When we first heard the news that one of the most breathtaking fantasy MMOs out there, Lord of the Rings Online, was going free-to-play, we were excited. As fast as our little internets could take us, we headed over and signed up en masse for the free-to-play beta. (We're incredibly curious to see what types of changes this will bring to the world of Middle-earth, never mind that we also just like playing the game!) Today we got the word that closed beta is starting up for those lucky souls who managed to get in.

Our friends at Turbine hooked us up with a handful of screenshots from the newly minted cash store as well. Among the things we already knew about, like character slots and vault storage, is the ability to pay off Kinship and personal house maintenance fees with Turbine points as opposed to having to shell out in-game cash. For those who are unable to get in and play as often as others to raise the gold for fees, this could be the key to turning deserted neighborhoods into bustling hubs.

Be sure to check out the gallery of images for the upcoming Lord of the Rings Online cash shop below if you're curious. Also, we'll be checking in with Turbine at E3 to get even more news on their plans for LotRO for the future. In the meantime, we'll be over here, patiently staring at our mailboxes, waiting for our beta invites to come in.

This article was originally published on Massively.