Tell me about LOTR Online

So I just found out that LOTR Online has gone free-to-play, and I love me some MMORPGs, but I’m in a fairly low-bandwidth situation and have to think about whether it would get that much use. So I guess I’m looking for any information about LOTRO that would sway my decision one way or the other. In general though, I guess I’m wondering

  1. Is it fun?
  2. Is it relatively solo friendly or grind free?
  3. If I were to play, what class or classes would be easiest to get a group with?
  4. If I refuse to buy any premium content or otherwise spend real-world money, will I notice a big difference versus the pay-to-play people?

It’s got some kind of music feature, where your character can perform real music in an in-game band.
LOTRO Freebird

  1. Yes, it’s fun, if MMOs are your thing.

  2. Yes and no. The game is extremely solo friendly and leveling isn’t really a grind at all. At endgame it can become grindy if you let it. It all depends how far you want to push your character. There is no mandatory grind however. Pretty much all content save for one raid can be tackled in a fairly casual manner.

  3. Probably a healer, either minstrel or runekeeper. The runekeeper can perform a primary dps or a primary healing role equally well if that is your thing. Captains are one of the least played classes as well and always in demand. You can get a group pretty easily as any class, though.

  4. Yes. You will not be able to play a warden or runekeeper off the bat. Nor can you level past 50, or travel into moria. I believe the auction hall is off limits as well, etc etc. While you can play for free they are really hoping people will pay for it.

Also if you have low bandwidth, the game is a fairly large download, something like 15gb. It does not require much bandwidth to play though.

I have played for several years if you have any other questions!

Sent from my PC36100 using Tapatalk

teletype is mostly right. A few clarifictions and my own thoughts follow:

#1: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. Especially if you’re into Lord of the Rings.
#2: teletype is pretty much spot on here. To expand on it a little though - the game is EXTREMELY solo friendly. You can go 1-65 with any class, easily, no question. (Well, 1-50 if you don’t want to pay.) You won’t have “the best stuff” but you’ll do just fine. There are many places in the game where obsessive compulsive people will get stuck and try to grind, however, but that is because these people have a personality disorder, not because the game is forcing you. For example, all zones in the game have associated Deeds. Deeds are sortof like quests or accomplishments, and they give small rewards for completion - usually a title, or a point in a virtue. Virtues are ‘traits’ you can equip that give small stat bonuses to your characters. Some of the deeds in some of the zones are along the lines of “Defeat Wargs in Angmar (150)” for a title and then “Defeat Wargs in Angmar(300)” for a point of a Virtue. A sane man would not grind 300 Wargs in Angmar for 3 points of agility and 8 points of morale (The net effect of an extra point in that virtue, assuming you’re even using it.). An obsessive compulsive person might. Don’t be obsessive compulsive.

#3: The easiest classes to get groups as are the ones that have clearly defined roles that every group needs: Healers and Tanks. Healers means Minstrels, Runekeepers, and sometimes Captains, Tanks means Guardians, Wardens, and sometimes Champions (and very very sometimes Captains.) These are the classes which, if they are absent, will put the brakes on a group. (Which is not to say you can’t do group instances without these classes, but it will depend on the players and the instance.)

#4: There’s a chart HERE that identifies what you get and don’t get for free play vs “have recently bought stuff” vs having a subscription. However, it’s a bit confusing because it’s not clear what a lot of the stuff means (I still don’t know what ‘quest packs’ are. -_- ). Basically though, you’ll be restricted in some way in most aspects of the game. Generally, things will still be available to you, but you’ll get less of them. (Fewer character slots, inventory slots, lower level cap, lower crafting tiers, can buy but not sell in auction house, fewer trait slots, etc, etc.) The real big limiter is, as mentioned, that you won’t have access to areas outside the “original” LotRO: Shadows of Angmar areas. No Moria, no Lorien, no Mirkwood, no Enedwaith. Still, that’s a LOT of game, and many of the restrictions relax (for a while, anyway. Not entirely sure how this is handled) if you buy pretty much any Turbine points.

