After a frustrating afternoon dealing with finicky software, I finally was able to install my copy of Lord Of The Rings Online, and log into the game. Now, at last, we can begin part one of The Inquisitr’s in-game review of the Riders Of Rohan expansion. Despite all my huffing, puffing and raging, I have to admit my efforts were rewarded 1000 times over, because this expansion rocks.
As annoyed as I was at Turbine for the mind numbing issues with their patch servers, it only took me about 30 seconds from the moment I entered the game before all was forgiven. I was awestruck by the visual beauty of the expansion. From the tiny puffs of dust raised by my horse’s hooves as we rode over the lush green hills to the majestic sweeping landscapes, the game looked amazing. I felt as if I had stepped into a living, breathing version of Middle Earth.
While I was pleased to finally be playing the expansion, the welcome I got from my old buddies in the Flames Of Arnor guild was even better. It didn’t matter that I was away from the game for several months; they were happy to see me and gave me a wonderful homecoming. LOTRO has an excellent player community and my guild-mates kindness reminded me how important good friends are if you want to have a great time playing an MMO.
Waiting in my inventory was a personal message from Lady Galadriel to come to Caras Galadhon, the very heart of Elvendom in Middle Earth, for an important conference before I departed for Rohan. To Turbine’s credit, LOTRO doesn’t just throw monsters at you and tell you to go kill them; instead the game carefully unveils a highly detailed story that is true to Tolkien’s vision and rich in the lore of his beloved books.
After speaking with several important characters in the tree city of the Elves, I visited the Lady Of The Golden Woods in her garden. She bade me to look into her fabled mirror and I entered what Turbine refers to as session play. This mode of game play allows you to assume the identity of another character in the game and participate in a crucial part of the back-story. In this case, I was ported to a campfire meeting of the beleagured fellowship of the ring.
When I arrived at the campfire, Aragorn and Boromir greeted me. I wondered where Frodo was, but I quickly realized I had become Frodo. The fellowship was trying to decide where to go after the fall of Gandalf, and they all expected me to resolve the dilemma. The session re-enacted the famous scene from Lord Of The Rings in which Boromir tries to take the ring from Frodo. Even though I knew what would happen next, my heart was still racing as I fled from the crazed captain of Gondor. I won’t spoil the entire episode for you, but it was thrilling.
After finishing the session, I payed a visit to the Burglar trainer to see what changes were made to my class. When I saw all the new goodies my jaw dropped. There were well over a dozen new attacks and skills, including a entire set for mounted combat.
I must admit I was taken aback by the cost of the new skills. I have always had a hard time making money in LOTRO and I was almost dead broke. Once again, my guild-mates came to my rescue. I mentioned to Allthea, one of our guild officers, that I was shocked by how little gold I had on my account. A moment later the mail icon lit up and when I opened the letter, there was 10 gold from my friend. And let me tell you, in case you don’t know, 10 gold in LOTRO is a fortune.
Now I am determined to plunge head first into the expansion, and I look forward to reaching the new level cap of 85. Nothing will stop me from helping the Rohirram save Rohan from the depredations of orcs, wild-men, and nazgul. I plan to crawl through every dark cave, climb every mountain and crush hordes of warg riding Orcs. It will take a bit more work before I am able to acquire my new mount, but I will be back to tell you all about my exploits as I charge into packs of foul orcs, swinging my sword from the back of my mighty war-steed.
Until next we meet, I will be leveling like a mad fool, while I explore all the contentRiders of Rohan has to offer. In part two of my review, I will tell you about the new zone, the twists and turns of the new quests, and as many details as I can gather about this incredibly satisfying expansion. See you soon, and as always, happy gaming.