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How long can LOTRO stretch out LOTR?

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I just want to post a timeline, please correct me where I'm wrong and I'll edit.

SoA got us to the Fellowship leaving Rivendell, IIRC.

MoM got us into Moria after the Fellowship passed through and with the belated Loth addition, into Lothlorien itself.

With SoM the Fellowship had left Loth and with the epics we basically provided a diversion for the Fellowship.

Enedwaith, no clue what the Fellowship was doing.

RoI, see Enedwaith.

The Great River, Fellowship at Anduin.

RoR, the Fellowship has been sundered, Boromir is dead.

So between SoM and RoR, almost 3 years!! We have transversed a handful of pages in The Two Towers and are more or less at the middle of the trilogy.

Even if turbine was the greatest company ever conceived and LOTRO was the most profitable MMO ever, I don't think we would ever see the unmaking of The Ring, let alone the Scourging of The Shire and the Elves and the Ring Bearers sailing serenely into the West.

At this rate it would be another 5 plus years, no way this game last that long.

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I think Turbine will manage to get out another expansion covering the 2nd half of Rohan, but it - like RoR - will be significantly lacking, and overpriced for what is offered. Players will rightly expect a Helm's Deep instance of some sort, and it will not be included at launch. If Turbine manages to create such an instance, it will be a raid, and likely the only instance included with RoR2.

Turbine will not make it to Gondor as most would expect next, in 2014. The game will start actively bleeding players in mid-to-late 2013, and be shut down before the end of 2014. If a Gondor expansion is offered, it will also be feature lacking but at a premium price, and the game will shut down within two months of its release.

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I don't see anyway this game lasts to see Gondor. A tribute to the complete incompetence of Turbine. They had everything on platter for them with SoA. The Lord of the Rings IP, universal praise from critics, a fresh take on balance between playstyles, a pvp system that could have been fresh and unique had they put any effort into it. It really is amazing how much they have failed and how many mistakes they have made.

None of this makes me happy. Im not a scorned player just an immensely sad player that watched this game go from what it was to what it is now.

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Gondor is key, if you can't attract lotr fans with the prospect of Gondor then you may as well give up

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Difficult to predict the future is.

In business, with what you normally consider large business stupidity, what you are really looking at are decision makers who have never touched the thing they make decisions about. But the outcome doesn't have to be bad. It is random.

For all we know both Paiz plus the Sap could get the boot tomorrow and the game does something crazy like providing value for monthly subscribers. And don't tell me that is too unlikely, most other US businesses are still pressing very, very hard to move business toward monthly payments. It's just that some MMORPGs were eyeing the Asian market too much. But I think by now it's pretty clear that the monthly fee wasn't the primary thing holding back Tolkien in China.

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Gondor is key, if you can't attract lotr fans with the prospect of Gondor then you may as well give up

That might be key at this point, but up until RoR, most of the fanbase could.not.wait. to get to Rohan. But since Turbine has failed SO incredibly between SoA and RoR, and especially with mounted combat, I don't see that whatever they could possibly come up with for Gondor would be enough to attract players. Don't expect to be floored, stunned, or in awe just at the sight of Gondor, look what they did to Orthanc, and Helm's Deep probably will be a big let down too.

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If they can convince people to spend 5000 TP on the new Hobby Horse, and some people will buy it, then they might just be able to keep going for a while yet. As long as the game is making money it will keep running.

Herein lies the problem. Many players hate what Turbine is doing, but they love Middle Earth and will put up with an awful lot from Turbine just to play in this setting. Turbine know this, so they keep pushing to see how far they can get. Eventually they will push too far and kill the game

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If they can convince people to spend 5000 TP on the new Hobby Horse, and some people will buy it, then they might just be able to keep going for a while yet. As long as the game is making money it will keep running.

Herein lies the problem. Many players hate what Turbine is doing, but they love Middle Earth and will put up with an awful lot from Turbine just to play in this setting. Turbine know this, so they keep pushing to see how far they can get.

