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Lotro PvPers...are they really that bad?


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I played on Ridder for about three or so months, from the opening of the server until around New Years. For a Book 12 Baby like myself-one of those who came to the Moors in that massive bk12 SoA surge-it was a treat to start on a Creep on a fresh server and have that experience. I was the first rank 2 wargie on the server and wasn't I proud of that red fur. Ridder didn't end up being the 'true' PvMP server many wanted it to be but that time was a blast. While I was there I was with Serial Killers, Hotsndots' tribe, lots of fun.

 

Then we probably played together, I rolled a Spider, Warg, Champ, and Burg on RM when it was going to be the "official" PvP server. I had much fun rolling the Freeps that speed leveled through the content and thought they would run roughshod on all the greenie Creeps. They forgot that even though we were all green and blue dots, we were all vet Creeps and knew how to work together, whether grouped or not.

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It's entirely up to the companies to decide how to interpret the NDA in relation to my comments. If they want to 'come after me', as you put it, they know who I am. I do appreciate your concern on t

Modbreak: Dear GameDev, Please refrain from posting personal information on this board. Given your geolocation, it might be perceived as a rather vengeful thing. Say hi to the rest of Turbine

I agree with this on a personal level. First post here although I consider this forum superior to the official one (where most of my posts over the years were confined to grants on rank x threads)

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Thank you for taking the time to answer my question Aylwen (sorry I forgot to thank you yesterday). I guess I have slightly rose tinted specs with Codemasters and there is always two sides to every story :)

Do you think Turbine regret jumping into bed with WB or was it do or die?

PJ

It was basically do or die and it was either WB or Perfect World and nobody was too keen on the latter. There was a line of thought that PW's interest was used to leverage WB to make the deal but that was certainly above my pay grade. When Jim Crowley gathered us for a company meeting at a hotel conference room down the road (Westwood being a little small for such affairs) on a late wintery afternoon to announce the WB deal we applauded heartily. It was the end of a long period of gloom and uncertainty and a happy moment. I think we in the rank and file were a bit naive about what becoming a subsidiary would really entail but at least Turbine-and LOTRO-would go on. But there are many of us who were there for those Westwood days who wish we could go back. Life does go on though and we have our memories.

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Let me know if I missed an answer since this thread is long, but did WB's deal to purchase Turbine include stipulation for F2P, or was F2P in the works before WB came along, or was F2P WB's idea? There have been a couple different theories bandied about, but I don't remember them nor the timetable back in (what was it, 2009 or 2010?).

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Aylwen, few questions from me...

 

In your opinion would new raids/instances and revitalise the game?

Who is owner of the rights of the tolkien world and untill when?

Is it possible to make new game, based on Beleriand days, 1st age and would you be interested in working on that project?

 

Now, i only need 1B $ to earn and I will give you infinite funds and full control! :)

Sharkey answered the latter questions as well as I could have. As for new raids and instances, I certainly think they would have at least retained many of the old core players. In a game whose revenue stream is strongly dependant on micotransactions, the diehards are a big potential source of income. I said elsewhere that a big chunk of the monthly revenue from FB games like the late Island Paradise came from a relatively small-in fact very small-group of customers who absolutely loved the games. It makes perfect sense too. If you have been playing LOTRO for years it isn't a hard call to dump some cash into it. What's an extra 20 or 30 bucks here and there (or even more) for a hobby that you have devoted so much time to? But by not giving those veteran players any incentive to stick around-no new end game content, head-smack PvMP changes, etc-you will start to lose them. Then your revenue depends on casuals who, statistically, are extremely unlikely to play longer than a few months and will pay very little while they do.

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 But Enedwaith did have a patchwork feel to it, with some areas playing better than others in my opinion. One thing that I will say somewhat disappointed me about LOTRO was the 'canyon shot' nature of many zones and in fact large chunks of the game. Being an old Ultima guy I think I had imagined a more open, sprawling Middle Earth. Obviously the decision to use linear level progression dictated how the zones were designed. But there is a definite 'on rails' quality in LOTRO that takes away from the sense of being part of a real world. WoW is the same but the sheer size of Azeroth made it slightly less obvious to me as a player.

Yeah. I did seemed like it was composed on many diffrent elements that did not have much common to each other. Anyway - it was last piece of Lotro I've really played (I left before RoI) so I was interested.

 

I am also ex-UO player so I share your opinion about "canyon shot".  Generally when I've played Lotro in late 90s I had expected out of mmorpg genre so much in future.   Very diffrent to what actually happened.   When I look back at it, I see how naive that was, alas I was only a child though :)

 

As for WoW - regardless of overall WoW landmass size - WoW was actually more open than Lotro.  WoW provided whole continents and sea between them.  Sure those continents were composed of totally unrealistic smaller zones usually walled off by mountains, but they were complete instead of just a big corridor carved though bigger continent like in Lotro.    Additionally WoW had diving and there was no loading screen when entering buildings.

