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Abeer

Open letter

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https://www.lotro.co...-An-Open-Letter

Yet another open letter to Turbine, 16 accounts omg. Somehow I think the guy will be less than pleased when Heaton deletes the thread.

This is the type of player I feel sorry for, he has invested quite a lot of time and money into the game and where has it got him.............

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Good comments, posted in an even-handed and calm manner. As far asI can tell it does not break any forum rules, and is on the whole supportive of Turbine and the game. That said, I can see some Cheerleaders turning the thread into a mess and getting it locked.

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I own sixteen accounts - nine lifetime (seven with every expansion, top level; two with every expansion except RoR), one premium f2p, and six f2p. From July 2011 to December 2012, I spent US $3,020 on LOTRO. I stopped adding up pre July 2011 amounts as I scared myself. Since January 2013, I have spent $0 on LOTRO.

Okay take a moment to reflect upon that.

This is the type of player I feel sorry for, he has invested quite a lot of time and money into the game and where has it got him.............

Where was it supposed to get him? This is not meant to be a glib comment but a genuine question.

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I wanted to write something, but I will just say that I fully agree with Moderate Peril post and I am curious if someone will try to provide answer to his question.

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I own sixteen accounts - nine lifetime (seven with every expansion, top level; two with every expansion except RoR), one premium f2p, and six f2p. From July 2011 to December 2012, I spent US $3,020 on LOTRO. I stopped adding up pre July 2011 amounts as I scared myself. Since January 2013, I have spent $0 on LOTRO.

me thinks even that whale market is swimming away.

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Stick it here so it can't be lost:

I love LOTRO.

LOTRO is my first and, apart from a brief dalliance with DDO, only MMO. I started playing in May 2007, just after the game came out of beta. I have willingly and eagerly allowed it to hungrily devour hours, days, weeks, and months of my time ever since. Until recently.

It is out of love that I write this letter. I write with the assured certainty of the impotency of my words, yet hope that they serve as a catharsis; for me, at least. As more of my friends continue to leave LOTRO, never to return, the compulsion to put concerns to text has reached a critical mass.

While I often read the forums, I very rarely post. I beg your indulgence as I (uncharacteristically) wax lyrically.

About me:

I am an adult IT professional; an architect/engineer. I design and move data centres - hundreds of systems/applications, including storage, networking/communications/fabrics, and thousands of servers (physical, virtual, UNIX, Windows - don’t care). I am confident in saying I know a little bit about IT systems and infrastructure.

I am a gamer. I am a multi-boxer. I don’t use macros or any third party software. I’m a clicker that uses two mice simultaneously. I like to raid. I’m not the best, but I’m not the worst either. I don’t PvP. It’s just not my bag, baby.

I own sixteen accounts - nine lifetime (seven with every expansion, top level; two with every expansion except RoR), one premium f2p, and six f2p. From July 2011 to December 2012, I spent US $3,020 on LOTRO. I stopped adding up pre July 2011 amounts as I scared myself. Since January 2013, I have spent $0 on LOTRO.

Herein presented are the reasons behind the last sentence of the previous paragraph, arranged in no particular order.

My views on the state of LOTRO:

1. Login

This topic is present across the forums ad nauseam, so I’ll keep this short. I very nearly stopped playing LOTRO completely when I was unable to login for an extended period. Many of the launcher issues are resolved: Thank you, Turbine! As it is, for someone with sixteen accounts, only remembering the previous few (ten?) logins is a bit painful. The requirement to reselect the world and accept the EULA again is tedious - please make it stop! It is also painful having to click ‘Play’ after logging in, but I can live with that at least.

2. Impending Class Revamp

I view the forthcoming changes with a great deal of trepidation. I play all classes; they each have strengths and weaknesses. I have spent many years becoming semi-proficient in all of them. I can take a break from the game, come back, and still have a vague idea what to click. If I wanted to learn how to play a new class, I would join a new MMO. Losing six years of experience in how to play a class is unpalatable, at best. As it is, I shall reserve judgement until I see what is produced; it may be fun. smile.png?

