In the upcoming update 6, The Great River, for the Lord of the Rings Online, players will get to travel along the shores of the mighty Anduin in the expansive new region. The signs of war will be all around you as Isengard and Barad-dur put their dark plans into motion. You’ll be thrust into action against the Easterlings, dangerous brigands, and an ancient enemy of Rohan, as they gather together for an attack on Rohan and Lorien.
From the Developer Diary
The Great River not only offers something fresh feeling and new, but also some fairly epic eye candy. The new region delivers the first established Rohirrimrun town, a settlement called Stangard, with interiors and exteriors unlike all others in the game. “As you roam through this zone, you will likely feel a rekindling of your early sensations as an explorer of Middle-earth.”
The purpose of the region is to link The Great River region to the upcoming Rohan expansion, it’s purpose serving as a sneak peak for what’s to come in the future. Turbine did the same thing with Enedwaith just before Isengard released.
The Great River region is to serve strictly as a level 75 end-game region, designed mostly for solo and duo gameplay. Turbine’s hope for the update is that the update will scratch the “gimme something new itch for a lot of player types.”
There is a new reputation faction with notably better barter items than the rep stuff found in the Rise of Isengard release. Quests will also give upgrades to the level 75 quest rewards found in Dunland/Isengard. All of the rewards can be earned without the need to “grind.” Turbine wants to keep things fresh.
The gist of it all:
· It will be a 75 end-game region.
· Quests will give upgrades to items acquired in the Isengard content.
· There will be a new faction reputation faction with rewards earnable without the need to grind.
· The zone will be filled with “eye candy.”
What’s new in the update?
The latest chapter in LOTRO’s free epic story awaits; you’ll be traveling to Lothlorien to seek out Galadriekl’s wisdom after experiencing troubling dreams. From here you will be sent south to investigate the grim tidings along the Great River, but be prepared as the evidence may point to a foe more terrible than you’ve ever seen before.
Soldier on Landscape
For the first time ever, players will be able to summon their skirmish soldier into the real game world thanks to this new feature. You will be able to customize your skirmish soldier with items, armor, and more. IXP can be earned for your soldier through skirmishes.
Instance Finder Update
The first iteration of the instance finder in LotRO was awful. You couldn’t pick the instance you wanted to join, rewards were bland, and half the time it didn’t even work. The updated Instance Finder will allow you to queue for specific instances and skirmishes that you would like to do. You can also now change the loot rules and remove players via a fellowship vote. Rewards are being enhanced, too, granting additional XP for skirmish completion and scaling currency bonuses for when you queue for a larger range of instances.
Seven New Areas
Assist the sentinels of Lothlórien in patrolling their southern border and mediate relations between the Galadhrim and the Rohirrim of Stangard who have recently been clashing during patrols. At the same time, heroes are needed to scatter Orcs and Wargs that have moved into the area before they become a larger threat to the region.
Thinglad is defined by its tall, grey trees with twisted, roots that drink deeply from the Great River. The forest is misty and shadowed while the skies are pale and as cheerless as the land itself.
Once part of the Golden Wood, Thinglad has become a no man’s land between Lothlórien and Rohan in the last 200 years.
Confront troubles both living and undead upon the fields of Parth Celebrant where a great treason once befell Gondor. Bring redemption to the traitorous shades so they may rest or destroy them if they are beyond aid.
The ruins of an ancient Gondorian keep, where brave soldiers once kept watch, stand at the southern edge of Parth Celebrant, overlooking the green plains.
The site of the fiercest fighting during the Battle of the Fields of Celebrant, Parth Celebrant is also the site of a terrible betrayal. Gondorian soldiers allowed their fortress to fall to the enemy in exchange for safety and Eastern riches, condemning their countrymen to death.
Though the soldiers of Stangard are strong and fiercely loyal to their king, the village has fallen on hard times and hope is in short supply. Lift spirits by helping with shortages of food and supplies and thinning the numbers of hostile beasts in the area. Root out the source of mistrust and discontent amongst the council.
