Now do you guys understand why I hate f2p so much?

Dr Zaius

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I remember when it first became public that LotRO was going f2p and I ranted and raved about it. Everyone thought I was crazy.

What do you think now?
 

Redwolf

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I remember when it first became public that LotRO was going f2p and I ranted and raved about it. Everyone thought I was crazy.

What do you think now?
I think lotro's failure has nothing to do with the f2p model.

Turbine, Kate Paiz in particular, has decided that lying to their userbase is a good way to pursue business. Unwanted features forced on the player, censoring on the forum and annoying people with in-game ads for things they already bought have nothing to do with f2p.

According to the numbers I collected it's not working and play time goes own. That will have an impact on revenue, and more so in a f2p scheme (because VIP people still pay something even when not logging in). The question is whether they catch the game and make it attractive for people with a backbone again before it is so down that it is canned.
 

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I think lotro's failure has nothing to do with the f2p model.

Turbine, Kate Paiz in particular, has decided that lying to their userbase is a good way to pursue business. Unwanted features forced on the player, censoring on the forum and annoying people with in-game ads for things they already bought have nothing to do with f2p.

According to the numbers I collected it's not working and play time goes own. That will have an impact on revenue, and more so in a f2p scheme (because VIP people still pay something even when not logging in). The question is whether they catch the game and make it attractive for people with a backbone again before it is so down that it is canned.
Agreed. If they had kept the promises they made I would still be paying LOTRO.
 

Michael Dorosh

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The game was immersive, fun and challenging before F2P. I really didn't mind the addition of new players. What I objected to was the dumbing down of the game in order to attract them. I don't know at what point you separate the two.

It's obvious that there needs to be a revenue stream from somewhere, I just naively assumed it would be from selling new modules with content areas once the base game was made available on a free basis. I didn't think it would be a "nickel and dime" basis of selling every single thing inside the game to everyone in an upgrade. It's madness.

I can understand the challenge of producing new modules quickly enough or with enough diversity to attract revenue. Perhaps they need more input from the fanbase - I am sure there are talented fans who would love to script some quests, even in outline form. Surely they could do at least as well as some of the "dogcatcher in the Shire" story lines of "matchmaker to the hobbit" ones which were cute, but not really epic.
 

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Oh yes, the dumbing down.

You know I actually liked the f2p change as such overall. Because they gave us a lot of things that people like me wanted, in particular storage, cleaning up some vendor trash, the wardrobe (awesome feature). There were a few other items that escape me right now, where stupid code was cleaned up to the benefit of everybody, in the f2p code change although not directly connected to f2p.

But unfortunately that was the last change that had a good balance of good and bad, since then every update pisses me off more and more with either combat advantages sold in the store, more broken promises, dumbing down, more XP gain acceleration, you name it.

And the two things that went wrong at f2p, layers and server lines, seems to never have been fixed or adjusted. At least not by the time I stopped following.

When's Weatherstock, anyway?
 

Dr Zaius

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...since then every update pisses me off more and more with either combat advantages sold in the store...
That's a prime example of what I'm talking about when I say f2p sucks.

You can argue that LotRO just happened to go down the drain at the same time they introduced f2p, but that's one hell of a coincidence, don't you think? And the same "coincidence" has occurred in other games that have gone down the f2p path. These problems may or may not be directly related to f2p -- at least in a theoretical sense -- but they are indirectly related because they're part of the development shift that always seems to accompany the f2p model. Quality content and quality control always seem to go down the drain while profit margin considerations top all other priorities.

I'm not claiming that there aren't positive aspects of f2p, because there are few good points here and there. However, gamers thrive on unique and interesting challenges, which are the very foundation of good game design. Which raises the question: how good can a multiplayer game be when players can simply buy success?
 

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That's a prime example of what I'm talking about when I say f2p sucks.

You can argue that LotRO just happened to go down the drain at the same time they introduced f2p, but that's one hell of a coincidence, don't you think? And the same "coincidence" has occurred in other games that have gone down the f2p path. These problems may or may not be directly related to f2p -- at least in a theoretical sense -- but they are indirectly related because they're part of the development shift that always seems to accompany the f2p model. Quality content and quality control always seem to go down the drain while profit margin considerations top all other priorities.

I'm not claiming that there aren't positive aspects of f2p, because there are few good points here and there. However, gamers thrive on unique and interesting challenges, which are the very foundation of good game design. Which raises the question: how good can a multiplayer game be when players can simply buy success?
Well, what I was saying is that the LOTRO would have had the potential to make cash in the shop while still doing what they originally promised: that they don't sell direct combat advantages.

LOTRO is full of little things that would give incentive to buy:
- storage
- slots in the outfit system
- outfits, clothes
- dyes
- prettier horses
- faster horses, if out of combat, would also fall into this category
- house decorations
- make some code fixed to houses and sell them as premium houses

I've been out there too long to remember the obvious other things.

Then there would be grey areas like selling speedups for reputation, speedups for deeds. Speedups for leveling.

