Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Fuzzy Avatars Solved! Please re-upload your avatar if it was fuzzy!

Lord of the Rings Online: Bang for Your Buck: LotRO

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,643MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

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: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

image
«134

Comments

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    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.

  • ElsaboltsElsabolts Greencastle, INPosts: 2,594Member Uncommon

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

    image

  • wkyfamwkyfam Benton, KYPosts: 33Member

    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.

  • Valgar1Valgar1 Someplace, NYPosts: 324Member

    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. 

    image
  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,540Member Uncommon

    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.

  • shakermaker0shakermaker0 SheffieldPosts: 194Member

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

  • Valgar1Valgar1 Someplace, NYPosts: 324Member

    WYkyfam,

    You nailed it.

    image
  • McGamerMcGamer Fairfield Bay, ARPosts: 1,012Member

    {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}

  • scottnsscottns ., MAPosts: 231Member Uncommon

    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.

  • Adhesive33Adhesive33 San Francisco, CAPosts: 227Member

    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.

  • scottnsscottns ., MAPosts: 231Member Uncommon

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

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,249Member Uncommon

    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.

  • AthcearAthcear Washington, DCPosts: 420Member

    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.

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    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.

  • Gel214thGel214th Miami, FLPosts: 180Member Common

    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.

  • marcusfxmarcusfx Mattoon, ILPosts: 11Member

    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.

  • GruugGruug Chillicothe, ILPosts: 1,311Member Uncommon

    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!

  • Alexandru987Alexandru987 bucharest, FLPosts: 14Member

    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.

  • itgrowlsitgrowls newport news, VAPosts: 2,951Member

    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.

  • nolic1nolic1 Kingman, AZPosts: 687Member Uncommon

    I will not mock this but will stat that the author is a little off on some things one a player can lvl to lvl 30 to 40 for free if done right. Also the game does not spout all over the place buy this buy this it has little things that do show but aren't noticeable unless your looking to see it. There are 2 classes that can be bought separate or you get them with Mines of Moria purchase. Next I will also point out that yes EQ2x is more for casual players then hard core unless you dont mind buying unlock tolkens for gear, spells, and bags. But see Lotro only gates you out of content thats easy to obtain in game for free if you so choose. Now I will say that you did point out this game is good and has good game play and thats true. But you left out that this games 3 years old and Eq2 is 6yrs old and has alot more content because of this. So given time say another 3 years and Lotro might be just as big.

     

    But to anyone out there both Eq2x and Lotro are by far besides DDO the better F2P games out there for fantasy mmo's. Now if the your asking for any mmo thats f2p add champions to the list as a good f2p. So Yes lotro has a buy to play set up like GW in a sense and yes EQ2x has alot to offer for free more now than before DoV now F2P players get Sentinels Fate for free now and would only need to buy the DoV expansion or wait a year and get it free to. But They both offer good game play and features its asian counter parts dont and thats that there not driven buy high price end game. What I mean is to play lotro and EQ2x end game costs about $100 or less for both if you pay now asian mmos run more like $200 to $1000 a month to compete end game not all but most do. So if you want good f2p play these if you like the asian f2p play them theres 500+ mmos on the market right now so find one you like and just play and have fun.

    image
    To me I enjoy gaming I dont play to be uber I play to have fun. If a game is not fun to me guess what I move on and play something else till I find one that is. When I find that great game and not sure if in my life time there will be one I hope it has everything I want in an mmo.

  • AKASlaphappyAKASlaphappy Boise, IDPosts: 800Member

    "And at this point, I do tend to call into question the paid-for packs over a simple subscription. If you say that your average player will hit the level-cap in a matter of two months, over that period of time the player will spend over and above the $30 dollars of subscription on quest packs alone. To me this seems like a worse deal than what was already in place and the buffet-style approach to gaming that Turbine are promoting is something that I am against in truth."            

     


    This part of the article I really have to question! I guess if you are only going to play LOTRO for 2 months this makes sense, but if you are looking to play for an extended period time, how does this make any sense. I am actual stunned that a professional writer would say that renting is better than buying something, that makes no financial sense at all.


     


    Ok let’s take a look at this from a money perspective. So if I started LOTRO today and I decided I was going to play the game for an extended period of time I would have two choices the Freemium or the subscription. Ok first off let’s look at the cost of freemium:


     


    To download and then buy all the content I wanted to play would cost the following.


     


    15,000  - $150 or 5000 for  $50


     


    These points would get me the following: Mines of Moria- 2495 points, Misty Mountains -695 points, North Downs – 595 points, Enedwaith – 695 points, Eregion – 695 points, Evendim – 595 points, Forochel – 595 points, Angmar – 595 points, Trollshaws – 595 points, currency cap – 495 points, 2 character slots added-1190 points, Auction house upgrade – 95 points, Class Rune Keeper  - 795 points, Class Warden – 795 points.  


