It’s that point of yr once more! As we get able to make the psychological transition to a brand new yr, we pause to look back at the journey that was the earlier one. And for Lord of the Rings Online gamers, it was fairly the journey certainly.
In at present’s column, I’m going to recap all of the main developments that occurred in and round LOTRO this yr, trot out each single LOTRO Legendarium column, and put up a number of needs for 2022. The street goes ever on, my associates, so let’s not dawdle!
LOTRO in 2021
Lord of the Rings Online began one of its most dynamic years contemporary off Daybreak’s acquisition by EG7. In January, SSG provided a extra price-friendly enlargement bundle — despite the fact that it tried to get grasping with legendary merchandise gross sales. Speaking of gross sales, the War of the Three Peaks “mini-expansion” began promoting for LOTRO Points in February.
The yearly producer’s letter arrived in March with a tough roadmap of the the rest of 2021. It wasn’t lengthy after that Update 29 arrived with the new Wildwood area.
Leaks about the Brawler class began to emerge in April, the 14th anniversary arrived, and a mid-tier patch — Update 29.5 — gave us some additional adventures with Bilbo Baggins. The subsequent month, LOTRO ended Windows XP assist, shut down the Ithil server, and introduced on board a brand new recreation producer named Oleg “Raninia” Brodskiy.
Update 30: Blood of Azog arrived in June with a brand new raid and zone, adopted by the introduction of the Shadowfax and Treebeard development servers (with the new issue slider). As summer time progressed, we received Weatherstock XIII, Anor walked into Mordor, and Shadowfax blitzed into Moria.
September introduced back the in style quest pack giveaway, adopted by the Brawler, housing hook consolidation, and legendary merchandise revamp in October. Update 31: Fate of Gundabad introduced the long-awaited enlargement to the recreation in November, though a number of options needed to be delayed. Meanwhile, EG7’s investor report spoke about UI and graphics tasks in addition to a potential console model.
LOTRO ended the yr with a brand new dungeon, an additional unlock for Anor, and the tease of new Dwarven premium housing.
LOTRO Legendarium in 2021
Here’s a fast abstract of all of the LOTRO Legendarium columns from this yr:
Looking forward to LOTRO in 2022
As we head towards LOTRO’s fifteenth anniversary subsequent yr, I’ve very blended emotions about the MMORPG.
On one hand, I’m very inspired by how lively the recreation’s growth and neighborhood was this yr, and simply trying over the abstract of all of the updates emphasised how a lot the recreation grew. SSG didn’t sit round, and the addition of a brand new producer and different staff helped to bolster growth. Communication was significantly better this yr on the entire, and I’m nonetheless cautiously excited to see what may come out of these EG7 initiatives.
On the different hand, 2021 wasn’t excellent. Server points continued, SGG has but to revive closed server character transfers, and the advertising leadup to Fate of Gundabad was horribly missing. The enlargement wasn’t as massive of an occasion because it might’ve been as a result of of how quiet the studio was in selling it, and that’s an enormous missed alternative. The new legendary merchandise system, whereas higher, nonetheless ended up a complicated mess with its reward observe delayed.
So yeah, it’s one step ahead, one step back, and rather a lot of twirling in circles of uncertainty for the recreation. I suppose my best hope going into 2022 is that SSG actually will get its act collectively — beginning with getting these server fixes going, placing in a greater enterprise mannequin, and instituting extra thorough testing cycles — giving lapsed gamers and curious vacationers a motive to return try this title. SSG did higher in 2021, make no mistake, but it surely’s nonetheless received a methods to go earlier than it’s shored up its a number of weak spots.
Even so, I’m trying ahead to a different yr of grand adventures in one of my favourite MMO settings. Here’s to nice surprises, good firm, and strong development!
Every two weeks, the LOTRO Legendarium goes on an journey (horrid issues, these) by the wondrous, terrifying, inspiring, and, nicely, legendary on-line world of Middle-earth. Justin has been enjoying LOTRO since its launch in 2007! If you’ve gotten a subject for the column, ship it to him at [email protected]