Besides being in the beta, my first LotRO experience was the rise of free to play in September 2010. I enjoyed the beta but didn’t have the money for a monthly fee at the time. I then forgot all about this amazing game until I heard it was going free to play. I was so excited about this and I immediately looked for fan sites, reviews and really anything I could get my hands on before I could get back to LotRO. This is when I found CSTM and have loved them ever since. I absolutely made sure that I would be available on September 10th for the free to play launch.
I decided that I would get on one of the new servers so that I would not be way behind everyone else and settled on Imladris. Now came the tough part, finding a class that I liked. I decided I would play a man champion because of the advertised easy difficulty level. I decided that I loved this class and stuck with him till level 20. I stopped at level 20 because I could not decide if I wanted to buy the lone lands or subscribe to LotRO. A few months later, I decided that I would buy the zone because at this time there had not been a new zone since the update was the first free to subscriber zone in well over a year. This caused me to think that a subscription would not be worth much if that was how often I would get new free content as a subscriber.
Jumping forward a year I had finally got to the level 65 cap a week before Isengard came out. I had already pre-ordered the Rise of Isengard Legendary Edition. In the past year I had spent over $300 on zones and expansions. This is about the same amount I would have spent with a subscription and expansions. Even though a subscription would have given me more features for the same price I knew that I would never have to buy the zones or expansions again which would not have been true if i stopped my subscription.
Even though the multi-month deal has been aroud for a while, I did not know about it till a few months ago. It is a game changer to how we should all look at subscriptions. I did not know that this plan was such a good one till I spent the time to do the math. If you get three or more months then you can get a monthly fee of $10 instead of the usual $15. This is a really big deal because not only are you saving $5 a month you are also getting around $6.50 in Turbine Points (500 TP a month). (Note that the calculation is done by comparing other point deals of a similar amount to the amount the player is receiving every month.)
Since there is a multi-month offer you are now only really paying around $3.50 a month that you will not get back. The rest of the monthly fee is being spent automatically on points that you can spend on a permanent item. So what do you get for only $3.50 a month in LotRO?
I am going to start with rested XP because this is really (to me) worth the full $10 a month by itself. It essentially allows you to get twice as much experience as a non-VIP player. This can also be stacked with the 25% Isengard pre-order boost on NPC kills. This allows you to level your character at a much faster rate than normal and is really nice when going through areas/zones you don’t like very much.
For only $3.50 a month you also get to use swift travel around LotRO. This allows you to go around the map very quickly and keeps LotRO fun and interesting. It makes it so that you don’t have to literally personally go across Middle-Earth again and again. You can just teleport there and be ready for questing once more. Swift travel is especially helpful when you are doing the epic story because you have to go back and forth across Middle-Earth a lot.
Getting a subscription also lets players go on the “good” side in the Ettenmoors (meaning you can play your primary character – not a monster character). Keep in mind that the good side plays very differently from the evil. Even if you play monster play regularly, playing on the other side can be a nice change of pace. As a subscriber you can also buy perks with your destiny points earned in the Moors on both sides. The perks allow you to get a slight edge against the other players/NPC’s.
Also subscribing to LotRO is great if you are wanting to try out several monster play classes. Instead of buying all the classes, you can try (and keep) each of them for only $3.50 a month. This is a great deal because if you bought all the classes then it would cost you $40 and instead you got them all for $3.50.
Keep in mind that you also get many of the things that Free to Play players have to buy included in your subscription. You get more character slots, priority log in, the gold cap removed, traits expanded, all the skirmishes and full access to tech support. Even though I have not needed to use tech support since the beta, it is nice to know that you have it incase something terrible happens.
Even though I have moved to VIP and am loving it, keep in mind that premium is still a viable option. The benefits of course are that you get to keep everything you pay for permanently and that is always comforting. I had premium for a year and enjoyed it a lot but when I did the math I realized that since I had the money it seemed like a much better option to get a subscription. If you don’t think you will like the VIP only features then maybe it is not worth it for you and that is obviously your choice to make.
The subscription is currently an amazing deal considering that you are only using $3.50 a month for a ton of features and you get around $6.50 in turbine points every month for a grand total of $10 a month on the three month plan. I cannot stress enough how much I enjoy having the VIP features while knowing that I am only losing $3.50 a month and the rest I get keep forever. The offer is made even better since Turbine says it is going to try to release subscriber only content every year from now on. I think now is the perfect time to upgrade your account to VIP right before the new zone in Update 6 that all subscribers will get absolutely free.
I hope that I have convinced many players to jump on the subscription wagon to start saving money and enjoy new features.
I look forward to seeing all of you next week in “How to be a Monster- Days 6 and 7” where I will talk about getting to Ranks 2 and 3, leading groups and raids, and another attempt on the hardest boss in LotRO.