(I started to reply to a thread about "30 days of double XP" (https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthr...rough-Nov-17th) , but realized my post was, really, on a different tangent. So, rather than risk derailing that thread, here...)
In that other thread, some people were celebrating double-xp, and some bemoaning it, each for their various reasons. I was going to post my opinion, but...
...but let me take a step back, because I'm afraid that if I did I'd be being a bit of a hypocrite...
I've always held and promoted the philosophy that "There are 101 ways to play, and every one is right - just not right for everyone." And I've often defended views I disagree with, simply because of that - "fun" is where you find it, not where someone else, or even "the majority" believes it should be found.
The problem is that Lotro, apparently, disagrees with me.
I say this because they have chosen to force double-xp on everyone, with no option to avoid it. If you don't like it, TOUGH, SUCK IT. Hey, seriously - that's what's happening for the next month, right? Double xp whether you like it or not! I mean, we never see a "half-xp" weekend, or a "no XP!" weekend, do we, even tho' many players spend Real Money on TP to buy a Stone of the Tortoise to achieve exactly that!
So... why one group and not the other?...
I think the answer is that Lotro is applying a a new paradigm to the game, one that has not been the paradigm of past years, and is expecting everyone to like it - and, clearly, not everyone does.
For those who like a challenge (and there is no "challenge" to the game unless you put it there), double-xp makes that, the task of creating/maintaining a challenge, more difficult (if not impossible) in itself. The whole game suddenly becomes trivial - that's the term Lotro uses for grey monsters, right?
For those who don't care about end-game or even "*ding* Level!", and want to take their time and enjoy each region at-level, again, too bad - you're going to out-level your current region whether you try to or not.
Now, for those who do like it - hey, great, honestly happy for you - I wish you could find some empathy in your hearts for those whose game and "fun" just got jerked out from under them. I mean, how would you feel if Lotro did have a month of "half-xp"? You know it would be popular with some players, just not you...
I guess my biggest concern is that this seems to reflect a recent pattern of such, of shifting away from "Enjoy the story, experience Middle Earth!" to "Race to endgame!" - a serious shift in design and marketing philosophy that, I believe, does not reflect the type of player that Lotro had - past tense - had been targeting until recently, and that the game simply does not seem designed for. Lotro will never have the hard-core gamer challenge of, say, DDO* - so why shift models when the platform won't support it, when the gamer base you've cultivated over years won't (all) enjoy it?
(* Dungeons and Dragons Online, another popular WB MMORPG, but very diff in mechanic and player-dynamic, that presents very difficult instances ("dungeons") at-level, expects some repetitive "dungeon crawling" to level, punishes over-level play (with significantly lower xp), and strongly rewards end-game achievement.)
And the dull, predictable response of "Anyone who doesn't like it doesn't have to play" ignores the fact that - for years, it's been the other way around. The entire player base that has been on this site since its start has stayed with the "world immersion" approach, and changing that now significantly and seriously changes that. Yes, anyone can leave - my question is, does Lotro understand their decisions are inviting them to?
Me? I hate the forced double-xp - I'm going to park my permanent alts for the next month, and IF I do play I'll just grind TP - that's one thing that double-xp is good for.
Good gaming, all - whatever game you'll be enjoying between now and Nov 17.