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Author Topic: LotRO goes Free to PLay  (Read 13794 times)
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Scraper
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« on: June 04, 2010, 01:23:07 PM »

Not sure what to think about THIS yet.
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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2010, 01:43:12 PM »

Though not a fan of LoTR I think this is a fine move.  It has worked out really well for DDO.  This is pretty close to my ideal way to handle F2P.  I do think that most things should be able to be earned in game with money being the faster access option instead of items being money only.  This keeps paying as a convenience thing and not a 'have to pay to compete' type option. 

We're still in the phase in the western world where the mere utterance of F2P makes people shiver and assume it's a bad thing.  I've been playing Korean F2P games for years now and though it can definitely be done badly and money grubbing at times, it is also very possible to have it done well.

I do take issue when games try to both charge retail AND go micro-transaction though since that sometimes seems a bit much personally.

Turbine handles VIP status pretty well with their games.  If the points are straight up Turbine points then this also means that you can spend those points on either DDO or LoTR which would also be a win/win for them and us.
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2010, 01:48:46 PM »

What difference does this make for me as a paid subscriber who wants to continue doing things the way they've been done before? The VIP access described in that article seems like a worse deal for me than what I currently have (5 character slots as opposed to the 8 or so I have today, for example).
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« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2010, 02:01:34 PM »

Of course this happens after I just committed to a year subscription. Damn
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« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2010, 02:02:05 PM »

I have a lifetime sub, so I wonder what that will do for me?
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« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2010, 02:04:30 PM »

Quote from: Scraper on June 04, 2010, 02:02:05 PM

I have a lifetime sub, so I wonder what that will do for me?
Ditto, and I think we can go cry over our virtual beers together some day.  mad icon_lol

Do keep in mind though that DDO still has paid subscribers. I think perhaps the free LOTRO will barrage you with advertising and splash screen ads, maybe something like that, and maybe if you're lifetime you'll at least get a break from that. And I dunno, maybe lifetime players will get something that F2P'ers have to micro-transaction for. Just speculation on my part.

Check the Official Forums Dev Tracker for a lot more info:
http://forums.lotro.com/turbine_tracker.php?tracker=dev
btw, a woman (gasp) has taken over as executive producer of LOTRO.
Quote
By adding a free–to-play component and store offering we will open up LOTRO to millions of players who simply won’t play a game that requires a subscription fee. I’m sure many of you have lots of questions about this decision, and I want to say clearly that the decision to introduce a free-to-play option was based on the desire to take the game to a new level by bringing even more players into the world of Middle-earth. LOTRO is one of the most successful MMOs in the world and has been doing very well as a subscription-only game, but with the success we’ve seen with DDO it seemed clear that this move is going to be hugely beneficial for the LOTRO community.

For our LOTRO VIPs the game will not change, except there will be more players around to group with, and there will be the ability to use the new LOTRO Store, which is completely optional for all players and gives access to hundreds of convenience, cosmetic and consumable items! You’ll be able to check out the Store in the Beta Program, and I encourage any of you who are interested to click here to sign up for it! For more details, and to learn about the differences between VIPs, Premium players, and Free players, click here.

When we launch LOTRO Free-to-Play this fall, the change will bring with it more than just the transition to the hybrid business model. We’ve revamped the game’s starting areas, added the new region of Enedwaith, and will continue the journey of the Rangers south in Book 2 of our epic story.

As we go forward beyond this major update, we’re going to be giving our players the same great content and feature releases that you’ve come to expect from LOTRO. In late 2010 and into 2011, we’re going to be working on improvements to the Item Advancement / Legendary Items system, to Radiance, and to the monster play system. I believe this is going to be a very exciting time for LOTRO, and hope that you all continue to share your perspective on the game as it grows and changes as we continue our journey toward Mordor. Please sign-up for the Beta Program and let us know what you think about the way Book 2 is shaping up!
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 02:08:16 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2010, 02:06:38 PM »

us lifetime people will no doubt get a complimentary lifetime sub to STO.
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« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2010, 02:10:26 PM »

Quote from: Jaddison on June 04, 2010, 02:06:38 PM

us lifetime people will no doubt get a complimentary lifetime sub to STO.
Oh for the love of God don't accept it!  icon_lol

This FAQ tries to explain how things will change for VIP (lifetime, etc.) subscribers:
Announcing The Lord of the Rings Online's Move to Free-to-Play!
http://www.lotro.com/news/709
Quote
I already subscribe to LOTRO. Is there any benefit to staying a subscriber?