Established on the highest rise in the rolling plains of Eorlsmead, the Rohirrim village of Stangard keeps its watch over the region.
Though many men who serve at Stangard have been sent as punishment for recent, petty crimes, the village remains fiercely loyal to Rohan and Théoden, their king.
Many years have passed since the height of Rohan’s strength along the Great River and Orcs and spiders have returned to the Wailing Hills. Drive out the Orcs and prevent them from allying themselves with the White Hand.
The Wailing Hills are defined by the steep, rocky outcroppings, called tors, which stretch out from the Misty Mountains like long fingers. Statues of Cirion of Gondor and Eorl the Young rise from the earth as ancient symbols of friendship but Orcs, growing bolder, have begun to defile them.
Hundreds of years ago, the forefathers of Rohan destroyed a great Easterling army in the deep valleys of the Wailing Hills to save the forces of Cirion, Steward of Gondor. The name of the land itself comes from the Rohirric word wael meaning “slaughter.”
Descend into the Limlight Gorge, where an unnatural storm has cast the land into deep shadow. Hunt fearsome trolls from the Misty Mountains who wander freely, no longer fearing the sun, and investigate the mysterious grove spreading at the base of the cliff beneath Fangorn Forest.
Caught between the rugged Misty Mountains and the northern reaches of Fangorn Forest, Limlight Gorge is a dangerous and untamed wilderness. Here, the Limlight River gushes forth over falls and rapids as it flows eastward to join the Anduin.
The appearance of the unnatural storms from the North and the encroachment of Fangorn from the South gives the area an uneasy feeling as unseen forces seem to fight for dominance over the canyon.
Contend with an invading host within the desolate Brown Lands. Here the Rohirrim struggle to keep an old foe at bay while fortifying against their enemies’ mysterious new allies.
Ravaged thousands of years ago during a terrible war, the Brown Lands are nearly inhospitable and are filled with withered scrub and stones as far as the eye can see.
It is believed that the Brown Lands were devastated by the power of Sauron himself nearly 3,000 years ago during the War of the Last Alliance. Before that, many beautiful gardens were tended here though little evidence of them now remains.
Within the murky marshland of the Rushgore, ruthless brigands, once only a nuisance, have become a threat to the region. Pursue these brigands to reclaim priceless relics of Rohan and Gondor and extend aid to woodsmen who have found themselves overwhelmed while travelling north and now cannot leave.
A treacherous marshland, the Rushgore serves as the buffer between the fields of Parth Celebrant and the bleak Brown Lands. The eastern end of the Rushgore is one of the few places at which the Anduin can be crossed without the aid of boats.
Little is now known of the Rushgore and what was known has been lost to time.
Other points worth mentioning
The Weaver class in PVP has been nerfed. The class now plays very similar to the Champion. The class will be provided with an increased survivability rate thanks to a large amount of fast-paced, burst dps.
The Warg class has been tweaked. In recap, the class will have two new stances, Shadow and Flayer. The shadow Stance will be based on mostly stealth-like skills, while the Flayer Stance, which will replace the stance Shadow Howler, will be a more dps heavy stance.
Marks, Medallions, Seals, and Relic Currency are all now bind to account.
Worn Symbols of Celebrimbor are now available via Skirmish barter vendors.
Virtues have been extended to Rank 14.
The Skirmish instance quests (the quest you receive every time you play a Skirmish) will now award gold, reputation, XP and IXP. This quest, unlike the old daily quests, will be awarded every time the Skirmish is completed, and will scale more accurately to the level of the Skirmish. The previous XP bonus on monsters has been reduced to compensate.
Added a new lock-on camera mode which keeps the camera pointed towards your target. By default this can be engaged using the [X] key, but you can remap it in Options-Key Mapping–Camera.
Unique class titles have been added as rewards for the level 15, 30, 45, and 58 class quests. Characters who have previously completed these quests will be rewarded the titles retroactively.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!