The LOTRO Fate of Gundabad Expansion Targets November 10th Launch

SSG has announced the date for the next Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Fate of Gundabad, which is set to go on November 10th, 2021.

The fate is per-determined by the quest chain I’m sure

The expansion boasts of the following features:

  • New Brawler class
  • Level cap raised from 130 to 140
  • New mobs to face, new zones to explore
  • New instances and raids
  • A new run at the Legendary Item system

The expansion is available for pre-purchase now and comes in three different flavors:

Standard Edition – $40

  • Fate of Gundabad Content
  • Brawler Class
  • Extra Character Slot
  • Standard Expedition Supplies

Collector’s Edition – $80

  • Fate of Gundabad Content
  • Brawler Class
  • Extra Character Slot
  • Improved Expedition Supplies
  • Brawler Gauntlet Box
  • Level boost to 130
  • Gundabad Cosmetics
  • Gundabad Mount & War-steed
  • And more bonus items!

Ultimate Fan Bundle – $130

  • Fate of Gundabad Content
  • Brawler Class
  • Extra Character Slot
  • Ultimate Expedition Supplies
  • Brawler Gauntlet Box
  • Level boost to 130
  • Gundabad Cosmetics
  • Gundabad Mount & War-steed
  • Fateful Gundabad Cosmetics
  • Thunder Boar & War-steed Appearance
  • Dye Carry-all
  • 10,000 Virtue XP
  • And more bonus items!

I do find it a bit amusing that the Expedition Supplies include various accelerators, because nothing says your game is grindy like handing out XP boosters with the expansion pack.

All of which seems to be standard fare for an MMO expansion; level cap increase, more stuff to do, a new class to play, and some changes to a key system here and there.  As pointed out elsewhere, not exactly earth shattering stuff.

More interesting to me is where the game is heading.

Lord of the Rings Online is in an odd position in that it cannot just make up new content.  It cannot follow in the footsteps of its Norrathian siblings and just go to the moon for a couple of expansions or decide to go on a sea voyage to discover some new content.

SSG is stuck with the books of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  As I recall they cannot even stray into The Hobbit, which seems like it would be a nice time travel expansion, much less the lore dense Silmarillion.

And when it comes to the main story line of the trilogy, we’re kind of done.  The ring has been destroyed, Sauron has been thrown down, we’ve tidied up Mordor a bit, had a wedding, scourged the Shire, and have generally wrapped up all of the great moments of the Third Age. [edit: or at least I thought we had done all those things… I’m still back in Mirkwood]

So the team at SSG has been working on what I call “plundering the appendix” of the trilogy.  Dr. Tolkien, bless his soul, crammed in more than 150 pages of appendices with all sorts of bits of history, family trees, pronunciation guides and language primers, and other items of tangential interest to the main tale including a timeline of events of the world.

In that condensed history of Middle-earth you will find the tale of Gundabad in the Misty Mountains, where the dwarves first awoke when the world was young and their struggles with the orcs over it.  This has been picked up for the latest expansion.

And that makes me wonder what else is buried in the appendix that they can farm for more expansions.  Where else might they go?  I mean, technically, there is a lot of stuff mentioned in the appendix of the trilogy.  Is something being there an opening to include it in the game, because they do retell a tale of one Thorin Oakenshield and an expedition to the Lonely Mountain… I’m just saying.

7 thoughts on “The LOTRO Fate of Gundabad Expansion Targets November 10th Launch

  1. Roger Edwards (@ModeratePeril)

    At present the LOTRO story has only got as far as the marriage of Aragorn to Arwen. So there is the fate of Saruman and the Scouring of the Shire to address which would easily sustain a year or more of content. The of course Aragorn and Eomer have to pacify the wider eastern territories. Plus there’s what Legolas and Gimli do next.

    I suspect long term story lines have never been an issue for Turbine/SSG. It’s doing something entirely new which seems to be the biggest problem. Too much expertise has left the company and there are possibly areas of the game that the developers fear they may break if they try to revise too much.

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  2. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @RE – I thought they had the wedding thing. Maybe I dreamt it. And going off into odd appendix focused dwarf vs. orc issues before scouring The Shire seems like misplaced priorities.

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  3. Roger Edwards (@ModeratePeril)

    The LI revision is being previewed on Bullroarer at present. It still has a long way to go but essentially it assesses your current LI and then provides the respective constituent parts from the new system to what it thinks is a commensurate level. Some players are seeing an increase in DPS when they build a new LI with these new parts but others are not. Myself included.

    They need to sort this because if SSG ends up “short changing” the lion share of players, then they are going to have the biggest debacle on their hands since the revision of the skills tree that came with Helm’s Deep.

    If I end up with a LI that is inferior to what I have already, I may well stop playing. I don’t expect to see something that I’ve worked on and more importantly spent money on, replaced with something that is worse.

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  4. Archey

    As iI recall, without checking, in the appendix there are a number of nations that King Elessar now needs to bring to heel or establish relations with. I wonder if they are allowed under the contract to explore Far Harad, for example.

    They’d have to tread lightly there as that area is maybe the most vulnerable to being interpreted in a racist way, but maybe if you can play on the “Good Haradrim” side it might avoid those land mines.

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