Today, at Connect 08 in Birmingham, executive producer Jeffrey Steefel revealed the second volume of the Tolkein-licensed massively multiplayer RPG, The Mines of Moria. The first official Lotro expansion will be released later this year.
The Mines of Moria will take Lotro players into the goblin underground world with new famous bosses from Tolkien lore - The Balrog and The Watcher. The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria will expand the online world of Middle-earth to let players explore the ancient underground cities of the dwarves, battle epic characters in the depths, face off with the Watcher, be a part of the fateful release of Durin's Bane and more! The Lord of the Rings Online expects to open Volume II of its epic story in the fall of 2008 with an increased level cap, two new classes and the introduction of a unique item advancement system.
"The Mines of Moria is one of the most epic settings in all of fantasy fiction," said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "No one delivers more quality content than Turbine and with our journey into Moria, we will raise the bar even higher. We are adding vast amounts of content, debuting massive new environments and unveiling numerous unique feature sets, like item advancement, which will create entirely new dimensions of compelling game play and social interaction which are unique to The Lord of the Rings Online experience."
Ten new levels will be added to the game. Two new classes, the Warden and the Runekeeper, a large number of instances for smaller groups, new monster player scenarios, a chance to join the Fellowship in Lorien and get gifts from Galadriel, a new Legendary Items system (objects that will evolve as the player progresses).
Steefel also mentioned that LOTRO would be launched in Russia, China and Korea this year. The next free update to the game - Books 13, "Doom of the Last King", will offer a new region to explore, a hobby system with fishing. The developers confirmed that Book 14 will arrive later in this summer.
- Speak Friend, and Enter - Moria, called Khazad-dûm by the dwarves, was their capital and the grandest of cities. This enormous underground cavern in north-western Middle-earth, comprises an immense network of tunnels, chambers, mines and huge halls that run beneath and ultimately through the Misty Mountains. For the first time, players of The Lord of the Rings Online will enter this ancient city which has served as the foundation for the modern-day dungeon-crawling adventures to battle the hordes of goblins and the Nameless of the Deep and journey through hundreds of new quests within six new kinds of stunning environments.
- The Epic Continues! - The Mines of Moria represents the beginning of Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online. Players can experience six new books as part of this update and participate in the release of Durin's Bane, battle the Watcher, aid Galadriel and more!
- Increased Level Cap - Players will be able advance their characters up to level 60, gaining access to new traits, virtues, skills and class quests. The crafting system will also expand, giving players the ability to craft even more powerful items.
- Discover Two New Classes - The Rune-keeper and the Warden, the first new classes to be introduced since the launch of the game, allow players to build exciting and powerful new characters in The Lord of the Rings Online in diverse new ways.
- Forge Legendary Items - The Mines of Moria will introduce Turbine's new item advancement system to The Lord of the Rings Online. Players will be able to forge weapons and class-related equipment and evolve them to build a legacy the likes of Bilbo's Sting and Gandalf's Glamdring. These legendary weapons will level-up along with the player, allowing customization by advancing the item's virtues, adding runic legacies, modifying its titles and forming fables.
To celebrate this exciting news, Turbine and Codemasters also announced today that they will kick off a major promotion that invites everyone to unlock the Mines of Moria by visiting http://www.unlocktheminesofmoria.com. Visitors can learn more about Mines of Moria and play special mini-games that will be periodically released over the coming months. Certain players who participate can complete special deeds through game play and other means to unlock exclusive previews, assets and special in-game items that may help them when they delve into Mines of Moria this fall. The Unlock the Mines of Moria promotion is scheduled to begin at the end of this month.