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Wrath of Winter

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Everything posted by Wrath of Winter

  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.
  16. They've kept a few servers "open" (a.k.a. on life support, feeding tube) while taking others down. No chat /channels, no mail, no auction house, no friend-list functioning. Put another way, keeping the addicts who cannot function without being plugged into the game on life support/feeding tube. Interestingly, in this unstable server environment, the $tore has not been disabled. I've logged in a few days ago out of curiosity, to check out the new festival in what (I thought) would be a less-laggy environment due to new restrictions. Result: extremely choppy movement, massive rubberbanding on foot simply running around, toon getting randomly insta "ported" 10 - 15 meters backwards which often results in being trapped behind columns or in-game assets, inability to interact with quest objects due to prompts not loading or having the click commands "interrupted" by said rubberbanding. tl;dr : I don't suffer from motion sickness but two minutes of this "Lotro experience" was enough to induce physical nausea and I had to go lie down. But hey, now that they've made the entire game world "free", you get what you pay for, right? You know the grass is not green on SSG's lawn when servers have been down for more than a week (they've now shut them all down) and there's not even any rage threads on the official forums, just a handful of "concern" threads amid the summer peace and quiet. (Though I can't help adding... seeing Arkenstone server as the one that's been down the longest made me smile at the thought of Maarten A. being deprived of his playground for that long)
  17. Now that you mention this, these two threads (both locked) and Cord's replies are looking quite fishy. Or phishy. https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?679990-Data-Breach-February-2020 https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?680011-Data-Breach-February-2020 Different threads with same title. Note the stark absence of usual bumbling clueless Cord, these articulate replies are carefully crafted. Complete with a red herring blaming it on something from as far back as 2013. If nothing to see here as claimed, why hush it up and lock it up.
  18. You answered it. Must be this. I was amazed they extended it, seemingly without any incentive to reneg on their original deadline set for the April offer. So of course there was incentive. What's more, all the deeds in all the "opened" regions still award LP. I logged in for the first time in half a year just to check whether this was so, and was surprised the LP earning hasn't been deactivated for the duration of this "free open game event." In effect, SSG is allowing everyone to farm LPs without any restrictions, throughout the whole entire game. SSG management is thick but this is no oversight. Again, there must be incentive for this to have been greenlit. Interestingly, both April and May have seen "VIP thank you gift" promotions. (Log in as a VIP and get a "free gift"). IIRC, the first and last such VIP promo occurred all the way back in the summer 2016 (Steed of the Eldar), a one-off marketing idea that was forgotten like many other promo ideas and never used since. Til now, and two months in a row at that. Some observations / speculations: Players newly incoming/returning on the premise of "free open game" are more likely to spend $15 for a month of VIP to "buy" these exclusive items (in April it was a fireworks cosmetic pig, in May it's a medium carry-all storage which otherwise costs ca. 1495 LP in the store) How many of these players will forget to manually cancel their subscription and get charged for another month or more? The "gym membership" trap. A fair amount. Some more might waffle on canceling because it does award LP and perks. Players who can access entire game for free have more incentive to buy toon upgrades/P2W to experience this free content that's otherwise out of reach. Aka, Valaring toons to play in Mordor, Minas Morgul, Wilderlands. Making the brand-new Wilderlands zone open and free like the rest of the game (certainly something SSG didn't "have" to do) creates more incentive for toon Valaring among the solo anti-raider player demographic who wouldn't be interested in Mordor or Minas Morgul. Unlimited free access to endgame = more incentive to buy LI upgrades. All of these must be working and generating revenue for SSG to have extended this open free period by another month. It looks and sounds like SSG is sitting cushy, to gamble on this "generosity gesture" to begin with. I'd venture to speculate they've got some private financial backers beyond the mere gamer whales (though the two categories are certainly not mutually exclusive). Consider their ties with the "prestige privilege class" in the likes of university educators, internet influencers, and other types who love an ego boost of "supporting small biz". Not to mention the whole greater MA area is a cesspool of white privilege. The noted tendency of SSG management to circle the wagons, carry on gang-like dynamics, and flip off active paying players as disposable, may be explained by the fact they can (apparently?) financially afford to. Whether or not that's hubris or delusion remains to be seen. The marketing decisions taken over the past two months suggest they're running their own operation with enough financial backing to absorb the risks. Of course, any notion of "player feedback" or "listening to players" is - I was gonna say window dressing, but let's be more realistic, shit smeared on a wall. They're probably too small an op to have stockholders, but surely whoever is passing them the cash has their own incentive to do so, too. Even if nothing else than having the "privilege" to be in that privy circle. I won't bet against possibility most of Lotro's new little changes/systems coming out these days are just someone's little pet wishes that get aired behind the "privileged" scenes. I mean, from whom else do they get ideas when their playing-customer alienation is so obvious they've stopped pretending by now.
