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Wrath of Winter

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  1. Thank you, MueR. I've been going through my post history last night saving some of them in a txt file for recordkeeping, and while revisiting some very old threads have once again been amazed by the amount of thoughtful commentary and careful attention invested in those discussions. Happy to hear those threads won't disappear. This forum serves, in a way, as a definite history of Lotro as chronicled and meticulously documented by its actual players -- in real time, as it happened. The eyewitness, oral history of the game's (mis)management and (arrested) development. The Decline and Fall. The threads from 2014 especially are remarkably visceral, more painful in hindsight knowing their vehemence and raw emotion were about to be engulfed by a void. No finer storytelling on these matters, telling it like it is. And it was all unfolding live. Whatever the capering sycophants from the official forum claim to contribute with their Landroval cliques and RP elitist buffoonery, this forum space is the definitive Lotro Chronicle. Open for anyone to read.
  2. Oh shit. I had thought this forum would outlive LotRO. No tech-savvy competence on my part whatsoever, alas, else I would have volunteered to keep it going. Very much hoping someone will step forward. There is an absolute wealth of gaming history and "meta-LotRO" lore on those pages of threads from years past. Above all else: Someone please find a way to archive and preserve the entire exchange with Aylwen from this thread. And please make it publicly available online in archived form, before this forum goes down. That open conversation has brought so much closure and peace of mind as to why the game has turned into what it did -- not only for myself but for all of us who were still bitter and still cared enough back then. A noble act of public service, and immortal. Rest in power, Aylwenn. As for myself, I still remember that drama-overwrought November 2013 when I made an account here as soon as Helms Derp went live. I was one of the closed beta testers, and watching the still-beloved LotRO get violently assraped behind the curtain of NDA -- all while being utterly powerless to save it -- was as traumatic as it was infuriating. Yes, hence the username. I came here to vent and was overwhelmed by the welcome I received. Raising a toast to my fellow closed beta refugees. Damn, now I'm on a nostalgia kick. Remember when? . . . Shills from the O-Forums making accounts here to have 'dialogue' only to end up tarred and feathered and run away screeching. That overgrown Bango kid who loudly rage-quit this forum and who felt that incessantly referencing his white-collar job makes him appear a mature adult. Spidey, RIP. He was getting salty in his posts and replies, but only later did the real-life context behind his situation emerged. A humbling reminder how human we all are. Every time an Epic Battle (tm) played out on the O-Forums resulting in locked threads, was a sure-fire bet to see the heroes of those battles posting here after receiving their bans. Silence between dev cycles and no drama on the O-Forums meant that someone starts picking drama here instead. Nobody will remember the mindless moment when Trilwych accused me of being an anti-feminist because I wasn't offended at being called a cunt, but I still think that was hilarious. Angra's impeccably fastidious Server Population posts, served at regular intervals with German precision over the span of years. Gourmet popcorn-quality play-by-play summaries of the shitstorms and fecal flinging fests going on the O-Forums, sparing the rest of us the effort to keep track (thank you, kind steel-balled posters who could stomach writing them out. Shoutout to Macdui for keeping it up) Ballie. A fucking hero. Enough said. /swordsalute. A mention of honor to bobbylobs from Helms Deep beta for serving Sapience an assload of hard sass for all of us, he posted here for a bit after getting the ban. I am not mentioning Aylwen because I already did. Though not veteran enough to be with LotRO from SoA days, I lived vicariously through his memories and these will I always treasure. Surely omitting some gems, if you can think of any keep the list going!
  3. So it did work after retries - keyboard issue or a key getting stuck, maybe (or caps lock)? Resetting password is of course the simplest but I bet you don't have that throwaway email account from 9 year ago. Retrying to see if it lets you in again is the last thing you can do to reset the password manually after login.
