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Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar - All News

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Box Art

Thursday - November 06, 2014

Lord of the Rings Online - Update 15 Released

by Couchpotato, 04:36

For all my fellow watchers who play in the RPG Watch guild here is news about the latest patch for Lord of the Rings Online from the games forum.

Update 15 Release Notes

New Features

Beornings are here! Every new Beorning character will start in the brand new starting area: Vales of Anduin. Visit Grimbeorn’s Lodge while you get comfortable with your own strength.

Beornings are designed to be a dynamic skin-changer class. Their basic skills emphasize the difference between human and bear forms. There are skills available in three different ways: those available in man form; those available in bear form; those available in any form.

Instead of power pools, Beornings build up Wrath, which fuels many of their skills. Any skills requiring Wrath will list the cost in their tooltip. Bear form requires Wrath to use and maintain. Certain man form or any form skills may also require Wrath.

The Beorning trait trees are designed to allow tailoring your play style to fit a tank, damage, or support role.

  • Special Note: With the launch of Beornings in Update 15 we want to let everyone know we are going to be paying very close attention to feedback and be active in making adjustments based on that feedback.

Pelargir Epic Battle: Retaking Pelargir is a new type of offensive Epic Battle where you help Aragorn’s forces defeat the Corsairs at Pelargir. Available in solo/duo mode (with fellowship option coming soon), face a new enemy type, Epic Foes, new barterable rewards, and witness the Army of the Dead annihilate the Corsair host.

Epic Story Volume IV Book 2: The Dawnless Day. The next book in the Epic Story begins! Book 2 of Volume 4 begins with Lothiriel in Dol Amroth.

Central Gondor: Central Gondor has four new regions: Ringlo Vale, Dor-en-Ernil, Lebennin, and Pelargir.

Friday - April 24, 2009

Lord of the Rings Online - Second Year Celebration

by Myrthos, 15:43

As part of the 2nd year Celebration for Lord of the Rings, Turbine is offering a reduced monthly pricing fee an in-game gift and for some time monster will drop rare items.

WESTWOOD, MA-April 24, 2009-Turbine, Inc. announced today a special promotion featuring limited-time pricing offers to celebrate the second anniversary of The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM (LOTRO), the award-winning massively multiplayer online roleplaying game. The LOTRO Anniversary celebration will run from April 24, 2009 to June 30, 2009.

"It's been another incredible year for LOTRO and Turbine," said Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM. "Being named both 2008 MMO of the Year and Best Expansion of 2008, coupled with the overwhelmingly positive response to the game from fans, has firmly cemented LOTRO as one of the world's premier online entertainment experiences. Our anniversary is a chance for us to celebrate with our past and present players and enjoy everything that is special about Middle-earth and thank them for their wonderful support with some special subscription options."

The Lord of the Rings Online Second Anniversary Celebration includes:

  • Anniversary Pricing Plans: From April 24th through June 30th, Turbine is offering special anniversary pricing plans. Players can choose any multi-month plan (90 days or longer) and lock in a monthly price of $9.99 for as long as they maintain the new subscription plan.*
  • In-Game Celebration:
    • During the anniversary celebration, monsters throughout Middle-earth will drop rare items when defeated. Players can exchange these rare items for a special gift box that will reward them with a variety of in-game items to aid them in their adventures in Middle-earth.
    • Turbine is also giving players who have active subscriptions as of June 30th a special in-game gift-the Writ of Passage, which provides 20% discounts at stable masters throughout Middle-earth.

The Lord of the Rings Online is the ultimate interactive adventure. Join Gandalf, Frodo, Bilbo, and many other characters to save Middle-earth in the war against the Dark Lord Sauron! This award-winning MMORPG recently expanded with the launch of the critically acclaimed Mines of Moria, where players can adventure into one of the largest and most dangerous online underground environments ever created while extending the challenge to new heights with two new classes, ten additional levels, and hundreds of new quests including a face-off with the Watcher, the Balrog and more! The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Mines of MoriaTM is available for purchase across North America and Europe. For more information or to download a free trial, please visit www.lotro.com.

 

Thursday - December 11, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - My

by Woges, 17:39

EuroGamer writes of a preview for My LotRO.

Turbine has opened its social networking site for The Lord of the Rings Online to the public for the first time.

The site, My LOTRO, is available for a very limited time as a "beta preview". The preview closes tomorrow, Friday 12th December.

At the moment, My LOTRO is run exclusively by Turbine, the developer of the Tolkien MMO, and so is only available to players on the North American servers operated by Turbine itself.

For the time being, it's not available to players on the European servers operated by Codemasters Online Gaming. You can browse the site, but you can't log in with your account details to use its features, or track events or characters on your server.

Wednesday - July 23, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Turbine Unveils Book 14: Ring-Forge of Eregion

by Woges, 18:55

We just got sent this press release for the new content patch for LotRO.

WESTWOOD, MA – July 23, 2008 - Turbine, Inc. announced the details of the sixth content update for subscribers to The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™.  Book 14: Ring-forge of Eregion delivers the climax to the epic story from Volume I of The Lord of the Rings Online  The story takes center stage in Book 14 with several new storytelling mechanics combined with live in-world events that allow players to work together to be part of the rise and fall of Amarthiel at the Ring-forges of Eregion!  This will unlock the prelude quests that will lead players to the Mines of Moria™, the first expansion pack to the 2007 PC MMO Game of the Year* scheduled to be released this fall.  Book 14: Ring-forge of Eregion is now available to subscribers of The Lord of the Rings Online in North America and Europe. 

“The Lord of the Rings Online is one of the only MMOs to successfully integrate story into game play,” said Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. “With Book 14 we continue to create new ways for players to experience the epic story in Middle-earth from the dramatic moments unfolding throughout the story to the new adventure instances that require players to work together across their server to unlock new content and advance the story.  The live events planned in Book 14 will provide incredibly dynamic adventures for our players and set the tone for our journey this fall into the Mines of Moria.”

NEW FEATURES:

The Finale of the Epic Story – As the epic story of Volume I reaches its climax, Book 14 will take LOTRO’s unique storytelling to a new level.  The story continues as Laerdan leaves for Mirobel, the Ring-forges of Hollin, to reforge the ring Narchuil.  Players will set out after him and engage in an epic battle with Amarthiel’s minions that ultimately reveals the true enemy.  The story will use several new storytelling mechanics and feature a series of live events hosted by Turbine’s Game Masters who will be playing the role of Amarthiel.

New Battlefield Adventure Instances – Book 14 introduces a new style of gameplay for LOTRO through a series of 6-player experiences calling on the heroes of Middle-earth to hold the line against the invading forces of Angmar.  Players across each world must complete a series of chained quests a certain number of times in order to unlock additional content for the entire server.

New Animation Technology – LOTRO continues to improve the award-winning experience for players with major improvements to player animations and the introduction of new emotes for Monster Players.

The Lord of the Rings Online is the ultimate interactive adventure.  This award-winning massively multiplayer online role-playing game delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy of all time. From the picturesque surroundings of the Shire to the upcoming expansion to Moria, the most fearsome underground realm ever imagined, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before.  LOTRO is available for purchase at major retailers across North America and Europe. For more information or to download a free trial, visit www.lotro.com or www.lotro-europe.com.

Friday - July 11, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 14 Instance Updates

by Woges, 00:42

 Big instance updates for LotRO as seen via this developer diary.

There's nothing quite like getting together with a group of friends and challenging yourself to work your way through an instance. Feeling like you're working together with your friends and defeating a difficult foe, and being rewarded well for your efforts, are some of the best experiences you can have in an MMO. Well, this is something we've been looking to enhance in LOTRO and in Book 14 you'll be seeing some significant updates to a number of our high end instances. I'll break down a few of them to give you an idea of what is coming your way.

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Jeffrey Steefel Interview @ MMORPG

by Woges, 10:15

 Talks book 14, Moria and consoles.

 The idea of a full expansion is not only exciting for players, but is also a lot of work for the developers, especially given that Turbine plans to make Mines of Moria the first of yearly expansion releases. “Moria is going to be the first of annual expansions, so we’re already at the planning stage of what that’s going to be like at the end of 2009,” he said.

Two weeks ago, Turbine CEO Jim Crowley told MMORPG.com that Turbine was investigating the world of consoles. In this interview, Steefel confirmed the report, telling us that, “We certainly are working on console.”

While the company isn’t yet ready to talk about hows and whens and whys, this does confirm recent rumors that the PC-only development studio is branching into the world of consoles. “It’s certainly part of our development strategy now, and we’ve been hiring against that and doing some work toward that.”

Friday - June 20, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Developing for the West and the East

by Woges, 14:29

 Jeffrey Steefel talks to Jon Wood of MMORPG after his trip to Korea.

One of the challenges that is facing the Turbine team in gearing up for a Korean launch is the speed at which players move through content. For example: while (and remember, we are speaking in broad generalizations here) North American players tend to like quests that are descriptive, but aren't necessarily specific, Korean players would prefer a very specific text description, telling them exactly where they need to go. Fortunately, Turbine has plans to fully localize and culturalize the game, looking to not only bring the game into a different language, but into a different culture as well. As a result (and serving as a pretty good example), a number of the quest texts are being re-constructed to better reflect a more popular Korean play style.

Before we got off the topic of the Korean launch, Steefel pointed out to me another of the differences between developing a game for release in the West and prepping for a release in Korea; customer service. In Korea, game companies have actual physical walk-up windows set up to handle customer service issues. No emails or petitions falling through the cracks here.

So, how does the Korean launch effect western players?

The team at Turbine has their sights set on doing some more work on the Player vs. Monster Player system in the game due to popular demand in Korea where PvP is not only popular, but often taken quite seriously. Turbine has decided to look at both markets to see how they can improve the game for both rather than trying to develop a whole new game for each market.

Tuesday - June 10, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Class Guide @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 17:14

Dan Griliopoulos' class guide for those uninformed adventuring types.

If you're not so enchanted with decapitation, burly men in thongs and the low (cut) fantasy of Age of Conan, how about popping over to Middle Earth for a bit of posturing high fantasy? Following our two chats with producer Jeffrey Steefel, we've knocked up a few tips for the classes of Lord of the Rings Online. If you fancy starting belatedly, this is a good way of getting an overview of the classes, and an idea of what role they play in a group. We've ordered them in increasing order as to how many of the developers at Turbine play as them, a sort of top ten of the best. Except it's actually a top 9, as there's only 9 classes.

Thursday - May 08, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Welcome Back Weekend

by Woges, 19:55

Elicia Basoli e-mails us with news of LotRO Welcome Back Weekend details.

Turbine continues the first anniversary celebration of the award-winning The Lord of the Rings Online with a “Welcome Back Weekend”. Starting Thursday, May 8th until Monday, May 12 Turbine invites all former North American subscribers back to Middle-earth to play for free.

Former subscribers can play their old characters, check out the LOTRO Anniversary celebration events, explore new areas, and tackle new quests. To take part in the Welcome Back Weekend, players can simply log into their LOTRO account from May 8-12, 2008.

Some of the updates & enhancements to The Lord of the Rings Online since launch include:

  • New Region - Explore the icy reaches of Forochel
  • New Quests - Over 100 new quests
  • Hobby System - Feel like going fishing?
  • Enhanced Monsterplay - New monster class: the Orc Defiler
  • Looking For Fellowship Enhancements - Mustering Horns and UI improvements
  • More customization options - cosmetic clothing, traveling clothes, and barbershops!
  • New PvMP dungeon - The Delving of Frór
  • Return to Angmar - completely overhauled to enhance playability and fun
More information can be found at www.lotro.com/welcomeback.

Friday - May 02, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Competition @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 13:03

Just noticed this, special editions and life-time subs up for grabs. Closes 8th of May.

Note: This competition is open to European residents only.

 

Wednesday - April 30, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 13:20

Second part of Eurogamer's interview is up. 

Last week, we interviewed Lord of the Rings Online executive producer Jeffrey Steefel about Book 13, the next major content update for Turbine's splendid Tolkien MMO. Today, in part two of our interview, we shoot the breeze on a broader range of topics: how they're handling the lore, how they can improve the game's lacklustre player-versus-player, what the plans are for other platforms, why EVE Online is great, and who wants to be an Ent, anyway?

Saturday - April 26, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 13 Details

by Woges, 18:26

Along with it's first year of operation LotRO has annouced details of it's 13th update:  Doom of the Last-king.

"The Lord of the Rings Online has grown dramatically in scale, content and the size of our community in its first year of operation," said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "We've received a very positive response from players about the new region of Forochel and the long-awaited addition of fishing that adds an entirely new level of fun and enjoyment to the game. It's been an incredible first year and we are hard at work finishing up Book 14 slated for release this summer. All of us are very excited for our journey this fall into the Mines of Moria."

NEW FEATURES:

  • New Region - In the far, frozen north of Eriador lies Forochel, a land unlike any other in Middle-earth. This new region lets players see the ocean for the first time and introduces several new temperature based landscape effects. Players will need to be mindful of the cold due to a new damage type - frost. Frost will slowly damage their character until they find a source of warmth in the form of shelter or a campfire.
  • New Faction - Beneath the brooding skies of Forochel dwell the hardy tribes known as the Lossoth. Suspicious of outsiders, they have long warred against other folk - especially the Guaredain, bloodthirsty wolf-loving barbarians in league with the forces of Angmar. Players can earn favor with the Lossoth by helping them in the struggle against their ancient enemy in this latest addition to The Lord of the Rings Online's (LOTRO) reputation system. Lossoth reputation rewards include unique armor sets, weapons, a new mount, housing decorations, and class specific items.
  • Introducing the Defiler - The first new class for Monster Players debuts in Book 13. The Defiler is a healer that will round out any War Band in their quest to dominate the Ettenmoors. The Defiler uses new healing skills such as Fertile Slime and Fungal Bloom to aid its party in battle and has a host of new Debuff skills including Curse of the Lethargic Heart to defeat their enemies.
  • The Hobby System - The player hobby system is introduced in Book 13. Fishing is the first hobby being introduced in LOTRO. From the Midgewater Marshes to the Shores of Evendim, players will find fishing to be a relaxing, entertaining and beneficial pastime. Players can earn deeds and traits as they improve their fishing prowess and captured fish can be used to cook in recipes or be mounted as trophies in a player's house.
  • The Epic Continues! - At Elrond's urging, players venture into the frozen wastes of the north to continue Laerdan's search for the remnants of the ring Narchuil. Aided by the Snowmen of Forochel, players will uncover the fate of an ancestor of Aragorn and strive to thwart the terrible aims of Angmar.
  • Over 100 New Quests - The story continues for players as they aid the Fellowship and encounter new adventures in Middle-earth.

Thursday - April 24, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - First Anniversary

by Woges, 23:53

Elicia Basoli sent us the press release on LotRO First Anniversary that sees Turbine offer new deals on the game. Reopening the $199 lifetime membership deal.

To celebrate the 1 year anniversary of The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM, Turbine is excited to bring you a very special subscription offer. Now through June 1, 2008, you can subscribe for only $9.99 a month!

The Lord of the Rings Online anniversary promotion lets new and existing subscribers play for only $9.99 a month when they sign up for three months or more of service!

  • 3 Month plans are $29.97 (Save 33%)
  • 6 Month plans are $57.99 (Save 35%)
  • 12 Month plans are $112.99 (Save 37%)

And for the first time since launch, we're re-opening access to our LOTRO Lifetime Membership for only $199!

Single-month subscriptions remain at $14.99. Promotional offers subject to certain terms and conditions.

Players who subscribe during the anniversary and select a promotional multi-month plan will continue to be billed every 3, 6, or 12 months as long as they maintain an active account with The Lord of the Rings Online or until they choose a different billing plan. Players who currently subscribe to The Lord of the Rings Online and select the special offer will be transferred to the anniversary subscription package once they have completed their current subscription plan. Players who choose the Lifetime Membership will be upgraded at the end of their current billing cycle.

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 13 Hands-On @ TTH

by Asbjoern, 19:22

Ten Ton Hammer have done a hands-on preview on the upcoming Book 13. Here's their conclusion:

Once again, Turbine has taken steps in the right direction with this latest addition to Lord of the Rings Online. Although Book 13 doesn’t add anything monumental, like a Balrog, it does continue to give players a reason to explore the depths of their game and discover new nuances to their LOTRO characters.  

Source: Blue's News

Wednesday - April 23, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 13 Hands-On

by Asbjoern, 10:15

WarCry has a hands-on preview of the upcoming Book 13 for Lord of the Rings Online:

Our tour of the icy wastes of Forochel began along the coast of the frigid Ice Bay. Not the best place for a dip, but the perfect opportunity for Campbell to point out the new environmental damage type that players will contend with as they travel throughout the zone. The cold not only lowers your morale, but places an additional debuff on you that grows more severe over time. This debuff makes it more difficult for you to resist future sources of cold damage, which many of the monsters around Forochel dish out. Fortunately, removing the debuff is as simple as finding a heat source, from a campfire to a nearby steam vent.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - April 19, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 13 Preview

by Asbjoern, 23:57

A preview of the game update "Book 13: Doom of the Last King" for Lord of the Rings Online is viewable at GameSpy:

The first thing we saw when we logged in for our tour of Forochel was the ghost of a noble-looking Man floating in the beached wreckage of an elf-ship. This, we were told, was the spirit of Arvedui, the titular Last-king. He was haunting the site of his demise, a shipwreck caused in an unnatural storm sparked by the Witch-king of Angmar. The storyline of Forochel's 100+ new quests will follow Arvedui's story as he attempts to help the Lossoth, the descendents of the "Snow-men" who aided him fight a brand-new plot against the region by their unholy neighbor to the east. According to producer Aaron Campbell and executive producer Jeffrey Steefel, though, there's much more to Forochel than just ice and snow-themed quest content. The new book will introduce new game mechanics the team hopes will not only enhance the current gameplay experience, but also act as a test-bed for content in the Mines of Moria.

Source: Bluesnews

Thursday - April 17, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 13 Interview

by Asbjoern, 17:30

Ten Ton Hammer has interviewed world builder Matt "Scenario" Elliot about the upcoming free update for Lord of the Rings Online, Book 13:

Ten Ton Hammer: How long has Book 13 been in the works?

Matt Elliott: Oh goodness. I think we were plugging away at the ideas for it as early as December. We tried some new development processes for Forochel. Typically, when we do an update, everyone helps on it at the same time. For Forochel, in order to give world, content, and game systems more breathing room, we spread out the space over a longer period of time.

For example, my team – the world team – could go in and do all the places and development of this stage without getting in the way of other departments. After that, the content team came in behind us and did all the quest development and NPCs.

Overall, I think it worked out pretty well for us. We managed to complete a very large space in the amount of time we spent developing it.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - April 12, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Review

by Asbjoern, 19:43

A four-page review is up at Computergames.ro. The game receives a 85/100 and it is also given a silver award. Here are the highlights from the review:

Pros:

  • Exceptional graphics
  • The game setting
  • Epic Storyline
  • The feeling

Cons:

  • Poor PvP
  • Limited endgame options
  • Boring raid instances, compared to the competition

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - April 11, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ MMO Gamer

by Asbjoern, 18:48

Part two of the MMO Gamer interview with Jeffrey Steefel has been released. An audio recording is also available this time:

The MMO Gamer: I’d like for you to tell us Turbine’s overall design philosophy. Why you people go to work every day to make the games that you do.

But, do not use the words fun, creative, original, or innovative.

Jeffrey Steefel: [laughing] Fun, creative, original, or innovative? Ah, I don’t do any of those things, anyway.

Well, I can tell you why I do. I’ve been in one kind of media or another my whole life. Started life as a—sorry, you said go back to high school—started life as a kid who wanted to be an astronaut, but who was a singer and a musician.

Ended up in college as an engineer, who graduated with a drama degree. Was a performer on Broadway for a long time while I was playing around with ten Amigas in my little tiny apartment in New York, teaching myself Lightwave and whatever.

This whole time I was involved in online social networking—I spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars I didn’t have on the GEnie Network playing Federation, which is this space-based MUD, just being with people all over the world and having that whole experience of what that’s really, really like.

That’s been a part of my DNA all along. The fact that I’m in a place that’s building that, really—it was interesting, I spoke at the Virtual Worlds Summit on Monday here, and the whole speech was about the fact that you don’t stop talking about massively multiplayer games, and virtual worlds, and what’s this one good for, and what’s that one good for?

And I’m like, “Dude, same thing.” You know? Some virtual worlds are just like a big open sandbox with nothing in it, and that’s not really good anyway, but we’re building social worlds, we’re building the social networking on—this whole thing about Web 2.0 social networks, we’ve been building social networks for ten years.

So, what drives me is figuring out how to create these environments where people are interacting with each other, and increasingly getting more sophisticated in what that interaction’s like. It’s going to get really complicated going forward, because now we’re starting to get different types of people together in these environments who don’t want the same thing.

That’s the next challenge, that’s what I’m excited about. That’s what gets me up in the morning.

Source: Bluesnews

Thursday - April 10, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ RPS

by Asbjoern, 17:49

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has released an interview which was conducted late last year with Jeffrey Steefel from Turbine about Lord of the Rings Online:

RPS: Has LOTRO gained the audience you’d hoped and expected?

Jeffrey Steefel: In terms of popularity, we’re pretty certain we’re the number two MMO out there at the moment. You couldn’t ask for a better outcome than that. That was always our goal, among other things. We have a great community, and it continues to grow. In terms of the types of player, it’s fascinating. We’re validating to some degree what we hoped would happen, which is all different types of players in the game. It makes it a little harder for us developers, as it means we have at least three or four audiences to try and satisfy. It’s good that it gives a little depth to the game. We’ve got hardcore roleplayers in there, we’ve got more casual players who are spending less time in the game but are very interested anyway. We’re very happy with the way things are going right now, and the fact that we’ve been able to update the game the way we said we would. We’ve added 20+ % to the game in the last six months – in land, in content, in functionality.

Wednesday - April 09, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Spring Wallpapers

by Asbjoern, 11:27

Spring wallpapers for Lord of the Rings Online are available at the official website.

Tuesday - April 08, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ MMO Gamer

by Asbjoern, 17:11

Jeffrey Steefel of Turbine has once again been interviewed. The MMO Gamer has released part one of the interview. An audio recording of the interview is also embedded:

The MMO Gamer: What would you say the number one lesson you took away from the launch was, in terms of things that worked, and things that didn’t work with the game?

Jeffrey Steefel: Well, there are big things and little things, big surprises, little surprises.

We’ve been hearing an awful lot about solo play from our players, which has been a surprise to us, because we thought we built a game that was incredibility soloable. But, what we’re finding is that people at all levels of the game want to have more solo experiences. That was a little bit of a learning experience for us.

Smaller surprises like the music system, which was just something they were fooling around with for fun before launch and put up, and ended up being something people went nuts over, so we kind of put more time into that and built it up.

There haven’t been a lot of over-the-top kinds of surprises, because we got our big surprises during beta. We spent a lot of time during beta listening to what people were telling us and putting those changes into the game, and pushed on the things that we thought were going to have the biggest impact for launch.

I don’t mean to sound like we actually know what we’re doing, but we got a good sense of it in beta, and I think that really helped us a lot towards launch. So, there haven’t been as many surprises as I might have thought we would have had.

Source: Bluesnews

Saturday - April 05, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Loading Screen Contest Winners

by Asbjoern, 00:01

The winners of Turbine's loading screen contest for Lord of the Rings Online were announced yesterday on the official forums. Congratulations to the winners!

Source: WarCry

Saturday - March 29, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Lorebook Update

by Asbjoern, 00:22

A vital character in the introduction to the main story for the Hobbit and Man races has been added to the official lorebook. You'll remember him well if you have played Lord of the Rings Online with one of the beforementioned races. It is Amdir:

When the Nazgûl entered the Shire in search of Frodo Baggins, the Rangers of the North discovered a strange link between their presence and the increase of brigand activity in Bree-land. One Ranger, Amdir by name, travelled from the Shire to Archet to investigate the connection between the Nazgûl and the Blackwolds.

Once in Archet, the grim Ranger became embroiled in a mystery involving missing hobbits, and contended in the meantime with the distrust of Captain Brackenbrook, a retired sell-sword organizing a garrison to stave off the attacks of the Blackwold brigands. Amdir’s involvement in the affairs of Archet would eventually lead him to a dark and sinister fate.

The Ranger Amdir was one of the earliest NPCs created by Turbine for The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. He plays a pivotal role throughout the Hobbit and Man starting instances, continuing through the Bree-land Epic Prologue.

Source: WarCry

Thursday - March 27, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Re-review @ Eurogamer

by Asbjoern, 22:07

The new Eurogamer MMO channel has published a re-review of Lord of the Rings Online. The score amounts to the same as last time, 9/10. They ask (and answer) why they haven't given it a 10/10:

After all the piles of praise we've heaped on it, why does LOTRO still not get the coveted 10/10? Blizzard even like the game so much, it seems to have named their art director after Samwise Gamgee - so why do we have qualms? Firstly, because, despite all its advances, despite the Deeds achievement system, and the believable world Turbine has crafted (where it's very careful to avoid Blizzard's occasional frame-breaking humour, so that you're encouraged to take the plot more seriously), this is still very similar to WOW and its predecessors. And, because of that, it shares the genre's flaws: there's still a lot of needless, tedious running about; the gaps between the excellent story quests stretch wide, no matter how good the scripting of the other quests is; and there are still irritating "kill a billion slugs" quests (some deeds literally ask you to perform an action 1000 times). Monster Play, though promising, isn't quite there, and many of the updates (e.g. faction reputations and collectible armour sets) make the game more like WOW, not less.

Lord of the Rings Online - Q&A @ Official Forums

by Asbjoern, 11:37

Lord of the Rings Online developers have answered fan questions in a thread on the official forums.

Originally Posted by Anyarien
echoing questions re lvl 50 content as i sincerely hope us lvl 50s get something new to get our teeth into

also any idea on timing?? *asks hopefully


Sorry, we can't spill the beans on when you will be seeing Book 13 just yet.

Source: WarCry

Thursday - March 20, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Lorebook Update

by Asbjoern, 23:55

Another addition to Lord of the Rings Online's Lorebook has been added today. This time it is a landmark called "Sarnúr":

In Sarnúr, the Dourhands and their evil allies are mustering their forces to begin a final assault upon the Longbeards of Thorin’s Hall and the Elves of Duillond. The dwarves of the Blue Stone Garrison have begun recruitment efforts to turn aside the wrath of the Dourhands by going on the offensive. Until the threat from Sarnúr is removed, the dwarves of Thorin’s Hall will be able to lend little aid to the efforts against Angmar.

Source: WarCry

Wednesday - March 19, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Lorebook Update

by Asbjoern, 00:46

The official lorebook of has been updated with a new piece of..... lore. This time we are introduced to the "ill-favored and sour-tempered man" that is Harry Goatleaf.

In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Harry Goatleaf is the watcher who let Frodo and his companions into Bree-town after they escaped from the Barrow-downs with the aid of Tom Bombadil. In The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, it remains to be seen if any of the rumors about him are true...

Monday - March 17, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ HEXUS

by Asbjoern, 22:34

Turbine's executive producer, Jeffrey Steefel, has been interviewed once again as part of Codemasters' Connect 2008 convention. This time by the website HEXUS.gaming, which asks:

HEXUS: There’s been a bit of debate over at the official LOTRO forums about what’s going to happen when Age of Conan and Warhammer arrive later this year and whether a chunk of the community will jump ship to play these big titles. What steps are you putting in place to ensure this doesn’t happen?

To which Jeffrey calmly answers:

Jeff: To continue to distinguish ourselves we’ll continue to evolve the game and bring new things to the arena. We’ll continue to uphold the level of quality and stability in the game. Besides WOW and LOTRO I don’t know if there is a game that has been able to do that, certainly not a new one and I think that makes us very competitive.

We know that gamers will want to look at what other games have to offer, but they’ll come back, they’ll even play two games at once, lots of people do that. We’re not worried about the competition.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - March 14, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria

by Woges, 13:33

TTH announce that Turbine & Codemasters are hard at work on a Mines of Moria expansion for LotRO. You can see their report from Connect '08 here. The offical teaser(ish) site is up here.

Three new regions are coming into the game to compliment those 10 new levels, and these regions certainly aren’t for the faint of heart. The first and least known of the regions is Eregion, which is an area outside of the West Gate of Khazad-dûm. Full of ancient Elven ruins, Eregion may harbor a host of unseen enemies.

Second, and the deadliest region of the three, is Moria itself. Hopefully any Tolkien fan – casual or hardcore alike – will know what Moria contains: the Balrog of Khazad-dûm. Unleashed by the dwarves of Moria, this creature will make the other Balrog that was introduced earlier into the game look tame. If the expansion is anything like the books, expect a vast number of orcs and goblins to fight through in the depths of Moria itself. The developers were also keen to mentions that Moria will also be heaped with glittering Dwarven treasure!

The last new region on the list is Lórien, where players will finally get to meet up with the Fellowship and possibly help ease their pain after their desperate flight from the Balrog. The developers will probably create an epically beautiful realm to represent Lórien, and one can only expect Galadriel to be stunning (or Gimli would have our heads!).

The offical site is now updated with the features of this new expansion

 

  • Speak Friend, and Enter - Moria, called Khazad-dûm by the dwarves, was their capital and the grandest of cities. This enormous underground cavern in north-western Middle-earth, comprises an immense network of tunnels, chambers, mines and huge halls that run beneath and ultimately through the Misty Mountains. For the first time, players of The Lord of the Rings Online will enter this ancient city which has served as the foundation for the modern-day dungeon-crawling adventures to battle the hordes of goblins and the Nameless of the Deep and journey through hundreds of new quests within six new kinds of stunning environments.
  • The Epic Continues! - The Mines of Moria represents the beginning of Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online. Players can experience six new books as part of this update and participate in the release of Durin's Bane, battle the Watcher, aid Galadriel and more!
  • Increased Level Cap - Players will be able advance their characters up to level 60, gaining access to new traits, virtues, skills and class quests. The crafting system will also expand, giving players the ability to craft even more powerful items.
  • Discover Two New Classes - The Rune-keeper and the Warden, the first new classes to be introduced since the launch of the game, allow players to build exciting and powerful new characters in The Lord of the Rings Online in diverse new ways.
Forge Legendary Items - The Mines of Moria will introduce Turbine's new item advancement system to The Lord of the Rings Online. Players will be able to forge weapons and class-related equipment and evolve them to build a legacy the likes of Bilbo's Sting and Gandalf's Glamdring. These legendary weapons will level-up along with the player, allowing customization by advancing the item's virtues, adding runic legacies, modifying its titles and forming fables.

Wednesday - March 12, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Podcast @ GWJ

by Asbjoern, 19:28

The website, Gamers With Jobs, has released Conference Call Episode 75 where Kerr Cardell and David Lennon from Turbine has been interviewed about new Lord of the Rings Online features and the future of MMORPGs.

