Lord of the Rings Online now online

Midway officially casts Shadows of Angmar over MMOG market; CEO David Zucker ringing NYSE closing bell to celebrate.

After three years of development, two publishers, and one name change, The Lord of the Rings Online: The Shadows of Angmar is officially online. Midway announced the game's official launch this morning, just over a month after developer Turbine (Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach) staged a successful final stress test. To celebrate, Midway CEO David Zucker is ringing the closing bell on the New York Stock Exchange this afternoon.

As the name implies, Lord of the Rings Online is the first massively multiplayer game to be set in Middle-earth, the fictional realm created by author J.R.R. Tolkien and popularized in director Peter Jackson's film trilogy. Though the game will sport locales and creatures from the books (Electronic Arts holds rights to LOTR film-based games), it will be based on all-new adventures. It will also be regularly updated with new realms and questlines, like the just-announced Shores of Evendim.

With a monthly subscription rate of $14.99, LOTRO retails for $49.99 in its most basic form. For $10 more, players can pick up a Special Edition replete with the game on a single DVD, a 30-day subscription, a "Making of The Lord of the Rings Online" DVD featurette, a game soundtrack CD, and an unnamed exclusive in-game item. Both versions are rated T for Teen.

Written By

Want the latest news about The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria?

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria

The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria

Follow

Discussion

92 comments
mithon81
mithon81

Some people are complaining that the interface is too similar to other mmo's. These are most likely people, who, like me, want to se something new, and not only more of the same. I would very much like to see a new kind of interface. Like they're doing with AoC. On the other hand, I don't stop watching movies belonging to the Action genre simply because I've seen many such movies. The recipe is very good, so I continue to see good action movies. It's the same with FPS. The interface is the same, but the content is different enough and the graphix amazing enough that it might be worth playing a new FPS. Likewise for MMO's. The interface is the same, because it works. So, I can scream and yell for new inovative games, but I won't scoff at new games following an old recipie simply because it's not revolutionary. If the game is as good as others that came before it, or better, then it has a place on the shelf, as far as I am concerned. So, if you can afford to be addicted, I'd definately try this. Unfortunately, I can't, so I probably won't try it. Maby at a friend's... =) [Sorry about the lengthy post]

SagevMansaw
SagevMansaw

Guildwars is an amazing game, you really need to have a great deal of respect for them. They nerfed subscription fees, that's just wonderfull, I find it brutally unfair that people should be paying that much, or atleast make it cost the same as XBL. And guildwars is coming out with ANOTHER expansion, and a sequil, i'm certainly gunna dive right back into it.

Swiftstrike5
Swiftstrike5

Guild Wars releases so many expansions that they make a good deal of money and dont have to charge for it. Reply to another post.

ReactiveDrunk
ReactiveDrunk

I've been playing non-stop since this game went live. Finally, something to replace WoW! And anyone who thinks that LoTRO used ideas from WoW, you're probably right, you friggin genius! But if you had experience in the genre you would know that WoW pretty much patched together every good part of every major MMO that preceeded. That's part of how developement works.

MxO
MxO

I think I hear a faint spinning sound from good ol' John Ronald Reuel's grave...

breese93
breese93

Guild Wars maybe the only one that has no monthly fee. How is that working out for them? Can they touch WOW? EQ2? COH/V? If you think that companies are going to drop their fees your delusional. I would love to see them drop the fees but the companies are in the business of making money. There are always people that are going to pay for 1 or more accounts. Just seems silly from a business standpoint to get rid of them.

rl_41
rl_41

Oh man.. I just stopped playing WoW, now this? I'm not getting for long time...

apsalar
apsalar

thejfk - u really need to grow up. If something works really well, why change it? WoWs interface is very good and self-explanotary. If u actually look at the UI of all the MMOs out there u will see a lot of similarities

wheelercub
wheelercub

I think its funny when users like "thefjk" write things that are so obvious that they show off their own ignorance of the gamining industry with comments like, "I WON'T PLAY THIS, JUST BECAUSE IT INTERFACE IS A TOTAL RIP OF WOW!" Normally I just laugh and go about my day, but I'm an ex-WOW fan and have found LOTRO to be one an amazing improvement after another in an already familiar system. For example, every MMO has a similar user interface but the LOTRO team really forged forward and gave players what they wanted by taking the best elements from games like WOW, Ashron's Call, DDO, DAoC, Everquest, and Lineage. The beautiful result is that the game UI doesn't interfere with the enjoyment of the game-world's experience. And based on what I've seen so far, it is one of the best MMO gaming worlds I've played in years. I attribute this to the Lord of the Rings books which were the first modern stories to bring elves and dwarves to life since Norse and Germanic mythology. And being that most MMOs today use the Tolkien reinvented versions of these creatures, in a way one might say that all other games copied the Lord of the Rings mythology. Well, in a way...

