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Lord of the Rings Online devs prepare players for Mordor but won’t discuss license renewal


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I think WB would love to keep the license just to be able to keep anyone else from being able to produce LoTR-related content, whether they produce anything themselves or not.  They seem like the kind of organization that would do that.

If the lawsuit makes that too prohibitive, or if they have to scrap LOTRO to meet new legal conditions, they'll throw it under the bus in a heartbeat.

The players won't get any kind of warning in advance though, I agree with those who think that they'll keep that whale money source viable for as long as possible 

 

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10 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

In other words, LotRO is basically a bargaining chip, and a low value one at that.  Right?

Hey now. Low value?
 

"if you come to terms with us on all this other stuff we are willing to sacrifice this online world with millions of happy users, a true pioneer in the development of offering people the option to play for free while allowing financial contributions for those who want to do that in exchange for convenience".

Don't forget that the game license with Zaenz is one thing. But the estate is suing to determine that Zaenz in turn did not have a license to give a license to Turbine.  

The whole concept of "license renewal or not" is a lot more complex than that binary question.

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It's funny that Mr. Christopher Tolkien likes to cry out that his father would not approve of such treatment of his works.  Tolkien sold the film, stage and merchandising rights to UA in 68'.  UA then sold those to SZ a few years after Tolkien died.  Considering all the academic and literary achievements Prof. Tolkien acquired in his lifetime it would seem odd that he would be suckered into something he didn't want to do.  The films being hugely successful, I think the Tolkien Estate is butthurt that they don't control those rights.  It always seems they're in the middle of some lawsuit.  I guess the big issue is that when those contracts were drawn up "gaming" wasn't a thing.  Does that loosely fall under some kind of merchandising?  I have no idea.

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On 4/30/2016 at 7:13 PM, Darmokk said:

I'm not sure.  Bango is very standard issue troll, and not an imaginative one at that. When he/she says this it might not have any connection to the state of mind, might just be for forum reaction.

We it's good to see that my posts are so widely read. I should start up a youtube channel you can all subscribe to my musings.

Anyhow, given that lotro already has most of the game's rewards in the store, it would seem that suggesting that my asking for another of those rewards to be added is somehow indicative of a mental health issue is, shall we say, making a mountain out of a molehill. Still, whatever floats yer boat.

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59 minutes ago, Amenhir said:

It's funny that Mr. Christopher Tolkien likes to cry out that his father would not approve of such treatment of his works.  Tolkien sold the film, stage and merchandising rights to UA in 68'.  UA then sold those to SZ a few years after Tolkien died.  Considering all the academic and literary achievements Prof. Tolkien acquired in his lifetime it would seem odd that he would be suckered into something he didn't want to do.  The films being hugely successful, I think the Tolkien Estate is butthurt that they don't control those rights.  It always seems they're in the middle of some lawsuit.  I guess the big issue is that when those contracts were drawn up "gaming" wasn't a thing.  Does that loosely fall under some kind of merchandising?  I have no idea.

I am not implying that I agree with Christopher Tolkien on... well anything.

I sure do have a temporary alliance with him, though, if he doesn't like his father's works being abused for gambling for real world money and generally being treated like shit by WB.  It isn't just LOTRO's development since free-to-play (hah!), I am also not at all happy with how the movie development developed between the Lotr releases and the Hobbit.

In all of these cases I would prefer that licenses are not exclusive so that we could have competition in both the movie and the game field. Competition is about the most powerful thing to improve... well anything.

Ironically the reason why the Tolkien works will be in the clutch on abusive jerks for many more decades is the country that on paper values competition most - the United States of America - but in actual law disables competition the most (e.g. with excessive copyright terms, that they now enforce all over the world with secret trade agreements).

 

56 minutes ago, Bango said:

We it's good to see that my posts are so widely read. I should start up a youtube channel you can all subscribe to my musings.

Anyhow, given that lotro already has most of the game's rewards in the store, it would seem that suggesting that my asking for another of those rewards to be added is somehow indicative of a mental health issue is, shall we say, making a mountain out of a molehill. Still, whatever floats yer boat.

Many of your posts are clear troll material and you baited many a reasonable person into receiving a ban from The Sap (not me).

In the particular cases discussed here the item you want isn't reasonable. It really would very directly reward Turbine for creating shitty content, and then never fix it.  

I am not opposed to paying money to fix shitty content, but the way that it needs to work is that we pay money to Turbine which they then use to pay employees to fix the content.

Maybe they should have a "bounty" program where people can pledge money for particular fixes.

