Turbine continues to kick the living crap out of most other MMORPGs feature-wise with the announcement of the latest free content update, Book 12: The Ashen Wastes. Book 12 introduces a mechanic that so many MMOs need but so very few utilize - the outfit system. Basically it allows you to customize the gear your character wears without affecting your armor stats, meaning that no matter what armor you put on, you can maintain the look you want. You wanna be known as the hobbit in hot pink pants? You can be that hobbit without worrying about your look changing every time you find a better piece of armor.
They're also introducing barbershops where you can deck your character out in one of more than 50 new hairstyles, which is nifty indeed. On the actual game front, they are introducing The Delving of Frór, a 12-player raid dungeon that switches between player character and player monster control based on the faction winning the battle in the Ettenmoors, sort of like the Darkness Falls dungeon in Dark Age of Camelot. Enhanced player housing, over 100 new quests, and the chance to recover the ancient ring Narchuil round out the impressive feature list in Book 12. Hit the jump for more details, while I ponder the reactivation question for the umpteenth time.
TURBINE and Codemasters Online gaming TO uNVEIL BOOK 12: the ashen wastes FOR THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™
2007 MMO of the Year* Introduces New Free Content Update for Subscribers
WESTWOOD, MA - February 13, 2008 - Turbine, Inc. and Codemasters Online announced the details of the fourth free content update for subscribers to The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™. Book 12: The Ashen Wastes continues the epic story of The Lord of the Rings Online, adds substantial new features that provide players ability to truly personalize their heroes and an inventive new region that blends the challenge of a 12-player raid with the action of player-vs-player combat. Book 12: The Ashen Wastes will be available to subscribers of The Lord of the Rings Online on February 13, 2007 in North America and February 14, 2007 in Europe.
"The Lord of the Rings Online has taken the world by storm, winning multiple awards and continuing to expand with compelling content updates such as Book 12," said Jim Crowley, president and CEO of Turbine, Inc. "We're very excited about the response to the new additions to Monster Play and we know that the ability for players to customize and personalize their characters by using our new outfit system or by visiting one of the many barbershops throughout Middle-earth, will add an entirely new level of fun and enjoyment to the game. We are dedicated to our continued delivery of the best persistent online experience available and we look forward to sharing our plans for the future of this franchise in the coming months."
Ø More Customization - Book 12 introduces the Outfit system which features new gear and options to let players truly customize their hero's appearance without impacting the stats of their armor. Players can also visit one of the many new barbershops in Middle-earth where they can choose from one of more than 50 new hairstyles.
Ø The Delving of Frór — Monster Play evolves in Book 12 with an innovative new dungeon that implements 12-player raid mechanics into a dynamic player-vs-player (PvP) environment. The Delving of Frór is controlled by the faction currently winning the battle in the Ettenmoors. Players who gain access to this vast new public dungeon will participate in a challenging raid that pits them against fearsome foes while they face the constant threat of an opposing faction gaining control of the Ettenmoors above and quickly transforming the Delving of Frór into an all-out PvP battle.
Ø Housing Enhancements — The player housing system, which was introduced in Book 11, has been significantly enhanced to provide players with even more control over the items they place in their home. A host of new trophies and other bind-on-acquire items have been added to help players make their home reflect their unique tastes and accomplishments in Middle-earth.
Ø The Epic Continues! — Elrond sends players to rescue Laerdan from Amarthiel deep within Carn Dûm. Through their investigations, players will discover the location of Narchuil, the ancient Ring Amarthiel lost at the Battle of Fornost. Players will battle an Angmarim sorcerer, but only manage to recover half of the ring before returning to Rivendell to inform Gandalf.
Ø Over 100 New Quests — The story continues for players as they aid the Fellowship and encounter new adventures in Middle-earth.
The Lord of the Rings Online delivers an interactive experience brimming with life and filled with the familiar people, places and monsters from the most beloved fantasy adventure of all time. From the quaint surroundings of the Shire to Angmar, the vile kingdom of the Witch-king, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before. The Lord of the Rings Online is available for purchase at major retailers across North America and Europe. For more information, or to download a free trial, visit www.lotro.com or www.lotro-europe.com.