I'm not happy with this BUY BUY BUY mentality either. And here is my take on the 'voting' stuff. Bear with me.
It's like this. There are hundreds- hopefully thousands - of us who bought the game as a pleasant, casual diversion. We intend to buy the updates. Many of us - lots of us - bought when it was not free to play. Some did lifetime memberships. Me, I bought VIP membership three years ago and maintained it. I play when I can and don't find it a hardship to fork 15 bucks a month. I like the game. I like "earning" stuff. I love the visuals.
I HATE having the damn store stuffed down my throat every time I turn around. I have never, ever spent a Turbine Point and promise with God as my witness to never spend one as long as I live.
And I don't want to have to come onto internet forums and vote and take part in idiotic conversations in order for the developers to do the "right thing." I'm sorry, but I shouldn't have to babysit grown men and women. I just presume you all are adults capable of being decent stewards of what, three years ago when I bought it, was a really great looking product.
So stop screwing it up with stupid stores and dumb votes behind my back and all these idiotic polls about stuff I don't care about, and stop advertising these "turbine points" every time I click on something in the game. And don't sell me stuff when I should be earning it in the game.
Is it really that hard to figure out? Seriously?
I am pretty sure it's just Kate Paiz that's clueless about how people play her game. Sure, they might have had a couple quarters making more cash but as everybody offering an addictive product can tell you that isn't enough. If your base of willing to pay users is highly mobile they can quickly move on. What I see when I occasionally log in is less people on the servers, and very clearly so. I make a habit out of going into Bree and estimating population (filter by one class, count) and have an eye on the layering. The layering isn't needed most of the time now in Bree, and it was always packed last year's spring-fall.The original LotRO crew must be shaking their heads in disbelief at how far the "WB team" has fallen with the game.