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January 27th, 2007, 21:49
I think I'm breaking the NDA saying that i'm in the European Beta… but I don't think they can know who I am in their beta… I hope ;-)

What I know for sure is that I've played lots of mmorpgs over the years (almost 10 years now… years playing mmorpgs not my own age ;-), so I have *some* experience. LOTRO is definitely a decent mmorpg, some people will think it's the best, others won't. I personally find it a bit boring, too "kind", too "nice", I like more brutal/violent games, with a much heavier emphasis on PvP. But it is already, 2 months before release, more polished than several games on the market, it is stable, runs smoothly, has very little bugs for a beta version, lots of quests and things to do in the lvl 1-30 areas. It has a lot of features : all the ones found in other mmorpgs such as WoW or SWG (auction house, mail, mounts, etc) plus a few new/rarer ones such as built-in voice-chat, an interesting perk system (reminscent to that of AC2), a very nice emphasis on lore & story, and good incentives and rewards for "doing things well" : the Accomplishments system, etc.

So all things considered, Turbine is not at all ripping people off with a 199$ life time subscription provided the servers stay online for more than a year. By the standards in the mmorpg market, LOTRO in its current beta stage already provides enough content and quality to justify the 15$ monthly fee.
Now the question is, are you sure you're going to play LOTRO for at least a year, otherwise indeed 199$ would be too expensive. I personally can't answer that question, I don't think I would, I've only been playing it for a month, I like, but I don't love it, I'm not really addicted. I think I'll buy it, play through the main story line and reach level cap, which should take about 3 months this summer, then stop. Unless I can manage to wait until October for AoC to release (more violent more PvP and something else than the oh-so common dwarf/elves heroic fantasy world).

What I think would be really fair, is that Turbine extends this offer after release. Say you buy it, play it a month or two at 15$/month love it then do your math and decide 199$ will end up being cheaper. And as Moriendor said, a life-time subscription is a great way to pause when you're a bit bored, play something else then come back.
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