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2 hours ago, Darmokk said:

Many of your posts are clear troll material and you baited many a reasonable person into receiving a ban from The Sap (not me).

In the particular cases discussed here the item you want isn't reasonable. It really would very directly reward Turbine for creating shitty content, and then never fix it.  

I am not opposed to paying money to fix shitty content, but the way that it needs to work is that we pay money to Turbine which they then use to pay employees to fix the content.

Maybe they should have a "bounty" program where people can pledge money for particular fixes.

Do us all a favour and provide evidence that I baited people into getting a ban from Sap (who'm I personally could not stand in his role as CM) otherwise it's just bluff and bluster.

Back on topic - trait points in essence are no different to virtues,- rewards for completing content within a set of defined parameters. So having trait points in the store by allowing the player to buy up to a set amount dependent on a level-based maximum amount is in the same paradigm as buying virtues and promotion points. Indeed one could argue that the "paying to avoid shitty content but getting the reward" has been around since when F2P went live, but I guess a few of you are still clinging to the notion that somehow the clock will turn back to 2007 - something I've managed to get over.

As for whether Turbine should fix the bugs and other shitty content they publish - that's an issue for MMOs regardless of their payment model.

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1 hour ago, Bango said:

Do us all a favour and provide evidence that I baited people into getting a ban from Sap (who'm I personally could not stand in his role as CM) otherwise it's just bluff and bluster.

Back on topic - trait points in essence are no different to virtues,- rewards for completing content within a set of defined parameters. So having trait points in the store by allowing the player to buy up to a set amount dependent on a level-based maximum amount is in the same paradigm as buying virtues and promotion points. Indeed one could argue that the "paying to avoid shitty content but getting the reward" has been around since when F2P went live, but I guess a few of you are still clinging to the notion that somehow the clock will turn back to 2007 - something I've managed to get over.

As for whether Turbine should fix the bugs and other shitty content they publish - that's an issue for MMOs regardless of their payment model.

do "us" all a favor? i've seen some of the craziness on the OF, no evidence needed for me thanks.

the glaring difference between trait points and virtues is the issue here; trait points give actionable skills.  virtues do not.

you seem content with the idea of providing turbine with extra $$ to simply avoid boring content, money that you know turbine will not use to better the game...but instead provide more boring content.  that is a pretty low bar, i guess some people just have higher expectations. to each their own.

 

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8 hours ago, Papi said:

do "us" all a favor? i've seen some of the craziness on the OF, no evidence needed for me thanks.

the glaring difference between trait points and virtues is the issue here; trait points give actionable skills.  virtues do not.

you seem content with the idea of providing turbine with extra $$ to simply avoid boring content, money that you know turbine will not use to better the game...but instead provide more boring content.  that is a pretty low bar, i guess some people just have higher expectations. to each their own.

 

So you're happy that someone can make a grossly exaggerated statement that I deliberately baited people into getting a ban by Sap (who I might add I am on record here on this forum of utterly despising) without any evidence. Well, if we're in that territory then perhaps we should also discuss:

1. The monkey that's climbing out of your arse.

2. The pigs flying over the top of your house.

3. The little green men from that spaceship who come and visit you at night 

4. ad nauseum...

Because who needs evidence eh?

As for the substantive point, you've ignored my argument that trait points are no different than virtues. However, let me give you another angle of discussion - Gift & Blessing of the Valar. These two items provide a substantial boost, allowing the player to avoid entire swathes of content that they may have already paid for. But that's not as bad as adding trait points to the store. In effect your argument is no different that arguing about whether to feed the horse with a carrot or a turnip, ignoring the fact that the stable door is wide open and the horse bolted a long time ago. But at least I can see that.

6 hours ago, Darmokk said:

Since all the bans were silent (and still are) it would be very difficult to provide records of who baited who into being banned either way.

 

Well you've got me banged to rights there, Guv'nor......

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1 hour ago, Bango said:

As for the substantive point, you've ignored my argument that trait points are no different than virtues.

He didn't:

10 hours ago, Papi said:

the glaring difference between trait points and virtues is the issue here; trait points give actionable skills.  virtues do not.

 

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1 hour ago, Doro said:

He didn't:

 

Fair point, but Gift & Blessing of the Valar? I can roll a lvl 1 char, buy a BotV and boost it to 95, jumping straight to the Paths of the Dead. But hey, suggest putting trait points in the store and I have mental health problems. The hyperbole of some in this forum is ridiculous.

