Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random Shots: Just Now Getting Around To Raging At LotRO

  • It was inevitable. Once Lord of the Rings Online converted to free-to-play, it was only a matter of time before Turbine started selling gear in their cash shop. They say that they are filling a need for their customers due to a lack of low level gear in the auction house. Goldenstar from A Casual Stroll To Mordor tells us that there is no need to worry just yet. Heck, the worst part is that you can't Try It On to see how it looks on your character first.

  • Folks, the building is burning down around us and Turbine is trying to convince us that it's a nice way to keep our hands warm. There was a line, a line that everyone agreed was limit of what we wanted to see in a cash shop. After toeing the line pretty heavily with stat tomes and PvMP gear, Turbine has stepped boldly over and is telling us that we invited them to do so.

  • Let's examine their stated rationalization: a lack of good armor at low levels. In a free-to-play game, the obvious answer is to sell a solution. If a subscription game had the same problem, they would have to take the time to acutally fix the lower level content so that difficulty matches the available gear or they would update quest rewards and world drops to give better gear. This is exactly the nightmare scenario everyone imagines when a game goes free-to-play. Turbine has shown that they place their income above improving the gameplay experience for players.

  • Aw, forget it. There is no point in complaining because this is a lost cause. As Julian Murdock said on the Gamers With Jobs Conference Call this week, we're not just on a slippery slope, Turbine has strapped on the skis. Low level cash gear will lead to mid-level cash gear will lead to end game cash gear.

  • I'm not playing LotRO anymore, but please let me know when raid gear is available for sale. I'll make the popcorn and we can watch the drama together.

  • My apologies to Yeebo. It's hard to be a positive blogger some days.

© 2012 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. No worries :-)

    Honestly I have to agree with you on this one. There is really no reason for them to do this, save greed. The gear you get running solo quests is more than adequate for content at your level. Particularly now that all the book quests can be soloed. Players were really complaining that the epics they can get from book quests were too weak?

    Further, from what I've read most of the gear is only on par with uncritted crafted gear in terms of stats. That's gear that is incredibly easy to make even if you are the most casual of crafters.

    There is no need for this gear. It's just something they know they can sell, so they will sell it. That said, given that you can craft or quest for much better gear, I don't think it really hurts the game much.

  2. Umm, actually, it looks like the armor sold in the store is generally about eight levels better than what you can get in-game. To be more precise, the level 20 store-bought stuff is on par with the level 28 crit-crafted stuff.

    1. If that's the case this may be worse than I thought. I'll check things out once it goes live.

    2. Went live on Tuesday ;^)

  3. everyone has their line in the sand; mine was actually the steel lockboxes: random mobs drops that need a key from the store to open (only 100TP!) that might have anything from trash loot too.. worn symbols for crafting 1st age 75s ><.

    Gear i can live with - hell, i once paid £72 to make a weapon in a genuine F2P game - because it's bought and done, you move on; but gambling? that's the drip-drip-drip that leads to a torrent of unbudgetted spending.

  4. I understand that this is the camel's nose, but are they making any meaningful revenue with this? Level 28 armor at level 20 is surely nice, but whatever you get from quests will carry you to 50 and beyond, no problem. There's a market for people who have that much trouble in the low 20s?

  5. It's funny that I only recently managed to develop a blindness to all of the store buttons in the game and was able to enjoy playing again, and then they do this. Frustrating.