Lord of the Rings

How low can they go?

Yeah, that’d be someone getting to level 10 in under 5 minutes through opening Hobbit Presents (with xp boosters.)  The xp scales with level as well. “Oh, it’s a bug”, the staunch Turbine defenders immediately exclaim as this being WAI would be a blow to them, yet DDO’s daily dice has given XP for some time now.  But a blue name came in and pronounced it WAI.  Lotro seems to be going the way of GW2, giving you XP any time you even glance at something, which is fine, I guess… except that downleveling exists in the later and not the former.  But wait!  There’s a handy XP disabler called Stone of the Tortoise, for only 495 TP per character in the store!!

Categories: fail, Lord of the Rings, meh | 2 Comments

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

Oh dear….

One of the results of the new class revamps.. one seriously, OP LM:

Apparently part of this bug has existed since RoI(!!!) but has become even stronger in combination with a new LM trait.

gg Turbine devs! gg!

Categories: fail, lolz, Lord of the Rings, Turbine | Leave a comment

Quote of the Day 10-10-13

Moar quotes! ( I know I should write something myself but this also was just too good!)

If you have a quality product, you put it on display at gaming conventions and allow people to play it.  You have open betas.  You allow the “gaming press” to sit down and actually play it rather than plop them in front of guided tour videos.  Heck, even if you don’t want people to just play and find out for themselves how good the game is, you at least release lengthy (8-10 minute) gameplay videos.

If you don’t have a quality product, you keep as many details as possible to yourself and focus on marketing tricks.


Gee, I wonder which game this might be applicable to?

Categories: Lord of the Rings, Quote of the Day, Turbine | 5 Comments

Quote of the Day

LOTRO is a bit like having only one Indian restaurant in town.

The menu is generic, the service is poor and the prices are a bit high. Yet you like to have a curry especially on a Friday night after the pub, so you pretty much have to go here,

What makes it worst [sic] is the restaurant is under new management and use to be much better.

-Moderate Peril

Categories: Lord of the Rings | 2 Comments

The New Lotro

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

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

Conflicting Armor

One thing that tends to bother me in game is female armor, or well, the lack of it.  So often it’s downright stupid and only designed for male titillation.  I think it’s one of the reasons I liked Lotro so much.  The armor stays respectful to women.  Sure there are tight pants or a dress that’s low cut in the cleavage area, but on the whole it tends to feel somewhat realistic or appropriate.

Guild Wars is a game that’s caught its share of flak for skimpy armor.  I never played GW1 so I don’t know about the choices in it, but in GW2 you do at least have the choice between full coverage or something skimpy.

I did find one piece of heavy armor that I both loathed and loved.  Loathed as it is skimpy and no woman would ever wear it into battle yet I couldn’t help but sort of love as it made my Norn Warrior look awesome. 😛

Behold, a gladiator chest piece (and to be fair, the male version is just as revealing I believe :P)

It displays her awesome muscles so very well.  I mean, look at how ripped she is! She’s one strong woman who you don’t want to mess with! 😀

And I absolutely love these next photos.  She looks like some badass model! 😀  Or maybe some unwitting dude just called her sweetie and she’s walking towards him with her “What did you just call me?” look and preparing to deck him! 😛

I was actually tempted to use this chest piece in an outfit, but I couldn’t find any decent leg piece to go with it.  The matching stuff was just bad, in my opinion.  So it didn’t last long and she soon upgraded to some new armor, which actually looked a heck of a lot more appropriate and actually quite pretty.

It was a fun diversion and indulgence for a bit. 😉

Categories: fashion, Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings | 6 Comments

Unfortunate clipping

Danania snuck in a picture of some rather unfortunate clipping in Lotro in her latest entry and it reminded me of some shots I captured in Dragon Age 2.  One of my poor party members seemed to have issues with her shield…

You’re doing it wrong Aveline!  A shield is supposed to protect you, not hurt you. 😛

And geez, I’d forgotten how gory DA could be.. and I even had persistent gore turned off! Nothing worse than watching a cut scene with your character splattered with blood. *ick* Still it’s not as bad as what I’ve been seeing in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations as Spaix has been playing that. 😛


Categories: Dragon Age, fail, lolz, Lord of the Rings | 5 Comments

Orrian Rainbow

… well sorta.  I happened to notice the lovely colours of the sky whilst swimming in Malchor’s Leap.

In many ways Orr is quite ugly.  It’s filled with Risen (aka Zombies), there’s no greenery.. it’s a wholly inhospitable place.  But just like some areas in Angmar in Lotro, I can’t help but see beauty poking through every now and again, just like when Sam briefly saw a star in Mordor:

“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for awhile. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” – J. R. R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Categories: Guild Wars 2, Lord of the Rings | 2 Comments

Yule War Steed

Today was my 10th day of the Yule Festival which meant I finally finished tier 3 of the festival deed and was able to purchase the war steed cosmetics.  I think this is one of the prettier horses that Turbine has designed.

I think it would look even better with a rich dark brown colour, but that’s a few too many TP for me to spend.

I’m not thrilled with what it took to get these cosmetics (more about that in a later post I think), but I’m happy to have them and definitely appreciate the work that went into creating the look. 🙂

Categories: deeds, festival, horses, Lord of the Rings | 2 Comments

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