Lotro’s next expansion announced

So… we’ve all been eagerly awaiting Lotro’s announcement of the Riders of Rohan expansion. The massive uproar over the lack of news on the Rohan expansion last week exploded in Sapience’s face. Goodness, what do we have to check every day? Ridersofrohan.com or the announcement forum? We need to know the details so we can start leveling our legendary horses and legendary saddles right?

Well… They announced the expansion. Rohan here we come! Oh wait… no wait….

Siege of Mirkwood?

The expansion is called siege of mirkwood?

Well, they sure fooled me. Damn, did they fool me. Who knows if it was intentional or not, but they really pulled a fast one on people. Well, some people guessed it. But I wasn’t one of them.

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Suzina

Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband.
Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

23 thoughts on “Lotro’s next expansion announced”

  1. On a more serious note, I’ll be watching this one with some interest. The cynical part of my brain says that this mini-expansion may be intended as a way of digging themselves out of the radiance armour trap, since a 5-level increase to the level cap and a new raid gives them a way to scrap the radiance-gating mechanic by the back door.

  2. The expansion is said to be digital download only. It is a “mini expansion” if you want, despite adding some really new and cool features.

    From a storyline and world building point of view it makes sense, and as Pardoz says, it could be an opportunity to get rid of too much “radiance” related annoyance.

    Riders of Rohan might be the next box, but hey… who knows. Middle Earth is bigger than Peter Jackson’s movie, dear LIGHT ON LORE LOTRO players. :>

  3. Middle Earth might be bigger than PJ’s movies, it’s true, but Mirkwood doesn’t compare, doesn’t come even close to the importance in the texts of Rohan. Or even Isengard, for that matter.

    Mirkwood was a much more important location in ‘The Hobbit’ than in ‘Lord of the Rings’, but even in ‘The Hobbit’ it was simply given two or three (short) chapters in which Bilbo and the gang (sans Gandalf at that point) go through it, get lost, get tangled with some wildlife there and they get captured by elves, from whom they promptly escape via barrel. That’s it. Nothing else of note. Hell, even -Dale- which is hardly mentioned at all in LOTR is more important than Mirkwood.

    Mini-expansion as it might be, it’s puzzling to see Mirkwood chosen because it reinforces, yet again, just how far the player is from the main Tolkien storyline. While we’re up in Mirkwood fighting a completely unimportant battle (and might as well accept that whatever happened in Mirkwood did not matter one bit), the Fellowship is down south already in Rohan, gearing up to head to Gondor while Frodo & Sam are well in their way to Mordor.

    I’m sure it’s chock full of yummy features, but I imagine if I played it I’d be constantly wondering just what the Sam Hill I’m doing up there in the middle of nowhere while the story I signed up for is elsewhere.

    1. Julian, think of this: If Turbine hurries to Mordor… what do they do after the dropped the ring into the lava of Mount Doom? The book is over, and so is the LOTR MMO?

      They can of course continue, but it would probably annoy people even more (“it’s over, why bother?”) than the slow crawl to Mordor they do right now!

      They always went “sideways” from the main storyline. Re-taking Weathertop for example. They added stuff where the book stopped. Like the question how the rebels got the imperial shuttle in Return of the Jedi, they made a whole fan fiction/movie about it.

  4. I guess it depends on why you play LotRO. I think expecting to escort the ring-bearer into the heart of Mordor strikes me as kind of playing SWG and expecting Leia to be my sister. The point of the stories was that they weren’t going in force to Sauron’s doorstep, and when they finally do its to distract them from the real threat of two completely platonic friends sneaking into the heart of Mount Doom. I’m sure a future expansion will allow thousands of people to swarm around the rest of the Fellowship like flies. It’ll be very subtle, I’m sure.

    Personally, I play LotRO because I like the setting, not because I expect to carry the One Ring. In fact, some of my least favorite bits in the game have been interacting with the Fellowship, because it feels hokey. I’m not supposed to know about the ring, but being close to Frodo seems to incur a lot of Dread for some reason….

    You have to realize an important fact: you’re part of the Middle Earth clean-up crew. Our job is to go root out some of the evil that might linger on after Mordor falls. After all, Angmar wasn’t a big part of the story, either, but it was the focus of the original game. But, there was evil to be fought there, so that’s where everyone went. Currently it’s Moria, and soon it’ll be Mirkwood. Time to root out some messes, a Champion’s work is never done….

  5. No, don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking to carry the ring to Mordor myself – I really don’t know the way. But I am asking for things to be closer (not in the same spot, not next to, just closer) to the story from the books.