Heck, you could have sold me an XP gain slowdown.
 

Dr Zaius

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I get that. CCP has announced that they will soon incorporate a microtransaction system into EVE Online. However, after mass protests from players and the Council of Stellar Management, CCP has stated that the store will only sell 'vanity items' that will in no way affect gameplay.

Now that's a story MMO players have heard before. I hope CCP keeps their promises, and there's a chance that they will. Nevertheless, it's fair to point out that, with very few exceptions, the MMO industry does not have a good track record on keeping promises when it comes to microtransactions. It starts out as small things and eventually grows into being able to buy everything in the game. My guess is that this is what happened with LotRO. The original LotRO developers probably never intented for microtransactions and f2p to get to the point where it is now, but that just seems to be the natural end state of the f2p microtransaction model now matter what.

Buying success in a single player game is no big deal and, when you think about it, that's really what cheat codes and walkthrough guides amount to. But being able to buy success in multiplayer games is a huge, huge problem. Particularly for games with a heavy PvP element.
 

Michael Dorosh

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Buying success in a single player game is no big deal and, when you think about it, that's really what cheat codes and walkthrough guides amount to. But being able to buy success in multiplayer games is a huge, huge problem. Particularly for games with a heavy PvP element.
LotRo is unique in that regard in being heavily PwP (Person with Person)...I think you're aware of this, but if not, the PvP play is restricted to one tiny corner of the world, and in some cases requires separate character creation (i.e. monster play).

But the thing is, many do look at the game as subtle competition against others, even though it is not explicitly stated. It's an online community, so you see some dude ride by on a horse wearing some thing, you just assume he earned it and there is a story to go with it. It's online role playing, right? Yes, it's goofy to talk about 'earning' stuff in a world of pixels, but it is goofy to imagine a world of pixies and elves at all to begin with. Seeing anyone with anything now and knowing it is very likely they just bought it - it's all a colossal ho-hum, who cares now. Any kind of personality the avatars in the game might have in linking them to flesh and blood people is gone. The whole world is just now faceless, storyless drones. It wasn't that way before.
 

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It's an online community, so you see some dude ride by on a horse wearing some thing, you just assume he earned it and there is a story to go with it. Seeing anyone with anything now and knowing it is very likely they just bought it - it's all a colossal ho-hum, who cares now. Any kind of personality the avatars in the game might have in linking them to flesh and blood people is gone. The whole world is just now faceless, storyless drones. It wasn't that way before.
Completely agree with this.
Back in the good old days seeing a player with "X" you knew pretty much what level he was or had to be to get "it." That he had accomplished a series of quests, completed a long time goal or was awarded it for doing something "special." I'd even think- that would be cool to get, because it held some meaning. Now as MD said, who cares?
It's almost the same with Isengards bonus mount & outfits- you know darn good & well they will be in the store so why rush to get them?

There is a point to playing MMO's usually to get to a goal or objective & interact with other players, it's not who can buy the stuff whenever they want instead of earning it thru leveling or as a reward for completing a task. Why should I play "that" series of quests when I can just buy the rewards and do other quests that I can't buy (yet).

Being unique or special in LotRO is gone as far as having achievements mean something, it's who has the most money & wants to avoid game play to get it.


I wonder if there's any longevity differences bewteen MMO's that have gone F2P vs. Subs? Is F2P the last gasp of a dying game?
And if F2P is so GREAT why hasn't WoW gone that route, you know they want MORE money like everyone else.
 

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How do you do that in multiple layers?
Theoretically the layers might only be on where they expect high traffic, such as in Bree. If so then you can pile up as many people as you want in the lone lands.

Alternatively you pull people into the same layer by fellowing and then transporting.

It will be interesting to see whether Turbine supports this in any way or does what they always did about layers and server lines: never as much as acknowledge the existence and let people be hosed.
 

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Well, they claimed they'd turn off layering for Weatherstock. I have no idea if it actually happened.
 

Redwolf

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Well, they claimed they'd turn off layering for Weatherstock. I have no idea if it actually happened.
As I said earlier, I am not convinced that all areas have layering on in the first place. The lone lands sound like a candidate not to do it.
 

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The dividing up of players in one location into different "games" to avoid any lag or slowdowns in the game.

Players on different layers can not see each other or even know if different layers are happening (the Dev's finally put a "notice" in the corner of your screen telling you when layering is active.

EX. Say 100 players are heading into Bree and the Dev's think that’s 50 too many so as the players hit the Bree "boundary" a new layer is created and 50 players will be funneled into the new layer. How many layers there are or how many players on each who can tell.

The basic complaint is: it's hard to hold an event for players in certain areas if you can not see who if anyone is there or that the event is even happening if you are not on "that" layer where the person holding the event is.

Second complaint is it really kills pickup role playing & the "community" feel.

Usually only happens in Bree, 21st Hall & Michael Delving proper and only at peak times- but nonetheless a pain in the butt. You can however bring players in your party into the layer you are on if needed.
 
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