The Lord of the Rings Online has hopped on the World of Warcraft Classic bandwagon and launched its own legacy - Legendary, as it's called - service.
The LOTRO Anor server takes players back to the very beginning of the 2007 game, to Shadows of Angmar and a level cap of 50. Crucially, everyone begins again, which means the captivating chance to level quickly and make a name for yourself has returned. The level cap and story will unlock "over time".
But LOTRO will do a few things differently to WoW. Notably races and classes added long after release will be available in the vanilla experience, and all the many bug fixes, gameplay improvements and user interface updates will remain. There's a LOTRO Legendary FAQ with more precise detail. Note, you'll need to be a VIP subscriber to access the Legendary server.
The Lord of the Rings Online licence has been renewed and will last until 2017, developer Turbine has assured fans.
Meanwhile, in Middle-earth, The Lord of the Rings Online plods on through J. R. R. Tolkien's great fiction one hairy overgrown foot at a time.
A fifth expansion pack, Helm's Deep, has just been announced for the autumn, and will bring the game's story up to that eponymous battle as well as raise the level cap a further 10 levels to 95.
If you're level 10 or above you can fight for Helm's Deep, but don't forget to look to the East at dawn on the fifth day etc.
Ken Rolston - lead designer on Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind, its sequel Oblivion, and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning - has recently joined Turbine, developer of Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online.
Imagine a world where you can play an MMO like Lord of the Rings Online directly on its website.
It's not subscription MMOs that are dying, Lord of the Rings Online and Dungeons & Dragons Online maker Turbine told Eurogamer - it's antiquated games that insist upon a single method of payment.
Lord of the Rings Online's autumn expansion Riders of Rohan was announced yesterday, and Eurogamer galloped after developer Turbine to find out more.
The headline feature of LOTRO's biggest ever expansion is mounted combat. Kate Paiz, the game's executive producer, told us more.
These War Steeds will only be available to buy and use in Rohan, and from character level 75. The price of a War Steed is TBD.
From 1st June, the European Lord of the Rings Online service will be run by game maker Turbine.
The Lord of the Rings Online may never get another proper expansion pack, producer Aaron Campbell has told Eurogamer - the free-to-play relaunch has taught Turbine "a lot" about "pacing" of updates. But don't worry - next year's trip to Isengard will be just as good.
The European free-to-play relaunch of The Lord of the Rings Online will happen on Tuesday, 2nd November, Eurogamer can exclusively reveal.
Mandatory monthly subscriptions will be dropped and replaced by three tiers of membership - VIP (has a monthly fee), Premium and Free - and a LOTRO Store. There you can buy expansion packs, premium add-ons, thousands of convenience items, additional character slots, potions and character customisation options. The LOTRO Store works within the game.
The free-to-play overhaul introduces other new features, too: a new Wardrobe storage system for cosmetic items, an updated character creation system, a revamped new player experience and redesign for the vintage dungeons of the world, which will become not only repeatable, but feature scalable content to keep the challenge fresh.
The delay of the free-to-play Lord of the Rings Online update is down to "contractual issues", publisher Codemasters has confirmed.
The European free-to-play relaunch of The Lord of the Rings Online has been delayed so that Codemasters can better prepare for the anticipated "massive increase" in players.
Book 2: Ride of the Grey Company and the Free to Play Store will now be available "later than expected".
"We are really pleased with the performance of the game and excited about the response to Free to Play from our players," said Rowland. "Given the complexities and challenges faced in the preparation and implementation of the new store to work within our infrastructure, we feel more time is needed to deliver the high level of service our players have quite rightly come to expect.
Warner Bros. has announced that Turbine's The Lord of the Rings Online MMO will relaunch worldwide this autumn as a free-to-play game.
The move will follow the model established by Turbine's successful relaunch of Dungeons & Dragons Online in the US last year, with a large chunk of the game available for free and extra content, items, features and services on sale via an in-game store.
Alternatively, you'll be able to pay a VIP subscription for unlimited access to premium content.
Eurogamer has learnt that The Lord of the Rings Online will continue to be distributed and run by Codemasters in Europe, despite Warner's recent purchase of developer Turbine.
Turbine has detailed the next Book update to The Lord of the Rings Online. This takes the MMO version of the Tolkien saga into Volume III: Allies of the King with Book 1: Oath of the Rangers.
Four Skirmishes will be added at Dol Guldur, the fortress from last year's Siege of Mirkwood mini-expansion. They'll be playable in a new 12-person mode. There'll be an additional Skirmish called the Depths of Nûrz Ghâshu as well.
The level cap for crafted items will be increased to 65, and a new epic quest line involves marshalling Rangers scattered across the Northlands to meet the shadow spreading over Middle-Earth.
Codemasters has revealed its European pricing and pre-order deals for The Lord of the Rings Online's digital mini-expansion, Siege of Mirkwood.
Turbine has announced that it will release the Siege of Mirkwood digital mini-expansion for The Lord of the Rings Online on 1st December.
Turbine has explained how Lord of the Rings Online's new Skirmishes mode will work when it's introduced as part of the Siege of Mirkwood digital expansion later this year.
Turbine has announced that Lord of the Rings Online will expand by one zone and five levels with a paid "digital expansion", Siege of Mirkwood, this autumn.
More than a free Book update, less than a full expansion pack, Siege of Mirkwood is billed as the "epic conclusion" to Volume II: Mines of Moria, which was kicked off with last year's boxed expansion of the same name. The price of the update has yet to be revealed.
