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Everything posted by Wayshuba

  1. I don't think it has anything to do with Turbine or having sub fees for that matter. Let me explain further: I believe there are just too many of the same-'ol, same-'ol MMOs out there competing for a finite amount of customer time. They rarely have little difference between them and thus they need a hybrid model more to survive than anything else. SWTOR sold more than 2M boxes right off the bat to gamers who KNEW there was a sub fee. In the early days, with still a heavy population, I was surprised by how much general chat was about players rather having a sub fee than the nickel-and-dime hybrid and F2P crap. Unfortunately, in addition to the same stale game play, the industry is plagued with a lot of substandard game play coming to the table where people aren't going to pay for it - and that is what killed SWTOR. Because it is an MMO, too many companies believe the initial product can be incomplete as it is constantly in development - players just aren't going to pay for that development. Now we have GW2 on the horizon, and it has become one of the most talked about MMO launches. The good is that they are attempting to challenge, or at least reskin, some of the stale MMO elements that have been repeated a hundred times over - and this is why I believe they are getting so much hype. The bad is, the incorporation of the F2P style gem store is creating an air a negativity and caution as many experienced MMO players know how the "lure of the store" can end up causing a company to become lazy content whores (ala Turbine) and increasing build a crappier product simply to get people to use the store. There was an article on Massively lately about this in general and there is a common feeling among gamers that they feel the industry is treating all of them like they are addicts who will go through anything for their game fix. Unfortunately, this fix is increasingly going towards indie developers who see the opportunity by putting out a quality product for a fair price rather than seeing customers as individuals to exploit. The MMO industry, with this hybrid model, is an unfortunate example of this and I for one, do not believe it is the model of the future. I personally believe an MMO company that comes out in more the Diablo I format - make the game and expansions and charge for them, everything else is free - will end up with the winning model.
  2. @Liknvi It's up to you, but that e-mail response, threatening to ban your account for seeking a refund on a pre-sell component actually is considered coercion under Massachusetts law. This is a general civil offense in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition, if their are others where this same e-mail was sent, what this opens up is a potential massive liability for Turbine and WB; far beyond simply consumer protection laws. Turbine has severely overstepped their legal bounds with this whole RoR fiasco and it will take someone with the courage to finally stand up to this abuse to get it stopped once and for all. Also, FYI, anything published by the company at time of purchase is admissable in court as leading a consumer to believe what will come with a product, correct or not. Secondly, Turbine saying the FAQ didn't matter is complete bullocks as they retracted such in writing PROVING they knew people were making purchasing decisions based upon such information. Remember, in cases like this it is the burden of the company to prove no one purchased based on such information. If so much as one other person besides yourself (which their own forums prove is true) purchased based on the same incorrect information, the court will not allow Turbine to dismiss that this information didn't matter. At the end of the day, this is why they sweetened the deal - besides in this case they have in fact crossed the legal bounds in the Commonwealth. Contrary to what Dark is arguing on the forums, the intent to mislead is only for committing fraud (it must be proven it was intentional) - however, the e-mail you received is coercion - threat of retribution for exercising your legal consumer rights - which is a whole different matter. See reference to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 93 "Fair Dealings". I believe Part A is for business to business and another one is for business to consumer. This is another good resource for understanding Coercion in legal definition and right: http://research.lawyers.com/glossary/coercion.html
  3. WB involvement in this is probably limited to setting quarterly revenue targets for Turbine to achieve, they have far too many properties to manage to worry about this little gnat's ass known as Turbine. I am fairly positive what Turbine is doing is solely of their own accord. That being said, however, they are still wholly owned by WB and therefore a tempting target for class action firms. As an aside, here in MI where I am from, one customer got pissed at overdraft fee charges from a certain large bank here (they were doing that computer ordering to maximize overdraft fees). Now, she was only out about $200 (small I know) but took it to a class action firm here who took up the case. The result - it went to court and the bank was ordered to refund all customers over the last two years any overdraft fees that were charged (that was $20 million), second they had to pay the law firm it's fees (that $2 million), third they had to pay a fine (that was another $6 million). So, I'm sure the bank thought this was just a customer and it was $200, how important was she. That stupid decision cost them a total of $28 million. Turns out that little customer was a big deal after all. If those still playing LOTRO really want this predatory and exploitative behavior from Turbine to stop, you would be doing yourself and fellow gamers (what's left of them) a favor by presenting this evidence (along with some from the RoI debacle) to a class action lawsuit firm (there are some really go ones in Boston) and letting them know Turbine is owned by WB. Watch how fast they will be willing to get this lawsuit going if they smell blood. Like Sharks in water are attracted to blood. Remember, class action firms do not get fees from the initial plaintiff, they get them from winning the case with the shark food (in this case WB). Turbine needs the same lesson that the bank above learned. Then at least no one in the industry will be willing to listen to Paiz anymore. Quite frankly, the guys business behavior (and what he preaches) borders on illegal. They need to have this cost them heavily if anyone ever wants a chance of saving this game.
