“Lord of the Rings Online” is now dead to me.
I have been a (mostly) ardent supporter of LOTRO since 2007, but I’m afraid I simply cannot bring myself to back this game any longer. I have been a Lifetime subscriber, and purchased the Ultimate edition of every expansion they have ever released (until now), but my wallet has now, finally, slammed shut to Standing Stone Games.
You see, I simply cannot support their selling what normally would be a standard content update, the sort of content that is supposed to be provided to Lifers and Subscribers for free, as a “mini-expansion”.
“War of the Three Peaks” in no expansion, mini or otherwise. The last time LOTRO had a mini-expansion, it included multiple system changes, added the Skirmish system to the game, as well as a new zone and many quests, dungeons, and whatnot. It cost $20. Meanwhile, WotTP costs either $15, $59, or $99, depending on what package you choose. None of them add any new systems, classes, races, and the like. It is simply a new zone, some quests, and the usual dungeons that might accompany such additions to the game in a normal content update.
In short, SSG has simply decided to start selling the content updates they used to provide as part of a VIP or Lifetime subscription. This was part of the agreement we made, when we chose to either subscribe monthly, or pay for a Lifetime subscription in advance.
That, my friends, is a breach of contract.
Now then, I’m not saying anyone should sue SSG over this, only that a legal firm that was looking for a nice, juicy class-action lawsuit might find themselves looking long and hard at what SSG is doing here. They wouldn’t be wrong to do so, either. While I understand that SSG obviously needs to increase their quarterly income, this simply isn’t the way to do it.
Taking content away from their most ardent supporters, and gating it behind yet another paywall, is simply unacceptable. If Beoulus and I hadn’t already pre-recorded the next few episodes of the “Loot Mechanics” podcast, you can be sure we would be discussing this in detail on our next broadcast.
So, what happens now? Well, nothing, I suspect. The many Whales that enjoy playing LOTRO will pay up for “War of the Three Peaks” like good little lemmings, and those like myself who refuse to do so will simply move on from the game. There will always be an end to every good thing, and I suspect this is that End for LOTRO, even if the game technically limps along for perhaps years to come.
This will be remembered as when the game died, sadly so.