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The Saga of Self Destructing SSG continues


Tarantula
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Yesterday, Cordovan posted this announcement:

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?&postid=8118189#post8118189

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Hello! We are writing today to let you know about some changes arriving in Update 32 to the way you get and spend Embers of Enchantment, Motes of Enchantment, and Figments of Splendour. We want to clarify the value of each currency, better control their distribution, and improve the overall player experience when it comes to acquiring and spending these currencies.

Here's the short version, with further detail below:
1. We are significantly increasing the cap on these currencies. For example, Embers of Enchantment will now cap at 100,000, ten times higher than it is now.
2. There will be no currency barter exchange between these currencies. Motes and Embers will no longer convert to Figments of Splendour.
3. When we increase the level cap, or during other large item level update intervals, all of your existing Embers of Enchantment will automatically become Motes.
4. The sources of Embers of Enchantment will continue to change as our newest content changes. The only gear that disenchants into Embers will come from Adventurer’s Lootboxes.

Here's the breakdown as it looks for each ingredient:
Embers of Enchantment:
Embers continue to be our cap level currency used to barter for cap level gear.
  • The only gear in-game that will disenchant into Embers will come from Adventurer's (level cap) Lootboxes.
  • Embers will no longer barter into either Figments of Splendour or Motes of Enchantment.
  • In Update 32 and other large item level jumps we will version all existing Embers of Enchantment in your wallet into Motes of Enchantment. Any gear that could previously be acquired with Embers will also change to require Motes at the same time.
  • The Embers of Enchantment cap is being increased to 100,000 with Update 32.

Motes of Enchantment:
  • Motes will continue to be exchanged for leveling gear. Uncommon quality Enhancement Runes will also be available for Motes, including cap level Runes, once the item level cap for Legendary Items has matured in that level band. This will allow you to more quickly catch up your Legendary Items when the time is appropriate.
  • Motes no longer convert to Figments of Splendour.
  • Motes continue to come from disenchanting certain gear acquired in-game in addition to gear from Traveller's Lootboxes.
  • The Motes of Enchantment cap is being increased to 500,000 with Update 32.

Figments of Splendour:
  • Figments of Splendour continue to be used to barter for cosmetics. We intend to rotate available cosmetics through the Figments vendors over time.
  • New cosmetic items will be more expensive than existing items when they are first introduced.
  • The Figments of Splendour cap is being increased to 20,000 with Update 32.

Thank you for your time in reading this and we look forward to hearing from you about these changes. We intend to release these changes with Update 32 in February, and we'll have more information about the update as we get closer to it.
 

Soon after players started to respond in this thread, which has since then exploded:

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?692005-Changes-to-Motes-Ember-Figments

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From the Announcement we can't tell what are your intentions, for something that sounds rly stupid at first read.
Of course what shines through is Pay2Win.
How do you get Embers now? Are the weeklies still working?
Give us your full intentions and final design behind it instead of giving us an announcement, which makes for us players no sense at all.
Also why increase the caps if you can't get it anyway ?!
Technically this will also make people run less instances, so a decrease in motivation and endgame... Perfect!
So far this is: Increase prices for everything, but takeaway normal ways to get ressources.

Keep reading in next post (upon posting second post the forum magician merged them into one post):


This afternoon dear old Oleg/Raninia attempted to temper the waters:

post 272 here: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?692005-Changes-to-Motes-Ember-Figments/page11

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Alright, gonna go ahead and see if I can provide some answers and context on stuff here. I was the big driver of this change, so any frustrations or questions can be (politely) directed at me and I'll do my best to address it. Any successes are the team's. I don't ever really remember to look at my Private Messages, so I encourage you to keep responding to this thread, and I'll continue to read and respond as I'm able.

I've picked out a few consistent concerns and questions I've seen, and resp [sic]

Quote Originally Posted by Fureo View Post

From the Announcement we can't tell what are your intentions, for something that sounds rly stupid at first read.
 

I think it's fair to say we could've done more to indicate our intentions, so let me do so here. There were a few different reasons we wanted to make these changes:

Embers:
- The purpose of Embers was to act as a way to mitigate being unlucky with RNG. However, what it turned into was the fastest and best way to get the gear. We don't want players to run things that aren't the content the gear comes from as their primary way of getting that gear. In looking at why this was happening, the disenchanting of gear from any tier of any group instance was obviously where the bulk of Embers were coming from, in a way that really pushed players to grind to maximize their time. And especially, grind lower tier content to get higher tier gear. So that's why we removed the gear disenchant option to Embers. We'll have more ways to earn Embers when this goes live, and we'll be balancing around how many Embers a player can earn without opening lootboxes, as that's how most players play and we want to make sure you're still able to consistently get the gear you want... but the way we want you to get most of your pieces is by running the content where it drops.

- Embers being barterable into Motes and Figments never made a lot of sense to me, and in discussions with the team and observing player interactions, led to a lot of unintentional consequences we didn't like. Most players were converting into these other currencies because they were hitting the cap so often, and didn't really value them. This is generally ok for Motes - I'll explain why below - but less so for Figments - which I'll also explain below. Removing the ability to losslessly barter these currencies allowed us to feel much more comfortable raising the caps dramatically - of everything besides Figments, which I'll explain below. Breaking apart this relationship meant that we could better tailor rewards to players and give them good amounts of each of those things without having to worry that we were giving them game-breaking amounts, for example, so now we have the opportunity to give you Embers in places where it makes sense you'd care about them, and know that you're going to use them on the cap-level gear.

- The versioning is important for a few reasons:
1. It gives us a lot more flexibility to raise the currency cap, because if something goes wrong in a particular cycle and we give out too many sources of Embers, we can be comfortable that we haven't wrecked progression for Updates to come.
2. Similarly - and the reason the cap existed in the first place - Embers were a currency that only ever increased in value as you kept it. The best times to spend it were either when you were capped out or in the next Update, because the gear in the future would generally be better than the gear in the past. That turned it a completely different thing than we wanted it for. As mentioned above, the goal for Embers is to give you a way to mitigate bad luck, but if spending it is often the wrong move long term, it doesn't feel great no matter what you do with it. Versioning Embers into Motes lets us make it clear what Embers are for and give you lossless value without making you want to hoard it forever.
3. One of the issues we ran into was that in order to properly price new gear, we had to keep moving the price up and up until you basically needed to have Embers capped to spend it. This wasn't exactly a great experience for players. Versioning lets us maintain more consistent pricing, limits how much we need to increase prices as we roll out smaller content updates, and make it such that we can set them more sensibly in general. Even though we're increasing the cap by an order of magnitude, prices won't increase to match.
4. Versioning specifically Motes also lets us re-establish Motes as the catch up currency - more below - and lets us move gear that won't be top-end into Motes at that time, so it'll be even easier for players to catch up.

