Here’s to hoping that someone at Turbine’s read Syp’s piece and takes it to heart. Better yet, take it to the Board Room. The anniversary festival this year is a disaster; the only thing keeping me from calling it an ‘unmitigated disaster’ is that I just don’t care enough to get worked up over it. Everything about the entire situation reeks of the worst type of game design/customer relationship management, and nothing about the festival or its rewards is even slightly appealing enough to motivate me to care. And guess what happens when your paying customers stop caring about your entertainment product?
The thing is, I want to care. So very, very badly. With Isengard in sight and Rohan just over the next horizon (the fact that they even discussed mounted combat in a recent interview got my pulse up!), there are so many reasons for me to want to be invested in LotRO. In theory.
In reality, I’m just a little bit at a loss. LotRO is becoming “death by a thousand cuts” for me – one tiny (or not so tiny) decision at a time, it’s bleeding the fun out of it. And in the face of some extremely strong competition, both current and future, having a disenchanted player-base is not a situation in which I think any MMO company would want to find themselves.
I just want to see Mordor. I want to fight beside Gandalf at the siege of Gondor. I want to stand behind Aragorn and watch the Black Gates crumble. And I’ll get there, even if I have to carry Turbine and throw them into the fires myself.
I want to finish what I began four years ago; I knew it would be a long road and never did I expect that we would have arrived by now. But it was there, that final goal, whispering in the back of my head, on that first day I logged in. How could we not have wished for it, even back then?
But I feel like someone at Turbine knows all this, expects it from at least a portion of the players, and therefor thinks they can drag us through hell on the way; because we’ll take it. Because they can.
Can they? Sometimes I wonder.