Are LotRO GMs Ignoring Legitimate Bug Complaints?

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Are LotRO GMs Ignoring Legitimate Bug Complaints?

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Players in LotRO have been complaining about the same issue for approximately a month, but administrators keep on saying it's not a known issue.

Anyone who's spent time playing MMOs has encountered a glitch or two during their time online. And, most likely, we all know what the proper course of action is: Report the problem via the forums, get the issue resolved, and enjoy the silky smooth gameplay that follows. Unfortunately, this isn't the case in Lord of the Rings Online, where a problem that's repeatedly been reported by gamers seems to be being ignored by Turbine's GMs.

It turns out that for roughly the past month, LotRO players engaged in Tier 2 Challenge Mode quests have been been getting the proverbial shaft when it comes to loot. Here's how said quests work: They're designed for skilled players who are willing to risk extreme difficulty for an extra reward chest, which includes bonus loot like second tokens for teal armor pieces, a First Age Symbol, and/or additional gold and teal items. According to James McCoy, the user who contacted The Escapist via email, though, "...for the past 3 or 4 weeks, that has not always been the case."

Here's the detailed explanation:

It has been reported when doing some Tier 2 Challenge Modes that the second chest is not dropping. This was happening when you first released the raid. At that time you acknowledged this problem and gave us a fix. This time however, since Update 3, this is not the case. Your in game GM's are getting the tickets and we all seem to be getting a cut and paste response of, "This is not a known issue.." and the ticket is closed. If it's not a known issue, why is it being talked about so much on your forums? I am a IT manager and my first response to a paying customers is never "This is not a known issue, sorry I can not help you" If I did, I would not have a job.

You can read McCoy's letter in its entirety over in the LotRO forums. While it might be tempting to dismiss these complaints as just those of an irate gamer, a little investigation shows that his accusations of GM indifference seem pretty well-founded. You can see repeated posts about the issue here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

So far, this whole situation looks pretty damning for Turbine. When you have this many complaints about the same issue on your hands, the least you could do is investigate the issue and actually make your users feel like they're being listened to.

Source: LotRO Forums

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If I played this game I would be pissed too. I mean when you do an extreme difficulty dungeon you expect an equal reward.

In all my years of playing MMO's I have never come across a GM that would just deny the problem exists. Even if they couldn't fix what went wrong they would at least admit there was a bug.

We have never been at war with EastAsia.

Lashus:
In all my years of playing MMO's I have never come across a GM that would just deny the problem exists. Even if they couldn't fix what went wrong they would at least admit there was a bug.

Clearly you've not played as much as you think then. Even in WoW they do this, especially with regards to goldsellers.

Welcome to the F2P market.

Count this as a bad mark against Turbine. And here I was all set to try out the F2P end of the game. No point now if people are just going to start quitting since the GM's don't seem to give a shit.

Eri:

Lashus:
In all my years of playing MMO's I have never come across a GM that would just deny the problem exists. Even if they couldn't fix what went wrong they would at least admit there was a bug.

Clearly you've not played as much as you think then. Even in WoW they do this, especially with regards to goldsellers.

Actually I haven't had a single problem with WoW's GM's. I have put in my share of tickets, and every one of them, when they did get their turn(which can take awhile after a patch or expansion comes online), I got courteous and full attention to the problem. Those I could follow up on I found the issue to be addressed within a fair amount of time. Many of the GM's crack me up as well with their playful rping. I never felt I was talking to a bored desk jockey or robot.
Goldsellers you can bet WoW takes very serious. You read Blizzard's timeline that was featured on the Escapist here, you will find they took several goldseller companies to court for large amounts. I would imagine that the small fry that people report, Blizzard follow up on to find out who and where they are working from so they can have a solid case to take them to court and to the cleaners.

Never played LOTRO but DDO is good. Turbine is notorious for having harsh and relatively useless GMs who will ban people at the drop of a hat without a meaningful appeal process.

They also constantly tell people to file bug reports when you tell them about problems. Hey genius I'm paying to play a game not getting paid to be a software tester. I'll help you reproduce the problem YOU file the paperwork champ.

Other than things like occasionally resetting quests when a script goes bad they are entirely useless.

*Snort* it took them half a dozen updates to fix the Suulomades chest not dropping properly in Tower of Despair in Dungeons and Dragons Online. Not to mention the fact that after one update the spells Recitation, Prayer, and Rage were BROKEN (as in, they'd only hit one target instead of everyone in the area of effect) for TWO MONTHS.

Turbine gets to stuff when they get to it.

Lyri:
Welcome to the F2P market.

Ehhh, I wouldn't judge it on that merit. You have to pay to play the harder content on LOTRO, which would include Tier 2 Challenge Mode quests. The F2P content is all the easier leveling. This makes it all the more serious since Turbine is basically ignoring their paying customers. Bad business.
I would expect many of those players have already suspended their subscriptions, and either moved on to something else or just perusing the F2P end to see if Turbine finally caves in.

