i can never have to much discount skills, stats improvement & space is never enought. I havent purchase all them yet. They are too expensive to buy all at once.
    Another old player here. I guarantee i spend more than 95% of players on this game.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrumtrelescent View Post
    It's insane to me that everyone is saying "there's no group content, there's no raids" simply because Turbine chose not to use the word "raid". They should have called Epic Battles "Dynamic Raids" just to quiet down all furor. Turbine has said clearly that epic battles DO have raid level settings and do support raid-sized groups. That makes them raids--perhaps not in the typical "Tiered multiboss gear ladder with locks" mindset, but a raid is group content designed for 2+ full fellowships. 12-man group Epic Battles are raids.
    I can agree with this... But wording aside, from what we know they appear to be glorified skirmishes.. Skirmishes also have a raid setting but we dont call them "raids" do we....
    I for one find skirmishes a great addition to the game, a good pass-time, and i enjoy them when playing solo... What i think bothers most people is the idea that there will be little or no challenge and that the rewards might not be scaled up sufficiently when playing these big battles in raid groups.... Just like with skraids that can be soloed by some classes at this time.. (I find that preposterous..)

    I cant say for sure it will be like that with big battles but everyone critical of this new group content has that feeling because the game has become so solo/casual friendly.... Some players just dont like spoon feeding intended for less skilled, time lacking, or solo oriented players...
    "Lets wait and see"... Is the best position one can take at this time...

 

 
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