So, you’d like to play a game that punishes you for supporting it?

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Today, as some players expected even before the announcement, the update 21.2 of the current Mordor expansion was released. And you could have guessed that too, something was broken. But what was it?

Simply put, SSG is broken.

If you were one of the early log-ins to the game when the update went live, then you would have seen the new items you could get from the ash vendor and their cosmetics in the game. The updates we weren’t able to test on alpha server (no way I’m calling Bullroarer beta) and give any sort of feedback on those. As predicted in our brief  look through the notes the lootboxes don’t give only 330 item level gear, but also higher. I have not yet seen anything higher than 335, but I guess we can give it time.

But what they did (well, announced) next dwarfed the issue with lootbox gear levels.

The items on the ash vendor were priced at 140 ash for teal armour and 110 for teal jewellery. 3300 for new gold rings. For the increase they offered, many would say that was a fair price. The issue SSG had with this is that they didn’t actually intend the prices to be in that range (for the teal items, of course) so they have disabled the ash vendor for a while. In that period they have announced that the items should have been priced four times higher and that the players who have already bought these items will be stripped from their items and given back the ash they spent to get them. But nothing is said about the items that we have destroyed in the process. Ashed the old gear, some even with essences in them because new ones were better, etc. Not to mention the crafting of new essences that we have in these new items. Also going to waste.


The High-Enchanter barter vendors have the wrong barter prices for the new incomparable items. The items have too low of an Ash of Gorgoroth cost. We are temporarily disabling the High-Enchanter barter vendor while we work on a hotfix.



When the hotfix goes out, the Incomparable items from the High-Enchanter barter vendor will be four times the cost they were today, prior to us disabling the vendor. Characters who have already acquired one of these items will see the item stripped of its benefits when the hotfix goes live, but will be able to turn in the item and receive the amount of Ash they used to make the item.

But this isn’t the first thing they messed up with the items in this update. Namely, the incoming healing essences were reduced to half their value before the update, some even more. Oddly enough (or as expected from SSG) our essences didn’t get unslotted when we logged in, we didn’t get reclamation scrolls or any currency that we would be able to buy them with. It was left to us to barter or buy the essence reclamation scrolls for a mistake SSG has made and it took them a hotfix, a patch and two updates to fix it. Change few numbers. Really? Guess clicking fire grims in the Summer festival in October was more important. Also, the filters we have been looking forward to, don’t really work on certain quests and we’re unable to filter out Hobnanigans.

So, not only does SSG think that not giving any compensation for the things they have broke is not an issue, they also think that because they have made a mistake even though players keep on asking for longer beta testing, more feedback, more bug fixing and polishing, we should now somehow be held responsible for logging into the game too early and bartering the gear in a non-exploitative manner, at the vendor with no tricks. So, what are the players supposed to do? We have release notes, we didn’t have something worthy of a dev diary in ages and nothing to tell us if this was intended or not. Do we need a written permission from Aragorn in some form of a decree that we are now free to barter the new items available to everyone?!

Of course, none of these announcements come with anything even resembling an apology.  Does SSG think people will continue playing naked and re-grind stuff back from 0 to 150 to 200 Light of Earendil. It won’t be easy to give that gear back either. I know that I didn’t have all the “regular” gear. Some were good drops from the rare chests or lootboxes levels 327 and higher. People have spent gold, some have bought Lotro Points for keys or solvents, ran quests, ran instances, had some drops maybe… I doubt SSG will be refunding money.

Of course, with the new mess they made, they also didn’t fix the old mess in the instances we have been reporting and they can still bug. Quality Assurance, testing and feedback? Yeah, not really. We should be getting paid for doing the QA they certainly don’t do and can’t do in the end because very few understand the game at all.

It is hard to imagine that someone could even succeed in alienating this many players by trying to do it, let alone by just having a usual business day in SSG. I guess it goes something like: “We messed up and people are not happy? Oh, I guess it’s Tuesday.”

I guess it’s a good time now to recall certain pieces I wrote here about Mordor release and SSG’s business skills and some similar issues – The story behind the disappointment and The sound of silence.

So, you’d like to play a game that punishes you for supporting it? Welcome to LOTRO.




  1. Ecrindhon /

    Why do I keep reading things on this website. Too depressing.

    • I apologize for the fact that the issues a part of the community has with the decisions SSG makes over their own mistakes inconveniences your reading on the website. I hope you find something more jolly and we’ll deal with this without the support of players who defend SSG no matter what. Have a great day.

      • I think you’re taking the entirely wrong tone for talking to a reader… he’s saying your article is fine, the website is actually good, but seeing everything SSG does written down is depressing. Don’t be a fucking dick.

      • Apologies to the both of you if I misjudged the comment. Was still under the impression of Cordovan’s posts last night and kind of got used to people defending them no matter what. Once again… Apologies.

      • Ecrindhon /

        Oops. I came back here expecting nothing but it seems like I should have worded this better. I was saying its depressing that the game is getting this way not the website itself.