 You can listen to the conference call here.

Source: Bluesnews

Tuesday - March 11, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview and Lorebook Update

by Asbjoern, 16:57

MMORPG.com talks with Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, about the players' response to Book 12, the addition of new features and some random facts.

After the release of each new Book, Turbine pays very close attention to the way that players are reacting to the new additions to the game. In Book 12, the devs added an outfit system into the mix that allows players to keep their old mis-matched armor for the stat bonuses that it provides while choosing their own outward appearance. It’s called the outfit system and according to Steefel, "The outfit system is very successful and what we hoped it would be."

The lorebook on the official site of Lord of the Rings Online has been updated to include information about the NPC Habarad, who is a kinsman to Aragorn.

Halbarad, kinsman of Aragorn, struggles to unite the scattered peoples of the North Downs against the hordes of Orcs which have come down from Angmar through Ram Dúath. Like many of the Dúnedain of the North, Halbarad has many qualities of both a warrior and a lore-master. He uses his knowledge to coordinate efforts to hinder the advance of Angmar’s army until a stronger front can be established, all the while alert to the knowledge that he may be called to battle and fates unknown in lands far away.

Thursday - March 06, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Lore update

by Woges, 19:16

Offical site has a lore update on the Barrow Downs: Haudh Iarchith.

Wednesday - February 13, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Video Dev Diary @ WarCry

by Inauro, 20:49
WarCry has posted a new video developer diary in which Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, gives the lowdown on the new features of Book 12: The Ashen Wastes.

Source: WarCry

Tuesday - February 05, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Blue Stone Garrison @ Official Site

by Inauro, 20:57

The Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a new interior location feature: Blue Stone Garrison.

Since reclaiming Thorin’s Hall, Dwalin and company established a permanent garrison in their Blue Mountain stronghold. This military presence, known as the Blue Stone Garrison, wards against incursions by the goblins of Ered Luin and the Dourhands encamped in the ancient and ruined dwarf-city of Sarnúr. Recently, the Garrison has begun recruiting allies from other parts of Middle-earth to aid in its struggles against the Dourhands.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Friday - February 01, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 12 Impressions @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 23:02

GameSpy offers some first impressions of the new avatar customisation system and Book 12: The Ashen Wastes.

One of the most frequently underrated aspects of the MMO by developers is avatar customization, and it's certainly not hard to understand why. Would you rather be the monster designer who creates a fantastic new raid boss or the person tasked with coming up with 53 new hairstyles? The former seems fun, but it's often the latter that has the greater impact on player enjoyment. Players will jump through massive hoops to gain some sort of visual distinctiveness and the developers at Turbine seems to understand this (if they didn't, their players have certainly screamed loudly enough about it). That's why despite the latest content addition to The Lord of the Rings Online adding some cool new PvP content, class tweaks and a major area revamp, much of it is simply devoted to making players look good.

Source: GameSpy

Tuesday - January 29, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - The Delving of Fror @ Official Site

by Inauro, 20:55

Turbine has updated the Lord of the Rings Online site with a preview of the Delving of Frór, one of the new areas being added to the game with Book 12: The Ashen Wastes.

In ages long past, dwarves delved throughout the Misty Mountains and there drew forth precious ore from the land. At the foot of those mountains, beneath the shadow of what is now called Mount Gram, is one such delving - The Delving of Frór.

Long before the Men of Rhudaur made the land now called the Ettenmoors their home, the dwarves who lived there carved deep beneath the mountains. The Delving of Frór was mined to exhaustion and abandoned for many years until the Men of Rhudaur arrived and themselves discovered its depths. The Men of Rhudaur eventually fell under the sway of the Witch-king, and Angmar demanded that they build subterranean holdings meant to serve as defenses against the forces of Cardolan and Arthedain. The Rhudauran complied, and built small holdings in the abandoned mines.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - January 28, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 12 Screenshots @ WarCry

by Inauro, 20:49

Turbine has released 10 new images showcasing some of the changes coming to Lord of the Rings Online with the impending release of Book 12.  Head over to WarCry to catch a glimpse of what's in store

Source: WarCry

Saturday - January 26, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 12 Preview @ IGN

by Inauro, 22:00

IGN previews some of the changes coming to Lord of the Rings Online with the release of Book 12.

Also in the Ettemoors is an entirely new dungeon with some peculiar properties. First of all, it won't actually open until your side manages to capture a majority of the Ettenmoors' strongholds, which have been augmented to allow the controlling team to buff up the structure's defenses. At that point you can head over to the eastern edge of the zone and drop into the dungeon, known as the Ettendeep. But things aren't that simple. While you've got a majority hold on the zone's strongholds, it's possible to lose it. To clarify, just because your group heads into the Ettendeep doesn't mean they're safe from the monster players. The PvP battle for strongholds still rages while your side's representatives are down in the dungeon, so it's entirely possible for the other side to wrestle majority stronghold control from you, gain access to the Ettendeep, and actually wipe out your dungeon party. While the Ettendeep does exist in a different space than the Ettenmoors, meaning you pass through a loading sequence to get there, it's still a public space.

Source: IGN

Thursday - January 24, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Echad Candelleth @ Official Site

by Inauro, 20:50

A new Exploring Middle Earth feature is up at the official Lord of the Rings Online site. 

In the months after Strider brought four hobbits to the hidden valley of Rivendell, Elrond Half-elven sent forth many Elf-scouts and Rangers to search the surrounding lands for signs of the Enemy's servants. One of these scouts, an Elf-woman named Candelleth, established a way-station in Tâl Bruinen, the southern reaches of the Trollshaws that follow the course of the river Bruinen.

From this outpost, called Echad Candelleth, many scouting parties resupply and take much-needed rest from their arduous journeys. Echad Candelleth also sometimes hosts parties of hunters from Bree-land and from the villages east of the Misty Mountains. Recently, the outpost has given succour to hunters frightened by a strange creature seen wandering the woods of Tâl Bruinen.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Dev Chat Transcript @ WarCry

by Inauro, 20:42

Head over to WarCry for the transcript of the recent chat session with Turbine.

WarCry: Welcome to WarCry's War Council! Today we are pleased to have the developers of Lord of the Rings Online here to chat with about Book 12 and and maybe even a hint of what is in store down the road! Lord of the Rings Online is has won several awards of late including WarCry's Best New MMO of 2007.

Source: WarCry

Monday - January 21, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Outfits & Barbershops @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:02

Turbine reveals details of the new outfits and barbershop system for customising avatars in Lord of the Rings Online.

In addition to bringing you the Month of the Guardian, the Month of the Burglar, the Month of the Champion, the Ettendeep, and Angmar Revisited, Book 12: The Ashen Wastes will also go down in history as introducing The Month of Avatar Customization - as we like to call these things here at Turbine.

Now, you might be asking yourself: "Why on Middle-earth would the devs be focusing on avatar customization when they've still got Mordor to build?!"

Well, anecdotally speaking, I can't recall a single Dev Chat (and as everyone who's had to wait while I typed up an answer knows, I've done a lot of them) where someone hasn't asked for additional character customization options. In fact, the request for just an option to toggle your shoulder armour off and on has come up in every one of our last 5 European Dev Chats (big shout-out to our Codemasters players here!).

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - January 15, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Week of the Champion @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:07

Along with changes to the Burglar and Guardian classes taking place this month, Turbine is also tweaking the Champion class.

Although the Champion was one of the first classes to undergo the "Month of" design process shortly after LOTRO's launch, we didn't yet have the wealth of feedback we've since received. In Book 12, we're taking the opportunity to address some of the issues that have been voiced since LOTRO went live. Since this is the second time we're looking at Champions, the update won't be as involved as the full-on "Month of" updates that Guardians and Burglars are receiving, but we hope to address most of the issues brought up by the Champion community as well as giving them the tools necessary to fulfill their class roles in LOTRO.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - January 10, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Month of the Burglar @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:10

Not content with January being the sole provenance of the Guardian class Turbine has announced the Month of the Burglar.

Adding more to a class which already has so much versatility and depth hasn't been easy. The challenge has been to enhance a very solid base in ways that will be fun and interesting, while not shifting or bloating its capabilities beyond where they ought to be.

Ultimately, we decided to add a little something to everything. That means new skills and items that enhance or play on the Burglar's established class abilities. Most of the new skills will be awarded in levels 40-50, but a few will go out earlier in a Burglar's lifetime. The end result: A mix of fun skills and items that the shrewd Burglar can apply in the right situations to good (and sometimes humorous) effect.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - January 08, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Month of the Guardian @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:04

Turbine kicks off the Month of the Guardian at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

The Month of the Guardian is here! Guardians are receiving attention to both their primary tanking role and secondary damage-per-second role. We hope you'll enjoy these changes and the new depth they bring to the role of the Guardian.

Already the hardiest class in Middle-earth, the Guardian is able to withstand relentless onslaughts. Capable of maintaining a high level of threat generation, only the foolish and overly aggressive dare try to outpace them. Where this class is weakest is the ability to actually kill their foes.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - January 07, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 20:49

Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, catches up with MMORPG.com to discuss the future direction of Turbines' latest MMO.

Steffel says that the team will be working toward adding more solo content for all levels of play. They knew people would want a significant amount of solo content from the start, but as it turns out, people want more. Another element that we’ll be seeing more of is elder game content and raids. When a game first launches, there is less demand for end game content as everyone is low level, but as the game matures, and the player base advances, more high level content becomes an obvious necessity. Exploration and achievement players will also see more content directed at their style of play in the coming year, but no further details were given, except that achievers will get their due in Book 12.

Source: MMORPG.com

Friday - January 04, 2008

Lord of the Rings Online - High King's Crossing @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:32

The Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a new geographical feature: the High King's Crossing.

Guarding the crossing of the River Baranduin in Evendim are three great statues, wrought in the honor of the kings of old. The first and greatest of these is of Elendil the Tall, the first High King of Middle-earth. The others are more abstract, depicting the many-pointed star that was the sigil of the North-kingdom of Arnor.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - December 19, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online -

by Inauro, 20:56

Jeffrey Steefel, the Executive Producer for Lord of the Rings Online, has rounded out the year with a letter at the official site.

As the holiday seasons are upon us I wanted to take a moment to express the team’s gratitude to all of you for making LOTRO a success and helping us to keep making it better and better. With Books 9, 10 and 11, we’ve grown the size and functionality of the game a great deal and tried to improve the things and places most important to our players. The past seven months (yup-it’s only been that long) have been a blast and we’ve just gotten started. We have some huge plans for 2008 and we’ll have more to say on that subject after the first of the year. Suffice it to say that while 2007 was a big year for LOTRO, 2008 is going to be even cooler!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - December 18, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Bag End Gardens @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:03

The official Lord of the Rings Onine lorebook has been updated with a new landmark article featuring the gardens at Bag End.

The comfortable hobbit-hole of Bag End in the Shire, until recently the home of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, has been made all the more pleasing to the senses by the vibrant reds and golds of snap-dragons and sunflowers in the garden which surrounds the residence. Tended with care for a full forty years by Ham Gamgee – better known to all as the Gaffer – and also under the care of his son Samwise, the grounds of Bag End are a relaxing place of tranquil beauty in the pleasant rolling hills of Hobbiton. Traversed by a sloping path and surrounded by a nicely-trimmed hedge, the garden of Bag End has been among the best-kept and well-tended gardens for miles around. However, as the carefree days of the Shire seem to be giving way to a growing darkness, and since Frodo Baggins made the surprising announcement that the hobbit-hole at Bag End would be sold to the ever-unpleasant Lobelia Sackville-Baggins and her son Lotho, many have wondered if the fragrant garden will continue to be tended, or if indeed its manicured beauty will even survive another season.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - December 13, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Rogmul @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:25

The official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with an entry on the Rogmul.

Still another survivor of the Elder Days is the Rogmul. Regmyl are lesser fire demons enthralled by the will of the Balrogs. While they are in fact minor spirits, they are among the mightiest of the sort: great brutes of evil will and fierce strength. Wherever a Balrog is or once was, it can be wagered that a Rogmul or two is not far away.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - December 11, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Angmar Revamp @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:28

It seems Turbine has plans to revamp the Angmar region of Lord of the Rings Online.

Six months after LOTRO's launch, what are some of the things we'd like to change about Angmar that have come up from player feedback and our own internal reviews? Here are some of the issues we've identified: 

  • Quest flow is sometimes inconsistent and doesn't send players to the correct level bands
  • Quest difficulty is mislabeled in many cases, both for Suggested Levels and Suggested Group Size
  • The spawns in Angmar feel out of place (boars again? Really?), and Elite mobs should not share spawn-points with Normal-statted mobs
  • Spawn density in certain locations is too great, resulting in very frustrating gameplay
  • The ratio of Full Fellowship quests to Solo quests is not correct; more Solo quests are required

What Angmar needs is a healthy scrubbing to bring it more in line with the rest of the game as far as consistency goes, and improve the experience for everybody.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - December 10, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Consignment Guide @ WarCry

by Inauro, 21:11

WarCry has put together a guide to consignments in Lord of the Rings Online for all the aspiring crafters out there.

Source: WarCry

Tuesday - December 04, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Ost Forod @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:21

The Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a new landmark article featuring Ost Forod.

Rumors of lost treasure brought adventurous Men back into the region surrounding Lake Evendim, where the ruins of Annúminas and the tombs of the Kings of Arnor remain. These treasure-hunters established a town and trading post in the northern reaches of those lands, amongst the ruins of the old fortress of Ost Forod. Here they were content to scavenge for trinkets unearthed by time and weather, hunt the great Harts of the North, and trade with the Lossoth, the strange and sometimes dangerous Snowmen of Forochel.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Chat Transcript & Summary @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:17

MMORPG.com has posted the transcript and summary of its recent discussion with the developers of Lord of the Rings Online.

Some of the questions in the chat revolved around the recently added (and very popular) housing feature, which allows players to buy homes in Middle-Earth in shared instance neighborhoods. When a reader asked whether the system had turned out as the developers had planned, Cardell Kerr answered by talking about how the developers wanted to give everyone in the game a chance to own a home, but didn't want "a world where everyone was in their own little apartment".

This statement makes good sense, as we have been told before that the developers were trying to avoid segregation in the game. Kerr pointed to the success of the neighborhood system, which allows players to have their own areas and yet still interact with others, as a highlight of housing's success in the game.

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - November 29, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Dol Haedir @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:19

A new landmark feature has been added to the official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook.

Far in the north-west reaches of Evendim, in the wooded areas that lie between Evendim and the cold wastes of Forochel in the North, lies Dol Haedir. Here dwell the vicious Gauredain, wild men who have long troubled this region and once warred with the Men of Arnor. Explorers who journey in the northlands of Evendim would be well-advised to avoid Dol Haedir, for it is said the Gauredain are eaters of flesh . . . any flesh.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - November 27, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Donnvail @ Official Site

by Inauro, 22:17

Visit the village of Donnvail in the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature to be added to the official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook.

In the western reaches of Angmar lies the village of Donnvail, the home of Hill-men friendly to the Rangers of the North. These people, unlike their brethren in Aughaire, live under the direct oppression of the Angmarim and their masters in Carn Dûm, swearing fealty to the Witch-king of Angmar. They spend their dismal lives farming and hunting to feed the evil hosts of Mordirith, the False King.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - November 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:13

MMORPG.com has added six new Lord of the Rings Online images to its screenshot gallery

Source: MMORPG.com

Tuesday - November 20, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Carn Dum @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:17

Turbine has updated the official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook with a visit to Carn Dûm.

Early in the Third Age, the north of Eriador was inhabited by a wicked and superstitious people who were easily deceived by the Enemy. The Black Captain of the Nazgûl was sent by the Dark Lord to subjugate that land, and became known as the Witch-king, lord of the fell realm of Angmar. Upon the slopes of the Mountains of Angmar, he built the great fortress-city of Carn Dûm, from whence he ruled with an iron fist…. and an Iron Crown.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Sunday - November 18, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Video Dev Diary @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:05

MMORPG.com has a new Lord of the Rings Online video developer diary in which Jeffrey Steefel talks about player housing. 

Source: MMORPG.com

Wednesday - November 14, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

by Inauro, 21:14

The transcript of the recent Lord of the Rings Online House of Commons is now available at Stratics. 

Source: Stratics

Tuesday - November 13, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Cairn of Honor @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:17

Turbine has updated the official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook witha a new landmark entry featuring the Cairn of Honor.

When Eärnur and Glorfindel destroyed the hosts of Angmar and Rhudaur and drove the Witch-king from the North, the remnants of the Hill-men of Rhudaur escaped into the hills of the Witch-realm, hiding from the onslaught of the armies of Gondor and the Elves. Each clan pledged to the others an oath of honour never again to serve the Shadow in the East, and to live in peace with one another. As a token of this oath, they built the Cairn of Honour in the hills of Angmar.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - November 08, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Tom Bombadil @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:07

The official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a feature on Tom Bombadil.

Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow;

Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.

This verse describes the surface appearance of the strange entity known as Bombadil. He seems a jovial (if not somewhat absurd) fellow, skipping and singing through the treacherous Old Forest at the Bounds of Buckland; but beneath the surface is hidden a Power that few, even the Wise, can comprehend. He is old beyond the count of years – indeed, the Elves once called him Iarwain Ben-adar, Oldest and Fatherless – and once leapt upon the hilltops across the wide lands of Middle-earth. Now, though, he has settled in the Old Forest with his wife Goldberry the River-daughter, and set for himself unseen bounds which he no longer crosses.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - November 06, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Ost Guruth @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:17

Turbine has updated the official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook with a new Explore Middle Earth article featuring the Lone Lands fortress of Ost Guruth.

To the east of Bree-land lies a largely barren and uninhabited stretch of wilderness known as the Lone-lands. Usually the only life seen in these lands are scattered birds and wildlife. On rare occasions a traveller upon the Great East Road may be spied. Hidden among the ruins of the ancient fortresses there can be found the Eglain. These are descendants of an ancient people who have forsaken the towns and cities of “civilized” folk and choose to live as free men in the wild. They scavenge trinkets and relics from the remnants of Arnor to trade for the necessities of life.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - November 01, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - The Eavespires @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:00

If you're looking for Ents, you've come to the right place.  The official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with an entry on The Eavespires, one of the places visited by the Ents in their search for the Entwives.

In the woods beside Lake Evendim can be found a tranquil and ancient grove called the Eavespires. It is said that long ago an Ent, one of the mighty tree-herders of Fangorn, came here in search of something his people had lost. It may be that he dwells there yet, for an Age is but a short time to that most ancient of peoples, and the Eavespires has been a vale of peace for a very long time.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - October 25, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Brandywine Realty @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:19

The official Lord of the Rings Online site has been updated with a new page explaining player housing in Turbine's newly patched MMO.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Halloween Events

by Inauro, 22:57

Turbine has announced the Halloween events that will be taking place in Eriador this year.

25th October 2007– Today, Codemasters Online and Turbine, Inc. announce the details of the first annual Harvest Festival in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, the hit MMO that has taken Europe and North America by storm. The Harvest Festival, the second of many planned seasonal celebrations in Middle-earth, will offer players a variety of quests, vendors and events to highlight this special time of year.

“The Harvest Festival is the second of many seasonal events that we have planned for The Lord of the Rings Online,” said Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. “These festivals coupled with content updates demonstrate our commitment to delivering the best online experience for our subscribers through a fun, compelling and evolving game.”

Players can celebrate throughout Middle-earth from October 26th to November 12th by interacting with special vendors, earn unique items and participate in quests designed just for the Harvest Festival including:

  • Horse Racing – Players can compete against each other in a horse race! Winners will receive a horse race token that can be used to purchase the Harvest Festival Horse.
  • Games of Chance – The Harvest Festival will host four games of chance. Players can bob for apples in the Shire or try geode picking with the Dwarves to earn Harvest Festival tokens that can be used to buy special festival items.
  • Harvesting the Crop – This new collection of quests enables players to harvest the crops they planted during the Summer Solstice Festival in June and earn a special item for their house.
  • Dancing – There will be dancing quests with new race-specific dance emotes as a reward.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - October 24, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 Launched @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:03

Turbine has announced the launch of Book 11: Defenders of Eriador.

WESTWOOD, MA - October 24, 2007 - Turbine, Inc. and Codemasters Online Gaming announced that Book 11: Defenders of Eriador, the third free content update for subscribers to The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM, went live today in North America.  Book 11 continues the epic story of The Lord of the Rings Online by adding over 100 new quests, a new 12-player raid, two new areas in Middle-earth and introducing the player housing system. 

The Lord of the Rings Online delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy adventure of all time. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before.  The Lord of the Rings Online is available for purchase at major retailers across North America and Europe. For more information, or to download a free trial, visit www.lotro.com or www.lotro-europe.com.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - October 23, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Gwinderthrond @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:20

In addition to giving the entire Lord of the Rings Online site a makeover, Turbine has posted a new Explore Middle-earth feature to the Lorebook.

Deep within the folded lands along the shores of Nenuial, known to most as Lake Evendim, lies a grotto, its entrance hidden behind a waterfall – but this is no ordinary cave, for it is home to Gwindeth, the Blue Lady of Evendim. Who or what she is remains a mystery, but she has dwelt at Gwindethrond for many an age, and was a friend to the Kings of Arnor, from Elendil to Amlaith of Fornost, the first King of Arthedain. Some believe she is kin to the River-maidens – though her temperament is much stronger than theirs – or perhaps even one of the messengers of the Valar who chose long ago to remain in Middle-earth.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:10

MMORPG.com chats to Jeffrey Steefel about the changes coming to Lord of the Rings Online with the release of Book 11: Defenders of Eriador.

We started the conversation by talking about Housing. Housing is one of those systems that isn’t necessary to the function of an MMO, but that adds a nice feeling of ownership in the game and gives the feeling that the game is more of a world. It’s also the feature that stands out most in the minds of current players looking forward to this update.

In LotRO, each race will have their own housing area, though you do have a choice, and your race doesn’t actually affect your housing. For example, an enterprising elf could prefer the laid-back nature of The Shire to their own homeland. Not a problem. Members of all races are welcome in any of the four homestead areas.

Source: MMORPG.com

Monday - October 22, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 Patch Notes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:15

The official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with the full patch notes for Book 11: Defenders of Eriador

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - October 18, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 Interview @ WarCry

by Inauro, 23:15

WarCry talks to Jeffrey Steefel and Adam Mersky about what players of Lord of the Rings Online can expect from Book 11: Defenders of Eriador.

"We want to try and provide something new and fresh to each of those players in each update," he said.

The team also worked to ensure that housing is a core feature, not a tacked-on sideshow. Steefel and Merskey gave examples of how it integrates into the crafting system, their future plans for community (each house is on a street and neighborhood improvements are in the plans) and even little touches, like the taxidermist NPC who will stuff any creature a player kills so the player can mount the corpse on his wall.

The other big addition in Book 11 is the game's second bit of raid content. It culminates in a showdown with the Balrog, but players need to make their way through a wealth of new content to reach that point. Turbine has created over 100 new, unique items players can earn in a 12-person raid, and to date, the feedback has been positive.

Source: WarCry

Lord of the Rings Online - Gauradan @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:08

The Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a new monster profile featuring gauradan.

Wild men have dwelt in the North of Middle-earth since the Elder Days, troubling even the ancestors of the Dúnedain in times long forgotten. When Elendil and his sons came to Eriador after the fall of Númenor, they found these lands occupied by these Men of Darkness, and warred with them when they founded their kingdom of Arnor upon the shores of Lake Evendim.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 Details Announced

by Inauro, 22:56

Turbine and Codemasters Online have put together a rather lengthy press release concerning Book 11: Defenders of Eriador and the changes it will bring to Lord of the Rings Online.

Thursday, 18th October (2pm GMT) - Codemasters Online and Turbine, Inc. announced the details of the third free content update for subscribers to The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. Book 11: Defenders of Eriador continues the epic story of The Lord of the Rings Online adding over 100 new quests, a new 12-player raid, two new areas in Middle-earth and introduces the player housing system. Book 11: Defenders of Eriador will be available to European subscribers of The Lord of the Rings Online on October 25, 2007.

“The Lord of the Rings Online has quickly become the hottest online game of the year,” said Jeffrey Steefel, the Executive Producer. “Book 11 is our most ambitious update yet. We continue to define the standard in interactive storytelling with the next chapter of our epic story and introduce a wealth of new content including the housing system, which will give players the opportunity to live in their own home in Middle-earth!”

NEW FEATURES:

The Epic Continues!
— Amarthiel has lost the Palantir, but not before using it to discover a clue to the location of Narchuil, the ancient Ring she lost at the Battle of Fornost. She turns her gaze eastward seeking to recover the Ring while the Dunedain find themselves with only one way to halt her advance. Calenglad believes that Mordrambor, the Black

Numenorean held prisoner by the Dunedain, may be the key to ending Amarthiel’s ambitions.

Player Housing — Players can now live in their own home in Middle-earth! Housing choices from four different neighborhoods - be it a majestic home overlooking a waterfall in Ered Luin, or a cozy hobbit-hole in the Shire. Kinship Halls provide plenty of space for groups to gather after a long day of adventuring. All homes provide the option of additional storage and can be customized inside and out with hundreds of unique items.
Two New Areas — Players can now explore even more of Middle-earth. Tâl Bruinen is an extension of the Trollshaws where players can see Gollum for the first time in The Lord of the Rings Online. Players can also trek to the High Pass in the Misty Mountains to combat fierce snowstorms and visit Goblin-town, the famous site where Bilbo Baggins was captured in The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Raid-“The Rift” — The Lord of the Rings Online’s second raid will be introduced in Book 11. This 12-player epic takes you through many new dangers in the Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu to face a fearsome Balrog.

New Musical Instruments — Book 11 brings more enhancements to our popular music system. Players can now entertain others with one of three new instruments including the Bagpipe and Cowbell.

Over 100 New Quests — The story continues for players as they aid the Fellowship and encounter new adventures.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - October 17, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Month of the Lore-master @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:04

The Month of the Lore-master kicks off in high style at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

The Lore-master is one of the more complex classes in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ (LOTRO), and Book 11 was the Lore-master’s turn for an update. After examining the strengths and weaknesses of this class, we tasked ourselves with delivering more versatility and a greater potential for DPS over the lifetime of the character, while making up for some of the perceived shortcomings of current low-level crowd control abilities.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 Details @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:03

The official Lord of the Rings Online site has been updated with fresh details about Book 11: Defenders of Eriador, the upcoming free content update for Turbine's Tolkien-inspired MMO. 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - October 16, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:14

Turbine welcomes players of Lord of the Rings Online to the Month of the Minstrel with a preview of Book 11 at the official site.

Welcome to the Month of the Minstrel! It's the Minstrel's turn in the spotlight, as we reach the latest part of our continued updates and additions to all of the classes in LOTRO. To identify the aspects of the Minstrel class we should focus on, we referenced player feedback, data collection, and our own experiences, and decided on the high-level goals of increasing a Minstrel's ability to play solo, diversifying a Minstrel's buffing/support role, examining and improving healing, and adding some fun treats for our players. These goals were addressed by adding new skills, modifying existing skills and traits, and by adding new items to the game.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Sunday - October 14, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 11 Preview @ IGN

by Inauro, 01:06

IGN previews Book 11, the next free content update for Lord of the Rings Online.

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has proven not only to be one awesome game, but one that is constantly expanding with new content—and all for the price of your monthly subscription. Book 11, the third major update, is one big book. Adding two new areas, a 4-6 hour raid, improvements to the Lore Master and Minstrel classes, player housing, and Direct X 10 support (a first for MMOs), it's the biggest and most exciting yet.

Source: IGN

Thursday - October 11, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Annuminas @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:15

The official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a new landmark entry featuring Annúminas.

When Elendil of Westernesse came into Middle-earth after the destruction of Númenor, he settled at last in the northlands of Eriador and established the kingdom of Arnor. On the shores of Lake Evendim he built the great city of Annúminas, from which he ruled as High King over both the North and South kingdoms of Men: Arnor and Gondor.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - October 09, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

by Inauro, 23:18

The transcript of the recent Lord of the Rings Online House of Commons chat is now available at Stratics.

Sprite - *Lever* Is it possible that we will ever see workbenches or forges that we can purchase for our houses, so we can craft at home?
Scenario - For the initial release of housing, players will not have access to craft facilities in their homes or neighborhoods. While housing is a great new addition to LOTRO, we want to be careful about features that could potentially turn our towns and craft centers into shades of their former selves.
Scenario - Going forward, we are interested in introducing craft and town services into neighborhoods, but we want to be careful about it (empty towns are no fun for anyone!).

Source: Stratics

Lord of the Rings Online - Salamanders @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:03

A new monster profile featuring salamanders has been added to the official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook.

Since the days of the Great Dragons – such as Ancalagon the Black, Scatha the Worm, or even Smaug the Golden – dragon-kind has been in a deep decline, spawning weaker and simpler breeds. Drakes are strong and semi-intelligent, while worms are nearly mindless and lack the physical might of their elders. Salamanders, however, while not nearly as intelligent as drakes or as stupid as worms, still hold some vestige of the old fire within their bellies.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - October 04, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Barliman Butterbur @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:21

The Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a profile of Barliman Butterbur.

Barliman Butterbur is the proprietor of inn called The Prancing Pony, in the town of Bree. The Pony boasts the best ale in the area, and many Brandybucks from the Shire make excursions there just for the ale. It is no simple task maintaining an inn with such repute, especially in troubled times, but Butterbur is equal to the task – with the help of his hobbit-assistants, Nob and Bob.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:07

MMORPG.com has added five new screenshots, including a few featuring balrogs, to its Lord of the Rings Online gallery. 

Source: MMORPG.com

Tuesday - October 02, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Tinnudir @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:23

A new entry featuring Tinnudir has been added to the official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook.

Since the fall of Arnor, the Rangers of the North – the heirs of Isildur, Elendil’s son – have often journeyed to the shores of Lake Evendim to pay homage to their lineage and to protect the tombs that lie amidst the ruins there. Many years ago, Aragorn, the Chieftain of the Dúnedain, came to Evendim himself to reclaim a lost treasure, a jewel known as the Silithar. Though Aragorn did not succeed in its recovery, his companion Calenglad and a small party of Rangers remained in Evendim, establishing an encampment on the island of Tinnudir from which to protect the Silithar from lowly tomb-robbers.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Article @ Business Week

by Inauro, 23:02

Business Week has an article about the success of Lord of the Rings Online.

While the company won't reveal the number of subscribers who pay a monthly fee to access the game, analysts estimate that the title has between 800,000 and 1 million paying players in the U.S. and Europe. Those figures are based on publicized character numbers, accounting for the fact that each player can create a maximum of five characters. "That's very impressive," says Michael Pachter, an analyst with Los Angeles-based Wedbush Morgan Securities, who follows the gaming industry and who estimates that the business could generate as much as $70 million annually in subscriptions. "Not only are those headline numbers, but Turbine has reached critical mass," he continues. "They're likely profitable and can now plow the profit back into the product."

