I was surprised this last week by the announced timing of the Mordor expansion for Lord of the Rings Online – it is coming soon, possibly as soon as the 31st July. Although I’ve been rather focused on Norrath for a few weeks with the Fallen Gate server and other activities, it seems I shall soon be back in Middle Earth as the main focus on my gaming.
Expansions are always a big draw for me, a very good reason to go back into a game and to concentrate on that game for some time. A big dollop of new content, maybe some new or altered mechanics to learn, oh and the general excitement of the playerbase does all help to revitalise the experience of playing that game.
There’s been some controversy over the expansions pricing, others have covered this already in great detail: Ravalation’s post in particular is well worth a read for its comparisons with other MMORPG expansion pricing (I do so love a good comparative post). The pricing isn’t that much of an issue for me as I invariably only ever buy the base edition of any game or any expansion, since cosmetic fluff isn’t for me, and in this particular case I’m more interested in the new content than the new race or other extras.
Although in recent months I’ve done some leveling of a Runekeeper alt in LOTRO, and worked on crafting on two other characters, I do still feel the draw of playing my original and much beloved Champion. More perhaps than in any other MMO, I identify playing LOTRO with playing my main character as a focus. So having an expansion’s worth of new zones is well worth getting excited about! I moved him into a new and more active guild recently so I feel it’ll be a rather different experience going into this expansion compared to previous ones – my original guild hasn’t been active since Mirkwood or maybe Isenguard times.
One feature of all three versions of the expansion is a new insta-boost for a character as a “level boost to Mordor”. I guess that means bumping a character up to the current level cap (105). That’s a feature I’ll need to put some hard thought into. I have wanted to have a ranged dps or healer character in LOTRO for guild group content, my preferred roles in any MMORPG. But I’ve had issues in several games where level-boosting a character leaves me feeling less connected to him or her in the long-term, perhaps this time it’ll work out for the better?