Turbine proudly announces the launch of the first expansion for Lord of the Rings Online, Mines of Moria is now available across the U.S. and Europe, including my living room, where the collector's edition sits next to the coal-dusted mining hat they sent me to commemorate the auspicious occasion, which left a lovely black line across my forehead. The new expansion of course opens up the infamous Mines of Moria, and from my time in the beta for the expansion I can tell you that they've done an amazing job of realizing Tolkien's vision. Far from feeling like you are in a dungeon, the Mines truly feel like a massive, underground empire, filled with marvelous sights and a sense of scale I've rarely experienced in an MMO environment. Along with the new areas to explore, Mines also brings two new character classes - the shifty Warden and the versatile Rune-keeper, both of which add exciting new gameplay mechanics to the game, along with unique legendary weapons that players can customize and rename, growing in power along with their characters. LotRO has come a long way since launch, and with the release of Moria it reaches all-new heights of excellence.THE LORD OF THE RINGS ONLINE™: MINES OF MORIA™ LAUNCHES The First Expansion for the Award-Winning Massively Multiplayer Online Game Now Available WESTWOOD, MA – November 18, 2008 - Turbine, Inc. announced today that The Lord of the Rings Online™: Mines of Moria™ is now available for purchase across North America and Europe. Mines of Moria expands the award-winning online world of Middle-earth and allows players to explore the ancient underground cities of the dwarves, battle epic characters in the depths, face off with the Watcher, be a part of the fateful release of Durin’s Bane and more! In addition to extending the challenge to new heights, Mines of Moria will introduce two new classes, ten additional levels, hundreds of new quests, and the highly anticipated Legendary Item system. “The Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) has established itself as one of the world’s premium MMOs for successfully integrating story into a game that features innovative and entertaining advancement through an immersive and breathtaking world,” said Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. “Mines of Moria will raise the bar with the introduction of Legendary Items, a massive new system that will let players advance unique and powerful weapons and items that grow in might alongside their hero. These unique and powerful weapons will be by our players’ sides to aid in the challenging adventures that await them as we continue to journey through Middle-earth through the next several volumes of the game in years to come.” Some of the new features in the Mines of Moria expansion include*: Ø Forge Legendary Items! – The Mines of Moria introduces Turbine’s revolutionary new item advancement system to LOTRO. Players can now forge unique weapons and class-related equipment and evolve them to build a legacy the likes of Bilbo’s Sting and Gandalf’s Glamdring™. These legendary weapons grow in power along with the player through their adventures and are customized by advancing the item’s virtues, adding runic legacies and modifying its title. Ø Speak Friend, and Enter – Moria, called Khazad-dûm by the dwarves, was their capital and the grandest of cities. This enormous underground world in north-western Middle-earth comprises an immense network of tunnels, chambers, mines and huge halls beneath the Misty Mountains and represent one of the largest and most dangerous online underground environments ever created. Starting today players can journey through hundreds of new adventures and battle goblin hordes and the Nameless of the Deep in the ancient city underground which has served as the foundation for the modern-day dungeon-crawling adventures. Ø The Epic Story Continues! — The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria begins Volume II of The Lord of the Rings Online storyline. Players will experience six new books rich with new characters and content and face the fiery wrath of Durin’s Bane, battle the Watcher, bring aid to the Lady Galadriel and more. Ø Increased Level Cap — Players can now advance their characters up to level 60, opening access to a wealth of new traits, virtues, skills and class quests. The crafting system also now offers a new Tier and gives players the ability to join crafting guilds to create even more powerful items. Ø Discover Two New Classes — The Rune-keeper and the Warden, the first new classes to be introduced since the launch of the game, offer players the opportunity to create all-new characters and experience LOTRO in exciting new ways. The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Complete Edition, which includes the original game, The Lord of the Rings Online™: Shadows of Angmar™ (Volume I), all content updates released since launch, and Mines of Moria (Volume II) is now available for purchase at major retailers across North America. The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Collector’s Edition is also now available for purchase at major retailers and includes all of the content of the Complete Edition as well as certain unique digital and physical items for collectors. A third option for existing LOTRO subscribers is The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria Digital Expansion, available online at www.lotro.com. For more information on The Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria, please visit www.lotro.com/moria.