  19. Interesting public gesture: https://www.lotro.com/en/friends?fbclid=IwAR30AbfEgKB0E76wjFpfgiDMYew614I7ER9mjyRF7oPNlsIm1o36XBvZ6Js (and very savvy marketing) An Important Announcement From Standing Stone Games, LLC. 'I wish it need not have happened in my time,' said Frodo. 'So do I,' said Gandalf, 'and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.' Here at Standing Stone Games our goal is to bring joy to everyone through our games and we feel that is more important than ever. We are making all our adventures and stories open to everyone through April 30. In addition we will be running extra events for the games. For Dungeons and Dragons Online: All dungeons and raids, including those in expansion packs, are open to everyone through April 30. The Buddy Bonus 5% XP will be active from March 20 through March 29. This will be in addition to the weekend events. Mimic event will be active starting March 26 through April 6. The anniversary event will be active starting March 26 through April 30. For Lord of the Rings Online: All quests, instances, and skirmishes, including those in expansion packs, are open to everyone through April 30. The Curator will be returning starting March 26 through April 30. There will be a 10% virtue XP boost starting on March 26 through April 6. The Baggins' Birthday event will be available March 26 through April 6. During this time we hope that everyone stays safe. Thank you.
  20. Laid off with Frelorn, summer 2016. Found her to be genuinely open and communicative (a.k.a. non-asshole), even if not fully competent in practicalities, more a PR engagement type not fitting exec producer role. Her forum presence was frequent enough that the long period of silence leading up to July '16 generated waves of alarm among official forum monkeys; iirc Frelorn stepped in to confirm she was still with Turbine but working in mobile gaming dep't (ultimate irony, right before he got booted himself). Of course being tacitly reassigned to mobile gaming is putting lipstick on a layoff for someone who's been EP just prior (like Sapience "leaving" on his own, nobody's fooled). Just when one thinks it can't possibly get any more in-bred than that at SSG... it sure does. (Restaurant). And this is only the publicly visible, Eru knows what other crossbreeding is going down behind the scenes.
  21. That ILI revamp SSG has been promising? Plot twist: The "catch-up" ILI boxes and pay-to-buy ILI packages *are* the revamp. Say no to grind.™ There is literally no way in Halls of Mandos any existing implementation will be altered after such thorough monetization, unless replaced with another method of monetization. Just waiting to see how they spin it, but I'm sure they keep Jeff Libby on their payroll for more than soapy quest storylines.
  22. Her 40s level range suggests Trollshaws and Misty Mountains, the zones that were brutally raped by the so-called "region revamps." This was in the spring of 2014, still under Turbine. (Which of course makes no difference, same shit different turd shapes). Yet it brings to mind what an insidious precedent this has set, something that has sailed entirely under the radar when it happened and whose magnitude of damage to the game can only be appraised now, in light of everything that has followed since. Having repeatedly alted through (and loved) the original Trollshaws and Misties pre '14, I can point out some of the most egregious bullshit of these zone-rapes just to illustrate calling them rapes is no exaggeration: Misty Mountains BEFORE: Your traveling quest hero arrives to Gloin's Camp and meets the iconic dwarf sire, who asks for help with establishing good diplomatic relations with Elven neighbors and offers a series of quests to that purpose. Mindless killing quests become relevant and meaningful: you are in fact gathering animal pelts that the dwarves will turn into luxury gifts for Rivendell, and your efforts are rewarded not only with + Rivendell Reputation but with Gloin's appreciation texts giving more flavor and atmosphere to it all. He also offers you a personal gift: Gloin's Crossbow, an item with a personal touch to remember this quest chain by. AFTER: Your traveling quest hero enters the Misty Mountains region for the first time. New unfamiliar zone, different landscape, so you stumble around aimlessly and suddenly get a pop-up "remote quest": Hey there's too many critters running around, maybe you should thin their numbers. You click "accept" on this pop-up and start killing 10 critters til it's done. Time to turn in the quest, another pop-up: good job, here is your + Rivendell Reputation rep and Gloin's Crossbow. This quest is a daily repeatable, but you can reset it now for Mithril coins and get even more Rivendell rep! All this for derping around aimlessly. You never set foot in Gloin's Camp. You don't get to meet Gloin. You don't get to interact with him at all. Instead, this quest chain was killed and