Of course! Once the game goes live you’ll keep all your current privileges, and also accrue 500 free Turbine Points per month to spend as you wish. We also have a set of Loyalty Reward Special Offers just for our veteran players – as long as you maintain your subscription in good standing you may be eligible for up to 3,000 points. If you stay active over the summer you will also earn an additional bonus of 500 Turbine Points per month until launch! For more details see the Loyalty Reward Special Offer Terms & Conditions for full details.
=======================
I have a lifetime subscription to LOTRO. What will Free-to-Play mean for me?

As a lifetime subscriber to LOTRO, you will keep all of your membership privileges and are automatically upgraded to VIP status. You will receive 500 Free Turbine Points every month like the other VIPs, but you do not have to pay a monthly fee since you are a lifetime member. All you have to do is keep playing the game and visit the LOTRO Store to spend your free Turbine Points. Lifetime members may also qualify for a special one-time Loyalty Reward of 1,000 Turbine Points. See the Loyalty Reward Special Offer Terms & Conditions for full details.
=======================
I am a LOTRO Founder. What will Free-to-Play mean for me?

As a LOTRO Founder, you automatically become a VIP and will keep all of your membership privileges as long as you pay your monthly fee. You will automatically receive 500 Free Turbine Points every month and you can spend them at your leisure in the LOTRO Store. Founding members may also qualify for a special one-time Loyalty Reward of 500 Turbine Points. See the Loyalty Reward Special Offer Terms & Conditions for full details.
So, basically, subscribing normally or being a lifetime or Founder's ($9.99 monthly was one of the Founder's deals) is worth a lot of microtransaction store points and in some cases some special loyalty rewards. Whether that'll make the masses that spent $200-$300 on lifetime feel better, dunno.  icon_confused
« Last Edit: June 04, 2010, 02:12:56 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2010, 02:15:20 PM »

May have to go back to this this fall.
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« Reply #9 on: June 04, 2010, 02:16:11 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on June 04, 2010, 02:15:20 PM

May have to go back to this this fall.
It'll be worth every penny!  smirk I dunno, maybe my largely dormant main kinship will come back once it's free.
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« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2010, 02:18:33 PM »

this could be fun, at least I won't have to pay everytime I try to get into the game smile
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« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2010, 02:19:44 PM »

Wow.... thats pretty crazy - you know, this may end up being a great thing for the game - DDO has had a TON of new stuff added since it became F2P, but, there's also a drawback of course, i.e. the great unwashed masses will be right there with us, sprouting nonsense.... But, all in all, I think this is a great way to revitalize the game and bring back new and returning players!
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« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2010, 02:36:25 PM »

That didn't take long.  icon_lol

Might be a good thing for me since I get bored with it really quickly and it's not worth a monthly fee to me. Won't be buying anything in the store, though.
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2010, 03:00:40 PM »

I'm not done reading all the threads the players have put up but I'm not as irritated as before. I am seeing a bit of weariness to the point of pessimism with some of the players as to how this will affect the world. On one hand you have gold farmers (Which strangely I have no problem with as long as they actually play the game in an non automated/non hacking manner) but if they just stick with the free play option they are limited to two gold and if they purchase and item from the store it's bumped to five. While chat is unregulated, tells are limited to one every five seconds. Which if you are a normal player it probably takes that long to read and reply in a coherent fashion. Honestly I'm not really afraid sp(c)ammers will make too big of a dent in the social aspect and I'm looking at this from someone who has played EveOnline.