- We're going to add more sources of Embers. Some of those will be new repeatables, but we can now also do more one-off grants from different sources, such as landscape quests - the Epic, for example - and the Reward Track. One-off grants will generally be bigger than any of the repeatables, but now they'll be valuable and won't feel nearly as bad to get, where before a one-off could've easily overwhelmed your capped amount. Similarly, we won't be just multiplying the pricing by 10x as we did the cap, so you'll still gain value from these.

Motes
- The purpose of Motes was to essentially be a catch up currency, either for yourself or for your alts. You can also use it to get gear that has cosmetics you value. Now that we'll be versioning more consistently, we can do a better job of shifting stuff over to Motes more often so catch up is easier, and it gives us the opportunity to do more consolidation.

- With Motes no longer being barterable, we can also add more catch up things to it, like the Enhancement Runes mentioned in the announcement. This is something I'm personally pretty excited for, as it opens up a lot of great possibilities for improving the pre-cap experience. We're discussing more ways of taking advantage of that, and will have more to announce in the future.

- Motes are going to still be available to disenchant from gear because we want to maintain the Motes sourcing, even when you're doing max content. Motes will be pretty easily and reliable gained from multiple sources.

- Because of all this, we want to make it easier for you to hold onto a lot of Motes, so we've dramatically increased the cap to match. There's also an element of protection here to make sure we don't accidentally overdo it, but we're not versioning Motes to anything else.

Figments
- We're looking at the pricing structure we currently have. Giving the player a bigger cap will make it a bit easier for us to adjust pricing, but we're not planning to double the cap and then double all the costs, there's no value in doing so. We aren't increasing or changing Figments as dramatically because they're still an eternal currency in this model - however many you earn today is as many as you'll have until you spend it. And similar to how Embers are, whenever we add new cosmetics to the barterers, they're available for Figments directly, so your Figments have nominally infinite value. Of course, cosmetics tend to be a bit more subjective than power comparisons, so we expect that most players will get a bit choosier in terms of what cosmetics they prioritize. This is definitely trickiest for players who liked to collect 'em all, but we'll keep an eye on that and see what we can do.

- We're also going to add more sources for Figments, just like are with Embers, again such as with landscape quests and the Reward Track. We'll keep an eye on how acquisition looks for those, as we want to avoid the problems that caused us to make the change for Embers.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Fureo View Post
Of course what shines through is Pay2Win.

We can certainly debate this, but I don't think that's what the end result will be. If we find that players can't acquire gear consistently by playing the game, we'll adjust to improve that.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Fureo View Post
How do you get Embers now? Are the weeklies still working?

Yes, the current other Ember sources will continue to work. And as mentioned above, we'll continue to add Embers in more places.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Fureo View Post
Also why increase the caps if you can't get it anyway ?!

I mostly explained this above, but caps give us flexibility for pricing while also giving us protection in case we make sourcing that currency too easy. That's why the caps have been low for these currencies until now (and why it remains lower on Figments).
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Fureo View Post
Technically this will also make people run less instances, so a decrease in motivation and endgame... Perfect!

I don't think that's what'll happen, but we'll see how it plays out. Part of the goal with this is to increase the value of running the instances that have the gear you want, and to make that the primary way to get gear. Right now, Embers are the best way to get the gear you want, not playing content.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Fureo View Post
So far this is: Increase prices for everything, but takeaway normal ways to get ressources.

So this certainly isn't true for Motes, based on what we described. It's less true for Embers, though of course we are removing some of the "normal" - by which I assume you mean "current" - ways of getting them, but as I've said above, we're adding new ones with 32 and beyond. Figments are definitely in the trickiest position here, but we'll be adding new ways to earn them as well. We'll see how that plays out and adjust as needed.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Nostro44 View Post
Well it's nice they're raising some caps - usually it's the other way around though I can't image how you would ever get 100k embers unless they plan to make them ridiculously easy to obtain.

We expect that most players won't hit the Ember cap like they're used to, but that's ok, because we also expect them to more consistently use their Embers as well, which is the goal. We certainly don't plan on making them ridiculously easy to obtain, but we are going to add more ways to get them.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Nostro44 View Post
No mention on how you're supposed to obtain figments with this update (other than the existing pay to open lootboxes).

Figments will still be available from Festivals, and we'll be adding additional sources in 32, such as with the Reward Track. We'll do landscape quests in the future, not sure if any of those will reward Figments in 32.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Eloriena View Post
You are saying, that can only disenchant Adventure gear into Embers in the note and I hope you just forgot to tell us that we can still disenchant engame instance loot (violet, teal and gold) into Embers as long as it is the current endgame gear...

No, these'll be disenchantable into Motes, not Embers. Only Adventurer's Gear will disenchant into Embers.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by Hierona View Post
I just hope that embers will be pretty easy to obtain. Like, just from running an instance, and a bosschest gives like 1000 embers or something. That way it will not change much, except that you don't have to destroy gear for it.

Repeatable sources of Embers will be more frequent, but I don't think we'd put that amount on boss chests.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by canyouaddcolour View Post
So...

Embers, Motes, Figments will now only come from:

Weeklies, Festivals, Lootboxes and disenchanting lootbox gear/items.

Plus additional sources we add.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by canyouaddcolour View Post
Gear that's bad/useless/outdated (a huge chunk of LOTRO loot by design) will no longer contribute in any small way towards Embers/Motes accrual.

It'll still contribute to Mote accrual, but not Embers.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by canyouaddcolour View Post
The caps are getting raised substantially, which probably means that the barter prices for items will be raised substantially.

