Turbine

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.

Syncaine

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.

Advertisements
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.

-Thunderloin

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

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

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

Pre-Order Drama Update

Whilst even with this news, I think Turbine is still charging far too much for the expansion, credit is due where it’s due.  At least now I’m thinking “when” I’ll buy the expansion and with cash or tp, rather than “if” I’ll buy it.  Sapience on the official forums:

As most of you know, last week we launched the Riders of Rohan pre-purchase program. While initial sales have been strong and overall response has been positive, we have been paying very close attention to feedback from our community, where some concerns have been raised.

First, many of you shared how much you appreciated the inclusion of Turbine Points as part of last year’s offers. While we believe that the Rohan packs already offer an excellent value, we’ve heard your request and are now adding bonus points into all tiers of the Pre-purchase packs!
The updated editions will now include:

  • Base Edition: 1,000 Bonus Turbine Points
  • Heroic Edition: 1,000 Bonus Turbine Points
  • Legendary Edition: 2,000 Bonus Turbine Points

Are you one of the many players who already purchased Riders of Rohan? You get points too! Anyone who has already applied their Rohan key will see points credited directly to their account over the next few business days. You will not need to contact customer service to receive your points. They will be granted automatically.

Additionally, some players had questions about the instance cluster coming after the launch of RoR. While we are still not ready to talk about the details of the cluster we did want to confirm that we will be releasing a new instance cluster in an update after Rohan launches, and that the cluster will be free to all players who have purchased the Riders of Rohan expansion.
Thanks to everyone for your candid feedback about the pre-purchase offers and the Rohan expansion. At Turbine we have always made it a point to listen closely to our players and adjust when necessary to provide the best possible entertainment experience.

Note: There are a large number of accounts that will be receiving a points credit as part of this change. Please allow 3-5 business days for your points to arrive.

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

My Thoughts on the Riders of Rohan Pre-Order

Mostly it can be summed up into:  What the heck are they thinking?

When I first looked at the different packages my first reaction was astonishment which then changed into disappointment and a bit of anger.  I’m not really disappointed with the game since I like it as a whole.  Sure it has some big problems (non-legendary Legendary weapons and the corresponding grind, boring and neglected pvp, watering down the game, and most importantly the lag and bugs that are becoming frequent) but no game is perfect.  When it comes down to it, I like running around Middle Earth. But, I’ve found it more and more difficult to enjoy the game in the face of Turbine’s increasingly, glaringly obvious greed (or perhaps this is better directed towards WB).  I love Tolkien and his work so it upsets me to see it twisted and used by a greedy company.  A fair bit of what they do is antithetical to his work in my humble opinion.  Yes, I know companies exist to make money and that yes, they should make money.  But I suppose the better ones don’t plainly display their greed and usually at least back up the price with a good product and/or customer service.  Turbine has always lacked in customer service but lately its product is becoming shoddier as well.  I feel they’re being awfully bold to be charging the prices they are given the current state of bugs we’ve seen lately.

They released a video Riders of Rohan Teaser Trailer along with this pre-order announcement:

Okay, so there’s some mounted combat, which I didn’t find too exciting looking unfortunately, and a few shots of new areas.  And what else? What about endgame content? Instance clusters and raids?  Class updates?  New class skills? Crafting? How many quest hubs?  I’ve seen the arguments that Rohan will be three times the size of Moria!! Okay, so… that doesn’t mean much?  Moria was vertical as well which made it feel even larger but this land will be flat.  Also I can look to areas such as Dunbog or Forochel and find a large area with lots of dead space.  When I look at that video I sure see a lot of space… a lot of open space with not a lot in it.  I’m thinking they need all this open space for the mounted combat.  And perhaps areas are not finished (yet with a September release date, I find that quite worrying in regards to polished content.) So size tells me nothing.