3. Server Populations

If they are declining, they are also far from dead. There are the normal cyclic fluctuations to player population size, and while some players leave, others arrive. While, in my experience, many end game raiders are leaving (one of the reasons for this post), I’m sure new solo/small fellow players will continue to arrive. For those that propose merging servers, be prepared to make sacrifices, such as losing your favourite toon names. From my perspective, it is neither a simple nor viable option. Resources are best deployed elsewhere; leave it be. (Long live Elendilmir!)

4. Server Lag

Lag is unfortunate, frustrating, and inevitable. Yes, it exists. Some parts are worse than others (there’s a certain bridge in Rivendell that always gets me). Is it all Turbine’s fault? No. They only control what is inside their data centres and their client code; there’s a great deal of potential interference between them and you. Look to your own computer and ISP first as a source of lag. However, there do appear to be some server side lag issues that make some areas and raiding problematic. Turbine continues to work on it, but it takes time. There is no magic bullet for this one.

5. Player Council

Yeah, interesting. While it is a good idea, the sample size may be too small to produce valid indicative results. Given the thought and effort that LOTRO community managers put into its creation, I’m hoping that mechanisms were established to deal with potentially detrimental Type II statistical errors (false positives) resulting from the small sample size. Despite this, I remain optimistic about the Player Council’s ongoing utility and applaud Turbine for the effort.

6. Daily Gift Box

Sure, why not. It’s a daily lottery with a guaranteed prize cool.png

7. The Alert Scroll

It displeases me.

8. Loot Rules

If you sit a monkey in a room with a red button, and give him a banana after x number of presses, he will keep pressing the button in anticipation of getting a reward (the same goes for poker machines). A small periodic reward encourages repetitive, habit-forming behaviour. If the value of x is slowly increased, it will eventually reach a value where the perceived reward is so infrequent that the monkey will stop pressing the button.

It’s been a very long time between bananas.

Seriously. Auto-loot is great. Fellow wide auto-looting: fantastic. Despite this, I find myself longing for the old Moria instances with master loot. Sure, you’d get the occasional loot ninja or unsavoury character, but at least eventually, one day, you’d get that token for a piece of armour, or rare piece of jewellery, etc. No more!

I still haven't had a single gold item (including FA) drop after hundreds of runs on any of my alts, whether 3-man, fellow, or raid. I've been on runs with people that get their 3rd or 4th gold item that's identical to what they already have. The RNG may be working fine over the entire server, but the loot allocation system is not.

As far as incentive theory applies to positive reinforcement for habit forming behaviour, the only golden item I’ve received is Maslow’s golden pineapple; the inverted application of which is most undesirable.

As someone that likes to develop characters, max out virtues, and get raid-level gear, I no longer get any sense of achievement or reward from the current end game. It is no longer possible for me to maximise my characters without an obscene amount of grinding. To wit, I no longer worry about ‘end-game’ content; extrinsic rewards are not present and intrinsic rewards are obtainable elsewhere (such as levelling up a new batch of alts).

9. Loot in new content

For the last couple of years, when new content comes out, top tier loot is available in low tier instances. After a week or more where the instances/areas are farmed to death, it is deemed ‘unbalanced’ and the loot removed. E.g. Level 85 First Age Symbols dropping in Erebor T1 raids, only to be relegated to T2 raids.

While some tweaking of loot tables/frequency is understandable, this behaviour rewards some while disadvantaging many. Stop it. Get it right. If in doubt, leave it out.

10. ‘Benefits’ and the Store

Two examples:

Once upon a time, I could remove my relics from my LI upon a reforge. This functionality was removed, as according to Turbine, ‘relics are cheap and easily replaced. If you really do want to keep them, you can buy a relic removal scroll from the Store’. Now, a few years on, forging high tier relics is anything but cheap or easy. Relic removal scrolls do drop (rarely), which is nice, but the main way to recover them is via a scroll from the store.