turned into several discrete "remote pop up quests". One of which has the temerity to offer a reward originally associated with that iconic quest NPC. And now? Gloin has NO MORE quests to offer directly, ever. No more quest ring over his head. BEFORE: After helping Gloin, your traveling quest hero receives the attention of his friend based in the same Gloin's Camp. Mindful of secrecy, the dwarf offers several quests to scout the different enemy strongholds in the snow, all intended as atmospheric introductions to the zone and its history. Secrecy adds to immersion element, you wanna help dwarves out and travel out of sight, even if it means covering great distances back and forth. AFTER: Gloin has zero quests for you, so you derp around through the zone, completing one random pop-up quest after another, til you reach what looks like a new quest hub. Right in the middle of the crossroads between enemy camps: who is it but the same dwarf NPC who got yanked out of Gloin's Camp and put here instead. Nice secrecy, bro. Yes, he still offers these scouting quests. How convincing are they now, with this dude parked in full sight in what should be untraversible and hostile wilderness? Meanwhile, Gloin's Camp is rendered redundant, with no quest-bestowing NPCs there anymore. A player might never even discover it. Trollshaws: BEFORE: Entering Trollshaws for the first time was the first real taste of untamed wilderness. No markers, no directions, you were meant to find your own way and this was the whole savage charm of it. Intentionally left rough, unpolished. Deep woods, new dangers at every turn. Your destination quest hubs are well-hidden out of enemy eyes and friendly eyes alike, and ominous foreboding of this haunted wilderness is fully reflected in creepy sound effects and empty spaces intentionally left unfilled. AFTER: Entering Trollshaws for the first time, you are greeted with the following sight: literally every critter mob in sight has a quest ring over its head. You kill one to see what happens, and get a pop-up: "good job now kill 9 more." You kill more and get another pop-up: "good job, here is your + Rivendell rep." These pop-up quests are daily repeatables and can be reset with Mithril coins, as the pop-ups remind you. So you derp around looking for more critters to kill, til you stumble upon a bunch of Elves parked IN FULL SIGHT right along the Great Road, who happen to be chilling out and vector you to Thorenhad - you know, the secret quest hub stronghold you were supposed to find in the wilderness on your own. The whole zone was stripped of its rough dangerous mystique and turned into this mindless theme park click fest. BEFORE: Your traveling quest hero arrives to Thorenhad, full of Elven NPCs each with their own quest lines and stories. There is one haunted-looking fellow standing by merchants quarter, who tells you about the Valley of the Wolves and what unwholesome creatures they are. He does not recommend you explore that valley, but feels a great danger brewing there that must not be ignored. Your curiosity is peaked and of course you go. The graphic details of the wolf pit it sends you to, fully matches the haunting writing of quest text. There is a half-decaying Elf corpse sitting up in the shadows there, looking suspiciously werewolfish and demonic... whose presence is never explained. And after you complete this quest? Every time you walk within close distance of this Thorenhad Elf NPC, he will /say: "Do not return to the Valley of the Wolves." Like, holy shit. Some things were meant to stay unresolved. The whole text of that quest chain was full of ominous foreboding, a genius of subtle storytelling that literally gave me chills every single time. AFTER: Your traveling quest hero derps around the zone until you stumble upon that wolf pit and get a random pop-up quest to explore the cave and kill a bunch of wolves. Well, okay. Here is your + Rivendell Reputation, bye. You run to Thorenhad to check up on the haunted fellow who used to be original quest bestower, and guess what. He offers nothing now. Tbh, I don't even recall if this NPC is there at all anymore. Just like that. Such a compelling masterpiece of quest design just trashed and pissed on and shat on and flushed. There is far more, but these particular examples alone are already unforgivable. Back in 2014, sure enough there were player rumblings about turning Middle Earth into a theme park, but it is only now in retrospect something else becomes very clear. These were no haphazard clueless butcherings of older content. There was a method and a logic driving these "changes" to original game design, with clear long-term goals in mind. We can now, of course, all recognize what they are. Conditioning players to treat LotRO as a theme park casino, not as an immersive MMO. Conditioning the "payer" mentality: notice these "zone rapes" were implemented in for-purchase quest packs, not in f2p zones. Those