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DocHoliday

Epic Story no longer Free

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I thought this was a pretty important change of tune from Turbine with the Helm's deep expansion and probably buried in another thread. I wanted to give it a little more visibility as personally I think this is a huge shift in their mentality. Contrary to what I assumed and the way it has worked with every other expansion, the Epic Story will only be available to those who buy the Expansion.

Here's the initial post from Sapience on this, and his follow up clarification.

Personally I think this is a pure money grab as they saw what happened with Rohan and wanted to make sure they got more orders this time around. For those of you who have felt this since F2P launch with Turbine, I'm now in your line of thinking. Up until now, their actions didn't bother me as they didn't impact me, nor did I think they were more then bending their own F2P rules. But the Epic Story from the start was clearly stated as being free, and now it isn't. Skirmishes were a key part of the Mirkwood stroy, but yet they're still free. To say that Big Battles are core to the story and as such BOTH need to be paid for is a poor way to rationalize it.

It will take a lot for Turbine to regain my respect after this. I'm not going to say I'm done (yet) as there's still time to change, but even to start down this road is a tough one for me.

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When F2P initially launched, the MoM and SoM epic quests weren't free.

And the Volume 2 Epilogue still isn't free. Why couldnt Big Battles have been handled similarly?

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My memory is different in that the quest packs were always paid for, but the actual story line quests, i.e. books and chapters, were free. That's why there are some free skirmishes because they're part of the epic Mirkwood story.

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Oh, that's right cause Moria and Mirkwood happened first ;) Amazing how quickly you forget what happened 4+ years ago. That's true they were initially free, but changed pretty quickly and every xpack since then has adopted that same model. Even Mounted combat is free, cause it is tied so closely to the epic line.

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When F2P initially launched, the MoM and SoM epic quests weren't free.

True, but how does that negate what Rick Heaton said two years ago:

I've actually seen someone complaining that we're living up to the promise we made that the epic story line will always be free to all players.

https://www.lotro.co...848#post5676848

...or mitigate the fact that the promise is now broken?

And please note that this isn't one of those, "we're working on a new PvP map" promises, or an utterance by an over-excited Steefel ("LIs will grow with you"), but a clear, declarative statement that says:

1) This is a promise, and;

2) "will always be" (not always has been, nor even 'planned to always be', but "will always be").

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My memory is different in that the quest packs were always paid for, but the actual story line quests, i.e. books and chapters, were free. That's why there are some free skirmishes because they're part of the epic Mirkwood story.

I can't find the chart image easily off hand, but here's the Official FAQ from the Forum

Note the specificity.

https://www.lotro.com/en/forums/showthread.php?351353-Free-2-Play-F-A-Q

+Victorie

D6. What areas and quests are included with Angmar? (The FAQ notes Ered Luin, Shire, Bree-land are free, and Eriador is available for VIP)..

-All players will also have full access to the Epic Story (Volume 1, Books 1 – 15), crafting and class quests up to level 50

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I think this tells us very clearly the state of the game:

obvious monetization --> players start leaving -->less revenue --> more monetization --> fewer players --> even more monetization

ad infinitum.

Turbine has hit the trifecta: They've pissed off PVPers; they've pissed off hard-core raiders; they've pissed off subscribers; and now they've pissed off the F2P crowd. About the only group left is the Role-players (and the hobby-horse fiasco probably left a bad taste there - not to mention flirting with disaster by breaking the music system just before Weatherstock).

With this news, I have finally moved over into the camp that's been saying Helm's Deep is going to be the last major expansion to the game. Anyone who preorders is just going to convince Turbine that the less-is-more strategy works. Any future content will merely be a landmass with quests/deeds (including the epic stuff) and maybe a few paltry levels, all at a premium price.

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When F2P initially launched, the MoM and SoM epic quests weren't free.

I don't think that's true.

IIRC you had (and have) to buy nothing to strictly play the epic storyline, and they even removed some gating so that you could get to those areas.

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After so much of the drama we've gotten from Turbine over the years, Slobbits being the worst as of late (before that the delay on group content.. then the delay on the xpac, selling gear in the store, etc).. I can't muster up any outrage for much that they do nowdays. It's all entirely unsurprising tbh.

I do think they're making a mistake.

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I don't think that's true.