Siege of Mirkwood increases the level cap to 65 - with the associated new traits, skills, class quests and so on - and opens up the spooky forest of Mirkwood, culminating in the fortress of Dol Goldur, home of the Ringwraiths. Dol Guldur will contain dungeons for three and six players, and a 12-man raid.
Codemasters will introduce Book 8: Scourge of Khazad-dum to Lord of the Rings Online this Thursday, adding a new raid, new small-party instances, gameplay tweaks and a Summer Festival. The update launches in North America today.
Turbine has revealed in a Twitter post that it will release the next update for The Lord of the Rings Online in June. The update's full title is Volume II, Book 8: The Scourge of Khazad-Dûm.
Going by the test server patch notes, the highlights will be a new chunk of epic storyline with an emphasis on content for small parties of players, a revamp of the crafting system, and the Summer Festival.
"The plans of Gorothúl, sorcerer of Dol Guldur, begin to be made clear as ancient evils stir again in the depths of Khazad-dûm. Small fellowships must form to combat this emerging threat before the hopes of the Iron Garrison and the Elves of Lothlórien are ended by the darkness," say the notes.
A consumer survey turned up by GameDaily suggests that an Xbox 360 version of The Lord of the Rings Online is in the works, and that developer Turbine is considering both subscriptions and micro-transactions as business models for it.
Codemasters and Turbine have confirmed that their Lord of the Rings Online MMO is about to receive the first major update since last year's Mines of Moria expansion, in the form of Book 7: Leaves of Lorien.
The update goes live on Turbine's US servers today. Codemasters will bring it to European servers "shortly after this date". On previous form, you shouldn't have to wait too long.
As we reported recently, the update adds Lothlorien, a faction-controlled zone where players will have to earn the right to hang out with Galadriel and the Fellowship.
Turbine has created a new test server for its Lord of the Rings Online MMO, and loaded it with the game's next big content update - the first since last year's Mines of Moria expansion - Volume 2: Book 7. That means pre-release patch notes giving us some idea of what will be in the final update.
Codemasters is taking a new tack on MMO recruitment programmes by offering Amazon vouchers worth 5 euros or pounds for every friend Lord of the Rings Online players bring to the game.
Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine has made a number of staff redundant at both its Massachusetts and California studios.
Turbine has opened its social networking site for The Lord of the Rings Online to the public for the first time.
The site, My LOTRO, is available for a very limited time as a "beta preview". The preview closes tomorrow, Friday 12th December.
At the moment, My LOTRO is run exclusively by Turbine, the developer of the Tolkien MMO, and so is only available to players on the North American servers operated by Turbine itself.
It's a festival of MMO expansions today: fantasy role-playing stalwarts Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest II have both released their latest instalments.
LOTRO's Mines of Moria opens a huge new underground world for players, raises the level cap from 50 to 60, adds two new character classes, and highly customisable Legendary weapons that level alongside your character.
Not bad for the first expansion to a game that's not much more than 18 months old. Check out the Mines of Moria gamepage for exhaustive hands-on, interviews, video, news and more, and expect to read our full review soon.
Turbine boss Jeff Steefel has said the studio is planning to release MMO titles for consoles in the future.
Speaking at the Tokyo Game Show this morning, Turbine chief Jim Crowley revealed that Lord of the Rings Online is to get a full-featured social networking site late this year.
Codemasters Online plans to release Lord of the Rings Online expansion pack Mines of Moria on 18th November across Europe and North America.
The case for a console version of Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online MMO is strengthening, if a job the company is advertising is anything to go by.
Lord of the Rings Online's executive producer Jeffrey Steefel has told Eurogamer that he thinks the Turbine game is the most likely MMO to achieve mass-market success, after World of Warcraft.
Codemasters has opened the bidding on pre-orders for the first Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Mines of Moria, in Europe - and announced limited pre-order incentives available to early birds.
GameSpy has a preview of Book 14 of Lord of the Rings Online - the final free update to the game before expansion Mines of Moria is released this Autumn.
Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine has revealed it is "actively developing a title for console".
Turbine has added a new mini-game to its website pimping the next Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Mines of Moria.
Codemasters Online Gaming is trying to entice past Lord of the Rings Online subscribers back by offering them a free weekend in Middle-Earth.
Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine has obtained USD 40 million in a third round of venture capital funding, according to an online report by Private Equity Hub - and also according to GamesIndustry.biz.
There isn't much in the way of fresh MMO news this morning, because the world of massively multiplayer gaming spent most of yesterday trying to outdo itself - and every other section of the gaming industry - in an orgy of funny fakery. And we have to say it did rather well.
Lord of the Rings Online executive producer Jeffrey Steefel, speaking to Eurogamer just after announcing this year's Mines of Moria expansion, said that being in Moria would be "very different from anything people have experienced before".
Lord of the Rings Online developer Turbine unveiled the second volume of the Tolkein-licensed massively multiplayer RPG at Connect 08 in Birmingham today.
Speaking at the Codemasters Online Gaming event, executive producer Jeffrey Steefel said it will be titled The Mines of Moria and is down for a release before the end of the year. It will be the first of a series of planned yearly updates to Lord of the Rings Online.
The Mines of Moria will take high-level players out of the kingdom of Eriador and into the goblin-infested underground world, formerly a dwarven kingdom, just after the Fellowship of the Ring has passed through it in the events of the books. The Mines will be a reproduced as a single, continuous space in the game.