And on that note I'm off again. Have fun!

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Speaking of an ability to research bans on the OF, it would be more useful to maybe have a dialog with the new leadership over there about those bands, as far as the regulars here are concerned. The Sap did everything in secret. I am sure he even hid his actions from his superiors, not that I think the old leadership cared one way or another.

Contrary to what people display us like on the OF, a good number here is friendly to the game, still plays, even pays. And things have calmed down quite a bit and recent changes to the actual game have been much more welcomed than Kate Paiz' pet projects wasting away the little money that was available.

Bango, I retract the "you baited" thing. I don't want to suffer from selective memory about particular individuals. I don't think you are a nice forum person over there, but I'll not claim you baited people into being banned by The Sap, much less doing it for him. I even apologize for jumping on it.  (I plan not to edit my original post so that I don't fake history but I could if you prefer)

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4 hours ago, Bango said:

Fair point, but Gift & Blessing of the Valar? I can roll a lvl 1 char, buy a BotV and boost it to 95, jumping straight to the Paths of the Dead. But hey, suggest putting trait points in the store and I have mental health problems. The hyperbole of some in this forum is ridiculous.

And on that note I'm off again. Have fun!

Those don't award trait points, save for what you get by leveling.  You still have to go back and do HD if you choose.  The essence gear all but negates virtues as a maxxed virtue only pads the stats but isn't nearly as important as they were.  I know they sold virtues long before essences were a thing.  That doesn't mean they should.  I'm sure they'll offer trait points in the store at some point.  Perhaps they'll do a poll and side with vocal minority this time.

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8 hours ago, Darmokk said:

Speaking of an ability to research bans on the OF, it would be more useful to maybe have a dialog with the new leadership over there about those bands, as far as the regulars here are concerned. The Sap did everything in secret. I am sure he even hid his actions from his superiors, not that I think the old leadership cared one way or another.

Contrary to what people display us like on the OF, a good number here is friendly to the game, still plays, even pays. And things have calmed down quite a bit and recent changes to the actual game have been much more welcomed than Kate Paiz' pet projects wasting away the little money that was available.

Bango, I retract the "you baited" thing. I don't want to suffer from selective memory about particular individuals. I don't think you are a nice forum person over there, but I'll not claim you baited people into being banned by The Sap, much less doing it for him. I even apologize for jumping on it.  (I plan not to edit my original post so that I don't fake history but I could if you prefer)

Thank you. I may be called many things, some of which are more than likely to be true but a brown-nosing baiter is certainly not one of them :)

No need to edit your previous posts.

5 hours ago, Amenhir said:

Those don't award trait points, save for what you get by leveling.  You still have to go back and do HD if you choose.  The essence gear all but negates virtues as a maxxed virtue only pads the stats but isn't nearly as important as they were.  I know they sold virtues long before essences were a thing.  That doesn't mean they should.  I'm sure they'll offer trait points in the store at some point.  Perhaps they'll do a poll and side with vocal minority this time.

Indeed with GotV and BotV one doesn't get the trait points obtained from the class deeds, vol 2 epic etc, but a jump from 1 to 95 is a big enough paid-for-advancement (and an expensive one too) to make the purchase of individual trait points rather insignificant in the scheme of things.

8 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

And thus the troll departeth for his home under the bridge... that is the OF.

Seen your shrink lately? Perhaps you should ask for a review of your meds.

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On 1.05.2016 at 6:49 PM, Darmokk said:

It still is a problem business-wise, not talking about the license.

MMORPGs are trust-based. They are huge investments for the user, the customer.  Thousands of hours. Now potentially thousands of dollars.

A business should know that it needs to communicate as soon as possible when issues come up that threaten the project as a whole. Nobody can require a business to do that for one specific game, however if you leave people feel cheated your entire brand of games goes straight to hell.

Much of the player base would understand much better that there might be an end to the game (or to new developments) due to the license. Honestly saying so would work to a certain degree, as people understand this is out of Turbine's hands.

Trying to milk people as long as possible while keeping the fundamental issue that the license is a secret is a sure way to lose trust. Nobody would ever trust a WB game again. And that would be because of communication issues, not license issues.

Oh please.

Those who still play Lotro at this point are either hardcore diehard players who will play Lotro till the end no matter what or more random players who don't follow forums, Twitter, etc  and don't have or want any info about licensing, etc

Your point would be valid in 2007-2010, but now when Lotro is old forgotten game, MMORPGs are in decline and Turbine is odd regional developer studio doing mobile games?   Not really.