Aside from the lack of information, I’m struggling to see why the legendary edition is worth $70, which would buy you a whole new game such as Guild Wars 2.  They seem to be charging a lot more for a lot less  In the past we’ve had new game mechanics introduced:  Moria and its legendary weapons or Mirkwood and its skirmishes, shared storage and wardrobe. Yet those expansions weren’t this expensive.  I believe RoI’s top tier package was $50 and people got a lot more goodies.  Let’s take a look at the extras on the legendary edition:

  •  Armour of the Eastemnet – It’s sorta cool but I can do without it. Not paying $30 extra.
  • 6th Inventory Bag – I’d wanted this and was glad to hear of its arrival, but I can do without it. I honestly think this should have been in all pre-order versions as supposedly this was one of their incentives to get people to pre-order.  Instead this is just like the expanded wallet.  “Oh we’re listening to our fans and what you’ve asked for is finally coming!” *a few weeks later*  “Here is it but you need to cough up money for it! Hurrah!”  Apparently you can buy this as a stand alone account-wide purchase for 995TP.  More about that later.
  • Crystal of Remembrance – It would be nice to have an extra major legacy, but this pay to win stuff turns me off.  You receive no extra points on your weapons to spend on this legacy, so really they’re a glorified legacy replacement scroll or stat scroll. This will also be available in the store.  The store version will be per character though whilst if you buy the preorder, you get one per character I believe.
  • Exclusive Rohan Content – Now this is the only thing that makes me go hmmmmm, because this content eventually leaves you with a skill for your warhorse.  We’ve not heard what it will be and a lot of people are worried about it being a pay-to-win skill for our horses.

All  in all, this expensive edition doesn’t look that exciting and has left quite a few people upset that Turbine is charging so much for even more in-game advantage.  But many of us are upset at the $40 for the basic version because at this point it seems we’re being sold a glorified quest pack.

So why is Turbine going against somewhat industry standard for expansion pricing?  How can they justify the increasing costs in the store? Jadzi on the official forums made some great points:

What bothers me is that here we have a pretty clear-cut comparison between RoI and RoR, which make many of the same kinds of offers. Yet, one is exponentially more expensive, despite giving comparatively less. It just feels like we’re being charged a premium without getting much to show for it.

Moreover, how on earth is it justified to charge 495 for Bags 4 and 5, then suddenly double to 995 for Bag 6? Yes, vault upgrades get that high, but at least those are relatively consistent, and inch up by 100 TP per box. How did we just suddenly jump to 995?

And Crystals of Remembrance? 995 a pop? Why? Scrolls of Delving are 195, while Star-lit Crystals and Empowerment Scrolls are 495? What is the justification for these sorts of pricing jumps?

For all of the negative that I’ve ranted about, the one thing I’m positive about is Turbine’s ability to make a great looking area with a good storyline.  They most definitely did that in the Great River area.  I was really pleased with it.  I think that’s what makes this all so difficult.  I don’t want to give in to their greed but I want to keep playing in Middle Earth.  So I’ll wait.  I’ll wait for more information.  It seems that’s what most are doing.  Let’s just hope it’s forthcoming and that they can show us that this is all worth it.

Categories: Lord of the Rings, meh, Turbine, update | 5 Comments

Well done Turbine…

So Update 7 hit this past Monday.  You’d think an update would improve the game, right?  Well, not in Turbine’s case. *sigh*

Introducing a new class: Super Invisible Loremaster!!  No Turbine Points necessary, it’s free to all!

Anytime a Loremaster uses Light of the Rising Dawn or Cracked earth, the character disappears.  You can also see another bug in the 2nd picture.  Something has gone wrong with all legendary weapons across all classes. Firstly when you’re running, it bounces all over your back and even more spectacularly the LI glow doesn’t sync with the weapon.  Characters don’t even hold their weapons properly anymore either.  I had to laugh when I first saw it because it’s so bad.

