LOTRO to relaunch as free to play?


#3281

The “Year” event quests are still being handed out at the party tree - that’s still going on.


#3282

Sold another Dragon Kite on the AH. I now have more gold than I know what to do with on my main character. It’s both awesome and kind of makes me feel like I broke something in the game. I know it will come in handy much further down the road though, so I’ll bank it for now and be happy when it’s there later.

In the meantime, I still haven’t started delving into Moria as I am finishing up the Volume I Epic Quests. I just finished Book 12, so only three books left. It’s an interesting storyline (Laerdan, his daughter and the lesser ring Narchuil), but holy crap is there a LOT of running around all over Eriador!! From Angmar to Evenim to Trollshaws to Rivendell to Misty Mountains to Carn Dum to Annuminas to Forochel…I feel like Elrond should have given me a META Pass (Middle Earth Transit Authority) at the beginning!

"Your news is dire indeed Slainte! There is much yet to be done and our allies have need of your skills. Take this META Pass and get on the 12A to Evendim. Transfer there to the Express to Annuminas, and then take the Red Line to Angmar, getting off at Carn Dum. Do not miss your connections Slainte, the fate of Eriador depends on you!"
You have received item META Pass
You have received item Transit Map of Eriador


#3283

Yeah, I wish! It’s been a few years since I last did these quests, and I’m doing them again with my Runekeeper. I forgot how many of them there are. Kind of takes a while. I’ve decided I’m going to do a chapter every time I’m ready to advance my position in Mirkwood. Should wrap up by the time I hit the Isengard expansion.


#3284

Way too much traveling indeed. Even with horsies and fast travel points. It seems like mithril coins for travel is the only currency worth having, and that quests are almost based around it.

The worst was the Year 1+ quests that send you everywhere. I suppose from a storyline perspective that would work, but they could surely have made travel quicker. Another reason to play Hunter I suppose.


#3285

I’m doing the Forochel parts of the Volume I, Book 13 quests and it seems there are very few fast travel options between the Lossoth camps. I don’t know if this was an oversight or it was intentional to attempt to get players to spend mithril, but either way it sucks hard. The quest literally has you talk to a single person in one camp, who then sends you to talk to a single person in the camp furthest away from that camp, or you have to stop in between and hunt down a critter or a wandering NPC, then continue on to the furthest camp. ARGH!

On another more concerning note…Standing Stone Games Support seems to have gone AWOL. I put in a support request TWO WEEKS ago (May 9th) after purchasing additional inventory slots through the LOTRO Store and having them not appear in my character inventory. Last time this happened the fix was Turbine Support making my account VIP for a single day, and the purchased slots magically appeared when I logged in as a VIP. So I mentioned all this in the original ticket, and then replied a week later when I hadn’t heard anything, and then again yesterday when I still hadn’t heard anything. Absolutely no response from Standing Stone Games Support, despite the ticket clearly showing in their system (I checked through the website).

Maybe they’re on vacation?


#3286

They intentionally increased the number of travel points compared to how it was originally, before mithril coins existed. That region was even more of a slog when you had to manually horse-travel from the western to eastern end, back and forth. It was worse than the original Everswim/Evendim.


#3287

I resurrected my original minstrel from 2007 who was in stasis for 5 or 6 years, and have played that character for about the past year from lvl 55 or so to lvl 96 today. Earlier, I had played my QT3 burglar up to lvl 100 before bailing for a year or two to play Fallout 3 / NV and Skyrim, plus a few others.

Now I’m depressed about the game again. I quit playing my lvl 100 burglar soon after I hit the “Epic Battles” (originally “Big Battles”) at Helm’s Deep a few years ago. I skipped the epic battles and went further into Gondor with him, but always felt that I was missing a big part of the story since the epic story line requires Helm’s Deep epic battles. That was a big part of why I left to play other games.

But I’m now at lvl 96 with my minstrel and I’m heading to the same point. I hate how I have to essentially abandon my character and become an engineer, or officer, or whatnot that has nothing to do with how I’ve played for 10 years. I felt the same way with my burglar and it’s why I quit then. I was OK with skirmishes as part of the epic story in Moria because I got to still play as my character, but with the added help of a solider. I was OK with mounted combat because I was still my character with similar skills. But now I have to play an entirely different game, with an entirely new skill tree that has nothing to do with the decade I’ve spent getting decent at what my character can do, and uses none of the skills or virtues that I have.

Any hints or links on how to witness / survive the Helm’s Deep epic battles / epic story with a minimum of fuss ? I have no interest in the epic battles rewards or doing side quests during them. I would be fine with just watching them if I can hide and they resolve themselves. They don’t seem too solo-friendly, and at this stage no one seems interested in helping with 3+ year-old content. Plus I’m not really interested in mastering it.

I’m on Gladden. I know…bad choice from Nimrodel during the big transfer. It happened during my 1 to 2-year hiatus from the game and I did it without thinking.

Thanks!


#3288

Kind of the same problem I have with mounted combat.

I haven’t done those Epic Battles in a while, but even when you start out without any points in the roles and playing solo, I remember them being hard to actually fail, but I wasn’t just hiding out I guess. The missions that pop up, sure, you’ll fail those most likely but you don’t need to complete them to get through the Battle itself if I recall correctly.


#3289

You are right.

I give Turbine (now SSG) credit. I put a good effort into it and got through that epic book during the first run-through. They did a great job with showing the Battle of Helm’s Deep and making you feel like a part of it. I even did a few side quests. I was wrong to avoid it the first time.

I have no interest in farming them repeatedly, and I hope I don’t need to in order to build up my skills so that I can function in later epic battles in Gondor. But I’ll cross that bridge then.

And now I get to see Isengard after the defeat !


#3290

[quote=“SlainteMhath, post:3285, topic:59553, full:true”]
On another more concerning note…Standing Stone Games Support seems to have gone AWOL. [/quote]

Follow up to this : THREE WEEKS went by before I finally got a response on Friday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend. Granted, the CSR was apologetic for the delay, but instead of resolving the issue the same way they did previously when I’ve encountered it, he requested a screenshot. As it was Memorial Day weekend I was a little busy, so I didn’t take one until Monday evening. I logged into my email to respond, and had another email from Standing Stone Games Support kindly informing me that since I had not responded to their email in 72 hours, they had closed my ticket and considered my issue resolved.

WTactualF?! They make a customer wait 3 weeks for a support response, then close out the ticket over a holiday weekend when they don’t get an immediate reply back? This is customer service? I get that the 72 hour thing is automated, but when you’re running nearly a month behind on customer support you would think it would be wise to turn that particular “feature” of your CSR software OFF for a bit until you’ve caught up.

So I had to submit a brand new request, referencing the original one, and it’s now been over a week since I submitted that and there has been no response. I leave for vacation Saturday. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out what’s going to happen…


#3291

What’s the issue you’ve been having, Slainte? I have found World Chat to be infinitely more helpful than the GMs on just about any issue other than backend stuff.


#3292

World Chat is awesome when you need assistance. Despite all the inane chatter that usually dominates it, World Chat is always quick to come to the aid of those in need. The LOTRO community as a whole is one of the best I’ve ever experienced in an MMO environment.

Sadly, my issue is solvable only by Standing Stone Games. Weeks ago I purchased additional bag inventory space when it was on sale. The additional slots did not appear for assignment to a bag post-purchase, nor did they appear after logging out and back in again. They’re just not there. I had this issue once before, and it seems to be an issue with the system not having my account flagged correctly or something, as while I have a Premium account and should be able to buy/add things from the store, the rep had to grant me VIP status for 24 hours, and upon logging in as a VIP, all the purchased items suddenly appeared, ready for assignment and use.

They know this, as I reiterated it all in my initial request, yet here I am, 5 weeks later, with no joy. This would never have happened with Turbine. I know it’s the same guys for the most part, but I suspect they reduced staff considerably when becoming Standing Stone Games, and this is the result. Hell, I love LOTRO so much I’d be willing to do CSR work for them as a volunteer a few hours a week if they’re that backed up.


#3293

This is now a running joke. After waiting weeks for any kind of response on my second support ticket for the issue with my purchased inventory slots, I finally received one…the day after I left for vacation. Needless to say, the 96 hours passed without a response from me, and now the second ticket is closed with no resolution to my issue.

At this point I am done. I don’t give a shit anymore about the inventory slots. I’ve spent nearly 10 weeks trying to get the matter resolved to no avail. I understand support is backed up, but seriously, they must be down to a single person doing support at this point, because consistent 4 week delays for responses is simply ridiculous, especially when your business model DEPENDS on micro-transactions. I can’t be the only customer very unhappy with Standing Stone Games at the moment.

