Lord of the Rings Online: Rise of Isengard Preview
Campbell says that one of the goals Turbine has for this expansion is to change the scale of the game, and make it much larger.The first example of this is a warcamp known as Walf’s Cleft. As you can see in the screenshot above, it’s quite large, and there is plenty of movement down there. It’s actually the most moving pieces I’ve seen at one time onscreen in LotRO. When asked about this, Campbell laughed and said they were pushing their technology to get this point. Later in the expansion, players will be completing a number of quests alongside NPCs as they attack the warcamp.
Another place the scale of this expansion is blatantly evident is in the new raid content, specifically in the Draigoch fight. Draigoch is a massive dragon. According to Campbell, it’s the largest moving thing Turbine has created for Lord of the Rings, measuring a full 80 meters from head to tail and possessing a 108 meter wingspan. We ventured into his lair to see just what this raid was all about, and it did not disappoint.
Entering Draigoch’s lair, we heard the dragon taunting us. As we went deeper inside the lair, Draigoch peeked through holes in the rock, breathing fire to try and catch us unaware. Once we reached the floor of his lair, the massive dragon was waiting for us. Players will be working hard in this fight, as Campbell said that players will need to split into multiple groups to successfully complete the raid. Draigoch’s lair reminds me of Smaug’s lair under the mountain in The Hobbit, and Draigoch’s dialogue does as well. (There are some extra screenshots of the dragon at the end of this preview)
Outside of the new areas, Turbine will also be adding new stuff to the LotRO Store with this expansion. You can expect to see items to increase your rep gain, new cosmetic items, and even the ability to access your bank and mailbox from anywhere in the world. You can still pre-order the expansion, but time is running out. Just head over to the official site to get your copy.
Overall, Rise of Isengard is an excellent addition to Lord of the Rings Online, and brings us one step closer to Mordor. With over 30 chapters to the epic story, and 5 instances coming in December, Rise of Isengard comes with plenty of content to keep you roaming Middle Earth. When this expansion hits tomorrow, gamers everywhere will begin their journey to confront Saruman. If you’re among them, you’ll find plenty to do and lots to see.
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