lord of the rings

See: Lord of the Rings Online

LOTRO confirms Chance Thomas’ return to score Mordor, says it will be his ‘darkest’ work yet

It was perhaps the worst-kept secret for Lord of the Rings Online’s upcoming Mordor expansion, but now it’s officially confirmed: Composer Chance Thomas is returning to score the MMO.

Saying that “it was a long time coming,” the announcement marks a reunion between Thomas and LOTRO after many years apart. Thomas was one of the key composers who wrote music for the base game and its expansions up through Riders of Rohan, but he’s been absent from the project since 2012. In the livestream, Thomas said that the lawyers had to wrangle things out to make a way for his return.

The composer said that the Mordor expansion will be a “different feel” than what he’s done for the game in the past — and will be quite dark, indeed. He’s currently reading through the design document and looking at various pieces of Middle-earth art to help inspire his composition. Thomas has just now started writing the score but said that there will be live orchestral recording of at least some of it.

Thomas and Standing Stone teased a second special announcement that will come next week. You can watch the full interview after the break!

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LOTRO teases special announcement coming at noon today

Fans of Lord of the Rings Online will want to tune in to a special dev livestream today at noon eastern for a special announcement. The leading theory, propped up by a tweet from the composer himself, is that Chance Thomas will be returning to score this fall’s Mordor expansion.

The team recently updated its events schedule for the MMORPG, giving players an idea of what to expect over the next few months. The anniversary scavenger hunts will continue through July 14th, and the summer festival is scheduled for June 28th.

Speaking of the scavenger hunt, you definitely want to bookmark Department of Strategery, which has been publishing comprehensive guides to each of these scavenger cards every week, including the brand-new Week Seven quests today.

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The Daily Grind: Which MMO offers the best dungeon crawling experiences?

Dungeons are deeply on my mind as of late, mostly because I’ve been missing doing them in MMORPGs. It’s odd: In particular MMOs, I run dungeons all of the time, while in others, I hardly ever touch them. The latter situation might be due to a lack of useful grouping tools, unrewarding instances, and games that have failed to develop an active dungeon crawling culture.

But which MMO offers the best dungeon crawling experience? That’s a tough one. I’ve certainly enjoyed plenty of World of Warcraft and RIFT’s instances, and I’ll admit that Final Fantasy XIV did a great job incorporating dungeons into its core gameplay. The Secret World had some awesome boss fights (and very little in the way of trash mobs), and I loved skirmishes in Lord of the Rings Online for a good while there.

What do you think? Which MMO has the best dungeon experience and why?

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LOTRO Legendarium: Bingo Boffin’s unexpected journey

In addition to playing a lot of fantasy and sci-fi MMORPGs, I’m an avid reader of novels in the same genres. I never quite get tired of heroes growing into their own and then going on a journey of discovery and salvation over the course of one or more books.

It’s natural for me to compare the journeys I read in novels to the ones I experience in MMOs, and in some ways, online RPGs have forgotten or overlooked some of the elements that make the fantasy journey so gripping. Our characters start out already grown, already powerful, already killing machines that will save the world numerous times over. Our grand quest is usually nothing more than seeking even more power, gear, and experience points. Due to this, the whole process of progressing through a game is streamlined into a well-honed but somewhat soulless loop.

But what if a game took the time to reexamine the journey outside of the pressure to provide an optimal leveling and narrative path to the next world boss that needs extermination? What if there was a mission chain that took the inconsequential and made it essential, that was structured in such a way to more resemble books than eroded gameplay design?

Enter Bingo Boffin, the unlikeliest hero of them all, and his unique journey across Middle-earth with you in tow.

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Massively Overthinking: Being Uncle Owen in MMORPGs

Ever since the tone-deaf SOE proclamation that nobody wanted to play Uncle Owen in an MMORPG, contrary me has consciously fought that very stupid idea. A whole lot of people wanted to play Uncle Owen, then and now, there and elsewhere. Star Wars Galaxies was a game half full of Uncle Owens. I spent a lot of time literally becoming a moisture farmer as my own form of rebellion. And yet, as I realized while debating with my husband a few weeks ago, the person I really wanted to be was freakin’ Lando. And most MMORPGs don’t allow that either — it’s Luke or GTFO.

Such is the argument made by a recent PC Gamer article, which in its own precious mainstream way argues that “MMOs need to let you be an average Joe” to get out of the clear “creative slump” they’re in.

“With their scale and permanence, MMOs give us the chance to be citizens in a make-believe world we create with the help of our fellow players. When it’s left up to us what kind of role we want to fill in that world, everybody’s immersion benefits from being surrounded by all types of characters with vastly different stories.”

For this week’s Overthinking, I asked the staff to chime in on the concept of Uncle Owen in MMORPGs. Do you play this way? Do you wish you could? And is it the way forward?

