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Turbine, LOTRO and SW:ToR's success (or lack thereof)


Darmokk
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32 members have voted

  1. 1. Did they?

    • Yes, this is the moment they were waiting for.
      0
    • No, it's coincidence. They don't care one way or another and would have done it at this time either way.
      32


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How many think that Turbine has waited for ToR to have bad press and disappointing numbers to make the one step everybody was dreading (or bracing for) - to sell statted gear in the real-world-money store?

The login numbers also suggest that LOTRO hasn't been hit hard by ToR. What better time to piss off players some more since obviously Fernando Paiz is right and people don't leave no matter what you do to them?

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Nothing to do with SWTOR or any other game but rather with their own community.

It has everything to do that Turbine knows they will keep getting away with it with this community.

Heck even many don't mind the store PTW at all and gladly fork $$$ over to buy their way to the top.

Paiz speech at PAX East was basicly honest and should have been an eyeopener of what the game has become.

Only the playerbase, beside a few, are not able to even grab that or, as i stated above, do not care at all and cannot wait for the Raid Armour and 1sr Ages to arrive in the Store.

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The reason for the timing is simple. Point bundles were on sale in December and some people by them in one large bunch to be spent at a later date. Armor wasn't the only thing added to the store in January. A 2 new steeds (1 a festival mount available in game) and maps were added. January doesn't ever see much cash spent because of the holidays but TP reserves will start burning holes in your pocket if they stay their too long. In this regard Turbine is just trying to help.

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I think they're willing to do 'riskier' stuff right now because they can handle bad numbers these quarters. They can blame TOR, Skyrim etc for it. Great if people unsub over store armour NOW, they'll just write them off as 'leaving for the competition' instead of 'lost due to our own fault' when they have to hand in the numbers to the big bosses.

That, or their finances are worse than we suspect and they're truly squeezing for cash.

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Tor has sold over 2 million copies and is getting 85% + in game reviews.

How is that a fail?

It's just the way MMOs work. Everyone wants the game they're playing or waiting for the be the next WoW that everyone has to play. So obviously, they want other games to fail so when they analyze that game all they look for are the problems.

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Tor has sold over 2 million copies and is getting 85% + in game reviews.

How is that a fail?

it is a common thing in the mmo community.

while waiting for the 'next best thing' folks hype a game up, call it a wow-killer, say that game 'x' will be a ghost town, etc.

then the shiny new comes out, folks play it, realize the devs are people not gods and see the cracks in the paint.

then comes the tear downs.

just par for the course, happens to every mmo

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Tor has sold over 2 million copies and is getting 85% + in game reviews.

How is that a fail?

It is to people who's brains don't get enough oxygen due to wearing ties.

Look at EA's stock market price and why it dropped. The suits think SW:ToR is way behind expectations. Given that it is the most expensive "video game" ever (the term they use) EA is assumed to be in a bad place.

We might disagree on it but then we actually play it. I am sure that the people looking at Turbine's quarterly numbers wear ties.

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Tor has sold over 2 million copies and is getting 85% + in game reviews.

How is that a fail?

If anyone has observed any other previously-hyped MMOs, they will notice a pattern; their initial boost falters, levels out, and either two things happen--the developers trudge on, doing their best to hold on to their piece of real estate, or the developers go full ego and wonder why their super awesome bestest game isn't the bestest any more and continue to screw it up some more until it's on life support.

All this has happened before, and all this happen again.

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Tor has sold over 2 million copies and is getting 85% + in game reviews.

How is that a fail?

Whether or not TOR is a failure depends very much on exactly how much they spent developing it. If they spent the rumored $300 million, well, two million boxes at approximately $60 each is only $120 million. That would still leave $180 million they need to make, above and beyond actual operating costs, just to break even.

Companies don't engage in projects with the intention of just breaking even.

And investors (the people who ultimately call the shots, the most influential of whom are the managers of large pension funds and mutual funds) don't like investing in companies are just breaking even. Like it or not, they want to invest in companies that turn a profit; and preferably companies that turn a profit each and every quarter. Because none of them want to tell their stakeholders (rich private investors, retired government employees, etc.) "sorry, your money that we invested for you didn't keep up with inflation and may even have gone down in value this quarter; y'all don't mind, right?"

