Posted Wed, Nov 24, 2010 by gunky
Developer diaries for the Lord of the Rings Online can be an interesting read sometimes. You get more than just hard facts about upcoming changes; sometimes you get a much more personalized insider view of what the changes mean and why they were made. Such is the case with the new Dev Diary detailing upcoming changes to Ered Luin.
According to Lauren "Budgeford" Salk:
The Ered Luin intro storyline has always confused me, and I never quite knew why. I didn’t understand the importance of various characters in the quests and instances, probably because so many of them seemed like they should be significant. There was Ivar, Marrec, Skorgrím, Tvistur, Elladan, Elrohir, Dwalin, Dori, and Gormr, to name a few. There were Goblins, Dourhands, Elf-ruins, Dwarf-halls, and high mountain paths. There were many different mines, statues, Dwarf-doors, and stairs all throughout the region, none of which really seemed to go anywhere. There were lynx, aurochs, flies, and Goblin-spies roaming the landscape. But it was all leading to the resurrection of a long-dead dwarf by an old and powerful Wight, a “dead” creature. There were many, many pieces, and none of those pieces fit nicely together to make a clear picture of what happened at the end of it all.
The revamped version of the Dwarf and Elf intro quests should clear that up nicely for anyone who was likewise confused. The Dourhands are some bad dudes, and the changes they have inflicted upon the landscape of Ered Luin are rather heartbreaking. Screenshots can be seen in the Ten Ton Hammer November Update Preview.
To further expound on the details of the November Update, Turbine has gone public with the Release Notes. Of particular interest in this release: the F2P level cap has been lifted to 65, Volume II and III epic books are now free, players can roam around Moria, Lothlorien and Mirkwood without buying the expansions, and the Lone-Lands quest pack is now free content. A few players find this announcement rather upsetting; some players have already bought the Lone-Lands quest pack at non-sale prices, and some subscribers worry that it's "only a matter of time" before more and more premium content will be given away freely, lessening the value of a paid subscription. On the other hand, a lot of F2P players will welcome this news gladly, and allowing more people to experience more content opens the game up to a lot and makes it much more attractive to new players.
In other news, some new LotRO-themed merchandise has been made available at the WBShop.com online store. Right now, this is limited to a couple of mousepads and coffee mugs, but followers of LotRO's facebook page can make suggestions for new merch by leaving comments on their page. And while you're there, don't forget to check out the Ten Ton Hammer facebook page as well!