Lord of the Rings: Riders of Rohan Coverage from E3 2012!

While at E3 this past weekend I had the honor of yet again getting a behind the scenes look at Turbines new expansion to their popular MMO Lord of the Rings Online! This year I had the unique opportunity of receiving a walkthrough of Rohan by none other than the Executive Producer, Community Manager and Digital Communications Manager of Lord of the Rings Online. Not only did I receive the traditional media overview of Rohan but I was also able to take this unique opportunity to also ask the creators of the game a number of preselected questions taken directly from the LOTRO community, the world’s largest collection of Tolkien fans.

The Lord of the Rings: Riders of Rohan is the forth expansion for LOTRO and will be providing players the opportunity to explore and adventure into Eastern Rohan an all new region of Tolkien’s world. Although this expansion is only providing one new region this region is by far the largest region to date. Although there is only one major region there will be multiple mini zones within this region bringing a variety of vibrant environments to the users including areas of Fangorn Forest and Amon Hen. While exploring these new and treacherous lands players will be able to meet and interact with members of the fellowship including Treebeard, Gandalf the White, Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas as well as numerous members of the Rohirrim.

Even since its initial launch LOTRO has been on the cutting edge of MMO’s constantly bringing their players fresh new content while utilizing state of the art technological capabilities and this expansion is no exception. By utilizing Direct X 11 players will be able to experience upgrades to the graphics of the game including all new tree and lighting systems. In addition LOTRO is introducing frill upgrades to grass and water so that every movement that the character makes will have an effect on the environment around them. With that being said for all the users who have older computers and graphics cards, don’t fret because you may choose to opt out of these advanced graphics options and use the current specs that you run the game at today.

One of the most highly anticipated aspects of this expansion is the new mounted combat system. Mounted combat is an all new system where the player will be granted their very own mearas who they can both dress up and level up. Turbine has built out an all new skill system where players can choose how they want to build out their steed. Players will be able to choose a steed type, heavy, medium and light, as well as be able to choose which skills to level up. Players will be able to save each character build and skill distribution so that they can switch between skill sets depending on their situation. If the player is in a group fighting packs of wargs they may want a steed who is faster and more agile so they can keep up with their fellowship but if playing solo they may want a steed with more endurance and health to survive a battle against a group of wargs.

To help account for this new form of combat players will be learning new skills to be used in mounted combat as well as have edits to their old skills with tweaks for mounted combat. To account for these new skills Turbine has made some cool edits so that each time you mount up on your war steed your skill bars and quick slots switch to a different set of skill bars and quick slots. With this edit players can easily choose which skills they want on their quick slot bars when mounted and which you want when on foot so as to not confuse players of which skills they can use when on foot and which they can use in combat.

A few other pieces of information of note regarding mounted combat is the speed of your horse and where you can and can’t use your war horse. On release mounted combat will only be available in Eastern Rohan. With that being said you will be able to ride your warhorse in many other maps which are large and open but not every map will have this option especially regions that are small or dense with trees or other environmental factors that aren’t ideal for a war horse. Regarding speed the war mounts will be the fastest mounts in the game with 300 times the run speed of a normal character.

At the end of this eye opening walkthrough of Riders of Rohan I had the unique opportunity to ask the Turbine representatives a number of different questions which I have been collecting directly from the community over the last few weeks. Although not all of my questions were answered here is a list of these questions along with the associated response that were given. Although many of the questions received the traditional “I can’t talk about that now.” Many of the questions had a very different response which can be read into however you wish.

Q: Will Edoras be in this expansion?
A: No but it will be coming in the future with Western Rohan!

Q: Will there be any instances available in ROR?
A: There will be solo instances available at launch and an instance cluster closely following in 2012!

Q: Will there be any other new Regions available in 2012?
A: Not in 2012!

Q: Will there be new non mounted skills available for those of us who want to play non mounted content?
A: Yes!

Q: Will there be a new housing instance for Rohan?
A: We are talking about this and the team is really excited about the idea but not at this time!

Q: Are you hiring more developers to help work on the game?
A: Yes we have a number of open positions and Turbine is currently in a growth stage so please apply!

Q: Are you working on any updates on the player avatar?
A: We are working on an avatar upgrade for the future!

Q: Will there be more skirmishes with the release of ROR?
A: There will be No skirmishes with this update!