More recently, I lost my rest XP as a VIP member, but a new ‘benefit’ was touted where I’d get bonus xp for a fraction of my level. This is a nerf, not a benefit (even if it does apply to quest xp). Of course, the cool down on xp scrolls purchased from the store was also removed.

My point is this: If you’re going to nerf something, or remove a feature/capability, don’t try and sell it to me as a benefit or bonus. You need to put food on the table and make a profit; I can accept that. Don’t lie to me. To paraphrase an expression, you’re showering me in liquid without the courtesy of calling it rain.

How about a VIP opt-out option to store alerts as well? Just a random idea.

11. New Releases

There are many varying opinions on this topic. For me, I would prefer to see a release delayed by a few months then to come out early (or on time) with bugs. I think Turbine has done a marvellous job with a complex beast over many years, and it is unfortunate that a few inopportune, and in some cases avoidable, errors besmirch otherwise remarkable achievements.

There are simple things that should be fixed, and others that should never have happened. A simple example: the userprefences.ini file sitting in the root of the My Documents folder. Move it where it belongs.

I know it’s more fun to develop new and exciting things than to go through the monstrous amount of old code and material. However, I would rather see a review of loot rules, or some work on server lag, or the removal of some of the bugs in existing content than a new class skill tree.

I feel that the raid content is lacking the zest and excitement of earlier raids. The Rift, DN, and BG were fantastic. I enjoyed OD and Orthanc. If the focus of the game is solo f2per’s, please say so. If raiders are to join PvPers as fringe members of the LOTRO community, please let us know. While Helms Deep sounds exciting, there’s nothing about it that makes me think it will be like the raids of old.

And again: if it’s buggy, delay the release date. You’ll have the support of most of the community, I’m sure. We may be silent, but we’re here.

12. PvE vs PvP Gear

I don’t like PvP, and I don’t play it. That’s my choice. Why is it that if I want the best PvE gear for some classes, I need to go PvP? I can understand why some players, for good or ill, farm rank and commendations for the gear, which is not considered exploiting by Turbine. While I am certainly in a prime position to do this with all my accounts, I never have. It’s not how or what I want to play. It is disappointing that I’ll never have the best PvE gear unless I either go PvP or, in the way I see it, cheat and farm ranks. As it is, I’ll have to make do without the gear.

Make PvE gear for PvE, and PvP gear for PvP. Remove the necessity to farm PvP ranks or commendations for PvE gear. It may even reduce the number of rank farmers.

13. Exploiters and Botters

Let me begin by saying that I’m no angel. I’ve hidden behind Igash’s throne before (at the time I thought that was how it was done - was the only way I was shown). We are all guilty of lesser evils from time to time.

I’m talking about the blatant exploiters and botters. They are a plague upon the economies and societies of MMOs everywhere; their twisted and demented psyche’s blackened by their basal greed and selfish desires (ask me what I really think). There are spots where they are common, such as farms in the Shire. There are players on every server that are known exploiters or botters, and that even brazenly discuss it in global chat channels.

We don’t expect GMs to be either omniscient or omnipresent, but if I know that someone’s botting and cheating, and people I’m talking to know, and it’s frequent, recurrent behaviour, why are these cheats still around?

I find the callous disregard to fair play that some members of our ‘community’ have, combined with an apparent apathy upon Turbine’s part, most disheartening. I may as well use my multiple accounts and go farm some ranks/commendations; if you can’t beat them, join them. (I won’t!) I don’t want to play a game where it’s OK to cheat. I know this isn’t the case, but there are times when it feels like it. On the whole, we have a great community.

Conclusion

This turned into a much longer essay that I was planning. These ramblings have been stirring around for quite a while. What am I saying? There are many things about the game that I am currently content with, but a few biggies that are really bugging me (pardon the pun). These musings are my opinions.

For me, there will be no pre-purchase of new content. Turbine will need to offer something huge to pose any form of temptation. As things stand, I will not spend another cent on LOTRO. I’m not sure if my US$500 per quarter (US$2000 per year) will make any difference to Turbine’s coffers, but it is how I’m choosing to cast my vote.