This. Just look at Star Trek Online, lately known as Star Lockboxes Online. Until Tolkien fans won't stap out of it and stop playing, till then game will be operational. Quality may drop, cash shop extortion may rise, but game will be peopably operational for quite a long time. Unless Lotro players will make a surprise move and leave in droves soon. Dozens of thousands of invididual decisions...

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Eventually they will push too far and kill the game

... and I believe $50 mounts (that, to my knowledge, are per character purchases) are exactly that tipping point. If the Hobby Horse goes live as-is, which will lead to further $50 mounts and other such purchases, plus I expect current mounts going up in price, LOTRO's remaining fanbase for the most part will stop buying from the Store. They will stop subscribing. And the game will die at Turbine's unsteady hand.

Remember the outrage over the $25 Steed of the Night? While LOTRO wasn't the first game to sell a mount for $25, it was the first to make that purchase per character, as opposed to per account. That was, and remains, a major rip-off. A $50 steed, even if it is at +300% speed, 1000 morale, shits gold and turns into a fire-breathing dragon on command, would not be worth that much money.

This smacks of complete desperation of Turbine's part, to be honest. RoR isn't selling well (as we can tell from the 50% off sale they recently had, just a month after it went Live), and Turbine has revenue goals they are most assuredly expected to meet by WB every quarter. It seems obvious to me that Turbine isn't meeting those revenue goals, and as such are putting out feelers to see how much they can reasonably bilk the remaining players for on the Store without a mass revolt.

Problem is, this particular feeler may well have irreparably damaged Turbine's relationship with the players. The writing is clearly on the wall now, we see where Turbine is taking LOTRO, and we are not willing to go another step on that road.

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Problem is, this particular feeler may well have irreparably damaged Turbine's relationship with the players. The writing is clearly on the wall now, we see where Turbine is taking LOTRO, and we are not willing to go another step on that road.

The direction that Turbine has been going has been very clear for a while now, but people are still playing and buying TP. What will be interesting is to see how much they try to charge for the 2nd half of Rohan.

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The direction that Turbine has been going has been very clear for a while now, but people are still playing and buying TP. What will be interesting is to see how much they try to charge for the 2nd half of Rohan.

I agree. I'm expecting half the content of RoR (since they won't have anything like Mounted Combat to add) and less instances (none at launch, as usual), for the same high price. It will indeed be a questpack that all are charged for.

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I think Turbine will manage to get out another expansion covering the 2nd half of Rohan, but it - like RoR - will be significantly lacking, and overpriced for what is offered. Players will rightly expect a Helm's Deep instance of some sort, and it will not be included at launch. If Turbine manages to create such an instance, it will be a raid, and likely the only instance included with RoR2.

Turbine will not make it to Gondor as most would expect next, in 2014. The game will start actively bleeding players in mid-to-late 2013, and be shut down before the end of 2014. If a Gondor expansion is offered, it will also be feature lacking but at a premium price, and the game will shut down within two months of its release.

I have to agree with the Troll, I don't see Lotro lasting past 2014. On my server the globalLFF only jumped from 100 to 240 and before we could have easily passed 400. Rohan has failed to meet the targets, we saw them actively cutting costs to try meet the targets, 50% off rohan, double tp's, hobby horse craziness, ingame store festivals, Turbine is evil comments. That last comment just signifies the companies stance, cover your eyes and ears this is going to be a bumpy ride off the cliff.

November 28th 2014 is my projected closure date of Turbine, more than likely I will be wrong but the game will be in a state of free fall by then.

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The pattern I see is, whenever they make a region described in the book it's great (SoA; Moria; Lothlorien; Rohan). Whenever they use a map area not described in the book it's poor (Enedwaith; Dunland). I think it's fairly easy to imagine why that is too: LOTR fans are here because generic fantasy games haven't tempted them away. Therefore, I expect the rest of Rohan and Gondor to be good.

