LotRO expansion announced: "Mines of Moria"


Speaking at Connect08 today, Lord of the Rings Online executive producer Jeffrey Steefel announced the long-awaited news of the game's first expansion. Titled Mines of Moria, it should hit your PC before the end of the year, and is the first of a planned series of annual expansions.

The level cap will also be raised from 50 to 60, two new classes (the Warden and Runekeeper) will be introduced, and a new 'legendary' loot system will allow items to develop alongside the character that wields them. There's even a spiffy new site to accompany the expansion. Check below the cut for details on the site, and what it might offer Middle-earth players in the coming weeks!

We've already got a whole lot more in the way of details on the site. Click on over to get hints about the expansion, Books 13 and 14, and the bright future of Tolkien's world.

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The 'Unlock the Mines of Moria' site is a teaser for the expansion, and features several ways to interact. There's an option to 'register', which will allow you to learn more about the expansion and will 'unlock' the Mines of Moria Mini-games.

These games are on a timer, it appears, and won't be available for another 17 days or so. They have very evocative names, bringing to mind a grand dwarven party. In just a little over two weeks you'll be able to play "King Under the Mountain", "Swig and Toss", and the enigmatic-sounding "Eleventy-seven morsels". Playing these games will apparently reveal "never before seen previews of Moria". Each completed game will earn you Deeds, and light up stars on the Moria door. Each lit start will give you access to 'exclusive assets and information' about the upcoming expansion.

There's some 'back of the box' text on the site as well:

"Moria. Once it was glorious, the greatest of the Dwarf-cities, but now its fabled halls are filled with shadow and death. Men and Dwarves whisper its name with awe, and even Hobbits know enough to fear.

Known by the Dwarves as Khazad-dum, Moria is a realm far greater than any have imagined. Filled with incredible treasure and unspeakable dangers, the Black Pit has been the bane of many, but has never been fully explored until now.

Venture through the shattered ruins where the echoes of legendary battles still linger. Battle fiends of the dark, even more fearsome than the Orcs and Trolls of the world above. Drive back Sauron's evil hordes as you seek to undearth the mysteries of Khazad-dum!

Discover your destiny and achieve greatness as you delve deeper into the greatest fantasy of all time. Conquer the world beneath Middle-Earth as the epic continues with Mines of Moria, Volume II of the Lord of the Rings Online."

And finally, there are some bullet pointed features:
  • Live the legend! Enter a world beneath Middle-earth that no traveler has ever fully explored. Experience the dread and wonder of Moria as you adventure through an immense network of tunnels, chambers, and mines, battle terrors from the Nameless Deep, and quest for incredible treasures and unspeakable dangers.
  • Achieve Greatness! Advance your hero to level 60 as one of the 7 existing classes or play as the all new Rune-Keeper and Warden classes.
  • Wield Power! Forge legendary weapons and equipment to serve you in your quest to build a legacy of ever increasing power and greatness.
  • Conquer the World Beneath! Delve deeper into Middle-earth, join in epic raids, and do battle against the ancient evils of Moria. Face the Watcher, war against Sauron's minions, and confront the vile hordes of the Nameless Deep.
The first mini-game unlocks on the 31st, so make sure to register (earning your first Deed) and check back for more details!
This article was originally published on Massively.