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Lord of the Rings Role Playing (Games) Games

Lord of the Rings Online To Go Free-To-Play 138

darkwing_bmf sends word of Turbine's announcement that Lord of the Rings Online will become a free-to-play game this fall. 'The move is another validation of the free-to-play business model, where gamers can play for free and pay real money for virtual goods such as better weapons or decorative gear for their game characters. The business model has been popular in Asia but only recently took off in the US. This move shows the pressure is building on game publishers to shift to the new business model or face declining audiences.' According to a post on the official website, LotRO's micro-transaction system will be "very similar" to how Turbine's DDO store works, and current subscribers will maintain all of their privileges.
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Lord of the Rings Online To Go Free-To-Play

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  • Validation? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UninformedCoward ( 1738488 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:37PM (#32463406)

    I think it would only be validation if it makes money. Let's wait until we see release/subscription rates a few months down the line.

  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:39PM (#32463430)
    If the free to play model was so great, why does it always happen to the always-ran MMOs?
  • by migla ( 1099771 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:45PM (#32463490)

    Fuck that shit. I don't want to escape the real world run by the rich to a virtual fantasy world where a realworld rich person can just buy a BMFG and pwn me.

  • by VGPowerlord ( 621254 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:48PM (#32463536)

    I'm half surprised that Mythic/EA doesn't do this with Warhammer Online.

    Warhammer Online currently lets you play for free up to a level 10 character... but you can't get any rare loot items or leave the starting areas or Norsica and Nordland.

    I had bought a copy of the game when it first came out, but only subscribed to it for a few months...

    I played a trial character for a bit, then found out that I had a free 14 day thing for my normal account. I played that for a bit and found out that as soon as you leave the areas that the trial characters can visit, the place is a gigantic ghost land, with a handful of people in each zone. This also applies to the other two starting zones (trial characters are limited to Empire vs Chaos starting area, the other two are Dwarf vs Greenskin and Elf vs Dark Elf) and the two cities (Altdorf and the Inevitable City).

    P.S. Did I mention there are only 4 North American servers for Warhammer Online?

  • by dward90 ( 1813520 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:50PM (#32463560)
    This has always been the primary issue with microtransactions, and I've personally never been a fan of them either. The problem is that the investment required to develop, and more importantly maintain, quality MMOs necessitates making some money off them. Unless your game is out-of-the-box good enough to warrant thousands or millions of players paying subscription fees, microtansactions are the best known alternative as a profitable business model.
  • by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @04:57PM (#32463648)

    Much like Everquest ( yes it is still around ), they charge a monthly fee, but you can also purchase ornaments and other items that don't majorly change the game dynamics. It's not like you can buy a sword of awesome +5, just something that makes your sword look more awesome.

    If it was just ornaments I wouldn't ever have objected. I do find it offensive that they do affect the game dynamics, its enough that one can feel compelled to use them for the extra edge.

  • by dunezone ( 899268 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:14PM (#32463850) Journal
    They should have skipped Warhammer and gone straight to Warhammer 40000 which is currently being. Warhammer was just WoW with a different face on.
  • Re:I'm interested (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:18PM (#32463898)

    Time to off yourself for the good of humanity.

  • by darkwing_bmf ( 178021 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:30PM (#32464026)

    I started playing DDO last week. I bought it when it first came out and didn't subscribe past the first month. If it still required a subscription, I still would not be playing it.

    From what I can tell, for those that do subscribe under the new plan, they DO get access to all of the content (along with 500 points to spend on things like character slots), so I don't see how you lost anything. Or you could pay as you go and get each section separately, which is most likely what I'll end up doing. I'm a casual player, so I don't see myself plowing through more than $15 worth of content a month. The hybrid model seems to offer more options for the customers without taking away anything the pure monthly subscription offered.

  • by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:34PM (#32464066) Journal

    If I have a club and can't afford to buy a regular longsword .. and you would be rich enough .., you could beat me just because you'd be "rich"

    Then again, in an old fashioned game, you might get pwned because the other person has more skilz, but you still play even though you aren't the best player on the block. This is just another metric. Keep in mind that people that rely on spending money to buy bigger guns are generally NOT going to be the best players. There are exceptions, yes, but just like with cheaters, they will be below average players on average.

    I get your concerns, but how fucked up it is depends on what you can buy and what you must find instead. Time will tell, and best of all, if you don't like the game, it cost you exactly zero. If the system is *THAT* fucked up, then only 'rich' people will be playing anyway. Personally, I'm glad to see someone trying something new in games, besides more and more restrictive DRM, that is.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:45PM (#32464204) Homepage Journal
    Lotro is not a game that people can wtfown you. its a game, like, lotr itself. its more about tales and adventures than bambinos owning each other.
  • by Lost Engineer ( 459920 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @05:51PM (#32464296)

    I suppose everything is an also-ran compared to WoW, but LotRO seemed to be doing just fine while charging a fee last time I played...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 04, 2010 @06:26PM (#32464626)

    If it is anything like DDO "f2p" which I assume it will be, then big deal. DDO is not really f2p but more of a p2w (pay to win) game. In DDO with their free account you really only have quests in the first starting area enough to get you to around level 4 or 5. Then after that everything else requires that you pay them. You'll have to purchase quest/dungeon packs, additional character slots if you want alts (free accounts get 2 slots), and the rights to use banks and the auction system. There are ways around this but it requires you to grind out all of your character slots on all servers in order to gain TP (turbine points) to buy said additional content. This wouldn't be to bad but by the time you've done the starting things with one or two characters doing it again is extremely boring since the game is kinda, in my opinion, linear.

  • by secolactico ( 519805 ) on Friday June 04, 2010 @08:06PM (#32465626) Journal

    Depends on where you played. There are times when you feel there's almost no one else logged on. You could possibly have entire zones for yourself in the less populated servers.

    I hope this move increases server population. This is a fun game (not groundbreaking, tho) even if you are not a Tolkien fan.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith