LOTRO Free to Play and You

June 4, 2010


Lotro Brand logo on White I’ve read through all the documentation currently out and see twitter (and I’m sure the official forums as well) lighting up with questions and thought it may help to sort through what we know so far. We know that LOTRO is going Free to Play this fall and that means a transition for us existing players. Love it or hate it, it’s coming and perhaps this information can help you decide which side of the fence your feeling fall.

In the new free to play model there are three player types:

  1. Free Player
    Plays the game absolutely free. No credit card needed to join no game cards, etc.
  2. Premium Player
    You are automatically upgraded from Free player to Premium player status with your first purchase of Turbine Points in the LOTRO Store. LOTRO grants all Premium players 2 extra character slots, extends the maximum amount of gold you can carry from 2 gold to 5 gold, and provides you with a higher login priority, more mail and chat options, full access to all of LOTRO’s Community features, and 30 days of full customer service from the time of your last purchase. [source Q10]
  3. VIP
    Those who are in the monthly subscriber model as well as Lifetime Members. New monthly subscribers after this launches would also be considered VIPs.VIP players also receive 500 Turbine Points per month and exclusive benefits like priority access to servers, 5 character slots per server, a 20-slot wardrobe for cosmetic items, full customer service, and much more! [source Q11]

I believe most of our readers would fall into this VIP category as either a VIP Subscriber or a VIP Lifer which is what I’m going to primarily focus on in this article.

The Free and Premium Players are much more limited in what they get access to compared to the VIP players. I recommend you look at the VIPChart to compare the differences between them.

Current Monthly Subscribers

If you a current subscriber (monthly or multi-month) when Free to Play launches this fall your account will be converted to a VIP account. Your current quality of game play will not change. You will still have all the access to the game systems your currently have. You will also receive 500 Turbine Points each month to spend in the LOTRO Store. [source Q14]

Any content you’ve purchased will still be there. If you bought Moria, Mirkwood, and Adventurers Pack, etc; all that will still be available to you. You do not have to use your Turbine Points to repurchase anything.

Basically if you continue your monthly subscription, you will continue to play as you are now but will receive the Turbine Points to spend.

LOTRO Founders

In case you aren’t aware, founders were folks back at LOTRO Launch that pre-ordered the game and got early access to LOTRO before it launched. They still have some noticeable benefits such as getting the starter horse for free and earlier than the rest of the populous. You cannot become a founder any longer so this is just for the people who were part of this program at LOTRO’s launch.

Founders are being treated no differently than monthly subscribers. You will be converted to VIP, have access to all the game you currently have and will get 500 Turbine Points a month to spend in the LOTRO Store. [source Q13]

Lifetime Members

Lifetime members are being treated like Monthly Subscribers in that you will be converted to a VIP member. You will receive 500 Free Turbine Points every month like the other VIPs, but you do not have to pay a monthly fee since you are a lifetime member. [source Q12]

Again you will retain all the current access to the game you have. You will still get to play all the expansions or Adventurers Packs you currently have purchased on your account. Access is not being removed. You get to continue to play without monthly payments as you are currently and will receive 500 Turbine Points.

Former Subscribers

If former subscribers wait to return when Free to Play launches (in other words does not subscribe but returns to play for free) they will be given the access of a Premium Player. They can re-subscribe at anytime to become a VIP member. [source Q15]

The same holds true for anyone who had purchased LOTRO played for the free 30 days and never subscribed. [source Q16]

There are some benefits for re-subscribing early that I will cover in a later post so if you’re considering coming back and wanting that VIP unlimited access, you may want to read the Loyalty Reward Special Offers.

Yes there will be some changes and adjustments for us current players to figure out and handle but the current news available shows that we will be experiencing no changes to our current game and will retain any access we currently own. We will just need to learn to use our 500 Turbine Points that we will get each month.

