LOTRO’s Minas Morgul lockboxes are raising community concerns

    
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LOTRO’s Minas Morgul lockboxes are raising community concerns

Ever since SSG increased its use and contents with the Mordor expansion, LOTRO’s lockboxes have been a sore point among players who have heavily criticized the feature. This situation might be getting uglier with next week’s Minas Morgul release, as the latest lockbox offerings look to be leaning more on the pay-to-win-by-chance side of things.

Of particular concern among Minas Morgul beta testers is the presence lockbox gear that allegedly has better stats then the first two tiers of the new instance boss drops, as well as choose-your-own essences that are more convenient than the landscape RNG variety. In short, these lockboxes can help some players pay to shortcut endgame progression and gearing. Various potions that are included have raised red flags, although SSG did say that it would look into the values of these.

Some players are asking for a further delay of the expansion to allow for more testing and balance refinement for lockboxes, classes, and content. It should be noted that the new zones and stories are getting some praise here, as well as an overhaul to the daily “Hobbit presents” panel, which now looks spiffier and hands out virtue XP.

Source: LOTRO forums. Thanks Marcus!

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Vincent Clark

Resistance is futile (clearly). I find it…sad…that “something of note” is the fact that they updated the obnoxious slot machine/gambling mechanic known as the “Hobbit Presents”. This isn’t something we should be applauding. Had they removed it entirely, sure. Praising them because they made it “spiffier”…not so much.

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Будусов Виктор

No expansion without P2P scandal!

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Krista Allen

Well this is disappointing. Still hoping for a lotro free from P2W bs

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vikkee_jp

Will this article be deleted when Minas Morgul launches and we see what the stats actually are? The complaints and concerns are in the context of a beta test, where they are being addressed. If they were planning to change their published rules for lootboxes, that’s one thing, but if they are just doing what they have been doing, yawn. There will be much more in the update to like or complain about than lootboxes.

We know some people like lootboxes (or they wouldn’t pay to open them), some people hate lootboxes (because they don’t like that other people use them or maybe feel forced to use them), and most people don’t care (especially after they learn how to filter out the lootbox drops).

It would be interesting to hear a new thought about them, because we’ve heard the same arguments over and over.

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GumpsGang

SSG has already responded. No changes are being made to their lootbox policy previously published (this is good). It looks like they are keeping an eye on item scaling as well for the launch (this is also good). Sooooo …. nothing new to say *shrug*

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L F

Why would it be deleted? It states in the article that Minas Morgul has not been released yet. This is the CURRENT state of Minas Morgul, and if changes are made on release or not is then to be reported.

I think its good that this is being reported on, because SSG didn’t respond until someone linked this article. Days of complaining with players being afraid that this P2w was actually going to make it into the live game.

I mean, it gets released early next week, and on the last beta the lootbox gear is stronger than the instance gear, and SSG refuse to respond to it. Of course people will be upset and worried.

cambruin
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cambruin

A beta test to see exactly how far they can go. Didn’t TheyBreakGames recently got hit by a round of lay-offs? Again?! Yet their modus operandi does not change. P2W does nothing to attract new people while also driving away the few ‘loyal’ customers that remain.

They -and by extension, so is SSG- are the personalization of insanity; they keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different outcome each and every time.

Look at the reddit subscriber count, a mere 27K subscribers. Look at it’s competition; GW2 219K, ESO 230K, WOWC 400K, Black Desert 126K, …
I think by now it’s pretty clear that simply adding more regions, adding races that offer little more than cosmetic variation and increasing P2W in a despicable attempt to increase revenue is not working.

Oh well, best of luck to those who remain.

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teppic

The fact that the new base expansion has no level boost, and you get no previous expansions included shows they’re no longer even trying to get new players. For a new player it’s now one of the most expensive games on the market. Unless you are only catering to existing players it’s an insane strategy.

The new regions are heavily reliant on old assets. You can look around the latest areas and see it’s all identical stuff found in Breeland back from the original vanilla game. There are almost no costs to doing this, but this drip feed of content seems to keep the core playerbase happy (for now).

