Time to Log into LOTRO

Since the Standing Stone Games announcement Lord of the Rings Online has been in transition from one company to another, including tapping Daybreak to be their publisher. (Still wondering on that one.  A follow on from SOE publishing the Asheron’s Call 2 expansions?)

This month we get another change.  It seems that the billing system is moving over from Turbine.  In order to charge VIPs… subscribers… they have to log in and agree to new terms.

This is a dangerous time, financially.  There are always a group of players out there who just stay subscribed even when they are not playing.  SSG stands to lose subscribers unless they can get people to log in and click the button enabling the new terms.

So they are offering up a free horse.

Also, thank you for paying your bill!

Also, thank you for paying your bill!

To get this special mount you will need to log into LOTRO between today… once the maintenance period is over… and March 13th.  According to the small FAQ on the announcement page, you must log all the way in to a character in order to receive the mount.  All of your characters, and any future characters you create, will then have access to this mount.

Lifetime subscription VIPs also get the mount if they log in a character during the February 6 through March 13 time frame.   That lifetime subscription I bought back in 2007 might be the best MMO deal ever for me.

A great deal even discounting the fact that I bought the next three expansions (Mines of Moria, Siege of Mirkwood, and Rise of Isengard ) and have only really played my way into Mirkwood.  I left off over a year ago in Mirkwood which, true to the books, was a dank locale, if somewhat more densely populated that I recalled.

Sure, that must be it...

Sure, that must be it… delusional dwarves

Nothing like a bleak zone to kill your appetite for a game.

I still log in about once a month, if only to keep the clunky patcher from having to work forever should I decide I want to play and, of course, to make sure I get my 500 LOTRO points every month.  That stipend has collected over time, allowing me to purchase both the Riders of Rohan and Helm’s Deep expansions.

So I am as up to day on purchased content as I can be.  I am just stuck in motivation-sucking Mirkwood, so any hope of catching up to the tip of the story is vanishingly remote.

What I need is something like that boost that SWTOR gave players at one point where you could level up at the right rate just playing through the story line as opposed to having to do all of the side quests and grinding a bit on the side.

An epic-only path through the game being unlikely, I am considering the finally useful

Two blessings, depending on your need

Two blessings, depending on your need

A little over a year back the LOTRO team finally got on board with the insta-levels idea and upped the boost from level 50… which seemed comically low… to level 95.

The blessing comes in two flavors, one for a character under level 50 and an upgrade version for character over level 50, some of whom may have used the previous version that only got players to 50.  Fortunately, I have plenty of LOTRO points and a selection of characters over level 50, so I can go with the upgrade.  It offers:

Instantly become level 95! Includes many extra boosts and buffs.

Receive a blessing from the Valar that makes your character powerful enough to pass through the Paths of the Dead and beyond. After using the Blessing of the Valar, your character will instantly be raised to level 95! Delivers a package that contains the following: *Blessing of the Valar Item, *A set of level 95 gear, *3 Third Age LIs, *Instant access to Mounted Combat and Legendary Items, *1 Gold piece, 800 Silver pieces, *4 ranks of each virtue, *The Riding skill, *A Steed of the Citadel, *A 25-stack of food that scales with your level, *A 25-stack of Morale and Power potions that scale with your level, *5 +100% XP Boosts, *Three single-use maps, one each to Rivendell, Aldburg, and Snowbourn, *25 Mithril Coins. This offer is discounted and can only be used by characters that are already level 50 or higher.

That will at least get me the hell out of Mirkwood.  The question is, where will I end up?  As I have noted, not all insta-levels are equal.  If you get a level 100 boost in WoW, you are guided into the latest content and can start there without concern as to what came before.  However, if you get that level 100 (or 95) boost in EQII, the game pretty much laughs at you as you press your nose against the glass separating you from the new stuff.  Go back and do the prerequisites loser!

So I will be interested to see how LOTRO handles the level boost transition.  Will I be pointed in the right direction or left standing at a stable master… the Middle-earth equivalent of a bus station in the bad part of town… in some random settlement?  Either way, I might as well give it a go.  I am sitting on a pile of points and am unhappy where I am, and at least I’ll have a new horse to tool around on.

6 thoughts on “Time to Log into LOTRO

  1. Aywren Sojourner

    I was WONDERING why they were suddenly offering a free horse to log in. This makes much more sense now!

    Also, thank you for the info on the new level booster! Seeing I also have a lifetime account and I’m fairly much at the same place as you are in leveling, that may be something I could entertain doing with my excess Turbine… er… LOTRO points. I’ll have to think about this, but I’m glad to know it exists.

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  2. Mattexl

    Yay! Another horse to add to the stable. I got my lifetime way back in the day also (boosted by a founder sub from you) and it has been the best MMO deal I’ve ever received.

    I also stalled out in Mirkwood, one of the various seasonal stopping points for me. (In hindsight, I tend to play LoTRo in winter/spring, TSW in fall (Halloween)/winter, and EQ2 pretty much the rest of the time.) But, because I am a completionist (I think I spent almost three years in Moria?), I was able to blow through the content once I came back. Now I’m working through Enedwaith and really enjoying the stories and being back in game. I recommend pushing through Mirkwood as once you come out the other side it gets interesting. At least do the epic storyline. At level 83 now, I’m way beyond the curve for Rohan and finally getting to that mounted combat.

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  3. Bhagpuss

    If they dump the Turbine patcher for the DBG one I will give LotRO another go (although ironically the normally exemplary DBG patcher has been playing up this last week). My highest character is in the mid-40s from the original game though…

    I finally got around to using my Level 100 boost from the last expansion so I’ll see how tough it is to get into the new content with her. The main problem seems to be the gear they give you, which is suitable for the previous expansion. Someone in general chat did a great job of explaining how to get round that, though, so if I get stuck I will try following his tips, which don’t require you to have either an existing Level 100 or a pile of money.

    I do think all these “skip all our great leveling content and get straight to the really grindy part that everyone else is doing” have inherant issues though. SW:tOR’s super-accelerated xp seems to me to be a better way of getting new or returning players up to speed.

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  4. Corelin

    You don’t have to do Moria! You can do Enedwaith! It’s lighter! But it’s also a very human-centric zone and that’s something you are going to get sick…and…tired of as you make your way to 105.

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  5. Helistar

    I wanted to get back to LotRO to see the new zones and follow the epic questline.
    But non-epic quests are out of the question, after Rohan and the 100th rehash of “defend this village”, I just cannot stomach those anymore. I read on the forums that you can powerlevel using scaled instances, but after trying, I saw that it would require A LOT of hours grinding the same mobs, with a combat system which is just horrendous. After WoW, playing lotro is like fighting underwater, you press a button and something happens…. eventually….like one day later.
    So I logged out and stopped patching. Unless they provide the same boost as SWtoR, i.e. “get to level cap with only the epic quest”, I’m not going back.

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  6. Pingback: Back and catchup time | GamingSF

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