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If anyone has observed any other previously-hyped MMOs, they will notice a pattern; their initial boost falters, levels out, and either two things happen--the developers trudge on, doing their best to hold on to their piece of real estate, or the developers go full ego and wonder why their super awesome bestest game isn't the bestest any more and continue to screw it up some more until it's on life support.

All this has happened before, and all this happen again.

Yup. Been seeing it for nearly a year in Rift. As many may recall, through late 2010 and early 2011, Rift was the frequently-hyped "WoW Killer" of its time. It was purported to have "the bestest PvP evar!" and "the most awesomest PvE content evar!". It would simultaneously feed gamers cookies and part the Red Sea.

And from launch, Rift seemed to live up to the hype. Trion sold one million copies of the game between March and May 2011. Players (like me) raved about the dynamic gameplay in game, and how it was so much better than other games, and the reviews of Rift were equally favorable. Meanwhile, WoW lost 600,000 subs in the first quarter of 2011, many of which had left specifically to play Rift.

But then the rails fell off.

While Trion was pumping out new content at a frenetic pace (roughly every six weeks), players started leaving. The PvP was "hopelessly broken" (right after Rogues had been "nerfed"), the PvE "boring" (some players were actually burning out on having too many world events). Then as players left, more players became upset that there were less players around, so they left, too.

Rift was "dying lawlz!", and it was a self-fulfilling prophecy.

At launch, Trion had planned to have 17 North American servers, and roughly 30-ish with Europe included. Due to the crush of players at launch, they added server after server to fight the issue, and ended up with way more than they initially planned. When players started leaving - many of whom expected Rift to be everything WoW was not, and finding it was simply another MMO, decided it was a failure - Trion eventually started turning servers into Trial servers, to consolidate the playerbase. Now they are back to 16 North American servers, and almost 30 with Europe included... basically what Trion originally thought the game should have.

This is of course proof that SWTOR has 'killed' Rift. Yeah...

Anyway, as Rift approaches its one-year anniversary, Trion has announced they have made $100 million in the first 10 months, and secured another $85 million in venture capital to help them get the game out in Korea and China. The playerbase is getting ready for the 7th content update of the year (if only Turbine could do that!), which includes stuff for all player types: A marriage instance for RPers. A new Chronicle (1-2 person instances) for soloists and small-group PvE players. PvP changes to assuage the PvP folks. Expert Mode dungeon changes. A new Master-Mode dungeon for the elite PvE players. End-game gear getting normailzed (raising the stats of level 45-50 gear below the BiS items, to help lessen the major itemization gaps therein) for everyone (but the top raiders).

But I digress.

Point is, Rift is obviously far from dead. It rocketed out of the blocks due to a huge amount of players joining for the wrong reasons, and when they left, they gave the impression that the game was failing, so more players left. Then SWTOR took some more players, but some of them are returning now, as they have found SWTOR wanting. I find it simply shocking that players might think SWTOR would be everything they ever wanted, and upon finding it was not, they leave and claim it a failure... Where have I seen that before?

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Yup. Been seeing it for nearly a year in Rift.

...

This is of course proof that SWTOR has 'killed' Rift.

...

Where have I seen that before?

Thank you for summing it all up so accurately! I like the way you analyze things in the MMO world - if people would take the time to think things through like this, many forums (especially the SW:TOR forums) might be much more relaxed! :+

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The Turbine thing is just coincidence IMHO. As for the armour in the store, let's be honest, the tell tale signs have been there for a while now. It was only a matter of time and it really shouldn't be any surprise. Turbine is just easing themselves into the koolaid. The last thing they need to add to the store is premade/geared characters. Once they add a "lowbie" version of that to the store, the flood gates will open to all the rest of the P2W items. Just wait for the flying mounts to be added.

