Holy shart. Two things.
First, TOR is dropping the price of all high end mounts by a truckload and artifice items are available on vendors – until patch 1.2. Let me say that mounts are not expensive at 50. You should have 1 million + in your bank by that point and mounts are 200K. It’s enough but nothing like WoW were it took weeks at max level to get a mount (until Lich King). Artifice items, specifically color gems, going to vendors is mind boggling. They are putting the only unique item that Artifice has – and that is never replaced at 50 – on vendors for at least a month. That’s just crazy. No matter what they do in patch 1.2, they have effectively destroyed the market on color gems for a solid 6 months.
Second, they are asking plays in Austin (near their HQ) to help test 1.2. This is a paid position, one weekend a month. Now let’s get something straight here. When you need to pay your clients to test your game, you have some SERIOUS issues. These aren’t minor things, this is when you are saying “our internal testing is crap, our test server is crap, we don’t have a clue how to get this to work and we’re making massive changes”. Imagine if Ford sent you a letter asking you to test drive a prototype car.
It’s like the more I read about TOR, the more I shake my head thinking what they got themselves into. I’ve been in the MMO world for 15 years (UO launch, wow that’s a while back) and I’ve seen games come and go. I usually have a pretty good idea if a game will work long-term or not. TOR has rung so many, many bells that I don’t see how they can continue on their current path and maintain success. This huge re-write in 1.2 just makes me think of NGE (in Star Wars Galaxies) where the devs put up their hands and say they give up, here’s a new game. I really hope they can pull this off as the future of the subscription MMO hinges on this being somewhat successful.
Just… wow. I’m at a loss.