Tag Archives: LOTRO Store

I Got My 95 Turbine Points Back

It took Turbine a while, but they finally got back to me.

Thanks for your inquiry. We have processed a refund for the 95 Turbine Points to your account for the vault slots you did not receive.

The upgrade displaying in the store for you was an error. The vault upgrade was meant to display for players that only had 30 slots.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please respond to this email, and we will be happy to assist you.

Thank you,
The Turbine Customer Service Team

I am sure that they were seriously backlogged with support cases with the launch of the LOTRO Store.  I lost the 95 points back at the head-start launch for LOTRO Free to Play.  They were not the only points I lost,  but they were the only ones I was going to hold a grudge about were they not returned.

And I can hold a grudge.

How I Got My 5,000 Turbine Points

As I posted last night, I ended up with 4,500 Turbine Points as part of their loyalty rewards program.

Today, Turbine sent me an email with the details, including a nice little chart detailing how those points were doled out.

A Nice Little Chart

I have that accounting that I was looking for now.

Of course, I figured way back, and boy I’ve linked this post quite a bit lately, that I was going to get 5,000 points.  But they went live with Free to Play a month earlier than I figured they would.

But the note from Turbine also included a bonus.

Also, as a LOTRO Beta participant this summer, you also receive a point code for additional 500 Turbine Points. To redeem the code, go to the LOTRO Store and click the Add Points button in the top-right section. Then, click on the REDEEM MY CARD button. Finally, select Turbine Points Code as the type of points code to redeem, then copy and paste your code into the Enter Points Code field and click REDEEM NOW.

500 additional points, rounding me up to an even 5,000.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Now about my bank slots….

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.

Among the Free (to Play) Peoples of Middle-earth

I was wrong.  The game patched up quicker than I anticipated and I was looking at the new game launch splash screen much sooner than I had anticipated.

Money for nothing, Adventure for free

Of course, the first thing I wanted to know was how many Turbine Points I had.  I speculated previously on how many I would end up with via the various Turbine incentives.  In theory, there might be as much as 5,000 waiting for me.  Now was the time to find out.

Only the LOTRO Store was down.

Gandalf Says, "We are closed now!"

I will have to wait to figure that one out.

Still, I earned a good fifty Turbine Points with a set of new deeds and titles for which I qualified.  And that was just on one character.

The actual titles though… as much I love titles…

We were talking about being “Known to the Eglain” on Saturday night.  It sounds a lot like you’re one of the usual suspects.  Somebody’s scabbard goes missing and you’re “known to the Eglain” so they pick up you for questioning.

And “Known Through Bree?”  Me, Bill Ferny, and the town drunk as well I’m sure.

Well, at least the game is up and running and, aside from the store being down, looking good.

I’ll have some time to explore tomorrow night.

Is It September Already? F2P Will Soon Be In Middle-earth!

September 10th.

That is the day that Lord of the Rings Online follows Dungeons & Dragons Online into the land of Free to Play.

Or endless beginner trial.

Or no-money down access.

Or however you want to frame the business model that Turbine is adopting.

But the change is coming.  The floodgates will be open. (Current subscribers will get a 2 day head start)

The LOTRO Store will be a fact of the game.

How much the store, and the unfettered access to the the game will change things, we shall see.

Some of it I am quite looking forward to.

Packrat that I am, I will be enormously happy to have many more bank slots available to me.  And I am even happier to read that the dev team at Turbine is going to try to make things better for those of us who are very spatially oriented.

But there is a lot more coming, more than I have been able to keep track of, like the new wardrobe system.

Enough changes to get Lady Sinaea out for another episode of RingCast.

And enough changes to keep the team over at A Casual Stroll to Mordor busy indeed.

They have, in addition to their podcast, posts up about:

Mordor or Bust has a good post up about the Incredibly Informative LOTRO F2P FAQ.

Meanwhile, over at LOTRO MMOMorsel, they have a Turbine Point finder tool up and running.  Yes, you can earn Turbine Points in-game for use in the LOTRO store.  This will help you find them.

