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Former Employee Spills the Beans

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Comments

  • Broken.ArrowBroken.Arrow Member UncommonPosts: 84

    Pretty much what my kinmates and I used to think about the game.

    But all said and done I still look back fondly at the time I spent in LOTRO, even while it was on its course to swirl down the drain. Inevitably even this game should draw to an end, and it feels like that time is going to be sooner rather than later.

    ---

    A proud User of [[Adblock Plus]], to block out all the bullshit paid advertisements (also read as "game reviews") spam on mmorpg.com. 

    ----


    I was banned for pointing out the obvious faults in a game 2 months before it released.
    Now after release, repeating the very same words from back then would be like preaching to the choir on this site.
  • observerobserver Member RarePosts: 3,685
    Originally posted by cheyane
    Scary reading the amount of money that was flushed down the toilet is shocking. I guess other companies have even worse stories but  this was such spectacular mismanagement and waste.

    This is why investors stay away from MMO's, and now devs are begging for funding on kickstarter and crowdfunding projects.  MMO companies are terrible at management, time, and resources.  Swtor being a prime example.

    Lotro was alright at launch, but it pretty much killed itself after the release of the Mines of Moria expansion, and also when their abominable f2p system was implemented.

  • rodarinrodarin Member EpicPosts: 2,611

    Lotro still a decent game. I criticized them so much I am perma banned on the official forums. Outing them for selling themselves to WB and going F2P (about 2 months before they wanted to go public) didnt help either.

     

    Its sad though that Turbine got that title, but then again looking at all the failures littering the MMO landscape who knows if anyone else could have done better.

     

    That is the ONE game where PvP should have been a focus. They could still do it with these later maps but they chose not to. Allowing the creeps free reign in certain areas of expansions. But when reading what the guys says its obvious they pretty much gave up less than a year into the games release.

     

    Now its full on throw out the easiest stuff we can get away with and hope people buy it. That game made so much money its sad, but seeing how he describes how much was wasted it also isnt a surprise why nothing is getting done with the game.

     

    Lifetime subs turned out to be the best investment ever in the history of MMOs. say what you want but lifers are really the ones populating that game right now. They also helped bump up sub numbers as well I am sure. But they basically pay you to own the game. I have more TP than I will ever spend, unless they start putting out paid expansions twice a year.

     

    Theyre going to merge servers and supposedly try and make some positive changes, have to wait and see how that turns out. But it is basically an auto pilot game right now.

     

    As for them losing the license and having someone else make a totally new version, unlikely and if that happened its a LONG way down the road unless someone has a game 90% done already in anticipation, which isnt likely.

     

     

  • BMBenderBMBender Member UncommonPosts: 827


    Originally posted by Sovrath

    Originally posted by olepi It's kind of a running joke that the government is wasteful, and that private industry is much better at containing costs, etc. I was on a high-tech project that had over 200 people for 3 years work on it, before it was canceled. We estimated a loss of $800 million dollars. Teams in the US and Europe worked for years, before somebody realized it just wasn't going to work. Waste, mis-management, unrealistic goals, failure to follow progress, rivalries, executives jockeying for position. This happens all the time.
    Was this a "game" project or just something else in technology. Because "wow" what a massive waste! And didn't anyone realize it wasn't going to work? Even at the halfway point?

    Or, was it just research? Because that at least would make some sense.


    It's not as rare as you think regardless of industry, ego's, job security, bonus time, mid management forming private domains. Usually the only difference at the end is matter of scale/loss reached before the wall. The more introspective the company leadership the less often/likely/scope of the problem. However, when "hey boss we might have a problem" is met with a pink slip..guess what, no one's going to tell the emperor he's nekkid

    image
  • SavageHorizonSavageHorizon Member EpicPosts: 3,467
    This thread and the bickering is actually pathetic, life must be pretty dull for most of you. Who gives a fuck about some former employee and his spill the beans rubbish. This is what it's come to in the mmo world, nothing to play so some idiots follow threads like these and actually start bickering like freaking school kids lmfao.




  • LanfeaLanfea Member UncommonPosts: 223

    someone blows the whistle, spills the beans .... is telling what is really going on? who cares! don't get me wrong, i would love if someone would care, if more and more people would care about whats going on in the world. but this will not happen and nothing will change.

    lord of the rings online .... best themepark mmorpg i ever played. best community i ever was part of. best gamemasters (always helping the community to get player created events running) i ever run into. but like many others the path the developers went with mines of moria and the f2p transition wasn't mine.

