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  1. #1

    So what is this game's approach towards new players? Some suggestions

    I want to start off with the following:

    I got 3 irl friends to play this game. They all left sooner or later, but no later than reaching level 70 with their character. All of them were VIP, and I was helping them out on alot of stuff. Does that ring a bell? hmm? nothing yet? ok.

    What about the pricing of The Rohaniad expansions (isengard, rohan, helms deep). Very old content, some of it very bland (most would agree rubberbanding warhorse is not a nice experience), some of it pretty much despised (looking at you epic battles). And now, forget the price. That's for the f2p players that SSG does not care much about.
    But my friends were VIP, so contributing to SSG's finances. Even more, getting cosmetics and such. So why did they leave? Because VIP does NOT cover very old expansions that nobody cares about anymore. And not only that VIP does not cover that, but some are INCREDIBLY expensive to this day besides being obsolete and hated content (helm's deep was this game's lowest point, numbers dont lie... yet it remains an ASTONISHING 4295 LP... vastly more expensive than even the current endgame expansion).

    So you're basically telling a new player, that he has to shed out a couple more dozen bucks ABOVE the VIP --- JUST to level up. Or mindlessly grind for dozens of hours on alts to get the LP. This player just wants to reach endgame on ONE character so he can play with his friends without being a burden on them and forcing them to roll new alts or play underleveld content. And he's shedding cash for it, but you ask for more. Alot more than even some AAA titles do. How does that sound SSG. fun? Would you play such a game?

    Nevermind the not-so-sure new player that can not even get a proper feeling of his class and the game with max level 30 free areas. Nevermind that Eriador should be made free in game that reached level 130 and is decades old. No. But the VIP is not doing what people expect it to do, and you lose alot of new players because of it. Sorry not sorry.
    I would personally, if it was this bad when i started playing, never played. Content keeps piling up yet pricing remains the same on old stuff, driving ever more people away due to the enourmous content locked behind hidden costs (people, you know, expect to be able to level up atleast normally if they buy VIP)

  2. #2
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    Gotta say, I completely agree. A game like this should be making bulk of its profit off long time, highly invested players. And not through P2W nickel-and-diming, but by placing strong incentive on maintaining a paid subscription.

    They hamstrung their earning potential by offering lifetime VIP to playerbase while game story arc was far from complete. No wonder a lot of people took the opportunity. Now, they cannot tie a lot of value to VIP, cause they would be literally giving it free to the most entrenched player segment.

    As a result, these days, VIP is pretty much stripped of value. There is literally no benefit for the most prolific players to maintain it.

    Through a series of financial blunders, prior management of LotRO has neutered its ability to earn money off its most invested and established playerbase. Instead, we now have the lootbox situation, and the ILI situation, and having to buy all the expacs situation, all of which primarily impact the relative newcomers trying to catch up to the main bulk of playerbase.

    They chopped down the tree they been sitting on. Now they are trying to climb the saplings.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by scorrp10 View Post
    Gotta say, I completely agree. A game like this should be making bulk of its profit off long time, highly invested players. And not through P2W nickel-and-diming, but by placing strong incentive on maintaining a paid subscription.

    They hamstrung their earning potential by offering lifetime VIP to playerbase while game story arc was far from complete. No wonder a lot of people took the opportunity. Now, they cannot tie a lot of value to VIP, cause they would be literally giving it free to the most entrenched player segment.

    As a result, these days, VIP is pretty much stripped of value. There is literally no benefit for the most prolific players to maintain it.

    Through a series of financial blunders, prior management of LotRO has neutered its ability to earn money off its most invested and established playerbase. Instead, we now have the lootbox situation, and the ILI situation, and having to buy all the expacs situation, all of which primarily impact the relative newcomers trying to catch up to the main bulk of playerbase.

