Been playing Lord of the Rings Online lately? That’s a little gallows humor for you, right there; logging into LOTRO has been a well-documented nightmare at the best of times for far too long now. No one is happy about this fact, and it seemed like an almost foregone conclusion that Standing Stone Games should really offer players something by way of recompense (and it did so yesterday). But the fact is that this is hardly the first time a game has been down for loner than intended… and how to compensate players for that has always been an open question.
Obviously, if a game is unplayable for more than a week, that requires compensation to paying customers. But what about times when maintenance goes on for longer than it’s scheduled to last? What about when the maintenance lasts exactly as long as it was planned, but it’s one of Final Fantasy XIV‘s extended maintenance sessions that lasts a full 24 hours? When should MMO studios compensate players for downtime? Does it matter if it’s unexpected or planned, and how much does duration factor in?