The new year brought Book 12: The Ashen Wastes on February 13, 2008. This was the first major update that didn't include the introduction of a new region. What it did bring to the table is a mix of revamps and new features.
The high level adventuring area Angmar received a major overhaul, making it significantly more solo friendly. many elite mobs were taken out of the solo area population. And the boars, oh the boars, were mostly removed in favor of more menacing mobs. Finally, the questlines were smoothed out to move players along to area more appropriate to their leve.
PvMP players received a new PvE dungeon, the Delving of Frór. The Creeps and Freeps battle for control of the dungeon and should one gain access while the other was battling a raid target within, well, that's when the real fun begins. New armor and items were also made available to the player side.
Cosmetic enhancements were introduced to the game in Book 12 as well. The outfit system allowed players to choose one set of armor for stats and another for display. The barber system allowed players to change their hairstyle and facial choices, even adding a few new hairstyles to the game.
Finally, three classes got a revamp this time. Guardians received a mix bag as their defenses were both nerfed and buffed, they received a dps stance and gained some utility. Burglars got a buff to nearly all their functions including damage, debuffing, trickery and crowd control. Champions also got an extra pass that gave them a stance that was part offensive and part defensive. This round concluded the class revamps planned by Turbine.
Book 13: Doom of the Last King
Today, April 24, 2008, the one year anniversary of the game also saw the release of its fifth free content release, Book 13: Doom of the Last-king. Turbine returned to introducing large new regions, this time one that borders the ocean for the first time. Forochel is an icy wasteland far north of the Shire that is inhabited by the Lossoth, a race of Man that has adapted to the frigid environment.
An ancient king with a ring of power traveled here against advice and died on its shores. The area has attracted the attention of Angmar which has sent its forces to retrieve what relics of power are hidden in its snowy depths. This area was briefly mentioned in Tolkien's works, allowing the developers freedom to create new and interesting encounters.
New features include the first Hobby in the game, Fishing and a new playable monster class, the first healer for monsters in PvMP, the Orc Defiler. The Lossoth come with their own faction which has more rewards than any other faction before it.
For more information, please visit our Book 13 section to read more about this update, or log onto the game and play!