Kappa Sigma Turbine

Forumfall loves to bitch about Aventurine. It’s basically a tradition at this point, and it’s pretty well deserved considering DF2010 is (maybe) coming out 12/12/12. Like how hard would it have been for someone from AV to just provide a quick “don’t worry, first person view is in DF:UW”? Not that hard. And then we got the first role preview video, with 3/5 skills shown. Why did you not just show all 5? Because :AV:

But the MMO genre being as wonderfully entertaining as it is, you only have to take a small step back to realize :AV: or :CCP: is still god’s gift to gaming compared to SOE or Turbine. The latest pants-head development to fall out of the clowncar is the $50 hobby horse in LotRO. As others have mentioned, if this was an April 1st post it would fail because it would be too obvious, but no no, Turbine is serious.

Now sure, LotRO is already a F2P MMO, so the bar is meh high, but even at that level this is good stuff. First off, the ‘mount’ just looks stupid, in Middle Earth or otherwise. If it was a free drop for new players as their first mount, people would call it cyberbullying new players by making them ride around on something that looks so insulting and is often used as a hazing ritual. That Turbine wants $50 for it must be some social experiment (I think the question is “How many LotRO players would pay to get kicked in the balls?”), with the ultimate joke being on said players.

Because let’s make no mistake about it, LotRO players will buy this, just like WoW players got in line to buy a sparkle pony. We are not talking about the EVE playerbase that turned back CCP and Incarna here with the Jita Riots, we are talking about a F2P playerbase who already purchase The One Ring in their shop, and subject themselves to the game perma-spamming them to buy more every two seconds. Furthermore, if you think this is the only time this is going to happen (or even worse, that you think THIS is the START of a slippery slope…), let me introduce you to EQ2, a game basically funded on F2P dummies buying fairy wings, magic carpets, or whatever the SOE brain trust has devoted 90% of their development time and effort to. The only question left unanswered here is what will Turbine call the panda expansion for LotRO?

Bonus points to former MMO blogger Tobold for this gem as he attempts to defend Turbine:

Let me get that straight: You would rather that Turbine makes no money and shuts the game down than allow them to “break your immersion”? Sounds extremely selfish to me.

Because it’s either hobby horse or death people! That’s the only option in the MMO genre. Nothing else works. Providing a consistent, quality service and charging for it is for suckers. Massively successful games with a huge playerbase like EQ or LotRO are doing it right, and you are all just way behind the curve.

Never change F2P people, never change.

28 Responses to Kappa Sigma Turbine

  1. That is what we call a false dichotomy. You take a range of possibilities and pit the one you want to promote as the only alternative to an extreme and unattractive choice, and hope nobody notices that there are other options.

    If you don’t support the hobby horse, you are selfish and trying to kill the game. Good job there Tobold.

    Frankly, I think LOTRO ought to put in the hobby horse. Once the darling success story of the F2P conversion movement, LOTRO is becoming the warning as to where a game must go to survive in the now crowded F2P fantasy MMORPG market. Why fetter that lesson now? Why not make it abundantly clear where things stand?

    • gwjanimej says:

      Came here to post this. Not at all surprised to see that you beat me to the punch.

      That said, I think the folks getting their knickers in a twist over the hobby horse need to get over it. Sure, it’s a bit immersion breaking. Sure, it’s ridiculously expensive. That said, I see it in the same way that I saw the monocles in EVE. Ridiculously expensive, but I guarantee that there will be people who buy them.

  2. Paragus says:

    I don’t think I remember that horse in the movies, but maybe it was in the director’s cut or something.

  3. kamuka says:

    LoL does Free to Pay right. All others (I’ve seen) are annoying attempts to grab money off of idiots.

  4. Lyss says:

    I would buy it if it came with the right tools to make a fitting clicking noise to compensate for the lack of hoofs

  5. Solf says:

    My understanding (from blog comments) is that hobby horse actually gives you speed boost a la normal horse.

    The actual question that I have — is how this hobby horse works with the LOTRO license? I mean, they don’t even call hit points ‘hit points’… So, how?

    P.S. I’d have relatively little problem with all this if hobby horse actually does NOT increase character speed.

  6. Kyff says:

    I think it’s a great way to keep the game alive. A 50 bucks hobby horse wille be bought. But only by the most useless nutcases running around in the game. I’d rather see 1 hobby horse a day than 50 sparkling ponies for a dollar each. It’s less hurtful to the eyes for most and financially the same for the game company. Only question remaining is if the price is set right to achieve this.

  7. tithian says:

    That reply that you’re quoting from Tobold, was aimed to a comment I made. Mayne facepalms were had but I just decided that he was just trolling me or something. At least I hope that was it.

    In any case, the “feedback” thread that Syp linked is worth a read. Some of the responses are pure comedy gold, so props to the Lotro community for that.

  8. Ashen says:

    There’s nothing wrong with a hobby horse in itself – it’s not lore breaking in any way, shape or form, it fits the current Rohan setting and in fact already is in the game in one quest where you “race” around one of the towns. It’s just fluff like dozens of silly festival items and noone complains about them.

    Of course when you add a $50 price tag and a mount-level speed increase it becomes utterly absurd, which is why the feedback has been so negative and why they backtracked on the whole idea. That’s not something you’re likely to mention though so keep on ranting.

