Today was a big day for the players of Lord Of The Rings Online (LOTRO). The first retail expansion for this game has been announced. It’s called “The mines of Moria” and is expected to be available in fall of 2008. Since the launch of this game Turbine has added 4 new updates for free. This expansion will be the first update which will need to be paid for. The reaction in the forums have been positive and the majority are willing to pay extra for this. Many LOTR fans have been waiting to adventure in Moria. The maximum level for a player will be extended to 60 also. There will also be 2 new classes added called the “Rune-keeper” and “the Warden” but no further details on what role they will play. I have also found some more details of a new Player vs Monster Player (PvMP) area in this expansion as well.
Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) has been updating their game almost every 2 months with new changes and areas. Book 11: Defenders of Eriador! was added on October 24, 2007. This book brought a new smaller 12 person raid called the Rift with a balrog to fight against. I haven’t done any raiding in this game yet but I have heard this raid is very challenging. I also have reached level 50 with my minstrel and rank 7 with my spider in monster play. I’m the first rank 7 spider on the server I play on so It’s a big accomplishment but I get no new skills so that’s a disappointment.
This update also allowed players to buy houses for themselves and for their kinships. Players can decorate their houses with brand new items and some crafted items. There are 4 different housing areas for each race: dwarf, elf, hobbit and man. I picked the hobbit housing for my characters and kinship house just because that is my main race and my kinmate liked the houses.
The misty mountains was expanded with a new area which includes the goblin-town. Trollshaws area was expanded too. A lot more quests for the higher levels were added with some great items with good stats. You might also meet gollum in one of these quests. It is a fun quest when you finally find it and doesn’t break the lore at all. Gollum’s cave in the Goblin town area is a a great place for fans of the Hobbit book to visit. It’s not easy to get to unless you are a high level character.
Lore masters and minstrels got some new skills which really was a great addition. Lore masters can rez (resurrect) a fellow player and have more pets. Some of these pets are passive and only for looks. Lore masters can lay tar down on the floor which makes mobs slow down to a crawl and vulnerable to fire. Minstrels can now do some good damage if they sacrifice their healing a bit. Minstrels get some better healing too but the best part is now they have better dps for solo play.
Some changes to other classes didn’t play well with players. Hunters biggest damage skill now places a big x mark on a creep in PVP so it’s a warning for the creep to get out of the way. When hunters track players in PVP the creeps get notified of being tracked now. Burglars didn’t appreciate the 10 second timer on their sneak skill which didn’t have any before. But Burglars are still the best at PVP and can still survive easily.
Monster players can now use warband maneuvers which allows a stronger attack within a group. This only used to work on the freep side but only to npc characters. Now both sides can use it on any player character or npc’s. In my opinion this was not the right thing to do. The attacks were too strong and it pauses the fight which is not good in a PVP setting. I’ve suggested to keep the group attacks but not allow them on player characters. The creep side got some needed skills for higher ranked players which allowed for better fights. There were plenty of silly bugs that got though testing but I felt these were not as bad as the last update.
This update provided a lot of content for high level characters. The housing was the best due to the chests which allowed players to save more items. The rift seems a big success from what I have heard and read. It’s challenging, entertaining and gives great rewards. The new skills for minstrels and lore masters were great and it made players have more choices on how to play their class. The new skills made PVP more difficult in some ways with the tar being the most hated update skill.
For months now I have been playing Lord of The Rings Online (LOTRO) and been posting about my experiences. This is my first major MMO to play so haven’t had many experiences with downtime’s. On Monday they had a scheduled maintenance which should have lasted for 6 hours. That’s usually the average time they go down for updates or maintenance anyway.
There was a problem and the downtime lasted more than what was expected. In fact LOTRO, Dungeons and Dragons Online and Asheron’s Call were all affected by this problem.
The SAN upgrade that went awry was intended to reduce the length of downtime’s during future patches, by a pretty significant amount.
The games were down for almost 24 hours and there were plenty of angry people. Most were understanding and were patient. I went on our monster play ventrilo server to find out what everyone else was doing. We all just shared fun web pages and talked about what things we liked to see changed in the game. Most everyone else waited for any word from the developers about the status of the game.
On behalf of the entire staff at Turbine we would like to apologize for yesterday’s extended downtime. The outage was a unique occurrence involving a combination of the hardware and software that supports our login servers and other related web services. This problem prevented players from successfully logging into the games, although the game servers themselves were unaffected and remained up.
Most everyone was happy that the servers finally came up and wasn’t expecting anything from Turbine but an apology. We were surprised with a free day and some special items. Very nice way to make their customers happy. Hope this never happens again and I have heard of other games with longer downtime’s so this one isn’t that bad. One big mess-up their first year is good for a new mmo game I think.
