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is the premier daily
MMOG news and commentary
newsletter, only from Ten Ton Hammer.

Welcome
to the 1,348th
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In the biggest pre-E3 MMORPG news to-date, Turbine announced today that The Lord of the Rings Online will be going free-to-play this fall, with beta starting in a little less than two weeks. A look at what's coming to LotRO and what this free-to-play move could mean to the fan-favorite MMORPG in today's Loading... LotRO Goes Free-to-Play.

cellspacing="0" width="100%">

The Pulse

You vote with what you
view at Ten Ton Hammer, and the
result
is the Ten Ton Pulse ( href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/thepulse/">What
is The Pulse?).

Here
are today's top 5 Pulse results:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World
    of Warcraft
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eq2">EverQuest II
  3. Lord of the Rings Online (UP 6)
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/aoc">Age
    of Conan
  5. Dungeons & Dragons Online (UP 1)

Biggest
movers this week
:

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998">All
    Points Bulletin (UP 26 to #17)
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2">Guild Wars 2 (UP 6 to #12)
  3. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/fallenearth">Fallen
    Earth (UP 5 to #19)
size="-1">Recent Releases
  • size="-1">2/16
    - href="http://everquest2.station.sony.com/expansions/sentinelsfate/index.vm">EverQuest
    2: Sentinel's Fate (expansion)
  • size="-1">2/16
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/81479">LotRO:
    Oath of the
    Rangers (content update)
  • size="-1">4/5
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1004">Pocket
    Legends (iMMOG - release date)
  • size="-1">5/1
    - href="http://www.cityofheroes.com/news/game_updates/issue_17/issue_17_overview.html?utm_source=COHemail&utm_medium=US&utm_campaign=banner"
    target="_blank">City
    of Heroes - Issue 17: Dark Mirror
    (content
    update)
  • size="-1">5/11
    - Age
    of Conan: Rise of the Godslayer
    size="-1">
    (expansion)
  • size="-1">5/26
    - EVE
    Online: Tyrannis
    size="-1">
    (expansion)
  • size="-1">5/27
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2422">Craft
    of Gods size="-1">
    (release)

size="-1">Upcoming
Releases

  • size="-1">June
    9,
    2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1004"
    target="_blank">Mortal
    Online (release)
  • size="-1">June
    29,
    2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/998"
    target="_blank">APB
    (US release- July 2 in UK, EU)
  • size="-1">July
    13, 2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/1801"
    target="_blank">Mytheon
    (release)

  • size="-1">July
    20,
    2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2461"
    target="_blank">Need
    for Speed World (release)
  • size="-1">TBA
    2010
    - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/2079"
    target="_blank">Final
    Fantasy XIV size="-1">



size="-1">Upcoming
Events

  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/15 -
    6/17 - href="http://www.e3expo.com/" target="_blank">E3
    Expo
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">6/25 -
    6/27 - href="http://www.lfgexpo.com/" target="_blank">Looking
    for Group
    Expo
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">7/22 -
    7/25 - href="http://www.comic-con.org/" target="_blank">Comic-Con
    International
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">8/5 -
    8/8 - href="http://events.station.sony.com/fanfaire/" target="_blank">SOE
    Fan Faire 2010
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">9/3 -
    9/6 - href="http://www.dragoncon.org/" target="_blank">DragonCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;">10/22 -
    10/23 - href="http://us.blizzard.com/blizzcon/?rhtml=y" target="_blank">BlizzCon
  • size="-1"> style="font-weight: bold;"> 3/24
    -
    3/26 (2011)- href="http://fanfest.eveonline.com/" target="_blank">CCP
    FanFest



Loading... Daily

Ever since Warner Bros. acquisition of Turbine was announced in April, we've had our fears. Those fears were fueled partly by well-crafted articles like this one, which documents apparent philosophy changes at Blizzard since its merger with Activision. What the author seems to forget is that Blizzard was headed in a microtransaction-driven direction (both with WoW and Battle.net) even under Vivendi, and I don't think we need a Deep Throat to tell us that if there's money to be made in premium services, Blizzard's going to take advantage.

The truth is that companies are like liquids, they take the shape of their holder. Given the high turnover and crazily turbulent marketplace where every investor expects, "Well, not WoW numbers of course, but , oh, say, a tenth of WoW's numbers - is that doable?" that's especially true of MMORPG development companies. Early indications from the dubba dubba dubbaya B weren't promising - every time a big time company or publisher steps into the MMO space we have to go through a vetting process (orpublicist juggling act) to explain that, yes, MMOs are big enough to require niche media outlets like ours. Yet there's hope in today's press release: Turbine is making LotRO free-to-play starting this fall. Beta for LotRO free-to-play begins on June 16th, right smack dab in the middle of E3.

