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This game always had a special place in my heart, even though I never actually played it that much. I always meant to, though, which is kinda odd.
I loved the way they treated the world with respect for the material, and the lore was very fitting all things considered.
It was a tremendous representation of that setting I've held dear since I was a kid, when I first started reading The Hobbit - and subsequently LotR at the age of 12.
But there was something about it that couldn't hold my attention for long, and I think it was mostly the combat flow. It was just not very exciting - and too much of the game was about killing the same enemies over and over and over. Then there was the lack of PvP (real PvP) - which, to me, is a fundamental flaw in most MMOs without it. It's more about the implementation than anything else, and monster play was a bad one.
Anyway, I kept coming back to the game every 3-6 months - just to soak in that Tolkien atmosphere. I was playing another Tolkien game the other day (War in the North) - and I got the urge again.
So, I downloaded the client - and I'd forgotten about the migration. Fortunately, I had already migrated when I got my mail - so that wasn't the problem.
The problem was that it was not just a migration from Codemasters to Turbine in terms of the business aspect - but the physical aspect. Turns out that not only am I forced to play on US servers with bad ping, they also didn't opt to transfer my characters. For some reason, they couldn't figure out that my characters should be transfered as well as my account, which means they're gone now.
But that's not all. The game went from a design with integrity - to a blatant cash-shop exploitation game. Sure, it's "F2P" - as long as you grind everything, and since they've tripled their income - it's no secret that most people don't do that.
Beyond that, it turns out that my lifetime subscription doesn't include future content - because I have to buy instances as they're released. Sure, I get TP - but they're not enough to buy all content. So, I essentially paid for a lifetime subscription without getting access to all non-expansion content automatically. That entirely defeats the purpose of such a subscription - and it wasn't exactly cheap.
To say that I feel disgusted would be very accurate. They completely and utterly destroyed an otherwise fantastic core design through greed and incompetence.
That's quite a feat.
Well, Turbine, it was an interesting time knowing you. But that time is past.
Thankfully, I have a friend who's still a fan of the game with a F2P account. Instead of letting my own go to waste - I gave it to him, and hopefully he will get something positive out of the game.
I hope people who stick with the game have fun. That is all.