A Letter from Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini
A Letter from Executive Producer Rob Ciccolini - February 2021
Greetings! I'm writing today to get you up to speed on our current plans for the rest of the year and tease a few things we hope you look forward to. The Lord of the Rings Online celebrates its 14th Anniversary this year, and that is thanks to you logging in and playing.
Our first big update of 2021 will happen in March when we release The Wildwood of Bree-land to the game. Wildwood will see the release of the long-teased wilderness between Bree-land and Evendim. The Wildwood is being eyed by two factions aiming to use the land for their own purposes, but their (and your) enemies have other plans in mind.... This will be the first time we can think of where we are releasing below-level-cap region content in addition to level cap content, so even players who are not at level cap can enjoy this new experience.
We're also looking forward to the Spring Festival in March! This year we'll be adding a new Festivity to the event featuring a guest appearance by Grimbeorn himself. There will also be the new 6-player Boss from the Vaults: Naruhel the Red Maid. Expect to see some great seasonally-themed cosmetics and other rewards.
A short time after the Wildwood update, we are planning to release the first of our 'Further Adventures,' quest arcs that make use of the Mission system to explore new stories involving major and minor characters in Middle-earth. The first of these involves one of the most famous of all the Hobbits: Bilbo Baggins. If you enjoy it, we're open to doing more 'Further Adventures' later in the year. Suggestions for characters you'd like to see in these narrative mission sets are welcome!
This summer brings Update 30: The Blood of Azog to The Lord of the Rings Online! As War of Three Peaks presses on, Durin Stonehelmson prepares to lead the Gabil'akkâ beyond the frozen gates of Mount Gundabad. At the urging of Glóin, Prince Durin sends word to the Lonely Mountain to muster even more Dwarves to Elderslade before the reclamation begins. As you aid in this effort, you'll discover the tale of Hermáth Stormhammer, a hero of the Battle of Azanulbizar. You'll experience important moments in the history of Durin's Folk firsthand, such as the taking of the Oakenshield, the death of Azog, the ever-present danger of Durin's Bane, and more! Update 30 will feature a new Interlude, new Quests, new Missions, and a new Raid in a Quest Pack that is free to VIPs!
The fall sees Durin's plans unfold as we release our next full expansion in Update 31: Gundabad! Expect to hear a lot more in the coming months, but we're keeping most of it under wraps for now. Gundabad concludes our story of The Legacy of Durin and the Trials of the Dwarves as well!
This will also be a big year for our Legendary Worlds of Anor and Ithil! We're planning to bring The Wastes to the Legendary servers in April before debuting Mordor itself in August. Depending on what ends up happening we could bring the Grey Mountains to the Legendary Worlds late in the year.
On the PvMP side I am happy to let you know that we currently have a designer who has regular time set aside for ongoing development work, and we want to address many of your concerns about PvMP balance and more.
For Legendary Items, our focus this year will be to speed up LI leveling for players not at end-game and make our newer regions more appealing for people working on their items.
Thank you for your support of Middle-earth and our version of it! Being stewards of LOTRO is something we take very seriously, and we remain honored to be here for you.