     

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member EpicPosts: 5,749

    I missed this thread so far (my bad, i was waist-deep in TSW :) ), but it was discussed on lotrocommunity a week ago anyways. I agree with Asm0deus above, there's no bean-spilling at all, just some fun facts about the actual office and some inside pictures. Everything else was known by anyone playing or following the game. Radiance was a failure, Ettenmoors was always handled just as a side-project, LI system was a cool idea turned into a horrid grind over the years, etc.

     

    My favourite part was the 7% and how it resonates to Sap's 10% :) It doesn't matter how the raid-fanatics guessing numbers, and yelling "we feel it's not right", the fact is there were only 2 numbers stated by people who actually can see hard data from the inside: -less than 10% for raiders and PvMPers combined, with PvMPers are a "far larger group" within the 10%;  -and now a number of 7%, as the peak for players in the Ettenmoors. Sure, no details this time either, so there's room for debate like "how do you define raider / PvMPer, how was the weather on that day, how many had cloaks" or any of those lame nitpicking image

    Anyhow, it's a nice an fun thread over there, worth reading. And agree with Lanfea above, it's a great game, with maybe the best community out there among MMOs. Ok, TSW is a close second :)

  • WizardryWizardry Member LegendaryPosts: 19,332
    Originally posted by observer
    Originally posted by cheyane
    Scary reading the amount of money that was flushed down the toilet is shocking. I guess other companies have even worse stories but  this was such spectacular mismanagement and waste.

    This is why investors stay away from MMO's, and now devs are begging for funding on kickstarter and crowdfunding projects.  MMO companies are terrible at management, time, and resources.  Swtor being a prime example.

    Lotro was alright at launch, but it pretty much killed itself after the release of the Mines of Moria expansion, and also when their abominable f2p system was implemented.

    Oh i agree with this 100%,even the giant Blizzard is god awful when you figure how much money they pull in,their game should be like the prettiest most diversified game on the planet.

    There is a big problem though because if a developer was to lower the over head guess where it begins?It begins with community reps,GM's and support,so the worst possible place to begin cuts.So to the gamer we can never get the BEST of because they WASTE money have poor support and don't put back into the game a FAIR amount that we would expect.

    Never forget 3 mile Island and never trust a government official or company spokesman.

  • GardavsshadeGardavsshade Member UncommonPosts: 907
    Originally posted by MisterZebub
    Originally posted by DMKano
    Originally posted by MisterZebub
    Originally posted by Sovrath
    Originally posted by MisterZebub
    Originally posted by Konfess
    Originally posted by Horusra
    hopefully another ex-employee that can only get a job at McDonalds from now on.

    Why, Hopefully?  What has he done to not deserve to work again in game development?

    He spilled the beans. Horusra is obviously a Hobbit and wasting good food is a dreadful sin to the furry footed, pudgy little guys.

    In other news, hey guess what, working for a business isn't always fun and games and sometimes your bosses seem to have their heads wedged firmly up their rectums. I'm not sure why this is shocking news simply because this guy happens to be talking about an online gaming company. Buy outs, sell outs, mergers, management infighting, staff rivalry, people in positions of power they don't actually deserve, throwing money at problems in the vague hope that this will make them magically go away rather that treating the core problem, E.G. idiots running the company into the ground, etc. These are problems every company faces. Why people seem to think creating and maintaining an online game should be a paradise filled with glitter farting unicorns and Neverland innocence is beyond me. At the end of the day its a job, a business venture, and for many a headache. If it was fun it wouldn't be called work.

    I don't think anyone thinks what you put down.

    What I do think is that, even though "work is work" and sometimes management isn't that great or employees might not pull their weight, or that not every decision is a good one, they (we) hope that we will be at a good company and be successful.

    It's sad to see people pour in their all, even though we are all flawed, and not be successful. And for the players it's more sad as they just want to be part of something that is good and fun and successful.

    I'm sorry but I disagree that "no one" thinks what I wrote. I've seen way to many complaints that games are an art form and therefore should be sacrosanct from any of the bullshit a business has to put up with.

    Daily I see people here carping about quality quality quality, but I've yet to hear any of them mention anything about costs, budget, expenses, infrastructure. Its like these gamers seem to think the MMO studio is akin to the magical realms they create, instead of what they are, a job. A job where the profit margin is the yardstick on which everything else they do is measured.

    I do however agree that most MMORPG gamers want a world where they can frolic and tune out the real world for awhile. And that with the exception of a few assholes, most people don't like to see people put effort into something only to fail. I don't see anything wrong with that, but I do take exception to those players who seem to think their entertainment comes without cost. And the brunt of that cost falls upon the shoulders of the people who create and fund that venture. Its not fair to simply discount such a thing because players want to forget about the man behind the curtain and only enjoy the marvelous whizbangs the spectacle of the wizard brings them.

