Howdy, Stranger!

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

Lord of the Rings - Quest Packs and Expansions

AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666

With the 2014 vote final raising the game's profile, I thought it might be useful to give an up to date overview for new players about the game's model and some purchasing ideas for how to get started.

Turbine Points

The game uses Turbine Points (TP) as a real money based currency. These can be purchased in-game through the store, and are also earned by completing quests and deeds. Deeds are essentially achievements, anything from killing a certain number of mobs (like 20 bandits around Bree) to discovering areas or using class abilities.

You can earn TP for the same deeds on every character on every server. If you subscribe (become a VIP) you receive 500 TP per month on your account as part of the deal. All of the game's content can be purchased with TP, and almost all of it outside of the expansions is included in the sub.

Quest Packs and Regions

As with most games, the open world is divided into areas suited to a level range. The areas aimed at levels 1-30 are free for everyone, but after this content is either purchased for your account with TP or real money as regional quest packs or expansions. Many of these areas overlap in terms of level, so it's not necessary to buy all of them. As a subscriber you get full access to all quest packs, except the five expansion packs. You have access to all content you buy regardless of whether you subscribe or not. The epic quest storyline is also free up to Helm's Deep. A full list of quest packs, suggested level ranges and price in TPs is here:

http://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/LOTRO_Store#Quest_Packs

You can still enter areas you haven't purchased, but you'll be seriously limited in the number of quests you can do. So there's no problem just doing the main storyline, or going through an area to get to another, but if you want to level in that area or do the instances you'll need the quest pack or expansion.

Mithril Edition

If you're happy to spend a small amount to get started, the best option in my view is the physical Mithril edition. It can be hard to get hold of, but it's very cheap (as little as $5 USD sometimes). It includes 2,000 TP and four quest packs, with potential level ranges:

  • Trollshaws (30-50)
  • Eregion (44-55)
  • Moria (50-60)
  • Lothlorien (55-60)

It also includes an exclusive steed, worth about 2,000 TP.

Expansion Packs and VIP

Purchasing anything with real money gives you 'Premium' status, which permanently unlocks a few things, such as removing the 2 gold currency cap. Detail for VIP, Premium and Free are here:

http://lotro-wiki.com/index.php/Account_Types

With expansions, the quad pack via cash is the best value. Depending on sales it ranges from $10 to $20 USD, and is also available in Steam sales. This includes Moria, Mirkwood, Isengard and Rohan -- i.e all of the expansions except Helm's Deep. The Moria expansion also includes the Runekeeper and Warden classes and two extra character slots per server. You can buy these in-game with TP, but do not buy TP outright for them as it's more expensive.

Most people recommend VIP for at least the first month ($15 USD). That way you get 500 TP, full access to all content under level 50, all of the benefits of VIP, and all account unlocks of Premium status. Alternatively, the Mithril edition will get you to level 60, and comes with enough TP to buy a further 2-3 quest packs. If you want a slightly larger outlay, three months' VIP status is a great deal.

If you don't want to spend anything at all, you can get by easily up to about level 35 as a free player. During that time you should be able to earn a few hundred TP without any real grinding. That can be repeated on every character per server if you do wish to grind. It's possible to unlock all game content this way, but it'd be very tedious. While you can get by as a completely free player, the game is much more enjoyable if you subscribe or buy some content.

All players receive one 'silver Hobbit present' a day per server. These are mostly store convenience items, such as experience boosts, run speed boosts etc. VIP players receive one 'gold' present a week additionally, which has a higher chance for more valuable items, but is mostly useless. The game website also provides a voucher once per week for a named store item.

The game's website also offers a weekly sale on items under a general theme. The details are here:

https://www.lotro.com/en/lotrostoresale

Comments

  • DijonCyanideDijonCyanide Member UncommonPosts: 586

     

      Nice introduction, reintroduction for some, to the current status of LotRO.

      I've played LotRO before a couple of years ago, as a free player, & enjoyed it, but just didn't have the time to stick with it.

