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The MMO Troll

HD Pricing: A Theory

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So we know very little yet about the next expansion for LOTRO, being "Helm's Deep". We know it'll include western Rohan, we know it'll have a continuation of the Epic story (free to all, actually), and we know the only instance will be the "Big Battles" in Helm's Deep. So, with that all in mind, what should Turbine charge for this expansion?

Well, I think they need to take an idea from Cryptic here, and give "Helm's Deep" away for free. That's right, free. But they could then sell two special packages that would accompany the expansion, one with 5-8 digital bonuses (a mount, some clothes, a title, that sort of thing) for $20 to $30, and a ginormous package with 20+ awesome bonuses (plus all the ones from the budget pack) for $100.

In this way, the players would not feel screwed by having to pay for what will undoubtedly be another sub-par expansion, but those that want to spend money on it will be able to do so. It's a model that has proven to work for both Star Trek Online and Neverwinter, and might be a step towards Turbine rebuilding some goodwill with the LOTRO community.

Thoughts?

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Interesting idea. I'd probably not buy any extras if I got the area and quests free, but maybe some would. I've got more mounts and cosmetics than I know what to do with already. (but make it free positioning of furniture in my house, and... take my money!)

A thought I've been having: I wonder if the "Big Battles" is the reason that Turbine are now taking the lag issue more seriously. Lag which is just annoying among 6 players or a few NPCs could be absolutely killing in a "Big Battle". Maybe even the devs are now being hit by the lag?

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Nice idea.

Sadly, it'll probably follow the $40/$50/$70 model of recent expansions.

Although, given how little respect the powers that be have for the poor saps who actually play LOTRO, I wouldn't be surprised to see a $50/$70/$90 model, even if this expansion has even less than previous expansions. Without a doubt, the staunch defenders will find ways to justify the price, no matter how asinine it will be. Perhaps HD will release with 127 new regions (region = 2 foot square area on the map, but no matter, it's a region!).

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I'd say that seems fair. Players who hate what Turbine is doing will get the expansion as a gesture of good will. Players who feel like buying it for $20 or $30 can do. And the idiots who have the same level of brainpower as a wooden spoon can spend $100 to 'help support Turbine'.

However, the $100 cannot have any exclusive bonuses. That would then by Turbine just screwing over players again by gating behind high costs.

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Interesting idea, Troll.

I'm sure it won't happen though.

I also think Thunderloin will be correct with his guess.

I'm happy to pay for an expansion that is like Moria on release. You haven't got it, you ain't getting there, or anything included with it.

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Now that the lag's been admitted to, I wonder if HD "expansion" is also gonna be sold with the more expensive packages including "priority on our login queue" (aka supposed VIP benefit).

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Only way WB&Turbine would do something like this is if they would implement rest of Perfect World Entertaiment-like business model as well. so first of all make all other previous expansions and regions free. No more selling quest packs, expansions, etc

Then 1. setting up some kind of gold selling (more or less direct way to convert $ into in-game gold), 2. sell some kind of way to acquire / increase chances to acquire end-game gear with $ 3. even more lockboxes with advantage items (stats wise) and lockbox only cosmetic items. 4. General changes in Cash Shop pricing, more p2w stuff for PvPM and so on. Would have to be preety agressive since Lotro is old game with short lifespan left.

So basically a system that is used by PWE games, and also games like current Lineage 2, Aion. I also believe Tera is going that way and Rift will go there in a year or so. Of course many smaller Asian grinders use some variant of that business model as well.

This is very effeficiant F2P system used by Chinese and Korean MMORPGs for a long time and I do think that it will be most widespread system used in MMOs and MMORPGs on western market as well and it will phase out freemium / hybrid models like one Lotro is using - besides Lotro like models are using more and more elements from 'asian f2p grinder' anyway.

You cannot have free expanions and game content without rest of elements used in games like NWN Online. Companies won't see that as good business deal. Lotro is old game and I doubt that WB&Turbine will want to change their business model so late in Lotro "life", but who knows - world has seen weirder things happen.

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i'll also go with Thunderloins' view.

for me, my biggest what will be? is will the world builders manage to fill all the space from the current gate on the river just North of Snowbourn all the way to the gate on the East bank of the Fordes of Isen. will it be a sliver of map running East to West? will it have some North to South girth?

how much landmass will they manage to squeeze out of world builders in the time allotted?

me thinks, we might actually have some massive barren plains to ride those fast warmounts around, with little else in the way of quest hubs & content.

time of course will tell. but should be interesting to see. those who pre-order a big package blind, will have a hard time stomaching that post release.

