MMO Week in Review: So LOTRO is breathing easier right about now

    
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It’s pretty rare that a story that broke over the weekend is the most interesting thing to have happened all week unless it’s a treat from Daybreak, but we’ve got one for you: Yesterday, Amazon admitted that it and Tencent-owned Leyou have canceled the Lord of the Rings MMORPG that they’ve been working on for the last few years. Even though the reason sounds more like some sort of dispute rather than a lack of faith in the MMO market, it’s still unsettling.

The good news is that we’ve already got a Lord of the Rings MMO, and it’s still doing fine. We’re also staring down betas for Swords of Legends, Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis, and Elyon. Plus, we dipped a toe into Diablo II Resurrected’s alpha, Elite Dangerous’ Odyssey alpha, Path of Exile’s messy Ultimatum launch, Elder Scrolls Online’s Blackwood, and FFXIV’s Death Unto Dawn.

Read on to catch up with the very best of this week’s MMO news and opinions today as every Sunday in Massively Overpowered’s Week in Review!

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THIS WEEK’S CASTS & STREAMS

Every week, get caught up on the MMO genre’s latest news and Massively OP’s best content in our MMO Week in Review! Want more roundups of content? Try Friday’s Betawatch for MMO testing highlights, Saturday’s Make My MMO for MMO crowdfunding updates, and Sunday’s The MOP Up, which mops up all the bits of news we didn’t cover anywhere else.
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jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

MMORPG’s are a dead genre. It’s been 7 years since a new AAA Western release. The gameplay mechanics are the same that they were a decade ago. Our best hopes are with Raph Koster and Mark Jacobs…two dudes best known for games that released 20 years ago.

It is what it is. I’ll keep playing until I’m dead. But it’d be fun to get excited about a new release that brought something different, of course it would.

Oh and to anyone thinking Amazon (Amazon!) would deliver anything…c’mon.

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Munchmeat2

MMORPG’s are a dead genre.

You couldn’t be more wrong lol. I get so irritated when I see people write stuff like this. MMOs are stagnant, but not dead. There is still a ton of interest in MMOs still. Stop spewing this nonsense.

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Vamen Dbarr

Well they ARE in the delivery business =p.

I personally had a small hope for it ever since they started to turn New World around from something I INSTANLLY hated in the first alpha to something I am greatly anticipating ever since the last few.

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Vamen Dbarr

My typo is bugging me.

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MaynardKeenanX

Too aII the Iotro fanboys: gI with the even more bizarreIy priced expansions and Gundabad in the coming years!

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

I had a couple of years of fun with LotRO 6-7 years ago. It is an amazing world and absurdly accurate to the lore (for a game).

I hope this certainty will afford the game upgraded infrastructure and character models. It’s a gorgeous house that would do well with some tuckpointing and fresh paint.

Andy Turner
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Andy Turner

Modern man has a serious problem of only doing half of a project. Amazon is just rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Anyone want to guess why developers hate developing these days it’s because business partners like to complain all day at them on Skype and teams and email and phone and one-on-one meetings. Technology? Garbage. I’m happy with my pen and paper RPGs after 20 years of dealing with internet bologna I’m done out

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Dug From The Earth

honestly, this bad news for current Lotro players. Competition is good, and now that there is no threat of players jumping ship to a new lotro game, the current game devs can slack off.

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MaynardKeenanX

Cant agree more!

Their stuck-up seIf.pride to onIy Iower their ANCIENT garbage expansions from 80$ DOWN to 60…..absoIuteIy scam if you actuaIIy pay for that.

Why is nobody not taIking about this?

Go F yourseIf if you take fuII AAA price for oId outdated content …

I wiII NEVER return to this turd mmo

WoW had FREE previous expansions…GET OUT.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

Disagree. Capitol improvements are easier to make with greater landscape certainty.

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jealouspirate

On one hand, something to light a fire under LOTRO’s team would certainly be appreciated. The game is not in a great state.

On the other hand, I had zero confidence that an MMO from Amazon was going to be any good, so it probably wouldn’t have a made a difference anyway.

There are very few good LOTR games, for some reason. I’m not entirely sure why. Someone should make an Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley style game where you play as a Hobbit just living their Hobbit life in the Shire. I’d play the hell out of that.

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Ardra Diva

My counterbalance to the usual bitterness I read in any comment section about LOTRO: The game is great and I enjoy it very much.

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Vamen Dbarr

I love the game and I’ve been playing since the original beta. Not consistently, but off and on all these years. I hope I can get my account restored one of these days so I can hop back into the furry feet of my lovely hobbit once more.

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Mallus

Amazon produces nothing, they sell stuff other companies make, the fact they’ve been unable to make a game worth anything is not surprising and I don’t think New World will do that well over the long term, 2+ months.

jimthomasUS
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jimthomasUS

“The Boys” is good but otherwise yeah they’re a black hole.

