Balancing Day One Load

lotro [The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™] Turbine announced that if you pre-order, you get to keep your open beta character(s?) once the game goes live. Everyone simultaneously said, “Huh?” What kind of game lets you keep beta characters?

On Day One, however, the population will already be somewhat spread out. Not everyone will be level 1. The newbie areas will not be (as) ridiculously full of people competing for those wolves and pigs. Lag spikes will be smaller because the population is not all in the same town. The choking frustration of new players will be lighter. I have this image of Turbine representatives in their dark tower, cackling, “They called me MAD at the academy! Well who’s laughing now?!”

Sure, those pre-orders will hit the level cap sooner and run out of things to do, but who cares? Half of them are on lifetime subscriptions, so you already have their money, and the others lose their discount rate if they get bored and leave for a month. The race-to-50 players will be concentrated on the open beta servers, while the newly opened ones offer less competition from ubers (although more competition for those low-level pigs).

: Zubon

6 thoughts on “Balancing Day One Load”

  1. If you think about it, preorder customers get almost a month of free play in the Beta. Plus, they get the free month that comes with the game. That’s twice the free play for the same price as the people who pick it up on opening day, and discounts after that.

    It’s enough of a combo to almost be worth it. I’ll never get the lifetime option, but the more I think about it the more I think I’m going to actually preorder.

    (Facts may be wrong, check with your Doctor, do not taunt the LotR Pre-order Disc.)

  2. I’m not a fan of this and never will be. Of course, I’ll probably pick the game up to review it. But I just think its detrimental to the initial building of a community.

  3. The pre-order players will also be level capped with only one character carrying over. It’s essentially like any other MMO’s pre-order head start. Never heard anyone complain about that. I just hope the level cap is 20 or lower is all.

  4. That’s… really smart on Turbine’s part. Wow. Encouraging pre-orders, getting more people to try the beta, and reducing launch day woes all in one fell swoop. I’m curious to see how the community responds (do they have official boards?).

  5. I’m curious to see how everyone believes this is going to help on day one? The % of players that beta test and then move on to actually play the game can not be as large as the people that will be picking it up on day one.

    There will now be a divide in the community on day one whereby the beta players can abuse the new population.

    It’s a bad move.

  6. It’s a marginal analysis thing, not a perfect solution. If you reduce 10% of the crowding in the newbie areas, that helps. Also, if that 10% reduction is what makes it so that the pigs aren’t slaughtered the instant they spawn, then it is a threshold effect. Think of it like removing 10% of the cars from the road: in light traffic, it is irrelevant; in heavy traffic, it is helpful but still crowded; and it might reduce medium traffic to free-flowing.

    Is it fair to say that everyone who pre-orders will want to play on day one? So will a lot of new people, as you say. You can move that group that you known will be there out of the way of the new buyers.

    Can you explain how they will “abuse the new population”? I am not sure what you mean by that, apart from an open PvP server. And as you say, there are several ways in which it could be a bad mood. So could lifetime pricing. I’m curious about how it turns out.

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