Jump to content
LOTROCommunity
Sign in to follow this  
Tarantula

Letter from Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini: A Look Ahead

Recommended Posts

Microtransactions are here to stay, there is too much money in them.  Loot boxes need to change so that there is nothing in them that gives an in game advantage.  They should be full of cosmetics, mounts exp scrolls etc.  I suspect most people would be ok with that, knowing that they are not going away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Loot boxes need to go away, period.  I don't mind micro-transactions.  WoW and FFXIV have them but they're all fluff really--mounts, cosmetics, housing items...the fact that those items are on the store doesn't bother me because it's a direct, honest purchase.  There is nothing direct or honest about a loot box.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, cossieuk said:

Microtransactions are here to stay, there is too much money in them.  Loot boxes need to change so that there is nothing in them that gives an in game advantage.  They should be full of cosmetics, mounts exp scrolls etc.  I suspect most people would be ok with that, knowing that they are not going away.

Wait, how is an exp scroll not an advantage?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Doro said:

Wait, how is an exp scroll not an advantage?

I dont see faster leveling in Lotro as an advantage, it does not give you any benefits over other players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cossieuk said:

I dont see faster leveling in Lotro as an advantage, it does not give you any benefits over other players.

It most certainly does.

Getting to max level faster = taking advantage of the initial zerg to gear up with all the powergamers; finding groups of "competent" (i.e. players with tons of plugins and keybindings) groupmates quickly, spamming instances/raids in that brief window of where what's left of the powergamers fully gear up.

Once that window has closed, players are doomed to slog through the same instances and raids with players who don't know their own asses from a hole in the ground, and progression is bottlenecked by a lack of interest in running the content once all the "kewl dewds" are already geared up.  Leveling as fast as possible is the ONLY way to be competitive in such a small, insular playerbase.  XP scrolls are absolutely a pay-to-win advantage.

Lootboxes are most certainly gambling, yet as EA is getting bent over by the world right now.....LOTRO has been doing it for years.  Where is the oversight and accountability on Turbine/SSG?  Where is the outrage? It's a rhetorical question.  LOTRO's playerbase is way too small to warrant public outrage and scrutiny by the media.  They couldn't even be bothered to report SSG's false advertisement re: Mordor.

The producer letter is just a pile of bullshit.  He didn't address a single one of the compounding issues that has been tanking the game for years (poor engine optimization, unfinished premium classes, skills that have not worked correctly in years, if ever at all, the premium player race that was advertised as included in the latest expansion that is still gated behind a paywall, just to name a few)....and certainly nothing about the hot topic that no one ever asked for, and that no one wants (except for the whales, whom SSG depend upon to keep LOTRO operational).  That letter wasn't meant for us.  It was meant for the shareholders and the mouthbreathing fanbois.  Nothing more.

My only other comment on the matter is this.  Cordovan is one of the biggest assholes in gaming, and he has absolutely no business interacting with the community.  He better enjoy his power trip while he can, because once the SSG gravy-train ends, gaming studios aren't going to touch him with a 10 foot pole.

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?659957-SSG-what-is-the-date-for-the-games-closing

Yeah, it's a stupid thread, but the CM's ONE JOB is to say "We have no plans to shut down LOTRO", instead of being a massive cockmaster in an attempt to amuse the shills and fanbois.  Answer the fucking question and don't be a douche to your community members.  Is that too much to ask from a COMMUNITY RELATIONS MANAGER?

Anyway, loot boxes will disappear once they're either against the law or cost more to license than they could possibly charge for them.  It will almost certainly cripple SSG's revenue to the point where they have to shut down LOTRO, if not their entire studio.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are loot boxes any different than over the counter collectable cards that people have been buying for decades? Just a question for debate purposes, not a fan of loot boxes invading video games myself, I do however not have a problem with them in CCGs

So I think they are fine in games like hearthstone 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, let's use Pokémon cards as an example (although it's no different for Magic).

Years ago, I paid $120 for a factory box of dozens upon dozens of packs of Pokémon cards.  The rarest card from that particular set was a Dark Raichu, that was selling for hundreds of dollars.  Out of that entire set, I landed one Dark Raichu, that could have actually paid for the entire factory box, and then some.  I wasn't in it for the money though, I was just a collector, and the card didn't make me more competitive or give me an advantage over other players (in fact, I used a cookie-cutter deck called "Ferocious Commons" that consisted of cheap, ultra-common cards--the gimmick was that they were all basic Pokémon whose attacks could be unlocked with a single energy card, allowing you to get the first hits while your opponents were still trying to gather energy cards, often defeating them before they could even attack).  I wasn't gambling, I was just blowing money.  I wasn't expecting a Dark Raichu, I was simply pleasantly surprised when I opened it.  The distinction is clear to me, but it won't ever be clear to people who spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on loot boxes in video games.

