Holiday Spending

As is usual with Turbine, the November Update went live without major issues. Every time there is a major patch, I am reminded of how good Turbine is at what they do (with LotRO, that is; I’m not as sure about DDO though it seems just as solid); just as the launch of LotRO set the high standard for professional, polished MMO launches, Turbine continues to deliver a painless experience on patch day. Perhaps I’m more impressed than many, but I remember the early days of the genre, when patch day could mean patch days, as everyone tried to grab the update at the same time or log in at the same time to see the changes, and inevitably overwhelmed the servers.

I logged in last night to check out some of the new mounts, and quickly realized that I’m really going to need to step up my economic game. The new mounts are, by and large, beautiful, and it’s going to take a lot more gold than I have on hand to pick them all up. I managed to grab the Rivendell reputation mount, and was automatically awarded the Elven reputation mount (requiring Kindred status with the three current groups of Elves – Rivendell, Galadhrim, and Maledhrim). The Rivendell mount is nice, but the Elven Lord mount is beautiful. I particularly like the standard:

Though I wasn’t as excited about the Rivendell Horse, as I’ve described before, I have a thing about mounts. In short, I must have them all.

It’s a long-term goal, to be sure, but with so many new mounts introduced at the same time, my head is spinning a bit and my wallet has taken a serious hit. I usually hover at the 25 to 30 gold mark, which I consider good and safe (though I’ve heard of some people sitting in the realm of 200 or more!). I don’t know why, it’s not like I’m accruing interest…I just don’t spend it all that much. But between the November Update and my decision to upgrade to a premium house, I’m starting to run a little short for comfort. But I guess gold is there to be spent…

And, no, I don’t have any intention of participating in Turbine’s recent entry into the Miss Conspicuous Consumerism pageant. One, I’m a little ashamed that it’s there at all, two, I’m not buying a single digital item for that much money, and three, if I can’t earn it in the normal course of having fun (or, if necessary a bit of hard work) then it’s not worth it to me to have it. Not to mention that if it’s like everything else in the Store, it’s really a matter of timing to grab it on sale (I highly doubt that it will ever go on sale). But first and foremost, it adds yet another bit of bad onto my growing sense of unease about the direction Turbine has been headed since the announcement of Free To Play; in my heart, I feel them moving away from Tolkien and farther and farther towards Arthas. Towards the Kotick model of hook-’em-and-exploit-’em.

Just saying…

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