Achieving Greater Goals, Vertically & Horizontally

You killed your raid content mobs, you topped out your player versus player (PvP) rewards, you leveled to the cap only a month after the last expansion and, in only a few weeks (or days), the newest content addition to the game is coming out; the dreaded expansion.

Most MMOs that offer expansions which increase the level cap cause depreciation of old content. Let me explain. While features or content are not removed, and backwards compatibility is maintained, the content previous to the expansion often becomes obsolete or out of date. There is little reason for players to go through old content when there's obviously a new and better way of doing things.

Blizzard has prepared for Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK) by making previously challenging raid encounters significantly easier, forcing some folks to cry foul as their hard work becomes "cheapened". The drops now pull from the same loot tables as they did before the change, but with significantly less risk and challenge.

So my question to you is, do you care?

Some of the folks on our World of Warcraft board discussed this very thing last week, and the replies, barbed though they were, elicited strong responses on either side.

Mines of Moria with Jeffrey Steefel

Turbine is set to release the first expansion pack to Lord of the Rings Online, "Mines of Moria". Fans have been eagerly waiting for the time that they can set foot inside the once glorious Dwarven city. That time, is tomorrow morning! We couldn't be more excited here at Allakhazam. So much so, we decided to call Jeffrey Steefel, Executive Producer for LotRO on Friday to talk about it! During our interview with Jeff, we had the opportunity to talk about some of the changes that Mines of Moria will bring, in addition to some of the concerns that players have about the game in its current state.

Tamat : So Jeffrey, thank you so much for joining us today. I know the expansion launches right around the corner, so things must be going crazy over there.

Jeffrey : Yup, very, very busy in preparation. Good crazy, though.

Tamat : So Mines of Moria launches on Tuesday. Are you excited? Are there some additions you just can't wait for players to try out?

Jeffrey : Oh yeah, absolutely. And some of the stuff we've been talking about publicly for a little while now. First of all, we're just really excited to get people to be able to visit Moria. Just for people to actually see Moria and see what we've built and see their reaction to it. I know even in alpha and beta, just seeing people go in there the first time has been extremely gratifying. I think the place we've created in Moria is quite astounding and unusual in sort of its depth and the way it looks, the way it feels, and how big it is. I don't think people will feel they've had the same kind of experience in a game like this before, so I'm excited about that.

Expansions, Content Updates, and Your $15!

If you've played an MMO at all, you're familiar with subscription fees. It's the service cost associated with the game. If you've played MMOs for any length of time, you'll be familiar with the expansion features that many MMO companies throw at players, often faster than we can chew through the content. In contrast, one of the biggest pushes in MMO delivery in the last few years is the content update. This occurs when studios update content and features in game without making you pay extra for the content.

When MMOs first came onto the scene we had patches and hot fixes that were more emergency maintenance than updates to content offerings. Now though, few games choose not to recognize what a huge boon to their community content updates are. There are even some studios that offer updates to their games exclusively via complimentary expansions. A game such as CCP's EVE Online has offered their content updates for free to paying subscribers.

Turbine Releases Redhorn Lodes Screenshots

Redhorn Lodes


Are you excited to enter the Mines of Moria ? Well, while you wait you can check out these new screenshots that were released by Turbine today of Redhorn Lodes, a new area in the expansion. The area looks massive, with huge pillars and stairways literally dwarfing (pun intended, sorry) any dwarf or hobbit who enters it.

All of the images can be viewed in our screenshot gallery . Also, don't forget to discuss the expansion in our forum .

Mines of Moria will introduce two new classes, the Rune-keeper and the Warden, as well as Legendary Items. The level cap will also be raised to 60.



Mines of Moria: Foundations of Stone Screenshots

New screenshots for Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria , the game’s first expansion, were released today by Turbine , and they showcase a variety of creatures located in the “Foundations of Stone” area that are just waiting to be slaughtered by daring adventurers.

Turbine boasts that the expansion is "the largest and most dangerous online underground environment ever created," and these screenshots seem to attest to that fact. Eyeless beasts, giant spiders and blade-wielding monsters are shown in intricate detail in various caverns, giving a "survival horror" vibe to the area.

Check out all of the screenshots here and discuss them, along with the expansion, in our forums .

Mines of Moria: Class Screenshots

Turbine released eight new screenshots from the upcoming Lord of the Rings Online: Mines of Moria expansion pack. These new screenshots depict two new classes that are being added to the game: the Warden and the Rune-Keeper.

Mines of Moria, which is tenitively scheduled to ship around the middle of November -- promises to be every bit as enjoyable as the original content. Check out these new screenshots and let us know what you think in our forums.