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News & Features Discussion  » Lord of the Rings Online: Bang for Your Buck: LotRO

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 15663

OP  2/25/11 9:59:12 AM#1

In the second installment of Adam Tingle's Bang for Your Buck series, Lord of the Rings falls under the microscope. The goal of BFYB is to find a "free to play game" that is truly, or at least mostly, F2P. See how Lord of the Rings Online measures up to Bang for Your Buck. Leave us your thoughts in the comments when you're through!

In my never-ending quest to discover the freest of the 'F2P' MMORPG crowd, I have found myself wandering in the lands of Middle-Earth. Beset at all times by promises of fancy promotional offers and constantly confronted by buttons and shiny banners that offer lovely new items and advantages, I fail to see how my trek through the lands of Men, Elves, and Dwarves is going to be at all free - but I am a stickler for punishment and a sucker for a bargain. Welcome back to Bang for your Buck where we promise we will find you a slightly free game and if not we will give you, well, nothing.

Read more of Adam Tingle's Bang for Your Buck: LotRO.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7116

2/25/11 10:09:32 AM#2

First off there are so many inaccuracies in this article, I really have to wonder if the author spent much time in the game.  No quest packs cost more than $10.   Turbine points can be either 5 or 10 and there are a bunch you collect just for exploring.  You don't start running out of quests until about level 26 or 27, not 20 as stated.  Next time find an author who can take the time to write a respectable review.  If you want to take the time to get all the deeds you don't have to spend a dime.

In any of these f2p games, if you expect to craft then there is no way to avoid spending money as it is mandatory to buy pack space, that is an obvious need you cannot get around.

At least Turbine allows you to enjoy the entire game unlike that mess SOE came up with for EQ2.


Advanced Member

Joined: 10/03/06
Posts: 2717

Life Liberty and the Pursuit of those that would threaten It

2/25/11 10:20:44 AM#3

Life-time Subscriber alot of bucks for alittle bang. Its taught me never to buy another one.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/27/07
Posts: 33

2/25/11 10:22:32 AM#4

As with so many things in games, the value of LOTRO's free model (and several other games' attempts), is dependent upon the manner in which you play.  I have played a number of MMOs over the years, and in the past was able to invest a considerable amount of time in playing.  In those days, I would play many hours a week and thus, the $15/month subscription rate was feasible.  However, now that I am married and a father, I still enjoy gaming, but the amount of time that I can devote to such endeavors has diminished considerably.  Therefore, at this point in my gaming life, I might be able to play only a few hours a week.  For this scenario, paying the standard $15/month subscription makes less sense for me.  However, being able to buy adventure packs and thereby quest through zones at a pace that is more accomodating to my schedule, makes more fiscal sense for me. 

That being said, I completely agree with Mr. Tingle that, were a person playing LOTRO with any considerable amount of pace, the purchasing of adventure packs and other items/features from the store makes less and less sense, and subsequently it may make more sense for a number of players to simply opt for the standard subscription plan.  Regardless of ones play style and ability to invest time, as Adam mentions, the free-to-play plan offered by LOTRO is one that allows a player to sample a considerable amount of content in order to make a good decision as to how best to approach paying for content, should that player choose to continue playing beyond the starter zones and the level 20 barrier.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/07
Posts: 333

2/25/11 10:23:24 AM#5

I only have to say,

If the game is so good as all the reviews say, why not just pay the monthly fee for it?  I don't think anyone mind's paying for a game that is good.


So here inlies the message of F2P at least for this game. It's all marketting.  All there trying to do is get people in, show them how good the game is and then they will pay for it. Think we all know this. 


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/25/07
Posts: 3573

2/25/11 10:24:17 AM#6
Originally posted by Ozmodan

At least Turbine allows you to enjoy the entire game unlike that mess SOE came up with for EQ2.

What are you talking about? As bronze or silver you can enjoy the whole game in EQ2X except for the last expansion. But then ppl with a subscription have to buy that expansion too.

In LOTRO you have to buy quest packs to have an enjoyable experience in all zones. Of course you dont have to and can grind for the Turbine currency, but that turns the game in the worst grindmare.

