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.


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