If you are a paid player, either as a lifetime or monthly, you will not be adversely affected. In that if you have something now you will not lose it come the fall as long as you maintain that status. If you let a subscription lapse or choose to downgrade (I saw both being tossed around but figure they are the same thing), you are placed into the Premium tier of service. Your character slots are knocked down to five but the characters themselves are still there and will require points to be spent to unlock them. I'm picturing an interface similar to WoW where when the expansions came out but you only have, say, the original the extra classes were greyed out. I also believe your gold will be knocked down to the five max with any additional being put into an escrow. I'm guessing, as I haven't come across the answer yet, that this is something else you can unlock with points if you choose to stay Premium.

Turbine points are not transferable between the games. That is if you purchased points in DDO you cannot use them in LotR and vice versa.

Here are some more Q & A from this thread as it seems to be updating as new questions are answered http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?t=335135
Quote
1. Will I be able to buy epic/raid loot at the item store? Will this diminish the value of raid gear?

NO. Quote from the FAQ: "While items in the Store are designed to immediately enhance your in-game experience, premium loot and rare gear are the rewards of adventure and are only obtainable through gameplay."

2. Will I lose character slots if I maintain my paid subscription?

NO. From the FAQ: "The benefits and features of the Adventurer's Pack will remain available to you. Whether you are a VIP, Premium player, or Free player, you will get to keep your 2 extra character slots and shared storage bank." Additionally, Mines of Moria and any other added slots will be maintained. Thanks, Blackadar.

5. What are the "premium classes?"

From Sapience: Warden and Rune-keeper. Players who did not purchase Moria and want to play these classes from the start can purchase them separately.

6. Will there be Free-2-Play and Pay-2-Pay servers?

NO. Tarrance: "There won't be a server merge, and there won't be separate free-to-play only servers. All the servers will remain as they are, and the new population will pick from them just as you once did."

7. What is the maximum amount of character slots achievable?

11. From the FAQ: "At any point, you can purchase more character slots in the LOTRO Store, up to 11 character slots per server." {/quote]

Right now I'm optimistic that this will add players to an MMO that deserves to stick around. My main concern right now, besides any issues that come up in the coming months, are how many points you will need to actually buy something worthwhile. Also my hope and maybe looking into how DDO handles this, though they did state it would be a bit different, is if they will use the term microtransactions and whether this will be truly micro (No more than $5) or WoW horse micro.

In the end this might highlight the benefits, and potential risks, of lifetime subscriptions and what it means in the long term. In that if you can get an influx of committed players who are willing to spend a large sum of money in the beginning, thus giving the company more money to deal with issues and content at the start. Which acts as an incentive to bring in new monthly players who see that there is a much larger playground with more things being added quickly. But, for the company,  knowing that down the line those same lifetime players will be a form of dead weight that you still have to appease because they are your lifeline to both new players and the community at large. Hmm could this be considered a new take on angel investing?
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« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2010, 03:26:30 PM »

After STO and now this change, I don't plan to ever go lifetime on anything again. I think I'll be open to stuff like special $9.99 monthly pricing for say, a 1-year commitment, or just paying in 3-month lumps, but I plan to close my mind on lifetime packages from here on in, yes, even if SWTOR is all that and a bag of chips.  icon_neutral

Esp. those of the "offer lifetime only until the end of open beta" variety.  disgust

With LOTRO, I guess this could mean Warner's pockets are deep enough that it doesn't need to count on monthly fee revenues the way Turbine was when it was self-publishing. Probably, that's oversimplifying, but I'm a simpleton....
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« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2010, 03:33:55 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on June 04, 2010, 03:26:30 PM

After STO and now this change, I don't plan to ever go lifetime on anything again.

don't forget Hellgate!

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« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2010, 03:43:51 PM »

Quote from: CeeKay on June 04, 2010, 03:33:55 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 04, 2010, 03:26:30 PM

After STO and now this change, I don't plan to ever go lifetime on anything again.

don't forget Hellgate!

