The current guestimate of the LOTRO community as to when Standing Stone Games is going to unlock Riders of Rohan on the progression server is mid-January. That sounds about right to me, and since SSG rarely gives us much of a head’s up on such things, I’ve been rushing to get the Great River region done so that I’ll be 100% ready. If I get done sooner, well, I have tons of Bingo Boffin quests waiting to fill the time.
It’s pretty mindless questing, for the most part. I do try to read the quest text and follow along with the stories, but when you’ve done it a few times already, it’s easy to shut off the brain and just go to where the glowy patches are on the map and Do The Things. I’m not really in it for advancement (I’m already 75) or money, but rather a sense of completion and the off chance that one of these quests will reward me with a unique armor or weapon skin.
That last one isn’t so far off, either. I actually got two cool pieces this past week which weren’t lurking in my wardrobe, and so I’ve been refining the above outfit with even better looks.
I don’t know why the devs saved the Brown Lands area as the last place you go in Great River, because it’s easily the ugliest part of what is otherwise an interesting zone. There’s a hint of an interesting plotline with one sad Ent who is looking for the Entwives and their garden, but otherwise, it’s just killin’ Easterlings, cats, bugs, and crocodiles. At least there are no flowers here for elves to make me pick. You have to count your small blessings, after all!
Looking ahead to the next expansion, I don’t share the angst over Riders of Rohan that I’ve seen among some players, but I do understand their concern over how many quests there are. It’s a huge region with scads of quest hubs and whatnot, but I still like it for the visuals and the uptick in storytelling. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been back in Rohan and I’m looking forward to revisiting it — even if the game is going to try to make me excited about warsteeds again. Man, that’s a lost cause, isn’t it?
I’m even more interested in hearing from SSG about the coming year of the game, but the producer only gets off his butt sometime in February for this, so we’ll probably be waiting a while. I have no solid guesses, other than some more Minas Morgul content and Rohan housing.