You know, monetizing a game, often announces a fundamental change to any game. Especially older games such as LotRO from its inceptual days of being a sub based game. It should be so, but often is not the case, when going into monetization mode, from a subscription based origin means, knowing your product. Using subtle changes/manipulations that go in stride with already established implementations and or mechanics. It really makes a huge fuckin difference if you know the developed game by playing it. (Cordovan as an example doesn't meet this standard. Not to slight the guy, but his presence is more PR than anything else. Ofc he would not deny this.) Generating revenue ultimately must happen, but... And holy shit this is huge. Admitting it as such, makes the truth upfront and understood to anybody. This total omission by SSG does not go without notice and often comes across as devious manipulation instead of guided, transparent, integrity. This combination of lack of ingame progression knowledge and monetary hidden pitfalls, yields a plus sum of broken non-existence consistencies. That in itself is frustrating to players, who with patience attempt to endure these monetary type transitions. Frustrations often described by players, who know they are at or near a breaking point, by saying the developers don't care as they once did. I read this almost daily in some capacity of the OF's. I can on many occasion conclude these statements are 100% true. I can also say, in my 12 years I played LotRO (notice past tense 😀) deem that some at SSG truely only see LotRO and DDO as a job. Put in the time. Get a paycheck. Pay their bills. Which brings me to this.
I played this game before LotRO. I put many hours in it and had many sessions of fun. Met many nice, decent people, in that time.
Eve online has had to deal with declining population in its last half of its life. They too like LotRO have their resident dedicated fanbase. Eve has also had to change it revenue model and more than once. Eve has also had to deal with the intro of monetization tools. Seems same, same doesn't it? Yet it is so much different. Eve has never denied why they introduced skill injectors. Which if people don't know is a near equivalent to a Valar. Near I say, because of the obvious differences in game approach. Ya, Near is a good a fit as any. Eve players are as nuts about ship skins as LotRO players are about armour cosmetics.
Things that made Eve a great game to play is the developers also played the game. It is well known the original founders of Eve were themselves PKers in Ultima Online. If you've ever played both games you can't but help to understand the similarities to both games. Perhaps products of their time more than actually defining qualities inherent in gaming. This meant when Eve's developers made changes they fully understood how they changed their game. This can be debated at length but I'm really referring to its first half of existence.
As the old guard developing Eve slowly ended their employment (CCP Guard, CCP Falcon being the last) things did take unexpected turns. CCP Seagull had a vision but over time it became diluted by player politics and powerplays. You'd know the extent I mean (Eve is so much more than a spaceship game) if you knew who those are. Eventually CCP Seagull left and so Eve had no pilot. CCP being sold recently marks a full end to those old standards. I expect a full monetization effort in the coming years. With developers who are decried much the same as SSG developers are today.
The link above is a monumental moment in the twilight years of Eve Online where the company who developed Eve, not only played the game, but recognized players and their achievements. In the Eve universe the quest to visit every system is a huge monumental task. To do it and never have a ship destroyed is beyond imaginable. Thus yielding a Guinness world record. Nine years and having CCP at the end acknowledging the journey may be the last of its kind in the MMO world. Take a look at the one screenshot where it shows 2 dozen CCP developers logged on to celebrate this one players quest. Logged into the game to celebrate the completion of the 9 year quest. Developers taking a few moments to show they give a fuck.