Lord of the Rings – Goes free to play

Lord of the Rings Online have anounced that they turn their basic version of the game into a ‘free-to-play’ version, starting in the fall 2010. Well, ‘free’ can be discussed.

As a ‘free player’ you can download and play the basic part of the game. You have access to the LOTRO store, where you can buy special items and perks for money if you want to. This is not that bad, and I have played (and are still playing) a game with that feature (Requiem Memento Mori) and it can be nice to have when you need it.

The thing about this announcement that caught my eye, is the part where it says:

The best part is – as existing subscribers you’re automatically enrolled in our VIP program! As a VIP you’ll continue to get unlimited access to the game and all of the content you already enjoy, in addition to some extra perks!

This makes my brain go ‘opps, there is a catch…’ (and of course it is, nobody gives away anything for free with no chance of getting some coins out of it). As I can read this, this means that the players that plays this game with a paid account have a huge advantage of the ‘free riders’, and if this is a PvP game, that sucks.
Yes, games like Requiem also features this, but they have just made it a little boost on ‘grinding’, and stuff that speeds up the lvling. There is no better weapons or armour for the paying players vs the free ones, their equal, it only takes a bit longer to get to the same ‘spot’ in advancement.

I have not played LOTRO before, and I was thinking about giving it a shot when it became free, but if the world is divided into those who have ‘special items (weapons, spells, armour etc etc) and those who have not, that would create a to0 big gap for the game to be enjoyable.
I’m sure I’m wrong in some of this, so please leave your comment below and give us your info about the happening and your opinion.)

The free part of the game is also restricted to the first ‘world’ in the game. (no expansions). If you want to go to the other parts that have been added through the expansions that have been released, you’ll need a paying account (or so I understand it).

This is written late at night, on a crappy computer (i’m on holiday) so I’ll check up on the facts when I’m back at my ordinary desk and write an update.

As a sidenote: Feedback on the blog would be very mutch appriciated, and please tell me what you would like to see on this blog. I’m open minded to most things that are gaming related 🙂 Comment on a blog entry or send me an email (look under “about me”) and I’ll be happy to write back and add stuff to this blog if it fits with the theme.


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