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I think this is when Ron B. peeks in and asks "Hey, yeah, is my Hellgate lifetime subscription still worth anything?"  icon_smile Now I know how he feels, sort of...
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« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2010, 04:19:29 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on June 04, 2010, 03:43:51 PM

Quote from: CeeKay on June 04, 2010, 03:33:55 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on June 04, 2010, 03:26:30 PM

After STO and now this change, I don't plan to ever go lifetime on anything again.

don't forget Hellgate!

* CeeKay ducks KD's incoming kick
I think this is when Ron B. peeks in and asks "Hey, yeah, is my Hellgate lifetime subscription still worth anything?"  icon_smile Now I know how he feels, sort of...

I have Hellgate, LOTRO and Champions Online lifetimes... at least I learned my lesson before STO.  crybaby
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« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2010, 04:28:32 PM »

One of the great things about LOTRO was the maturity level of the player base, I hope the F2P doesn't change that. 
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« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2010, 04:33:32 PM »

prepare for b1LB0 and =>4r4g0rN<= to pwn you!  icon_lol
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« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2010, 04:51:50 PM »

I don't understand why you people with Lifetime subs are complaining. You still don't have to pay a dime to maintain your subscription. It makes absolutely no difference to you. In fact, you get additional benefits that you didn't have before (free points for the store).
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« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2010, 05:16:04 PM »

I have a lifetime sub and I'm not complaining. 500 points a month to spend on more storage or a nice cosmetic cloak or whatever is gravy. And if they make major expansions purchasable with points, maybe by the time Rohan rolls around I can get it too without any real money outlay.

Downside is the inevitable influx of morons who will spam the starter areas with trash and hate speech. Hopefully WB buying Turbine lets them beef up their in-game GM presence before the new F2P model goes live.
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« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2010, 05:54:04 PM »

I know what I'll be using my first points for: An additional 30 shared storage slots! I've already got 20, and I want more! They are incredibly practical when you've got crafting alts and want to have a shared pool of crafting resources.

It looks like I'll be getting more than 3000 free points right away, which is nice. smile In fact, the wording makes it sound like I might even get several thousand more points than that just for hanging around this summer.
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« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2010, 05:58:12 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on June 04, 2010, 05:54:04 PM

I know what I'll be using my first points for: An additional 30 shared storage slots! I've already got 20, and I want more! They are incredibly practical when you've got crafting alts and want to have a shared pool of crafting resources.

It looks like I'll be getting more than 3000 free points right away, which is nice. smile In fact, the wording makes it sound like I might even get several thousand more points than that just for hanging around this summer.


yeah, starting from 3rd of june, if you are an active subsriber, you get 500 points every month
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« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2010, 06:04:59 PM »

As a relatively new LOTRO player, I'm a bit undecided on it.

I'm a very casual MMO player, and I actually hate paying $15/month to play a game.  I love WoW, but simply cannot justify paying that, although I know why they charge what they charge.

The way I see it, those currently paying a monthly sub/lifetime, should have full access to the game.  I'm pretty sure that's what I'm reading into the announcement.  If so, fine.

My only reservation is that it will bring on the masses, and I kind of like LOTRO because it's not WOW.
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« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2010, 06:12:10 PM »

I'm not too afraid that there will be a huge crowd of immature players, mostly because LOTRO doesn't really seem to apply to that kind of person. It's a more mature game in some ways.
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« Reply #26 on: June 04, 2010, 06:24:03 PM »

This may bring me back to the game. I enjoyed it during the beta, and even considered a lifetime sub for a few minutes. But I am of the opinion that monthly subs are too much of a loss for me because some months I don't have any play time, meaning I just lost that $15.
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« Reply #27 on: June 04, 2010, 06:24:44 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on June 04, 2010, 01:48:46 PM

What difference does this make for me as a paid subscriber who wants to continue doing things the way they've been done before? The VIP access described in that article seems like a worse deal for me than what I currently have (5 character slots as opposed to the 8 or so I have today, for example).

