In July 2010, Massively was told by Turbine
that the then-coming LotRO
store "would not sell any gear with stats attached
." And while the studio has so far kept to the letter of the law, it has fudged the spirit of it with the sales of stat tomes (which boost stats independently of gear) and the addition of statted gear to PvMP (monster play).
Consider the law cast aside today, then, as Turbine's announced the coming sale
of statted gear in the LotRO
store to normal PvE play as well. Light, medium, and heavy armor pieces will soon be available for purchase in the cash shop, and will come with beneficial stats attached. In addition to the typical stats, the store boots will come with a 8% run out-of-combat run speed boost attached.
While the gear in question has reasonable stats, it certainly raises the specter of the game's heading toward pay-to-win territory by having it for sale at all.
Massively has reached out to Turbine for an official comment.
[Update: On the official forums Sapience commented about the sale saying, "It's lower level gear. Many players have given us feedback that there is a sparsity of gear on the AH at these levels and they wanted an alternative. We're trying to accomodate that."]