      I've even still got an unopened Collector's Edition I think somewhere I should perhaps use if/when I ever play LotRO.

      It's 2015 now so I should try to get around to it LOL.

      Again, thanks for the description of the current LotRO's current costs & such.

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666
    Originally posted by DijonCyanide

     

      Nice introduction, reintroduction for some, to the current status of LotRO.

      I've played LotRO before a couple of years ago, as a free player, & enjoyed it, but just didn't have the time to stick with it.

      I've even still got an unopened Collector's Edition I think somewhere I should perhaps use if/when I ever play LotRO.

      It's 2015 now so I should try to get around to it LOL.

      Again, thanks for the description of the current LotRO's current costs & such.

    Glad you found it useful.

    I added some formatting to make it a bit clearer.

  • TorvalTorval Member LegendaryPosts: 19,776

    The best VIP strategy I think is subscribing for 3 months for $30 (3 months for hte price of 2). You get 1500TP (about $20) and 3 months to earn TP, unlock traits, fast travel, gold hobbits gifts, and other VIP perks on characters. It's a really good bang for the buck. Unlocking those things outside the subscription would cost a lot more.

    Expacs go on sale periodically throughout the year. If possible wait for a sale to purchase them. For new players the combined xpac bundle is the best deal. The Mithril edition is a great deal if you can find it for $5 - $10.

    For purchased TP I always wait for double bonus TP sales. Other than that I use earned TP or I buy the 3 month subscription for 1500TP.

    When I purchase perks and upgrades through the store I wait for sales if possible. It really stretches out the TP. Storage slots, quest packs, and like things are put on sale periodically. I highly recommend waiting to purchase perks and upgrades until after subscribing for a month. Several things will unlock permanently for subbing and it would be a waste of TP to purchase them before hand.

    Fedora - A modern, free, and open source Operating System. https://getfedora.org/

    traveller, interloper, anomaly, iteration


  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,753

    Damn... after those questions in the other thread I too started to write a summary, and now I can flush it down the drain...

    Just kidding, great post Athisar image

    Eh, I think I'll drop here the at least the lead-in, it's more like an intro on how the quest packs works as I tend to focus onto newcomers...  lol

     

    Let's start with 3 "definitions"

    Regions, aka zones. LotRO has a pretty* seamless landscape, divided onto zones according to the lore. Zones are working like in every other game, set the leveling speed, and allocate the content in groups for easier planning and access.
    pretty*= put it there in case a former MEO fan arrives into the thread with his signature yell, "invisible walls everywhere!" :)
    Which is not entirely true. For example, there will be a Long Journey next weekend, around Middle-earth, with this planned route http://cristinlindqvist.com/lotro/pics/map_long-journey_1401.jpg  (careful, it's a huge pic)  The route contains maybe 3-4 loading screens, total. Most of those are around Moria, which was the first expansion. So yep, world is in fact huge and pretty seamless.


    Deeds. These are LotRO's achievement system. Mostly everything you do in game is counted, and when reaching a certain amount you finish the deed related to that activity. Activities like questing, exploring, gaining reputation, parttaking festivals, slaying mobs, using your skills (or getting a response, like critting with a skill or evade an attack), eating and drinking, to even using emotes.
    Before the F2P switch Deeds rewarded you a title, a Virtue, sometimes a skill, and occasionally some items. Since Virtues are the least important part in a character's build, back in the days Deeding was a very neglected area in the game: besides a few completionist everyone just finished the Deeds which rewarded the needed Virtues for their characters, and never looked on the deed log again. There were neat guides for every class, which deeds are the fastest way for every needed Virtue.
    F2P switch changed the Deed system's importance, but I'll cover that later. Patience. Patience is a nice Virtue :) (for which you need to clean Carn Dum from the trolls, for example...)
    For now let's just make a separation, with putting zone-related deeds in one group, and all the rest in the other group (class deeds, racial, social deeds, meta deeds, reputation, hobby, deeds for events, etc.)


