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Turns Out Freemium is a Great Move!

It’s a good time to be a LotRO player. I’ll admit, I’ve been taking a break for the past couple of months, but Syp’s recent developer tour leaves me wanting to log back in (parts one and two here). When the news first dropped that the game would be switching models, there was a lot of apprehension from the gaming community. If this sneak peek shows us anything, it’s that Turbine is out to impress.

One of the updates I’m most excited about is the instance tool. By the sounds of it, it will act very similarly to the skirmish tool. From free-to-play on, the days of running to instances are over. Now, you’ll be able to teleport in once the group is formed. I’m a bit disappointed that they’re not planning on auto-grouping players, but I like the sentiment of “do it right or not at all”. It’s Blizzard-esque. I’m not as bothered by that as I would have been, though, because dungeons will be broken into separate wings for quicker runs. Between that, new dungeon currency, auto-quests, and upward scaling, dungeons should get a lot more action – which they desperately need pre-endgame. I’ve ran a total of one instance two times over the last two years and 46 levels.

The new instance tool (click to enlarge)

Enedwaith also looks pretty neat. Right now, I’m feeling the dredges of leveling through Angmar. Brown, brown, and more brown. Mobs that feel insecure if they stand more than 10 feet from their fellows. I need more incentive to keep going. Enedwaith is shaping up to be a mix of some of my favorite themes from other zones – snow, mountains, and great green grasslands. Redneck hobbits are also an unexpected addition 🙂


The store is still up in the air for me. They say that they’re being careful not to introduce unbalancing items to the store, but in the screenshot for Part Two I see a “Buffs and Boosts” column. They try to cover this by saying that the one time stat boost items are being designed for leveling characters rather than players at the cap. I’ll believe it when I see it. I have faith in Turbine, but I also have faith in how tempting it must be to monetize end-game raiding. Short on radiance? Buy a radiance potion for $10! It might never happen, though, so I’m trying to keep positive.

I was late to the game in finding these articles but they’re good and worth your time. One thing is abundantly clear after finishing them: Turbine is out to impress. The freemium update will be on par with the whole of Siege of Mirkwood, by the sounds of it. If that’s what we have to look forward to, I’d say they stayed subscription too long.

On a different note, can anyone recommend a leveling spot outside of Angmar at level 46? I’ve finished out the Misty Mountains and Trollshaws, so I’m feeling a little stuck. Me and Brown don’t mix.


  1. Stabs

    Sounds promising. They’ve given me a free week on my old account so I’m currently downloading the client. It’s at 31% after 3 hours but hopefully I’ll manage to install the game before my free week expires.

  2. Professer

    I’m really sad to hear that they have eliminated travel to dungeons. Making them more accessible is a good thing, but not at the expense of travel. LOTRO has too pretty of a world to take that away from us…

    I would have liked to see a system that, at least, involved 1 or 2 people travelling to the dungeon to summon others there.

    But I’m just a hardcore traveler. I remember times in Vanguard and Darkfall where I would run for at least an hour to get to my destination. EPIC TRAVEL FTW, I mean cmon. Its Lord of the Rings…

  3. Nonpoint

    I’m optimistic about the F2P as well. I’m really hoping that it will ensure that we get more frequent content updates and expecially that we’ll make it to Mordor 😉 A lot of people are worried about the community degrading… but personally I’m looking forward to more people playing. On my main server (Firefoot) sometimes numbers for raiding is seriously lacking.

    As for you question about where to level… sounds like you’re probably stuck in Angmar for a bit. Check out my website though, I made a leveling guide that will probably help you out… most people have said it helps anyway 😉 Good luck!

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