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We’re off to Mirkwood

September 4, 2009

I don’t usually do wholesale cut & paste jobs, but here’s the Codemasters announcement of Siege of Mirkwood! No date, expect to hear about one during PAX after all, though. Sounds enough to keep my excitement levels up (except about tailoring!)

Siege of Mirkwood will expand the online world of Middle-earth where players will join forces to press further eastward into the dark, foreboding and treacherous forest of Mirkwood and take part in the epic conclusion to Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online.

Siege of Mirkwood will be available as a digital download this autumn and provide players with an increased level cap, a new region including the legendary evil fortress of Dol Guldur, major enhancements to combat and Legendary Items and the introduction of Skirmishes, a new system where players will train customizable soldiers and take them into battle as part of the War of the Ring… [I cut out a quotation]

 NEW FEATURES:

  • The Epic Conclusion to Volume II: Mines of Moria™ – Under the command of Celeborn and Galadriel, players will fight through vast armies of Orcs alongside the Elves of Lórien in a battle that will take them to Dol Guldur, the fortress of the Ringwraiths. This update includes Book 9 and the Epilogue to the sweeping epic tale begun with the award-winning Mines of Moria expansion.
  • Increased Level Cap — Players will be able to advance their characters up to level 65, gaining access to new traits, virtues, skills and class quests.
  • Join Epic Battles On Demand! — Jump into battle with the new Skirmish system. Skirmishes offer endless action in repeatable, randomized instances for up to 12 players. Create and lead your own army of customizable soldiers into battle, training them to greater skill as you earn victories against the forces of shadow. Stand and fight wherever violence erupts with the ‘World Join’ feature, which lets you and your friends band together to fight Skirmishes from anywhere in Middle-earth.
  • Take up Arms! – Infiltrate the dark jails, deadly arenas and savage stables of Dol Guldur, the fortress of the Ringwraiths, and strike a blow against Sauron’s forces in new 3 and 6-player instances. Call upon your fellows to adventure into the most deadly 12-player raid yet and face the ultimate challenge – the Nazgûl Lord!
  • Major Gameplay Enhancements – Turbine continues to improve the award-winning experience of LOTRO with major improvements to the combat and Legendary Items systems. Players will experience improved responsiveness when in the heat of battle. Players will also be able to create and craft their own customized Second and Third Age Legendary Items from raw materials and grow their weapons’ power to level 60. Achieve new Legacies, new titles, and a fourth Runic slot that will make Legendary Items even more unique and powerful.

Details of Codemasters Online’s exclusive European Siege of Mirkwood pre-order and package offerings will be made available soon.

And here’s the Turbine official site for the ‘expansion’.

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15 comments

  1. Well, that was unexpected. I’m waiting to hear on pricing and the amount of content that will be included. From the press release, it sounds like they’re intending to charge for the amount of stuff that usually goes into their content patches.


    • It sounds like a bit more, or a couple of content patches together. We’ve never had a level cap raise with a free content patch, and even 5 levels worth of quests and content will be quite a bit.


      • Levels are an arbitrary (pun not intended) measure. The game has added whole zones in patches before, and you could imagine 2-3 new zones being enough to support 5 levels (in fact, that was exactly how many zones I just used for 50->55 in MOM). Meanwhile, the levels may not be doing anyone a favor thanks to the way the “legendary” item system is set up right now. Slapping a “insert cash to continue” point on the MOM expansion’s epic book also feels a bit suspicious.

        Like I said, my final reaction will depend a bit on the price. At $20 – all of which goes to Turbine since there is no packaging or retail cut – half the content is fine.


        • Moria (in the UK) retailed at £15, which is a lot cheaper than most expansions.

          And with legendary item customization maybe they can fix some of their issues.

          Trust me, I’m not a huge fan of this announcement, in fact I’m quite wary of it and surprised there’s no indication of date or pricing either. But, I know I’ll probably pay and play regardless and hopefully get out of my crafting instance grind for a little while!

          As we find out more information about the big elephants of Legendary Items and raid-gating through gear… then we can decide if it’s good or bad for the game. But right now, I want new content! (though yes, pricing is going to be quite interesting!)


  2. Also got the word from Turbine’s Twitter and spread the word. 🙂

    While I am quite stoked about the announcement, I do hope they announce a date and price. If it’s free though, I’ll be an extremely happy player.


    • Wonder if Turbine always let Codies slip the news out first. If so it was only by about 15 mins and a nice gesture compared to other EU/US split companies.


    • @Victor: The announcement says “pre-order”, so “free” is almost certainly off the table.

      @Arb: This announcement went up at 9 AM open of business in EST, where Turbine is located. My guess would be that the EU folks have been eagerly awaiting the chance to push the publish button, while the Americans are still drinking their morning coffee. 😉


      • hehe, true.

        Oh, also noticed it says launching this FALL… (on this press notice site: http://www.lotro.com/news/pressreleases/459-the-lord-of-the-rings-online-siege-of-mirkwood)

        So timing will definitely be something to watch out for.


        • I’m presuming they’re using the corporate definition of fall (Q4, Oct-Dec), since this thing is getting a very late announcement if it’s coming in September or October. (Isn’t there a free book patch coming for Sept?)


          • I think we were hoping for Book 9 sometime end of Sept, but I tend to agree with you, and am thinking maybe end of Nov – in time to get the Xmas buzz, but not too fast.


  3. I’m pretty excited. Mirkwood had so much going on that hasn’t been explored. The Wood Elf city will no doubt be in there, accessible by river or land (remember the dwarves got out, stuffed in barrels, via river). I wonder how far it’ll extend? Will they include Dale in this expansion?

    The Skirmish system sounds pretty interesting, too.

    I love that they’re announcing it so close to ship date. So tired of hearing these announcements for games that are years off.


  4. I’m making the rounds doing all variety of self-promotion!

    Thankfully, I’ve got good content to go along, in the form of the first look any eyes outside of Turbine (and IGN PC’s Marissa Morena, who was there with me this morning) have gotten of the expansion. You should totally click and read! 😀


  5. Here’s an article that says its free:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-11527-JRR-Tolkien-Examiner~y2009m9d5-Turbine-announces-free-LOTRO-expansion-Siege-of-Mirkwood

    Maybe they’ve got it wrong though…


  6. (Sorry for spam)

    As far as I can tell, that examiner article is just wrong. $19.99US is what the forums are saying, with maybe a discount for pre-ordering.


    • yeah, I was working on the $20 assumption. Not sure how much Moria was in the US, but it was approx $20 in the UK, depending on where you bought it…



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