Archive for the ‘Lord Of The Rings Online’ Category

LOTRO F2P Launches In Europe On Tuesday

LOTRO - Hobbit Dancing With Shrew

Nothing says Lord of the Rings quite like a Hobbit dancing with a shrew

This is not a hoax. This is not a dream. This is fact. Hot on the heals of this week’s preview event, Codemasters have finally announced that Lord of the Rings Online will go Free-2-Play in Europe on Tuesday, 2nd November (2010 in case anyone is suffering from cynical doubt). Finally. Us Europeans may not be the fastest with gaming distribution or have the best games web sites or, heck, even have polite customer service but we do eventually get their in the end.

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LOTRO F2P Beta Finally Coming To Europe

LOTRO F2P Preview Event

"Participate or the sign gets it!"

I consider myself a pretty smart guy. I’ve got a top University degree, I spend all day working with things called variables and trying to come up with hilarious innuendo function names (seriously, any computer system that has a “back end” and “members” functionality is just asking for it), and I occasionally write using the word “one” instead of “you” just like the Queen does. I’m also rather modest but that’s besides the point. But honest to God I have no idea how the European distribution of MMOs works sometimes.

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LOTRO F2P Delayed In Europe

LOTRO - man vs troll

He's going to need a bigger sword

Today is the day Lord Of the Rings Online goes free to play around the world… or rather part of it. I rushed home from work all excited to get back into Gondor and tickle some Hobbits (or whatever it is people do with Hobbits) only to boot up the patcher and find a rather disappointing little message waiting for me:

“Given the complexities and challenges faced in the preparation and implementation of the new store to work within our infrastructure, we feel more time is needed to deliver the high level of service our players have quite rightly come to expect. As a result, we have decided to delay launch to ensure that we can support the massive increase in players that we are anticipating and deliver them a Free to Play experience like none other.”

Mike Rowland, Producer of LOTRO

Europe gets shafted again.

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Lifetime Subscriptions – Waste Of Money?

Free Hobbits for everyone!

Free Hobbits for everyone!

As you’ll know it was announced yesterday that the Lord of the Rings Online is going completely free-to-play as of this Autumn. Two thoughts went through my brain as I read their marketing email – firstly I was rather surprised by the whole thing and secondly I was bloody relieved I never took out lifetime subscription for the game.

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Should I Purchase The Half Price LotRO Lifetime Subscription?

One subscription to rule them all.

One subscription to rule them all.

Ever since I received an email from Codemasters on Monday offering me a half price lifetime subscription to The Lord of the Rings Online I’ve been debating whether or not to subscribe. It’s being offered at £75/$109/€88, the equivalent of about 6 or 7 months play on a normal monthly subscription so it’s a pretty good deal if I thought it’s a game I’d play for a prolonged period of time or keep coming back to.

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Lord Of The Rings Online Welcome Back Week

Need a way to make Lord Of The Rings even better? Create a musical version!

Need a way to make Lord Of The Rings even better? Create a musical version!

I got an unexpected email from Codemasters today telling me that my Lord of the Rings Online account will be reactivated for a week, from 10th May 10th until 17th May. As far I know this is for the European version of LotRO only and doesn’t affect US players as they already had a similar offer recently at the end of April.

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LotRO Welcome Back Week

Welcome back weeks are always a great way to tempt old players back to long forgotten MMORPGs and yesterday I received an email from Codemasters offering me a free 7 days of Lord of the Rings Online starting Monday 8th March. Top it off, they’re also advertising a discounted 3 month subscription for only £17.97/€25.38 which isn’t a bad deal at all (although I can’t help but wonder why the Euro rate is the equivalent of £22.50 – Codemasters must be trying to exploit Jimmy Foreigner). As far as I’m aware, this offer is for the European LotRO only.

My mild mannered middle aged avatars always scare the crap out of enemies

My mild mannered middle aged avatars always scare the crap out of enemies

I was kinda tempted. For a moment. But I’ve decided again it and I don’t think I’ll be embarking to the land of Middle Earth any time soon. It’s a shame, I know. My big problem is time and I just never seem to have enough of it these days to squeeze in all of the gaming, blogging and wife-lovin’ that is required. Right now, I’m happy enough patronising my brother in World of Warcraft and fantasizing about returning to EVE Online. Plus, no matter how much I try, no matter how much I know that it’s a good game, I can’t help but find LotRO quite, well, dull.

That’s the problem with games based around strong IPs. It’s great for getting you hyped about a game and it’s great for providing you with a familiar setting but ultimately there’s only so many movies, books, comics, video games, action figures and decorated underwear that you can consume before you eventually become sick of the entire thing. If anything, I think that’s going to be LotRO Achilles’ heel.

So don’t expect to see Cromwell the Wonderful romping around Gondor anytime soon.

P.S. Dark Age of Camelot Europe is also offering a free trial until the 25th March to celebrate the game’s liberation from the evil hands of GOA. The game is now operated by EA-Mythic themselves meaning we should see up-to-date patches and proper customer support. Not that I ever had anything against GOA and their astounding incompetence.