The "Extreme" Misty Mountains will stand alongside the new Ettendeep
upgrade to push characters along new paths, taking them deep into the
Misty Mountains to hunt dangerous versions of battle worgs, goblins,
and wolves. "We're going to visit some of the content from the Hobbit,"
Steefel said. "But we're in a different time period." On a random whim,
I threw out a question concerning Smaug, since the large dragon and his
hoard were the main branch of the Hobbit. While Smaug was obviously
defeated in the Tolkien's work, Steefel just laughed and said, "Nope."
However he cryptically added, "There will be time for that. But now is
not that time..."
Does that mean some dragons are in the near future for style="font-style: italic;">Lord of the Rings Online?
Only Jeffrey Steefel knows. However, characters will be able to visit
Goblin Town and you might actually be able to meet Gollum while you're
visiting the Misty Mountains.
answered our question about Smaug...
As we looked at the new zones and got the overview, Steefel showed us a
few slides that had come directly from the development of the new
areas. Our first particular location that we saw was the "Coliseum", a
"big, huge raid area." Another area that he included was "The Rift",
which was one of those "tremendous underground caves". While he was
showing us these scenes, Steefel added that they've been experimenting
with "immense underground areas that is technology and expertise that
may come in handy when we want to develop 'other' underground areas."
To extrapolate from this "lightly" veiled hint, both Phil Comeau and I
were fairly certain that Steefel may have been hinting at the Mines of
Moria. I'm sure you're all amazed at our brilliant deduction. I know I
Also included in that series of images was a look at a Cave Troll with
his keeper, with the immense beast towering over the "Uruk-hai-ish
The Cave Troll, while impressive, wasn't anything compared to what was
on Steefel's next slide:
You read that right, Book 11 will feature the first Balrog to ever make
its way to Lord of the
Rings Online. Steefel made sure to let us know that
Balrogs are not going to be extremely prevalent throughout
Middle Earth, the Turbine team concluded that there would be more than
one of these creatures throughout the whole of that world. They would
be rare, epic creatures, but they wouldn't be exclusive to one
particular instance. There is the ever popular Balrog of
Khazad-dûm, but that certainly isn't the Balrog we saw at the
Leipzig preview. But this Balrog was still particularly evil looking,
with his horse-skullish type face, wicked curved horns, nasty whip, and
splotchy bat wings.
Steefel suggested that the critter we saw in the preview would still be
an amazingly epic boss mob, but he wanted to insure players that the
real Balrog is lying in wait, deep in Moria. The nasty demon from
Khazad-dûm will be bigger, badder, and a huge challenge for
any adventuring party. "He's going to be bigger and scarier than this
guy," Steefel added. We ended our discussion of Book 11 on the image of
the Balrog, which only left us aching for more.
As an addition to all of our previous Book 10 coverage, Steefel wanted
us to have a look at some of the higher level content that isn't as
accessible to common players Steefel booted up the game and
loaded his developer tweaked character that ran around in "cloaked"
mode in order to escape the wrath of the creatures that he was going to
show us that came in Book 10. In Book 10, there was a large emphasis
placed upon Monster Play, but the character that were already at end
game also received a huge boost of content as well.
We were amazed when
Steefel told us that Book 11 will feature a Balrog!
Book 10 features a few new creations from the Turbine team, including
an area that is "contested", which means that players will have to
fight off evil NPCs in order to access certain instances in this area.
This can all be found in the previously closed off area of Anuminas.
There are some truly epic areas in Anuminas, and all the while you'll
be fighting off evil NPCs to gain access to it.
Other additions that we saw in Book 10 was the Reputation system and
the Rep System "great hall" of the Dwarves. Venturing into the area
meant traveling down another set of extremely steep stairs (ring a bell
anyone?) and coming out into an underground cavern that the Dwarves had
cleared out. Inside the hall characters can access Reputation exclusive
quest givers and vendors. One particularly cool feature we saw was the
idea of allowing lower level characters to use higher level weapons if
their reputation was up to a certain point. I would love to wield a
nasty two-handed axe with my Dwarf, if I can earn enough rep points.
Finally, on top of all this we also saw an example of an Epic
unlockable character in Monster Play, which was a huge troll. By
collecting certain "trophies" then depositing them back to an NPC
vendor, players can access these huge, tweaked out Creeps for a certain
amount of time to wreck havoc on the PCs in the Ettenmoors. On the
other side, Freeps also have access to an "Aragorn-like" character that
totally wastes normal Freeps.
With that, our time with Jeffrey was at an end, but we are going to
stay in touch with Steefel to make sure Ten Ton Hammer readers get all
the latest news on upcoming Lord
of the Rings Online updates as fast as humanly possible.
unofficial source of Lord
of the Rings Online href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/99">news and
Make sure you check out all of our href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/taxonomy/term/449">Leipzig
GC '07 coverage!
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.