I am fully aware of how old this game is and that you may ask yourself why you should start (or return) now! However, I think it aged quite well and it still has an active community which is an important basis for any MMO. The main reason I’m talking about the “perfect time”, though, is because you can currently still experience a lot of the content for free and thus, see for yourself if you like the game enough to stay. And if you do decide for it, Standing Stone Games are offering a coupon for some free quest packs and a really good sale for more of their content.
The developers started by extending the period where you can play the game’s content for free. The new end date is August 31. So basically, all summer! And you also have until August 31 to enter a coupon in-game which will unlock all currently available quest packs for free!
They have not released the coupon code yet, so keep an eye out on their official website. RedPanda clarifies on the forum that this coupon covers quest packs that aren’t part of the expansions that you will be able to buy for 99 Lotro points soon – see below). This means regions like Evendim, Gondor, Eriador – Vales of Anduin and Mists of Wilderland will also definitely be included (full list available at the end of this blog post).
The Coupon Code is: LOTROFREEQUESTS (1/Account, available to redeem through August 31st, 2020)
If you’re currently VIP (which unlocks the content for the time that you are VIP), you will also be able to apply the coupon to your account.
As already mentioned, they will also offer some of the expansion content for a neat small price soon. 99 points each! The cheapest bundle of Lotro points is 600 for 5.99 €. So, this comes at about 1 € for 99 points. They list expansion quests for 5 of their 7 expansions (the two newest ones, Mordor and Minas Morgul, are excluded). They also list the Instance Clusters for Riders of Rohan and Rise of Isengard as part of the 99 points sale.
This means that there will be two expansions left to buy. But seeing how you get content for free/cheap that was released between April 2007 and November 2013, that’s quite a lot already! And you do earn Lotro points while playing the game. By the time you hit Mordor, you basically won’t have to pay full price for the expansion anymore. If you were to buy the two latest expansions right now, that’d be 71.98 € for both ($ 79.98). But as I said, you can buy them in-game with Lotro points (2495 Lotro points each – which actually seems to be a much better price than buying with money upfront!) which you can buy with real money and earn while playing.
Please note: the two classes added with Mines of Moria, Runekeeper and Warden, are not part of the coupon or the sale. You will have to buy them separately if you want to play them.
I just realized again how confusing all of this may be… so many years of added content and buying full expansions vs. quest packs and unlocks and instance clusters… But well, there will be lots of free stuff that you would have to pay for otherwise. So this is still really nice.
Having said all of that: What’s so great about a game that is this old already? The lore, obviously. But what I personally love is the atmosphere in the game – apart from the graphics of the landscape which I also like. But I’m referring to the community. In all the years I’ve been playing, maybe one person ended on my ignore list. The community seems to be rather mature and thankfully, very active! Compared with my other MMOs, I have never seen a more relaxed and laid back group of players. Generally speaking, of course. There are always exceptions.
There are several social events organized by players and even though the housing still isn’t great, at least it’s there. The music system is much better, though, and you can frequently hear other players playing songs. There are also several official seasonal events and festivals. I especially love the yule fest and the harvestmath ones.
For Europe, I can recommend the server Evernight as it seems to be the most active one and I have never had any bad experiences on that server – Evernight used to be my main server. You can take a look at the activity graphs on this fansite. Not shown are Anor and Ithil which are the two legendary servers that are only available if you pay a monthly subscription.
But there is lots to do, even for small groups (or solo play if you like). The game features conten for “small fellowships”, for example, which is just three players. There’s also raids if you prefer bigger groups.
List of quest packs in the free quest packs code:
North Downs, Trollshaws, Misty Mountains, Angmar, Evendim, Forochel, Eregion, Enedwaith, Great River, Eriador, Wildermore, West Gondor, Central Gondor, Eastern Gondor, Old Anórien, Far Anórien, Mountains of Shadow, The Wastes Region, Northern Mirkwood, The Dwarf-holds, The Vales of Anduin and Mists of Wilderland.