Lord of the Rings Online

Lord of the Rings Online free to play beta today

Josh Augustine at

Shiny Staff

Real estate values in the Shire have plummeted! Right about now you can pick up a cozy two-bedroom for literally nothing. That's because today marks the launch of LOTRO's free-to-play beta--where talk is free, and a shiny staff will run you a few hundred points.

When LOTRO free-to-play officially goes live this fall, they'll be offering a hybrid model--much as you find in Dungeons & Dragons Online. Current and future subscribers will become VIP members, which grants full access to everything in the game as well as 500 Points per month to spend in premium shops. Premium members (a la carte players) benefit from increased gold capacity and two more character slots. Of course, you could always enjoy the sights of LOTRO for free, frills not included.

Still not sold? (Which is odd for a free game) We've dug up some of the items Turbine is looking to peddle right here. When you're ready, don't hesitate to get your frugal on in the beta.