Help a noob out

TAGN has a fine overview of the latest expansion for LoTRO, and specifically the money Turbine is asking for it. $70 seems outrageous for an expansion, especially when you consider that certain MMOs give them out for ‘free’, but that’s a different topic. Not to mention that if people are paying $70 for expansions, charge them $70 until they stop.

What is interesting is that Wilhelm has little motivation to really splurge because he is so far behind the content curve. In a way, Turbine adding levels to LotRO as ‘fast’ as they have been has hurt them with this particular customer.

Sell him a character already!

They already sell The One Ring and other gear in the item store, why not characters or just +1 level potions? Much like WoW, any kind of lore-based reasoning has long since died, and with an aging game that, while far from dead, is not exactly lighting the genre on fire, why not let people like Wilhelm easily come back and experience whatever content at whatever level they want?

Especially under the F2P model. You don’t have the ‘what if they consume content too quickly’ concern since you are not collecting a monthly sub, and really where you make most of your money is on impulse buys from people who see something they want RIGHT NOW. By selling levels, you introduce lots of RIGHT NOW situations. Just add more gear to the cash shop and bam, moneytree.

If you are going to go F2P, go big.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
This entry was posted in Lord of the Rings Online, MMO design, RMT. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Help a noob out

  1. This is the sort of thing that makes me want to see a move away from levels as the gate to content.

    There are any number of MMOs where I have played, gone away, then come back only to find that whatever is shiny and new… the “best” content, at least in theory… is many levels out of my reach while I am left in the older and much less popular zones.

    Doesn’t happen in EVE. My Drake skills are as useful now as they were four years ago when I pretty much capped them out. Not that there isn’t always some new skill I want to adapt my fit to new circumstances, but after a certain point a few million skill points into things, there are few artificial barriers to doing things.

    • Cyndre says:

      Agree. In Eve once you’ve fit a T2 shield tanked drake, there is almost nothing you cant contribute to anywhere in the game.

      That takes all of, what… 45 days tops? Oh ya, you can be afk those 45 days as well…

  2. bhagpuss says:

    I quite like LotRO. I haven’t bought any of the expansions because I do not have any interest at all in Moria. I don’t like underground zones in general so an entire expansion set underground is offputting to say the least. As far as I understand it (I could well be wrong and I haven’t fact-checked this) getting through Moria is required to use any of the subsequent expansions, so there’s no point me even thinking about whether I might want to buy any of them. I’d have to go through Moria to get to them and I’m not going to do that.

    On the other hand, Rohan is one of the very few places in Lord of the Rings (books or movies) that I actually like. There’s a fair-to-middling chance I might buy an expansion set there IF I could start in it. I appreciate the OP is a bit of a modest proposal but I think that if the purchase of an expansion included the option to create a character at the minimum level to begin that expansion it would be a good thing for all MMOs, whatever their payment model.

    • I would tell you that Moria isn’t all that bad, except that I clearly haven’t finished it. You can hold off going into Moria until 51 or 52 by wrapping up some very nice outdoor content in Hollin. And you can get out into Mirkwood at 58 as I understand it. But you still have to spend 6 levels underground.

    • Mighty Viking Hamster says:

      You can skip Moria completely if you skirmish a lot, however I feel you would be missing out. It’s a beautiful zone. As a matter of fact I did not want to get out of there at all. Also you have to visit Moria to complete Volume II

  3. carson63000 says:

    In the specific case of LOTRO, selling max-level characters would have the consequence of allowing players to skip past a whole bunch of zones, which are also sold piecemeal in the cash shop. It’s probably the F2P game where the developers have the least incentive to sell levels (although, of course, if the price was right…)

    • Indeed, plus how would they sell all those deed accelerators and XP boosters and horse route unlocks and daily quest resets and all that crap if they just went right out and sold characters?

      Also, I have to object to SynCaine getting more comments on his post than I got on mine, when his post wouldn’t even exist without mine. And maybe I should stop contributing to that state of affairs.

  4. bonedead says:


  5. Stormwaltz says:

    A handful of counterpoints…

    Expansions for free: many LotRO expansions *have* been free for subscribers. Off the top of my head, I can think of the zones of Evendim, Forochel, Enedwaith, and the recent Great River (Anduin).

    Adding levels quickly: they added 65-75 last fall with Isengard. Rohan adds another 10. Before that (IIRC) they added 5 with Mirkwood in 2009, and 10 with Moria in 2008. Is 5-10 levels a year fast compared to other games? All I can say is that it hasn’t felt fast to me.

    They don’t sell The One Ring in the store. The only statted gear they sell are sets of light/med/heavy lower level armor (~20 IIRC), and that caused a great hue and cry among the playerbase. They claimed new players of that level were complaining they couldn’t find armor, but since quests equip you very well and the Auction House is stocked, no one believed them.

    Selling characters: Both Isengard and Rohan come with cheat items that, when equipped, increase the rate you gain XP. I don’t like this, but given a choice between that and selling characters outright, I’ll take it. Given that the entire point of playing LotRO is the ride to the level cap, and not the cap itself, selling high-level characters wouldn’t be a smart solution.

  6. silvertemplar says:

    Heh, yes this level based MMOs with expansions have a big problem. This is most likely why Blizzard did what they did in Burning Crusader with the lvl 1-60 revamp. They obviously knew people don’t get past lvl 10 , nevermind get to lvl 70 or 80 or 85 , so adding another expansion on top of that is not going to win you new players.

    I am still following The Secret World, which are getting mixed beta “perceptions” , but what Funcom did seem to figure out is how not to fall in exactly this “gated content” trap. By the looks of things, if they want to add a whole zone , chances are you can do it whether you’re starting or ending…. how well it will works remains to be seen.
    But logic tells me this is how MMOs in the future must work at minimum, you need ability to expand horizontally, not simply vertically (upwards).

    As for LOTRO, i at least got past Moria , but got bored somewhere in the elvish zone after that , so now i am basically like lvl 60 and are 1 or 2 expansions behind, so there’s ZERO incentive to buy this particular expansion…not until i have mustered up the energy to get to it. So Turbine sits with a problem, because they won’t get new players or even “Returning” players do the “pay now and get bored half way through” thing, only currently playing players will do that…

    • spinks says:

      This is why I’m a bit puzzled that GW2 decided to go for 80 levels rather than a flatter level curve, more like GW1.

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