IIRC you had (and have) to buy nothing to strictly play the epic storyline, and they even removed some gating so that you could get to those areas.

When F2P launched, if I remember correctly, I don't think you could even enter Moria without purchasing the xpac so you couldn't do the epic.

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I love how Sapience says "Big battles are part of the Epic Story" and then people come back and say "Well, then, why can you do the Epic Battles at level 10?" ... lol. Wonder how he's going to worm his way out of that one.

And this guy says it best...

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?523811-Release-Nov-18th&p=6915122#post6915122

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Woot!

When F2P launched, if I remember correctly, I don't think you could even enter Moria without purchasing the xpac so you couldn't do the epic.

Exactly this!

I've been saying this in another thread.

I don't think that's true.

IIRC you had (and have) to buy nothing to strictly play the epic storyline, and they even removed some gating so that you could get to those areas.

You are mistaken. When F2P launched, it was only Vol 1 that was free for f2p/premiums. They had to buy both MoM and SoM to gain access to Vol2, the quests and areas were gated behind completion of Vol2 book1.

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Considering the last 2 expansions false advertising debacle, it seems they've at least learned something.

If you include something like Epic story in the advertisement of what an expansion includes, you better not give it out for free, because that then devalues what people have purchased, since you are directly advertising the feature as part of the expansion.

Now, if they'd only included the raise in cap and new crafting tier, and land area, it would be back to what I like.

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You are mistaken. When F2P launched, it was only Vol 1 that was free for f2p/premiums. They had to buy both MoM and SoM to gain access to Vol2, the quests and areas were gated behind completion of Vol2 book1.

Additionally. You had to buy MoM to gain a Level-Cap raise to 60, and Mirkwood to get a cap raise to 65. There was no skirting the issue with the purchase of Edenwaith.

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I don't think that's true.

IIRC you had (and have) to buy nothing to strictly play the epic storyline, and they even removed some gating so that you could get to those areas.

The gating was removed to ENABLE players who did not purchase Moria get through Lothlorien without dying on sight after the fact (a VERY dumb move in my mind, people should have to pay to access content). That was the sole reason behind that. That it also devalued purchases by players who PAID to access those earlier prior to F2P didn't bother them at all. They don't have to give your money back after you give it over.

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They were if you were ViP.

Only because we had to BUY them with the expansions and a subscription fee/lifetime payment. Why do "some" people forget that prior to f2p EVERYTHING IN THE GAME came with a subscription fee payment, and why do some people insist paying for access is somehow free? Did the flat worlders take over the world again? Even AFTER f2p to get into those areas you had to be VIP, or (after they started turning the game into a micro-transaction fest) buy the quest packs? That green stuff leaving the wallet is called money. (Or toilet paper, I mean, Turbine points..ahem.)

They only allowed epic content to entice more f2p players, the people who paid for content with a sub fee or equivalent of course got game content as a matter of course. Why else would they give the company money?

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Only because we had to BUY them with the expansions and a subscription fee/lifetime payment. Why do people forget that prior to f2p EVERYTHING IN THE GAME came with a subscription fee payment, and why do some people insist paying for access is somehow free? Did the flat worlders take over the world again? Even AFTER f2p to get into those areas you had to be VIP, or (after they starting turning the game into a micro-transaction fest) buy the quest packs? That green stuff leaving the wallet is called money.

*snip*

Edited by MueR
Be nice

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I apologize for that, but it really irks me when people keep referring to something as free when money changed hands at some point to access the content initially.

To keep VIP status at f2p launch, you still had to be A)paying a sub fee, or B)a lifer. How did that situation change for those people when f2p launched? VIP still paid subs monthly, and should get regular updates. And lifers paid rather large sums of money in advance for those perks as well. Maybe that sucks for f2p people, but so what? You get what you pay for is a quote I always hear in my line of work.

And why shouldn't VIPS get quest content as part of the game? It's not free, as to keep VIP status they keep paying money on a regular basis. I really do not understand why you keep referring to content that came with payment as free, because if they didn't pay, they wouldn't be VIP, and so would be f2p and not have content. Is there some sort of disconnect we are having there? Shouldn't there be a big difference between people who pay regularly for access and people who would rather a la carte?

