The Lord of the Rings: Online Riders of Rohan to launch September 5, 2012

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Turbine announced today The Lord of the Rings Online™: Riders of Rohan™, the next expansion to the award-winning free-to-play massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG), will launch on September 5, 2012. Players can pre-purchase Riders of Rohan and gain special benefits starting today by visiting http://rohan.lotro.com.

There it is folks, Riders of Rohan set to release this fall. I know for myself and many other LoTRo fans that we have all been waiting to get into Rohan. Talks of mounted combat and a new level cap increase has made many of us excited for the new release. Here I will give you a break down of what you get when you pre-order.

There will be three different pre-order levels to chose from: Base Edition, Heroic Edition, and finally Legendary Edition. Let us start off with the Base Edition.

Base Edition:

  • Includes Riders of Rohan Expansion upon launch. (Plus in game items to use while you wait)
  • The Steed of Eastemnet
  • Title: Friend of the Mark
  • Pre-purchase bonus: Rohan Elite Guard Statted Cloak
  • Rohirrim Soldier on landscape appearance
  • Cost: $39.99 US

Heroic Edition:

  • Includes everything from Base Edition
  • Hauberk of the Eastemnet
  • Evendim, Moria, and Lothlorien Quest packs
  • Pre-purchase bonus: everything from Base Edition
  • The Outrider’s Token (+25% monster kill experience up to level 74)
  • Cost: $49.99 US

Legendary Edition:

  • Includes everything from Heroic and Base Edition
  • Instead of the Hauberk of the Eastemnet you get the Armour of Eastmnet set
  • 6th inventory bag (available to use right away)
  • Crystal of Remembrance (available right away)
  • Exclusive Rohan content
  • Pre-purchase bonuses: Same as Heroic Edition
  • Cost: $69.99 US

There are a few things I would like to touch upon before we go further. I know I would like to see what things look like before I decide to purchase them!

Rohan Elite Statted Cloaks:

As you can see, the cloaks themselves are not bad. The stats on them are comparable to any of the Purple cloak drops off of the 75 6-man instances like Foundry. For someone who does not group all that much and who has not farmed the Dragon raid for the scales, these are a nice added bonus.

Crystal of Remembrance:

The Crystal is also a nice added bonus for those of you out there looking to get a bit of an edge with your legendary weapons. This will add an additional major legacy slot to your weapon. As some people on the forums have noted (mainly pvmpers) this will give those willing to dish out the extra cash a bit of an edge in game play. Is that something that everyone should worry about? Probably not, if you follow what Turbine does with many things added to the game, after launch, these will most likely be available for purchase through the Turbine store.

Steed of the Eastemnet:

The Steed of The Eastemnet is another bonus to those of you wanting and willing to dish out a bit more cash for the expansion. As you can probably      already tell, this is no 68% horse that most everyone in game uses. For most it will be another horse that collects dust in the skill panel, for others they will most likely enjoy the matching steed to their new cosmetic set.

Here you can see the Steed in all of its glory!

Cosmetics of Eastemnet

With the cosmetic sets you will receive the following; the Helm of Eastemnet, the Hauberk of Eastemnet, the Gloves of Eastemnet, the Boots of Eastemnet, and the Shoulders of Eastemnet. Please note that these cosmetics are not dyeable. They come as is. For me, that is a downside as I always enjoying dying my cosmetics I get into fascinating colors!

And there you have it. It is ultimately up to you which package you consider for upgrading. Each has its’ own upsides and downsides and you have to be comfortable dishing out the cash for them. There is one thing I would like to touch on before closing. There has been much talk on the official forms in regards to end-game raiding. Many people assumed that there would be a new instance cluster when Rohan launches. However, this is not the case. As stated by Sapience:

Hey guys I want to start off by apologizing for being a little MIA the past couple of days. Between flying cross country and being in a little 10x 8 room in the middle of the mass of E3 craziness has put a serious damper on my communication time with anyone beyond the press. So let me set that right by giving you some info.

We are working on an instance cluster. Currently it is planned to be part of an update due to release after the Riders of Rohan expansion has shipped.

Rohan itself will be released with a new type of repeatable content.

We’re not really talking about either of these things at the moment. Even the press is just getting a very rough overview, but you will be getting more information about both the cluster and the new repeatable content later this summer.

Obviously, with Beta due to start later this summer, there will be an opportunity for players to get some hands on time with the new content and of course mounted combat (which is being very well received by the press in our demos!). As with Rise of Isengard, a pre-purchase will get you to the front of the line for Beta invites (assuming an account in good standing of course).

Now, off to my tiny, cold white box.

Oh yes, this is fact. We will not be getting any instance cluster with Riders. Many players are up in arms over the fact that they are spending good money for “fluff” and repeatable content. Some are and will be ok with it but others see it as nothing short of a catastrophe. Will this dissuade players from even purchasing the expansion? Probably not, but many will rethink spending $70 on an expansion that offers no end game content. For myself at least, the extra bag space is almost worth it; almost. In the end, I am like most players who are a bit upset over what Turbine is wanting to offer the player base for their money on top of a monthly subscription.

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