Posted in Lord of the Rings Online

LOTRO’s fast pass to level 50

I guess it’s what all the popular kids are doing these days and it makes the money, so LOTRO has succumbed to peer pressure and begun selling instant level 50s in the store.  This is something I’ve been hearing about for well over a year now, and with something similar in DDO I assumed it was just a matter of time.  Turbine’s projected an impatience for people not being at the level cap with all of the XP pocket items and double XP months and the like — they want to sell expansions and get people up there with their friends.

Now I’ve made my feelings clear on this trend of giving/selling fast passes to higher levels, so I’m not interested in rehashing that today.  I just feel it cheapens and weakens the game overall.  What I am interested in discussing is how this will work within LOTRO itself.

First things first, Goldenstar has her own analysis of this that I’d like you to check out.  Read it?  Cool.

So what you’re getting here is a fast pass to the doors of Moria, skipping pretty much the entirety of the Shadows of Angmar content.  You get the riding skill, a mount, some level 50 gear, 4 ranks of each virtue, and some other consumable boosts.  For this, you’re going to be paying about $50 — more than the cost of the current expansion or more than the cost of the first four expansions combined.  The price is the one point of solace here — it’s a hefty fee to pay for a fast pass, and I don’t see a ton of people using it because of this.

I also don’t see a great appeal to this even if you’re in an all-fire hurry to get to the level cap.  You can get to level 50 in a month even if you play somewhat casually — as with most MMOs, the fastest levels are in the beginning.  Skipping these levels means that you’re going to be missing some really terrific zones that are often stated as the ones that got players invested in the world of the game.  And you’re going to be starting right out by diving into Moria, a gauntlet that has swallowed many an underground adventurer’s enthusiasm.  I mean, Moria’s better now than it once was, but do you really want that to be the first thing you do?

The virtues thing concerns me a little, too.  Four ranks of each is a lot overall, but usually I’m at rank 6 or 7 with my chosen five virtues by the time I get to Moria.  There will probably need to be some backtracking done here.

I’m curious how the game’s going to handle the story.  Maybe you’ll start with the first quest of volume II and go from there — that’s what makes the most sense to me.

It just doesn’t seem like a prudent purchase for a newbie, especially one who is still learning the ropes of the game and his or her class.  For veterans, I guess it’s more appealing, but they’re also more likely to have a high-level character and will probably just see this as a way to get a jump-start on an alt.

For me, LOTRO is a journey that is assuredly long, but because it’s about the journey itself I’ve never been in an all-consuming rush to get to this fabled glorious land of the endgame.  $50 to have part of that journey taken away is lose-lose in my view.

14 thoughts on “LOTRO’s fast pass to level 50

  1. I definitely see this as appealing to long-time players who are just sick of questing in the SoA areas. Unlike the later zones they aren’t quite as well designed for running through multiple times, especially the ones that haven’t been revamped since they were released(North Downs, Trollshaws, Misty Mountains, looking at you guys).

  2. Agree heartily with Jake…and these are the only people I imagine having 5000TP floating around with nothing else to buy!

    Re jumping into Moria: I would dive head first into it if I could…I really enjoyed…best LOTRO area by far that I have explored!

    Traits being level 4 are so so as they dont have that great an effect yet…so I have been told over and over…which never stops me grinding most of the one I want out.

    Overall a strange purchase and I really thing a ‘newb’ would be left clueless as how to progress…so def for the LT’ers!

  3. Considering I was one of those whose skeletons are still somewhere in Moria, paying $50 to speed right to its gates is definitely unappealing. Now, if they said $50 to skip Moria and get to Lothlorien…that might have been more of a temptation…

  4. Oh and next time I will follow instructions and read Goldenstar’s comments as I have mostly repeated her thoughts…oops…no wonder I never shone in exams!

  5. You might say it’s indicative that Turbine isn’t reaching it’s revenue goals from the lvl 1-50 content. Current raiders might think about making this purchase for alts IF it took them to lvl 85 AND there’s was sufficient endgame raiding content to being with. IMO, world building is what Turbine does best and one would be missing out on that by bypassing 50 levels of content.

  6. As someone who has many alts (as I know you do too Syp) I can see where the appeal of this is. I don’t think this is for players who think the journey is the reward. I guess my counter would be; Why didn’t they streamline the the lower level regions like they did with Evendim? I made my Warden just so I could go through the new Evendim and then soured the good taste in my mouth by having to deal with the Trollshaws? Whatever though. I find the combat, UI, quest system, and skill latency to all be things of a bygone MMO era. Good on them for giving players an item that want it. Does anyone really think newbies are going to use this? Come on. This is totally an item for people who want that Lore Master or Mini they never played and they want to group up with their pals at the end game and they still have a casual stroll to Edoras in their way before they get there.

  7. Honestly, I don’t mind the idea. But once again, Lotro shoots themselves in the foot. $50! Really? Why make it so ridiculously expensive. $50 isn’t an impulse buy at all. Same with horses. I’ve swore off the store cause everything in there seems so overpriced to me. They have great ideas, but I think they need to lower the prices on everything by at least half. I’d go from not spending anything to probably getting lots of toys for $10 a month. A value I feel just fine pitching into their game. But everytime I open the store and look at their prices, I immediately close it and decide to not buy anything.

  8. I could understand a jump-to-cap item, or even a jump-to-85 item. But jump to 50? I can’t see who that is going to appeal to.

    Well maybe there are some special cases, like if you really wanted to play with your 50ish friend on another server. But really such rare cases as to be hardly worth catering to, I’d have thought.

    Now if they’d developed an add-10-levels-to-char item and sold it for 500TP or so, they might have gotten a reasonable number of takers for it.

  9. I consider this fast pass a way to shut the people up who have been wanting this sort of instant level-up. They made it just expensive enough to keep random people from doing it, and not at the level cap so that you still have to work through the game’s expacs.

  10. I just bought it for my brand new Champion. I love LOTRO. With that same breath I also say FRACK THE HELL OUT OF SoA. I know SoA so damned well at this point that Bill Ferny would make a better mother to my children then my wife would. Feels so good to skip it and head to the best part of LotRO…Moria (I haven’t tried any Rohan content yet so my opinion may change down the road).

  11. To me I would rather there not be level restrictions that dictate where and with whom I can play at every instance. Sure have your linear story through the zones but just give me a little more freedom.
    I’m not sure I agree with the premium pricing model but the option being there to play with friends is a good thing.

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