Indulge me in (yet another) rant. If you aren’t the least bit interested in gaming or LotR, you can probably skip this post.
So Turbine, the developer of the LotRO MMO, launched a new free-to-play (F2P) version of the game on Wednesday. Actually, it was available late Tuesday evening to anyone who had previously played the game either as a subscriber or Beta tester. Everyone else will be able to play starting Friday.There were scads of threads in the LotRO forums about what to expect with the huge overhaul, as well as detailed FAQs and comparison charts on the LotRO website. Also, PLEASE note – unless you were still playing the game as a subscriber, you are now playing FREE. Yes, there are things you have to buy in the store using Turbine points, blah blah. Well, duh. Turbine is a for-profit company. They can’t just hire all these developers and engineers and then release ALL the game content for free. This isn’t a charity cause.
That said, I am astonished and horrified at the number of whiners and douchebags that have come out of the woodwork, griping and bitching about how the servers weren’t up yet (on…Tuesday? when the official Head Start wasn’t supposed to be released until Wednesday?), they can’t get a download, their Turbine Points balances weren’t right – which was also explained via forums and website, subscribers would get their points ON THEIR PAYMENT DATE. Geez. I’m a NEW subscriber, and I was prepared for this. Some of these folks have been playing for months. Then the number of people complaining about what they have to pay for, bashing Turbine on Turbine’s facebook page, etc.
Yes, there have been some hiccups and issues that I hope will be resolved in future updates to the game (like “dynamic layers” i.e., public instancing – laaaaame, especially for RPers), overall I have had no real problems. I’ve played for hours since the update. No, I don’t like the new character creation page. It looks cheesy and cheap. But you know what? You only look at it for about 10 seconds when you log in, or however long it takes you to create a character for the first time. They also completely tore apart the community site, including forums and blogs, and without any warning – which, while I’m not much a part of, seems really bad for business and community, especially if the problems with the my.lotro blogs is as big as the forums say…but I digress.
Chill out, people. Of course there are going to be bugs. It was a ginormous update. Turbine is, as said before, a for-profit company. It is in their best interest to keep their customer base happy. They’re not going to let worms take over the game. They’re going to fix the bugs (already working on it). Posting nasty messages on FB (or repeated demands to “Fix my account!” or “Answr me plz”) is not going to help a damn thing.Turbine wants to keep its customers. LotRO may not be the biggest MMO out there, by far, but it has a decent and addicted base.
Honestly, folks? Grow up. Yes, it’s free to start. Don’t expect the ENTIRE game to be free. Read the notices posted on the public website before you start hounded the customer service people. If you’re going to post on the FB page, at least read a few posts below yours to see if your question was already answered. Don’t be an ass, and maybe you won’t be treated like one. The people behind this game are real people – of course, people no one notices until something goes wrong, then the cry goes up to burn them at the stake.
I honestly think though, that the lameassery I’m seeing is from a small percentage of LotRO players. Just very vocal, annoying ones. Why? Because the servers are full of people running around having a good time. We’re still enjoying the LotRO world. The changes are just that, changes. Change takes some getting used to. They’re not going to make everyone happy, but I hope the fun and community offered will be worth getting used to them.
My personal recommendation? If you’re going to sign up to play with a new, free account – wait until at least Friday night or maybe even Monday. There was a huge flood of players on Tuesday night and Wednesday, and I can’t help but think it will be even worse tomorrow. Look me up on Landroval as Karidis, or Windfola as Firesteliel. Oh yeah – major kudos to you if you read to the end of this post. You must really love me.