Mines of Moria + Lord of the Rings Online Features

  • Will Middle-earth Become Your New Home? had a chance to preview Lord of the Rings Online during PAX. They have updated their site to bring us this preview. Keep reading to find out if they think the game is a hit...

    The star of the Turbine Entertainment booth at PAX was Lord of the Rings Online. In taking on this second massive license, Turbine has a mighty weight on their shoulders and expectations to live up to.

    “This is an MMO for people who love MMOs,” explained Lead Systems Designer Nik Davidson. He made special note of how the game had not tried to “reinvent the wheel” when it came to things like interface, controls and basic mechanism. Lord of the Rings Online will not have change for change’s sake.

    Read the full preview to learn more. Haven't joined the Lord of the Rings Online Community here yet? Why not? It just takes a moment to register. Head on over to LOTRO Ten Ton Hammer and sign up today! Then hit the forums and tell us what you are looking forward to seeing in this upcoming MMO.

    Features, Previews
    Thu, Aug 31, 2006
  • As I wandered the gaming exhibition area of the Penny Arcade Expo, I wondered what exactly people would want to know about Lord of the Rings Online. There has been a flood of information released by Turbine in the past weeks and most of the games major systems have been talked about. The systems we don’t know about were not going to be shown at PAX. What is a reporter to do? It is not easy for me to place myself in the position of an unknowing fan because I actually receive a bit more information about the game. That’s right, I know stuff. The desire to share all I know is very great. Unfortunately, I am limited to telling you about what I saw or could have seen at PAX. This may sound very restrictive, but there are so many small details that are to be learned. I will try to touch on and grade a few major areas of the game. These grades are based only on the current version that was on display at PAX.

    Features, Previews
    Wed, Aug 30, 2006
  • GameSpot sits down with Codemasters and Turbine at Leipzig to see an advanced build of this Tolkien-inspired MMORPG.

    Did GameSpot give this look at the game a thumbs up...or down? Keep reading to find out.

    LEIPZIG, Germany--Based on the literary works of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game set for release on the PC. We've seen quite a lot of the game over the past year, and as it moves into beta phase at the end of September, more people will be able to see just how it's shaping up. As you'd expect from a game based on such a classic piece of literature, The Lord of the Rings Online has a firm emphasis on story. Playing as one of seven character classes, you will follow a path that frequently crosses that of the fellowship of the ring, with plenty of familiar names and places along the way. We visited Codemasters at Leipzig to see an example of the first few character levels and what players can hope to expect as they work their way deeper into the game.

    Check out the preview at GameSpot. Don't forget to stop by our own Lord of the Rings Online community at LOTRO Ten Ton Hammer. Share your thoughts with us in the forums there.

    Features, Previews
    Thu, Aug 24, 2006
  • Got Questions?

    The "blue names" have started to make their presence known on Turbine's forums for Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. The developers have started fielding a few questions, and we've compiled all of the answers into one convenient location for you!

    "Lead Game Systems Designer Nik 'Mithral_Miser' Davidson:
    A lot of us went out of our way to get clearance to talk about more than we were able to before.

    Ask me any one question you want, and I'll answer it. Pull no punches. This isn't a PR exercise, this is us excited about really getting a chance to talk about the game that we've been pouring our lives into."

    Keep reading to see answers to many more questions. Also, Ten Ton Hammer's Jeff "Ethec" Woleslagle will be attending the LOTRO Gathering II on August 5, 2006. Ethec is certain to get some face time with the LOTRO devs. If you have have a question you want him to ask, post it in our forums on LOTRO Ten Ton Hammer!

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Jul 17, 2006
  • Turbine grinds away on their Tolkien-set MMO has posted their first impressions of Lord of the Rings Online. Did they enjoy it or find it a chore to look at? Keep reading to find out.

    Turbine is hard at work on Lord of the Rings Online, and they're proud to show it off. From the very first glance it's obvious that the team has made huge strides, bringing the visuals far up from last year's showing and improving the overall experience through control and gameplay by magnitudes.

    Read the full article and then head over to the forums at LOTRO Ten Ton Hammer and let us know what you think!

    Features, Previews
    Fri, Jul 14, 2006
  • Storyline and Playable Races Discussed has posted an interview with Jeffery Steefel. Executive Producer of Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, today.

    What is it like working on such a popular franchise and bringing it to an ever-expanding genre? What materials have you studied for the Middle-Earth experience?

