Lord of the Rings Online mini-expansion brings Pelennor Fields and level cap increase

“Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden! Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter! Spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered, a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!”

The day of days is finally upon Lord of the Rings Online, as Update 18: The Battle of Pelennor Fields has released. This is a mini-expansion in truth, as it contains a level cap increase to 105, over 70 additional quests, two more books in the epic story, the Far Anórien region, and a new instance cluster.

The fan-favorite Battle of Pelennor fields will play out over both the epic story and the trio of new instances, the latter of which include The Blood of the Black Serpent, The Quays of the Harlond, and the Silent Street. With the update comes a new featured instance system, in which Turbine will choose an old instance or raid each week to promote with special rewards. There’s a lot to absorb in the patch notes, so get reading while you prepare for battle!

Source: Patch notes
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32 Comments on "Lord of the Rings Online mini-expansion brings Pelennor Fields and level cap increase"

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VasDrakken
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VasDrakken

Oleg Chebeneev that is texture stretching where someone messed up the U to V space or UV layout. Everything from just above the waterfall to the lake below on the one mountain is stretched, if it is still a modified Unreal it is likely geo that was not laid out properly as bsp usually have a 1 to 1  scale.

When the game came out it was a heavily modified unread editor 2.5 with parts of 3.0 code. Then they updated to 3.0 with evendim lake area and added the Direct 11 code. that was when the water went from cool looking but no effects on it to moving effects in the water… it is likely it UE editor four code now which has no trouble with some of the crazier photo realistic effects… likely someone was in a hurry and took existing area of terrain and copied it to a new area and distorted it not even knowing what UV space is… or they took a brush and painted down a mountain range to add in the water fall. Could be a dozen other things but the biggest reason when you look at it is that is that color all is gloomy… the value does not change at all and the numbers are like with ten points of each other… mordor is supposed to be gloomy and if your getting close that sorta makes sense except to play in that area people are going to start acting odd… the human mind when seeing monotones has problems… when I was in the early beta playing in angamar they has a similar issue which is why the red were added to the area to break up the monotones… might just be the shot they chose but people looking at that will wonder why it is not appealing when the content should be… it is the colors they used washing out the impact of the shot… likely if they had added greens, blues or reds to terrain texture or simply got it further from the color of the sky it would have popped more… likely the art is not the issue just washed out colors don’t have the impact that splashes of color do. I remember when the dye system was first in all the dyes where what were called natural colors and people complained they wanted bright pink and bunch of other colors… I don’t remember if people ever got their pink dyes but most of the concept art that was kept instead of tossed was set by that person, considering that the owner was woman who died a couple years ago… likely her vision was replaced by who ever set the mood above. Her character was ravenous I used to duo with her from time to time when she did not have to drop everything to look at something in game. I was playing with dett’s group and ravenous wanted me to be in her guild but her own policy was that only developers were allowed in it and she was getting grief from QA as it was that their character were not in it. So we did the next best thing we swapped gear so that my character was always wearing something she made which she was not selling on the AH, so there literately was no other place to get it, but I hung out with her in person a couple times, and she was always wearing clothing to make a statement… I remember that she almost never wore a piece of clothing a second time, I asked her and she said I would not understand. I never did until I met another woman who did the same thing and she laughed and told me that when she wore the same dress a couple times people all talked about it for days… which made a bigger impact than the stuff she normally did. It is a mindset that you can have good enough or you can have stunning. some people are happy aiming for good enough and some people are happy failing to get perfection but achieving good enough. maybe with more time they will aim higher who knows.

wanderv15
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wanderv15

This update has great Epics. Can’t wait for new raid!

wanderv15
Guest
wanderv15

Oleg Chebeneev Mindwork, ts-ts-ts. bad troll! :)

tobascodagama
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tobascodagama

Jack Pipsam xGBHx

Sure, corporate overlords can do whatever they want. But I see a lot of people saying, “Well, they obviously can’t continue the story past Mordor”, when that’s just not true. They can keep the story going as long as there’s interest.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

captainzor Gondor calls for aid!

Space_Brother
Guest
Space_Brother

Michael18 tobascodagama As someone who hasn’t kept up with LOTRO for years, what did they attempt to do after Helm’s Deep, if you don’t mind?

Jack Pipsam
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Jack Pipsam

tobascodagama xGBHx The head story guy from The Matrix Online had a whole planned out story as well, doesn’t mean that the corporation in charge cares.

Geering
Guest
Geering

Oleg Chebeneev Yeah, comparing Amorey’s screenshots just above you to the one you posted, I have to ask – what’s the point of this & what do you gain from it?
It all boils down to whether you like the art or not, anyway. There are plenty of newer games with better graphics whose aesthetics I can’t stand, GW2 being one of them, for example.
Unless the graphics are truly horrible – check Simon the Sorcerer 3D sometime – the way a game looks is highly subjective.

captainzor
Guest
captainzor

The beacons are lit!!!

OdinValhalla
Guest
OdinValhalla

The featured instance is interesting and nice to see. This game has a lot of content, most of it older but its all still there.

OdinValhalla
Guest
OdinValhalla

xGBHx Its “just something going around” but as the other posters eloquently point out the main story ends once Mordor falls. We are pretty dam close to the finish line too and while there are plenty of other things to explore in ME, I dont think (someone correct me if I am wrong) that Turbine has creative license with middle earth. They can tell the story of LOTR and thats it.