Certainly, you have nothing to lose except the very large download by giving it a shot. If you decide to join Windfola or Arkenstone, post your character name(s) here and I’ll drop you a line in game sometime!

And, some further clarifications and some of my thoughts as well… :slight_smile:

Well - virtues are fairly important if you like your character to be as powerful as possible, and they offer flexibility in your gear choices, as well. They are a grind, yes. However you will find that as you level up, you complete many of them without even trying. What I generally do is identify only the virtues I will actually be using. Once I start to get to endgame, I go back and grind out the deeds for those virtues. Those 150 and 300 kill deeds are a grind if you do them on-level, but go a LOT quicker when you’re level 65.

Far more important than deeds, though, are traits. These are class-specific and either give bonuses or alter the way your skills work. Each class has 3 “trait lines” you can go down, or mix and match. You ultimately get seven trait slots available to you. Reading the tooltips on the traits will show how they work, but generally you get increasing bonuses (and sometimes an accompanying penalty) for slotting 2, 3, and 4 traits down each line. I won’t get into further detail as you’re only considering the game at this point, but it’s just something to be aware of. They make a huge difference in your character’s performance.

Note that you also now get “Turbine Points” for every deed you complete. You can use these in the Turbine store to purchase content, premium classes, bank slots, equipment, etc.

While this is true to a large extent, especially in PUGs, also be aware that LotRO is a LOT more forgiving in terms of group makeup than most other MMOs out there. Aside from the top-end raids, you can be perfectly successful without a tank, without a healer, etc, in much of the content. Classes in LotRO all have multiple roles they can perform. They’ll be better at their primary role, but can fill in in a secondary role as needed. The exception being the Runekeeper as I said – they have two primary roles.

But a lot of the time they are not. There are 13+ deeds for each virtue now, and you can only get to 10 ranks in each, so you can skip several virtue deeds and miss nothing.

This really has very little to do with grinding though, unless you consider using all your characters skills to be “Grinding” so…

That’s a good point - lots of the “purchased” content can be gotten in game by earning points through doing Deeds.

None of this changes the fact that you’re still way more likely to see “group looking for healer” or “group looking for tank” than you are to see “group looking for DPS”. We can argue what classes are and aren’t necessary for what until you we are blue in the fact, but healers and tanks will have an easier time getting a group, even if that’s just because the perception rather than the reality. I was trying to give a truthful answer to the question being asked, not engage in a bunch of essentially unhelpful debate about the whys, wherefores and suchlike.

LOTRO is very pretty. That’s the main impression I came away after playing it with my wife - they spent a lot of effort on the scenery, the artwork, and the music. I would spend hours just running around the land and looking at the world and everything in it, not even bothering with the quests.

I couldn’t stand the gameplay, but that’s more of a matter of my personal preference in games. My wife has a lifetime subscription.

That’s actually 450 wargs. (150 title + 300 virtue reward)

I know. I did it, once.


Yeah, but if you’re a first time player, you don’t even KNOW about the 2nd 300 until you’ve already done 150 (which, incidentally, is not really that hard if you actually do a lot of quests in Angmar, since the zone is practically carpeted in Wargs in some areas.)

But yeah. The moral of this story is: There is optional grinding, but it is optional and most people are capable of discerning when things are not worth grinding for. :wink:


If you solo, this is a non-issue. If you play in a kinship with more than a handful of active players, this is also a non-issue.

As indicated above, LOTRO is incredibly flexible. Experiment with several classes and play what you like. My main has been a Loremaster since launch, and I haven’t had a problem grouping since the very beginning of the game when no one knew what Loremasters actually did.

You may in fact see lots of spam in the LFF channel that says “tank needed” or “healer needed,” but very often that’s from people no one wants to play with anyway. It biases the sample quite a lot. You might not want to base your play choice on what classes random idiots are looking for. Try them all for a few levels and see what agrees with you.

