Account Types

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There are three Account Types available to new players in Lotro today, Free to Play, Premium, and VIP (subscribed). They give different benefits and bonuses. This page summarizes these differences.

Free to Play

Free to Play (abbreviated F2P) was launched in the fall 2010 and introduced a new business model. Players can play for free with significant restrictions and remove those restrictions by making a purchase in the in-game Lotro Store with Turbine Points (TP).
You can download the game for free and start playing without a subscription or even a credit card. Anyone can join the game for free as a Free player.

Premium

You will automatically be upgraded to Premium player status with your first purchase of something for real world money, e.g. Turbine Points, etc.

Founder

A player who pre-ordered the original Shadows of Angmar release in 2007. Benefits at the time included participation in the beta testing, special lower pricing for monthly and lifetime subscriptions, and special benefits for all characters (a ring of agility +3 and a special cloak). When Free to Play was released in 2010, Founders automatically became VIPs, as long as they kept paying their monthly fees (or were Lifetime members).

Lifetime

Lifetime subscriptions were offered to Founders at $199.00 USD. After release, the Lifetime Subscription was offered to others for $299. This subscription option was discontinued in 2009.

VIP Account Discussion

VIP status is one of three types of account a new LOTRO player can have today. As a player with a VIP account, you have unlimited access to all game content; only expansions must be purchased. VIP is another way of describing a subscriber.

For a monthly fee, Lotro’s VIP program offers the best value and the most options for players who like the convenience of having unlimited access to all of Lotro’s game content and features.

Acquiring VIP status

VIP status can be acquired with the following methods:

  • Maintaining an active subscription through the LOTRO account web interface (requires a credit card).
  • Adding game time from 60 day or 12 month Game Cards. Available at many retailers and the Turbine on-line Store.
  • Adding the key from a physically purchased Moria box to an account will add 30 days of VIP time. Note: These are old boxes from before Free to Play. Also note that European (CodeMaster) keys are no longer valid.
  • If a product key includes 30 days of play time, those 30 days count as VIP access. Please note that many, but not all types of keys include play time. If the key does include an upgrade, but no time, it won't include any VIP access.
If a product key does give 30 days, the account will be full VIP during that time, and will downgrade to Premium automatically at the end, the same way any other VIP account will downgrade to Premium, unless a subscription plan is selected. This includes the same perks such as the trait and riding access noted above, the monthly VIP points, etc.
Product keys can be used to upgrade accounts, even Beta or Trial accounts. If they include time, that will be added when the key is applied for the upgrade. Only one key of a specific type can be added to an account. Keys can't be used to add time if it isn't also applying an upgrade. There are some restrictions about adding keys that might be considered a downgrade (adding an Angmar key to a Moria trial). If you have any problems when trying to upgrade, please contact the Account Management department.
  • Having a Lifetime Membership. Note: no longer purchasable, but frequently awarded as Prizes for participation in Beta events.

Benefits

While LOTRO can be played for free without an active subscription, being a VIP player unlocks many elements of the game that non-VIP players would have to unlock with Turbine Points or cannot use at all. Benefits of VIP status are:

Tooltip explanation of the VIP Bonus Experience

(*)= These features cannot be purchased from the LOTRO Store and are exclusive VIP features.

See: official LOTRO VIP information and Free to Play for more detailed information.

Drawbacks

Having VIP status also has some elements that some players may find undesirable. These are:

  • Need to pay a monthly fee, unless the VIP is a lifetime subscriber.
  • Inability to purchase Quest Packs, Skirmishes and other elements that are unlocked while VIP. This makes it impossible to take advantage of sales in anticipation of a downgrade to Premium status.
  • Automatic rest XP. A possible side-effect is that quest content may be out-levelled before it is finished. This can be counteracted with the store-bought XP disabler.

Downgrading

If a subscription is cancelled or the time of a game card expires, a VIP account is automatically downgraded to a Premium account at the end of the remaining subscription period. Some features are maintained while most are no longer available.

