Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Preview
Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Box Art
System: PC
Dev: Turbine
Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive
Release: September 5, 2012
Players: MMO
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Blood and Gore, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence

Another feature Rohan adds is new NPC types. Rohan will have several horse NPCs, which is a pretty obvious choice considering the subject matter. Less obvious, though, is the addition of children NPCs to make the game's villages feel more realistic. I asked Kate if they expected to eventually go back and add children to the old villages like Breeland. She told me they'd like to, but only as time allows. Which is fair. I mean, players certainly wouldn't be happy to hear that Turbine delayed a new instance cluster, say, because they were busy adding kids to Breeland.

And speaking of instance cluster, just like Isengard, the next major dungeons won't be done in time for Rohan's September 5th launch date. But there are new dungeons in the works, and those should be in the game before the end of the year. At least we'll have time to hit level cap before we take on these new dungeons, right?

Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Screenshot

Eventually, we got to talking about Rohan's story. One of my main storyline complaints about Isengard, the previous expansion, was that it felt far too complex. I mean, there were several different villages, each influenced in different ways by their proximity to Isengard. It was well-crafted, surely, but it could be hard to follow for more casual players. Rohan, though, is talking the opposite approach. The story's premise is simple: Grima Wormtongue's influence over King Théoden is clear, the villages of man are being razed by orcs, and players are asked to turn the tide.

One of the ways this is supported is through a new daily quest system where you are asked to do things that help rebuild a particular village. This village will dynamically change over time as players work toward its reconstruction. I didn't get to actually see this in action, but from the way Kate described it, it sounds awesome.

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Oh yes, and you'll finally get to meet Gandalf the White. We met the iconic wizard during his Grey period several times during LotRO, but now that we're getting deeper into the timeline of The Two Towers, we get to see him in all his glorious whiteness.

And ents. We get to meet more ents.

All things considered, Riders of Rohan seems like an incredibly worthy expansion to an already glorious MMO. Preorder now, and be one of the first to hop into the game when it arrives on September 5. Anyone who preorders is guaranteed a spot in closed beta when that launches later this summer. And if you've never played LotRO at all, what are you waiting for? It's free to play now.

By
Josh Wirtanen
Editor / News Director
Date: June 26, 2012


Game Features:

  • Introducing Mounted Combat - Ride into Combat atop your loyal War-steed as you defend the people of Rohan from the forces of Isengard and Mordor. Customize your War-steed's armor and level its skills over time to aid you in mounted defense of King Théoden's lands. Mount your steed and gather your fellows to fight against Warbands, contingents of roving wargs and orcs that have been scouted all over the Plains of Rohan! It falls to you to head off and defeat this new threat before they over take the land.
  • Explore Largest Landscape Yet! - Nearly three times as large as Moria! Join with the Rohirrim and ride across the sprawling Eastern Plains of Rohan. Raise high your sword to fight for honor and glory in the name of Théoden King! Experience hundreds of new quests, earn new favor, gear, deeds, and more!
  • The Epic Story Continues - The Fellowship is on the move once again and must achieve their task at all cost. It falls to you to clear the path and turn the Eye of the Enemy away from their progress as you aid the Rohirrim in their own struggle close by. Witness the breaking of the Fellowship at Amon Hen; forge alliances with the Ents of Fangorn; and aid Éomer, nephew of Théoden, as he seeks to protect his homeland from the growing Shadow.
  • Advance to Level 85 - Learn what it means to be Rohirrim as you face new challenges throughout the Riddermark on your journey to level 85. Continue your legend as you grow in power with new skills and deeds and earn new armor and gear to aid you in the battles to come.

  • Screenshots / Images
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