I shouldn’t be surprised with a smooth MMO launch, but I still am. The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar launched yesterday and from all appearances it was quite trouble free. I have heard some tales of new account registrations being slow, but other than that it seemed to go without many problems at all. The availability of boxes on store shelves might not be as plentiful as one might hope, but I don’t know if that qualifies as a negative.
There was a queue when I logged into Landroval last night, being 14th in line. I was logged in within 3 minutes. I ran around a lot, trying to see how many people were playing. It looked pretty good to me. Plenty of people.
Several people have covered the launch and I wanted to link you to those posts as well as highlight a little from them.
First up is Tobold and his latest journal.
Yesterday was the official release of Lord of the Rings Online, and over here in Europe it went medium smoothly. The servers stayed up, there wasn’t too much lag, and installation and downloading the latest patch went fast enough. But the website on which you had to create your account and enter your CD key was totally overloaded, and hard to impossible to access.
Next we have Michael Zenke at MMOG Nation.
I was sure that LOTRO was nothing more than a cheap knock-off of WoW with a hobbit-skin cover. By the 17th, during an argument with my comrade in the Cesspit, I found myself reconsidering my opinion. At the end of the month I had already apologized for an ill-given ‘award’. Last week, my will caved. Today, though I still have the sneaking suspicion I’m never going to see much of the world Turbine hath wrought, I stand before you apologetic, impressed, and excited. I don’t have a crystal ball, but Turbine finally might have a hit on their hands.
The Ancient Gaming Noob has some updated information on the subscription plans.
I was actually a bit surprised to see that if you take the $9.99 a month founder’s subscription plan, you can actually get a further discount on your subscription price if you pay for 3, 6, or 12 months at once.
The Common Sense Gamer had this to say:
I logged in last night with my Captain and did about 3 or 4 quests and then called it a night. I didn’t get to level 16 with that effort, but I was just happy to be progressing again. The town of Bree was just full of people and the whole world looks to be well populated.
As for me, I really didn’t play much last night, I was just observing. This has to be good news for Turbine, as a bad launch can be really hard to get over. I look forward to seeing where they take us on this ride.
I suppose I should give my review of the Special Edition box.
Full Game on 2 DVD’s – Yes, good. I have a DVD player. I did the repair to get the high res files added, went quickly.
30-days of free online play – nothing to say here, also included in the regular box.
Free 10-day Buddy Key – good for my wife to use some day I guess.
The “Beyond the Shadows. . .The Making of The Lord of the Rings Online” DVD – A collection of videos that show how Turbine brought the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien to life. Hear from the game’s designers and see their work from concept to completion. – This is actually pretty good and alone is probably worth paying the extra $10.
The Lord of the Rings Online Soundtrack – In-game soundtrack of the Shire, Rivendell, Bree, Thorin’s Hall and Angmar. – Well, it’s not as good as the original World of Warcraft soundtrack, but I think it’s better than the Burning Crusade soundtrack.
Exclusive In-Game Item – “The Glass of Aglarel” – Carrying this in-game jewel will increase your Hope to aid you against the effects of Dread brought on by the Witch-king and his minions. – I haven’t actually activated my full account yet as there are still a few days left on the beta account so I really have no opinion. From what I have read it is a +1 Hope for 5 minutes with a 2 hour cooldown.
A Full Color Special Edition Manual – Didn’t even look at it, oops.
Exclusive map of Middle-earth – Very disappointed. Small piece of paper, folded in 4. Hard to even read it.