    They chopped down the tree they been sitting on. Now they are trying to climb the saplings.
    How exactly are lifers impacting the new players? They already bought the old expansions years ago. They are all old players who have everything grinded/bought anyways. The new player however, is supposed to take the burden of a decision made decades ago which is not even relevant anymore? lifer vips still have to buy the new expansions, like everyone else. How is including old expansions into vip affected by lifers?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by scorrp10 View Post
    A game like this should be making bulk of its profit off long time, highly invested players.
    They probably did ..... FOR A DIFFERENT COMPANY. You have to remember Turbine made the game and reaped all those initial profits. SSG now has the game, but none of those earlier profits. While better off than a brand new company with a brand new game, they're still only bring in money on what they've done since they took over. So subs, expac sales and yes that P2W nickel and dime stuff you talked about.

    Quote Originally Posted by scorrp10 View Post
    They hamstrung their earning potential by offering lifetime VIP to playerbase
    Well Turbine did and SSG now has to suck all those with Lifetime subs up.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver_ArrowWind View Post
    How exactly are lifers impacting the new players? They already bought the old expansions years ago. They are all old players who have everything grinded/bought anyways. The new player however, is supposed to take the burden of a decision made decades ago which is not even relevant anymore? lifer vips still have to buy the new expansions, like everyone else. How is including old expansions into vip affected by lifers?


    Excellent points.

    And you are exactly right (in your first post) that high pricing of very old content is a ridiculous barrier for new players who subscribe. It never ceases to amaze me how many frustrating decisions this game continues to make concerning new players. These are customers who WANT to play and are WILLING to pay for it! Why make it so aggravating for them to continue?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebless View Post

    Well Turbine did and SSG now has to suck all those with Lifetime subs up.
    I just wanted to say as a lifer, I spent over a hundred bucks on points over the holidays.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidmeetHal View Post
    I just wanted to say as a lifer, I spent over a hundred bucks on points over the holidays.
    And I don't doubt there's some premium players that could say the same. Thing is that initial lifetime Sub payment you made went to someone else and not SSG so they're in the position to support your never ending sub, without seeing any of the profit from that sub.

  8. #8
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    When is the last time lifetime subs were made available? They weren't around by the time I joined.

    My understanding of the point of lifetime subs is that they're used for quick capital when a company is starting out. It's sort of like kickstarting. You hand over money for a lifetime sub to a company that might tank quickly, which would waste your money, or might do well, which would save you a bunch of money -- assuming that you still *like* the game and want to play past the point that the lifetime sub pays for itself. So it's a gamble for the lifetime subscriber. It's also a gamble for the company, since they're trading future earning potential for money to expand the business.

    So, you don't ofter lifetime subscriptions when your content is DONE. You offer them when it's BEGINNING. For software as a service, like this, it can be a good alternative to a business loan or venture capital.

    Of the folks I know who bought lifetime LOTRO subscriptions, only a few are still playing. Folks lose interest. A bunch (most?) of them probably played long enough to make their lifetime subscriptions worth it, but LOTRO has been around a very long time.
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  9. #9
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    I wish they would change the game so that everything up to Rohan is now free content, inlcuding Isengard and Great River, allowing you to level up to level 75+ before you have to make a purchase. It has been mentioned before that quite a few games include all previous expansions when you buy the latest expansion, and that is certainly something SSG should consider if it is financially feasible.

    I see a lot of players join the game, absolutely fall in love with it, and then by the time they get to level 30 or so they start to realize they need to buy Evendim, Misty Mountains, Eregion to make it to Moria..... and then drop cash to get Moria, and a lot of people just right out quit the game at that point.

    If including that much content for free is not something that is financially possible, SSG should consider launching a number of "packs" that includes sets of regions.... e.g.:

    Pack #1: - All content up to level 65, including Eriador (except Isengard), Moria, Lothlorien, Mirkwood: $19.95
    Pack #2: - All content up to level 95, including Isengard, Great River, Riders of Rohan, Wildermore, Helms Deep and Fangorn: $19.95
    Pack #3: - All content up to level 105, including Western Gondor, Central Gondor, Eastern Gondor, Far Anorien, March of the King, Old Anorien, The Wastes: $19.95

    Basically, everything that is older than 4 to 5 years.... should be in some form of affordable purchasing option to make it easier on new players. It's not like they can do it "over time" like all of us have done.... with buying an expansion or zone once a year or so for 12 years.... they have to find a way to get to level 130 in.... well, maybe a year's time or so, and the financial threshold is quite high if you condense all those years into a period of about 1 year or so.

