Experience LOTRO VIP Access for Less

August 30, 2010

General

I’ve been researching options for the Free/Premium player to get the maximum bang for their buck on entry into Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO). Whether it’s cheaper to buy items now while the physical game boxes and special offers last, or waiting and buying it in the LOTRO Store when you are ready for the content. In the end, this decision will depend on you, your interest in LOTRO and of course your real life funds.

Points values for items in the beta store are still adjusting and changing and should be recognized that there is the possibility this number could change. That being said, I still think there is some merit to looking at all the options and finding out what might fit you and your budget best to give you some VIP access or extra content for a bit cheaper.

SoAThe Lord Of The Rings: Shadows Of Angmar
$1.99 at Amazon

Now let me be clear that Shadows of Angmar will be a free download to everyone. This is the same client as the F2P version and does not grant you any extra content.

However, buying SoA does come with a 30-day product key code which means you are paying $2 for one month of VIP access. Note that you will only be able to apply one SoA 30-day code to your account so don’t go crazy buying these as if they’re game time cards.

This is pretty cheap way for a brand new player to try VIP for a month however I believe our next deal gives more for the price as it not only would include a free month but also a lot of content.

If you are a Premium (returning) player you most likely already have a SoA product key attached to your account and wouldn’t be able to use this for VIP access. You can check this in myaccount.turbine.com

Note that I’ve seen links to this same $2 sale on other links but since I wasn’t familiar with some of the web sites I didn’t include them to make sure I wasn’t inadvertently pushing people to unsecure sites.

MoMThe Lord of the Rings: Mines of Moria
Standard Edition: $7.99
Collectors Edition: $9.99

Current price for this expansion in beta is 2495 Turbine Points (which of course is subject to change!) The guestimate on points value based on DDO points is roughly 100 Turbine Points = $1. We really won’t know this for sure until live so understand it is an estimate. If true would place this expansion to cost almost $25 from the store so the $8 price tag is a deal.

This will raise your level cap to 60, grant you 2 extra character slots, give you all of Moria and Lothlorien content and will give you the two premium classes, Warden and Runekeeper. Sure you may not use the content or level cap part for a long while but this really is a lot of bang for $8. You need to consider that things like character slots and the premium classes are sold separately in the LOTRO Store and buying this early on will give you a bunch of goodies at once.

This also will include a 30-day product key code as it is a “complete edition” when upgrading from SoA account. See this FAQ for details on the 30 day free time granted.

Also see Hobbitmeister’s comment on the Downgrade Information post for tips on how you could maximize this 30-day key. He has it all planned out on when you should activate Mines of Moria for maximum free play time!

boxshot_completeSiege of Mirkwood
Expansion Only: $19.99
Complete Edition: $29.99

To be completely fair we have no idea how great a deal this is because when we looked in the LOTRO Store on beta this morning, Siege of Mirkwood was not to be found (although we all know it will be there!). As a result I do not have a Turbine Point value to compare this to.

Update: We have been able to look up that Mirkwood is 1995 Turbine Points in the store. This makes it the same price as the expansion only listed above and therefore no difference if you purchase it online or in the LOTRO Store.

Mirkwood was a digital only expansion so you will not be able to find boxed copies of this for sale anywhere. This offer is being hosted by Turbine on their web site.

The expansion alone is listing for what it retailed for at launch last December so I believe this is not a real deal but if you know for a fact that LOTRO is the game for you and this is where you want to be buying it flat out for $30 and getting the Moria goodies plus the Mirkwood content is not a ton of dough and a great start into LOTRO.

Note that this does not include the Adventurer’s Pack (which is also selling for $19.99) that includes 2 character slots and shared storage. We can look into if these extras are a deal later on as it could be added on at any time and not under any sort of “sale” that could end.

The complete edition also will include a 30-day product key code that will only work if upgrading from Shadows of Angmar. Upgrades from Mines of Moria to Mirkwood do not include any free game time. See this FAQ for details on the 30 day free time granted.

TimeCardThe Lord of the Rings Prepaid 60-Day Game Time Card
$14.99 at Amazon

As a final offering of experiencing VIP at a discounted rate, Amazon still has 60 day game time cards on sale.

With monthly subscriptions costing $15 a month, this game time card reduces the cost of VIP access to $7.50 a month. This is even less than what the multi-month or founders with their special pricing are paying.

