The story doesn’t end where we remember and your journey isn’t over! Adventure deep into the lost stories, dark reaches, and challenging enemies that shroud the lands around Mount Doom, and beyond.
-Mordor Expansion text
Just over a year ago, back in early July 2016, WB was telling us that Turbine, after the failure of Infinite Crisis, was transitioning into a mobile app development studio and the future of Lord of the Rings Online seemed in doubt.
Bleak times in the war of the ring. I was suggesting people play the game while they still had the chance.
Then in December of last year came the announcement of Standing Stone Games, a new studio that would be spun off from Turbine. Asheron’s Call was being shut down, and there was some relationship with Daybreak, but LOTRO and DDO were to be the focus of the new entity. The games seemed to have more of a future than one might have expected a few months earlier.
Still, you never know what is going to happen. Hope is one thing, reality is another.
But we finally have something solid on which to ground hope. After much talk, Standing Stone Games has put up the pre-order page for the Mordor expansion for Lord of the Rings Online.
We’re going to Mordor!
In my view this is a big deal for two reasons.
First, we’re going to fucking Mordor. This I want to see. You can fault Turbine for many, many flaws in LOTRO, but for all of that the place has always looked and felt like Middle-earth to me. So to continue that out to the far end of the tale, to bring us to Sauron’s dark land, to visualize the location and bring it to us so that we may wander it is simply awesome.
Explore the landscape of Gorgoroth to find hidden treasures, scourges on the land, and get rewarded for your exploration! Only the mightiest should journey that far into the dark places.
Mordor Expansion text
Of course, I do wonder how it will actually play. How will SSG bring us to this dark and hostile land? What will we do there? Will we be standing around watching Frodo and Gollum at Mount Doom? Will Mordor be like Mirkwood and Moria, with a plethora of chatty NPC quest givers hanging around the place?
But I pretty much started off the whole LOTRO idea more than a decade back with similar questions. We shall see.
Second, SSG is actually selling us some new content.
Not that the teams at Turbine and now SSG haven’t been adding new content over the last few years. The game has brought us to the very front step of Mordor already.
But actually selling us some content at least implies that it has more value and, of course, selling an expansion generates revenue for the company. Expansions are one of the few sure fire ways to get a game’s dedicated followers to pony up some cash. Also, expansions to me are a sign of success. As long as a team has the resources to create expansions and an audience big enough to buy them and make the venture financially viable, any suggestion as to the demise of the game seem quite premature.
Whatever you want to say about EverQuest and EverQuest II, Daybreak cranks out an expansion every autumn for them. And every time Blizzard gets around to releasing an expansion for World of Warcraft, it sells like crazy and subscriptions jump.
So being able to get your act together and sell an expansion is a sign that you are still in the game, so to speak.
And so you can pre-order the Mordor expansion today.
For $40 you get the Standard Edition about which SSG says:
- Mordor Expansion
- 300+ New Quests
- Hundreds of new Deeds
- New Allegiance System
- New instance cluster with raid* and more!**
- Aria of the Valar – a level boost to Mordor!
I am big on that last item. Despite owning all the past expansions, I am still way back in Rohan wondering what to do. There is faint chance that I will make it to Mordor from there ever. Boosting me straight into Mordor is my last, best hope.
If you have a bit more loose change in your pocket though, for $80 you can get the Collector’s Edition, which has everything in the Standard Edition plus the following:
- High Elf Race
- Character Slot
- Exclusive Alliance Cosmetics: armor, cloak, & kite
- Exclusive Title “Walked Into Mordor”
- Exclusive Alliance Mount
A new race doesn’t do much for me. A character slot is nice however, as are the cosmetics, while a mount is cool too. That title though. One does not simply hand out Mordor titles.
And if you are totally into LOTRO and feeling whale-ish, for $130 you can have the Ultimate Fan Bundle, which gets you everything in the Collector’s Edition plus:
- Exclusive Mordor Cosmetics: armor, cloak, & eagle kite
- Exclusive Mordor Mount
- Exclusive Title “The Ultimate”
- Equippable XP Accelerator for all characters!
- Exclusive Housing Teleport for all characters!
- Three Relics for all characters
- Two Essence Reclamation Scrolls for all characters!
- Ten Extra Shared Storage Slots
- A code for a month of VIP Access
There are definitely some tasty bits in that stew. However, the price is well beyond my tolerance. With these choices I am much more likely to go with the Standard Edition than the other two.
And then there is the question of “when?” The Mordor expansion site says that the target launch date is July 31, 2017 and that it will ship no later than August 31, 2017.
Not much time left to wait! You can find info about the expansion packages here.
So who is set for Mordor?
Addendum: SSG has added a Mordor expansion FAQ.