    This will give new players to enjoy all old content for a price of $60, spread out over time at $20 bucks per "pack" so to speak as you require them for leveling. I mean, we went to level 105 FIVE years ago, so I think that is probably a good cutoff point.

    When/If we go beyond 130 to the next level, we can address adding Mordor/Dale/Iron Hills/Vales etc to a "Pack #4" or so, maybe in 2 years or so from now when it might be more appropriate.

    Basically: Make everything under level 105 accessible for an affordable option. I'm thinking you probably would make more money this way, as $20 isn't that much to get everything till Mirkwood.... and by then, you got them hooked!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by maartena View Post
    I see a lot of players join the game, absolutely fall in love with it, and then by the time they get to level 30 or so they start to realize they need to buy Evendim, Misty Mountains, Eregion to make it to Moria..... and then drop cash to get Moria, and a lot of people just right out quit the game at that point.

    If including that much content for free is not something that is financially possible, SSG should consider launching a number of "packs" that includes sets of regions....
    There's the quad pack for the first four expansions that works as you describe. I bought that on sale, and it seems like just the right thing.

    I think what we need is, at the very least, quad pack #2 for a similar price.

    While we're making random suggestions about what would bring in and keep new players, I have to say that visual revamps of the early regions would be my bet. I am the world's slowest leveler (or actually, perhaps it's better to say that I spent years hanging out in this game chasing figurative squirrels, running the post in the Shire, and basically doing everything but actually advance). I'm in Rohan for the first time on Legendary. This place is gorgeous. Probably the thing that makes it feel updated most to me is the NPC models and faces. That "alone" (I'm sure it would take a ton of work) would make the earlier stuff feel less like playing a 13yo game. You spend a lot of time looking at low-res faces early on that have like 5 variations. Lots of noobs probably move on before you get to the fresh-looking stuff.
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  11. #11

    Lfetimers

    Te lifetime sub is a legacy issue &was a parting gift from codeweavers when turbine bought them. The accountants at the body corporate that owned turbine must've been fuming when it went on offer just before the buyout!
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Periadot View Post
    Te lifetime sub is a legacy issue &was a parting gift from codeweavers when turbine bought them. The accountants at the body corporate that owned turbine must've been fuming when it went on offer just before the buyout!
    You are quite incorrect.
    I bought a lifetime sub just as the game started out (April 2007), and I still play.

    As for Codemasters (not Codeweavers), they were the distributors of LOTRO on behalf of Turbine until 2011. Codemasters were NOT bought by Turbine.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Silver_ArrowWind View Post
    How exactly are lifers impacting the new players? They already bought the old expansions years ago. They are all old players who have everything grinded/bought anyways. The new player however, is supposed to take the burden of a decision made decades ago which is not even relevant anymore? lifer vips still have to buy the new expansions, like everyone else. How is including old expansions into vip affected by lifers?
    I'll tell you. I'm a lifer only paid cash for MoM and SoM. Everything else was purchased using free points. The latest expansion? I'm waiting for it to be available for points. I would consider playing, and paying, after hitting the cap each expac if the legendary grind wasn't so absurd.

    Lifetime subs lost them a TON of money over the years and has forced them to be nickle and dimers apparently.

    It's funny how you take legit arguments against SS's business model to nitpick the impact of lifetime accounts. The pricing is absurd relative to say SWTOR, which gives you ALL leveling content up to the point of purchase, in perpetuity even after unsubbing. Standing Stone has a horrendous pricing policy and pushes away far too many potential customers.
    Last edited by zathscorp; Feb 26 2020 at 04:42 PM.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Echoweaver View Post
    When is the last time lifetime subs were made available? They weren't around by the time I joined.

