On Feb. 12 Turbine officially lifted their non-disclosure on Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar. Early word is that the game is actually a potential contender against the juggernaut known as the World of Warcraft. Turbine has incorporated the best elements from their semi-love-or-totally-hate Dungeons and Dragons Online game, while making LOTRO more accessible.
Turbine will begin stress testing the game on Feb. 23, which is the best opportunity to try out the game for those remotely curious. A few of the people we spoke with said that the reason the game works is because the Tolkien lore is solid and robust and it is WoW-esque enough to be accessible to the masses, but different enough to be an alternative. The game has an achievement system like Xbox Live, towns apparently change after major events and the instances have a more cinematic feel (a.k.a plot line). We've contacted Turbine to learn more about LOTRO. It would be nice to see some solid competition in the MMO marketplace.