  4. To be honest, all those recent happenings suggested the exact opposite of Renaissance to me. Another up-and-comer kid inherits the "exec producer" role that bounces his way in a game of "hot potato," while yet another exec producer passes the buck and bolts. It's a clueless circle, and no one wants to touch the potato, but someone's got to juggle it. It's been the same "exec producer" carousel since Paiz got punted (and good fucking riddance to that one). Ever since, Lotro's been a revolving door of well-meaning [but inept] token office-sitters that recycles every 2 - 3 years or so. They're paid to be the Lotro dev team figureheads in PR, but in reality they're just middling managers out to pad their cv's before moving up the career ladder to greener pastures. And there you have the simple truth, which explains why Lotro is treading water (and is something the Lotro-hopefuls refuse to see, in the same carousel of new optimism - new disappointments). These "exec producer" up-and-comers are looking out for their careers, fellas. They're not looking out for Lotro. Their priorities are catchy bullet points on their linked in profiles. They're not here to realize grand visions for the game, because in order to have grand visions for the game one has to actually, you know, be a creative imaginative Lotro player and not a mediocre administrative assistant promoted into executive managerial role due to ability to jump through hoops and perform assigned tasks. Creatives create, uncreative types go into management and admin;) To anyone who's wondered how come Lotro is treading water and its deliverables keep falling short of the game's potential... this is why. It's sad to see the recurring cycle of Messianic hope at each new "exec producer's" arrival, when in reality, players are simply projecting their own love for the game onto this new corporate persona, thinking it shares their visions and aspirations. All it shares (with previous execs) is the certainty of Lotro being a career stepping stone to elsewhere. Cannot expect commitment and dedication, let alone any semblance of visionary future direction, from this premise. Those acrobatic admin monkeys won't know how to spell "vision" if you spot them all the letters. Wonder not at their incompetence, it's baked into the job description. If they'd been competent they'd be overqualified for the role. In fact, the carousel of "exec producers" recycling every 2 - 3 years may be an intended feature of Lotro business operations precisely for this reason. Gives the new admins a chance to cut their teeth in a low-key office environment, while the playing masses buy into each arrival with resurgence of hope (and spending) on a game they still think is high-key. And looking at Lotro forums... it's working as intended.
  5. Leider bin ich auf einem anderen Server, aber sehr schön ist, solche elbische-thematische Ereignisse zu sehen. Sie halten den alten Geist des Spiels am Leben. Viel Glück!
  6. Someone has been reading my posts here, it seems: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?683093-New-Mini-Expansion-Pack-quot-War-of-the-Three-Peaks-quot-announced-normal-collector-s-and-ultimate-edition&p=8039117#post8039117 How very ironic to see the very same person who's tirelessly latching onto my OF comments to lure me into entanglements, is copying my thoughts point for point nearly verbatim. And how well it explains this user's parasitic urges, deflection, and reactive mirroring techniques when facing her own truth. Imagine the self-loathing it takes to be so willfully mind-blind. Casting ropes of entanglement - all aimed at posts that do, in fact, align with this user's opinion - very tellingly point to an enormous degree of jealousy towards anyone who's able to shrug off LotRO's presence and influence in their own personal lives. Or, more accurately, towards anyone with a life. That's the real rage trigger, not the "SSG criticism". Behind the mask of performative arguing is a decomposing remnant of humanity that wants to quit but cannot, embroiling oneself in a perpetual self-destructive spiral with no dignity or self-worth, seeking temporary relief in relentless patrolling of the General Forum, addiction to inserting the last word, and petty pickings at semantics to tear down any reminder of the self-inflicted trauma. The theme siren song of the official forums. Some never evolve past middle-school playground of fecal bullying and reactive mimicry. No wonder they conflate studying monkeys with insights into human beings, having pushed the boundary of human experience as far as they're capable of reaching.
  7. My favorite part is that those who were orgasming, white-knighting, and pissing on others three years ago pre-Mordor are the ones crying and ass-hurting now. I love karma. Watch the coordinated alt-account insider shills showing up to stoke the fires of the "support / complain SSG" binary, once more distracting from the very telling level of marketing confidence this Daybreak subsidy is operating on. That "recommended" tag next to ultimate edition shows who their target audience is (nope, not the cosmetic whales, these have been discarded).
