Wednesday, November 4, 2009

LOTRO Goat Conflict Of Interest (w/ bonus WoW Petstore commentary)

Author's Note: Due to my work schedule, this post was written before news of WoW's new RMT pet store broke. My brief reactions to this new development:
- Unfortunate, but neither unprecedented nor entirely unexpected.
- Expensive, but the pets are of markedly higher quality than WoW's non-RMT pets, so make your own call on whether you are getting some value.
- At the moment, WoW has yet to cross the line from cosmetic items to items that affect gameplay (mounts, exp potions, gear). They have respected that line in the WoW TCG to date, but time will tell whether they continue to do so in the future.

The Cost of a Goat
Allarond just earned the rep with the Moria Miners to purchase a Moria-capable goat mount. More experienced players tell me I should have been working on the Guards' faction instead to unlock a legendary trait, and it took me until level 57 to earn the required reputation. After all, I will likely be leaving the mines in the near future, and therefore will have less need for a mount that can ride in them. Still, it's an accomplishment that I set my mind on and achieved... but for one minor catch.

The goat costs 5 gold. I have 2 gold. For perspective, Khazad-Copper Ore, which I haven't been selling because I need it for my Jeweler profession, goes for about 10 silver per chunk on the broker, so I'd need to mine and sell about 300 chunks of ore to afford the goat.

The Item Shop Conflict of Interest Rears Its Head In Moria
Perhaps the current numbers make sense now, with the current endgame in Moria, but they will make less and less sense going forward as Moria turns into a waypoint en route to the real endgame in Mirkwood. Unfortunately, Turbine's $20 RMT "adventure pack" pre-order comes with a goat mount that requires neither the reputation nor the gold. This means that Turbine has a financial incentive not to lower the in-game price of the goat, even as the new expansion comes out and players spend less and less time inside Moria.

This would be one of those examples of how NOT to do macro-RMT-transactions that Cuppy warns us about. Perhaps there wasn't an official decision not to touch the cost of the in-game mounts specifically to try and herd players towards the adventure pack, but the perception will always be there once a game goes down the road of selling items for cash.


unwize said...

My brother recently leveled in LotRO as an Explorer, and simply by selling everything on the AH he had over 30g by the time he hit 60.

5-6g is really not that difficult to come across in LotRO, and it is likely to get easier as time goes by.

Also, I believe the Adventurer's Pack goat is a pre-order bonus, not an actually component of the pack itself. Once SoM launches the rep goats will be the only ones available again, at least for a little while.

arbitrary said...

If you sold that khazad-copper on the AH, I'd be willing to bet you'd get a fair whack of the 5g you need for the goat.

That being said, having bought one, many of us agree that the goat is a bit of a waste of money anyway, since there are so many goat routes, and we tend to end up running most places anyway.

seanas said...

the cost of a goat is the profit from one piece of critted lothlorien jewellery or armour - on my server at least. and seeing as how crited lothlorien stuff can be made by anyone who a: has kindred faction with their guild (a simple task) and b: acquaintance with the galadhrim (a little more tedious if you haven't done Vol2 Bk6 Ch8, but still grindable in about 2 normal playing sessions), this is hardly a difficult taks to achieve.

The price of the Moria goat is higher than, but of the same magnitude as, the normal riding horse - and as 4g at lvl 35 is a *lot* harder to achieve than 6g at lvl 60, i'd argue that the Moria goat is *underpriced*. it's also largely (but not solely) a vanity purchase (which likely explains its low price).

To assert that the price of the goat - set over 1 year ago, not changed by Turbine since, and a comparative bargain at it's set price - is an argument *supporting* some supposed micro-transaction or RMT model that Turbine might be implementing in the future is. frankly, perverse.

Yr blog, yr call, but still - at its list price, and the lvl it is available, compared to the list price of the lvl 35 horse, the Moria goat is *cheap*. The faction-grind needed for the goat is far, far more time-consuming than assembling the purchase price. In fact, i woud argue that it is the *cheapness* of the goat, relative to lvl of the possible user - that caused it to be added to the Adventure Pack (or pre-order, for us Europeans) - ie, it's fluff that pretty much everyone has or could get should they want, so there's no in-game balancing issues created.

Green Armadillo said...

@Unwize: The goat is going in the $40 bundle of the Adventure Pack and the Mirkwood expansion.

@Seanas: I'll certainly agree that BOTH the gold and the Rep are a bit much for the goat once the game moves out of Moria. Who even needs to get around the Mines once you've gotten all the way out to Lothlorien (and maxxed your crafting rep in the mean while)?

Longasc said...

I am already level 60 and Ally of the Galadhrim before I am even through half of the Moria story books and have not even got one piece of radiance gear yet.

What do you do with your money. You can find recipes, explorers earn a lot of money just by picking stuff up or running the crafting instances when nodes have reset.

So yes, what unwize said, you can make a lot of money easily, and I made quite some more money than his brother.

You still need a goat, as you are probably level 60 WAY before you are "done" with the Moria content.