by Josh Miller
reviewed on PC
It just keeps expanding cntd)
Thatís another great thing about Lord of the Rings Online: patches are released on a regular basis to either fix or balance problems in the game, or to add new areas and quests into it. Apart from the occasional large expansion pack, a lot of the new elements are added via patches so that you never have to pay for the latest stuff.
Many people have avoided jumping into the world of Tolkien, because they havenít watched the movies or read the books and thus will be confused with all the lore the game offers. This is partly a valid concern: Lord of the Rings Online brings in so much lore from the books that people who have read the books will squeal in joy when they meet a familiar character. However, the lore wonít ruin your experience if you havenít read the books. In fact, the main storyline is set parallel to the books' so as you progress you become more informed in what is going on in Middle Earth. The lore itself is something you can spend hours really getting into so that when you are done with this game, you feel like you have indeed read all 1137 pages of the trilogy.
So what exactly am I missing out on?
If you are considering downloading this game, you are probably more interested in what your experience will be lacking in, rather than what it will contain. Well, even if you donít have the game bought in any way, shape, or form, the myriad of options given to you in what you would expect to be a trial is absolutely stunning. This is true especially when compared to games like EverQuest IIís upcoming free to play option where they just about give you a stick and a rock and tell you to scram off.
Of course, Lord of the Rings Free to Play still aims to get people to actually buy the game (weird right?) and so your experience is limited somewhat. For example, you canít create more than one character which is kind of a bummer, nor can you choose the character classes of a Warden (who is a specialized sort of warrior) or a Rune-Keeper (that is basically a spell caster that uses rocks to cast spells). You also wonít be able to join more than one server so if you plan on playing with your friends, make sure you all join up on the same one. And as was mentioned above, you canít have more than three bags of inventory, which fill up rather quickly, and are limited to a max of two gold.
A big part of MMOís has always been the ability to buy and sell, which adds a unique economy to these games. This is where the free to play version of the game really bites hard, because although you can buy items from the auction house, you are unable to sell any. This slightly destabilizes the games economy which may eventually lead to largely inflated prices. Besides these, the other major things that you are limited in are the various quest packs, mailing and chat features, traits, numerable community features, a mode called monster play, destiny points, and your wardrobe options are limited... if you care about that kind of stuff.
After all the cuts, is it still worth it?
Although all these cuts seem to really stack up (uh-huh -Ed), they appear no bigger than David in comparison to the Goliath that is Lord of the Rings Online. Honestly, if you are reading this and have gotten this far, just go download the game now. Itís free, itís fun, itís beautiful, itís The Lord of the Rings, and did I mention itís free? If you love The Lord of the Rings, MMOís, or just have a few hours of time to spend, this oneís definitely for you.
You can download and play for free with plenty of options given to you, as well as a great storyline and good music.
Gameplay just like any other MMO and enough features are cut to make you feel like youíre really missing out.