The Lord of the Rings Online launched just over a year ago and since its launch the game has received several free content updates and now it has received its first official expansion pack entitled The Mines of Moria.

 

Since I only began playing Lord of the Rings Online (LoTRO) in early November in preparation for this review, I can

If there is a better looking MMO that runs as smoothly on medium level hardware, then I haven

One area that a lot of MMO’s lose focus on is the sound and music. With LoTRO, Turbine has utilized an original sound track that will play throughout your adventures. The music sounds very similar, although not an exact copy, of the soundtrack from the movie.  As a result, the music can play in the background throughout an extended play session and not become repetitive

 

Throughout the game most of the characters do not utilize voice actors, as most of the story is presented through text. However, LoTRO does set itself apart from other MMOs with its use of several cut scenes and voiced narratives. All of the voice acting is professional in level. For the original release and its free updates the dialogue and story is mostly advanced by Gandalf. For the Mines of Moria the narrator switches over to Lady Galadriel. This move makes sense since Gandalf is presumed to be dead during the time that the events in the Mines of Moria take place.

 

 

The controls are exactly what you would expect from a MMO. Attacks can be assigned to a hot bar and you can activate them by either clicking on them in the hot bar or hitting the corresponding key on your key board. Overall there is not much to report here since LoTRO essentially copies the button and control layout of most other major MMOs. The only negative here is that there really isn’t any innovation in the control department so veteran MMO players shouldn’t expect anything new in this area.

For those who have never played LoTRO you need to know that it plays very similar to other MMOs like Everquest or World of Warcraft. LOTR differentiates itself by providing a story-centric playing experience, with quests that actually make sense. Players will understand why they have to travel to point A, collect a certain object, and then us it at point B. This is a major improvement over the old “kill X number of this monster simply because I said so” model.

 

There is a strong storyline present through the original game that continues in the expansion. LoTRO handles the story by laying out the play areas within a book with each quest chain unfolding to become a chapter. The events of the storyline generally take place either prior to the Fellowship arriving in a destination or just after they have gone through a destination. Sometimes you are even presented with both scenarios. This is thanks to the game

The Mines of Moria contains three new regions with the indoor Mines being just one of them. In total there are 22 new areas to explore, 800 new enemies to fight and several new boss characters to tackle. With the addition of the Mines of Moria and the past content updates, the game

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