LotRO paddles down The Great River in a canoe fashioned from patch notes and dev diaries

"The Great River not only offers something fresh-feeling and new, but also some fairly epic eye candy," the latest Lord of the Rings Online developer diary begins. The diary is referring to the latest zone being created for the game, which is slated to come with Update 6. We've already gotten a glimpse of the region, but now it's time for the team to go in-depth with its concept and creation.

One of the highlights of the new region is that The Great River will be home to the very first Rohirrim settlement: Stangard. Because of this, Standgard will feature unique visuals and architecture not found elsewhere in the game. In addition to providing new vistas to explore, The Great River will help players gear up further through quest rewards, a new reputation faction, and an elite area. For those interested in getting an idea of how Turbine puts together a zone like this, there's a terrific addendum that walks through the process.

Preliminary patch notes are also up for Update 6, which is now on the test server. There's a lot to digest here, although it's interesting to note that Virtues will be increased to 14 (from 12) due to player demand.

It's good to know that plenty of bugs will be fixed come this patch, including this one: "The sky objects will no longer vanish when you travel to certain instances and then return. Told ya; The sky is not falling. It was just...missing."

This article was originally published on Massively.