    Quests. LotRO is a quest-focused game. You can level via other methods too, but questing is the best and most significant part of LotRO. They're the easiest way for leveling, for enjoying the world and the story. There are plenty of quest types in LotRO, but following the separation above, let's put zone quests in one group, and all the rest in the other group (Book quests, reputation quests, crafting quests, class quests, festival quests, etc. And quests for the task system)


    Let's forward to the Summer of 2010. Turbine decided to go after the money, and switching LotRO too (after DDO's financially successful f2p switch). On a sidenote, f2p wasn't common back then, but Turbine's model (which is more than 4 years old now) is still good, compared to most, later models. Ok, Rift's is better :)
    So, they needed something beyond the usual f2p restrictions of character slots, gold cap, less inventory, etc. They couldn't copy over DDO's adventure pack system... Since the main strength of LotRO is in its quests, they decided to put those behind the paywall -> Quest pack was born.

    Quest pack is a bundle, which contains a given zone's zone quests and zone deeds. (That's why I started with the "definitions" above ;) )
    But only those "zone" ones are behind the paywall. All the rest of the quests are free (same goes to the deeds). Still, it's a big enough restriction to urge the players for a purchase, since zone quests are usually 80-85% of all the quests within a zone. So while every zone is freely open to anyone, without an unlocked quest pack a player will barely find quests besides his Book quest line and the task system. On the other hand, if someone is hate to read, or wanna level via crafting and slaying the orc and troll hordes on the way, s/he can do it for free.

    Expansions are working the same way, they're technically just large Quest packs. Their zones are free to everyone, their mechanics too, just like the Book quests in them, etc. But if you want to play their zone quests (which is the best part of the game), you need to purchase.

    (addition, they've changed this method with the last expansion, Helm's Deep. In HD the Book quest line is locked too, above the zone quests. It resulted quite an uproar among players after launch. Same with the new mechanic, that's not free either, if you don't have the HD expansion you can only play the Big Battle tutorial, but not the Battles themselves)


    Deeds, again. Why is it important that zone deeds are part of the quest pack? It's only for those completionists anyways, right? Well, nope. With the f2p switch Turbine made it possible to earn TP (the store currency) from the game, and they did it through the Deed system: they added a TP reward for every Deed. Not much, mostly 5-10 TP, on rarer Deeds it can go up to 20-25, but this change hugely repositioned the Deed system in the eyes of the players.

    See, there are TONS of Deeds in the game. With this change Turbine made possible that grinders could play the game for totally free. Just within the f2p area (lvl1 to lvl30, which is open to everyone) there are more than 900 TP worth of Deeds... with the f2p switch, Deed farming (and with it TP farming) was born too. Players now focusing not only onto the Deeds they need for the character's build, or has a nice title to show off; they're finishing every Deed, because of the TP reward.
    (of course hardcore farmers don't do that, since that's not optimal enough. They are going for the fastest Deeds only, then delete the character and start over. Sad fate for any character, deletion over a few bucks...)

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666

    Sorry to pre-empt your own post :) The extra info is useful, bit of nice history there too.

    As to VIP, I'd very much agree that the three month deal is great for new players. 1,500 TP will go a long way, and VIP gives the highest benefit to pre-expansion players. Plus of course the equivalent monthly price is lower. The reason I didn't mention it was mainly because it's still quite an outlay if you've no experience of the game or aren't sure yet.

    The deed system can actually be fun, I think. They've cleverly provided tiers for many of them, for instance three tiers for slayer deeds (5, 10 and 15 TP rewards respectively) which encourage you to complete them, even if it's over a long time.

    Another example of the wide breadth of deed options, in the Yule festival you get up to 15 TP for throwing rotten fruit at player actors in the theatre, another 15 for throwing petals, and up to about 40 for performing yourself. They all give special titles too. It's this kind of thing that makes the system far less grindy than it may at first sound.