Q: Server Lag is a big issue on larger servers like Brandywine and it’s getting worse. What are you doing about this issue.
A: We are constantly working on the server lag and issues. We have fixes going our monthly and are aware of the issue. We are currently working with the community on this and are doing tons of investigation so please visit the forums to see how you can help us on this investigation.

Q: Will Moors access for freeps be available for purchase for FTP players?
A: We aren’t the right people to ask about that, not the business team, but it’s an interesting idea!

Q: Will there be in game marriage in the future?
A: We have no plans for in game marriage!

Q: Will there be Hobbit themed Regions and Updates with the movie coming out?
A: Not on the Road Map!

Q: Will there be new hobbies?
A: Not on the Road Map!

Q: Will the 6th bag, Crystal and Quests available in the pre purchase bundle be available for purchase in the store?
A: You can visit the Q&A forum for more information about this and the price of these features etc!

Q: Will there be a new PVMP zone?
A: Not on the Road Map!

Q: Will there be new crafting and recipes with the new level cap?
A: Yes

Q: Will there be new Creep Levels with the upcoming Freep level cap?
A: Yes

Q: Will more currency types like festival currency be account shareable with the wallet?
A: We’re not the right person for this question.

Q: Will there be Virtue level cap increases with this expansion?
A: We don’t know yet. We’re still in Alpha and once we go to Beta and get players feedback then we will determine things like this.

Q: Will there be more classes in the future?
A: Not on the Road Map!

Q: Will there be more races in the future? (Ents)
A: No

Q: Will there be more legacy points be available for LI’s with the addition of the new Crystal? If the Crystal adds a legacy we need points for it. Or will we be able to increase the level of the legacy’s to reduce the cost?
A: No comment We’re still in Alpha and once we go to Beta and get players feedback then we will determine things like this.

Q: Will there be more quick slot bars?
A: No we decided to switch out quick slot bars for mounted and non mounted instead.

Q: Is there planned level cap increase for skirmish soldiers?
A: Don’t remember

Q: What does the Horseshoe do?
A: No Comment BUT we will let the community know at some point!

Q: Are you planning another 24 man raid?
A: Not on the Road Map but the feedback from the community is that they want raids more accessible.

Q: Will the rift be scaled?
A: Over time most instances will be scaled!

Q: Will there be revamping of PVMP Creep classes?
A: In time

If you have never played LOTRO I would highly recommend it especially now with all this new content on its way. LOTRO is by far one of the best MMO’s available and is still standing strong with yearly game of the year awards as well as monthly updates and expansions keeping the content fresh and fun.

Lots of Love

Chris Castagnetto
aka Moggle (DJ Helsing)


Chris is editor at Kalamari Kastle and was kind enough to share this article with the CSTM audience. Thank you Chris!

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Avatar of Moggle

26 Responses to “Lord of the Rings: Riders of Rohan Coverage from E3 2012!”

  1. Bryandt Says:

    Exclamation points make some of the answers seem manic!

    And how could they not know if there’s a level cap increase for soldiers? What? Our level 85 characters are supposed to run around with level 79 traited soldiers?

    I never thought I’d say this, but they need to bring Steefel back as a spokesman for the game. :O

    Reply

  2. Atzumo Says:

    “Q: Is there planned level cap increase for skirmish soldiers?
    A: Don’t remember”

    I love that one, and that the first row of Q&A has exclamation signs like they were screaming, and then got tired.

    Reply

    • Goreamir Says:

      It’s pretty hilarious actually, even on mundane answers like “not on the road map”, they added an exclaimation mark, as if they were yelling it out with joy.

      Reply

  3. Avatar of Andang
    Andang Says:

    Thank you very much Chris this was a very informative article and I am surprised that you were so kind to share this amazing article. Thank you once again Chris, that was very generous of you.

    Reply

  4. Jam Says:

    Great Article, some good questions in there. and some interesting answers…

    Reply

    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      The answers were VERY interesting…lol

      Reply

      • Bryandt Says:

        Most of the questions were stuff that’s been asked about time and again for years, such as the one about Marriage.

        The only answer that stood out to me was about the skirmish soldiers. Maybe they were tired and really couldn’t remember? I’m just going to hope that’s the case.

        Reply

        • Mephet Says:

          I think that has to be it :) They’re all human, after all, and events like these can be exhausting.
          I only had time to skim the article now (and read the Q&A), rushing to play GW2, but I’ll return and read it more carefully later. But it looks great! Really looking forward to this expansion.

