The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood

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The Lord of the Rings Online:
Siege of Mirkwood
Siege of Mirkwood logo.png
Developer(s) Turbine, Inc.
Publisher(s) Turbine, Inc.
Engine Turbine G3[1]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Release date(s) December 1, 2009
(North America)
December 3, 2009
(Europe)
Genre(s) MMORPG
Mode(s) Multiplayer

The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood is the second retail expansion pack for the MMORPG The Lord of the Rings Online and was released on December 1, 2009 in North America and December 3, 2009 in Europe. Unlike the first expansion this edition was only available via a web based download.

The expansion added the southern region of Mirkwood. The game's level cap has been increased to level 65, and the expansion included the conclusion to Volume II of the epic storyline. It also introduced a new "skirmish" system that allows for repeatable, randomised and scalable combat based instances that can be accessed from anywhere in the game world for 1, 3, 6 and 12 players and new 3, 6 and 12 player private instances that take place in Dol Guldur proper.

Skirmish[edit]

Skirmishes are repeatable, randomized and scalable combat based instances that can be accessed from anywhere in the game world for 1, 3, 6 and 12 players. Alongside the player fights a customizable soldier, a pet NPC which can be customized to resemble many in-game player classes. Several Skirmish Camps have been added worldwide that allow a player to buy weapons, equipment and upgrades for their soldier earned through points awarded during Skirmishes.

Storyline[edit]

Upon release Siege of Mirkwood concluded the Mines of Moria story, the second of the Epic books overall. The third Epic story line, Allies of the King, launched shortly afterwards and focused on the Grey Company, being completely unrelated to Mirkwood. The story continues in the Rise of Isengard expansion.

Volume III: Allies of the King[edit]

Book 1 - Oath of the Rangers

Elrond received a mysterious message from Galadriel, telling him to gather the Rangers of the North and send them to Rohan to help Aragorn. The player is summoned to the Last Homely House and given a list of Rangers to recruit: Radanir of the Trollshaws, Candaith of Weathertop, Saeradan of Bree-Land, Halros of the Shire, Halbarad from Esteldin, Calenglad from Evendim, Lothrandir from Forochel and finally Corunir and Golodir from Angmar. With the exception of Radanir, all Rangers are the ones player have interacted with during Epic Volume I. Joined by others of their kin, they form the Grey Company and meet Elrohir, Elladan and Lady Arwen, who passes Halbarad the banner she has made for Aragorn.

Book 2 - Ride of the Grey Company

Setting forth from Rivendell, the Grey Company begins the journey south. While passing the Ring-Forges of Eregion, Halbarad asks a Dwarf-Jeweler to craft fake copies of the Ring of Barahir, in order to confuse their enemies and to buy Aragorn time, should a member Grey Company be captured. Arriving in the lands of Enedwaith, the Rangers are trying to make peace with the local tribes and find an ally in Wadu, who is soon found dead. They eventually discover an old and confused Dwarf Nár, father of Ollfardh and old companion of Thrór. To everyone's amazement, he knows about the secret road the Company is planning to take.

Book 3 - Echoes of the Dead

Nona, Wadu's sister, offers to join Grey Company to wage war against Saruman, which Halbarad absolutely refuses. While investigating who can be trusted and who can't, the Rangers receive word that of a band of Oathbreakers from Erech in Enedwaith. An attempt to remind them of their Oath to Isildur fails horribly when Candaith is killed. An angry Halbarad is finished with this land and leads the company on to Dunland. But as the player leaves Nár, the Dwarf finally reveals that Saruman the White had a hand in these events all along.

Free Updates[edit]

Like Shadows of Angmar and Mines of Moria, Siege of Mirkwood continues to regularly release updates. It was announced that future updates will not always be associated with a new book to the epic story.

Book 1: Oath of the Rangers[edit]

Book 1 was released on March 1, 2010.[2]

Updates include (complete release notes):

  • The beginning of Volume III in the epic story line.
  • The ability to solo the Volume I epic story line.
  • A duo mode for most skirmishes.
  • Crafting updates.

Book 2: Ride of the Grey Company[edit]

Book 2 was released on September 10, 2010 in North America. (September 8, 2010 for subscribers). It was delayed in Europe, due to contractual reasons. It was released in Europe on 2 November.

Updates include (complete release notes):

  • New region: Enedwaith
  • Lord of the Rings Online Free to Play subscription
  • Book 2 in the Volume III epic storyline
  • Scalable instances
  • Improvements to the vault, and a new wardrobe system for cosmetic items
  • Updates to the captain class
  • The LOTRO store, where players may purchase convenience items. Points either earned through gameplay, through the VIP program or by being purchased.
  • The introduction of Lua Scripting
  • DirectX 11 support

Update 1: Journey to Winter-Home[edit]

The first post Free-to-play update was released in the United States on the 29th of November 2010. It was released in Europe on the 7th of December 2010. Due to changes to how updates are scheduled this will not contain an update to the epic book.

Updates include (complete release notes):

  • A Barter Wallet for skirmish marks and anniversary tokens
  • Opening of Moria, Lothlórien, Mirkwood and Enedwaith to free-to-play players, Volume II and Volume III will also be available, as well the legendary item system, and the lvl 65 level cap all to free-to-play players.
  • Vault improvements
  • Tasks: a new quest type for all levels
  • Improved reputation mounts
  • Updates to the Lore-Master and Rune-Keeper classes
  • Ered Luin starting area revamp
  • The Yule festival, including a mini zone, Winter-Home

Update 2: Echoes of the Dead[edit]

Echoes of the Dead was released on March 21 in the United States and on March 24 in Europe.

Updates include (complete release notes):

  • Two three man's, two six man's instances, and a 12 person raid, were added for level 65 players
  • A special item required to craft a first age Weapon which drops from the above raid.
  • Radiance was removed.
  • Legendary Items got the first part of a two part update.
  • Character panel and cosmetic system revamp
  • Minstrel, hunter and Burglar updates
  • Volume III Book 3 was added.
  • Volume II was revamped and made soloable, including three instances which have now been converted to skirmishes.
  • Improvements to the PvP starter tutorial.
  • Evendim was revamped, with Annuminas being scaled down to level 40

Update 3: Lost Legends of Eriador[edit]

Update 3 was released on May 23.

Updates include (complete release notes):

  • Two new three-man scalable instances starting mid-game
  • Two new skirmishes

New Areas[edit]

The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood expanded the world of Middle-earth by adding southern Mirkwood and Book 2 added the region of Enedwaith.

Southern Mirkwood[edit]

  • Ost Galadh: The base of operations for the Elves of Lórien.
  • Dol Guldur: The ancient stronghold of Sauron.

Enedwaith[edit]

  • Fordirith: The northern watch.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lord of the Rings Online: Unofficial FAQ". LOTRO Source. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  2. ^ "Volume III: Allies of the King has arrived!". Turbine, Inc. Retrieved 2010-05-27.