That’s my reaction when I heard that Lord of the Rings Online is going free-to-play. There's been speculation of this as the game had been slowly but surely losing players to other games and the less-than-stellar numbers for its latest expansion “The Seige of Mirkwood” (mainly to the fact there’s no retail version of it) but still I have to say I am surprised by this.
Reason being the game is losing players but it is still healthy. There’s hasn’t been a need to close down servers and the move to F2P is questionable, especially when there are people like me who had the game already. If Turbine is going to follow its pricing model in D&D Online, then most of the game areas (like instances) will be blocked unless players pay for them. But I paid for the game already! Does that means I have to pay again to access areas which I could access in the past? Also the story of the game is through the “Books” chain quest series, and most of these quests are in instances. Does that means players have to pay for them as well?
A lot of questions to be answered and till then, I guess it’s better not to reenter Middle-Earth.