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Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood Preview

StraddenStradden Managing EditorHalifax, NSPosts: 6,696Member

William Murphy recently took a tour of the upcoming expansion to Turbine's Lord of the Rings Online, Siege of Mirkwood. Today, he shares his experiences.

When Lord of the Rings Online launched back in 2007 the thought on mine and just about every other player's mind was "I can't wait to see how this game grows!" Two years later, we've followed the Fellowship through Rivendell and into the Mines of Moria and out the other side into Lothlorien. Now as Frodo and the others head further south, the burden of distraction and subterfuge lies on the hands of the elves of Lothlorien and the other heroes of Middle-earth. In Siege of Mirkwood players will work closely with the elves to draw the eye of Sauron and the wrath of the Ringwraiths to the tower of Dol Goldur and keep it there while the Fellowship slips into the south. This is the point in Turbine's retelling of the classic story where the war starts to heat up. Things are about to get hairy in Middle-earth.

Read Siege of Mirkwood Preview.

Cheers,
Jon Wood
Managing Editor
MMORPG.com

«13

Comments

  • EuphorykEuphoryk Private, BCPosts: 450Member

    Sounds like quite the addition to the game, I just might have to resub for a few months and snag Mirkwood myself.

    Good read, thanks for posting.

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member

    I was hoping you would touch on some of the combat system changes. but yes, Looks like turbine is evolving the MMO space again, taking cues from their other title.

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • junzo316junzo316 Raleigh, NCPosts: 1,684Member Uncommon

    Great read.  I'm really excited about the new expansion and all the stuff that it brings.  The auto-complete mail, the new mount system, and the skirmish system are just a few of the things I am anticipating and that's just a few of the things.  You also really can't beat the price if you get the 3-6-9-12 month sub at $9.99/month. (it's free)

  • Hero_AlphaHero_Alpha Pikeville, KYPosts: 60Member Uncommon

    Sweet lookin stuff once again. It has brought me and the wife back with a 3 month sub to get it free on both accounts.

    playing:DCUO,GW2
    played:SWG,LotRO,CoH,GW

  • erictlewiserictlewis Cottondale, ALPosts: 3,026Member Uncommon

    *****************

    Skirmishes are Turbine's way of creating enjoyable, repeatable, randomized, and story-driven encounters for all different sizes of groups to enjoy. The entire system has been created from the ground up with several different notions in mind. They need to be relatively quick pieces of content to enjoy, they need to scale for all play-styles and party-sizes, and they need to be dynamic enough and rewarding enough to encourage multiple play-throughs. And as I quickly learned, all three criteria were handily met by the developers

    ****************

    While I sat hear and read this I almost fell out of my chair.  While Turbine might think its fun. I got a feeling after about a month of more of the same hampster repeatable wheel of death will get old again and have folks clammoring for something else. Only time will tell.  If you like repeatables then it will be great for you, however if you get board repeating stuff yea, leason not learned.

     

     

     

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member
    Originally posted by erictlewis


    *****************
    Skirmishes are Turbine's way of creating enjoyable, repeatable, randomized, and story-driven encounters for all different sizes of groups to enjoy. The entire system has been created from the ground up with several different notions in mind. They need to be relatively quick pieces of content to enjoy, they need to scale for all play-styles and party-sizes, and they need to be dynamic enough and rewarding enough to encourage multiple play-throughs. And as I quickly learned, all three criteria were handily met by the developers
    ****************
    While I sat hear and read this I almost fell out of my chair.  While Turbine might think its fun. I got a feeling after about a month of more of the same hampster repeatable wheel of death will get old again and have folks clammoring for something else. Only time will tell.  If you like repeatables then it will be great for you, however if you get board repeating stuff yea, leason not learned.
     
     
     

    Have you read what skirmishes are, and how they are scaling, and randomized? I mean, i understand, all things get old. But they are not just static raid dungeons. The have difficulty modes, scale to group make up, random, and join-able from anywhere and multiple solutions + Solders.

     

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAPosts: 18,453Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by erictlewis


    *****************
    Skirmishes are Turbine's way of creating enjoyable, repeatable, randomized, and story-driven encounters for all different sizes of groups to enjoy. The entire system has been created from the ground up with several different notions in mind. They need to be relatively quick pieces of content to enjoy, they need to scale for all play-styles and party-sizes, and they need to be dynamic enough and rewarding enough to encourage multiple play-throughs. And as I quickly learned, all three criteria were handily met by the developers
    ****************
    While I sat hear and read this I almost fell out of my chair.  While Turbine might think its fun. I got a feeling after about a month of more of the same hampster repeatable wheel of death will get old again and have folks clammoring for something else. Only time will tell.  If you like repeatables then it will be great for you, however if you get board repeating stuff yea, leason not learned.
     
