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SummaryOK "free-to-play" online RPG
- Tolkien setting
- writing/quest descriptions
- upgradeable legendary items and crafting
- flexible purchasing/subscription model
- typical MMORPG combat
- lack of impact on the game world
- theme park-like experience
- hackneyed main story
- hard to form groups of players to journey with
The Bottom LineI've been playing this game off and on now for almost six months. I have a level 60 Burglar and a level 35 Guardian on the Vilya server. Most of the time I've played as a "free-to-play" (F2P) player, but I also subbed for a few months. Right now I am a "Premium" player--a player who plays for free but at one time was a subscriber, and thus gets a few additional perks.
I cancelled my subscription and mainly continue to play due to the social aspects (I am in a "kinship" or guild) of the game, as well as to explore the Middle Earth setting. The environments are pretty, and it's nice to walk where Frodo might have once walked. Other than that, though, there is just a lot of grinding to get to the next level or complete the next quest; and as per most MMORPGs I haven't felt like I've made any real impact on the game world since everything respawns right away. Leveling is made easier, however, by the game's "Skirmish" system, which provides a quick way for players to get together or solo and gain XP and some decent items, and the main game "story" or plot, while hackneyed, gives the player a better sense of progress through the game.
I also find the combat unexciting as per nearly all MMORPGs unless you are able to find a group of players to fight along side. Actually finding a group of players is difficult however (on my server at least), unless you are playing one of the Skirmish or other popular instance dungeons and raids.
Overall, the game is an OK value since it can largely be played for free. The system of purchasing items from the game store is also pretty flexible, and there are several ways of acquiring the TP or "Turbine Points" used to buy items: earn them by completing "deeds" within the game; buy them online using a credit card; buy game cards at places like Gamestop or Best Buy; receive 500 TP as a monthly allowance with your paid VIP subscription.