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  1. #1

    Ash Barter System

    First, I would like to note that this thread is not to address the current ash fiasco that SSG has on their hands. Having worked years in customers service, the response from SSG is simply pathetic. But, I do not want to go any further on this topic. Rather, I am reaching out to better understand the logic behind the ash system.

    To me there are two glaring questions that come up regarding the ash barter system:

    When Lotro went F2P, players were promised that a pay-to-win system would not come into the game. The system offers several ways to get ash including lootboxes, farming, and crafting (to my knowledge). The most lucrative of these is CLEARLY lootboxes. Solvents, stat tomes and other systems are also clearly pay to win, but the player base has over-looked those for years now. So, to the question: How can SSG justify this system to a client base that was promised a game that would avoid pay-to-win?

    My second question really comes down to SSG’s experience with the ash system. Lootboxes sometimes can be generous, but just come down to RNG (not even addressing the frequency you can get keys IN-GAME). Ash groups work in a similar manner; one hour I walk away with loot and the next hour, nothing. Crafting for ash is pointless. 10 per day or whatever the correct amount is barely puts a dent into the amount we need. And finally, the question: Has anyone from SSG even played the game to know what kind of grind players are facing with the ash barter system?

    It really comes down to the fact that I paid for Mordor to enjoy the content and continue to play a game that I have loved for 10 years. Instead, I have completed the Agarnaith orc slayer deed probably 20 times over (which is nothing compared to other players).

    I hope other players are wondering these same things and if SSG has already answered these questions, could someone please direct me to their response? If not, SSG, the players deserve an answer and I would greatly appreciate some sort of response.

    Hobbits Rule!

    Coma

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by baseballman1234 View Post
    Rather, I am reaching out to better understand the logic behind the ash system.
    I can't help but feel this answer is rather obvious, given the speed they shut down the barter for gear as prima facia evidence. The reason is that the ash system is clearly designed to extract as much time and money out of the player base as possible.

    I believe that the fatigue of the grind that shortly overwhelms a player from grinding Kala-Gijak, Warp Pens, or some other farming means, will quickly lead to frurstration and disappointment at the teal drop rates. This in turn lures players to lootboxes which can be wildly rewarding, with ash of up to 400, but rewarded only randomly (and I bet with a very low chance). This is classic intermittent-reinforcement and just another form of gambling (be it your time to acquire the keys or the money you spend to buy them).

    How, may I ask is the new end-game experience nothing but ash farming to prepare for T2 content? Or anything more than an obvious cash-grab by SSG offered as a convenient alternative.

    Clearly, the answer is apparent. However what is not apparent is why I should continue supporting this game for such an experience, much less my year's-long VIP subscription to continue to reward these questionable design decisions.


    Quote Originally Posted by baseballman1234 View Post
    How can SSG justify this system to a client base that was promised a game that would avoid pay-to-win?
    I'm not necessarily against these convenience items for F2P players or VIP who want to acquire gear as quickly as possible. However, I see very little thought at all given to VIP players to remain so, as our monthly renumeration is stricly Lotro Points, access to content areas and instances, and resting XP. I'm surprised that SSG won't consider given additional incentives to people to remain VIP, but I think this thread (and many others) address this point completely.


    Quote Originally Posted by baseballman1234 View Post
    And finally, the question: Has anyone from SSG even played the game to know what kind of grind players are facing with the ash barter system?
    I think this is a valid question. By far the most interaction we have with SSG comes from Cordovan who plays mid-level toons. I'm certain that Pinion is a great instance designer, but we never hear from him. Or really any of the other LOTRO developers.

    So I think what we see and think of SSG becomes largely what we see from their participation in the community. And of course, judge that as you will.

    What is most disappointing is that we don't have more interactions with the LOTRO dev team. Most of what we know is what Cordovan tells us. And while I'm sure he modulates the 'messaging' back to the devs, I'm not sure he is able to do it in such a way that can adequately represent us. Not a dig against him personally, of course, as he is relatively new from the DDO team. But, it is what it is.

  3. #3
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    If I quickly go back to this current price fiasco: SSG's initial reaction was to make the items gained useless and offer the ash paid back. Whoever came up with this plan can't be playing the game at this level. Discussions were had. That thread was like getting blood out of a stone. To me it seemed like they were intent on punishing the "Exploiters" but in retrospect I think they just had no clue of the consequences.

    So why were these Barter items not on BR? If too late to go into the last build then the release was too early, that's not it. It's to do with not stopping us bartering soon to be redundant gear and using up our resources on them.

