The Lord of the Rings Online:
Shadows of Angmar Fansite

Stress Test, Get a Free Game Key

February 22nd, 2007

Stress Test will start on Friday, February 23 and end Monday, February 26, 2007.

What this means is you can play LOTRO for free! 🙂

To sign up click here.

Exploring Middle Earth: The House of Elrond

February 10th, 2007

Turbine Inc has given us another look at an important place in Middle Earth.

In the protected Valley of Rivendell, near the western slopes of the Misty Mountains stands the legendary House of Elrond, home to generations of noble Elves and a refuge for certain weary travelers in these dark days. Often called “The Last Homely House,” this large and beautiful dwelling has been a tranquil yet well-protected and strongly-guarded refuge for as long as most memories can recall. Indeed, the Valley of Rivendell has been the home to Elrond and his people since well before the beginning of the Third Age, more than 3,000 years past. The house itself is expansive, with a seemingly endless array of rooms, libraries, gardens and other tranquil spaces. The dominant room in the home is the Hall of Fire, a large, pillared room so-named for the tremendous hearth in which a roaring fire is ever-burning. The Hall of Fire is a place of quiet reflection for most hours of the day, but is also a vibrant gathering place for lively song and storytelling in times of celebration. It is said that old Bilbo Baggins himself, now a resident of the House of Elrond in Rivendell, often frequents the Hall of Fire for a bit of writing, and, if truth be told, even more bits of napping.

It is here, within the House of Elrond, that the Fellowship of the Ring was recently formed, and from which the journey to destroy the One Ring in the fires of Mount Doom is about to depart. Elrond, the wise counselor and master of Rivendell remains here, available to provide guidance and counsel to travelers from distant lands. Adventurers who find themselves in Rivendell would be well-advised to spend as much time as can be spared there to enjoy and explore the house and its grounds, for there are also many celebrated guests staying under Elrond’s care and protection at this time. Much can be learned from speaking with those who dwell within, as well as from spending time in the expansive library and marveling at the collected treasures displayed throughout.

The design of Rivendell and its surrounding valley for LOTRO was inspired by drawings made by Professor Tolkien himself. Rivendell, as home to the Elves, the most ancient of all the races in Middle-earth, is a place of extreme reverence and historical significance, so great care was taken in crafting the details of Rivendell and this remarkable dwelling. Throughout the home, there are many areas designed for social interaction with other adventurers and for the sharing of knowledge, gained both in the wilderness of Middle-earth, and also discovered in the ancient books in the home’s library, which chronicle much of the events of the history of Middle-earth. Rivendell is a hub of activity for many in-game events, and as such will no doubt be a favored destination of those familiar with The Lord of the Rings and the significance of the region.
Thats all for todays (or yesterdays) update.

Exploring Middle Earth: Agamaur

January 31st, 2007

Its that time again folks, when Turbine grace us with another LOTRO sneak peak, this week, its a place called Agamaur (aka The Red Swamp)

North of the Great East Road, as it leads from the barrens of the Lone-lands to the Last Bridge, north also of the ruins of Ost Guruth, home of the scavenging Eglain, lies a vast marsh known as the Red Swamp. The swamp had not always been this way. Once, it had been a small lake beside a green meadow, but tales tell that a great bloody battle between the Hillmen of Rhudaur and the armies of Arthedain and Cardolan took place upon that site. The blood of the fallen tainted the water of the lake, corrupting it and the lands around it.

Little did the Men of Arthedain realize that within the lake, which now lies in the northern reaches of the Red Swamp, slept a powerful creature of nature. This once-peaceful being fell beneath the corruption of the swamp and awakened as something hideously destructive, slaying with abandon to feed her bloodlust. The Eglain of Ost Guruth say that the Dead have arisen within the bounds of Agamaur, the northern reaches of the swamp, and that evil men now dwell within the ruins of Garth Agarwen, worshiping the power which dwells there. It is also said that the shades of the Men of Arthedain can be found somewhere within the swamp, cursed by a great Power for failing to reclaim the swamp from the corruption which taints the land.

The designers of LOTRO were able to take advantage of a stretch of land with little to no history or description and combine it with themes from the lore to create Agamaur and the rest of the Red Swamp, a treacherous questing arena for the truly daring. Players of The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar would be wise to gather friends before venturing into the marshes of Agamaur, for the dangers which prowl the Red Swamp are far beyond the measure of a lone adventurer.

And so you have it, Turbines depiction of this location.

FYI, when this little bitty was realeased to the via the forums, it was getting a lot of heat, claiming it was too WoW/DnD/Warhammer-ish. But personally, I think it is a nice change to rolling hills and rivers.

Should we have persistant Evil characters?