Eh, honestly I wouldn't recommend playing the game anyways. The world is a bloody pain to get around without a horse, and you can only get the skill to ride a mount from the item shop (subscribers get to do the quest for it though).

This is just another failing on their part in ignoring the thoughts and general consensus of the community.

rembrandtqeinstein:

Other than things like occasionally resetting quests when a script goes bad they are entirely useless.

I've had to appeal to the GM's twice in DDO, and both times they were helpful and professional. However they are VERY strict about not handing out stuff. They're good about opening doors that get fubared though.

Lyri:
Welcome to the F2P market.

Eh... I have seen F2P that get bug fixes more often and fix major ones. Most times if a bug is posted on the forum of most mmo's, it would be fixed in the upcoming or next patch. This is just the fault of the company.

samsonguy920:

Lyri:
Welcome to the F2P market.

This makes it all the more serious since Turbine is basically ignoring their paying customers. Bad business.

I think you may misunderstand what it means when something "isn't a known issue". It means that they haven't been able to reproduce whatever's causing the chest not to drop, so with lack of data they pretty much have to assume things are working. The GM's, who are basically help desk staff and not Turbine devs, don't have the authority do just force-pop extra chests for people. They simply won't do stuff like this unless they've been ordered to by their superiors.

People can complain all they want. If you want to make it a known issue, do video capture to prove that you did the quest properly and you didn't get the chest.

I don't know that much about LotRO, but DDO is a HUGE game with a lot of odd quirks in places. They've been gradually going back and cleaning up some of the worst of it, but it takes time and some of it you just have to live with until they get around to doing cleanup.

wait i played that game for ages and i never recieved any reward for doing those nor did i i know that there was one so in other words i got ripped off
(as well as always dieing on one section whenever i try to climb whether top and i just clip through the floor to my death

JMeganSnow:

samsonguy920:

Lyri:
Welcome to the F2P market.

This makes it all the more serious since Turbine is basically ignoring their paying customers. Bad business.

I think you may misunderstand what it means when something "isn't a known issue". It means that they haven't been able to reproduce whatever's causing the chest not to drop, so with lack of data they pretty much have to assume things are working. The GM's, who are basically help desk staff and not Turbine devs, don't have the authority do just force-pop extra chests for people. They simply won't do stuff like this unless they've been ordered to by their superiors.

People can complain all they want. If you want to make it a known issue, do video capture to prove that you did the quest properly and you didn't get the chest.

I don't know that much about LotRO, but DDO is a HUGE game with a lot of odd quirks in places. They've been gradually going back and cleaning up some of the worst of it, but it takes time and some of it you just have to live with until they get around to doing cleanup.

No, "Unable to duplicate" means they were unable to duplicate it. "Not a known issue" means that it isn't listed in the current patch "Known Issues."

There are plenty of readily-duplicated bugs that aren't "known issues."

Meh, I'm not terribly concerned. I mean, it's not like I'm trapped in a box with only this game to play.

Omechron:
Meh, I'm not terribly concerned. I mean, it's not like I'm trapped in a box with only this game to play.

I see what you did there...

Unfortunately, this has been a staple of the MMO market.

Everquest Ships (Teleporter Gnomes), City of Heroes GDN/DE, Star Wars NGE, Everquest 2's Simon Says Combos and loss of Refuge Island, DCUOs Uberhenchmen, Conan's Barbarian Nerfs : Updates that make the game more FUN - while crippling user enjoyment, forcing cookie-cutter builds and generally ridding yourself of the hard core players that are the foundation of most MMOs. Sure, new blood is good to bring in, but not at the cost of people who'll still be playing in 6 months.

There's nothing as disheartening as seeing new players get given something you've worked for hours for, for free. Ask Shamus about the Pie carrying in LotRo sometime.

Color me shocked about Turbine. I lost faith in them when they released DDO. I paid 50 bucks for a game that was almost completely broken. It may have been a long time ago, but that doesn't mean that I've forgiven them.

vansau:
Are LotRO GMs Ignoring Legitimate Bug Complaints?

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Players in LotRO have been complaining about the same issue for approximately a month, but administrators keep on saying it's not a known issue.

Whether free-to-play or subscription based, the handling of bugs is a major issue in the MMO market, at least in my mind.

When a player finds a bug, the expectation is that there will be some way for them to quickly notify the staff about this bug so that it can be fixed. No reasonable player expects it to happen instantaneously, but they shouldn't have to expect to be told to continually reproduce the bug to fill out a detailed report. There's the major problem I have with current MMOs.

Content in MMOs has steadily gotten smaller in scope over the years. Skill systems have been boiled down to class systems. PvP has been boiled down to instances, rather than opt-in flagging. Game worlds are so tightly zoned that you don't often encounter people outside your level range. Player housing is nearly gone, and is token when present. Crafting has gotten as simple as it can get. Yet subscription fees have remained the same, because people are used to paying them. Even in the F2P market, players end up paying far more for these online experiences than they would for an offline game.

Add to this the bug problem. The player suddenly has the responsibility to continuously document bugs in order for them to be addressed, or the player has the responsibility to use an elaborate work-around (if one exists).