    My understanding of the point of lifetime subs is that they're used for quick capital when a company is starting out. It's sort of like kickstarting. You hand over money for a lifetime sub to a company that might tank quickly, which would waste your money, or might do well, which would save you a bunch of money -- assuming that you still *like* the game and want to play past the point that the lifetime sub pays for itself. So it's a gamble for the lifetime subscriber. It's also a gamble for the company, since they're trading future earning potential for money to expand the business.

    So, you don't ofter lifetime subscriptions when your content is DONE. You offer them when it's BEGINNING. For software as a service, like this, it can be a good alternative to a business loan or venture capital.

    Of the folks I know who bought lifetime LOTRO subscriptions, only a few are still playing. Folks lose interest. A bunch (most?) of them probably played long enough to make their lifetime subscriptions worth it, but LOTRO has been around a very long time.
    Turbine wasn't just starting out. They had established themselves with Asheron's Call. They went the lifetime route to mitigate short term risk and try to at least break even. They realized how big of a mistake it was while developing Moria, which they pushed out poorly tested at endgame. SoM was the model they wanted to follow going forward after that, small expansions to get the lifers to pay. But even that wasn't feasible so they went F2P.
    "Convenience not Advantage"____"There's a new PVP Zone coming"

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by zathscorp View Post
    Turbine wasn't just starting out. They had established themselves with Asheron's Call. They went the lifetime route to mitigate short term risk and try to at least break even.
    So, existing company, big (relatively) new project in the red. Same deal.

    If you could buy lifetime up to Moria, the seems like too long to me, but *shrug*.

    Also, almost all MMOs went F2P. After the fad was over, full subscription wasn't working for more than a few top games.
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  16. #16
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    SSG should be encouraging ftp players to be VIP's.
    To do so, VIP's should receive benefits that justify the cost.

    ESO do this well, if you are a VIP in that game you have access to all content, FTPers do not.

    SSG should make all content available (except the most recent expansion) for VIP's.

    That would of course necessitate a renegotiation of terms between SSG and their publisher (Daybreak).
    A simple business case demonstrating the win/win (customers/ SSG+daybreak) is all it would take.
    Do you need someone to write the business case for you?

    (Btw - I'm a lifetimer - have had some long breaks but am back now - I happily buy the expansions and sometimes buy lotro points)
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by maartena View Post
    I wish they would change the game so that everything up to Rohan is now free content, inlcuding Isengard and Great River, allowing you to level up to level 75+ before you have to make a purchase. It has been mentioned before that quite a few games include all previous expansions when you buy the latest expansion, and that is certainly something SSG should consider if it is financially feasible.

    I see a lot of players join the game, absolutely fall in love with it, and then by the time they get to level 30 or so they start to realize they need to buy Evendim, Misty Mountains, Eregion to make it to Moria..... and then drop cash to get Moria, and a lot of people just right out quit the game at that point.

    If including that much content for free is not something that is financially possible, SSG should consider launching a number of "packs" that includes sets of regions.... e.g.:

    Pack #1: - All content up to level 65, including Eriador (except Isengard), Moria, Lothlorien, Mirkwood: $19.95
    Pack #2: - All content up to level 95, including Isengard, Great River, Riders of Rohan, Wildermore, Helms Deep and Fangorn: $19.95
    Pack #3: - All content up to level 105, including Western Gondor, Central Gondor, Eastern Gondor, Far Anorien, March of the King, Old Anorien, The Wastes: $19.95

    Basically, everything that is older than 4 to 5 years.... should be in some form of affordable purchasing option to make it easier on new players. It's not like they can do it "over time" like all of us have done.... with buying an expansion or zone once a year or so for 12 years.... they have to find a way to get to level 130 in.... well, maybe a year's time or so, and the financial threshold is quite high if you condense all those years into a period of about 1 year or so.