     


    So with $150 I would get all the areas unlocked, all the classes, and a few account upgrades. Plus I would have 4075 points left over, with more points added while I am playing the game since you get points added for accomplishing certain things while playing.


     


    Now if I did a subscription for LOTRO I would pay 119.88 a year if you pay for a year at a time, if you pay monthly it is $179.88.


     


    So if you only play for a short time the subscription is cheaper at least for the yearly, but if you want to keep an active account for a extended period of time then the picture starts to change drastically. After two years without purchasing any new expansion, subscription paying yearly is at $239.76/paying monthly is at $359.76  and freemium is at $150. After 3 years subscription paying yearly is at $359.64/paying monthly is at $539.64, and freemium is at $150.  Then if a paid for expansion comes out you have to add that to the total of your subscription cost, while with freemium I still have 4075 points left (plus all the points I earn while playing) to get the expansion with.


     


    So how again is renting from Turbine a game, which I can buy and never pay a dime on again, a better deal? That is like saying renting a house is a better deal for the renter then buying, it makes no finical sense at all.

  • KualaBDKualaBD Groton, CTPosts: 131Member

    I gotta agree with many others here.  The information presented in this article seems very outdated or incomplete, almost as if the article were written 6 months ago right after free-play launch or written recently based on notes taken after free-play launch.

    Before I continue I'd like to at least thank the author and give credit where credit is due for at least trying to present the details of the LotRO system to help potential players come to a decision whether to try it or not.  Really though, the only thing with which I can agree in this article is the large number of "Buy Me" buttons and screens presented everywhere you look.

    However, to clarify on wrong or unmentioned information, here's a list of some things not presented (many of these already covered by posters above).

     

    - The Lonelands content was made free in November's update (3 months ago) and with it a player can easily get into the low 30's before running out of free quests.  (The fact the Author didn't know this is what gave me the impression they were going off old notes).

    - The free skirmishes (repeatable instanced quests) are scaleable by the player for any group size and level range...meaning they can be used if needed as an alternate method of leveling without resorting to mob grinding in the open world.

    - The free group instances of GB and GA have also been made to be scaleable, so they too can be used to help level.

    - Bulletin Board quests were implemented back in November too that offer free repeatable quests which reward XP as well as faction reputation.

    - The article only covered mob-killing deeds but failed to mention the exploration, quest completion, and skill usage deeds...most of which are completed or near completed automatically just by playing though a zone.  Players can easily get hundreds of free store points without realizing it.

     

    To sum up...yes...the limitations on free-play can be a problem if you come to the game expecting full immediate access to everything in the game.  If you are a hard-core power leveler who wants to reach cap in a couple weeks you will hit a wall and be frustrated.  But, if you come to the game knowing that you CAN get everything for free but that it will take months of playing and you like the game enough to be with it for the long haul then the limitations shouldn't present much of a problem.

  • KualaBDKualaBD Groton, CTPosts: 131Member

    Originally posted by AKASlaphappy




     


    These points would get me the following: Mines of Moria- 2495 points ... 2 character slots added-1190 points ... Class Rune Keeper  - 795 points, Class Warden – 795 points.

    One correction...if the Mines of Moria expansion is unlocked (the 2495) then it comes with 2 character slots and the RK and Warden classes automatically, so those other amounts don't factor in.  Those would only factor in if you unlock the Moria quest pack and not the expansion, in which case the Moria quest pack is a lot cheaper than the 2495.

     

    Overall, some very good points you brought up.

  • Jellyf1shJellyf1sh WatfordPosts: 40Member

    Originally posted by wkyfam

    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.


     

    I think this is the most common-sense comment I've ever read about LotRO's F2P model. I doff my cap to you Sir!

  • romanmasonromanmason madison, WIPosts: 11Member

    {mod edit}

    As far as the topic (comparing f2p experiences in mmorpg's) it is a noble effort thwarted only by the bad job I feel the writer does in presenting the facts about the game.

    Another small problem I have with the article (or more appropriately the writer) is I get the sense that you seek some holy grail of a game that will deliver it's every experience for free and until you find that these games will recieve a worse review than they should get.

    I think we can all agree that if you can spend 30+ hours a week in any game you will be better off subscribing to that game or it will cost you money,until mmorpg's become like those social media games which pale in comparison to the depth to mmorpg's so to look at the issue in this light is unfair to every game you could possibly review whether it is CO,LOTRO, or EQ2X.

«134
Sign In or Register to comment.