Sadly, the only way to express my displeasure with Standing Stones Games is to stop playing LOTRO altogether. This sucks, because I was really enjoying the game again. I’ve been a LOTRO player since it was in BETA. I attended the Moria launch party at GenCon Indy. I bought each expansion as they came out. I was a subscriber for years prior to F2P, and have bought packages post F2P as well. I tell anyone who will listen how amazing the game was and still is, how it really captures the spirit of Middle Earth, the amazing settings, the fantastic NPCs and the incredible music and sound. I’ve poured hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours into LOTRO over TEN YEARS, I LOVE THIS GAME, and in 2 months Standing Stones Games has pretty much shredded all that good will because they can’t answer a single support request in a timely manner and won’t leave it open long enough when they do respond to effectively resolve it.

Fuck this shit, I’m out.


#3294

I am so sorry to hear that man. :(


#3295

Sad to hear that. I sent them a message on Facebook regarding your problems just in case they can salvage you still, hope you don’t mind. And either way, maybe they will step up their game (sigh…) in the future.

I recall LOTRO had great CSR when I needed it in the past, but it has been a while.


#3296

Thanks @instant0, I appreciate that. Maybe it will rouse someone into action. I also posted in the official forums in the Support area, but I’m only one of many many folks posting there that seem to have a similar issue, long delays followed by “support” that isn’t terribly helpful.

What kills me is that in the second request I specifically mention, and they acknowledge, the issue the first time was the small turnaround window for response. All that was needed in the second response was something like:

“We understand your frustration and apologize. To resolve your issue and avoid any further delay and frustration we will activate VIP on your account starting today and lasting for the next “X” days (3, 5, 10, whatever) so that the next time you login, even if the ticket is closed, the problem should resolve itself. Thank you for your long time support of Lord of the Rings Online, and have a great day.”

Boom, happy customer, problem resolved, little token of appreciation for the frustration in the form of a few days of VIP…win-win for everyone.

Turbine support was always excellent in the past. I understand that Standing Stones is the same folks, just under a new name, but they obviously have cut staff back too much so that they only have one or two people handling a support system that was built for a much larger department, and it’s really killing them (from the displeasure expressed on the forums). I sympathize, but there are things they could be doing to alleviate the issue and they simply don’t seem interested in doing them. It’s been 6 months since the changeover, and they’re still running 3-4 weeks behind on support…that’s just not acceptable.


#3297

I recall calling customer support for Lotr in the last year and getting a warm body and a very nice person from Texas. Very helpful. It had to do with Steam vs software Id and whether Id been hacked.


#3298

Update of sorts :

Within 12 hours of sending an email that essentially conveyed all the same frustration and data in my post above, I received a response from Chronos in customer support apologizing and promising to shepherd my issue through the system regardless of ticket status. I provided him some additional details, said I would be around over the weekend to log in and activate or try whatever is needed, and reiterated that this is not the first time I’ve had the issue with store purchased inventory slots or items not appearing. Perhaps he can figure out what is going on and fix the issue permanently versus the temporary “VIP for a day” fixes of the past?

At the very least, I’m a little less angry after receiving his prompt and apologetic response. At least they’re trying.


#3299

It’s been ages since I played, but the LOTRO team always seemed to be pretty cool.


#3300

Happy Update:

After 6 days of near daily interaction with Chronos of Standing Stones Games Support, my issue is resolved! I don’t know if it was the very frustrated and angry email I sent, the similar post I made on the support forums (which I will update with praise for Chronos shortly), @instant0’s Facebook plea on my behalf, or a combination of all these things, but from the very first contact that same day Chronos made it clear that he would be working with me daily until the issue was resolved, and he made good on his word.

In the end it turned out that he did find something odd with my account that was blocking the redemption of my purchases. Since my account was originally created way back when the game was first released, and my account had entitlements from the original boxed versions of Shadows of Angmar and Mine of Moria combined with digital entitlements to subsequent expansions, plus a combination of subscriber (pre-F2P) and Premium (post-F2P) permissions, somehow something was messed up and new inventory slots and similar purchases would go through, but no show up on the back end at the character level. He fixed it, both for this purchase and going forward, and not only did my original purchase show up, but he tripled the order as a gift to offset my frustration and time spent trying to pinpoint the issue,

I’m still not thrilled about their apparent 3 week backlog of support requests and believe they should probably staff up a bit more, especially in light of Mordor content on the horizon, but I can safely say that Standing Stones Games support representatives are every bit as diligent and talented as when Turbine/WB owned the company…just a bit harder to actually pin down.

TL;DR - Problem resolved…I’m back in Middle Earth again!