The Lord of the Rings Online Executive Producer Aaron “Rowan” Campbell went to the LOTRO forums today to talk about the direction of the game over the next two years, including a reveal of the previously discussed “new class” coming later this year.
The skin-changing Beorning will storm into the game in 2014, described as “a race of Man, with close origins to the Rohirrim and the Men of Dale. Most Men are not shape-changers, so we envision the Beorning as a light armor casting class with a focus on control of the battlefield. When a Beorning gathers sufficient rage, they may transform into a mighty bear.”
It’s the first new class in the game since the rune-keeper and warden arrived on the scene with the Mines of Moria expansion back in 2008. It sounds like the only race that can play it will be Men, but that’s the price of playing in a game with such strict lore.
Other news tidbits in Rowan’s letter include a general layout of the game’s updates over the next two years, including three major paid updates in 2014 (Paths of the Dead/Dol Amroth, Dead Marshes, and Pelargir), to go with today’s release of Update 13: The Breaking of Isengard. A new level cap will also be implemented along the way. 2015 will take players to Osgiliath, the Pelennor Fields, and Minas Tirith, probably to enact the Big Battle at the walls of Gondor’s capital city. Various other tweaks to monster play, kinships, and festivals are also in the works, but a major revamp to housing is officially off the table.
(And that legendary item revamp that was hinted at a while back is nowhere to be seen, not even in 2015.)
So, what do you think of the Beornings and the other changes? Let us know!