Thursday - September 27, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Kergrim @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:19

The official Lord of the Rings Online lorebook has been updated with a new monster entry featuring the kergrim.

The lumbering monsters known as Kergrim have seldom been seen anywhere beyond the borders of Angmar. When they can, they stalk the barrows and tombs of the long dead, searching for bones upon which to gnaw. It was long thought that they were simply beasts, but recent evidence shows that they are more than that. Perhaps they are some foul breed of troll; exceedingly stupid, but not wholly unintelligent.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - September 25, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Whitfurrows @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:21

A new landmark has been added to the Lorebook at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

As the Great East Road makes its way into the Eastfarthing of the Shire and joins with the road from Scary coming down from the north, travelers will pass through the rather quiet and charming village of Whitfurrows. This small farming town is a pleasant place to meet and share tales of comings and goings to and from the Shire, for few pass into the grassy hills and pleasant lands of the Hobbits without being seen by the watchful eyes of the Shire-folk who call Whitfurrows their home.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - September 20, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - The Last Bridge @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:18

The Lorebook at the official Lord of the Rings Online site has been updated with a new Exploring Middle-Earth article featuring The Last Bridge.

The Last Bridge is the easternmost bridge built by the kings of Arnor upon the Great East Road. It marks the border between the barrens of the Lone-lands and the Trollshaws in the shadow of the Misty Mountains, where lies Rivendell, refuge of Elrond Halfelven.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - September 18, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Lorebook Updates @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:14

The lorebook at the official Lord of the Rings Online site has been updated.

Ever wonder just how old Aragorn was? How many kings were there in the ruling line of Gondor? What historical events of Middle-earth occurred on September 13?

Find answers to these and many more questions in the new official lore entry pages! From Alaldrida Bolger to Zirakzigil, you can find over 2,200 articles covering all aspects of the amazing world of Middle-earth.

If you haven't visited the Lorebook before today, check it out! It's a fantastic resource for LOTRO players!

Also new today is a character profile of Skorgrím Dourhand.

Skorgrím Dourhand’s evil ways brought him to ruin without the treasures he sought in Edhelion. Now he’s risen from the grave as a wight, bringing the Dourhands with him to serve the Shadow.

Click here for the new Lorebook entry!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - September 13, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Garth Argawen @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:00

This week's Exploring Middle-Earth feature takes us inside Garth Argawen.

Deep in the Lone-lands, a vast marshland stretches across the land, red as the blood that was spilled into its waters during the wars between Arthedain and Rhudaur. The Eglain of Ost Guruth call it the Red Swamp. In the northern reaches of the bog called Agamaur, lie the ruins of an ancient Rhudaurian fortress, now known as Garth Agarwen. Garth Agarwen was one of the chief bastions of the Hill-men of Rhudaur before it fell into decay.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - September 11, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Hillmen @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:21

A new Creatures of Middle-Earth article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site takes a closer look at Hillmen.

In the Third Age, the Hillmen seized power in Rhudaur and forged an alliance with the realm of Angmar. Twice they invaded Arnor, and during the second war the North Kingdom was destroyed. But their victory was short-lived. Eärnur, Prince of Gondor, and the Elves of Rivendell and Linden drove the Witch-king of Angmar and his armies out of the North, laying waste to all who served Angmar.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - September 06, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - The Greenway @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:18

This week's Exploring Middle-Earth feature takes us on a stroll along The Greenway.

In the days of Elendil and his descendents, the North Road ran from Fornost down through Andrath until it became the South Road at Tharbad. From there it continued all the way to Minas Tirith in Gondor as the primary trade-route between the North and South Kingdoms. The wars with Angmar and Rhudaur that brought the North-kingdom to an end also caused trade between north and south to fail.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - September 05, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Issue 10 Preview @ MPOGD

by Inauro, 23:08

MPOGD previews (in the sense that no score is assigned) the latest Lord of the Rings Online content update, Book 10: The City of the Kings.

Another new feature is the reputation and bartering systems. Reputation appears as positive and negative standing with other races that is based on monster kills and other quest completions. The bartering system allows for trading trophies earned in battle for rewards such as armor sets or mounts.

Tuesday - September 04, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Half-Orcs @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:12

This week's Creatures of Middle-Earth article featues half-orcs.

The origin of the Half-orc is not clear. Some surmise that they are the result of experimentation by Saruman the White, though none can say why a Wizard of the great order that includes Gandalf the Grey and Radagast the Brown would turn to such vile pursuits. Others believe Half-orcs have an ancient origin, and have been living throughout Middle-earth since days long past.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Friday - August 31, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Free Trial Program

by Inauro, 10:38

Turbine has announced a free trial program for Lord of the Rings Online.

WESTWOOD, MA -- August 29, 2007 -- Turbine, Inc. has launched the official 7-day free trial of The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM:  Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO).  Beginning today, fans in North America, Australia and New Zealand can play the best online game for free by visiting http://trial.lotro.com/.

LOTRO has received critical acclaim from around the globe.  Since its launch in April, LOTRO has quickly become the second largest MMORPG with an estimated 4 million characters calling Middle-earth their home.  The game continues to grow with two massive updates that have increased the world by over 20%:

  • 10,000,000 square meters of new landscape to explore
  • Over 200 new quests that extend the epic story
  • Introduction of Legendary Play where players can experience PvP as a powerful Ranger or a fearsome Troll
  • New and updated features including the Reputation, Bartering and Music systems

"We have surpassed our goal of combining the greatest fantasy of all time with a state-of-the-art online social experience," said Jeffrey Anderson, CEO of Turbine, Inc.  "And now we want everyone to have the opportunity to walk through the Shire, climb the Misty Mountains, fight with their own fellowship in the War of the Ring and fully experience the greatest fantasy of all time."

Eligible fans can participate in The Lord of the Rings Online trial program and play the game for 7 days free of charge. At the end of the trial, players will have the option of continuing to play LOTRO, and to keep the characters created during their 7-day free trial time, by purchasing the game either online or at retail.  To participate in the 7-day free trial or to find out where to buy LOTRO, visit http://trial.lotro.com/.

The Lord of the Rings Online delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy adventure of all time. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before.  The Lord of the Rings Online is available for purchase at major retailers across North America. For more information about The Lord of the Rings Online, please visit http://www.lotro.com/.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Silver Deep @ Official Site

by Inauro, 10:35

Explore the Silver Deep at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

In the days after Thráin II left his home in the Blue Mountains for the Wilderlands, his son, the great Thorin Oakenshield, began to improve upon the halls he had built. As Thorin continued to expand his halls, perhaps in an effort to recreate one of the great dwarf-kingdoms once found beneath Ered Luin, he ordered a new hall to be delved beneath the place where the Elf-refuge of Edhelion had once stood.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - August 28, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Bandits & Brigands @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:23

The official Lord of the Rings Online site has been updated with a new Creatures of Middle Earth article featuring bandits and brigands.

The wild lands of Eriador are home to men of questionable character, who dwell within the many caves and darkened glens throughout the forests and hills. Lawless rogues all, they roam in search of treasure among the ruins of Arnor, and occasionally waylay wanderers on the roads. While such attacks have been rare in years past, and usually only involved the stealing of a bite of food or a fat coin-purse, recently brigand raids on unwary travellers have dramatically increased.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Q&A @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:11

RPG Vault catches up with Jeffrey Steefel,  Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online.

Jonric: Among the game's features and elements, is there something that you might consider its most distinctive strength?

Jeffrey Steefel:
At the core of the game - as in any successful MMO - is a robust and layered advancement system. LOTRO builds on the traditional skill- and level-based experience point scheme, and enriches it tremendously with one of our most fundamentally unique aspects the Deeds and Traits system. Deeds are alternate objectives that appear throughout the game as opportunities for players to advance their characters in new ways, through exploration, Tolkien lore, long-term kill objectives... all in addition to the underlying XP advancement path. These deeds grow in complexity and reward, and yield unique titles that can be displayed by the player for all to see.

Source: RPG Vault

Thursday - August 23, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Pedigree & Notary Overview @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:07

The official Lord of the Rings Online site has been updated with an overview of the game's pedigree and notary systems.

Throughout the course of your adventures in The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO), the people you play with often come to feel like family, whether they are members of a closely-knit kinship, a group of your real-life friends, or even members of your actual family. You can recognize such bonds by creating your own in-game family tree with the LOTRO Pedigree System!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - August 21, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Bats @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:13

Turbine has updated the official Lord of the Rings Online site with a new Creatures of Middle Earth article featuring bats.

For those who wander beneath the moonlight on tranquil evenings in Eriador, the sound of bat wings in the darkened sky rarely brings a sense of fear or dread. In the wilds of Middle-earth, it is not uncommon to hear the rush of wings or catch a glimpse of small, darting shapes flittering on a night's hunt for insects around fields and still ponds. Even those who explore dark caves are more startled than truly afraid when the light of a lamp disturbs the slumbering creatures into a frenzied rush for the cave's exit. In these dark days, however, the wild creatures of Eriador are not as they once were.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - August 16, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Hunter & Captain Overhaul @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:16

Turbine reveals details of the Hunter and Captain class changes incoroporated in Book 10: City of the Kings, the game's second free content update.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - August 15, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Reputation @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:35

A new developer diary at the official Lord of the Rings Online site takes a closer look at the game's reputation system.

Q: Why are you adding a grind to the game!?

A: Let's call a spade a spade: reputation ladders are a system that encourages you to go out and kill monsters and/or collect objects in large numbers, and they can take quite a bit of time. There are generally going to be faster ways to get serious loot in the game - and those of you who prefer grouping may want to give it a pass for the most part - but for the portion of the player base who either don't or can't group much of the time, this sort of gameplay gives them long-term goals they can pursue between their usual quests and activities.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - August 14, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

by Inauro, 23:41

The transcript of the latest House of Commons chat session with the Lord of the Rings Online developers is available at Stratics.

Sprite - *Vr2LRose* Are there any plans to add more or repeatable versions of the general crafting quests? - By general i mean quests obtainable by anyone, that reward with craft components seeds/ ingredients/ resources, and boost the AH economy, and are currently mostly found in tier 1. Such as the pie crust/ amethyst ring/ lore based quests.
Orion - That's not a bad idea at all. I think that we could consider something along these lines. We would need to be careful about how much experience we give for the repeatable versions of the quests...but this could happen. No time frames mind you, but it could happen.

Source: Stratics

Thursday - August 09, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - City of Kings @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:25

A new developers corner article at the official Lord of the Rings site goes behind the scenes of Book 10: The City of Kings.

Book 10: The City of the Kings, the second major update to The Lord of the RingsTM: Shadows of AngmarTM, features a massive overhaul to the Ettenmoors keep system. The update boasts over forty new quests, all with major impact on the forces defending or assailing the different keeps available

When planning for Book 10, we took a look at the feedback we've received from the community since launch and compared this with our data. Through this process we discovered that some pretty aggressive changes were needed to make monster play an even more compelling system. I'll explain the different and new dynamics introduced to the area, along with several other enhancements.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Saturday - August 04, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:51

MMORPG.com talks to Jeffrey Steefle, the Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online.

We talked a little bit about the idea that some people had said that Lord of the Rings Online had a chance to kill Blizzard's popular World of Warcraft.

His response was simple: "Why would we want to do that? We're a different game from WoW. We want the market to be alive and growing"

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - August 02, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Scary @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:27

Visit the village of Scary in this week's Exploring Middle Earth feature.

In the northernmost regions of the Shire's Eastfarthing, the small village of Scary can be found tucked into the southern edge of shadowed hills that run east to the River Brandywine. None can be sure of the origins of the region's name, but the labyrinth of twisting caves beneath the Hills of Scary, known to most as the Brockenbores, as well as the mysterious way the shadows seem to cling to those hills in the evening hours, might give the traveler in this region cause to reconsider their choice of path.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - July 31, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Boromir @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:21

This week's Characters of Middle Earth article features none other than Boromir, son of Denethor and member of the Fellowship.

Boromir, Captain-General of Gondor, is the son of Denethor, the Steward of Gondor. A voice came to him in a dream, speaking of the return of Isildur's Bane, and he took upon himself a great journey from Minas Tirith, far to the south, to Imladris, the hidden valley of Rivendell, home to Elrond Half-elven, one of the chief of the Wise. None could deny his bravery, for his trek was a perilous one, riding on the wings of the storm of Mordor.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Saturday - July 28, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 10 Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 01:02

MMORPG.com has added seven new Book 10 images to its Lord of the Rings Online gallery. 

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - July 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Giants @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:21

This week's Creatures of Middle Earth feature takes a closer look at giants.

Little is known about this secretive race that dwells high atop the mountain passes and peaks of Middle-earth. Some would say their existence is merely the stuff of tales for children, but there are those who have explored less-inhabited lands and have witnessed the power of the giants first-hand. If the tales are to be believed, it is said that the giants resemble Men in much the same way as Hobbits do, but where Hobbits are diminutive, the giants are enormous! Imagine a tribe of Men, each standing a full sixty feet in height, hurling boulders from mountaintop to mountaintop creating a thunder all their own. The power of these creatures instantly sends a chill down the spine of any who hear the tale!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - July 19, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Uruk-hai @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:29

The feared soldiers of Mordor and Isengard, the Uruk-hai, put in an appearance in this week's Creatures of Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

Those who have fought against the vile creatures of Orc-kind know all too well the ferocity and ruthlessness of their ilk. The Free Peoples of Middle-earth have always taken some measure of comfort from the knowledge that the welcoming light of day weakens these monsters and drives them back into their shadowed realms. Lately, however, disturbing tales are growing more common among the people of Eriador - stories of larger, more ferocious Orcs, bred for their strength and cunning and capable of fighting with terrible strength by day or night. The fighting Uruk-hai, as they are known, are terrifying indeed.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - July 17, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Gramsfoot @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:18

This week's Exploring Middle Earth feature takes in Gramsfoot.

Mount Gram, nestled at the northwestern edge of the Ettenmoors in the Misty Mountains, has long been an abode of goblins, though their greatest king, Golfimbul, was defeated and slain by Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took at the Battle of the Greenfields hundreds of years ago. Lying at the border of Angmar, Mount Gram has again become a fortress-kingdom of terrible power. Orcs, wargs, goblins, trolls, and other evil creatures now muster there to begin an invasion of Eriador.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - July 16, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Book 10 Preview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 23:07

Ten Ton Hammer catches up with Turbine at E3 for a preview of the Book 10 content update for Lord of the Rings Online.

Maki also showed off session play (SP). Coming with Book 10, players will have the ability to spend Destiny Points for the opportunity to play a ranger, a troll, or a chicken for a period of time. First we saw the ranger. Picture one of Aragorn's bretheren clad in fancy, ranger-esque armor. Then we saw the trolls, who have massive AoE capabilities. "AoE is how they fight, and they do it well," said Maki, demonstrating the troll's ability to throw boulders and damage multiple enemies at once.

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Thursday - July 12, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Wights @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:11

This week's Creatures of Middle Earth feature takes a closer look at wights.

The wights of the Great Barrows are the bodies of ancient soldiers, risen from the grave and controlled by evil spirits residing within. In the far reaches of Angmar, in deep places long-since forgotten, lies a form of wight known only to that dark realm. These bodies, the victims of dark rituals in centuries past, show the effects of their brutal demise, bereft of their head and one arm, their death having come as part of a long-since-forgotten ceremony. Driven by malice toward all that is good in Middle-earth, these shambling wights will pursue and attack relentlessly.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - July 11, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

by Inauro, 23:17

The transcript of this month's Lord of the Rings Online House of Commons chat is available at Stratics.

LBeff - *Boomheadshot-25* my question is. how is player housing going on. could you give us a few insider hints on how its gonna be?
LOTRO_Scenario - Housing is coming along great. In fact, we broke ground today on one of our first neighborhoods to the south of bree-town. :)
LOTRO_Scenario - As we get further along in the development of housing, we'll have more information to give you.

Source: Stratics

Tuesday - July 10, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Sons of Elrond @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:25

Elladan and Elrohir make an appearance in this week's Characters of Middle Earth feature.

The eldest of the children of Elrond of Rivendell, the twins Elladan and Elrohir were born 130 years after Isildur cut the One Ring from the hand of Sauron. They are so alike in appearance and demeanor that they are nearly impossible to tell apart. Outwardly, they are not as grim and hardened as the Rangers of the North, but within burns a terrible rage.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Expansion Update @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 23:21

GameSpy has some details on what players can expect from forthcoming content updates for Lord of the Rings Online.

The fictional centerpiece of the new expansion is Book 10 of the continuing "Epic" storyline of The Lord of the Rings Online. The "Epic" consists of a long series of involved quests that players can to follow throughout their avatar's leveling process. Starting at level one, a player's character will be recruited by members of the Fellowship of the Ring to follow story threads that weave in and around the original story detailed by Tolkien in his classic trilogy separate from short-term or location-based quest series. Book nine, released in the last free content upgrade ("Shadows of Evendim,") involved the players in a plot to recover an ancient jewel that belongs in the pommel of Aragorn's mighty sword Narsil. Book 10 continues that storyline with the players fighting against a new villain named Amartheil, attempting to prevent her from recovering her own magic ring and steal back a palantir before it falls into the Witch-King's hands.

Source: GameSpy

Thursday - July 05, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Rammas Deluon @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:24

This week's Explore Middle Earth feature takes us to Rammas Deluon.

When evil returned to Carn Dûm in the form of Mordirith, the False King, a Ranger from the North Downs by the name of Golodir came to lead the Hill-men against their new oppressors. When the army of Rangers and Hill-men crossed the line of Rammas Deluon, the watching stones - for that is what they were - sprang their ancient trap. The spirits that abide within those statues are not mere watchers, but have the power to drain the very hope and life from those caught within their spell. What the fate of Golodir and his army was, none can tell, but ever since none have been able to approach the stones of Rammas Deluon without putting their lives, or at the very least their will, at risk of destruction.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - July 03, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Session Play @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:21

A new sneak preview article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site explores the concept of session play, a feature to be added during a future content update.

Session Play is a new system that allows you to play as a character other than your normal character. These characters do not have permanence, so you don't keep them like you do your Free Peoples or monster play characters. You could play as a Ranger, a Troll, or... a chicken. It's an opportunity to explore Middle-earth from a different - and sometimes unexpected - viewpoint.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - June 27, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 00:56

An interview with Lord of the Rings' exec producer Jeffrey Steefel is up at CVG:

How far into the future have you planned currently?

Steefel: We have our epic story figured out at least through to Book 14 to 16, we kind of know where it goes and how that ties in with the overall story of the Lord of the Rings. And then we grow from there.

We don't want to pin ourselves into a corner because we know that, now we have players, the direction of things is not entirely in our hands.

But certainly for the next year we know what's going on specifically, we know what major features we want to get in in the next year - as far as we know, again. For example, Monster Play is only going to start coming into its own over the next month or so, because we're finally going to get enough level 40 and above players that we're going to have real PvP going on.

We may learn something during the course of that that tells us there's other things we need to do sooner. Or we might decide it's so great we need to do a lot more there. So we try to stay open and flexible.

Tuesday - June 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Staddle @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:20

This week's Exploring Middle Earth feature takes us to Staddle.

On the far side of Bree-hill from the town of Bree itself, travellers will find the small town of Staddle tucked against the rolling hillocks that stretch east toward the Midgewater Marsh. It is said that the oldest settlements of hobbits in Middle-earth can be found in Staddle, though whether or not this is true is a matter which has been well debated over many a meal, mug, or pipe - and, often, all three.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ The MMO Gamer

by Inauro, 23:15

Part two of The MMO Gamer's review of Lord of the Rings Online is now available.  This installment focuses on the second half of the game, levels 25-50.

I hit level 50 some time ago. Since then, I’ve been partaking of the usual activities of a capped out player in an MMO: Leveling alts, farming for gold, gearing up for raids, and, of course, waiting for a patch.

Man oh man, was I ever waiting for a patch.

The cracks in the game’s polished veneer had begun to show through even as I was wrapping up Part One of this review, when I was still under level 40. Don’t even get me started on how many horrible, horrible quests there are in the North Downs.

Monday - June 25, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ G4

by Inauro, 23:09

G4TV's XPlay reviews Lord of the Rings Online awarding it a very respectable 4/5.  The video of the review is online at the G4 site.

Saturday - June 23, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Woodhall @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:56

Visit the Hobbit village of Woodhall in the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Site.

The sleepy little hobbit-village of Woodhall lies within the forested arms of Woody End in the Eastfarthing of the Shire. Tucked away well off the Stock Road as it is, Woodhall sees little traffic. Gossip tends to be a favorite pastime for the hobbits who dwell here, and travelers may want to avoid the occasional nosey hobbit if they find themselves passing through.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - June 20, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Gildor Inglorion @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:16

Gildor Inglorion pays a visit to the official Lord of the Rings Online in the latest Characters of Middle Earth feature.

Though Gildor has a rich history dating back over the centuries of Middle-earth's past, he is perhaps best known as the leader of the band of Elves which frightened away one of the dreaded Black Riders from Frodo and company in the pages of The Fellowship of the Ring. In so doing, Gildor saved the hobbits, welcoming them into the Elf-camp near Woodhall and allowing the companions some much-needed rest.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Middle Earth Online Memories Part 3 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:04

Part 3 of RPG Vault's look back at the game that could have been is online.

Jonric: Did you watch Lord of the Rings Online during its development? Have you played it, and in either case, do you have any impressions or related thoughts you're willing to share with our readers?

Janus Anderson:
We kept an e-mail thread with the ex-Sierra folks, and over the years, a few tidbits would pop up on it about the progress of LOTRO. The MEO 'catastrophe' was only the first in a series of disasters (including years of litigation, if I remember correctly) that plagued the project from the start. I actually began to think the license was cursed like the one ring, and that the game would never ship.

Source: RPG Vault

Lord of the Rings Online - Reviews @ About.com, MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 03:38

Lord of the Rings Online continues to garner strong responses with two new positive reviews out.  Let's start with About.com, who awarded 4/5:

It's inevitable that comparisons to World of Warcraft are going to come up, and there are a lot of similarities between the two games. To Turbine's credit, they've learned from WoW's success rather than ignoring it, and it shows in LotRO. From the basic controls to auction houses to the email system to "swift travel" on horseback, Turbine has understandably borrowed a heap of features from previous titles which gamers have since come to expect. Downtime is minimal and death penalties are soft. Still, LotRO has enough of its own nuances and character to make it feel different, and it also has the mother of all fantasy franchises on its side. While there's plenty of lore behind WoW, LotRO makes the story a central part of the game rather than a mere curiosity.

One big difference between this game and WoW is that LotRO does not have an evil faction akin to the Horde. Monster Play, although fun, is a great deal more limited than the array of PvP options available in WoW. It remains to be seen if this feature is popular enough for Turbine to build on it in the future.

..and then MMORPG.com with 8.5/10:

The quest system as a whole is rather good. Even though it carries the same stigma as other MMOs, you'll find the stories associated with them a little more engaging. The stories that make up the regular quests aren't award winning, but they do make things a little more interesting than just being commanded to go do something without any explanation.

The quests come in a couple of different flavors. The first type is the most obvious; the solo mission. There are no surprises in the mission types for solo quests. As you progress through the levels, the missions advance in difficulty to match you, at least for the most part. Sometimes though, the solo missions can feel a bit too hard to go it alone. Depending on your class, you may find soloing harder or easier. A class like the Minstrel, for example, might have a harder time soloing than say, a Champion.

Wednesday - June 13, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ WarCry

by Inauro, 23:09

With a healthy disdain for the numbers, WarCry awards Lord of the Rings Online a score of 621 out of 82.

The new player experience in The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar is an enjoyable one. Right off, important information is made available by way of a short tutorial which differs based upon your race selection. It's during this tutorial instance that you get your first taste of what the game has in store for you along the way as you encounter creatures that made even the bravest heroes from the books hesitant. Upon completing the tutorial, you enter another instanced new player zone, but rather than the private setting of the initial area, this new zone is where you first encounter other players. There are several quests available and after a bit you will have gained a few levels. This is also where you start to train new skills for your class and get a better idea of how your play style and class choice are going to mesh. Since this is only going to be around one or two hours into a play session, if you find that you aren't happy then re-rolling isn't as daunting as one would think. It's also very difficult to "gimp" a character, almost impossible really, so the best thing to do is just have fun.

Source: WarCry

Lord of the Rings Online - Middle Earth Online Memories Part 2 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:00

Part two of RPG Vault's interview with former members of the Sierra Middle Earth Online team is now available.

How was Middle-earth Online unusual or ahead of its time? Considering how the massively multiplayer category has evolved, would it have stood the proverbial test of time?

Daniel James:
Many of the things we felt were most controversial have yet to be attempted, such as permanent death of player characters. Some of our other best ideas, however, have seen the light of day, like Monster Play.

Source: RPG Vault

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 03:59

9.6/10 is the huge score for Lord of the Rings Online at Worthplaying in their review:

This brings me to the PvE, or Player versus Environment, aspect of LotRO. Out of all the MMORPGs I've played, LotRO simply has the best PvE. Not only is it amazingly fun to explore famous sites from Tolkien's lore or doing interactive and exciting quests rather than the typical tasks of "kill X, kill Y," but the sheer number of quests is also amazing. Additionally, the fact that quests level up your character faster than typical grinding makes me feel as if I am affecting the entire game world rather than embarking on my own personal quest to hit the level cap, which is 50 at the time of this writing.

Tuesday - June 12, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Legolas and Gimli @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:17

Legolas and Gimli put in an appearance at the official Lord of the Rings Online site in this weeks Characters of Middle Earth feature. 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Sunday - June 10, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ WarCry

by Inauro, 03:07

Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, talks to WarCry about the impending launch of Shores of Evendim.

"Book 9: Shores of Evendim" launches next week and Turbine has done everything in their power to make sure the first major free content update goes as smoothly as the game's launch. In our weekly interview, Executive Producer Jeffrey Steefel ran us through their launch procedures, future development plans and a host of other hot button issues for Lord of the Rings Online fans.

"This is no different than any other launch," Steefel told us and added that he's worked to ingrain that into the culture at Turbine. "[We're] treating it just like the launch of the game."

Source: WarCry

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ GameShark

by Inauro, 03:04

GameShark talks to Jeff Anderson , CEO of Turbine Entertainment, about the development and future of Lord of the Rings Online.

What went into deciding the timeframe for Lord of the Rings Online? Did you know that you wanted to put it into the same setting as the books or was there debate about having it take place before or after the books?

Well there was a slight difference of opinion there from when it was being run by Vivendi. Even the name change itself reflected that. When it was Middle-Earth Online it was almost timeless in its placement. We wanted to go to a much more specific role where we talked about the Fellowship, where we talked about Tolkien, and we really talked about the timeline around the trilogy itself. So that you felt you were in the middle of the War of the Ring and you were watching the events unfold and you were at the places when these things were going on.

Saturday - June 09, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Middle Earth Online Memories Part 1 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 02:27

RPG Vaults speaks with former members of the Sierra Middle Earth Online team about the game that never was.

Jonric: First, please introduce yourself and what you're doing now. And since we're looking back at Middle-earth Online, what was the nature of your involvement in this project?

Chance Thomas:
I'm Chance Thomas, music composer and Audio Director for HUGEsound.

Sorry guys, but I had the best job on the team - MUSIC!!! Design, compose and produce music reflective of Tolkien's fantastical world. Music inspired by The Lord of the Rings. Hands down, the greatest gig on the planet.

Source: RPG Vault

Wednesday - June 06, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Evendim Release Date @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:17

Turbine has announced the release date for Shores of Evendim, the first official Lord of the Rings Online expansion.

WESTWOOD, MA - June 5, 2007 - Today, Turbine, Inc. and Codemasters Online Gaming announced the details of the first free update for subscribers to The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM, the #1 selling PC title in North America, Germany, UK and France. Book 9: Shores of Evendim, the first of many planned free updates to the world of Middle-earth, introduces an entirely new landscape region, over 100 additional quests, the battle for Helegrod raid, nine new monsters and major enhancements to monster play and the music system. The Lord of the Rings Online has been enthusiastically received by many gaming critics, including The New York Times, USA Today, Yahoo!, PC Gamer, GameSpot and Game Informer in the US as well as The Sunday Times, The Guardian, CVG, Eurogamer, PC Juegos and 4Gamers in Europe.

"The Lord of the Rings Online has taken the world by storm and we're thrilled with the community's response to the game," said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "Shores of Evendim offers an enormous amount of content that delivers even more value to our subscribers."

David Solari, Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online Gaming, commented "We are ecstatic to unveil the first in a long line of planned free updates to The Lord of the Rings Online. In just over six weeks, thousands of players have already experienced the world of Middle-earth."

As the Fellowship prepares to leave Rivendell, Aragorn must re-forge Narsil, the Sword of Elendil. Gandalf has asked for help in Aragorn's search of the lands of Evendim for an ancient jewel that once belonged in the sword's hilt. This powerful relic must be recovered before the Dark Lord Sauron finds it. Players are challenged to secure the valuables of the abandoned city, defy Angmar's encroaching grip on Annúminas, and aid Aragorn in his quest to re-forge Narsil.

Beginning June 13th, heroes can adventure to the Shores of Evendim, the first of many free updates to The Lord of the Rings Online.

NEW FEATURES:

  • Discover Evendim - About 100 miles north of the Shire, in northern Eriador, lies Evendim, a vast region dominated by the Lake Nenuial, the ‘Lake of the Twilight'. On the southern shore, the ancient abandoned city of Annúminas -- the former capital of the kingdom of Arnor ­is well known amongst the Free Peoples. For according to the Legends, amidst its ruins lay a great wealth and powerful artifacts now threatened by evil creatures and the nefarious forces lurking in Angmar.
  • Over 100 New Quests - The story continues for players as they aid the Fellowship and encounter new adventures, characters and monsters including the Rogmûl!
    • Raid in the Battle for Helegrod - Challege the fearsome dragon Thorog in a massive 24-player raid in the Misty Mountains.
  • Major Updates to the Music System - In addition to the new percussion and bass instruments, players can now utilize a new music notation system that enables them to compose music offline and upload it to your character in-game.
  • New Collectible Armor Sets - Seven new sets of epic armor enable players to gain progressive bonuses for each piece of armor worn from a set.

 

The Lord of the Rings Online delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy adventure of all time. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before. The Lord of the Rings Online is now available for purchase at major retailers across North America and Europe. For more information about The Lord of the Rings Online, please visit http://www.lotro.com/ or http://www.lotro-europe.com/.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Sunday - June 03, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ GamerNode

by Inauro, 23:03

GamerNode chats with Turbine CEO Jeff Anderson about Lord of the Rings Online.