On August 20th, 2007 the second free content update was added called “The City Of The Kings” which features book 10. Watch the trailer here.
The book 10 quests start in Evendim and occurs mainly in Annuminas. I haven’t started on this book but the quests look challenging and interesting. Annuminas has plenty of hard enemies and instances for the higher level players. Other quests have been added throughout the world for all levels. This new update also changed the user interface. Players can resize the controls and icons to fit better on their screens. Some of the classes got more skills like the captain and hunter. This update seems like it gave some needed stuff for the higher levels but not enough to satisfy some.
Players can now play as a chicken in a separate session. You have different quests to do and you can gain a new cape and some destiny points. As a chicken you can walk among the other players but you can’t attack or talk to them. A chicken starts at level 1 and can not gain any experience. This is actually a fun little side part of the game and I hope they expand on this idea for the future. Trying to run in places where wolves and bears try to kill you is hard! At least a chicken can evade and run really fast to get away.
Reputations have now been added to the game which allow players to gain some nice rewards. A player can do quests for a particular group to gain points. These points will gain favors and rewards which can be bought or traded. The amount of stuff you need to collect is a lot and becomes a big grind to get more reputation. I find the hobbit reputation the hardest due to very rare drops. More vault space for your items have now been added for a price at certain levels. This was a needed addition but they still need to add more bag space either from crafting or buying them. With all these quests, players need more space to hold items.
Crafting has also been updated with jewelers making earrings and bracelets. I hear that jewelers are making lot of money from these new recipes by selling stuff at the auctions. Scholars can now track their resources which was was very much needed. So this update gave some nice stuff for crafting including plenty of new recipes to find.
Monster play had plenty of changes implemented. All the keeps can now have defenses like boiling oil. This could have been a great idea but in my experience it isn’t working as it should. It kills too many people all at once when it should at least slow the attackers down. The creeps had some of their damage increased and health increased. It actually makes ranked creeps a bit better at fighting freeps. The biggest change is that they allowed players to play as a troll and a ranger. Now this could have been great for some great battles but the trolls seem like they are just too powerful. The trolls have massive AOE attacks which scatter the players. The rangers on the freep side can stealth and kill creeps with one shot. The rangers can be handled if they have no backup. The trolls can be taken down easily with a really good group of players. Before this patch the freeps could easily take the map when they wanted to. Now they can only take keeps with good tactics and less creeps around. This patch needs to be fixed so it becomes a bit more balanced for monster play.
In my opinion this update introduced more bugs and less needed content. Some of these bugs were awful and easily should have been seen on the test server. Having a whole building disappear with lower graphics on is one example. The game is still fun and the higher levels have some new content but I am hearing that they are getting bored. I have paced myself and don’t have plans of getting to level 50 any time soon. So for me this game is still entertaining enough for me to continue playing. The next update might happen in October or november. I’m hoping they will add more quests for us solo players and better stuff for the players at level 50. They better fix monster play or this part of the game might not entertain players anymore. I give this update a 6 out of 10. The bugs and poor planning with pvp really brought me down. The next update looks promising with player housing! Fun Fun!
I’ve been playing Lord Of The Rings these past months and got my main minstrel up to level 44. I have another minstrel at level 42 which I don’t play anymore and a captain close to level 30. I’ve been playing mostly in monster play on the monster (creep) side as a weaver (spider). The creeps fight against the free peoples (freeps) who can only come out in the ettenmoors after level 40. I thought it was a good time to report on the updates and playability of this game.
On June 13th, 2007 the first free content update was added called “Shores of Evendim” which features book 9. The books are epic quests which roughly follow the main story from LOTR. Watch the trailer here.
Evendim map was opened up above the shire with new monsters and quests to be done. Some of these quests are hard and you need to be over level 30. The salamanders are a fun enemy to fight against because they can blow fire. The deer in this area can attack as well so be careful! The worst part of this area is the huge lake which takes up a big part of the map. Fastest way to get across it is to swim very slowly. They really should add a boat or something to get across this lake. Also this update brought in a very hard quest called “Thief-taker’s Bane” which really needs more than 1 minstrel. Most of the players who finish this quest really hate it but It’s a good challenging quest compared to some others. This is a fun addition especially for the level 30 to 40 people looking for solo quests.
Each class can now get unique epic armour from drops and the first 24 person raid was introduced in the Misty mountains called Helegrod. I Am not high enough to try this raid but I’ve heard it can be rough. Some have complained about the lack of epic drops in other areas outside of raids. I don’t know if I will try a raid when I get my character to level 50. I only raid in monster play right now.
