Mines of Moria Expansion Announced

I’m really looking forward to this!

BIRMINGHAM, UK – March 14, 2008 – Turbine, Inc. and Codemasters Online today unveiled Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online, the first retail expansion for the award-winning massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG). Announced in Birmingham, the childhood home of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria will expand the online world of Middle-earth to let players explore the ancient underground cities of the dwarves, battle epic characters in the depths, face off with the Watcher, be a part of the fateful release of Durin’s Bane and more! The Lord of the Rings Online expects to open Volume II of its epic story in the fall of 2008 with an increased level cap, two new classes and the introduction of a unique item advancement system.

“The Mines of Moria is one of the most epic settings in all of fantasy fiction,” said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “No one delivers more quality content than Turbine and with our journey into Moria, we will raise the bar even higher. We are adding vast amounts of content, debuting massive new environments and unveiling numerous unique feature sets, like item advancement, which will create entirely new dimensions of compelling game play and social interaction which are unique to The Lord of the Rings Online experience.”

Read the rest at the official site.

Also, check out the Q&A over at Massively. Featured quote: “We’re completely rewriting and replacing the UI system…”

Massively also has concept art!

– Ethic

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I own this little MMO gaming blog but I hardly ever write on it any more. I'm more of a bloglord or something. Thankfully I have several minions to keep things rolling along.

18 thoughts on “Mines of Moria Expansion Announced”

  1. “The Mines of Moria is one of the most epic settings in all of fantasy fiction,” said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “No one delivers more quality content than Turbine and with our journey into Moria, we will raise the bar even higher.”

    Really, one of the most epic ever? No one delivers more quality content? I must assume that everything in the announcement is a lie until proven otherwise, including the features list and the date of the press release, because the puffery is just disgusting. At least they restricted themselves to using “epic” only once per sentence in that first previous paragaph.

    Fire someone in your PR department. Is this the same guy who said what a success The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ was because of the number of characters made?

  2. Well, to be fair Zubon, they said it was “the most epic setting,” which seems, to me, to refer more to Moria in the Tolkien context overall rather than an attempt to say that Turbine’s implementation will be the most epic setting ever.

    As for delivering “more quality content,” I would be hard pressed to come up with another MMO that has delivered as much in a year as Turbine has since they released LOTRO.

    That said, marketing and PR people… some of them appear to be from a different planet and it can be dangerous to let them near the devs at times. I once gave a marketing guy some off the cuff numbers about one of our products only to find that he took them and created a whole brochure around them that they were handing out at trade shows. I can just picture somebody inside Turbine saying, “Why did I tell them how many characters had been rolled up?” after that press release!

  3. “The Mines of Moria is one of the most epic settings in all of fantasy fiction,”

    I’m going to have to agree with that statement. For me, it is.

  4. I don’t blame companies for a little over-self-promotion, because pretty much everyone does it.

    After a point, however, it turns into all talk and no actual facts. I only really take interest in MMOs/Expansions that are trying something new. (TCoS and Earthrise capture my attention because what they promised sounds new).

    Still, LOTRO is a well-made game based on an extremely well-made setting.

  5. Of all the parts of the books, the Mines are not what I would have picked for “most epic evar.” And then the hype attempt continues. I am reminded of other recent puffery.

    But hey, I’m sure it will deliver forms of “entirely new dimensions of … social interaction” never seen before in human history. People will relate to each other in ways they never have online or in-person. Perhaps they will re-unify Korea. I take it all back. This is obviously the WoW-killer they are promoting it as, and I fully expect it to be the most epic expansion to an epic game ever, providing an epic experience for developing your epic characters. Can I still get that Founder’s plan if someone who has it refers me?

  6. They could simply say they have the closest online experience to the works of Tolkien, on top of a wonderful, extremely attractive graphical presentation of Middle Earth and your traditional Turbine commitment to regular and numerous patches and updates (which is all true).

    But the moment they go bombastic about it, it fails for the simple reason that there’s nothing bombastic about the game itself. It’s one thing to paint the good points of your game in the best, most attractive light you can. That’s good marketing. Inventing stuff isn’t. But hey, when did we start caring about what marketing is or isn’t allowed to say, huh.

  7. Good points, Julian. This kind of marketing speech just tends to blow past me. I just expect it, I suppose. It’s a tough market. Crowley is obviously very excited about his game and he has every right to be.

