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Release notes, Dev-Diaries, Lorebook releases, Feature Articles

These pages:
are an attempt to collate various Turbine resources into some sort of chronological order, as well as tying them to Release names and dates. I don't guarantee everything is exactly right, but it should be close. Close enough to find things.

Hopefully this will be useful to others as well.

These are listed in what is apparently, reverse chronical order. Though most Dev Diaries are undated, many have sufficient references so as to enable their placement in the LOTRO Release time line.

The "blurbs" are Turbine's. Found when trying to list all of the Dev Diaries. It is unclear if there are blurbs for the missing entities or not.

Things to do

  1. index by developer / class / crafting / gameplay / mechanics

Lorebook Releases

Lorebook service was terminated with the revision of the LOTRO Forums in July of 2013. These References are now obsolete.

Turbine You Tube Channel

With Riders of Rohan, Turbine has begun releasing significant information via You Tube videos. This information is frequently IN ADDITION to the written Developer Diaries listed below. Additionally, they are in multiple languages.


Dev Diaries


Riders of Rohan Soundtracks released on You Tube

Each track is accompanied by a commentary on the music by the Composer, Chance Thomas.

These need reordering

Update 19

Update 21

Developer Diaries (Reverse chronological order - most recent on top)

Update 18 - The Battle of Penennor Fields

Your time is now! Bring the Rohirrim South and play your part in one of the largest battles in Middle-earth.
There comes a day when every team must gird for battle. True, we’d done battles before, but never anything quite like this.
Hello, I'm Kevin "EdgeCase" Nolan, and I'd like to talk to you about three major combat changes coming in Update 18: the Avoidance swap, the Mastery revamp, and the Medium Armour Mitigation fix. This diary is going to have a lot of numbers and discussion of deep combat mechanics, so I'll bottom-line it for those of you who are less interested in the nitty-gritty details.
Hello, I'm Kevin "EdgeCase" Nolan, and I'd like to talk to you about Featured Instances, launching in Update 18. Featured Instances allows you to get new rewards for playing some of the classic instances from LOTRO's past.

Update 17 - The Siege of Minas Tirith

Update 17: The Siege of Minas Tirith, Now Available!
Hello, everyone! I'm EdgeCase, and I'm very happy to be able to tell you all about the update to Crafting coming in Update 17. In general, this will look a lot like the existing crafting tiers, but with a few important changes.

World Closure Announcement

We will be offering Free transfers between remaining worlds following the below schedule.
Do you have a Kinship on one of the Closing Worlds? If so, then this guide is for you.
As of today the following worlds are no longer allowing character creation and will be closed to play at the beginning of 2016. Characters on all of these worlds will be saved and will be available to transfer to a remaining world for free, indefinitely.
We will begin the transfer process by opening the test world, Bullroarer, for character copy. We will then open transfers between the 10 remaining worlds.
We are finally ready to reveal the details on the new World Transfer process, the consolidation of LOTRO's worlds, and their movement to a brand new data center. We appreciate your patience as we have worked to make the new transfer process as well-rounded, simple, and effortless as possible. The first part of this article will discuss our timeline and the second part will go over the details of the new transfer features themselves. So grab a goblet of Elvish Wine and kick back, because this will be a long one.
Cosmetically equipping weapons is a natural extension of the existing outfit system and we’ve wanted to do it for years. The cosmetic-only items (such as rolling pins and frying pans) you can get aren’t nearly as fun without the ability to use them cosmetically while equipping a real weapon.
The release of a major update is incredibly exciting for us (a.nd I hope for you as well!), but over the past few years we found ourselves wondering if there were ways to maintain that excitement level even between updates.
Update 16.2
Spring is in bloom!

Update 16

Now Available
Imbuement is a new alternate advancement system for Legendary Items that is designed to expand from update to update.
Find out what went into making the newest Instance Cluster for Lord of the Rings Online.
Come celebrate with us
2015 Producer's Letter


  • [ Yule Festival - 19 December 2014
Yule Festival
Now Available
Harvestmath Fest
Farmers Faire
Enjoy LOTRO's Summer Festival

Update 14

Adventure into the Realms of Men

Update 13

It's been a long time coming, but here we are at the end of Volume III: Allies of the King, and in this edition of Quest Notes we'll take a look back at what it's taken to get here before looking forward to Book 14, 'The Waters of Isengard’ and beyond!
We took a good, hard look at a few older zones from Shadows of Angmar for the content revamps in Update 13. The North Downs, Trollshaws, and Misty Mountains all needed some love.
The goal of this revamp was to spruce up some very outdated content and yet still retain all of the best aspects of these three very unique regions. There were some great stories, beautiful and diverse environments, memorable characters, and unforgettable moments throughout the content we looked at. Hopefully these have only been enhanced with the improvements that we've made.
Adventure after the fall of Orthanc..
Celebrating Seven Years in Middle-earth!
Mayor Will Whitfoot unveiled plans today for Middle-earth’s first major sports league, the Kingsfoil Championship league. The league will bring together teams from as far away Dunland and possibly beyond, though Mayor Whitfoot did acknowledge events in the east were a source of concern for some teams and their ability to travel at this time.

Post Helm's Deep Expansion (Update 12)

  • See Frickingmuck transcriptions of the Taking the Hobbits to Isengard Twitch discussions
Hobbits to Isengard - Q&A with Sapience notes on what was said

Update 12: Helm's Deep

You Tube videos

Published on Sep 12, 2013
Experience the finale of Rohan's Epic Story and the beginning of all-out war in Middle-Earth.

Published on Oct 3, 2013
Take a look inside the art and design of Western Rohan

Published on Oct 17, 2013
Lead Systems Designer Matt Zimmitti and members of the LOTRO Team discuss class changes, Trait Trees, and the reasons for the changes coming when Helm's Deep releases on November 18th, 2013. (Please Note: Some icons shown in this video are placeholder only)
Beginning at level 6, Trait Trees offer a selection of powerful Specializations (Specs) that enhance your character.
You gain more Trait Points by leveling-up and completing Deeds, and higher levels unlock additional builds to switch between when outside combat.
Each class has unique Specs that embody a clear combat style, whether it's the Minstrel healing Spec or the Champion Morale tank Spec. As you allocate points you'll receive several bonuses, like enhanced passives, new powerful Skills, and significant Skill upgrades.

Twitter Dev Chats

One note, we’ll be as open as possible with our answers, but please be aware that development priorities are prone to shifting. #LOTRO
Our answers reflect our current plans and expectations, but are subject to change. #LOTRO

Developer Diaries

Within the Battle for Helm’s Deep UI, on the ‘Road to Battle’ and ‘Battle History’ tabs is a widget for tracking the progress towards earning rewards. As you complete quests and objectives you will earn medals based on how well you do.

One of the areas of gameplay we looked at was the interactives. How did you interact with them, how did that interaction change the space and the environment, what choices and decisions were presented to you, and how did multiple people interact together, with the same or different options?

As you play the Battle for Helm’s Deep and earn medals completing objectives and quests you will earn points to spend within Promotions, the advancement system for Epic Battles.
How many soldiers survive the wall, how many banners were burnt down, how many injured Rohirrim survived a diversionary assault, how many rocks did you block the culvert with, were there any supplies left, did the horses survive, how many enemy traps or barricades did you disable, how many traps or barricades were your allies able to construct?

Aloha, and welcome to the Battle for Helm’s Deep!

The second chapter of Rohan’s story has finally come to LOTRO, and it’s a big one!

Welcome to Quest Notes, the place to go for news and information about all things related to the Epic Story!

Hey all. Let’s take some time to understand the class trait changes coming with Helm’s Deep. The biggest question I get about the class changes is… Why? It’s a pretty big question so I’ll try to break down a few of the reasons here.

“Hail and well met my friends!” as the Rohirrim are wont to say. It’s time for the Warden dev diary! For the upcoming expansion, the Warden is getting some snazzy new abilities, but we’ve also made a concerted effort to trim down the number of Gambits and skills you’ll have to memorise and store on your hotbars. We want to present a more streamlined, engaging experience that still rewards mastering the Gambit system.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Warden.

Greetings, fellow Runekeepers! Working on this class turned out being a tough nut to crack. The Rune-keeper was built to be a good healer and good damage dealer at the same time by swinging from one end to the attunement bar to the other. When we started, we felt it was very important that the swing remain intact. Being able to be a damage dealer and then swing to provide backup healing was our number one priority and so the trees were built in such a way to encourage this play, while making you great at one at the same time.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Rune-keeper.

Greetings! Deviled_Egg here again to talk about changes to everyone’s favourite singer-songwriter: The Minstrel.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Minstrel.

