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News & Features Discussion  » Lord of the Rings Online: Free to Play Interview

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449 posts found
  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5410

 
OP  6/04/10 2:48:05 PM#1

MMORPG.com's Michael Bitton got a chance to catch up with Turbine's Executive Director of Communications Adam Mersky and LOTRO Executive Producer Kate Paiz to discuss today's big announcement that The Lord of the Rings Online would be re-launching as a hybrid Free-to-Play game.

As I’m sure many of you read this morning, Turbine has announced that The Lord of the Rings Online will be going Free to Play. The F2P re-launch of LOTRO is set for this Fall in both North America and Europe (Codemasters will run the European version), and a beta test phase is set to begin in a little over a week on June 16th. Naturally, many of you have tons of questions about the dramatic shift, and we got a chance to catch up with Turbine’s Executive Director of Communications Adam Mersky as well as LOTRO Executive Producer (formerly Senior Producer on DDO) Kate Paiz to get you some answers.

I asked Kate about what went into making this decision for LOTRO, and she responded that one major factor was the runaway success of the re-launch of Dungeons & Dragons Online, which resulted in “a significant uplift In player participation, in interested in the title, and in activity community participation.” Turbine looked at that and basically decided that it was really a no brainer for LOTRO given all the aforementioned benefits, and of course, this change results in making the game much more accessible to many more players.

Read the full interview here.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  zeowyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 779

6/04/10 2:51:10 PM#2

The fact that Turbine points don't cross over is BS.  Asian publishers have had universal currency for the games under their respective umbrellas (a la gpotato) can't be too hard for Turbine to follow suit. 

  Andraxx

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/07/08
Posts: 225

6/04/10 3:06:08 PM#3
Originally posted by zeowyrm


The fact that Turbine points don't cross over is BS.  Asian publishers have had universal currency for the games under their respective umbrellas (a la gpotato) can't be too hard for Turbine to follow suit. 

 

I see your point, but I understand their reasoning. Right now I have a lifetime sub to LOTRO, and I play DDO as a premium player. I haven't spent real cash on DDO since I came back, spending only some accrued points to unlock dungeons. If the points were universal, I could take my 500 a month from LOTRO and spend them in DDO to buy unlocks or hirelings or skill resets or whatever. It's pretty obvious the Lifetime sub option in LOTRO is negating a universal points system.

  PhelimReagh

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/21/08
Posts: 611

6/04/10 3:06:09 PM#4

Whoa, that's interesting.

 

Maybe I'll give LotRO another go again, since I have more than 14 days to see if I like it this time, lol.

  Regomar

Novice Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 130

6/04/10 3:08:41 PM#5

They just lost this current subscriber.  I dont play Pay to Win games.

  alicorn

Novice Member

Joined: 4/10/04
Posts: 150

6/04/10 3:08:57 PM#6

I just cancelled my LoTRO account.  I have had enough with the F2P titles and the quality of player it brings with it.  I'm sad they made this choice, but it's their business and they have every right to do it.

  zeowyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 779

6/04/10 3:09:32 PM#7
Originally posted by Andraxx
Originally posted by zeowyrm


The fact that Turbine points don't cross over is BS.  Asian publishers have had universal currency for the games under their respective umbrellas (a la gpotato) can't be too hard for Turbine to follow suit. 

 

I see your point, but I understand their reasoning. Right now I have a lifetime sub to LOTRO, and I play DDO as a premium player. I haven't spent real cash on DDO since I came back, spending only some accrued points to unlock dungeons. If the points were universal, I could take my 500 a month from LOTRO and spend them in DDO to buy unlocks or hirelings or skill resets or whatever. It's pretty obvious the Lifetime sub option in LOTRO is negating a universal points system.

I suppose you're right.  Still leaves a bad taste in my mouth though.

  MikeB

MMORPG.com Community Manager

Joined: 5/27/09
Posts: 5410

 
OP  6/04/10 3:14:31 PM#8
Originally posted by Regomar


They just lost this current subscriber.  I dont play Pay to Win games.

 

Did you read the interview? I asked them explicitly about the "Pay to Win" scenario, and it's part and parcel of their strategy to ensure that players are not able to "Pay to Win," this was made painfully clear by Turbine's Craig Alexander during our panel at PAX East as well.

Michael "MikeB" Bitton
Community Manager
Twitter: @eMikeB

  User Deleted
6/04/10 3:14:39 PM#9

I'm just glad they made sure to take care of the life subs with this conversion.  I'm sure some will still complain, but the exemtption from charges for content and the c-store stipend seem like adequate compensation to me.

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5575

6/04/10 3:16:06 PM#10

The Turbine Points being separate between games is stupid.  Station Cash is good across any SoE game that has access to the Marketplace (my cash is good in Free Realms and EQ2 for example).  I can even buy game services with Station Cash.

 

The other thing I think they're being disengenuous about what they're selling in the store.  Based on the comparison chart on the LotRO site VIPs will have access to the complete trait system while others can buy them.  Traits are core to the class functioning properly, so they are selling core class and game play functionality upgrades and not just fluff or content.

 

I think they would have done the game world better by actually developing deep subsystems and offering a cash shop model similar to SoE's Marketplace where people could buy fluff, mounts, housing items, potions, and pets to make their adventures in Middle Earth more fun.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

  wh00ch

Novice Member

Joined: 11/07/08
Posts: 3

6/04/10 3:17:14 PM#11

This is a sad day for me. I have been a LotRO player from the days right after closed beta and have had a lifetime membership since that time. The fact that I am LIMITED to 500 points per month is TOTAL BS! I paid my rather large fee up front and expected that to be sufficient.

