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  Lord of the Rings Online: A Free to Play General Overview - Articles
  Posted by: Digz on 05-11-2011 @ 08:37 - Source: Digz
This News Item has been viewed 5,267 times
Those of you that have been playing free to play Lord of the Rings Online have arguably been enjoying it, I'm not being complacent about the quality of the game at all, I truly believe that everyone enjoys playing a new MMO for a certain amount of time. Until they hit that 'brick wall', which can be; an area they get stuck on and can't seem to pass it; can't get a clan or people to play with or a general dislike of the class that they are playing.

That brick wall on Lord of the Rings Online doesn't come across to players very often, there are various areas in the game for all levels, for level 30-40 there is around 4 areas that you can choose from to level up, even from 10-25 there are probably around 3-4 areas too. So coming up against an area you don't like is really not considered a brick wall for LotrO, unless you are a free to play player. Everyone rejoiced at LotrO becoming free to play, some of the hardcore community didn't but now realise that for them it's exactly the same but this time the player base has grown a lot of over the last six months, which has been fantastic for the revival of Kinships in the game, not to mention the overall game economy i.e. the Auction House.

The game is generally free to play, however the starter areas are free, so for example the 1-15 areas, then you get the Bree-Lands which are also free to level up to around 20 (you can just about grind to 22-23 but it's severely boring!). One of the main concepts of Lord of the Rings Online before it went free to play was that there was no grind whatsoever, unlike WoW you may need to grind and gain a level or two in order for you to be competitive in a certain area. For LotrO the number of quests just astound most players who have played it, and because of this, there is little grind (grind meaning killing things to gain xp - like Pokemon but not in a trainer battle). The quantity of quests isn't only benefit, it's the quality, referring to the amount of xp you get and also the items, which can prove extremely useful.

Arguably, with the introduction of free to play, the grind has hit LotrO, players need to gain Store Points in order to buy and unlock new areas for questing and levelling up, and in order to gain those points they have to complete various deeds and do multiple tasks. Those deeds may include killing 60 wolves in a specific area or spotting certain landmarks in the area, for a free to play player, I cannot imagine how annoying it must be to have to wait to gain these store points via deeds and quests and other random tasks. However, doing these deeds unlock 'virtues' these can be placed with the help of a town Bard and these will increase your skills and the general abilities of your character, hence why everyone must do these deeds to get their virtue ranks up, but its the free to play players that really have to do them, whereas the VIP players can come back when they're 65 and just take everything out.

So if you are a free to play player, pay attention to your deeds, and 'add them to tracker' when you get a chance so you can complete them as you're in the area, so you can max up on those store points to unlock the next area. Be sure to pick the book quest areas too, or you'll find yourself unable to follow the storyline until you unlock that area, here's a suggested list of areas to buy in order after completing the Bree quests and getting to around the level 20 mark and stopping at the level 45/50 mark:

1) Lone Lands
2) North Downs
3) Evendim or Angmar

Number 3 should preferably be Angmar as you can move on straight from the North Downs to there, but I liked Evendim a lot and also features parts of the book quests after the North Downs so you should really think about purchasing that too. I personally don't feel the Trollshaws are a necessary purchase as all the book quests in that region are mostly from Rivendell but the choice is completely yours (note that these are the areas that I have bought using the store points).

Just a reminder that even if you go VIP, you will not have these areas forever, you must still unlock these areas via the store, I bought Mines of Moria and Siege of Mirkwood before LotrO went free to play so from level 50+ all those areas I will have unlocked, but everyone still has to unlock the areas prior to that if they stop subscribing and want to play in those areas.

I would love to go into so much more detail about the game itself and you're probably levelling route but I'm going to leave it here for now, you have all the basics you need including a basic game route and what areas to unlock, with also a general feel for the game if you are going to be a complete free to play player that completing deeds will be at the centre of your gameplay for quite a while trying to get enough points to unlock the next area, alongside levelling up your character.

One more point I'd like to make is that a lot of potential free to play players send me emails and PM's on the forums and always ask the same question "What class should I pick?" The answer I always reply with is "Whatever you're going to enjoy the most." This is because as a free to play player you only get 1 character slot, therefore you need to make sure you pick your first character wisely, you can always buy more slots but you really do not want to waste your points on that.

Hope you all enjoyed the small overall guide to being a free to play player in Lord of the Rings Online, if you have any comments or questions you can post them below or send me an email.

          Next News Post 05-12-2011 @ 02:47 - LotrO Handover Important Announcement
          Previous News Post 05-07-2011 @ 03:38 - A Word About Turbine Role Play Server Support

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