Hey folks! I’m Deviled_Egg and I’m going to fill you in on some of the goodies the Lore-master will be receiving in the Helm’s Deep expansion. The Lore-master will feature three distinct specializations, each one catering to a different play-style. The Keeper of Animals is the Lore-master’s pet line. Specializing in this line will make your pets stronger and tougher to take down, as well as offer new interactions between you and your pets. The Master of Nature’s Fury is the Lore-masters DPS Line. Traits in this line will give you the ability to wield Flame, Lightning, and Frost to great effect. Last, but certainly not least, is The Ancient Master. This specialization will give you a suite of debuffs and disables which can render your enemies’ attacks useless, or make them more vulnerable to the attacks of you and your allies. The Ancient Master also has the ability to restore the Morale and Power of allies.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Lore-master.

Hey Hunters! It’s been an honor to work on this class for the revamp and am very excited with the changes we made overall...
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Hunter.

Hey all, Verizal here to talk to you about all the fun, new changes coming up with the Guardian. I was pretty pumped when I found out that I was going to have the opportunity to work on this class, given both my experiences in LOTRO, and my inclination towards heavier classes in other MMOs. For whatever reason, the idea of charging headlong into battle, covered in plate, and swinging a giant axe appeals to me much more than hanging out on the outskirts of the fight, plinking away at the enemy and hoping they don’t look my way (sorry Hunters). It was with this sort of mentality that I tried to approach this rather sizeable revamp.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Guardian.

When tapped to work on the Champion, it was important to me that the main functionality not change drastically, but instead work into the trees in a meaningful way. As it existed before the revamp, each line had a specific purpose, some more focused or successful than others, but each had a distinct goal and way of going about things. So when it came time to define each line, it just made sense from the start.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Champion.

NEEDHAM, MA – September 12, 2013 -- Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced today that The Lord of the Rings Online™: Helm’s Deep™, the next expansion to the award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) developed by Turbine, will launch on November 18th. Helm’s Deep will continue the Epic Story into the western plains of Rohan, allow players to take an unprecedented role in the legendary battle for Helm’s Deep while advancing to the new level cap of 95.

Hello all! RockX here, and it’s time to talk Captain. Captain was definitely challenging, as I needed to keep in mind all four roles the Captain fills. As such, the main goal was to allow each of the three specializations to fully function in its chosen role while allowing the Captain to buff their allies appropriately. In addition, I wanted to make buffing offer more active and engaging gameplay, rewarding the Captain for using buffs at opportune moments.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Captain.

Hello all! RockX here, and today I’m talking about the Burglar class revamp. I really enjoyed working on the class, as I felt each role could use a little something to really make them shine. Therefore, my main goal was to really home in on what made each of the three Burglar specializations unique and focus gameplay into each line’s strengths. The Quiet Knife line focuses on dealing high burst damage using Stealth and positional skills. The Mischief-Maker line uses the application and removal of Tricks to control and whittle foes down through attrition. The Gambler manipulates chance with Gambles, ensuring an outcome in their favor. Each play-style should feel familiar to existing players, with new skills which offer potent additions to the chosen specialization.
* LOTRO-Wiki class page for the Burglar.
Come celebrate another year of the Farmers Faire! Head over near Bywater Center in the Shire and take part in all of the fun festivities. This year's faire not only brings a host of new rewards but provides you another way to gain the new Bounder's Tokens!
Well, hello there! Aubergine here, and as the good hobbits have had me quite busy in helping them set up their fundraising campaign, thought I’d take the time to share some of the details with you.
The Bounder’s Bounty will run until the release of Helm’s Deep. Unlike a more traditional festival, you participate by simply by logging in and playing LOTRO just as you normally do. You’ll just need to include some occasional trips to Michel Delving.

Update 11: Treachery of the White Hand

Update 10: Against the Shadow part II

"Once a hit has been determined to be a Critical or Devastating Critical Hit, a multiplier is applied to the attack giving it the bonus damage. Critical Defence directly reduces this multiplier, causing a Critical or Devastating Hit to do less damage."
"Hey everybody! DEViled_Egg here to talk about the Warden stat changes. I’ll be going over what’s changing, how, why, and what we’ll be doing to ease this transition. RockX will also provide some more details on the change and what this means from an itemization perspective."
"The second half of the instance cluster takes place within the lands of Erebor, at the town of Dale and at the Lonely Mountain. It tells the story of the Battle of Dale and Siege of Erebor. Sauron sent a large Easterling army north to defeat the Men of Dale and Dwarves of Erebor at the same time he was engaged with Gondor."
"Today I’ll be talking about the Seal conversion we’re performing with Update 10. Before I get into the details, allow me to shed some light on the reasoning."
"Hello all, RockX here! Today I’ll be talking about the Itemization changes being introduced with Update 10. There’s two main areas which have seen some major changes for this update – Scaling Instance Loot and Set Bonuses."

January 2013

January has been an exciting month for us on the dev team! We’ve wrapped up our plans for 2013, and I’m very pleased to announce some new big initiatives for LOTRO you can expect in the coming year:
The release of Update 10 will introduce a new in-game currency called Mithril Coins. They can be purchased in the LOTRO store with Turbine Points and can be used for a variety of services including Stablemasters, Fast Travel to NPCs in quests, Reviving, Mannequins, and Daily Quest resets.
Hello all! As we close out 2012, I wanted to give you a current “state of the game” report and highlights from the past year. Kate Paiz (LOTRO’s Executive Producer) will be back in early 2013 with more detail on our upcoming plans for LOTRO development

Fall 2012 - Update 9: Against the Shadow

In advance of Update 9: Against the Shadow, Turbine revamped the "forum" display of Dev Diaries, making it much more difficult (if not impossible) to access any but the most current diaries. Note that there is a whole new path to their location. Diaries are dated as of their posting date, not release date on the Turbine page.
Hi all, I’m Aubergine. I’ve been working on this year’s Yule Festival, and wanted to give you some insight into the changes we’ve made and some of the thoughts behind why we made them.
In case you were wondering when you could bring your character from Durin’s Threshold to the Dimrill Dale without much of a hiccup, the wait is finally over! We have just wrapped up our revamp of the second half of Moria, from Zelem-melek through Nud-melek.
Learn about changes to Miss Chance, Critical Defense, and Interrupts!
The Shadow in the East arises once more. Darkness threatens to spread across Middle-earth. War is coming. Knowing that the Ring has been found and that the Dark Lord Sauron has begun to call all evil to himself, Gandalf the Grey seeks news of the allies and enemies of the past.
Since the release of RoR, I have been hard at work on new features and fixes for you guys for Update 9. I'd like to tell you about one of them, the new “Travel to Quest Objective” feature, today.

Summer 2012 - Riders of Rohan specific material

Links below this point in time were NOT brought forward wit the July 2013 Forum revisions. Although they basically seem to ping-pong with re-directs, so they might be fixed some day.

Again listed in reverse chronological order -- newest on top.

Horses in LotRO have had a fascinating back story to them since the beginning of the game – a story that may not be so well known outside of our office. During the initial development of the game, horses were added as a late feature.
Hytbold is a new solo-able endgame experience being delivered with Riders of Rohan. It focuses on rebuilding a razed Rohirrim village by aiding the people of the Eastemnet through a large suite of rotating, randomized, daily quests.
When Riders of Rohan goes live this fall, we’ll all have a choice of which war-steed is best fitted to carry us into combat.

Howdy Hunters of Middle-earth! Today we are going to talk a bit about the Riders of Rohan expansion and what YOU can expect to get. We are giving you a lot of goodies this time from improvements to Split Shot and Hunter’s Art to a real threat reducing skill. We are even giving you a skill that will save your lives (and no, it’s not group Desperate Flight!) Read more in our latest Developer Diary!
Howdy! I’m Graal and I’m ready to reveal the “awesome plans” we have for the Guardian class in the upcoming Riders of Rohan expansion. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Ken "Graalx2" Burd!
Today I’ll be talking about the main updates, changes and improvements we’ve made to the Champion for Riders of Rohan. Our primary focus for Riders of Rohan was on survivability and threat management, but there’s something in here for everyone. Read more in our latest Developer Diary from Jonathan “RockX” Steady!
Hello! I’m DEViled_Egg, one of the newer systems designers on LotRO, and I’ll be discussing updates to the Captain for Riders of Rohan. Read more in our latest Developer Diary!
Hello all, RockX here! Today, I’ll be talking about the main updates, changes, and improvements we’re making to the Burglar for Riders of Rohan. Read more in our latest Developer Diary!