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teppic

This is almost certainly because of Daybreak. The publisher usually has almost full control over monetisation than the dev studio, and things got considerably more lockboxy when Daybreak took over.

That being said, as usual publishers only do this because it makes money. People keep buying this shit, so they’ll keep making the game more and more pay to win when it increases money, and players just complain but keep playing.

cambruin
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cambruin

Are you sure? Isn’t it a bit too easy to point fingers at Daybreak? And if it is Daybreak, why did SSG choose them as a publisher? It was very clear what kind of company Daybreak was well before the announcement.

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Roger Edwards

When previously interviewed, it has been heavily implied by senior SSG staff, that Daybreak are more than just the company’s publisher. When SSG extracted themselves from Turbine and secured legal control over LOTRO and DDO, that process came with a major financial cost. Current thinking is that Daybreak bankrolled that entire process. Therefore, they have a much more substantial roll to play in SSG’s business practices.

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teppic

Yeah there’s a lot of speculation, maybe Daybreak owns part or all of SSG, or maybe it’s just a traditional publishing arrangement.

It’s clear though that the game now operates at minimal development costs, even compared to smaller indie studios. Relying on lockboxes for income is typical in these situations, it requires no real costs and while it lasts it’s practically printing money. I wouldn’t be surprised if Daybreak sees it as a way to milk the fanbase, since there’s a stable enough playerbase that doesn’t care about any pay to win etc.

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teppic

I’m not saying SSG are downtrodden heroes. They know what they’re doing. I expect that the deal they got with Daybreak was the best they could find, and they went in totally willingly. For all we know it’s the only deal they could find. It’s just that developers rarely have much to do with the actual monetisation themselves once the deal’s done.

In this case since Daybreak stays in the background, SSG is treated as both developer and publisher, when it’s not that simple in practice.

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L F

They also let us craft gear but not the components needed for it, they expect us to open lootboxes for them instead..

cambruin
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cambruin

Honestly… SSG. It’s just… I don’t know. I’m lost for words. We all know you’re desperate for the moneyz, but have you not learnt a thing?

For 12+ years this was my MMO of choice. I quit playing prior to Mordor release, came back shortly for the Legendary servers, but it seems I’ll have to let go of this abomination the game has become.

I wish you a peaceful death LotRO. Lord knows you earnt it. *unplugs life support*

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Vincent Clark

So hard to resist chiming in here…
comment image

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Dividion

I still just delete every lockbox the game sticks in my inventory. That certainly hasn’t stopped me from being able to enjoy the content of the game. If people want to give SSG cash to open them, that’s fine with me, so long as it’s not required. Maybe it’ll keep the game from going the way of Asheron’s Call. There are other things I consider valuable from the store, like inventory space and travel skills, so I do occasionally splurge for those.

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GumpsGang

The last thing we heard about lockboxes from the executive producer was they where becoming de-emphasized.  The update to gear since then have been delayed on the release of new content.  Also, SSG has given us easy ways to just buy a gearbox (not locked) using free earnable in-game currently. 

My personal completely baseless opinion is the lockboxes are more of a Daybreak “need” than a design want by SSG.  

I went looking about the forums, I don’t see any changes announced to the prior plan.  Bullroarer often has gear added for testing that may not be a part of the immediate update.  Does any current LOTRO player have any deeper info or is this more player worry-based?  There is a bunch of forum traffic, I may be missing something.

Thank you for the info.

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warroth weill

Hopefully it will be the same this time around, that lootbox gear will be buffed later into the expansion when new raid and higher tiers of dungeons is getting released. Personally I would just want them to remove gear with stats from lootboxes it’s just sad to see.

This article didn’t get it right tho, currently on the beta the lootbox gear is stronger than even the tier 3 version of the new dungeons. So right now there is o reason to run them.

There are also huge issues about the over all scaling of the new levels and gear, because people can complete the new t3 version of the instances with old 120 gear.