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The Stream Team: A Cinco de Mayo pajama party in LOTRO

Have you heard of that MMO Book Club? (Don’t worry, no actual books are involved!) This group is moving together to a new MMO every three months. First up: Lord of the Rings Online. As part of the experience, the community is putting on a pajama party. That’s perfect, since Massively OP’s MJ plans on showing up in pajamas! You are invited to join her for this look into the MMO Book Club. Tune in live at 8:00 p.m. for some LOTRO fun. Pants optional.

What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, May 5th, 2017

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Global Chat: Happy 10th birthday, LOTRO!

With Lord of the Rings Online hitting its 10th anniversary this past week, plenty of bloggers are enjoying the festivities and recalling some of their favorite memories of this beloved MMO.

Lina looked back at her earliest beta impressions of LOTRO and laughed at how she saw the game as “rather stiff, lifeless, and drab” (she since changed her mind). Wilhelm went through the game’s history and noted that the MMO was “a leader in the conversion to a free-to-play model, citing a huge boost in players and revenue to accompany the change.” And Roger recalls the changes: “Looking back now at these early days of LOTRO, the most pronounced difference was the fact that much of the game was designed to be completed in a group or fellowship.”

Is it still a game worth playing? Syl recently returned to LOTRO after a long absence and found it welcoming: “I’ve only been back a few days and already had more friendly encounters and met more silly helpful people on Laurelin than I otherwise would in years.”

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LOTRO confirms a multi-boss raid for its Mordor expansion

When it comes to Mordor, is there any zone better suited to large, epic endgame fights? Yet when Lord of the Rings Online players head into the expansion this fall, Sauron will already be toppled. So does that mean that evil will be vanquished?

Not by a long shot, it appears. On its 10th anniversary livestream, Standing Stone Games confirmed that it is working on a raid for the expansion that will come out some time down the road.

“We are planning on having a raid, a multi-boss raid that comes out following the initial release of the Mordor expansion. We’re going to hold it back a bit as to not have people racing to endgame content,” Standing Stone said. “It will be in a place called the Abyss of Mordath.”

Check out the raid reveal for yourself after the break!

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Wanna try new MMORPGs? Join the MMO Book Club

Long ago when we were between MMOs, my guild went through several months of playing a new game every week thanks to the magic of free trials. But what if you wanted to do that and don’t already have a guild? In fact, what if you wanted to tour the best available MMORPGs in the modern era but didn’t want to have to find a new guild every time you switched?

That’s where the MMO Book Club can help. Like a real book club, this little Reddit community is selecting a new MMO every three months by popular vote and then heading in en masse, using the experience to discuss the game across Reddit and Discord

The first vote selected Lord of the Rings Online, and the whole thing kicks off on May 1st. The organizers have weekly events planned, including crafting and dungeoning nights.

May we recommend Justin’s recent LOTRO Legendarium: A guide to starting fresh in Lord of the Rings Online?

Source: Reddit

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LOTRO Legendarium: 10th anniversary interview with Standing Stone’s Rob Ciccolini

As Lord of the Rings Online players revel in the varied activities of this year’s 10th anniversary celebration, the crew at the newly formed Standing Stone Games has a huge task ahead of them: To capitalize upon this monumental milestone and prepare to shuttle players into the “endgame” of the books.

We had the opportunity to sit down with Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini to talk abut the anniversary, its hiccups, and upcoming Mordor expansion. As the page turns on a new chapter of both the game and its development team, it truly feels like we’re about to venture into the unknown in more ways than one.

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Lord of the Rings Online celebrates 10 years with stream at noon

Lord of the Rings Online is currently in the middle of its 10th anniversary celebrations, only somewhat darkened by the grumbling over the event’s inaccessibility for lowbies. At noon EDT today, the Standing Stone team is plotting an anniversary stream with “gameplay, developer chats, and giveaways” — and hopefully a look into the game’s future.

The stream begins at noon, and you can watch it down below, but in the meantime, take a peek at Massively OP’s LOTRO Legendarium column, in which Justin recapped his ten years in the game, or last night’s episode of the Stream Team, on which MJ took a peek at the festivities.

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The Stream Team: Lord of the Rings Online turns 10!

For 10 years fans have been able to wander through the beauty of Middle-earth thanks to Lord of the Rings Online — 10 years of Rivendell, 10 years of Bree, and 10 years of the Shire. That’s a whole lot of goodness! Today, Massively OP’s MJ is diving deep into the anniversary celebration. There are daily quests and even a scavenger hunt to enjoy. Join us live at 9:00 p.m. to wish LOTRO a very happy birthday. (Yes, you can even sing!)

What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 9:00 p.m. EDT on Monday, April 24th, 2017

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LOTRO devs address anniversary event uproar

While Lord of the Rings Online players are flitting all around Middle-earth to complete the brand-new scavenger hunt cards, not everyone is happy with the anniversary event. Some of the community has raised an uproar over the hunt, saying that it discriminates against characters that haven’t hit the level cap and are restricted in travel options.

On the forums, the team emerged to address the controversy and offer limited reassurance:

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