Update: Turbine has clarified the pricing of the upcoming LOTRO expansion, writing: "Siege of Mirkwood will have a base price of $19.99. As with Moria last year, we're going to have a set of early upgrade offers that are very compelling. We're not quite ready to unveil those details yet, but we'll keep you posted."
The Siege of Mirkwood finishes what the Mines of Moria expansion for Lord of the Rings Online started, bringing an end to Volume II of the MMO's tale and opening up the lands East of the Misty Mountains. The free expansion pack ups the level cap for the game to 65, adds several new dungeons and raids, and introduces Skirmishes - randomized repeatable instances in which players train up their own armies to battle the forces of not-so-nice.
"2009 has been a year of unprecedented growth for The Lord of the Rings Online and the launch of Siege of Mirkwood will end the year with a bang," said Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer of The Lord of the Rings Online. "As the game expands east of the Misty Mountains, players will face the raging war and shadow that has spread across Middle-earth and the new Skirmish system will thrust players and their soldiers into the War of the Ring."
Check out the full list of announced features for the expansion below, and keep your eye out for screens and artwork from Siege of Mirkwood in the near future.
Siege of Mirkwood Features:
Ø The Epic Conclusion to Volume II: Mines of Moria™ – Under the command of Celeborn and Galadriel, players will fight through vast armies of Orcs alongside the Elves of Lórien in a battle that will take them to Dol Guldur, the fortress of the Ringwraiths. This update includes Book 9 and the Epilogue to the sweeping epic tale begun with the award-winning Mines of Moria expansion.
Ø Increased Level Cap - Players will be able advance their characters up to level 65, gaining access to new traits, virtues, skills and class quests.
Ø Answer the Call of War! – Jump into the heat of battle with the new Skirmishes feature. Skirmishes offer endless action in repeatable, randomized instances where players can create and lead customizable soldiers into battle, training them to greater skill as they earn victories against the forces of shadow. Answer the call of war wherever violence erupts with the new "World Join" function that lets players and their fellowships band together to fight in various locations throughout Middle-earth.
Ø Take up Arms! – Infiltrate the dark jails, deadly arenas and savage stables of Dol Guldur, the fortress of the Ringwraiths, and strike a blow against Sauron's forces in new 3 and 6-player instances. Call upon your fellows to adventure into the most deadly 12-player raid yet and face the ultimate challenge – the Nazgûl Lord!
Ø Major Gameplay Enhancements – Turbine continues to improve the award-winning experience of LOTRO with major improvements to the combat and Legendary Items systems. Players will experience improved responsiveness when in the heat of battle. Players will also be able to create and craft their own customized Second and Third Age Legendary Items from raw materials and grow their weapons' power to level 60. Achieve new Legacies, new titles, and a fourth Runic slot that will make Legendary Items even more unique and powerful.