NOTE: Diary's concern Class Changes for RoR -- NOT Mounted Combat

And here we are, at last. We’ve taken a couple detours along the way (hello, Dunland!), but we’re on the Fellowship’s trail once more. Finally, we can finish our tour of everywhere Frodo and company went in Fellowship as well as pushing deeper into The Two Towers. Read more in our latest Developer Diary!
The Ettenmoors is a unique place within the world of LOTRO; a corner of Middle-earth that allows players the ability to take up the banner of Sauron and openly battle against the forces of good. Over the course of LOTRO’s lifetime, the Ettenmoors has been updated several times.
The Farmers Faire is a seasonal festival mixed with a Farmers Market and it celebrates the bountiful late-summer harvest in the Shire. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Lauren “Budgeford” Salk!

Dev Diaries (editing break)

(2012 Spring) Update 7: Shades of the Past

* Live on Bullroarer Friday 4 March 2012
* Live on Game Servers
* Update 7.1 live 30 May 2012
* Update 7.1.2 Live 13 June 2012

Fornost is next on our upgrade train as we march up through the instances of LOTRO. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Joe 'jwbarry' Barry!

Moria is a beautiful, unique, amazing space. Don’t worry; we’re not changing any of that. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Lauren “Budgeford” Salk!

This April, LotRO celebrates the fifth anniversary of its launch. Incredible, isn’t it? What I believe makes this festival so special is that it directly relates to all of us. It wouldn’t even exist if it weren’t for you! Read more in the first Dev Diary from Jared 'Sleepy' Saramago! (Originally scheduled from 16 April to 30 April, Extended to 7 May.)

(2012 Spring) Update 6: The Great River

  • Live on Bullroarer 1 March 2011
  • Live on Game Servers 13 March 2012
  • 6.0.1 Patch 21 March 2012
Yet, it’s time once again for Quest Notes, your source for the latest and greatest information about the Epic Story and related subjects. This time around I’ll be joined by Tim ‘Enosity’ Dwyer, an audio designer at Turbine who has been responsible for getting recorded dialogue into LOTRO since its conversion to Free to Play." Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Jeff ‘MadeOfLions’ Libby!
Update 6 will see quite a number of changes to the Rune-keeper. Some of these changes affect long standing aspects of the class that are getting shaken up; others are addressing the changing power balance between the classes. The main thrust of this update is to continue keeping the Rune-keeper true to his original design goals. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Brian "Zombie Columbus" Aloisio!
Wardens have had their share of difficulties in the past few months. With Update 6 being prepped, it is time to take a look at the changes that are set to come to the Warden. We have made certain to keep the advanced nature of the Warden intact. This has been a hallmark of the class since its inception and we had no desire to diminish the complexity and flavor that the class provides. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Allan ‘Orion’ Maki!
Life can get kind of lonely out on the range. Sometimes you’re out beating back Wargs to kill time until your Kinmates show up. Maybe you’re out and about trying to get that last Broken Hatchet to make a complete stack. If any event, if you need a partner to join you during your fight, you might wish to call your Skirmish Soldier!
Instance Finder is gaining the ability to opt-in and out of instances, broadening or restricting the possible matches through the Advanced tab. The Instance Finder Bonus will similarly scale, growing the IF Bonus as more instances are opted into. Additionally, Skirmish Daily quests are being modified. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Brian "Zombie Columbus" Aloisio!
Instance Finder was a feature that was released in Update 5 and we’ve been busy making updates and improvements to it for Update 6. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Ransroth!
Region content is the backbone of The Lord of the Rings Online™. What would our game be without a landscape to explore, monsters to kill and quests to reward you for your tireless efforts? This content is the primary way to advance your character, and everything else in the game is arguably extra. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Budgeford!
This update the Warg will have two distinct playstyles that players can choose: The fragile stealthier or the scrapping brawler. For the Warg that has been dying to charge in and ferociously rip their opponents apart while soaking up damage, your time has come. Read more in the first Developer Diary from Jinjaah!
As player potency has increased, it has become increasingly difficult for an finesse/control class like the Weaver to maintain its place on the battlefield. With this revision, we’re not looking to change the way the Weaver plays, but to build upon the existing mechanics. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Jared "Kelsan" Pruett.
Increasing ranks of Audacity will reduce incoming damage and crowd control durations while in the Ettenmoors. Freeps and Creeps will spend Commendations to improve their Audacity, though in different ways. Read more about Audacity in the latest Developer Diary from Brian "Zombie Columbus" Aloisio.
Throughout Update 6 and Update 7, we will be modifying the economy of the Ettenmoors by replacing Destiny with a new capped currency called “Commendations”. Commendations will be the primary currency for both Freeps and Creeps, requiring a re-costing of all barter vendors and skill trainers in PvMP. Read more in today's Developer Diary from Jared "Kelsan" Pruett.
Designing for events is always tricky business. A mixture of content, systems, and crazy; an event requires you to please characters of all levels and design outside the box. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of this content, and today I’m here to talk about our latest offering; the Buried Treasure event.
"The end of 2011 is here, and it has been an incredible year for The Lord of the Rings Online. I want to express deep thanks and gratitude from the staff at Turbine to all our fans that made this LOTRO's strongest year ever."  Read more in the latest Producer's Letter from Aaron “Rowan” Campbell!
"Hello everyone and welcome back to the Yule Festival! I'm Pinion, the newest content designer on The Lord of the Rings Online. I was previously a part of Turbine's QA team, and some of you may know me from our test servers. For my first design task, I was charged with improving and polishing the Yule Festival, specifically the Winter-home area."  Read more in Pinion's first Developer Diary!

(2011 Dec) Update 5: Volume III: Book 5:

In this update we have a total of 5 instances -- three small fellowships, one fellowship, and one raid. There are 15 boss fights, two difficulty tiers, 10 challenges, over 75 new monsters, 250 new skills, 500 new effects, 200 new chest drops, and 54 new armour sets! Read more in today's Developer Diary from Joe 'jwbarry' Barry!
All the various marks and tokens that appear in Skirmishes and Classic Instances are being collapsed into three new currencies; Marks, Medallions and Seals. These three currencies will also be used in the new Isengard instance cluster, as well as future instances. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Brian 'Zombie Columbus' Aloisio!
The reputation items have seen a slight revision in Update 5 that significantly changes the way they work. Read more about these changes in the latest Developer Diary from Elliot 'Avon' Gilman!
Instance Finder, a new feature in Update 5, is a tool to both help find groups to run instances and provide rewards for playing random content. Read more about Instance Finder in the latest Developer Diary from Leo 'Ransroth' Zelevinsky!
Update 5 for The Lord of the Rings Online™ is coming soon, and it adds five new instances to the game. In total, there are three new three-man instances, one six-man and one 12-man, and each of these instances will continue the ongoing story in Rise of Isengard. In an effort to find out more, Turbine community team member Kyle Horner sat down with a handful of LOTRO designers to discuss the trials and tribulations faced by them as designers – and the ones they themselves were designing for players to face, as well.
It hasn’t been very long since the last edition of Quest Notes, but already it’s time to sit down and discuss what lies ahead in the next installment of the Epic Story for LOTRO! Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Jeff ‘MadeOfLions’ Libby!

(2011 Oct) Rise of Isengard (ROI) - Volume III: Book 4:

"It’s time again for Quest Notes! In today’s installment, you can peek behind the curtain at the development of the Epic quest arc in Volume III Book 4: Rise of Isengard."
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Jeff ‘MadeOfLions’ Libby!
Dunland is the natural extension of our path down through Enedwaith, following the path of the Grey Company as they rush to the south to aid Aragorn in his quest to confront Sauron and rescue the city of Minas Tirith from the onslaught of the Dark Lord’s armies.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Jessie 'Vastin' King!
The Fellowship Maneuver is a fun little mechanic that has the potential for some very powerful effects.

Read more in our latest Developer Diary!

When we set out to make this encounter, one thing stood out as crucial: we wanted to make an encounter with a massive creature. We wanted to impart the feeling that players were interacting with a creature that couldn’t be approached in the same way that they approached smaller creatures, like those they faced on landscape.

