LOTRO: Riders of Rohan - Where Now the Horse and the Rider?

Introducing The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan. Let horse be bridled, horn be sounded.

When you think of The Lord of the Rings, or Middle-earth in general, certain iconic images come to mind. Gandalf facing the towering Balrog at the Bridge of Khazad-dum. The red, lidless Eye of Sauron, rimmed with fire--its narrow pupil opening on a pit, a window into nothing. The ghoulish Gollum, muttering while setting his pale eyes upon his "Precious."

You may also think of the Rohirrim armies, galloping on their war steeds toward the forces of Mordor as they battled for Minas Tirith. Indeed, horses were an important part of the lives of the people of Rohan, where the expansive plains offered plenty of grazing area for their steeds. As Aragorn once chanted:

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harp-string, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?

In Update 6, all players will be able to summon skirmish soldiers in the main landscape.

And so Turbine is looking to the horse-lords as inspiration for its next expansion for The Lord of the Rings Online, called Riders of Rohan. Executive producer Kate Paiz gave us a few ideas of what the expansion--and the year of 2012--will bring to The Lord of the Rings Online. But before we discover where the game is going, perhaps we should look at where it's been, at least in 2011.

World Conquest: In 2010, The Lord of the Rings Online went free-to-play, and in 2011, the North American and European services were combined into one. The LOTRO community is now a global village.

Expanding and Exploding: For Turbine, The Rise of Isengard expansion brought the year to a close in fine fashion. Paiz and company weren't sure that players would embrace the idea of a full-fledged expansion for a free-to-play game. The positive response, however, was a fine reward for the risk involved.

All That Glitters Must Be Gold: That same expansion allowed players to explore several new regions, including Dunland, home to the distrustful Dunlendings, whom Saruman manipulated in an attempt to gain their support during the War of the Ring. Rise of Isengard included a new raid dungeon and new epic questing, among many other additions.

And so Turbine looks to 2010 with continued vigor, not just with the new expansion, but also with plans for updates major and minor alike. The game will celebrate its fifth anniversary this spring, though it's the players that shall receive the most important gift: Update 6. This extensive update will allow players to explore the Great River, also known as the Anduin, to the south of Lothlorien. The full extent of this new region is still unknown, though it's worth noting that the Great River was the longest river of the Third Age. It is on this river that the Argonath rises, those two imposing pillars that depict Elendil's sons, Isildur and Anarion. (Author's note: I don't know if The Pillars of the Kings will appear in the update--but it's a nice hope to have, nonetheless.)

Expect much of this content to be soloable. In Update 6, all players will be able to summon skirmish soldiers in the main landscape, though not in instanced dungeons--at least, not at the update's launch. Turbine continues to create larger updates, though smaller monthly updates will fix bugs and improve the overall quality of your virtual life.

The big news, of course, is the full expansion: The Lord of the Rings: Riders of Rohan. (It's coming in the fall of 2012. No date has yet been set.) The name conjures a sense of action. Imagine the armies of Rohan atop their steeds, defending Hornburg from the uruk-hai. Consider Theoden's war cry as he raised Eoden's sword above his head:

Arise now, arise, Riders of Theoden!

Dire deeds awake, dark is it eastward.
Let horse be bridled, horn be sounded!
Forth Eorlingas!

…the expansion includes the largest explorable area yet in The Lord of the Rings Online.

So what would an expansion focused on Rohan be without mounted combat? Turbine's way ahead of you: every class will be given a separate set of skills and abilities meant for horseback combat. The idea: Give players a sense of galloping toward their enemies, swords and bows at the ready. Among those enemies will be roving bands of warg riders, scouting the plains. And those plains will surely be vast: Paiz says that the expansion includes the largest explorable area yet in The Lord of the Rings Online; the eastern plains of Rohan are even larger than Moria.

As before, Turbine looks to re-create the signature Middle-earth moments with Riders of Rohan. In the expansion, you can enter the Forest of Fangorn, where you can be befriend the giant tree-people known as ents. You'll also observe the dissolution of The Fellowship in Amon Hen, after Boromir's death. It's another iconic moment: Sam and Frodo continue their journey toward Mordor, while Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas chase after Merry and Pippin. Of course, in a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, it's not just about reliving the moments you know--it's about creating your own adventure. And with new combat skills, new areas to explore, and a new level cap (85), The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan should let you do exactly that.

Written By

Want the latest news about The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan?

The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan

The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan

Discussion

21 comments
stan_boyd
stan_boyd

@jehuty599 don't complain about having to unlock stuff after lvl 40, you only have to do that if you are free to play, and even if you play for free you can earn the Turbine Points to buy the new content without ever spending any real life money. However VIP players get all the content unlocked right from the get go (minus the expansions) its only you Free 2 Play people who feel like you are being nickel and dimed and that is because you are, turbine needs to make money off of your somehow since they are a business and you are using their products.