     
     



     

    I think they are a bit more dynamic than you might think. It's a bit different then say, doing library of steel over and over again.

    You an also change the challenge by changing the difficulty and party size. I can't for sure say how well this feature will play out but it might be interesting to do a larger party size while solo and yet cut the difficulity a bit.

     

  • EthianEthian Montreal, QCPosts: 1,216Member
    Originally posted by erictlewis


    *****************
    Skirmishes are Turbine's way of creating enjoyable, repeatable, randomized, and story-driven encounters for all different sizes of groups to enjoy. The entire system has been created from the ground up with several different notions in mind. They need to be relatively quick pieces of content to enjoy, they need to scale for all play-styles and party-sizes, and they need to be dynamic enough and rewarding enough to encourage multiple play-throughs. And as I quickly learned, all three criteria were handily met by the developers
    ****************
    While I sat hear and read this I almost fell out of my chair.  While Turbine might think its fun. I got a feeling after about a month of more of the same hampster repeatable wheel of death will get old again and have folks clammoring for something else. Only time will tell.  If you like repeatables then it will be great for you, however if you get board repeating stuff yea, leason not learned.
     
     
     



     

    I hear ya bro. Turbine will literally have to pay me to make me return...from what I'm reading theres nothing that even slighty interests me...lol Then again, I've grown to love pvp since leaving LOTRO. Middle Earth feels way too safe to me now unfortionately.

     

    More goblin / orc slay'n anyone? :-)

    "I play Tera for the gameplay"

  • gboostergbooster Indianapolis, INPosts: 712Member

    LOTRO is already an incredible game, its flaws have always been the combat system and a grindy sort of solo experience. For those that do all the group content with friends this was never a problem but if you are a lone ranger type, the content can become tedious.  I see all these changes as giving much wider variety and enjoyment to the loners out there but also not affecting the group based players.

    The skirmish system looks freakin awesome with endless random dungeons to explore, hell yea! from solo to raid size, freakin awesome.

    The combat update has been needed for a long time and is going to elevate this game to the top of the genre.

    Everything is looking good for LOTRO, they just need to add more MPVP areas! I hope that is next on their to do list.

  • WSIMikeWSIMike Catskill, NYPosts: 5,564Member

    Per usual, beautiful looking environments; Turbine never disappoints in this area, IMO.

    Will be curious to hear the feedback once it's launched, though. 

    Wish I could have gotten more into that game. By all rights, it's a MMO I should have been hooked on - beautiful, open environments, great graphics design, interesting lore (even if it's not their own), lots of PvE gameplay, smooth framerates, good performance, etc.



    The game just never "grabbed" me. I got to, I think, level 40 or so and that's where I've remained through the last several times I've tried playing. I can't get excited about playing it for some reason. I picked up Mines of Moria and never even got to the point of being able to step foot in it. Don't know what it is. The whole game just has this very "blah", unexciting feel to it for me for some reason... -shrug-



    The community left much to be desired in my experience, though if I could have found a decent kin, that shouldn't have been a problem, either. Could never seem to find a kin, though, that wasn't entirely cliqueish and whose members weren't only concerned about their own progress, with no interest in helping anyone else outside that clique...so that was a downer. Friend of mine half-jokingly (but very accurately in my experience) dubbed LoTRO "The Anti-Social MMO".



    Mirkwood does look great, though.

     

    "If you just step away for a sec you will clearly see all the pot holes in the road,
    and the cash shop selling asphalt..."
    - Mimzel on F2P/Cash Shops

    image

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,247Member Uncommon

    Me Likey!

  • googajoob7googajoob7 londonPosts: 866Member

    looking forward to this . lord of the rings online in my opinion does pve better than most fantasy based mmos out there . i would like to see them expand more on the pvp side of the game for those of us that enjoy that element .

  • PapadamPapadam Tampa bay, FLPosts: 2,102Member

    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

    If WoW = The Beatles
    and WAR = Led Zeppelin
    Then LotrO = Pink Floyd

  • Frostbite05Frostbite05 Jacksonville, FLPosts: 1,880Member
    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.

