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But I agree ... a subscription based model makes it easier: Everybody has the same experience ... the only limiting value is the time.

But not everybody has the same time so they don't have the same experience - as you know too well. Now they'll have to watch a two dimensional space, from player with a small amount of time and virtually no money to players with lots of time who are willing to spend lots of money. Balancing end game content is probably more difficult, yet they seemed to have managed it very well. And since they still want to sell expansion packs like Isengart I currently don't see them going overboard - though I was very surprised to see just HOW much more comfort you can create - and sell - in this game.

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just for my understanding ... what kind of stuff is being sold that is necessary to play the game? I don't like the 'scroll of removal' as well ... but I've got so many relics that I absolutely have n

Creating "content" and then making a store item to bypass that "content" ftl. I regret giving money to them if this is the crap they come up with.

sorry to ask again (I am still waiting to get an answer on my first question, but ...). A game needs money to run. If content is created and being played by you ... and others pay money to simply

The only thing that really concerns me about this is the amount of time they spend thinking up & creating fluff to sell, instead of thinking up & developing new content. It's a necessary evil, unfortunately. As I think I said somewhere, they somewhat shot themselves in the foot with the Lifetime subscription (a couple of toes worth, at least... ;)). It meant they quickly got back a big slice of their initial development costs, but it mucked up their steady cashflow further down the line.

The bottomline, quite literally, is if you want new content, someone has to be paying for it. If F2P & the store gets more money into company coffers, and results in fuller, better, less buggy new content, then it's a good thing. They're not forcing anyone to open their wallet; for the most part, we've simply been presented with different choices to those we had before.

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But not everybody has the same time so they don't have the same experience - as you know too well.

And this is very true as well!

In the last couple of years players had to accept that they will not able to see this or that piece of content because of their lack of time. (and Mabusian is right ... I know this very well).

some games now add a second limiting factor towards the limiting factor time: Money.

Usually I do not see a problem here. If somebody wants spend x hours in the game to reach goal A ... go ahead.

If a second player prefers to spend some money and reach goal A in x-y hours ... go ahead.

from an optimization point of view if would make sense to work some hours at the local Burger King 'restaurant' and spend the money to reach goal A faster. ;)

As long as we are talking about PvE-games I absolutely have no issues with systems like this (and to be honest: Everything we actually see in Lotro is on a very casual level.) - I would even accept if people could buy themselves to top-level. Why? Because I do not compete with them.

If we are talking about PvP-games we are talking about a complete different situation ... in these games the players compete with each other ... and in these games shop could literally destroy a casual experience.

Let us see what happens when the PvMP is included in the shop ... this will be interesting.

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I get what you're saying JoePhi. More money, more content. Nothing wrong with that.

I suppose (my own) problem with the new system is that when F2P was announced, it was said that the game experience would remain the same for subscribes, aside new players coming in. The latter part has come true, thank god. But is the game same as before, when we (the subscribes/lifetimers) have to spend more money to get our Leg. Items on par, when before it was about effort and luck (grinding and identifying LI's, then more grinding).

Most of us knew the promise was a lie, as it was phrased. Subscribes who pour money monthly (well not lifetimers heh heh) do not actually get everything. Even lifetimers either have to wait for those monthly 500 TP's to gather for their scrolls or spend money to get a character with top tier gear.

So basically even subscribers are now split into two castes: the ones who buy more TP's, and those who are content with what they can get without extra TP's.

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I guess the reason I really resent the latest Store additions is because the LI/relic grind is the last bit of character advancement I have left in the game (I gave up on the new armours because we'd be in Isengard by the time I finished one set). If I knew I could bypass that last bit of "content" anytime I wanted just by waving a credit card, it would kill the last bit of willpower I have left to do the relic grind; if I bought the buffs and bypassed the grind it wouldn't feel like much of an achievement, and if I really did the grind I just wouldn't be having fun - so I think I'll end up doing nothing at all.

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Here is an excerpt from a post I made over at Turbine that was removed and earned me a "serious" infraction for trolling:

There can only be one reason game designers add a massive grind over a short duration to strictly cosmetic items - to increase their rarity and hence their value. Their value increases in three ways:

1) Epeen value. The knowledge that I have something that very few others have, can have, or will bother to get strokes my ego.

2) In game value. Prices on the AH are increased. This may be strongly tied to the first way that the value is increased, but not necessarily so.

3) Out of game value. How much you can sell it for in the store and how many you can sell. This may also be tied to both of the previous ways. It would also mean that game content was being designed not in order to make it pleasurable for the player, but specifically to enhance sales in the store.

So, how many believe Turbine will be completely forthcoming as to their motivation for significantly raising the grind for strictly cosmetic celebratory items? Let's see a show of hands.

There can, of course, be other motivations for adding a massive grind. For example, it can be used to extend content time-wise. But, that can't be the case when there is only a two week window available to finish the grind.