The difference is that with trading cards, you receive a commodity.  Something tangible.  Something you can hold in your hands and, more importantly, resell, even if at a loss.  In the case of Battlefront II, you're not paying for a commodity, or anything tangible.  You're paying to simply function at a competent, competitive level in the game you already paid $60 for.  And if you choose to not participate in pay-to-win, you are punished.  It's tantamount to extortion.  That's the reason for all the backlash.  Now, is LOTRO that bad?  I would say not.  It's certainly annoying, and I've personally always resented the existence of lootboxes.  And in SSG's defense (can't believe I just typed that), loot boxes and keys each drop in game, plus premium/VIPs kind of sort of get them for free via Hobbit Boxes.  But when you pay extra money in order to unlock extra lootboxes........THAT is gambling.  And people were poised to spend thousands in Battlefront II just to unlock and power up Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, something that would have taken MONTHS of gameplay otherwise.

Now, on the other side of my own argument, there WERE and still are people out there who mine factory boxes of trading cards for super rares....very similar to computer techs who buy computers just for the GPUs so they can mine for potential bitcoin.  Buying 500 packs of Magic cards with the specific goal of scoring a Black Lotus would HAVE to be defined as gambling, although in that case you will have scored enough rares and very rares to more than recoup your expense, though it would take time and effort to do so.  It's more about the mindset, and whether you have any control over your actions.  But in EA's case with Battlefront II, you were left with absolutely no choice, and your own self control was irrelevant.  You HAD to pay for more lootboxes, because the natural progression in getting them was too slow in order to compete with the whales who were always going to pay as much money as possible to become competitive first.

Meanwhile, back in LOTRO, the simple fact of the matter is that lootboxes are keeping the game from being cancelled, and few can even attempt to argue with that.  That's SSG's primary source of income.  My own personal issue with this is the following; I would rather a game stand on its own merits than have to rely on the community's lack of self control in order to stay afloat.  Without lootboxes, all those fanbois and shills will open their eyes and see how shitty LOTRO has become, and they'll stop subbing.  And you know what?  That's exactly what I want to see happen.  Because these gaming studios need to be reminded that what gamers want is GOOD GAMES, instead of shitty games propped up by trust fund babies with disposable income and no self-control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, cossieuk said:

I dont see faster leveling in Lotro as an advantage, it does not give you any benefits over other players.

Then better loot isn't an advantage either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, cossieuk said:

Not in Lotro since you need to be near or at level cap for Freep

Since when? I used to take under-levelled characters to the Moors all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Doro said:

Since when? I used to take under-levelled characters to the Moors all the time.

Even if that is the case exp scrolls offer you no advantage as Creeps are at max level

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, cossieuk said:

Even if that is the case exp scrolls offer you no advantage as Creeps are at max level

Except exp scrolls offer you an advantage as a Freep. The higher your level, your more dangerous you are to Creeps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Doro said:

Except exp scrolls offer you an advantage as a Freep. The higher your level, your more dangerous you are to Creeps.

You think that leveling up a freep faster so that it is the same level as a creep is an advantage

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, cossieuk said:

You think that leveling up a freep faster so that it is the same level as a creep is an advantage

Yes, I think any paid-for method of improving a character is an advantage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Microtransactions in general are an issue entirely separate from in-game gambling that is rooted at real-world money and leads to any kind of potential reward. Regardless of whether the reward is real-world or in-game. If it starts at real money and there is a large chance to lose the money it is gambling for money.

I don't think anybody can expect the latter to stand up to scrutiny in jurisdictions where gambling for money is regulated.

LOTRO is just too small to go after them with the attorney general here in MA.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Eh, if they take the FFXIV approach to PvP (where every class is assigned stats and has ~10 skills, down from the PvE 36 or so), then all gear does is make you look pretty.  That and LotRO would need to replace the name with the class (so you only see Captains, hunters, guards, champs, and Valar mini instead of char name).

It's too late in the LotRO PvMP scene for a change like that to work, and I'm convinced that something of that nature is absolutely required to balance PvP in an MMO because otherwise there's too many vairables in play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Microtransactions  are not the problem, the problem is the gambling nature of those loot boxes.

On it's core the loot boxes provides a temporary and short excitement and it meant to get people addict so they will use this again while spending money.

If a gamining company wants to turn their game into p2w it's one thing, but what we witness right now is the gaming industry is slowly turning into a casino.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, berry said:

Microtransactions  are not the problem, the problem is the gambling nature of those loot boxes.

On it's core the loot boxes provides a temporary and short excitement and it meant to get people addict so they will use this again while spending money.

If a gamining company wants to turn their game into p2w it's one thing, but what we witness right now is the gaming industry is slowly turning into a casino.

I'm at the other end of the spectrum here. I couldn't give a shit about including micro-transactions or loot boxes, as long as what can be gained from them are still achievable in-game in a viable way. My problem is when they start locking anything (and that includes so-called "fluff" like cosmetics) behind a pay wall, or when they start making it impractical to try to earn them through a legitimate in-game way.

I have no concern about the gambling aspect, other than there are stupid kids playing who will get hooked, and I'd much prefer a higher age rating than to cater it more towards kids. It's a clever way for companies to make money off of whales who CHOOSE to gamble. But when they force it on everyone, with no alternative, it's an issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×