  4. What amazes me is that after the RoI fiasco and the disappointment many had (and still have) over the lack of content, IC coming later, charging for the raid and the unsolved bugs that anyone is surprised by Turbine with RoR (except for the ludicrous pricing). So little information if out on the so called "expansion" and people are lining up to give them cash when you already know the same exact problems as RoI are going to be present with RoR. Getting 10 levels with no end game IC at launch is total BS. They announced this expansion HOW long ago. They said back then this was going to be the biggest expansion they ever did (I guess what they were referring to, in hindsight, was the price not the content). I have to admit, Paiz was right, although if he worked for me and treated customers like this his a** would have been fired a long time ago. I mean you are talking about a guy who basically says it is okay to piss customers off, we will still make money. No you stupid a** bonehead, Paiz, the idea is to make money by pleasing your customers, then you grow your customer base (and revenue) via good word of mouth instead of the disposable, we'll just replace them model because, you see, eventually you run out of customers to replace those who left. The damage this guy (and Sap) have done to Turbine for their long term prospects in incomprehensible. Mark my words, Turbine will, if not this year very soon, be coming to the cliff soon enough when all this stuff will come back to haunt them hard. What I would love to see at this point is instead of someone taking evidence to the BBB, to instead forward it to a class action law firm. With sufficient evidence they would eat up the chance to file a suit against WB, after all, they go where the money is. It may seem small to one person, but a chink in the armor of a major corporate cash cow (Warner Brothers) is huge for these type of law firms and they will eat it up.
  5. They are far too stupid for this. Instead, I think they realized their cohonies were in a vice and that, after getting some legal advice, they would in fact be liable for refunds or worse, a lawsuit for bait-and-switch fraud. Since they were even being called out for their insane pricing on Massively and other sites, they realized they probably pushed it too far. I'm more inclined to believe certain bonuses for missing quarter revenue targets were at stake with the potential of so many refunds so that is why they did what they did. What's amazing is the pricing is still a bunch of total crap even with the TPs and instance cluster. Let's start with this, if you pre-purchase Legendary Edition how many instaces come in the IC itself? Is there a raid or not? Will this require a separate fee? Again vague and ambiguous. Turbine is the biggest PoS company in the MMO space and this doesn't change that. They had ever intention of charging everyone for the IC, that is a sure bet with how they corrected it. They are scums and deserve all the ill-will they get. Still can't believe people are saying they made it right. You are getting the same thing as last year's expansion still at a much higher price.
  6. Glad I got off this treadmill slightly before Update 3. I saw this coming a mile away and feel so much better that I haven't been continuously suckered by Turbine. BTW, my opinion on the absurd pricing for RoR is simple - their continued biz practices have chased away a very large portion of their old supportive (and paying) customer base and now, they are trying to make up the revenue loss of volume by charging a higher (okay, ludicrous) price for, once again, a glorified quest pack. This is NOT an expansion. Ever since F2P, Turbine has had an extremely distorted view of what constitutes and expansion, so much so that I consider the crap they are putting out as expanions to be a blemish on the whole industry. I really hope this whole RoR thing finally blows up in a major way in their faces.
  7. I'd be willing to bet that this is because they have lost many subscribers since going F2P as a result of their BS shenanigans so now they need to charge more to make the same amount of money they did before. Of course, every little screw turn instead of making them money probably is costing them more and more subs. Of course, it may also be that shut down is planned for the game so they are going to milk every last cent out of the remaining suckers players before closing it down.
  8. It seems Turbine is another company destined to fail in the gaming industry. Not only didn't they learn from their past exploits, but they could also look at EA too at how they have missed targets on all recent titles (DA2, ME3, BF and efven SWTOR). Why is this? Well the entire VG industry is down 27% in sales YoY. Companies blame it on the economy, but when the media did some research with the customer base it was a different story - VG industry customers are increasingly feeling like they are being ripped off by these gaming companies. The most cited example - BS DLC available on Day One of product launches, obvious features being removed from games so they can be sold separately (sounds a lot like the Turbine scumbags doesn't it?), etc. Turbine deserves at this point to go out of the MMO business. Which I personally believe they are considering they are looking for 50 developers so they must be working on something else because it sure as hell isn't their MMO titles. Or maybe it is just that no good developers want to work for such a PoS company like Turbine for fear it would hurt their careers.