It will not come with any additional content and is not available for purchase in the LOTRO Store but it will give you two months of VIP access and there is no limit to using these unlike the 30 day key offers listed above.

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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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28 Responses to “Experience LOTRO VIP Access for Less”

  1. Ajay Says:

    This topic has been discussed by beta players rather extensively.

    What I’ve done is bought Moria (Complete Edition) at Gamestop for 10 bucks which includes 30 days game time according to the box. I was hoping I could double-check that the product key does indeed include game time, but account management may not answer those questions. Either way, I’m 99% certain that the key should work as intended, and give me 30 days of game time as a VIP. It was a brand new box afterall and directly mentions the game time on the box.

    Not only does that purchase come with Moria, 2 classes, 2 additional character slots, and 30 days game time as VIP, but it also will make me elegible for the VIP to Premium downgrade benefits. These benefits include the removal of various limitations on f2pers like currency cap, inventory bags, mail/tell restrictions, and trait slots. All of these, besides the social restrictions, add up to a lot of TP that can now be devoted to quest packs instead of removing restrictions. In addition, 1 month as a VIP via the game time will hook you up with 500 TP as well. Note that you must login on all of your characters during VIP time in order for each of them to get these restrictions removed once you downgrade to Premium.

    Thus, my plan is to first establish my characters once f2p goes live. I’ll probably roll characters on 3 or 4 servers to get a larger variety of experience. I’ll get the free characters (F2P gets 2 free per server) up to level 20. Level 20 is very important because that’s when you can start the riding quest as a VIP to get your riding trait. Once I’ve reached level 20 with all of my free characters, I will apply my Moria product code and do the riding quest for all of them and start rolling new characters and repeating the process for them. Once you downgrade to Premium, you can only have 5 character slots on each server (3 for Premium + 2 from Moria), so I will make sure to have 5 characters at level 20 by the end of my VIP time so at least they can all get the riding trait.

    That’s my plan at least! The LOTRO store has had some sales during beta, like for SoM that makes it perhaps cheaper to buy in-game if you are willing to farm deeds quite a bit up front. Really excited about going live. I got my beta character up to 57 in the 2 months I’ve played (summer helps a lot !), so I’m ready to start fresh with the lessons I’ve learned during my time with the game and join everyone else in Tolkien’s Middle Earth!

    -Yajard

    Reply

  2. Avatar of Goldenstar
    Goldenstar Says:

    We have since discovered we do not see the Mirkwood expansion listed because we have not yet purchased Moria which makes sense :)

    Reply

    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      We have discovered that mirkwood expansion is 1995 Turbine Points in the beta store which really makes the 100 TP = $1 theory seem correct. So it looks like there’s no difference for this expansion only cost.

      Reply

  3. Andy Says:

    This is great information, thanks for posting it. Ordered my Moria complete edition from Amazon a few days ago for 7.95. I too have seen conflicting reports on whether the complete edition will add 30 days of game time to an existing account.

    Reply

  4. Ajay Says:

    If it includes game time on the box, it should be fine, but would love to have some way to confirm this besides when I actually apply the code. I sent a request to the Account Management page to see if they could verify the key for me a week ago, but no response yet.

    Reply

  5. Osiran Says:

    Are there any deals or good options for Lifetime/VIP folks?

    Reply

    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      If you do not already own Moria, that is still a good deal ($8) for that expansion. However since probably many already own the expansions, not really no. It appears mirkwood is the same price as with Turbine Points and we already get all the quest packs with our subscription cost. Lifers will have no use for game time cards.

      If I do find any ways for VIPs to benefit rest assured I will blog about it!

      Reply

  6. Hobbitmeister Says:

    Note to Goldenstar: the SoA is being sold thru the Amzon Marketplace and also has a $3.99 shipping charge so it doesn’t look much better than getting Moria Complete.

    Also regarding the Moria Complete…I am almost certain it WILL give the 30 free days when upgrading a SoA account. According to Victorie, a retail box always gives the 30 days if it upgrades the account. As posted by Victorie:
    Only one key of a specific type can be added to an account. Keys can’t be used to add time if it isn’t also applying an upgrade. Section P4 of the “Beta, Accounts, Upgrades, Payment FAQ / Q&A” sticky.

