I haven't logged in to DDO since about two months or so into MOTU. I loved this game, had multiple TRs and had a great community to play with. But I just couldn't stand for the heavy "grind over fun" policy becoming more and more the standard in the game. The unfinished pre's really did me in. How can I commit to a DnD-styled build if the system is left open, for an overhaul (read: cash grab). I started to see everything in this once magical game through the lens of $.
And at first, I was an apologist. "Turbine has a right to a successful business model," I'd tell others. But, slowly but surely, I realized that the bad has begun to outweigh the good. Now I play too much Dota 2
When I happened to log in to the forums, as I do on occaision, in hopes of finding a new direction and reason to resub (I never bought, always subbed), I felt really bad for the players. Not for the newer players who come to ddo and find a game full of immediate danger, adventure and possibility (oh the glory days), but for the stalwarts, the dedicated gamers who lead their community by the hand and feel like parents to their avatars.
This type of game shouldn't penalize them, ever. They are your backbone and your cadre. They are your leaders and your testers (lol, for an always unfinished game, wrestling between WAY too many directions these days).
When the leveling stones came in, allowing people to rush up to epic SO U CAN GET TO FR NAO, I knew it was over for me. A game like this lives on EARNING, the skills, the xp, the teamwork and friendships, to get through challenges.
It's just sad to see Turbine give with one hand, while even THINKING of taking with the other. Just to force the stalwarts to regrind, and delay the end-game stasis slightly for the new addicts.
DDO community, I salute you. You will win this one. And let this be a lessen for Turbine. Powercreep is no excuse to steal people's hard-earned time/money.