The current state of MMOs? Paying far more money, for far less game, and far more player responsibility. That's a sad place to be.

The_root_of_all_evil:
generally ridding yourself of the hard core players that are the foundation of most MMOs.

Sorry but that's completely untrue. The very foundation of most MMO's is the casual market whereas the hardcore one tends to be very small. Look at what happened to Aion, a supposedly hardcore MMO for the hardcore market. It bombed and it bombed big.

OT: Well done, Turbine. I applaud your attempts at deceiving your audience.

f2p market downside. What you gunna do? Leave? Sokay. You already spent some cash to have a fancy shirt or some such.

Seriously Turbine is rare to care about this kinda stuff as far as I am concerned. They still completely ignore the Ranger classes in Dnd online.

Not Surprised. I have been temp banned in LOTRO for swearing in private chat before. Their GM's are the worst.

Oh my lord. Where have I heard this story before. Since when did The Escapist do articles on how badly some MMO publishers/developers treat their own customers and how little they support their own game?

A month? Dude, there are things in WoW that have been broke since Burning Crusade...I mean it sucks, yeah, but it's not the end of the world. Work around it.

AndyFromMonday:

The_root_of_all_evil:
generally ridding yourself of the hard core players that are the foundation of most MMOs.

Sorry but that's completely untrue. The very foundation of most MMO's is the casual market whereas the hardcore one tends to be very small. Look at what happened to Aion, a supposedly hardcore MMO for the hardcore market. It bombed and it bombed big.

OT: Well done, Turbine. I applaud your attempts at deceiving your audience.

He was pointing at the people who'll be long-term subscribers, rather than those in the small majority whose only real ambition is end-game content.

OT: Odd, I never had a whole lot of issue with the LotRO GMs, back when I played. Granted it was a good while prior to them switching it to a F2P model, and they might have cut the better ones loose, but it's still a bit shocking that they'd blatantly ignore something that's being thrown at them with such frequency. You'd think it'd at least have gotten investigated, and they'd tell players it's being worked on.
I will admit, though, their GMs have always had cookie-cutter responses, whether it was actually someone typing directly to me from that end or just copy-pasting text. Aside from one who went out of her way quite a bit (such as porting gold spammers into PvP areas to be killed over and over by the opposing side), they all seemed bland and bored, for the most part.

Overall, LOTRO is a very solid game and bugs like this are quite rare. Unfortunately, however, complaints about the in game CSR/GM staff aren't. If there's one consistent complaint about the game, it's that the GMs all seem to operate under different rules and you never know exactly what sort of help you'll get when you submit a ticket. It's also pretty consistent that support tickets get closed without any sort of resolution. While one can understand that issues aren't always resolvable in an instant, if they are resolvable by lowly GM staff at all, a little tact and a more thoughtful version of "Sorry, I can't help you" can go a long way. Copy and paste responses or just closing the ticket as soon as someone logs off aren't the right way to do things even if the end result may be the same as legitimately saying "Sorry."

That's pretty much the standard company response, what bugs? our games are perfect as they are!
Then they fix the problems quietly so they don't haveto admit anything, and who will you believe those pesky users or the developers.

And how this thing usually goes down in a company is: A team makes game, then A team moves on to new games, and a B team is quickly put together for the mop up duty and some extra content.
Sadly the B team has no real clue how to fix bigger problems so they need to go back and forth with the A team what can be done, this ofcourse takes alot longer then it should.

Meanwhile the PR department denies everything to keep the word from getting around, minimizing the backlash.
Episode 3? Don't be silly, we never heard of such a game!

March Mayhem finallists 2008 (I think) ladies and gentlemen.

If you think doing a skirmish/dungeon on tier 2 is hard you should see tier 3. But anyway about the bug,to be hones I learned about it here. I was a Codemaster player so when they switched the Eu servers back it's not that I rushed for the new forums either. Still ingame and inguild never seem to have heard about it. I'll do a skirm later on tier 2 later to check it out for sure.

For all the boring and menial stuff you have to do at the start, EVE keeps looking better and better.

how many paying customers are there? considering the free to play status it has now <.<

Fair enough if there was still a mandatory monthly sub for the game for this shit to not fly, but when the entire game is based off of nickel and dime for the few who are willing to pay, there really isn't much incentive for them to do anything.

Im a lifer for that game, but even i don't expect much of a reaction out of the GMs even if i complained so many years after its release.

Good for him! I actually got a dickhead employee fired from GameStop, back when my friend's 360 RRoD'd. He said they couldn't do anything, despite having a computer, and my friend having a valid warranty. Good thing OUR friend is the manager at another GS, we just went over there, got his 360 replaced, and told him about it. Next day, the guy was gone.

oldtaku:
We have never been at war with EastAsia.

Very good book, just finished reading it. I think it is spelt Eastasia though, not EastAsia.

OT: If they keep making waves and publicising the problem, then someone at the game company will get their arses kicked or fired for not doing their jobs properly.

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