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[Column] Lord of the Rings Online: The Curious Case of Lord of the Rings Online

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,583MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Lord of the Rings Online is one of the more well-known MMOs, even given its advancing age. The latest expansion has come out but is time running out on Turbine's license? In today's Tourist, we take a look at LOTRO and implications for the future. Read on before heading to the comments to join the discussion.

The lack of updates on this expansion was enough to make you wonder if this was coming out at all. Turbine seems to specialize in silence these days, so you might be forgiven for not knowing that LotRO license to the Tolkien-verse expires in 2014. When they announced this deal in 2008, they noted that there were “additional options to extend” until 2017 but there has been very little word on what that might mean. What’s more, The Middle Earth Enterprises   might not be inclined to agree to such an extension following a year of legal battles with parent-company, Warner Brothers. 

Read more of Chris Coke's The Tourist: The Curious Case of Lord of the Rings Online.

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Comments

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon
    If Turbine looses the license, I honestly don't see any other company taking up the MMO license.
  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon

    this is one of those topics that crops up from time to time.  My supposition supported by no actual data is that there are two different questions here.

    WB securing the license again does not automatically = Turbine gets to continue LOTRO

    1. WB has been securing rights across various media for various franchises for future projects

    2. LOTRO continuing is more a factor of how it looks on WB's bottom line than how the licensing negotiations go.

     

    I suspect WB will secure the license(or try too) regardless of it's plans for LOTRO, those are separate issues I think.

     

    EDIT oh and it's not the Tolkien estate that owns the IP btw and are currently owned byMiddle Earth Enterprises(formerly Tolkien Enterprises), a company controlled by Saul Zenits

     

    Christopher Tolkein (Tolkein Estate) has been going round and round vis vis MEE and WB about various digital rights so far unsuccessfully.

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  • JeroKaneJeroKane OsloPosts: 5,353Member Uncommon

    The last two expansions were meh and didn´t sell all too well. This expansion I definitely pass on.

    Like the person abocve me already said. WB will most likely secure the License, but if WB goes for the bottom line (which they will) I don´t see LOTRO continueing much longer to be honest.

    Like the first person already said. I am in the same boat. So many People have left, because they have been burned by how Turbine has misshandled this game the last couple years.

    It´s really sad and would love to play it again. But there is just none in my kin left playing.

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BMBender

    this is one of those topics that crops up from time to time.  My supposition supported by no actual data is that there are two different questions here.

    WB securing the license again does not automatically = Turbine gets to continue LOTRO

    1. WB has been securing rights across various media for various franchises for future projects

    2. LOTRO continuing is more a factor of how it looks on WB's bottom line than how the licensing negotiations go.

    WB has no other MMO developer than Turbine...securing MMO rights and then sitting on them would be a waste of money.

    WB may opt out of the license to focus Turbine on other WB properties...Harry Potter for example.

     

    WB's bottom line is directly tied to licensing negotiations. If theTolkien Enterprises wants more money for the license, then that affects WBs bottom line. The current legal battle is in fact over this very issue. However, it is with the Tolkien Estate which is different than Tolkien Enterprises. The Tolkien Estate is suing over what they claim is Turbine and WB illegal use of the license via the cash shop. Who knows if TE has legal grounds or not...that's why it's been tied up for over a year.  But yeah, LOTRO licensing is very much tied into WBs bottom line.

     

     

    Edit: To distinguish between Tolkien Enterprises and Tolkien Estate.

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender

    this is one of those topics that crops up from time to time.  My supposition supported by no actual data is that there are two different questions here.

    WB securing the license again does not automatically = Turbine gets to continue LOTRO

    1. WB has been securing rights across various media for various franchises for future projects

    2. LOTRO continuing is more a factor of how it looks on WB's bottom line than how the licensing negotiations go.

    WB has no other MMO developer than Turbine...securing MMO rights and then sitting on them would be a waste of money.

    WB may opt out of the license to focus Turbine on other WB properties...Harry Potter for example.

     

    WB's bottom line is directly tied to licensing negotiations. If theTolkien Estate wants more money for the license, then that affects WBs bottom line. The current legal battle is in fact over this very issue. The Tolkien Estate is suing over what they claim is Turbine and WB illegal use of the license via the cash shop. Who knows if TE has legal grounds or not...that's why it's been tied up for over a year.  But yeah, LOTRO licensing is very much tied into WBs bottom line.

    who said anything about another developer, the digital rights also include(arguably) those gambling machines and other digital media like say movies, merchandise ect.  And currently TE does not own the IP MEE does.