  8. Best compared to what? WoW didn’t really bring anything new to the table but everyone acts like they invented the whole MMO industry. Newsflash: WoW copied almost everything they have from previous games. The only real thing they did different is give the game more time to be developed before releasing it. In fact, I frequently claim that WoW has implemented the least number of features of almost any of the MMOs. LotRO pretty much matched WoW for releasing with very few bugs. The part that has won me over is the setting. I love the setting so it’s a big win for them in my book. They also have added a lot of new content and features. Some of them things WoW has yet to add to their game. However, I would say EQ2 is the best for adding new content with LotRO probably in second.

    As for PR, it would be more unusual to be honest. It is rare to see a company not brag and push the truth beyond reality. Almost everyone does it so Turbine is not unique. The truth is, they are marketing their game at Tolkien fans more than MMO gamers. The whole point is to make the game look very successful and thus encourage people to invest money into their product. I’d rather see them let their product speak for itself…

  9. Major props to Turbine for adding content. Starting with the monthly additions to Asheron’s Call, they have done great things with that. I mock CoX for their lateness on patches, but I have never seen Turbine fail to deliver. In the early days of Asheron’s Call, we wondered why they were being so modest about it: one of the most impressive patches to date was the “heroes’ rest” month that had a lot of great stuff.

    Ethic: if you see marketing nonsense from Tabula Rasa, please, help me mock it. I’ve hit other stuff from NCSoft. I didn’t know that anyone noticed Tabula Rasa. Are they on-track to recoup development costs in the next decade?

  10. I think you can get the Founder’s plan if you’re referred but don’t quote me on that. I got the lifetime myself so it’s great to not feel guilty for taking breaks and not having to bother myself with the whole mess of unsub/resub.

    I just recently made my return to the game after a couple months off, and personally I find the game extremely fun in groups. Solo? Less so, but then I don’t care if it’s low-fantasy (LOTRO) or high-fantasy (everything else) solo is solo is solo. The game is very RP-friendly too, with non-monster-murdering activities to do and more on the way, and a more mature (or at least helful) community.

    I suspect it’s the whole “low fantasy” thing that is Middle Earth that puts a lot of people off, not so much “it’s not fun” it’s just not as crazy and diverse as high fantasy gets, which is what we’ve gotten accustomed to since EQ.

    Ya can’t say Turbine doesn’t listen to their customers and deliver on new content though. Since the AC days, they’ve always been dedicated to cranking out new stuff and trying some different takes on things. Now they’re announcing annual expansions plus keeping their regular quarterly free Book updates?

    LOTRO’s first expansion: two new classes.
    WoW’s first: two new models/skins for existing classes.

  11. Not to say my memory is flawless, but I do not recall reading about frost giants. Why are they putting frost giants in the game?

  12. @Zubon: I edited out my TR comment. I was thinking more along the line of all the reviews that they quoted on their main page. I did a post a while back about it. Mostly, it was their claim of making a “revolutionary” MMORPG that I am referring to when talking overhype.

    @Inhibit: This is all I could find about giants in Middle-earth.

  13. I REALLY want to say something here…as I just cannot find anything fun in LOTRO…and I have tried after every “content” update as well..
    So, my worry is the expansion will add 10 more levels of more boring material…and not fix any current problems…
    Sameness of classes
    Horrid UI
    Big quests with walls of text, that most people click through anyways….
    Better animations for movement and combat…
    More logical AI…(for example…the first time someone heals…even a Guardian can hardly keep the mobs off the poor Minstrel…)

    And will it all be inside?

    As to press releases….eventually like the previous fiasco’s (#2 MMO…changed to #2 MMO in NA…then finally changed to #2 MMO “DEVELOPED” in NA…lol…and of course our all time favorite 4 million characters..) Turbine will have to clarify, as their press writer really does not handle making adverts very well..

    On the content front…SOE released no less than 10 total Game Updates over the last year for EQ2 AND an expansion…but…for quality…well…thats another story..(smiles)

    @Ethic: For the TR quote…the run and gun, hide behind objects combat systems is I assume their revolutionary…but, I also agree…was maybe more evolutionary…AoC will have revolutionary MMO combat in my opinion!

    Ah well…wonder if Turbine will try to beat AoC to the punch for release of this…?
    Do we even have a date?

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