Payment models

ESO: “Nobody believes that The Elder Scroll Online would be hurt by its business model if it had a Free2Play model with a subscription option.”

Totally dude.

ESO would be just as good a game with cash shop ad loading screens, devs spending time coming up with ways to get you to buy yet another hat/wing/item (eventually of questionable power), seeing said items on people around town (nothing says ES like neon wings or a baseball cap), and finally we would get the awesome immersion effect of the guards telling us to visit the cash shop rather than about that arrow in the knee.

What a huge loss for the game that it’s sub only. Total killer.


When one thinks about it, criticising a game for not going f2p given the state of some f2p games is absolutely absurd.  I think it’s fair enough to say that none of us like having a store/cash shop or adverts thrown in our faces all the time.  But, people are actually saying this about TESO.  I think the reason why is because there are some games out there that are doing f2p well such as Rift or buy-to-play games such as Guild Wars 2 and The Secret World.

Obviously Syncaine was referring to the type f2p game such as Lotro which is done poorly:  the store is constantly thrown in one’s face, subscriber (or VIP) status has been degraded with some things being taken away and added to the store (I’m looking at you Destiny Points and relic removal) and also gone so far as to monetise some things such as some festival quests, needing to buy an extra trait slot in order to enjoy each of the three lines per character or even having the choice of what colour warsteed you want.  In my opinion, Lotro is an example of a hybrid sub/f2p payment model gone wrong as I believe a sub should open up the entire game to you aside from store cosmetics.  Monetise the hell out of the rest of it for non-sub folks.

On the other hand we have games like Rift which appears to be doing f2p (and a true f2p at that) the right way.  I’ve not gone back to Rift since they made the switch as I can’t properly devote enough time to it, but from what I hear, the game is doing well and is really enjoyable.  I know from the Lotro forums, many raiders have moved to Rift.  I hear praise about Rift’s store and no complaints about it being intrusive.

Then we have b2p games such as GW2 where you pay for the box once and that’s it.  There is no intrusive store.  If you look at one of my recent screenshots, you can see the only icon for it.  It’s the little lion symbol at the top near the middle of the other icons that has a little red exclamation point on it (as I had money/items ready for pick up at the Trading Post, aka Auction House):

None of the items found within are pay to win either.  GW2 is also churning out new content every two weeks for a few months now (aside from a break during the holidays.)  One can argue how good it is or isn’t (personally I think the game might could use a paid expansion or at least make much more of their work permanent in the game) but I think the game been an incredible value.  It would seem microtransactions have been doing quite well for ArenaNet as well.  There was some report out a few months ago regarding sales dropping but I believe the report was only referencing box sales.  A drop in those is entirely expected.

There are more games to mention such as The Secret World, Swtor (though I hear life is difficult in that game without a sub, though I’d say it should be), League of Legends, Dota 2, Hearthstone, Path of Exile… I think enough to show that microtransactions can be done in a positive way.  I think this is why the cries of TESO not being f2p are out there:  because other companies are showing that you can have a profitable game without a sub.  So some people are seeing better deals for their money.

To me, TESO better be damned good if it wants people to cough up money every month in addition to a box sale.  Due to NDA I can’t really say anything (though honestly, didn’t everyone and their mother get into the recent stress test? :P), but I will say I don’t think they’ve succeeded in that.  Personally I wish it would go with the buy-to-play model, not the sub only PLUS a cash shop model they’ve chosen .  If they’d do that, they’d have a sale from me.  But after reading what people have to say about the game, I think it’s only a matter of time until they’ll drop their current payment model.  It’s going to be Swtor all over again.

Categories: f2p, Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings, Other Games, TESO, Turbine | Leave a comment

The New Lotro

Credit: monteeburns, in response to the forthcoming Hobbit Presents.

Categories: f2p, fail, lolz, Lord of the Rings, Turbine | 2 Comments

Why u no give for free!?

So hurray, Turbine has benevolently listened to the wishes of their players!  Hurray again, right?  Some players have wanted an XP disabler and it looks like they may get their wish come RoR.  But there’s a catch.  Here’s a description from the Bullroarer store:

Feel like you’re leveling too fast, and want to slow your character’s progression down? When used, this item disables experience earning from monster kills and quest completions. The item remains in your inventory, and can be used again to dispel the disabler effect, allowing you to earn experience again. The item can be continually used to disable and re-enable experience until the item expires. This inventory item lasts seven days.”

It seems we’re definitely to the point that anything that will improve quality will be monetised by Turbine.   The 6th bag is coming! …but you need to order the legendary RoR edition or pay TP later.  We’ve improved the barter wallet to be what it should have been to begin with! …that will be 995TP please.  You can use your skirmish soldiers on the landscape! …cough up some TP again.  We’re improving the relic system to where you can easily obtain the best relics, so much to the point you can just throw away the ones you currently have when you’re deconning, though lolz, we’re not really gonna do that as it’s gonna take you weeks and weeks to grind out the shards sooo… here’s a super duper Relic Removal scroll in the store for your convenience for some more TP plz!  New Harvest Festival with fun games where you must quickly gather eggs or mushrooms and these games will be tied to deeds! …oh you think those games are fun?  Yep, you know the drill.  Moar TP if you want to play moar!