    This will give new players to enjoy all old content for a price of $60, spread out over time at $20 bucks per "pack" so to speak as you require them for leveling. I mean, we went to level 105 FIVE years ago, so I think that is probably a good cutoff point.

    When/If we go beyond 130 to the next level, we can address adding Mordor/Dale/Iron Hills/Vales etc to a "Pack #4" or so, maybe in 2 years or so from now when it might be more appropriate.

    Basically: Make everything under level 105 accessible for an affordable option. I'm thinking you probably would make more money this way, as $20 isn't that much to get everything till Mirkwood.... and by then, you got them hooked!
    THey need to make it simple for new players, either of these choices would be the best.
    1. Sub and unlock all regions up to the latest expanstion.
    2. Buy the latest expansion and all previous content is included.
    3. Make a new base edition, that unlocks all content up to the latest expansion.


    That is the only change I would like to see here, many of my friends couldn't understand how they could sell expansions that are pretty much dead. And coming from any other MMO, this game has the most stupid content gating in all of them.
    Also killing 10k mobs to get a few LP is just so boring that its simply not an option for the majority of players opting in.

    It's also surprising, the way the game is monetized they should try to make as many people join in for as long as possible. Because if players get to endgame they will most likely spend LP because LP buys you literally everything in the game.

  18. #18
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    I am not saying it is the fault of lifetimers. It is the fault of the suits who offered you. You don't cook a goose that lays golden eggs. A $200-300 lifetime dub is significant to drop on a game at once. It takes an invested/dedicated player whio is likely not exactly starving. I am quite sure 9 of 10 lifetimers would keep sub/VIP if lifetime was never offered, bringing a lot more money to the table in the long run than they have.
    But the by far bigger issue is that VIP is just NOT WORTH IT for a player who reached cap and rolls with current endgame. The most invested kind of player who spends the most time and gets the most oit of the game has the least motivation to continue paying for it.
    Yes, there are a fair amount of players who maintain VIP even though it is of little benefit. Or spend money here and there even with lifetime. The recent bundling of task carry-alls to point purchases was a great move to loosen those lifetimer purse strings.
    But I am also quite certain that there are plenty of highly active players who could be bringing money to the table - and are not.
    In lieu of that lost income, SSG has to resort to the very practices we all 'love and appreciate'.

    Consider EverQuest. Unsubbed players there suffer certain handicaps that make it next to impossible to adequately perform at high levels, let alone endgame and raiding. These handicaps are not really felt till mid 70s (max level is 115) but it gets increasingly painful from there. The end result is any active player who wants to be in latest content, pays a sub.

    Now let me describe what LotRO would roughly be like if it followed EverQuest FTP/sub model:

    FTP player, upon installing the game, would have all content, every expansion, every quest pack and deed except Minas Morgul. (MM would become free once next content comes out). Full bank, full inventory, full access to fast stable routes, ptemium wallet(no caps), Journeyman riding. Able to fully enjoy every aspect of the game till about level 80. Past that, xp gain is cut in half. Unable to wear any gear above purple or slot any essences. Unable to unlock ILI legacy tiers past current free unlocks. Only 70 or so class trait points. Only half benefit from virtues.

    Upon subbing: latest xpac still needs to be bought.
    All trait points, access to all gear and all that. Full time access to a (much better) skirmish soldier. Imbued legacies auto-unlock to 69 at lvl 106. And to 79 at 116. So post-116 player needs only about 4 scrolls per legacy to max. And scrolls/crystals have high chance to drop off from on-level content.

    No lootboxes. Store only has cosmetics, and utility stuff like xp boosters.

    Things can be a lot nicer when core playerbase pays subscription.