    Indeed.

    Without major investment money the vast majority of MMORPGs would never have gotten made. Hate the suits all you want but without funding - no games.

    The harsh reality is that video game studios are a business first and foremost whose goals are to be profitable and see their employees earn steady paychecks - this is paramount in every business.

    The fact that game studios employ creative folks that often think and work outside of standard business constraints is a challange in itself when there are hard deadlines to meet and strict bottom line to adhere to.

    Making MMOs is not easy, its not glamorous and its usually an extreme financial risk.

     

     

    Yeah I think we both see eye to eye on this. Its unfortunate that more gamers can't see both sides of the issue. The one area we seem to differ is I'm far more extreme on my criticism over the nature of monetization. My reason is that I feel there is a major difference between making a healthy profit and just engaging in profiteering. And I feel that some gaming companies have skated dangerously close to thin ice in recent months.

    If I may intrude into this discussion...

    I may be one of those people who have gotten on your nerves with my comments in the past about MMO Corps caring more about profits more than People.

    However I would like to point out for the record that the jest of my point of view matches your own... that " I feel there is a major difference between making a healthy profit and just engaging in profiteering". That is my stance as well even though I don't only communicate it as clearly and concisely as you have.

    I have spent years considering this and other related issues in the MMO Industry and Society as whole and I realized that all niche "Art Form" endeavors ALWAYS steer eventually towards "engaging in profiteering" because our World is built on Capitalism as it's engine of Economy. Capitalism is an extreme though few may realize it, and it is this extreme form of economic system (as compared to other economic systems of the past) that causes most of the problems and discontent some of us complain about so much. Many may be like I am and may actually be complaining more about the economic system while they are complaining about a product affected by the economic system in a manner we disagree with.

    I realized anything decent or cool or awesome in Art or Entertainment, anything actually, we humans create will always follow the path of the MMO genre in how it ages and matures as long as Capitalism is our chosen economic system. The real problem isn't the MMO genre, or the People that make it their Profession and Life, it is the system we chose for our economy. It is how our chosen economic system affects everything from the ground up.

    If it wasn't for countless People, MMO Professionals, and some Players as well, all MMOs would be nothing but greedy profiteering games from launch. I am glad some People try to do something different, something more "Art" full while developing MMOs. I am glad there are some who strive to listen to the Creative voice rather than the Greedy voice. I thank all of you who have.

    It's too bad we can't get rid of Capitalism as our economic system, and chose another system... but the odds are better for an ELE killing off all of humanity than for Capitalism to die. I honestly believe MMOs would prosper better (in terms of quality and customer satisfaction) under other economic systems, but that is almost impossible so there is little point in discussing that idea (and this forum wouldn't be the right place anyways for such a discussion). All we can do now is try to live with the beast.

    As for the original post and Aylwen's revelations, much of this I either knew or had already guessed. I am glad Aylwen chose to come forth with this. In this world filled with too may secrets it's refreshing to learn more about what really happens in this genre.

     

     

  • stalker989stalker989 Member UncommonPosts: 34
    While I do not play LOTRO all the time, I still enjoy jumping in for periods of time and playing my characters. Overall I like the game, I just get bored easily. Hopefully with the server consolidation the leftovers will have a much larger player base and make finding groups easier.

    image
  • lugallugal Member UncommonPosts: 671
    stalker989 is the necromancer!

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    The reviewer has a mishapen head
    Which means his opinion is skewed
    ...Aldous.MF'n.Huxley

  • avalon1000avalon1000 Member UncommonPosts: 791
    Jumped back onto LOTRO for the server transfer (the once might big E closing down). The game is a shell of what it once was. Very glad I got to play in SoA and some really good RAID's (a lot of players left after LOTRO announced no more RAID's). The combat now seems very sluggish as compared to newer games I have played. The quest instances in Rohan are very buggy. Had to restart a couple of them.  

    Great memories though. Sylidor's memorial service in the Moors...on the big E...very moving and we crashed the server.  Or finding a very rare and valuable helm that my duo partner accidentally put on the AH for 17 silver instead of 17 gold...someone got a good buy. 