There’s more coming too.  You know how we have 6 LI slots?  You know how we’re getting legendary bridles for our war steeds?  Those bridles go into your existing LI slots.  So Turbine has added an additional LI but they ain’t giving you additonal slots to make up for this.  I believe there are different types of bridles depending on the sort of war steed you’d like to use which would mean multiple bridles (I could be wrong though!).  Now most classes already need multiple LIs and have at least 4 slots taken up with the remaining two used for leveling other LIs for legacies, etc.  People will be forced to buy additional slots if they want to make use of these bridles.  There’s a thread in the beta forums complaining about this.  One can hope Turbine will do the right thing but after all the other jerky, greedy moves, I won’t be surprised if they don’t.

It’s frustrating to have junk like this reducing my love of the game.  I just wish the store would be used for convenience like they said it was going to be.   I wish Turbine had the attitude that Colin Johanson over with GW2 expressed:

We do appreciate that you’d like to buy lots of new content, but we’d prefer to give a lot of it to you for free, cause that’s what we think a responsible MMO company does!

*sigh* [/rant]


Categories: f2p, fail, Lord of the Rings, meh, Turbine | 10 Comments


So last night whilst waiting for Laurelin server to come up (and of course it was the last one!), I rolled some toons on the new Withywindle server for the hell of it. It was an enjoyable time though! Plenty busy and I ran into the funniest group of hobbits.

How awesome is that?? 😀 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! They were wearing the new Turtle Shell Backpacks, running around fighting the training dummies, handing out pizza and shouting ‘Cowabunga dude!’ ❤

Later an April showed up, but I never saw a Splint or a Shredder. 😛

Categories: f2p, fun, lolz, Lord of the Rings, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Patch Day!

Right now my game is patching and I’m patiently waiting to log on. New content has been a loooong time coming!

For a few months I had been feeling that there wasn’t much to do besides endless LI/relic grinding. It’s stuff like that where I start to fall short. I want good LIs and good relics, but I have such a hard time forcing myself to work on them. But lately, I’ve found myself thinking I actually have too much I’d like to do ingame. It’s been a welcome change. Though it mainly involves the fluff. 😛 …basically working on rep and collecting horses as well as festival stuff and still working on the LI grind in between.

Lotro is introducing new rep and meta deed horses and it’s very much spurred people into rep grinding. The one people are working hard towards is the World Renowned meta deed horse which you get for completing kindred with all Eriador factions.

For every faction but Forochel, this would be a relatively quick and easy deed to accomplish. But, unsurprisingly there’s now competition for rep items. Every time I’ve gone to farm rep, there have been others there and some have been quite aggressive about tagging mobs…blatantly grabbing mobs directly in front of you. Maybe once people have new content to explore, the competition will cool a bit!

All in all I’m looking forward to having lots to do! I’m going to hold off Endewaith for a bit as I don’t like fighting over mobs and instead will check out the Haunted Burrow, play with the wardrobe and vault and continue to work on rep for my Loremaster.

Categories: f2p, fun, horses, Lord of the Rings, rep | Leave a comment

Hot Potato…

Lhas from roll100 challenged me to post something to break the laziness. 😛 So, shiny trees!!

This is the new level up animation as seen in the Eyes and Guard Tavern on the EU Test Server. We were able to do immediate leveling up of toons, so trees were sprouting all over the place

Categories: f2p, fun, Lord of the Rings | 2 Comments

f2p stress test

The client for the f2p stress test finally became available this morning, so I dutifully started the download. The download speed is less than stellar:

Heh, seriously I’m getting around 250-300kbps which is still slow. :/ Gonna take around 14 hours it seems, plus Pando keeps crashing on me. One has to wonder if the 500 free points is that worth it? 😛

Categories: f2p, Lord of the Rings | Leave a comment


So f2p and any new content is delayed for a week and up to the end of this month. And here’s how they’re saying they’re going to help make up for that:

To help ease the wait for Free to Play we decided to re-run some of your favourite live events. So watch out for trolls hurling rocks at you, brigands attacking you from behind, Margot, chicken of the Shire, clucking for assistance to escort her through the Ettenmoors and much more.

Srsly? A GM troll that causes so much lag some people can’t execute skills or a GM chicken that’s only in the Ettens? You’ve got to be kidding me.

Meh, I’ve been waiting for this to hit to start doing my deeds (and sighing a bit everytime I complete one without trying :P) and had wanted to roll a free account so I could free up a character from a kin (can’t lose that kin house!) to join Loth-i-Lonnath for some more regular rp. Now that’s all on hold. Not to mention, still no new content!

For something more positive: look at the cute little orcses bedbunk! 😀 Little touches like these are kewl.

Aaaand I realised today my captain completed enough deep quests to get the Foundations swift travel and innocence before even going to Foundations. Nice! No desire to quest there at all!

Categories: f2p, Lord of the Rings, meh, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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