I have been reading over the past few days about he layoffs planned at Turbine and the forums on both LOTRO and DDO have been buzzing with speculation and elucidation, trying to ascertain how these latest round of layoffs might affect both games.
As reported on various websites and blogs, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is planning on laying off staff at developer Turbine (Asheron’s Call, Lord of the Rings Online, Infinite Crisis). This is the statement about the layoffs from the WB as presented on Joystiq:
“As part of our normal business process, we’re routinely looking at the strategic alignment of our company. Unfortunately, in order for us to invest in growth areas at Turbine, we have to eliminate some positions. These are always tough decisions, which we don’t approach lightly, but it’s crucial that Turbine is structured in a way that reflects the current and coming marketplace.”
That is PR speak for people are losing their jobs, which is never a good thing for folks, specially before the holidays. It’s sad that the reductions in the labor force come at the expense of talented folks in order to try and capture profits from the fledgling mobile game market. What the suits at these game companies don’t ever see is that nobody wants to play a game like an MMO on a mobile device, at least many of us don’t because of the loss of immersion, unlike facebook and mobile games which are time killing mindless ways to pass time and have often little depth inherent in their composition and design.
It was especially sad news because as of this writing, it is unclear how the layoffs will affect both LOTRO and DDO. Some gamer monkeys are not concerned, but it doesn’t take a math genius to figure out that if you downsize your development teams or put fewer resources into play, at the very least expansion and growth on projects becomes stagnant and there is little growth.
For me, as for many others it is just sad that two of the best f2p games, (I especially love the grouping mechanics and unique D&D 3.5 flavor of DDO) may have to downsize, or stagnate without constant new updates if the layoffs affect the development. Worse yet, there is no guarantee as to the long term life of these games and they could join Syp’s list of discontinued games (shown in red) before too long, if the situation becomes severe.
DARK AGE OF CAMELOT UPDATES
John Thornhill has once again updated us DAoC gamer monkeys about the Halloween event running from now until Nov.3. I had a blast running around Molvik last night which was jumping with players enjoying the game’s unique brand of RvR. I managed to level both my thane and skald to level 38
From this week’s herald:
- The Ghostly Harvest Quest offers players level 45 and up a dangerous adventure in the frontiers. Speak with John Tobin on the Cotswold Bridge, Foa Muldisson outside the Jordheim North Gates, or Nera by the road in Mag Mell to begin the quest. (Note: Players who completed this quest last year will now be offered it again.)
- Treat sellers have been spotted selling sugary confections inside Meath, Erikstaad, and Caerwent.
- The consignment merchants would like to show you their Halloween spirit! Pick up the merchant and place it back down on your house porch and he will change into a Halloween outfit for you!
- Be aware adventurers! Ghosts haunt the streets of your capital cities as the pumpkin moon rises! Ghosts have also been spotted in Mag Mell, Aegirhamn, and Campacorentin Station.
- The horses you once rode have joined the spirit realm. (This affects stable and merchant horses only – not player controlled horses.)
- Something strange has happened to all of the puppies.
- The pumpkins have been carved into jack o’ lanterns!
- A trio of crazy old women have been spotted selling costume potions inside Camelot, Jordheim, and Tir na Nog.
- The costume potions last 15 minutes each and come in a variety of flavors.
- The costume potions work best if you remove your helm and armor.
- You cannot digest another costume potion if you are transformed into any of the monster forms.
- The costume potions’ magics are short-lived and the potions will be useless after the festivities end so don’t horde them.
- Some of the costume potions allow you to take the form of the enemy, so don’t be scared if you see some in your capital city or housing zones, it’s just your realm mates playing dress up!
- The costumes and potions only work while you are in the capital cities or housing zones. You cannot use them outside of these zones and if you leave the zone while in costume, you will lose the effect.
As always, the days before, during, and after Halloween these potions can be used in RvR (With Exception to Pixies, and ghosts potions, which are not usable in the frontiers ever)