TheRealMantera
TheRealMantera

jalmodov, what are you thinking. 7600 gs and 2.4 dell (but 800 megs of RAM) not even a gig? try upgrading to about 2 gigs of RAM first. that should help tremendously.

anamnawshad
anamnawshad

$15 a month! :o And some say $4 a month (XBL) is too much! :P

Francislarsson7
Francislarsson7

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Talzaroff
Talzaroff

The game actually ROCKS. The interface ofcourse looks a bit the same as WoW, but that's simply because it's a very efficient interface. And there luckily are quite a lot of differences, especially in the gameplay. And, if you have a good computer, it's graphics are soooo much better than WoW's. When I started playing LotRO and visited a friend who plays WoW, that was the first thing I noticed. The corners are way smoother, as is creature movement. But the main reason why I play it, is simply because I love Middle-Earth. It's so great to actually be able to run around as a hobbit, delivering the mail from Michel Derving to Hobbiton and Tuckborough!

VONFREYER
VONFREYER

GuildWars does it for free and very well mind you. days of the monthly fees are numbered.

breese93
breese93

I love all the people complaining about the $15 dollars a month. How do you think they are supposed to pay for the support or the updates? It might be time to ask mommy and daddy for a raise on your allowance.

Brainkiller05
Brainkiller05

Not a fan of the movies but the game looks interesting :P

langfora
langfora

I'm curious about the game..if the reviews recommend it I'll try it out

thefjk
thefjk

I WON'T PLAY THIS, JUST BECAUSE IT INTERFACE IS A TOTAL RIP OF WOW! I mean if you tried something unique atleast then it'd be interesting, but copying another game's EXACT interface is just too sad!

thefjk
thefjk

I WON'T PLAY THIS, JUST BECAUSE IT INTERFACE IS A TOTAL RIP OF WOW! I mean if you tried something unique atleast then it'd be interesting, but copying another game's EXACT interface is just too sad!

SpazH3d
SpazH3d

This game would be SO(!) much more popular if it didnt have that monthly fee! Just imagine how many LOTR fans there are in this world, OMGz!

Anamaxander
Anamaxander

I just got my pre-order today after playing the beta for the last week, and I must say that this game is very appealing. The graphics are excellently done, the questing is interesting and feels meaningful, and for my Dwarven Champion at least, the combat is quite frenetic. Additionally, the feature of the game that I just discovered is the music system, which allows you to play in instrument using the 1-8 keys for different notes. While it is not fully implemented yet, I anticipate spending quite a lot of time plunking away on my lute. Also, for everyone who says "OMG this is totally ripped off from Wow/CoH/whatever," well, maybe you're right and most of the elements are from other games. However, much can be said for refining the systems from other games and putting a new story on top. I'll probably get banned for linking to another game site, but check out this article: http://www.gamespy.com/articles/777/777136p1.html

zsc4
zsc4

I might consider it...not to certain at the moment.

Lumenadducere
Lumenadducere

I was in the beta and really liked it. Lifetime subscription for me (I figure this'll be going for some time).

SmallPower
SmallPower

"Lord of the Rings, meh... please come up with some new ideas instead." How about another 1,337 sequels in the Final Fantasy, Zelda, Resident Evil, and Metal Gear franchises that you're such a big fan of.

Crimson-_-Tears
Crimson-_-Tears

I played the Beta and to me it wasn't that great in my opinion. Those types of games I'm not really into.

comthitnuong
comthitnuong

The game seems very well made but competition with WoW will be tough

Chainblast
Chainblast

It's a fun game but I'm sick of WoW and to me LOTR is pretty much the same thing, in a different world. Still, it was fun and if you crave a similar experience I suggest giving it a look.

sniper_99
sniper_99

Matrix Online! Matrix Online! Matrix Online! Matrix Online! FTW!

Pete5506
Pete5506

I will pass, but I have to say the beta was fun

Oni
Oni

You think with all the cool features they ripped off from the City of Hero and World of Warcraft games ... they would have at least improved on them a bit. To me LOTR On-line is City of Heros with a LOTR coat of paint. PASS

raedman
raedman

15 bucks a month? I'll pass

asmodeus_z
asmodeus_z

Definitely giving this a miss bcos of the subscription. :(

conkertheduke88
conkertheduke88

yeah its pretty sweet... the lack of PvP makes me mad though ... they shuda at least make it so that the monsters could ambush random gamers

anarchicgoth
anarchicgoth

i am probably not getting this game i prefer the RTS to get my Tolken on

bear1961
bear1961

i might get this game, sounds good, except the 15 dollar monthly subscription

morganout
morganout

@ radbytrade " If you like the books? Play it, love it, lose your life to it." Comparing such good books with a game? That's actually a felony... I wonder if you actually read them.

Slunk32
Slunk32

This is the new MMO KING for sure. I'm having a blast with it

Unveiled_3_16
Unveiled_3_16

I've not been too big on mmo's but i do love lord of the rings so i may just give this a shot.

bigbri252
bigbri252

I was very skeptical of this game at first, especially one based off of a license, but after playing the beta it did not take long to convince me that this is a really good morpg. It's not that different from wow but the story, the beautiful world to explore and the community make it a game worth playing, at least until AoC comes out.

