For the longest time, Middle-earth was just a place we visited in our imaginations. Some people helped mold those images through paintings, drawings, and even movies. But in the end we were just imagining the places we loved. This all changed in 2007, when The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow of Angmar released, and for the first time we were able to explore Middle-earth freely. Players were introduced to the woodlands of Ered Luin, the rolling hills of the Shire, and the metropolis that is Bree, and from there your adventure expanded to where ever you wished. No other Lord of the Rings based game gave you this freedom.
Released on April 24, 2007, LOTRO, as it is affectionately called by it’s players, has grown to be one of the largest MMORPGs created. Since it’s original release, LOTRO has grown from it’s eight starting areas, encompassing most of Eriador, reaching down into the pits of Moria, under the golden leaves of Lórien, to the Old Brown Lands next to the Anduin, and even into the prisons of Orthanc, LOTRO has celebrated three expansions since it’s release: The Mines of Moria, Siege if Mirkwood, and the Rise of Isengard, and plans on releasing it’s fourth expansion, The Riders of Rohan this fall.
LOTRO is also one of the first MMORPGs to incorporate a “Free to Play”(F2P) Model as a subscription option to vast success. This has set a trend and many popular MMOs. seeing the success of LOTRO’s system have switched to this model as well. While you can still subscribe to receive content updates and features you wouldn’t get for free, the F2P option allows a player to experience the wonders of Middle-earth without shelling out a monthly fee. Turbine Points were introduced into the game, which can be used a currency to buy anything varying from game content to consumable items, all through the in-game LOTRO store. In theory, one can accumulate enough Turbine Points through the completion of Deeds and other various activities in game to buy all the content needed to experience every aspect of life in Middle-earth.
Every anniversary, LOTRO does special festival events to celebrate in game. Join in the fun as you collect special Anniversary Tokens you can barter away for exclusive 5th Anniversary items.
So whether it’s joining in on a round of ale in the Green Dragon, or listening to a group of musicians on Weathertop, or even bar-fighting in Thorin’s Hall; be sure to raise your glass where ever you are, in honor of the people who have spent tireless hours bringing the world we all love to life! Happy Anniversary, LOTRO. Here’s to five more!