In our latest Developer Diary, Brian "Zombie Columbus" Aloisio discusses the changes and updates to the Rune-Keeper class. Read more!
In our latest Developer Diary, Brian "Zombie Columbus" Aloisio discusses the changes and updates to the Hunter class. Read more!
In our latest Developer Diary Jared 'Kelsen' Pruett discusses the upcoming changes to the Monster Play experience. Read more!
In our latest Developer Diary Jared 'Kelsen' Pruett outlines all of the revisions made to Freep Monster Play experience. :Read more!
Today Orion discusses the upcoming changes to Minstrels, "I hope that this diary explains the reasons for the changes and provides a roadmap for the future of the class."
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Allan ‘Orion’ Maki!
Howdy Guardians! We believe that Guardians are in a good place before Rise of Isengard and will not need any major changes for the expansion. We are currently increasing the additional threat added by Guardian skills and other tanking classes to make sure that they can do their jobs in a Fellowship.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Ken "Graalx2" Burd!
Lore-masters have a lot of breadth in the skills and abilities they have access to. Crowd control and debuffing are the Lore-master’s bread and butter, but they’re also able to deal respectable damage, provide some spot healing when needed and have a variety of pets they can use.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary by By: Tim 'Raskolnikov' Lang!
"With Isengard, the Champion is undergoing some significant changes that are meant to set them further apart from the other martial frontline classes. These changes are all meant to keep the Champion in line with the style of game play that you have come to expect and extend that gameplay across all stances."
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Allan ‘Orion’ Maki
In today's Developer Diary Tim 'Raskolnikov' Lang discusses planned updates to the Burglar Class!
Captains are pretty much the hybrid class in LotRO. They can deal some damage, they can heal some morale, and they can tank a bit. Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Tim 'Raskolnikov' Lang!
The LOTRO Systems Team discusses Itemization in our latest Developer Diary.
Stats will be getting an update with the launch of The Rise of Isengard™. Read more about these changes in the latest developer diary from Ken "Graalx2" Burd!

(2011 May) Update 3 - Lost Legends of Eriador

What secrets are locked away in the Halls of Night, and what Nightmares will be found waiting inside? Read more about this new instance in our latest Developer Diary!
Jonathan “Donkey Slayer” Reynolds provides some insight into the design of the “Inn of the Forsaken” instance in our latest developer diary!
On April 24, 2007, The Lord of the Rings Online opened its doors. Four years later, not only is LOTRO stronger than ever, but still growing! Read more in the latest Producer's Letter from Aaron “Rowan” Campbell!
Today Kate “Nereid” Paiz talks about LOTRO's 4th birthday, Update 3, and more!

(2011 Mar) Update 2 - Volume III: Book 3: Echoes of The Dead

Today Jeff ‘MadeOfLions’ Libby brings us his latest edition of Quest Notes! Read more in his latest developer diary!
"Evendim, the pilgrimage site of the Rangers and the ancient capital of the kingdom of Men, follows in the footsteps of the Lone-lands as we make it the next stop in our region revamp tour!"
Read more in the latest developer diary from Joe “jwbarry” Barry!
Today Jonathan “Berephon” Rudder discusses the revamp of the Volume II Epic Story. Read more in his latest developer diary!
Today Bob “Maurath” Hess discusses the 'solofication' pass of the Volume 2 epic. Read more in his very firstdeveloper diary!
Today Joe “jwbarry” Barry discusses the new raid coming in Update 2. Read more about Ost Dunhoth!
"As you all know, there are strange things afoot across the land.Mysterious forces are at work and, now that the Rangers have ventured south (something some of you helped happen I might point out), it falls to heroes such as yourselves to keep the peace."
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from TsiengLiu!
Today Ken “Graalx2” Burd and “Zombie Columbus” Aloisio discuss the upcoming revision to the Legendary Item System.
This update introduces new tutorials for all crafting vocations, redesigned crafting progression-gating quests, improvements for the Metalsmith and Tailor professions, some new recipes and also a surprise.
In his latest developer diary Tim “Raskolnikov” Lang discusses the upcoming changes to the Character Panel.
"The Hunter is one of the most straightforward classes in LOTRO.Find a foe, focus up, and kill it with arrows!If your enemy didn’t die, then kill them with dual melee weapons!In groups, allies will help keep enemies from ever getting into melee range, allowing Hunters to focus on their bows.Overall, this makes the Hunter fun, effective, and easy to play."
Read more from Brian 'Zombie Columbus' Aloisio in his latest developer diary!
"This update includes many changes, updates and new skills for your burglaring pleasure. We developed the list of these changes by going through all of the feedback on the forums and attempted to address all of the issues brought up by the Burglar community."
Read more from Ken "Graalx2" Burd in his latest developer diary !
"When I started working on updates for the Minstrel, I began by reading through the giant community feedback thread on the forums and recording all of the feedback I found there."
Read more about what Tim “Raskolnikov” Lang has to say in his latest developer diary!

(2010 Nov) Free to Play (F2P) Volume III: Book

Welcome ladies and gentle-Hobbits, to a very special developer’s diary. What follows this brief introduction is a summation and description of my latest creation, the Festival Theatre. Within these pages one will discover what can be expected by those talented enough to take to the stage this Yule Festival.
Read more in the latest developer diary from Rhidden!
This year's Yule Festival is bigger and more immersive than ever before! It features a number of quests, a story, a moral choice at the end, and several mini-games all contained in a new wintry region.
Read more about it in the latest Developer Diary from Lauren 'Budgeford' Salk!
We continue to be very pleased with the success of the free-to-play addition, and extend a very big thank you to all our players who continue to help our new players feel so at home in Middle-earth! Some of the changes in this release and in upcoming releases directly stem from player feedback. Please continue to be active on the boards and on Bullroarer, so we can be sure to take your perspective and experiences into account!
Read more in the latest Producer's Letter from Kate “Nereid” Paiz!
"For this update, the new player experience in Ered Luin has received a massive rejuvenation effort from several key members of our team. This is one of those times in which I’m thankful that we work on a “living” game. We can learn from our past experiences and continuously improve pieces of the game that don’t meet the standards we set as we move forward."
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Lauren “Budgeford” Salk!
With The Lord of the Rings Online™ November Update we will beintroducing a new suite of class consumables.  Many of these consumableswere designed based on user feedback to amplify existing abilities orto compensate for a class weakness. 
A new feature of the consumables created for this update is the abilityfor players to use craft- and LOTRO Store-bought consumablesback-to-back, effectively doubling the duration of the buff!
When the new update arrives, you will find that there are a host of new quests available starting at level 8 in the Shire and Ered Luin and at level 14 in Bree-land. These quests are a little different than our standard quests and we need to clarify those differences to make certain that their place in the game is well understood.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Allan ‘Orion’ Maki!
We've been hard at work preparing for the next update and we can hardly wait to share all of the latest crafting goodness with you! This update brings a completely redesigned craft panel, new LOTRO Store items for faster, more convenient crafting, profession improvements for Farmers, and a host of new recipes.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from our Crafting Team!
The Rune-keeper currently sits at top tier in both damage and healing output. Because of this, the goals we have set for this update did not focus on increasing or decreasing net effectiveness, but on adding variety, customization and more dynamic skill interaction to achieve these results.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Brian 'Zombie Columbus' Aloisio!
It has been more than a month now since we launched Enedwaith and Book 2, and we hope you’ve been enjoying the new content and other changes to the game!It’s been such a pleasure to see how friendly and helpful all of you are to the new players just joining, and how busy many of the towns have been!
Read more in the latest Procucer's Letter from
"You’ll never guess what’s been excavated in Hobbiton: a Haunted Hobbit Cellar!That old Mad Baggins has done it again. Thanks to his Tomfoolery, tongues are wagging all across the Shire, even though he’s no longer around to take the proper blame. "
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Lauren 'Budgeford' Salk!
Some games require only a very minimalistic UI while others, like MMOs, require a more complicated UI to provide players with the large amount of information vital to their gameplay. The Lord of the Rings Online™ has quite a bit going on behind the scenes.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Narrel!

(2010 Sep) Volume III: Book 2:

Book 2 is almost here, so let's talk about crafting! This update brings improvements for two more crafting professions, revisions to many older reputation recipes, a bunch of new class item recipes for Tailors, and updates for crafted Athelas Essence and Celebrant Salve potions made by Scholars.
Read more in The Crafting Revision Developer Diary!
Volume III, Book 2 will address two main issues with the Captain class. Today we will discuss the changes to Captain Standards, and  the Leader of Men and Lead the Charge Trait Sets.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Ken "Graalx2" Burd!
For Volume III Book 2 we decided to convert the bank to the same system the current Shared Account Storage uses. This article will briefly go over the key features of the Shared Account Storage, which have been incorporated wholesale into the new vault.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Ransroth!
Volume III, Book 2 will introduce the Wardrobe System, a system guaranteed to take your hoarding habit to the next level.
Read more about the WardrobeSystem in the latest Developer Diary from Elliot “Avon” Gilman!
It’s that time again, time for another edition of Quest Notes, your up-to-the-minute source for the latest and greatest news about quests in general and the Epic storyline in specific. Today’s topics include a sneak peek at Book 2 of Volume III, a behind-the-scenes look at some of the new tech and new content that you’ll be seeing there, and the unveiling of a popular feature from the Suggestions forum. So let’s peer into the near future and see what awaits our heroes!
Read more in the latest Dev Diary from Jeff “MadeOfLions” Libby!
In this, the final entry in our series of Dev Diaries about Scaling Instances, jwbarry gives us details aboutthe upgrades and changes to the Great Barrow, a quick summary, and then a list of everything you can find in the new Instance Join feature.
Read more from Joe “jwbarry” Barry's latest Developer Diary!
In this, the fourth of a series of Dev Diaries about our new Scaling Instance systems, jwbarry is going to be talking about Helegrod and all of the changes and upgrades it experienced and a lot of the reasoning behind why.
Read more from Joe “jwbarry” Barry's latest Developer Diary!
In this, the third of a series of Dev Diaries about our new Scaling Instance systems, jwbarry will be talking about the Annúminas and Eregion instances and details of the changes and upgrades that were implemented.