     

     

    EDIT this mess along with the War hammer SWTOR face plants does reinforce my drive to never jump into another 3rd party IP mmo  at launch in the future.   I'll happily wait 6mo to see if it's even worth the bother.(that includes you too ESO)

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  • AlomarAlomar Middle Earth, NJPosts: 446Member Uncommon

    The game was taken in the wrong direction even before f2p, at least imo. Playing the same pvp map for 5 years was enough for me. They drove away all of their playerbase besides gear grinding through raids and instances. Next, they stated the other avenues of the game weren't popular therefore were not a priority or anything to work on all-together.

     

    That's what happens what you neglect so many features of an mmo, Lotr is an amazing IP but Lotro sealed it's own fate with the worst expansion I've ever seen with the Gap of Rohan. There literally wasn't enough content to level the 10 levels the that were added to the cap, horrendous.

    Dozens of MMO's, RTS's, FPS's, etc.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,714Member Uncommon

    "The Shire feels enough like The Shire so that some players never leave." - indeed :) (and it's a nice rainbow shot, MD is a great place)

     

    The licensing issue popped up quite frequently during this year, and to be honest the silence about it is a bit alarming... but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. I try to avoid wasting too much time speculating on it until there's no hard data.

    Not to mention, before that we'll need to get over a much closer obstacle, the Helm's Deep revamp...

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BMBender
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender

    this is one of those topics that crops up from time to time.  My supposition supported by no actual data is that there are two different questions here.

    WB securing the license again does not automatically = Turbine gets to continue LOTRO

    1. WB has been securing rights across various media for various franchises for future projects

    2. LOTRO continuing is more a factor of how it looks on WB's bottom line than how the licensing negotiations go.

    WB has no other MMO developer than Turbine...securing MMO rights and then sitting on them would be a waste of money.

    WB may opt out of the license to focus Turbine on other WB properties...Harry Potter for example.

     

    WB's bottom line is directly tied to licensing negotiations. If theTolkien Estate wants more money for the license, then that affects WBs bottom line. The current legal battle is in fact over this very issue. The Tolkien Estate is suing over what they claim is Turbine and WB illegal use of the license via the cash shop. Who knows if TE has legal grounds or not...that's why it's been tied up for over a year.  But yeah, LOTRO licensing is very much tied into WBs bottom line.

    who said anything about another developer, the digital rights also include(arguably) those gambling machines and other digital media like say movies.

    Well, you're confused on licensing.  This article deals with Turbine's license that expires in 2014. Tolkien Enterprises has divided up the license to various media entities that you can see here: http://www.tolkien-ent.com/current_licencees_pop.html

    This has nothing to do with the movie license which is controlled by Tolkien Enterprises. Tolkien Estate is an entirely different entity. And I actually made a mistake in my post. I should have said Tolkien Enterprises.  As a matter of fact, Chris's article is in error because Tolkien Estate has no legal say over the continued use of the license because Tolkien Enterprises (owned by Saul Zantz) owns the movie and gaming rights.  Tolkien Estate is essentially suing Tolkien Enterprises here.

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender

    this is one of those topics that crops up from time to time.  My supposition supported by no actual data is that there are two different questions here.

    WB securing the license again does not automatically = Turbine gets to continue LOTRO

    1. WB has been securing rights across various media for various franchises for future projects

    2. LOTRO continuing is more a factor of how it looks on WB's bottom line than how the licensing negotiations go.

    WB has no other MMO developer than Turbine...securing MMO rights and then sitting on them would be a waste of money.

    WB may opt out of the license to focus Turbine on other WB properties...Harry Potter for example.

     

    WB's bottom line is directly tied to licensing negotiations. If theTolkien Estate wants more money for the license, then that affects WBs bottom line. The current legal battle is in fact over this very issue. The Tolkien Estate is suing over what they claim is Turbine and WB illegal use of the license via the cash shop. Who knows if TE has legal grounds or not...that's why it's been tied up for over a year.  But yeah, LOTRO licensing is very much tied into WBs bottom line.

    who said anything about another developer, the digital rights also include(arguably) those gambling machines and other digital media like say movies.

