I recently fell into the trap of Lord of the Rings Online as they were transferring EU ownership over to Turbine, and found that the improvements done since I last played 2 years ago were quite interesting, and made me really want to play more, so, I did!
The major changes since I last played involves first off the free to play model, you no longer need to pay to play, yay! Of course, there are some limitations to what you can do, but with a fair bit of dedication, you can actually make it to the end without paying at all.
Second off, they’ve “solofied” the Epic storyline, which means the horribly difficult group quests which you needed to get through to progress the storyline now has the option to do them solo. You then get a buff which makes you roughly as strong as a full party alone, and can have fun without worrying about others getting you killed.
Last, but not least, they’ve added Skirmishes, a new set of small instance dungeon types, where you customize the level, group-size (or solo), and the dungeon/loot scales according to your settings. The best part with this is that the rewards gained here can be used to buy gear equivalent to decent quest rewards at that given level.
A final note on Skirmishes… While running these you get to pick a Skirmish Soldier which works as your sidekick while running around inside, now, it’s possible to run all the skirmishes with all the different soldiers, and that’s pretty much what everyone says as well – but in my experience, for the QUICKEST progress through these skirmishes, always go with the Sage decked out with heavy AE, until you start running out of Power/Health and get downtime as a result (was 40+ with my characters), then switch to a Herbalist with the Power Regeneration skill.
Give Lord of the Rings Online a try, it’s free, Signup Here! Enjoy! :)