  9. I have a better one. Why doesn't Turbine stop being lazy ass, sleazeballs in development and when they find a player's character who is running around with a name for a new NPC they want to introduce they change the name of the friggin' NPC before it is released on the servers. Turbine is the absolute worst company (and I am not just refering to an MMO company) that I have ever seen in my life. I have never witnessed so much abuse, deception and contempt for a customer base as I see in Turbine. This is compounded even further in knowing that at one time they were a decent company that had a really supportive customer base. I personally, at this point, would love to see Turbine shut down in MMOs and allocated over to other WB projects.
  10. Except, this is very important, THEY ARE NOT DOING PRE-ORDERS (caps for emphasis). They are doing a PRE-PURCHASE which is an entirely differnet animal under US law. I am well versed on this since my company is currently doing pre-purchase on some business software we are releasing in July and my attornies clearly spelled out what the requirements were in the US (and the UK and EU for that matter) in regard to this. From a marketing standpoint, it seems easy to move from pre-order (which is a small deposit only not billed until product availability) to a pre-purchase (which is paying for the full price of the product before it is ready), but from a legal standpoint there is a tremendous difference in legal requirements.
  11. Just an FYI for clarification. This is NOT a Pre-Order, they actually have the gaul to do it as a Pre-Purchase.... Boy, does this smell like someone trying to make Q2 end numbers. I'll give you another one for coal on the fire. Since they are selling it pre-purchase (rather than a deposit only pre-order) they just opened themselves up in a major way legally to being sued in a class action (remember, this is owned by WB now, so lawyers can smell the money). When collecting full amount for a product, you must (by federal law) specify EXACTLY what the customer is getting for their funds in exchange for the full amount. If a company can't do that, or isn't willing to, then you go with pre-order. This pre-purchase thing is a dangerous new precedent that, I guaranteee, will lead to lawsuits eventually. Lawyers can always smell blood a mile away and changing from pre-order to pre-purchase obiligates a company under a whole host of laws that pre-order does not and is very easy to slip up on.
  12. So, if this isn't due until Fall, Turbine is now selling pre-orders three-four months in advance. Funny timing considering it is the last month of Q2. Not to mention $40 to $70 for an expansion - really? This has got to be the biggest joke ever. They are getting to the point where they are selling expansions, with minimal new content, for the price of an entire game.
  13. ArenaNet's recent blog post indicated what they corrected and also that they would have another blog detailing more. Personally I think some of the suggestions for new systems that came from last beta (such as tutorial areas) will most likely end up as patch content after launch, whereas suggestions for currently finished content (such as fine tuning melee and dynamic event scaling) is more what will make it for launch.
  14. NCSoft indicated in their last earnings call that the date has slipped that was originally intended but not by much. By their earnings guidance on GW2, it looks pretty solid for a Q3 release. Whether that means July or September who knows, but given that they are keeping current characters so they hope people get to the L35 dungeon for testing, I think it is much closer than people think. As for the number of BWEs, nothing in pricing indicated the BWEs were part of the purchase - just that you would be given access to them. Besides, the three day headstart is what most are looking for. I follow the game among multiple forums daily and don't think, if they managed to only have two BWEs, it will be an issue at all. Most people would rather invest their time in characters that won't be wiped rather than keep playing for character that will. In addition, I think people would rather be able to log on at any time rather than continue to wait until another BWE is launched.
  15. By the direction the game has taken since going F2P, I think Turbine discovered something - that most new players aren't paying very much cash, they tend to be try and flyers, going from one free MMO to the next and not spending any real cash, or very little at the least. So then, to justify the work going to F2P, it becomes about milking the existing customer base for as much cash as you can get for them. Turbine has taken milking their existing customer base to the extreme. The 500TP stipend is just so they can say you get it free, which is anything but the case. They have literally turned to selling basic game functionality as a means to supplement the income now. What's next? Limiting the minutes you log on a day under the subscription but increasing it if you buy more with TP? Doesn't sound too far fetched when you consider what they did with skirmish soliders on the landscape. As for the earlier comments about so many Turbine bashers on here. I, like many others, found these forums after Turbine began its relentless pursuit of banning all dissenters from their boards. Whether you want to admit it or not, 90% of this dissent has been brought on by Turbine's own stupidity. I have never in my life seen a company treat their customer base with such contempt. Luckily, Turbine isn't bigger or they definately would have stolen the wonderful title that EA recently garnered amazingly for the same thing - nickel and diming their customer base to the point of abuse. Now EA is feeling the effects of this in a big way; every big game title in the last twelve months has fallen far short of expectations. Customers have had it with EA in general and the same is happening to Turbine. Defend or bash Turbine all you want, I could care less. As a previous avid supporter of Turbine who had enough of being used as a wet doormat they no longer have my cash, support or even have me as a customer. My guild of more than 80 strong now has completely left LOTRO and we are together on another title with a guild over more than 120 strong. So, Turbine can keep their brilliant short-term business focus going, because it is having a major effect on their long term.