One of the things I wanted to ask is along those lines. I mean, Turbine started out with games like Asheron's Call 1 and 2 which were unique IPs created basically for the game, and right after AC2 you guys went into Dungeons and Dragons Online and now Lord of the Rings. Do you think it's harder to develop a game where you've already got that huge fanbase established for the IP?

Hmmm... You know, I think they're harder in different ways. With a new IP, the worst thing you can say to a designer is, "Okay, what do you want to do?" It sounds like it's going to be exciting, but at the same time people don't realize how totally hard it's going to be to sit yourself down and create an entire working world quickly, so you've got that challenge.

Thursday - May 31, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Exploring Middle Earth @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:13

The latest Exploring Middle Earth feature visits the refuges of Ered Luin.

Hundreds of years before the events of The Lord of the Rings, the Elves of Lindon founded a refuge upon the slopes of Ered Luin, where wood for the White Ships was gathered and elven wine was made. Edhelion, it was called, and it was a place of contemplation and peace . . . until Skorgrím Dourhand, an evil Dwarf-lord descended from the kings who once ruled the long-ruined kingdoms of the Blue Mountains, led his people, allied with goblins and trolls, against this elven refuge.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Killer Betties

by Inauro, 23:11

Killer Betties reviews Lord of the Rings Online and concludes:

If you're a LOTR fan, you'll probably fall head over heels for LOTRO. If you want a new MMORPG, LOTRO does enough new things to break the monotony up of a grind fest to gain a few levels, and is a good alternative (and to me, superior) to games like World of Warcraft. There will also be new content coming out on a regular basis it seems, with the first to hit June of 2007. I'm not a LOTR nut, but I love this game. I wish my computer would run it better, but that hasn't stopped me from creating one of each race and juggling leveling them up and taking them through this vast world. Now if you'll excuse me, I really, really want to get back to playing my game.

Wednesday - May 30, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Inauro, 23:17

Jeff Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine, talks to Ten Ton Hammer about the future of Lord of the Rings Online.

Jeff had a lot of new and exciting details to share and spoke at length about what to expect from their first content update. The Shores of Evendim is intended to continue the epic storyline which currently stops at Book Eight. Aragorn needs help reforging the ancient sword, Narsil, and requires assistance in finding and securing relics of the Second Age that will alow the elven smiths to complete the remaking of the blade. Many of the quests center around Lake Evendim in Eriador, about 100 miles north of the Shire, and the ruined city of Annúminas on its banks, as well as the surrounding area. When asked about the size and scale of the zone itself, Jeff said that "the region is something like 5-6 million square meters in size with over 100 new quests. The level range is about 35-45 and is intended to fill out the back end of the game a bit." Players will be able to enter the new zone either by traveling north from the Shire or across from the North Downs.

Source: Ten Ton Hammer

Tuesday - May 29, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Leisure Activities @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:30

A new Game Systems article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site takes a closer look a the game's leisure activities.

Welcome to Middle-earth! Eriador is a busy place for the adventurer, filled with rights to be wronged, and Orcs to be slain. After a long day of defending the Free Peoples, it's nice to kick back at the local tavern over a pint of ale and a pipe of finest-quality pipe-weed and just relax. There are actually many leisure activities for the battle-weary fighter to partake in.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Sunday - May 27, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ The MMO Gamer

by Inauro, 23:08

The MMO Gamer reviews Lord of the Rings Online and concludes:

The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar doesn’t do a whole lot that’s new, but it does a lot of old very, very well.

It has taken and refined some of the most entertaining and addictive elements of MMOs of the past, and masterfully blended them into the world created by J.R.R. Tolkien (or, at least, the portions of it that Saul Zaentz has the rights to).

When all is said and done, I can summarize this entire review with a single sentence:

“If you like WoW, and you like Lord of the Rings… that’s pretty much it.”

Lord of the Rings Online - Level Guide @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:00

Laura Genender follows up her level 1-5 guide with a new installment covering levels 5-10 for players starting out as Human characters in Lord of the Rings Online

Source: MMORPG.com

Saturday - May 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 00:15

MMORPG.com has updated its Lord of the Rings Online gallery with seven new screenshots

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - May 24, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Evendim @ Official Site

by Inauro, 00:18

Turbine offers a glimpse of the upcoming Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Shores of Evendim.

The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO) has been live for about a month now, and you've been exploring the lands of Eriador while uncovering the evils of Angmar at every step. You've restored the Quick Post in the Shire and helped to push back the evils stirring in the Misty Mountains. Some of you may even have reached the city of Carn Dûm itself and confronted its steward.

So, where to next? As LOTRO's developers, we had a number of options available. Many locations, both obscure and well known, came across our plate when planning out the first steps into our content update plan. In the end, we settled upon one of the most requested locations in Eriador - Lake Evendim and the Twilight Hills!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Saturday - May 19, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ MPOGD

by Inauro, 01:47

MPOGD.com awards Lord of the Rings Online a score of 8.4 in its review of Turbine's latest MMO offering.

Overall, I was very pleased with my experience playing LOTRO. I was pleasantly surprised at some of the features I found that I'd not seen in prior MMOs. This bodes well for the developers at Turbine - it shows that they can bring some unique qualities to a market already inundated with online games. They have a content patch already planned for June 2007, which has some enhancements to the existing infrastructure, as well as some new quest and storyline content. If that is any indication of what is to come, I think that Lord of the Rings Online has the potential for longevity in the gaming community. It sure is a boatload of fun to play and explore an already familiar world. I'd recommend giving it a try - you won't be disappointed.

Thursday - May 17, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Ost Ringdyr @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:17

The latest Exploring Middle Earth article visits Ost Ringdyr.

After Glân Vraig was firmly entrenched, the Free Peoples of Eriador, led by the elf Lainedhel, pressed further into the Ettenmoors. In the far eastern reaches, they established another, greater fortress - Ost Ringdyr - which houses the main body of Lainedhel's host. Here, the Free Peoples found two new allies: lesser eagles, distantly akin to the Great Eagles of the Misty Mountains, and a great and ancient race of bears.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ IGN

by Inauro, 23:02

IGN Australia has a post-launch interview with Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online.

IGN: Now that the game is out, how has the response been and is the team happy with the way the game turned out?

Jeffrey Steefel:
It's been great, I mean, so far. Y'know, it's early to tell, because we've had four and half years working on it and then we stop to see what's really going on, but it's been great so far. We've gotten the kind of response to the game that we wanted, we've gotten the kind of audience into the game that we were hoping for. The numbers look good so far - again, it's early to tell, but so far very very positive, and for the most part I think we're seeing people play our game the way that we had hoped they would. And of course we're learning some new things which we're already working on trying to make better for after launch.

Source: IGN

Tuesday - May 15, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Glorfindel @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:07

Glorfindel, who readers of the Lord of the Rings books might remember as the rescuer of Frodo at the Ford of Bruinen, puts in an appearance at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

The Elf-lord Glorfindel is one of the most powerful of all the Eldar of Middle-earth, counted great among the Wise. He remembers well the elder days of the world, and bears the great power and knowledge of ages past. His wrath can bring terror even to the Nazgûl of Sauron.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Strategy Informer

by Inauro, 22:58

Strategy Informer awards Lord of the Rings Online a healthy score of 9.0.

Fans of the LOTR universe have had to wait a long time for this day to arrive; numerous setbacks stalled the project nearly casting it back into the oblivion of Mount Doom. Fortunately after a complete overhaul things got moving again and now the MMO savages have their fresh meat to feast on. While it will understandably take longer to really see if LOTRO will shine or fizzle out in this now saturated genre, for the moment everything looks stellar.

Saturday - May 12, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ GameZone

by Inauro, 23:40

GameZone reviews Lord of the Rings Online, awarding it a highly respectably 9.0.

So before delving into the nuances of the title, let’s cut to the heart of the topic: In regards to the license, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar does a very nice job of opening up the world of Middle-earth and allowing players to venture forth to seek fame, fortune and perhaps aid the pending war against the forces of Sauron. As an MMO, LOTRO is fun, entertaining, with a few original concepts, and – at this juncture – it is one of those MMOs that you can't wait to jump into and explore.

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ bit-tech.net

by Inauro, 01:21

Bit-tech.net reviews Lord of the Rings Online and concludes:

Lord of the Rings Online is an excellent game built on a detailed and imaginative world of background lore. Drawing inspiration from the novels, the quests are involving and detailed enough to make up for navigation problems. The interface is familiar and well designed, with a few useful tweaks for MMO veterans and a gentle learning curve that feels natural for beginners.

What few problems we did have with the game were minor at best and the game drew us in so quickly that we forgot them by the time we finished playing anyway.

Thursday - May 10, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Exploring Middle Earth @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:24

Visit Fornost in this week's Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

Annúminas, the first capitol of the North Kingdom, and High Seat of all the Kingdoms of Men, fell into ruin some years after the wars against Sauron. The heirs of Valandil, son of Isildur, left that place and established their seat of power at the fortress-city of Fornost on the North Downs. There, many generations of kings dwelt, even after the North-kingdom of Arnor was sundered into three: Arthedain, the chief kingdom; Cardolan, which was quickly devastated by plague and war; and Rhudaur, which fell under the rule of an evil king of the Hill-men, who was secretly in league with Angmar.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Tops PC Game Sales in Europe & US

by Inauro, 23:07

Turbine, Codemasters and Midway have announced that Lord of the Rings Online has topped PC game sales in Europe and the US.

10th May, 2007 - Today, Turbine, Inc., Midway Games Inc. and Codemasters Online Gaming announced that The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ is the #1 selling PC title across North America and Europe based on the most recent industry reports. The Lord of the Rings Online has outsold all other PC games across North America, Germany, United Kingdom and France according to data from NPD (NA), Chart-Track (UK), GfK (France) and Media Control (Germany).

In addition to soaring sales, The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) has been enthusiastically received by gaming critics around the globe:

„« The New York Times proclaimed LOTRO as “a major achievement of interactive storytelling, the first game truly worthy of the ‘Lord of the Rings’ franchise and a must-play for just about anyone with an interest in Tolkien or the future of online entertainment.”
„« GameSpy awarded the game its prestigious Editor’s Choice award with 4.5 out of 5 stars.
„« Computer and Video Games, a leading UK gaming site, rated the game a 9.2 out of 10 and said “LOTRO presents a stunning and evocative world of Tolkien magic to explore.”
„« GameDaily, a leading US gaming site, rated the game a 9 out of 10 and calls the game “a hot contender for PC game of the year.”

“This outstanding start sets the stage for a bright future,” said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “This is only the beginning as we embark on an incredible journey with our players to expand the world of Middle-earth with the release of regular content updates.”

“Following the most successful North American pre-order program in Midway’s history, The Lord of the Rings Online is off to a great start,” said Steve Allison, chief marketing officer, Midway. “As the positive reports and reviews continue to come in, gamers are settling into the game and experiencing Middle-earth as never before.”

“The fabulous response from consumers and the media has been overwhelming,” said David Solari, Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online Gaming. “It's been a great launch, but it's only the beginning for us. We look forward to rapid growth and welcoming thousands more to Middle-earth!”

The Lord of the Rings Online delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy adventure of all time. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before. For more information about The Lord of the Rings Online, please visit www.lotro.com or www.lotro-europe.com.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - May 09, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Celebrity Hobbits @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:07

Some fairly well known faces put in an appearance in this week's Characters of Middle Earth feature.

More often than not, great events in Middle-earth occur because of individuals willing to sacrifice all in order to bring about change for the better. In The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the most unassuming of characters, the diminutive Hobbits, are the focal points amid legendary events. A scholar chronicling the great heroes of Middle-earth might easily overlook the Hobbits, but that would be a mistake. Hobbits are considered strong for their size, yet they are not as strong as Dwarves or Men. They are also fleet of foot and able to move in complete silence through even wooded lands. It is the intangible qualities of Hobbits, however - their resistance to corruption, strong bonds of kinship, loyalty to friends, love of simple pleasures and the giving of gifts, and a sense of what is important in life - that truly sets them apart as an influential force during the War of the Ring.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - May 07, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Gameplay Monthly

by Inauro, 23:03

Also at Gameplay Monthly today, a review of Lord of the Rings Online.

Grinding is almost completely gone as well. LotRO focuses much more heavily on the Story than World of Warcraft, meaning that your quests will often mean something. Being that they are so important to do, they end up giving you much more experience than just killing monsters. You'll find that, should you be desperate to reach that next level, you'll end up doing all the quests you can instead of killing monsters nonstop. However, for those that do enjoy the grind, LotRO has implemented Deeds. These will require you to kill that obscene number of Bears or use that skill an obscene number of times, and you are rewarded with Traits, which will increase your stats by a bit.

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 22:59

GameSpy awards Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online 4.5 stars out of 5 in a mostly positive review .

The world is filled with quests to complete, instances to experience, items to craft, PvP that (while segregated from the main game) makes for a nice diversion, and an end-game consisting of several high-end raid zones in Northern Angmar. There's almost no learning curve for anyone even slightly familiar with how an MMO works, and the game's first five or six character levels are structured as a fun tutorial for MMO newbies. Far from being a weakness, the lack of innovation in basic gameplay structures actually turns out to be a strength. It may indeed be WoW-with-Hobbits, but there's something to be said for not fixing what isn't broken.

Source: GameSpy

Sunday - May 06, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ WarCry

by Inauro, 22:58

WarCry talks to Jeffrey Steefel, the Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, about the game's launch.

 "So far, so good," he termed the entire process, "which unto itself is disconcerting."

In the first week and a half the game has only been offline once and in that case, it was intentionally taken offline by Turbine so they could patch some minor bugs and exploits that had cropped up. Historically, MMORPG launches are train wrecks and Turbine - now on their fourth launch - seems to have avoided that precedent. Overall, Steefel called it the best launch he'd ever been involved in and scored it "9 out of 10", with 10 being a completely perfect MMO launch.

Source: WarCry

Thursday - May 03, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Exploring Middle Earth @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:15

The Angmar Moot is featured in the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

In years past, when Arthedain and Cardolan strove to drive back the forces of Angmar, the Men of Rhudaur, under the leadership of an evil chieftain of the Hillmen, fell under the sway of the Witch-king of Angmar. As the years passed, the Hillmen were displaced northward by the better-trained and "civilized" Men of Angmar in preparation for a final war against the North-kingdom of Arthedain. After the defeat of the Witch-king's forces and the near-annihilation of the Angmarim, the Hillmen in the north gradually departed from the dark path laid down for them by the Witch-king and returned to their tribal ways.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Post Launch Preview @ IGN

by Inauro, 23:02

IGN offers a post launch preview of Lord of the Rings Online in lieu of a review as they "haven't played enough for a review" yet.

About a week after release we're still deeply involved in our journeys across Middle-earth, hence the lack of a review. Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar has so far proven to be a remarkably accessible MMORPG, with easy to understand classes and skills, quest goals, and group dynamics. It doesn't do anything exceptionally revolutionary however, instead choosing to utilize a well-worn MMO formula. For the most part, that's not so bad. The game provides a nice mix of solo and group quests, all of which bestow excellent experience bonuses and useful rewards. While many of the solo quests may be of the all-too-familiar kill and fetch variety, sometimes nauseatingly so, the main story quests are refreshingly different.

Source: IGN

Wednesday - May 02, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Moroval @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:07

This week's Creatures of Middle Earth article features the Morroval.

In the First Age, in Angband, there were many creatures bred and twisted by darkness. In later Ages, the Dark Lord Sauron bred from these abominations new creatures with which to make war upon Middle-earth. Among these new monsters are the Merrevail.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ HEXUS

by Inauro, 23:00

HEXUS gaming reviews Lord of the Rings Online.

Running around Middle-Earth visiting places that we've all read about and meeting familiar characters may be considered a novelty by those seeking a meaningful, challenging MMORPG, and to a certain extent that is true of LOTRO. Lord of the Rings fans will probably never get bored with visiting the likes of the Party Tree, bumping into Gandalf, or exploring the ancient lands, but take away the setting and you've simply got a tried and tested MMORPG formula. Why not? It's worked in the past and Turbine are offering the same accessibility as the likes of World of Warcraft, albeit in a Lord of The Rings setting. That can't be bad? Can it?

Tuesday - May 01, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Dread @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:18

Keth, a Senior Designer from the Lord of the Rings Online team, explains the game's dread system at the official site.

The initial inspiration for the system was what I was calling the "evil-o-meter." I just imagined getting near some source of great evil, such as the Witch-king, and watching a needle peg all the way to right. And it's hard to explain, but imagining that in my mind made the situation that much more intense and cool. For some reason, that completely artificial mechanism added an important layer to the scene. Sure, we try to convey evil through our art, sound cues and other sources, but it just seemed really awesome to me to really tell you, the player, that, "HEY, THIS GUY IS EVIL!"

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Impressions @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 23:03

Several members of the GameSpy team share their impressions of Lord of the Rings Online.  This from Allen Rausch, Associate PC Editor.

I'm really enjoying this game. I think the thing that bugs me most during my entire time playing it is the ignorant comments I hear that "It's nothing but World of Warcraft with Hobbits. I bow to no one in my love for WoW and I certainly understand where that's coming from. Much of the gameplay and interface does feel like it was er--"inspired" by that game. I don't see that as such a big deal, though. The MMO mechanics work and work well -- they have since EverQuest pioneered them years ago. I think what Turbine has done polished them up and thrown in their own unique twists to make it their own. The first time I realized that I was actually having fun grinding monsters (thanks to things like the Deed and Trait system) I realized that Turbine has created something pretty special here.

Source: GameSpy

Monday - April 30, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ YouGamers

by Inauro, 23:26

YouGamers takes Lord of the Rings Online for a spin and finds that not much is new under the sun.

I still say that LOTRO is a fine game but I don't think that the guys at Blizzard have anything to worry about this competitor in the long term. LOTRO is a healthy diversion, a side-dish for a MMO junkie or perhaps a good light main course for the uninitiated newbie or a casual gamer, but I sincerely doubt it will keep you hooked for years. Go pick it up, give it a spin - preferably with some friends - but don't expect it to last forever. In fact, I fear there may be backlash by those who went ahead and paid almost 200$ for a lifetime subscription when they find out that they are out of content after a couple of months. Yes, there are free updates with additional content coming, but it's not going to be enough - it never is.

Thursday - April 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Custom UIs @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:33

A new Game Systems article takes a look at custom UIs in Lord of the Rings Online.

In The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO), players can customize certain elements of the game's user interface (UI), also known as "skinning." While we don't allow you to do a full-scale UI replacement, we do give you the ability to replace selected visual elements of the UI. (A full list of these elements and their sizes is provided at the end of this overview.)

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Hooked Gamers

by Inauro, 23:21

Hooked Gamers awards Lord of the Rings Online a healthy score of 8, and concludes :

Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar is thus far a solid title of the MOO genre. With scores of new Lord of the Rings fans jumping on the band wagon and those who knew the wonders of Middle Earth from the books, Shadows of Angmar offers a great chance to experience some of the obscure parts of the world from an adventurer's point of view. Though you may not be able to play as one of the primary characters known from J.R.R. Tolkien's stories, the player will be able to interact with them on more than a few occasions throughout their travels. In the long run, LotR Online may not be the WoW killer everyone is waiting for, but it will surely have a vast and loyal player fan base that will make Lord of the Rings Online a long-lasting and mainstream MMO.

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Yahoo! Games

by Dhruin, 00:12

Another strong review for Lord of the Rings Online with Yahoo! Games declaring it a "winner" and awarding a score of 4/5:

For the game to last past a few hours of story and exploration, it's got to be fun to play. And here developer Turbine sensibly decided that if it ain't broke, they shouldn't fix it. Like World of Warcraft, LOTRO's game mechanics are solidly designed, easy to learn, and very polished. The game features seven classes with roles so well-understood that they are even identified as "buffer," "crowd control" and "tank" on the character-creation screen (or at least they were during the beta test.)

Wednesday - April 25, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Exploring Middle Earth @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:35

The Elven outpost of Glân Vraig is the focus of this week's Exploring Middle Earth feature. 

When whispers of a Shadow spreading out of Angmar arose, an Elf named Lainedhel left the refuge of Imladris, also known as Rivendell, and marched into the Ettenmoors with all who would follow him. He sent out a call to the dwarves of Othrikar, the Rangers, and the Eglain, a tribe of Men who dwell in the wastes of the Lone-lands. As the Free Peoples of Eriador gathered beneath the banner of the Elves, they built the first of their fortresses: Glân Vraig.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Darke Council

by Inauro, 23:22

We may need to bundle these Lord of the Rings Reviews by the end of the week, but in the meantime, here's Darke Council's take on Turbine's latest effort.

While I can’t say LOTRO is the king of all MMOG’s as much as I like to, its ranks up there as one of the best. Both Tolkien fans and MMO gamers should take advantage of what LOTRO is offering. In the end, it’s a solid MMOG with a depth most online games of the market lack. Here’s you chance to walk that road…pursue it with eager feet!

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ GameSpy

by Inauro, 23:14

GameSpy's verdict on Lord of the Rings Online is that it is "promising".

The Lord of the Rings Online has had a difficult journey to make it to launch day. It's got to offer the kind of compelling Tolkien-themed content lusted for by legions of the Professor's die-hard fans while still holding its own as a solid MMO. To say that the game doesn't innovate is to do a disservice to what the development team at Turbine seems to have achieved here. The team has taken tried-and-true gameplay mechanics, implemented them very well and layered the whole thing with a healthy homage to a beloved fantasy universe. There's much more to explore in The Lord of the Rings Online before we render a final judgment. There's still the "Monster play" PvP element and high-level content to experience, but my initial experience leaves me unworried. I'm having a blast doing things that I enjoy and I'm able to do them in Middle-earth. That's all I (and a lot of other people) ever asked for.

Source: GameSpy

Lord of the Rings Online - Music System @ Official Site

by Inauro, 02:10

This week's Game Systems article focuses on the creation of in-game music.

The Iron Hills are alive... with the sound of music! One of the most unique social systems in The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO) is our player-generated Music System, which allows players to train specific instruments and play their own music!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 02:01

MMORPG.com reviews Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online.

Overall Lord of the Rings Online is a very good game in its current incarnation. There is much to do and plenty to explore. The game itself can be run on a very large variety of computers with specifications varying from basic to the most advanced. The client itself is very stable and will be familiar to many who have played other Turbine games. Turbine has done a good job to create a world that is fun to be in and represents the Tolkien very well in most aspects. The future looks bright for Lord of the Rings Online. It will be an interesting game to watch in the coming months and hopefully years.

Source: MMORPG.com

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ IGN

by Inauro, 01:52

IGN talks to Jeffrey Steefel about the development and launch of the Lord of the Rings Online.

IGN: When working with Tolkien, obviously the fiction is very descriptive. Did you find that restricting in terms of the kinds of environments you wanted to create? Were there things that you wanted to include in the game that didn't mesh with the fiction?

Jeffrey Steefel: In general, working with any IP [intellectual property] and working with this kind of lore is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, sure there were certain things we can't do. But it also gives us a lot of context that we didn't have to create ourselves. We still have the flexibility to create Angmar, which [Tolkien] talks about loosely in the books but he never really goes into great description about what Angmar looked like, what kind of architecture existed in Angmar. There's a whole part of Middle-earth that we were able to build from scratch, so we were able to scratch that itch for the artists and the creative people on the team. In terms of places like the Shire or Rivendell, places that are familiar to people from the books, there's so much depth there, there's so much tone and history described for each of the places it actually gives us a lot of richness to work from. It wasn't very constraining on the art side.

Source: IGN

Lord of the Rings Online - European Launch

by Inauro, 01:49

Turbine and Codemasters have announced the wide release of Lord of the Rings Online in Europe.

Tuesday, 24th April (10am) Codemasters Online Gaming and Turbine, Inc. announced today that The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ is now available for purchase across Europe. The game is the first and only massively-multiplayer online game based on the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. In development by Turbine for over four years, the game opens up the mystical world of Middle-earth and creates the opportunity for endless adventure.

Legions of fans have been waiting in great anticipation for the opportunity to start their adventure in Middle-earth and as of today, the wait is over! The Lord of the Rings Online delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy adventure of all time. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before.

David Solari, Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online Gaming said, “It’s great that the many, many fans of this incredible game can begin their heroic adventures through Middle-earth. The response so far has been nothing short of stunning and we’re hugely excited about launching this unique game and look forward to it having a profound effect in the market.”

“The release of The Lord of the Rings Online marks a momentous occasion for MMO gamers and Tolkien fans around the world,” said Jeff Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. “Countless adventures await gamers eager to experience Middle-earth in an entirely new way and we’re confident that once they’ve visited this epic world, they’ll never want to leave.”

The Lord of the Rings Online is now available for purchase at major retailers across Europe in a Special, Collector’s and Standard Editions. The Special Edition of The Lord of the Rings Online includes the full game client, 45-days of free play, the official ‘Making of The Lord of the Rings Online’ DVD, a 7 day buddy client and an in-game item, RRP £49.99 / €69.99. The Collector’s Edition pack includes all items listed in the Special Edition plus the contents are encased in a unique numbered Collector’s Edition box. This unique offering comes with a full lifetime subscription to The Lord of the Rings Online presented on a lifetime membership certificate, a parchment letter from Turbine and an exclusive in-game item, RRP is £179.99 / €249.99, while the Standard Edition of the game is available for £34.99 / €49.99.

For more information about The Lord of the Rings Online, please visit www.lotro-europe.com

Source: Codemasters

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 01:48

A highly enthusiastic review of Lord of the Rings Online is up at Eurogamer.  Extolling the virtues of the art, improved gameplay and polish, the score is 9/10 and a strong recommendation.  Here's part of the intro:

Given the myriad ways in which Lord of the Rings Online could go wrong, it's perhaps unsurprising that a lot of people approached the game with a heavy sense of pessimism. It didn't help that in the wake of the success of Peter Jackson's movies, the game had the sense of a cash-in product about it. It certainly didn't help that the developers of the original iteration of the game, called Middle-Earth Online, blabbed about crazy features like "permanent character death", which instantly turned whole legions of gamers off the idea.

Which is why, sitting down to write about Lord of the Rings Online as it finally launches worldwide, we're thrilled, delighted and in no small measure surprised to be asking ourselves this;

How did it all go so right?

Monday - April 23, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ GameShark

by Inauro, 23:26

GameShark previews the Lord of the Rings Online.

Right now it doesn’t look like Lord of the Rings Online is going to break a whole lot of new ground in the world of MMO design. Granted, I never got a chance to play the role of a “monster” which is one of the game’s unique features. But the simple fact of the matter is, having a game that takes place in a fully realized iteration of Middle-earth is an ace up the sleeve that no other major MMO can match. The apparent lack of innovation in overall game design may be a significant strike against the game for MMO vets, but for newbies to the world of MMO games, it won’t be a problem at all. And even though the game clearly has borrowed heavily from a design perspective, that hasn’t stopped Turbine from putting together a fresh new world to explore that differentiates itself enough from everyone else to make it worth a second look.

Saturday - April 21, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Expansion Information @ Official Site

by Inauro, 01:20

Turbine has announced that the Shores of Evendim, the first free expansion for Lord of the Rings Online, will be available in June.

Beginning in June, heroes can adventure to the Shores of Evendim, the first of many free updates to The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM.

About 100 miles north of the Shire, in northern Eriador, lies Evendim, a vast region dominated by the Lake Nenuial; the ‘Lake of the Twilight'. On the southern shore, the ancient abandoned city of Annúminas -the former capital of the kingdom of Arnor ­ is well known amongst the Free Peoples. For according to the Legends, amidst its ruins lay a great wealth and powerful artifacts now threatened by evil creatures and the nefarious forces lurking in Angmar.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Video Interview @ Pro-G

by Inauro, 01:04

Pro-G has a series of videos focusing on the Lord of the Rings Online available.  The latest features an interview with executive producer Jeffrey Steefel.

 

Thursday - April 19, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Aragorn & Arwen @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:19

Aragorn and Arwen put in an appearance at the official Lord of the Rings Online site in this week's Characters of Middle Earth feature.

Aragorn

The mysterious Ranger of the North who goes by the name of Strider is often seen travelling around Bree and the towns and villages of Eriador, but only a few know his true nature. He is a man of few words who comes and goes as he pleases, often disappearing into the wild for weeks, months, or even years, only to return and quietly go about his business, whatever that may be.

Arwen

Born of immortal blood but doomed to live a mortal life, Arwen Evenstar, only daughter of Elrond Halfelven, is reputed to bear the likeness of her great-great-grandmother, Lúthien Tinúviel, the most beautiful woman to dwell in Arda. Like Lúthien before her, Arwen has chosen to give up her immortality for the love of a mortal Man, Aragorn, son of Arathorn, rightful heir to the thrones of both Arnor and Gondor. But their wedding is not assured, for her father has forbidden that any Man would marry his daughter, unless he takes the thrones of both kingdoms.

 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - April 18, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Emotes @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:24

The official Lord of the Rings Online site has an short piece on using emotes to liven up your in-game experience.

Some emotes are "persistent", meaning they will remain in effect indefinitely until the player performs another movement action, while some must be entered every time one wishes to use them. An example of a persistent emote is /dance, which will cause Lilly the hobbit to begin dancing a merry jig. She will continue to dance, into the wee hours of the morning, without having to type /dance again unless she cancels the emote by another movement. Emotes like /cough or /shakefist will result in a quick cough or fist-shake, and must be typed again to repeat the action, i.e., /cough /cough /cough /cough (if /cough persists, you should go /afk and see a doctor, or at least /drink some /cough syrup).

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Class Profiles @ IGN

by Dhruin, 00:46

IGN has class profiles for Hunters and Captains in Lord of the Rings Online.  Here's the opening:

We've previewed the Minstrel, Burglar, and Champion classes so far, but what about the rest of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar's combatants? While we've yet to touch the Guardian, LotRO's tank class, and the Lore-Master, a ranged spell blaster, we have managed to build a Hunter to 15 and a Captain to 10. Playing around with these types gave us some experience with pets for the first time, a prominent feature of the Captain. At this point we've logged a substantial number of hours wading through the introductory content for this game, and have yet to get sick of it. It's a much more user-friendly MMO than those many longtime veterans have been playing for years. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the quest descriptions, which give extremely specific navigation directions for finding objectives. The current level cap of 15 prevents us from bringing you details of how the classes fare against higher level content or how complex this game gets later on, but that limit should be alleviated when the game moves to final release on April 24.

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ GameInformer

by Dhruin, 00:43

GameInformer has spoken with Turbine's Jeffrey Steefel about LotRO.  It's a general interview but might be worth a read for prospective fans:

GI: Can you explain how you plan to indulge players' darker impulses, since characters can't align themselves with Sauron?

