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Lord of the Rings Online 10th Anniversary Review

Back when Lord of The Rings Online first hit the scene, I was already a seasoned gamer with A LOT of years under my belt. I had played alpha and beta tests of games and knew the pitfalls of game-breaking bugs. I dabbled in the MMO for a while and eventually moved on to other titles. There were many gameplay issues to be balanced out and bugs to fix. The game wasn’t broken by any means, but did take some patience. Fast forward a decade and I had been actually thinking of checking back in on some of the MMOs I had reviewed over the years – then my Editor-in-Chief tells me LotRO is having an in-game 10 year anniversary celebration. So off I go, I make a new account and jump right in.  How has it changed since it first started a decade ago?

First thing I noticed is that there are four free races you can play and nine free classes (when the game first came out it was subscription-based). This gives you a great degree of choice in terms of what race/classes to play without spending a dime. If you choose, you can then you can spend a little money and pick up the man-to-bear shapeshifter called “Beorning”.  This is a race and class combo with its own pros and cons.  Also of note is that I had a displayed “recommended server” for my part of the world with an active population that were both friendly and helpful.  I cannot tell you how many times I go into a game and have a whole bunch of more experienced players give my n00b-butt grief.  One time I was working on a review while recovering from a nasty car accident and a player on my team didn’t like how “n00bish” I was and told me “I hope you get in a car accident”.  The Lord of the Rings Online was totally the opposite, other players offered to tell me the way things were laid out, the standard way to do things, shortcut keys to do it faster and just how I could have more fun at the game.  Right after I asked my questions I was even invited into fellowships to help me get started and learn the ropes.  Seldom is it that such a quick positive response comes out of a community to a new player.

I could have skipped up levels as that is something you can purchase with real money, but I would only really suggest that for a character further down the road because the world is so beautifully detailed. The areas so smoothed out after so many years of play that you won’t find glitches in quests or NPCs, all you have is a nicely developed playing experience.  I also wouldn’t recommend playing the Beorning right away, as I think you should have something to look forward running around with after you get other characters leveled up.

PVP is very different in LotRO and works a bit towards something you will want to put money into while playing. Free-To-Play players without VIP status play on the monster side of PVP doing quests and getting titles as they fight as different styles of monsters against the VIP (paying) player who plays as “the Moors” and are the free people fighting the monsters.  You don’t have to be a permanent VIP player to do these battles as the people side, you can pay that as you go with in game currency. It keeps things fun and interesting!

So how most of the Pay-To-Play works in LOtRO is by purchasing VIP status for one month, three months, six months, or even a whole year.  This VIP status opens up pretty much every aspect of the game to you, adds a couple dozen perks, give you free in-game money every month and every chapter and volume of the game are accessible to you during that time.  They seemed to understand that if they are going to charge a subscription of a normally Free-To-Play game it needed to feel like a subscription game like World of Warcraft.  The nice thing is if someone can’t afford the subscription they can still play and have a great and rewarding experience with their friends regardless if that friend is VIP or not.  It’s a smart move to maintain a player base.  You basically wind up with three tiers of player: the FTP player, the VIP but nothing else player, and the VIP and additional prestige items player.

The prestige item player will get the same pony as the normal VIP at that level but they might also buy a special steed with armor plating or a coloring they like or named after a special kingdom.  The VIP prestige player is the one that makes it so that the FTP can come in and enjoy the beauty of the game that they probably otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford.  The March 2017 edition of Wired posted findings of a study that said on FTP games 2% of players are responsible for 48% of all revenue.  That guy who has the sweet looking mount and gorgeous armor makes it so that a FTP person can play buy paying the developer’s bills.  I wish more games were built on such a model so that friends could game together regardless of their disposable income.

The subscription money hasn’t gone to just keeping the lights on at Lord of The Rings Online, they are constantly releasing new content that tells rich stories while leveling players up to 95.  Maybe one of the best draws of all is you can play them furry-footed hobbits.

A Tale Still Being Told:

Lord of The Rings Online is still going strong and just getting better and richer with time.  I am so happy it had its 10th anniversary to pull me back into its shires and castles. This isn’t just a flash in the pan game for me.  This game has true FTP, VIP, and VIP prestige style play and that means I will stick around, continue with the journey of my characters and hopefully be writing the 20th anniversary review in another decade!


The Lord of the Rings Online Review Score

(5 out of 5 stars)


 

The Lord of the Rings Online Turns 10

BOSTONApril 24, 2017 – Standing Stone Games is celebrating the 10th anniversary of The Lord of the Rings Online™ (LOTRO) with a host of in-game items and events. During the Anniversary Festival, currently underway, all players will receive a set of in-game fireworks, as well as bonus exclusive gifts based on their account status. There’s also a number of limited-time in-game quests and events to experience in honor of the occasion.

