For those that listen to the Aggrocast, it is no secret that I am a big fan and lifetime subscriber to Lord of the Rings Online. This announcement pleases me in that Turbine continues a strong commitment and involvement in this game and the community. More high-end content is always welcome by a person who has all the time in the world to work through it. Announcements like three and six person specialized instances, more customization on legendary weapons and the increased level cap are exciting. Even revealing skirmish battles and worldwide coordinated fellowships are intriguing, even if I'm not interested. Obviously a press release is meant to get people excited.
What concerns me is this feels like it could be one of two things: a cheap cash-in or them finally finishing their product. I'm not particularly thrilled by either of these choices . Hoping to capitalize and cash-in on the Cataclysm announcement would mean Turbine is desperate to stay afloat in this tough economy and needs the friendly rivalry with Blizzard's title to drive their subscribers to ante up. The lesser of two evils is that Turbine had not finished the entire Mines of Moria expansion, so they shored up any loose ends with what they had and then sold it at the $29.99 price point. That would mean that Siege of Mirkwood will most likely be $19.99 in order to make the entire expansion meet the typical $50 price point. Turbine has not announced the pricing, this is purely speculation on my part.
Either way it seems I will have a purchase to make in order to fully enjoy my lifetime subscription. I just hope Turbine doesn't pull an Activision move on us and have annual expansions we have to pay to play. I paid my lump sum and now I just want to play.
TURBINE UNVEILS THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™: SIEGE OF MIRKWOOD™
New Digital Expansion to the 2008 MMO of the Year Launching this Fall
WESTWOOD, MA – September 4, 2009 - Turbine, Inc. today unveiled The Lord of the Rings Online™: Siege of Mirkwood™, the digital expansion to the award-winning massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG). Siege of Mirkwood will expand the online world of Middle-earth where players will join forces to press further eastward into the dark, foreboding and treacherous forest of Mirkwood and take part in the epic conclusion to Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online. Siege of Mirkwood will be available as a digital download this Fall with an increased level cap, a new region including the legendary evil fortress of Dol Goldur, major enhancements to combat and Legendary Items and the introduction of Skirmishes, a new system where players will train customizable soldiers and take them into battle as part of the War of the Ring.
“2009 has been a year of unprecedented growth for The Lord of the Rings Online and the launch of Siege of Mirkwood will end the year with a bang,” said Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. “As the game expands east of the Misty Mountains, players will face the raging war and shadow that has spread across Middle-earth and the new Skirmish system will thrust players and their soldiers into the War of the Ring.”
The Lord of the Rings Online is an award-winning MMORPG that 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 picturesque surroundings of the Shire to Moria, the great underground realm to the menace of Mirkwood, players will experience the world of Middle-earth as never before. The Lord of the Rings Online: Siege of Mirkwood will be available as a digital download this Fall. Details regarding Siege of Mirkwood’s pricing and availability will be unveiled soon. For more information or to download a free trial, visit www.lotro.com/mirkwood.