 

WoW world had huge downsides though that made it's world less immersive,  like cartoony graphics and general "silly" not "taking itself seriously" feel, something which I don't mind in many type of gamees games, but which I found myself while playing WoW that I don't really accept in mmorpgs.

While I have not been in WoW while they introduced flying mounts,  when I've heard of it I could not imagine what a bad idea it was.  While it definately is fun and conveniant,  it also trivialize world completly.

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Sharkey answered the latter questions as well as I could have. As for new raids and instances, I certainly think they would have at least retained many of the old core players. In a game whose revenue stream is strongly dependant on micotransactions, the diehards are a big potential source of income. I said elsewhere that a big chunk of the monthly revenue from FB games like the late Island Paradise came from a relatively small-in fact very small-group of customers who absolutely loved the games. It makes perfect sense too. If you have been playing LOTRO for years it isn't a hard call to dump some cash into it. What's an extra 20 or 30 bucks here and there (or even more) for a hobby that you have devoted so much time to? But by not giving those veteran players any incentive to stick around-no new end game content, head-smack PvMP changes, etc-you will start to lose them. Then your revenue depends on casuals who, statistically, are extremely unlikely to play longer than a few months and will pay very little while they do.

This is what we've been saying on this forum for a while now, sadly. (Hail the whales :P)

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Aylwen, every so often on various LOTRO fansites and the OF, the idea comes up suggesting that Turbine start selling "visitor's pass" access to the world that would let interested people be able to ride around and explore but not engage in combat.

Is this something they could implement? Would it be very hard to do?

It would be fairly simple, just a matter of setting the appropriate flag on the character. All characters are flagged by an alignment-evil, good, neutral, harmless, and so on. Then you'd just have to auto-bestow the various quest complete flags required to access Moria, cross the Angmar 'Death Line' if need be, etc.
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Let me know if I missed an answer since this thread is long, but did WB's deal to purchase Turbine include stipulation for F2P, or was F2P in the works before WB came along, or was F2P WB's idea? There have been a couple different theories bandied about, but I don't remember them nor the timetable back in (what was it, 2009 or 2010?).

The specific reasoning behind the decision to go f2p wasn't ever shared with those of us in QA or Dev as far as I know or can recall. Certainly after DDO went f2p we assumed we would follow suit. And let me say that the DDO guys enjoyed their moment in the sun with all the attention they got with their transition. We did at least get a party behind the building to celebrate their f2p launch and, as usual, we on Team Ramrod (Systems QA) made short work of the beer provided!

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Ah, I forgot DDO actually went first.

Yeah DDO was also a poster success child for f2p because of how big % of player and revenue increase it did report.   Of course noone from general public cared that DDO had barely any players left before f2p transition so obviously that % increases was gonna be huge basically by default.

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Haven't seen crell since he got the hump about not being picked for the PC, still see Fred here occasionally though.

I vaguely recall crell doing a sort of 'PR campaign' and trying to put a positive spin on Turbine in the run up to the selection. Maybe that was his make or break moment?

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Slowly catching up, and I think the top two posts on page 5 should be pinned or something... :P

 

I didn't like it, why gimp your ability to play your class the way you want to? That's all the revamp accomplished basically.

I don't have an inside track on why they did the class revamp. But I can say that never once, either during my first stint or brief second tour, did I hear anyone talk about 'skill bloat', either as a player or dev concern. As Systems QA working daily with the devs responsible for such matters, I certainly would have. It's really a silly notion if one thinks about it. When have you ever heard an MMOer complain about having too many skills?

Far more likely explanation: the basic tech is developed for mounted combat and then the devs, looking for some way to spruce up the game on the cheap, say, hey, we have the tech and WoW has spec trees...let's do that.

When the mounted combat trees appeared, I got a bad feeling...

I wondered about the "rationale," but I also wondered just how little Turbine dev leadership knew about the MMO landscape. It's been pointed out here and on OF that WoW hasn't had trees since 2012 (MoP); the biggest game that made talent trees famous, and they moved away because it was impossible to properly balance and expand for every level cap (I pointed out WoW's tree history on the OF when some people argued trees must be easier to maintain or something). And then what happened to SWG when SOE dropped the Combat Upgrade and NGE on top of players' heads? It's like Turbine had no idea what was going on outside their office doors in terms of actual gaming, never mind revenue and sales numbers.

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WoW world had huge downsides though that made it's world less immersive,  like cartoony graphics and general "silly" not "taking itself seriously" feel, something which I don't mind in many type of gamees games, but which I found myself while playing WoW that I don't really accept in mmorpgs.

