In the wake of E3 the media blitz is on as the information pours out. Tentonhammer staff members Karen "Shayalyn" Hertzberg and Phil "Ralphedelominius" Comeau recently had the chance to take a sneak peak at some of the great features slated for the release of Lord of the Rings Online including a look at Book 10 set to release this coming August. They tracked down Adam Mersky, Director of Public Relations for Turbine and he offered some insight into many of the new features on the way for Lord of the Rings Online.
Book 9: The Shores of Evendium focused on increasing the size of the world by about ten percent with its release in June. Book 10 however; will focus on improving the game from a casual perspective and offering more mechanics and options of play. Players have a lot to look forward to in the Book 10 update such as session play, the reputation system, and the new barter mechanic. Allan Maki, Content Designer for Turbine offered up quite a bit of information during E3, 2007 on the Book 10 update as well as a look to the future with player housing.
Player housing is one aspect many players have been anxious to get answers about since launch. With player housing may come more storage space and our own private section of Middle Earth. According to Adam Mersky, Director of Public Relations for Turbine the player housing system will have slots like a player character. You can then place items in those slots to fill the house with furniture, carpets, and such items that belong in a house, similar to equipping items on a character. When asked if housing would be instanced Merskey wouldnt say, but he did say "We can't have tract housing in the Shire!"
Session Play is quickly becoming a popular and highly talked about mechanic since its announcement. This new system will allow players to log in for short sessions of play as some of the most epic creatures and characters in Middle Earth. You can become a troll with its devastating strength and area of effect attacks bringing your destructive power to the Ettenmoores for monster play. Log in and become a ranger of the north and aid in the fight against the forces of Mordor with the Ettenmoores and combat those nasty trolls, or become a chicken with your own quest line to complete in the outer world as you are only able to speak to other animals and a few characters including the famed wizard Radagast the Brown. The chicken also gets some specials skills such as Play Dead and Threatening Cluck. Session play will offer a new level of play for old players and new alike.
The reputation system will bring with it open non-instanced dungeons and above ground content to accommodate this new system of play. Players will earn favor with various factions around Middle Earth to earn new quest and items by completing task for the faction or eliminating their enemies. This system is said to be designed for players who prefer the killing over the questing. This shows the Devs are keeping ahead of the game and building some smart mechanics to accommodate its player base.
The bartering system is a new mechanic of trade for players. This system will allow players to barter with certain goods instead of coin with special merchants. This could help some of us money repelling players out quite a bit. Alternate methods of trade are mechanics that can go either way in an MMO, but I think the developers at Turbine have proven more than once that they can be innovative and creative. Seeing what they plan to do with this system should be interesting.
Book 10 will offer a broad range of play improving on the core game we have now. Session play is proving to be something many people, including myself are looking forward to. Top that off with the reputation system, the bartering system, and the new areas such as city of Annúminas, and there is no shortage of content to come. With player housing under the scope and the Devs vowing more content on a monthly basis Lord of the Rings is proving to be a force to be reckoned with in the MMO market.
You can also read Shayalyns E3 Report Here.
Tell us your thoughts on our Forums.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.