LOTRO Going Free-To-Play…Thanks, I GuessJune 4, 2010
I don’t usually fly into a fury to post about the latest news, preferring to let other bloggers more passionate about the topic write about it instead, then say my piece in the comments. But the news of Lord of the Rings Online going free-to-play (amusing how big news is always dumped on us on Fridays) stirred in me more thoughts than usual. I went back and forth with myself until I finally decided that yes, I’m going to go ahead and write them out too, just to make it easier for me to wrap my head around this.
My first thought was admittedly very self-serving, and that was “Boy oh boy, by Frodo’s hairy left foot, this is going to solve my too-many-subscriptions problem!” accompanied by a a sigh of relief for my savings account. As it happens, I’m still running on free time in LOTRO until the end of summer, and depending on when these changes will go into effect “this fall” I may never have to pay for a LOTRO subscription again.
The game going F2P will also mesh well with my pattern of playing — LOTRO is my casual game, the “MMO spa” I go to for a nice breather and a thorough de-stressing. But it’s also the first subscription to go if something new and shiny comes along to grab my interest, and only after the new-game-smell of whatever I was obsessed with has worn off do I think about picking up LOTRO again. (And now, I feel a little guilty…if this was a relationship I’d be the cheating scumbag and LOTRO would be the patient, loyal partner that always welcomes me back with open arms when I come crawling back begging for forgiveness.) LOTRO going F2P will undoubtedly allow me more freedom with accessing its content; I’ll be able to play it whenever I want without having to worry about a subscription ever again, regardless of whether or not I’m between games.
So, I guess I can’t really hate the idea. Mind you, I’m not loving it either. My only concern with F2P is the quality of the community. It would be a shame to see LOTRO chat devolve into the kind of riff-raff I experienced in Allods Online, my only experience with F2P. But then, I’ve also heard great things about DDO’s community, so hopefully going F2P doesn’t automatically mean doom.