Producer's Letter - October 2014

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Producer's Letter

Hello all! I’m Aaron “Rowan” Campbell, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online.

Update 15 is getting close, and the Dawnless Day is upon us! Our last major update for the year goes into public Beta testing this Friday (October 10) on Bullroarer. We have a lot to polish up and fine-tune in the release, but are eager to get your feedback on the new Beorning class, quests in Central Gondor, and Pelargir Epic Battle.

Here are some quick highlights:

Beorning: As a Beorning, you hail from the line of skin-changers that descends from Grimbeorn and Beorn himself. Beornings are closely related to the Rohirrim (and other Men), but are larger and more rugged. Call on the ancestral knowledge of your people with The Roar trait line, strike down your enemies with The Claw, trait line, or unleash your wrath to defend your allies with The Hide trait line. When Beornings gather sufficient Wrath they can take the form of a great bear to unleash devastating attacks on their foes. Every new Beorning character will start in the brand new starting area: Vales of Anduin. Visit Grimbeorn's Lodge while you get comfortable with your own strength.

Central Gondor: The dark clouds of the Dawnless Day loom overhead! Push forward into the Ringló Vale, Dor-en-Ernil, and Lebennin. New quests are available as you drive back the Corsairs, Haradrim, and Half-trolls who now pillage the shores of Gondor. The latest book of your Epic Story resolves in the beleaguered city of Pelargir, home to Gondor’s fleet.

Pelargir Epic Battle: This battle changes up the rules of epic battles! Instead of defending a key point, you will infiltrate the city of Pelargir and clear the way for Aragorn and the Army of the Dead. This offensive battle allows you to proceed at your own pace, completing optional objectives as you advance.

You may have noticed that the Legendary Item Update is not in this list. The team has made a lot of progress on updating Imbued Legendary Items to grow with you, but we’re taking more time to balance and refine the system. We plan to release this update with Update 16 in April 2015 (or earlier!), along with LOTRO’s Eighth Anniversary Update.

Features still to come in 2015:

Osgiliath: We’re advancing north, and now almost in sight of both Minas Tirith and The Black Gate. Osgiliath is a city overrun by Sauron’s army. Expect new adventures as you journey along the Anduin.

Minas Tirith: As the war escalates even further, you will journey to the City of Kings and participate in the Siege of Minas Tirith. Minas Tirith is the largest structure we’ve ever placed in Middle-earth, and the largest city!

There are many other areas that we continue to invest in, such as Roving Threats, a new type of challenge for fellowships, in Central Gondor. Looking forward to Update 15 and beyond!