We'll see some price growth, but Ember prices will probably stabilize at 2-3x of current prices. We'll see how that plays out. Mote prices probably won't change at all. Figment prices are more variable, but we're not talking about a 2x increase there.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by canyouaddcolour View Post
This is just.. pretty clearly done with the goal of pushing people further towards Black Steel Keys.

To be clear, that's not the intent. We still want players to get the game and get the gear. But we want y'all to play where that gear drops more, as opposed to farming easy content to get the hard gear after earning the deed.
 

 
Quote Originally Posted by canyouaddcolour View Post
I'm just tired, man. I enjoy this game largely due to the people I know, and the world/lore being something that feels like an MMO home. That's all getting harder and harder to enjoy with the horrific instance server lag, painful customer service, unfinished group instances and clear design changes intended to further push people towards store for character progression.

I've played FFXIV off and on since ARR (2.0), but always come back to LOTRO as my 'home' game. Getting harder and harder to justify that.

More power to ya. Enjoy your break, we'll be here when you're ready to come back.

I'll try and come back to this thread periodically over the next few days!

Except this greatly backfired on him. Keep reading.

You may wonder why I have quoted so many posts. Well, I don't trust this thread to stay on the forums for a long time. So I am saving some here.

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Players/posters are shredding his words to pieces and are having none of his intent. I will quote a few responses but it's much better to read them on the OF.

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Sorry, but your whole post has main focus on funnelling players into a certain playstyle. Some players, in fact, a lot of them don't roll that way, they never have and they never will. They do their weeklies and earn gear that they can use, and then buy the rest at the ember barter. It's been the way since ash was introduced in Mordor years ago. Its why this whole new currency system was born in the first place. Youve got to have been on these boards for a very long time to remember what's been said in the past.

The players that you seem to be completely overlooking are not going to go after those drops, especially with the new difficulty levels that the game has now. They may have got their feet wet a few years ago, but its a very deep end now. Story-mode drops rubbish, and the ember gear is superior to it, so I don't know what you're expecting or why.

You say you don't think this will prevent players from running group content. But you're wrong on that. Drop into game over the weekend on an anon char and join a few pugs, see how much trading for ember burning goes on. You've got to have been in it to know how it works. Players are generally good at helping others in the game, as long as they can get a little something out of it. Take that away and they'll run to gear - then stop.

The last few years, and as far as I know, the future - ember gear is not the best in game. That drops in instances and raids. It is easy to tell a player that does the content apart from a player geared from the ember barter. And when you consider a full set of both, side by side, they are a million miles apart. So this, get the hard gear by completing a deed, is not accurate. The hard gear is in t3 and above.

If you really want players to gear up inside instances and raids, adjust the loot tables. Stop with the random useless drops and make the drops count. They don't count at present.

And 2 - 3x current ember prices? Yeah, you'll have no players left.

Sorry, late edit as tea was ready to be taken off the stove. If you really, genuinely want players earning drops from runs, they wouldn't be able to get everything they want with a wallet full of LP and a clicky finger now would they. But hey, they can. You going to change that? If key sales aren't the intention, no reason not to. Its no different to buying all the gear from earned embers.

Its very nice of you to step up and volunteer to take the flack on this, but, this has been going on since long before you arrived.

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You're not even denying that its pay2win. Just that we can "debate" it? And we're just supposed to believe that you'll adjust or improve gear drops gear drops when the devs literally never have before? Storvagun wasn't that long ago, the RNG system is a fresh wound for a lot of players, and most of us don't appreciate the blatant dishonesty. This change stinks of a poor attempt to copy the ff14 endgame gearing model without actually understanding why it works.

Like others have said, if you don't want people grinding embers to get gear, then you need to increase the locks on higher tier instances, and you need make sure its actually dropping useful gear. This is a shallow attempt to push keys and loot boxes and literally everyone here knows it.

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Say the people who added lootboxes to combine being unlucky with the RNG and paying SSG for they privilege through keys...

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Easiest way to get gear you want is buy keys from store, open boxes which gives you embers, and barter for gear you want. Some people actually refuse to pay and will rather play the content to earn the embers and buy the gear. Good job removing this alternative.
Btw. the reason why I and probably many others hold on embers and spent them near cap is, that if there is several items i need, i will run the instances until im near cap to see if by chance one of the items i need doesnt drop so i wouldnt spent embers on it. Not because i would not want to spent them and hoard them....
The old system would work completely fine if you were properly phasing out old content. Which i understand is harder to do than just up the cap/rewards. Instead of the need of rescaling old content down we are getting new content (that has to be created and set up anyway) scaled up. Can already see gear for 100+ million embers in couple years...

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Like others have said, if you don't want people grinding embers to get gear, then you need to increase the locks on higher tier instances, and you need make sure its actually dropping useful gear. This is a shallow attempt to push keys and loot boxes and literally everyone here knows it.

That would be far too easy and make too much sense.
Seriously SSG...it's like watching a train wreck over, and over, and over again.

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Why does this matter to you? It seems like it's very important to SSG that players are playing fewer instances more than more instance less? It's the exact polar opposite not just of what players want but human nature in general.

If you have all of these scaled instances available, why can't we pick the ones we want to play to get the gear we want? Thats the embers model. By the end of the Minas Morgul cycle, players had 10 instances and 3 raids to get gear from via embers. Shouldn't that be the goal? It seems like it's your desire to restrict us to Den, Assault and HOR. But if we run 10 instances 3 times or 3 instances 10 times, what's the difference to you? To us, it's a repetitive slogging nightmare with high attrition rates amongst our friends and community.

Turbine used to do dev diaries to explain new implementations. This is the second in a row now where a dev diary would've been useful, the first being LI 2.0.

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The purpose of Embers was to act as a way to mitigate being unlucky with RNG. However, what it turned into was the fastest and best way to get the gear... but the way we want you to get most of your pieces is by running the content where it drops.

 

Complaining that the ember barterer is a better source of gear than RNG drops seems a little bit disingenuous. You guys design the RNG, you guys design the ember barterer. If RNG drops are supposed to be superior to the barterer, how about you have instances drop selection boxes rather than random pieces? The reason embers are the fastest way to the gear we want is because instance drops are often useless, while the ember barterer lets us choose the piece we want. Seeing the removal of selection boxes from the Storvagun quest leads me to believe you are not interested in this option, for reasons one can only speculate on.
 