      • Elizabeth /

        I’m not a regular reader but I have to agree for a professional writer, that was a rather unprofessional retort to a comment that was about the nature of the comment, not your choice of topic… Lotro has gone waaay downhill in the years since I played it (and it’s been many years since I gave up on it). Your assessment is correct and informational, but the reader’s comment was valid. You kinda got snarky at him for sympathizing with what you wrote.

      • I already apologized and there’s little else I can do here. I am glad that he also recognized that it could have been read into as he didn’t intend it.

  2. Anonymous /

    Thank you for the article. If they do move forward with this decision (which in all honesty I cant see them being that stupid to do so) i will be reporting them to the FTC. Was wondering if I could use this article for a small reference?

  3. Mausen /

    “So, you’d like to play a game that punishes you for supporting it? Welcome to LOTRO.” – Well clearly you do Arred.
    It is interesting to me that a website that was put in the world to support hte community and the game, has turned into the number one source for bashing that same game/developer/community.

    Clearly there are issues, but some of them have indeed not been resolved in any time over the past many years, stemming back even to the days before Turbine pulled all servers back to the US.

    But why keep ranting?

    To me, articles like this are not in any way productive, given that all they really do, is deter possible new players from giving the game a chance.

    It is mainly end-game items that you continually rage about, yet the journey there, is not one you pay any heed to, nor the many qualities that the game has when compared to many other MMOs. I find this baffling, that a website called lotroplayers, works so hard on trying to halt the influx of new players.

    Not everyone is end-game top gear focused, and in the end, to be honest you come across as a 5 year old, who got his lollipop taken away. If the company and game is truly that detrimental to your joy in life, please go play something else, and leave it alone.

    • I journeyed to the end game long ago. I am not really the kind of player to have 25 alts just in Shire and North Downs and start all over again every time. But I loved my time there years ago. Now I just enjoy giving feedback on content that is on cap level. Eventually helping players with some information and, if it ever gets to SSG, possibly influencing some positive change. Critique doesn’t always take the nicest form, but it’s not there for me to vent, it’s there for the game we love spending our time in and where we spend our money to get better. Amazingly, this is a topic where a large part of the community has agreed on, that almost never happens, but it did and I covered it.

  4. John Soper /

    I used to hold The Lotro Players in the highest respect and enjoyed the articles. Now that Lotro Players seems to have become a Lotro hate group, I see no reason to be partner to it.

    • Sorry you feel that way. I think that whatever the reason you come to the website should only be strengthened by the fact that it doesn’t only serve positive or negative information, but gives you the chance to choose, be informed and make a decision for yourself.

  5. Tyndall /

    I’m thinking you should change the name if the site to Lotto Elite Players since all your complaining and negativity revolves around the 5 percent of the playerbase that it affects. It’s a game, a good one. All you are doing is standing with your nose pressed against the door of new content and make believe items wishing to get in, then complaining incessantly once you do get in that it isn’t the way you wanted it to be. After reading your articles I think you need to take a step back and take a broader look at your game, and realize that your tack of criticism is not helpful to the community which you profess to support

    • Please keep in mind this is the opinion of the author and not the opinions of LOTRO Players or the Players Alliance as a whole. Thank You…

  6. Gauner /

    Most LOTRO players are decent people. As with any community, you will find malcontents, trolls, etc. I enjoy the game. Yeah, there are some issues. It’s still a fun game, and I really enjoy Mordor. Theyre adding content at least. Lots of game companies have problems with their content. Im still pissed at CAPCOM for releasimg Street Fighter 5 when it wasnt even close to finished and then charging to buy new characters as they come out.
    SSG has some problems to fix, yes. It’s still a good game though.

  7. GeneralPepe /

    I for once agree with Arred,i just have to add i can’t believe the amount of fanboys who will kiss SSG behind no matter what .

    • It is very discouraging and explains the state of the game when SSG can just open the forum and see that they have followers no matter what they do. No matter how wrong some of their moves are, no matter how much logic you show them, they still have a need to tell you that you need to be thankful for the game, etc. I have only once seen someone who was a business owner say something about leading a company. SSG should be thankful for having people keeping the game alive, not the other way around. Without the players there is no LOTRO.
      Thank you for your support.

  8. Squirle /

    Ared is just one of the writers on lotroplayers. I still like to think it’s a voice for the community. But times change and streaming looks to be more popular these days.a few longer running article series have concluded over the past few months.

    And there still is the option to not read an article series. I’m sure plenty do. It takes a lot of work to make a well written text article, video or guide.

  9. baldwinp /

    The content on this site has changed a lot through the years. For a while it seemed to have transitioned to all fan-fiction, so I was pleased when Arred started making stories about the game itself again, particularly the new content. Unfortunately, SSG has done a lot of things this year that long time players were not expecting, such as the 10-year anniversary quests that were difficult for non-capped characters to complete, the non-inclusion of the high-elf in the basic Mordor expansion, the creation of a new type of lootbox with gear that is better than you can grind in game, and now this fiasco. I have no problem with Arred expressing his frustration over Lotro’s choices and lack of quality control. Sadly, the things to gripe about seem to be happening with more regularly since SSG took over Lotro.
    I believe Lotro players has always welcomed outside contributions, so if you would like to see cheerier content, you could always try creating it. Something about the fall festival and the new Bingo quests might be a nice place to start.