Read more from Joe “jwbarry” Barry's latest Developer Diary!

n this the second in a series of Dev Diaries about our new Scaling Instance systems, jwbarry is going to be talking about the structure of the rewards system, what you can get from playing Scaling Instances, stat tracking, and the quality bar.

Read more from Joe “jwbarry” Barry's latest Developer Diary!

“ Disclaimer: No shrews were harmed in the making of this game.Stomp-A-Shrew is a challenge loved equally by humanoid and shrewish participants alike. All shrews are present of their own accord, and are free to leave the game at any time.”
Read more about the Spring Festival in the latest Developer Diary from Lauren 'Budgeford' Salk!
“So I used to joke around with Sapience, saying “We should totally do a QA Dev Diary!” He would laugh, and I would laugh, and that was the end of it. Then, months later, he took me up on it…”
Read more from Amanda "Brynhildr" Cosmos’s first Dev Diary!
“…Volume I: The Shadows of Angmar™ was born with a story that takes players on an incredible journey from their humble beginnings all the way to the apex of black iron castle of Carn Dûm, where they fight against a most unlikely character. This is the player’s story: the story of how a small group, or even one person, can make a difference in times that grow dimmer, darker, and bereft of Hope. Until now, the Epica storyline has been just outside the reach of some players, but that will change with the launch of Volume III, Book 1: Oath of the Rangers.”
Read more about the Revised Edition of Volume I in the latest Developer Diary from Allan "Orion" Maki!

(2010 Feb) Volume III: Book 1: Allies of the King

The release of Volume III, Book 1 brings a bunch of updates for many crafting professions of Middle-earth. Improvements for both Jewellers and Cooks bring more choices and enhanced functionality to these professions.
Read more about the Crafting Updates in the latest Developer Diary!
With the launch of Siege of Mirkwood™ behind us, the systems team’s bandwidth has increased.When we looked at our list of “things we want to do,” sitting right on top was “add level 64 skill upgrades.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Brian 'Zombie Columbus' Aloisio!

"Book 1 will see you gathering up the Grey Company and the various Rangers scattered about Eriador. One of the Rangers you are tasked with gathering is Corunir, in Angmar. Throughout the course of events with Corunir, you find yourself on a rescue mission in a place many a LOTRO player has fond memories of: The Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu."
Want to know more? Read the latest Developer Diary from Joe ‘jwbarry’ Barry!

Volume III: Allies of the King will bring us to new lands, new threats, and new adventures, and as we explore this new chapter, we’ll find the tide of destiny pushing us ever onwards into danger.
Read more in the latest Developer Diary from Jeff ‘MadeOfLions’ Libby!
"The glorious beer is drawing quite a crowd to the Inn in Thorin’s Hall this year, and why should it not? It is boasting to be the finest brew in all of Middle-earth this season…"
Read more about the upcoming Yule Festival in the latest Developer Diary from Lauren "Budgeford" Salk!

(2009 Dec) Siege of Mirkwood

With more recipes and materials to create superior equipment, special crafted relics for customizing legendary items, new uses for guild reputation items, and an entirely new type of recipe that lets you choose the item being produced, there's never been a better time to be a crafter!
Senior Designer <a target="_blank" h">Allan "Orion" Maki</a> talks about the changes to the Lone-lands, including Garth Agarwen, that arrive with Siege of Mirkwood as part of the project to streamline the game for new and mid-level players. Read Allan's dev diary, "Welcome Back to the Lone-lands," to find out about the changes! 
Brian “Zombie Columbus” wraps up his series of developer diaries about the new Skirmish system coming in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™ with Part 7: The End.
As detailed in the Legendary Items Dev Diary, each class, upon the launch of Siege of Mirkwood™, will have its legacies divided into two Pools.
The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™ expansion introduces exciting changes for the player combat system, and this developer diary will cover everything you need to know in the new world of combat!
As LOTRO grows and new UI features are developed, like the new Skirmish Join and Skirmish panels,we have found that we can't just keep adding buttons to the toolbar at the bottom of your screen (or the border of your Radar) to launch the new panels.
“We have some exciting new mechanics, some great new artwork, and a good variety of gameplay experiences to share with you in our latest expansion, Siege of Mirkwood™.So without further ado... “
Read more about Dol Guldur from LOTRO Dungeons Team Member Tsieng Liu!
Brian “Zombie Columbus” continues his series of developer diaries about the new Skirmish system coming in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™ with Part 6: Accessibility.
Brian “Zombie Columbus” continues his series of developer diaries about the new Skirmish system coming in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™ with Part 5: Rewards.
"Over the past several months, I’ve been focused on the development of the Mirkwood region, namely the quests, social centers and NPCs that you’ll be interacting with as you aid the Elves in their march against the tower of Dol Guldur."
Read more from Vastin in his latest Developer Diary!
Brian “Zombie Columbus” continues his series of developer diaries about the new Skirmish system coming in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™ with Part 4: Soldiers in Middle-earth.
Read more about the Skirmish system!
Brian “Zombie Columbus” continues his series of developer diaries about the new Skirmish system coming in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™ with Part 3: Randomization and Scaling.
Brian “Zombie Columbus” continues his series of developer diaries about the new Skirmish system coming in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™ with Part 2: Story Instances.
In The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™, we’re updating the Legendary Item system that was introduced in Mines of Moria™. This revision of the Legendary Item system incorporates most of the feedback we have received about Legendary Items since they were introduced.
Following the launch of Mines of Moria, we started discussing the prospect of giving mounts their own system and embarked on some basic investigation to understand the scope of what it might take.
Shared Storage is a new storage system designed to enable sharing between all characters on a given account! Until now, your only options to share items between characters were to mail them individually, deposit them into a personal chest at your home, or have a friend hold them while you switched characters.
In The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Book 7: Leaves of Lothlórien, we introduced a number of changes to Ered Luin as well as Archet, Combe and Staddle. These changes were just the start of a long list of planned changes for our game and that work has continued in Book 8: Scourge of Khazad-dûm.
Read more about these exciting changes to the new player experience!

(2009 Jun) Mines of Moria: Book 8: Scourge of Khazad-dûm

There are some significant enhancements in store for the crafting system in The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Book 8 and we’d like to take time to provide the details for those who love to make stuff in the lands of Middle-earth!
Read more about these exciting enhancements in the Crafting Enhancements Developer Diary!
“This Spring Festival will feature all of the games and good cheer that have been present in the past, but this year brings a sizeable new landmark to the festival grounds in the Horsefields, courtesy of a very talented gardener on the World Team.”
To learn more about this exciting new addition be sure to check out Lauren "Budgeford" Salk’s very first Developer Diary !
Today Matt "Scenario" Elliottprovides us with the conclusion of his creative process. “With my detailing complete, I was now able to enter my comfort zone again. Spec writing (like Dev Diary writing) is not my forte – I am much more comfortable navigating the views and panels of our Landscape and Level Design tools.”
Find out what happens in Part II of Matt’s Developer Diary!
In today’s update we find Matt "Scenario" Elliott getting back to his roots as he takes us through the process of creating the new crafting instances. “As the development of Moria concluded, I found myself yearning to take a temporary step away from managing the World Design Team and back towards my foundations as a live designer. This is the story of how I spent my four weeks after Moria went live.”
Read more from Matt in Part I of his Developer Diary!