  19. #19
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    Early Pre-Order Collector's Edition Founder With lifetime. Customers had a choice of Lifetime or 9.99 per month then. I left when f2p hit but since return, I spend roughly 120.00 to support the game. It's justified to me since the 9.99 per month. Heck even twice for two characters. I never was a alt type player. (Yeah, I know it was 14.99 but not for me. I feel sorry about that. (not really)) I bought the ultimates Mordor and Minas Morgul too AND spending the 99.99 on double points during Mordor, Erebor era.

    The WB era was more appealing to f2p'ers. Quad pack used to go on sale quite a bit with the WB. Not so much now. 30.00 was it? Then you'd get HD for 10.00. I lack the knowledge of what Gondor cost up to Minas Tirith, Ossgilith, North Ithilien, etc. I'd still say buy the game first then choose to subscribe or not.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Palenen View Post
    I lack the knowledge of what Gondor cost up to Minas Tirith, Ossgilith, North Ithilien, etc. I'd still say buy the game first then choose to subscribe or not.
    I was a person who got Moria quest pack (without the classes) and bought Isengard, Riders of Rohan, and Helm's Deep when they all came out. I had maybe one level 95 and another level 60. I waited 4 months for a huge sale and then it happened:

    Follow in Frodo's Footprints: 30% Off Mithril Coins and Quest Pack Sales! I was slightly annoyed that there was also 85% off Helms Deep, Riders of Rohan, and Rise of Isengard expansions for their Black Friday sale, 25% increased bonus for crafting experience, and 50% off Housing Decoration Sets. But that's what I get for paying for things when they first came out. So the calculations were...

    Quest Packs: There were 5 packs worth 795: Western Gondor, Central Gondor, East Gondor, Old Anórien, and March of the King marked down to 556. Battle of the Black Gate was still 795 at the time. The regional pack Far Anórien was marked down from 1995 to 1396. That brings 6765 down to 4971 total.

    Premium House: I bought 2 packs of Mithril Coins x 25. The cost came down from 500 to 350 lotro points. With the 50 free (from the server issue) and the 3 times I received 15 coins from the lootboxes, that gave me the exact amount of 145 mithril coins to buy a stately house.

    That brings the total count of 8244 lotro points I had down to 2923. Then buying Mordor for 2495 points, that brought me down to 428 points.
    Last edited by WeirdJedi; Feb 27 2020 at 01:14 AM.

  21. #21
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    VIP's have access to all non expac content, which is pretty good value considering how many regions are not expac material. That said, the cost of older expansions is high. I guess that is because it's expected that free to play players should be penalised points-wise at some point maybe.

    The solution to that is to offer incentivised discounted prices on older expansions to VIP's and base the discount on how long the player has been subscribed.
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  22. #22
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    There is a lot of accurate and directly useful information in this thread so far!
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nebless View Post
    Thing is that initial lifetime Sub payment you made went to someone else and not SSG so they're in the position to support your never ending sub, without seeing any of the profit from that sub.
    Wrong, SSG did see profits from my lifetime sub by the One hundred or so dollars I spent on points over the holidays. Actually, I bought points the year before too. And I spent real money on Minas Morgul.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LotroVidz View Post
    THey need to make it simple for new players, either of these choices would be the best.
    1. Sub and unlock all regions up to the latest expanstion.
    2. Buy the latest expansion and all previous content is included.
    3. Make a new base edition, that unlocks all content up to the latest expansion.
    Agreed 100% this be good for lotro as other MMOs do this, like Everquest II does this, Buying latest Expansion unlocks all of the previous expansions, same company that makes EQ also helps publish LOTRO/DDO.
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  25. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by LotroVidz View Post
    THey need to make it simple for new players, either of these choices would be the best.
    1. Sub and unlock all regions up to the latest expanstion.
    2. Buy the latest expansion and all previous content is included.
    3. Make a new base edition, that unlocks all content up to the latest expansion.

    You know, so many frustrated customers have shared amazing improvement ideas with the Devs this week, on this tread AND several others, that one would think that it must be getting harder and harder for them to ignore ALL of them.

    Ah well...one can only hope.

    Thanks for posting anyway.

 

 
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