Tobold's Blog
Thursday, September 16, 2010
 
Thou shalt not pay

Lord of the Rings Online did a brilliant promotional video for their switch to Free2Play mode, with an actor looking like Gandalf from the movies proclaiming "Thou shalt not pay". Fancy, but there is a hitch: LotRO only went Free2Play in the USA. The European release of the Free2Play version is "delayed" without even a release date announced, and we're being told that this isn't just a delay of a few days, but of weeks, if not months.

The inevitable consequence is that European players who want to try out the Free2Play version of LotRO don't wait, but play on the US servers. And once they started there, it isn't obvious whether they ever will switch to European servers. Moving back to European servers once those go Free2Play would gain them just a little lower ping, but would lose them their characters. And it is also likely that playing on the US servers will be cheaper, as game companies usually don't use a proper dollar to euro conversion rate, but instead use a 1:1 or close to that conversion which price-gouges the Europeans.

This is actually the first time where I regret having bought a lifetime subscription to LotRO, because it means I can't play on the US servers, but am bound to the underpopulated European servers.
Comments:
Yup. I don't imagine that Codemasters are happy about that either.

It must be weird running the EU license for a US game. Yes, they haven't had to put in the development costs, but always knowing that the US partner places zero weight on rolling out features worldwide at the same time.

Blizzard doesn't really get enough praise for how well synchronised Blizz EU is. It's the sort of thing you really appreciate after having seen other games do it differently.
 
Well, if they're not too proud to borrow from Blizzard, once it's F2P they'll do free server transfers from US to EU servers.
 
Jezebeau,

I probably misunderstood you, but since when do Blizzard offer cross-region transfers? I have two toons languishing on US servers that I'd absolutely love to transfer over to my EU account, but this was always impossible in the past.
 
I'm not sure if you should be regretting being on the EU-Servers. I don't know how the US-Servers are right now, but at the day when F2P should have gone live in EU it was pretty hellish on the EU-Servers. Everything was full of people with test accounts who hadn't noticed that F2P had been postponed and they were behaving horribly. Ressource stealing, Mob tagging, trying to kill other players via mob-trains, bad behavior in chat channels.. you name it, it was there.
As of yesterday things have cooled down considerably again, there are still some new people, but they behave well and only stick out because of their huge load of (usually politely answered) questions.
 
Couldn't you just make a second account for free on a US server? That way you could still review it for EU players when (or if) F2P makes it there? I know you'd probably have to purchase the game again, but you could just purchase SOA if it is just to see how the store and game work in this model.

I see so many lvl 16's following a 65 around the barrow downs, I can only assume they have made a second account.
 
This has happened before - Codemasters shut down the DDO servers last month after the exact same thing happened to that game. Players were given 5000 TP on the US DDO servers for their trouble, regardless of how much time they had remaining on their existing subs, and will supposedly get their characters transferred at some point. If I owned a lifetime sub in the EU, I'd be very worried about whether Turbine plans to honor it in the increasingly likely event that LOTRO EU gets shut down.
 
Tobold, do you know what your access to the game is going to be like (on EU servers) on your lifetime account? I'm wondering how you'll have to interact with Turbine points and whatnot, unlocking areas or other things.
 
All I know is the rules Turbine published for the US servers, which basically transforms the lifetime subscription into a lifetime VIP account. I would guess that this applies also to Europe, otherwise you'll soon hear some rather strong words from over here.
 
Hillarious... all the saving you potentially made and the bonuses you will get on the new lotro store without paying a penny more...

...and you regret your purchase of the lifetime subscription because you dont have the patience to wait a month, possibly a little more?
 
@GG: As an EU lifetimer: No, I don't have the patience since it's been released in the US already. I'm bloody sick of getting shafted in service, release dates and prices because I live in the dreaded, forbidding Old World.
 
Drilski there is a world of difference between regretting to buy a lifetime account and being impatient.

As far as I am concerned LotRo has been nothing but a top notch game that has only gone from strength to strength unlike other games that come to mind.

Codemasters admitted that there are some 'BIG' issues behind the scenes... not being privvy to them, I am willing to cut them some slack for a while and see what happens.

If you are upset, you can always help them take it on the chin at : http://community.lotro-europe.com/news.php?id=10819

Also being an EU lifetime/founder I'm in no rush to have the game infiltrated by hordes of griefers...

Please take your time Codemasters.
 
hmmm you might not wanna lose your chars, but then who wants to play on such different time-zone servers longterm? I played on japanese servers in the past and I would've given up my char in a heartbeat to join EU servers had there been such an option.
it's a big faux-pas, especially nowadays, to not provide all continents with the same-ish launch time when it comes to an MMO. I don't mind the one or two day differences blizzard has, but anything else is just cringeworthy.
 
Apologies for the late comment but I just found out today that Lotro Europe is in effect already free to play.

For returning subscribers Codemasters have a free welcome back deal which is promised to last right up to the launch of f2p proper.

For brand new players you can start a trial account which is is also promised will be extendible until the launch of f2p proper.

More details here: here

This is actually a very good deal giving you access to the whole game for free in Europe at the moment which is better than a US f2p player gets.

Bizarrely Codemasters aren't telling anybody about it so the gist of your post is still valid. Mind you my European server are still very busy at the moment so all of the publicity that Turbine are putting out must have had some spillover.
 
This comment has been removed by the author.
 
@Drilski: I can sympathise, I was a DDO player but gave up after the 18 month or so fiasco that DDO Europe suffered through. I couldn't be bothered to start again in the US.

I have a lifetime in LOTRO with Codies, I'm hoping beyond hope that this doesn't pan out badly. I enjoy the guild I play with and Laurelin is a good server. The thought of what a Turbine takeover might mean for Euro Lifetimers is not pleasant (no amount of Turbine points will make up for that!)
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home
Newer›  ‹Older

  Powered by Blogger   Free Page Rank Tool