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:
- Free Player
Plays the game absolutely free. No credit card needed to join no game cards, etc.
- 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]
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.
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 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.
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.
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.