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Some of us don't want server mergers - not saying *all* so hold your whining please. I see that as good news. As for the new dungeons..there's other things I would like more. This is not doom and gloom news for everyone.
It says no new traditional dungeons and raids. This doesnt rule out more big battles of different sizes.
When the community manager "takes the hobbits to isenguard" you know a foul wind blows on the south shore of Boston.
First and foremost I find the general tone from lotro in that Massively interview to be quite rude.
Secondly, the production news letter says the focus of the Devs in 2014 was going to be revising old content along with a new region.
In the Massively interview it's said the region revamps which people are craving are only "a possibility".
So what are we going to get in 2014? A mediocre new plot of land on the highway to Gondor without any form of instances as they are currently not working on them.
Probably with 12 new factions which each have 4 dailies to get to kindred. Oh perhaps we can start as outcasts with the Druadan to kick up the grinding an extra level.
(Previous line is a bit cynical, I know, can't blame a player who has been here for 6 years and keeps hoping for things to become better.)
Are the developers actually doing anything or are they silently packing their bags to hide all the money they've gathered in their own version of Bag End?
I'd like to give em the advantage on my doubt... But they are sure making it quite hard to do so.
A game server merger can be counter productive to the intended goals and there are many MMOs where this has backfired. In many respects keeping the game servers as they are, regardless of server population has a number of benefits:
1. The server communities remain stable. MMO companies should never under-estimate the detrimental impact it has when a player logs on and finds that they need to change their character names. In addition MMO companies often make poor judgements as to which communities to merge together, in particular merging RP servers within non-RP.
2. They are a distraction to the MMO team, requiring significant resources, planning and careful execution, often needed physical infrastructure upgrades and careful load & stress testing. All for an end result that at best is neutral to the player base.
3. Issues of low server population can be better addressed by proving cross-server / cross-realm features that allow players to play the selected aspects of the game's content with others - for example a cross-server "looking for group" feature could resolve issues where people cannot find others to do end-game content with. Cross-realm kin / guild features, allowing people to make friends on other servers and game / chat with them. The potential is endless and it's where MMOs need to be investing their energies. However merging servers is often the cheaper and quicker option which is why it's chosen by game directors / managers.
4. Last but not least, server merges don't address the underlying reasons why the game server populations were dropping in the first place. Take SWTOR as a recent example, not long after go live the player numbers fell away quite drastically and the response from Bioware was to merge servers. However what happened was that the new populations on those servers carried on falling and it was not until Bioware started to analyse the issues concerning the player base and put in place new features that things began (slowly) to turn around. To put it more simply, a game's decline is not reversed by merging servers.
As for LOTRO, my view is that Turbine should keep the servers as they are and focus on bringing game operating costs down by rationalising / coalescing the underlying server infrastructure when and where it gets the opportunity to do so.
Because SOA was damn site better than what we have in today's LOTRO.
(Well at least I can edit my signature!!)
not surprising. it's obvious the game can't sustain itself and produce quality content anymore. the passion the devs had for this game is long gone. i suspect they have been trending downward in a steep decline since around RoI, prolly a bit after it's release. it seems they were profitable enough to make a couple more expansions and with each one they added added a gimmicky new feature they hoped would increase excitement and revenue while scaling back (or completely for HD)the investment in traditional end game content. mounted combat was the first and many people were excited about it but it fell flat. i don't think that mattered too much to WB if it increased sales even slightly so we got a rushed, unpolished gimmick and less traditional, quality content. then, in a short amount of time people left, canceled subs, and didn't come back. one more shot. trait trees for a wider appeal and big battles in an iconic location. who cares if it is rushed and junky so long as renewed interest spikes sales, right? i have a feeling it didn't happen as WB would've liked. i doubt this game has much longer
Turbine is getting the brunt of the criticism but it prolly isn't their fault. the may have wanted to do a good job but the WB demands for new features with less investment prolly has created a defeated turbine just slogging through as per the boss demands. they may have seen the writing on the wall well before we did when HD was released and then got the announcement of nothing new for 2014. the defeatist and dismissive tone of their words indicates all is not well at Turbine, Inc and the last thing they want to hears is being blamed for the mediocre product they are being forced to create. they can't do much about it though. if the population decline detected solely by the naked eye across servers is any indication there is no point to keep the game running past the 2014 license expiration. WB may just scrap this little game sitting at the bottom of their pockets with all the rest of their chump change and give the gaming rights to another company or break it up to various others once the legal issues with the estate are resolved. i think at this point they would rather have a real facebook LotR game instead of trying to make this one of them. no need to renew turbine's license to the IP at all as they may see better profits elsewhere even if it takes a couple years of litigation
No new dungeons...well that saps my motivation to get better gear by 99%
There was a lot of smoke there from Sapience but very little fire. The only thing he said that was not a vague hint was the line about "no plans to merge servers", even that can change at a moments notice.
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Also the context-less way the article is written suggests Turbine have just given up with the line "Unless we can say we have 10 million players and are bigger than World of Warcraft, what's the point?" but it wasn't delivered in a defeatist way, at all.
I'll just leave it at that because I've not a single good word left for this game and the company running it.
July of 2013, we plan to support LOTRO for many years to come. I really want to be as clear as possible on this subject to avoid any further confusion or misunderstanding. The license was renewed.
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A revamped SoA region is a possibility to include in one of the updates in 2014, although no region has been picked yet.
With no new instances/raids planned any time in the near or distant future, no PVP updates, no housing revamp other brainstorming and only the "possibility" of a revamp to an older area what exactly is it the devs are working on? I mean seriously why go VIP.
THE LICENSE HAS BEEN RENWED!!!!!!!!!! TIME TO MOVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!
If they were concerned about operating costs and wanted to shut down a couple servers, I think they would offer free transfers off of the declining worlds (either open transfer to any or free to a target world), those who didn't transfer (due to not actively playing) might find upon return that they've been forcibly moved to a new world.
Just because there are no plans to merge doesn't mean the subject won't be discussed anymore nor that there aren't target numbers that pushes them to do something.
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