    MMO companies need to learn to LISTEN to their players. It would save them a lot of grief. 
  • Paradigm68Paradigm68 Member UncommonPosts: 890
    “We were hurting bad after [Siege of Mirkwood] subs were declining hard — and F2P was inevitable,”

    In the eternal argument of p2p and f2p, this says a lot about the value of f2p games.
  • GeezerGamerGeezerGamer Member EpicPosts: 8,855
    Is this the fad now?

    "Oh look, here's something new, someone is saying the company they worked for did bad things"

  • waynejr2waynejr2 Member EpicPosts: 7,769
    “We were hurting bad after [Siege of Mirkwood] subs were declining hard — and F2P was inevitable,”

    In the eternal argument of p2p and f2p, this says a lot about the value of f2p games.

    except you have to look at the development costs.  The period before it went f2p paid for that.  I doubt that could have happened as only a f2p game.
    http://www.youhaventlived.com/qblog/2010/QBlog190810A.html  

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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

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  • makasouleater69makasouleater69 Member UncommonPosts: 1,096
    Horusra said:
    hopefully another ex-employee that can only get a job at McDonalds from now on.
    Why you gotta be a dick? He didn't even really say anything, that wasen't already known. 
  • makasouleater69makasouleater69 Member UncommonPosts: 1,096

    olepi said:

    It's kind of a running joke that the government is wasteful, and that private industry is much better at containing costs, etc.

    I was on a high-tech project that had over 200 people for 3 years work on it, before it was canceled. We estimated a loss of $800 million dollars. Teams in the US and Europe worked for years, before somebody realized it just wasn't going to work.

    Waste, mis-management, unrealistic goals, failure to follow progress, rivalries, executives jockeying for position. This happens all the time.

    Sounds to me like the American way is a big failure in how humans should live hahah, O well we tried, all had to end eventually ;) I wounder what the next human phase will be, everything made in China:)
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Sovrath said:
    Originally posted by Asm0deus

    He is not really spilling anything anyone that played DDO or LoTro didn't already know. 

     

    There even was a schism at some point in the ddo forums where a bunch of people left and the ddovault was created so peeps could discuss things without Turbine cubing everything.

    In truth, I worry about Turbine as they really haven't done anything of merit or note in quite a while. Lord of the Rings Online seems like it is in maintenance mode and though Dungeons and Dragons online is coming out with seemingly good stuff, that is an old game. 

    It just seems like there is nothing new happening with them.

    They tried their hand at a MOBA. Great IP, good concept, but brought nothing new to the genre other than maybe a round map.  

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    One of the best parts of all is if you read through all of his replies, he explains sites like mmodata and others purporting to "report the numbers" regarding revenue and subs are full of shite and have no magic access to these figures, as most of us already knew.
    ..because QA is privy to everything that goes on at the executive or even PR level...

    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247
    Sovrath said:
    Originally posted by olepi

    It's kind of a running joke that the government is wasteful, and that private industry is much better at containing costs, etc.

    I was on a high-tech project that had over 200 people for 3 years work on it, before it was canceled. We estimated a loss of $800 million dollars. Teams in the US and Europe worked for years, before somebody realized it just wasn't going to work.

    Waste, mis-management, unrealistic goals, failure to follow progress, rivalries, executives jockeying for position. This happens all the time.

    Was this a "game" project or just something else in technology. Because "wow" what a massive waste! And didn't anyone realize it wasn't going to work? Even at the halfway point?

    Or, was it just research? Because that at least would make some sense.

    Sometimes projects just get into that "too big to fail" zone. Comcast had sunk millions into their "ComTrac" software for the support team. It was slower and had less functionality than the other software they had in place. It was also buggy as crap, but there was no way they werent going to use it after all the money they sank into it. As a result, for years support reps in certain offices had to do their work in duplicate or triplicate for each call as it had to be entered in ComTrac, Remedy and sometimes CableData. Since support reps were measured on whether or not they had documentation in all programs they were using at the time, but not the content of the documentation, it wasn't uncommon for gibberish to be input in to one or more of the programs, just to move on to the next call faster, since Calls Handled was also a quota to meet. 


    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • DarkcrystalDarkcrystal Member UncommonPosts: 963
    edited October 2015

     

    This is definitely worth reading through. A guy that not only worked for Turbine for 2.5 years but has always been an actual LotRO player has thrown caution to the winds and is openly fielding questions about working at Turbine:

     

    http://massivelyop.net/2015/03/04/former-lotro-employee-dishes-out-behind-the-scenes-secrets/

     

    Far too many of us are completely unsurprised by what he's revealed so far. It's pretty much exactly what we expected.