    Well, you're confused on licensing.  This article deals with Turbine's license that expires in 2014. Tolkien Enterprises has divided up the license to various media entities that you can see here: http://www.tolkien-ent.com/current_licencees_pop.html

    This has nothing to do with the movie license which is controlled by Tolkien Enterprises. Tolkien Estate is an entirely different entity. And I actually made a mistake in my post. I should have said Tolkien Enterprises.  As a matter of fact, Chris's article is in error because Tolkien Estate has no legal say over the continued use of the license because Tolkien Enterprises (owned by Saul Zantz) owns the movie and gaming rights.  Tolkien Estate is essentially suing Tolkien Enterprises here.

    yup btw the company changed it's name it's not Tolkien Enterprises any more it's Middle Earth enterprises. and the reason I think WB will try to secure it as part and parcel of the entire digital and movie rights is they tend to prefer blanket rights, just look at Marvel.

     

    But currently WB only has to secure licensing with MEE. until and unless lil Chris actually wins something in court TEstate is a side show.

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  • ReizlaReizla AlkmaarPosts: 3,299Member Uncommon

    "Now, it’s entirely possible that Turbine may be under a gag order and can’t comment. I want to be fair. But look at their messaging, people. It’s not just about the license. It’s not just about the expansion or the cash shop. It’s not even just about the increasing drought of communication about the game. It’s about all four of them, and when combined they create a very curious case for LotRO indeed. Taken in context, it’s hard to come away feeling positive about the state of the game.."

    We've seen this extreme silence last year and this year with Warhammer online and that MOBA thing they made. The MOBA was killed early this year and only recently we've heard that the license is not to be extended.

    With Turbine/WB being so silent about Helmsdeep, the expiring license and other stuff you might wonder if LotRo's license is about to end without extension. I hope for the loyal player base that the license will be extended and that they have at least till Mordor to play in Middle-Earth...

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  • Po_ggPo_gg Twigwarren, WestfarthingPosts: 2,714Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Reizla

    We've seen this extreme silence last year and this year with Warhammer online and that MOBA thing they made. The MOBA was killed early this year and only recently we've heard that the license is not to be extended.

    I'm not happy with that parallel, they've just made a moba as well...  so basically when they kill off the guardians of Middle-earth, we're doomed :)

    Edit: "they've just made" -> more precisely "just released on pc"

  • BMBenderBMBender Nowhere, NCPosts: 568Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BMBender
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender

    this is one of those topics that crops up from time to time.  My supposition supported by no actual data is that there are two different questions here.

    WB securing the license again does not automatically = Turbine gets to continue LOTRO

    1. WB has been securing rights across various media for various franchises for future projects

    2. LOTRO continuing is more a factor of how it looks on WB's bottom line than how the licensing negotiations go.

    WB has no other MMO developer than Turbine...securing MMO rights and then sitting on them would be a waste of money.

    WB may opt out of the license to focus Turbine on other WB properties...Harry Potter for example.

     

    WB's bottom line is directly tied to licensing negotiations. If theTolkien Estate wants more money for the license, then that affects WBs bottom line. The current legal battle is in fact over this very issue. The Tolkien Estate is suing over what they claim is Turbine and WB illegal use of the license via the cash shop. Who knows if TE has legal grounds or not...that's why it's been tied up for over a year.  But yeah, LOTRO licensing is very much tied into WBs bottom line.

    who said anything about another developer, the digital rights also include(arguably) those gambling machines and other digital media like say movies.

    Well, you're confused on licensing.  This article deals with Turbine's license that expires in 2014. Tolkien Enterprises has divided up the license to various media entities that you can see here: http://www.tolkien-ent.com/current_licencees_pop.html

    This has nothing to do with the movie license which is controlled by Tolkien Enterprises. Tolkien Estate is an entirely different entity. And I actually made a mistake in my post. I should have said Tolkien Enterprises.  As a matter of fact, Chris's article is in error because Tolkien Estate has no legal say over the continued use of the license because Tolkien Enterprises (owned by Saul Zantz) owns the movie and gaming rights.  Tolkien Estate is essentially suing Tolkien Enterprises here.

    yup btw the company changed it's name it's not Tolkien Enterprises any more it's Middle Earth enterprises. and the reason I think WB will try to secure it as part and parcel of the entire digital and movie rights is they tend to prefer blanket rights, just look at Marvel.

