Lots of screenshots from the new areas!
Update 21/8: Added new maps for Eriador + The Iron Hills, plus new hobbit avatar update pictures (now with new hair models).
The beta of update 23 of Lord of the Rings Online was released on the Bullroarer test server yesterday. This is a pretty dwarf-centric update, where we’ll explore more of their northern lands: an extended version of Erebor, the Iron Hills and the Grey Mountains.
Below are tons of screenshots from the new areas. This is pretty much a sightseeing post looking at the new landscapes, without much discussion about quests, leveling, armour, crafting or any other game mechanics. I’ll mention some of the new stuff, though.
The usual disclaimer: If you want a pristine game experience and want to go into the new regions without knowing much about them, you should probably stop reading now, if not before! I have zipped across a lot of the new areas here. You have been warned!
You can see larger versions of pictures by clicking on them. If you want more details, you can find the latest patch notes on Standing Stone’s Bullroarer forums.
What new areas do we get?
From the patch notes:
Update 23 features a journey into the homelands and histories of the dwarves, including the Longbeard descendants of Durin the Deathless. Beginning with an expanded Erebor, you will adventure into the fabled Iron Hills, and finally arrive in the lost dwarf kingdoms of the Grey Mountains.
What new things do we get?
A quick version (excluding lots of minor things and some quality of life improvements):
- 100-ish new quests plus more epic book chapters.
- In the beta, we’ll get a preview of some of the avatar changes for hobbits.
- The level cap is increased to 120. The level cap for legendary items has also been raised.
- Three new resource instances have been added, for groups of three with daily and weekly rewards.
- Two new 3-player and one new 6-player instances have been added, with solo versions available. A new raid will come in the future. “These new Instances will soon playable up to Tier 3, and are available this Bullroarer preview at Tier 1. Tier 3 is a new challenge level that replaces the former T2C difficulty, and offers a new challenge in addition to other awards. Tier 3 difficulty is expected to unlock several weeks after the release of Update 23.”
- There are changes to the way ratings are calculated, apparently to “provide a more even gameplay experience throughout levelling, and to make gearing at end game more compelling”.
- There is a new tier 12 crafting tier, with new gear, class items and new musical instruments for minstrels.
- For player musicians, there are also three new bassoons available. Basic, Lonely Mountain and Brusque.
- Two new trait points have been added.
Hobbit avatar updates
The hobbit avatar update is a work in progress. So far, they have mostly changed the faces, although some hair models have also been updated.
Here’s how I look, originally and with the new avatar update (both face + hair).
Here is another updated hair model. It is more detailed and smoother, but loses a bit of highlighting and colour variation.
This video should give you an indication of how the bassoons sound currently. There are three in the game: Basic, Lonely Mountain and Brusque (and not “Rustic”, which I wrote in the video very very late at night when making it…)Bassoons preview
So, here we go. Screenshots from the new areas.
One thing to note is that SSG has updated the map of Eriador, to the same style as used for Mordor and Rhovanion. In beta round 1, there was a typo in the map that made a lot of hobbits sad (Michael Delving). This has been fixed in round two.
Erebor has been extended, with a whole new area between the Mordor alliance hall and the Dale-lands entrance. The map and pictures below shows some of the new area. It got a new theatre too, which I suspect might be popular with dwarven musicians.
“Mother Amma”, huh? More female dwarves?
Slope towards the Dale-lands exit.
Goats aplenty! This one with apples on its back.
Home of the Longbeards and rich in iron, the Iron Hills look rather grand, with sloped fields and large dwarven footholds. And there’s this huge monument which you can see from almost every spot in the area.
The Iron Hills map was updated in Beta round 2. Looks nice now!
Jarnfast, one of the dwarven settlements in the area, in the north-east.
The central plain, with a Jangovar village in the middle.
Riding toward Hammerstead, another dwarven settlement in the north.
Skald’s Drop, a small dwarven camp in the south-west.
Ered Mithrin in Sindarin for The Grey Mountains, a large mountain range towards the Misty Mountains. Mount Gundabad, the dwarven holy site where Durin 1 first woke up, is at the crossing between the Grey Mountains and the Misty Mountains. Gundabad was later the capital for orcs in the north.
The area contains ruined fortresses and lots of dragon bones. The Withered Heat is an ancient breeding ground for dragons.
Map of Thilil-Gundu, the Steel Keep, home to many nasty critters.
Map of Glimmerdeep, another place infested with evil.
The Southgate, entrance to the area from the south-west towards Erebor.
The Withered heat and the glacier The Anvil, in the north-east.
View east from the Withered Heath.
Skarhald, a massive dwarven ruin.
View south-vest from Skarhald.
Stormwall, home to lots of drakes.
Looking up at Stormwall from the bottom.
The Thornhole, a forested area south of Skarhald.
A huge lake, on the way to Glimmerdeep.
A hunter camp to the south of the lake.
View north from Oinsbridge, south of the lake.
And a similar view towards the south.
The Rushgate, western boundary of the area.
Sadly, no chance to cross west here.
Riding fast towards Steel Keep/Thikil-Gundu, trying to dodge lots of monsters.
Made it to the entrance, although you have to be high-level to enter.
I hope yer enjoyed this preview of the update! No release date has been set yet, but it typically takes 3-6 weeks of beta testing before new updates are released. Sometimes late summer or early autumn, then!
Comments or questions about the new update? Just add them below!
Hallo!Wie schaut es eigentlich mit Licht aus?Auf die neue Rüstung/Schmuck ist kein Licht vorhanden.Kann ich mit der Rüstung/Schmuck dann später bei Avm noch mitlaufen,oder muss ich die alte Rüstung(Bards Wille z.b.)behalten?
Und wie sieht es z.b.mit der neuen Theaterbühne aus?Die meisten Musikanten die bisher in Bree auftraten sind so um lvl.+-40 bei.Kommt man da unter Level 100 überhaupt auf der neuen Tribüne hin?
Warum gibt es keine Handgefertigten Relikte Rezepte für Legendäre Gegenstände?Oder gibt es solche schon mit Update 23?
Mit freundlichen Grüssen
I must admit that my German is fairly rusty! So, hopefully I’m not too far off the mark.
Related to Light of Eärendil, I think they are giving players above level 115 a passive skill granting them a base Light value, so you can start using new armor/jewelry. The base value has not been decided yet, though.
As for the theatre, I haven’t tried bringing lower-level characters there. It might be possible through using Mithril Coins.
I didn’t check the crafting recipes much yet. I might when they bring up Bullroarer for more testing.
I can’t wait for U23. I played briefly on bullroarer and I must say it’s fantastic. I’m really looking forward to it.
The lands look grand as usual! I am somewhat worried about some changes they have done to the Shire (lots of added flowers and flags), but we’ll see how it pans out.
Anything about the Moors?
I don’t spend much time in the moors, but I can’t recall seeing any news about it with U23
Hey! Awesome post, thank you very much for posting :)
Any news on the release date? I can’t seem to find any info on when it will be released, but you mentioned in the post maybe autumn :D Excited to see a 64 bit client.
No set date for U23 release yet. They are still testing over on Bullroarer, and they plan a new build this week. So, I’d guess the earliest it will be out is late this week or sometime next week, but it might be later too.
64 bit client would be grand, but sadly there won’t be one with U23. Fingers crossed it will happen eventually!