Many — not all, but many — Lord of the Rings Online players are exploring the nooks and crannies of the new zones unlocked by this month’s Fate of Gundabad expansion. While there was this common assumption that the Dwarf-themed Gundabad would be “Moria 2.0,” Standing Stone Games has done its utmost to give this realm its own visual identity.the studio said in a recent dev blog. “It really helps to sell a taller, deeper, darker space. With Gundabad, we’ve achieved a scale that has surprised a lot of people, both internally and in our preview communities. A lot of that is thanks to us playing with that verticality and going with a layered approach to how we’re creating this vast city space.”
The studio pointed to some of the fun features that players will experience in these strange zones, including a lift system, a forested cavern open to the sky, and a breathtaking mountaintop region. SSG said that it’s using a “new landscape development process” that allows the devs to use Photoshop to craft these regions.