Hawaiianc
Hawaiianc

finally after 4 years it officially out wow now this makes me feel old heh

fizzlefist
fizzlefist

Oh, and as to the animation issues several of you have mentioned, it's part of the graphical options. For slower/older machines (game scales very well) you can cut the animations to crap styles. Easy enough to fix, even when i played during the stress test. :D

fizzlefist
fizzlefist

It took a lot of the aspects that made WoW successful (easy to pick up, lots of quests with set goals) while staying very close to Tolkien's writings. The quests are very story driven, which IMO is a good thing. There's a main line of quests that continue the story, with countless other quests to keep you occupied. In my opinion, it's a fine MMO that anyone who wants to should try. It's not a cash-in on the movies. :)

Pug_of_Crydee
Pug_of_Crydee

I played in the beta for the past 3 weeks now, and I love it. I find myself actually reading the quest itself, not just looking at the objectives and thinking: "another x kills to go". Graphics are great, fun factor is there (didnt have to grind for xp or money), community is awesome and mature, and hopefully it will stay that way. And please stop comparing the game to WoW. Lotro and WoW are not the first games in this genre, both of them just have huge world and good storylines, background, and fan of the universe that Tolkien or Blizzard created. WoW didnt reinvent the wheel, just made it easier and more interesting for a whole new group of players. Not saying it's a bad game, far from it. Just saying you cant compare those 2 games together because they are both coming from the same source. Compare them to earlier games see what they improved or didnt. Makes more sense. @ AthenianLight "A fantasy game but no Wizard/Mage class... No way! i'll pass" There is one and it's called the Lore Master. @ hoverboy "Bring X number of item Y (that don't have 100% drop rate) = Grind" The drop rate is very high for quest items. Very rarely i had to kill more than i needed to to complete the quest. And even then, I didnt have to kill twice as many mobs like in WoW. Makes the game alot more interesting to play. My 2 cents

hoverboy
hoverboy

@tomjacobs: "...I played the beta for about a week and liked it a lot. The game actually has a story to tell. It's not solely a meaningless grind-universe like WoW..." I still think this is a pretty good MMO, but it's seriously not that much different in the quest mechanics than WoW is, which is not a bad thing, but it's easily as grindy. The Deed system = Wow's rep system = Grind Kill X number of mob Y quest = Grind Bring X number of item Y (that don't have 100% drop rate) = Grind How is that not the same as "a meaningless grind-universe like WoW"? I'm not a fan of random-drop quests and LOTRO has introduced the most evil version of this yet: a TIMED random drop quest. I killed 23 mobs, didn't get the drop, the timer ran out, quest failed. Run way back to restart... Brilliant idea guys. Oh yeah, much of the quest text in WoW tell a pretty good, and epic story which tie into the books and regions within the game. Actually, there's not too many quests there that don't have something to do with other story lines in the game.

Icicle2004
Icicle2004

Amazing, highly detailed game. Now if I had money and time I would totally play this. I was really intrigued with the music thing. If I had the money and the resources I'd get a keyboard (as in piano) and assign the keys to numbers 1 - 8 and make the shift and ctrl buttons the appropriate sharp and flats. Then I would be amazing at playing music in the game. Or even better...make a guitar hero mod for the lute ;)

killercuts
killercuts

I played the stress test and really liked the game. The visuals were nice and following the story was fun. In all it was very similar to wow but both games had there own strengths / weaknesses which i wont go over. I wont be buying this game, at least for a long time. I'm still recovering from being off the wow. I have a feeling the games gonna do well though.

L-5-R
L-5-R

I've been playing this game from the first beta. I have to say that it is one of the best games of its class. I played wow, EQ and vanguard, all great games, but this one has something about it. I could just be that i grew up with Tolkien stories and it was because of that I liked mmorpgs that were like them. Its allot like wow and others as it is in the same ballpark, lets not reinvent the wheel, and you'll here allot of people saying its copying wow or EQ whatever. truth is there are similarity but just that, don't be turned off because of a few things here or there that are part of the genera. That being said there are allot of things they threw in that really spice up the formula. And remember that Tolkien is were the whole fantasy genera began, so wow and EQ stood on the shoulders of a great man, its about time there was a game from the source. The graphics scale nicely with any system as well and when cranked up with the retail install they look amazing. Simply put if you call yourself a gamer you gotta try this one.

mjstelly
mjstelly

Well, it seems most of the nay-sayers on this thread had their minds made up before the game even launched. Hmmm, it's interesting how one can accurately compare a beta test application to a production application that has been polished by a few years of fixes. I can't make the inevitable comparison to WoW, since I haven't played it. But I can say this, imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery. My hat's off to the folks at Blizzard for setting the stage for this game. Personally, I am thrilled that Tolkien's story has found a new life in the virtual world. Oh, and if it isn't obvious, I really like this game. I participated in the stress test and open beta, and I haven't seen a beta for any application run this smooth for the end-user. Kudos to Turbine! I pre-ordered the game and will activate it tonight!

tomjacobs
tomjacobs

I played the beta for about a week and liked it a lot. The game actually has a story to tell. It's not solely a meaningless grind-universe like WoW. And it looks a lot better imo.