Standing Stone Games has a busy year in store for players of The Lord of the Rings Online, as revealed in today’s producer’s letter from Rob “Severlin” Ciccolini. Foremost among the company’s plans is a new story arc that focuses on the war between the dwarves and the orcs, which will kick off in late spring.
“The Legacy of Durin and the Trials of the Dwarves” will last the rest of the year and be free to all players. It starts with the Mists of Wilderland update, where players will join Durin’s Folk and visit the Wells of Langflood, the first step in the ultimate goal of reclaiming the ancient dwarf stronghold of Gundabad. The War of the Three Peaks arrives in the fall for players of all levels, along with a “small 12-person raid.”
In the summer, LotRO will be trying something completely new: its first Challenge League, which sounds like an experimental server with open PvP. Elladan and Elrohir, the sons of Elrond, are competing to see who would be the greatest leader of Middle-earth’s heroes. Players will be able to choose a side in this debate and earn favor by challenging heroes on the other side and completing various Deeds.
Also on tap for the summer is the much-heralded wedding of Aragorn and Arwen. This will kick off “merriment throughout Middle-earth,” which will include a new festival event and “a unique festival questing area within Minas Tirith.”
There will also be a new legendary server in the fall, with enemies that become more powerful when the Eye of Sauron is upon them. Finally, before 2020 is out, the Legendary Item revamp will be executed, with “substantial changes” coming to the system, though players will still be able to retain their progress.