While I have not been in WoW while they introduced flying mounts,  when I've heard of it I could not imagine what a bad idea it was.  While it definately is fun and conveniant,  it also trivialize world completly.

 

I didn't like flying mounts in WoW, they made escaping from PvP situations too easy. And there were way too many situations where you stared at an enemy player in the sky unable to do anything atop ferocious looking yet completely harmless mounts. If anyone attacked, they fell to their deaths. However it did give an incentive to the devs to make the zone look beautiful from the sky as well as the ground.

 

However, it was only a small downside to that game. Really enjoyed my time there. It seems that LotrO tried to take many pages from that book yet failed at most of them. Especially the trait tree. Was a 'skill bloat' really a reason? All this new trait tree seems to accomplish is taking out a bunch of old skills, putting them back into one of three specs & garnishing it with some buffs from the original 8 traits. Maybe an actually original skill at the end of the tree. Completely pointless.

 

And then the Mounted Combat. The first character I brought into that was a burglar. I don't even want to get started on that...

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Yeah DDO was also a poster success child for f2p because of how big % of player and revenue increase it did report.   Of course noone from general public cared that DDO had barely any players left before f2p transition so obviously that % increases was gonna be huge basically by default.

revenues are up 500%!!! 

 

that Fernando Paiz & Jim Crowley spiel always gets me salty.

 

since they don't mention peep about profits, nor how magically they managed to raise revenues and users 5 times, & simultaneously keep expenses static...  yeah right.

 

& of course Darmokks bugbear (and a valid one at that)  these data "talking points" do not show a timeline, but are a mere snapshot & one taken very close after the launch of FTP.

 

as is pretty apparent to everyone by now, that initial burst, had no sustain.  and again 5 times of something that was initially small to begin with...  they worked hard to oversell that FTP hybrid conversion.

 

Kate tried a similar spiel for LOTRO's conversion, but since Lotro's playerbase wasn't as small, only managed to double revenues.

 

& now with the populations where there are, compared to what they were at FTP launch...

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Aylwen, it is mentioned a few times in the thread --by you and others-- the negative effect of the trait trees and the... not high quality of the HD expansion.

 

Since those two hit together, which one (in your opinion) had the bigger impact towards the game's decline (the part of it that takes place after the release of HD, that is)?

 

In other words, how much did the post-HD LOTRO die due to the class revamp, and how much due to problems wit the expansion itself (including not fixing annoying older bugs)?

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However, it was only a small downside to that game. Really enjoyed my time there. It seems that LotrO tried to take many pages from that book yet failed at most of them. Especially the trait tree. Was a 'skill bloat' really a reason? All this new trait tree seems to accomplish is taking out a bunch of old skills, putting them back into one of three specs & garnishing it with some buffs from the original 8 traits. Maybe an actually original skill at the end of the tree. Completely pointless.

I played WoW through Burning Crusade and most of Lich King, kind of as an escape from LOTRO from time to time. I really enjoyed myself and still miss my little Blood Elf mage from time to time. WoW was just so big and colorful, the music was great, the zones so varied. I loved my mount collection (especially my drake). It also had a sense of humor the lore tended to preclude in LOTRO. That said I didn't find any social foothold there and eventually ended up just running the same BGs over and over before ending my sub. The constant class tweaks were annoying, to say nothing of the ever-present fear of account hacks.

Infinite Crisis?Oh yeah, how's that doing? ;)

An aptly named game if ever there was one!

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Aylwen, it is mentioned a few times in the thread --by you and others-- the negative effect of the trait trees and the... not high quality of the HD expansion.

 

Since those two hit together, which one (in your opinion) had the bigger impact towards the game's decline (the part of it that takes place after the release of HD, that is)?

 

In other words, how much did the post-HD LOTRO die due to the class revamp, and how much due to problems wit the expansion itself (including not fixing annoying older bugs)?

I have to think, though I'm curious as to Aylwen's response, that the discontinuation of traditional raids and instances was the big problem with the expansion and a major factor along with the skill revamp.  I knew a lot of people that were planning to leave before HD because of the lack of new instances.

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I have to think, though I'm curious as to Aylwen's response, that the discontinuation of traditional raids and instances was the big problem with the expansion and a major factor along with the skill revamp.  I knew a lot of people that were planning to leave before HD because of the lack of new instances.

 

I too am curious as to his take.  My gut says that all the other issues varied user to user in degree of severity.  The revamps were universal across play styles.  And the push back I saw running up to and post launch was the most universal regarding a single system as I've ever seen in any mmo I've played.  Much more than either radiance or LI's certainly, both systems in which  a fairly close mouthed Turbine was forced to say oops publicly.

