Saturday, June 11, 2011

LoTRO: after a while the free stuff really adds up

I've been playing Lord of the Rings Online since open beta. I've pre-ordered at every opportunity, and gotten free stuff each time. I also went lifer fairly early on which got me more free stuff. I got yet more free stuff by subscribing to PC Gamer around the time LoTRO launched (it came with a code as part of a promotional preview). Finally, I decided to buy the most expensive version of the Isenguard pre-order that went live last week, because I simply could not commit to one color for the cloaks, horses, and outfits for all of my characters (yes, I can be squirrely like that). Just for giggles I started a new level one character and unpacked everything he started with, this is what his bags look like:

The list of stuff he started with includes 2 pocket items, four cosmetic items, five mounts, and nine cloaks, in addition to miscellaneous items like a writ of passage, Ithilden coins, and scented candles. I have my choice of 8 basic looks for my cloak (2 of the 9 are nearly identical):

One of these...

or these...

or these:

I can also pick between two different cosmetic outfits:

I have three colors to pick from for the one on the right.

In addition, I'll get a slow horse at level 8 and four additional mounts as I level, a goat and three full speed horses at 20 (if I recall correctly). The horses are especially nice since they start with 200 hit points, 100 more than a normal mount, but 50 hit points less than a faction mount.

I'm certainly not complaining, it's actually a lot of fun to be able to customize new characters so heavily right out of the gate. Not having to use level 1 hobo gear for my appearance slots is very nice. However, I'm starting to wonder what else they can reasonably offer as pre-order bonuses that won't be unbalanced or completely redundant with what's in the game already. For newer players it's not much of an issue, I doubt a ton of players are getting 9 cloaks to pick from every time they roll a new 'toon. However, for old timers like me the amount of stuff you get with a new character is starting to border on the absurd, and much of it is definitely redundant.

All that said, Turbine seems to have found the Achilles heel of my wallet. I'll likely happily keep pre-ordering expansions for the random free stuff every single time I can.


  1. I haven't rolled a new character in a loooong time so I've never seen all of the items laid out, but I'm in the same boat as you are (except the Isengard pre-order). Good thing you get a full set of bags at the start instead of having to unlock inventory slots like Rift or you'd be overfull right from the first minute.

  2. @Jaydub: Everyone likes it :-)

    @Blue Kae: Turbine has been especially genrous with pre-order bonuses in LoTRO, i know I tend to forget just how much stuff I've built up over time in between new alts. I am quite happy with my Isenguard pre-order items. If nothing else, the horse or horses you can get are really nice.

  3. LOL after so many years of playing WoW, whenever I roll a new character I get automatically inundated with a whole bunch of free gifts/past purchases/exclusives that I have to clear out of my inbox the moment I step into the game. But that's still nothing compared to what you have there! That is nuts! Guess being a long time player and a lifer really pays off :)

  4. @Mmogamerchick: it certainly pays off better than any other MMO I'm familiar with. Of course, I've also never been active in an MMO for as long as I have with LoTRO, so I am biased :-)

  5. Sounds like Turbine has your number, Yeebo. Heck, that +25% XP bonus has me wondering if I should preorder myself. :)

  6. @Anjin: they do have my number, unfortunately :-) The 25% XP bonus stacks with any rested bonus you have, so it's actually quite a lot on a guy you haven't played in a while. The only downside is that if you already have a pocket item with good stats, you'll have to swap it out.