Features maintained

Some features are maintained on a per-character basis when downgrading from VIP to Premium.
However, these features, listed below, are only maintained only for characters who have entered Middle-earth (logged in) while the VIP status was active; characters created after downgrading from VIP to Premium and characters that were created before or during VIP but were not logged into the game during VIP do not have access to these features.
These per-character unlocks also function for content the character hasn't reached yet due to level or other restrictions.
The following features are maintained on a per-character basis:
  • Swift Travel
  • All trait slots and class bonus skills unlocked
  • 5 Inventory bags
  • No maximum Gold limit

Handling of removed features

Downgrading removes all VIP features not described in the previous paragraph. Handling of the removal of some of those features is described below:

  • Monster Play: Aside from the Reaver, your monster play characters will become locked and unavailable to play. The characters will not be deleted, they will be available to play again once VIP status is reacquired or until that class is purchased.
  • If downgrading causes a player to go over his character slot limit, he must select one or two characters to give up. These characters are not deleted, but become unavailable until he purchases the extra character slot(s) or resubscribes.
  • Deeds and quests in progress can be finished.
  • Rest XP can be consumed, but is no longer generated.
  • Items placed in the Wardrobe as a VIP can be used and dyed but not replaced.
Your total available number of Shared Wardrobe slots is reduced by 20 (including the Maximum number of Shared Wardrobe Slots available). I.e. the 20 Shared Wardrobe slots received as a VIP player are removed. You must purchase those 20 slots from the LOTRO Store to again utilize them.
  • Crafting guild access is maintained but can no longer be increased.
  • Auctions in progress are maintained but no new auctions can be posted above the cap.
  • Swift travel is available to VIPs for free.
Swift travel can be temporarily unlocked (1 hour, 1 day, 7 days, 30 days) with the Writ of Special Passage from the LOTRO Store for Free or Premium players. The swift routes in the beginning areas are free to all players.
Characters of Premium players who downgraded from VIP keep access to all swift travel routes, even travel routes that character did not unlock while VIP (contradicting official information, which states only unlocked travel routes are maintained). Please note that only the characters played while the subscription was VIP will have access to swift travel routes; characters created after a subscription downgrade from VIP to Premium will only have access to beginning area swift travel routes.

Account type comparison table

Here are the benefits for each player status:

Feature VIP Player Premium Player Free Player
Points
Turbine Points (TP) 500/month
Can purchase more
Or earn through gameplay

Purchasable
Or earn through gameplay

Purchasable
Or earn through gameplay
Content
World Access Free Free Free
Epic Story **** Unlimited (up to Volume III Book 9
see note **** below)
Unlimited (up to Volume III Book 9
see note **** below)
Unlimited (up to Volume III Book 9
see note **** below)
Races 4 4 4
Core Classes 7 7 7
Premium Classes ** Purchasable Purchasable Purchasable
Level Cap 95 95 95
Character slots ** 5/server
Can purchase more
3/server
Can purchase more
2/server
Can purchase more
Quest Packs All packs except expansion packs Ered Luin, Shire, Bree-land, Lone Lands
Can purchase more
Ered Luin, Shire, Bree-land, Lone Lands
Can purchase more
Key features
Inventory 5 bags ***
Can purchase 1 more
3 bags
Can purchase 3 more
3 bags
Can purchase 3 more
Gold Limit Unlimited *** 5 Gold
Can purchase cap removal
2 Gold
Can purchase cap removal
Priority login Priority High Standard
Chat Unlimited Limited Limited
Auction 30 active listings; 20 active bids 5 active listings (can purchase more); 20 active bids Listings purchasable; 20 active bids
Mail Unlimited Limited by currency cap Cannot mail currency
Rest XP Automatic Not available Not available
Shared bank ** Purchasable Purchasable Purchasable
Skirmishes Maximum 11
Can purchase more
11
Can purchase more
Legendary items 6 slots (Can purchase more) 6 slots (Can purchase more) 6 slots (Can purchase more)
Traits All traits and class bonus skills unlocked *** 1 race slot and 2 virtue slots unlocked
Can purchase more slots and class bonus skills
1 race slot and 2 virtue slots unlocked
Can purchase more slots and class bonus skills
Crafting Tier 1-9 available Tier 1-9 available Tier 1-9 available
Crafting Guilds Unlimited
Purchasable Purchasable
Housing Available Available Available
Music Unlimited Unlimited Unlimited
Cosmetic system 3 outfits
Can purchase more
3 Outfits
Can purchase more
3 Outfits
Can purchase more
Shared Wardrobe 20 slots
Can purchase more
Purchasable Purchasable
Destiny points Can earn and spend on perks Can earn but cannot spend on perks Can earn but cannot spend on perks
Hobbit gifts 1 silver per day, 1 gold per week
Can purchase more
1 silver per day
Can purchase more
1 silver per day
Can purchase more
Monster play Unlimited
No freep access
Reaver class available, can purchase other classes
No freep access
Reaver class available, can purchase other classes
Community features Read/Post Read/Post Read/Limited posting
In-game Support Full access Full access for 30 days following the purchase of Turbine Points Self-service online
Technical Support Full access Full access Full access
Account Management Full access Full access Full access

