Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not F2P LOTR Online

It has been a week since Lord of the Rings Online went F2P. After trying out thegame for a week, I will say this.

It isn’t really F2P.

Like most F2P games, LOTR Online is going to make its money through their microtransaction store. Turbine Entertainment has made it that you “have” to use the store if you intend to go anywhere in the game.

In the F2P LOTR world, you will have free access to all quests in the starting areas till the city of Bree. Once you finished the quests of Bree, which would bring you till about level 25, expect to pay to go any further because everything beyond Bree is locked. To unlock all the quests in the areas, players need to pay for the quest packs at the Turbine store.

When I said last week that I find it hard to believe that players will pay for the quest packs and instead will try to power their way out of the zones, I didn’t realize just how empty every area is in game once you leave Bree. I mean, there are literally no quests for you to do!

One of the most enjoyable things about LOTR Online in the past was that you are never without a quest as the whole game was filled with them. Not anymore!

I can’t help but say “Wow” and not in a good way. The way to buy quest packs (or anything) in the Turbine store is to get Turbine points which you can then use to purchase quest packs. You will have to either buy the Turbine points or finish the requirements on the deeds book.

That’s another problem this game face now as players (including me) are swamping the starter areas to finish all the deeds they are missing at the moment. I have a level 32 loremaster in the Shire which is a zone for level 10 players. I once saw a level 65 hunter near Bree killing level 16 mobs. Needless to say, this mining of mobs has caused imbalance in the game and new characters are now forced to complete for mob resources.

Entire zones outside Bree are almost empty of players. I ran my burglar from Bree to the Forsaken Inn in Lone Lands and did not see a single player the whole time. I had to run all the way to the city on the east side of the Lone Lands (forgot the name of the city) before I saw another player.

Maybe it’s still early and that’s why the zones are so imbalanced now but if it doesn’t change soon, I foresee a lot of problems for the game in the future. And for a game as fun as LOTR Online, that’s a waste.

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