The studio posted a couple of responses to the furor over the decision, basically justifying the move and indicating that no changes would be made. Executive Producer Robert Ciccolini posted this yesterday:
Edit: One point of clarification; there are upgraded items in the raid that are better than anything a player can get with a lootbox.
Responding to a player who asked why such loot should be included in LOTRO’s version of lockboxes, Ciccolini answered today, “So players that prefer the solo and small group end game can obtain loot, in addition to or instead of raiding. The lootboxes are an in-game system that rewards loot to people who participate in various end game activities. It also allows raiders to supplement their loot drops by doing some of the solo and end game content, so they don’t feel that there is no reason to revisit that once they start doing group activities.”