 
Giving the player a bigger cap [on figments] will make it a bit easier for us to adjust pricing, but we're not planning to double the cap and then double all the costs, there's no value in doing so.

Sure there's value in that. Increased figment cost + reduced figment supply = lootbox sales. I'm not saying you WILL increase the cost of existing items... I'm pretty confident you won't. But let's not claim you wouldn't profit by doing so.

Regardless of our mutual opinions, I'm glad to see you putting on your asbestos suit and wading into the fire to communicate with us.

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A great point that I never thought about. Imagine being the producer of a game and coming on the forums complaining about the RNG system that you have all the power in the world to change. Gave me a good chuckle. RNG was a point of contention in Moria as well, and the solution was to create Medallions of Moria. Which resulted in people mindlessly running Grand Stair over and over because they didn't make an instance-specific Medallion. If they had made a Medallion of Moria Boots for GS, a Medallion of Moria Gloves for FG, etc. they could have gotten people to run a variety of content, but they started down the road of universal currency and here we are today bartering Embers for everything at every cap, and SSG complaining that players take the path of least resistance when they're the ones who create the paths.

 

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Too little, too late, too vague, too far into the monetization of this entire game.
What on earth are you thinking? Please spare me the blame me/praise the team stuff. I remember your post where you blamed paying customers.
I (and many others) want rewarding fun, less punitive grinds and useful, rewarding drops.
I want to partake, not sit out or avoid, stoning up, or being content with former endgame when a new endgame is released.
I do not want cognitive dissonance every fr!cking time I log in.
I want to play, not constantly calculate.
I want good servers, I do not want to disconnect all the time, to lag, to freeze, to wait for the game to revive when it freezes.
I want less monetization, not more.
I want the corporate speech, marketing tricks, and purposeful delays to end.
Everything that is released includes the store/MC nowadays. It really shows, and that's not a good thing.
A lot of posters in this thread are telling you that play this game despite what you are pushing on them. Many have had enough.
That has to be telling you something.
We are playing in a store with a pixel front. This is not Middle Earth as it was a long time ago anymore, in a time almost forgotten.
It's time for a change in direction.

 

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Oh my, this post need to be in every player bio forever and a day. ^

A few things of note:

1. No player will ever get 100k Embers.
2. Again taking player effort and time and destroying it. SSG did it with Virtues. SSG did it with the new LI weapons. Now you are wiping out any future Ember accrual because reasons dependent on other reasons.
(Yup I'm still stuck with several thousand Enhancement runes I cannot use from the initial appraisal. Why? Because there was no instructions to navigate the player. Now I'm 140 they are useless.)
3. Anyone notice how Raninia didn't actually answer most of the questions with a clear yes or no answer? I seen a lot of deflection in those answers. It's like the word NO is absent from the SSG vocabulary. Instead its a looky here distraction.
4. Let's have the P2W debate with SSG. Raninia keeps floating this into responses and yet... I'm ready, so bring on the debate. Raninia start a thread today on the topic.
5. Remove every raid lock. If a player wants to run any current endgame instance and earn their rewards why should SSG care? Isn't that why the instances exist?
6. Raid locks don't contribute anything. Once a group of players burn up the meager raid locks, they stop logging on until the reset.


We know. You know. We know that you know. You know that we know.

Stop acting like this and get on with creating the game the players pay for.

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And right after the other post, yours should be in every bio also.

 

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o just using the Reclaiming the Mountain-hold (Weekly) at 1,500 Embers of Enchantment weekly and using a possible example of 12,000 Embers for an Item if the Prices increased to such, it would take 8 weeks for a single Character to get enough Embers for a single Item.

If using this same example of 12,000 Embers needed with just using 1,500 Embers from the Reclaiming Weekly Quest you'd need 8 Characters to all finish this same Quest to have the 12,000 Embers for 1 Item for 1 Character.

Just a quick example of 32,500 Embers for 1 Item: A Single Character would need 28 weeks and would have a small amount of excess Embers left over. Staying in the same example for how many Characters to get 32,500 Embers for 1 Item would be 28 Characters all doing this 1 Weekly Quest.

Granted this is PURELY based on an increase and said example increase to these kind of numbers and ONLY using 1 Quest example that has a given value and is the easier of the 2 given Quests for 1,500 Embers to finish.

Thanks for the math. I couldn't be bothered to work it out, because we all know how it is going to turn out. And as has already been said, they know it, we know they know it, and they know that we know they know it.

I don't believe all this stuff about it not being about key sales. Every single excuse they've given for making the change - still exists as long as a player can reach into the store and buy their way around doing the content. That's the bottom line. If its about the integrity of game content, then go for it, and nerf away - but all avenues, including the buy out. I'm confident enough that they will never go that route to say it in here. It will only ever be in game earning that is stifled, the pay-go-round will always keep on turning. They are fine with allowing the integrity of content slip for a price.

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Now tabulate in there the time it would take. Then try and fit those hours into a 3 month time slot before your ember bank gets wiped out. It's looking rather unhealthy (mentally and physically) for an individual to play a game in this environment. And, to think a company wants a person to pay them for an early death. In what universe would Tolkien feel this is a positive?

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Tolkien, rest his soul, would have pulled the plug in this game years ago. Nobody would have walked into Mordor, especially with all that ash.

 

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Raninia, I do not believe a single word about the reasons and intentions behind these changes in your post. Except that you were the one leading it. You worked with mobile games and microtransactions, you can smooth talk, you can influence customers. You were hired for these traits and background in the first place, weren't you?

But smoothtalking and cunning do not work on me. It is a big push towards increased monetization. I also believe that you lot are deliberately going in heavy handed, so you could make a few steps back and say "We've listened to your feedback". In fact it already happens.

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"We'll see some price growth, but Ember prices will probably stabilize at 2-3x of current prices. We'll see how that plays out. Mote prices probably won't change at all. Figment prices are more variable, but we're not talking about a 2x increase there."