Michael18
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Michael18

Kanbe If you still like tab-target combat and the more traditional form of questing with well-written quest texts, and if you enjoy taking your time exploring a nicely-crafted game world, then lotro is still a must! But don’t rush to max level. The low and mid-level zones are still among the best the MMO genre has to offer, imho. And people roll alts like crazy in lotro, so you should find people for running instances even on mid levels (but this is optional, of course).

But you should like older games. If you are all about fast-paced, action-oriented game play, then lotro might not be the best choice :)

Michael18
Guest
Michael18

tobascodagama This. lotro’s mechanics and overall game design are basically wow’s original model. and this needs a level cap bump once in a while.

It would be madness, now with mordor in sight, to try to turn the game into something completely different it wasn’t designed for and to risk alienating the existing community. They tried that after the helm’s deep expansion and it almost killed the game.

Amorey
Guest
Amorey

Kanbe You really should try. .Minas Tirith is one amazing experience :)

Kanbe
Guest
Kanbe

This makes me want to jump back into lotro. Never got all that far but always wanted to. Though then I’d have to debate if I dust off my Ranger or start something new.

Tandor Shadewalker
Guest
Tandor Shadewalker

Oleg Chebeneev If someone has their settings turned down and takes screenshots at night or when there are storm clouds overhead any game can be made to look bad. I’ve never seen LoTRO look like that at the settings I play on, and certainly not in bright daylight conditions. I’d be interested to see the settings used here. The game’s graphics certainly aren’t the best, but they’re not the worst either and have stood the test of time reasonably well as long as the player’s computer has also done so.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

xGBHx It’s balderdash. MadeOfLions, the head story guy, says he has a ton of ideas for what to do in the game after the Ring is destroyed.

There’s a separate issue of the game license expiring in 2017, but WB/Turbine haven’t had any issue getting extensions in the past, and there’s no compelling reason for the license holders not to grant one this time either.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

Higgens Well, the game does have raids, and there’s one coming out in this update cycle, so that’s definitely a factor.

As much as I like the progression style that picks a single level cap and sticks with it forever, you really have to architect your game around that to make it work and have rewards in new zones still feel rewarding. LOTRO wasn’t built around that model, so they do need to ratchet up the level occasionally to keep quest drops relevant.

Amorey
Guest
Amorey

Here are a few screens taken this afternoon in Minas Tirith , including some of my and a chicken running around  – character models in game may not be as nice as in other more modern games but I would not change my hobbits , I just love her as she is :)

Sorenthaz
Guest
Sorenthaz

xGBHx Unless they come up with some stories post-Mordor I don’t see why they’d bother with it.  LotRO is pretty clearly nearing the end of its journey as an MMO, and by the time Mordor comes out it’ll have been going for probably 10-ish years at that point.  Plus they don’t have the rights to The Simarillion.  So unless they created random tales after that like what Star Wars Galaxies did (eugh) then it probably won’t be having any significant updates after Mordor.

Amorey
Guest
Amorey

Oleg Chebeneev That is not quite true ;)

Sorenthaz
Guest
Sorenthaz

Oleg Chebeneev Yeah, it really did feel like a beautiful game back then, even with the goofy character models.  Now though it just looks outdated as heck.  But that’s what happens to MMOs who try to make their art look more realistic-ish I guess.  They often age harder than stylized visuals seen in games like WoW.

Jack Pipsam
Guest
Jack Pipsam

Higgens I suspect that it looks good. Apart from getting attention of headlines it says “Hey look, we’re still working on this game”

Jack Pipsam
Guest
Jack Pipsam

xGBHx I mean it would make logical sense I suppose that once the game reached Morder they don’t have much further to go.
I mean I don’t think Turbine or Warner Brothers has the rights outside of LotR and Hobbit so I don’t think they could use other regions even if they wanted.
Sad, but it wouldn’t surprise me. If they can make it to Mordor, I suppose that would be at least a sense of closure.

Jack Pipsam
Guest
Jack Pipsam

Oleg Chebeneev As much as people sometimes like to make fun of WoW’s art style, it’s a stroke of genius from Blizzard (even if they didn’t intend it as such at the time) that the aesthetic doesn’t really degrade too much over time. And that even just a revamped character models in new zones is enough to make WoW look like a very pretty game.
Another great example I used is from Zelda. Comparing Wind Waker to Twilight Princess. Wind Waker still looks amazing to this day, but Twilight Princess even with its HD revamp looks horribly outdated by comparison.
A strong art style can do wonders for longevities sake, I think Bioware was very wise when making SWToR to go for a more stylised look.

Oleg Chebeneev
Guest
Oleg Chebeneev

Taken from official new zone screenshots:comment image

Amazing how much better LoTRO looked compared to WoW during release, and how much worse it looks now.

xGBHx
Guest
xGBHx

So I “heard” that after this and Mordor that the game will be going into maintenance mode at that point. Is this confirmed or just something going around?

Higgens
Guest
Higgens

Why do they keep boosting the lvl cap? Is there a reason to reset power creep in a game with out raids? The stupid slow lvling coupled with the unnecessarily high lvl cap keeps me from ever revisiting.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

Actually reading the patch notes, this is a really nice QoL feature for housing:All housing neighbourhoods now contain Task boards. You can accept and complete every task at these boards.
Not a huge change, but a neat little thing to make housing a bit more useful. Especially since some regions will drop task items that can only be turned in elsewhere.

tobascodagama
Guest
tobascodagama

Coldrun_MN
Guest
Coldrun_MN

While I haven’t played this in a while, it’s strangely comforting to see that the casual stroll towards Mordor continues.  Go LotRO! :D

Amorey
Guest
Amorey

Ready to go…ooh this is going to be good  :)

<3 LOTRO

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