I will still be around; way too much invested in this game to leave. I’ll log in to chat, to see the sites, and to stop and smell the orc filth.

Please Turbine, take your time and get it right. We know you can: it is why we are here.

Love and kisses,

Khavara of Elendilmir

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Gear - Rewards - "Fairness"..... it all boils down to that.

It is indeed a nice post but the only thing that really stands out to me here is that this person has been unlucky enough to consistently hit "the gear barricade" as I call it, and is finally fed up enough to complain - something there have been ridiculous amounts of threads on and no one ever gets any answers. Is he supposed to get some because he admits to being an adult who has chosen to spend thousands of his hard earned dollars on a game? I doubt it.

He is basically praising the game altogether, tolerating the few nuisances that he sees (even excusing them away in some places), but is notably unhappy about not having any gold drops and losing the opportunity to raid as in the past - something he will no doubt get flamed over if the thread remains up long enough.

I do sympathize with this aspect of the post because I too do not have any gold drops on my main or any alts, have no friends left in the game from when I started playing, and I don't really much like the mind-set that farming ad nauseum and getting FAs from skirmish camp is all good and well. But what is clear to me is that the majority of the players around these days keep feeding into this system by virtue of how often they seek to exploit it so it's not likely to change.

Is it "fair" that someone else got 6 golds while I've got none even after I have run everything from Sammy to BFE t2 so many times I lost count? Is it "fair" that "Bubbasmash" has run his champ through only 10 times but at each turn he "only" got a gold he already had? Maybe not.

My biggest laugh about this issue actually came over the weekend. I have an alt that won the Draigoch scales lottery, which I entered for the hell of it since I have never won a lottery even once until now, nor those scales in-game across any of my alts I had up at the time of RoI, despite I ran that instance to death for over 7 months before finally getting so disgusted over not getting them I have not been in there since. I considered the lottery win poetic justice, but some in my kin were openly angry and flaming me over it. Seems nobody is happy no matter what is offered.

I really do hope that they find a way to address this vacuum in the game, because I think it is the single-most salient reason why long term people are leaving and why the economy is so screwed up. Harwick farming and Hytbold system was just the beginning of the end. Since the 20 Questions thing was released, I have no confidence whatsoever that they will address this though, since it appears they are now looking to make Lotro the GW2 of Middle Earth... yuck.

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Now I have the time, I'll give my own views on what the poster has said.

They make some good points, whilst also making some really naive ones (like the praise for the player council) and even forgetting to mention some of the bigger problems yet including minor ones (exploiters?).

I'd say the whole thing smacks of someone addicted to LotRO (16 accounts, what in the hell?!) very slowly waking up to the reality of the game. It isn't so harsh yet, so they still have hope, but it still feels like a player who is starting to dislike the direction of the game (despite the direction having unchanged since F2P).

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With that heavy involvement I am surprised he didn't mention end-game grind and didn't bash the repetitive nature of recent ways to achieve end-game gear. However, some people find extremely repetitive functions to be soothing and seek them out.

Also no mention of moving pretty much required things to the store, including changing the game to take away labor methods in game to achieve same. But I guess with enough lifetime accounts and dwindling interest there are enough "free" turbine points trinkling into each account and you can't use them all up in so many accounts. Also, he probably does have to spend it on storage and the like if he doesn't have to bring up new characters in accounts that have high levels ones.

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You can fix all of that, but it won't do that much good if the game keeps lagging like it was run off some teenager's PC in his basement.

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16 accts.? I question his sanity. Not sure if that is an exaggeration or an out right lie. What could possibly be gained by having 16 accts.? Even the most skilled multi-boxer would have a hard time handling all that.

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Sapience MUST delete that thread. Can't have posters pointing out problems like lag publicly.

There isn't any lag. It's just people with rubbish PCs and ISPs. Never Turbine's fault.