To me, it seems obvious that Turbine has seriously begun designing and redesigning content in a manner very specifically intended to increase sales in the store with far less thought and effort being applied to playability and fun. I personally don't believe this is a good thing, or even a neutral thing. As much as I support Turbine's switch to F2P with the addition of the store, going about it this way is a slippery slope toward a very poor outcome.

I personally believe that the "anniversary fiasco" was a direct result of this misguided plan. Unfortunately, I don't see that Turbine has any intent to apply the brakes, even after that uproar. No, it appears to be "damn the torpedoes and full steam ahead." Sad.

IMHO

EDIT: Even if this particular mount (for example) doesn't ever end up in the store (I have my doubts about that despite Sapience's assurance), the fact is that Turbine sells mounts for up $20.00 apiece in the store. It is unlikely any mount will remain as easy to acquire at celebratory events as they were in the past. The same or similar applies to other cosmetic items.

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So, how many believe Turbine will be completely forthcoming as to their motivation for significantly raising the grind for strictly cosmetic celebratory items? Let's see a show of hands.

I say "Hauberk of Victory". Still annoyed they put rare cosmetics in the store like that. They could have at least slightly changed the visual.

But yes, they will make everything a big grind fest, to allow availability in the store afterwards. If everyone has it, there's little point as it won't sell as much.

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I had a deed acceleration tome drop yesterday. Funny as it was exactly something that I needed at the time, finishing my last (so far) deeds to clear up the list. It made me think of the stat tomes, how they would be a nice addition if they were (reasonably) possible to obtain in-game. Stat tomes cost way too much for a subscriber to obtain (500 TP a month only) for more than one character, because who wouldn't want those nice shared storage options and occational outfit.

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from an optimization point of view if would make sense to work some hours at the local Burger King 'restaurant' and spend the money to reach goal A faster. ;)

This is so true, i argued a couple of days ago in kin why i buy virtues instead of grinding; Buying a complete set of virtues (5x to 10) is 50 virtues to buy, the are 295, so ~3 euro a virtue now. This will cost me 150 euro;

Grinding these will cost me a couple of days, let's say 1 hour a virtue, so 50 hours.

If I do paid work those 50 hours, i'll get ~500 euro after taxes etc, so instead of grinding, i do a job i like, have my virtues at 10 and 350 euro left to spend on other stuff, instead of boring grinds

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On the other hand, you're playing a game to waste time with in your free time. Free time doesn't get paid. Right? Right?!

NO! ;)

sure you're right ... but that's not the main argument. The main argument for buying stuff is, that you 'buy away' the boring content (grinding, etc.) and play the content you like.

That is exactly the stuff Lhasbelin critizises ... I can understand that ... but ... to be honest: Lotro is that easy - there is absolutely no 'must' for something. I do not need all my virtues at Lvl 10 if I want to go raiding, etc.

It is just the optimization. Thats costs a lot of time or money. If people want to spend here ... let them ... :)

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I can wait for more updates and changes to bring some of the OLD guard back, its been a bit stale for 65's of late, the challenges tough, but limited in scope...

Just on step closer to Mordor :)

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just for my understanding ... what kind of stuff is being sold that is necessary to play the game? I don't like the 'scroll of removal' as well ... but I've got so many relics that I absolutely have no need for such a scroll (and I am an average player ... max 10 to 15 hrs a week ... but I played some instances in the last weeks ... in those you get loads and loads of relics ...)

I still see no items I really need to play the game. What kind of items do you mean?

Well just last weekend they made a statement that there will be 6 new relics, 3 ingame and 3 store exclusive. And those store exclusive ones are really nice, don't have the link here at work. Also the old runes are still the best of the game (the old tier9 ones). I for one don't have plenty of those, but you really do want to keep them if you deconstruct a weapon.

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Patched up the English one with Update 3. Clicked on the 'EN' button and changed it to 'DE' to get the German stuff downloaded. Just out of curiousity, mind you, since I kinda suck at that language. But it looks like they're well ahead in preparing for multi-lingual stuff. :)

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Well just last weekend they made a statement that there will be 6 new relics, 3 ingame and 3 store exclusive. And those store exclusive ones are really nice, don't have the link here at work.

and someone already complained about this at the forum, look at the price....

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http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?396285-New-Store-Only-Relics

The other thread was merged into that one, I think (at least, starting with page 3, the subject line reads "Turbine has crossed the line").

Interesting read, by the way.

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I guess the attraction of 'The Store' was overwhelming for the bean counters at Turbine. Seems that everything is linked to it now. What's the betting that in a couple of years they'll drop the subscription model entirely and just turn it into an Asian styled F2P game with all the essentials in the store.

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what about ltas and founders then? think they would go on playing, if their vip accounts suddenly made "poof"?

i tend to doubt (as i would stop playing then, being a founder).

One of the only two reasons remaining for me still playing LotRO is the fact that I have a lifetime and thus, monthly VIP.

The other one is that there's no alternative for me at the moment, but I hope to see GW2 soon... ish...

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