The restrictions in EQ2X for a silver player ( a one time 10$ payment) is easily managable at least untill lvl cap. You dont have to buy anything from the cashshop if you just ask a little around on how to expand your storage space (personal harvest storage box comes to mind, housevault expander key etc).

The way I see it , is that EQ2X turns expensive if you are only interested in endgame or pvp. But for any casual player that just plays it for the quests, its as cheap as it can get. But these questers have to shell out a lot of money for LOTRO.

So I think it totally depends on your playing style.


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/25/09
Posts: 199

2/25/11 10:27:03 AM#7

This is about the merits of LOTRO as a free game, lets not take this into which is better SOE or Turbine.


Novice Member

Joined: 8/25/07
Posts: 333

2/25/11 10:27:05 AM#8


You nailed it.


Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/05
Posts: 1035

"Fear leads to Anger, Anger leads to Hate, Hate leads to Suffering" -Master Yoda

2/25/11 11:01:53 AM#9

{mod edit}

For example, there have been articles done on gamers in Lotro who were able to reach L 65(max) without spending a dime of RL money. Was it easy? Of course not, nothing worthwhile in life is easy so why expect it from a great mmo. 

Also, pvmp is being opened to f2p members in the next content update, another detail left out of the article.

As far as the purpose of this article, while it is amusing in concept, nothing in life is free ever,{mod edit}

Why bother trying to nitpick at semantics when of course everyone knows it isn't 100% free? Redundant.

{mod edit}


Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 234

2/25/11 11:05:43 AM#10

I'm at level 31 and still have a ton of quests to do in GA. I have yet to buy anything with real money yet.


Novice Member

Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 230

2/25/11 11:15:24 AM#11
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but they shouldn't be propped up with inaccurate and misleading statements. Not a very good article. It really reads as if you didn't actually play the game.

Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/04
Posts: 234

2/25/11 11:25:01 AM#12

Maybe he didn't realize the Lone Lands are part of the F2P now??


Elite Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 4216

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

2/25/11 11:56:47 AM#13

another thing to point out.  The OP forgot the Warden.  So there are 2 classes you have to buy to play... unless you bought MoM.


Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/19/09
Posts: 422

Never attribute to stupidity that which can be adequately explained by malice.

2/25/11 12:12:06 PM#14

There will NEVER be a completely free to play game.  They have to make money somehow.  This article also leaves out several free elements, such great barrows, and the 2 or 3 free skirmishes, all of which scale from 20 to 65.  Also, isn't the Freep side of PvMP free?  And won't the upcoming expac be free, too?  I'm relatively sure that the five new dungeons in the upcoming patch won't be tied to their regions' quest packs, too.

But keep in mind, there will NEVER be a completely free to play game.

Important facts:
1. Free to Play games are poorly made.
2. Casuals are not all idiots, but idiots call themselves casuals.
3. Great solo and group content are not mutually exclusive, but they suffer when one is shoved into the mold of the other. The same is true of PvP and PvE.
4. Community is more important than you think.


Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/07
Posts: 7116

2/25/11 12:12:34 PM#15
Originally posted by someforumguy
Originally posted by Ozmodan

At least Turbine allows you to enjoy the entire game unlike that mess SOE came up with for EQ2.

What are you talking about? As bronze or silver you can enjoy the whole game in EQ2X except for the last expansion. But then ppl with a subscription have to buy that expansion too.

In LOTRO you have to buy quest packs to have an enjoyable experience in all zones. Of course you dont have to and can grind for the Turbine currency, but that turns the game in the worst grindmare.

The restrictions in EQ2X for a silver player ( a one time 10$ payment) is easily managable at least untill lvl cap. You dont have to buy anything from the cashshop if you just ask a little around on how to expand your storage space (personal harvest storage box comes to mind, housevault expander key etc).

The way I see it , is that EQ2X turns expensive if you are only interested in endgame or pvp. But for any casual player that just plays it for the quests, its as cheap as it can get. But these questers have to shell out a lot of money for LOTRO.

So I think it totally depends on your playing style.

