Daily Archives: September 9, 2010

I Want My Fast Horse NOW!

More tales of the LOTRO Store.

While I was on with Silinus, who is level 39 and who owns a fast mount already, I started digging through the various sections of the LOTRO store to see what was available.

Naturally, I ended up in the mounts section.  There you can purchase both temporary and permanent mounts.

A permanent fast mount is 695 Turbine Points, which run a penny a piece, making it a bit cheaper than the controversial Runes of Magic $10 horse of last summer and a lot cheaper than the World of Warcraft greed steed.

Permanent Mounts

Temporary Mounts

The temporary mounts don’t look like an outstanding bargain.  But then as they stand, they are likely to get you to spend just another dollar or two to get the perm version, which is probably the plan.

As I am looking at the mounts, Potshot logs on.  He was interested in the mount question as well.

However, he logged in as Garfinkle, a level 25 minstrel.  When he goes to the LOTRO store and looks at the mounts, the store tells him that there is nothing available for his class/level.

I took a closer look at the mounts.

It says "Level 5"

Helpful friend that I am, I tell him it says level 5 minimum, all classes.

He cannot see the mounts.

I log off Silinus and come back with Roderigo, a level 24 burglar and check out the store.

With Roderigo I am also told that there are no mounts available for my level/class.

This seems a bit odd.

Again, here is a key item for the LOTRO Store, here is a character prime to purchase it (at least once they settle my missing vault slot issue), and for some reason I am being denied.

They don’t want my money.

Well, okay, I didn’t spend any money directly on those Turbine points.  But I know how accounting works.  At some point in the operation, there is somebody who is getting paid to get people to spend those points no matter what their origin.

On a whim, I decided to see if, perhaps there was still some link between mounts and the Hengstacer Farm in the Northern Bree Fields.

Sure enough, when I got there, Eogar (son of Hadogar and cousin of Teri Garr) had the big golden quest ring over his head.  And when I spoke to him, he was offering up the quest Proving Your Quality.

It had been updated.  It is now a level 20 quest.

The Horse Quest

And it also lacks the lead-in quests that used to have you riding to Bree, Michel Delving, and Othrikar.  Those were easy enough at level 35.  By that point you had probably been to all of those places and were high enough level to not have to worry about the fauna taking a bite out of you.

Now it is just a matter of racing through the gates set around the farm.

But I have to wonder what the plan is for mounts.  I only went to the Hengstacer farm because I already knew that was where you had to go for a mount.

Having already gotten my notice to visit the farm for a the old level 20 mount, I am going to guess that there is no trigger event to send me back there for another horse.  I wonder when new characters will get that note.

And I’d also like to know if you could really get a mount at level 5.  You have to finish a level 20 quest to get it.  Will it be available to you at that level?

I might have to roll up a new character to see.

The Amazing Disappearing Turbine Points

I did get on the morning of the 8th to find that the LOTRO Store was open for business at last.

I was also able to check my Turbine Point balance.  I previously calculated that I might end up with as many as 5,000 of those points that will now be driving, if not the Middle-earth economy, then at least Turbine’s bottom line.

I turned out to be pretty close.  I had 4,540 Turbine Points.

I dug about in the store to see if they had accounted for the various bonus rewards that went into to creating that particular total, but I was unable to find anything.  How it all added up to 4,540 will be left to my imagination I guess.

I did not have time to start spending those points however.  That was going to have to wait.

When I got home, my point total had changed.  Now I had 4,515 points.

25 Turbine points had melted away.  Did I have a leak in my purse?  Was I given 25 points to which I was later deemed to not be entitled?

Again, no accounting was available.  The total simply was.

Still, 25 points… not that big of a deal I suppose.  And it is day one of the store.  Besides, I was more interested in spending a few of those points.

Silinus, my hunter, was feeling particularly constrained when it came to vault space, so the first item on the list was to buy him another 15 slots.  He was at 58 of 60 slots filled.

And the price was just 95 Turbine Points.  Not that dear at all.  And so my point total was down to 4,320

Only, I didn’t get any increase in the number of vault slots.  Or any sort of token that would increase said slots.

I got a receipt for the vault slot upgrade.

95 Turbine Points for what?

I opened a ticket, to which I got a very quick, if less than satisfying response.  The rep suggested that I log out and log back in.  If the additional slots were still missing, and they were, I would have to contact the account support team, who are apparently a different group.

So I realize we’re just in the first 24 hours of the store going live, but I’m already down 120 Turbine Points and I have yet to successfully obtain anything from the LOTRO Store.  And I’m just one guy who is pretty tolerant on the subject of day one MMO blues.

This coming Friday though, there is going to be a lot more people headed into Middle-earth, and the business plan is to get them to spend money and feel so good about it that they spend some more.

I am not keen to try spending any more and I want to.  How are the fresh faced masses going to deal with it?

Now to figure out how to contact the account support team.  It will be in the forums somewhere I am sure.