TiLT, this isn't true.  I thought the same thing until I read it carefully.  We all started with just 5 character slots.  If you got Moria, you got 2 more...and those carry in the F2P model.  If you got the Adventurer's Pack, you got 2 more.  Those carry to the F2P model.

So if you currently have 7 character slots now, you'll have 7 in the new model.  If you have 9, you'll have 9.  

---
I'm cautious, but it worked for DDO and it might help LOTRO.  It may have just come down to No F2P = No Mordor.  If that was the choice, I'll take the F2P model.  In addition, DDO has been getting a lot more content than LOTRO lately.  Again, I'll take more content if it requires the F2P model.

There are supposed to be restrictions on chat abilities for F2P players, much like those in place for trial accounts.  So while I do expect the level of "noise" to rise because there will be more players, I don't expect that it will get out of whack because you'll have to be paying to chat in a lot of places.

Really, my biggest concern is overpopulation on servers and the ability to buy good gear with micro-transactions.  While Turbine says the latter won't happen, we'll see how far they push it.    
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« Reply #28 on: June 04, 2010, 06:27:25 PM »

Quote from: TiLT on June 04, 2010, 05:54:04 PM

I know what I'll be using my first points for: An additional 30 shared storage slots! I've already got 20, and I want more! They are incredibly practical when you've got crafting alts and want to have a shared pool of crafting resources.

It looks like I'll be getting more than 3000 free points right away, which is nice. smile In fact, the wording makes it sound like I might even get several thousand more points than that just for hanging around this summer.

Indeed. Extra shared storage is a huge bonus.

I figure at least 5000 points for a founder/lifetimer who plays this summer plus whatever they may give retroactively for deed and quest completion (similar to the points given in DDO for faction standings). And if you sign up for and participate in the beta, they may give out bonus points to beta people like they did for DDO.


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« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2010, 06:32:48 PM »

Quote from: Blackadar on June 04, 2010, 06:24:44 PM

Quote from: TiLT on June 04, 2010, 01:48:46 PM

What difference does this make for me as a paid subscriber who wants to continue doing things the way they've been done before? The VIP access described in that article seems like a worse deal for me than what I currently have (5 character slots as opposed to the 8 or so I have today, for example).

TiLT, this isn't true.  I thought the same thing until I read it carefully.  We all started with just 5 character slots.  If you got Moria, you got 2 more...and those carry in the F2P model.  If you got the Adventurer's Pack, you got 2 more.  Those carry to the F2P model.

So if you currently have 7 character slots now, you'll have 7 in the new model.  If you have 9, you'll have 9.  

Yeah, I did a little reading after asking the question and now have a good understanding of pretty much everything that seems to be known about the system so far, but I forgot to edit my question to reflect this. Not that I don't appreciate the answer. slywink

The only immediate difference to my LOTRO experience (not counting the increased population and stuff I won't buy) that I can see is that the new system will let me get more shared storage. I actually looked around to see if it was possible to buy this about a month ago, so I'm pleased to see they're giving me the opportunity to expand what I have.
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« Reply #30 on: June 04, 2010, 06:41:45 PM »

Quote from: happydog on June 04, 2010, 06:24:03 PM

This may bring me back to the game. I enjoyed it during the beta, and even considered a lifetime sub for a few minutes. But I am of the opinion that monthly subs are too much of a loss for me because some months I don't have any play time, meaning I just lost that $15.
I feel that way too, I'm sure most do. But I would also maybe just look at it as an investment, albeit not one you get a profit on later.  icon_smile You love a game, but don't play it as much as you'd like to, your money is still supporting the game, helping it continue and hopefully improve. It's not quite the same as just tossing your $15 down a cosmic black hole -- or maybe $15 worth of Taco Bell for CeeKay -- where it does nobody any good at all.  icon_smile
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« Reply #31 on: June 04, 2010, 07:32:42 PM »

I hated it when I read about this a few hours ago but if the solution is F2P vs slowly declining and then shutting down then I'll take the F2P.  I have a feeling the backlash is going to be huge though...especially for the people who bought lifetime subs in the past six months or so.  Oh well, I have a paid sub until next year so I'll be a VIP for a while smile
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TiLT
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« Reply #32 on: June 04, 2010, 09:32:04 PM »

Quote from: ericb on June 04, 2010, 07:32:42 PM

I have a feeling the backlash is going to be huge though...especially for the people who bought lifetime subs in the past six months or so. 

