The grand-daddy of all Fantasy, the first book to put Elves & Dwarves & Quests against Evil into people’s hearts, an incredible and breathtaking movie series, has been transformed into an MMO. Lord of the Rings Online will launch on April 24th.
Now the pre-order routine is very interesting – especially for the odd duck like me who plays few MMO’s but is very loyal to the ones he plays. Pre-order Everquest2 expansions, and you get……. a monkey. Or a genie bottle. Yawn. But pre-order LOTRO and you get special pricing ! Now, that gets my attention right there baby !
The game should launch with a price of $15 / month for access to the game. But if you pre-order you instead get to pay $10 / month. Wow. Now that’s pretty nice stuff – and the payback for being on the bleeding edge of “Give it to me on LAUNCH DAY, price doesn’t matter baby !”, versus waiting a bit, is probably a matter of 2-3 months. Special pricing forever, of course, makes the gamble seem more worth it, ie, “Is this game any good or not ?”
Or, if you’re the kind of person who knows for sure he wants to play the game forever, you can get *lifetime* access for $199. Now, I’m definitely a long term player. But, effectively, locking yourself into a 20-month timeframe to play an unknown game is not something I would be dumb enough to do. Not after the fiasco of Everquest 2’s launch, special long-term pricing, and “Oh, you didn’t KNOW you can only have four characters ! Haha, we got your money anyway !”
You also get access to the Open Beta, and the opportunity to start levelling up your character before the rest of the world can on launch day. That’s important to some people; to me, it just means I’d be among the first playing which I have no idea if I’d enjoy or not. No spoilers might be hard to deal with !
It’s too bad info is so sparse about the game. I have heard *nothing* but good things about it, and yet there’s simply no info on the official site. Oh, a list of classes is nice, but come on guys – give us something more. Haven’t you seen the hype Pirates and G&H have built ? One thing I have sussed out – you get a certain number of characters per server, so they didn’t build their business model around soaking the players for character slots.
Still, the opportunity to meet and adventure with the Fellowship, to participate in the quest to destroy the One Ring, or discover some new aspect of the War for the Ring, is pretty compelling. I’m trying to decide if I’ll preorder. No, I take that back – I’m holding myself back, not wanting to frantically slap the keys and blow good money on a quick decision.