January 30th, 2007

This topic is a VERY hot topic at the moment, which has been slightly nullified because of the pre-order and release date information, but however, I will still be discussing this topic in this article.
In the red corner you have the Lore-Junkies and Anti-Pvp’ers/Carebears, which will stop at nothing to keep Turbine from making the big change (this is not limited to blackmail, torture etc)

In the Blue corner you have the WoW Kiddies and Hardcore PvP’ers, which will continue to execute hostages untill thier demands have been given to them.

But what of the debate? There have been many, and long thought out posts containing reasons for and against the FFA PvP and RvR. However, 85% of these people who want Evil races just want them for the thrill of being evil, I can say that myself have been lured into the temptation of evil. (If walking cows in WoW count, then yes, I’m evil)
Is that so much to ask? To be free from the troubles of ‘good’? Havnt you ever looked at a huge battle in a game or movie and said to yourself: “It would be have been easier to be evil”? And you cant say that Undead dont get all the chicks, I mean, who WOULDNT want a rotting corpse as a BF?

I can admit right now that I am a hardcore Tolkien fan, but I would have also fancied to have an Alt as an evil character, but I am confronted with the ‘Lore’ and ‘Fun’ issues which I shall explain.

On one hand, you have the ‘Lore’, which is a huge part of the Tolkien universe, and Tolkien would be rolling in his grave if he knew that Turbine were going to implement free-willed evil races. On the other hand you have the aspect of ‘fun’, which incorporates the large scale PvP battles that were depicted in the movies and books.
However Turbine decided to implement a PvP system called ‘PvMP’ which is a definate answer to to the FFA PvP’ers and the Lore purists.

What does PvMP have?

  • Good PC’s Vs Evil PC’s? – Check.
  • Persistant Evil characters? – Well, in one sense yes, so check.
  • Battle for areas of land within the PvMP zones? – From what I know of from Devs, check.
  • Variety of Evil PC’s to be? – Check.
  • Gankable Hobbits? – Within this zone, yes, so Check.

As you cans see, PvMP is the obvious answer to both sides of the great Evil/Good argument, without losing too much customers on either side, but does this fully satisfy either side? No, so this debate will probably never ever end.

Hello…And Founders

January 29th, 2007

Well Hello, I would like to introduce myself as one of the new writers here at lotro.us. I’m a big fan of Tolkien, and he even inspired me to write my own fantasy book. But lets get off that and on to LOTRO!

If you haven’t noticed last Friday, LOTRO, and Turbine announced the new Founders program. It is a new innovative program with goodies for Turbine and the player base. First they get money. Good I say. Second we get the ability to pre-order the game, for 49.99, all the way up untill 30 days after the launch on April 24th (I know it isn’t exactly “pre”-order AFTER the launch, but oh well, good for the players I say). We then get the ability to play in open beta, come March 30th. Also, if we do this, our player actually rolls-over to the live game, but there is a level cap so we can’t grind up to level 50 in open beta, and then use that avatar in live. It’ll most likely be a level 20 cap, I’m guessing. We also get a Ring of Agility, and an Enchanted Cloak of Regeneration. Theres still more! We also, if we pre-order, and become a founder(no cost just a title), get to choose either a lifetime membership(yes you heard it lifetime membership, this counts for account month upkeep, but it won’t stop for expansions, nor will it buy the expansions), for only $199.99, or we can get a reduced cost of $9.99 per month, for the lifetime of your account. The rest of it can be read here…. http://www.lotro.com/preorder
Beside the Founder’s program we also got the specs for the game. And they are located here…http://www.lotro.com/index.php?page_id=104

I would like to say, it is very awesome they made the range sogood, the low specs are good enough for bottom line computers, but still the top of the line can take advantage of the great graphics of the game.



My Take On 3 Classes

January 28th, 2007

Well, here I am, sitting at my computer at 3:00 am in the morning, in my work uniform, writing this article for all of you. I HOPE YOU ARE HAPPY.

Ok, enough about that, time to start the real, main chunk of the post.

Todays Information: My take on 3 of the Classes.

When you look at that title, you may be thinking “but Karl, we already know all about the classes! You need not tell us about them!”
If you are thinking that right now, then you are obviously a lying communist, who needs to be stapled to a wall, then beaten to death with a strip of sheet metal.

This Article is on 3 classes only, as I have personal views on these, and feel I need to get them out in the open.
– Lets start with the Guardian, we all know, that the Guardian will be mainly a solo class, that means they have huge strength and abilitys that complement the player.
What you dont know is, this class was created for epileptic twelve year olds, with sweaty, bulbous claws for hands, that flail out uncontrollably at random objects.

Why else would they make a class that requires you to sit there and ‘flail’ out at a number on the keyboard corresponding to the hotkey for your special attacks. (Alternativly, you could go play Counterstrike, as they have a similar system called ‘camping with awps wtf’)
It all boils down to being completly lazy, and Turbine made this class for all the people who cant lift their hand higher than the mouse, so therefore, not much work will be involved.