As far as LOTRO goes, I'll still play. It's still one of the better looking games as far as MMOs are concerned. But in as far as supporting LOTRO (or rather Turbine), my money fauscet has dried up for them. I haven't supported the ingame store with any cash out of pocket to date and I will not in the future. As for ROI, yup, they suckered me but lesson learned. I should have followed my initial instincts and not bought it. Hind sight is 20/20.

SWTOR: Beta/Early Access/Free 30 days done. I like it but I've pulled my subscription for now. I'll be watching over the next couple of months or so to see how they start to fix the issues they've saddled themselves with. What I can't understand is why so many rookie mistakes from Bioware. Yes. as many defenders have pointed out, this is their first MMO. So what! They are not idiots and they don't live in a vacuum. They are a premier game developer. MMOs have been around since the late 90s. They've had a lot of games to look at for reasons of success/failure. Have they learned nothing in all that time? Anyways, they have some serious issues that need addressing. I for one really hope they can pull it off because I want them to succeed.

Why not subscribe now? Because that's exactly what they want, and by they I mean the gaming industry as a whole. They know that once they get you subscribed, there is a good chance you will not unsubscribe. A certain % continue to subscribe regardless of the problems. This is why the game industry gets away with some of the stuff they get away with. Personally I think a good portion of those are the people that inherently become the defenders/apologists for whatever game they are subcsribed to.

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It all depends on what you define as success.

My personal opinion is that SW-TOR is no different from many of the other theme park MMO's currently available.

However like every new MMO, you get the initial great reviews, people rushing to try the game and then after a short period of time the excitement wears off, people become disappointed because it fails to match their expectations, which are usually impossible to match to begin with and people start shouting its a failure.

For me I look at what happens after the first six month.

Are they fixing bugs / exploits / poor balancing etc with verve, are they releasing new content, improving existing contenting, communicating with the player base.

I do not think SW-TOR is a failure or will fail. If anything I think it will go strength to strength.

After talking to a lot of ex-kinnies who are playing SW-TOR they are impressed with the way things are being fixed, balanced, new content being added / talked about.

As for Turbine, I think they are way past caring what anybody thinks of them and will continue to squeeze every last penny they can from their player base.

I would not be even slightly surprised if before the year is out you are able to purchase a pre-level character or at the very least purchase a script / token / whatever that will take a level 1 character to say 30

Nothing would surprise me.

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ToR does have a few issues and I agree that BW made some rookie mistakes, but I also look at what they got right.

The companion system is really done well, very few pathing issues and they seem to auto-correct when I take "alternative" paths to get from point A to point B. Sending your companion to sell trash is pure genious.

I really like the crafting system, because basically I craft out of neccessity, not because I like crafting per se, I like to be self-sufficient so I roll alts in every game I play to make that a reality.

No launch goldrush, server-crush, blues. Servers don't have queues (any longer) but also seem populated.

I'm just stating to run hard modes, but so far the Operations are really fun.

Lack of goldselling spam in chat. I have recieved goldselling spam in my mail twice (at least they send 1 credit!!!!), I report and I never see them again.

I won't even mention the story-lines, thats been discussed.

I think ToR will be fine, BW really looks like they care about the playerbase and about fixing bugs/exploits.

@ MMO Troll: Just watched all 43 podcasts and you have a new fan. I really like how its evolved (wasn't a fan of some of the early shows segments). I will say this though. If you're going to dog ToR at least buy it and play it for 30 days. Your credibility relies on it.

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If you're going to dog ToR at least buy it and play it for 30 days. Your credibility relies on it.

Made level 25 in 3.5 days on a Beta Weekend, frankly that's quite enough experience with the game to decide what I do and don't like about it ... though I can't speak for MMO Troll, obviously ...

I do like the innovations in the game, but customisation is crap, the starship battles are not integrated into the storylines, as they should be, and apart from the innovations it's basically point and click, except that you have lightsabers, and the kind of "story-driven" stuff that's been round since the 1980s in both book and computer game form.

It's not all bad, and if it were F2P I'd play it ; but it isn't, so I don't.

I keep on coming back to LOTRO for the exceptional landscaping and generally very pleasant UI -- SWTOR I can live without.