  9. dont worry you wont need mounts in df uw because…

    you can BUNNYHOP AWAY!

    not to mention if you have speedhax, flyinghax, etc. you don’t need to even bunnyhop!

    wootness goodness!

    lolololol

    • tithian says:

      Are you doing anything else with your life, other than refreshing Syncaine’s blog every 5 seconds in a desperate attempt to troll more?

      But then again, hey, more traffic for the site…

      • There is always somebody around like that. I remember a blogger who took a dislike to LOTRO a couple of years back and felt the need to inject a “LOTRO sucks” comment in to any discussion of the game he could find on popular blogs. Because, you know, that never comes across as bitter resentment or anything.

        Popularity encourages trolls, so it is pretty much a sign of SynCaine’s success I suppose that he has an obsessed DF hater stalking him.

    • hevy says:

      I can lie like it’s not KIND OF funny. I do smile when I see these comments even if the poster is a deranged, basement dwelling mouth breather.

  10. coppertopper says:

    Tobold actually makes a good point here:
    ” The people buying the $50 hobby horse are effectively financing the game for those who pay nothing. If everybody decided to pay nothing and just play for free, the game would be closed down after a few months.”

    And no one can have the ridiculously priced fluff item discussion w/o bringing up the Eve monocle fiasco, which ironically is a cash shop item in a sub game.

    That said how does either CCP or Turbine justify the price/inclusion of such an item given the game setting? In both examples the ‘come on man!’ reaction is off the charts. Great content brings the money (either from cash shop purchases or loyalty via the sub model) and both companies failed their game/customers/integrity miserably in these two examples.

    • SynCaine says:

      EVE was mentioned in the post…

      And the reaction to the monocle was very different than the reaction here. Read up on why EVE players were upset, and what CCP has done since. Like the post said, with Turbine this won’t be a CCP situation, it’s going to (continue) to be an EQ2 situation.

    • Still a false dichotomy. Turbine could finance the game via something other than hobby horses.

      And you can always tell the non-EVE players because they keep bringing up the monocle like that was the real issue.

      The actual issue was CCP working on walking in stations and space Barbies while ignoring the actual game. A whole expansion, Incarna, was dominated by by stuff that was outside of the core of the game. That was what set everybody’s hair on fire, CCP’s priorities were ignoring the people who paid their bills. CCP then poured gasoline on that fire by telling players that they really wanted space Barbies along with loose talk about then selling ships and gold ammo and stuff like that.

      The monocle is still in the game and nobody cares because it was never the issue in the first place. Oh, and it also isn’t totally out of place like a hobby horse mount would be in LOTRO.

      • coppertopper says:

        They really arent that far off from each other because its the player reaction that’s the point here. CCP made changes from the feedback it got – doubt if Turbine will change but that is the hope. LOTRO is the example of how not to FTP, and the monacle in Eve was the pinnacle of how not to change a game against player wishes. Unfortunately players can’t burn down the shire and not sure if there is enough angst in LOTRO players to even conceive of that kind of an action.

        • And the real irony here is that CCP not only did not ask for feedback, but actively told people that the players didn’t know what they really wanted. CEO Hilmar declared space Barbies were clearly what people really wanted. CCP had to be dragged to the truth.

          Meanwhile, Turbine asked for feedback… granted, in an incredibly passive-aggressive way, saying that they did not want to hear anything negative… but will likely ignore it in the end.

          One lesson here is that a subscription MMO has to listen listen to a broad base of subscribers, while in F2P you only matter if you are buying from the cash shop today or tomorrow.

        • spinks says:

          Hilmar might have been right, and walking in stations might have brought in a slew of new players. We’ll never know ;)

        • SynCaine says:

          Adding walking in stations was not the issue.

          Not adding the gameplay of walking in stations but opening up the item shop based around it was (along with removing the hanger, and a few other stupid decisions that have since been turned back).

          That’s the key difference here: EVE players were upset by a lack of gameplay. LotRO players are upset that the non-gameplay item shop is now selling a silly and overpriced item. Night and day.

    • spinks says:

      So only people who want tat are allowed to finance the game? That’s the weird thing about the model to me.

  11. Stormwaltz says:

    I think the hobby horse is dumb as hell. And I think it *does* matter that it’s immersion-breaking, because LotRO is a game which is measured in part by its fidelity to an established canon of lore, lore which Tolkien was extremely careful and detailed in his creation of.

    It’s not just cheap and distasteful – it is disrespectful.

    As a subscriber, I don’t see any of the ads that freeloaders are “perma-spammed” with “every two seconds.” The initial loading screen has one, and the link to the store is smaller than a nickel in the lower corner of my screen. That’s it. I saw little difference when the game converted, so I didn’t mind it. This stupidity is going to be in my face.

    Personally, I’d rather pay for the development of features I want to see by… paying for the development of features I want to see. If Turbine said tomorrow, “Hey, we’ll revamp housing to SWG’s standard if you all pitch in,” I’d pledge a large sum.

  12. kennyg says:

    forget cost, why the hell make it look like that? it just looks stupid, it has to be a publicity stunt, because they can back track easily

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