(**): Purchasers of the LOTRO Adventurer’s Pack got 2 extra character slots and 20 slots of shared bank storage. (Option no longer available).

The maximum number of Character slots per server is 17.

(***): This feature is permanently unlocked on a per character basis; A character played during VIP status will have these features and retain them after the VIP time expires and the subscription status is downgraded to Premium. See Official Definitions below for more explanation.

Special Note TRAITS: With the release of Update 12, Helm's Deep, the old "trait system" was replaced with Trait trees. Each Character gets two "slots" for storing "Trait Tree Configurations." Additional configuration slots can be purchased for Mithril Coins. See: Trait Trees

(****) With the launch of the Helm's Deep Expansion (Update 12), the Epic Quest line is integrated into the expansion. This means that progress beyond Volume III Book 10 requires the purchase of the Helm's Deep Expansion FOR ALL ACCOUNT CLASSES.

LOTRO Expansion sets

There have been five expansions to the original The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar (Released: 24 April 2007).

1- Purchase of the Mines of Moria (18 November 2008) expansion adds to your account:

  • Two Premium classes (Rune-keeper and Warden).
  • Two extra character slots per server
  • Skirmish trait max rank raised to 15
  • Access to Mines of Moria content:
over 350 quests designed for Levels 50 - 60
Seven instances
See: LOTRO Store Mines of Moria

2- Purchase of the Siege of Mirkwood (1 December 2009) expansion adds to your account:

  • Skirmish trait max rank raised to 25
  • Access to Siege of Mirkwood content:
See: LOTRO Store Siege of Mirkwood

3- Purchase of the Rise of Isengard - ROI - (26 September, 2011) expansion adds to your account:

See: LOTRO Store Isengard

4- Purchase of the Riders of Rohan - ROR - (15 October 2012) expansion adds to your account:

Note: Access to Mounted Combat is available to all account types at level 75 with a Medium Steed.
  • Access to the Rohan Quest content:
See: LOTRO Store Riders of Rohan

5- Purchase of the Helm's Deep - HD - (launched 20 November 2013) expansion adds to your account:

See: LOTRO Store Helm's Deep
  • All LOTRO clients contain all expansion content. Purchased expansions are enabled by adding codes at myaccount.turbine.com.
  • You can check the in-game Store to see what you have unlocked. Whatever expansion doesn't show up in the Store anymore, you have access to!
  • The LOTRO Market (store.lotro.com) automatically applies account upgrades directly to the account you are logged into the Market with (i.e. the account you have used to log into the LOTRO Fourms (forums.lotro.com). If you're purchasing content, you'll experience the ability to access that area's content immediately.
You won't receive a code, or need to make any manual updates to myaccount.turbine.com; store.lotro.com does it for you.
  • If you're logged into the game while purchasing, you'll need to log out, shut down the game, re-start and log back in. This will typically correct any syncs your account has to make for most recent information, including recent account upgrades.