    In theory, with Buddy Keys also still working (confirmed), one could create a new Trial account with a 14-day Buddy Key, upgrade that to SoA (+30 days) and then upgrade that to Moria Complete (+30 days) for a grand total of 74 days free time, at least 60 of which would be VIP. I have not personally tested the theory out as I am still awaiting my shipment of SoA-SE. I’let you know the result when I know for sure. ;)

    Reply

    • Hobbitmeister Says:

      Small technical problem I just realized. The 14-day Buddy Key from my post above would have to be a key from a SoA box. Reason being that the 14-day Buddy keys from a Moria box or Moria CE would almost certainly create a Moria Trial account which would only allow for upgrade via a Moria retail box key.

      I’m not certain that SoA boxes came with 14-day Buddy keys but they did come with 10-day Buddy keys. The theory should still work providing the proper Buddy key wass used.

      Reply

  7. Ajay Says:

    I thought the trial accounts have stopped now and will just create new accounts without any time since they are rather obsolete for F2P.

    As for Free -> SoA -> Moria, I guess that could work if you really want that 2 month VIP time, but it does cost money and owning SoA doesn’t give you anything besides the VIP time. I would make sure that using SoA product keys will work that way. At the end of your VIP time, you’d still need to purchase quest packs once you downgrade. Somewhat worth looking into!

    Reply

    • Ajay Says:

      I don’t know if using a SoA product key counts as an upgrade on a free account though. That’s what I meant about checking that.

      Reply

      • Hobbitmeister Says:

        @ Ajay

        As long as the Buddy Key used is an old key from a SoA or SoA SE box, it should be golden. And yes, Buddy Keys are still working, this has been confirmed by forum posts. Referral Keys actually still work too IF you had one outstanding to a friend. I can verify this first hand as I had one sent to a auxilary email account prior to the removal of the Referral program. I actually created a 10-day Free Referral account about 4 days ago with that key.

        The different Buddy/Trial Keys create different types of trials. This will be noted in the account management page. Pre-Moria Referrals/Buddy Keys/Trials created SoA accounts. Referrals and Free Trials created after Moria was released created Moria accounts. One can surmise that the Buddy Keys from Moria boxes also then most likely create Moria accounts.

        The differing keys used to create the account will determine which subsequent key can be used for the upgrade. As noted by Victorie (Turbine CS rep), you can’t use a downgrade key on any account for example: if the Trial/Buddyaccount created was a Moria account, the only upgrade path(s) would be Moria Free account >Moria box/digi upgrade >SoM. Using an SoA key to upgrade a free Moria account would produce an error.

        I have 3 copys of SoA SE on the way and I will further verify the use of the Buddy Key that comes in those boxes.

        Yes I’m a madman, I have a Lifetime account but also plan to have a Premium account as well as a pure FREE Player account. I can always give them away to neices/nephews if it becomes too much. ;)

        Reply

        • Ajay Says:

          Hmm, interesting bit about the buddy keys for Moria. I thought they were rather useless at this point, but does not seem so. I may hand some over to my buddies and get them hooked if they work as intended still!

          Reply

    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      Agreed that I don’t know if the new Free players will be treated the same as old Trials are. It’s hard for me to test with my lifers account :D

      See this Knowledge Base FAQ on the Turbine Site:
      http://www.lotro.com/component/content/article/348-support-faqs

      To look at this differently, here are the options available separated by your current account access:

      trial–>Moria(digital) = no free time
      trial–>Moria(retail boxed copy) = 30 days included
      trial–>Mirkwood = 30 days included

      SoA–>Moria(digital) = no free time
      SoA–>Moria(retail) = 30 days included
      SoA–>Mirkwood = 30 days included

      MoM–>Mirkwood = no free time
      MoM–>Adventurer’s Pack = no free time
      MoM–>Mirkwood Bundle = no free time

      SoM–>Adventurer’s Pack = no free time

      Reply

  8. darkeye Says:

    Codemasters have deals on the expansions too, so tempted by the Mirkwood one, because for €16 you can get the expansion, adventure pack and a lucky bag (forget what it’s called). There is also a MoM offer including adventure pack and free goat! And an offer including both expansion and goodies.

    If I’d the money to spare would pick up that Mirkwood one even though I’ve not even gotten through Moria yet.