The development team will host a special 12-hour live stream on Twitch featuring gameplay, developer chats, and giveaways tomorrow, April 25, beginning at 12 pm ET at: www.twitch.tv/lotrostream

The Lord of the Rings Online’s most recent major content patch brought players to the doors of Sauron’s fortress in the long-awaited “Battle of the Black Gate” update. Players can explore new Resource Instances and over 100 quests and deeds in the Region of Dagorlad leading up to the Host of the West’s climactic confrontation with Sauron’s forces.

For more information about everything happening during The Lord of the Rings Online’s 10th anniversary, please visit www.lotro.com/en/10-year-celebrations.

The Lord of the Rings Online: Helm’s Deep Release Date

helms_deep_03

NEEDHAM, MA – September 12, 2013 — Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that The Lord of the Rings Online™: Helm’s Deep, the next expansion to the award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) developed by Turbine, will launch on November 18th. Helm’s Deep will continue the Epic Story into the western plains of Rohan, allow players to take an unprecedented role in the legendary battle for Helm’s Deep while advancing to the new level cap of 95.

“Helm’s Deep is the site of the most memorable battle in Middle-earth and we’re excited to announce our launch date and introduce some great new in-game items for anyone who pre-purchases the expansion,” said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. “We’ve come to a really exciting and momentous point in the story, and we can’t wait to show players how the game will bring this classic clash to life. This technical and gameplay innovation brings massive conflicts to life like never before and is another huge leap forward for MMO players in Middle-earth.”

THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE: HELM’S DEEP FEATURES:

  • Experience the Battle for Helm’s Deep – Fight to defend Helm’s Deep starting as early as level 10, when your character enlists as a soldier in the Battle of the Hornburg, the most epic conflict yet in The Lord of the Rings Online.  Earn rewards for your contribution to the war effort – win or lose, your skill makes a difference!

  • Explore new landscapes across Western Rohan – Explore the Westemnet of Rohan and rally each of the five ridings as Rohan returns to glory. Traverse the capital of Edoras, mysterious Dunharrow, and the fortress of the Hornburg within Helm’s Deep.

  • Advance from levels 85 to 95 – Experience 10 new levels, from 85 to 95, with new skills and completely updated class specializations. Both mounted and un-mounted combat will challenge you as you war against the evil forces of Saruman.
  • Continue the Epic Story – Encounter beloved characters such as Aragorn, Éowyn, and Éomer. Restore King Théoden to his rightful throne while you defend the peoples of Rohan at Helm’s Deep.

Beginning today, players can take advantage of special pre-purchase offers:

PREMIUM EDITION – $59.99, €53,99, £44.99

Features all Helm’s Deep content, with level cap increase. This edition also grants these great items:

  • Armour of the Hammerhand – an exclusive full set of Rohirrim cosmetic armour
  • +10 quest log slots
  • Crystal of Remembrance – adds one additional legacy to your legendary weapon
  • Helm’s Deep Title – Helm’s Enforcer
  • Helm’s Deep Title – Helm’s Avenger
  • 2,000 Turbine points

Pre-purchasers will also receive these items that can be used immediately in the game:

  • Shield of the Hammerhand (Statted Cloak  +25%XP, scales to level of wearer)
  • Exclusive War-steed Bundle (The Steed of the Hammerhand) – an exclusive Rohirrim mount with matching War-Steed appearance

BASE EDITION – $39.99, €35,99, £29.99

Features all Helm’s Deep content, with level cap increase. Also grants these items:

  • Hauberk of the Hammerhand – an exclusive Rohirrim cosmetic chest piece
  • Helm’s Deep Title: Helm’s Enforcer
  • 1,000 Turbine points

Pre-purchasers will also receive these items that can be used immediately in the game:

  • Token of Hornburg (+25% Monster XP)
  • The Steed of the Hammerhand – an exclusive Rohirrim Mount

The Lord of the Rings Online™ is the ultimate adventure! This award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places, and monsters from the most famous fantasy of all time. For more information, visit www.lotro.com.

The Lord of the Rings Online: Helm’s Deep Announced

helms_deep_03

NEEDHAM, MA – April 24, 2013 — Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment unveiled today The Lord of the Rings Online™: Helm’s Deep™, the next expansion to the award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) developed by Turbine. Helm’s Deep will continue the Epic Story into the western plains of Rohan, allow players to take a direct role in the battle for Helm’s Deep and advance the level cap to 95.

“With Helm’s Deep, we’re bringing the War of the Ring to players on a monumental scale,” said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online, Turbine. “Our team is thrilled to create another iconic moment in Middle-earth, and put players in the center of the action.”

THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE: HELM’S DEEP FEATURES:

  • Experience the Battle for Helm’s Deep – Fight to defend Helm’s Deep starting at level 10, as your character enlists as a soldier in the Battle of the Hornburg, the most massive conflict yet in The Lord of the Rings Online.  Earn rewards for your contribution to the war effort – win or lose, your aid makes a difference!

  • Explore new landscapes across Western Rohan – Explore the Westemnet of Rohan and rally each of the five Ridings as Rohan returns to glory. Traverse the capital of Edoras, mysterious Dunharrow, and the fortress of the Hornburg, deep within Helm’s Deep.

  • Advance from levels 85 to 95 – Experience 10 new levels, from 85 to 95, with new skills and completely updated class specializations. Both mounted and un-mounted combat will challenge you as you war against the evil of Saruman.
  • Continue the Epic Story – Encounter beloved characters such as Aragorn, Éowyn, and Éomer. Restore King Théoden to his rightful lordship and defend the peoples of Rohan at Helm’s Deep.

The Lord of the Rings Online™ is the ultimate adventure! This award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places, and monsters from the most famous fantasy of all time.  For more information, visit www.lotro.com.

LOTRO Riders Of Rohan Mounted Combat Video

In conjunction with the closed beta kicking off for Riders of Rohan, the 4th expansion for the award-winning Lord Of The Rings Online, Turbine has just released the first video showcasing the Mounted Combat feature.  Riders of Rohan is currently available for pre-order and will launch on September 5th.  For more information, visit http://rohan.lotro.com.

Trailer:

Riders of Rohan Coming to LOTRO

Turbine has announced the first full-fledged expansion to their MMORPG, The Lord of the Rings Online, called “Riders of Rohan”.

Full Press Release

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment unveiled today The Lord of the Rings Online™: Riders of Rohan™, the latest expansion to the award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) developed by TurbineRiders of Rohan expands the online world of Middle-earth where players join forces to ride into the Plains of Rohan.  Riders of Rohan launches in the Fall of 2012 with an increased level cap, the vast plains of Rohan including iconic locations such as Amon Hen and Fangorn Forest, the new Mounted Combat system and much more!

“2011 was another banner year for The Lord of the Rings Online with consistent growth for the game, a successful unification of our European and North American services and the success of Rise of Isengard, our best selling expansion to date.” said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online.  “This is going to be another outstanding year as we celebrate our fifth anniversary and introduce a wealth of new content throughout the year, ending with our arrival in Rohan.  One of our largest expansions ever, Rohan is expected to be twice the size of the recent Rise of Isengard expansion and includes the most new game systems and technology we’ve introduced since 2008’s Mines of Moria.”

NEW FEATURES:

Ø  Experience the Riders of Rohan – Join with the Rohirrim and ride across the sprawling Plains of Rohan; witness the breaking of the Fellowship at Amon Hen; forge alliances with the Ents of Fangorn; and aid Éomer, adopted son of Théoden, as he seeks to protect his homeland from the growing Shadow.

Ø  Introducing Mounted Combat – Ride into Combat atop your loyal War-steed as you defend the people of Rohan from the forces of Isengard and Mordor. Customize your War-steed’s armor and level its skills over time to aid you in mounted defense of King Theoden’s lands. Mount your steed and gather your fellows to fight against Warbands, contingents of roving warg riders that have been scouted all over the Plains of Rohan! It falls to you to head off and defeat this new threat before they over take the land.

Ø  Advance to level 85 – Continue your legend in the next chapter of The Lord of the Rings Online. Experience new adventures in the epic story, and gain new skills and deeds as you face new challenges on your journey to 85!

The Lord of the Rings Online is the ultimate adventure. This award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most famous fantasy of all time. From the picturesque surroundings of the Shire to Moria, the most fearsome underground realm ever imagined, players can experience the world of Middle-earth for free!  For more information, visit www.lotro.com.

LOTRO: Rise of Isengard Legendary Weapons Screenshots

Turbine has released some new screenshots from their upcoming Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Rise of Isengard, showing off some of the new legendary weapons and class gear available to players brave enough to quest for this. The expansion is due out on September 27, 2011.

Screenshots

New LOTRO: Rise of Isengard Screenshots

Turbine has released some new screenshots from its upcoming Rise of Isengard expansion to The Lord of the Rings Online, featuring the Tower of Orthanc and the Gap of Rohan. Rise of Isengard is due out on September 27, 2011.

Screenshots

LotRO: Rise of Isengard Dunland Screenshots

Turbine has released some new screenshots from their upcoming expansion to The Lord of the Rings Online. Rise of Isengard is due out on September 27th and will add three new lands to explore as well as a number of additional features.

Screenshots