     

    But currently WB only has to secure licensing with MEE. until and unless lil Chris actually wins something in court TEstate is a side show.

    And the reason I think WB will try to secure it as part and parcel of the entire digital and movie rights is they tend to prefer blanket rights, just look at Marvel.  It's one reason I've always suspected they bailed out Turbine in the first place. I doubt it was because they saw LOTRO as an investment in and of itself; but so they could be in a position to secure those rights.  Remember at the crash Turbine was 2steps away from being sold off in chunks from being over leveraged. the hedge funder (I forgot the name) they were most deep into took over the company1st as CFO then CEO if I remember correctly; and eventually brokered the WB deal.

    image
  • IceAgeIceAge SomeWhere In ..Posts: 1,013Member Common

    Well , ( not to upset any LoTRO fans ) , this is well deserved. 

    LOTR games should be in better hands , where turbine has failed pretty hard at making the online version, a big success. 

    When I first heard of LoTRO, I was SO excited and when I got my beta invite I SO happy....until I logged in. I was very disappointed that they didn't made a game by it's own, other then a copy/paste of WoW .

    Anyway , I hope turbine loses his licence and that other company will take it and make a real , real ...REAL MMO , because LOTR fans deserve it. Imagine what and how many things can be made within a MMO game based on the lore.

    One could dream .. 

    Reporter: What's behind Blizzard success, and how do you make your gamers happy?
    Blizzard Boss: Making gamers happy is not my concern, making money.. yes!

  • LithuanianLithuanian vilniusPosts: 203Member Uncommon

    Yet another "doomed, we are doomed, evil is upon us" thread. Lotro is doomed, licence is doomed, everything will fall and everyone from Free Peoples will be left behind closed door.

    Because company won't reveal what could be a classified information. Classified means - secret, not to be known to everyone untill time comes.

    Yes, licence may expire. Yes, Tolkien copyrighters may try to do something. But I am very confident Turbine/WB knows what they are doing. An ID Software, producers of famous "Blood" and "Blood II" are making yet another Middle-Earth MMORPG and do not seem to cease production. Turbine launches new expansion and is not showing any signs of shutting.

    There is no need to worry. We will play Lotro in 2015 as well as in 2025.

    P.S. graphic engine may mean very little. Istaria has a really old graphic engine - and yet community is not afraid of it. If the game is good, having trillions of colors means nothing. And if game is lame, no effects will save it.

  • BoneserinoBoneserino London, ONPosts: 1,618Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by IceAge

    Well , ( not to upset any LoTRO fans ) , this is well deserved. 

    LOTR games should be in better hands , where turbine has failed pretty hard at making the online version, a big success. 

    When I first heard of LoTRO, I was SO excited and when I got my beta invite I SO happy....until I logged in. I was very disappointed that they didn't made a game by it's own, other then a copy/paste of WoW .

    Anyway , I hope turbine loses his licence and that other company will take it and make a real , real ...REAL MMO , because LOTR fans deserve it. Imagine what and how many things can be made within a MMO game based on the lore.

    One could dream .. 

    Yea, you can dream.  You could dream about just about any old MMO and how it could be turned into a "Real" MMO.

    I will just keep playing the game.

    FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon

    I'm sort of on the fence. This is one of the few games I subscribe to but I'm not really happy with what they did with the license.

    Everything they do now seems half-assed. Heck, I had to quit the game because they had me running around doing the must inane things just to further the main story/get faction.

    I quit when I was asked to carry a basket of apples across the town only to then be asked to carry the empty basked back. Then I was asked to kill frogs when I finally got away from that town and I unsubscribed.

    Some gaming friends convinced me to come back and I am patiently grinding out my hytbold faction for better gear. Doing dailies which I despise.

    Quite frankly I wouldn't mind another company having a crack at the IP but why would they? The Lord of the Rings movies are over and by the time they got any sort of game out the Hobbit would have long since been done with.

    It's almost like the Matrix mmo which seemed to come a bit too late.

  • IceAgeIceAge SomeWhere In ..Posts: 1,013Member Common
    Originally posted by Boneserino
    Originally posted by IceAge

    Well , ( not to upset any LoTRO fans ) , this is well deserved. 

