helms deep

PSA: Lord of the Rings Online expansions are on sale

Steam isn’t the only place where you can get a good deal on MMOs this holiday season. Lord of the Rings Online is holding its own sale in the LOTRO Market where you can get many of the expansions for a pittance.

Helm’s Deep, the most recent expansion, has been discounted from $40 to $10. Riders of Rohan, Rise of Isengard, and Mines of Moria are all down to $5 apiece, while you can pick up Siege of Mirkwood for $2.50. Probably the best deal, however, is to pick up the expansion quad pack (all expansions save Helm’s Deep) for $10. So for $20 total, you can snap up every expansion in the game to date and get ready for next year’s trip to Mordor.

Don’t forget that even Saruman was on the lookout for a good deal: “Isengard bids five.”

Source: LOTRO Market

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LOTRO Legendarium: Looking back and forwards with LOTRO

I think it is safe to say without any malice whatsoever that Lord of the Rings Online has firmly entered its autumn years.

Everything about the game seems like it’s slowed down. The last expansion, Helm’s Deep, is receding in the distance (as are all of the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films) with no expected further expansions to come. Turbine as a studio has weathered a hard year with the failure of Infinite Crisis, and updates for LOTRO aren’t coming as quickly or reliably as they once did. Chatter across blogs, Twitter, and Reddit shows that this once-favored MMO is not enjoying being one of the major players any longer.

However, all is not lost! Turbine is not only putting out updates but is creating the right sort of updates, consolidating servers and pushing the story forward. The strength of the IP and the loyal playerbase does a lot to prop up this title, ensuring that as long as the lights are left on, LOTRO has many more years ahead of it.

Let’s take a trip back through LOTRO’s big news of 2015 before examining the 2016 producer’s letter and speculating on what is to come.

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LOTRO Legendarium: The return of the dungeon

While I’ve been playing Lord of the Rings Online as one of my main MMOs for almost a decade now, it’s primarily been for the single-player experience through the majestic and detailed world. I suspect that a disproportionally large percentage of the playerbase approaches the game in a similar fashion compared to other fantasy MMOs.

There’s something about LOTRO’s group content that’s never been able to convince me that it’s worth doing in the same way that I would in other games. I’ve liked it well enough when circumstances conspired to throw me into a group experience, but I’ve never felt that doing dungeons was something I had to do to gear up. Quest rewards have been just fine to get me through the zones and epic story thus far, and I don’t think that will change.

And for a time, it looked as though Turbine had acknowledged that this was the case by taking instance clusters off the table in early 2014 in favor of lesser group content, like epic battles, roving warbands, and a handful of tougher areas. However, now that the game is under new leadership and well into a new year, we’re seeing the return of the dungeon at last. Why the change of direction and how might it benefit the community? That’s been on my mind a lot as of late.

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