Happiness is having crazy hobbit cousins
Edit: A few more screenshots have been added at the bottom of the article, explaining a bit more about Lyndelby and what kind of village it is.
A preview of LOTRO’s Update 26 was released on the beta test server Bullroarer yesterday. This adds a new region north of the Vales of Anduin, “Wells of Langflood”. This takes us closer to the sources of the Anduin river and mount Gundabad, which is the planned area for the next LOTRO expansion pack next year.
You can read the full beta patch notes on the Bullroarer forums. These notes are subject to change before the update is released, as usual.
I’ll try have a closer look at the whole new area later. At a quick glance it felt like “Vales of Anduin continued”, which means the area isn’t strikingly different from the neighbouring zones. However, I soon found one tentatively exciting new place for hobbit players. Lots of screenshots below.
As usual, the screenshots might be seen as spoilers for those who like to explore new lands, so you have been warned: Don’t read on if you like to be surprised in-game.
Are you looking forward to the update? Do you enjoy previews like this? Please add yer thoughts in the comments below!
New area map
This is the main map of the new area. It doesn’t take too long to ride through.
Here is where the new area is placed on the main Rhovanion map. North of the Vales of Anduin, west of Ered Mithrin.
The village of Lyndelby
There are four stable masters in the map, all near a small village. However, one of the villages were
not possible to hard to reach through regular exploration ( at least I did not find a path there I eventually found a path there, see below). It is secluded in a high river valley in the northwestern part of the map. Happily, it is possible to reach the village by using Mithril Coin fast-travel from the stable masters.
I am glad I paid the place a visit.
Overview of the new village. It is called Lyndelby.
Closer view of the village. Those hill-nested burrows look awful familiar for hobbits.
An even closer view of the hobbit-holes.
It all looks very neat and hobbity. Round doors, round windows, lots of flowers too.
There are fine farmlands as well.
Farmlands with shrews, of course. Although these look a bit stronger than those that Shire hobbits have to deal with.
On a hill overlooking the village is what looks suspiciously like the Smials of a powerful hobbit family, like the Tooks or the Brandybucks.
Different view of the “Smials”.
View of Lyndelby from the top of the Smials.
A fishing lake near the village.
A wolfy character on the other side of Lyndelby, near a locked path that looks like it heads into the mountains.
So far, the village looks unfinished. There are no services or NPCs there. (Edit: Although, see below for information on a quest that unlocks more NPCs)
Well, except one.
Meet Valaric Tucca, the sole NPC I found in Lyndelby. He’s just about the perfect height, if yer ask me.
Closer look at Valaric.
So what is Lyndelby?
Naturally, this area is exciting for hobbit players in LOTRO. Is this a new area with long-lost hobbit ancestors? Are they remnants of the hobbits who lived east of the Misty Mountains in the past, before most crossed the mountains and settled near Bree and in the Shire?
Also, is this even part of Update 26, or will it be the “starting zone” for the river-hobbits rumored to come with the Gundabad expansion next year?
I look forward to finding out!
After a bit more exploring later today, I found out a bit more about the village.
There IS a way into the village without using the stable master. There is a very narrow, winding path along the north side of the river flowing through Lyndelby. Quite a climb!
Once you reach the village, there is a huge eagle waiting for you with a quest. Seems like Lyndelby is the last village of the holbytlan, the hobbits who originally lived near the Vales of Anduin. And it will be a regular questing area with high-level quests.
The questing lets you meet more hobbits/holbytla in the village, explaining why the place is so quiet when you arrive.
They grow their own pipeweed too!
If time permits, I’ll do an update with more pictures from other areas of the new zone in future U26 previews. There is currently no announced release date for the update. Traditionally, LOTRO ran anywhere between 4-6 previews on Bullroarer before an update went live (so 4-6 weeks), but recent preview rounds have been shorter than this. Sometime this spring or early summer then. (Edit: It seems U26 is planned for release much earlier than this. According to the LOTROstream on Friday, we might even see it this week.)
Are you excited by the new area? Do you look forward to learning more about the village of Lyndelby? Just leave yer thoughts in the comments below!