Getting back into LOTRO about 2 weeks ago, I’ve been looking torwards to the next bid game update, Book 12. Aside from the usual bug fixes, new quests and character balancing, Book 12 actually has some things worth talking about. First up is the new outfit system. While not adding anything to the actual game play, I’m actually pretty excited about this. One of my big pet peeves in MMORPGs is that characters look way too similar, there are usually never enough options to make you feel as though your character is unique. With this new system in place they have added hundreds if not thousands of different outfit combos that you can now use to make you character distinct. While these new outfits provide absolutely no bonuses to your characters stats, they do make you look sexy :)
Second and more importantly Trubine has added a new area, The Delving of Fror, in the PvP zone of Ettenmoors. In an attempt to make PvP worth playing they have introduced “soul stones” which are dropped by mobs within this dwelling. These stones can be traded to item vendors for a number of armor, weapon and jewelry sets as well as consumables and crafting recipes. Creeps can also use these stones to purchase new corruptions, new skills, new traits, special sessions and new environmental mod.
Now the really interesting part is that in order to take control of the Delving of Fror, all other zones within Ettenmoors must be taken over. This now gives PvP players a reason to attack these other zones other then to get valor tokens, which are worthless. Another small but cool feature is that if your in the Delving of Fror when one of the zones is lost, the main doors shut close, trapping you withing the zone while mobs begin to flood in. In cases like this you need to either map out or use a special skill to flee before the enemy gets you.
I’ve been pretty harsh on LOTRO in the past, but it looks like there getting on the right track. Some more work on PvP and they might have a decent game on their hands.