The current Expansion Best Buy

December 2013:
  • The current "best buy" for any player wishing to purchase the first four expansions is the Quadpack bundle which includes the following expansions listed above:
  • Moria
  • Mirkwood
  • Isengard
  • Rohan
Note that the Expansions include ALL Quest, Instance, and Skirmish related materials. Purchase of the expansion means you do not need to purchase those items separately.
Note also: The "Quad Pack" IS different from the "All Quest Packs" bundle available from the LOTRO Store. That bundle includes ONLY those quest packs available from the LOTRO Store and does not include either Instances or Skirmishes.

Current Quest and Expansion structure

December 2013:
  • There are five Expansions:
LOTRO Store reference Press release Wiki description Quest levels Turbine website
1 LOTRO Store Mines of Moria The Mines of Moria Moria (Lvl 51-60)
2 LOTRO Store Siege of Mirkwood The Siege of Mirkwood Mirkwood (Lvl 51-65)
3 LOTRO Store Isengard The Rise of Isengard Isengard (Lvl 66-75)
4 LOTRO Store Riders of Rohan The Riders of Rohan East Rohan (Lvl 75-85) rohan.lotro.com
5 LOTRO Store Helm's Deep Helm's Deep West Rohan (lvl 85-95) www.lotro.com/helmsdeep


  • The existing individual quest packs are:
LOTRO Store reference Wiki description Quest levels TP cost
1- Quest Pack:North Downs North Downs (Lvl 18-40) 595 Points
2- Quest Pack:Trollshaws Trollshaws (Lvl 30-50) 595 Points
3- Quest Pack:Evendim Evendim (Lvl 32-40) 595 Points
4- Quest Pack:Misty Mountains Misty Mountains (Lvl 39-50) 695 Points
5- Quest Pack:Forochel Forochel (Lvl 39-52) 595 Points
6- Quest Pack:Angmar Angmar (Lvl 40-52) 795 Points
7- Quest Pack:Eregion Eregion (Lvl 45-55) 695 Points
8- Quest Pack:Lothlorien Lothlórien (Lvl 55-60) 695 Points
9- Quest Pack:Enedwaith Enedwaith (Lvl 60-75) 695 Points
10- Quest Pack:Great River The Great River (Lvl 72-75) 795 Points
11- Quest Pack:Wildermore Wildermore (Lvl 83-85) 795 Points

Points to note

  • All quests in The Shire, Ered Luin, Bree-land, and Lone-lands are available to all players.
  • All landscape areas in The Lord of the Rings Online are open to free players. While free players can explore and kill monsters in these areas they cannot complete the side quests contained there without first purchasing the Quest Packs (or Expansions) for those areas.

Official Definitions

Official Turbine Free-2-Play-F-A-Q
  • Premium -- In order to be Premium, you need to have purchased something with real world money at some point; e.g. Turbine Points, box or digital copies of the game, or subscription fees (pre or post launch of Free to Play).
  • VIP -- In order to be VIP you need to be currently subscribed to the game, using a credit card or game cards as payment.
Any current subscribers (After Free Play Launch) who continue to keep an active subscription (including Lifetime subscriptions) are VIP.
  • Downgrade Possibilities -- Once your account is upgraded to Premium, that is the minimum status it can have. If it is upgraded to Premium, it will never downgrade to Free. You can un-subscribe from VIP to Premium access (but won't ever go back to Free).
  • "Types" of Premium -- There is only one type of Premium. However, individual characters can have increased access if the account was previously VIP, or subscribed prior to the launch of Free to Play.
  • Swift Travel (updated February 2011)
Swift travel is available to VIPs for free.
Swift travel can be temporarily unlocked with the Writ of Special Passage (1 hour, 1 day, 7 days, 30 days). The swift routes in the Starter Areas are free to all players.
Premium players get to keep unlocked access to swift travel routes they had access to while playing as VIP. Notice, this is only for character played during VIP, and each character will only have access to the swift travel routes which that specific character could access; for newer characters normal limitations apply. Contradicting this official statement, in reality characters played during VIP have access to all current and future swift travel routes.
  • Do points transfer between games or separate subscriptions on an account?
No. Turbine points are specific per Lotro account. Points are not bound to server.