Also, I wondered how long it would take for a fanboy to arrive. And in comes Eartholloth claiming they actually like the new alert system. I bet they like the lag, too.

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There isn't any lag. It's just people with rubbish PCs and ISPs. Never Turbine's fault.

Also, I wondered how long it would take for a fanboy to arrive. And in comes Eartholloth claiming they actually like the new alert system. I bet they like the lag, too.

I hate the alert box, it's annoying and makes me have to put more effort into chekcing my alerts than i want.

As to lag. It's a funny thing really. Some is us, some is the server, some is inbetween, but a lot of it is in poor coding i think, and the reason i say that is because i have three machines which i use for gaming; an older Q6600 quad core, an AMD Bulldozer and an i7.

The Q6600 i have never experienced any lag except the obvious lag you get when there's just too many people in one area for the PC to handle, the AMD Bulldozer i play fine in most areas but Rohan is a little laggy, the i7 which i recently purchased and would expect to run any game the best is so laggy i can't play on it.

I've only noticeed this trend since i brought the i7 because it's never really been that big a difference between the two other machines and i always just thoguht i had something configured wrong but I have a feeling they are just piling crap on top of crap with the code and not bothering to optimize for new tech. It's pretty sad when you have to use an old PC to play a game your new one can't. I still think there are a lot of cases where people have issues with their own machines or ISP's and they're confusing it with issues others have that are server/client side, but yeah there's definite issues with the software and conflists with modern PC's for sure.

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I've only noticeed this trend since i brought the i7 because it's never really been that big a difference between the two other machines and i always just thoguht i had something configured wrong but I have a feeling they are just piling crap on top of crap with the code and not bothering to optimize for new tech. It's pretty sad when you have to use an old PC to play a game your new one can't. I still think there are a lot of cases where people have issues with their own machines or ISP's and they're confusing it with issues others have that are server/client side, but yeah there's definite issues with the software and conflists with modern PC's for sure.

Definitely. I remember each update we had that introduced lag and fanboys would say it's nothing to do with Turbine. Yet somehow this lag would magically appear only after the updates and as soon as the update is released?

Then there's the lag that an entire raid, from all around the world, will experience at the same time with no problems in third party voice chat. But again that has to be the players, it couldn't possibly be Turbine.

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There isn't any lag. It's just people with rubbish PCs and ISPs. Never Turbine's fault.

Also, I wondered how long it would take for a fanboy to arrive. And in comes Eartholloth claiming they actually like the new alert system. I bet they like the lag, too.

I wonder if Eartholloth will ever post anything of substance one day? Too many lols, rofls... posts completely devoid of thought most of the time.

Definitely. I remember each update we had that introduced lag and fanboys would say it's nothing to do with Turbine. Yet somehow this lag would magically appear only after the updates and as soon as the update is released?

Then there's the lag that an entire raid, from all around the world, will experience at the same time with no problems in third party voice chat. But again that has to be the players, it couldn't possibly be Turbine.

Yeah it was always fun when people from England, France, the Netherlands, Poland, Norway and Italy would all yell "LAAAAAAAG" over Ventrillo.

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Definitely. I remember each update we had that introduced lag and fanboys would say it's nothing to do with Turbine. Yet somehow this lag would magically appear only after the updates and as soon as the update is released?

Then there's the lag that an entire raid, from all around the world, will experience at the same time with no problems in third party voice chat. But again that has to be the players, it couldn't possibly be Turbine.

What confused me was that people were complaining about lag, but with my Q6600 i experienced none of it and pretty much all of the people i know in game have older machines and also had no lag, so i couldn't believe it was the game and thought it had to be coincidental, i still believe there is a lot od "bandwaggon" lag complaints where people are saying it's the game without checking to see if they have issues at their end first, but now that i've experienced it myself and seen the difference between my hree machines all running off the same connection at the same time and all performing very differently i can see there are definite issues between the client and more modern hardware.

