Yesterday Turbine dropped an unexpected announcement on the Dungeons and Dragons Online players. They have made a deal with the company Super Rewards to provide another way for players to receive the cash shop points for Dungeons and Dragons Online. It’s quite simple really. Head on over to the Offer Wall to find current promotions along with the amount of Turbine Points a player would gain from doing the task. It is great Turbine is finding another way to enjoy the game where points can be bought, earned in game, and now given via the Offer Wall. The positives mostly end there.
I took some time to check out the Offer Wall, and to put it mildly I was incredibly disappointed that Turbine saw fit to taint their good will by getting in bed with offers like these. One can, for example, download some software for points, which monitors computer activity for things like Nielsen ratings. Or, a player can sign up for a DVD-a-month club, which requires constant purchases of DVDs. Or, a survey can be filled out which of course asks for a swath of personal information. For anybody not born yesterday, these all seem to sparkle with the shade of scam. Now to be fair, there are some decent offers like buying some flowers from Blooms or buying a personalized M&M package. If I wanted those products the Turbine Points would be a bonus, but they are the exception, not the rule to the overwhelming majority of promotions.
Turbine is quick to distance themselves from the morbid smell of the Offer Wall in their FAQ. They note that Turbine is not actually trading Turbine Points for whatever offers are completed. It is Super Rewards that is buying the Turbine Points to trade to players for completing the promotions. All transactions are at the mercy of Super Rewards. Turbine is just merrily offering this service, should people wish to utilize this option rather than subscribing or buying Turbine Points themselves. Turbine, of course with eyes closed, has no affiliation or responsibility with regard to the actual promotions. So, if you download a program for Turbine Points, which makes your computer run slower while playing the MMO, Turbine can’t help you.
I love Turbine. They are one of my favorite developers. I currently, actively play two of their MMOs, but there are no rose-colored lenses I can see through to view this as a good thing. I hope this gets Turbine a nice influx of cash because I think they are going to hurt their goodwill, just a tad. This timing also makes all their proclamations of “Dungeons and Dragons Online is so successful now that we’ve gone free to play” a little suspect as well especially since they could’ve just announced this “great feature” at PAX East. I’ve wanted something like this in MMOs for a long time, but if the means to do this involve a lot of abusive products, then I’d rather just stick to conventional methods of buying the games I play.