     

     

    Turbine is not a bad company I know for a fact, no matter were you work, you will have people who quit, get fired or what ever talk trash about  a company... So stop with the non sense troll baiting posts already..  Most Q and A people do not know as much as he is stating... Also said he is not an  employee who is mad, right... Yet he is  saying crap on the net..

    I to go around talking trash about a company that I love...  
  • LoktofeitLoktofeit Member RarePosts: 14,247

    This is definitely worth reading through. A guy that not only worked for Turbine for 2.5 years but has always been an actual LotRO player has thrown caution to the winds and is openly fielding questions about working at Turbine:

    http://massivelyop.net/2015/03/04/former-lotro-employee-dishes-out-behind-the-scenes-secrets/

    Far too many of us are completely unsurprised by what he's revealed so far. It's pretty much exactly what we expected.

    Turbine is not a bad company I know for a fact, no matter were you work, you will have people who quit, get fired or what ever talk trash about  a company... So stop with the non sense troll baiting posts already..
    I agree. There's good and bad in every workplace, and a lot of what he points out is just one side of the story. Take everything with a grain of salt.

    Well, except the part about Meghan and Andy being awesome.
    They are. Fact. :) 


    There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein
    "Graphics are often supplied by Engines that (some) MMORPG's are built in" - Spuffyre

  • DarkcrystalDarkcrystal Member UncommonPosts: 963
    edited October 2015
    Loktofeit said:

    This is definitely worth reading through. A guy that not only worked for Turbine for 2.5 years but has always been an actual LotRO player has thrown caution to the winds and is openly fielding questions about working at Turbine:

    http://massivelyop.net/2015/03/04/former-lotro-employee-dishes-out-behind-the-scenes-secrets/

    Far too many of us are completely unsurprised by what he's revealed so far. It's pretty much exactly what we expected.

    Turbine is not a bad company I know for a fact, no matter were you work, you will have people who quit, get fired or what ever talk trash about  a company... So stop with the non sense troll baiting posts already..
    I agree. There's good and bad in every workplace, and a lot of what he points out is just one side of the story. Take everything with a grain of salt.

    Well, except the part about Meghan and Andy being awesome.
    They are. Fact. :) 


    The issue is, people judge to fast with out hearing the other side...   happens all the time  on this forum... Turbine is a great company to work for, so not sure  what his deal is, try working for EA, which I rather not talk about ...

    But you don't see me posting non sense to some forum or trying to get my name posted on some site to get some attention..

    Today I see Q and A guys  and beta testers trying to bash company's and this is another reasons I would never use people I don't know for those job's..


    I feel some gamers/people are trying to ruin the gaming industry, its bad enough we have Hilary Clinton wanting games to go away since she feels all gun violence is from games, so we have these other idiots.

  • FrodoFraginsFrodoFragins Member EpicPosts: 5,922
    rodarin said:

    Lifetime subs turned out to be the best investment ever in the history of MMOs. say what you want but lifers are really the ones populating that game right now. They also helped bump up sub numbers as well I am sure. But they basically pay you to own the game. I have more TP than I will ever spend, unless they start putting out paid expansions twice a year.

    Lifetime subs crippled Turbine long term.  It was a short term vision for the game.
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member EpicPosts: 5,749
    edited October 2015
    rodarin said:

    Lifetime subs turned out to be the best investment ever in the history of MMOs. say what you want but lifers are really the ones populating that game right now. They also helped bump up sub numbers as well I am sure. But they basically pay you to own the game. I have more TP than I will ever spend, unless they start putting out paid expansions twice a year.

    Lifetime subs crippled Turbine long term.  It was a short term vision for the game.
    Nope, it was simply a different era with different mindset... you can have lifer offer in the f2p world (STO for example is a pretty nice deal, without "hurting" Cryptic's pocket), but for LotRO the many LTAs became a "dead"weight after the switch - and on the other side, as @rodarin says, it became an awesome deal for the lifers (for those at least, who stayed)

    At first Turbine tried to "strip" their stipends (expansions, convenience services) but since in their model everything is account-wide and a one-time purchase, they couldn't keep the pace... and also diminished their sub numbers meantime, with almost no subscriber benefits left after a couple of years. But LTAs stayed, since they have the game fo' life :lol:

    I think somewhere around Helm's Deep Turbine "accepted" the situation, and started to raise the value of sub again, which is of course great for the LTAs (no content purchase needed since beornings, most lifers are sitting on piles of 10-15k TP or more), but that's just a side-effect, it's aimed for the actual, month-to-month subscribers.

    Agree that first line (was stated several times before), LotRO's LTA was the best investment ever - and it's still getting better as time goes :wink: 
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