BY Heather Richtmyre  //  June 8, 2010

EVE's expansion, DDO's update, LotRO free to play — and clowns.


here have been several interesting events in MMORPGs recently, with the release of EVE Online's new expansion, previews for update five of Dungeons & Dragons Online, and the announcement that Turbine will be switching Lord of the Rings Online to a free-to-play structure like DDO's.

So far, EVE's planetside expansion Tyrannis hasn't brought my character any major changes, though I am tempted to buy some of the relevant skill books before the actual colonization starts, as the cost of such books is currently somewhat affordable, even for a newer player. Though, it's likely that the items used for colonization may provide prohibitively expensive. EVE Gate hasn't provided any features I've found useful yet, though part of that may be related to the easy access I tend to have to a computer with the EVE installed, and EVE Gate's current beta status. There has been an assortment of bugs with both Tyrannis and EVE gate, but I have not suffered from any yet.

DDO's update five preview shows several appealing features. The addition of trap-making for rogues seems rather unusual, and may encourage some to take more than a couple levels of the class. For me, it means that I need to set aside some time to level my rogue, especially when factoring in that guild airships will also be introduced.

While the Carnival of Shadows looks to be fun, it also has the fearful potential of clowns who are secretly spies, assassins, or ninjas, given the various enterprises of House Phiarlan. I would consider mere clowns frightful enough.

With the LotRO announcement, I am somewhat tempted to spend some time with the game once the free to play system is implemented, though I wasn't particularly enthralled when I tried the trial previously. Some of the limits seem stricter than those in DDO, and I find the idea of a gold limit set at two or five amusing, given that most games I'm involved with tend to count currencies in the hundreds, thousands, or even billions. And there is the likely risk of having too many games to play at that point to even consider adding another.

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