  • gboostergbooster Indianapolis, INPosts: 712Member
    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Right, Lost Dungeons of Norrath comes to mind, I think that came out in 2001. But if anything it is an element that has not been used very often in MMOs and this sounds like it will be done very well.

  • MrbloodworthMrbloodworth Newport News, VAPosts: 5,615Member
    Originally posted by ghettobooste

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Right, Lost Dungeons of Norrath comes to mind, I think that came out in 2001. But if anything it is an element that has not been used very often in MMOs and this sounds like it will be done very well.

    Skirmishes are more of a direct evolution of DDO content. Keep in mind, Skirmishes are not "Dungeons" Most are in the over world. LDN had set variations, Skirmishes are extremely random, from objectives, to mob layout to creature skills.

    ----------
    "Anyone posting on this forum is not an average user, and there for any opinions about the game are going to be overly critical compared to an average users opinions." - Me

    "No, your wrong.." - Random user #123

    "Hello person posting on a site specifically for MMO's in a thread on a sub forum specifically for a particular game talking about meta features and making comparisons to other titles in the genre, and their meta features.

    How are you?" -Me

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,247Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    Originally posted by ghettobooste

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Right, Lost Dungeons of Norrath comes to mind, I think that came out in 2001. But if anything it is an element that has not been used very often in MMOs and this sounds like it will be done very well.

    Skirmishes are more of a direct evolution of DDO content. Keep in mind, Skirmishes are not "Dungeons" Most are in the over world. LDN had set variations, Skirmishes are extremely random, from objectives, to mob layout to creature skills.

     

    It seems that way.  Probably the biggest weakness in DDO content was that it was static.  It made grouping frustrating, because if someone had already done it, they'd zerg you through the instance and spoil the surprises.

    With skirmishes, I'll be able to solo first and enjoy the experience.  Then group up to get more skirmish marks, and there will be some variance each time.  Gotta love it.

     

     

  • GaryMGaryM Rancho Cucamonga, CAPosts: 244Member
    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    Originally posted by ghettobooste

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Right, Lost Dungeons of Norrath comes to mind, I think that came out in 2001. But if anything it is an element that has not been used very often in MMOs and this sounds like it will be done very well.

    Skirmishes are more of a direct evolution of DDO content. Keep in mind, Skirmishes are not "Dungeons" Most are in the over world. LDN had set variations, Skirmishes are extremely random, from objectives, to mob layout to creature skills.

    Skirmishes (and scalable content in general) are the future of this game, IMO. At some point, I suspect they will allow players to have multiple NPCs, and that should allow for some truly epic battles that will better capture the war in Middle Earth. PvP needs some love, however, and Skirmishes would be a good way to implement battleground-style PvP. Can't wait for December 1st!

  • PapadamPapadam Tampa bay, FLPosts: 2,102Member
    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Hmm Ive never heard about dungeons that scale from solo to raid size, from low level to end game, can be joined from anywhere in the world, have random encounters, gives you a custimizable "pet" which you progress. Simillar things may have been done but if this is not innovative then there is no such thing.

    If WoW = The Beatles
    and WAR = Led Zeppelin
    Then LotrO = Pink Floyd

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,247Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GaryM

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    Originally posted by ghettobooste

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Right, Lost Dungeons of Norrath comes to mind, I think that came out in 2001. But if anything it is an element that has not been used very often in MMOs and this sounds like it will be done very well.

    Skirmishes are more of a direct evolution of DDO content. Keep in mind, Skirmishes are not "Dungeons" Most are in the over world. LDN had set variations, Skirmishes are extremely random, from objectives, to mob layout to creature skills.

    Skirmishes (and scalable content in general) are the future of this game, IMO. At some point, I suspect they will allow players to have multiple NPCs, and that should allow for some truly epic battles that will better capture the war in Middle Earth. PvP needs some love, however, and Skirmishes would be a good way to implement battleground-style PvP. Can't wait for December 1st!

     

    I wonder why they haven't considered using your skirmish pet to resolve the solo epic story issue.  I suppose it's cause they won't start til' lvl 30?

  • RobsolfRobsolf Grand Rapids, MIPosts: 4,247Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GaryM

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    Originally posted by ghettobooste

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Right, Lost Dungeons of Norrath comes to mind, I think that came out in 2001. But if anything it is an element that has not been used very often in MMOs and this sounds like it will be done very well.