Honestly the more I’m reading about this, the less I’m freaking out. I hope to post about more details we know later today! The only legitimate complaint I’ve seen is what will opening the game up do for our excellent community! I certainly do not want to deal with doodie heads but it’s not fair to judge any potential new players before I see them so I will try to remain calm. :)

See more Free to Play Information from CSTM

We received an email from Eluros of Arkenstone who was kind enough to put up a HUGE post on the forums concerning what we know about the upcoming changes.  It has been stickied and given a thumbs up by Sapience.

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About Goldenstar

Goldenstar's primary happiness in games is anything that involves festivals, parties, cosmetics and pie. If there's any time after those things to kill bad guys, so be it.

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44 Responses to “LOTRO Free to Play and You”

  1. RannaDylin Says:

    Nice summary! It does seem that they’ve done a good job thinking through how to make the transition fair for every type of player.


  2. Duncan Feldane Says:

    One of LotRO’s enduring virtues has been the maturity and generosity of the players.

    I am excited about adding many more people, and mildly anxious about a possible influx of muppets.


  3. Vanilaor Says:

    Lifetime subscribers also get an extra 1000 turbime points.

    http://www.lotro.com/support/policies/loyaltyreward Fourth bullet down.


  4. Docholiday Says:

    The way I read the Loyalty rewards, Founder Lifetime Subscribers get 3500 points upon launch. I’ll be curious to see how that compares to the Expansion Packs. If that 3500 is enough to buy one or both, then assuming the same costs going forward it will be a very nice bonus for us Lifetime members.


    • Vaniloar Says:

      Ahh, I missed a few “In additions” the 3500 is including if you’re a founder. looks like I’ll get 2500. I’m not a founder and started a little over 2 years ago.


  5. Clover Says:

    Worried about community? Here is what you can do to help!



    • Avatar of veneration2
      veneration2 Says:

      Thanks so much Clover for taking the time to post this. We appreciate it! =]


      • Marco Says:

        It is Clover’s job to sell this to the current Lotro subscribers, they will use whatever wishy washy words (as Turbine is fond of using) to take hold of the current populace and have them make them even more rich.

        Also, you can thank these ‘blue name’ Turbine forum reps, all you want, but the fact of the matter is that forum accounts opposed to this F2P system are being banned left, right, and center. Welcome to the ruthless world, where people exploit you, after they make you a loyal slave.


    • OldHippie Says:

      Thanks for the marketing spin. For a preview of your future community, log onto DDO and read global chat.

      LotRO was earning money already. In my opinion its greed that’ll destroy this game. I play because of the community – mature, respectful and adult comprised of people who care enough about Middle Earth to pay the sub. That community is about to get seriously diluted.

      Say hello to login queues and kill stealing. Watch for a new Offer Wall and just try to have a concert at the Pony next November.

      I’m sorry if I sound angry, but I am angry – I put a lot of time and money into this hobby just to have it wadded up and tossed across the internet into the cesspool with the likes of Runscape and Silkroad Online.


  6. Fyurae Says:


    Free players can’t buy horses.

    Free players can only buy small houses.

    Premium players can’t own kinship houses.

    VIP players will be able to price things on the auction house so that only other VIP players could possibly purchase them, let alone afford them.

    Some people, like me, are going to have to delete some of their characters or lose access to them.


    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      Im not able to answer those questions at this time. Pricing may change in game or horses availble in the store? I don’t know but will see if I can find out!

      Are you going from paid to free? If you stay subscribed you won’t lose access to anything.


    • Docholiday Says:

      According to the Chart, the gold caps are removable via Points. As for losing characters, per Patience, is isn’t possible. The chart assumes you haven’t purchased MoM or SoM and once you do those extra slots are yours for ever.


  7. Ricardo L. Says:

    Guess the main question for me, is what happens to your gold and characters if you dont subscribe and have more gold/chars than the free model allows..


