The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan Hands-On Preview
|Dev: Turbine, Inc.
|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive
|Release: October 15, 2012
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p
||Blood and Gore, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence
Next up, I got to see the Argonath (the Pillars of Kings). For those less familiar with Tolkien lore, those are the two gigantic statues with their hands outstretched, guarding the River Anduin. We even had a discussion about which one the developers decided was Isildur and which one was Anárion, since that detail was never specifically mentioned in Tolkien's work. (Hint: in LotRO lore, Isildur is on the left.)
Finally, I was shown some of Rohan's mead halls, which will serve as special player hubs where much drinking and role-playing can be had. And one of these mead halls was the famous Meduseld, which Tolkien fans will remember playing quite a large role in The Two Towers. However, Meduseld is actually outside of the landscape area covered in this expansion, but the interior is completely built (and completely awesome), and there will be parts of the game where you'll be allowed to hang out there. This prompted me to ask if the landscape would eventually be expanded upon so we could see the exterior, and while I wasn't given a straight-up answer, it sounded like it should be reasonably fair to assume that this would eventually be the case.
The hour or so I got to spend inside LotRO's Riders of Rohan expansion definitely got me excited. Once again, Turbine nailed the Middle-earth atmosphere, and the new features add a whole new dimension to the gameplay. Whether or not the quest system will manage to break away from the traditional kill and fetch quests is yet to be seen, but even if it doesn't, there's plenty here to make this expansion worth your while when it lands on October 15.
Oh, and if you haven't tried The Lord of the Rings Online yet, what are you waiting for? It's free, after all.
Editor / News Director
Date: September 28, 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.
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.