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Free MMORPG celebrates 17th anniversary with massive annual event

The Lord of the Rings Online is having its 17th anniversary event, celebrating the long history of the MMORPG as Amazon's version looms.

Lord of the Rings Online anniversary event: a person holding up a fish with their left hand

As someone new to MMOs and MMORPGs after getting into Final Fantasy 14 a decade late, I’m constantly floored by how long the successful ones have been running. World of Warcraft is coming up on two decades of expansions and updates, even rolling back to its own Classic version due to demand, and Star Wars: The Old Republic has been around since 2011. Fantasy classic The Lord of the Rings Online is still kicking too, and it’s celebrating its 17th birthday with an annual event, even as a brand new LOTR MMO looms from Amazon.

The Anniversary Festival is an annual event in Lord of the Rings Online, and this year the MMORPG is offering up a historical scavenger hunt, some festival quests, and even a festivity instance based around fireworks. There are plenty of anniversary rewards to redeem, making this one of the best MMO events I’ve seen since I got hooked on the genre.

The LOTRO anniversary quests are split between three regions (Bree Town Center, The Shire, and Thorin’s Hall Ale House), but you’ll get a free map to take you where you need to go before starting the first quest. There’s a lot to do outside of the quests as well, giving new players a chance to get to grips with the game while veteran players do the event alongside them.

This isn’t all of course, as the Anniversary Scavenger Hunt part of the event lets lower and higher-level players go back through some of the most important locales in the game’s Middle-earth history, with versions of the quest for lower-level players, and others for those seeking a challenge.

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There’s also the “A Flurry of Fireworks” instance that has you creating a fireworks display for Bree and offers up Festivity Tokens for your trouble. But then there are also Anniversary Tokens, which are your main reward for completing anniversary quests. These can be used at special vendors to unlock new mounts, pets, cosmetic items, housing items, musical instruments, carrying torches, fireworks, maps, and more.

Even though LOTRO is still here a new Lord of the Rings MMO from New World developer Amazon Games is on the way, and while we know very little about it Amazon says it wants the game to be around for at least ten years. With LOTRO coming up on two decades Amazon certainly has its work cut out for it, that’s for sure.

If you’re a veteran LOTRO player you can learn more about the event, running until Sunday May 5, right here. The MMO is also free to play on Steam if you fancy giving it a go as a new player. There’s even a helpful guide if you get lost, which I know I needed when jumping into my first MMO, so there’s no shame in using it.

There’s a whole world of games like Lord of the Rings Online out there, and you can find them with our list of the best new MMOs to try today alongside some of the best free PC games too, many of which are longstanding MMOs.

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