Stealth characters now appear to have super stealth as well.  I heard players reporting that they could barely see their wargs, that basically they’d turned into floating names.  So I checked out my burg and it was affected too:
I’m really quite astonished at the amount of things Turbine broke and are now being classified bugs:
-Invisible LMs during two frequently used skills
-increased opacity on stealthed characters so that they nearly go invisible
-LI weapon placement and corresponding glow unsynced with the characters
-female hobbits suddenly gaining A LOT of weight overnight
-Ettens pots go from 10 pots per 125 commendations to 5 pots per 125 commendations
-Cosmetics changing colours
-Rep horses changing their look drastically
-Deleting physical masteries, crit ratings, morale and bleeds from already obtained crafted weapons
-Champion Swift Strike taking on the combat animation and speed of Blade Wall, rendering it neither swift or a strike.
-Release star-lit crystals knowing they do not work on champion runes or burglar tools.  Also said crystals drastically increase stats on 3rd/2nd agers (to the point that 2nd agers are nearly as good as 1st agers) yet 1st agers do not enjoy the same increases when crystals are applied.  Crystals are also not rare, so unless your group remembers to change the loot rule, the first person who opens the chest acquires the crystal.  If that member isn’t honest or kind enough to let everyone roll, well, you’re screwed.

Oh you rolled need on that because you needed to sell it on the AH?

I’m sure I’ve missed bugs.  All the old ones are still there as well.  They’ve also made more changes that water down the game but more on that in another entry I think.  But seriously, I cannot fathom how these things came to be messed up… things that were fine before this update.  It seems like Turbine has this need to mess with stuff that isn’t broken and in the meantime, break it, all the while there’s real stuff that needs fixing.  Yes we got a new skirmish (though my boyfriend and I tried it on t2 and it was facerollingly easy. Granted we’re geared about as good as you can get on a LM, but still…), the new maps are very pretty, but overall this was a fail of an update.  I don’t understand how they couldn’t catch this stuff, why they don’t test more, why they need to rush out buggy material.  A kinnie said in game that he doesn’t play the game for its graphics, but for the people.  Sure, but when a company can’t professionally release a working product, that will drive people away.  Diablo III was just released, GW2 and Secret World are coming out soon.  I understand the need to keep up and give players new things to do, but releasing it in a bugged state and breaking things that were previously fine isn’t going to keep people around and will only further damage their confidence in Turbine. [/rant]

Categories: fail, lolz, Lord of the Rings, meh, Turbine, update | 4 Comments

Back again…

Long time, no write. Lots going on in life that has left me with not a lot of extra energy, so some things slip. I’ve still been playing Lotro (escapism, woo!) though not as much. It’s been nearly two years of playing quite a lot, so it’s not surprising I’ve been feeling like cutting down a bit. I’m not quite in the mood to level up yet another character to 65 (even though the little bit I’ve done on guardian has been fun), all my LM has to do is deeds and I was able to quickly uber up my champ with the new stuff that came out with the update. I’ve started to play Rift as well and it’s been highly enjoyable exploring a new world. I don’t think it’s as good as Lotro, but something new and different and having a bit of a break helps me enjoy Lotro when I come back to it.

So, the last time I wrote, I was ranting about the Anniversary GrindFest. Well, the collector in me won out. *sighs and rolls eyes* I got the Stevie Wonder horse. And all the maps. But! People were able to work together to get the maps so I only ground out a few on my own. I got reeeeeeeeeeally sick of running those damned horse races on several toons. 😛

A fellow kinnie and me with Stevie Wonder horses:

Since my last entry, the European servers have been transferred over to Turbine. No more Codemasters for us. Latency has gone up but for the most part, I don’t think it’s been affecting my game. I have had some periods with lots of loss, but I think that was random internet troubles and nothing to do with connecting to the game. On the final day, people gathered in Bree before the plug was pulled.


We also are now getting American adverts. Whenever I see this, for a split second, I think I’m back home. 😛

The migration went smoothly and quickly for most people and it took no longer than what Turbine said, so all in all, things are as normal. We’ve also had the new expansion date released, so now the latest raid gear and first agers seem like something to not bother with anymore. 😛 Whilst new content is always really appreciated, our kin still has quite a bit of work left on the OD raid. It’s looking like we won’t get that done, and most certainly not all the deeds which is going to disappoint the few deed completionist we have in kin.

Categories: deeds, horses, Lord of the Rings, Turbine, update | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.