Gifts From Gandalf

Turbine has wrapped up some holiday presents for players of Lord of the Rings Online. Current players subscribed at the normal $14.99 per month have the option to sign up for $9.99 per month if they pay via 3 month chunks at $29.97, not a bad deal if you are enjoying the game and missed out on the Founder’s pricing plans.

Speaking of Founders, Turbine has put a horse under the tree. This is a special horse to be used by level 25 and higher players. The normal horse was not available until 35, so this is a nice step up. Currently, it is only available to Founders and Lifetime account holders. I’d like to see it offered to all players and perhaps it will down the road. Since I have a Founder account and I’m almost level 22 right now, this is a perfect present for my Hobbit. Naturally, the level 25 horse is slower than the level 35 horse – but it’s got to be better than running everywhere.

More details can be found here and here.

– Ethic

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Ethic

I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I’m more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

6 thoughts on “Gifts From Gandalf”

  1. I lol’d at the FAQ.

    I’m not a Founder. Can I have a horse?
    Regular players can still have a horse at level 35. We are offering a different holiday promotion for our non-Founder and non-Lifetime accounts (click here for more information). Additionally, keep an eye out for our player rewards program, which will launch in early 2008 and offers ways to earn great perks just by subscribing to LOTRO!

    Their gimmicks never stop.

  2. * #1 All-Time Largest Western MMORPG to offer two different player transportation systems before endgame (for select subscription options only)

  3. The horse is about 20% or maybe 25% run speed, if anyone wonders. Tested one out with another hunter (they get a 15% out of combat speed boost). Once I get the 5% speed boost trinket from the elves I’ll know for sure. It’s good for my hunter who is basically a money farming machine – too cheap to buy a mount :)

    Don’t many games offer “veteran rewards”? This seems to be the same thing: get rewards depending on length of membership. (Well actually even lifetime subscribers who are not founders can get it so… it is more based on subscription, hopefully that will change)

    Though all these promotions do make me worry about their subscriptions sometimes. In some ways if someone charges more we automatically think of them as better or higher class, probably because we think they can get away with charging more. So LOTRO being cheap makes you worry that they are having problems attracting people.

    Though when I’m in there I see tons of people so … it’s all just perception I guess. It COULD be that there is just not room for so many $15 a month games, since so many of us play more than one now, and maybe more games will either start charging less or do the no-monthly-fee or other models. But … who knows.

  4. I think at the end of the day the number of servers is one of the best indicators you have. With one caveat: They can always upgrade the hardware and maintain the same number of servers without telling you they did.

    But, if you assume they would tell you about such a thing (and they would, since it’s better PR than ‘4 million characters’ in the end), when they’re forced to add more servers, it generally means the playerbase is increasing. When they start merging, the opposite.

    Servers (and their maintenance, and bandwidth, etc) cost a pretty penny, so they’re not something you usually mess around with for the hell of it. You do it when you need it. Either you invest in more servers because you cannot appropiately hold your playerbase, or you cancel some servers and merge because they’re never used as they should be and you’re losing money.

    While I acknowledge it’s not a definitive metric of anything, the fact that they still have the same number of servers more or less since launch tells me the population is stabilized at some point between 120K-200K in NA, since they mentioned each server could hold around 10K players. So, yeah, they could have upgraded the hardware so each server could accommodate more people, but I imagine they would have announced such a thing, since it’s real good news. Not Prof. Farnsworth-type ‘good news’.

  5. LOTRO being cheaper is how I can justify maintaining its subscription even though I spend the lion’s share of my time in City of Heroes.

    I like their gimmicks. It’s a standard MMO, which I barely have time for, but it’s a standard MMO with regular updates, holiday events, no pressure to reach endgame, beautiful graphics that I love to look at when I log in, and that’s just about worth $10 a month in my mind.

    At $15, I’d probably cancel.

  6. I have to agree about the statement of it being so cheap and wondering of it is attracting players. Does anyone have any good information as to whether it is going well economically for Turbine? They did add a couple of new server several months back so that seems to be a good sign.

    I hope it’s doing well as I enjoy it. Ultima Online is still going on too, so hopefully LOTRO will have a similar longevity.

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