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Vastin Takes a Dig at Dissatisfied Customers


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https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?664684-Blue-Line-Hunter-needs-to-be-fixed-urgently!-Listen-to-the-paying-customers&p=7844037#post7844037

And of course, Cordovan doing what he always does, label negative feedback and dissatisfaction as "extensive insults and harassment".

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?664534-Blue-line-hunter-survey&p=7843563#post7843563

Par for the course for LOTRO staff; ignoring feedback and closing threads in order to censor concerns and refute dissatisfaction in future.

I sincerely hope this is the final nail that buries this gaming studio.  Middle Earth deserves better.

It also deserves a dev team who actually play the damned game they're developing more than an hour a week for a webcast...

You cannot double down on defending poor choices and taking shots at the people who are literally keeping you employed by a gaming studio already on thin ice.  It's just incredibly stupid.  They DESERVE to fail, and that's all there is to it.

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13 hours ago, Jedy2 said:

I read Vaist, and apart from the "reknowned" word, there is nothing I would disagree with, or consider offensive towards anyone. 

Maybe actually read the threads, and get a feel for the level of utter dissatisfaction 80% of the paying customers have at the moment, and watch as their dissatisfaction is passively dismissed by SSG staff members who don't even play the game (and who certainly don't play blue hunters).

That's....not how you treat your clientele.  At least if you want to stay in business.  Vastin is essentially telling customers, some of which have been playing hunters...the most popular class in the game...since 2007, "it's fine l2p".

It's a bold move, Cotton.  Let's see if it pays off for them.....

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13 hours ago, Jedy2 said:

I read Vaist, and apart from the "reknowned" word, there is nothing I would disagree with, or consider offensive towards anyone. 

Yeah, it's not necessarily offensive or the like, but I can definitely see some points this Vastin fella's said that have more between the lines than at first glance.

The first half of the post is basically him saying "I made all the changes without really knowing what I was doing but just messed around for a bit on a Hunter and worked from there". Sloppy, but you can't expect much else if these devs don't play the game like actual players do. They're fumbling in the dark like a blind choirboy in a dark confessional.

However, there's this part:

"I encourage people to simply play the game, try out builds and new play patterns and see what works best for you - or ask others for advice. If I know anything about our more experienced players, it is that they are more than willing to give you any and all the advice you might need to get your build working effectively. I tried to balance the skills to a point where several different builds should be functionally effective within the hunter trees, so there should be plenty of space there to explore."

To me, that sounds a lot like telling people to not complain and deal with it. If you're not a fan of the new build or rotations, then you're just not an experienced player and need to be asking for help, or you just not playing or exploring the build properly. A sentiment he follows up in the next sentence where he says:

"The Hunter class clearly remains powerful enough that even novice or casual players should be able to manage even when employing simplified skill patterns or sub optimal gearing & builds."

No one should be complaining unless they're below the level of novice or casual and using less than simple skill patterns and terrible builds, because hunters are fine. He says in the line after that he's fine for suggestions, but they're not rolling anything back so anyone that wants it can go screw. They're just noobs anyway, right? Not enough experimenting and good gear, that's their problem. Sounds like the kind of dev that thinks his half-assed decisions on a class outweigh all those people who have perfected certain builds. Those same people he's dismissing and needing their hand held to work out the new changes.

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I don't know about the politics of dealing with paying customers here. Factually he's correct. My Blue Hunter is stuttering a bit, but his DPS is now higher than my fellow RKs who used to outscore him by LOADS. RKs - yes those could (and do) curse and swear. I reserve judgment on New, Silly Chord Blue Minstrel. Blue Hunter rage is a joke. *

 

*Caveat - I don't raid on Hunter (too many of those in kin ;) ) - just use him for dailies, instances, gathering tasks etc... Still - see only minimal drop in efficiency. 

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My hunter is fine and I am pretty casual with my approach to the game - those blue line hunters need to try a little bit more - sorry that their 3+ year old rotations don't work anymore but they need to get over it - classes change over time and my hunter at 115 is nothing like my hunter at 50, or 65 or whatever

Personally it is still my main and I am having a blast with it - ymmv obviously

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People are pissy because they abandoned their red LIs or got rid of them all together in favor of blue line.  There are also the people that picked up hunter when they found out it was the fotm and now they're pissed they have to even bother with new LIs.  That's not SSGs fault.  I gave up on the game but out of morbid curiosity I keep relatively up to date on changes, or when they finally turn off the servers.

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12 hours ago, Amenhir said:

That's not SSGs fault.

Well, yeah it is.