This is shameful.

You mentioned very little new ways to get figments. So now a horse will cost 10-15,000 figments. With earnings of a couple thousand a year????? LOL

I'm one of the lame ones who buys the 3500 ember gear. So now this will be some 10,000. And we'll be earning some 3000 per week. So a month for 1 low level piece??? LOL

You know what. I will spend every ember and mote prior to this update. Then will not participate in this grind ever again. tata.

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If you designed the game with the player in mind no adjustment would be necessary. You are trying to straddle the line to push players towards the store without looking like you're doing it so you can hide behind bs corporate speak like 'unintended consequences' and 'adjust to improve that'.

I'm being a touch semantic (and perhaps unfair) here but you state 'can't acquire gear consistently' which suggests at some level the aim is to get players to acquire gear through other means than by playing the game.

A good answer would be 'We are going to make changes where the only way to acquire gear is by playing the game'. Now that would be nice.
 

 
 
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Originally Posted by Raninia View Post
I don't think that's what'll happen, but we'll see howQuote it plays out. Part of the goal with this is to increase the value of running the instances that have the gear you want, and to make that the primary way to get gear. Right now, Embers are the best way to get the gear you want, not playing content.

 

 

If you want players to play the content then remove the non-content. Remove the lootboxes and make the game itself fun and rewarding. Stop adding roadblocks and grinds that are only intended to increase store sales. Dares ya.

I started a new character in April/May 2020 with the aim of completing everything possible for a solo player in each zone before moving on. The first 75/85 levels were really enjoyable, then I hit the end game grinds for each zone from Wildermore onwards and as I'm just entering Mordor it is getting worse and worse with each zone. I've just spent 3/4 weeks in North Ithilien and the Wastes and what a pita the end game grinds were there. The zones themselves were fantastic and I really enjoyed questing through them but I never want to do them again. If I compare them to pre moria zones, yes there might be the odd slayer deed that is a slog but on the whole the zones are fun and I would go back and do everything again. I can't say the same for the newer content.

It's clear to my eyes that for the first half of the game the focus is on playing but for the second half the focus is on paying.

I'd like to see more of the former again please and this change does not appear to be that. I hope I'm wrong.

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Wow I just read the ember/mote/figment changes and it's amazing biggrin.png

I remember doing Mordor weeklies to get motes for fun to exchange to figments... now pointless
Embers automatically transforming into motes, awesome
No gear disenchant into ember except p2w gear, fantastic

I'm glad I don't play anymore, funny that the very scarce times I check these forums there is a new terrible change

Remember that all your complaints are hypothetical ;D

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If you were "concerned" about the pacing of gearing then you would remove embers from the lootbox and also make lootbox gear not able to be disenchanted. It doesn't matter how you spin it, with this being a mechanism to bypass all these artificial limitations you have placed your intent is for people who want to progress their characters at the same pace as before to do so via credit card and you have no issue with how many people achieve the same pacing as long as it comes via key sales.

Most people just want to have fun and you are slowly bleeding the fun out of the game. NOBODY wants to gear by bartering for gear, you have artificially created this problem with your favoured loot system that nobody wanted.

The biggest problem with the generation of embers is the systems that reward embers for doing these things on a weekly basis are completely obsolete after fairly narrow window. Ie, for Minas Morgul you could get 1500 embers per week with a character, there was no real reason to kill the Nazgul other than for VXP after you had done it once, the instance loot from doing the weeklies became obsolete very fast so people were just compelled with no reward system other than embers for content they didn't want to do. This creates the treadmill grind and it is savagely punishing for those people who pretty much only play one character, as are these artificial caps on loot via the favourite system.

For people to get around these artificial barriers, they just threw alt after alt at rewards that could be focused towards their main character. For people who have time and interest to play multiple characters to a high standard that is fine, but for the majority of people it is just a grind to get around artificial barriers. These changes do nothing to resolve the problem and will probably hasten the fatigue that comes from grinding content with alt after alt through content nobody wants to do.

You will see metrics in some people turning to key sales to stop that grind and you may thing that is a great opportunity to increase revenue sales by pushing this more aggressively but it is poisoning the well to get people to buy a remedy that they otherwise wouldn't need, it is going to seriously harm the game's ability to grow and retain players.

If you want people to stop relying so much on bartering, get rid of your favourite system. Make content that is going to be fun for the majority of your players. People ran Rakothas for years after it stopped being relevant because there were useful things to get from the tokens and it was a relatively simple fight and fairly easy for wide range of people to jump into. It would be fairly simple to create fun content with rewards that are worthwhile, high tier instances and raids are fun, but only a minority of players are interested in that.

The sources isn't the problem, it is the intent of the mechanism. It was never something that was fun to engage with when it first came out and it is just getting worse and worse with each modification to the system. It is a bit like Radiance and eventually Light of Earendil... your team doesn't listen to player feedback so you spend time/effort/resources on systems that nobody wants... like missions, nobody asked for missions and nobody wants to be funneled into doing more missions.

When you get to maximum level you have virtues you can cap, you have your LI you can max out but most of all, you generally have gear as your only main source of character development or time sink for character progression. You have huddled us from various system changes into this pen where we have almost no agency, no room to move or breath or play the game in a manner we consider is fun for the individual, this homogenisation of content and copy/paste nature has been choking the fun out of playing the game. Nobody wants to come clock out from real life and punch in to a monotonous treadmill you have artificially created out of something that was once fun to play and be a part of with other people.
 

The sad part is, if you execute this as described, for the majority of people it would be more rewarding to not play the game at the current tier of content, you can just have fun, do whatever you like and you can just pick up the 2nd best tier of loot from what will be plentiful sources of motes.
 

 

After I ran out of Mordor keys, the only source of figments I had was from motes I flipped and what little trickled in from festivals... the change will mean I will have for the most part no engagement at all with the figment system. I don't really care about cosmetics so you can butcher this system as much as you want, but for those that do care about cosmetics, and that most of these were character bound and not account wide, I think it is going to hurt that aspect of the community.
 

 
We can certainly debate this, but I don't think that's what the end result will be. If we find that players can't acquire gear consistently by playing the game, we'll adjust to improve that.

