Procrastination Amplification: Punditry on MMOs and games in general.

Quickie: So, Back To LotRO?

Lord of the Rings Online finally became free-to-play for Europeans this week and I’m thinking about returning in some way or another. A good friend asked me about a good free-to-play RPG the other day and I told her that I didn’t really have any recommendations but that checking out LotRO might be worth it. Now Codemasters sent me an email about the game being free-to-play and I decided to login in, see what changed and check out the store.

I seem to have some bonuses as an owner of the Mines of Moria and Siege of Mirkwood expansions (Not that I ever had a character at that level, but I picked up the expansions at some point.) but I’m really confused as to what I can and cannot do now. The store is an awful piece of software that gives no overview whatsoever over what’s available. I really don’t know whether playing LotRO F2P is going to be fun, especially when considering that I never really played the game much when I still paid for it. Then again, it’s Lord of the Rings and I haven’t played an MMO in a long while…

  • I tried to return as level 65 player, and here are my thoughts: http://bit.ly/9itjuJ -> you can skip to the final two pics and my summary if it’s too many pics and comments for you.

    I am not sure if I would like to call this model F2P. Rather “Free Trial Mode” like some other MMOs offer. LOTRO’S F2P is vastly different from DDO’s “content a la carte” model.

    You get nagged an urged into a sub, you can pay over 4000-5000 points and you are still not nearly on par with a subscriber, no fast travel for non-subscribers for instance, which costs 250 points and unlocks for ONE hour, and 500 points are roughly 5 EUR. You played a bit, but if you think travel times in Middle Earth can be bad, try to get from Bree to the Mirkwood without fast travel. You might be better off to wait for the 1h cooldown if you have unlocked fast travel to the Malledhrim faction, as you won’t be much faster if no Captain calls you or Hunter transports you. I needed 34 or 38 minutes from Bree to Enedwaith for instance.

    Simply pay 15,33 EUR for a 60 day GTC and you get 2×500 pts (per month) and full access.

    As a max level player I would have had to pay well over 4000 points and would still be missing things. I even underestimated something in my evaluation, as legendary trait slots cost 195 points and not 95 as the others, as I assumed.

    I would say it is a by now very generic and somewhat dated DIKU in Middle Earth, and the later, more modern twists to the core design are way beyond the reach of the early level players, despite several early area revamps.

    If you have not experienced Moria yet: You might have to go through some pretty dull and abandoned zones by now, the late post North Downs areas of Angmar, before you get to the juicy bits. But I guess you will like Eregion and Moria a LOT, and Mirkwood is very nice, too. 🙂