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@ MMO Troll: Just watched all 43 podcasts and you have a new fan. I really like how its evolved (wasn't a fan of some of the early shows segments). I will say this though. If you're going to dog ToR at least buy it and play it for 30 days. Your credibility relies on it.

Wait... I had credibility?

Anyway, I don't seriously mean to dog SWTOR, they're just the big dog on the block now so they get picked on. I used to do the same with WoW, and I would still, but it doesn't seem fair now. It's like slapping a sloppy drunk homeless guy, they can't really fight back, and no one really cares, anyway.

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For the last few days, everytime I've attempted to log into this site, I got an error message saying the server could not be found. Weird. Anyway...

Here is something that Turbine has forgotten and it's a critical part of any game.

"Our most important goal is to make sure you continue to have fun playing our game and we will do everything in our power to make you feel that you are getting your money’s worth every month. Thank you very much for playing!"

Rich Vogel

Executive Producer<----SWTOR

Sure, BW wants (needs) to make money, just like Turbine, but BW realizes that the best way to do that is to keep the customer's happy by making the game fun and enjoyable. Turbine is making the game a grind to drive players to the store (and counting on people's fascination/addiction to Tolkien's creation to keep them).

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Still, words and deeds are sometimes different with companies. I wonder what the reponse would be from EA/Bioware, if one or more of you who subscribed with them wrote a letter regarding your expectations of doing business with them, while citing how disappointed you were with WB/Turbine's business practises.

I don't play SWTOR, so I can't write such a letter. There is, however, nothing to prevent those of you who do from writing one. Just a thought.

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Still, words and deeds are sometimes different with companies. I wonder what the reponse would be from EA/Bioware, if one or more of you who subscribed with them wrote a letter regarding your expectations of doing business with them, while citing how disappointed you were with WB/Turbine's business practises.

I don't play SWTOR, so I can't write such a letter. There is, however, nothing to prevent those of you who do from writing one. Just a thought.

I need to wait till the ones I wrote to Turbine and WB complete their little cycle. :)

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Here is something that Turbine has forgotten and it's a critical part of any game.

"Our most important goal is to make sure you continue to have fun playing our game and we will do everything in our power to make you feel that you are getting your money’s worth every month. Thank you very much for playing!"

Rich Vogel

Executive Producer<----SWTOR

Steefel used to say the same thing once upon a time.

its sad that as much as i disliked him, i now wish he was still here.

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However like every new MMO, you get the initial great reviews, people rushing to try the game and then after a short period of time the excitement wears off, people become disappointed because it fails to match their expectations, which are usually impossible to match to begin with and people start shouting its a failure.

For me I look at what happens after the first six month.

Lotro was different than this for me. It was very polished when it first launched. Flawless actually. With each new update or expac, it was becoming apparent that Turbine had some coding issues as bugs started appearing. My first MMO was Everquest1 and I stuck with that one for nearly 2 years, after it had been out for 10 years. But once I got tired of it, I left and have never thought twice about it. I did the lotro beta during that 2nd year. I have never wanted to leave lotro. EVER. Even after 4+ years. I've been playing Rift simply to keep myself from TURBINE...not lotro necessarily. I don't see me playing Rift for no 4 years. Not into futuristic SWTOR and most definitely not WOW. This is why I had always said that lotro isn't a normal gamers type of game. But it catered more to Tolkien lovers, with a game on the side, so to speak. I play a good share of games, but nothing ever has held me captivated like lotro. And you're all right about the game still being good...it's just that Turbine continues to take away from it in order to sell it in the store. Now, it's all game and it's Turbine's game and the name of that game is money and greed. The ONE RING has done them in. So I'm left with deciding I need to play something I can't/won't get so attached to. Cuz gaming companies all suck eventually. For now, Rift is ok. It's not something I'd find hard to walk away from (which I guess is as it should be), and the devs are still in the good stage of development, communication, bug fixes, ect. I'll probably try GW 2 when it comes out, and I seem to recall something about a Game of Thrones mmo, that might be alright too.

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