Blessing of the Valar
Boosts that auto-level a character in an MMO have always divided player opinion. Naturally when Turbine introduced the Gift of the Valar in late 2014, which instantly increases a character to Ievel fifty, there was a lot of debate in the wider community. It should be noted that at the time of release, Turbine stated they reserved the right to alter the level boost beyond fifty at a future date. On a live stream broadcast on 12th June 2014, it was stated that the boost may be raised to possibly seventy five. It would seem that in update 17.1 for LOTRO, Turbine have created a new boost called the Blessing of the Valar which will increase a character to level ninety five.
I do not consider such store based items to be a problem or harmful to the game and deem this one to be far more practical than its previous incarnation. I can understand why a LOTRO “altaholic” may tire of repeating PVE content for the umpteenth time and using such a boost to bring a new alt closer to level cap and endgame participation. That seems far more practical to me compared to the older boost that simple took you just halfway to level cap. However it is always good to have options so having multiple permutations of such a levelling boost seems very beneficial for both players and developers alike.
The price of 5995 Turbine points is somewhat high but then again LOTRO does have a high number of lifetime account holders who have sizeable stockpiles of this currency, due to the monthly stipend. LOTRO also has a lot of whales who are happy to spend money on the only Middle-earth themed game available. Turbine cannot really be chastised for trying to monetise an MMO that is in the final stages of its lifecycle. I wonder how long it will be before we see items such as high end armour and weapons available in the LOTRO store. For those who are sceptical about such things happening, wasn’t a similar opinion on levelling boosts held in the not so distant past?