  • RollerratRollerrat Member UncommonPosts: 200
    I find the business model of LotRO is a mess. It's far too complicated. But ofc this is just my humble opinion. It's number one reason why I haven't tried the game again after I left when Moria launched.
  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,753
    Originally posted by Silmapelikone
    I find the business model of LotRO is a mess. It's far too complicated. But ofc this is just my humble opinion. It's number one reason why I haven't tried the game again after I left when Moria launched.

    That's why I tried to detail quest packs a bit more, it's a bit confusing, and a common view is "after Lone-lands you must pay" which is not entirely ( :) ) true, you can go anywhere and play to the cap for free, "just" don't have access to most quests and a plenty of deeds. Which is the best part of the game, obviously, so it's highly encouraged to purchase the quest packs - but not a must.

     

    LotRO was among the first games switched to freemium, so yep, the model seems a complicated compared to newer ones. Loved Rift's first "chart" after Trion announced the arriving switch, the "chart" had 2 rows (char. slot and extra souls) and 3 columns (free, former player, SL owner). That's all... Compared to that, LotRO's f2p chart needs a business analyst with a college degree :)

    But there's one great aspect with LotRO's model, it's totally flexible, you can use it any way you want and fit your style, to access and enjoy the full game. If you're in a p2p mindset you can buy the expansions, subscribe and forget the f2p completely. If you're a hardcore, "never pay a cent" f2p player, you can get the full game too.

    And between the two extremes there's a whole area of options, depending on how much money you want to spend, how much grind you want to do, how convenient are you, and what parts of the game you want to play. Everyone can assemble his/her own model, hone it to his/her liking.

     

    For example if you left after Moria (means you're a former sub) your existing characters don't have any restrictions. If you purchased Moria before left, then you have 5 character slots (if not, then only 3) open, can purchase a lot more (back in the p2p era you could have only 5 or 7 characters). If you sub back, you won't see any restrictions, and even get a 500 TP stipend for convenience purchases (additions which weren't in the game before the f2p, some of them are really useful, like the extra milestones.)

    But if you played under Codemasters, there's a good chance your account is gone now, sadly. (if you missed to transfer it over to the US)

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666

    Rift has a decent f2p model (though it's becoming more restrictive). LOTRO's is considerably more generous towards new players, but is indeed more complicated.

    In Rift you can buy Apex by farming platinum, but it's such a high price that it's only really feasible at the level cap and it's very grindy. In LOTRO you begin earning TP from the start of the game, and every area provides a large amount available to every character you create, and you'll earn just by playing the game normally. It's quite similar to SWTOR, but much less restrictive.

    I personally prefer a sub model and as such subscribe to LOTRO, which gives me 500 TP a month. As a Rift Patron you get nothing to use in the store.

    The quest pack/expansion thing is unnecessarily complicated in LOTRO. I didn't understand it at first as the website doesn't explain it well enough. I'd prefer it if they just had one quest pack to cover all the areas before Moria, call it a 'Classic Pack' or some such, and make it about 1000 TP.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,753
    Originally posted by Athisar

    I'd prefer it if they just had one quest pack to cover all the areas before Moria, call it a 'Classic Pack' or some such, and make it about 1000 TP.

    But... there is one, called the Eriador bundle. It's very rarely purchased because it costs 4k TP and is never on sale.

    So while it's a better deal for a fresh account, than purchasing every quest pack each on their default prices; since there's a quest pack sale almost every month it's cheaper to hunt down those packs one by one during sales. And if you own at least two packs, then the Eriador bundle for 4k is simply not worth it anymore.

    edit: but for a Vip who just cancelled the sub, have plenty of TPs from the stipend and wants to unlock everything before Moria right now (not waiting for sales), it's a nice offer.

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666
    Originally posted by Po_gg

    But... there is one, called the Eriador bundle. It's very rarely purchased because it costs 4k TP and is never on sale.

