Merry Christmas from Turbine! Well, for some of you.

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Gollum wants a pony tooYesterday Turbine announced that their Founders and Lifetime members would receive a free horse that can be used at level 25. Normally horses are a level 35 (expensive) requirement and a necessity in LOTRO. The Holiday Horsey isn’t as fast as the level 35 one, but it’s something.

If you’re neither a founder or a lifer you may be wondering, “Is there anything in your sack for me Turbine?”. To which they would reply, “Why, of course there is! Here at Turbine we always think of every one of our players! Not only can you still buy your own horse at level 35 but you get a special offer to pay $9.99 if you subscribe for 3 months at a time!” … Ignoring the fact that this isn’t much of a discount at all considering 3 months at a time gave a discount already, you might as well have received coal in that stocking of yours. I feel for you normal subscribers. I guess Santa is skipping your house this year.

I nearly choked from laughing so hard when I read this in the FAQ:

I’m not a Founder. Can I have a horse?
Regular players can still have a horse at level 35. We are offering a different holiday promotion for our non-Founder and non-Lifetime accounts (click here for more information). Additionally, keep an eye out for our player rewards program, which will launch in early 2008 and offers ways to earn great perks just by subscribing to LOTRO!

Nobody likes youGood times. I’ll give Turbine credit for being almost as gimmicky and sly as a used car salesman. If I were to make an assumption I would say that LOTRO isn’t doing so well right now. Turbine’s subscriber antics have increased lately and each time I hear about some new special offer I feel like I need to take a shower. It feels dirty. I stopped paying Turbine a few months ago so none of this affects me at all. I am however feeling bad for the paying customers who are receiving nothing special for the Holidays. If anything you would think that the ones who haven’t already given you that chunk of money are the ones you want to take care of the most. They are the ones who you need to hang on to the longest in order to get the most out of them.

To be fair, Turbine did say something is “in the works” coming in 2008 where all subscribers can earn perks. I can’t help but feel skeptical that this will just be more gimmicks.

To those of you who got a horse, grats. To those who didn’t… I got nothin’ for you either.

  • I tried the game when it came out. Used up my free first month and haven’t tried it again since. I actually like the game and I wish that they will last for a long time to come.


  • I am a founder and I did not get a horse. I cancelled my account, but I still had playtime left on it. 6 more days to be exact. I quit paying so I could check out The Burning Crusade expansion, but didn’t really dig it. I was still playing the game and I was probably going to sign back up. After getting the shaft from Turbine, that is now highly unlikely.

  • […] The LotRO X-Mas Horse 10 12 2007 As Keen and Cameron noted, in a somewhat misguided (or at least slightly inequitable or maybe incongruous) demonstration of the Christmas spirit, Turbine is giving out horses to folks in LotRO who signed up as founders (and either bought lifetime subscriptions or have maintained them).  I haven’t been on in a while, but have been maintaining my founder subscription so I thought I’d check it out. […]

  • So you’re knocking Turbine for advertising their game and giving something to loyal customers? Comparing this to a used car salesman seems ….. misplaced. It’s not like they promised one thing and delivered another (I’m looking at you, Vanguard). At worst, it’s a new package on the same product.

  • Well, yes and no.

    So you’re knocking Turbine for advertising their game and giving something to loyal customers?

    I’m not knocking them for advertising their game. I am knocking them for giving a pony to some customers but not to all as a Holiday gift. The people paying the most money were shafted while those who started playing earlier were given a nice gift. Instead of offering a Pony to the subscribers if they stay with the game longer they basically said “sorry, no pony for you”.

    It doesn’t sit well with me.

  • Keen, I understand what you are saying and I have to agree. I myself am a founder and yes I got the “free” horse/pony gift, but let me tell you the horse only runs a tiny bit faster than a hunter with the run speed buff, so it is about 20% faster than normal run speed. I know this helps out some, but to me it isn’t that big of a deal. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the gift. I think Turbine should offer something else to those players who aren’t founders, and we had a day long server outage a couple weeks back and they promised to give us scented candles…I have yet to see those!

  • This horse is no big deal, and should not be considered true compensation for being a founder or paying more money per month. But I see your point.

    Turbine wants to reward loyal customers. They are doing that with people who bought the game prior to release and are still with the game (as of Dec. 3rd). Maybe the solution is to make the holiday pony available through a quest (longer that runnning to the horse fields as it is now). That way it’ll be available to everyone, but is much easier to get for founders.

    I will say that giving rewards to customers based on how much they pay is a bad idea. That is a short distance to eBay auctions of in-game items. If you’re paying $15 a month, it’s basically saying you don’t think you’ll be around for 3 months (to get the price break), but I don’t think you should get anything extra in game for that.

  • LotRO should be made free, end of…

    I bet if you looked you would find a better free MMORPG than LotRO:P