So there is a lot to catch up on while we wait for the big change to come.

LOTRO Beta Bank Blues

I have pretty modest expectations for the coming transition of Lord of the Rings Online to a Free to Play financial model, which is scheduled to happen on September 10th.  Subscriptions will be out… sort of… there will be that whole VIP Level of commitment… and the LOTRO Store will be in.

And since my expectations are modest, I haven’t really felt the need to join in the beta just to check out the store.

Last week, however, they were going to do a stress test and wanted to get as many people online as possible.  I decided to finally grab the beta client to help out with that.

And since I was going to be there anyway, I though it might be time to check and see if my expectations had been met.

There were three specific things that I hoped I would be able to purchase with Turbine points, of which I should have many come September 10th.  Those things were:

  • Increase bag slot space
  • Increase bank slot space
  • Housing

That is it.  Anything else which shows up that I like will be a bonus.

And it looks like I am not getting two out of the three on that list.

Bags will remain capped at the five 15 slot bags which I have currently, or so it seems when looking through the store.

And while I can buy decorations for a house in Middle-earth, the actual house stills has to be paid for and maintained with in-game currency.  Gold in the game isn’t as rare as it was back at launch, but I still don’t have enough hanging around to invest in housing.  The homestead will have to wait.

Ah well, at least I have more bank slots for which to look forward.

Sort of.

I have a problem with that too.  It isn’t that I cannot get enough additional bank slots.  It looks like I can get plenty.  It is how they will be displayed.

Currently in LOTRO, your bank looks like this:

It looks like a pretty traditional bank storage system in an MMO, akin to what you get with WoW or EQII.  You get a series of spots into which you may place your items for storage.

As you can see here, the default is 30 slots, and you can pay to unlock additional slots (which both cost in-game currency and have a level restriction) which come in the form of 15 slots boxes.  In the picture above, I have unlocked two additional boxes, giving me a total of 60 bank slots, although those 30 additional slots appear as individual windows apart from the base 30.

You can also see the care I put into organizing my bank slots.  There is quite a bit of crafting material shown in that screen shot.  It belongs to Silinus, my hunter, who is also a weapon smith and woodworker.  All his crafting materials are sorted by rows to show the tier to which the material belongs, and by column to distinguish the type of material.

I have some excess materials (still sorted by tier) on the left column, while the top row holds recipes I cannot yet train.

So I have a system, and it works well enough with the bank slots as they are presented in LOTRO.

The one very valid complaint I have heard about the bag and bank slots is that it can be hard for people to distinguish between items because of the tiny and less than optimally designed icons. (I’ve complained about the iconography in the game before.)  The second column from the right, for example, holds ingots of dwarf iron, rich iron, and barrow iron, but the only way I know which is which is because of their position.

So there is a mixture of good and bad there.

In the beta, the bank view has been changed.  This is the bank for the same character, with the same items, after having been copied over to the Bullroarer server.

If you bought the Adventurer’s Pack that they were offering along with Siege of Mirkwood, this view will look familiar as it is the same as the shared storage vault that came with the pack.

It is a change and it has a couple of things going for it.

You can see how many bank slots you have and how many you have used right there at the top of the window.

And, of course, each item now shows both its name and its icon, so you can see what you have… sort of.

The problem is that the window can only stretch so large.  With the shared storage, which is only 20 slots, that is no big deal.  You can make the window big enough to see everything.

But at 60 slots the window would have to stretch beyond the dimensions of my monitor.  And for the full 120 slots, which I plan to purchase, the window would have to extend to the floor in my office to see all my stuff.

Also, while you can choose a couple of filters for what is shown, it still lists stuff out in an order that isn’t very helpful.  You can see four types of resin listed in that window, but I couldn’t tell you off hand, without mousing over them to get the description, which on was for which tier.

That is why I lay everything out in an orderly fashion, so I can tell at a glance which is which.

I won’t have that option soon.

So this looks like a mixed blessing.  I will be able to get a lot of new storage space with my Turbine Points, but the actual usability of those spaces will be compromised by the new view.