There was some much needed changes to the crafting professions too. Farming is now more profitable and is needed for the cooks. Before this patch cooks would be able to buy all ingredients from npc’s instead of regular players at the auctions. Now this has changed for the good. Farming is now profitable and cooking is not as easy as it was.
The music system in the game got better with two additional instruments. A drum and bass can be bought to play music. They also added a way to play abc notation from a file. This brought in some fun for regular players who couldn’t play as well as others.
Monster play had some changes happen on the creep side and some incentives for the freep side. A major change was to the spider who now can spit poison making it a range attacker. I actually created a spider of my own around this time and have been playing one ever since. I am now rank 5 on Elendilmir server and rank 4 on Firefoot server. Ranking a monster player can only be done by killing freeps.
My personal opinion of this update was that is was needed for more solo quests but it brought in some bad bugs which needed to be fixed. I still haven’t finished the book 9 quests yet so still need to do more with this update. This update also brought some new enemies to kill for level 40+ players which is desperately needed for this game. I give this update a 8 out of 10. I liked it and was entertained for a few weeks and I still have stuff to do in this area.
I just reached my first and second goal in Lord of the Rings Online. My first goal was to reach level 35 so I can buy a pony. Elves and men can buy horses but dwarves and hobbits can only buy a pony. There are 4 type of styles available: Bay pony, Blonde Sorrel Pony, Bloodbay Pony and the Chestnut Pony. I bought the Bloodbay pony for 4 gold and 220 silver but I thought the color would be black but it’s brownish color. The picture icon is the only one that looks black but it’s not. I’ve read in the forums about other people thinking it would be black so I think it should be fixed by giving us a black pony or changing the icon’s color.
I love the fact I can ride around anywhere and go faster than running. Also I get through some mobs I wouldn’t even try to outrun. If a person gets hit too much on a horse then they will fall off. I have found out that using the regular horses from the stable master is a bit faster than your own horse. But the big advantage is that I can get into areas where a stable master horse can not go. The pony is well worth the money and I only had to grind a bit to make enough money. I already had 3 gold and some silver when I reached level 35 just from doing most of the quests solo.
I have been playing this game with this character for a month a couple hours a day. I do most of the quests solo and a few of the group quests I found I could do by myself without looking for others to play with. The new content coming out on June 13th will have a lot more solo quests with a brand new area. In fact right now they have opened a new preview server, Roheryn, which has all the new updates they will be adding this month.
I’ve played in the preview server and the upcoming changes look very good. The best part is you get an instant upgrade to level 30 on the preview server. The new area is very well done and very challenging for a level 30+. I’m hoping to write more about this update later after I play some more.
The biggest problem I am having in the level 30 range is I can’t do much soloing so I must group up. I’ve been grinding out for experience for some levels because all the quests are way too hard for just me. The new content coming out this month will address this issue. All the quests will be in the 30+ range! That is a welcome addition for me.
I have just reached my second goal yesterday but that’s for another post! Just be aware you might find me in the ettenmoors protecting the hobbits in their village from the evil monsters!
Yes, LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online) has PVP but not exactly. They have what’s called PVMP which means player versus monster player. Their is also a sparring option which players can fight each other until one is defeated. They won’t actually die and can continue what they were doing after a couple of seconds. Most people ignore all spar requests by turning off sparring in the options.
I’m not a lover of PVP (Player vs Player) and rather play solo in most games. Some MMO games have some sort of PVP built in to the system. From the extreme where everyone is vulnerable for attack or where you can only fight when both parties agree. I don’t really like this type of gaming because I like team play and helping others. Also I’ve been playing games since I was a child trying to get away from ghosts from pacman. I’m used to finding patterns or weaknesses in a computer generated character. I can’t seem to do the same with a real person.
So I figured I wouldn’t like PVP in LOTRO but I have to say I actually like it right now. I might not like it when the regular players get in to the zone and start fighting. If I keep in a fellowship or raid I’ll probably enjoy this side of the game. I’ve been in full raids which consists of 24 monsters and had a lot of fun trying to take some hard places over. The Ost Ringdyr is the hardest and we had a great leader who knew exactly where we should be at all times.
When you get your regular character to level 10 you can enter the Ettenmoors with a level 50 monster character. This is the only area where you can play as a monster. You can play as an orc, warg, spider or uruk. The orc reaver is the main tank class which has some powerful melee skills. The spider weaver can play as a tank also and can snare enemies with their webs. They also have a way to bury themselves under ground for safety or a trap. I think they look really cool and scary. The uruk blackarrow is the main archer and is a very good class to start with. The uruk warleader is the main healer and can revive other defeated players. No raid should be without one. The warg stalker is the stealth class and has a fast escape skill too. They can sneak around just like the burglars in regular play.