  16. I personally believe it is server side. I bet with Update 6 Turbine also upgraded the server from Windows 3.11 to Windows 95.... ;P
  17. Or, as is typical for Turbine these days, they are just blatantly lying? Turbine is rotten from every single direction these days. Even more so than other WB businesses.
  18. TW reports on freemium model transaction expections.
  19. I think the graphs show two things regardless of Turbine claims. 1.) There is indeed and total overall decline in the number of people logging in. Turbine is making the mistake of scaring the existing customers away (who as longer term players were more inclined to spend cash than many F2P'rs). 2.) They have admitted that less than 5% of the current population spends money on the game. Which in turn means that they need to increase subsciber numbers just to extract the relevant portion of income needed to meet target. This graph is not showing this. Personally, I thin the long term effects of their appetite to screw their customers and the obvious turns being made to sell game functionality in the store are indicative of the 'rooster coming home to roost'. I'd be willing to bet that Rohan will not be as successful and expansion as RoI was now that most are on to their sleazeball tactics. Personally, I think the business models (or many businesses in America for the most part) have become so rampant at trying to rake in the dough for the top execs that so many are screwing their shareholders and customers at every turn. EA, Activision and now Turbine have fallen into this trap. As long as consumers allow this behavior to continue (i.e., the companies continue to rake in the dough) this will only get worse. Rather disgusting overall when you think about it.
  20. While I left just before Update 3, the last breach had me cancel my cc and get a replacement. Glad I left the Turbine, nothing is ever our fault, treadmill.
  21. While I don't know if this is the case, since I run an internet company I will take a gander at what I think it is. Turbine is running off external server farms, such as Amazon, Heroku (SalesForce), etc. Since you can scale nodes on the fly with these things to account for application instancing, Turbine has most likely cut back on the instancing charges they want to experience. We had a similar thing happen in one particular quarter where our user growth went much higher than expected, as soon as we increased the application instance nodes (and our costs) the problem was immediately resolved. My bet is Turbine is doing the typical corporate BS right now - continuing to milk as much revenue from the player base while also decreasing costs. This is probably caused by a decrease in server application nodes.
  22. First one went so well that they have announced a second free weekend this upcoming one. See the SWTOR site for more information.
  23. Not true. I can name an entire guild of more than 50 people that have permanently left LOTRO over Paiz's crap. On a side note, I'm sure this is also giving everyone the warm and fuzzies over the upcoming rip-off, err, expansion to Rohan.
  24. More likely, put Turbine's online expertise and resources into building DLC content for platform and such titles mentioned in their reports. Has been very, very lucrative for EA so would make more sense to put those resources into something deemed more effective.
  25. Don't know where your getting this information. The CEO of EA himself has stated on record that TOR has exceeded expectations. They have almost 1.5 million subscribers... Not units sold, but subscribers. At an average of $12/month that is $18 million/month. Also, this has been confirmed by the sheer size of the dev team still working on TOR. As to no living up to expectations, this has been nothing but hyperbole - the numbers are saying otherwise. Yes the game is still currently here. So have many shows made a few seasons under WB before being suddenly canceled. It is in WB's blood, don't think the methods in the gaming industry will change that. You missed what I said. According to TW comments in financial reports they are most likely NOT profitable. They made a specific comment in the financial reports that the titles I quoted earlier above made up for the under-performance of other gaming units. What do you think that wasin reference too? The difference here is Turbine is NOT owned by a gaming company, they are owned by a company that will cancel things on a moments notice. It is the lifeblood of TW and Turbine is not going to change that. Fact is, Turbine is NOT in WBs core competency and that needs to be taken into account. Turbine's rapid change in behavior (from decent company to bottom-feeding scumbags) is so fast and so drastic it is obvious they are under tremendous pressure to get revenue up. Unfortunately, their strategy is very short-term focused but, unfortunately, will ultimately harm them in the long term. Again, this is not about TOR, or Tera, or GW2 or some other MMO hurting them, it is about Turbine continuing to hurt themselves. As I mentioned before, my guild is a perfect example of a slew of paying customers that have abandoned LOTRO and moved on to another MMO because of Turbine's behavior. That was more than 50 players right there (now at almost 100 on our current MMO). Most former LOTRO players weren't even aware that U6 just released because they were so fed up with Turbine they don't even follow them anymore. And we are just one guild. I imagine there are plenty of examples like us.
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