Daily Archives: August 14, 2007

LOTRO Offers Abound

After a bit of browsing through the site for Lord of the Rings Online, it seems to me that Turbine is following the lead of car dealers in August with a series of incentives to get people into Middle-earth. 

Now, I know that your average car dealership is worried about moving out cars before the next model year shows up, but what is Turbine up to?  Does this mean things are not going as planned.  They certainly have not announced any WoW-like expansion in the number of servers.

Well, that question aside, since I do not know the answer, there are certainly a few enticements to get you playing the game.

30 Extra Days in August

No, there won’t be a 55th of August.  Turbine is offering an extra 30 days of play, for a total of 60 days, with the purchase of LOTRO.  That is two months of play before you have to pay… er, pay again… pay a monthly subscription.  Details here.

Want Lifetime?

Turbine is also offering up lifetime subscriptions again.  For “just” $299 you can never worry about paying another monthly fee again.  Break even in 20 months and have just a single credit card charge to explain away to your spouse, rather than one a month!  Details here.

Referrals!

Turbine has a referral program.  If you refer somebody to the game they get 10 day key to try out the game.  If they subscribe, the person who refers them gets a month free.  If the person referring has a lifetime subscription, they get a game code good for 30 days which they can pass on to somebody else, since it does them no good.  Details here.

Retroactive Founders

There is also a referral deluxe program, and it may be the sweetest deal of all.  If you get a referral from somebody who is a founder (like me) and you subscribe to the game, you also get founder pricing, which means $9.99 a month or $199 lifetime subscription.  Details in the referals link.

So if you are still planning to play Lord of the Rings Online, think a minute before you go buy the box.  There might be a better deal out there for you!

LOTRO Update August 20th

Turbine has announced the next content update for Lord of the Rings Online.  The meat of the press release is:

The Epic Continues! – Amarthiel, introduced in Book 9: Shores of Evendim, has reclaimed the palantir of Carn Dum and is now seeking to make Annuminas her new seat of power as she searches for her lost ring of power: Narchuil. The Dunedain stands against her as the Rangers mount a last, desperate attempt to wrest the palantir from Amarthiel. Before she can find Narchuil, a most dangerous opportunity presents itself that may give the Dunedain the advantage they need to blind the eye of Angmar.

Legendary Play – Once in the Ettenmoors, players can experience monster play in a completely new way by spending their Destiny Points to play as a powerful Ranger of the North or a terrible Troll to offer a strategic advantage to their allies in the battle for control of the Ettenmoors.

Critter Play – Friendly barnyard animals love squawking around the landscape, exploring chicken coops, hunting for worms and more! Players can now explore Middle-earth from a different – and sometimes unexpected – viewpoint as a chicken, the first of many new playable critters that will be added to the game in the future.

New Reputation and Bartering Systems – Book 10 introduces the Reputation and Bartering systems. The Reputation system enables players to earn positive and negative standing with different races and groups in Middle-earth based on both monster kills and quest completions. The Bartering system allows players to trade trophies earned in battle for rewards such as armor sets or mounts.

Over 100 New Quests – The story continues for players as they aid the Fellowship and encounter new adventures, new dungeons and over a dozen new monsters.

Enhanced User Interface – The game’s UI is now customizable. In addition to being able to skin your UI with a unique look, Book 10 will enable players to access sliders in their ?Options’ panel to scale the size of individual elements of the UI to their liking.

Book 10 – So the story continues.  That is good.  Granted, I think we’re still on Book 2 in our little group, so we have a ways to go still.  Quite a ways, given that “little” is the literal truth about our group.  We have only four players and, trained by WoW, we keep thinking we’re just one person down.  No.  A full fellowship is 6 players.  We’re only 2/3’s of a fellowship.

Legendary play –  In the previous announcement, there was something called session play that included the ability to play as a ranger, a troll, or as a chicken.  That seems to have been amended, as the troll and ranger have been moved into the PVP arena, which I think would make this, at most, “Monster Play Plus.”

Critter play – And here is the chicken.  And other animals in the future, I guess.  I do hope you get to play as a crow.  There are crows literally everywhere in Middle-earth, or in Turbine’s vision of it at least, and it would be nice to actually travel a bit without half a dozen of the damn things chasing you around.  That would be an experience in Middle-earth new and different enough to attract my attention.

Reputation and Bartering systems –  Now this sounds interesting.  I will hold back on too much enthusiasm until I get to read the details, but this could be cool.  On the other hand, the phrase “Book 10 introduces…” worries me.  Does that mean I have to complete Book 10 to be eligible.  I hope not.  That is a long way down the road.

Over 100 new quests –  Always good.  It is always better to have too many quests than too few, and that goes double for a game like LOTRO where the majority of your experience is quest derived.  I imagine the new quests fall into the 35+ range, so I won’t see them for a while, but it is nice to know that they are coming.

Customizable UI – LOTRO should have shipped with this, given that even EverQuest has had a customizable UI for ages.  Still, progress now is better than progress never.

In addition to this, there is already some talk about Book 11 coming up in October with a patch that will include player housing.

You certainly cannot fault Turbine for standing still.

The press release for the August update is available here.

[Addendum: Of course, I spotted a more detailed update on Kill Ten Rats after I posted this.]