Some people say that I’m immature when it comes to being professional, but I actually pride myself on that. I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that all people who play this class are fat.
– Next in the beating line is the Captain, we all know that this is a support/solo class, which is similar to the Guardian, which is only avaliable to Man, what you dont know about it is, that when creating a Captain character, the game will ask you a series of questions, such as: “Are you a Homosexual?”, “Have you had any experiance with having no hands/feet?”, “Do you enjoy looking at pictures of TubGirl, and/or Goatse?”.

if you answer ‘no’ to any of these questions, the game instantly uninstalls itself, then uploads viruses to your computer, such viruses include “Viritual Birdflu” and “This is the name of the virus” Virus.
After that, the game disk will explode (even if its not in your CD drive) then you will suddenly die, and all of your family and immediate family will utter a collective gasp, then wonder who the body on the floor belongs to. You think im joking wonderboy? Just go ahead and try it sucker.

However, if you answer yes to all of these questions, you will be treated to a flashing message on screen that subconsciously says “kill you parents” before the game uninstalls itself. Only 2 people in the entire beta managed to actually play as the Captain, the first person was the class creator of Turbine, and the other was Chuck Norris.

– The third class for the electic chair is the Burglar, as you all know, this class is a stealth, hit and run tactics, similar to the Rouge from World Of Warcraft (I have an excellent movie making Rouge, so if you want to make a movie starring my character, drop me a line and we’ll talk about pricing). What you dont know about this class, is that this class is better known in the beta as the “OH MY GOD LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU BLAARGH!” class.

Burglars are for the hardcore PvMP’er. Thats it. There is no PvE content for the Burglar.

Im just kidding, there is PvE content, but the game has been patched to fix bugs in the Burglar system.

  • Grass can no longer unstealth burglars.
  • Burglars can no longer hack into “The Matrix” while stealthed, Neo had problems with being ganked by invisible hobbits.
  • Burglars names Bilbo or Frodo, or any other spinoff of the names, will have their accounts perma banned, and millions of dollars billed to their credit card.
  • Air molecules no longer kill Burglars, however, pointy air molecules still can.
  • Burglars can no longer Burgle peoples house in RL.
  • Gravity has been set to ‘0’ for burglars. How else would they be invisible if they werent smkoing something strong?

In addition to these lore changes, Turbine have also given the Burglars imense strength, ability to use all weapons, and the ability to transform into a dragon, they did this because they realised that the Burglars were the best class in the game and therefore, should be the only class.

Thanks for reading my first article, if you have any problems with my article (spelling errors, discrimination against Guardians etc, send me an email at: karlbisset1@hotmail.com)

Release Date Announced

January 25th, 2007

Just some quick info. The release date is set for April 24th 2007. Thats 3 months away for those of you that are a little slow on math. 🙂

Dev Chat

January 6th, 2007

Stratics is holding another DEV chat on the 8th of January. Get your questions ready because its the perfect time to try to get an answer. It starts at 8PM EST.

LOTRO The 2nd Most Anticpated Game In 2007

January 6th, 2007

Turbine’s LoTR game happens to be the second of 2007’s MMOGs that we’re dying to leap into. We’ve been big fans of Tolkien’s novel – and videogames – for years and, truth to tell, since the dawn of the MMOG we’ve dreamed of adventuring in a Middle-earth-powered persistent world. Turbine’s experience in the massively multiplayer online gaming genre should, all being well, mean the gameplay and game mechanics are rock solid but the real, real pull for us is the fact that we can team up with other folks and roam the hills and dales of the famous fantasy world.

See The Others

The Ford of Bruinen

January 6th, 2007

As travelers head east toward the Misty Mountains, leaving behind the barren Lone-lands and the treacherous hills of the Trollshaws, the roar of the River Bruinen, or “Loadwater,” fills the air. At the Ford of Bruinen, where the Great East Road crosses the mighty river as it approaches the Valley of Rivendell, the swift waters can be easily crossed at these shallows just below the picturesque falls. Many adventurers, however, tell tales of sensing the presence of great and natural power emanating from the river, protecting the hidden valley of the Elves, which lies just beyond the ford.

The approach to Rivendell is at once awe-inspiring, tranquil, serene, and also potentially dangerous for travelers through this land. The Ford of Bruinen is well-known to readers of The Lord of the Rings as the location where Frodo made his last flight to cross the waters of the Bruinen in the hopes of making the safety of Elrond’s home in Rivendell. It is also well-known that the Elves of Middle-earth, and especially those that dwell in the valley of Rivendell, are fiercely protective of their home against the darkness encroaching on the lands. Travelers would do well to declare their friendly intentions as soon as the roar of the Bruinen is heard, for the guards of Rivendell seldom make their presence known and can strike swiftly and silently at any they do not welcome as friends.