Lord of the Rings Online pushes ahead with broadly unpopular patch changes

    
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While it looked for a minute there that SSG was reconsidering some absolutely awful changes to Lord of the Rings Online, the studio has decided to go ahead with putting them in the game today. The hated changes involve placing hard limits on acquiring and using scrolls to level up the game’s all-important legendary items.

And the studio knows how bad this move is, too, because it’s already put out a list of proposed changes to the changes that may or may not come later.

Material Middle-earth blogger Nathrien summed up the situation by saying, “After eleven years of playing, I’ve seen many things, but never so controversial […] There are some seriously controversial changes to scrolls of empowerment. In essence, they’re multiplying the LI grind by a factor of five.”

Or as another player tweeted, “Not the dumbest idea implemented in LOTRO, but it’s up there.”

Both Twitter and the forums are buzzing with dissent over the patch, but while SSG may be listening, it ain’t budging.

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Scorp Gang

Gotta get it dead before that Amazon LOTR Game.

Queue the “Lord of the Rings Online didn’t die. It was murdered!” MEMEs

Karac_Avalron
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Karac_Avalron

When people say SSG doesnt care about its players this patch is a perfect example. Its not just the fact they made one of the biggest pain points for players worse but later, after the announcement Cordovan comes to the forums and posts

“We will be taking another look at distribution of Scrolls of Empowerment for a patch in the near future, but we didn’t want to hold up the other changes in this patch, especially some of the performance work, and it will be helpful to get some fresh feedback after people engage with these changes for a bit.”

Link: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?&postid=8056809#post8056809

When making such a high profile change to a crap system you’d want to have all the future changes mapped out and be able to present that as part of the patch notes to assuage your players. So one has to conclude that they are either stupid, inept or dont care, or worse, there really isnt a plan he’s just trying to throw what water he can on the fire.

I wont be renewing my VIP and am actively encouraging those I know in game to do the same. A comprehensive plan for LI’s that WILL BE implemented (not just talked about in the producers letter) has to come to fruition before any more money is given to SSG. Not incremental changes, meaningful material changes. They have had years to address LI’s, enough is enough.

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Robert Mann

I kinda get where they are coming from, in trying to make LIs match with the content you are doing in terms of max power. It doesn’t work, though, and it’s just removing viable catch up routes for people who haven’t done that grind.

End result, a bandaid is a bandaid, and this one seems to be made from cactus with all the spines still in play.

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Bruno Brito

Btw, a small note:

There’s absolutely no way in hell for me that Cordovan is not being told to be this asswipy to pulse-check the community, because in any other competent business, he would get slapped out of the building.

It has to be by design. No one keeps such an imbecile unless it’s by design. Fuck this guy.

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Kickstarter Donor
Louie

I think what stands out to me the most is just how blasé he is in literally every single post he makes, like he can’t be bothered to do his job with any type of enthusiasm.

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Bruno Brito

I mean, i kinda understand why, since being a CM is not exactly enviable, but it’s not even his issue. He’s a contemptible asshole and treats the playerbase like trash.

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Vincent Clark

If LotRO wasn’t the only (currently) MMOPRG set in Middle-Earth, SSG would never get away with this. Because people would have an alternative. Actually, they wouldn’t get away with half the shit they have pulled over the years.

But, they do get away with it–because they know they can. For now.

It’s like politics…politicians can say and do things because they know a large section of the populace doesn’t care or because what is happening doesn’t affect them in any discernible way. It’s the same way with SSG and their player-base. They are counting on the the fact they are currently the only game in town and the indifference of their loyal player base when it comes to these type of decisions.

That kind of tells you all you need to know about the company/management behind this game.

Sigh…and here I am again talking about a game I don’t play anymore :)

MilitiaMasterV
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MilitiaMasterV

Jokes on them, I’ve never played any of my characters up to Moria even…I ‘bought’ it in cash shop using Turbine Points way back when Turbine still had it, but never even saw the content, much less any of the other stuff they’ve been beating their customers to death with. I made so many characters, trying to get the feel of the game/find the ‘right one for me’, and trying to get over the things that irked me about what should’ve been a very fun game…but couldn’t bring myself to. I played a full paid year back then and burned out hardcore doing every crafting guild at once, and every time I’ve tried going back…the systems in place, or the UI, or something about how they expect each character to be it’s own little cash sink, turns me off and I never come back…I even tried logging in on there a few months ago after they claimed to have gotten a handle on the server instability stuff to see how things were…since I have no game…and even logged in a couple days for the ‘free daily hobbit presents’…but after a bit, I just stopped logging in again.

I don’t even know how the whole legendary system works, and I’m glad I don’t…

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Ironwu

It is really just kind of sad. I can only wonder what their plan is and why the are taking this approach to the game.

Probably has a lot to do with the ratio of Non-Paying Lifetime Subscribers, to F2P players, to basic subscribers. Not enough revenue coming in.

So, it is sink or swim. Get more revenue or lose your jobs. I don’t think this move is going to get them enough new revenue in order to save them.

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Bruno Brito

I have a theory.

I think SSG hates this game, hates having to keep it up, because it’s probably more headaches than good at this point, and they want to slash it from their catalogue.

So, they keep behaving like terrible people to push the playerbase away, and the playerbase simply keeps coming back. So they try to nickel-and-dime what they can while using Cordovan as a pulse-checker to see how far they can go being complete dipshits.

They clearly know that the game could be revitalized with some major changes, but they’re too cowardly to lose the little cashgrabs that makes them comfy for some real significative improvement. I also think they just don’t know what to do anymore.

allwynd01
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allwynd01

Your theory is good, plausible and interesting.

I have two other theories:

1. They are actually THAT stupid and greedy.
2. The higher ups, above SSG tell them to milk the shit out of LOTRO even more and the just abide their rulers and owners.

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Bruno Brito

I’m highly sure they’re that stupid and greedy. I’m also sure that the higher ups don’t give a shit about the game.

Add that to the fact that they seem to be as incompetent as cryptic, development speaking, to solve issues.

I honestly believe that the last year server issues enlightened them that this game is kept by duct tape and spit, and there’s nothing they can do to solve is: If the game renovates pop, it’ll be unstable again.

So, they spent the last months after the instability just trying to shove us away.

SSG needs LoTRO, it’s their moneymaker. And they probably loathe that fact because your moneymaker being something you clearly don’t understand well on a technical level to sustain, costing you lasting profits isn’t the best model.

And honestly, they kinda deserve it. Fuck this company.

Leyaa
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Leyaa

And this is where you say goodbye to LotRO… (if not before)

After the free goodies during march-august last year, the decisions made my SSG got worse and worse and now reach a (negative) peak.
The LI grind is one of the worst aspects of LotRO, which has been pointed out by the players for years. And now it gets even worse…

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Dug From The Earth

I honestly think the upper executives are trying to justify shutting this game down

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Kickstarter Donor
Chris Neal

Sure as heck feels that way, doesn’t it?