When you get to level 10 you need to search for a red fell scrying pool in Thorin’s gate near silver deep mine, Michel delving in shire or south west of Bree town near the black rock. Just right click on the pool and you will see a selection window with different characters. Each account can have up to 5 monster characters on each server. Any accomplishments you make on your monster character will be saved for the next time you want to be a monster.
Once you pick your character you will name it and be placed at the starting point. There are 5 keeps around this area which can be taken over by monsters or the regular players. When the servers start up there are 3 keeps in the hands of the good people and 2 keeps in the hands of the evil players. This can be changed but only by a big raid. I’ve had the pleasure of being in a raid with a great leader who knows exactly how to take each keep with no deaths. In fact my very first raid in any MMO has been in the monster play and I enjoyed it! Each keep has a captain which has to be killed for the keep to change over.
There are plenty of quests a monster can do in this area to gain destiny points. You can use these points to buy more permanent skills or use it for your regular player but just for a short time. I would recommend to use them only for your monsters until maxed out or in emergency situations for your regular character. You will find that you can only buy a certain amount of skills because you have to be at a higher rank to buy the rest. To get to the next ranks you need to kill player controlled free people characters. For each player you kill you get some infamy points. When you get enough points you get to the next rank and can buy more stuff. At this time of the writing you probably won’t see any players but later on more will be entering this area. There have been reports of brave player controlled characters at level 40 running scared in this area.
This is where the PVP starts and will continue. Once regular players get to level 40 they will be allowed to enter this area. This is totally an option for you and is not a requirement. If you are level 40 and above you can travel to rivendell and find the horse stables. choose the Ettenmoors travel and you will be entering the monster play area. As your regular character you will also find quests in this area. But always be aware their will be more player controlled monsters out there waiting to kill you. You can also start a raid to take back the keeps away from the monsters. I’m sure in a couple months this place will go back and forth and have some great battles!
On April 24th, the Lord of the Rings Online officially launched. Everyone can go to their local retail stores and buy the game to play online. April 29th was the end of the 5 day extension for late preorders and now everyone playing has actually paid for the game. I bought mine at fry’s and so glad I knew I could get $10 off if I bought the preorder before. I had to ask for it or they wouldn’t have given it to me. I hate when that happens!
I felt it was a good time to go through my experiences I have had since my last posts. My friend and I started from the very beginning of open beta with new characters in a fellowship. I have to say the quests in bree and the shire are the best and doesn’t take a lot of running around. This is true especially for the bree area where the quests are in a small area and can get you to level 10 easily. The dwarfs quest with the gears take so long to run back and forth which really gets tiring just to get to level 10.
There are also some fun unknown quests to get titles like the pie-eating champion. For this title you need to get to the festival grounds in bree which can be seen on the map north of bree town. The contest can happen anytime in the day but never at night. I just waited at the table near Humbert Sandheaver until he started the contest. Then I just had to eat six pies before time ran out. There are couple of more deeds I didn’t know about mentioned in the PC gamer magazine TD posted about here.
I have my main minstrel character, johnsono, who plays on the elendilmir server. He’s mostly going to be a solo character like I was before in closed beta. Already have my first gold and going for my second gold. Already got my prospecting to the master level. My second character is a captain and It’s a fun character which I will level up in the months to come. The other characters on that server is a lore master, guardian and another minstrel to play with my friend. A minstrel and a guardian plays well together especially when they know what they are doing.
On one quest called, Rescue By The Moonlight, the minstrel and guardian team finished it with the minstrel sacrificing his life at the end for the guardian to finish the quest. The lore master and guardian failed miserably half way into the quest and still haven’t finished it. I probably could do a bit better with the lore master by practicing more with his skills. I usually let my bear do most of the fighting when I solo so in a group I have to change my strategy.
We also started a kinship to try things out. You must have 6 people in a kinship but they don’t have to be all 6 separate accounts which means you can add your alt characters. It’s a good way to talk to your friends without using /tell or forming a fellowship all the time. We also just bought some headsets to use the voice chatting option to coordinate attacks. Many times I wasn’t able to type fast enough before we were defeated or trying to tell the guardian to be careful of a mob nearby before going in.