Sales of other WB games like those AAA Batman games or mobile games don't depend on what happens to Lotro.  Most those consumers don't know Lotro even exist. 

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5 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

At this point, Turbine may as well just sell the essences themselves, as that will complete the conversion of the game into something completely despicable.

That's the best you can do?  You truly are a failure at everything you do....

/yawn... zzzzzz

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On 5/2/2016 at 4:50 PM, Amenhir said:

It's funny that Mr. Christopher Tolkien likes to cry out that his father would not approve of such treatment of his works.  Tolkien sold the film, stage and merchandising rights to UA in 68'.  UA then sold those to SZ a few years after Tolkien died.  Considering all the academic and literary achievements Prof. Tolkien acquired in his lifetime it would seem odd that he would be suckered into something he didn't want to do.  The films being hugely successful, I think the Tolkien Estate is butthurt that they don't control those rights.  It always seems they're in the middle of some lawsuit.  I guess the big issue is that when those contracts were drawn up "gaming" wasn't a thing.  Does that loosely fall under some kind of merchandising?  I have no idea.

Tolkien initially  sold the rights of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in 1964 to William L. Snyder for just peanuts because he needed the money to keep the family going- these rights were to last only until  June 1966. He was not happy but he had no choice because he was not making much money from his job .He then sold the rights again to UA in 1968/69 for apparently just $ 250,000 which is nothing, some sources say it was even less than that. These money were used to pay a huge tax bill he could not afford otherwise.  Tolkien was notoriously very bitter about having to sell the rights of his work in fear of what could have been done with it. He famously snubbed Disney when they approached him from the US. Christopher Tolkien is the only one still alive that has a direct knowledge and understanding of his father's feelings about this issue. The Tolkien Estate  is understandably very protective of Tolkien legacy and their rights and they still retain royalties and control of many aspects of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, especially after the famous lawsuits with New Line Cinema  and Warner Brothers.  I think we easily assume that if he was alive he would have  been against his work been used like it is today. 

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It will likely be renewed IMHO.    Simply so the rights are in hand, rather than letting them go to competitors.  Sadly LOTRO masses will see this as a sign of success, where in reality it is much more akin to "warehousing" web addresses back in the day.

It's interesting to ponder just what JRR would make of all this.  Lately with LOTRO I think he would certainly be saying, "this is taking the piss now"

But hey, America, Profit, etc.....

 

I have to mention that in the anniversay stream Vyv mentioned U18 as her fave moment - the polish of the build, watching her team come together to release a great update.

 

Hmmmm.    It was also sad to see prominent LOTRO streamers in the chat literally butt lick as things went along, assurance that these people stream from a frankly mindwashed state, everything is awesome!!!

 

They are still repeating the same mistakes - concentrate on Epic Story, ignore loot pools or replay factor.  

 

Oh well.

 

Edit for weird double post

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On 5/6/2016 at 3:16 PM, RedMaggu said:

Hmmmm.    It was also sad to see prominent LOTRO streamers in the chat literally butt lick as things went along, assurance that these people stream from a frankly mindwashed state, everything is awesome!!!

 

I think fellate is more apt.  However,  I'm a cynical bastard.  When I see some of the usual people and the comments they make I cringe and roll my eyes.  Every time I see KoolKKyle's name I can't help but be reminded of the KKK.  Of course that's probably just me and my misanthropic ways.  I'm probably the problem and everyone else is fine.

One of the streamer's quit.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm not aware of any speeding up. Consider the diversions along the way: Dunland, Eastemnet, Westemnet, Gondor in several pieces... If we were making a mad dash to Mordor we would have followed Frodo's route and never visited anything West of the mountains; we'd be there by now.

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46 minutes ago, Almagnus1 said:

Or they're just planning on getting us to the black gate, and back to Gondor, and then returning to the shire without anything else between it.

Shire works for me.

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19 hours ago, Brrokk said:

I'm not aware of any speeding up. Consider the diversions along the way: Dunland, Eastemnet, Westemnet, Gondor in several pieces... If we were making a mad dash to Mordor we would have followed Frodo's route and never visited anything West of the mountains; we'd be there by now.

Making a mad dash to Mordor is a slightly more recent decision that's heavily influenced by business and licensing concerns. Detours through Southern Mirkwood and the inexplicably huge amount of time we spent with the Dunlandings were decisions made on someone else's watch, and in a far different business climate.

There was literally never going to be a scenario in which players didn't at least pass through both Rohan & Gondor.

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