Lord of the Rings Online All Set To GO Free-to-Play
Neil Kewn (Murxidon) – OnRPG journalist
The Lord of the Rings Online is set to go free-to-play with the launch of Head Start, a two day event where former subscribers and closed beta testers have a chance to experience the full game before its public launch on September 10.
Announced back in June, players will no longer have to pay a monthly fee to adventure into Middle-Earth, with nearly all of the game’s content becoming freely accessible. Following a lengthy closed beta, players can look forward to the introduction of Book 2. A free update that not only removes subscription fees, but adds the new area of Enedwaith and continues the game’s hardened narrative.
Turbine’s Tolkien inspired MMO will celebrate its fourth birthday next year, and has maintained a steady number of subscribers during its pay-to-play tenure. The game received a warm reception upon its release, we certainly liked it, and two expansions which followed garnered universal praise.
With the removal of the monthly $14.99 subscription charge, comes the introduction of The Lord of the Rings Online Store, a virtual shop that stocks premium in-game items, extra character slots and convenience items. Unlike many other free MMORPGs, it looks as if the LOTRO store will not put any free player at a noticeable or long-term disadvantage, as most items can be earned through gameplay.
Whilst a whole host of game content will be available without charge, Turbine has implemented a VIP service for current, lifetime and new subscribers. Along with a Premium service for players who purchase Turbine Points from the new LOTRO Store. VIPs can enjoy 500 Turbine Points a month, a larger inventory, no restriction on gold and priority login. Premium members receive many of upgrades VIP Hobbits do, but without committing to a monthly fee. A full list of advantages can be found here.
The Lord of the Rings Online is criminally underrated in my book. It’s a polished, well-balanced game that successfully captures the essence of Middle Earth and the LOTR universe. With content bursting at the seams and a beautiful, detailed world dripping with lore, there is little reason not to try out this well-crafted MMO, especially now you won’t be paying a dime.
The Lord of the Rings Online free-to-play launches to the general public on September 10. Stay up to date at LOTRO.com.