Lord of the Rings Online: Mordor eyes July 31 launch, starts taking pre-orders

Ready to hop in your Middle-earth safari jeep and start touring around the untamed and lava-strewn lands of Mordor?

It might be coming sooner than you think. Standing Stone Games is eyeing a July 31st release date for its Mordor expansion, although the fine print leaves some wiggle-room for a delay (“In the event of delay, you will receive the Mordor expansion content and items no later than August 31st, 2017″).

But not so fast, little Hobbit — you’re going to have to pre-order first! All of the Free People ready for Lord of the Rings Online’s newest expansion should head on over to the Mordor pre-order site, where they can view the three bundles and decide which (if any) to purchase.

The base expansion is $40 and includes a single level boost to bring a character up to the starting gates of Mordor. But if you want the new High Elf race, you’re going to need to go for the collector’s edition ($80) or ultimate fan bundle ($130), as the pointy-eared adventurers are not included in the standard edition.

There’s also a Mordor FAQ page up with answers to some pertinent questions, such as whether or not players will be able to use LOTRO points to buy the expansion and new race (yes, but only once Update 22 arrives “this winter”).

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Paragon Lost

Yup, bought it.

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Jack Pipsam

Wait you have to pay extra for High Elves? This doesn’t seem like a good deal at all. $40 for an expansion is fine, but it should include High Elves + character slot, asking for an additional $40 on top of that is far too much for me to even consider.

I get that this game isn’t bringing in Blizzard cash, but come on.

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Dividion

If they make it available like they did the Beorning, you’ll be able to grab it for 1295 points in the store (about $13), and it’ll probably go on sale occasionally. They’ll probably price it at 1995 points originally to milk the extra cash.

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Jack Pipsam

But it’s the general principle of it I guess, the idea that High Elves are an advertised feature of the expansion, but it isn’t something which is actually included with the expansion isn’t a model I am used too. I mean if you add on the $13 US that’s still $53 US dollars or $68 AUD (not taking any extra fee into account).

I mean wasn’t there a whole thing where you’d buy the expansion, but still needed to buy quest packs at some point along the line with LoTRO? That doesn’t seem a very friendly way of doing things.

It should be so simple, you buy the expansion, you get what’d you expect and a race which has been advertised as being part of the expansion, should be well, part of the expansion.
Imagine if with Mists of Pandaria you had to pay an extra fee to access the Pandaren’s or Monks?

I fully understand that Standing Stone is a business, but being very obvious in the cash-grabbing isn’t a healthy way to conduct business, people will sub if they can and love the game, screwing people around in this way, well I am not surprised if they’d have problems moving units. They might find it turns off a bunch of people who might otherwise be interested. Instead of getting the $40 they’re apparently scoffing at, they’ll get nothing.

If they want to have their extra cost special editions with horses, cosmetics, titles, soundtracks, ect. Sure, go ahead, that’s fine, that’s additional stuff. But a race? That’s just taking the piss.

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Mike Minier

Unless they make the game play well with 4k resolution count me out. I recently tried to go back to the game after a couple year break. In that time I upgraded to a 4k monitor. The game only allows you to scale some of it’s UI elements. Essential screens like the character screen cannot be scaled up and are unreadable at 4k.

Yes, I could lower the resolution. However, in an age when even consoles are pushing 4k, I feel the game could adopt better despite it’s age.

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Jack Pipsam

The game lags with more than a few people around, native 4K elements isn’t going to happen anytime soon I feel. Although maybe there’s a mod for it?

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Michael18

$40 is below what I expected (expected at least $49.99). $80 is about what I expected. And the $130 package seems to include only optional perks, nothing essential for someone who just wants to enjoy the new zones, epic story, and instances (i.e. the main game).

The one thing I can understand is that for people who really want to play a High Elf asap, the $80 can feel a bit pricey. I would have expected the new race to be part of the cheapest package (but at $50 or $60).

Anyways. We have to realize it is incredibly fortunate that after Turbine’s stupid shift to mobile there is, with SSG, a small company of passionate people who still maintain and even expand LOTRO. I don’t see any other opportunity for SSG to rake in significant funds anytime soon, aside from this expansion. So, overall, I’m fine with the packages.

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eboe

Must be nice to have that kind of money to toss at a game. $50 for an expac is ridic. Should be $30 to $40. Tops. Collector’s editions, I get that. But a baseline expac shouldn’t be so damn high.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

$

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Jeremy Zharkov

I think they almost have to do something like this, because of all the lifetime accounts they have. I think I’ve got like 12,000 turbine points last time I checked. For people that haven’t logged in for years, they are likely even more loaded.

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Denice J. Cook

You can’t buy Mordor or the Elves with Turbine Points until winter. It won’t come with the level boost, either, which is why it’s less expensive. I don’t care, I like to level anyway, and I guess time flies and it will be the holidays before I know it, but…. This is still a drag.

https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?655542-Mordor-will-be-purchasable-with-LP&highlight=Mordor+with+points%3F

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Matthew Yetter

If I remember right, you have to actually log in during a given month to receive TP for that month. So someone who hasn’t logged in for years isn’t going to be sitting on a ton of points.

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mcsleaz

Just tried to use my old account. Changing the password fails every single time. Went to their website, they have completely done away with customer service by the looks of things, what a shit company.

Edit: Just noticed the Daybreak Games icon at the bottom of their page, lolololol.