  8. Watched it. No hot takes to offer, only tepid room temperature takes. Trump looked like he expected to wing it but was rattled his opponent came more prepared than anticipated. Biden strategy was obviously to minimize Biden's verbal stumbles, resulting in him sticking implacably to pre-formulated talking points even when those didn't address the questions directly, making himself sound vague and slippery like the politician he is. Looking into camera addressing people at home was a cheap copout from actually engaging those present at debate itself. Overall, a calculated emphasis on reactive mirroring and punitive affection-withholding to mask a lack of substance. Nothing proactive, just vampiric feeding off others. Biden's mental hiccups briefly slipped through in a couple of moments - was eerie to notice, like a machine suddenly sputtering but getting an instant power boost. Uncanny valley. Trump strategy was obviously to derail Biden and get him to gaffe, but in so doing he ended up derailing himself the entire time, contradicting/abandoning his own talking points while reacting on the fly and sounding like his own twitter feeds. This blunt dynamic energy could've worked on lively agitated opponents, but with Biden's pre-formulated script it had nowhere to go but in circles. The very few moments Trump lowered his voice to talk conversationally he was on the threshold of coming across as approachable and sensible, but the sensible points he was making were soon lost in the fray of his own word salad. Expected him to play smarter or at least bully smarter, was disappointed at how easily he was strung along. That's what you get for underestimating your opponent's advisory board. Overall, free popcorn entertainment of dystopian vaudeville. Surprised it wasn't on pay-per-view with this much sleaze tbh. The highlight of the night was Chris Wallace's relishing in his role of moderating Trump and their sexual tension throughout
  9. Decided to revisit this year's Producer's Letter from April to compare how this update is described. This caught my eye: "In the fall we will see a new type of mega-update, the War of the Three Peaks, which will provide new content for characters of all levels. " So the shift to monetizing forthcoming updates (undoubtedly distinguishing them as "mega" to justify this) coincides with the decision to open up the entire game for free. Re-branding "mega update" as mini expansion" doesn't look like a panic move (and they're still hiring too). If I were to speculate, I think they're overhauling their entire target demographic to create a revolving door for a new kind of expendable, transaction-oriented players (the bored online game-hopping click-spenders), and the cosmetic scenester roleplaying lifers/VIPers are not their darlings anymore. Too much self-precious entitlement from those, can't have them holding a business growth hostage. Not to mention their emotional blackmail is bad for PR (perpetual LMB crybabyism, lifer/founder ego stroking, Vanyablalala public pedophilia, last year's Druidsfire shitstorm, etc, et al). So that whole VIP playerbase is being conveniently discarded en masse with the way new game features are rolling out (which they notice as they rage), and the forum shills are being deployed to create lightning rods for those tantrums. Still very much convinced the "incompetent SSG" narrative is a planted distraction to mask the demographic overhaul and the executive turn toward even more overt micro/macro monetization of player experience. (The balls to nonchalantly drop "mini expac" tier pricing on them without giving a single shit for packaging this info in any detail, really speaks to this new demographic's attention span, IQ level, and how disposable they are).
  10. Damn well guaranteed to have been pilfered out of Doro's post. Lotro o-forum forecast: a pronounced increase in shill activity in repeated attempts to generate public "excitement" from the ground up. Releasing Three Peaks bundle prices without any details, and releasing new Bullroarer build without Three-Peaks-specific details (patch notes do actually say "coming soon") is a stroke of marketing genius not dissimilar to a narcissist's psychological mind game vis a vis attracting fresh victims: be emotionally unavailable while dispensing bread crumbs and they'll be hooked. The funny part is the same trick works the same way on the narcissist: what a predominant majority of Lotro o-forum posters in fact are.
  11. The "take my moneh" fanboys are understandably predictable, but much more entertaining are the ex-"take my moneh" fanboys who got shat on so hard for so long they're now binge-posting in butthurt betrayal rage. The delusional naivete of thinking their "customer complaints" are worth a damn... the same Karens who yell at Starbucks baristas for taking too long with their pumpkin spice lattes or demanding to see the manager at Target when their brand of cat food is out of stock, all the while not realizing they're one little egg-laying hen among billions in an egg$$-farming industry game played by massive mega-corporations. This made me nostalgic for being on these forums circa 2014 when folks with business administration backgrounds offered sharp insights into then-Turbine's trainwrecks on almost daily basis
  12. Uff da. You open a job ad and another job ad posted under "Careers at Daybreak Game Company" and find... "Our Standing Stone Games Studio is looking for a passionate content designer [...]" "Our Standing Stone Games Studio is looking for a passionate Game Engineer [...]" I'm really bad at .gif reacting, but what a dedicated effort by a tiny indie company to keep giving us more content, of course they have to make money to survive and everyone should keep supporting the little guys, they work so hard and sacrifice so much. Unexplained server instability? It's just a few folks in a tiny strip mall office working overtime (give them a break!), run by incompetent management that has no clue (they're ruining the game and disrespecting customers!). Whose side are you on? Join the Lotro forums and get involved. *strokes beard*
