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Free to play or not this game is a freaking joke now. I played Lotro hardcore back in Shadows of Angmar and the game was so much fun. Helegrod was great raid and the Rift is still I believe one of the best raids out there, plus to top it off with Carn Dum, BG, and annuminas intances. After Moria's release the game has just gone downhill. Mirkwood was a god awful expansion (if thats what you want to call it, and thats when I quite the game). Hearing this news about Isengard doesnt surprise me at all. This game, sadly unlike Frodo, isnt going to make it to Mordor.
That is good news that people who bought or will buy Isengard for hard cash will get instances free as well.
As for date of release of insstances it is "before end of a year".
There are doubts with this beign same if you buy Isengard on in-game Turbine Store (remember Turbine Web Store and Turbine Store are 2 diffrent things ) - some people say that there is good chance that in in-game Turbine Store Isengard will be split into parts like quest pack , instances , raid , crafting tier ,etc becasue if not why would then sell Isengard in Webstore after release, but that's speculation and remand to be seen.
Some more news from Turbine Forums
"Originally Posted by Sapience
Hi all. My first day back in the office and fully recovered and the first thing I wanted to do was get a definitive answer to this question for you. So here we go.Free and Premium players can participate in PvMP on the creep side (Monster Play). The Reaver will be free to play. If you want to participate in PvMP on the freep side, you'll need to be a VIP."
Seems that might inbalance PvPM alot, with f2p/premium players swarming moors and outnumbering freeps badly.
We are currently preparing five new instances for release post Isengard. Rise of Isengard will be released on September 27 along with a 24 Player raid. There will be 3 Three player, 1 Six player and 1 Twelve player instance released in Update 5, the first update after the release of Rise of Isengard. These instances will be free to any player who has pre-purchased the Rise of Isengard expansion or who purchases after launch via the Turbine Web Store.
this means..ingame lotro store doesnt count
I guess we'll see when Isengard is released. I'm a VIP and have pre-ordered, but if they have botched/skimped on Isengard I'm done. This is Turbines last chance with me.....and they won't be able to hide anything come the 27th.