 

Edit Many of us die hard groupers had been dropping off the radar long before HD, Eriabor being the last straw for many, so I can't say for sure how many were still left playing, but absent the Revamps I'm sure some at least some would have come back to at least TRY BB's. With the revamps? /shrugs it was a lost cause.  As regardless of like/dislike BB's every other piece of legacy group content was affected by revamps, apparently in most peoples minds, negatively.

 

DBL edit I remember before I left there were entire kinships utilizing the xp disabler to run group content on level and as intended.  I suspect those kinships died within hours of the revamps going live.

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Aylwen, it is mentioned a few times in the thread --by you and others-- the negative effect of the trait trees and the... not high quality of the HD expansion.

 

Since those two hit together, which one (in your opinion) had the bigger impact towards the game's decline (the part of it that takes place after the release of HD, that is)?

 

In other words, how much did the post-HD LOTRO die due to the class revamp, and how much due to problems wit the expansion itself (including not fixing annoying older bugs)?

I'm curious what Aylwen thinks too, but I posited before that "no revamp but plus endgame" would have retained the most players... What Helm's Debacle gave was the exact opposite, and the revamp affected all play styles while additional endgame wouldn't have. So from a player point of view, HD really was the worst possible combination in retaining players and gaining players from other traditional MMOs. I only solo-duoed most of my time in LotRO, so it was the revamp that affected me and my gaming partner the most and we quit. Given the wider breadth of players affected, personally I think the revamp was the worst: Think of it also this way--with class specialization and combat broken so much at HD (shown during beta), even if there was endgame content, would that content play quality have been anywhere near prior standards?

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Well as a LOTROer myself HD was the definite breaking point for a variety of reasons.

The Class Revamp-for all the reasons already given. It nuked what little individuality LOTRO had left for no gain in gameplay and simply alienated older players who were perfectly content with the system they had been using for over half a decade. And if anyone at Turbine believed skill trees would bring in new players...you know that saying about people being promoted to their level of incompetence?

End Game-Knowing nothing about BBs I jumped into my first thinking it would be a crazy survival mode, trying to rack up as many kills as possible against increasing odds. A no brainer. Can't screw that up. What I found made me throw up a little in my mouth. Seriously? This is what they came up with? The design well had run completely dry and the result was rehashed and tedious sludge passed off as 'end game'. Developers should be taken out back and beaten with chair legs for turning in work like that. Why even bother hitting cap if that's all that awaits?

The Setting-Enough with Rohan already. It had gotten worse then Moria by then. I was sick of the Roharrim and grassy fields and damn sure sick of mounted combat. RoR was more than enough for me.

So for me it was a case of choosing my poison (Jinjjah's fumbling and bumbling in the Moors included), any of which could make a long time player cast in the towel with prejudice.

Oof. And the gloves come off!  Spoken like a true PvMPer, Ayl.

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And if anyone at Turbine believed skill trees would bring in new players...you know that saying about people being promoted to their level of incompetence?

Yes, the Peter Principle has gotten good discussion here before. :P Ugh, it's so eeeeeevil.

Edit to add:

This is why I wish there were more bona-fide dev-players at game firms, who'd have a pulse on actual gameplay and player behavior as well as the dev side of things. It's always telling when there are decisions being pushed down the pipeline that were clearly made by a nongamer.

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Thank you again for answering, Aylwen. I hope this is not getting too personal :)

 

I agree entirely with the 'exhaustion' of everything 'Rohanish'. From Great River to HD, a two years of Rohan landscape, houses and folk. And you, the great hero, in the middle of this incompetent bunch of blond scared girls, peacefully performing your khazi cleaning duties. It was too much rehashing, I agree. At least with Gondor the players could experience the rehashing of older game regions :)

 

The Class Revamp-for all the reasons already given. It nuked what little individuality LOTRO had left for no gain in gameplay and simply alienated older players who were perfectly content with the system they had been using for over half a decade. And if anyone at Turbine believed skill trees would bring in new players...you know that saying about people being promoted to their level of incompetence?

End Game-Knowing nothing about BBs I jumped into my first thinking it would be a crazy survival mode, trying to rack up as many kills as possible against increasing odds. A no brainer. Can't screw that up. What I found made me throw up a little in my mouth. Seriously? This is what they came up with? The design well had run completely dry and the result was rehashed and tedious sludge passed off as 'end game'. Developers should be taken out back and beaten with chair legs for turning in work like that. Why even bother hitting cap if that's all that awaits?

 

I understand I'm pushing too much here and I myself am rehashing my previous question, but damn this curiosity...

If you have to choose one of the above as the main reason for players leaving after HD, the reason that is responsible for 50+ % of this effect, which one would it be?

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