Mithril! That most precious and valuable of all metals of Middle-earth – but is it the best value for LOTRO players? In the opinion of this reporter its far from being the best value, but that’s not really what the Mithril Edition release of LOTRO is about.
Released first of all in Europe towards the end of last year, Mithril Edition is doing double duty for Turbine. It was released first to Europe because the Codemasters arrangement had ended and Turbine needed a release into the space. but its second role applies as much to the USA as Europe – to get LOTRO available on the shelves in stores.
Whether online shop or down at the mall, LOTRO has been largely absent from shelves after it moved to free-to-play and online distribution for expansions. Mithril Edition is Turbine’s effort to reclaim space on the shelves and in the consciousness of gamers. As a deal for gamers who have never tried LOTRO its a pretty darn good package. Its a great selection of quests packs that give players access to the areas of Middle-earth that the Fellowship travelled through and you can ride through then on an account-wide horse, as well as having 2000 Turbine Points to spend. All in all its a good package – but its not the best value you can get.
Turbine also sell the Rise of Isengard Legendary edition, available for $49.99 at regular price. As well as giving you all the Isengard quests and instances, you also get the same quest packs that come with Mithril Edition and it also includes Mirkwood quest pack. It also includes 3 different account-wide horses, 3 cosmetic outfits and 1000 Turbine Points. You’re spending more money here, but work with me and I’ll explain why this is actually better value.
For the best bang for the buck, the top combo for the LOTRO player who has outgrown the free areas and doesn’t want to grind deeds to get the turbine points to buy quest packs is to buy Rise of Isengard legendary edition and a 3 month VIP subscription. Altogether that’s a $79.99 cost, so at $50 more than Mithril Edition its going to have to really work to show its value. A 3 months VIP subscription will give you another 1500 Turbine Points (provided you don’t spend them as you go!) on top of the 1000 you got with buying Rise if Isengard legendary edition, giving you 2500 points after 3 months.
So after 3 months one route (Mithril Edition) you’ve spent $30 and got 2000 points, the other you’ve spent $80 and got 2500 points. Seems obvious which is cheaper, right? Wait, now we need to make them equivalent.
To get access to all the same quests and have the same turbine point balance as the RoI legendary/VIP customer, the Mithril customer will need to spend another $54.98 on points. Now we’ve spent roughly the same amount, but we still don’t have equivalency. The RoI/VIP customer will, on all of their characters, have all their trait slots unlocked, have all the storage bags available and have no gold cap. That will soon make a huge hole in the points balance of the Mithril customer to unlock, especially if they have more than 1 character (trait slot costs can really stack up). The Mithril customer will be through their 2000 turbine points in no time trying to get the same options as the RoI/VIP customer who so far has spent NONE of their points!
Here’s where the RoI/VIP option gets even better. As long as you have not spent any of your points you should be OK (provided you wait for a LOTRO store sale) to get almost every other quest pack you’re missing out of all the available options in the store, giving you almost the complete game permanently and for $20 less than the cheapest annual VIP deal available. If you’re fortunate enough to get Rise of Isengard legendary editions on one of their sale days (just after Christmas it was a whopping 50% off) this goes from best value deal to total no-brainer.
Of course don’t forget that LOTRO really can be played completely and utterly FOR FREE if you’re willing to put in the grinding time. For even the casual player its easy to play up to level 30 without needing to spend a dime, so you’ve got plenty of time to decide if its a game you want to spend money on before you take the plunge. So if you’ve never tried it before, what’s stopping you – go download it and give a go today. For free!
Free-to-play, Mithril Edition, VIP……one of the very best things about LOTRO is it has a great choice of cost options so the game really is open to everyone. Whatever one you feel best suits you, enjoy your journeys in Middle-earth!