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The Lord of the Rings Online

Started by Data, November 22, 2011, 13:38:41 PM

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Question for Freddy:

How come The Lord of the Rings Online is free to play, whats the catch? 


There's not really a catch you can play and enjoy the game for free to a point.

To come at it another way - if you want a 'fully featured' game then you pay a sub and become a VIP player.

It would take me a long time to explain that.  But the game uses things called 'Turbine Points' - these points can be traded in the game store for all manner of things.  Turbine points can be bought with your hard earned real life cash.

For example, F2P (Free to play) gives you three bags to hold stuff in - but VIP gives you five bags - very useful to have. And things like that, so essentially the VIP membership is more fleshed out with extras that come in very useful.  There's also a gold cap on the free accounts, meaning you can only earn about 2-3 gold (quite a usable amount).  It's still playable but you miss out on some things due to that, like housing and other expensive (read cool) stuff.

Each region in the game comes with associated quests, called quest packs.  If you are a VIP you get a lot of those thrown in, but if you are F2P you have to buy some of them (with F2P you get hundreds of quests too though).

Your characters gain levels (1-75) through experience.  I would say you could easily play up to level 20 for free, after that, if you play long term it's probably worth subscribing.  In F2P once you hit level 20 or so you will find yourself having to pay for new quest packs for the higher level regions. You buy these with the Turbine Points.  You could forget about the quests if you want, but they are fun and are a key point of the game.

You also gain Turbine Points in-game by doing stuff.  In theory you could earn enough 'in-game' points to pay for the extras like quest packs, riding skills, buffs and so on.  It would be a lot of work though, but it can be done apparently.

If you subscribe you get a few hundred turbine points thrown in per month which you can use to buy whatever you want in the store.  These are worth around £4.50 or so.

There are some quest packs which even VIP have to buy, so those points will come in useful - generally these are associated with the large expansions that come out every so often.  And there is stuff in the store that comes in useful and other things only available that way.

I forget how I worked it out, but getting a subscription worked out best for me as I planned on playing for a long time.  And last time round I took up a six month bundle.

The only way to know for sure is to play the free version for a while.  You can make two or three characters (VIPs get more) I forget.  When you have played for a bit you will know what you want out of the game and can then make an informed decision.

Sorry that was a long post but I'm only scratching the surface.  Feel free to question me some more.


Thanks for the explanation of the game Freddy  :thumbsup:, you might not think so but to someone who hasn't played it, your description is very informative.

I must admit I thought it would work in a kind of, start off for free and then pay to get the most out of the game and fully progress, way, not that I have anything against that, the makers must get paid at the end of the day.   

Been checking out some videos of it and noticed that its supports Direct X 11, the water looks really nice in DX 11, I can see that new graphics card will be put to some good use.


There are several F2P (Free to Play) games like this now, such as Perfect World (both International and Europe versions), World of Kung Fu, Wizard101, Age of Empires Online, and more. I've played each of these games in "F2P mode", and several as a subscribing member, and the difference is like night and day in terms of game play, available quests or areas, inventory space, transportation, etc. I have yet to try LOTRO, as I didn't know that there was a F2P option. I guess I'll have to look into it. :)
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!


@Data, no problem.  Yes you are right with your assumption.  Originally when it first came out I was a subscriber, then I ran out of dosh in real life and cancelled my account.  Then last year it went free to play and I started up again.  I found it great fun still and they have developed the game very nicely.  There is an immense crafting system and a great auction system too where you can trade items; swords, armour, potions - the range of in game items is amazing really.

Anyway I yes, when I came back I got myself to level 20 and then signed up again.  It's certainly worth playing for free to start with.  For me as I knew I was hooked and rather than buy the extras piecemeal, I went for the full immediate fix.

I didn't know about the Direct X 11, that's cool.

@Dave, yep that's pretty much the same with LOTRO, though like I said above the game is quite playable and enjoyable on F2P to a point - F2P and VIP players are on the same severs too.  Once you are addicted then it is time to pay !