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However, the $100 cannot have any exclusive bonuses. That would then by Turbine just screwing over players again by gating behind high costs.

On this we agree, and that's why I think the Cryptic model could work. They provide lots of cool stuff for their mega-packs, but to my knowledge nothing is exclusive. You can buy everything in those packs from their Store, but it will cost you more to do it that way than by buying it all at once in the pack. Turbine could do the same thing, but maybe give the folks who buy the pack an exclusive title or something meaningless like that, so they feel special.

http://www.gamespot....gs-game-6412971

Maybe HD or one right after WILL be an instanced-through 10 minute in and out of Mordor and VOILA, done!

I will laugh so fucking hard if this turns out to be an MMORPG!

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Knowing Turbine the packages will have some silly cosmetics at all levels, and then the middle and upper tier will have extras for your LI and possible some older content like ROI or SOM included which is useless to most older players as they already have the content. Also the next tier of the pocket XP item that will help you get to level 85 in time for the expansion

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On this we agree, and that's why I think the Cryptic model could work. They provide lots of cool stuff for their mega-packs, but to my knowledge nothing is exclusive. You can buy everything in those packs from their Store, but it will cost you more to do it that way than by buying it all at once in the pack. Turbine could do the same thing, but maybe give the folks who buy the pack an exclusive title or something meaningless like that, so they feel special.

No that would not work. Not because they cannot create those packs. They can, but because they would lose some revenue from mandatory expansion sales while not getting extra revenue a way Cryptic is getting from their games via other part of business model Cryptic / PWE use.

Turbine would have to severely alter it whole business model, and not just to make expansion free.

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Knowing Turbine the packages will have some silly cosmetics at all levels, and then the middle and upper tier will have extras for your LI and possible some older content like ROI or SOM included which is useless to most older players as they already have the content. Also the next tier of the pocket XP item that will help you get to level 85 in time for the expansion

Don't forget a horse. There's almost always a horse included.

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No that would not work. Not because they cannot create those packs. They can, but because they would lose some revenue from mandatory expansion sales while not getting extra revenue a way Cryptic is getting from their games via other part of business model Cryptic / PWE use.

They've actually done something similar before, though, with Siege of Mirkwood. It was provided for free to certain customers, those that had 3-month subscriptions or better (aside from Lifers), or provided free with the purchase of the $20 Adventure Pack (Lifers and monthly subs). Plus considering that HD will likely be the weakest expansion for LOTRO in terms of content, it really isn't worth paying full expansion prices for. If they give it away for free, with no goodies included, people will pay cash for those goodie-packs. Cryptic has shown that many, many people will pay an obscene amount of money ($150+) for a goodie-pack, so I don't see why Turbine couldn't sell one here for $100, and a budget-priced mini-pack for $20 or so.

The model works, Cryptic is making money hand over fist with it, so Turbine would do well to embrace this model as well.

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They've actually done something similar before, though, with Siege of Mirkwood. It was provided for free to certain customers, those that had 3-month subscriptions or better (aside from Lifers), or provided free with the purchase of the $20 Adventure Pack (Lifers and monthly subs). Plus considering that HD will likely be the weakest expansion for LOTRO in terms of content, it really isn't worth paying full expansion prices for. If they give it away for free, with no goodies included, people will pay cash for those goodie-packs. Cryptic has shown that many, many people will pay an obscene amount of money ($150+) for a goodie-pack, so I don't see why Turbine couldn't sell one here for $100, and a budget-priced mini-pack for $20 or so.

The model works, Cryptic is making money hand over fist with it, so Turbine would do well to embrace this model as well.

I don't think you can compare giving away Mirkwood for some of customers in diffrent business model and in diffrent situation game and company was vs. making it free to all now.

That's why I am saying Turbine would have to rework whole business model if that is supposed to work for WB&Lotro their bean-counters. Rework their microtransactions basically, I already mentioned in my first post in this thread what PWE-Cryptc (and other companies using similar F2P system) does and what Lotro freemium does not.

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I don't think you can compare giving away Mirkwood for some of customers in diffrent business model and in diffrent situation game and company was vs. making it free to all now.

That's why I am saying Turbine would have to rework whole business model if that is supposed to work for WB&Lotro their bean-counters. Rework their microtransactions basically, I already mentioned in my first post in this thread what PWE-Cryptc (and other companies using similar F2P system) does and what Lotro freemium does not.

I don't think all Cryptic games are P2W, though. STO or Neverwinter's microtransactions are fairly similar to LOTRO's, with one exception: Dilithium/Astral Diamonds. Oh wait... Mithril coins.

