I regret to announce that this is the END: LotRO officially in maintenance mode


Forewarning: I think I should start out by saying that it’s no secret about what my feelings are for this game. I have been highly critical of LotRO since Mines of Moria. And I think that’s to be expected of any fan of an MMO who has been with it since the beginning. For all intents and purposes, I am still a fan of LotRO, despite how Turbine has treated its community. With that out of the way, I’m ready to give this my one last hurrah. Also, if you just want to read about Update 14, skip the Helm’s Deep and Update 13 sections (there is also a slight tl;dr imgur gallery here if that is more of your speed as well).

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Welcome to the realm of the horse-lords: LotRO enters into Rohan, finally


Well, after going on a year-long hiatus, I’ve returned. Well, I returned awhile back, actually, in preparation for Riders of Rohan, but that’s neither here nor there. Instead it’s time for me to be my usual hyper-critical self and draw upon the pros and cons of the new Lord of the Rings Online expansion and get doom-and-gloomy about the future of the game. Are you teeming with unimaginable excitement as much as I am? I thought so!

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Gibbets and crows: Rise of Isengard and the state of LotRO

It's only a model.

If you are unawares, you’ll probably want to know that my feelings on LotRO haven’t really been that nice. At least, that is to say that I’m less and less impressed with the things Turbine attempts to do in trying to continue developing for LotRO, an MMO that has drastically changed in one short year prior to its four years running. Once again we find ourselves waiting for what seems like eons (six months since Book 3—or, if you’re a true defender, I suppose you’d say five months because of the Rift coming back in June) for scraps from the master’s table. At the very least Turbine is still operating under their previous year’s update schedule, which essentially means they are only able to release one Book update before then spending the next seven months working on an “expansion.” Was it worth it? Has F2P actually turned the game around to pave the way for Turbine’s way of success?

The short answer: no.

The long answer: If by ‘success’ you mean ‘greed’, then yes.

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One does not simply buy his way into Mordor: LotRO now F2P

Lord of the Rings Online, a Turbine MMO (Asheron’s Call, Dungeon & Dragons Online), followed suit in its call to turn its current MMOs over to the Free 2 Play business model on September 8th. For those of you not familiar with the F2P model, this essentially means everyone is now privy to a glorified unlimited trial to the game until about LV20, at which point you would need to buy quest packs to unlock for further zones into the game in order to level up. Or you could not be a total freeloader and just subscribe to the game, at which point all access to the game would be opened up to you. Your call I guess. Then again, would it be worth to do so, especially considering F2P has brought along a slew of new changes to the game?

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The Fellowship of the Ring drags their feet

I have talked about Lord of the Rings Online before when I was in not such a great mood (and rightfully so). Since then, however, I have held out on the hope that Turbine would turn around development and return to the direction they were first moving when LotRo was first launched. I don’t know why; it must just be the Tolkien fan in me that insists on the hope that a developer with the intellectual property rights for the greatest fantasy novel written by man can pull through by (mostly) respecting the lore and continuing development from that aspect alone.

However I’m not entirely sure if that’s even possible these days. Turbine seems to be hurting more than usual, and the signs seem pretty clear. Dungeon & Dragons Online, Turbine’s other MMO, is now free-to-play. Completely. Instead they’ve added an RMT market much like what Korean MMOs have set up as a norm. I’ve played DDO and I personally did not find anything worth staying for, and apparently this was the case for a number of other people as well when the MMO turned to borrowed time.

It’s clear that Turbine will not find its riches in that direction. Instead it still lies with LotRo, an MMO that continues to garner attention as a “nice MMO” or a “refreshing breath” of other MMOs on today’s market. I can’t really speak on what LotRo is and isn’t, for it is for every person to decide that for their selves, but what LotRo truly is is Turbine’s last hope. I’ve been down this dark road before when a company is on the edge and is betting it all on black. Unfortunately I still don’t think Turbine’s heart is in its endeavor to try and win. In this case, the prize is its customers. Read more of this post

On the way to fail: Lord of the Rings Online

Note: If your brain usually hurts when you have to read a lot of words, then I suggest avoiding this article.

I previously wrote about Lord of the Rings Online, or LotRo, and how about it was one of the few successful MMOs that was out on the market today as far as a quality MMO goes. I never explained why, however, and given what is currently happening with the game and the company now, I feel it is important to make that clear to see where things are going wrong. After all, if you ban customers off your forums because they have legitimate opinions then it sort of starts to sing the same tune as some other previous MMOs that were on their way to rock bottom. Read more of this post