    LOTR games should be in better hands , where turbine has failed pretty hard at making the online version, a big success. 

    When I first heard of LoTRO, I was SO excited and when I got my beta invite I SO happy....until I logged in. I was very disappointed that they didn't made a game by it's own, other then a copy/paste of WoW .

    Anyway , I hope turbine loses his licence and that other company will take it and make a real , real ...REAL MMO , because LOTR fans deserve it. Imagine what and how many things can be made within a MMO game based on the lore.

    One could dream .. 

    Yea, you can dream.  You could dream about just about any old MMO and how it could be turned into a "Real" MMO.

    I will just keep playing the game.

    Well, I did said that I don't want to upset any LoTRO  fans. That's is my opinon, but I am glad that you enjoy the game. I really am. 

    But for me, Turbine has ruined it.

    Reporter: What's behind Blizzard success, and how do you make your gamers happy?
    Blizzard Boss: Making gamers happy is not my concern, making money.. yes!

  • BoneserinoBoneserino London, ONPosts: 1,618Member Uncommon

    I will give you that Sovrath, it is 90% fetch and kill quests.   But honestly what MMO isn't. 

    The detail in the world, and somewhat the lore, are the things that I enjoy in the game.  Its a great place for a care bear to kick back and enjoy some quality time.  Not for everyone but nothing is, in this business.

    They should have made two games I think.  The Shire game for us bears and the Mordor game for the hardcore guys.  Maybe that would have kept everyone happy! 

    FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  • BoneserinoBoneserino London, ONPosts: 1,618Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by IceAge
    Originally posted by Boneserino
    Originally posted by IceAge

    Well , ( not to upset any LoTRO fans ) , this is well deserved. 

    LOTR games should be in better hands , where turbine has failed pretty hard at making the online version, a big success. 

    When I first heard of LoTRO, I was SO excited and when I got my beta invite I SO happy....until I logged in. I was very disappointed that they didn't made a game by it's own, other then a copy/paste of WoW .

    Anyway , I hope turbine loses his licence and that other company will take it and make a real , real ...REAL MMO , because LOTR fans deserve it. Imagine what and how many things can be made within a MMO game based on the lore.

    One could dream .. 

    Yea, you can dream.  You could dream about just about any old MMO and how it could be turned into a "Real" MMO.

    I will just keep playing the game.

    Well, I did said that I don't want to upset any LoTRO  fans. That's is my opinon, but I am glad that you enjoy the game. I really am. 

    But for me, Turbine has ruined it.

    I will try not to be upset Ice. ;)

    But you can't say that they ruined it.  In fact they did a damn nice job.  They just didn't make the game that you wanted to play and I am sorry for that.   It probably always going to be the case in games with expensive 3rd party IP's too.  When large amounts of  money is involved you can be sure they will not take great risks with gameplay, and for certain they will want to appeal to majority of players.   And we all know what that means these days.

    FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,452Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Boneserino

    I will give you that Sovrath, it is 90% fetch and kill quests.   But honestly what MMO isn't. 

    The detail in the world, and somewhat the lore, are the things that I enjoy in the game.  Its a great place for a care bear to kick back and enjoy some quality time.  Not for everyone but nothing is, in this business.

    They should have made two games I think.  The Shire game for us bears and the Mordor game for the hardcore guys.  Maybe that would have kept everyone happy! 

    I don't mind the kill quest. I mean "heck" skyrim (or any elder scrolls game) for me was mostly exploring and killing monsters.

    I do mind being asked to carry a basket of apples. And then carry the basket back. I do mind when one npc says "see if you can go and help other people in the town" when I am hell bent on heading toward Saruman's Tower.

    And then when I help them it's ridiculous stuff like "gather buffalo meat".

    I made a post about this before but some time ago I found a ruin that I never knew existed. It's actually pretty hidden. I think it's called "hidden 'somethingorother" (whatever the name is).

    Now, I've been playing a LOT of skyrim and Morrwoind and I am halfway to three quarters of the way through a large skyrim mod. So my mind is in the "hey, let's go explore" basket.

    So I go to the door of this ruin (almost reminds me of the blade's secret temple in skyrim in the way that it's hidden) and I can't get in because I'm not on the appropriate quest.

