Kayla "Reiyami" Smith gets a hands-on look at the new Lord of the Rings Online Update: Echoes of the Dead.
Today marks the launch of Update 2: Echoes of the Dead for Lord of the Rings Online, and we were fortunate enough to meet with members of the Turbine team at PAX East and follow it up with an exclusive in-game tour to check out all the new features. This update brings a lot of new content to the game, including:
- Removal of the radiance system
- Two three-person instances (Northcotton Farm and the Town of Stoneheight)
- Two six-person instances (The Lost Temple and Glacier Fortress)
- One 12-person raid (Ost Dunhoth)
- Changes to Monster Play
- Minstrel, Burglar and Hunter updates
- Character panel and cosmetic system enhancements
- Legendary item update
- New Volume III, Book 3 Epic storyline, as well as revamps to Volume II
- Evendim revamp
Read on for an in-depth look at what we saw at PAX East and during our tour, as well as what to expect with this new update.
The Lord of the Rings Online booth at PAX East had one focus: Update 2. Today marks the release of that update and with it comes a ton of new content, as well as many fixes. The Radiance System has been completely removed; Volume II, Evendim and the Character Panel have seen complete revamps; and changes have been made to several classes. So what other cool stuff can you expect to see today? We've got you covered!
Lord of the Rings Online has a myriad of of new instances. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Producer Aaron Campbell to explore some of these new areas. Immediately what stood out in these instances is how the gameplay becomes a mix of skill and problem solving. You're not looking at running through and just slaughtering a bunch of mobs. Each instance is designed to elicit communication and teamwork. There's little devices throughout each area that quickly present a challenge for the team to overcome, such as weight-sensitive platforms and special levers.
For example, while battling through the Ost Dunhoth raid your party will be instantly split into three groups. All three groups will face their own undead mammoth down a corridor. Once you've gotten down the corridor, all three mobs will converge in a giant room as your party regroups. There's several ways to take down all three mammoths, but your party must choose to fight them all at once, one at a time as a large group, or as smaller groups. It provides the player with a unique experience and high re-playability.
In a separate encounter, giants will present a new set of challenges with a series of buffs. Players must decide how to remove the buffs to change how the giant is attacking the party, or to simply go right for the giant. Other enemies will steal abilities from your party members, creating a unique monster each time you play depending on who is in your group and which abilities they hold.
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