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Lord of the Rings Online goes free-to-play

The wonders of Middle-earth can now be accessed for free. Following in the footsteps of its fantasy MMO predecessor Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited, developer Turbine Entertainment has opened the gates to Lord of the Rings Online, offering a free-to-play option.

Potential players can download the client from the game's official website and get started at zero cost. The free-to-play option allows gamers to level up to level 50 for free in the most basic way available, while they may visit the new LOTRO Store to purchase expansions, quest packs, items, and account services piecemeal. Existing paid subscribers will automatically be enrolled into the new VIP program, providing unlimited access to all of the game's premium offerings.

The update to the Tolkien-based RPG includes the latest book, The Ride of the Grey Company.

"Having sworn to protect the heirs of Isildur, the Dúnedain responded with all haste to the urgent message from Elrond.  Players will join the newly-formed Grey Company in Rivendell as they depart on their journey far from the relative safety of that hidden valley into the new region of Enedwaith.  Book 2 consists of fifteen solo-able chapters full of exploration, exciting combat and a healthy dose of mystery."

A new edition of the seasonal event, The Return of the Harvest Festival, is also featured in the update. The latest edition of the game extends the epic storyline and expands the world into Enedwaith.

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