(2009 Feb) Volume II: Book 7: Leaves of Lórien

Senior Designer Allan “Orion” Maki was given a daunting task for Book 7: Leaves of Lórien:
“As a game developer, I often find people asking me tough questions about the future… Recently, however, I have been spending my time peering into the past -- as if through Galadriel’s mirror -- reviewing early gameplay experiences. From this analysis we are making changes to better acclimate both those new to the wonderful world of Middle-earth and those new to MMOs in general.”
Read more about it in Allan’s developer diary!
Jeff “Made of Lions” Libby, the creative voice behind LOTRO’s epic storyline, shares some of the new things players will discover in Book 7: “…there’s a new Epic Book to continue the story of Volume II, the Fellowship of the Ring has (mostly) arrived in Lothlórien and will be pleased to see you again, and the land of the Galadhrim must be kept safe from the dangers of the outside world.”
Read more in Jeff’s developer diary, Lothlórien Quest Notes!
For this Dev Diary I’ll walk you through the broad process of how a monster comes together, what components of a monster I work on and how they are created, and our broad goals for the monsters in Mines of Moria™.
Read more from Tim “Raskolnikov” Lang's latest Developer Diary: New Monster Creation!
A good artist knows when to paint what they want, and when to do what the painting wants: when you do one thing, it often will tell you the next thing you need to do. So it has gone with creating Middle-earth for The Lord ofthe Rings Online™.
Read more about the art of Middle-earth in this fantastic Developer Diary from Art Director Harry "Floon" Teasley!
We’ve learned a lot from our live experience with The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ and now we are getting ready to unleash a much-improved instance system for Mines of Moria™.
Read more about these exciting changes in Amlug's latest Developer Diary: Anatomy of a Cluster!
This developer diary highlights the changes that will have the most impact on your moment–to-moment experiences in the Ettenmoors, and provide a clear understanding of how the “new” Ettenmoors is meant to work.

Read more about these exciting changes to the Ettenmoors in Orion's latest Developer Diary: The Ettenmoors Re-vamp, Part 2!

Calling all Creeps! Get ready to dust off your empty quickbars and open your destiny wallets; we have a lot of good things in store for you! This dev diary will focus on the new skills and traits that have been added to Monster Player classes.

Dive on in to Jalessa's latest Developer Diary: Monster Play Class Enhancements!

There have been many changes to the face of monster play since we launched The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™: the addition of the Orc Defiler class, changes to class functionality, the institution of diminishing returns, and delicate rebalancing of classes. Now it’s time to talk about the many changes to the field of battle in Mines of Moria™. These changes are varied, and are all designed to give a variety of gameplay options to participants in the battle for the Ettenmoors. This developer diary will cover the additions and alterations that have been made to the Ettenmoors for The Lord of the Rings Online™: Mines of Moria™ so you will know what to expect when you enter territory both familiar and somewhat unfamiliar.
Hello there! This is Chris “Hakai”Clay, and I have the pleasure of introducing you to the Legendary Item system.
When Bilbo set out from Bag End, he was but a simple Hobbit with potential. Therewas no aura of legend surrounding him, yet through his actions and deeds hebecame a legend of Middle-earth. The Legendary Item system works in much thesame way. Each Legendary Item contains the possibility of greatness. While they’retypically less impressive than comparable items of their initial level, they have the potential to grow into the most powerful items in the game. The powerof your Legendary Items will depend greatly on the effort you put into them andthe story you build around them.
Class Traits
As The Lord of the Rings Online™ expands its systems with the Mines of Moria™, characters now have the ability to create Class Trait Set pairings that build upon class themes, allowing players to specialize and making them more effective at a chosen class role. As such, Trait Sets represent a way for players to shape their gameplay and enhance their character’s performance. If you want to focus on the Hunter’s secondary ability to crowd control their enemies, Trait Sets enable you to focus on that aspect of the Hunter gameplay and bring it to the fore-front.
Looking at the combat system as it has grown over the last year, the Systems team has learned a lot from player behaviors, play styles, and how they interact with all the different types of monsters in The Lord of the Rings Online.
Our data has shown that on the whole, the core player base interacts with our system in expected ways. Heroes of Middle-earth large and small are winning the war in Eriador against the servants of the Witch-king ofAngmar.
A number of changes to the Guardian class come with the Mines of Moria™ expansion, and in this dev diary we’ll explore the new abilities and possibilities the expansion brings to the class.
For the Captain’s 50+ advancement, we’ve focused on 3 different aspects of the class: DPS & Off-tanking, Healing, and Utility & Pets. Because buffing is such a core component of the Captain class, it wasn’t limited to a single path but appears in different aspects of all 3 of the Captain’s Trait Sets.
Since the Warden is a new Class for Moria, the Warden’s development for levels 50-60 is much more of a smooth continuation. All of the new Moria game features were already mostly designed before Warden development even began. So while the class benefitted from co-development with Moria, the drawback has been the less feedback than the live classes have had to guide the development of the class up to level 60.
A number of changes to the Guardian class come with the Mines of Moria™ expansion, and in this dev diary we’ll explore the new abilities and possibilities the expansion brings to the class.
Realizing that the class as a whole was already solidly entrenched as our primary healer, we wanted to focus a large part of the minstrel’s Trait Sets on his secondary roles; those being buffing to further support his fellowship members and dealing damage to give him some more flexibility while soloing.
In my opinion, the Champion is one of the most interesting classes in LOTRO. It’s relatively easy for even a total neophyte to play, but mastering all of the tools available at high levels takes considerable skill. Extending the Champion class through 10 more levels while also maintaining its unique characteristicswas an exciting challenge to tackle!
Brains? Braaaains! It is I, Zombie Columbus, come to fill your braaains with more information about the Rune-keeper! Unlike the other class diaries, many of you will have never even played a Rune-keeper when you read this. I will do my best to take that into account.
As we prepare to enter the Mines of Moria™, the Lore-masters of Middle-earth continue to reveal new secrets about their abilities while recovering lost knowledge.
“The Minstrel sings words of Power and the Lore-master finds Power from ancient secrets, but there are more paths than these. The Rune-keeper joins the Free Peoples of Middle-earth, adding his unique skills to the fight against the Enemy.”

(2008 Jul) Volume I: Book 14: The Ring-forges of Eregion

Book 14: The Ring-forges of Eregion brings with it a number of great new additions and features, but for those of us heavily invested in the storyline, one of the most exciting developments is also one of the longest-awaited: the Fellowship will finally depart Rivendell on their errand of secrecy.
Instances make up an important part of LOTRO, enhancing the storyline through dramatic and challenging experiences, and Book 14: The Ring-forges of Eregion brings updates to many of these. Read about some of the upcoming changes to instances in Angmar, Annúminas, Helegrod, and several of the epic Books in our Book 14: Instance Updates developer diary!

(2008 Apr) Volume I: Book 13: The Doom of the Last King

Beginning in Book 13, LOTRO players can now play the newest monster class, the orc Defiler! Hailing from lands filled with toxins and disease, the orc Defiler uses his knowledge of these virulent fungi and slime to aid his foes and hamper his enemies. Join Content Designer Orion as in introduces us to this new monster class!
A most-requested feature has finally arrived: Fishing! What better way to relax and enjoy the world of Middle-earth than by finding a nice spot along the bank of a river, casting your line into the water nearby, and basking in the glory of the day while trying to nab a prize-winning fish – or perhaps your next meal!
Book 13 provides a new look and improved functionality to the LFF/Social panel. Now you can more easily find a fellowship, learn about shared quests, and muster your fellowship! Join "Danger Dan" Parke as he tells us more about the upcoming improvements!
Learn more about how a region is shaped! Join World Builder Scenario as he gives us a glimpse into how Forochel, the new region introduced in Book 13, was brought to life! Read his Developer Diary to learn more about the upcoming free content update, Doom of the Last-king!
Book 13: Doom of the Last-king introduces a new area to explore – Forochel! Join Content Designer Rhidden as he discusses the creation of the brand new region. Read his Developer Diary to learn more about the upcoming free content update!

(2008 Feb) Volume I: Book 12: The Ashen Wastes

Book 12: The Ashen Wastes introduces a new area in the Ettenmoors – The Delving of Frór. Join Allan “Orion” Maki as he dives deep into the Delving and gives us a tour of this hotly contested area, ripe with conflict!
In addition to bringing you the Month of the Guardian, the Month of the Burglar, the Champion revisited, the Ettendeep, and the great Angmar revamp, Book 12: The Ashen Wastes will also go down in history as introducing The Month of Avatar Customization - as we like to call these things here at Turbine. Read this new developer diary to learn more about this exciting new system!
This month, the Burglar creeps stealthily into the class update spotlight! Book 12’s Burglar update includes new skills and items to augment the Burglar’s established class abilities. Come take a look at what is in store for this clever, quirky, and fun class!

