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LOTRO: The Journey Continues (RoI)

The latest expansion to Turbine’s Lord of the Rings Online, The Rise of Isengard, was set to launch on September 27 but in reality was launched a day early.

The Rise of Isengard brings with it many changes to the game. All good, but some that seem not so good. Among these changes are:

  • Increased Level Cap
  • New Tier of Crafting
  • New Skills
  • Virtue Balances
  • Opening of the Ettinmoor area to F2P
  • New Items and Armour
  • Continuation of the Epic Storyline
  • Inclusion of a new 12 and 24 man Raid

The Road to 75

The Level Cap increase to 75 has been argued as too many levels for the expansion but once you start playing it, it almost feels as if it wasn’t enough. People were posting in the official forums that there was not enough content to reach 75 but in all actuality, there was. When you start into the new areas, your character should be level 66, but even at 65 the leveling went at a smooth pace. If you do find yourself running short on XP, there are several Task boards scattered around at the various camps that you can use to augment your XP as well as getting xp from doing skirmishes.

New Fashions for the Fashion Conscious

One of the things that a lot of people look forward to in an expansion, at least on the Role Play servers, is new armour and cosmetic items. Rise of Isengard brought many such things to the masses. The artwork done on the new gear and the new cosmetics was a refreshing change from the older artwork. There has been speculation that Turbine has hired new artists and modelers since the new gear and items are so far above the quality and looks of the older gear. The new Armour for each class, whether it be raid armour, reputation armour, or crafted armour has a sleekness to it that was missing with the older gear and is something that you feel is worth working towards.

Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks

With the increased level cap comes new skills. That much has always been a given. Every class gained some new skills and several changes to older skills. This revamp could take a while to learn depending on what class you play. For a hunter (which is what I play most) the changes were not that drastic but while talking to some people who play minstrels, the changes were almost to the point of being a new class.

Patience is a Virtue

With the expansion came some unexpected virtue changes as well. Most of the changes were actually for the better, although they did catch people by surprise. The virtue system was overhauled to spread out some of the benefits to get players to use virtues that they thought were useless or not for their class. This caused people to have to go back and slot those different virtues and build their level up so that they would be maxed out for that virtue again. That also served to get people some more XP when it was in their level range but it also generated more Turbine points that they could spend in the store for new items that were added as well, so it was a win-win scenario all the way around.




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