Steefel: Players can explore their evil sides through monster play.  Monster play gives you the opportunity to join the ranks of Angmar’s Army. When you reach level 10 in the game, you can go to the town of Bree and find your way into the Monster Play areas in the world. From there, you will be able to start building your stable of monsters with which you can wreak havoc on Hobbit villages, ransack ancient keeps, or battle PvP against other players for control of ancient castles or valuable resources like ore or wood.  You will be able to grow your monsters in power, capability and in appearance, just as with your player characters.

At launch you can choose what type of monster you would like to inhabit including Orc Reaver, Spider Weaver, Uruk Blackarrow, Uruk Warleader or Warg Stalker. Players can also bring their main characters into the Ettenmoors when they reach level 40 to battle the player-controlled monsters in the region.

Monday - April 16, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Review @ CVG

by Inauro, 23:43

Computer and Video Games scoops a world first review of Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online.  Here's a snippet from the conclusion:

So, we come to the end of this review's sojourn in Middle-earth and we have to conclude that with looks that would make an Elven maiden blush, married with a compelling and authentic game world based on the single most popular fantasy universe of all time, LOTRO has all the qualities necessary to make it a big big success. 

Source: CVG

Lord of the Rings Online - Live in Europe

by Inauro, 23:38

Codemasters has announced that the long wait is over for players who pre-ordered Lord of the Rings Online.

Monday, 16th April (10am GMT) - Codemasters Online Gaming are pleased to announce that the wait is finally over for The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ as servers across Europe are switched on for pre-order Early Access.

Thousands of pre-order customers across Europe are now invited to enter Middle-earth where their adventure awaits them as they embark on their epic quest against the evil forces of the Witch King of Angmar.

Pre-order packs are still available and offer players the ability to enter The Lord of the Rings Online immediately as Europe waits for the final release of the game set for April 24th. Pre-order packs offer gamers up to 10 days head start in the game along with access to the Founder Program* presenting players two different membership options including £99.99 (EUR 149.99) for a lifetime subscription or a 6-month subscription for £35.94 (EUR 53.94), equivalent to £5.99 (EUR 8.99) per month. This offer is only open to Founders who purchase the Pre-order pack of The Lord of the Rings Online.

For more information on The Lord of the Rings Online, visit www.movetomiddle-earth.com

For more information on where to pre-order The Lord of the Rings Online visit www.lotro-europe.com/preorder.

Source: Codemasters

Thursday - April 12, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Dwarven Outposts @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:37

This week's Exploring Middle Earth feature takes in the dwarven outposts of Ered Luin.

In the Vale of Thráin, below Thorin's Hall, lie two outposts of the Dwarves: Noglond and Gondamon. The first and lesser of these, Noglond, is little more than a way-station nestled in the mountainside off the road leading eastward. The greater of the two, the fortress Gondamon, sits atop a great hill further east, watching over the surrounding lands.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Media #7 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:15

Elrond puts in an appearance in the 7th Lord of the Rings Online 'Tolkien moment' movie to be featured at RPG Vault. 

Source: RPG Vault

Lord of the Rings Online - UK Pre-Orders

by Inauro, 23:11

Codemasters has announced that pre-orders of the European version of Lord of the Rings Online are running into the tens of thousands.

April 12th 2007 (14.00 GMT) - Codemasters Online Gaming today revealed that tens of thousands of players have already pre-ordered the highly anticipated MMORPG The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ scheduled for release on April 24th across Europe. Players have already declared their intention to pack their bags and move to Middle-earth as pre-order packs fly from shelves across Europe in what has now become Codemasters’ largest ever pre-order campaign!

Pre-order packs contain 10-day head start access to the game as well as access to exclusive in-game items and the chance to become a Founder of The Lord of the Rings Online. The Lord of the Rings Online Founder Program* presents players two different membership options including £99.99 (EUR 149.99) for a lifetime subscription or a 6-month subscription for £35.94 (EUR 53.94), equivalent to £5.99 (EUR 8.99) per month. This offer is only open to Founders who purchase the pre-order pack of The Lord of the Rings Online. Pre-order packs are now available across all leading games retailers across Europe and are already limited in supply.

Ed Relf, Director of Marketing, commented “We are ecstatic with the pre-order frenzy surrounding The Lord of the Rings Online. We are excited with the unprecedented demand for the game and are looking forward to launching what is set to be one of the most successful PC games in recent years!”

Developed by Turbine, Inc., The Lord of the Rings Online is based on the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien and available in English, French and German. It is one of the most highly anticipated games of 2007, giving players the opportunity to experience the most famous fantasy world of all time and forge their own destiny through Middle-earth.

Source: Codemasters

Wednesday - April 11, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Nimwaith @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:30

Descended from men pressed into service in Angmar, the Nimwaith are the focus of this week's Creatures of Middle Earth article.

The Nimwaith, or Pale-folk, as the descendants of the slaves became known, act as the primary labor caste of Carn Dûm. These small, pale-skinned creatures are weaker than ordinary Men, but their numbers are great, bred and maintained in the caves beneath the ancient fortress of the Witch-king. They are vile and ravenous creatures, subservient to the will of Mordirith, the Steward of Angmar, though they remain filled with hatred for their cruel masters.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Media #6 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:15

The encounter with the Black Riders on Weathertop is the focus of the latest Lord of the Rings Online movie available at RPG Vault.

Source: RPG Vault

Tuesday - April 10, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

by Inauro, 23:34

The transcript of the latest Lord of the Rings Online House of Commons is available at Stratics.

Sprite - *Ossoi{TR}* initial impressions from the beta were that LOTRO was nothing that MMO players havent seen before..am I missing something or is LOTRO distinctive enough to appeal to seasoned players

Mithril_Miser - Absolutely. We're getting a great response to our open beta, and there's a lot of LOTRO players that are 10+ year MMO vets. LOTRO definitely innovates, with social systems, excellent narrative-based gameplay and, of course, a world based on the best fantasy epic ever written.
Mithril_Miser - But beyond that, the thing that the beta is emphatically telling us that we've crafted a polished, rock-solid world that's ready for the rigors of launch. MMO vets tend to like that too. ;)

 

Source: Stratics

Lord of the Rings Online - Fellowship Manouvers @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:32

Fellowship manoeuvres are the focus of a new game systems article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

Fellowship and teamwork are important themes in The Lord of the Rings, and The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO) development team wanted to reflect those values in LOTRO's combat system. Players who group together can execute powerful combined-effort attacks called Fellowship Maneuvers. Teamwork in combat is the basis of the Fellowship Maneuver system; the more coordinated your fellowship is, the more powerful the results can be! Fellowship Maneuvers can also be used to make up for gaps in a fellowship's abilities. For example, healing-based Fellowship Maneuvers can be life-savers for a fellowship that doesn't contain a dedicated healer.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Class Preview @ IGN

by Inauro, 23:14

IGN previews the Champion and Burglar classes from Turbine's Lord of the Ring Online.

To even more drastically swing the Champion's focus to pure offense, there's a Champion's Fervour toggle skill that completely disables your ability to block, parry, and evade enemy attacks. In exchange, you're given a 15 percent melee damage increase, a single point of Fervour every 5 seconds and better in-combat power replenishment. Of course you can always turn it off if you so choose, but then you'd be missing out on part of what makes this class unique, and the most entertaining class in the game for us so far.

Source: IGN

Lord of the Rings Online - Media #5 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 23:10

RPG Vault has another exclusive Lord of the Rings Online video available for viewing.

Source: RPG Vault

Saturday - April 07, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Ask Turbine #6 @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 14:57

The latest Ask Turbine at WarCry follows a more formal format using an article-format staff interview with John Anderson rather than the direct community questions:

Turbine made some negative waves a couple weeks ago when they announced that they and European publisher Codemasters would employ IP blocking to ensure that players played in their designated territories. The move was not unexpected, Codemasters obviously has an interest in protecting their revenue stream, but the plan was met with vocal opposition with the community and forced Turbine and Codemasters to reevaluate their plans.

"Well we launched the plans and we were wrong," Anderson admitted candidly. He told us that part of the reason they did this was a technical one. It was just easier to make two separate clients that pointed to the separate servers and that obviously Codemasters had paid for the exclusive European rights and they needed to support that. He told us that they proposed IP blocking as a way of protecting those rights and that Turbine accepted, with the assumption that the average fan wouldn't mind.

Lord of the Rings Online - Open Beta Live @ Official Site

by Inauro, 00:41

The Lord of the Rings Online open beta, or World Tour as it's being called, kicks off today.  The official site has details and Turbine has updated its press coverage page with two new articles.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Friday - April 06, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Dev Diary @ Official Site

by Inauro, 00:43

Turbine's Jeff Rubin takes a closer look at rank and prestige systems in this week's Lord of the Rings Online developer diary .

One of the many challenges we faced on the monster play project was to implement these Rank and Prestige systems. We wanted something for both casual and hardcore gamers. We understood that, although it can be fun to build up Rank, it is also fun to stand out from the crowd in a visible way with Prestige.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - April 04, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 00:34

Eurogamer has previewed LotRO - here's an opening snippet:

In a long-forgotten cavern deep within the bowels of Middle-Earth, filled with lost treasures and the vengeful, embittered wraiths of an ancient race of warrior men, I am desperately flicking my mouse pointer over my toolbar in the hope of working out where the hell my healing spells are.

This isn't, I reflect sadly, quite the role I had seen myself playing in Tolkien's epic fantasy. As a young boy with a hyperactive imagination, I'd always sort of assumed I'd ride alongside Aragorn, fend off the Nazgul at the shattered hilltop fortress of Amon Sul, contribute something wise (but probably high pitched) to the council of Elrond, or rescue the Fellowship from doom in the dank darkness of the mines of Moria.

Tuesday - April 03, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Monster Play Overview @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:22

An overview of Monster Play , the PvP equivalent in Turbine's upcoming Lord of the Rings Online, is available at the official site.

LOTRO offers a unique form of player vs. player combat known as monster play. Players are transported to the Ettenmoors, a consensual PvMP (Player vs. Monster Player) region about the size of the Shire. Here, the Free Peoples and the forces of Angmar are in constant active conflict, and players can choose to join the fight as either their normal Free Peoples character, or as one of the servants of the Enemy!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - April 02, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ Ten Ton Hammer

by Dhruin, 22:31

Also at Ten Ton Hammer today is a preview of Lord of the Rings Online:

From the moment I started the my LotRO client, I knew this wasn’t a normal MMO that I was playing. The first image you get on your screen - aside from the Turbine logo animation - is of the One Ring falling slowly through the air, fire reflecting off its golden surface. Gandalf the Gray, his pointy hat and long flowing beard easily recognizable, appears after the ring reaches its downward descent and narrates the introductory movie that gives the player a concrete setting for the period of time that I am going to be adventuring in. As Gandalf narrates, four characters – an elf, a human, a dwarf, and a hobbit – fight off a band of orcs and Uruk-hai. Gandalf lets the player know that it is your duty to stop the forces of darkness that are spewing forth from shadowy realm of Angmar. If you succeed in your mission, you’ll clear the path for the Ring-bearer to continue on his quest.

In all my gaming years, rarely have I experienced an intro movie that prepares a player so perfectly for what their task is in the game ahead, while also providing entertainment at the same time. Even though the movie isn’t as pretty as something you might see from the Blizzard crew, the whole presentation actually educates the viewer as he is watching. By the time you finish the movie, you actually understand what your goals will be in the game, rather than just being set loose in a giant sandbox. Your mission is this: you need to help the forces of light, defeat the armies of evil!

Sunday - April 01, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - April Fool @ Official Site

by Inauro, 04:09

Some rather familiar blue faces put in an appearance in what is almost certainly an early April Fool's Day prank at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

WESTWOOD, MA - April 1, 2007 -- Turbine, Inc. today announced its first major content update planned for The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO). The first update is set to begin at Chapter 9 where the launched product leaves off. Turbine revealed that Chapter 9 includes a new starting location and playable race based upon the Hobbits of the Blue Mountains.

"Turbine has a long tradition of quickly adding new content and Chapter 9 demonstrates our commitment to The Lord of the Rings Online," said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine Inc. "The new race and their starting area fit perfectly into the story and setting of The Lord of the Rings."

Of all the races in Middle-earth, the most beloved are the hobbits. Now, for the first time, players will be able to play a new form of hobbit known as the Sméorufolc (which means "tallow-folk" in Old English). The Sméorufolc were kin to the Fallohides when they came west across the Misty Mountains (Hithaeglir) on their way to the Blue Mountains. In honor of Johan Pewit, the hobbit who led them to their new home, they traditionally wear caps of white wool. They are a peaceful people, sharing a hobbit's love of food and, in particular, mushrooms. Through their farming, these mushrooms have grown to surprising size on the slopes of the Ered Luin. However, the Sméorufolc's passion for mushrooms was their undoing, as eating them altered the tone of the hobbits' skin.

Their history as a race is likewise tragic, frequently plagued by Azrukh, a fallen Maia and former servant of Morgoth, who took the form of a fearsome lynx. It is said that they dwelt in the Blue Mountains long into the Fourth Age, though they diminished with the passing of time. As with dwarves, they have more males than females, and are quite protective of their females.

Players of The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM will be given the unique opportunity to journey across Turbine's beautiful version of Middle-earth as they aid the Fellowship on its quest toward Mount Doom in the role of Man, hobbit, Elf or dwarf. Having been in development for over four years, Turbine has painstakingly re-created the unique and mystical worlds from the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien, creating a virtual world that brims with life and opportunity for endless adventure. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before.

For a glimpse at LOTRO's new playable race, click here !

 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Thursday - March 29, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Dev Chat Log @ WarCry

by Inauro, 23:13

A transcript of the latest Lord of the Rings Online developer chat is available at WarCry.

WarCry: Spartikus: Are their currently any plans for regular live events, monthly content patches or even better an active live events team?
Ringleader: We've always focused on live events in our games - many of you may remember some of the events from AC, and we have a number of AC veterans on the Live team for LOTRO. We are currently adding to our tech to allow us to do even more cool stuff moving forward. We won't spoil the fun and lay them out here, but we already have some events planned, and that will continue. We've even tried to have small events in Alpha/Beta, like the Bday party
Ringleader: .....Bday party for Tolkien at the Party Tree, or the chaotic End of World event we just had.

Source: WarCry

Wednesday - March 28, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:25

This week's Lord of the Rings Online beta journal offers some impressions of monster play.

Since monster play was introduced, I have played more there than on my main character! One of the best things I have noticed so far is that monsters tend to work better together than people do. In chat the other day there was a monster player who said they had been pinned in by a group of players and there were not enough monsters in their group to break out. I saw at least two responses from other monster players who said they were on their way to help with their groups. This is the most fun PvP adaptation I have seen - for you WoW players; imagine an Alterac Valley that has no end, more quests and less dependence on a group. You can upgrade your monster through quests and player kills. There is tons to do, quests, keeps and "towns" to capture, and little surprises here and there to find.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Progress Report @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 23:12

MMORPG.com visits Turbine and reports back on the progress being made on Lord of the Rings Online.

 

From the moment that you log in to Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, you feel as though you are in the wondrous world of Middle-Earth. The game's art department should be particularly proud of themselves for not only creating a beautiful game world, but also for making it fit so nicely with at least my own, vision of what a 3D representation of Middle-Earth would be.

 

Source: MMORPG.com

Tuesday - March 27, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Stone Trolls @ Official Site

by Inauro, 23:20

This week's Creatures of Middle Earth article examines stone trolls.  But Turbine has also added profiles of Huorns, Boars, and Bears to the codex section of the official site.

Trolls have existed in Middle-earth for as long as even the most ancient and powerful Elf-lords can remember. Creatures of the most corrupted evil, trolls are as dim-witted as they are strong. While there are many types of trolls in Middle-earth, Stone-trolls are particularly vicious and are extremely difficult to defeat in battle. These trolls are capable of dealing a punishing blow with even the simplest of weapons - from sticks to boulders to crude spiked clubs - while their rock-like skin provides an excellent natural defense that can turn aside the blade of even the most skilled warrior.

 

 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Saturday - March 24, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Open Beta @ Gamers With Jobs

by Inauro, 01:31

Gamers With Jobs examines the decisions Turbine is making regarding open beta testing.

On March 30th, Lord of the Rings Online enters open beta. Often, the open beta for an MMO is when the game goes downhill. The early beta groups disband, the unwashed masses arrive, looking to freeload for a few months, and the game becomes a mess of patches, grumpy die hards and people predicting doom. But Turbine realizes that open beta is something different. They're giving pre-order customers a chance to play in the last open beta, before it's really "open" on April 6th. And they're letting them keep their characters.

Thursday - March 22, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Passive Racial Skills @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:30

Turbine continues its series of homegrown articles focusing on in-game systems with a look at passive racial traits in Lord of the Rings Online

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - March 21, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:30

This week's Lord of the Rings Online beta journal sheds more light on how traits function in the game.

Traveling across the many landscapes of Middle-earth, you find yourself inching your way toward fame, power, and influence amongst all you encounter both friend and foe alike. Through your eventful life as an adventurer, you earn this recognition by accumulating what are known as traits. The traits that are available to you are numerous and diverse. Currently, there are four categories that any of these traits will fall under: Virtues, Racial, Class, and Legendary.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Media #4 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 21:19

Another Tolkien moment makes its appearance in video format at RPG Vault.

Gandalf wonders what route the Hobbits have taken. While he knows the ringwraiths have entered the Shire, he is also aware there are places may hold even greater dangers. In the Barrow Downs, we see a perilous situation and catch a glimpse of Tom Bombadil. This video is one of a number Turbine is implementing in the game to help keep players connected to the events of Tolkien's sweeping saga.

Source: RPG Vault

Tuesday - March 20, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Traits Overview @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:34

An overview of the traits system is available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

Acquiring and activating Traits is one of the most flexible methods for customizing your character in The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM. Simply put, Traits are new skills, bonuses, and other enhancements that benefit your character. There are four main categories of Traits: Virtue, Race, Class, and Legendary, which are earned by completing Deeds, quests, and other achievements during your adventures. Your Deed Log contains information about which of your current Accomplishment goals will reward you with a Trait.

 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Media #3 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 21:03

RPG Vault has an exclusive Lord of the Rings Online video in which another classic moment of LotRO history is enacted: the Nazgul attack on Bree.

Source: RPG Vault

Monday - March 19, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

by Inauro, 21:22

The transcript of the latest Lord of the Rings Online House of Commons is available at Stratics.

Sprite - *Sever* My only question for the devs is if the ineffectiveness of actual ability scores is being addressed. As it stands, ability scores are nearly inconsequential.
Annuvin - Well, I can tell you this much; It's an ongoing effort. For LOTRO, we tried to ensure that people could be competitive, without penalizing them for not
Annuvin - scrimping and maximizing every last bonus. In all fairness, I think we erred a bit, and have been increasing their importance with every subsequent patch.
Annuvin - Our most recent patch made the game more difficult, largely because we made ability scores even more powerful. It's an ongoing process, as we want you
Annuvin - (the player's) decisions to matter.

Source: Stratics

Friday - March 16, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Media #1 @ RPG Vault

by Inauro, 22:53

RPG Vault has an exclusive Lord of the Rings Online video available

Source: RPG Vault

Thursday - March 15, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Titles Overview @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:29

A new article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site takes a look at how titles will work in the game.

What's in a name? In The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, descriptors are often added to the names of people to provide significant information about them: Gandalf the Grey, Eorl the Young, Saruman the Wise, or Théoden son of Thengel. Even weapons, such as Orcrist the Goblin-cleaver, were granted titles based on their history. In The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™, players can choose similar titles of distinction and renown based upon their deeds by using the LOTRO Title System.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - March 14, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal & Chat Transcript @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:06

A new beta journal and a transcript of the latest Stratics House of Commons are available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site. Here's a snippet from the journal:

Virtues are the first traits available to characters, the first chance to really customize your character and playing experience. Among a Hobbits' many positive traits, Charity might not necessarily come to mind first, but as a Hobbit Guardian, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of specializing in the virtue Charity. It all started when my Guardian was still getting his feet beneath him, with a shopping trip to Celondim in the Ered Luin for green onions. While visiting this beautiful outpost of the elves, I heard heartbreaking stories of loss and sadness from the locals, who suffered from persecution by both goblins and renegade dwarves in the area. What is a guardian to do but lend a hand? I enjoyed many hours of charitable works in the Ered Luin, recovering lost or stolen heirlooms, reuniting family members, and even rescuing an abandoned kitten (awwwwww…).

 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - March 13, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Thorin Oakenshield @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:31

Thorin Oakenshield is the focus of this week's Characters of Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

Thorin II, noble Dwarf of Durin's Line and king of Durin's Folk, accomplished a heroic task when he led a small company of Dwarves (and one reluctant hobbit) to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dreaded dragon, Smaug the Golden. Thorin succeeded in his quest, but sadly perished not long after, in the Battle of Five Armies. Still, there is much more to tell about Thorin and his deeds prior to that fateful quest. Legends tell of heroic battles alongside his father Thráin II, and of difficult years spent in exile after Smaug's arrival - years that saw Thorin lead the surviving Dwarves from their lost home to the Blue Mountains (also known as Ered Luin) in the west.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - March 12, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Movies @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 21:27

MMORPG.com has kindly rounded up the two latest Lord of the Rings Online movies from Turbine and Codemasters. 

Source: MMORPG.com

Friday - March 09, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Exploring Combe @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 13:01

Speaking of Lord of the Rings Online, the latest Exploring Middle Earth segment at the official site covers Combe:

Travellers heading north-east from Bree will come upon the village of Combe, located within its deep, forested valley and evidenced by the wisps of chimney smoke rising above the trees. As with the other villages between Bree-hill and the Midgewater Marshes, Combe is traditionally a quiet place, populated by hard-working Hobbits and men, who co-exist in peace while keeping largely to themselves. The townsfolk have a reputation for being cautious and slow to welcome strangers, yet friendly enough to those who prove themselves to be of good character.

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 12:59

A fresh Lord of the Rings Online preview is up at Games Radar.  Here's a clip on walking a line between the lore of the books and the hype of the movies:

“It isn’t that difficult, in fact it’s easier,” Blincoe tells us. “The movies are very linear, whereas the books themselves are fairly open - certainly more open to interpretation.” True, but even the most hardened of monster-spotters will have it in mind that the Turbine Cave Troll looks more than a little bit like the celluloid one.

The initial release of LOTRO covers spots like Bree, The Shire, Barrow Downs, Angmar and Rivendell. Turbine promises that new content will be pumped in every 6-12 weeks, with expansion packs covering the likes of Gondor, Rohan and Mordor surfacing every nine months or so.

Wednesday - March 07, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Updated Impressions @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 13:06

An updated preview of Lord of the Rings Online is up at GameSpot, covering some hands-on time and the new revelations to encourage community involvement:

We also had a chance to catch up with representatives from the developer who discussed some of the intriguing new developments that are planned for the game. To encourage community involvement, the game will implement functionality that resembles some of the most popular Internet technology. An example of this is a map system that resembles search engine Google's Google Maps site, as it lets players zoom and pan around world maps to better find their way. Turbine will also apparently offer an online "wiki" similar to the Internet reference Wikipedia, which will let players build their own reference compendium for monsters, weapons, quests, and other information. Finally, the game will reportedly feature a built-in social-networking-site builder that will let players create their own personal journal site on the Internet for each of their characters, which acts similar to sites like MySpace or LiveJournal. Turbine suggests that its community-management team will help police those sites for inappropriate content, and that these character-created sites should help players continue to connect with each other even when they're not playing the game.

Lord of the Rings Online - Introduction to Crafting @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 13:03

Turbine has outlined crafting in LotRO in a new dev diary at the official site:

Ever since we published Lead System Designer Nik Davidson’s Developer Diary on the origins of LOTRO’s Crafting System, the crafters of the community have eagerly awaited more details. In our second Developer Diary we introduced the concept of Professions and Vocations, and covered a little more ground. It’s time to bring our crafters the next installment! Here’s a basic overview of the system, including details on how to get started in your crafting career.

Saturday - March 03, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Ask Turbine #4 @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 23:28

For the forth time, WarCry rolls out Turbine's Jeffrey Steefel to answer some community questions on LotRO:

Delmar: I remember in Asheron's Call the towns were all attacked at the end of beta by hordes of monsters and such. Can we expect similar events to be planned for the end of Closed Beta? Open Beta?

Jeffrey Steefel: There are two things. First at the end of closed beta, we'll definitely be doing some events. I won't comment on what they are or what kind of events they are yet, because that will spoil some of the surprise, but again, as I've mentioned before, we're very interested in doing live events in general. So, we'll do some global event at the end of closed beta.

For open beta, we're really looking at that as the beginning of our live service. So we'll treat that very much like we treat that service itself, which includes live events. So, our community services group and our customer services group and our development group have been already working together planning and working on more advanced tools to let us do even more stuff moving forward.

That's definitely a part of our consciousness and we'll see some of the evidence of that in beta.

Friday - March 02, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Crafting Ered Luin

by Dhruin, 11:58

A new developer diary at the Lord of the Rings Online site sees Dan Haard writing about the process of creating the Mountains of Ered Luin:

When tasked with creating environment assets for Ered Luin, I first stepped back and looked at the overall ambiance the team wanted to achieve in this area. My goal as an environment artist is to create world assets that not only work consistently with each other, but unify to give the place a distinct visual meaning; a story that even the rocks will tell. In the case of the highlands of Ered Luin, we wanted to tell a story of a frozen wild; a place set apart, as the natural boundary it is, from the rest of Middle-earth.

Thursday - March 01, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Previews @ IGN, GameSpy

by Dhruin, 20:46

Both IGN and GameSpy have hands-on looks at Lord of the Rings Online.  Here's a bit from GameSpy:

Creating another complete "side" with parallel PvE and questing structure for players to join Sauron's forces in the main game doesn't really work either. For one thing, there is simply no IP-based reason for an Orc and a Free People player to not try to slaughter each other as soon as they make eye contact. That would require a universal PvP structure antithetical to the kind of casual gamers and Tolkien fans Turbine's looking to attract. It would also kill the feeling of being in Tolkien's world pretty fast when a constant stream of Orc players is slaughtering everything that moves in the Shire. Still, given the popularity of PvP among a significant minority of the player base, Turbine wanted to offer that to players. Their interesting solution is called "Monster Play," a subsidiary combat, quest and reward system that feeds the need for PvP players from both sides while restricting it to ways that retain the flavor of the IP.

Wednesday - February 28, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ GWN

by Dhruin, 22:42

Gameworld Network has a preview of LotRO on offer:

In order to get as broad a look as possible in one short weekend, I gave each race a try, playing a Man, a Dwarf, a Hobbit, and an Elf. (In the initial release of the game, only the good guys are represented.) In each case, my character started out in an instanced area (meaning it was only me and computer characters in there). There were bad guys to fight right away, and NPC quest-givers instantly immersed me in enjoyably Tolkien-esque dialogue.

Lord of the Rings Online - The Fields of Fornost

by Dhruin, 22:39

The latest Exploring Middle-Earth feature at the Lord of the Rings Online site takes readers to the Fields of Fornost.

Tuesday - February 27, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Jeff Anderson Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 08:33

An article-format interview with Turbine's Jeff Anderson from ComicCon is up at MMORPG.com, discussing LotRO:

Turbine's goal with LOTRO is to deliver a AAA MMORPG that really brings out the world of Tolkien. The storyline of LOTR is at the heart of the game, with players jumping in and out of the story during game play.

One of the features that have been added to the game is voice intros for different areas and Dramatic moments in the game. Basically, the goal here is to make the player feel like a part of the story. There are dozens of in game videos that carry the player throughout the story. A general example of this would be something that might be going on while the players are on their adventures. At a certain point, they may come up on a video of Gandalf trapped by Saruman realizing he won't get to meet the hobbits at the Prancing Pony Inn. The video goes on to say that he hopes Stryder will make it there to meet them. At that point, if the players go to the Prancing Pony, they will see Stryder there waiting for the Frodo and the crew to arrive. Running these story elements as a player levels up is something that Turbine is really trying to incorporate into as much of the game as possible.

Monday - February 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Ask Turbine #3 @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 13:06

WarCry has the third part of a Q&A with Turbine's Jeffrey Steefel on Lord of the Rings Online with questions coming from the community.  Hit the link for this part and to catch up on the previous installments:

Mattlow: Where will the best loot in the game come from? Crafters or from monsters.

Jeffrey Steefel: We want players to have lots of opportunities to get the fat loot. So, obviously, the mastery level, which is the highest tier of crafting, will come up with some of that loot that you're going to be able to buy at auction if the seller is nice or greedy enough. Also, in our raids and in the high-end stepped instances - where you're going to encounter some of the bigger bosses - and also in some areas of the Ettenmoors, which are the monster play areas, you're going to encounter some pretty hefty loot.

Saturday - February 24, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 22:14

Games Radar has a preview that focuses on the things Lord of the Rings Online is doing to foster a community and ease of use:

MMO enthusiasts will appreciate the way LOTR Online plans to iron out some serious kinks that plague the genre. Whether its setting up a voice chat server for your guild, posting a comment on a forum about a difficult quest, or creating a website for your character, MMO players have gone through great lengths to develop and participate in the strong online communities that grow around their game of choice – and its refreshing to see how developer, Turbine is taking a proactive approach to cultivating these communities.

All these sorts of features and resources will be brought in-game. Instead of wading through online databases like www.allakhazam.com or www.thottbott.com, players can expect to see a convenient in-game Wiki-like webpage where you can read and post information about quests and items. A version of Google maps will also be implemented into the game, making map mods like Atlas or Cosmos all but obsolete. Forget about scouring the net for the best deals on private Ventrillo or TeamSpeak servers while you’re at it, as plans are also in the works to include a built-in voice chat system.

Thursday - February 22, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Stress Test Signups @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 13:31

Blue's is reporting a LotRO Stress Test signup is available at GameSpot (restricted to the USA, Canada, Australia and NZ)...the page isn't working for me but hopefully that's only a glitch.

Source: Bluesnews

Wednesday - February 21, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 21:59

The Lord of the Rings Online previews are coming thick and fast and the next site in the queue is IGN, covering "monster play PvP, conjunction battles and more":

Turbine's MMORPG is mostly PvE (player versus environment), except for one area located within the game's setting of Eriador. In the Ettenmoors, a large expanse of land dotted with forests and carved with rivers, players get the chance to play as either a monster or hero and battle against each other, as well as complete a number of PvE quests. If you choose to enter the Ettenmoors as a hero by importing your main character, you're going to have to wait until level 40. Playing as a monster, however, can be accomplished much sooner. As soon as you arrive in the town of Bree, you'll find a portal through which you can select a monster type and dive into the PvP realm.

Tuesday - February 20, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Impressions @ IGN.AU

by Dhruin, 22:27

IGN.AU has some new beta impressions from Lord of the Rings Online.  Here's a bit on the first stages:

Let's focus on the quests first. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the number of quests available at the start of the game. At last count, our Hobbit Minstrel had over fifteen quests on the go. None of these involved slaying Orcs or raiding dungeons. He's a level seven Hobbit Minstrel for god's sake - not a level thirty Human Guardian.

