The Lord of the Rings Online: Before the Shadow Expansion Released

Featuring a new Delving system, two new areas to explore, an overhauled starting experience, some fresh group content, and more, The Lord of the Rings Online's Before the Shadow expansion is now live. Here's the official launch trailer:

And an overview of the major additions:

Of Special Note:

Before the Shadow has arrived!

Before the shadows lengthened in Angmar, forces of evil threaten the safety of the Free Peoples of Middle-earth! Delve into the mysteries of the One Ring as you embark on a perilous journey through Swanfleet and the remnants of the kingdom of Cardolan, encountering new friends and old foes. Adventure with Boromir of Gondor and combat the rise of the villainous Grey Fear before bringing word of the growing threat to Elrond of Rivendell, where a Fellowship of heroes will be formed...

Adventure through a new early leveling experience, take on old foes, and reunite with old friends. Fight for victory against those who wish to restore the kingdom of Angmar in the latest Lord of the Rings Online expansion, Before the Shadow! Read more and purchase the expansion in the LOTRO Market!

Delvings debut!

Delvings are a new mechanic debuting with Before the Shadow's Missions! You can read an overview of the Delving system on To get started, log into the game on any character that has reached the level cap after purchasing Before the Shadow and you’ll receive an item through the in-game mail that begins a quest to start Delving! Speak to any of the new Missions NPCs in Before the Shadow to access Delvings. You can find Before the Shadow Mission NPCs at the Camp in Andrath, Clegur, Herne, Lhan Garan, Tharbad, and South Downs. NOTE: Characters must be at the world’s level cap in order to access the Delving system.

New Starter Instance!

A new starter instance is available to newly-created characters for players who have purchased Before the Shadow! Create a character, Select starting tutorial ‘Before the Shadow', and run the new Instance: Mossward, the Border Village.

New Skirmish!

A new skirmish is now available to players who have purchased Before the Shadow called "Doom of Caras Gelebren"! Experience the Second Age and the fall of Eregion and aid Celebrimbor in repelling the forces of the Enemy! This Skirmish is available to players level 20-140, and can be played Solo, Duo, Small Fellowship, Fellowship, or Raid. The new Skirmish is accessible via the Instance Join panel once you have completed the general Skirmish Tutorial. To run the Skirmish Tutorial visit any of the Skirmish Captains in Skirmish Camps located throughout Middle-earth.

Coming Soon - New Scaling Instance!

A new Fellowship scaling instance will soon be available to players who have purchased Before the Shadow called "Sarch Vorn, the Black Grave"! Explore one of the oldest barrows of Tyrn Gorthad and face off against a powerful foe roused by the passage of the Witch-king of Angmar! This scaling instance is available to players level 20-140, and can be played Solo, Duo, or in a Fellowship. Once you have discovered its entrance in the hills of Cardolan, Sarch Vorn will be accessible via the Instance Join panel. "Sarch Vorn, the Black Grave" opens through Tier 3 difficulty at noon server time on Thursday December 1st. The deed, "Sarch Vorn, the Black Grave -- Tier 3 -- Leading the Charge" will be available to complete through 3am server time on Thursday February 16th, 2023.

NOTE: All class trait trees have been reset for Update 34. Please re-spend your class trait points and save your preferred specs.