Ah,  You cannot get the top equipment or spells either.  Quit trying to make a poor design look decent, it won't work with anyone with any intelligence.  Nothing wrong with EQ2, but if you intend to play the game make sure you choose the subscription servers so you get the entire experience.


Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/11/07
Posts: 175

2/25/11 12:38:13 PM#16

This article presents a very myopic view of MMORPG and gamers in general.

"If someone is so lazy that they are willing to part with real hard earned cash to pay to become a virtual Apprentice Smith, well something is wrong, drastically wrong. "

Would the author state that if a non-professional tennis buff will spend 600USD on a racket to play with their friends, something is wrong with them?

The game environment is simply a new medium of the same sort of enjoyment that people have experienced since the beginning of time. 

And throughout ALL sports and Activities there are advertisements. In the case of LOTRO these are limited to tasteful reminders of the presence of items to enhance and quicken your progress. In the case of everything else it's part of our everyday lives on and off the computer.

To claim that something is wrong with someone who derives enjoyment from virtual environments and is prepared to spend money on this pasttime is an insult to the very people that form your audience. It says to them that in your view our hobby and our enjoyment is in some way not worthy.

  User Deleted
2/25/11 1:00:42 PM#17

This article gives me the impression that the author 1) saw an advertisement for LOTRO F2P; 2) formed his opinion on it; 3) wrote the article; 4) and then *maybe* played the game.

There are 1600 turbine points available per character with free content alone. And you are allowed 2 characters per server. The free content allows you to level to 34-35 solely by questing, and up to 65 if you are crazy enough to grind skirmishes and mobs. That's without buying any content at all.

From a practical perspective you can buy the Evendim quest pack by grinding the easier deeds on one character, and that gets you to level 40. A second character would be necessary to get the next quest pack, Angmar, which could get you from 40-52,53.

At 50 it's more practical to just buy the Moria expansion pack with real world currency  than to grind deeds on alts for TP's.


Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/08
Posts: 1301

The more you know, the more you know you don't know.

2/25/11 1:28:41 PM#18

The author of the article was spot on when he refered to LOTRO as a "free trail" or "extend trail" rather then a true "free to play" game. However, he lost credibility with me when he started calling it a "f2p'er" part way through the article. LOTRO is NOT free to play. Yes, you can experience a good amount of content for free....but not nearly as much as if you pay for it. IT IS NOT FREE.

Let's party like it is 1863!


Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/22/07
Posts: 14

2/25/11 1:40:54 PM#19

there are websited showing you how you can get up to 5500 points per character...

So basically, you level a toon, get points, unlock what you want/need etc, then if by some chance you need more stuff unlocked but no points, you go roll an alt.. 

With 11000 points you will unlock pretty much everything a subscriber has(except monster play - subscriber only)

All it takes is making 2 toons and doing all the deeds and such, not an easy task, but it can be done. Pretty much anything you do in that game gives you points...

I quit for now(poor pvp) but if i even pick it up again i will sub it, however you are not FORCED to and you can simply play the game and earn the points... It`s just not instant gratification.

  User Deleted
2/25/11 2:09:48 PM#20

it's been my experience off and on in this game that the ONLY things you HAVE to buy is bags and a mount and thats if you have NOT done any of your deeds. 

This model is awesome because you could potentially not pay for a thing when it comes to essentials and any costume extras you might want is fantastic because you can buy those as well with these points if you wish.

I have gone to areas that have purchasable quests with points but i noticed that they also added a number of gather/kill bulletin board quests in the area that you don't have to purchase which i thought was a nice touch to remove the need of  people being forced to use points to play and progress.  

Since i had a previous account with them i have no idea if this makes a difference but i thought it was a nice touch. Even if you don't like your previous toons i'm sure the account will allow anyone with previous experience in lotro paid to come to lotro f2p with a couple of advantages and even then deeds will buy you your riding skill, and bag slots. Crafting like any other mmo is always best used end game including the gathering for such things which allows for pleanty of time to get the tpoints needed for extra bank space. I personally have five toons three are bag space banks so space is not an issue.

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