    I'd never even heard of that bundle. If that were a lot cheaper and were advertised properly it'd be ideal. I think that it's off-putting for people to see 7 year old content behind a pay wall, especially when the 5 expansions are not included in the sub and have to be bought on top. There are obvious benefits though of having the current more modular pay-as-you-go approach. One problem is expectations change - we've now got Rift's free to play model with all areas open to everyone, and Blizzard's sub model where the latest expansion includes all previous expansions too.

  • Po_ggPo_gg Member RarePosts: 4,753

    It's not a new thing (I think maybe 1-2 years old) but yep, it wasn't advertised, just simpy appeared in the Store (you can find it among the other quest packs). Basically a convenience bundle, for avoiding the multiple clicks of putting every pack in the cart.

    With it you buy all the packs at once, with a total sum of maybe 1 pack less, so not a big discount. That's why I wrote that anyone who owns at least 2 quest packs can easily ignore this bundle, because it's simply not worth it anymore.

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666

    Yeah, well with the Mithril pack including four quest packs and 2,000 TP, it makes it an even worse deal. I got a copy of that for just £6, when the 2000 TP alone costs £15/$20.

     

    edit: I added a bit of info to clarify quest packs and moved some stuff around.

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666

    There's another set of free starter packs available that provide a riding skill and mount for all your characters, meaning you can mount at level 5.

    http://www.mmogames.com/giveaways/lord-rings-starter-pack-giveaway/

    • Chestnut Steed & Riding Skill
    • 100% Experience Boost x1
    • Universal Healing Potion x5
    • Exclusive Cosmetic Armor: Masterwork Breastplate
    • Skill and Slayer Deed Boost x1
     
    The boost is useful too for easy TP gain.
  • marcmymarcmy Member UncommonPosts: 95
    Originally posted by Athisar

    Rift has a decent f2p model (though it's becoming more restrictive). LOTRO's is considerably more generous towards new players, but is indeed more complicated.

    In Rift you can buy Apex by farming platinum, but it's such a high price that it's only really feasible at the level cap and it's very grindy. In LOTRO you begin earning TP from the start of the game, and every area provides a large amount available to every character you create, and you'll earn just by playing the game normally. It's quite similar to SWTOR, but much less restrictive.

    I personally prefer a sub model and as such subscribe to LOTRO, which gives me 500 TP a month. As a Rift Patron you get nothing to use in the store.

    The quest pack/expansion thing is unnecessarily complicated in LOTRO. I didn't understand it at first as the website doesn't explain it well enough. I'd prefer it if they just had one quest pack to cover all the areas before Moria, call it a 'Classic Pack' or some such, and make it about 1000 TP.

     

    I disagree. Rift doesn't charge for quest packs, the entire game is free I believe, including the new expansion. You can't really get more generous than that as far as F2P goes. I'm not a big fan of the game though because it lacks "soul".

    Currently playing: Elder Scrolls Online, Elite: Dangerous | Recently played: FFXIV, Rift, LoTRO, Diablo 3, Path of Exile, Guild Wars 2 | Single player RPGs: Dragon Age Inquisition, Skyrim

  • AthisarAthisar Member UncommonPosts: 666
    Originally posted by marcmy

    I disagree. Rift doesn't charge for quest packs, the entire game is free I believe, including the new expansion. You can't really get more generous than that as far as F2P goes. I'm not a big fan of the game though because it lacks "soul".

    I was referring to the store model and premium currency. It's true that all content is free in Rift, though there are lots of restrictions in terms of bag slots, equipment slots, souls, etc. that have to be bought. The new expansion has introduced things that cannot be used at all unless you unlock stuff. And the new minion system is designed entirely around the cash shop. If you subscribe you still don't get access to any of the locked stuff, and you gain no premium currency at all.

    With LOTRO you can start earning TP in the first few minutes, with Rift you have to wait until near enough end game and it takes an enormous amount of grinding even then. There's no other way.

Sign In or Register to comment.