LotRO or Lord of the Rings Online

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What is LotRo? It is the abbreviation for one of the best casual mmorpg games I have played. It stands for Lord of the Rings Online.

The Game has changed quite a bit since it started out. The game started off as a Pay to Play game then moved to Free to play.

The game has since moved to a 3 tier system.

The tiers are broken down to

Free to Play (F2P): These players play for free, they however are limited in several aspects in the game. Such as 1 character per server, 3 bags, may not put things up on the auction house.Also limited in quests able to be gotten. Tho the most important Quest Line in the game is accessible to everyone, as well as being to get to the max level in the game, which is unusual fore Free to play games.

The second tier is called Premium Players: These plays Have all the stuff a F2P player has, but gains a few extra perks like having 3 characters per Server instead of one, able to put stuff up on the auction. To become a premium player one need to purchase some Turbine Points.

The 3rd tier is the Subscribers: These players pay to play this game, and get the most perks. They start off with 5 characters per server 5 bags and access to almost every part of the game. They also

Lifetime Subscribers This is actually a 4th tier but not available in a normal means anymore. Only way to get this now is through Contests. In short these players have it the best they get all the perks of a subscriber, while having no fees to pay.

Reasons to Play

This game has a casual player feel to it while offering the hard core players some great content.

LotRO almost allows all the characters the ability to heal themselves in some way. May not be the best heals but at least you can so this shortens down time or allows you to continue fighting a bit longer before you have to wait on the downtime.

Most missions or quest have a tracking system as well as a guide letting you know how your doing. The guide only gets you into the general area from there you need to find what ever it is that you are looking for. This is nice because you get to do some exploring like in most other Online games but not be as frustrated with trying to locate the area.

Have you ever had someone kill your mob stealing the xp and more importantly the loot? Well guess what not in this game. The first person to hit the mob gets the xp and the loot. So who cares if someone accidentally or purposely does it your the one who lucks out.

Another great thing is soloing, any character can do this. there are suggested missions in LotRO that say you should bring a group with you. How ever even some of these are able to be done solo if you are just a few levels higher than the quest (say 2-3 levels).

There plenty of achievements to obtain, even these can help your character out in different ways. It is a definite plus to gain a few of these early on.

Ok you Power gamers I know your thinking geeze sounds like a pretty lame game. Well I thought so at first as well but its not. All the above just allows other players to keep up in level with you . Yes the quest gear is decent but the drops is were you will have the advantage.

There is also a unique PvP system. Where you play as mordor minions. Be a spider, a warg , or how about a goblin or orc. You don't start out all that powerful but as you play and gain destiny points you will be a force to deal with.

With 9 classes to choose from there is definitely a character you will like from a stealth Burglar to a high armored Captain, to a magic slinging Lore Master and many more.

Turbine Points

This is a system of upgrading your game. It allows you to buy more quests, items, outfits ,and much more to enhance your game play.

the ways you get The Points are, in game through deeds, quests, and other means. You cay purchase them in game from the In-Game Store. Or in stores.

So who should play this game? anyone who is a big fan of Tolkien's books. LotRO follows the story very well with you being the side story, seeing what happened to those trying to help Frodo and Sam. While not always being in direct contact with them. Who have I seen and talked to in the game. How about Strider (Arragon) and Gandolf. Yes pretty cool interacting with characters from the book and they give quests to do.Your a intricate part of what happens in the book. So what are you waiting for your story has yet to be told.

This is one game I will suggest players get because of how well done it is. If your just going to test out 1 mmorpg this year this should be it. Specially since it's free.

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"*Middle-Earth Online* interactive game © 2003 Vivendi Universal Games, Inc. All rights reserved. *The Lord of the Rings,* *Middle-Earth Online,* and the characters, events, items, and places therein are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company, dba Tolkien Enterprises under license to Vivendi Universal Games, Inc."