Jinroh_basic
Jinroh_basic

Lotro is awesome. i'm not saying the F2P part is not a great plus, but the core content and quality is no doubt first rate. the only major flaw it has is the lack of PvP, but that's easily balanced by some of the best PvE content in the genre - credit goes to Turbine for staying true to while expanding on Tolkein's lore.

Armysniper89
Armysniper89

@starduke I am doing that right now! Cant wait to see how well they did what alot of games have been needing...mounted combat!

starduke
starduke

Hmmm, I may want to get back into LORTO this fall. Heck, I should get back into it right now, so i can be at high enough lvl to get into the new content!

Jehuty599
Jehuty599

Lotro is a great great game, it's just the pricing system that I hate, just about everything in the game after lv.40 has to be unlocked with turbine points to be able to progress...you feel like your being nickel and dimed to death. The new expansion sounds great, but with the new MMO's coming ( mainly GuildWars 2 ) I don't see many people going for this. As it is now Lotro is pretty empty, especially at night. Who's going to want to play this when you can play GW2 with a one time purchase, and you have "COMPLETE" access to the full game with nothing to unlock, and no monthly fees. Best of luck Lotro, I know when GW2 is out, I'm done with you.

v4n_h3lsing
v4n_h3lsing

I want to see what the ents look like Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing? Where is the hand on the harp-string, and the red fire glowing? Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing...this was quoted by King Theoden in "The Two Towers"

cboyuno
cboyuno

Barrens to the second power.

MGWanted
MGWanted

I am a fan of Lord of the Rings movies and games and Lord of the Rings Online for me its awesome.I love Lord of the Rings.The Aragorn's speech more memorable for me was this:After he rides back from the black gate: Sons of Gondor, of Rohan. My brothers. I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me! A day may come, when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of Fellowship, but it is not this day! An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you, stand, men of the West!

TomSlick13
TomSlick13

I'm looking forward to this expansion. I played the game when it first started and then ended up going back to wow. That lasted for a bit and then it was time for a few other mmo's. I've ended up back playing Lotro and have really enjoyed it. The game world is quite large with plenty to do. It is not perfect but is lots of fun.

Mad-Mack
Mad-Mack

LOTRO does PVE very good. While it has very "typical" quests, no other MMO has been able to break from this stagnant pattern. At least LOTRO is expansive, polished and fun to play. If Turbine is able to "nail" mounted combat, LOTRO could be fun for years to come. My only other suggestion...allow playable monster races (NOT monster play) that you can level and train, then offer epic battle zones for massive PVP that helps recreate that epic feel the books give, such as the Pelennor fields. How fun would it be to ride forth on your mounted warhorse into flanks of orcs with player controlled toons acting as the "heroes" within the ranks of orc fodder? LOTRO has a bright future because of its deep, epic and vast storyline.

pidow
pidow

I will have to check this out.

wexorian
wexorian

it's better Than Mists of Pandaria an i'l return seems :D

gk_of_berea
gk_of_berea

I might be picking LotRO back up here before long.

tarv4973
tarv4973

Turbine has done a very nice job creating "Middle Earth". This is one game that is just fun to explore because there is very nice attention to detail everywhere. I'm really interested to see how mounted combat feels.

GreySeven
GreySeven

@Moondrake You saw the word "failure" in my posting? I think arrogant is in adding subtext to an opinion that's you don't share. You should really apologize.

Raeldor
Raeldor

I played this game when it first came out, but wasn't taken by it. I then returned to it about a year ago, and was amazed how much fun it was. This is, in my opinion, the best MMO out there right now. I love how you meet characters from the book when playing the main quest... it really does make you feel like part of the story. Even after playing SWTOR I find myself ditching it for this game. If you haven't tried it lately, you owe it to yourself to give it another look.

Moondrake
Moondrake

The game is what you make of it. The Lord of the Rings told one story, but there would have been MANY heroic stories in the war against Sauron and that is where you fit in. If GreySeven didn't like Lord of the Rings Online, he doesn't have to play it, but proclaiming LotRO a failure worthy of destruction simply because he didn't care for it is nothing short of arrogant. I watched a lot of the streaming gameplay of The Old Republic and it was filled with the same kinds of quests that are present in Lord of the Rings Online. From what I can tell, all MMOs are filled with the same kinds of quests, and while I would be the first to agree that some of the quests in Lord of the Rings Online are pretty ridiculous, there are many others that are both emotionally engaging and heroically epic, not to mention a lot of fun.

wettwillyt
wettwillyt

LOTRO is THE BEST! This will be an exciting expansion!

GreySeven
GreySeven

Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite series of books and movies (and of course The Hobbit), but I couldn't get into the MMO. I found the whole game just a bland MMO with LOTR aspects floating around often enough to remind you what kind of game it was, but with generic MMO filler in between everywhere else. The problem is that the origin story, that the games try to base their success on, is all about a very special few hobbits, humans, dwarfs, and elves setting themselves apart from everyone else to fight a great evil, hence the strength and appeal of the Fellowship. The game itself is overflowing with mind-numbing collection quests and courier quests which feel as heroic as a paper route in a suburban neighborhood. I say take it all down, and start over. Star Wars did it.