Although the video game industry fosters a welcoming environment for new developers, its volatility is a double-edged sword. Massively multiplayer online games are particularly susceptible to unprecedented changes that often depend on prevailing trends, and very few are able to navigate the turbulent waters of the industry. Celebrating its 15th anniversary with a host of new content, The Lord of the Rings online stands as a proud member of the MMORPG genre and proves that there are exceptions to every rule.
Originally developed by Turbine, LOTR online enjoyed continuous support with frequent updates and changes between paid and free content before Standing Stone Games took the helm six years ago and followed in the footsteps of its predecessor. The game’s rich fantasy-themed world has remained true to JRR Tolkien’s universe throughout, while its setting has been met with praise and rave reviews. Over the years, developers and publishers have strived to cater to a wide range of audiences. The latest anniversary update is a testament to their joint effort, as LOTR online now has improved accessibility in both free and paid extensions.
With the 15th anniversary celebrations underway, players will receive a message about ongoing events alongside a free map that will offer guidance. Since the event begins at the Party Tree, located on The Hill in The Shire, interacting with Waldo Rumble will ensure players don’t miss out on this year’s festivities. While Waldo will introduce them to a quest called “Another Great Year”, the seasonal instances have also welcomed a new addition to their roster. Curious players who want to celebrate this milestone in style will have the chance to create the greatest fireworks in the Land of Bree by participating in “A Flurry of Fireworks!”
Logging in through May 11 will allow players to claim Birthday Gifts, which are account-wide and contain a plethora of in-game goodies, including a Chestnut Corgi pet, Steed of Starlight, the Mithril Coin currency and many more. For veteran players who received last year’s 14th Anniversary Gift Pack, a special 15th Anniversary Gift Pack will be available until April 1, 2023. The 15th Anniversary Event will provide all participants with plenty of opportunities to earn birthday tokens, party tokens and mithril coins. , which they can trade for new items, consumables, pets, or home decorations.
In addition to limited-time festivities and generous giveaways, LOTR onlineThe anniversary-themed update features iconic Yondershire on the map. Rather than expanding the selection of late-game areas for high-level players, Standing Stone Games envisioned Yondershire as a mid-game region suitable for level 20-23 characters. While VIP members of the community can explore its sparsely populated landscape without charge, the rest of the players can access the region by purchasing it from the LOTRO Store.
Following the introduction of Yondershire, the developer has also made some changes to the availability of previously paid content. All areas, expansions, instances, and quests released between the initial launch of LOTR onlineup to and including the release of Helm’s Deep, are now permanently available at no additional cost. Free-to-play enthusiasts can make the most of this timely decision by upgrading their existing characters to level 95 without making any monetary investment. Alternatively, they can opt for a new character from the High Elf race and experiment with the Rune-Keeper, Warden, or Beorning classes.
Standing Stone Games hasn’t forgotten its customers either, as the 33rd update offers VIP players additional benefits. In addition to access to standard editions of Minas Morgul, Mordorand War of the Three Summits expansions, they will also receive five additional slots for active quests, while the effects of the subscriber’s jug will be strengthened and will last for two weeks. Although the content introduced during LOTR onlineThe 15th anniversary of will no doubt put smiles on many faces, the game’s longstanding presence in the industry is just as intriguing and exciting as the prospect of future updates to the franchise.
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