How Turbine built Lord of the Rings Online’s Battle of Pelennor Fields

Turbine Design Lead Ben “DrOctothorpe” Schneider has a meaty design blog out for Lord of the Rings players anxiously awaiting the launch of Update 18: The Battle of Pelennor Fields.

Schneider says Turbine has never tackled any battle so huge and momentous as Pelennor Fields itself, which won’t surprise anyone who’s seen Return of the King and held her breath while the dust of the battle clears. The team first considered porting it into a massive instance or epic battle but ultimately put together its very own crack team to turn the battle into a technically challenging web of instances, hubs, quests, and cinematics.

“Starting with the Ride of the Rohirrim, the player (that’s you) would traverse five key areas of the battle, each at a different stage of the day,” he explains. “Epic instances would by-and-large bridge these moments. An instance cluster would be called out at branch-off points where appropriate (as well as in the Instance Finder, of course). And in-between, we would render the raging battlefield from the soldier’s-eye-view, after a fashion never before seen in Lord of the Rings Online.”

The update was originally planned to launch today but has been delayed until tomorrow. It includes a level cap bump up to 105, three new instances, quests and deeds for high-level players, and a weekly instance schedule.

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