          Reply

  5. davidt Says:

    Do the light, medium, or heavy war steeds go with the corresponding armour types for classes?

    Reply

  6. Cirded Says:

    I can only hope they’ll reconsider placing Erebor and the path to it on their “road map” after excitement from the movie brings questions from a possible new player base. I don’t need it all at once, but that direction needs to be explored. I don’t want a bee-line to Mordor.

    Reply

    • Avatar of swattz101
      swattz101 Says:

      It would be nice, but it seems like the MMO License for the Hobbit has been transferred up to WB and they are using it for a new console MMO, with a tie-in to the Hobbit Movies.
      If you haven’t seen it yet, http://www.guardiansofmiddleearth.com/home.
      I’m not sure I like this either, I would rather see Lonely Mountain and all the other areas, though I’m not sure how they would incorporate it into the current LotRO world. Maybe session plays.

      Reply

  7. Beryline Says:

    I love this one: Q: What does the Horseshoe do?
    A: No Comment BUT we will let the community know at some point!

    Reply

  8. Avatar of Robert
    Robert Says:

    300 times run speed seems a bit excessive.

    Reply

    • Ian Says:

      “Regarding speed the war mounts will be the fastest mounts in the game with 300 times the run speed of a normal character.”

      As said he must mean 300%.

      Reply

      • Cluck Says:

        That’s still really fast! I’m looking forward to charging around Middle Earth like an over-caffinated loon :)

        Reply

  9. Ian Says:

    Q: Will there be a new PVMP zone?
    A: Not on the Road Map!

    At least they’ve said now that there will never be a new PVP landmass.

    Q: Will there be a new housing instance for Rohan?
    A: We are talking about this and the team is really excited about the idea but not at this time!

    And housing of course gets the normal, we’re super exited but were not going to do anything response.

    Q: Will there be new hobbies?
    A: Not on the Road Map!

    Shame was one of the best things about lotro, the side show.

    Q: Will the rift be scaled?
    A: Over time most instances will be scaled!

    This has been talked about off and on for a long time now, coming to you in a patch in 2019!

    Reply

  10. Bloodspill Says:

    Great article, im a bit annoyed that a new PvP zone isn’t ‘on the road map’ considering we have been promised one at least twice in the past meaning someone at Turbine must of been working on them. Nice that the creep classes might be getting some love but still very dissapointed the new zone seems to have dropped off the radar.

    Reply

  11. Andy Says:

    Interesting that the new LI crystal has been introduced but they dont know how they’re going to actually work it into the LI system. The obvious player feedback will be yes you’ll need more points if you’re going to feed another legacy on the weapon. The only real choice is do they add more levels or give more points per level.

    Thats like reading the end of Return of the King before you started the Fellowship of the Ring.

    Some good info about the setup for the mounted combat skills, being able to save different specs will save a lot of time. Now if they like joined up thinking it should be easy to translate that into player based traits as well.

    Reply

  12. doddamer Says:

    That guy answering the questions sounds like a real jerk.

    Reply

    • Grukgash Says:

      It’s the guys behind him who are the real jerks. No new PvP map after being anounced twice, too bad no magazine/website seems to have the balls to ask them about that scam.

      Reply

  13. FoxFire Says:

    Turbine wrote the code for in-game marriage prior to launch in 2007!

    It was removed because those who will be on the wrong side of history would not permit players’ characters of the same-gender to use the feature. And since they refused to allow same-gender or interracial characters to get married, they decided to remove it altogether.

    At the time they said they couldn’t allow that because it would violate lore. Of course this is an absurd excuse since player characters can do ALL sorts of things that violate lore; female hobbits wearing dresses fighting fire-breathing dragons, or elves named BunnyEars Hopdiggity living in hobbit holes? Players are freely permitted to violate lore in countless ways. (Not to mention all the lore violations in the game itself. RuneKeepers anyone?)

    No unlike other gaming companies with courage and decency, the cowardly (if not simply bigoted themselves) powers at Turbine caved to the forces of exclusion and intolerance against real-world marriage equality who insisted that a LOTRO marriage feature exclude same-gender couples, or not be implemented at all.

    I think whoever answered these questions represents those forces within Turbine quite well.

    Reply

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