For right now I am still having fun doing the quests I have already done in the past. My main character just got to level 18 so I’m in no rush. I have a full month of playing before I get billed first. I am planning to go with the $9.95 special founder price but if I make more money I might try the lifetime $199 price. No other MMO game has interested me except for guild wars just because there is no monthly payment for it. Maybe I’ll try that game in a year. I still like my offline games like command & conquer 3 which I just got. I am very competitive against the computer but not so much against other people.
I found this interesting article reading some forums and really thought it was something to share. It had all the major virtual world and games mentioned on this blog and brought up a subject which is in the current news. You see all this debating about same sex marriage in real life but I never even thought about it in a virtual world. Social interaction in virtual worlds is a big part of why people like them.
The article mentioned that LOTRO decided not to add a marriage feature into the game. The reason stated was that they couldn’t decide to allow same sex marriage or marriage between different races. WOW, Everquest and NannyMUD were mentioned allowing any marriage. Second Life was mentioned for having no rules on marriage too.
I never thought of getting married in a virtual world. I actually remember some friends from the bbs days in the 90’s getting married online in a chat room. I believe most online games right now do allow marriages for anyone. When LOTRO brings in a marriage option I hope they will allow it for anyone. A hobbit and a dwarf could be a perfect couple to battle the evil forces.
My take on this is marriage in a virtual world should be allowed for everyone. It won’t harm other people and it will make the social interaction even better. Leave the silly debates for the real world. But it is a good read to see what other games have decided. The only thing that gets on my nerves with these games is the constant name calling, harassment and stereotyping. Using the word gay to call something lame is still offensive.
April 6th was the start of open beta for everyone who didn’t pre-order LOTRO (Lord of the Rings Online). You might be ready to start in the open beta or playing right now but still need some helpful tips. I am always reading the forums to find what problems people have. The number 1 problem is getting more money! This is still beta and still may be tweaked a bit before the game goes live so don’t get too discouraged about it.
Forming groups will gain more levels faster but everything is shared! Also for unique or expensive items all the members of the group have to roll and the highest number rolled will get that item! If you are going solo you shouldn’t have much of a problem with money. Remember you don’t have to repair your items unless they get really low. Usually you will get a better item with your next quest or a drop from a mob (monster or other enemy character). Good drops come from humanoid enemies and I find spiders drop really well. Find some low level spiders and start grinding (constantly killing same monsters for experience or money).
This game is not very good for people who grind for experience. You get a lot of experience with doing quests! Make sure you get all quests you see. You have a limit of 40 quests you can do at one time. This is where a fellowship (grouping together with other players) will come in handy. Grouping will also allow you to do harder quests which give you more experience.
Crafting is another way of making money but can also cost money if you’re not careful. I’ll leave this for another post because it is very involved. I haven’t farmed yet but hear that it’s very costly to buy the seeds for the first timers.
I have played mostly a minstrel through closed beta and open beta so that is the class I know best. It’s a very good solo character but you do have to wait longer than other classes to finish some of the harder quests. Because minstrels are healers you will be asked to join groups a lot more than other characters. Remember you are a healer first so don’t think of attacking mobs when in a group. Especially if you are grouped with lower level players. Watch their health and heal as much as you can! Only attack if everyone is staying healthy because minstrel attacks can be helpful sometimes.
Lore-masters don’t seem needed in some groups but they can help mele (close combat) characters with their pets and skills. Your pets can be very helpful because you can send them in first and then attack with your range skills. By the time the enemy attacks you they should be half-way dead. You can move your pet skills from the pet bar to your quick slot bars for easier fighting (thanks to geekwing for this tip!). Burglars should always try attacking behind a monster for the best result! Be stealthy as much as you can around mobs. Hunters are the best at long distance fighting with their arrows and traps. Hunters are great in a group with some mele players.
There is a cap at level 15 so take your time and relax. Play each of the 4 races because each will start at a different area and have a different story. The elves and dwarfs will start in the same place and share most of the introduction quests. The humans and hobbits share their own area and quests as well. Try some crafting and explore the game world. When you get to level 10 you can try the monster play which is fun and needs another post all it’s own. Monster play will get better when regular player characters can enter the area at level 40+.
Another problem some people are having are the waiting queues for servers. It might not be the best to wait a couple of minutes to play and this might change in the future. My longest wait was around 10 minutes for Brandywine server. In fact Brandywine and silverlode seems to be the busiest servers with short and medium waiting times. Please try the other servers if you hate waiting. You are allowed 5 regular characters for each server. You can have 5 separate monster characters for each server too. At this time you can not move to another server so pick your main carefully!
- Walkthrough article on the ui interface in the game.
- Good place to find maps and more for the game.
- LOTRO wiki with great details about the game.
- A great resource page for great information.
- Video of race and class selection.
- Video of character emotes in game.