If you happen to choose to play on Meneldor, I’ll hook you up. :slight_smile:

If you play solo, but occasionally want to join groups without saddling yourself with a kinship (You’d be surprised how many players do just this) then it’s extremely relevant.

Unless of course your kinship is out of the many, MANY kins in the game that accepts characters of all levels, so while you might have 20 people online at any given time, that certainly doesn’t assure you have a balanced fellowship of any given level.

I find this incredibly unfair. I’ve been part of some very pleasant and capable pickup groups, but you know, you really don’t want to do Skumfil at level 60 when the closest thing you have to a tank is a champion and the closest thing you have to a healer is a burglar. Yes, the game is flexible, no, not everyone who wants a tank or a healer is a “random idiot” - there are surprisingly FEW random idiots in LotRO.

Good advice, but it never hurts to understand the metagame for a class too.

Definitely not everyone in LFF is a random idiot. By a stroke of good luck some of my kinmates joined a DN PUG from LFF a year or so ago and we’ve been playing with them ever since. I’ve met fantastic people purely at random over the years.

All I am saying is that it is easy to be misled if you pick a toon based on frequency of requests in public channels because a fair amount of it is just the same crazies with whom no one in his right mind groups. I will cheerfully agree that, all things being equal, people don’t usually turn down healers or DPS. Either is a safe, solid choice.

But like I said, I’ve been a committed LM since the beginning, so that probably indicates that I am somewhat demented to begin with.

I have to say I did not enjoy it. I tried it for a while, and then, well, there are a lot of badly-designed things in the game. IThe interface is awful, the character designs are both bland and slightly-off-putting, as if their bodies are all out of proportion in weird ways. The plotlines I saw are pretty annoying and rely on the player being a moron and taking no active part in things.

Ive tried it and the big gamekiller from a F2P is that you seem to have to buy a mount. If you dont travel is a pain.

Id say only play it if you’re planning to subscribe if you like it.


Fast travel between stables doesn’t need the purchase of a mount.

Let’s just say that this is precisely the opposite of the received view, that LOTRO is an extremely polished game with a solid interface and an excellent, immersive plot.

Even before F2P, it was not trivial for at least first toons to get their mounts. You had to be fairly high level and it was very costly. It’s much easier now, and for good reason. Stable prices have also fallen, so moving around the map has never been more efficient.

I’m with Maeglin. This is the opposite of my experience - I find the interface to be, if nothing else, familiar, the stories to be well told and generally NOT rely on the player being an idiot (though it sometimes happens) and the character models look nice - and not goofy and out of proportion like a certain popular but cartoony MMO. (It’s a bad sign when I can’t play a human in your game because I just can’t get over how stupid they look.)

Again, what Maeglin said; Travel has gotten easier and easier in LotRO, and even at launch, it was easier or equivalent to the way it worked in WoW. No purchase of a mount is ever really REQUIRED, and while they are a pleasant convenience, real long distance travel is generally done with ‘rented’ horses from stables - which is not, to the best of my knowledge, restricted from FTP.

So what server is the best to start on? A few friends and I have this downloaded and are waiting to all have an afternoon off to start up. Haven’t created characters yet, so may as well be on the same server as ya’ll.

Silverlode is the unofficial “old fogey” server and has a Doper fellowship that was created during the game’s first week.

I’m with Maeglin. This is the opposite of my experience - I find the interface to be, if nothing else, familiar, the stories to be well told and generally NOT rely on the player being an idiot (though it sometimes happens) and the character models look nice - and not goofy and out of proportion like a certain popular but cartoony MMO. (It’s a bad sign when I can’t play a human in your game because I just can’t get over how stupid they look.)


I spent most of my time in the game basically waiting around like an idiot for events to happen, which I could easily have stopped if every NPC wasn’t a moron. While doing this, I noted that the character designs were weirdly distorted, with everyone having a far heftier chest than they should. The interface is cluttered, to small, and contains a lot of really pointless junk, while the inventory system manages to be a copy of WoW, without any of the large icons and quick responses which make it good.