I never really thought there were absolutely no issues from Turbines end, that woud be plain stupid, there will alwaysa be issues, there always is with any mmo, but when i was telling peopel to check their PC's and ISP's i was trying to sort the chaf from the wheat if you get my analogy, removing the false lag reports (people who jumped on the "i have lag, they have lag, it must be the same lag" bandwagon) to leave the true lag reports and make it easier for Turbine to track down the issue without having to trawl through false reports.

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What confused me was that people were complaining about lag, but with my Q6600 i experienced none of it and pretty much all of the people i know in game have older machines and also had no lag, so i couldn't believe it was the game and thought it had to be coincidental, i still believe there is a lot od "bandwaggon" lag complaints where people are saying it's the game without checking to see if they have issues at their end first, but now that i've experienced it myself and seen the difference between my hree machines all running off the same connection at the same time and all performing very differently i can see there are definite issues between the client and more modern hardware.

I never really thought there were absolutely no issues from Turbines end, that woud be plain stupid, there will alwaysa be issues, there always is with any mmo, but when i was telling peopel to check their PC's and ISP's i was trying to sort the chaf from the wheat if you get my analogy, removing the false lag reports (people who jumped on the "i have lag, they have lag, it must be the same lag" bandwagon) to leave the true lag reports and make it easier for Turbine to track down the issue without having to trawl through false reports.

It's certainly both. I know I have processor lag; my PC can't cope with some of the graphics effects. I also had ISP problems once, when they were traffic shaping. But I've also been in raids where everyone has suddenly had lag at the same time.

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RE: LAG!

it was the update where they added mount/dismount animations as well as new fishing animations. can't even remember what else was added, but that was the update that the game-crippling lag started. they said they found a huge memory leak issue & patched that, which did improve things a little, but not to the point they were prior to that update. & they have never really got performance back to the point it was prior to that update... waaay back in RoI days.

that was the point the game performance took a permanent dive, & the memory leak fix didn't cover all of whatever issues they introduced. & it has remained shit ever since.

all the bs excuses that it is user-side was rather pathetic. i am able to confirm on my end when it is indeed my provider & those occasions do exist, and they can occure with any game. however, these issues where definitely entirely issues with LoTRO alone. & this problem has persisted for far too long.

all travel route issues, and land/water edge causing dismounts appeared here as well. Moria instances also got whacked, from animation bugs (the lava flow at the fire boss) to the issues with the loot chest in skumfil. there were issues everywhere.

unless i am mistaken, it was this update:

http://lotro-wiki.co..._March_12,_2012

things have never been the same since. they really introduced a huge mess with this one & have never come close to cleaning it up. prior to that update, my game used to work much better.

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Update 6, which released in March 2012, is when the lag started at the levels it is now.

i believe that is correct.

i know it was when they added the mount dismount animation, because i was farming ore nodes in Dunland (TrumDreng) as i had been prior to the update, and i immediately noticed the time induction with the new animation, in addition to how catastrophically slower the game became due to experiencing lag everywhere.

they confessed to having found a memory leak & after fixing it, there where improvements, but it was still performing no where near as good as it had prior to that update.

& it has never returned to the level of performance prior to that update.

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Update 6, which released in March 2012, is when the lag started at the levels it is now.

7/16/2011: date I submitted the first ticket regarding the lag. Got my first infraction shortly thereafter for discussing it on forums, and then expressing my dislike of Celestrata then Sappo editing my post to some "all is good" bullshit, which in turn got me more infractions of course. Also got my first 2 deleted threads. Ended up on moderation for several months.

Back then less people had it so in-game and out had my first dealings with those annoying fanbois. Still ended up quitting LOTRO for several months, came back when SWTOR launched and lag was gone. Then Great River launched bringing bunch o' people back and WHAM lag was back, which definitely proved that it was my PC.

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Bah! It wasn't your PC Ardraug... it was your "South American connection" ;)

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Forum seems to be loading funny for me right now - not the rest of the site - just the forum - looking sort of unformatted or only partly loaded up (for want of a better desciption)

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