Radiance is considered by many people to be on of the biggest mistakes in Lord of the Rings Online. Here's a clue about why it failed: Even the developers hated it.
The Radiance mechanic is widely considered by players to be one of the biggest development backfires in the history of Lord of the Rings Online. The game's developers have been aware of this for a while (which is why they literally mentioned running the feature over with a train); now that it's about to be removed from the game, they're willing to discuss just what went wrong.
In a new dev diary, developer Allan Maki was saddled with addressing the awkward elephant in the room. "Sometimes it's difficult to shine the interrogation lamp on yourself and find out what exactly went wrong," he said. "Radiance was not a bad idea. In fact, many of us still feel that if it had been designed correctly it would have been successful. As it turned out, however, we created nothing more than an arbitrary gating mechanic that forced players to get 'keys' in order to enter raids."
Of course, the biggest nail in the mechanic's coffin was player reception:
You, the players, hated Radiance. In fact, there has never been such a polarizing and definitively poorly received implementation as Radiance. We struggled to find a way to make this system, which we wanted to rely upon for future raids and content development, work for us. Yet, many issues surrounded our implementation. The benefits it offered proved to be too good, Radiance gear proved to be too easy or too hard to acquire, and exploits plagued of the early days of the Moria instances. (Some still have issues!) Radiance was flailing.
The diary makes for an interesting read, mainly because it shows how things went wrong even though the project began with the best of intentions. Still, at least the developers are aware of the fact that they messed up and are now willing to openly admit it.