LOTRO VIP Subscriber Gift Available This Month

LOTRO VIP Subscribers will be able to get a special gift all month long, just for logging in. When anyone with an active VIP subscription logs in before the end of September they’ll be gifted with a free Armour of the Isengard Dispeller cosmetic set. Each of your characters will have to be logged in individually to get the set on them. The item will be found in your inventory. This gift will be available until September 30th for VIP and Lifetime VIP Subscribers. The items are Bound to Account, but getting them couldn’t be easier.

In addition to that from now until the 12th of September, you’ll be able to get 20% off select expansions and expansion quests, Enhanced XP Supply, HornburgToken, Skirmishes, Instances, and the 100% Mark Acquisition Boosts.

There’s also a new item to be found in the LOTRO Store, the Enduring Universal Toolkit.

The weekly coupon, which also lasts until September 12th will get you a Tome of Tracking. To get it use the code TRACKINGTOME in the store.

The armor is proving to be quite popular at the moment, so if you hope to stand out from the crowd…well, still get it, but maybe don’t put it on just yet or else you’ll end up looking like everyone else. It’s fantastic that the developers are offering free gifts to VIPs like this as an incentive to keep their subscriptions going. There are a lot of MMOs out there that could do with this sort of thing.

Source: Official Site

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Lord of the Rings Online Announces a Progression Server

It would seem that the hunger pangs for starting brand new in an MMORPG are strong, noisy, and require lots of meat. Lord of the Rings Online is the latest to heed the call of this ravening desire with the announcement of LotRO Legendary World, which is a progression server by any other name.

lotro legendary world

The Legendary Server will bring players back to the very start of the MMORPG’s launch with 50 as the level cap and Angmar as the high-level location. That said, this server will bear a few difference from the launch version, including the ability to play as a High Elf and the Boerning class, and the ability to take advantage of the game’s trait trees. Updates to the server’s content are slated to come every four months after that.

The Legendary Server will only be accessible to those who are subscribers to LotRO. That said, you will not have to purchase any additional Quest Packs or other expansions a second time, as those will unlock as the server’s story hits the appropriate milestones.

The LotRO Legendary World is set to open at some point this fall. More information is expected soon, but for now an FAQ can be read here.

Our Thoughts

We’re almost positive that there will be more than a few fans of LotRO pleased to see this news. Progression servers do seem to have something of a strong draw for many and we hope those interested in starting completely fresh have a great time once this Legendary World opens up.

Source: official site

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Middle-Earth Enterprises Offers Reassurance for LotRO’s Future

Even if one of the game’s community managers already offered some consolatory words about the safety of Lord of the Rings Online, maybe you’re still a bit nervous. One such fan was and went so far as to write Middle-earth Enterprises about it, then shared the company’s response regarding LotRO’s future.

lotro's future

In short, the candid reply from MEE wanted to make it pretty plain that Lord of the Rings Online and the license with Standing Stone Games is secure:

“The expanse of Turbine’s interpretation of Middle-earth, with regard to the lore and the actual geography, is incredibly immersive and satisfying. (I recently dived back into LOTRO after taking a few years off and love the polish and streamlining implemented by SSG.)

“Please be assured that all parties involved intend to proceed exactly as you hope; LOTRO and Athlon will co-exist within the Middle-earth universe, and create complementary experiences for fans.”

This further bolsters our own assumptions about the timing in the LotR canon for both games, which line up in such a way that they seem to try to not step on one another’s toes. Still, getting direct assurance from someone within the controlling interest is likely good news.

Our Thoughts

We’d like to offer some thanks to whomever wrote that response within MEE for their candor. It’s very obvious now that the issuance of the license isn’t just being done recklessly or with the hopes of burying Lord of the Rings Online. Now that we’ve got that concern out of the way, we can look forward to the updates that are due next to the overall story in LotRO and what new things Athlon Games will do.

Source: LotRO subreddit via Massively Overpowered

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Lord of the Rings Online Outlines Loot Box Changes for Update 23

Lord of the Rings Online Update 23 is, ostensibly, going to bring some adjustments to the MMORPG, but the subject of LotRO loot boxes was the focus of a forum post made by the game’s executive producer. Come the game’s next major content patch, there will be a variety of tweaks to their contents along with ways for players to circumvent the monetization if they so choose.

lotro loot boxes

The post opened up by outlining what loot boxes should not be in LotRO, specifying that any gear earned from a loot box should also be attainable from playing the game. Additionally, gear earned from higher level instances should always be more powerful than loot box kit.

With that in mind, equipment earned from loot boxes will still be a thing, but mostly as a means for players to catch up to those sitting in the higher echelons of item power. That said, gear found in loot boxes will also be available to earn by spending an upcoming end game currency called Embers of Enchantment at a special vendor if players want to avoid buying keys. Embers can be gained from doing weekly quests or deconstructing unwanted gear.

“We absolutely want to reward players who are awesome enough to support the long-term success of the game by opening lootboxes, and get joy in doing it, but we don’t want players to feel like they are forced to open lootboxes in order to play or excel in the game,” explains the post.