That has been the status quo for years and there has not been any adjustment. It is why people rely so heavily on bartered gear which by my definition is not playing the game.
 

 

Is that what we have, value running the instances? 1 shot at loot per week for T4 and T5 difficulty? What was wrong with Thrones-era loot system where raids dropped tokens you could barter for a certain piece and instances had no loot locks but various rarity drop rates so people could run the content that had rewards they were after. Who wants to run no reward missions for barter gear nobody wants just so we can trickle out some embers we can use eventually on raid gear. How is the current system worth salvaging? It is antithetical to fun or rewarding, we just keep trying to adjust to changes you make to this horrible system.
 

 
We'll see some price growth, but Ember prices will probably stabilize at 2-3x of current prices. We'll see how that plays out. Mote prices probably won't change at all. Figment prices are more variable, but we're not talking about a 2x increase there.

What an abject disaster. Tier 6 essence boxes in the previous expansion were 8,500 embers. Their next equivalent is going to be 17,000 to 25,500 embers with most of the sources of embers removed. Yikes.

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. . . "We're listening to feedback" and "we're changing that due to feedback" is no longer a reliable response. . . .

People are getting really sick of that.

At this point - they should just own it, rather than fail at a poor attempt to push it as something players want.

 


Agree. Hey, here's the increase in embers cap you have all asked for!! The more you use it the more you will be penalized for using it makes it the worse.

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t's capitalism...

a company is regarded successfull based on how much profit they make,
not by the quality of the product or how satisfied the customers are

 

And under capitalism a company can only make a profit if they create a quality product that satisfies customers, that's why it works. And it's why LOTRO will strangle itself if it keeps going down this road.

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I guess those not yet at cap should use a tortoise stone at level 139 so they can buy armor with motes? It sounds like you will still be able to get armor using motes which we will still earn. The level 139 items if they can be purchased with motes will be better than anything else we can get from landscape for a 140. In the mean time we just roll and delete characters to earn lotro points to buy keys for maybe a few embers? Is that really where the developers want to send the game? It seems like setting up a system open to exploit would be the opposite direction you wanted to go. If you are really going this route where you don't need the end game expansion to get armor and all that is required is money and buying keys why not update the loot table for all instances? Why not remove the locks so there is a purpose to running instances?

Come next level increase most of our weapons will downgrade and I don't see how a seasonal system will allow us to upgrade weapons for multiple characters and prepare for the next update. I imagine you will delete all of our script every update even if we have lower level characters that will be using it in the future.

Currently, we can only get yellow armor from questing and landscape (not all at cap). Crafting is limited to needing special ingredients and we cannot use ingredient packs...........Please rethink your business model. There are other ways to make money. The biggest one is making VIP and buying expansion packs worth the cost. Making us buy armor and weapons on top of VIP and expansions is going to turn away many of us. I have cancelled the auto renew on my other account waiting to see what happens. If I have to buy my armor and weapons in order to play the game, I am not going to also pay for VIP. It doesn't make sense.

I am actually starting to think your new method will save me money. I don't need to pay cash for an expansion when the expansion will not give me armor and weapon opportunities since I have to buy those. I can wait until it is on sale and use lotro points under this new system. VIP gives me a mailbox and VIP subscriber box but that is not essential for game play. If VIP provides other benefits, I don't really notice them or find them helpful I guess. Giving us a reason for getting VIP would earn you more in the long run.

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"Part of the goal with this is to increase the value of running the instances that have the gear you want, and to make that the primary way to get gear"

On face value this sounds ok but, what about the customers that are stuck with a single group viable tree. You are saying play your class with this tree/template or the expansion ends for you. Both gear and instance content.
From this point of view there is no reason to get/play the latest expansion. Soliciting conformity VIA a canyon of choices won't work for everyone. It's not as if crafting something good is even an option. Plus staying an expansion behind prevents your currency (motes) from loss.

Strangest business model I've ever seen :P

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I'm not interested in ember/motes. I spend motes if I neglected a character and need gear and sometimes on off hands. Ember gear and essences are way too expensive, so the only good use these have for me is the conversion into figments. If I earn embers to convert them (like I said items to buy are to expensive but the value for me is in the conversion), why do you see it as game breaking. I buy cosmetics, last time I checked they don't break progression.

I understand motes as catch-up currency and have used them at times as such, sadly though, when I needed the catch up most during MM questing in the Vales after skipping Ered Mithrin I couldn't get said catch-up gear for my 121 mini. I needed embers for that and as far as I have seen that is true for 131. And again, items are too expensive to really outfit one character and I like to play the game to get my gear.
Adding enhancement runes, really? I have enhancement runes on my lower-level characters, what I do not have is enough traceries to use them on.

Now to figments. Let's first say that I have everything I would ever want from the current figment vendor. So, of cause I plan on holding onto them until the next vendor comes. Possibly even until the Curator returns. Why would I buy things I don't want? Some barters have too much of what I like and others nothing. The increased cap will help with that but not much. I go from having 30k to 20k without the conversion. But without the conversion I have only the festivals to harvest them. Since I only play the ones I like, and it heavily depends on how time consuming they are on how many characters I play through, I don't even know how much I can make playing these. And other sources...I don't play much repeatable content and if you put them in the reward track, that just means you want to give out less LI items.
Why are you so worried about cosmetics? Put them right away in the store and make your money there, at least that will be year-round. Actually, why are you so worried what we use our earned currency on?

As others pointed out, if you want gear to be acquired from playing the game then remove the boxes.

Crafting was a very good source to keep a character updated for new content. Getting the mats for mediocre items has been made so grindy and put behind end game. If crafting was still viable, we wouldn't need motes for catch up. If instances would drop the gear they are supposed to, we wouldn't need embers, if new cosmetics were put in the store or as barter on factions, we wouldn't need figments.

 

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While the damage control is admireable, they make it even harder to gear outside of weekly/festival events. Theres literally no incentive to play the game anymore after the weeklies are done. As in ZERO. No crafting, still no raiding, not enough dungeons, just nothing.
The sooner the Game Producer comes out and say they will revert these changes (and keep the cap change) and find other ways to increase profits that wont impact character progression - including gear progression, the healthier for the game. Just do it soon as kins are already mumbling about quitting before the first raid is even released for this expansion...