    • cheeseshirecat Says:

      Here’s the beta sign up FAQ which answers quite a few questions I had: http://www.lotro.com/betasignup/faq.html

      I’m not positive but I believe what happens is your gold goes into escrow (accessible when you upgrade to Premium or VIP at a later date) and all but one of your character slots (you select which one) are locked though some/all can be unlocked once you upgrade or spend any LotroO points you have accrued. You wouldn’t actually lose anything, it’s just not available to use/play until you upgrade to Premium or VIP again.


  8. Ketani Says:

    Thanks for the summary! It helps to see it all laid out like that (and makes me more thankful than ever to be a lifetime member). My initial reaction was something along the lines of “OMG, the world is ending!!!1″ but now that I’ve read and re-read the info available, it looks like we’ll only be getting more perks out of this deal. The way I see it, the F2P system is basically a glorified trial account, and if it entices more people to play and put money into the game, that just means a more stable future for LOTRO, right?


  9. Rindan Says:

    Maybe this will make my WOW playing friend try the game. WOW is getting a bit expensive for him after 5 years. Also as a big fan of Guild Wars, FTP is great news.


  10. Avatar of Merric
    Merric Says:

    Updated with a forums link to a great post by Eluros of Arkenstone



  11. n0name28 (Ranni) Says:

    Trying to absorb everything at once…gah! Question. The 500 pts per month for VIPs, is that from now til the game launches or does that continue after launch? I’ve read both and am now so confused it’s not funny.


    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      Essentially both accounts is correct as it’s the same either way you slice it.

      The way Turbine stated it is that you will get 500 points per month for your active in good standing account from now until Free to Play launches in the fall.

      When F2P launches you get 500 points a month for being a VIP.

      Basically if you keep your subscription you get to start your 500 point accrual starting now and it will continue after launch.


  12. Galenswerd Says:

    A neutral and lore-centric response from Galenswerd Swordsong: http://tinyurl.com/26rykkc


  13. Chris Says:

    I’m sorry if you’ve already answered this, but I wanted to be clear. Will subscribers/lifetimers still have to pay for future adventure packs or just expansions. As a lifetimer, I would be happy with this if I received the adventure packs as patches. If I have to buy them, it pretty much nullifies the reason I went this route in the first place — to get my paying out of the way up front, and that would bother me.

    Right now, I’m cautiously optimistic. It seems to me that it could add a lot of content to the game. Plus, it will be much easier to find instance groups for older content now!


    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      I’m uncertain if there will be adventure packs in the future and if that question has been answered anywhere. Since adventure packs are mostly complementary items, I would hazard a guess that things like extra character slots and shared storage would be purchased with Turbine Points in the LOTRO store. I do not have the official answer on that though.

      Expansions will be paid but you will have the option to use your earned Turbine Points to buy them as well.

      Sorry I didn’t have the answer! I’ll see if I can find it!


      • Chris Says:

        No problem! I looked around a bit and didn’t see an answer to it anywhere either. I’m actually hoping they do adventure packs, ala DDO. It would be nice to see development kicked into high gear again.

        I have to say, the more I think about this, the more excited I am for it.


  14. Pellaborn Says:

    Goldenstar — Adventure Packs is another term for Quest Pack. Basically F2P members will be able to do all the quests in Ered Luin, The Shire and Bree. Quests in other regions such as the Lone Lands will be unavailable to them unless they either upgrade to a paid subscription, or purchase the region appropriate “Adventure Pack” from the Turbine store. The regions are still open to explore without purchasing a pack.


  15. Pellaborn Says:

    One more thing before I log for the night…

    I have a real nasty feeling that soon after the launch of the F2P model all content updates will need to be purchased either via points or cash. No more free book updates.

    I’ve been slogging through the massive amounts of forum posting over on the official site, and from what I’ve seen the devs are very carefully tip-toeing around this question. Sapience even posted that the only guarantee Lifetime subscribers have under the Terms and Conditions is that we will never be required to pay a monthly fee to play the game. He went out of his way to point that out.


