So I got a little excited when I saw Turbine was having a war-steed cosmetic sale. I thought for sure this week's sale on riding traits was a miscommunication and they wanted to give people a chance to spend their Helm's Deep pre-order TP on some of the sweeter cosmetics before launch. Much to my chagrin, it was actually a marketplace bundle in which every character on your account can receive every class mount cosmetic.
I don't even know where to begin. So I guess I'll just make a list of procedures that must exist somewhere at Turbine HQ.
How to make money with Riders of Rohan:
1. Gate the best war-steed cosmetics behind TP, should encourage people to spend money rather than face an endless deed grind
2. Ensure quest-earned cosmetics are intentionally bland unless colored with a TP bought dye pack, and even then still bland
3. Bundle said dye packs so in order for people to get the colors they really want, they have to buy more than one
4. Throw one or two rare mount hides and accessories in the warband boxes, so they can't say there are none in the game
5. Forget hide colors. TP or nothing. Bundle like dye packs
6. Limit to two cosmetic slots. Dangle others in the UI with TP coin as a reminder
7. Make every purchase per character (bonus money and vacation days for the person who came up with this one)
8. Bundle a portion of the cosmetics together and sell it right before the new expansion for more than all other expansions combined. Hell, make it seem like a sweet deal by making it the whole account.
- Offer cosmetics as pre-purchase bonuses, make sure to omit they aren't dyeable
- Delete/lock/ignore all threads with objections. Out of sight, out of mind
- War-steed cosmetic development takes priority over any and all other development. Worth their weight in TP... scratch that, actual money
I mean seriously. I don't want to have to qualify my opinion with time and money invested in this game. I just want to understand how Turbine can possibly stand by this Apple-esque strategy of selling the game inch by inch and not expect us to be insulted by it. Cosmetics are an essential part of the game. Customizing your character to look exactly how you want them to is part of the game. And holding back the best parts of the game from paying customers unless they pay even more is just plain wrong.
Want to know something sad? I almost bought the biggest TP bundle the other day. This isn't just hyperbole to make my point, I was seriously going to do it so I could customize the war-steeds of my 4th and 5th characters approaching level cap with the additional thought that maybe, just maybe I'd be able to enjoy every engineered feature of the game without having to ever spend extra money again aside from expansions. And then you go and do a thing like this.
Are you guys really hurting that bad for cash that you're resorting to gouging your existing players with "deals" that are only "good" when compared to previous "deals"? Please just tell us so we can work harder to recruit new people into the game or get old players back or even just find people passionate enough about Tolkien to work on the game for free. But don't expect us to be happy when we pay for the whole pie and you give us crumbs and then have the audacity to sell us the rest for "less than its worth".
I was even genuinely excited about the prospect of the housing revamp in spite of the knowledge I'd be paying extra for it. Now I'm just depressed that I won't be able to afford to do what I want to do. And I'm a single, college-educated, gainfully-employed, middle-class male.
To the Devs: Don't worry, you've already got my money and I'll still play the game (probably). It is a business, after all, and the customers will always be complaining about something, right?
To players past and present who predicted F2P as the end of LOTRO as we know it: you were so unabashedly right.