Thursday, April 23, 2009
Turbine has re-opened its doors for its traditional launch anniversary re-trial weekend, and this time they actually remembered to send me an email (I never received an invitation to the last one, even after it became nearly two weeks long). I would offer this move more applause except that the most recent re-trial was barely three weeks ago.
As far as I'm aware, nothing substantial about the game has changed since late March. I still won't have access to the new expansion classes, my character still won't be able to gain experience (and therefore can consider trying the new content he can get at only at the peril of running out of stuff to do later), and I still won't have access to Moria. All of which is well and good in the context of a completely free re-trial.
However, I have to wonder what the marketing department was thinking opening the game up for a retrial at the Lothlorien patch launch (a bad idea because existing subscribers were logging in more frequently than usual to check out the patch, and adding a retrial resulted in queues and server issues) less than a month prior to the anniversary retrial. It kind of makes them look disorganized, and/or desperate.
In other news, they're also offering a $9.99 subscription rate, conditioned on a 3-month subscription (for either current or former subscribers, rate locked in until the next time you cancel). This appears to be a good move on paper, since it puts their money where their mouths are - as a pre-order "founder", the game charged me that rate until I canceled, and it would seem to be a slightly easier sell to come back at the same price, rather than a higher one. However, offering this promotional price approximately twice a year also discourages me as a player from resubscribing at any other time. One might think they'd be better off either making the founder pricing a permanently standing offer or sending it away for good.
Then again, they've wrangled free publicity for their event out of this blog, so I guess they must know what they're doing, despite any appearances to the contrary.