  13. A preponderance of dummy alt accounts over there, fanning the flames and starting positive threads. Both strategies generate forum activity + lightning rod baiting. If not for these coordinated efforts, OF would be mostly stagnant by now. Looking closer at syntax, many of these dummy accounts sound very similar, to nobody's surprise. All deflecting attention from anyone thinking in the direction of "real" questions. (In other words, the "incompetence" narrative = red herring plant) 100% can't unsee SSG being a front. The amount of NDA and legal repercussions must be immense: complete silence and zero company reviews on GlassDoor.com. If everything really was at face value re: SSG management's gross incompetence, hard to imagine not a single disgruntled ex-employee venting about it there. Even Turbine amassed some shit-stain reviews, guess their big-corpo entanglement was more transparent. (Anyone can make a dummy LinkedIn acct to check on activity there, so go ahead Mac if you're keen.) If anyone's twisting SSG's arms "outside of their control"... Server Instability Notice Cordovan's post is beginning to sound more and more like "help I'm trapped in a Chinese fortune cookie factory"
  14. Looks like the store was underperforming without chat channels, seeing these got re-enabled after all. Expected a new monetization scheme hitting live servers, wasn't disappointed. It's substantially more nefarious than their previous cash-grabs: Advertising "horse mount displays" as main feature of premium Rohan housing, for years Opening beta "preview" of Rohan housing, complete with ability to display mounts Both beta release notes and live Update notes mentioning "horse mount displays" as main attraction of Rohan housing Players excitedly rush to buy Rohauses and display their mounts.... only to be hit with a 20 MC fee per each placement edit hahahahaha, poor losers Did anyone expect a real-cash fee? Of course not, it was carefully omitted from all communication. SSG keeps a washed-up lawyer on their payroll for a reason, after all. I almost recognize a MoL-style plot twist in how the "mount displays" were served to the sad sods: Buy a premium Rohaus and get 5 mount hitching posts (hooks)! The players comply, thinking they're buying this unique new feature They get the promised 5 hitching posts, and of course rush to try them out with random mounts, just to see how it works After filling up 5 posts with random mounts, they're being ninja-hit with this hidden cost of 20 MC to make any edits or changes to this "new feature" they thought they bought when they spend real money on their Rohaus The psychology behind it, though But the best part of it all? Not being invested in any of this anymore whatsoever, and not giving a single damn. Even just a year ago I might've still been pissed at the exploitations, but now? A sigh of relief and nirvana. And the smell of fresh kettle pop corn I'm about to enjoy doused with sea salt instead of getting embroiled in all that nonsense. (p.s. Warspeech, you beat me to the reference just as I was typing the last sentence, lol)
  15. Accurate. One look through Red_Panda's replies in the o-forum's Dev Tracker shows what the priorities are. Note promptness and punctuality pertaining to anything store-reated. Which leads me to think the current broken "limited live servers" situation is not from SSG's ineptitude but a deliberate testing ground. When something is a priority, it gets treated like a priority. When something is not treated like a priority - then the priority is elsewhere. Who's to say they're not using this datacenter fuckup as a chance to see how the store sales figures compare in a severely limited game environment (no chat channels, no fellowships, no friend lists, no grouping). If the sales are good - and hey, the whales finally got rid of that pesky grouping they hate so much! - it sets a new threshold for lowering standards and divesting resources from LotrO. While ensuring it's "just" functional enough to invite player spending. Interestingly, the game infrastructure directly involved in player spending has not been disabled: vault, wardrobe, shared storage, and housing system all remain perfectly functional. Item storage/retrieval interfaces are working and loading without lag. It is only the social aspects of the game that have been mysteriously "impacted" by these outages - everything that contributes to social in-game environment, in fact. Why no urgency to fix this? Easy: it's not urgent. Why so vague and elusive in communicating this? Easy: the CM whose entire job revolves around communication is making conscious decision to be elusive (per direction from higher up the food chain). A limited test run of "maintenance mode" store sales in controlled setting? I assume maintenance mode = no active (paid) GMs to monitor the chat channels, so they will be disabled for politically correct reasons of "player safety". And I assume maintenance mode = fully operational store intact. Transitioning to a new business model by opening up the entire Lotro world "for free" invites all kind of internal data metrics experiments. Maybe they needed to tighten their budgets by giving a pay cut to those active GMs and furlough them for a few weeks. "We're experiencing undisclosed server issues but re-opening the game worlds with limited functions" sounds a whole lot like "We're extending our covid gesture of unlocking all Lotro regions to play for free for another month." Let the starry-eyed imbeciles keep fawning over SSG's "kindness" and "efforts"... Every single game-related decision is governed by budgetary bottom line. Including this one.
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