Instead we were sent on our way to look for kids playing hide and seek, to create pie crusts for a hobbit fearing his angry wife, to deliver mail within set times and to try to find a hidden recipe for beer in the Great Smials. Sounds boring, eh? But for a player who chooses the laid-back characteristics of the Hobbit, this focus on exploration and helping your fellow Hobbits is a perfect fit. It's a great character type for those lazy Sunday arvos with a glass of red by your side. That's not to say there wasn't a fair share of spider-slashing and pig-grinding involved - there was - but we could do more Hobbity things if we felt like it.

Lord of the Rings Online - Early Impressions @ 1Up, Kotaku

by Dhruin, 11:09

A pair of Lord of the Rings Online early impressions can be found at 1Up and Kotaku, both with the same "I'm dubious but..." approach.  Here's a bit from Jeff Green's very informal piece at 1Up:

But having raised all these questions, lemme now say this: I have played Lord of the Rings Online for the better part of the weekend--and it is winning me over. I am not that far yet. It is early. I have taken an Elf Champion, Morahn, to level 7, while my new "main", the Hobbit Hunter Blubbo, is now level 8. There is a long way to go. I have only been out of the newbie zone with Blubbo for a little bit now. But after a slow start in that newbie zone (you really gotta hang in there past that stuff), I am finding it oddly compelling in that "OMG I really am in Middle-Earth!" way. Yes, 32 years after first reading Tolkien, I am now a Hobbit. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Blubbo [...]

...and from Kotaku:

Full disclosure: I'm about fed up with all massively multiplayer online games in their current state. I think that, for the most part, they are derivative crap which essentially just wraps the same old ideas, gameplay and contrivances with a fancy new IP.

Having said that, Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow of Angmar is quite palatable. I'm sure tons of people are going to pick it up and say it's World of Warcraft or Guild Wars with a Lord of the Rings flavor, but you could say WoW didn't do much in the way of innovation either.

Saturday - February 17, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Tuckborough @ Official Site

by Dhruin, 02:38

This week's Exploring Middle-earth segment takes a look at Tuckborough in Tookland:

In the area of the Westfarthing known as Tookland, the most prominent village is Tuckborough. Those who reside here amongst the hills, trees, and meadows, as the name of the village might suggest, are mostly Tooks, or cousins, relatives, or close acquaintances of Tooks, and are a friendly lot who welcome visitors from all parts of Middle-earth. It is here that travelers will find the Great Smials of the Tooks, an underground dwelling of immense proportions, and one which is still growing to this day, with a seemingly endless series of rooms and tunnels which have been continuously excavated for nearly 400 years.

Friday - February 16, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 23:44

CVG serves up the latest preview of Lord of the Rings Online and here's a taste:

 There's a real sense of wonderment to some of the environments you see. The Iron Hills (the starting area for dwarves and elves) are a bit like Dun Morogh, gigantic rolling hills of snow and ice but with a very stone-borne feel to them. Unlike WOW, Turbine have gone for a somewhat realistic feeling (as realistic as you can get with dwarves and elves), thus everything has a very immediate 'Wow!' factor to it - and not the Blizzard-made one, either.

Thursday - February 15, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview Parts 2 & 3 @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 13:22

WarCry's has kicked up a further two parts to their Lord of the Rings Online preview we have previously covered (Part 2 and Part 3), with one more yet to come.  Here's a snip:

The user interface is often a deciding factor in the user's enjoyment of a title and Turbine hasn't been asleep at the wheel in this department. The basic layout should be familiar to most players by now, as it appears to have been heavily influenced by World of Warcraft. Your typical portrait and status bars reside in the upper left, mini-map at the upper right, chat interface on the lower left, and various and assorted icons at the bottom. One nice improvement is the reactive hotbars. Instead of displaying row upon row of icons (though this is an option), additional rows are only shown when pressing the corresponding hotkey. For example, if you had an attack bound to Ctrl+1, the Ctrl hotbar only appears when the key is depressed.

Wednesday - February 14, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ MMORPG.com

by Dhruin, 09:25

MMORPG.com has an article format interview with Turbine CEO Jon Anderson on Lord of the Rings Online:

"I just find myself," he said, "like most readers, being lost in the world and always wishing, when I was reading the books, that I could be there with Aragorn that I could be there at Helm’s Deep… All of those places that we created so magically in our minds… to be a part of that amazing adventure".

While Jeff spoke rather passionately about his own experiences with Lord of the Rings, it cemented in my mind what a tricky business it can be to take something that evokes so much passion from its fans, and adapt it to a different medium. Still though, Jeff appears to see this not as a liability for LOTRO, but rather as an advantage that they have over other MMOs that "miss the stories and epic grandeur of the Lord of the Rings franchise".

Tuesday - February 13, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Screens @ WarCry

by Dhruin, 23:05

Head over to WarCry for a large batch of Lord of the Rings Online screens.

Saturday - February 10, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ MMORPG.com

by Inauro, 22:50

MMORPG.com's Garrett Fuller offers some first impressions of Lord of the Rings Online.

Right from the beginning players are thrust into the storyline of Middle Earth. As a Hobbit, I ran into a Nazgul very early on and realized it was part of a small story that was playing out. I was part of the story and came face to face with Gildor and his elves. This was a good start toward helping players feel as though they are part of the epic saga that is Lord of the Rings. These types of story arcs, or Dramatic Sequences as they are called, come up while you are leveling your character. It adds to the feel of being part of Middle Earth and fighting against the forces of Mordor and Isengard. In the dwarf zone, I was able to meet Gandalf the Grey and run some quests for him. These story lines spice up the grind that many MMOs offer as content. Written with the player in mind, it adds to the experience Turbine is trying to give players in Middle Earth.

Source: MMORPG.com

Lord of the Rings Online - Hands-on Preview @ WarCry

by Inauro, 22:46

WarCry spends some time with Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online.

The game looks great. However this comes with a price, and that is right now textures will kill your machine if you don't have at least 2GB of RAM. If not, I'd suggest reducing texture detail to Medium or Low. Since the game is still in Beta, I'd expect that this will get addressed before launch. The amount of detail in the environment from waving fields of flora to the water is amazing though. Character and creature models are well done, especially capes, which would give a certain superhero MMO a run for its money.

Source: WarCry

Thursday - February 08, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - House of Elrond @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:32

This week's Exploring Middle Earth article takes us on a tour of the House of Elrond.

It is here, within the House of Elrond, that the Fellowship of the Ring was recently formed, and from which the journey to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom is about to depart. Elrond, the wise counselor and master of Rivendell remains here, available to provide guidance and counsel to travelers from distant lands. Adventurers who find themselves in Rivendell would be well-advised to spend as much time as can be spared there to enjoy and explore the house and its grounds, for there are also many celebrated guests staying under Elrond's care and protection at this time. Much can be learned from speaking with those who dwell within, as well as from spending time in the expansive library and marveling at the collected treasures displayed throughout.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - February 07, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:39

Another Lord of the Rings Online beta participant recounts a memorable in-game event in this week's beta journal.

I settled on Rohan as my homeland and quickly moved on to choose his class, which was difficult as well as men can be anything. I chose Lore-master and dove staff-first into the game. Immediately I was immersed into a story within a story. I was not to be some big haired, round eyed youth - counseled by my long lost uncle as to my secret destiny from my birth - no; I awoke with an aching head, lying in the mud, imprisoned by those who would wish me harm. Now - that's the way to start a story!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - European Beta Key Giveaway @ CVG

by Inauro, 21:28

CVG is holding a beta key giveaway for the European leg of the Lord of the Rings Online trial.

Welcome to our long heralded Lord of The Rings Online beta giveaway and a chance to take part in this year's hottest new MMORPG! Are you ready to move to Middle-earth? You should be because today we're issuing your beta keys!

Tuesday - February 06, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Developer Diary @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:32
Senior Content Designer Allan Maki visits the Ettenmoors, one of the promised monster play areas featured in Lord of the Rings Online.

North of Rivendell are the troll-fens where Aragorn’s grandfather, Arador, met his end at the hands of the Hill-trolls dwelling in the Coldfells. Long lost to corruption, the Ettenmoors once served as a home to the kingdom of Rhudaur.

In the north, flowing out of the Misty Mountains, is the Hoarwell River. The great river flows toward the south, becoming impassable until the Last Bridge at the border of the Lone-lands and the Trollshaws. It is rumored that Fallohide Hobbits may once have migrated along the shores of the Hoarwell River, perhaps even making themselves a home along its banks as they journeyed west across the Misty Mountains.

 

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Sunday - February 04, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Dwarves Movie @ LotRO Europe

by Inauro, 21:12

Codemasters has released a new Lord of the Rings Online movie featuring the Race of Dwarves. Head on over to the European LotRO site for this and other videos.

Source: MMORPG.com

Thursday - February 01, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Ambient Music @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:17

Turbine has made another ambient music track available for download at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

We’ve just added another new music track from LOTRO to our Downloads section! Check out Music Track 3!

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Wednesday - January 31, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:13

In this week's Lord of the Rings Online beta journal players talk about a memorable adventure they've had during the course of the game.

Our group wasn't well balanced, or typical, so planning and executing each encounter was rather interesting - and the results entertaining. Our hunters laid traps to take an enemy or two out of commission and then let loose with a rain of arrows. Ducking behind the nearest cover, they lured the enemies towards our fellowship. Unleashing furious attacks, the champions then took over. The minstrels had very different traits slotted, so one focused on healing (with improved casting times and power costs) while the other concentrated on enhancing the group's abilities (with improved buff effects and durations).

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Tuesday - January 30, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Agamaur @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:24

This week's Exploring Middle Earth feature takes us to Agamaur.

North of the Great East Road, as it leads from the barrens of the Lone-lands to the Last Bridge, north also of the ruins of Ost Guruth, home of the scavenging Eglain, lies a vast marsh known as the Red Swamp. The swamp had not always been this way. Once, it had been a small lake beside a green meadow, but tales tell that a great bloody battle between the Hillmen of Rhudaur and the armies of Arthedain and Cardolan took place upon that site. The blood of the fallen tainted the water of the lake, corrupting it and the lands around it.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Monday - January 29, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Midgewater Pass @ Official Site

by Inauro, 21:16

Not quite sure how we missed this one, but the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site visits Midgewater Pass.

While the easiest passage from Bree-land into the Lone-lands and Trollshaws is to follow the Great East Road below the Midgewater Marshes, it is not the only way through the hills. There are some paths known to few save the Rangers of the North, and one of these passes through the Marshes themselves. At the northeastern corner of the Midgewater Marshes, a pass leads up out of the bogs and through the hills beyond. From the peak of the Midgewater Pass, the great hill of Amon Sûl, known commonly as Weathertop, may be seen in the distance.

Source: Turbine Entertainment

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ FiringSquad

by Inauro, 21:04

FiringSquad previews the Lord of the Rings Online and talks with Turbine CEO Jeff Anderson about the pre-order program.

Some people might think that having people pay $199 in order to play the game online for the life of the product would a huge boost in revenue for Turbine but Anderson told us that wasn't the main reason for such an offer. "If they pay the subscription for $199 and they have a lifetime membership, they will never quit. And for us a big part of what we are trying to do is build communities; find people who are actually adding content themselves to the game. The revenue is great but what is its really about is building community."

Source: FiringSquad

Sunday - January 28, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Previews @ GameSpot & IGN

by Inauro, 21:16

GameSpot and IGN weigh in with previews of Turbine's upcoming Tolkien-themed MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online.

GameSpot

We had a chance to create a character and check out some of the opening-level content, and the first thing that stands out about The Lord of the Rings Online is its beautiful look. This is one of the prettiest massively multiplayer role-playing games that we've seen, and J.R.R. Tolkien's famous fantasy world looks exactly as you would imagine it. Human settlements are pastoral in appearance, while elven cities are majestic and soaring.

IGN

The biggest of all of the features we hadn't seen before was undoubtedly the PvP Monster Play area which allows players the opportunity to let their evil sides loose, which isn't normally an option in the rest of the PvE experience. There are enough people that like giving the bad side a try in MMOs that it definitely needed to be included. Developer Turbine came up with a PvP area solution because they didn't feel the evil races had enough personality to really build a large campaign around their presence in Eriador.

Saturday - January 27, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ Games Radar

by Inauro, 22:36

Games Radar previews Turbine's forthcoming MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online.

More interesting is that the game is going to support extensive and complex community functions that twine with the actual gameplay. A Google Maps version of Middle-earth will be accessible to subscribers. Each character you create will get his or her own page on the game's official website, and you'll be able to blog it. Minigames on the website will affect your real progression in (currently unspecified) ways. The site will also feature an online Wiki encyclopedia of info about the LOTR Online universe. All in all, it sounds like a very robust package of community tools.

Friday - January 26, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ GameSpot

by Inauro, 22:53

GameSpot talks with Turbine CEO Jeff Anderson about monster play and PvP in Lord of the Rings Online

GameSpot: Could you give us an overview of monster play?

Jeff Anderson: When we started building Lord of the Rings, we asked ourselves a little bit about the fiction and the franchise. And we said clearly one of the goals of the franchise is to let you feel like you're part of Middle-earth, to feel like you're part of the War of the Ring. And those are two similar but dissimilar objectives. And in doing that, we wanted to make sure like you felt like you could play a hero, and your hero is a dwarf or an elf or a hobbit or a human. And you can build those characters up. But we also wanted to make sure that you felt that you could be part of the combat, the real struggle for good and evil within the epic franchise. And that struggle comes down to all the evil creatures that you're familiar with--the goblins and the trolls, the wargs, the orcs, and all the monsters that you're familiar with.

 

Source: GameSpot

Thursday - January 25, 2007

Lord of the Rings Online - Pre-Order Program Revealed

by Dhruin, 22:22

"Revolutionary" is the adjective in the announcement of the Lord of the Rings Online pre-order program, with offers such as $9.99 monthly subs or a $199 lifetime membership for those that sign up:

Turbine and Midway Unveil Revolutionary Pre-Order Founder's Program for The Lord of the Rings Online(TM)
Thursday January 25, 8:00 am ET

Highly-Anticipated MMO Currently Scheduled to Launch on April 24, 2007

WESTWOOD, Mass. & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Turbine, Inc. and Midway Games Inc. today announced the details of the revolutionary pre-order Founder's Program for The Lord of the Rings Online(TM): Shadows of Angmar(TM). The highly anticipated massively multiplayer online game, The Lord of the Rings Online, lets players experience the greatest epic fantasy adventure of all time and join with millions of fans from around the globe in the vast world of Middle-earth.

This exciting Founder's Program rewards all players who pre-order The Lord of the Rings Online with special $9.99 monthly subscription pricing, early access to the game (beta version), character roll-over and unique in-game bonus items. Players can become a Founder by pre-ordering the title at www.lotro.com/preorder or at retail stores nationwide beginning February 1, 2007. This limited-time offer is exclusively available to pre-order customers.

"The Lord of the Rings Online immerses you in one of the greatest literary works of all time," said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine. "The Founder's Program pricing plan rewards fans for their loyalty with a special opportunity to join Middle-earth from the beginning."

The Lord of the Rings Online Founder's Program(a) offers players two different membership options:

  • Only $9.99 per month subscription price!

    OR

  • Just $199 for a Lifetime Membership!

    In addition to these special pricing options, The Lord of the Rings Online Founders receive:

    • Open Beta: Guaranteed access provides Founders the first opportunity to create a character and enter Middle-earth currently planned for March 30, 2007
    • Character Roll-Over: Moves the character that you created during the Open Beta into the live service --along with the stats, levels, items, and experience that character earned prior to launch!
    • Bonus Items: Two special in-game items that are only available to those who pre-order:
              -- Enchanted Cloak of Regeneration           -- Ring of Agility

    This exciting Founder's Program is available for a limited time until the commercial launch of The Lord of the Rings Online (currently scheduled for April 24, 2007). At launch, millions of fans will be able to explore the untold stories of Middle-earth, interact with legendary heroes like Gandalf, and play a vital role in the War of the Ring. The Lord of the Rings Online is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The game recreates the vast world of Middle-earth with incredible dedication to the Tolkien lore with an unprecedented level of detail. The game delivers an experience that takes players beyond the books to where they can create their own story within the most famous fantasy world of all time. For more information, visit www.lotro.com.

  • Tuesday - January 23, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Nazgul @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:23

    Sauron's most feared minions make an appearance in this week's Creatures of Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Of all the unusual happenings throughout the lands in recent months, perhaps none is more strange and ominous than the appearance of the chilling Black Riders that have been encountered between Bree-land and the Shire, as well as throughout the further regions of Eriador. These dreadful figures, cloaked in heavy, hooded robes which obscure their faces in shadow, speak little, but when they do, their hissing voices instill terror and a cold fear that threatens to stop even the most stout listener’s heart. The curious way these strangers sniff the air, seeming to smell their intended victim, only serves to add to their dark mystery.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Thursday - January 18, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Esteldin @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:39

    Estildin is the location of this week's Exploring Middle Earth feature.

    Few know the true nature of the Rangers of the North, those seemingly grim and cheerless Men who lead a secretive life in the wilderness of Eriador. Fewer still know of Esteldín, the hidden gathering place of the Rangers, tucked away in the wild, far from the travels of even the most distant wanderers. Esteldín is as secret and mysterious as the Rangers themselves. To the casual observer, one might see this as simply a place of ancient ruins, constructed long-ago by a forgotten culture in a shallow yet strategic canyon - crumbling towers and unmanned battlements, set amongst the remains of a once-majestic stronghold of soaring ornate arches and strong walls of finely carved stone.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - January 17, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:35

    This week's beta journal is from a player of the Burglar class.

    I chose to make a burglar, and the more I play with the character, the more I find that it fits the type of player I am perfectly.

    First of all, there are the infamous conjunctions that I can start at will. These conjunctions can save lives, restore power, deal a deadly blow, or even do damage over time. So even though the burglar does not do great damage normally, being able to start conjunctions at will makes the burglar very useful in combat.

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Tuesday - January 16, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - CES 07 Preview @ WarCry

    by Dhruin, 23:13

    WarCry has a preview of Lord of the Rings Online from CES 07 with input from Turbine's Adam Mersky.  Here's a sample:

    "We can't have the elves or dwarves fighting each other, and you can't play an Orc. The main theme of the entire IP is that you are a good guy battling the forces of evil," said Adam.

    Turbine has solved the conundrum by providing what they call "Monster Play" providing a solution which is at once also a unique feature. At level 10, players may choose to play a Monster in a PvP arena. They may perform quests as the Monster by attacking good races - beat up a few hobbits or elves, or fight against other player characters. The "Monster" is not persistent, but the experience gained from the play is applied to their regular character.

    Lord of the Rings Online - Rangers @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:45

    Check out the latest Characters of Middle Earth article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site for a preview of Rangers.

    Few can speak with certainty of the Rangers of the North – tall, mysterious strangers, occasionally seen in the shadows of a darkened tavern or in the wilds of Eriador. Tales of these grim Men tell of their desire for solitude and their seeming indifference to the affairs of the free peoples of Middle-earth. Few have had direct dealings with the Rangers, and those that do often suggest to others that extreme caution be exercised if conversation must be had with these mysterious men out of the wild. Clad in cloaks of dark green and grey, clasped with a star – the only adornment worn by any of their kind – the Rangers seem to blend into their surroundings whether they are in a town or in the fields and forests of the land.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Ten Ton Hammer

    by Inauro, 21:32

    Ten Ton Hammer reports back from the Lord of the Rings Online beta test.

    Today’s session begins with my level 36 Captain resting in the beauty of Rivendell. My quest log reads like a book of short stories told by Tolkien himself. Bilbo Baggins wants me to solve his riddle, Elrond has asked me to talk to Frodo, and there is a Troll problem in the South Trollshaws. There are hundreds of decisions to be made during my time in Middle-earth, and this is the one I always get hung up on. What shall I do first? A member of my kinship informs me that he will be hunting stone trolls in the very near future and that I am welcome to join him if I like. Problem solved. I mount my horse and blaze off in the direction of the troll hunting party. (Yes, I have a horse.) 

    Source: Ten Ton Hammer

    Friday - January 12, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - CES 07 Preview @ FiringSquad

    by Dhruin, 21:18

    A short preview of Lord of the Rings Online from CES 07 is up at FiringSquad.  Here's a grab:

    The demo at CES was fairly subdued; we didn't get to see anything like combat; it was basically just seeing a pre-created character move through the world of Middle Earth (which we will told during our demo is about 30,000 square miles of game space which only a portion will be available to play at the game's launch). The game is looking about as sharp as we have seen it in past trade show with an art style that takes its inspiration from the various fantasy illustrations for the Rings books rather than the film version. You will still recognize various settings from the books, from Hobbiton in the Shire to Tom Bombadil's house (which is up on top of a hill overlooking a waterfall just like the books describe it).

    Thursday - January 11, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:31

    Turbine has updated the screenshot gallery at the official Lord of the Rings Online site with three new images. 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - January 10, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:35

    This week's beta journal comes from a beta participant playing the Guardian class.

    Coming out of the intro in Archet, my Guardian made his way to Combe for his next step in vanquishing evil from Middle-earth. After picking up all of the available quests in the area he ventured into the Chetwood. The area was ripe with enemies that the Guardian skills were very valuable against, and the blocks and the parries opened up other skills with great effect.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - House of Commons Transcript @ Stratics

    by Inauro, 21:20

    A transcript of the latest House of Commons chat with the developers of Lord of the Rings Online is available at Stratics.

    Brannoc - *Shiro* What is the max level in LotRO at launch and how long will the grind be?
    Annuvin - LOTRO will support 50 levels for launch. Internal to the team, we’ve been trying to ensure that there is enough to do, so much so that you won’t notice the grind (unless you don’t want to do everything in the game. If you’re one of those, then… There will be a grind).

    Source: Stratics

    Lord of the Rings Online - CES 07 Previews @ IGN & GameSpot

    by Dhruin, 12:29

    Two CES previews of Lord of the Rings Online have hit the 'net from IGN and GameSpot.  Here's a bit from IGN:

    The gameplay itself is reminiscent of World or Warcraft, or any of the other popular MMO's for that matter. This was done on purpose in an attempt to make the game instantly accessible. We were told the dev team is looking to create a game that is easy to learn, but difficult to master. Since this is a game that many unfamiliar with MMO's will likely take a look at, the idea was to make things as painless as possible. That means that grinding will help improve your character, but not nearly as much as the simple task of completing quests.

    ...and from GameSpot:

    At CES Turbine showed off mounts for the first time and explained how travel will be accomplished throughout the game. The Lord of the Rings Online will launch with a world that's 30,000 square miles in size, which is humongous. After the first time you travel to a new location, you'll be able to fast-travel to that point, which means you'll automatically ride a mount to that location. If you have more money, you can purchase your own mount and ride anywhere you wish. The mounts thus far include horses and ponies for the tiny hobbits.

    Tuesday - January 09, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - New Music @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:38

    Turbine has updated the official Lord of the Rings Online site with a new music download.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Sunday - January 07, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - New Trailer

    by Inauro, 21:18

    Bluesnews kindly points out that a new Lord of the Rings Online trailer is available from 3D Gamers, GameSpot, and Worthplaying.

    Source: Bluesnews

    Saturday - January 06, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ Games Radar

    by Dhruin, 22:24

    Lord of the Rings Online has been previewed at Games Radar.  Here's an excerpt:

    Any new persistent world inevitably suffers comparison to World of Warcraft, the current "how online games should be done" benchmark. But Shadows of Angmar is holding up nicely, drawing obvious interface and questing lessons where appropriate, but striking out for new ground with confidence. Though it doesn't have quite the level of aesthetic consistency (yet, at least), Turbine's baby is nonetheless more graphically detailed than anything you'll see in WarCraft's angular and cartoony realm of Azeroth.

    Thursday - January 04, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Creatues of Middle Earth @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:33

    The lynx, wolf and barghest put in an appearance in this week's Creatures of Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    There are more threats in the cliffs and crags of the North Downs than Orcs and evil Men. Many creatures that walk on four legs, both natural and evil, stalk prey in the hills and fields of the North Downs.

    In the crags of Nan Amlug, lynx dwell in great numbers. While these mountain cats are mere beasts, with no care for the wars of Men and Orcs, they can still be extremely dangerous. They are able to move about nearly unseen, silently creeping towards their prey, springing upon the unwary with vicious precision. The miners of Othrikar, the dwarf-mines of Nan Amlug, must keep a constant vigil as they journey to and from their tunnels.

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - January 03, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:33

    A new journal from a Lord of the Rings Online beta participant playing the Champion class is available at the official site.

    I started playing my elf Champion at about the time the elf starter adventures were introduced into the Beta Program, so needless to say, there were certain bugs that made her first experience a little bumpy. But boy was she determined! Consummate warrior that she is, she plunged headlong into the fray, butting heads with the troll at the gate again and again until she finally got through the adventure.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Tuesday - January 02, 2007

    Lord of the Rings Online - Dev Diary @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:17

    A new developer diary from Cardell "Annuvin" Kerr, Design Director for Lord of the Rings Online, is available at the official site.

    After working in the salt mines of Bio-tech, and deciding I wanted to do more with my life than "cure cancer" or some such, I came to work at Turbine. I worked on AC1 as a Content Designer, with some work on the side for AC1: Dark Majesty, and then moved on to work as Systems Lead on AC2 and DDO, and now, Design Director for LOTRO.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Friday - December 29, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:30

    A new beta journal from a player in an all Burglar guild is available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    I'm with some burglars that fellowship together in all-stealth groups, and for us, play is a little different. As in most games, the penalty for stealth is speed and so the all-burglar game is a slower paced game. As you approach each encounter, even the incidental ones, there is time to plan as you creep up to the mobs. Who will take which mobs and in what order? Where do we approach from? It is this planning aspect I enjoy about the class. Burgling is a thinking hobbit's game - oh and those big folk too.

    Also in the headlines, a new music track is available for download. 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Thursday - December 21, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Midgewater Marshes @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:40

    Sporting a new look the official Lord of the Rings Online site's latest Exploring Middle Earth article features the Midgewater Marshes.

    As the Great East Road leads out of Bree toward the Weather Hills in eastern Eriador, travelers will become aware of a gradual falling of the land, where rolling hills and pleasant grasslands give way to a formidable flat expanse of treacherous bogs opening away northward from the roadway. This region is known as the Midgewater Marshes, an area difficult to navigate even for the most seasoned adventurers familiar with this land. The ground here is damp and dangerous, in places giving way completely to deep pools of mud and stagnant water. Further adding to the difficulties in travel, the Midgewater Marshes are home to swarming flies, midges, and neekerbreekers. Legends tell of still darker creatures lurking amongst the deep pools and stands of moss-covered trees that crowd the landscape, and it is said that marauding bands of corrupted Men and vile goblins also frequent these lands, but on what errand none can say.

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - December 20, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:28

    Another lucky player of the Lord of the Rings Online beta shares his/her impressions of Turbine's upcoming MMORPG in this week's beta journal.

    After the recent patch, along with the accompanying server-wipe, I decided to try my luck as a "tank", something I hadn't done before, not in this MMO at any rate.  So, I went ahead and made my Dwarf Guardian.

     Before I talk about my Dwarf, though, I would like to mention just how blown away I was with this game.  Graphics-wise - I've been following MEO/LotRO for nearly, well, I think 4 years, and never in my best hopes was Middle-earth this beautiful.  When you're running through a field, say, west of Bree, the flowers blowing in the wind that people talk about?  They are actually there, swaying back and forth along the side of the road.  And when you're on top of Weathertop, looking out over the Lone-Lands, you can see the Midgewater Marshes to the west, and can just barely make out the Bridge over the River Hoarwell into the Trollshaws...well, this is what I, for one, came here for.

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - First View @ RPG Vault

    by Inauro, 21:13

    RPG Vault takes a first look at Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online.

    The celebrated trilogy provides a rich backdrop that is recognized by a huge potential audience. The game seems to have a significant quest component offering a constant sense of purpose and supporting fairly brief play sessions. Based on approximately five hours in the beta, the learning curve is pretty user-friendly. While all combinations are not available, the four races and seven classes appear to encompass a nice range, and the character system promises to furnish increasing depth over time. The pace of combat is neither a click-fest nor agonizingly slow, with group combinations called conjunctions adding an unusual element. Consisting of nine professions, the crafting system looks like it could be good fun. The visuals are definitely attractive and stylish.

    Source: RPG Vault

    Tuesday - December 19, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:31

    Turbine has added three new screenshots to the gallery at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - 5 New Screens @ Worthplaying

    by Kawika, 21:14

    Worthplaying has just posted five new screenshots of Lord of the Rings Online which feature beautiful day and night backdrops.

    TLotR: Shadows of Angmar will allow players to forge heroic legacies in the War for Middle-Earth, experience an evolving persistent recreation of Tolkien's fantasy realm where you can establish their unique reputations, and discover and wield legendary weapons in strategic battles, while adventuring solo or in Fellowships.

    Source: Worthplaying

    Thursday - December 14, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Dragon-kind @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:49

    The latest Creatures of Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site features dragon-kind.

    In the depths of time, the great race of dragons was bred by Morgoth in his dark realm of Angband. These terrible beasts are capable of spewing gouts of flame and crushing stone and metal with little effort. Few survived the fall of Beleriand, and fewer still remain in the Third Age. Smaug the Golden was the greatest of those who fled to Middle-earth, and he was slain by Bard the Bowman, who became King of Dale.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - Gets AI Middleware

    by Dhruin, 11:01

    It seems Lord of the Rings Online will be using AI middleware:

    Kynogon announced it has signed an agreement with Turbine to add its Kynapse A.I. middleware to Shadows of Angmar, an MMORPG recreating of Tolkien's fantasy realm where you can establish their unique reputations, and discover and wield legendary weapons in strategic battles, while adventuring solo or in Fellowships.

    Source: Worthplaying

    Tuesday - December 12, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

    by Inauro, 21:56

    The transcript of the latest Lord of the Rings Online House of Commons is available at Stratics.

    Sprite - *Galias* Question for the LOTRO Chat - Big surprise here, can you anticipate when you might make an official release date announcement?
    LOTRO_Patience - Hi Galias!
    LOTRO_Patience - Yes.
    LOTRO_Patience - :D
    LOTRO_Patience - We still anticipate a Spring '07 release. We're not getting more specific than that right now, but the beta is going very well and everything is on track. 