    I think it’s great to take some side steps and explore those little paths out of the main road that the book hinted at (retaking Weathertop, for example. Great little side activity). But one thing is that and another is to go off the deep end and spend a year or two where the book action -isn’t- and doing stuff we know -does not matter-.

    And on this one I accept that I’ll always disagree with the playerbase regarding what “matters” and what doesn’t. World, setting, the Middle Earth experience, sure. Sell me that, but there are ways and ways. Some ways matter, and some other ways have chickens and orc doodoo.

    It’s not “rushing things” if you throw in Fangorn/Isengard/parts of Rohan instead of Mirkwood. You’re -still- way behind the Fellowship after Moria. I’ll never buy the idea of “let’s stretch things out by introducing irrelevant content”, but that’s been one of my main points of contention with the game since day one pretty much and it ain’t gonna change now. That’s how they do it, so it’s fine I guess.

    Sure, to be fair, what game -doesn’t- stretch things out with irrelevant content. It’s a very fair observation.

  6. They did mention that Book III would start next year. Maybe they’re preparing Rohan with a bigger team while their commando programmers give us a worthwhile distraction in the form of Mirkwood. :)

  7. Well, I think the Rohan expansion will be coming, probably spring next year.

    They are introducing a new way to deal with horses – it is now a skill so you can take them into instnaces and whatnot, whereas before you could not. It makes me wonder if that is getting us prepared for a new knight class of some sort.

    And besides, I myself am not in a hurry to get to Mordor or to even follow the Fellowship. Not at all. For several reasons: Middle Earth is just that – another earth. Therefore there is tons and tons of exploring to do. Many new races, cultures to explore, many new civilizations.

    We know what the Fellowship does. We know where they are going. What they do. Who they interact with. It is much more fun to have our OWN story that backs the Fellowship up, yet does not interfere.

    That would just be too contrived.

    1. Hear hear! In Angmar, or Mirkwood, or – gasp! – Forochel my character’s the hero of the story, a valiant defender of Middle Earth, doing great deeds. At the Battle of Helm’s Deep, at best I’m Third Spear-Carrier From The Left or an instanced observer, as in the Fall of Moria flashback sequence, which is a fun one-off, but an entire expansion of nothing but observer sequences would get old rather quickly. The farther we find ourselves from the Fellowship, the more central to events we become.

  8. Yeah, I know I keep babbling about this, but something that I’m curious to find out as more info is released- will the Mirkwood raid be gated by DN gear? Or will the usual 6-man Moria stuff provide enough radiance?

    For all I know, Turb has said otherwise (haven’t seen much info) and we won’t be seeing yet another tier of radgating; it’s just an honest question that hit me. Ain’t lookin to get flamed, just wondering…

  9. Degwarg: “will the Mirkwood raid be gated by DN gear? ”

    I think the answer is Yes. The video link I posted said that Dol Guldor will have “Quite a lot of dread” and he seemed to harp on that point. He didn’t give a number like, “oh yeah it’s more than DN” but it was implied as having as much or more than DN.

    I do recommend the link to toptenhammer’s video interview, because you get to see Mirkwood and it’s… well widely spread out trees. Wasn’t this supposed to be a forest so thick you couldn’t see the sky?… and you get to see skirmishes, and how the “fell beast” boss turned out.

    Also lots of little tidbits of info if you’re listening… such as the 4th runic slot on legendary items being crafter-made… personally, I just would have made all of the runics crafter made. Settings for metalworkers, gems from jewelers and runes from scholars. Makes sense right? … but no… just one *new* slot, and who knows who crafts for it.

    Also, make sure you watch the video rather than just listen. You can see some things in the UI that let you know how it will work. For example, they show the shared storage, and the UI makes it look like it is totally separate from your vault, therefore giving you more total storage overall.

  10. I was asking myself a few times, why they are rushing with releasing a new expansion, when most people never been to DN and those who have, are stuck on the doormat wiping by two ugly, cartoon-like trolls. So, in my opinion, there is still much to do in Moria, BUT prolly they realized that at this point the game is too broken to simply try and fix it, better throw in something completely different and distract the angry horde of their players..

    In this case, Mirkwood is a great choice, it will be the first time we can get near the Dark Lord (it will probably be his smell only, but I will be happy with that, woof)!

    I think the “Hill of Sorcery” is everything but unimportant, and the Mirkwood expansion will hopefully save a dying game!

    1. No, dude, the fixes to certain problematic design elements they’ve been trying to work around since MoM launch are coming in book 9. That’s old news. New news is that it’s all bundled up in this Mirkwood mini-expansion with the new systems that’ll be pervasive in the whole game (not just new cap content).

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