I’ve played Lotro since it was published. I started only because I’m a huge fan of the Tolkien universe. Turbine, with Angmar made a great trip for us fans, the game lore was right on the point, very well executed. It also had some of the best instances I’ve tried in my 15 years long MMO career. There were things that needed fixing such as classes and gear. Which eventually made me take a break from it. Then they published Mines of Moria. Until that date my favorite expansion for any MMO I’ve tried was Scars of Valious for EQ1. But Moria, where to start? that expansion was beyond good, it was so amazingly handcraft, you really did feel like you were in the never-ending Mines of Moria. They still has class related problem, and item were still only making half-way sense. So they launch a small expansion Mirkwood. Not the best expansion, I admit that, but as they said it was a small one and it was very cheap so I felt I got more than I payed for, so I had a lot of fun for another 3 months and took a break (must admit that is how the majority of the population in this game work, they take breaks, come back for content, take breaks… Turbine has always been very awful to deliver content, but when it was delivered, it was always good).
This time I come back for another expansion The Rise of Isengard. let’s have a look at what they advertise this expansion to have, and then the horrible truth.
Dunland - Adventure amidst the bright forests in the foothills of the southern Misty Mountains. Beware the Dunland Clans, rugged warriors tempted by the dark promise of power.
- This zone is the only thing in the new expansion which is quite alright, does not have the same feeling to it, as many of the old zones or Mirkwood. But none the less it’s a good level zone with a nice story to it as well.
Gap of Rohan - Battle over the legendary pass between Eriador and the plain of Rohan. This key strategic point must be defended against the ambitions of Sauron.
- Battle this halfway made zone for 5-6 hours of gameplay. The zone is designed fully but it’s easy to see they are not done with what they wanted from this zone. It has as said 5-6hours of quest and it’s done. The book-quest ends before you get to here, I am guessing now, but this zone probably would have been a good part of the book-quest. Guess I already revealed that the book in this expansion is a joke, they say it’s one of the deepest book quest ever. Guess they didn’t play any of their other expansion since this book quest is so bad.
Isengard - Explore Orthanc, one of the iconic Two Towers, as it rises over the once beautiful Isengard valley, now desecrated beyond repair by Saruman the betrayer.
- Now this is the zone everyone had been waiting for, to see Sauromans awesomeness in action! Keep dreaming people, you will rather see Turbines fail in its awesomeness. The zone outside the Ringwall is another 3-4h of question with no points to the story really. After that you get access to the inside of the Ringwall. NOW is the time for what we waited for! *clashing sword against swords* “Let’s hunt some orcs!” … What? oh there is a NPC here, what do he have to say? Oh he has 5 starting quests, cool let’s start! 45 min. later (those apprentice of Sauroman was damn hard to find!) I went to turn them in to get my new once and get to (as they promised) explore Orthanc!! .. WTF?!? no new quests? ohh I can do them again in 24h … Yep that is Isengard for you 3-4h question outside and 5 dailies inside. Of cause you come by it for an hour or two in the book quests.. but seriously? could you possible make a more ridicules joke? I suggest you watch the trailer, since that the most of Orthanc you will see in this expansion.
Advance to Level 75!
Face new challenges and continue to forge your own legend in Middle-earth with all-new epic quests, skills, and deeds as you fight new enemies on your journey to level 75!
- erhm? there is no new challenges, every mob is the same just more levels. New skills, ye! they upgraded 3-4 skills for each classes. That’s such a challenge.
Biggest disapointment about this expansion that I will dare to call “The biggest fail expansion in MMO history, only targeted to milk the cashcow”
There are no new instances. If you want the new gear then you can do the 12-man raid skirmishes that people have been doing the past 1-3 years depending on which you choose, some of them are back from Moria days. or ever before that. Repeat what you have done to boredom for GLORY! Not to add that 90% of these skirmishes are so easy that half the people are AFK in them, more or less impossible to fail it. Doing 3/6 man is more of a challenge.
Crafting. They simply forgot to add new recipes that makes any sense. Crafting has always been rather good in Lotro, in this expansion most of the crafting stuff is just useless and not even worth making. Oh they also forgot to make a new level 75 crafted relics for weapons.
Legendary: No new legacies for you weapons. They added a new Tier 7 Relics but forgot to make them work before launch, The old level 65 extraordinary etc are still the best, Tier 7 is useless but added.
The book story is somewhat, while they call it their deepest book-quest ever, I laughed hard at that, it even ends suddenly and the quests says “Will continue in a soon update..”
They forgot moral was actually in the game, making it rather hard to go for the items you should, since you will go so low on HP. Again after how many years? the games items are still so flawed and level 70 items beat level 75 etc, the same old story. Take a hick and fire the guy who makes items he has failed since the game was made…
One boss raid, nothing else.. That raid is so easy that 12 random hardly can fail at it…
If you think about buying this to get back to lotro .. DON’T! I’ve played it 3 weeks now and I’m bored, 2 of the 3 weeks I leveled up. I have already killed the only raid they added. Have the best weapon possible for my class etc .. It’s just Retarded. Turbine lost all respect I had for them with this expansion. It does nothing of what it promised. Basically it’s an expansion that added 10 levels and a area to suport leveling those levels. After that nothing at all, no, nay, nein.. nothing. If I have to say one good thing its they finally got classes fixed to be right, they are really nice now. But that only made a whole lot more problems on the itembase for the game. They called Mirkwood a small expansion which was really cheap, a joke? Mirkwood had twice the content and deepness than this piece of SH….T.