    Source: Stratics

    Lord of the Rings Online - Stock @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:50

    Visit the village of Stock in the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Located in the Eastfarthing of the Shire, the village of Stock can be found in a region of swampy, yet fertile, farmland known as the Marish near the convergence of the Stockbrook and Brandywine rivers.  Relatively large for a Hobbit village, dwellings in Stock are a bit unusual; many of those who dwell in this region prefer above-ground houses to the traditional Hobbit-holes.  There are exceptions, of course, and adventurers here will find a pleasant mixture of Hobbit-holes, as well.  Two main roads that meet in Stock, one heading west to Tuckborough through the Hill Country of the Shire and the other heading north to the Brandywine Bridge (the Bridge of Stonebows) or south through the Marish, bring a unique mix of travelers and locals to the village's taverns.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Friday - December 08, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - House of Commons @ Stratics

    by Inauro, 23:19

    Stratics will be holding a House of Commons with the Lord of the Rings Online development team on Monday, 11 December.

    Please join us on Monday, December 11, for a House of Commons with the developers of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar at 5PM Pacific / 8PM Eastern in the #StraticsHoC channel on Stratics IRC.

    You can connect to one of our IRC servers through the use of your favorite IRC client, such as mIRC, ircle, xchat, or whichever you prefer. Connect to irc.stratics.com port 6668 or whichever server is closest to you:

    stratics.frws.com port 6668, USA - Colorado
    irc.glowfish.de port 6668, EU - Germany
    stratics.afraidyet.net 6668, USA - Atlanta
    irc.epaxsys.net port 6668, USA - Colorado

    You may also connect through our handy Java link which may be found right here. You must have Java installed to use this which can be downloaded from the Java Homepage.

    General chat relating to The Lord of the Rings Online will take place before, during, and after the chat in room #middle-earth. We hope to see you there!

    Source: Stratics

    Thursday - December 07, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Class Skills Update @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:39

    Turbine has updated the Classes page of the official Lord of the Rings Online site with new skill information.  Here's a sample from the Hunter class:

    Skills of the Hunter

    Quick Shot: Allows the Hunter to nock and loose an arrow quickly.

    Set Trap: The Hunter's survival skills enable him to lay traps to ensnare enemies.

    Purge Poison: The Hunter's survival lore allows him to use naturally-occurring medicines to purge poisons from an ally.

    Barbed Arrow: The Hunter's arrow causes a wound that bleeds and slightly slows movement speed.

    Swift Bow: Loose two missiles in rapid succession.

    Rain of Arrows: The Hunter rains five arrows down upon his enemies, allowing him to hit multiple targets.

    Penetrating Shot: An extremely damaging shot that is able to pierce the armour of an enemy, ignoring 10% of its mitigation.

    Merciful Shot: When an enemy falls to 50% of its health or lower, this shot inflicts massive damage.

    Swift Stroke: A fast, damaging melee attack.

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ FiringSquad

    by Dhruin, 21:18

    FiringSquad has an interesting interview with Turbine's Jeffrey Steefel on Lord of the Rings Online:

    FiringSquad: Even though having the Lord of the Rings franchise for a MMORPG is a huge coup, some people will compare this game with others that have come before it. Besides having the Tolkien license to play with, what will make this game stand out from the crowd?

    Jeffrey Steefel: There are millions of Tolkien fans around the world who have been waiting for the chance to wander the Shire or to conquer Weathertop since they first read the books or saw the movies. While many games have brought a piece of the experience to these fans, LOTRO represents the first time players can truly immerse themselves in Middle-earth to create their own story in Tolkien’s fabled universe.

    LOTRO is the first MMO that has it all including an epic storyline that has served as the foundation for the entire genre of fantasy-based entertainment, a robust and immersive experience that is accessible by players of all levels and outstanding gameplay. So aside from the obvious benefits of the Tolkien license, what does this mean? In order for an MMO based on the Lord of the Rings to be successful, it has to be accessible to players of all levels. We have worked very hard to capitalize on the standard of accessibility that has been perfected by previous generations of MMOs to create a game that will appeal to both hardcore and casual gamers alike. For example, we have implemented a PvP system that we like to call monster play. Players can inhabit the evil creatures of Middle-earth and complete quests and battle other player characters. What makes this system so compelling is how it provides a great experience for all players. Hardcore gamers can participate in challenging “monster quests” to earn points that can be used to level-up their main character while casual players can engage in shorter play sessions and build their skills over time. We have taken this approach with each of the major game systems in LOTRO.

    Wednesday - December 06, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:56

    A new beta journal is available at the Lord of the Rings Online site.

    So I figured as this takes place in the Shire what could be more appropriate then to create a hobbit burglar? 

    So I have my little female hobbit burglar all ready to go now she just needs a name, so I stay simple and use the name Elee!

    I had made a point of creating my character many hours before the event so I could get myself to the Stealth stress test staging area near Bindbole Wood.

    At about 8 pm  EST  I logged in and seen that I was not quite were I needed to be, so after listening to general chat in the area I found out all I needed to do was ask a dev for a teleport. Within a matter of seconds I was teleported to an area teaming with my fellow hobbits.

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Tuesday - December 05, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - The Green Dragon Inn @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:46

    The only dragon in The Shire is the Green Dragon, and it's the focus of the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Weary adventurers in the Shire looking for a bit of rest and a tale or two amongst friends would do well to make their way to The Green Dragon Inn in Bywater. This local favorite is well-known for its friendly atmosphere, not to mention the tales of events both far and near, some of which are as large as the great room of The Dragon itself, if the truth of it be told. Located near the tranquil Bywater Pool in the village that proudly shares the Bywater name, The Green Dragon Inn welcomes all, so long as they come with a story to tell. 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Thursday - November 30, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Rivendell's Hall of Fire @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:50

    The latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site takes in Rivendell's Hall of Fire.

    Among the many rooms and tranquil places in the wondrous home of Elrond in Rivendell, the majestic Hall of Fire is a unique place of wonder. Illuminated by an ever-burning fire in its tremendous hearth, the Hall of Fire is a legendary retreat, a place where weary travelers can rest on soft chairs in shadowed nooks, or ages-old Elves can steal away for hours of quiet reflection undisturbed. In times of celebration, the tranquility is lifted and the great hall becomes a vibrant gathering place for lively song and storytelling. It is said that old Bilbo Baggins himself, now a resident of the House of Elrond in Rivendell, often frequents the Hall of Fire for a bit of writing, and, truth be told, even more bits of napping.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - November 29, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:39

    For the latest from the Lord of the Rings Online beta test check out this week's Beta Journal.

    A notice was posted for all to see. It was a call for various skilled folk to get together and put those talents to work! Cooks were needed in large numbers to practice their vocation. I had just the hobbit for that task!

    I quickly made my way to Combe. I was certainly in the mood to cook up something delectable. Upon approaching, I noticed many other people already in the crafting area courtyard. Though the presence of so many people in one place caused a bit of a hiccup for my screen, a couple of clicks later, I had it under control. Everything was running surprisingly smoothly. A small icon appeared in the corner of the screen to warn me that my gameplay might be impacted due to high server load. Other than the initial stutter and the warning icon, I hardly noticed a problem with upwards of sixty characters being on screen at once. Impressive!

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - Interview @ Ten Ton Hammer

    by Dhruin, 21:06

    Turbine CEO Jeff Anderson has been interviewed at Ten Ton Hammer, in a conversation which covers a bit about his position and then a bit about their acquisition of Lord of the Rings rights:

    I have heard you talk a lot about LOTRO and it sounds like you are pretty “hands on” as far as the game goes.

    I joking say that we have two rules at Turbine. The first rule is: Don’t do anything stupid. The second rule is: Don’t do anything stupid again.

    I play a LOT and I think that everyone in the company has a responsibility to be “hand on”. We all are really focused on doing the best possible job that we can do. For example, I say down with Cardel who is a lead designer on the project and said “what can I do to help?” But of course I’m not going to go write the quests because I’m probably not as good at that but I do have the ability, being in the role that I am, to do two things batter than anybody. I can mobilize people to fix problems better than anybody else because ultimately they all report to me and I also can maintain a perspective when I look at the whole thing. I can ask, “why are we doing that?” I move people to fix problems that I see.

    Tuesday - November 28, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Old Man Willow @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:55

    Old Man Willow makes an appearance in the latest Characters of Middle Earth article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Adventurers in the Old Forest, to the east of Buckland and the Shire, know well that very little is what it seems in those darkened woods.  Many tell tales of the very trees whispering and moving, hindering the passage of travelers, many of whom become forever lost amongst the forest's shifting paths.  Of these dark legends, perhaps there is none more sinister than the tale of a certain ancient willow, with a heart as dark as the forest itself.  Old Man Willow, his trunk immense and his branches spreading out like enormous clawed hands, stands along the banks of the Withywindle awaiting the approach of unwary adventurers.  A creature of great power, Old Man Willow is adept at luring his foes into a pleasant drowsiness in his idyllic setting along the river's meandering valley.  Travelers had best be wary of his tricks, or they will soon find themselves consumed within the twisted roots and fissures of this evil forest-dweller.

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - November 22, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:45

    A new beta journal is available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    My wife and i decided to go out and see some sights last night. There is an event scheduled at the Party Tree in Bag End and I took her there so she could get all the Stable Masters along the way. Then we decided to go see Weather Top, even though we were only 12th level. I had been there before with my higher level character and figured we could slip past the mobs without much fighting. It was hard, but with a lot of care, i led her there with my 12th level Lore Master.

    Weather Top is awesome in its shear size and the scenery from the clefts is beautiful. After making the summit we started getting adventurous on the way back down, exploring around its slopes. We ran up on a couple of wandering orcs, one at a time, and barely defeated them. But then our luck ran out, we were overrun and defeated.
    More... 

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Tuesday - November 21, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Class Specific Traits @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:41

    Check out the Classes section of the official Lord of the Rings Online site for some updated information on class-specific traits. 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Thursday - November 16, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Crickhollow @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:30

    Crickhollow, the site of Frodo Baggins' temporary home after leaving Bag End, is the focus of this week's Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    In Buckland, not far to the north of Brandy Hall in the hills rising away from the path of the Brandywine, travelers will come upon Crickhollow, an often-visited retreat for those Hobbits who wish to spend a few days away from their daily routine, or simply rest and eat more peacefully than they are used to resting and eating at home. Those who live near Crickhollow are pleasant enough folk, though generally they like to be left alone to their peace and quiet.

    More...

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - November 15, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:52

    A new beta journal is available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site. 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Tuesday - November 14, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Stone Trolls @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:46

    Bert, Tom and William, the three trolls that captured Thorin and Company and were turned to stone by the rising sun, make an appearance in the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    The adventures of Bilbo Baggins, as chronicled in The Hobbit, nearly ended rather abruptly in the area known as the Trollshaws when he and his companions encountered three trolls named Bert, Tom, and William. Bilbo and the dwarves narrowly escaped becoming a meal for the hungry trolls after Gandalf intervened and set the trolls to arguing over the best way to prepare a feast of Hobbit- and Dwarf-meat.  As the sun rose, and the argument continued unresolved, the light of the dawn turned the trolls to stone, where they remain to this day.

    More... 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Saturday - November 11, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Elrond @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 00:10

    Elrond Half-Elven is the focus of the latest Characters of Middle Earth article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Master of Rivendell, son of Eärendil and Elwing, Elrond is Middle-earth's wisest master of lore and healing. Ancient even amongst the long-lived Elves, the regal and commanding Elrond wears the greatest of the three Elf-rings, Vilya, the Ring of Air, given to him by the great Elf-king Gil-galad. Known throughout Middle-earth for his wisdom and leadership, it is Elrond who gathers the Nine to become the Fellowship and charges them with the task of aiding Frodo in his quest to destroy the One Ring. He is friend and ally to those who stand against evil in Middle-earth, although the weariness of carrying the weight of the ages-long struggle can be seen on his noble face.

    More... 

     

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - November 08, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:36

    A new beta journal detailing a player's experiences as a Minstrel is available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Grouping with a minstrel is quite fun.  You cannot just sit in the back and spam heals.  This will draw plenty of aggro to yourself and you'll die quickly in your light armor.  You have to heal only when necessary and use your de-taunt whenever it's available.  There are also several party buffs like raising melee attack power, and situational skills like protection from fire, that play an important role in tough battles.  It can be stressful when times get rough, but if you come out on top, you feel great pride in having kept your fellowship alive.

    More... 

    Lord of the Rings Online - Previews @ LotroSource & 1Up

    by Dhruin, 20:58

    Two new previews of Lord of the Rings Online from the recent press event have popped up on the 'net.  Let's head to LotroSource first for some criticism:

    Character Creation – I am still deeply disappointed in Turbine’s offering in this area. One would expect something more advanced for a game title based on the works of an author who filled hundreds of pages with even the minutest details. The player can only choose from a dozen or so hair styles, noses and facial features. Most of this wont matter once a character dons a helm or a hood, but players will still want more. Want to customize your avatars height? You can’t do that either. Turbine doesn’t want any Hobbits to be taller than any Dwarves as it just wouldn’t be appropriate in this setting. Having said all that, I realize that once the actual creation is done with, the most players see of each other is armor and weapons and facial features are hardly noticed. I guess given the choice, I would have spent funds on other areas of development as well. I do hope this whole system gets some love before release next year but I don’t expect it will. I quickly roll up a Human Captain and click ‘Enter Middle-earth’.

    ...and then off to 1Up:

    LOTRO will indefinitely prove that the rights to a movie license are vastly overrated. Even with only the books to pull from (the core trilogy as well as The Hobbit), Turbine's take on Tolkein's world is as vivid and as stylized as we've seen from EA's titles, if not moreso. Taking into account the sheer, massive size of Middle Earth, LOTRO is currently limited to one region of the world: Eriador. With the other regions of Middle Earth planned to be dolled out in due time, this gives Turbine the opportunity to give each region the type of care it deserves, thus giving off a handmade feel to the world. The region by region nature of LOTRO also allows Turbine enough time to roll out the ongoing story, which is intended to involve players in famous events from the Lord of the Ring series.

    Tuesday - November 07, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Ford of Bruinen @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:48

    The Ford of Bruinen is the location of the latest Exploring Middle Earth article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    As travelers head east toward the Misty Mountains, leaving behind the barren Lone-lands and the treacherous hills of the Trollshaws, the roar of the River Bruinen, or "Loadwater," fills the air. At the Ford of Bruinen, where the Great East Road crosses the mighty river as it approaches the Valley of Rivendell, the swift waters can be easily crossed at these shallows just below the picturesque falls. Many adventurers, however, tell tales of sensing the presence of great and natural power emanating from the river, protecting the hidden valley of the Elves, which lies just beyond the ford.

    More... 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

    by Inauro, 21:39

    MMORPG.com has 20 new screenshots from Turbine's upcoming game, Lord of the Rings Online

    Source: MMORPG.com

    Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ 1UP

    by Inauro, 21:37

    1UP takes a look at what Lord of the Rings Online has in store for players of MMORPGs.

    The catch-22 of the modern day MMORPG is that in order to generate interest, the game must straddle the conventions set forth by World of Warcraft -- however, by doing so, players often simply shrug their shoulders and find no reason to stray outside the lands of Azeroth. For Turbine, the developer behind Lord of the Rings Online, it not only has to deal with the pressure of an MMO landscape in a post-Blizzard world, but also the inherent generic nature that the Lord of the Rings license entails. As the root of all fantasy, its elves, trolls and orcs are as plain as they come. The minds behind LOTRO (as the cool kids call it) aren't allowing that to squander their vision as their obvious attention to detail and solid mechanics may just make this melting pot of ideas a winner.

    More... 

    Monday - November 06, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Preview @ GamersInfo

    by Dhruin, 21:05

    GamersInfo has a preview of Lord of the Rings Online based on their viewing from the recent media event:

    The environment changes as the day goes on. The 24 hour cycle spans about 3 hours in real time, and there will be some enemies you’ll find only at night. The enemies can also interact with each other and have some unique behaviors. NPCs will have their own schedule which gives the world a sense that it’s alive instead of having NPCs stand there 24/7. The detail that went into the game is amazing, especially when it comes to the location. Rivendell, Bag End, Gloin’s Camp and the Prancing Pony are just some of the places that you will visit. You can even check out Bilbo’s house and the Party Tree. The developers are so adamant about being true to the books that apparently it was a two week debate as to what the gate to the Party Tree should look like. With 50 million square meters of space (which is what I was told), there is plenty to see and do.

    Lord of the Rings Online - Media Event Report @ RPG Vault

    by Dhruin, 20:55

    RPG Vault provides their coverage of a recent Lord of the Rings Online media event held by Turbine and Midway:

    As outlined by Turbine CEO Jeff Anderson, the team's primary goal is to re-create the world in which The Lord of the Rings takes place. To this end, although players won't travel with the Fellowship, the game will offer the chance to visit many locations from the books, as well as the chance to interact with NPCs such as Strider and Gandalf. The title will launch with four playable races including Hobbits, Elves, Humans and Dwarves. For the last of these, only males were in the build we played. Also of note, the Elves are apparently of the woodland variety, not the powerful High Elves, while the Humans are not the mighty Dúnedain (men of Numenor). Regardless of which you choose, it's possible to customize many visual aspects of your character to fit your personal preferences.

    Sunday - November 05, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Hands-On Preview @ GameSpot

    by Inauro, 01:48

    GameSpot spends some time with Turbine's upcoming MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online.

    Hardcore online-game fans will hopefully be drawn in by the game's depth--though you'll be able to choose from only four playable races (humans, elves, dwarves, and hobbits) and seven different character classes, all characters will be able to earn hundreds of different usable skills, along with hundreds of additional usable "traits" that either come naturally with your characters' race or profession, or can be earned from various quests. As your characters become more powerful and experienced, you may join "fellowships" (temporary adventuring parties) and even "kinships" (the game's version of guilds--persistent player groups) and find quests suited specifically for larger groups that carry unique trait rewards at the end of them. However, in many cases, you'll be able to equip only a limited number of specific skills to carry into battle by consulting the local bard--this setup adds an extra layer of pre-battle strategy.

    More...

    Source: GameSpot

    Friday - November 03, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Hands-On @ IGN

    by Dhruin, 21:10

    IGN has scored some hands-on time with Lord of the Rings Online.  Here's a sample:

    Instead, the game will focus on players as helping hands to the most important characters in the battle against evil. Players will acquire quests from powerful men like Strider (Aragorn) and Gandalf that play a role in the events of Middle-earth but that don't directly involve the personal stories of the main characters in the novels.

    For instance, players will begin the game experience in a tutorial instanced zone that should build character importance while firmly establishing a different identity from the books. Characters begin in jail next to a similarly incarcerated ranger. He explains that he and two hobbits had been caught by some nefarious characters associated with the Nazgul roaming the Shire and surrounding areas. As he explains, the hobbits, one of which is a Baggins, need to be rescued from certain death (and torture). After breaking out, the ranger splits off to hunt down the baddies while pushing the responsibility of finding and saving the Hobbits onto the player. Several fights ensue and the hobbits are saved.

    Thursday - November 02, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Sickle-flies @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:38

    The latest Creatures of Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site focuses on Sickle-flies.

    Throughout the bogs and marshes and even the wooded Wilderlands of Middle-earth there are many varieties of biting and buzzing insects, from the harvest-flies of the Shire to the greater sickle-flies of the Midgewater Marshes and the Bruinen vile-flies of the Trollshaws. Most of these creatures are little more than disgusting nuisances, but some varieties are known to carry debilitating diseases. A single bite can make a brave adventurer easy prey for larger and more dangerous predators.

    More...

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - November 01, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:46

    A new beta journal is available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.  Here's a sample:

    I was exploring the town of Bree when it dawned upon me to try and find the prancing pony.  I found the building and entered (the interior lighting of this game is amazing). After exploring a few rooms, I was getting ready to leave and a thought popped in to my head, "I wonder if I can find Aragorn here?"  I went upstairs looking for the guest rooms and walked into a room with a man standing in the corner.  I clicked on him and as stupid as it may sound, seeing his name pop up was really exciting.  What was more exciting is that he wanted to give me a quest.  I was to go and help him and other rangers find a man that had been corrupted by the wraiths.  I decided it would be fun to do with a group and so I invited a couple people to join me.

    More... 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Tuesday - October 31, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - New Skills @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 21:55

    Turbine has updated the Classes page of the official Lord of the Rings site with some new skill information. 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Thursday - October 26, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Brandy Hall @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:44

    The ancestral home of the Brandybucks, Brandy Hall, is the focus of the latest Exploring Middle Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings site.

    For nearly 700 years, the warm light from the many windows of Brandy Hall has welcomed visitors crossing the Brandywine River from the west into Buckland.  Originally delved and built by Gorhendad Oldbuck, the first Master of the Hall (as the head of the Brandybuck family is called), and greatly expanded over generations, the ancestral home of the Brandybuck family is now formed of many tunnels and rooms occupying the entirety of Buck Hill on the eastern banks of the Brandywine.  Brandy Hall has no less than three main entrance doors and over a hundred windows, making it one of the grandest mansions in the entire Shire.  Long before the forming of the Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo Baggins, orphaned as a young Hobbit, called Brandy Hall home for many years, before he went to live with Old Bilbo Baggins at Bag End in Hobbiton. Merry Brandybuck, Frodo's cousin and also one of the Nine who set off with the One Ring toward Mordor, also once called this great mansion his home.

    More... 

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - October 25, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:35

    It's Beta Journal Wednesday at the official Lord of the Rings Online site. Here's a snippet from this week's installment:

    I'm a ranged combat snob. Call it an archer, hunter, ranger, scout, whatever, but if it's a ranged combat class odds are its my class of choice. I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly as far as how the class is implemented, and the LOTRO hunter, so far, ranks pretty high for me. The animations are fluid and (mostly) accurate, the skill set, so far, is believable and useful - some skills play nice with others and create opportunities for increased effects if used in a certain order, or within a set time of each other. The skills are also both lore appropriate, and class appropriate, with a light mix of melee attacks interspersed among a wide range of ranged skills. Of these melee attacks, my favorite so far has to be Blind Side - a moderate damage melee attack whose main purpose is to create an opening for a subsequent close range attack with the hunters weapon of choice - the bow.

    More...

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Tuesday - October 24, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Gandalf @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:46

    Mithrandir, Olorin or Gandalf.  Call him what you will, but this most memorable figure is the focus of the latest character profile at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.

    Also known as the Grey Wizard (his Sindarin name Mithrandir means "Grey Pilgrim"), Gandalf is perhaps Middle-earth's best-known inhabitant. Although he sometimes appears to be old and frail, Gandalf the Grey is actually one of the most powerful allies of the good folk of Middle-earth and a guide to the Free Peoples in their struggle against the darkness. In addition to being a powerful wizard, Gandalf wields Glamdring, the Foe-hammer, a magical Elven-sword forged in the First Age and greatly feared by the creatures of evil. Calling no land his home, he is friend to many, especially Hobbits, and revered by Elves. Since he is often at the center of world-changing events, he is also feared by many as an omen of difficult times ahead.

     More...

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Sunday - October 22, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ Worthplaying

    by Inauro, 01:51

    Worthplaying has six new screenshots showcasing Turbine's upcoming MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online

    Source: Worthplaying

    Thursday - October 19, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Wild Lands @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:51

    Turbine's Matt Elliott talks about World Content Systems and their use in the developer's upcoming MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online.

    Most MMOs are rife with numerous content and game systems that help bring their particular world together, making it feel more immersive and alive. Some of these systems may not be noticeable on the surface at first, but after a bit of digging and exploring, a player can discover a fortune in gameplay. The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ is no different. Our goal is to not only provide an epic story spanning across the lands of Eriador, but also support that story – and our world as a whole – with fun and interesting World Content Systems.

     More...

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Wednesday - October 18, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Beta Journal @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:43

    Wednesday has been designated Beta Journal Day at the official Lord of the Rings Online site. Here's a snippet from the latest journal:

    I was just at the post office to buy stamps. For my party invitations, you understand. Not a big party, not a grand eleventy-first party, but a party nevertheless, with food aplenty washed down with the finest ale in the Shire. I took a short step out of the post office and there I was in our beautiful Shire, the Shire as it lives in all our hearts and dreams. This is the Shire of the little folk and their little houses where nothing exciting ever happens. They still drink many a pot of ale talking about that wizard's fireworks as if it were the biggest event since Ma Brandybuck burnt her Bilberry Pies.

    More...

    Source: Turbine Entertainment

    Lord of the Rings Online - Exploring Middle Earth: Archet

    by Dhruin, 06:39
    The latest Exploring Middle Earth article at the Lord of the Rings site looks at Archet:

    Archet is a small hamlet in Bree-land lying to the northeast of Bree-town, nestled at the edge of the Chetwood. The town and its outlying lands are inhabited by farmers and other rustic folk, who have little use for the bustle of big town life. A few hobbits dwell here, but the inhabitants are predominantly Big Folk.

    Tuesday - October 17, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Exclusive Coverage @ GameSpy

    by Inauro, 23:40

    GameSpy has begun a week of "exclusive coverage" of Turbine's upcoming MMORPG, Lord of the Rings Online.

    There's something very Middle-Earth about New England in the fall. Winding roads travel through deep forests. The leaves turn bright orange and yellow and red. At the right time, streaks of sunlight lance through the trees, and you can almost believe that just over the next rise there's a Ranger watching the road, or perhaps an Elf on his way to the Gray Havens. If you can't be in the England where J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his legendary saga about a Ring, a Hobbit and an incredible adventure, this place might be just as good. It also happens to be the landscape to which I've come to talk to Turbine, developers of Asheron's Call and Dungeons and Dragons Online about its latest high-profile project, The Lord of the Rings Online.

    More... 

    Source: GameSpy

    Monday - October 16, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Screenshots @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 14:38

    Head on over to the official Lord of the Rings Online site for some new screenshots.

    Wednesday - October 11, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - HoC Transcript @ Stratics

    by Inauro, 22:50

    The transcript of the latest Lord of the Rings Online House of Commons is now available at Stratics.

    Sprite - *Crowser* What is your estimated time frame til an open beta will occur?
    LOTRO_Patience - We expect to be starting open beta fairly "soon," which of course is a relative term :D

    Sprite - *Alkales* : Is Turbine planning on doing anything to make moral unique, rather then just a word substitute for hit points? For example: certain areas like the old forest decrease your moral simply because you're in the area, or perhaps depending on what type foe your facing in combat.
    LOTRO_Ringleader - It's gonna be a great answer...wait for it!
    LOTRO_Annuvin - It's funny you should mention that. Morale has been a potent angle for us to work with our class roles, as it lent strong roles to our class load out. However, we haven't finished all of the angles that we can work with… As a result, we're working on a "Dread" system. It will effectively limit how high your morale can go, and even affect other elements of your character. We'll be tying it specific locations (where it makes sense), and p
    LOTRO_Annuvin - Feh. I'm tired now.
    LOTRO_Annuvin - particular characters
    More...

    Tuesday - October 10, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online - Class Skills Updated @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 22:44

    Turbine has updated the Classes page at the official Lord of the Rings Online site with additional information about skills.

    Friday - October 06, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Beta Testimonials @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 00:07
    The LotRO site has several short Beta Player's Journals. It's a carefully selected exercise in saccharine-sweet praise but readers might find something of interest:
    I don't want to boast, but I have a Widescreen LCD monitor and 5.1 surround sound, and let me tell you I was immersed. The sound cues of birds and animals all around me in the woods are fantastic. I could hear a gentle breeze blowing as an occasional leaf or two fell from the trees. I can't believe the diversity of the NPCs. As I trotted along I would see workers on the roof of a shop making repairs, people sitting under a tree picnicking, and I came across an Inn where there were 3 minstrels performing on an outdoor stage while others danced. There were big tables with food, and people eating, drinking (pints), talking, and laughing, and there was even one guy passed out at the table hugging his pint. The amazing thing was that none of these people were anywhere near any of the major Points of Interest.

    Tuesday - October 03, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Classes & Skills Update @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 22:44
    Turbine has updated the Classes section of the official Lord of the Rings Online site with new models and a preview of one of the cardinal skills for each class.

    Source: LoTRO

    Sunday - October 01, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Cloak Design Contest @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 00:44
    Turbine is holding a cloak design contest. Head on over to the official Lord of the Rings Online site for the details.

    Source: LoTRO

    Thursday - September 21, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: The Prancing Pony @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 22:41
    Whether dancing on tables, disappearing under them, or meeting strangers in dark corners is your thing, the latest <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=161" target="_blank">Exploring Middle-Earth</a> feature at the official <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com" target="_blank">Lord of the Rings Online</a> site is sure to have something to offer.<blockquote><em>Upon arrival in Bree, weary travelers will want to make for the Prancing Pony, one of the town's oldest and most popular inns. The distinctive sign of a rearing, fat white pony marks the large building with its inviting arched entrance and pleasant courtyard, although it is likely that the sign will not be entirely necessary a  as most seasoned travelers can direct those new to town to "The Pony," as is it commonly known. The Prancing Pony is owned and operated by Barliman Butterbur, the latest in the generations of Butterburs who have looked after the old inn with great care. Mr. Butterbur is assisted by two hobbits, Nob and Bob, who help with all matters from greeting guests, to preparing rooms and food, to looking after patrons' horses in the inn's stables. Although traffic along the major roads that intersect at Bree has diminished greatly over the years, The Prancing Pony remains the center of news and tales from far-distant lands, as it has for as long as anyone can remember. </em></blockquote><a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=161" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: LoTRO

    Tuesday - September 19, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: New Screenshots & Render @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 22:41
    Turbine has released a batch of new Lord of the Rings Online screenshots and a new monster render.
    Check out the latest additions to the LOTRO Galleries and an additional new render in the Neekerbreeker profile!

    Source: LoTRO

    Friday - September 15, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Exploring Bree @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 01:45
    The latest location preview at the LotRO site is the town of Bree.

    Wednesday - September 13, 2006

    Lord of the Rings: Disambiguation @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 02:01
    Nik Davidson has kicked up an interesting dev diary at the LotRO site titled Disambiguation:
    Gundo's wounds were serious. The dwarves had beaten the poor hobbit soundly with maces and axes. He'd lost a lot of blood. The corpses of his friends littered the field, but he was almost in the clear. His heart was beating fast; he had sent several dwarves to their bloody end, and he could hear their angry yells behind him. He ran - ran as fast as his stubby little hobbit legs could take him, his hands white-knuckled, gripping the flag. At last, he crested the hill, and the great horn sounded. Victory! Victory, but at what cost?

    Yeah, so that's what we're NOT doing.

    When we announced there would be PvP in LOTRO, I knew some people immediately would come up with the above nightmare scenario. (Or worse. You guys are hella creative.) As such, we just sort of shook our heads as people concluded that we were turning our game into "HOBBIGEDDON: SLAUGHTER AT BAG END." Nothing could be further from the truth. What I'd like to do today is clarify what we mean when we talk about playing evil races, and PvP in LOTRO.

