Middle Earthers, rejoice, as the popular massively multiplayer game based on one of the most enduring fantasy stories of the last century is now available for the Mac platform. Ever since the game went free to play in 2010, I’ve been wanting to hop in and see how it compares to the likes of World of Warcraft, Guild Wars (both with Mac clients), and Star Wars: The Old Republic, but it has only been available for the Windows platform. Until now.
Free to play accounts can adventure up to level 85 with characters from the classic races across seven unique classes, and, as Kate Paiz, executive producer for Lord Of The Rings Online, told TUAW, the Mac client accesses the same servers as the PC version. “It’ll all just work natively,” she told TUAW. “The Mac stuff will work through the same patcher.” So much so, that the development team has already been taking the Mac client into account while creating Riders of Rohan, the current live expansion.
You can download the beta Mac client now right from the LOTR Online website (it’s a hefty 16 G download), and create an account on the game’s live servers. According to TUAW, this client has already been in use in a closed beta, making this the almost-ready-for-prime-time open beta in which the developers will listen to user feedback and fix anything that’s not working well.
Having a free-to-play MMO on the Mac is a fantastic thing. “There haven’t been a lot of MMOs or free-to-play games on the Mac yet, which we think is an opportunity,” said VP of Product Development Craig Alexander. “We’re hopeful we’re going to get lots of new players.”
With this kind of long-term support (the game has been running since 2007), there’s doubtless a ton of fun to be had. It’s great to see all these games and gaming platforms like Steam and Mac Game Store bringing a heightened visibility to Mac gaming lately. If you give Lord of the Rings Online for Mac a try, let us know how it is in the comments below, and maybe I’ll see you on there.