Raleigh-St-Clair
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Raleigh-St-Clair

It’s very disappointing. LotRO is sub-par junk and only kept alive by the obsession of Tolkien fans. If it was a generic fantasy IP, it would have shuttered long ago, I have absolutely no doubt about that. So this Amazon LotR game promised much; bringing a much loved IP into modern MMO gaming. To lose that is, frankly, astounding. Especially with the largest budget TV series being made in the same universe, by the same company. What on earth is going on over there? Hopeless.

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ashiru_1978

The game is hardly sub-par junk or kept alive by the obsession of Tolkien fans. Most of the people that play it just enjoy playing it, I have been playing for a couple of months and not a single person has been gushing over lore or anything, people play it like every other fantasy MMO – they care about dungeons, leveling their characters, trading stuff, looking for/offering help, etc. You have it completely wrong.

It’s outdated, but certainly not sub-par or junk. It has lots of content, good story and a decent looking world. I play it not because I’m a Tolkien fan obsessed with it, but because I can no longer play Vanilla WoW, because I played it so much I can no longer enjoy it. And LOTRO was the closest MMORPG to Vanilla WoW – good story, big world, tab targeting combat.

Amazon’s Middle Earth MMORPG didn’t promise that much. It was going to be cross-platform, no idea if between PC and console or PC and mobile. It was going to be set in the 2nd age meaning, like ESO and SWTOR – they give themselves the creative freedom to pull crap out of their ass just to keep it going for years if not decades with the most bullshit story possible.

Just because SWTOR takes place ~4000 years before the events in the Battle of Yavin, which are the most relatable to that audience and ESO takes place ~1000 years before the events on any of the iconic single player games means they can come up with whatever content they want, because there is not much lore in that period to restrict what they can do.

Such a predicament for a game set in Middle Earth would mean a complete demise for both the game and the world that Tolkien created. Most players who would play it would be people familiar with his work, I doubt more than 10% will be people who don’t even know who Frodo or Gandalf are.

There was no guarantee that this game would have been anything good.

First of all there was almost zero information on the mechanics or anything.

Second of all being cross-platform means it can be very limited in what it can do so it can work on controllers or touch screen devices. Even ESO has different servers for console or desktop players, because one group will clearly dominate the other in PvP mostly due to how each group controls the game.

Since we knew so little about the game, it’s hardly a shame or a disappointment that it’s no more. It’s more of a blessing in disguise.

(Edited by mod. Please review the community commending code.)

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Vincent Clark

You’re 100% correct that if this was any other IP, the game would have shut down years ago. It’s so poorly mismanaged, but it’s also the only LOTR MMORPG up and running (if barely). And to be blunt, someone who has only played the game for a couple months simply wouldn’t understand that perspective (looks at ashiru_1978).

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SmiteDoctor

It is pretty respectful to the lore, how ever it’s being mismanaged; it’s like if you really loved your job except you’re always under staffed, under payed, under supplied, and the building is crumbling.

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2Ton Gamer

I really don’t agree that SSG was ever really concerned with this or had any plans to change much whether good or bad. Maybe their new overlords might have dumped a tad bit more money their way in efforts to try and… No…. I still do not believe their parent company was going to really do anything different, just like I do not believe they had any plans as leaked from the corp meeting when they bought SSG to really put the game on consoles or improve the graphics and performance. The amount of money that would be needed to do any of those things for the aging badly LOTRO is just not feasible.

They will continue to let it languish as it has and putting out recycled asset infested areas of Middle Earth that have barebone lore to back it up so they can basically do what they want. FFS they cannot even get their chat working right after how many months now? I find it funny that writers on this site are slowly coming back around to LOTRO being decent again when SSG has not really done much for making the game better, they’ve just been more communicative about their possible “plans” even though they’re as vague as ever about when and how they will make the changes that players have been asking for (and needing) for more than 3 or 4 years now and in some cases longer.

No, LOTRO is not breathing easier at all because you would need to have a pulse to do so… They’re just a walking dead zombie continuing their slow roll toward their next poor sap victim who still believes that the game can be turned around and brought back to life again…

Stormsong Minstrel
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Stormsong Minstrel

A pity. I was expecting Amazon game to appear and do lots of good to gaming community. At least to bring more people to Tolkien’s lore and to make $$G work better. Competition – in my opinion -is good, it makes others work harder or fail hard.
Now we have situation where $$G can spit on players: if you need Tolkien, you are forced to stay with us…or imagine Middle Earth in SWTORs battlefields or Asura golems of GW2.

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Vamen Dbarr

And they certainly have been spitting on some of us.

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Bruno Brito

. I was expecting Amazon game to appear and do lots of good to gaming community.

wat