    I'm kind of sick of that. Sure have a quest in that area but allow players to explore and not engage the quest. Or, if a player finds something and it requires a quest maybe have some sort of hint that will lead the player to the quest giver. Even if it's an "in your face pop-up" saying "hmmm, I think I rememember overhearing Skald the Black talking about a hidden ruin. I should question him about it".

    I also hate that my warsteed rubberbands all over the place. I've started not using it when I want to navigate through a city quickly.

    Now that I've been doing more moddiing I've been applying my composition mind frame and really appreciating something I told a younger composer years ago "be in love with every moment of your piece. Even if it's only a seque into somethng greater. If you can't love that one measure, if it's throw away, redo it."

    heck, I even did that to a whole room in my skyrim mod which is now eons more interesting.

    I just wish the LOTRO developers were more in love with how the game plays out, how epic it can be yet how "human" it can also be.

    cut out the mundane but include an interesting and intriguing type of mundane for those who want to play hobbits who only want to bake.

    That seems like it contradicts itself but it really doesn't.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,187Member Uncommon

    I'm not surprised Turbine is quiet. They never seem to get communication right when to do speak, so their reaction is to clam up. They've been this way since before Moria. It's only worsened over time.

    LotRO isn't a bad game at all, but I think its success is in spite of Turbine not because of them. Mostly I blame the upper leadership. Steefel made some mistakes, but the Paiz couple really damaged the game with some horrible decisions and seemed to foster a horrible corporate culture.

    I'm playing again off and on just because I like the people and my characters. I don't know how long I'll keep playing though. One thing I find odd about Turbine is they feel like a design by committee studio. It's like they get a big group of the lead devs in a meeting and all decide on game features. It gives the game a very directionless orphaned feeling. One thing you can say about games with strong lead designers is they have a very distinct and focused feeling to them. LotRO lacks that. It feels like they just tack on new systems without any foresight or thought at all.

    The single factor that contributed most to my loss of interest in playing was their huge focus on raiding and dungeon gear grinding. It's odd they spent so many years with that as their core design, only to marginalize it now. The tenacity in which they cling to their insane grind philosophy is also puzzling.

    Another problem I see is that Turbine, like most mmo devs, charges way too much for the game while under delivering for the cost, and also sells game functionality that should be included as part of the game (xp toggle, riding speed boosts, etc). I don't like how they charge a lot for each expansion, but then you still have to pay to piecemeal all the little bits together if you want a full game experience. It costs a lot to get back up to speed. If I wanted a fully functioning account I would have to buy the last xpac, the riding speed buff, a few other account unlocks, and that would cost me around $100 or more easily. The game really isn't worth that.

    I'm curious to see where I end up six more months or a year from now with the game. As games get really old I'm much less inclined to spend money on it because you just can't trust when a publisher will close the doors. It would suck to spend $100 in the cash shop, or to spend that much on a sub and then have them suddenly shutter the game merrily cashing your check.

  • Greymantle4Greymantle4 Posts: 802Member Uncommon

    I bought a lifetime account for a MMO that does not exist today. They took a game that had lots of challenge at the start and did what Wow and everyone else does these days they dumb it down so a 10 year old can breeze through it. They also dropped the ball on housing and other features that could had made this game great.  Then along came FTP and that was the nail in the coffin I gave up completely. 

  • psiicpsiic Tampa, FLPosts: 941Member Uncommon

    Not sure how to respond.

     

    On one hand I have a lifetime account and have at times enjoyed the game. 

     

    Moria and RoR were both pretty excellent expansions. 

     

    The game provides the best roleplay foundation of any MMO to date and at its hayday  there were thousands of roleplayers doing some amazing things with this game.

     

    My only real criticism of the game is in the character generator. I've always found the characters to be ugly, especially the elves, and in Tolkien's universe elves are suppose to be beyond beautiful, ethereal even. I have always hated the sneer on the elven faces, and it has always effected my immersion into the game.

     

    That being said the criticism's I have read in this thread are for the most part are flat out bullshit. 

    Some of them are total fabrications obviously made by people who have never even played past the first few areas of the game.

    A few may hold a little merit, but not to the level the posters would try and take them.

    LOTRO is one of the very few games out there that can truly be called a MASSIVE multiplayer online roleplay game.  Sadly at times that massive scope has worked against them.