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The game is definitely in decline. Just look at the population graphs in the other thread.

I don't think anyone at Turbine thinks Lotro will make it to Mordor. They ahs probably already planned the shut down - which I am sure will be a year or two out - so they can milk as much from the game as possible.

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To be honest, at first I wanted to wait until january to try RoR, to have more time and play longer sessions instead of questing for half an hour every three or four days. But then I heard the feedback from kinnies and decided to start RoR nevertheless, as I was worried that if the game shutdowns in march-april I might miss most of the latest region and instances. With instances released in november-december, the game could have been closed in march.

Now that the instances are part of the expansion and are slated for february (or later as usual with Turbine), I don't think the game will shutdown before july or august. They have to release the instances or reimburse everyone, so we will see instances (even if they are crappy, we are sold "instances"). And then they can let the game roll on its own for a few months, even if they fire the whole dev team.

I am still hoping for at least another expansion, maybe two, to ride the Hobbit wave for as long as possible. But I am hedging my bets by investing a minimal amount of time (no grinding and min-maxing anymore), and no money at all.

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I think Turbine will manage to get out another expansion covering the 2nd half of Rohan, but it - like RoR - will be significantly lacking, and overpriced for what is offered.

I can agree with the overpriced part, but not so sure about significantly lacking. My kin is more active than it's been in several years.

People are really enjoying it. Maybe that's because RoI was so terrible, I don't know.

Players will rightly expect a Helm's Deep instance of some sort, and it will not be included at launch. If Turbine manages to create such an instance, it will be a raid, and likely the only instance included with RoR2.

I disagree. I think it will be either (or also) session play or part of the Epic. They want it accessible, so they won't make it a raid. They may offer it in a raid setting, but that won't be the only place. It's far too Epic to reserve for only a raid (and I'm a raider).

Turbine will not make it to Gondor as most would expect next, in 2014. The game will start actively bleeding players in mid-to-late 2013, and be shut down before the end of 2014. If a Gondor expansion is offered, it will also be feature lacking but at a premium price, and the game will shut down within two months of its release.

Wow, cynical much? lol

Predictions are all well and good, but people have been predicting the death of this game since Moria.

I know many of the regulars around here don't like to admit it, but LotRO still has a very loyal player base and has already surpassed the longevity of the vast majority of MMOs. Of course as time goes on, any predictions of the imminent death of LotRO are more likely to be accurate...

Rohan will be a good expac when put up against the likes of Mirkwood and RoI. It's plainly evident to me that they need to place more focus on content development, but being a F2P game, I understand it's the nature of the beast. But I still think they try to offer content for all niches of player and that's really all they need to do to maintain a player base. Probably half or more of my kin left LotRO to play GW2 and when RoR came out, every one of them came back and hasn't touched GW2 since. So while a lot of folks here may not agree that LotRO is the better game, there are certainly people who think otherwise - even if they aren't 100% onboard with how LotRO is playing out. For example, I find the continued dumbing-down of combat especially disconcerting.

When all is said and done, RoR will have offered quite a fair amount of content - new and revamped. I think predictions of the game's death at this point are still quite overblown.

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Everyone I used to play LOTRO with have left LOTRO, and won't be back. Most of them play GW2, except for my wife who is happily playing Rift with me.

But everyone has their own experience. YMMV, as always.

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Well, for my kin lotro used to be the only game, but now it's more like "tuesday night's MMO". There are a lot of competing games, SW:TOR and WoT are two of the most played by kinsmen, tESO is probably the next on the horizon. We are all lifers I guess, so nobody dropped the game completely, and 17 of us have an 85 raid ready toon waiting for the new raid. In the meantime it's Helegrod and skirms every tuesday, and probably BG too when it will be scaled.

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I think predictions of the game's death at this point are still quite overblown.

I think the use of the word "death" is misleading and a red herring. LOTRO is not going to die. At some point it will be close. It is an important semantic difference.

