Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

So When You Said Unlimited Access

I’m finally (after lots of unnecessary trouble) a VIP (which means a paying subscriber) for Lord of the Rings Online again. That means unlimited access to the game right? Let me try going to this new zone. Great, I can do all the quests without being hassled about buying them. It’s working! I’ll just clear out my inventory first before going forth. The game always hassled me about having to buy access to shared storage (that all your characters can use) before, surely I should be able to use that now. Unlimited access and all. Or not.

Apparently there is a variety of things in the store that I don’t get access to unless I pay for them again. Some of these are cosmetic and I don’t care much about them but others (like the storage) are something that really makes me feel cheated. You really shouldn’t make me pay a monthly fee and then still dangle the same old free-to-play carrots in front of me that are used for those who don’t pay. Sure, I get 500 “free” points each month that I stay subscribed and I will slowly be able to buy all those features from the store eventually, but that really isn’t what I subscribed for. Shared storage access alone will cost me more than a single month worth of points and as far as I can see it can be extended for further points.

A poster on the turbine forums explained that VIP doesn’t mean “Very Important Person” at all but “Very Insignificant Priority” instead. This is obviously exaggerated and I really do get most of the content that I wanted now that I am a subscriber but I’ll be damned if I don’t feel slighted because of it.  One of the main reasons I have for liking subscription models is that I don’t feel as if I’m getting nickeled and dimed all the time. That comfort of simply being able to play without caring for some stupid store is part of what I’m giving them my money for. So can they please remove all those little “give us money to do this even better / make things less artificially inconvenient” buttons already?

Asking for a monthly fee and then still asking for more money is just so annoying. Remove the 500 points/month allocation for all I care (though that will leave me in a worse place than someone who spent the same money I did on a subscription on micro-transactions instead) but just give me access to the damn game.

 

  • I can honestly say I wasn’t aware LOTRO’s model did this. Subscribers should be given nearly everything to be able to play the game to the full extent, with the useful features added in as well. That’s what the subscription is for, after all. Dyes, cosmetic outfits, mounts, pets, what have you should stay in the store, but things like storage is a bit ridiculous to charge subscribers for.

  • Agreed. This is just weird. I’ll copy and paste a comment from Longasc on Google+ here who goes into more detail:

    “I think you are at 20 “free as long as you subscribe” Wardrobe slots and zero Shared Storage slots, right?

    You won’t get rid of the “TurbineCoin” symbol in the UI and some thing are declared optional. Like the very useful Shared Storage and the Wardrobe is also sold in the way of a drug dealer’s appetizer. Another thing is the cosmetic slots for various outfits, but most people just go with the three that everyone gets. That was the limit before F2P which raised it to 6 or so. The same argumentation is also used for Shared Storage, this feature did not exist before Siege of Mirkwood and people had to buy it if they wanted it – the first harbinger of F2P.

    I can totally understand you and I think you might know share my concerns about F2P.
    I am always getting desperate when people tell me that a game is free to play and everything you have to pay for is rather optional. Yeah… 😛

    LOTRO costs more than before it went F2P. If you don’t subscribe at least once you get indeed nickled and dimed to death. But it apparently doesn’t matter to people if they pay for 1-2 regions and the related quest packs more than for a monthly sub. Because it’s free. And you can earn the points ingame. Um yeah… 🙂

    Another thing is the cheery “weekly sale” and constant mails about these sales and there is even a twitter account just for shop promo,@LOTROStore.

    People often don’t want to pay 9-15 EUR per month, but they seriously believe they can afford F2P. Plus you noticed that F2P games always find ways to make even subscribers pay and declare things people really want to be optional.

    I hope you will have some fun playing LOTRO despite the F2P stuff! 🙂

    P.S. make use of your cosmetic slots, buy a Hauberk at the Trestlebridge outfitter and you will no longer look like a tramp.”
    scrusi´s last blog post ..So When You Said Unlimited Access