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Lord of the Rings Online Now Free to Play

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments
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Lord of the Rings fans can now play the MMORPG for free.

Warner Bros. Interactive and Turbine announced Friday that Lord of The Rings Online is now officially free-to-play for gamers across North America. The new free-to-play model offers a maximum level of 50, and the means to purchase premium items--expansions, quest packs, items, account services and more--from within the client.

Along with the new free-to-play model, the latest update--Volume III, Book 2: The Ride of the Grey Company--also extends the MMORPG's overall story and adds a new Middle-earth region called Enedwaith. Book 2 also consists of fifteen solo-able chapters "full of exploration, exciting combat and a healthy dose of mystery."

"Turbine’s innovative pricing model, first introduced last year with Dungeons & Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, has become a proven success with over two new million registrations since going free-to-play," said Kate Paiz, Executive Producer of LOTRO. "We expect LOTRO’s free-to-play launch will only continue to increase the player base and catapult the game to new heights of success."

According to Turbine, anyone can join the game as a Free player--no credit card is needed. However players will automatically be upgraded from Free player to Premium player status with their first purchase of Turbine Points in the LOTRO Store. For a monthly fee, LOTRO's VIP program offers the "best value and the most options for players who like the convenience of having unlimited access to all of LOTRO's game content and features."

The client comes in two flavors: Standard Resolution and High Resolution (for high-end systems).

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Top Comments
  • 15 Hide
    hoofhearted , September 10, 2010 7:42 PM
    Use the free model to bait em in, pump up their addiction, then wham ... sock em with the premium content.
Other Comments
  • 0 Hide
    jerreece , September 10, 2010 7:31 PM
    Nice. I tried this game during Beta for a couple nights and gave it up right away. Maybe I'll give it a shot again now that it's mostly Free.
  • 3 Hide
    Humans think , September 10, 2010 7:34 PM
    One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
    One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

    How much does this cost in the store?
  • 0 Hide
    LORD_ORION , September 10, 2010 7:37 PM
    Soon... WoW will be forced to be free too... then what will all the free MMO's do? :D 
  • 15 Hide
    hoofhearted , September 10, 2010 7:42 PM
    Use the free model to bait em in, pump up their addiction, then wham ... sock em with the premium content.
  • 9 Hide
    isamuelson , September 10, 2010 7:43 PM
    Ah, its times to dusts off ours account and hunts us some Orcs, my Precious!
  • 1 Hide
    TheRockMonsi , September 10, 2010 7:48 PM
    LORD_ORIONSoon... WoW will be forced to be free too... then what will all the free MMO's do?


    I'm pretty sure there was an article a while back here stating that Blizzard is, at the least, considering making WoW free to play as well. I guess it's only a matter of time until we really find out.
  • 0 Hide
    liquidchild , September 10, 2010 7:53 PM
    I guess I'm the only one who played this game, EVER, cuz its been free for a long time. Last year I quit WOW and was looking for another drug, i tried EVE and LOTR...i choose EVE even though its not free, but LOTR was free to play then.
  • -2 Hide
    nforce4max , September 10, 2010 7:56 PM
    Humans thinkOne Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.How much does this cost in the store?


    Wow the trolls rated you down this time. +1

    One ring to enslave them all.
  • 0 Hide
    huron , September 10, 2010 8:03 PM
    My complaint was always having to pay for software, then having to pay for a monthly subscription on top of the original cost.

    My guess is that this model will work...get them hooked on playing and make them play for additional content...
  • 1 Hide
    cronik93 , September 10, 2010 8:09 PM
    Cool, I'm going to install this as soon as a can.
  • 0 Hide
    g00fysmiley , September 10, 2010 8:20 PM
    complete free to play or still have to buy the game... def getting if the former probably if the latter. i have played it on friends accounts it just wasn't worth leaving WoW for, and i couldn't justify 2 mmo payments a month
  • 0 Hide
    SapienChavez , September 10, 2010 8:47 PM
    Elrond now accepts PayPAl and all major CC!

    as a "lifetime" subscriber I am disgusted.

    they basically plastered "buy it now" on everything. there is now a store icon on the HUD that can not be removed.
  • 0 Hide
    proxy711 , September 10, 2010 8:50 PM
    I still prefer paying for the game and paying a monthly fee. less time is wasted on making cool items for the item store for the game to make income. That time can be spent on the game, fixing bugs adding content etc.

    Not to mention no one has stated that you need to buy quest packs for lvl 10+. the way LOTRO is going this is you can buy points for the quests or do deeds ingame that give 5-10 points each. The quest packs start at 600-750 points for quests. so if u truly want to play for free expect hour upon hours grinding on mobs that dont give you exp and doing other tasks before you can afford to buy that quest pack to move on.

    In the end its probity cheaper and faster to level to just pay for a VIP account its $9.99 a month and allows you to play LOTRO like it was before F2P and gives you 500 points a month to use in the item store.
  • 0 Hide
    El_Capitan , September 10, 2010 8:53 PM
    Will be interested to try it out. I like this model better. For those that can't play very much, they at least temporarily inhabit more space to make the world not seem as empty. For those that get into it, they can pay for the full features.

    For me, I hated having to buy a MMO game with the first month being free. That's $60 - if you don't like it after a month, it's not like you can sell it and get some money back, and you can't play just a little every month. It's always been play as long as possible for the first month, then realize how bright the sun is outside after you're done.
  • -4 Hide
    beachbod , September 10, 2010 9:01 PM
    WoW hasnt gone free to play because its better than the other mmorpgs
  • 1 Hide
    wikiwikiwhat , September 10, 2010 9:03 PM
    EVE needs to go free. I'd play it then. I'm soo waiting for SW:TOR to come out.
  • 0 Hide
    Stifle , September 10, 2010 9:50 PM
    The only thing interesting about this free to play stuff is that is may become the "rule" for MMO games to follow if they want to be competitive in the market. All top notch MMO games now cost the same per month (14.99), hopefully this move by Turbine will help force this model onto other companies. Free to play Star Wars: The Old Republic for the win
  • 0 Hide
    ailgatrat , September 10, 2010 9:52 PM
    wikiwikiwhatEVE needs to go free. I'd play it then. I'm soo waiting for SW:TOR to come out.


    SW:TOR won't be free...that's for sure...
  • -1 Hide
    Mundus33 , September 10, 2010 10:34 PM
    wikiwikiwhatEVE needs to go free. I'd play it then. I'm soo waiting for SW:TOR to come out.


    Umm technically speaking it can be free to play. It takes a bit but once you have enough isk you can buy plex off of contracts for 250/300mil and about 400/450mil during the summer at first that might seem like a pipe dream but after you get your first billion you can start investing your isk and then 300mil or so a month doesn't seem that bad. If you get help I think you can make that much in about 4-6 months if you save up and don't waste isk like I did.
  • 1 Hide
    Thilindi , September 10, 2010 10:43 PM
    LORD_ORIONSoon... WoW will be forced to be free too... then what will all the free MMO's do?



    Launch WoW 2
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