Closure will be brought about by a set of criteria that the accountants have previously set, being met. These criteria will be purely financial.

The decision will be made irrespective of server populations and log in numbers. In fact we have seen other games shut down that on paper still have a healthy population. But they went to the wall because it was decided that they simply didn't generate enough money for the owners.

Once the last part of the RoR instance cluster is released (in February allegedly) then Turbines obligation to players is effectively done. Frankly if they pulled the plug before hand I'm sure they would have a legal get out clause somewhere. Warner Bros has a lot of lawyers.

Effectively, the player base has absolutely no say in this matter and regardless of when it happens and would be utterly powerless to do anything.

Sure there would be indignant blog posts, a bunch of pointless petitions and protests both in and out of game. Then of course there would be the forum rants from people stating how they hate Turbine and all their offspring forever and how they would never buy one of their products again.

...and it would count for nothing.

The bean counters and the top brass would walk away with a fat pay-off, as per the terms of their contracts. The regular folk associated with the running of LOTRO would either be re-assigned or made redundant. The fans would simply be left with the reality. No more LOTRO.

This day will happen. It's really just a case of when. I think logically, when you look at the facts, it may be sooner than most think.

Again, my advice is enjoy the game, play the content and take screen captures and video footage while you can.

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I personally dont think its going to shutter anytime soon. I see content updates becoming few and farther in between, more outrageous store gimmicks and over worked, under staffed dev depts trying to make epic enjoyable instances that instead are bland and bugged to hell and virtually unplayable.

Hopefully the first thing they do shutter is the forums and kick that awful CM team to the curb.

Maybe we are all wrong and there is a 2nd wind coming, but I wont hold my breath for it, but Im also not hanging up my daggers and Theorbo just yet either.

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I am still hoping for a second wind, as I always say : each year many kids are growing old enough to play lotro and spend their parent's money. With the Hobbit movies there could be a new influx of player.

I am however on the same page as Moderate Peril : with all the free and premium players, the servers might feel crowded but still not meeting the goals. The day the goals aren't met is the day when lotro will have a closing date. We won't know about it before it is made official, and that could happen a week or two before the server shutdown. Some chiefs might be nostalgic, but none will keep the game open for long when goals aren't met.

I know WB could probably shutdown before february instances and get away with it, but the simpler and easier way out is to keep the servers up until then. Closing a game takes some time after all. Anyway my money is on 2014 at least, maybe 2015. I am just playing it safe by playing RoR as much as I can while I am not 85. I don't want to regret holding off from this region if the game goes down fast.

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Bilbo kept the ring until he was 111 years old, and Gollum probably much longer. It will eventually leave Turbine too.

"I feel... thin. Sort of stretched, like... butter scraped over too much bread." - that will happen to Turbine too. It already started, except that with Turbine, it's more like the butter has become sour...

I am still hoping for a second wind, as I always say : each year many kids are growing old enough to play lotro and spend their parent's money. With the Hobbit movies there could be a new influx of player.
Oh yes, I foresee that future... and I'm the Emperor, I'm quite good at this...

I foresee hundreds of new kiddies joining free to play Middle Earth riding Hobby Horses during Helm's Deep battle.

Be careful about what you wish for... ;)

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I think the use of the word "death" is misleading and a red herring. LOTRO is not going to die. At some point it will be close. It is an important semantic difference.

I was using the popular terminology, that's all. I know full well that the end of LotRO will come from Turbine alone and there will most likely still be a fair number of people playing it when it shuts down. There's always someone playing some MMO somewhere. No game dies because all the players left and every game has a #1 fan...

However, I don't belive that will happen in the next year and I'd be surprised if it happened within the next 2. On my server personally, I've seen a whole lot of people trickle back in since RoR launched.

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On my server personally, I've seen a whole lot of people trickle back in since RoR launched.

I do not doubt this. I have seen the same happen on my own server Gilrain. But as I said, if those returning players are not spending then they count for naught.

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