^ that seems to be currently the hot potato in the LotRO community, and even more so in the RP threads. As we learned last week, The Lord of the Rings Online is going free to play later this year. This "f2p" is very far from the more common, free Asian mmos, since it's pretty much just an unlimited trial with severe limitations (such as only one character per server, money capped at 2G, less storage space), which can be removed with microtransactions in the ingame store. What most of the early ragers on the forums missed was that subscribers and Lifetimers would see no change in their game, in fact they are getting free points each month to spend in the store. Personally, as a Lifer, I'm pretty happy with what we've seen of the new model so far. There's even going to be additional character slots in the store, so I could roll at least two more toons! Because 9 is so not enough.
Back to the topic - of course, the new f2p will mean that EVERY SCREAMING KID ON THE INTERNET IS COMING TO ROOOOOOIN MAI AR PEE SERVERS. Some of the folks on the forums are wondering if their precious Laurelin should be turned into a VIP-only (VIP meaning subscriber/Lifer), with a multi-part questionnaire posed to each new player thinking of rolling a new scrub there. I have a feeling that in reality that would not stop those who plan to join Laurelin just to grief role-players, but it would most likely deter those who are still undecided about RP or who like RP servers for the community. I hate it when role-players get all territorial.
(it's a funny thing how each f2p discussion brings up "wow kiddies" - aren't they already busy playing their p2p game? kiddies logging in while wow is in maintenance, you say? well, that's maybe an hour or two away from my life, and in that time I can easily avoid them, if I ever even happened to run into any!)
What personally makes me RRRAAAAAAAAGE is that there will be NO CONTENT UPDATES until the game goes f2p, meaning there will be a ~10month gap between any meaningful new stuff. Meaning it's going to be a very, very quiet summer in Lotroland, unlike last year, when we got a nice new set of instances to entertain us until SoM. I'm assuming there will be a summer festival in a month or so, but that's not comparable to proper new level-cap instances (no, I won't forgive Turbine, not even when there's a wicker chair and a hammock among the new summer festival prizes). I had been sort of hoping there would be a new update soon-ish, which would give me some incentive to play again (I don't count role-playing as playing the game - it's 3D chatting :D), but it seems like we'll have to wait until autumn now. Tsk tsk.
What I fear the most now is that the quiet period will make me lose touch with many new acquaintances I've made, both ingame, on the forums and even real life - I'll just have to come up with something to combine all three.