Our Thoughts

In our estimation, putting gear in a loot box is still not exactly a brilliant idea, even if said gear can be earned in-game. As it stands, there’s no clear way of knowing how much time it will take to earn enough Embers to get the right equipment, and loot boxes that offer a “pay to avoid grind” option are only marginally better than “pay to win” ones.

Source: official forums

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Standing Stone Games Reacts to New Lord of the Rings MMO News

Most people’s reaction when they heard about the upcoming new Lord of the Rings MMO appeared to be concern for the future of Lord of the Rings Online. Well, we’ve got the first official Standing Stone Games response and it appears to be one of “meh”.

standing stone games response

In a response to a player-started forum thread both announcing and discussing the news, one of LotRO’s community managers offered a simple enough reaction to the upcoming new MMO. “The news will not have any impact on our development plans or licensing,” it reads. “We always welcome competition, and wish them the best of luck!”

The licensing issue, of course, refers to the license of the IP to Standing Stone Games, which many believed was due to run out on the developer or otherwise was an indication that Middle-earth Enterprises were somehow displeased at the studio’s handling of the property.

That said, it’s important to note that the Lord of the Rings license has been handed out to a number of different games. Additionally, the timeline of this particular MMO puts it before the events of LotRO, which means it lines up chronologically behind the currently running game.

Our Thoughts

If nothing else, this welcome of competition could mean that Lord of the Rings Online decides to put its foot on the gas and crank out more content. Since we just don’t know anything more about this new MMO, it’s far too early to claim doom one way or the other.

Source: official forums

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LotRO Opens the Palantir Preview Program

How would you like to be a beta tester for Lord of the Rings Online? You’re not being paid for it, of course, that’d just be silly! But if you’re a devoted fan that would like to try to make the MMORPG better, then perhaps the LotRO Palantir Preview Program is for you.

lotro palantir preview program

The Palantir Preview Program is much the same as the preview program prior to July 2012. Players who are VIP or Premium members in good standing and are 18+ can apply to join the program and test in-development LotRO content and provide feedback to the devs. It’s basically like a regular beta test but in smaller scale and for a period of six months.

There are a number of caveats potential applicants will want to bear in mind before submitting their information for consideration. Notably, regular participation in both the server and with the developers. Applicants are also being asked to stay on-task and keep pace with an “aggressive development cycle.”

If none of those are roadblocks to you, then you can learn more about the Palantir Preview Program, including an FAQ, on the game’s forums.

Our Thoughts

So on the one hand, free labor, guys? Really? On the other, those who would be interested in joining this preview program are likely more interested in trying to make LotRO better for everyone overall than they are in getting compensated, so perhaps that’s a moot point. In any case, we do hope that these unpaid testers provide the devs with the kind of feedback they seek in order to keep this MMORPG growing.

Source: official forums

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LotRO’s Weatherstock X Gets a Full Schedule

It’s time once again for fans of Lord of the Rings Online and incredibly well-written musical macros to gather at Weathertop. Weatherstock X has published its full schedule, heralding the community event’s ten years and announcing this year’s performers.

weatherstock x

Weatherstock X will take place this coming Saturday, July 21st on the Landroval server. Interested attendees can gather up starting at 10am EST, then the festivities kick off at 10:30am EST with the hosting Lonely Mountain Band and a megaband opening set.

From there, competing bands will start their sets at 12pm EST. A total of 17 bands will be performing for a combined total of four hours. After that, voting will open at 4:15pm for 30 minutes, with the winners announced and playing an encore at 5pm, followed by a mounted procession for an afterparty at the Bree-land Festival Stage at 5:30.

If you’re not able to attend the event yourself in-game, you can catch the whole affair livestreamed by Druidsfire on Twitch. The complete schedule and list of bands can be seen here.

Our Thoughts

It still astounds us to this day that LotRO’s music system – and by extension this event – has grown in the manner it has. We would like to congratulate those who have been running Weatherstock for so long a hearty congratulations and hope everyone attending has an awesome time.

Source: official forums

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LotRO Update 22 Opens the Northern Strongholds

For fans of Tolkien’s franchise, there are plenty of iconic locales for players of The Lord of the Rings Online to visit across digital Middle-earth. With LotRO Update 22, however, that list of locations is growing by some pretty exciting dimensions and one cardinal direction in particular – to the Northern Strongholds.

lotro update 22

Update 22, AKA Legacy of the Necromancer, will grant players the opportunity to visit locations such as the Dale-lands, Lake Town, and the Dwarven kingdom of Erebor. Players can also look forward to new end game episodic adventures in the region every week starting Wednesday, March 14th. All told, over 125 new quests and deeds await players who own the relevant Adventure Pack.

Of course, things aren’t quite cleared out in the land of Mordor, as Update 22 will bring Chapters 5 and 6 of the Black Book of Mordor live. The update also brings several changes to the game itself such as Dwarven avatar updates, new facial options for Humans and Elves, and a pretty beefy list of other adjustments. That beefy list can be read in full on the game’s official forums.

Our Thoughts

We’re certain that fans of Tolkien’s fantasy realm are going to be pretty jazzed at the opportunity to see so many new places of legend. Frankly, we’re just glad that things are moving out of the endless dark shadow of Mordor and into places with water and trees and grass.

Source: official forums

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