Lord of the Rings Online patch adds plenty of attractive loot — in lockboxes

The lockbox movement continues to cover the entirety of Middle-earth in shadow as Lord of the Rings Online’s Update 21.3.3 focuses more on moneygating attractive loot than on other content.

Now players who spring for keys to open the Mordor lootboxes might find an Osgiliath travel mount (which can also be obtained via an Ashes vendor), earrings with a “cosmetic effect,” or a Lasgalen Owl vanity pet. The small patch also worked in a fix for a launcher crash issue and adjusted the challenge requirements for Abyss of Mordath’s first boss.

Destructoid recently published a piece in which the game’s endurance and fun factor were singled out for praise. “It nails the wanderlust that is inherently tied to frolicking around a rendition of Middle-earth,” the author said.

Source: Patch notes
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Rolan Storm

Lockboxes! Woe to thee!

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MesaSage

To note, this “update”, consisting of about 6 line items, took an 8 hour maintenance window.

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draugris

It´s a shame, SSG should be embarrassed at what they have made this game.

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Alex Malone

How far this game has fallen!

LotRO was one of my favourite games of all time, and whilst I am an fan of sandboxes and feel they’re a better design philosophy for MMOs, I cannot deny that vanilla LotRO was simply brilliant. Turbine built an awesome world to explore, designed the deepest combat system I’ve ever played and built content for every type of player, resulting in an amazing community.

But, then they stopped making group content except at endgame. They switched to a dull patchwork quilt/quest hub zone design (I hate you Mirkwood!). They started dumbing down classes. They ignored PvP for years. Mounted combat was a joke. Then they stopped releasing raids for years.

Even F2P has gone downhill. When first introduced it made perfect sense: can’t afford a sub? no worries, just buy the content piece-meal at a rate you can afford! Now it’s overpriced cosmetics, mounts and lockboxes.

Such a shame. With some better management decisions early on, this game could have actually grown over the years. I mean, how do you not develop North Mirkwood, Dale and the Lonely Mountain to coincide with the Hobbit movies?!?! Way to miss out….

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MesaSage

You missed performance issues, long-standing bugs, and ridiculous amounts of maintenance downtime, but otherwise spot on.

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Knox Harrington

Shadows of Angmar was great. It’s been all downhill since then, with few exceptions. The business model? Not one of those exceptions.

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Bango on Laurelin

The entire end-game progression in this game is fubar. Not only for the rng ash grind via the store, but that the raid gear is not awarded as part of any progression but for completing it in full. I know of no other game that doesn’t award something decent for the first raiding tier and still SSG treats it like a red-headed step child.

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Michael18

It has to be noted that you get lockbox keys for free by doing dailies. If you do not spend a cent of real money you can get pretty much everything you want without more end-game grind than, for example, the Hytbold grind (Rohan expansion) or the North Ithilien grind (2nd to last update before Mordor). Actually the required grind is even below at least Hytbold, I think.

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Paul

This – I run a couple of characters through the dailies and get 4 keys every 3 days

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Bango on Laurelin

In that case:
1. Why do SSG sell keys in the store if it’s not part of the content progression?
2. Why are RMT sellers of gold and keys now rampant in the game, to the point where players who use these services are getting banned from the game?
So sure, you and I may be able to resist the urge to go out and buy a ton of keys from the store, but SSG’s profit margin is reliant on the very many players who don’t.

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Michael18

In my comment I only pointed out that buying keys with RM is optional. For a complete picture and in order to be fair, you have to note that in case of LOTRO a) you can avoid putting RM in, and b) you can do so without excessive grind compared to end-game grinds of previous expansion cycles.

That said, lockboxes are and will ever be a predatory business practice, including LOTRO’s implementation. I hope they’ll tone it down in future updates.

Also: lockboxes are only relevant at end-game. A new player can leisurely level up a character for a year (easily) without ever opening a single lockbox.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

It’s the Gollum moment, when the two sides of me are warring over Frodo. Do we kill him or save him? Hmmm.

While one can argue about most things, I think it’s pretty clear that SSG is barely surviving (see, for example, last trailer). If you love LOTRO, do you want it to stand up tall on its shaky integrity as it goes down? Or, would you rather it did something to attempt to save itself?

Before you answer, remember that LOTRO was the first AAA western game to go Free to Play, after it’s roommate, DDO, narrowly escaped death by doing so. Remember that WB starved LOTRO during its tenure and that SSG is made up of the former Turbine devs who worked on the game. Remember also that Turbine’s other MMO, Asheron’s Call, which SSG did not take with them, shut down.

I’m going with evil Gollum here. If lockboxes are keeping LOTRO alive, even if they permanently pervert the game into something else, I can live with it.

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Vincent Clark

the current team has gone on record saying they never felt financially or creatively restricted by WB. I know it’s easy to paint the big, bad corporation as the evil. But, nah…this is all on Turbine/SSG. But, I’m glad you can live it.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Yup, I tend to be practical that way. Color me grey scale.

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2Ton Gamer

If 5 people are on the forums yelling that they hate loot boxes, but 20 people are buying them, SSG’s response will be to cater to that 20.

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Melissa McDonald

I’ve gotten some really outstanding gear from lockboxes/chests in LOTRO. I don’t hate them. Maybe they are anathema in other games, but in LOTRO at least, they are often quite worthwhile.

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Vincent Clark

Um…

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Melissa McDonald

No, that’s entirely the point. You’re telling me it’s evil, awful, terrible, hateful… but that is not my experience.

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Knox Harrington

.

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Melissa McDonald

hy·per·bo·le
hīˈpərbəlē
noun
exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.
synonyms: exaggeration, overstatement, magnification, embroidery, embellishment, excess, overkill, rhetoric;