Lord of the Rings Online’s Helm’s Deep Expansion Sneak Peek
A new Epic Battle system
Though we weren’t shown the Epic Battle system that would be used to recreate the famous Helm’s Deep siege, a few details were revealed. You will play as your own character, but will also utilize a set of additional abilities depending on which of three roles you decide to take in the battle. The three available roles are vanguard, officer and engineer. The idea is that we already know who wins this battle; the question is, how do you choose to help the good guys win. As you participate in the battle using one of these three roles, you unlock additional abilities in each one’s tech tree.
In an attempt to make it easier for new players to join in, anyone level 10 and above can participate in the siege. Those below the level cap will be autoleveled to max for the battle. Each instance of the Battle of Helm’s Deep will be scalable for solo and duo play, as well as for groups of three, six and 12 players, with the rewards scaling as well.
Class tree overhaul and other major systems changes
One major change in the expansion is the a total reworking of the class spec system. Turbine describes the current system as “lacking clarity, goals and meaningful choices,” and the developers aren’t far wrong. Come expansion time, each of the classes will see their three spec trees get a major overhaul to make them leaner, meaner and less confusing. Expect many dev diaries to be published over the next few months explaining the changes for each class.
The long awaited housing revamp will also be coming, but will happen post-launch of the Helm’s Deep expansion. There will be no new skirmishes (though the Helm’s Deep battles seem awfully skirmish-like with their scalability), nor will players see the sorely-needed Legacy Item revamp.
I wish I had more to share with you about how the Helm’s Deep battles will work or look, but that is all Turbine had to share with us about that part at this time. We were told that more in-depth previews will be coming as they get closer to the launch of the expansion.