    Skirmishes are more of a direct evolution of DDO content. Keep in mind, Skirmishes are not "Dungeons" Most are in the over world. LDN had set variations, Skirmishes are extremely random, from objectives, to mob layout to creature skills.

    Skirmishes (and scalable content in general) are the future of this game, IMO. At some point, I suspect they will allow players to have multiple NPCs, and that should allow for some truly epic battles that will better capture the war in Middle Earth. PvP needs some love, however, and Skirmishes would be a good way to implement battleground-style PvP. Can't wait for December 1st!

     

    my hope is that they eventually allow you more than one, even if you can only use one at a time, like Mounts 2.0. 

    Different mobs can call for different needs... tank, archer, healer, etc.

  • SwoogieSwoogie Winnetka, CAPosts: 399Member
    Originally posted by Robsolf

    Originally posted by GaryM

    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth

    Originally posted by ghettobooste

    Originally posted by Frostbite05

    Originally posted by Papadam


    Skirmishes is by far the most important innovasion in MMOs 2009! Really looking forward trying thoose.

     

    Thats not innovative at all. But they look fun and may get me to play again.



     

    Right, Lost Dungeons of Norrath comes to mind, I think that came out in 2001. But if anything it is an element that has not been used very often in MMOs and this sounds like it will be done very well.

    Skirmishes are more of a direct evolution of DDO content. Keep in mind, Skirmishes are not "Dungeons" Most are in the over world. LDN had set variations, Skirmishes are extremely random, from objectives, to mob layout to creature skills.

    Skirmishes (and scalable content in general) are the future of this game, IMO. At some point, I suspect they will allow players to have multiple NPCs, and that should allow for some truly epic battles that will better capture the war in Middle Earth. PvP needs some love, however, and Skirmishes would be a good way to implement battleground-style PvP. Can't wait for December 1st!

     

    my hope is that they eventually allow you more than one, even if you can only use one at a time, like Mounts 2.0. 

    Different mobs can call for different needs... tank, archer, healer, etc.

    Not only is it going to be the future of LotRO, it is the future of MMO's. The ability for al levels to access content, but it scales to levels/classes, is going to catch on very fast. Of course the will be the high end stuff that is only accessable to high levels but this concept will probably catch on fast.

     

    image

  • BillMurphyBillMurphy Managing Editor Berea, OHPosts: 2,357MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

    As for using the Solider to resolve some of the issues with soloing the epic quest line, I suspect the game's just not quite set up for it.  From the sounds of Orion's posts, he's basically retooling the epic quests to have temporary buffs applied to players when they're solo, and then no buffs when they're grouped. 

    But I wonder if down the line future books and volumes won't just use the skirmish system, and make the epic quest line repeatable and scalable for all levels at all times.  It's a perfect fit really.

    EDIT: And yes, I really have been lurking here for forever before making a post.  I'm a ninja... poof.

  • Einherjar_LCEinherjar_LC MelfiPosts: 1,055Member Common
    Originally posted by ghettobooste


    LOTRO is already an incredible game, its flaws have always been the combat system and a grindy sort of solo experience. For those that do all the group content with friends this was never a problem but if you are a lone ranger type, the content can become tedious.  I see all these changes as giving much wider variety and enjoyment to the loners out there but also not affecting the group based players.
    The skirmish system looks freakin awesome with endless random dungeons to explore, hell yea! from solo to raid size, freakin awesome.
    The combat update has been needed for a long time and is going to elevate this game to the top of the genre.
    Everything is looking good for LOTRO, they just need to add more MPVP areas! I hope that is next on their to do list.

     

    I keep seeing this and I'm not sure what people consider "grindy" about LOTRO's solo experience.  If this is grindy to some people, I doubt they would've lasted 24 hours in UO, AC1, or EQ1.

     

    I've  beta'd and played LOTRO since release.  It has to be one the most non-grindy games solo-wise I've played, even more so now with the lower level area revamps.  This game can be solo'd from 1-60 without issues.  I've done it with two characters myself.

     

    Leveling with your kin or a group definitely exposes you to more possibilities in game, but by no means is it necessary.

     

     

     

    Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  • ElethonElethon San Diego, CAPosts: 122Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Mrbloodworth


    I was hoping you would touch on some of the combat system changes. but yes, Looks like turbine is evolving the MMO space again, taking cues from their other title.

    I had no idea they were finally normalizing weapon speed. This is great news, as the weapon imbalance was one of my biggest griefs with this game. Thanks for posting that link Mrbloodworth.

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