    Reply

  9. Darwyen Says:

    I’d also suggest to do a search on eBay. I bought a Moria Collectors Edition for a contest for $12.99 with free shipping. It includes the full game and all expansions up to Moria.

    Reply

  10. Hobbitmeister Says:

    @ Ajay

    Your MoM Complete Ed. does come with 30 days free provided that the account you are upgrading has not already had a MoM Product key or a SoM key applied to it.

    The key word is “UPGRADE”. You can’t apply a MoM key to an account that already has it and you can’t apply a key that would be a downgrade (example: MoM > SoA = no can do). Any box has 30 days free as long as it’s upgrading.

    Digital upgrades don’t come with 30 days free with exception of the SoA > SoM upgrade as long as it’s the SoM Complete Edition ($29.99).

    So in your particular case, I am assuming you are starting a free account on the 10th/Sept., working up some characters on a few servers as you mention above, and then applying your MoM Complete key. I’m about 99.99999999% certain you will get your 30 days. It’s pretty much been verified by various posts.

    I’ll be doing the same as you except I will be starting with one of the SoA keys I should be getting by the end of the week. I bought 3 from GoGamer at 90cents each and $5.99 shipping , total $8.69. Plus I have a Moria CE. Was totally worth the $10 for that so I could have the Official Moria Soundtrack. The Cloth Map was kinda nice too.

    Oh and Merric, I just got my Children’s of Hurin Unabridged Audiobook. Going to be enjoying Christopher Lee ;)

    Reply

    • Ajay Says:

      Yea, I believe the key should work fine, just don’t want to run into any problems if that 0.0000001% hits me ;) I was somewhat sad that the retail store that had Moria didn’t have the collector’s edition. Not much difference game-wise, but the soundtrack would have been a nice touch. I sort of like the two posters though, the Gandalf vs Balrog showdown poster plus the Middle Earth poster.

      Turbine actually got back to me about the key and said they can check keys to verify game time, waiting on the response atm!

      Reply

  11. Charles Says:

    Looks like Amazon caught on to the demand for this. The price of the Collectors Edition as of 10/9/2010 has shot up to $32.95 ($27.50 from an Amazon seller), and the Standard Edition is now $9.99 from Amazon.com with a 2-4 week delay on shipping, or $13.79+$6.99 shipping from one of their marketplace stores if you don’t want to wait.

    Reply

  12. Grandpa Says:

    If i buy the Moria expansion only, seperately, (i had purchased Shadows of Angmar back then and decided to return now that it became free…), will i be able to activate its content/changes inside the F2P game? Which by the way for me it ‘s premium…?

    Also, the second expansion cannot be found in retail? Is this certain?

    Those who paid 200 E for lifetime, they too need to buy the expansions to unlock their classes/content? (this out of curiosity)

    Reply

    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      If you buy a retail box of moria, applying the product key will unlock all of Moria’s in-game goodies for you.

      Mirkwood was a digital expansion. There are no retail boxes for that one.

      Lifers have always had to buy expansions separately.

      Reply

  13. DeVries Says:

    Game content such as new zones, quest packs, mounts, etc are all free for those who had previously paid for lifetime. Also we get 500 free points per month for having a lifetime VIP account.
    The content that we DO NOT get for free would be anything that is classified as an ‘Expansion’ so Mirkwood for example we had to buy either digitally through Turbine or through the in-game store.
    As far as we know since Lifetime VIP’s get 500 points per month, as long as we save enough points we should be able to get new ‘Expansions’ using our points in-game.
    But we have yet to hear how many points ‘Expansion’ content will be, as well as if that content will be available in the store immediately upon release, or if they will release a digital edition that can be purchased on their site, and the in-game store will have a delay until its available, thus the hardcore fans who want it right away will pay to purchase the content.
    Since there have yet to be any ‘Expansion’ content released since the game went Free to Play, this is all speculation, but I am 80% sure that it will work with some sort of similar system, otherwise they will still be making absolutely nothing off of those who had paid lifetime, which was one of the reasons they went free to play in the first place.

    Reply

  14. bob101910 Says:

    I got Moria when it was $10 back in November. The price has gone up to around $40. Shows how much f2p helped this game. Happy I got it for $10, but it is worth $30 – $40

    Reply

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