Turbine/SSG made LOTRO too grindy in order to squeeze $$$ out of impulsive shills.  That's why no one plays it any more.  At least 80% of the few remaining players (and more importantly, the remaining subscribers) have a hunter (which is the most popular class in the game, such as it is).  Those hunters were given a shiny new toy called the revamped blue line, which they latched onto and found enjoyment in a platform where there simply isn't much enjoyment to be had anymore.  Then the toy was taken away from them and broken.  Then it was given back to them and they were told "deal with it, it's fine" by the man who broke it.  They're not going to bother with that toy anymore.  In fact, they're going to stop loving the caretakers, and are probably going to find a new game to play.

And that's clearly what SSG wants.  So be it.  I eagerly anticipate the day when LOTRO is shut down, so that the IP can be secured by a competent gaming studio who actually cares about its players' enjoyment of the product, and less about much weed they can inhale before a webcast.

I also eagerly anticipate the day Cordovan is compelled to employ his horrible customer relations skills in a more worthy setting; namely asking customers if they would like fries with their burgers...

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20 hours ago, psalm8818 said:

 

And that's clearly what SSG wants.  So be it.  I eagerly anticipate the day when LOTRO is shut down, so that the IP can be secured by a competent gaming studio who actually cares about its players' enjoyment of the product, and less about much weed they can inhale before a webcast.

 

Do you really think there will be another MMO based around LOTR.

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2 hours ago, cossieuk said:

Do you really think there will be another MMO based around LOTR.

Beats me.  There certainly could be.  Middle Earth has a huge fanbase now (certainly far more than before Jackson's films).  But as long as SSG (and, by extension, Theybreak Games) has a stranglehold on the IP, there's no chance.

A LOTR TV series is under production.  I don't know if it will be any good, and I don't know if it will renew interest in the IP among gamers.  But it's the best chance in years.

LOTRO began its life as "Middle Earth Online", announced during the hype of the LOTR films.  Unfortunately, Turbine Studios are idiots, and it took them nearly half a decade to release a product (which was actually a good game when it was released.....before Warner Brothers and F2Pers got their hands on it....).  They missed the hype.

They missed the hype again during the Hobbit films (one of which featured an advertisement for WORLD OF WARCRAFT amid its trailers, rather than LOTRO), with just a pandering nod toward the Lonely Mountain.  It didn't work.

And they'll miss the hype again with this TV series, because they're idiots.  That's why my fingers are crossed that the sanctions on the Russian oligarch(s) who calls the shots at Theybreak Games ends up closing down SSG and LOTRO once and for all.

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On 6/10/2018 at 3:21 PM, psalm8818 said:

Well, yeah it is.

 

Nah, not really.  They can be blamed for a lot of stuff but people destroying their LIs because they don't feel it's needed isn't one of them.  I hardly used red line or blue line on my champ, but I still had LIs, just in case.

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3 hours ago, Amenhir said:

Nah, not really.  They can be blamed for a lot of stuff but people destroying their LIs because they don't feel it's needed isn't one of them.  I hardly used red line or blue line on my champ, but I still had LIs, just in case.

It's not a question of destroying them, it's a question of there not being enough hours in a day to farm and grind LIs for three different specs in order to prepare for whatever bullshit the devs throw at players with each new update.  Even the fanbois are getting tired of that, and they are jumping ship.

No one should be forced to buy an entire new wardrobe when people who don't even play the game make fundamental changes to it.  That drives paying customers away to other games, which is precisely what has been happening since LI's were introduced. 

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15 hours ago, Almagnus1 said:

No, LotR has slipped from the general public consciousness...

So unless there's another TV series that brings it back (or another movie going over stuff from the Silmarillion), LotR is going to return to being a niche thing - so here's to hoping https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/13/arts/television/lord-of-the-rings-series-amazon.html helps bring the franchise back from the brink.

At least LotR hasn't been Star Wars'd.

You haven't heard that Amazon is developing a LOTR series? From what has been reported (and I really haven't been following the news), it will not be set in the "present" of the books, but it will follow Aragorn's adventures in the past.

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I think the best chance of a new game will come once Christopher Tolkien dies and then the rights for the first and second age would be available.  This could open up some more of the world and gives developers a lot of space to work.  For me the second age offer the most opportunists as I feel there is less written about that then the first or third age.

However I dont see a new MMO, more likely more games like Shadow of Mordor.

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1 hour ago, Almagnus1 said:

IMO MMOs work best when you have a shadowy force that you're fighting against that you never really beat.

Given that Morgoth was defeated at the end of the first age... what was there to fight against for the second age?

Sauron was not the only Maiar to side with Morgoth, just come up with another who tries to take his place.

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8 minutes ago, cossieuk said:

Sauron was not the only Maiar to side with Morgoth, just come up with another who tries to take his place.

Not to mention any number of corrupt, powerhungry elvish and dwarvish kings, and especially mankind, who even in Tolkien's mind wrote the book on corrupt powerhunger (whereas Turbine/SSG has written the appendix....)