    This is why we need Cordovan to valar a toon into the end game so we know someone there is playing it. I can't see it making progress for some time but it would be a start. I'm clutching at straws here, he's not our representative as some fans might think, he's SSGs.

    It's never been policy to make staff play Lotro but if you don't play there's no way you can appreciate the consequences of your actions that we see day to day. No clue of all those little annoyances that effect our overall enjoyment. Ignorance is bliss in this case.

    I'm harping on about that Heat selection non "issue" getting a fix in the patch but somehow is got to the top of some bug fix stack and excessive coverage of it on the live stream gives me my answer. We are largely unappreciated because they don't play and understand our issues.

    Mac

  4. #4
    well... what exactly do you win in lotro, if you say all thats p2w?

    I guess, most players just dont care about the "p2w" features in the game as those are irrelevant to their gameplay, which is playing through quests and for the story and sometimes doing instances or other stuff. Its not like its needed to be full BiS to do any of this...
    Diskutierer, Fragenbeantworter, Twinker, Händler, Handwerker und Anführer der 'Gemeinschaft der freien Völker' auf Belegaer.
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Oelle View Post
    well... what exactly do you win in lotro, if you say all thats p2w?

    I guess, most players just dont care about the "p2w" features in the game as those are irrelevant to their gameplay, which is playing through quests and for the story and sometimes doing instances or other stuff. Its not like its needed to be full BiS to do any of this...
    Most players participate in the ash system as well as essence system if they are playing in Mordor. In fact, to play new instances it is required to participate.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Oelle View Post
    well... what exactly do you win in lotro, if you say all thats p2w?

    I guess, most players just dont care about the "p2w" features in the game as those are irrelevant to their gameplay, which is playing through quests and for the story and sometimes doing instances or other stuff. Its not like its needed to be full BiS to do any of this...
    Couldn't agree more, plus the difference between BiS and other 115 level gear is minimal that makes no real difference, outside of obsessive analysis of combat logs.
    Last edited by Once_of_Bree; Oct 12 2017 at 12:47 PM.
    Wal's Army on Evernight - Walred (Champ), Walmur (RK), Walbert-2 (Cappy), Walori (Guard), Walrandir (LM), Walora (Warden), Walmo (Burg)

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by baseballman1234 View Post
    Most players participate in the ash system as well as essence system if they are playing in Mordor. In fact, to play new instances it is required to participate.
    So its impossible to enter and complete the new instances (in T1) with only crafting gear, questrewards and allegiances stuff when green or purple essences get used? I doubt that.
    Afaik, ashes is just like 15% better for 4 slots or so. Thats just maybe 5% better over all. If that prevents you from playing T1, where you get better gear for T2... then T1 is too hard, indeed.

    And yea, a big part of the players didnt yet reach endgame or just refuse to buy valarstuff and wait for the LP-release or the ability to buy Mordor for 20 bucks without valars. I dont have the numbers, but I guess neither do you
    Last edited by Oelle; Oct 12 2017 at 01:06 PM.
    Diskutierer, Fragenbeantworter, Twinker, Händler, Handwerker und Anführer der 'Gemeinschaft der freien Völker' auf Belegaer.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseballman1234 View Post

    When Lotro went F2P, players were promised that a pay-to-win system would not come into the game.
    Please provide link, otherwise it is an Argument from Hearsay - presenting testimony of a source that was not present to the event or circumstance in question.

    Also, lootboxes are very common in many MMO's and a source of income to finance development.
    .

    Main: Corrien Lvl 95 Champ (Meneldor)
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  9. #9
    I feel like in general the game is broken in so many aspects if we go back to the fact all class bonus' on gear has even had to be disabled right now and no more added and that is only scratching the surface. I do not believe players should be punished for a mistake on the basis of devs releasing content that obviously wasn't entirely ready to be launched and then calling your mistake a exploit on our end! That is an absolutely ridiculous statement to be made by SSG. I did not personally participate in this so called "exploit" but I do believe the players that did should not be punished for your mistake. The grind is still going to be there no matter what. Just let things be what they are and fix it so the rest of the players can move on. SSG is not going to be able to satisfy the players who have already ashed previous gear and used essence removal scrolls and replace essences lost and it seems more work than necessary. I feel like the best solution is again to just leave things the way they happened since it was SSG's fault and MOVE on!!!!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by treato View Post
    Please provide link, otherwise it is an Argument from Hearsay - presenting testimony of a source that was not present to the event or circumstance in question.

    Also, lootboxes are very common in many MMO's and a source of income to finance development.
    https://www.engadget.com/2010/06/04/...-with-turbine/

    Interview back when game went F2P. You can find a direct quote about gear not coming from store in one of the questions.

 

 

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