One would almost think that all this doesn't matter? Players have spent their money on the expansion, on MC, on sales over December, on Rohan housing, on housing writs now for Erebor coming soon, and so forth. That was what this was about, right?

What is those players' problem? Do they actually expect to play a game and have fun? The nerve...

Let them eat cake.

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Good post. New concept: being paywalled in game...

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Perhaps you could outline what those sources will be, before you remove the largest non-paid ways that people earn figments via - namely exchanging motes for figments. So far what you have outlined is that you are making changes because of how you perceive end game raiding gear - which is largely irrelevant to a section of the game's players who are focused on living a hobbit-y or dwarf-y life in Middle Earth.

It is disenfranchising to say you will add more sources without outlining them, especially when you say it immediately after you've said "we'll keep an eye on how acquisition looks for those," - you say it's not about pushing people towards loot box keys but it clearly is, otherwise what else are you going to see? The only other option people have is festivals.

There is literally a section of the game's community that only run missions to earn motes to exchange into figments, and to get other furniture / cosmetics via the mission reputation systems. You're saying that one of their primary reasons for running missions is now closed. Hardly makes sense and might not be pay to win but is certainly bordering on pay walled.

Until you add multiple ways to balance out your change, it is absolutely about pushing cosmetic / furniture fans towards loot box keys, which will not result in as many sales as you might hope, let's be real. Net result, those players will run less missions or none, and you'll make less cosmetics and furniture available via figments because you'll claim it's not popular - but who made it unpopular? - and thus the system becomes a victim of unnecessary change.

No one swapping motes out for figments is doing so to "win" at end game raiding, yet they are being penalised by this change. They're doing so to live a virtual life in a virtual world, and the "proposed" change (which is clearly set in stone before we get a say,) is shutting a door on many of the people who can't afford loot boxes or disagree with the loot box model. Instead of taking 3-4 weeks to get enough figments for one item, they now take 6+ months and likely miss the curator in the process.

Again, I put it to you - continue to allow for exchange, but if you feel 1:1 is unreasonable - make it an exchange rate rather than 1:1. 2:1 or 3:1.

Removing motes to figments entirely is making a bad change for the sake of change.


One thing I will hand your team - you do communicate better than what some people give you credit for, and kudos for that - but the horse has clearly bolted and the peasants are revolting. Throw non-raiders who like their cosmetics and furniture a bone.

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Exactly. Raninia did not explain why there is a need to make figments significantly harder to obtain, or the reasons behind increasing the figment cost of housing decos/cosmetics, so we are left to assume this is about nothing more than attempting to push the housing/cosmetics community towards lootboxes. He states that they "expect that most players will get a bit choosier in terms of what cosmetics they prioritize." Again, why is there a need to limit the amount of cosmetic items players can earn, other than a desperate attempt to push us to lootboxes?

The limited availability of the curator and seasonal vendors was frustrating enough, even when I was able to keep motes banked for quick conversion. Without that option, I'm having nightmares of grinding festivals ad nauseum only to have the curator disappear a day or two before getting enough figments for the item I am after... how does that sound even remotely fun?

This is cosmetic fluff we are talking about. What problem is it causing if I choose to run missions for motes to convert to figments so I can dress my hobbit as a lumberjack, or fill my premium house with pets? Those activities were what I enjoyed most in Lotro, and the cosmetic rewards made tedious, grindy content like missions worthwhile to me. If you remove my reward for doing grindy content, I simply stop doing that content, which makes me less engaged with the game, with less reason to login. I know a lot of people with similar playstyles feel the same way. I have no interest in raiding or getting the best gear, so cosmetics and housing were my main reason for playing (aside from the story).

This change will alienate casual players who play mostly for roleplay, housing, cosmetics, etc. As someone who returned to Lotro after a long absence and has spent a lot of time grinding cosmetic and housing items to "catch up," it is enough of a challenge to do so, even with converting motes from missions. Eliminating the conversion will be especially frustrating to new or returning players when they are met with dozens of items they would like, and little means of obtaining them without resorting to lootboxes. Not to mention it will sap all the fun out of festivals, which will become a necessary time-limited grind that must be done on as many characters as possible. If that had been the case when I returned to the game, I can guarantee that I would not have played nearly as much as I have, nor spent nearly the amount on Lotro points/VIP/expansions that I did.

 

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Leave my wallet alone, This is Wrong.
I have earned and built the embers in my wallet, just as we have earned and built our old Li.s How can we believe that you will honor

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"We'll have more ways to earn Embers"

when you plan to take these Embers away. I earned at level cap and at tier caps 1/2/3/4 & yes T5. Took days/weeks/months without rewards as well as having completed a few of them. The Embers in my wallet should be mine to keep and save as i see fit and when i am ready to make a selection to use as 'EMBERS EARNED'. The value is now 1/10 of the original and you.re worried it is not what i want ?

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"we want to make sure you're still able to consistently get the gear you want... "
 

This is Wrong.

 

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2 hours ago, Jedy2 said:

I still play this game, designed by idiots, for idiots, which makes me...

SSG imbecility never ceases to amaze me. 

Well, then I am one too. I had said I would not return and yet I did just that, after a hiatus of over 3 years.

Why? Because of the landscape, stuff to catch up on, some new areas to explore, and plain boredom.

It's a game, it provides me with diversion when I play it my way, with beauty (despite the graphics), and when I play with my way too many alts across way too many accounts, and all their houses, kins, and aimless crafting, playing the AH, creating more kins, running a festival, and so forth. Even the amount of gold from daily opening lootboxes adds up. Because I only do a bit of grinding when I feel like it (= want something) I avoid burn out from running repetitive content. I can't be bothered with gearing or my LIs.

So I am an idiot, and my only saving grace is that I am not a spending idiot.

My thermometer for whether I continue to play is this: am I having fun? It leads to nowhere because there is no future for this game, yet I still want to spend time (hey, I am spending something) on being in Middle Earth.

That being said, of course SSG are idiots. Oleg is digging a deeper hole today than he was yesterday and he is taken to task and slowly pushed over a cliff. Reading all that for free is fun too. Let it burn!