To know what free-to-play LotRO will be like in terms of the item and content marketplace, you need look no farther than DDO Unlimited. According to the press release, many of the DDO products - expansion packs, premium content, additional character slots, potions, character customization, and the subscription VIP program (unlimited access to all premium content, receive priority server access, 5 character slots, a shared bank slot, and a monthly allotment of points to spend in the new item store). Players can level to 50 for free, and if DDO is any indication, an unwillingness to spend cash won't hamper that initial level-up significantly.

Is free-to-play LotRO a good thing? I can't see why not, other than the fact that the LotRO fanbase is traditionally prone to histrionics. I think the wisest among them will recognize that a massive influx of new gamers (of admittedly varied quality) can do LotRO nothing but good. But the greatest benefit to LotRO is, to paraphrase DDO Exec. Producer Fernando Paiz, the democratization process that happens when a subscription game goes free-to-play. In essence, the devco is working for you, and is only going to produce popular content and items. Not only is the Tolkien universe packed with side quests and adventures that players have been pining for, but Turbine is now financially incentivized to address longstanding sticking points like the relative lack of PvP and only one monster play maps, despite the interesting premise of freeps vs. creeps.

Do you think LotRO will do every bit as well as DDO Unlimited? Stop by the Loading…
forum
and share your opinion, and when you're not busy doing that, have a great weekend!


Shayalyn's Epic Thread of
the Day



From our Star Wars: The Old Republic News & Announcements

BioWare Says 'No Point' to Current MMOs

That's
right, folks! The MMOGs you've known, loved and played for years are
pointless. So sayeth BioWare designer and writing director Daniel
Erickson who, according to Draecor Ralkor's post in our Star Wars: The
Old Republic forum, said in a recent interview with CVG
that today's MMOGs have "no story" and "no point." Is story on a
massive scale something MMOGs have been missing, or does story on a
massive scale make a game more single-player RPG-like than MMOG-like? You be the judge!

==============================

Awesome Quotes from the
Epic Thread


"I am
still cautiously optimistic about TOR's chances of being an MMORPG I'll
like but it doesn't help when BioWare seems to not 'get it.'
"

- SirRobin
==============================



Have you spotted an Epic Thread on our forums? Tell
us
!


New
and Exclusive Content
Today at Ten Ton Hammer

4 new Ten Ton Hammer
articles today! 19 Ten Ton Hammer
features
in June! 590
in 2010!

Today's
Hottest Articles, Guides, and Features

  1. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/podcasts/live/9"
    target="_blank">Ten
    Ton Hammer Live Ep. 9 - TERA's
    Sam Kim and Matt
    Atwood
  2. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/apb/impressions/community-day-2010"
    target="_blank">APB
    Community Day Q&A and Hands-On Impressions
  3. Techno Beat-Down – A
    Perpetuum Online Preview

    href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/previews/perpetuum">
  4. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/editorials/personal-story-continued"
    target="_blank">The
    Impact of Story Pt. 2 - href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/editorials/personal-story-continued"
    target="_blank">Guild
    Wars 2
    href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/features/editorials/personal-story-continued"
    target="_blank">'s
    Interactive World
  5. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/previews/cataclysm/zalazans_fall"
    target="_blank">WoW
    href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow/previews/cataclysm/zalazans_fall"
    target="_blank">
    PTR Patch 3.3.5 - Glory of the Darkspear
  6. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/interviews/dev_talk/2010/may"
    target="_blank">Dev
    Talk: Top MMOG Devs Weigh
    in on User-Generated
    Content
  7. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/eve/spymaster/45"
    target="_blank">EVE
    Online
    - Sins of a Solar
    Spymaster #45 : Advice for a New CEO
  8. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/giveaways/loco-cbt"
    target="_blank">Land
    of Chaos Online
    Closed Beta Key
    Giveaway
  9. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/editorials/return-to-guildwars"
    target="_blank">The
    Many Reasons to Return to Guild
    Wars
  10. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/beyond/guides/war-in-kryta"
    target="_blank">Guild
    Wars:
    The War in Kryta Guide
  11. href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/gw2/newsletter/issue-1"
    target="_blank">The
    War in
    Kryta Advances - style="font-weight: bold;">GW2
    Weekly Report

Thanks
for visiting the Ten Ton Hammer network!

- Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle and
the Ten Ton Hammer team


To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Jeff
Jeff joined the Ten Ton Hammer team in 2004 covering EverQuest II, and he's had his hands on just about every PC online and multiplayer game he could since.

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