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I don't think all Cryptic games are P2W, though. STO or Neverwinter's microtransactions are fairly similar to LOTRO's, with one exception: Dilithium/Astral Diamonds. Oh wait... Mithril coins.

I guess mithril coins were named by someone with a generic fantasy or D&D background who had no idea how lore-breaking they are in LOTR.

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I guess mithril coins were named by someone with a generic fantasy or D&D background who had no idea how lore-breaking they are in LOTR.

Especially when there were so many other names they could have chosen besides Mithril, that would have been lore-appropriate and still gotten the same idea across. Tolkien's works are full of options that would have worked, and they have staff on-site that should have known those options, as well as how lore-breaking "Mthril Coins" would be.

But I digress...

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I will laugh so fucking hard if this turns out to be an MMORPG!

still to early to tell, but not to late to shift gears & adjust to whatever Warner feels like investing in. regardless, the cracks of view for the future are beginning to show.

MMORPG as a marketing buzzword may be falling out of fashion, but regardless, it does look to be multi-player, just the same.

hopefully the storyboard artist isn't what they carry through into development, or i can already say... not interested!

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I don't think all Cryptic games are P2W, though. STO or Neverwinter's microtransactions are fairly similar to LOTRO's, with one exception: Dilithium/Astral Diamonds. Oh wait... Mithril coins.

I think both Lotro and Cryptic are P2W, but I am not here to dabble at definition of P2W.

PWE-Cryptic and other similar business model earn most of it's revenues on:

a) Gold-like selling

b )Lockboxes

sometimes also c) enchanting items for end-game gear - something not heavy used in western games yet, but it will come here. It's frequent in Asia.

Lotro currently does not have Gold selling / whole currency system exchange in-game yet afaik and they are not putting influential enough items in lockboxes yet to offer "free" content.

Concluding:

I am not arguing against your proposal. Like I said I don't play andI don't care. As far as I am concerned Lotro can sell newest strongest Raid gear directly in Cash Shop or can sell "instant kill you death rays" for use in Ettenmoors or put 400% speed flying great eagles in 0,001% Lockbox drop.

I am just saying that business models are certain constructs and WB&Turbine simply won't resign from selling expansions packs without putting even more emphasis on microtransactions. Of course even if they will continue to sell expansions they will put more focus on micotransaction as time pass anyway, just a little bit more slowly. Unless you disagree with that?

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I guess mithril coins were named by someone with a generic fantasy or D&D background who had no idea how lore-breaking they are in LOTR.

I think they may simply don't give a damn that you and some other players think it is lore-breaking.

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Considering the emphasis everywhere in game and store on mithril coins in the first place, I think they are likely to sell HD on the usual three tier basis, and throw mithril coin packs as the "benefit" instead of the turbine points thing they would include in previous expansions.

That being said I would prefer Troll's idea, though I doubt they will even consider it for all the typical reason we already know and have seen.

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I think both Lotro and Cryptic are P2W, but I am not here to dabble at definition of P2W.

PWE-Cryptic and other similar business model earn most of it's revenues on:

a) Gold-like selling

b )Lockboxes

sometimes also c) enchanting items for end-game gear - something not heavy used in western games yet, but it will come here. It's frequent in Asia.

Lotro currently does not have Gold selling / whole currency system exchange in-game yet afaik and they are not putting influential enough items in lockboxes yet to offer "free" content.

Concluding:

I am not arguing against your proposal. Like I said I don't play andI don't care. As far as I am concerned Lotro can sell newest strongest Raid gear directly in Cash Shop or can sell "instant kill you death rays" for use in Ettenmoors or put 400% speed flying great eagles in 0,001% Lockbox drop.

I am just saying that business models are certain constructs and WB&Turbine simply won't resign from selling expansions packs without putting even more emphasis on microtransactions. Of course even if they will continue to sell expansions they will put more focus on micotransaction as time pass anyway, just a little bit more slowly. Unless you disagree with that?

No, can't argue with that. But my position is that Turbine would be foolish to try to sell HD as a full-priced expansion, and would do well both financially and in earning the goodwill of players by giving it away for free, then trying to make some money off of the Whales by selling bonus packs of fluff.

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Sadly troll, no one from Turbine would even consider this.

HD is a last ditch effort to get money out of Lotro. After doing this, the facade will be broken and wont be able to pretend the game is healthy any more. With low player numbers, lag they can't fix, MC not working well, mediocre quests, super easy mode, a broken loot system for group content, ... I just can't see Turbine or WB investing in Lotro to keep it going other than just in a token way.

I have no hope they would be smart and try to revive the game at this point. HD will be as bad as the last 2 expansions - probably worse as I think they have less money for development now.

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