[LotRO] Premium Barter Wallet

LotRO launched in 2007. Since 2008, I have been saying that the game needs a barter wallet for all the tokens it keeps adding to the game every expansion. I enumerated these in 2009. At the end of 2010, they added a limited version that addressed two types of tokens. For 2012, they are implementing the full shebang, at a cost of $10 per account (or two months of subscribers’ TP).

I certainly have the TP, but something still galls about implementing a feature half-heartedly then charging for the full thing. I have never enjoyed crippleware as a design scheme. No, it’s a “premium” feature, see, it says it right in the name! There is precedent in charging for shared storage, and LotRO needs to monetize lifetime accounts; I expect that this will generate more revenue than it drives away.

: Zubon

Unrelatedly, the LotRO store free sample of the week is the 800 TP Scroll of Combination. Use coupon code 33CDC1.

17 thoughts on “[LotRO] Premium Barter Wallet”

  1. Yikes. I’m only premium but being a subscriber seems to have less and less value attached to it. It’s similar to shared storage, which has the advantage of transfering account bound currency between alts (as far as I know, you can’t mail them), and more currencies will be transferable in the next update. If they made it free to VIPs shared storage would become less valuable, it’s hard to draw the line but it’s a barrier to spending time on different alts when a player should absolutely be grinding out tokens for their main.

  2. “I expect that this will generate more revenue than it drives away.”

    Indeed, such is the ongoing issue with optional transactions – it’s pretty hard for the developer to misjudge badly enough to make something that no one will buy. I think we have seen cases where products have gotten less attractive over time due to cash store creep, but you’re almost never going to see enough immediate ragequits to offset the added revenue.

    1. EVE’s monocle is the only negative cash flow example I could cite, but that entire affair was a massive self-inflicted wound.

      1. Yes, the notorious monocle was the one exception that caused me to write that there are “almost never” enough ragequits to reverse RMT strategy. :)

  3. Right up there next to naming there resilience stat “Audacity” as signs that the dev’s have a Bobby Kotick like personality pulling all the strings these days.

  4. I share the squicky feeling that comes with the “cripplewear” aspect of this, but bottom line is that it’s a feature (like shared storage) that I’m downright giddy to pay money to recieve. So at the end of the day it’s a Good Thing ™.

    1000TP is in every instance significantly less than $10, btw. Anywhere from $0-$8 depending on how you get your points.

    PS haha… and ain’t it such a shame that this news (of a good feature) taints and overshadows the giant free region full of content that’s coming at the same time. :p

    1. “1000TP is in every instance significantly less than $10, btw. Anywhere from $0-$8 depending on how you get your points.”

      Are you sure you don’t mean 1000 TP is significantly MORE than $10 in almost every circumstance? None of the regular priced packages offers an exchange rate anywhere near as favorable as what you’re describing. If you wait for the best sale they offer – which generally requires spending $60 at a time – you can get down to $6.77 per 1000 TP.

      As to $0, those VIP points aren’t free, they’re part of what you get for your $15 – a part that you now need to give up to get features that are included in free patches in every other MMO out there.

      1. Actually, I consider 1000TP to be quite less than $10:

        – I get 500TP per month for being a subscriber. 2 months hoarding my “free” TP would already net me this upgrade.

        – Getting a single character through all starter zones gets me over 500TP. Many other activities also net TP. A month of playing normally with a character is sure to bring me more TP than this upgrade costs, without even taking into account the TP from the subscription.

        I actually think this upgrade should have been free, either for everyone or, at least, for VIPs; but I don’t see something with this kind of cost that only needs to be purchased once for the whole account to be actually expensive.

        1. Guess this explains why I always have more TP then I can spend. And I love the barter wallet enhancement, but can;t understand why it is being charged to VIP customers, although most have more TP then they know what to do with.

          I am just still confounded by the complete generic content they have been releasing, including the latest expansion. Mostly the settings could fit in any generic MMORPG – the LOTROness is absent after you leave weathertop. Bring on housing, mail system, graphics engine changes instead of the bs they are calling content.

          1. Weird to hear you say that, coppertopper. I’m loving Dunland since it feels all sorts of immersive for what that particular setting actually is, and it’s entirely consistent with the wider world established in vaguery by the LOTR books.

            It is a very particular place and scenario, though… disgruntled tribal country folk in a sprawling not-entirely-hospitible realm being coerced and manipulated on one hand by a rogue wizard and trying to be kept in check by the powerful military civilization hemming them in on the other.

            I’m enjoying that, but it is honestly a really super slow-boil situation so I can understand it not really grabbing someone who’s not already captivated by any and all of Tolkien’s world-building.

            1. I guess its the lack of a civilization feel that say Bree and its surroundings and The Shire bring to the game that has been lacking in any content released since Moria. Even RoI feels more like patchwork settlements with the requisite class/profession trainer then a living & breathing town. Running past the farmlands and getting that little “thank you” from NPC’s whose problems ypu solved in quests past is the draw for me to LoTRo. If they don’t go big with Rohan/Edoras and Gondor I’ll be really disappointed.

            2. Sadly that’s just kind-of the way of the setting. Population centers are few and far between in this part of the world.

              The next region has a Rohan town. Not sure if it will compare with Bree.

              Parts of Rohan and Gondor should be more like the Shire, I reckon. Not much in Middle-earth is, though.

      2. My bad, 1000TP *can* indeed be more than $10, even with the minimum amount of “bonus” points given on say, a $10 TP card. I misremembered them.

        But, they do still go all the way down to FREE, since even a fully F2P player could grind them out.

        And as a lifer, I get my VIP TP for free, heh, though of course there’s an endless philosophical argument there that you’re entirely welcome to.

  5. I have a lifetime sub, so I DO get free TP. My lifetime long ago paid for itself.

    I also tend to buy points when there’s a good discount going, since I haven’t paid a sub fee in years.

    I’m not 100% behind this being a “paid” option, but it’s not going to cost ME a cent.

    1. How are you obtaining your expansions, assuming you are obtaining them? If you spend points that “don’t cost you a cent” and then pay cash to buy an expansion that you could have purchased with the points (IIRC more points for Isengard than a VIP gets “free” in a year?), you may still be getting good value, but it’s not exactly right to say zero cost.

  6. This is why I really love the GW model of buy the box and buy our expansions. One cost each time and done.

    I liked LotRO a lot but I stopped playing after tapping the RoI content (including end-game ROI). The additions of excessive grind, poor release quality, and “manufactured” impediments to encourage cash-shop purchases really turned me off.

    No joke on “manufactured” impediments. Take a monster class that you buy. You drop the 700 TP and then find out afterwards you need another 1200-1500 TP to unlock all the trait slots (and these are MUST haves for any lotro toon… freep or creep). Hell look at the RoI instance hub — no stable point. Why? Maybe so you cough up TP for another “map point”. Just a guess, could be horrible game design as well, but I doubt it.

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