|Pub: Warner Bros. Interactive|
|Release: September 5, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood and Gore, Use of Alcohol and Tobacco, Violence|
Another feature Rohan adds is new NPC types. Rohan will have several horse NPCs, which is a pretty obvious choice considering the subject matter. Less obvious, though, is the addition of children NPCs to make the game's villages feel more realistic. I asked Kate if they expected to eventually go back and add children to the old villages like Breeland. She told me they'd like to, but only as time allows. Which is fair. I mean, players certainly wouldn't be happy to hear that Turbine delayed a new instance cluster, say, because they were busy adding kids to Breeland.
And speaking of instance cluster, just like Isengard, the next major dungeons won't be done in time for Rohan's September 5th launch date. But there are new dungeons in the works, and those should be in the game before the end of the year. At least we'll have time to hit level cap before we take on these new dungeons, right?
Eventually, we got to talking about Rohan's story. One of my main storyline complaints about Isengard, the previous expansion, was that it felt far too complex. I mean, there were several different villages, each influenced in different ways by their proximity to Isengard. It was well-crafted, surely, but it could be hard to follow for more casual players. Rohan, though, is talking the opposite approach. The story's premise is simple: Grima Wormtongue's influence over King Théoden is clear, the villages of man are being razed by orcs, and players are asked to turn the tide.
One of the ways this is supported is through a new daily quest system where you are asked to do things that help rebuild a particular village. This village will dynamically change over time as players work toward its reconstruction. I didn't get to actually see this in action, but from the way Kate described it, it sounds awesome.
Oh yes, and you'll finally get to meet Gandalf the White. We met the iconic wizard during his Grey period several times during LotRO, but now that we're getting deeper into the timeline of The Two Towers, we get to see him in all his glorious whiteness.
And ents. We get to meet more ents.
All things considered, Riders of Rohan seems like an incredibly worthy expansion to an already glorious MMO. Preorder now, and be one of the first to hop into the game when it arrives on September 5. Anyone who preorders is guaranteed a spot in closed beta when that launches later this summer. And if you've never played LotRO at all, what are you waiting for? It's free to play now.
Editor / News Director
Date: June 26, 2012