    That being said, Turbine has done a pretty damn good job transitioning something as epic, well known, and loved as Lord of the Rings into an MMORPG.

    You can be critical of them, but honestly would you have rather seen SOE, Perfect World, or Cryptic's attempt ? 

    Before you go tossing stones, let's see someone else at the time this game released that actually made a better game? 

     

  • DrakephireDrakephire Fontana, CAPosts: 445Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by BMBender
    Originally posted by BMBender
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender
    Originally posted by Drakephire
    Originally posted by BMBender

    this is one of those topics that crops up from time to time.  My supposition supported by no actual data is that there are two different questions here.

    WB securing the license again does not automatically = Turbine gets to continue LOTRO

    1. WB has been securing rights across various media for various franchises for future projects

    2. LOTRO continuing is more a factor of how it looks on WB's bottom line than how the licensing negotiations go.

    WB has no other MMO developer than Turbine...securing MMO rights and then sitting on them would be a waste of money.

    WB may opt out of the license to focus Turbine on other WB properties...Harry Potter for example.

     

    WB's bottom line is directly tied to licensing negotiations. If theTolkien Estate wants more money for the license, then that affects WBs bottom line. The current legal battle is in fact over this very issue. The Tolkien Estate is suing over what they claim is Turbine and WB illegal use of the license via the cash shop. Who knows if TE has legal grounds or not...that's why it's been tied up for over a year.  But yeah, LOTRO licensing is very much tied into WBs bottom line.

    who said anything about another developer, the digital rights also include(arguably) those gambling machines and other digital media like say movies.

    Well, you're confused on licensing.  This article deals with Turbine's license that expires in 2014. Tolkien Enterprises has divided up the license to various media entities that you can see here: http://www.tolkien-ent.com/current_licencees_pop.html

    This has nothing to do with the movie license which is controlled by Tolkien Enterprises. Tolkien Estate is an entirely different entity. And I actually made a mistake in my post. I should have said Tolkien Enterprises.  As a matter of fact, Chris's article is in error because Tolkien Estate has no legal say over the continued use of the license because Tolkien Enterprises (owned by Saul Zantz) owns the movie and gaming rights.  Tolkien Estate is essentially suing Tolkien Enterprises here.

    yup btw the company changed it's name it's not Tolkien Enterprises any more it's Middle Earth enterprises. and the reason I think WB will try to secure it as part and parcel of the entire digital and movie rights is they tend to prefer blanket rights, just look at Marvel.

     

    But currently WB only has to secure licensing with MEE. until and unless lil Chris actually wins something in court TEstate is a side show.

    And the reason I think WB will try to secure it as part and parcel of the entire digital and movie rights is they tend to prefer blanket rights, just look at Marvel.  It's one reason I've always suspected they bailed out Turbine in the first place. I doubt it was because they saw LOTRO as an investment in and of itself; but so they could be in a position to secure those rights.  Remember at the crash Turbine was 2steps away from being sold off in chunks from being over leveraged. the hedge funder (I forgot the name) they were most deep into took over the company1st as CFO then CEO if I remember correctly; and eventually brokered the WB deal.

    This is my point though. The license that is up in 2014 is only the MMO license. WB doesn't have to negotiate with Tolkien Enterprises at all regarding movie rights at this time. In fact, they have the Hobbit 2 and 3 coming out this year and next. WB and Tolkien Enterprises are on relatively good business terms.  The problem is with Tolkien Estate, which is entirely different company. Tolkien Estate holds zero rights with regard to Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit. The only rights Tolkien Estate holds are the rights to the Silmarillion and JRR Tolkien's other extent work.

     

    Tolkien Estate is suing Tolkien Enterprises because Tolkien Estate believes the latter has violated the 1960s contract which sold the rights to Saul Zantz (Tolkien Enterprises, and I guess now called MEE).  Tolkien Estate has no participation in negotiations over licensing.  This is where Christopher's article above is in error.

  • Greymantle4Greymantle4 Posts: 802Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by psiic

     

    You can be critical of them, but honestly would you have rather seen SOE, Perfect World, or Cryptic's attempt ? 

     

    I would have to say yes I would like to see some one else give it a go. IMO they failed to bring Middle Earth from the books that I fell in love with to life. 

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