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?