  16. Pellaborn Says:

    “You can save your monthly allotment until you find something you want. Or save them up for a big purchase like an entire expansion or something similar. Points don’t expire.”


    Sorry about the three posts in a row. Feel free to edit/combine them. Just thought I should back up why I feel the way I do. Something similar sure sounds like ‘book updates’ to me :)


  17. LD Says:

    I’ve been scanning what feels like the entire internet trying to work out how this affects me. What I found was that change is scary and that there isn’t actually much change to be scared of, so long as you keep paying your subscription. If you don’t keep paying then there’s a massive change: you can still log in and play.

    The only question mark for me is new content. If VIP players get access to all new Quest Packs for ‘free’ while their subscription is active, the way Adventure Packs work in DDO, then absolutely nothing will change from the way things are now. The sky won’t fall, the world won’t end and despite what everyone keeps saying, WoW players won’t suddenly turn every single chat channel into an illegible shitstorm of Chuck Norris jokes just because they can log in for free.


  18. Salome Says:

    Very nice summary indeed, thank you. When I first hear about F2P I felt sorry about life time players and thought about me will not pay anymore or will I be equal with free players. But I clearly understand now :)


  19. madcartoonist Says:

    if you know anyone that has always wanted to play but didn’t want to pay the subscription then talk them into buying the Moria expansion off of amazon before it goes free to play. You can get it for 10 bucks (this will go up and down depending on the seller) and then have access to all of the Shadows of Angmar game and everything from the Moria expansion. Much cheaper to pay 10 bucks once instead of buying the turbine points later. They will eventually have to pay for the mirkwood stuff but it should be enough to keep them busy for quite awhile.


  20. Mrobn Says:

    FTP with Turbine is just a gimmick. Thats all it is right now.

    If they were serious about ftp, they would tell you what you need to do or an estimate of gameplay/grinding needed to unlock all content in f2p o what is and what is not impossible to achieve just by playing. Basically they wanna trick ppl in, or have they come in thinking they can actually play the game ftp and have them GIVE UP and pay.

    Truly hardcore is anyone who gets all vip content in any turbine game. Probably a better and more dedicated player then any you play with. It is too bad they are rare gems and the community is to weak to acknowledge thier existence and instead publishes bais and weak articles.

    I’m a LOTRO and DDO founder player. When turbine released ftp for DDO I came back, only to turn around when I found i had to beat free to play across 7 severs just to play the game with my buddies. For shame turbine. 2 would have been reasonable, but do it all on 7 servers, common?

    LOTR ftp is no different, do yourself a favor and find a real good ftp game. One that doesnt try to rip you.


  21. Sehanine Says:

    Pronounce Sehanine Say Ha Neen, emphasis on Say :p I’m a veteran DDO player who is playing Lotro as a second game (I’m having a sordid affair with Lotro, to the mortification of my Thelanis Server DDO buddies). Frankly, I’m loving it in Lotro. I’m watching the tantrums by veteran Lotro players and seeing deja vu; we had that in DDO until the veteran players finally calmed down, got their points sorted out, and gave it a real chance. It’s human nature to wanna scream Doooom I suppose, and change can be rather traumatic. :o I’m very impressed with the way I get to earn points in Lotro, and OMG I love the cute little staggered series of gifts that I get as new characters level up (it’s so cute and considerate!! Wish they’d do that in DDO’s new player experience). I bought all the expansions and Adventurer’s pack before launch and am VIP. I was happy to plonk down the $50 on the special Turbine points deal. I’m patiently waiting for the deals I like to have; I think that players who want instant gratification can blow their points all at once, but really, Turbine does allow patience to pay off by giving discounts on goodies as time goes by. Chin up, if money comes in, development comes out of it. And in my opinion, the more gorgeous outfits and cosmetic yummies that hit the store (in keeping with Lotro setting of course), the better!!! I’ll give you my MyDDO page as a website, my toons are so much more uber there! Feel free to swoooon. :D Cheers, from Sehanine



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