I still don't see the logic behind that statement.
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« Reply #33 on: June 04, 2010, 10:33:52 PM »

Quote from: El-Producto on June 04, 2010, 06:04:59 PM


My only reservation is that it will bring on the masses, and I kind of like LOTRO because it's not WOW.

Since there really isn't a way to grief people, no pvp, and you can't run around naked, maybe the masses will move on eventually.

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« Reply #34 on: June 05, 2010, 12:03:54 AM »

Apparently when DDO was announced to go free there was the whole gnashing of teeth thing gong on and after it happened they discovered that it wasn't that big of a deal. Really if you enjoy it now, especially for those year one lifetime members, and the sky does not end up falling like you feared, you will come back.
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« Reply #35 on: June 05, 2010, 06:32:05 AM »

Quote from: TiLT on June 04, 2010, 09:32:04 PM

Quote from: ericb on June 04, 2010, 07:32:42 PM

I have a feeling the backlash is going to be huge though...especially for the people who bought lifetime subs in the past six months or so.

I still don't see the logic behind that statement.

I'm not one of those people, so I can't say for sure, but it might be along the lines of they're not getting what they were paying for.  These people paid what, $200?  Correct that figure if I'm wrong.  That's a lot of cash, and they spent it thinking it would be guaranteeing them access to the game for as long as it's live.  Now they find that they'd be getting access anyway, along with the rest of the world, and instead they'll be getting this bonus stuff for their money.

The key issue is that the bonus stuff is not what they paid for.  I highly doubt that if it had been explained to them at the time that their money will make no difference to access to the game but they'll be able to buy as many shiny cloaks as they like, then the same number of people would've handed over the cash.

It's not an illogical viewpoint at all.  They paid money for one thing only to find that the money has now got them something else, something they may not have wanted - at least not enough to spend $200.
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« Reply #36 on: June 05, 2010, 06:38:59 AM »

not really, with their lifetime subscription, they get exactly what they paid for, even more so with the 500 points every month. Basically, they get the paid account, not the free one, instantly, without having to pay like other people have to. So, they still get exactly what they paid for.
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« Reply #37 on: June 05, 2010, 07:16:19 AM »

I don't see how you can say they got exactly what they paid for.  They paid for a lifetime sub, not bonus features.  Do you really think that the same number of people would've paid the cash if they'd known what was going to happen?
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« Reply #38 on: June 05, 2010, 07:43:03 AM »

Quote from: Huw the Poo on June 05, 2010, 07:16:19 AM

I don't see how you can say they got exactly what they paid for.  They paid for a lifetime sub, not bonus features.  Do you really think that the same number of people would've paid the cash if they'd known what was going to happen?

So, they got more, and thats bad?

Really, I understand the egotistical view, that others can now play for free forever,and that you thought that was your perogative, but - it did wonders for DDO, and lets face it, without more numbers, nothing more will happen with LOTRO and will die out - so, its a win for everyone.

They *still* can play the game with their lifetime subscribtion - MANY people still pay full monthly subscribtion fees in DDO, so its not like anything is being taken away from them.
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« Reply #39 on: June 05, 2010, 08:05:20 AM »

Yeah, I'm not saying they're somehow worse off.  They clearly aren't.  I'm just saying that they're entitled to feel pissed off about it and that it isn't an illogical viewpoint at all.  As I keep saying - who would've bought a lifetime sub recently knowing that this is what would happen?  Far fewer people, I'd bet.
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