LOTRO: Rise of Isengard raging in 2011

Turbine's free-to-play MMORPG receiving third expansion next year; level cap upped to 70, new territories added, monster play expanded in digital-only release.

Though the upcoming Hobbit film is nowhere near release, Tolkien fans thirsting for new Middle-earth content will receive two titles in 2011. Last March, Warner Bros. announced that the action role-playing gameLord of the Rings: War in the North will arrive sometime in 2011.

Also coming next year is Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard, the free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game's third content expansion. Set to be released during fall 2010, the add-on follows Mines of Moria and Siege of Mirkwood, which shipped in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

The evil Saruman and his similarly nefarious minions await gamers in the new expansion.

Rise of Isengard will be available exclusively for purchase through the Lord of the Rings Online virtual marketplace. However, its price has not been announced by developer/publisher Turbine or copublisher Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

The Rise of Isengard expansion will contain three zones: Dunland, the Gap of Rohan, and the famed Isengard, complete with Orthanc, the iconic tower where the traitorous Saruman dwells. Journeying through these zones, players can level up to a new height of 70.

Also included in the Rise of Isengard expansion will be "expanded" Monster Play. The updated mode will be open to all players and will include changes to monster player skills, as well as a new region in which to battle.

For more on the series, check out GameSpot's review of 2007's original Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

22 comments
Triton
Triton

Now is a good time to check out the game, If you do want to buy some quest packs, and about everything else. They are have Thanksgiving specials running until Sunday! Game does have a long load time so expect several hours.

Electrokah
Electrokah

@Sirbobislost Its not a pain really if your having fun which i was, i got to lvl 41 by doing F2P quests on my Champ, deeds, and skirmishes siege of gondamon and trouble in tuckborough, and i also did deeds on my hunter, and i spent nearly 1500tp on shared storage when i could have bought a good quest pack for lvl 40+, than i put mines of moria on my account and i am a vip for awhile longer now. Also i bought lonelands quest pack when it was on sale for a mere 50tp.

Arkanis_Vayll
Arkanis_Vayll

@Reuwsaat Lord of the Rings Online is a different beast from most MMO's. I've been back and forth between it and WoW, and unlike almost every other MMO on the market, the "regulars" in LotRO do NOT care what WoW is doing. They are committed. LotRO weathered Wrath of the Lich King with no trouble, and it will be just fine through Cata. Maybe a small slump for a month or so at release, but overall, this game has probably the most loyal endgame population out there.

Triton
Triton

Couple of my friends that played wow for 5 years turned me onto this, and I must say, its darn good. Tried to explain to my wife why this "free" game, I have spent around 100 bucks on stuff...in the first month! You really don't have to spend money, but I have issues. lol.

jedinortd_basic
jedinortd_basic

Darn i bought mines of moria the day it came out and still haven't made it there yet lol. I keep remaking toons. I need to seek help

zaphodbblbrox
zaphodbblbrox

I can't start a new MMO character until 2nd Quarter 2011, you know what I'm taking about....

duderdave
duderdave

"Also coming next year is Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard, the free-to-play massively multiplayer online role-playing game's third content expansion. Set to be released during fall 2010... " Typo? There are 3 levels of play now. Basically, they are: VIP = paid subscription or lifetime Premium = (mostly) paid sub before, but not paying sub now F2P = free-to-play, with a lot of limitations, but grinding deeds for Turbine points or dropping a little cash for Turbine points, or both, will help most players to waddle through the sizable amount of content at their leisure. If you're a "hardcore" type of mmorpg player, you will be much better off imo paying the $10/month sub - also since you get 500 Turbine points for free each month when you sub or are lifetime, and VIP removes the caps placed by Premium and F2P. Of course, if you never spend any TP on anything but opening regions, etc., theoretically you should be able to play the game without paying a dime, they say. That also means you then can't buy any of the cute little thingamabobs in the LOTRO store... So, I would say, either buy $50 or so of TP when it is on sale and use sparingly, or just sub for 6 months at $60. Remember though, subbing for 6 months also gets you 3,000 free TP in addition to what you get playing the game...

Sablicious
Sablicious

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Sirbobislost
Sirbobislost

Strange I was only thinking about this game a few days ago as I havnt heard anything about it for ages last time I played it was while it still had a subscription since I'm just about to stop playing wow I'll have to patch the game up and take a look although reading a comment below about it's free to play model having to buy quests for each zone sounds like a pain in the backside

alooy
alooy

This better be at a reasonable price, lest they defy the will of Saruman!! .

Kentelyoo
Kentelyoo

For people wondering how the free-to-play model works, it would be a bit long to explain, but basically you can play freely until you reach maybe level 25. At that point you need to unlock quests (region by region) to continue playing. You CAN access every region, you just won't have anything to do there (other than the main storyline, and its not enough to level). To unlock things, you need Turbine Points (TPs). You can buy those with real money and you earn a bit just by playing. You CAN unlock most of the stuff you want without paying anything but its a long, boring and repetitive process. So its more an "à la carte" model. Its not really free, its another way of paying. I'm not saying its wrong. Some people are just surprised its not totally free. By the way, the game is awesome so I encourage everyone to try it.

Ignition93
Ignition93

BUT WILL THEY BE TAKING HOBBITS THERE?

N0madic
N0madic

landroval sucks. it's all about elendilmir

wis3boi
wis3boi

oh, and long live Landroval!

wis3boi
wis3boi

Love Lotro, with the new payment methods for everyone and content abound, its a great MMO. The roleplay is also the best around.

cornerback3
cornerback3

Once I get an alright computer, I'm definitely getting lotro. You can't argue with no monthly payments.

huskerman34
huskerman34

Ive played both lotro and ddo and they play fine. With the updates coming out more of the game is becoming free. expansions are being discounted and you receive turbine points for accomplishing deeds and missions. Not bad at all.

ggregd
ggregd

I've had wait times getting on Landroval for the first time since launch. I've never seen empty zones, even in the low level areas. I've only dabbled in DDO, but I think the setup is very similar; as much as possible because they're markedly different games. You can play LoTRO just fine for free, but you'll have limitations that make it inconvenient, like fewer bags and storage slots, a cap on the money you can aquire, no expansions (?), not all classes available, fewer character slots, etc. Other than the expansions, if you're a paying player, the stuff they sell for $$$ is fluff, convenience items or temporary boosts, it won't make you overpowered by any means.

AnakinSW
AnakinSW

I'd say that F2P has definitely added to the community on Landroval. The server was already decently busy but now even more so. It's also added to excessive spam in /advice and /ooc but that's to be expected.

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

If you are a LOTR fan two expansions must be good news.

FoeCrusher
FoeCrusher

I am curious how has the F2P nature of LOTR been handled? Is it similar to DDO? Have lots of new players joined and breathed life into its community?