(2007 Oct) Volume I: Book 11: Defenders of Eriador

It’s the Minstrel’s turn in the class update spotlight! We’ve filled out the level 40-50 skills, added some new music features, improved soloability, and enhanced buffing, healing and support! Take a look at what the Month of the Minstrel has in store!
The Lore-master is one of the more complex classes in The Lord of the Rings OnlineTM: Shadows of AngmarTM (LOTRO), and Book 11 was the Lore-master's turn for an update. After examining the strengths and weaknesses of this class, we tasked ourselves with delivering more versatility and a greater potential for DPS over the lifetime of the character, while making up for some of the perceived shortcomings of current low-level crowd control abilities.
Where does your hero retire to after a long day of killing evil minions? A home, of course! Now, it is time to see yours.
In Book 10: The City of the Kings, LOTRO's second free content update, the LOTRO game systems team focused on the <a /gameinfo/devdiaries/167 Captain</a> and <a /gameinfo/devdiaries/168 Hunter</a> classes. Learn about the changes in two new overviews!
In Book 10: The City of the Kings, LOTRO's second free content update, the LOTRO game systems team focused on the <a /gameinfo/devdiaries/167 Captain</a> and <a /gameinfo/devdiaries/168 Hunter </a>classes. Learn about the changes in two new overviews!
Make friends and influence factions with LOTRO's new Reputation system! Jessie “Vastin” King explains how in the latest developer diary about LOTRO's second free content update - Book 10: The City of the Kings!

(2007 Aug) Volume I: Book 10: The City of the Kings

Senior Content Designer, Allan “Orion” Maki gives us a more detailed look at the changes to the Ettenmoors keep system introduced in Book 10.
Matt “Scenario” Elliott gives you a sneak peek at the creation of LOTRO’s first content update: The Shores of Evendim!
Get your Orc on! "Danger Dan" Parke introduces the five LOTRO monster play classes.
Lead Content Designer Brent “Keth” Schmidt walks us through the making of the Dread System.
Jeff “Slayde” Rubin takes you on a tour of the Rank and Prestige Systems in LOTRO’s monster play.
Environment Artist Dan Haard takes you behind the scenes on the process of creating the physical environments for The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™
Worldbuilder Matt "Scenario" Elliott talks about the backdrop of World Content Systems that help fill in and enliven the lands of LOTRO's Middle-earth. (10/19/06)
Lead Systems Designer Nik "Mithril_Miser" Davidson brings up the highly anticipated topic of monster play! (09/12/06)
In his second Developer Diary, Lead Systems Designer Nik "Mithril_Miser" Davidson provides more details about the LOTRO Crafting System, including vocations! (08/15/06)
Content Designer Jared "Amlug" Hall-Dugas takes you on a conceptual tour of LOTRO's Raid system, including goals, design, and how raids fit into our overall game vision. (08/01/06)
From Orcs to smials, Lead Content Support Artist Rick "October" Schmitz discusses the wide assortment of objects his team is creating for The Lord of the Rings Online, and takes you on a revealing tour of a Game Artist in its natural habitat! (06/27/06)
Lead Systems Designer Nik "Mithril_Miser" Davidson unveils the highly anticipated introduction to the LOTRO Crafting System in his debut Dev Diary! (05/25/06)
In this issue of The Insider, we've asked the team two questions from the community - what would YOU ask Tolkien, if you could ask one question? The team tells you their answers!
"To solo or not to solo, that is the question. Is it nobler to suffer the sling stones and arrows of thine enemy whilst standing amongst his troops, without the sturdy shield or trusty arms of friends; or, is it best to form a wall of shields, linked by devotion and gilded by strength, to bolster the focus of my blade?
It's a good question. It's a hard question. It's a question with many answers."
Content Designer Allan "Orion" Maki discusses how the content team factors in the different requirements of Solo and Group play in LOTRO. (03/02/06)

Featured Articles (Reverse chronological order - most recent on top)

Note that most all of these articles have no posting dates, so their "order" is primarily dictated by their appearance in the News section of the Forums.

June 2012

So you‘re new to The Lord of the Rings Online, and don’t know what to do in certain situations to help streamline your experience? Look no further!! Read more for kinds of tips and hints to help make your time in Middle-earth as fun as possible!
Using the LOTRO Store is quick, easy, and fun! Whether you’re looking for something practical (like a potion) or something to spice up your day, buying from the LOTRO Store is as easy as a click of your mouse!
Read more about the LOTRO Store in today’s content update!
With the release of Siege of Mirkwood™, adventurers of level 30 and higher have been called to help defend Middle-earth from the ever lengthening Shadow in the East. With the new Skirmish system, players can now jump into instant-action combat from anywhere in the world and earn a variety of rewards. But how, exactly, do you get started? Listen up, Recruit: Skirmish Training 101 starts right now!
Due to the overwhelming reponse to our "Ask the Dev Team" feature we have decided to publish several sets of your questions and the Dev Team's answers. Today we continue the feature with the second set of questions.
Be sure to check out what our Dev Team has to say!
We recently asked players to submit questions to the dev team. We had originally planned to publish 10-12 of the most common questions and their answers. Due to the number of questions we received, however, we’ve decided to publish several sets of questions and answers over the next few weeks.
Read the first set of questions and answers!
There are too many mobs roaming the world to count—from the farms of the Shire to the hellish pits of Angmar, from the meekest shrews to a mighty balrog —but in each breed of creature there are distinctive enemies that define their type.
Read more about the Mobs of LOTRO!
In The Lord of the Rings Online, some quests provide challenges too dangerous, enemies too numerous, and monsters too fearsome to combat on your own. These are fellowship quests: adventures designed to challenge two to six heroes at once.
Read more about Fellowship Quests!
A single hero can make a difference in the battle for Middle-earth, but a fellowship of sharp companions working in concert can perform great feats that no single warrior can achieve alone.
Read more about Fellowship Manoeuvers!
You might think that with the increased strength of Orcs,Goblins, Drakes, and other savage beasts that soloing is no longer anoption—quite the contrary!
Read more about soloing for adventurers levels 40 to 60!
Leveling by questing alone becomes more difficult beyond 20th level. The challenges are greater and the monsters are deadlier. But it’s not impossible...
Read more about soloing for adventures 20th to 40th level!
While MMOs are home to thousands of players, there are times when you want to take on the challenge of the Dark Lord Sauron all by yourself. While not every quest is soloable, you’ll find a huge number of quests suitable for a lone hero from the Shire and through the dark heart of the Misty Mountains.
Read more about soloing to level 20!
Exciting new features abound in The Lord of the Rings Online™: Mines of Moria™ release. Among them isthe introduction of Legendary Items (LI), which presents a great opportunityfor customizing your character by customizing one-of-a-kind Legendary Items thatwill be the envy of the other players.
Read more about Legendary Items in second installment of the Feature Article: Forging Legendary Items!
Weapons of eldritch power and memorable names are sprinkledthroughout the lore of The Lord of theRings. They are legendary creations of such arcane might that tales of their greatness are spread across all the lands of Middle-earth.
Read more about the Legendary Item System!
Equipping your characters with armor and weapons isn’tenough—not when sending them out to battle the evil forces of Middle-earth. Togive your characters the best chance for survival and advancement, you alsoshould equip them with Traits.
Dwarves and Elves—the eldest races of Middle-earth—long agodiscovered the powerful secrets trapped within Runes. The Rune-keeper is a masterful linguist, both fighter and healer, who can readily inscribe words of savage fire, cutting ice, wards and protection, and welcome healing in defenseof his fellowship and against the shadowy forces of the Dark Lord Sauron.
The Warden class represents the brave citizen-soldiers of Middle-earth, the vigilant defenders of the realm patrolling at the edge of the firelight, where civilization meets the Wild.

Some historical notes

A forum post during the 10th Anniversary:


Source: [QUOTE=myfreezr2;7716413]Ten years.

Ten. Years. A decade.

Lots of MMOs don't make it to their fifth anniversary, let alone their tenth. This is a signficant milestone, and one worthy of recognition.

In honour of lotro reaching its tenth birthday, I am going to take a trip down memory lane so that my fellow players may learn about the history behind this wonderful game. (Thanks to Wikipedia and for supplementing my research.)

In 1998, Sierra On-Line first announced the development of an MMO based on Tolkien's writings. This was during the time Peter Jackson's film trilogy was also being produced; you can imagine how excited fans were. Unfortunately, in 1999, Sierra encountered financial difficulty.

In 2001, Vivendi Universal (Sierra's parent company) obtained an eight-year license to create games based on Tolkien's books (at the same time, EA obtained the rights to make games based on Jackson's films). Vivendi continued to work on the game (then called “Middle-earth Online”), which was expected to see release in 2004.

In 2003, Vivendi partnered with Turbine to work on the game. Amazingly, in 2005, Vivendi passed all rights pertaining to MEO, meaning that Vivendi would no longer have any influence on the game's production. Turbine renamed the game “The Lord of the Rings Online,” and laid the foundation for the world we know today.

On September 8, 2006, beta began with a closed beta test. An open beta began on March 30, 2007; then a public beta began on April 6 that year.

