Well in some cases it does help to be a bit delayed in getting news out as sometimes numbers do change and fluctuate especially when subscription numbers are mentioned.  Yesterday, Mordor or Bust posted an article from the PatriotLedger which originally stated 200K new LOTRO subscribers since the F2P announcement – but that has since been clarified to be 100K-200K beta applicants, via Turbine.  Now, while not quite as impressive as new subs, when you consider that subscribers were automatically signed-up (and hopefully not counted in this number) that’s still a pretty good sign of new blood to the game.  So my thoughts are this will be a pretty substantial influx of new folks to the game and some portion of those will certainly transfer over to subscriptions, or buy things through the cash shop, which will bring new revenue and resources to Turbine.  Most people peg the current subscription base around 250K to 500K for LOTRO (still hard to figure out) this will most likely mean about a community twice the size it currently is.  Which yes, will bring some annoyances but will all the tools we have to get around those, I’m more excited for all the cool people who will be joining us!

The other piece of news lately that has stirred some commotion was the article over on Massively where they get to sit and chat with the Turbine folks about the new toys and such coming with Enedwaith.  If you haven’t read the article, I highly suggest it but I figured I’d share my thoughts on what we’ve learned so far.

  • There seems to be lots of focus and effort on helping people learn the game.  From the re-works to the intro tutorials and the UI tweaks I think that will be a big help for people just hopping in to the game.  Plus hopefully they’ll get to some of the annoyances us current players have.
  • The whole instance thing is exciting, assuming they don’t screw it up.  I like the idea of an “instance join” mechanism and of course the scaling mechanism.  Now the scaling is similar to Skirmishes but you can’t change the group size, only the level of the instance.  They’re also breaking up some of the longer instances into wings, which was part of the initial confusion as these were quoted as entire instances when in fact it is just a part of one.  So far I’m all positive, the scary part for me is the rewards as I want these instances to be rewarding and not just diversions.  I don’t expect to get the highest tier radiance gear but I want stuff that could actually benefit my character and not another skirmish mark grind for runes and relics for my LIs.
  • And finally they did talk about Enedwaith which everyone should be happy to learn is a happier more open place!  It is a large zone with a pretty good amount of quests (over 160) so this should provide a nice alternative for folks who are scared (or tired) of the dark.  It also is the continuation of the epic story which I’m quite addicted to and can’t get enough of.  I also found it interesting (not knowing the lore) that we’ll see quite a few different Middle-Earth cultures including men and hobbits.  Also, there’s a race specific quest line mentioned which will be interesting as well to see how that plays out – sadly I only have men so I’ll need others to fill me in on what I’ve missed.

Nothing but positives from the news side of things for me, but there still are lots of unknowns so we’ll still have to wait and see how everything fleshes out.