As a life-time subscriber, my primary concern was "what does this mean for me?" I'm selfish that way. As it turns out, very little save perhaps more players in the starting areas and faster content releases. Lifetime accounts get free access to all the content that a monthly subscriber (or VIP account in the Turbine parlance) would without ever having to pay.
As a lifetime subscriber, between now and the launch launch of FtP if you log in to LotRO at least once a month you will get 500 free Turbine points per month (so 1500 or so free points when it launches). After that, lifetime subscribers get 500 free points a month whether they log or not. If the prices in the item store are at all comparable to DDO, that means taking a break for a few months would give you enough points to buy pretty much any single item you'd want from the store and still have a lot of points left over. I wonder if will work out for Turbine long term, or if they will add a requirement that you log every so often to get your points.
Additional details that stuck out, in no particular order (I hope Anjin won't mind if I borrow some bullets):
- Turbine claims that LoTRO was doing fine as a sub based MMO, but that DDO has been bringing in so much cash that they felt it would be stupid not to switch LoTRO over to the same model (I'm paraphrasing, obviously).
- With the launch of FtP we are getting a new zone, Enedwaith, about which very little is known from the books.
- The launch will also include a major revamp of starting zones, as well as improvements to monster play, legendary items, and radiance gear.
- Radiance gear will not be available in the item shop. However, I'm guessing that scrolls and things for your LIs will be. In fact, I imagine that almost everything you can currently get from skirmish vendors will be in the shop.
- Warden and Runekeeper are becoming premium classes (still usable by VIPs, lifers and those that have the Moria expansion).
- Turbine points are not transferable between DDO and LoTRO (doh!)
- Finally, if you have ever bought any expansions, you already "own" content in FtP LoTRO. For example, if you bought Moria you already have access to the premium classes.
All in all, it's a pretty exciting hunk of news. I'm really enjoying the FtP model in DDO. If this means we get content faster in LoTRO, I'm all for it.
Edit: The blogosphere is absolutely atwitter with this. Ravious did another post from a lifer's perspective over at KTR, while Sente, Syp, Blue Kae, MMO Gamer Chick, and Scott Jennings have all posted their takes. Finally, Syp just put up much more comprehensive list over at Bio Break. Good stuff :-)