I would rather have a COMPLETE refund and give Turbine/Warner Brothers a big one-fingered wave good-bye ..i.

  zeowyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 779

6/04/10 3:19:26 PM#12
Originally posted by wh00ch

This is a sad day for me. I have been a LotRO player from the days right after closed beta and have had a lifetime membership since that time. The fact that I am LIMITED to 500 points per month is TOTAL BS! I paid my rather large fee up front and expected that to be sufficient.

I would rather have a COMPLETE refund and give Turbine/Warner Brothers a big one-fingered wave good-bye ..i.

Ok, seriously, people need to learn to do some fucking RESEARCH

You are not LIMITED to 500 pts.  You are GIVEN 500 pts.  You want to buy more?  Go ahead.

  sushimees

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/09/04
Posts: 491

6/04/10 3:22:06 PM#13

So the locked quests can only be bought? Can't they be earned with some kind of a different system like in DDO where you could open up new classes and quests by completing quests to get favor points?


  Darkholme

Tipster

Joined: 3/02/04
Posts: 1224

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer..."

6/04/10 3:22:39 PM#14
Originally posted by Regomar


They just lost this current subscriber.  I dont play Pay to Win games.

For every one of you they will lose because you dont't read the whole article, and don't bother to look into how the F2P model has changed DDO (for the better), they will gain 10 more people... I know that I am super-excited about this and will be playing.

-------------------------
"Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places..." ~ H.P.Lovecraft, "From Beyond"

  zeowyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 779

6/04/10 3:22:50 PM#15
Originally posted by sushimees

So the locked quests can only be bought? Can't they be earned with some kind of a different system like in DDO where you could open up new classes and quests by completing quests to get favor points?

Yes, you can.  Just like DDO.

  rznkain

Novice Member

Joined: 2/05/04
Posts: 563

6/04/10 3:23:08 PM#16

My question is this what happens with the content alot of us already purchased such as mines of moria and mirkwood along with the other lil small adventure pack that gave shared bank and more char slots do we get to keep any of that or do we have to repurchase it again or go to a sub model?

 

And I think ANYONE who has purchased these games and expansions should be given something considering we paid for this frickin software to begin with,What really p**ses alot off is the fact  turbine was lettin ppl buy lifetime subs again till really recent along with running there 9,99 special what about those ppl are they sol now that they bought the software or lifetime sub under a few weeks ago to have turbine pull this crap? I am really dissapointed that they did this not so much the f2p model but how they cashed grabbed off unknowing ppl right up to the minute.

  zeowyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 779

6/04/10 3:25:19 PM#17
Originally posted by rznkain

My question is this what happens with the content alot of us already purchased such as mines of moria and mirkwood along with the other lil small adventure pack that gave shared bank and more char slots do we get to keep any of that or do we have to repurchase it again or go to a sub model?

http://www.lotro.com/news/709-announcing-the-lord-of-the-rings-onlines-move-to-free-to-play-

All your questions are answered there.

  MMO_Doubter

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/28/09
Posts: 5133

6/04/10 3:29:17 PM#18
Originally posted by MikeB

Did you read the interview? I asked them explicitly about the "Pay to Win" scenario, and it's part and parcel of their strategy to ensure that players are not able to "Pay to Win," this was made painfully clear by Turbine's Craig Alexander during our panel at PAX East as well.

How many companies openly admit they are putting in 'pay to win'? Has any company ever admitted that?

"" Voice acting isn't an RPG element....it's just a production value." - grumpymel2

  rznkain

Novice Member

Joined: 2/05/04
Posts: 563

6/04/10 3:29:58 PM#19
Originally posted by zeowyrm
Originally posted by rznkain

My question is this what happens with the content alot of us already purchased such as mines of moria and mirkwood along with the other lil small adventure pack that gave shared bank and more char slots do we get to keep any of that or do we have to repurchase it again or go to a sub model?

http://www.lotro.com/news/709-announcing-the-lord-of-the-rings-onlines-move-to-free-to-play-

All your questions are answered there.

Thanks zeowyrm I had looked at it earlier and could'nt find it for some reason.This I can deal with.

 

 

* Purchasers of the Mines of Moria™ expansion get access to the Mines of Moria region and content, premium classes (Rune-Keeper and Warden), legendary items feature, Tier 6 crafting feature, 2 extra character slots and a level cap of 60. Purchasers of the Siege of Mirkwood™ expansion get access to the Siege of Mirkwood region and content, a level cap of 65 and the Siege of Mirkwood skirmishes.

** Purchasers of the LOTRO Adventurer's Pack get 2 extra character slots and 20 slots of shared bank storage across all characters on the same servers.

n

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5575

6/04/10 3:32:59 PM#20
Originally posted by MikeB
Originally posted by Regomar


They just lost this current subscriber.  I dont play Pay to Win games.

 

Did you read the interview? I asked them explicitly about the "Pay to Win" scenario, and it's part and parcel of their strategy to ensure that players are not able to "Pay to Win," this was made painfully clear by Turbine's Craig Alexander during our panel at PAX East as well.

The comparison chart (http://www.lotro.com/betasignup/vipchart.html) on their site does say that trait slots will be limited and can be purchased, gold cap is limited, storage is limited, destiny point usage is limited, and crafting guilds are limited.  These are all things you can buy that seriously affect the win.  There is more to buying the win or being gimped by no purchase than gear and stats on items.

 

I think it's a gross oversimplification to say that since a game doesn't sell gear or stat items in the shop that they aren't making purchases that drastically affect the game play.  The way Turbine is setting this up is just that; seriously limiting game play without buying them.  There is a pretty big difference between Turbine's cash stores and the way EQ2 and WoW have set them up.  The stuff in those stores really isn't needed to play the game to its fullest.  Turbine's cash model is the opposite.

I think a mind wipe so people could play an mmo like it was their first time again, would be easier to build than a new mmo people here would actually like. - DamonVile

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