 

37 minutes ago, Darmokk said:

Thanks for the copy'n'paste.

What a trainwreck.

There is beauty in trainwrecks too. Will copy/paste some more, because there are some real nice responses.

For now though I am singing 'Diggy, diggy hole, diggy, diggy hole'

It's a good day.

Apparently the newest shards from crafting no longer drop from nodes... you can buy them in the store easily though...

It's nice to see many posters express their discontent with all these different in game changes. Yay for a revolution: people are done with the grind.

And here is MassivelyOP:

https://massivelyop.com/2022/01/13/lord-of-the-rings-online-defends-controversial-pay-to-win-currency-changes-as-the-forum-explodes/

Lotro thread now at 20 pages.

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Shameless milking!

Since SSG took over from Turbine it has been one cash grab after another. They have been shamelessly milking their loyal and willing player base over and over. It's just like an abusive relationship. And as much as I adore the game and the world it represents, it is now obvious that who ever is in charge at SSG has zero respect for paying customers and their heart is not in in anything but $$$$$. It's time for the abuse to stop - enough is enough. Farewell beloved LOTRO, it has been a magical almost 15 years. But all things come to an end and this is it for me.
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Only an idiot will keep Embers beyond affording something to barter, a 100,000 cap is utter nonsense.

Figments at 20,000 and no convert mechanic; how are all those Writ sale purchases looking like now?

Was it T. Pratchett who said the Incompetence goes all the way up? Ah no: ... you doctors aren’t supposed to hurt people, are you?’ ‘Only in the course of normal incompetence.’

I'll take a Turtle Stone at cap -10 and avoid the grief thanks. What did we expect when LI revamp came with all the worst aspects of LIs and ILIs. I hope the leggo streaming market can take an influx. As for a future of "Maintenance Mode"; if you haven't maintained it for years it'll be pull all the breakers and walk away.

$200 in the double bonus points sale gets you 59 keys. Together with the thirteen week development cycle when item levels likely get their boost and ember wipe, is it enough loot boxes to to gear up? And how many interim item level hikes in that period? How many Essence hikes? How many instance gear hikes? How many Re-forge hikes over the cycle?

$52 a month per playing char to $70 to provide EG7 with more investor spin?

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prepare the lube

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Have you run this through the PR-bullsh.. translator? * "looking forward" to our feedback * means "cry all you want, this is coming anyway".
As I said somewhere else, they might pull back a tiny bit to make it look like they care.

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On my 4th year without LOTRO 👍🏼 Been playing and enjoying multiple games. At times still missing the world of LOTRO and the questlines in the older areas, and whenever that bout of nostalgia creeps up I'm simply cursing the gambling pimps who murdered it (often loudly) and carrying on.

Are you guys idiots for keeping up? Well, if you are, I've been one of you for several years too many before finally calling it off. No, we're not idiots. They grabbed most of us by the balls by securing the Middle-earth IP and that's hardly an inexcusable addiction.

We ought to hold on to every single thing that gives us the tiniest bit of joy, even if it means sticking to the trainwreck of LOTRO.

Thanks for keeping this forum alive guys 🍺

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I spent my time reading all the posts added.

These are things that all members of this group were aware of.

It is a masochistic pleasure to follow the game news. The more time passes, the worse it gets.

Even if half of the players give up the game will still generate money. That's how it was with the DDO's Bankrupt game and it won't be different with the lotro.

The lotus will be fed by whales for decades, unfortunately.

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The developers' disdain for the players seems to be on the rise these days. I thought at first, Raninia was just be blunt, but the other developers seem to be taking his attitude to heart and are no longer trying to be tactful.

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?692302-Brawler-A-Pressing-Matter-Feedback&p=8121745#post8121745

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He does seem like the perfect target of a Level 15 quest, doesn't he? Notable for his role in the story, but not out of the league of a fledging Brawler, and he's got a name that people know! He checks all the boxes, a game design home run.

But you don't need to worry about it - it's no secret that Brawler isn't for you.

MoL

 

 

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They continue to just half-arse development. Except one or two who remain all arse with no better orifice for their comms.

I'm stoned up on all main account characters due to the 130+ game being so toxic to character in-game progression.  Given the server performance is down to it worst ever under a population load it's ironic that dual boxing is my easier path to LI building and their future upgrades. 

 

This artificial mote/ember boundary yells out for a reasoned mind to park up and access gearing before advancing. With SSG driving everyone into the near cap killing zone beyond, with valars, expack item exp boosts and general exp boosts it can only open them up for predation - via the dubious/further store offerings.  They have taken it a step further with the new LIs in that unless you have sorted out LI traceries by 139 with easier lower set instance runs, capping your toon locks you into cap only instances for reasonable gains. Not an issue with this cap because of the "appraise" one time "bribe", just going to hit a load of numpties buying the next expansion and one level to traceries going red and their means to replace them gone with all those lost stats. 

Of course the game is still promoted by the narcissists Cord wallows in on the official streams, so it's only cretins they are drawing in, if anyone. 

Now the "NEW" instances have the various locking mechanisms in place to stop players farming them (with multi tiers to further hide the best drops at 4/5) but we had the standard few old unregulated instance dropping the traceries of choice still and farmed to hell by many. 

This mote/ember/figment rollback more signs of a half-arsed thought process; can't split the advancement/fluff in a single area when they are so intertwined everywhere else and can't implement without everything to back it up in-place - figment dailies/weeklies available outside of tedious lag feast festivals. The suggested 200k cap for Embers just smoke and mirrors that only morons the likes of Cord would swallow.

The more they seeks to control acquisition of the variety of currencies we have to make advances we just find that it's not just one or two grinds it's every aspect of the game turning into a grind.  And if you aren't one for the grind or willing to spend a fortune you may as well park up in your house or quit. Mostly it's about missions for all gains other than for LIs. Except the several rewards they offer, that can all benefit you, has us having to choose one only over another: Is it to be a shard or a solvents or a reclaim or VXP, or an extra enhancement? Just one mind... For me it's shards = embers as I'm parked up waiting for content completion/fixing and a few item level increases. 

The game is all about currency and those who fail to consider it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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