Finally, on April 24, 2007, the floodgates were opened, and the game was officially launched. There were nine areas available at the time: Ered Luin, the Shire, Bree-land, the Lone-lands, the North Downs, the Trollshaws, the Misty Mountains, Angmar, and the Ettenmoors. The game launched with the following classes: Freeps had Burglars, Captains, Champions, Guardians, Hunters, Lore-masters, and Minstrels; Creeps had Orc Reavers, Spider Weavers, Uruk Blackarrows, Uruk Warleaders, and Warg Stalkers.

Players did not have to wait long for content updates. Updates were released roughly two months apart. By mid-2008, no less than six updates had been released. And, just in case that wasn't enough, the game's first expansion, Mines of Moria, was released on Nov. 18, 2008.

MOM, as the name implies, took players to the underground realm of the Dwarrowdelf. It also introduced the Rune-keeper and Warden classes for freeps (creeps had received the Orc Defiler back in April). It also introduced the Legendary Item system – an extremely controversial system at the time. Back then, the system relied entirely upon random choices, meaning players could easily end up with an item that was of little use to them (in fact, that was the case more often than not). Another controversy arose regarding the inclusion of Lothlorien – it had been announced that the region would ship with the expansion itself. kinda did. Nanduhirion and Nimrodel were there at launch, but if players wanted to access the Golden Wood proper and Caras Galadhon, they'd have to wait until the next content update. counts, I guess...?

After Moria launch, content updates began to slow. In between Moria launch and Mirkwood launch, there were only two updates, each several months apart. This is not unique to lotro; many MMOs push content out the door at a breakneck pace soon after launch, but slow their releases as the years roll by. The economic meltdown of 2008 probably didn't help matters.

On Dec. 20, 2009, Siege of Mirkwood was released. Instead of a full-blown expansion, Mirkwood was considered a min-expansion; there was only one major region, and the level cap was raised by 5 instead of 10. Mirkwood introduced Skirmishes – a feature which was helpful in leveling characters but to this day has limited effect on endgame content. It also shook up the Legendary Item system by streamlining the attack speeds of weaponry, and giving us a new type of item XP. (Players were not amused; they had to re-think the types of weapons they would use, and all that item XP they had been saving was rendered next to useless.)

Not a whole lot happened between Dec. 2009 and June 2010. Sometime that year, Turbine had been bought out by Warner Brothers, who seemed intent on grabbing everything related to The Lord of the Rings that they could get their hands on. (For the record, New Line Cinema, the ones behind Peter Jackson's films, were already owned by Time Warner, parent company of WB, so this is nothing new.) In June 2010, Turbine announced that it was making all its games free-to-play. A few months later, F2P officially launched, with the release of the Enedwaith region as its highlight. Players were quick to note that the release had little or no endgame content (read: dungeons and raids), something unheard of at the time – each expansion had been accompanied by its own instance cluster.

It didn't take long for controversies to arise. Raise your hand if you remember the infamous quote, “The lotro store will offer convenience, not advantage.” (To wit, the store launched with the morale and power pots which stack with those obtained in-game. This STILL hasn't changed, although most players are indifferent about such things at this point.) Lag, which had been a constant companion in the game, only seemed to increase. Downtime, which up until now had been minimal, became a weekly occurrence.

It should be noted that the game was under new management at this point. Between launch and Mirkwood, the game's Executive Producer had been one Jeffery Steefel. In spite of the controversy surrounding the Legendary Item and Skirmish systems, there is little doubt that Steefel was well-liked by the game's fanbase. When WB took over, Steefel was moved to another one of Turbine's projects (Infinite Crisis, I think), and was replaced by a woman whose name I can't be bothered to look up. She was that bad. (The good news is that she hasn't been in charge for a few years now.)

In late 2011, the Rise of Isengard expansion was released. This was the game's low point. The story made little sense; players could run out of quests before hitting level cap if they weren't careful; invisible holes plagued the Pit of Iron. The next update, The Prince of Rohan, only made things worse, at least for raiders. Despite being part of a free content update, players had to pay to experience the dungeons and raids. The fact that the Draigoch raid had been intended to release with Enedwaith, but had been delayed until Rise of Isengard (and STILL had to be paid for), made this feel like a kick in the teeth, especially since it had literally been years since the last instance cluster.

Thankfully, things started to get a little better. The Riders of Rohan expansion, released in late 2012, introduced the Eastemnet and the Mounted Combat system. It also marked the first time Chance Thomas had written the game's music since the Mines of Moria days. (Compare, if you will, the music for Rohan, Eriador, Moria, and Lothlorien with the music in Enedwaith, Dunland, and Gondor, and you'll see – or rather hear – why this was a big deal. Chance Thomas is to the game what Howard Shore was to the movies.) Although Mounted Combat was considered So Okay, It's Average at best, the Eastement was praised for the amount of exploration it provided.

In late 2013, the Helm's Deep expansion launched. With it came the Westemnet region...and the dreaded Epic Battle System. If you thought that Legendary Items and Mounted Combat were ain't seen nothing yet, sonny! Epic Battles are, to this day, easily the game's least enjoyed system. Many of them remain broken, and can be beaten with little or no input from the player (there are exceptions, of course, but these have their own drawbacks).

But the worst was over. The clouds broke, and Turbine was given a new Executive Producer. When Gondor launched in 2014, things slowly but surely began to turn around for the game. There were no new expansions launching with half-baked gimmicks, and more emphasis was placed on fixing bugs.

Gondor continued to expand throughout 2014 through 2016. In November 2014, the game's latest class (and race), the Beorning, was revealed. Players had wanted to play as Beornings for quite a while. By late 2016, the game had advanced to North Ithilien, not far from the Black Gate. Only a month later, the game's developers parted ways with Turbine, taking both lotro and ddo with them. They formed indie developer Standing Stone Games, who are in charge of development today. (Best. Management. Change. Ever.)

Finally, in April 2017, the game advanced to the Morannon, allowing players to experience the Battle of the Black Gate. We've come so far. After a full decade, a whole six months have passed in the game. (By my calculations that means real-time is twenty times faster than time in the game.)

What I've listed here is only scratching the surface of what's happened to the game. I didn't mention housing, hobbies, kinships, unique enemies, crafting, mylotro....

Ugh, anyone else remember mylotro – the blogs we had between 2008 and 2010? Remember how we got featured contributors? Remember the stories we shared? Remember the friends we made? Remember how it was almost better than the actual GAME?? That was a community. And Turbine – or maybe WB – squashed it when F2P came. Le sigh.

This game doesn't let you go. I've spent the past nine years (I joined May 27, 2008 – technically the 26 but I didn't log in until midnight) on-and-off traversing the lands of Middle-earth. I've experienced wonder and awe at the sights I've seen, joy sharing time with the friends I've made, depression when people I thought were friends betrayed me, and anger at some of Turbine's stupid decisions. No matter how indifferent or angry the game makes me feel, I always find myself coming back at some point. I left the game for two years (2012 to 2014) thanks to getting sick of the way management was destroying it, yet I came back eventually.

Lotro, you've been nothing short of a paradigm shift in my life. When I first got into you, you swept me away to the gorgeous lands of Middle-earth and became my #1 game. When you went free-to-play I slowly but surely got crushed by the mistakes you made, until I couldn't even look at you. I wanted you to die – can you believe it? And yet with the changes you've made since those dark times you've managed to work your way back to your original glory. Sure, you'll never be quite the way I remember you, but you don't have to be. You should just be you – the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Don't be anything else. Just be there whenever I need to go back to Middle-earth.[/QUOTE]



[QUOTE=Macdui;7716565]Some things that stuck in my mind:

Katie Piaz who brought the F2P model into the game. Sometimes I wish the game had died rather than get the STORE. Trait Trees - rushed through, Big Battles - rushed through and Threat mechanics thrown out in favour of a travesty of a threat mechanic with no regard to prior content. Athena Peters who came in promising an EU datacentre and seemed to think it reasonable to hide it's demise from us for months. There's a lot more I can't say...

Our current EP, who knows what they are up to? DDO? Months after Vyvyanne left as EP we get to know we had a new EP. And our CM also from DDO has a fraction of the game knowledge he'd have of DDO. Doesn't seem to know the Barrage Hunter concept and has a creep on twitch incessantly referring to the fix needed for the OP hunter.

I don't doubt there's a lot of very knowledgeable devs and QA still here but our conduit is a bottleneck.


Notes from Linked in

  • Kate Paiz - Executive Producer Turbine Aug 2005 - Jul 2016
  • Athena Peters (Vyvyanne) - Executive Producer Turbine - 2014 -
  • Arron Campbell - Executive Producer Turbine - July 2006 - present
  • Rob Ciccolini - Executive Producer Turbine - DDO and LOTRO - Feb 2014 - present
  • Jerry Snook - (Cordovan) Senior Community Specialist - DDO and LOTRO - 2010 - present