PS: Not counting Freemium, as that class is kind of separate, it's for people who paid a al carte, or were granted certain privileges during the switch from sub to f2p. It's not a perfect system, and I admit Turbine didn't do a good job with it either, as they should have kept it very clear where the line is drawn and stuck to it. It's now coming back to bite them in the ass, clearly. And I'll be the first one to admit that content that was a 'free' update being added to the store after the fact was a clear slap in the face to future customers based on the understanding that VIPs received updates as part of the subscription they paid. I even posted on the official forums that it was pretty underhanded to do that, I think that was one of my first infractions. But they are not in the business of providing free access, they are in the business of providing a platform to sell product. Once that is clear, it makes a sick sort of sense how far down the game has fallen. It's not entertainment value for player, it's revenue and bottom line for Turbine/WB and their shareholders.

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If you think about it, it's not really surprising at all. Turbine almost had to charge for the epic this time around, for the simple fact that there's really bugger all in this expansion and they have to try and justify the $40 price tag.

Regardless, for me I'll either buy it with my stored up lifer TP's or if I don't have enough or they try to block it's sale through the store for a while, I'll happily go play more of the other (better) games I play until they do.

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Lets not forget one thing, folks: Turbine loves to stir up the bee hive when Pre-order time comes around. Remember last year, when they first said the instance cluster would be a part of the purchase of RoR, then suddenly it wasn't, only to have that decision reversed when enough people complained? What if they are doing the same thing here, trying to garner more publicity for HD through charging for the Epic quest line, and then gain more HD sales through increased player goodwill, once they reverse that decision?

Either way, Turbine wins. If they stay their current course, everyone who wants to play LOTRO to endgame will end up having to buy HD, albeit losing some players to outrage. If they go back to the old way and give the Epic quests away for free, players rejoice, and they sell more units of HD that way. It is a Win-Win for Turbine. Better yet, they get to have all manner of gaming websites, bloggers and podcasts report on the 'controversy', giving them free advertising for the expansion.

Well, I for one, will not bite. Turbine has made a pattern of doing stuff like this over the last few years, and I'm through slapping them around for it. In my opinion, this is at worst a contrived controversy, and at best a general money-grab, nothing more. They shall not get free advertising on my website or podcast for these shenanigans, regardless of how despicable they may be.

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Epic Story in Helm's deep is very tightly entwined with the Epic Battle system. The story in Helm's Deep is the Epic battle we all know from the books. We've returned to the core story line from the lore and that line leads in a direct path, laid out by the Professor himself, into Helm's Deep and the battles and heroic deeds that occur there. As a result, this means the Epic story requires the purchase of the Helm's Deep expansion. Otherwise you'd not be able to complete it as it moves through the Epic Battle system.

tumblr_mktpgb3JWS1ry10fwo1_500.gif

Is this this the third or fourth Wilfred Award that Helm's Deep gets so far? Turbine could use that on the ads... "Winner of four Wilfreds!"

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Lets not forget one thing, folks: Turbine loves to stir up the bee hive when Pre-order time comes around. Remember last year, when they first said the instance cluster would be a part of the purchase of RoR, then suddenly it wasn't, only to have that decision reversed when enough people complained? What if they are doing the same thing here, trying to garner more publicity for HD through charging for the Epic quest line, and then gain more HD sales through increased player goodwill, once they reverse that decision?

Either way, Turbine wins. If they stay their current course, everyone who wants to play LOTRO to endgame will end up having to buy HD, albeit losing some players to outrage. If they go back to the old way and give the Epic quests away for free, players rejoice, and they sell more units of HD that way. It is a Win-Win for Turbine. Better yet, they get to have all manner of gaming websites, bloggers and podcasts report on the 'controversy', giving them free advertising for the expansion.

Well, I for one, will not bite. Turbine has made a pattern of doing stuff like this over the last few years, and I'm through slapping them around for it. In my opinion, this is at worst a contrived controversy, and at best a general money-grab, nothing more. They shall not get free advertising on my website or podcast for these shenanigans, regardless of how despicable they may be.

As someone else pointed out though, it's different this time. Changing their minds and giving it for free would result in a shit storm given they've started selling it as part of the expansion. People who have already pre-ordered would (rightly) be extraordinarily pissed if Turbine turned around and gave away for free what they thought they had to pay for. Last time the instances were an addition to what people were buying so obviously there were no issues with the change. Simply put, I can't see them being able to change their minds on this and I fully expect this one to go live with the epic not being free.

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