DDO and Super Rewards

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.

caveat emptor

21 thoughts on “DDO and Super Rewards”

  1. I totally agree to everything you said.

    DDO is the shining beacon of light and the prime example for F2P done right nowadays. Now they really taint their product with the often shady business practices used by the generic %”§&%§&§% (cough) F2P MMO. The methods that gave the whole system a bad reputation. People are more suspect of F2P than ever, especially since the Allods item shop debacle shitstorm.

    I hope that at least ArenaNet is sane enough not to get a similar idea for Guild Wars 2!

  2. I have to agree, had a similar problem in Puzzle Pirates where more than half of the ‘free’ doubloon offers were outright scams. “Please tell us your age, DoB, email, SSID, etc..” type deals. Really pissed me off to see those offered. But, of course, this was managed by a company outside of Three Rings control so they would do little if anything to curb these offers.

    These offers sound nice in theory, and that’s exactly where they should stay.

  3. “Turbine is quick to distance themselves from the morbid smell of the Offer Wall in their FAQ.”

    This is the part that really surprised me about the whole thing. It feels a bit like Turbine has placed a pile of sharp knives on the cake table at a kid’s birthday party and then left the room, humming. Sure there are safe, pre-sliced pieces you can get if you clean your room and vacuum the dog, but…well, the knives are so shiny…

    I will be researching some of the offers on the Wall when I can, hoping that none of them are as bad as ones I have seen in the past. Any I find that are questionable, I’ll report to Turbine to see if I get a reply.

  4. I’d like to hope they will open their eyes to the stain something like this puts on their reputation soon and they stop the program.

  5. My offer wall is blank. I guess it only works in the US for now. Not that I am anxious to sign away any of my personal information for a few hours of gaming anyway.

    This certainly seems like a mistake on Turbine’s part. Trying to wash there hands of it by offloading it all to Super Wall actually makes it worse rather than better. On the one hand Turbine have no control over what is put up and on the other hand people are going to blame Turbine anyway when they start getting unexplained recurring charges on their mobile phones.

  6. Well this is interesting: http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=242978

    Public Service Announcement

    When you view the “Offer Wall” (and no, I will NOT provide the link), Turbine sends the email address tied to your account as well as your DDO billing/launcher username over the Internet UNENCRYPTED.

    (read the rest at the link above)

    1. Grr. No wonder you need to log in to view the Wall.

      Sometimes I think I’m too paranoid, but more often I’m shown I’m not paranoid enough. :(

  7. Turbine have given Super Rewards permission to distribute their own Turbine Points, and that means they’re totally condoning Super Rewards actions/deals, etc. There is no washing their hands of this. They may be using sleazy contract language to try to protect themselves “Super Rewards bought the points, they’re free to do with them what they will,” but in the end this will come back to bite Turbine on the arse when people who sign up for the Super Rewards deals don’t get their points because they didn’t follow the all the redemption instructions to the letter.

    Step 1 – sign up for a Super Rewards credit card.
    Step 2 – get 10 of your friends to sign up for a Super Rewards credit card (we’ll need their email addresses, mailing address, phone number, names of their children and where they go to school).
    Step 3 – complete the redemption form (found in a hut on the peak of Kilimanjaro) and hand deliver it to the Sherpa at Base Camp 3 on Mt. Everest.
    Step 4 – The Sherpa will give you a sheep’s bladder filled with Yak’s milk. Bring it to our office in New York before it curdles.
    Step 5 – Drink the Yak’s milk (we don’t really care if it’s curdled, you can’t tell with Yak’s milk anyway), spin around 10 times, then go to the alley behind our building and french kiss the Hobo who lives there for 60 seconds, without throwing up.
    Step 6 – with both hands tied behind your back, climb back up to our office using the fire escape ladder
    Step 7 – (Good Lord! Nobody has ever made it this far! Ooh, I know!) Bring me…a Shrubbery!

  8. Ah, to be a fly on the wall and see the faces of the DDO devs and community people when management told them about this.

    1. Yeah, and I love their CMs… hopefully they just take good notes and pass our righteous fury back up the pike.

  9. Yeah, this went over like a snow man in an AZ summer on the boards. Lots of Vets voiced their loud disapproval. Turbine’s CM, Tolero, was mainly concerned that no one could read the wall from the link they provided. When pushed about why she commented on that, and not the fact that a lot of people were not happy, she said that they will not look at comments that are “yelling” at them. For the record, no one “yelled”. I thought all the responses were well written and calm.
    I think they have sold out, and I am considering dropping my paying account to a free account.

  10. I’m hoping people don’t overlook this move and all of their chest-beating about how great DDO is doing now. If you are swimming in cash, you don’t get in bed with scam artists just for kicks, not when you plan to be in this market for the long haul and even have another product (LoTRO) that such a move could harm. There is a reason DDO failed as a sub game, and there is a reason they need to do stuff like this now that the initial buzz of “DDO is free” has worn off.

    1. That’s the thing. I did not think the buzz *had* worn off yet. They’ve been putting out new content, have guild airships on the horizon, have gotten good exposure for their pricing model when compared to other “free-to-play” games…

      I just don’t see where this was a good risk for them to take right now. If it is, as they are saying, really just another way for customers to get Turbine Points, I’ll hope they are watching the situation and that they will have an appropriate response.

      1. I wonder what their response will be when players jump through the Super Rewards’ Hoops, miss just one hoop, and so don’t receive their “free” Turbine Points? (But they still cop the recurring, hard-to-cancel $9.95 charge on their monthly cellphone bill.)

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