The Lord of the Rings Online Update 27 and Producer Interview

Apart from fixing a good number of quest-related issues and rebalancing some things, the latest content update for The Lord of the Rings Online kicks off the annual Midsummer Festival and invites the game’s players to participate in the Great Wedding. It also introduces the so-called Storied Tales that will act as a story-focused alternative to the game’s Epic Battles. Here’s more on that:

Middle-earth is gathering in Minas Tirith to celebrate the wedding of Arwen and Aragorn! Epic Volume V, Book 1: 'A Time of Celebration' begins with King Elessar in the Throne Room of Minas Tirith (Midsummer). Additionally, from now through July 20th, players can take part in celebratory Midsummer quests and instances to celebrate the wedding. An auto-bestow quest is available that provides a map to Minas Tirith (Midsummer) as well. Once there, an introduction quest will get you started on the Midsummer Festival. Additionally, some Stable-masters in Middle-earth will bring characters to Minas Tirith (Midsummer). Finally, Midsummer Wedding-planners are located in Thorin's Hall, Duillond, Bree-town, and the Party Tree to direct players to Midsummer quests in those areas. Earn titles, an emote, a kite, and more by completing Deeds associated with the Midsummer Festival! The Midsummer Festival will be a yearly event.

Storied Tales

A Storied Tale is a solo-able, story-focused alternative to an Epic Battle. Each of the five Helm's Deep Epic Battles now has a Storied Tale, and for each Helm's Deep quest you can choose to complete either the Epic Battle or the Storied Tale. As a result, many quests in Epic Volume III Book 13 have been versioned, and you will need to pick up the quest from its bestower if you had it underway. The Storied Tales are intended to be played on a character that has never completed Helm's Deep. Each successful completion will add the Storied Tale to the West Rohan Reflecting Pool in Dunharrow. Characters that have already completed Helm's Deep and want to experience the Storied Tales can speak to Cenric on the field of victory outside of Helm's Deep (Sunrise). He will offer you a quest to play the Storied Tales, and completing them here will also add them to the West Rohan Reflecting Pool in Dunharrow. However, be advised that you will need to use the time-changing objects in Helm's Deep after every Storied Tale in order to return to Cenric, so the experience will not have as satisfying a flow as it would if you were playing on a fresh character.

Then, you might also be interested in this recent interview with Standing Stone Games’ executive producer Rob Ciccolini that revolves around the Great Wedding, the game’s upcoming dwarf-themed updates and the new mission system they're going to introduce. An excerpt:

“And it’s particularly challenging in LotRO. For instance, in [Dungeons & Dragons Online] the way we do that is provide content both at high level and a variant at the heroic levels. But for LotRO, there is such a strong sense of progressive story, that you want to make sure that the players don’t just start doing things out of order and lose the sense of progression.”

To that end, The Lord of the Rings Online team are adding what they are calling “missions” in the next update – a way for players of all levels to participate in the story and new update without necessarily jumping around and losing that sense of progression – or even be caught up with the current Epic storyline.

“So for instance, for [the current update] the people can go and participate and it will be festivals. And even if you as a player decided to wait on the wedding to see it in the story order, there are a lot of festival activities you can participate in.

“For the next update, in the ongoing war of the Dwarves versus the Orcs, there will be a new kind of content that we refer to as Missions. And players of any level can go and participate in the new mission system to help out the war and ear rewards and such., so that it’s not just the end game players that have things to do when a new update comes out.”