    Saturday - September 09, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Beta Announcement @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 00:21
    Turbine and Midway <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=159" target="_blank">have announced</a> that the <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com" target="_blank">Lord of the Rings Online</a> has moved into the first phase of beta testing.<blockquote><em>WESTWOOD, MA a  SEPTEMBER 8, 2006 a  Turbine and Midway announced today that The Lord of the Rings Onlinea c: Shadows of Angmara c (LOTRO) has officially entered Beta in North America. Codemasters Online Gaming is pleased to announce the simultaneous launch of Pre-Beta in Europe.<br><br>This Beta is by invitation only and over time more and more players will be invited. Fans can continue to register to join the Beta Program by visiting <a href="http://www.lotro.com/betasignup" target="_blank">http://www.lotro.com/betasignup</a> for North America and <a href="http://www.lotro-europe.com" target="_blank">http://www.lotro-europe.com</a> for the European program.<br><br>"The response to LOTRO Alpha was overwhelming. Player enthusiasm continues to exceed our expectations at every milestone," said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "The Alpha was oversubscribed and the Beta Program is on a record-setting pace with nearly 200,000 players already registered. LOTRO is building toward one of the largest beta communities in the industry."<br><br>The first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Onlinea c allows players to write their own stories in Middle-eartha c, the most famous fantasy world of all time. <br><br>David Solari, Vice President and General Manager of Codemasters Online Gaming, said, "It's great to reach the Beta for such an exciting game. We look forward to seeing players bring the incredible world of Middle-earth to life and making it their own."<br><br>The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar lets players join in an epic adventure -- exploring a massive online world while defending the lands of Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron. Players of all levels will explore incredibly detailed realms and join familiar characters in an evolving and persistent re-creation of J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved world. They will face the dangers Frodo and the Fellowship left behind when they began their epic journey to destroy the One Ring. Gamers can adventure solo or choose from thousands of players online to forge their own fellowships. Players, solo and fellowships alike, will be challenged by hideous monsters and minions of evil as they fight epic battles to defend Middle-earth. LOTRO will deliver on the opportunity to allow players to immerse themselves in the greatest adventure of our time.<br><br>LOTRO is co-published by Turbine and Midway in North America and Codemasters Online Gaming in Europe.</em></blockquote>

    Source: LoTRO

    Saturday - September 02, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Alpha Journals @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 02:29
    Another series of journals written by players of the Lord of the Rings Online alpha test are available at the official site. Here's a sample:
    My adventures began shortly after the Alpha 3 players were permitted to begin playing, Monday evening. At first, I was admittedly overwhelmed by a sense of awe just to be in the world. I didn't have much trouble figuring out the newbie instance and solving the quest objectives. I did have a little bit of trouble figuring out how to use the different chat channels, but after a few failed attempts, I was able to find out how to change my default channel. After that, the learning curve seemed to be fairly easy. Tiggs and other players were very quick to answer questions and give advice and instructions.

    I am currently a level 10, Female Human Burglar. I have run across a few bugs, but not nearly as many as I expected. The quest log is terrific! I have only had problems solving 1 quest so far due to inadequate or unclear objectives, which others have also posted about on the forums and it's being worked on. I really love the Lore Book with its additional objectives to receive rewards from. I am quite eager to see more and am already feeling pretty addicted.

    The servers have been remarkably stable. There was one reset last night, but other than that I have not had any crashes. There is lag whenever I am in a crowded area, but I've seen worse in games that are post-launch, and truly believe it can be alleviated with further optimization.

    I have to give the Turbine two thumbs up on their efforts so far. The game is shaping up very well. The communication between players and employees is excellent and I think they are doing a wonderful job making the playing experience a positive and fun time for everyone.

    Source: LoTRO

    Friday - September 01, 2006

    Lord of the Rings: PAX Coverage @ Ten Ton Hammer

    by Dhruin, 12:44
    Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online site is pointing out Ten Ton Hammer's <a href="http://lotro.tentonhammer.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=360&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0" target="_blank">PAX coverage</a>, which has a review-like format:<blockquote><em>- Fun Factor: (A) I have had three chances to play this game now. I have left everyone with a smile burned on to my face. The graphics are nothing short of breathtaking, the action is non-stop and the game filler (Npc, towns, miscellaneous items) was done with very special care for Tolkiena "!s work. Rumors have the release of this game being pushed back to 2007. I have bought new games off of the shelf that were not as polished as this one is in its Alpha 3 demos. This only shows that Turbine is dead set on selling the best game that it can. My personal prediction is that Blizzarda "!s World of Warcraft is about to take a hit. You just know they are looking in the mirror and sweating.</em></blockquote>

    Wednesday - August 30, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Alpha Journals @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 23:31
    A series of excerpts from breathless and nameless Alpha test journals has been posted at the LotRO site:
    This alpha is truly amazing. Last night I loved every minute of the 8 hours straight I played it! Right off the bat, the graphics felt like they came right out of the head of Tolkien himself. The animations of the alpha are very smooth and well designed. It's very interesting how the characters of each race end up in Archet in a very unique way; and the story of Archet itself is very captivating.

    Lord of the Rings Online: PAX Coverage @ MMORPG.com

    by Dhruin, 22:51
    MMORPG.com has a <a href="http://www.mmorpg.com/gamelist.cfm/gameId/45/setView/features/loadFeature/844" target="_blank">PAX preview</a> of Lord of the Rings Online:<blockquote><em>The concept of Accomplishments is a neat innovation among MMORPGs. These are goals given to each character means to be achieved while you play. In exchange, players earn titles and traits. While titles are self-explanatory, traits are innate abilities (or buffs) each character equips into a finite number of slots. Players can swap them out, for a price, over time if they choose. Accomplishments are often a Sexploration based achievementsa ?. They can be as simple as finding a certain famous place or as easy as using one of your skills X number of times. These are rewards for playing, not rewards people must grind to earn.</em></blockquote>

    Tuesday - August 29, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Sandyman's Mill @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:06
    This week's Exploring Middle-Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site takes a closer look at Sandyman's Mill.
    It cannot be said that Mr. Sandyman, the old and always opinionated miller, is the most liked Hobbit in all the Shire, but the mill in Hobbiton run by generations of the Sandyman family, including Sandyman's son Ted, is nonetheless an important part of the tightly-knit community. Located on the north banks of the Water, the meandering river running its way through Hobbiton, "the Mill" as it is commonly (and simply) known, provides ground corn for the local Hobbits, as well as a pleasant place to sit along the gentle banks to enjoy a relaxing hour or three at the Water's edge.
    More...

    Source: LoTRO

    Saturday - August 26, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Community Spotlight

    by Inauro, 02:50
    For the latest from the official Lord of the Rings Online forums check out this week's Community Spotlight.

    Source: LoTRO

    Thursday - August 24, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: The Party Tree @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:17
    Head on over to the official Lord of the Rings Online site for a glimpse of another famous location from Middle-Earth in this week's Exploring Middle-Earth feature.
    In a broad, open field in Hobbiton, not far from Bag End, there stands a majestic tree, taller than any within sight for miles. The Party Tree, as it is called by the Hobbits, is a gathering place for merriment, eating, and storytelling, where all Shire-folk are warmly welcomed. It was here that Bilbo Baggins celebrated his magnificent birthday (his eleventy-first), and it was from this location that some say he simply vanished from sight forever. Few are certain of the Tree's origins, and even fewer actually give its history a second thought. The Party Tree is decorated year-round with bright lanterns and yards of colourful woven streamers, for it seems logical to all Hobbits that a decorated tree is reason enough for a celebration -- why risk missing the opportunity for a feast by bringing down the festive arrangements? Besides, it's far too tall these days for Hobbits to reach the limbs, even if one had a mind to.
    More...

    Source: LoTRO

    Lord of the Rings Online: Preview @ Gamespot

    by Inauro, 22:52
    Gamespot joins Codemasters and Turbine for a preview of Lord of the Rings Online in Leipzig, Germany.
    Codemasters and Turbine showed us how the first half hour of play might pan out. You'll start in a village that's home to hobbits, which include relations of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, and it's not long before trouble arrives and you're naturally left to help out with only your basic skills and combat ability to depend on. As you may remember from the films and books, the black knights on horseback are rather keen to find Frodo, and when one of them descends on your hobbit neighbours, it's down to you to help out the poor little guys. Codemasters showed us how to create a fire on one of the houses, and we watched it spread until it completely engulfed the black knight. Sauron's riders may well be pretty tough, but they're still susceptible to fire, and under the pressure of the mounting flames, the knight disappeared into the distance.
    More...

    Source: Gamespot

    Tuesday - August 22, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Screenshots @ MMORPG.com

    by Inauro, 22:53
    Three new screenshots have been added to MMORPG.com's Lord of the Rings Online gallery.

    Source: MMORPG.com

    Monday - August 21, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Video Dev Diary @ Ten Ton Hammer

    by Inauro, 23:10
    Ten Ton Hammer has scored a video developer diary featuring Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online talking about the places of Middle-Earth.

    Source: Ten Ton Hammer

    Saturday - August 19, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Alpha Impressions @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 02:35
    Players of the Lord of the Rings Online alpha test share some impressions of the game at the official site.
    * Writing is excellent so far, as are the characterizations. The model options are fantastic - giving you a very *real* seeming and very individual character.

    * I am not particularly impressionable, and generally a tough and jaded critic. And what can I say except - initial reactions - YOU'VE DONE IT! IT LOOKS FANTASTIC!

    * I must take this time to thank the Devs, QA's, and other staff for making Tolkiens Books come alive as never before. Being able to walk in the world I once read about as a young boy has blown me away.
    Also in the headlines is the latest edition of the Community Spotlight bringing us the best of the week from the LoTRO forums.

    Source: LoTRO

    Thursday - August 17, 2006

    Lord of the Rings: The Forsaken Inn @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 23:35
    The latest Lord of the Rings Online "Exploring Middle-Earth" feature looks at <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=140" target="_blank">The Forsaken Inn</a>:<blockquote><em>One day's journey east of Bree on the Great East Road, travelers will find the Forsaken Inn, and it is likely to be the last outpost of civilized life they will encounter for some time to come. The Inn itself is in disrepair, with a variety of cobbled-together wall fragments and a severely neglected roof a  however, any roofed structure (even one with only half of its roof still intact), is a welcome sight in these lawless lands.</em></blockquote>

    Wednesday - August 16, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Gandalf vs Voltron @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 01:07
    The amusingly titled Gandalf vs Voltron is actually an informative dev diary from Nik Davidson on crafting and relative levels in Lord of the Rings Online:
    Before I close, I wanted to address something that's come up several times in discussions, and that's the general "power level" of crafting, and the game in general. Raise your hand if you've asked yourself or your friends a question along the lines of, "Who would win in a fight, Gandalf or Voltron****?" That, or questions like it, fill a special place in classic geek debate. Any time you're working with a license with well-known figures, and you throw new players into the mix, you ask yourself, "How do I stack up?"

    The same goes for LOTRO. You might ask, "I'm a max-level Champion, I've felled some seriously foul beasts. Theoretically, could I beat up Eomer one-on-one?" You might ask, "I'm a master weaponsmith, are the swords I make on par with Sting? Or even Narsil?" There's two issues here that I want to touch on here.

    Tuesday - August 15, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Preview @ Games Radar

    by Dhruin, 12:27
    Games Radar has previewed Lord of the Rings Online:
    High-profile licensing is no guarantee of widespread success for MMOs, as Star Wars Galaxies proved. Being faithful to the source can restrict the evolutionary freedom a virtual world needs; on the other hand, a fully-developed franchise can provide a well of detail that's invaluable in quenching these games' ceaseless thirst for content.

    In this respect, LOTR Online producer Jeffrey Steefel is confident he's sitting on a goldmine. "I could spend all the money in the world to find the best writers, the best designers, the best artists, and they could never devise a world as rich and deep and consistent as Tolkien did."

    Saturday - August 12, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Community Spotlight @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 01:04
    For the latest from the official Lord of the Rings Online forums check out this week's Community Spotlight.

    Source: LoTRO

    Thursday - August 10, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Bag End @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:06
    The latest Exploring Middle-Earth feature at the official <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com" target="_blank">Lord of the Rings Online</a> site takes us inside <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=136" target="_blank">Bag End</a>.<blockquote><em>Above the lane known as Bagshot Row in Hobbiton, adventurers will find the former dwelling of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, known as Bag End. An unassuming Hobbit hole, if slightly better appointed than most, Bag End is a series of rooms and corridors build into Hobbiton Hill and entered through a simple, circular wooden door. However, it is not so much the dwelling itself that is of such great interest, but the tales of its inhabitants and what occurred within that are the makings of many a Hobbit legend. This is the gathering place of Thorin and Company, the dwarves that adventured to Lonely Mountain to slay the dragon Smaug and reclaim their ancestral home beneath Erebor. It is said that Bilbo Baggins himself went along on that journey and brought back untold riches from the dragon's hoard, but few believe that the treasure actually exists (and even fewer believe that old Bilbo had a hand in the slaying of anything, much less a dragon). The Wizard Gandalf was often seen entering Bag End to visit Bilbo, and later his cousin and heir Frodo, but on what business, none could say. With Frodo now moved to Buckland, to live amongst his Brandybuck relations, Lobelia and Lotho Sackville-Baggins a  as unpleasant a couple of Hobbits as you are likely to meet a  now live within. The once well-tended gardens and warm lights of Bag End are not as merry as they once were; yet the dwelling remains a favoured topic amongst the Hobbits of the Shire and probably will for generations to come.</em></blockquote><a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=136" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: LoTRO

    Wednesday - August 09, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Bog-lurker Creature @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 00:11
    The latest Lord of the Rings Online creature feature is up, highlighting the Bog-lurker.

    Friday - August 04, 2006

    Lord of the Rings: Bywater @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 09:20
    The latest Exploring Middle-Earth feature at the official <a href="http://" target="_blank">Lord of the Rings Online</a> site takes a closer look at Bywater.<blockquote><em>The village of Bywater is located In the Westfarthing of the Shire. As its name suggests, it lies along the banks of the Bywater Pool, a widening of the river Water. This river runs from the North Moors, through nearby Hobbiton to the northwest, and on through Bywater to eventually join the Brandywine to the east. A tranquil village, Bywater is perhaps best known for The Green Dragon Inn, a friendly place renowned for great drink, local gossip, and lively conversations with folks from around the Shire. Bywater's post office is one of the busiest in the region, Hobbits being quite fond of sending presents to one another for birthdays, holidays, or just about any other time that seems fit for gift-giving or celebration a  which is most days on the calendar. </em></blockquote><a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=132" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: LoTRO

    Thursday - August 03, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Alpha Phase Announced

    by Inauro, 22:55
    Coming our way via <a href="http://www.gamespress.com" target="_blank">Games Press</a> is the following announcement about the status of the <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com" target="_blank">Lord of the Rings Online</a>.<blockquote><em>WESTWOOD, MA a  AUGUST 3, 2006 a  Turbine, Inc. announced today that the highly-anticipated The Lord of the Rings Onlinea c: Shadows of Angmara c has entered the alpha phase of development. The first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Onlinea c will allow players to explore Middle-eartha c, the most famous fantasy world of all time. The company also announced that over 125,000 fans have already signed up for the Beta Program.<br><br>a STurbine is committed to delivering the most immersive and accurate online Tolkien experience possible and today is a major milestone as we realize our vision for this mysterious and exciting world,a ? said Jeffrey Anderson, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. a SWith over 125,000 fans already signed up for the Beta Program we are on pace to be one of the largest beta communities in the industry.a ?<br><br>Since announcing the start of sign-ups for the Beta Program at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in May, over 125,000 people have already registered. In response to increasing demand, Turbine is expanding the Beta Program to let more players participate. Turbine will be inviting tens of thousands of people into the Beta Program over the coming months. Players who wish to be invited should sign-up for a chance to be selected for the Beta Program by visiting http://www.lotro.com/betasignup.<br><br>The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar invites players to join in an epic adventure - exploring a massive online world while defending the lands of Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron. Players of all levels will explore incredibly detailed realms and join familiar characters in an evolving and persistent re-creation of J.R.R. Tolkiena "!s beloved world. They will face the dangers Frodo and the Fellowship left behind when they began their epic journey to destroy the One Ring. Gamers can adventure solo or choose from thousands of players online to forge their own fellowships, as they face the hideous monsters and minions of evil, fight epic battles to defend Middle-earth, and immerse themselves in the greatest adventure of our time.</em></blockquote>

    Source: Turbine

    Tuesday - August 01, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Raid Diary @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 22:56
    Content Designer Jared Hall-Dugas shares some insight into how raiding will fit within the overall gameplay design of the Lord of the Rings Online.
    We've done it! We've discovered the formula for fun: [(x * 2.342) + (y * 2) + z4] / 24 = FUN!

    Um, what? (See? You should have paid more attention in algebra class...I'll come back to this in a moment.)

    Raids...

    Yes, we mean raids. The same raids that weren't originally planned for our game (see "Friends Don't Let Friends Tank Balrogs"). This isn't so much a philosophical change in our game, but rather an additional gameplay dynamic we have decided to include. For some members of our community, this means much rejoicing, but for others, there's a bit more concern, even fear. I'm here to give you a little more information about our raid plans to help alleviate some of those fears.
    More...

    Source: LoTRO

    Sunday - July 30, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Community Spotlight @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 22:58
    The latest round-up from the Lord of the Rings Online forums can be found in the Community Spotlight at the official site.

    Source: LoTRO

    Friday - July 28, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Shades @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 09:52
    A new Creatures of Middle-Earth feature is available at the official Lord of the Rings Online site. The focus this time: Shades.
    Throughout the dark places of Middle-earth, there can be found terrifying, bodiless spirits bound to the physical world. These ghostly spirits are the shades of Men of times past. Like the oath-breakers roused by Aragorn on the Paths of the Dead, they are bound to Middle-earth by an ancient curse, doomed to remain on the fringes of the living world until their curse is lifted.
    More...

    Source: LoTRO

    Tuesday - July 25, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: The Dead Spire @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:15
    The latest Exploring Middle-Earth article at the official Lord of the Rings Online site takes a closer look at <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=126" target="_blank">The Dead Spire</a>.<blockquote><em>The Barrow-downs is a name of dread, but it was not always so. The barrows were originally raised by the Edain, Men of ancient days, and later kept and revered by the Donedain of Cardolan. In the Third Age, a great plague swept across Middle-earth, out of Mordor, and the last vestiges of the Men of Cardolan perished. The Witch-king of Angmar sent evil spirits out of Angmar and Rhudaur to stir the bones of the dead and make the Barrow-downs the place of dread and evil it has become.<br><br>As Frodo Baggins and his companions made their way through the Barrow-downs from the house of Tom Bombadil, they stopped to rest beside a great stone marker, the Dead Spire. Here they were overcome by the spells of the barrow-wights and taken to a barrow to be sacrificed a  the barrow, it is believed, of the last prince of Cardolan: a final insult by the Witch-king of Angmar to the memory of Cardolan. The barrow was, however, reclaimed; and the barrow-wight who dwelt there was destroyed by Tom Bombadil when he came to the rescue of the hobbits.</em></blockquote><a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=126" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: LoTRO

    Saturday - July 22, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Community Spotlight @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 03:39
    Make your way over to the official Lord of the Rings Online site and catch up with the latest from the forums in this week's Community Spotlight.

    Source: LoTRO

    Thursday - July 20, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: The Withywindle @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 23:24
    Take a stroll down the <a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=124" target="_blank">Withywindle</a> in the latest Exploring Middle-Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.<blockquote><em>From its source in the mysterious Barrow-downs and all along its course through the Old Forest, the River Withywindle is a place of strange happenings and of dark and ancient legends. When adventuring in unknown areas within the Old Forest, travellers would be wise to avoid these winding, slow-moving waters, though doing so may prove difficult a  The Withywindle has a way of drawing the unwary toward its deceptively tranquil surface and into its dark depths. It is also said that strange creatures of the forest - and even the very willow trees themselves along the Withywindle's banks - are agents of its ancient evil.</em></blockquote><a href="http://lotro.turbine.com/index.php?page_id=20&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=124" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: LoTRO

    Wednesday - July 19, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: The House of Tom Bombadil @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 02:48
    The latest Exploring Middle Earth feaure at the Lord of the Rings Online site takes a look at Tom Bombadil's House:
    In the Old Forest, between Buckland and the Barrow-downs, stands a welcome sight: the home of Tom Bombadil and Goldberry, the River-maiden. Weary travellers will find this an unusually pleasant retreat amongst the ancient and often foreboding forest and the mist-shrouded downs beyond. Tom Bombadil himself is a person who defies specific explanation, though his intentions clearly favor the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. He is pleasant and affable, warm and welcoming, yet undeniably powerful and as ancient as Middle-earth itself. From the modest surroundings of well-tended gardens and delicious meals, Tom Bombadil commands the respect of all around him, from the creatures of the forest to the very land and trees themselves.

    Saturday - July 15, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Community Spotlight @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 03:35
    The Community Spotlight is back and shining on the latest from the official Lord of the Rings Online forums.

    Source: LoTRO

    Friday - July 14, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: First Impressions @ GameDaily

    by Inauro, 03:09
    GameDaily shares some first impressions of Turbine's forthcoming Lord of the Rings Online.
    Turbine is hard at work on Lord of the Rings Online, and they're proud to show it off. From the very first glance it's obvious that the team has made huge strides, bringing the visuals far up from last year's showing and improving the overall experience through control and gameplay by magnitudes.

    Present are all the aspects of a great Tolkien experience: fantastic story, intriguing plots, interesting characters, and amazing locations. The game has its own plot, which in a weird sort of way lays over the story of Lord of the Rings very nicely. In Lord of the Rings Online, the old kingdom of Angmar is rising up again at the same time that the fellowship is questing for Mordor. This puts the players on a whole new front of battle, facing the Angmarians to protect the ring bearer and his party as they quest towards the goal of destroying the one ring.
    More...

    Source: GameDaily

    Lord of the Rings Online: Neekerbreekers @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 03:04
    Turbine has updated the Creatures of Middle-Earth section of the official Lord of the Rings Online site with a closer look at Neekerbreekers.
    Throughout Middle-earth there are many forms of insect; some mere annoyances, others more dangerous, and some that are a mystery rarely, if ever, seen. Neekerbreekers once fell into the last category. For ages, they were merely a distracting noise in the dark corners of the Midgewater Marshes, but recently a shadow has passed through Bree-land, and they have become more aggressive and begun to swarm.
    More...

    Source: LoTRO

    Thursday - July 13, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Betawatcher Code Contest @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 04:46
    The official site of the Lord of the Rings Online directs our attention to Betawatcher where a contest is in progress in which VIP keys to the upcoming LoTRO beta are up for grabs.

    Source: LoTRO

    Wednesday - July 12, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Interview Pt. 2 @ CG Online

    by Dhruin, 22:11
    CG Online continues their discussion of Lord of the Rings Online with Jeffrey Steefel:<blockquote><em>What are some of the events that will occur in the game? What famous characters from the series will players run across?<br><br>It all depends on the type of character you create. One of the first major events youa "!ll experience, when playing the Race of Man, is the raid and subsequent burning of the town of Archet. Ita "!s up to you to save the town and free it from the bandits who have been plaguing it. As a newbie dwarf, youa "!ll see Gandalf and face the result of delving too deep in the Blue Mountainsa Players will encounter many of the principal characters in the books, like Gandalf, Strider, Elrond, Bilbo?, Arwen, Gimli, and Boromir, as well as lesser but still memorable characters like Barliman Butterbur, Farmer Maggot, Tom Bombadil and Otho and Lobelia Sackville-Baggins.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.cgonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=726&Itemid=1" target="_blank">More of part two...</a>

    Lord of the Rings Online: Jeffrey Steefel Chat Transcript @ TheOneRing.net

    by Inauro, 01:39
    A transcript of the recent chat session with Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, is available at TheOneRing.net. Here's a sample:<blockquote><em>jincey: Hi everyone!<br>jincey: i havena "!t even had time to get up a speech (yay!)<br>lisa: Folks, so you know: the chat will be moderated once it begins, and you will not be able to chat, just to watch. Please submit any questions to one of the ops and we will do our best to fit as many as we can in<br>lisa: Also, so you know: this is a G rated chat, so please do not swear or get overly ... overly ;)<br>lisa: hello people<br>lisa: yes yes, i do have those on alias now ;)<br>jincey: Today, TheOneRing.net is very pleased to present a chat with Turbine's LOTRonline developer Jeffrey Steefel!<br>RingLeader: I am actually here - Jeffrey am I!<br>RingLeader: 'wave<br>jincey: you'll note the room has been moderated so you cannot speak<br>lisa: oh, it's moderated already :x<br>jincey: please direct any questions to myself, 409, JPB, lisa, or Seraph<br>jincey: We have a ton of questions already so please be patient<br>RingLeader: ::cracks knuckles:::<br>jincey: Jeffrey, would you like to say a few words before the questions begin?</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.theonering.net/perl/newsview/8/1152580796" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: TheOneRing.net

    Lord of the Rings Online: Buckleberry Ferry @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 01:35
    The Buckleberry Ferry is the showpiece in this week's Exploring Middle-Earth feature at the official Lord of the Rings Online site.
    In the Eastfarthing of the Shire, adventurers will discover the River Baranduin, commonly referred to as the "Brandywine" by Hobbit-folk, flowing out from the Hills of Evendim far to the north. One of the often-used crossings of this large and slow-moving river is The Bucklebury Ferry, located in the eastern lands of the Shire, connecting The Marish on the western banks to Buckland on the eastern side. The Bucklebury Ferry is a simple arrangement of wooden landings (one on either side) and a small boat running between the two. In these dark days, however, the boat has gone missing, perhaps pulled from the water to protect against intruders, or simply abandoned to drift down the Brandywine to places unknown. Travelers in this land may need to find a more suitable place to ford the broad waters or consider heading to the Brandywine Bridge (also known as the Bridge of Stonebows), not far upriver to the north.
    More...

    Source: LoTRO

    Lord of the Rings Online: European Beta

    by Inauro, 01:13
    Turbine has announced that the number of people who have signed up for the European beta is approaching 100,000 and that the 100,000th person to sign up can win a limited edition copy of the Lord of the Rings books.<blockquote><em><b>European Beta Program sign ups approaching 100,000. 100,000th signup set to clean up and win limited edition copy of the books.</b><br><br>The number of gamers signed up for The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar Beta Test programme is now approaching 100,000 in Europe, Codemasters Online Gaming announced today.<br><br>In celebration of this important milestone, the person who becomes the 100,000th sign up will win a 50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition of J.R.R. Tolkiena "!s The Lord of the Rings collected works and, at launch, a special edition of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. In addition, the four sign ups on either side of 100,000 will each receive a Special Edition of the game upon its release.<br><br>For a chance to be the 100,000th sign up and claim the prizes, sign up to the beta now at <a href="http://www.lotro-europe.com/beta" target="_blank">www.lotro-europe.com/beta</a><br><br>For more details on The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar visit the official European website at <a href="http://www.lotro-europe.com" target="_blank">www.lotro-europe.com</a></em></blockquote>

    Source: Turbine

    Tuesday - July 11, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Interview @ CG Online

    by Inauro, 04:15
    Computer Games Online speaks with Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, about working on Turbine's latest MMO.<blockquote><em><b>What is it like working on such a popular franchise and bringing it to an ever-expanding genre? What materials have you studied for the Middle-Earth experience?</b><br><br>Working with a franchise like The Lord of the Rings is an incredible opportunity. Wea "!ve dedicated ourselves to re-creating Middle-earth as faithfully as possible within the confines of a massively-multiplayer game. The opportunity to develop a persistent online world based on Middle-earth is exciting and challenging; everything is carefully researched before it makes it into the game.<br><br>Of course, the art team has also done a tremendous amount of research including wearing a full suit of armor and visits to the archery range down the street to make sure our hunters hold their bows properly!</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.cgonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=723&Itemid=1" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: CG Online

    Monday - July 10, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Jeffrey Steefel Chat @ TheOneRing.net

    by Inauro, 03:23
    TheOneRing.net will be talking with Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, in a dev chat scheduled for 5:30 pm EST on Monday the 10th of July. Head on over to TheOneRing.net for further details.

    Source: TheOneRing.net

    Saturday - July 08, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Community Spotlight @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 02:48
    Head on over to the Lord of the Rings Online site for the latest from the official forums in this week's Community Spotlight.

    Source: LoTRO

    Friday - July 07, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Bamfurlong @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 05:14
    Mushroom lovers and hobbits might want to take a stroll over to the official Lord of the Rings Online site for a glimpse of Bamfurlong (aka Farmer Maggot's farm) in the latest point of interest preview.
    Bamfurlong is the home of old Farmer Maggot, one of the most respected - though unusual - inhabitants of the Eastfarthing in the Shire. Maggot's sprawling and fertile farm is located in the Marish, an area known for its bogs and marshes, to which Maggot owes much of his success in farming (particularly of that delicacy adored by all hobbits: Mushrooms!).
    More...

    Source: LoTRO

    Saturday - July 01, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Community Spotlight @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 04:10
    Turbine has updated the official Lord of the Rings Online site with a new edition of the Community Spotlight. Head on over and check out the latest and greatest from the LoTRO forums.

    Source: LoTRO

    Lord of the Rings Online: Interview @ Shacknews

    by Inauro, 02:54
    Shacknews talks with Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online, about Turbine's upcoming Tolkien-inspired MMORPG.<blockquote><em><b>Shack</b>: Where does Shadows of Angmar fit into the Lord of the Rings storyline?<br><br><b>Jeffrey Steefel</b>: LOTROa "!s storyline begins shortly after Frodo leaves the Shire. The premise of our story is that while the Fellowship formed and journeyed on to Mordor, the lands they left behind fell under attack by the forces of the Witch-king of Angmar, the King of the Nazg>>l. Your role is to defend Eriador from the evil shadow which is reaching across the land in pursuit of the Fellowship and the One Ring.</em></blockquote><a href="http://www.shacknews.com/extras/2006/063006_lotro_1.x" target="_blank">More...</a>

    Source: Shacknews

    Friday - June 30, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Contests @ Official Site

    by Inauro, 02:52
    Turbine is holding a Riddle Contest and MMORadio is holding a LoTRO Beta Key contest. Head on over to the official Lord of the Rings Online site for further details.

    Source: LoTRO

    Wednesday - June 28, 2006

    Lord of the Rings: Rick Schmitz Dev Diary @ Official Site

    by Dhruin, 01:22
    Lead Content Support Artist Rick Scmitz pens a new dev diary at the LotRO site:
    While the majority of the LOTRO Art team is toiling away on all sorts of things you might expect to find in a game based on J.R.R. Tolkien's amazing books (like Orcs, Dwarves, Rivendell, hobbit holes and so on), the Content Support team makes some of the unexpected items that the Content folks dream up along the way. Though Tolkien may not have expressly mentioned many of these things, they're just the sort of items needed to make our Middle-earth feel realistic and believable. They are often things you would take for granted and only notice in their collective absence.

    Sunday - June 25, 2006

    Lord of the Rings Online: Audio Interviews & Community Spotlight @ Official Site