Lord of the Rings Online Announces Volume 2: Mines of Moria at Connect '08!

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by Cody “Micajah” Bye and Jeff “Ethec” Woleslagle

Gird your loins intrepid adventurers, you’re about to be plunged into the deepest, darkest parts of Middle-Earth and only the strongest characters will come out alive! At this year’s Connect ’08, the developers at Turbine decided to create the climax of the party by dropping an absolute bombshell of an announcement. According to Ten Ton Hammer’s executive editor, Jeff Woleslagle, Turbine and Codemasters are hard at work on a full-blown expansion to Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar, and it is called Volume 2: Mines of Moria. Although the details are still coming in, here’s what we know thus far.

The Balrog of Khazad-dûm will assuredly be an epic creature of immense proportions.

For all of you that are racing through the end-game in the first volume of LOTRO, you’ll soon have more experience to earn and muster through. 10 more levels are being plopped into the game, making even the most extreme adventurer earn their new place in the lore of Middle-Earth. And of course, you can’t simply add new levels onto a game without a bevy of new content to go along with them.

In addition to the 10 additional levels of advancement, two new classes are going to be added into the game. Although LOTRO's executive producer, Jeffrey Steefel, couldn't talk much about the two new classes, he did toss out the names of the pair: the Warden and the Rune-keeper.

Three new regions are coming into the game to compliment those 10 new levels and two new classes, and these regions certainly aren’t for the faint of heart. The first and least known of the regions is Eregion, which is an area outside of the West Gate of Khazad-dûm. Full of ancient Elven ruins, Eregion may harbor a host of unseen enemies.

Second, and the deadliest region of the three, is Moria itself. Hopefully any Tolkien fan – casual or hardcore alike – will know what Moria contains: the Balrog of Khazad-dûm. Unleashed by the dwarves of Moria, this creature will make the other Balrog that was introduced earlier into the game look tame. If the expansion is anything like the books, expect a vast number of orcs and goblins to fight through in the depths of Moria itself. The developers were also keen to mentions that Moria will also be heaped with glittering Dwarven treasure!

The last new region on the list is Lórien, where players will finally get to meet up with the Fellowship and possibly help ease their pain after their desperate flight from the Balrog. The developers will probably create an epically beautiful realm to represent Lórien, and one can only expect Galadriel to be stunning (or Gimli would have our heads!).

Finally, the developers at Turbine are also developing the first system to create wholly unique weapons within the realms of Lord of the Rings Online. These new weapons, called Legendary Weapons, will be able to get deeds and traits of their own as they adventure through the world in the hands of a mewling adventurer. Described to be like sentient weapons from Dungeons & Dragons, one can only expect that the new Legendary Weapons will be a highly sought after commodity.

According to the announcement, players won’t have to wait long for this particular expansion to the original game; the Mines of Moria are set to launch in Fall 2008. The next full-box update after Mines of Moria will be in 2009, as Turbine made it clear that they’re aiming for a yearly expansion schedule. Sounds like fun!

For all of the doubters out there, don’t be afraid to read this; all of the information won’t come without verification. A brand new website for Volume 2: Mines of Moria will be launching today (March 14, 2008) and allow players of all sorts to check out the upcoming material. You can see the new website at

What are your thoughts on this latest announcement? What should players expect from the mines of Moria? Let us know on the forums!
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