    Working with a franchise like The Lord of the Rings is an incredible opportunity. We’ve dedicated ourselves to re-creating Middle-earth as faithfully as possible within the confines of a massively-multiplayer game. The opportunity to develop a persistent online world based on Middle-earth is exciting and challenging; everything is carefully researched before it makes it into the game.

    Of course, the art team has also done a tremendous amount of research including wearing a full suit of armor and visits to the archery range down the street to make sure our hunters hold their bows properly!

    Keep reading to find out more in this two part interview. Don't forget to stay tuned to LOTRO Ten Ton Hammer for all your latest news, interviews and information surrounding this much anticipated game!

    Features, Interviews
    Tue, Jul 11, 2006
  • Soon To Be In Beta...

    Shacknews was able to take some time to speak with Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

    Shack: Where does Shadows of Angmar fit into the Lord of the Rings storyline?

    Jeffrey Steefel: LOTRO’s storyline begins shortly after Frodo leaves the Shire. The premise of our story is that while the Fellowship formed and journeyed on to Mordor, the lands they left behind fell under attack by the forces of the Witch-king of Angmar, the King of the Nazgûl. Your role is to defend Eriador from the evil shadow which is reaching across the land in pursuit of the Fellowship and the One Ring.

    Read more of this interview to see what's in store for Lord of the Rings Online!

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Jul 03, 2006
  • We have a scratch in race #4 at the Barrow-downs. Frodo's Fancy will not run today.
    Turbine has posted a preview of the Barrow-downs area in Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

    "Known in the Elvish language as Tyrn Gorthad ("Hills of Tombs"), the Barrow-downs, located east of the Old Forest in the Bree-land region of Eriador, is a place of mystery best avoided by unwary adventurers.  By day, the area seems harmless enough – a quiet region of gently rolling plains and grassy mounds topped by ancient standing stones, marking the final resting place of great warriors from ages past.  But the spells which lay across the Barrow-downs are deceiving, and the mists that roll in as the day wanes can disorient and entrap even the bravest souls, turning the once-pleasant hills into dark shapes crowned with sharp teeth of stone.  In the dreadful gloom, evil spirits from Angmar dwell amongst the standing stones and within the burial mounds, inhabiting the bodies of the long-dead warriors and raising them as terrifying Wights driven to collect the living and bring them forever into this land of the dead. "

    You can read the entire Lord of the Rings: Shadows of Angmar Preview at the Official Site.
    Related Links:

    Features, Previews
    Fri, Oct 21, 2005
  • LotRO Goes Canadian.
    The official Lord of the Rings Online site has posted a developer diary featuring Jill Harrington. Jill is the lead technical artist on the title. We called the Canadian embassy in Slovakia to see if they would comment on this story, but they were busy making pancakes and could only utter the following statement:

    You may have noticed an eerie Ringwraith or two lurking in some of our screenshots. While our talented modelers, texture artists and animators truly bring these creatures to life, I thought it might be interesting to give you a peek behind the scenes – or, rather, behind his robes – to talk about another important step in bringing characters to life: the character setup process.
    I am the lead technical artist on The Lord of the Rings Online and one of the most important parts of my job is to set up finished models so that they can be animated. Anything in the game that moves – whether it be a hobbit, a door, or a Ringwraith – has a skeleton built for it by a technical artist. We then attach the model to the skeleton (this is called "binding the skin"), and make sure that it deforms properly when the skeleton is posed (called "weighting" – as each point on a model has an amount of "weight" for each bone that affects it). We set up control boxes to make the animators' jobs easier, then pass the character on for animation. The software we use for this process is Maya, by a company called Alias." 

    You can read the entire Lord of the Rings Online Developer Diary at The Official Site.
    Related Links:

    Features, Interviews
    Mon, Oct 17, 2005
  • "We're not ready to talk about <insert your broad category of interest here>. Stay tuned!"
    Turbine sits down with MMORPG in one interview perhaps more notable for what wasn't said. It sounds like there's a lot of work to be done on the concepts behind Middle Earth's MMO; either that, or the Turbine team is being extraordinarily tight-lipped.

    " Will our actions be able to change things in the world? Can we take over and occupy buildings, or towns? Perhaps drive the orcs from a town and reclaim it?
    Jeffrey Steefel: An interesting question indeed – stay tuned for answers…"'s interview with Lord of the Rings Online producer Jeff Steelfel - click here!
    Other links you might enjoy:

    Features, Interviews
    Fri, Oct 14, 2005
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