who bought these packs and played through these "new revamps" without knowing what originals were like, will have already bought into this clickbait design and more likely to open their wallets again. Conditioning players to accept random pop-ups "as intended" - imagine all those lore-gasming roleplayers accepting quest popups without ever complaining how "immersion breaking" they are. That is some pro level brainwashing. Auto-bestow quest pop-ups prepare players for LotRO Store pop-ups and condition the click-and-buy mentality. Removing (!!!) interactions with quest-bestowing NPCs conditions players for a pay-to-win mentality. Trivialize landscape questing and players won't regret skipping them. Target what makes the game personally meaningful: stories, quests, adventures along the way. If players derive satisfaction from personal gameplay, they will not spend $$$. Gut these meanings and trivialize landscape gameplay to make players feel restless and unfulfilled: they will start shelling out cash to "buy" meaningful game experiences (Valared toons, LI imbuements, dicking around with housing decorations, etc). Everything is WAI. Sobering to think how far back this "SSG" monetizing philosophy extends, but not at all surprising. Only now the chickens are coming home to hatch.
  23. Since this thread got a rez, on the subject of original post: I seldom check my OF PMs, but found this gem waiting for me there: You have received an infraction at The Lord of the Rings Online Forums. Reason: Community Rules Violation: Please read the Community Rules and follow them. ------- is fellating his university title ------- This infraction is worth 1 point(s) and may result in restricted access until it expires. Serious infractions will never expire. Original Post: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?p=7954125 Originally Posted by djheydt Word of Professor. I'm curious, did you take a course with him to earn calling him that or is fellating his university title somehow meant to rub off on you? All the best, The Lord of the Rings Online Forums Had it coming and well worth it - in both senses. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Good to know Arkenstone players sobered up and ran him off, that was his new stomping ground. Seemingly no attempt to infiltrate Crickhollow or Brandywine, but Crick population is too chill-out-casual for any drama and Brandy regulars are too hard-nosed for his snowflake ego. Landroval is so thoroughly steeped in NPD he would blend right in and none the wiser. He might be anon on his recognizable porn toons, but willing to bet he's got a bunch of new Landy-exclusive lowbie alts sprinkled throughout the server RP clusterfucks. Affirmative on the list name changes. If a toon on friend/ignore list undergoes name change, it automatically replaces old name and toon remains on same list under new name.
  24. I picture him more like a Grodbog drone (lvl 1, 50 hp, from Skumfil instance) mind-fused to one of those bratty bare-ass goblin mini-bosses (from the brainless RoR Goblin Town instance) who pretend they're king, which is super easy to do when you're surrounded by nothing but lickspittle. How do you troll a cancer like that who wouldn't go away and must always get the last word? I monetized him. I made a bet with a Lotro-playing friend, then posted some questionable "lore" content in a general-discussion forum thread, counting on Radhruin_EW to take notice and get hooked into a reply-barrage. Hoo boy, he didn't disappoint! - And I made $6, two bucks per each react. The icing on the cake was informing him he was being owned. To which he obviously replied with his typical thick imbecility, but then a couple other posters chimed in with amusement - and he disappeared entirely for days. Only to reappear later in another sub-forum making long, articulate "lore" posts in actual topical discussion - clearly belaboring himself to re-establish whatever 'community cred' or hurt ego his goblin insect brain is capable of containing. It was a fun time.
  25. If the part about acting as liaison between players/SSG and creating a document list with questions is even remotely true... Wouldn't Ballie's thread have been the most ideal venue to bring them all up ? Especially in a calm, weighed reply to the original post questioning Druidsfire's competence and community engagement. If she indeed did all those things as she later claimed, why launch that entire lowbrow tantrum tirade - on a gaming community forum, whose members she claims to serve? After all, if the accusations are untrue, one would remain calm and unperturbed. Emotional reactivity and defensiveness are such a good barometer of guilt. ? Nice display of SSG loyalty, flipping the narrative back on them as soon as she doesn't get her way. Anybody who thinks of supporting her, take notice. Such is the value she puts in her "friendships."
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