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Considering the new trend is to just copy Game of Thrones, I'm guessing they're going to try to make something dark (and I don't mean just because they'll cast a load of non-whites for white roles, which they inevitably do), full of political double-crossing (and probably a lot of political "progressiveness", which they inevitably do), and a lot of bad fantasy tropes.

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It's crystal clear Vastin is in over his head, and he doesn't know what he's doing.

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?664830-22-2-2-Today-s-Patch-Lingering-Wound-Stealth-Nerf

He literally broke a skill, then hopped on the OF trying to defend it, contradicting himself in the process.

I know everyone is all like "Hey, at least he communicates with the community herp herp!"  What he NEEDS to do is actually play the game, learn the classes and specs he's fucking up even more than they already were, and stop trying to balance pve around pvmp (which is clearly the only thing anyone at Standing Stoned Games is actually doing in LOTRO).

Or better yet, keep being a total moron, dry up the remaining subscriber base, lose his job and go take some refresher courses at Devry Institute.....

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9 minutes ago, psalm8818 said:

and stop trying to balance pve around pvmp (which is clearly the only thing anyone at Standing Stoned Games is actually doing in LOTRO).

Not by what I've seen of the Ettens, it's in the worst state since the game's release. If any devs are looking at PvP at all, they're doing so with cataracts.

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Yeah, props to him that he admitted he fucked up. Still, him fucking up because he's a dev that doesn't actually know what the classes do and doesn't even seem to play the game, well that's just laziness. Either he oversold himself to his higher-ups about his competency, or he was thrown in at the deep end. Surely they have at least one person in the whole of Turbine 2.0 that knows the classes as well as players do, right?

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13 hours ago, Jedy2 said:

He fucked up. 

When shown it - admitted publicly. 

Rare.

Anyone who calls him a moron - better have a look at yourself.

 

On the third hand..... https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?664842-22-2-2-broke-minstrel-Raise-Spirit-HoT

I think I'll just give up...

 

Listen, I understand he's only human, and that there's only so much one human can do.  The issue is that he thought it would be cute to jump in to the discourse, scold all the dissatisfied customers and assert that he knows better than them, and then shut down the discussion (see OP), yet now are all these examples that illustrate he clearly doesn't know better than the people who actually play the classes and the game, and that he's actually made a slew of unintentional changes.  "I apologize" isn't going to cut it, especially after that snarky, condescending jab.

He clearly doesn't know what he's doing AT ALL, and SSG had no business releasing an update in such a piss-poor state.  People on Bullroaror tried to tell him all this crap was broken, and they pleaded with him to fix them.  But he ignored them, just like he ignored the blue-line hunters who begged him not to balance the entire tree around pvmp.  Instead, like so many people today, he only listened to the praise, the ass-kissing, and the pats on the back from shills, most of whom were strict pvmpers who simply weren't skilled enough to counter blue hunters.

The german server stat page shows logins at an all-time low since the update.  Virtually everyone still playing had a blue hunter, either as a main or an alt.  Vastin's incompetence has affected the majority of remaining players, most of whom are sick and tired of having to completely regear, retrait, and relearn h2p with every shitty update.  He IS a moron, for not having listened to the feedback provided during testing, and for only listening to the folks who were saying what he wanted to "hear."  But as subs evaporate and revenue continues to fall, he's going to be told all of this from his bosses.  I only wonder if it was them that forced him to crap out such a horrible update in such an awful state?  But then again, that is exactly the same thing that's been said about almost every single update since Evendim….

 

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4 hours ago, Woeg said:

Didn't many of the LOTRO programs from Turbine go to SSG ?  And my understanding was that anyone that new anything about the underpinnings of the LOTRO code at Turbine had long ago sailed to the west

 

SSG, like Turbine before it, is a developer's playground. There is no real project management going on, and it shows. They "develop" features right up until the release date, and drop whatever is done (or half-done) as a completed package. Severlin is the Executive Producer, and I assume that means one of his jobs is to act as a project manager. The PM typically determines the projects that should be included in a particular release, defines the scope of each project, and works with the development QA managers to determine the amount of time the project requires for completion and testing, as well as to determine which resources should be assigned to the project. None of that really seems to happen in the Turbine/SSG world. It seems like the developers are given a general direction and set loose to code on a whim.

In this type of environment, QA is a joke. There is simply no way QA can test and sign off on a feature when it is changing in fundamental ways 2 days before the release date. It shows when obvious bugs like the Lingering Wound or War-Chant issues were allowed to go live, not to mention the issue with some LM skills like Water-Lore not ticking the initial damage/heal or the missing cocoon in an intro quest.

I was in the closed beta for both RoI and RoR, and finally gave up trying to give feedback or test because they were literally changing the landscape and quest flow every few days, right up until the release dates.

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