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mcsleaz

I got it figured, I was going to the LOTRO.com site & I guess that stuff there doesn’t work anymore, even though I got a password reset email from that site, lol.

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Crowe

Yeah, the actual account management is still on a Turbine site. Weird and certainly not intuitive.

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Paragon Lost

The whole River Systems billing has always been pretty damn clunky and not intuitive. I’m not surprised that this didn’t get any better with the break from Turbine. :/

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GumpsGang

$40 is in line with past expansion plus we get a boost as a bonus.

The $60 was the norm, if I remember right, for recent collectors editions with just extra cosmetics. I guess the extra $20 is due to the High Elf. The $80 price point does still fee a bit high.

I remember hearing some “noise” awhile back regarding some supporters of the LOTRO community wanting high-end tier so they could help support the business health of the game. I suspect that what the $130 package is about.

Full disclosure. I way too much of a LOTRO fan. SSG could have added Hobbit poop in a box as a reward and I’d still end up buying it.

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Dividion

Anyone who wants to provide extra funding can simply buy points. Heck, there’s a $200 bundle that gets you 23,000 points. They can also subscribe for a $100 / year, or $180 / year if they’d rather contribute monthly.

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Melissa McDonald

On the other hand…
Maybe this is our chance to keep the game afloat. Maybe this is their kickstarter.
Maybe the income is more important than usual.
I’m just sayin’…

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Baldigar Stumblefoot

That may be the case, but if it is, I really just want them to be up-front and honest about it. I mean, sure, I’d want cool perks as a reward for my money (I expect that from kickstarter too… and with digital rewards, it isn’t as hard as otherwise), but at least if that were the case, people would know why the prices are what they are and know that the value is going to be knowing they are helping rather than just the rewards in return.

And I’m definately of the opinion that more sales and a bigger playerbase would be the best for the game and the studio’s wallet, rather than making people angry with high prices. I do understand the dilemma, that the servers will lag more with more people (something they really haven’t been able to fix all that much), and so having hordes of new players and then no way to resolve the lag after launch would be terrible as well, but they’d at least maybe be able to make a wider splash with more people, which they will need. They can’t keep surviving if they keep alienating some of their core without making it very viable for newcomers.

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Vincent Clark

This baffles me. I get it, you love the game (clearly) but sometimes I shake my head at how much people are willing to accept…how low they are willing to let their standards drop…just to play a digital avatar in Middle Earth. It’s not your job to keep the game afloat. It’s the job of SSG to provide consistent, quality content at a fair/reasonable price. If at any point you start questioning that (which, you have here), I find it mind boggling that you would want to support them anyway. But if it makes you happy, go for it. Someone needs to because if they keep making these type of decisions, the game won’t last much longer.

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Melissa McDonald

I don’t get why it baffles you, either, but I’m that big of a Tolkien fan. Think about it… there may never again be such a detailed, huge, faithful, and well-made recreation of nearly the entire Map of Middle Earth that Tolkien drew. It may never happen again. Not on this scale, not with this much love. It’s a 10 year old game, too. It’s possible that it will be an entire generation before anyone would attempt something on this massive scale again, if ever. Tolkien’s time may have come and gone, for all we know, in public consciousness.
I’ve been saying for last couple of years, we better love this game while it lasts, because it may be the best/last chance to walk around the whole map we’ll ever get. None of the other LOTR games come close to matching it in size and scale.

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Vincent Clark

I would encourage you to read this and the twitch video it references: https://www.lotro.com/forums/showthread.php?655629-Cord-and-QU-stream-online-now-about-Mordor-Expansion

They are beginning to sound increasingly incompetent with their excuses. But by all means, give them your hard earned $$.

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GumpsGang

We can’t argue a feeling. If you don’t like a game, don’t buy it. If you like it, buy it.

I just don’t quite understand when it became “controversial” to buy an $40 MMO expansion (and a pretty good one from the looks of it). Isn’t this the norm for both LOTRO and most other MMOs. Someone has to pay something somewhere to keep the game development going.

As for the $130 bundle, that for idiots … like me. Me and my magical goat, Bob. I hope you have fireproof hooves, Bob!

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Dividion

$40 for the base pack and character boost actually seems about right. The Helm’s Deep expansion is still $40 in the store (4295 points in-game). Although that has over 400 quests and introduces the big battles system.

The Beorning race is 1295 points in-game, and that includes a character slot (595 points by itself) so you can estimate the High Elf race is probably worth about $10-15. Overall it should’ve been a lot cheaper to produce than the Beorning because it didn’t require adding new class trainers and new legendary stuff. Just some race-specific skills and a new starting zone.
That leaves the cosmetic, mount and title making up the remaining $25-30 of the Collector’s edition. That’s really pushing it, because there’s no bundle savings. The Collector’s edition should’ve been $60-70, not $80.

So that leaves the Ultimate Edition, where the extra $50 gets you: another set of cosmetics, mount and title, the XP accelerator (they used to include that in the low-end expansions, and I bet a lot of people would rather have it instead of the instant level boost), shared storage (worth 595 points), a teleport skill (less flexible than a milestone skill), a few relics, a couple 1-use scrolls, and one month of VIP (worth $8-15).

If they’d have done the Collector’s Edition at $70 and the Ultimate Edition at $100, I think they would’ve had it right.