    • Thank you very much. It is my opinion too that my less jolly content, even though I try to balance it a bit lately, gives that much weight to the ones that aren’t covering the “doom and gloom”. Nothing can be all good or all bad, it needs to have both if we want to say that we cover everything and that we are an objective website. Hopefully people can see that the idea behind this isn’t to scare people away or in some way hate on LOTRO, I love the game and because I’d like it to be as good as it can I sometimes give comments that aren’t the nicest ones, but don’t have that malevolent intent behind them.

  10. Ok time to put my Lead Director hat on…

    This is one writers opinion, this does not reflect the opinions of all of us here at LOTRO Players… That should be first and foremost known…

    I will not, I repeat WILL NOT let this site turn into a toxic pit of seething vile and hatred, it’s going close now….

    This has gone on long enough… I’m tempted to pull this article down from the site…

    We can all have our opinion on rather the game is good, if they did the right thing, wrong thing, but I WILL NOT… I repeat WILL NOT let’s this site turn Toxic…

    It will NOT HAPPEN

    Lead Director LOTRO Players
    Lead Director Players Alliance

    • GeneralPepe /

      This is not toxic,not even close.Me and arred had a lot of differences over mordor pricing but i really feel the need to come in his defence right now .In what kind of time do we live when every criticism no matter how deserved and well argumented is perceived as ” toxic ” .Do we really need ” safe space ” where no reality is tolerated because it will offend someone’s feelings,for F sake .

    • Lorim Ironheart /

      Ehhh… No, just no… Yes: it’s quite a strong article, but SSG really messed up big time now. I love the game, always have, but this is just a step to far. So I think Arred has all the right to write this because it’s the truth and the truth should be spoken by someone. I applaud Arred for speaking his mind and saying what a lot of us think. The fact that this article is something that a lot of people comment on with different views is good to get the dialogue going and to engage visitors/readers.

      So this is not toxic (maybe some of the comments, but even that’s not too bad), it’s just the plain truth. Some fanboys don’t like it, but I (as fanboy) along with many others agree on this. Hell, this topic has united the LOTRO playerbase more then I’ve seen in years!

    • another player /

      Arred’s articles are providing real feedback and criticism about the game state, many players share his feelings.
      It’s your website and I do respect that, but if you choose to remove his article I will stop visiting this website. I like this website for the reason it allows many opinions and at the same time provide both casual and criticize opinions about the game.

      A good writer will know how write an article so it will cause reaction among his reader some will be positive some negative, and this exactly what Arred did.
      Could he tone it down and make it more friendly? yes but then it will lose the affect and make the article not appealing as it is right now.

      • Thank you very much for your support and for recognizing what stands behind the articles. I really didn’t expect this much great support and feedback.

  11. Barnabras /

    Sooooooooooo………..anyone see any good movies?

  12. Sometimes I read some of your posts on this website and sometimes I comment. I agree that SSG has been doing a huge disservice to us. I don’t think this post is toxic, however if you are Gandalphor in the forums… you do have some toxic posts over there. It’s a shame bc I like your posts here and support you in your ideas. If that is you, it’s a shame that you have such an immature behavior over there. Overall, I support freedom of speech and this post is ok. This post speaks for many people on the forums who feel the same way.

  13. Flower Power /

    These are the times when one must choose whether to bend the knee during the LOTRO anthem starting screen.

  14. y’all gotta chill

  15. As many players have stated, the issue is not with the content of your article and criticism of SSG, it is with the forum-like tone of the critique. Perhaps it would not stand out so much if there were currently more contributors of articles to LOTROPlayers, but recently you seem to be dominating all of the headlines so whether players disagree with your stance or not, they are getting a steady dose of your opinions.

    Here let me rewrite your article for you…

    Title: A Serious Endcap issue with Update 21.2

    Update 21.2 was released this week and there are a lot of fun new features, but there is one issue that may be factor for some of the playerbase at endcap that I would like to comment on. Ash Prices for Gold and Teal gear were set incorrectly so the vendor was temporarily disabled until the issue could be corrected. Cordovan quickly published a plan that will address the issue, but SSG is neglecting to consider that some players may have already ashed their old gear which is unfortunate. I recommend we all continue to lobby them to consider this factor in their solution and also to be more careful in QA going forward as there have been a few too many slips of this nature in the recent past and we need to join as a community to influence them to positive change. In the meantime, enjoy the game!

    Cheers, Braag of Vilya

    P.S. – Looking forward to your immediate reply dismissing my viewpoint and labelling me an SSG apologist.

    • Sorry if there’s too much of me on the site, but I usually cover BR and cap content. So there are even times where I don’t do anything.

  16. and Thank you for providing it. I just think the title of your article is divisive and provokes an immediate reaction from SOME of the audience that might not be in agreement. It’s judgmental to say “There is something wrong with you if you are not as upset about this as I am”. That being said, I agree with you that if SSG would stop making these kinds of gaffs a regular occurrence, we would not have to have this discussion in the first place. 🙂

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