LOTRO opens back up its preview program while the digital card game hits early access

    
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A few Lord of the Rings Online tidbits for you today. First on the slate to discuss is the re-opening of the Palantir Private Preview Program (say that five times fast!). This is “an invitation-only consumer testing program similar to a Beta Program but much smaller in scope”

Players who meet certain requirements can volunteer for the preview program, which apparently is a lifetime appointment. The team cautioned players not to apply if they can’t keep up with the game’s “extremely aggressive development cycle” or provide useful feedback.

Standing Stone Games also announced that it had updated the LOTRO race and class page to bring it up to spec with all of the most recent additions (such as the High-elf).

And if a Lord of the Rings-flavored card game sounds like it might be your thing, then you really should check out the Living Card Game. It’s in early access right now with co-op play to come soon, and the trailer awaits you below.

Source: LOTRO
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Card games never meant much to me, the only one I was interested in was Yu-Gi-Oh!, because of the anime that I watched as a kid and it was the hype back then, all the kids were watching it, making their own cards, then they started selling cards, the first that bought them were revered as gods… and then it wore off and was forgotten.

I don’t think many people are interested in card games besides MTG (which I never learned to play and don’t care about it) and Hearthstone, so I think this will be a failure.

They should make a Battle Royale game so they can complete the process of making a joke out of Tolkien’s work.

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Bango on Laurelin

I love Hearthstone so I’ll certainly have a look at the living card game.

As for the PPPP – and this is something the game could really do with as it will help with the QA cycle and so should be applauded and brings in people who want to constructively help with testing and not the rubbish we saw with the ego parade that was the player council.

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Paragon Lost

I’ve played Hearthstone and honestly online card games just don’t do much for me. This looks similar, so I’ll assume it’s a solid game for those who enjoy this type of game play. I hope it does well for them.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

I suck at these types of card games. But I still play them. This one looks like a Hearthstone knock off of sorts. Reviews on Steam emphasize that this is not a digital rendering of the real life card game and many of the negative reviews are grousing about that.

And then there’s this:

Holy god the microtransactions. Every single mission (5 in a campaign) costs $2. Every single “hero pack” costs $2 (5 cards in a hero pack). If you want additional cards.. well, those cost more money per card. You can buy the $48 founder’s pack and $18 of it disappears to just to get the 4 currently available hero packs and 5 mission unlocks. Not to mention when the other campaigns unlock or they add more hero packs, or if you want specific cards for your deck. And this is a single-player only game. There’s no competition except against the AI. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen microtransactions like this in a single player game outside of some predatory mobile clients.

It looks like the devs on this game took the mantra “CCGs only exist for their micro-transactions” and took it to a whole new level.

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Christopher Allcock

They’re basically taking the pricing structure of the original LCG, with a bit less interaction with the digital version…

Basically, you had the ‘core’ game (which you kinda needed two/three of for full sets of certain cards, completely optional tho, the game was 100% playable with one core box). Then EVERYTHING after you had to pay for that story, be it extra (optional) characters, the next chapter of the arc, the next story etc, etc, but you only needed to buy them ONCE, it came with everything you need for that update, it wasn’t randomised, it’s kinda like buying a new campaign book in D&D.

Look at Arkham Horror for the current example of LCG – this is perfectly normal for FFG LCG pricing, it’s going to shock a lot of people not understanding this isn’t MTG/Hearthstone, it’s actually could end up cheaper to play.

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Amorey

Is Fantasy Flight Games ( maker of the card game ) connected to SSG in anyway? The two companies have no connection as far as I know unless things have changed recently.

As for the Palantir Program , good luck with that … as long as it does not become Player Council 2. To get the best feedback from players you need to listen to ALL feedback, both positive and negative, and not only what you ‘want’ to hear.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Long ago, in the midst of time, I was on the Palantir server for LOTRO. It was run by a hard core clique of LOTRO/Turbine fan boys. Disagreements, criticism, even mild criticism, was thoroughly put down on the Palantir forum by these fierce warriors of Middle Earth. After awhile, Palantir just became a club for playing a private version of the game.

In my experience, one or two people with a hard axe to grind, whether positive or negative, can control all discussions and constantly force all conversations to be about their issues. A skilled moderator is necessary to keep individuals like this from dominating and overriding those with quieter but still valid perspectives. You only get that from experienced professionals.

LOTRO devs, whether Turbine or SSG, have always been very controlling. A lot of the worst changes to the game came about as the devs attempted to control the way players played. (This is not unique to them, all devs do it. See, for example, Blizzard.) So, you are probably quite correct that they only hear what agrees with their already-made decisions.

TL;DR: Yeah, another attempt to get feedback they won’t use.

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Christopher Allcock

Call me out as stupid if I’m wrong but the LCG isn’t connected to LOTRO at all, in fact, they are completely different projects and companies…? So putting them under the same article is a bit confusing, it makes it sound like they are connected some way.

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Vincent Clark

“extremely aggressive development cycle”…ha ha! oh boy…

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johnd212

I am so going to play the Living Card game. I love games like that and LOTR theme..heck yes.

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BalsBigBrother

The card game looks cool but the reviews and the apparent paywalls have given me pause plus it is early access at the moment. I will take another look when it actually launches into its free to play model to see how onerous it is at that point in time before I decide on a hard pass or not.

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Alex Willis

Early reports on the card game are very positive. I love Fantasy Flight’s games in general, so this is no surprise. But I have also heard that the non-cash grind is pretty bad — and that even basic purchased versions of the game come with lots of stuff locked behind grindwalls or paywalls.

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donvweel

I also like the Fantasy Flight stable of games been wanting to try Legends of Five Rings. https://www.fantasyflightgames.com/en/products/legend-of-the-five-rings-the-card-game/