I wasn’t really expecting a full-blown expansion announcement last week for Lord of the Rings Online, even though we knew it was coming. In any case, I rolled with it and started to wrap my head around heading back to Mordor for Minas Morgul later this month.
I guess the time frame is what threw me — in my mind, we’re still in August, so I don’t know where October came from all of the sudden. I guess I should’ve known when I started seeing pumpkin spice everything in the grocery store. Pumpkin Spice Bengay? It might exist. Would smell way better than regular Bengay.
Anyway. Minas Morgul. I guess my only major complaint with the full expansion announcement is that it doesn’t have any major new feature to grab the attention. Instead, it’s more of the same — a lot of hopefully reliable, solid, and enjoyable questing in more corners of Middle-earth. In this case, the city of the dead with an excursion to deal with an oversized spider outside. I’m down for that, as long as it isn’t a horrible slog the way Mordor was. I hope SSG has learned its lesson there.
This means that I’m kicking the pants of my Lore-master to finally finish up Vales of Anduin (I’ve mostly been playing on the progression server). At the very least, the expansion represents several months of content to experience and another rung on the ever-growing LOTRO epic story ladder that my Minstrel is struggling to summit as we speak.
As for the pre-order packages, I don’t see a compelling need for any of them other than the base edition. The cosmetics aren’t grabbing my fancy and I certainly don’t need another level 120 lolling around on my character select screen. I am very glad to see that SSG included the Stout-Axe Dwarf race in every edition, which not only skirts the controversy that the High Elf-less Mordor packs had but encourages people to pre-order right now to get access to them. Again, I’m not that interested in rolling up new characters, and these Dwarves don’t seem that much different or more exciting than the regular variety to justify the interest, but I suppose SSG has to do what it can within the boundaries of the lore at its fingertips.
Should be an exciting month, all things considered. I’ll try to drink in all of the beauty of the Vale of Anduin now to last me through what promises to be a macabre journey ahead.