I was completely sold on the idea of Rohan being Lotro’s next expansion. The main evidence of this proposed expansion was the registration of the URL “RidersofRohan.com”. Registered way back by Tokien Enterprises on April of 2006 and set to re-direct any visits to lotro.com. It was as good as a confirmation of the next expansion.
Two years later, in the summer of 2008, Tolkien Enterprises registered the following URLs: “siegeofGondor.com”, “treasonofIsengard.com”, “corsairsofUmbar.com” and “firesofMordor.com”.
But now we are told the next expansion is just a “mini-expansion” available only as a digital download. What is more interesting is the URL. Unlike the rest, it was only registered a mere nine days before Mirkwood was announced. Perhaps someone might think the late registration was a factor of increased secrecy, but I doubt it. It smells of a rush-job.
I believe Turbine ran out of time and resources to make Rohan before the end of the year. They delayed announcing Rohan because they were not sure if they could make it in time. As the clock ticked, they found themselves being faced with both having to develop a new raid in Book 9 for Dol Guldor as well as Rohan. They could announce Rohan for early 2010, but that would be immediately met with outcry regarding their promise to have one expansion per year.
Instead, they decided to delay Rohan even further back and beef-up book 9 enough to call it an expansion, if only a mini-expansion. After-all, how can people be upset about the delay of an expansion they never officially announced?