Happy 10th Birthday Lord Of The Rings Online


Ten years ago this week, new adventurers came forth to face the growing evil in the East from the far corners of Middle-earth. In Mordor, Sauron's forces are mobilizing as the Nazgül hunt for the One Ring. 

The land itself is in peril as Sauron seeks the 'Precious' and the fate of Middle-earth lies in the hands of a very unlikely little hero and his companions. 

The Lord of the Rings Online celebrates its 10th birthday. Over the years we have joined The Fellowship's journey and supported the forces of good in an epic struggle to drive back the forces of Sauron. For us this is Middle-earth, our home in the world created by J.R.R.Tolkien. As we come close to entering Mordor, we remember the past adventures and look forward to many more to come. 

Middle-Earth Online Screenshot

Development of the game began in 1998, when Sierra started to work on a game called Middle-earth Online. Sierra however was having problems following layoffs and the studio relocation. Sierra On-Line was  eventually sold to Vivendi. While project Middle-Earth Online limped forward, the original team's vision for the game was sadly lost. Finally in 2001 Vivendi decided that the game's production was going to be shared with Turbine. Turbine eventually secured the rights of the entire game in March 2004, when the game was renamed to The Lord of the Rings Online. The rest is history!  

Shadows of Angmar was released on April 24, 2007. It included the first installment of the Epic quest line. Updates to the game followed at regular intervals, adding content and more chapters of the Epic. For Tolkien's fans all over the world this virtual version of Middle-earth was like a dream come true, finally we were able to experience an incredibly detailed and intricate story-line directly inspired by Tolkien's books.

Mines of Moria was released on November 18, 2008. It included Vol. II books 1 through 6 of the epic quest line. Memories of entering The Walls of Moria and seeing the secret door of Durin for the first time are still very vivid in the mind of many LOTRO players. Further updates included ' Leaves of Lorien' when Lothlorien and  Caras Galadhon were added.It was (still is) quite literally awesome.

Siege of Mirkwood was released on December 1, 2009 and it included Book 9 and the epilogue of Volume II: Mines of Moria. Players were now able to enter the darkness of Mirkwood. Enedwaith was  released on September 10, 2010. It was on this day Lord of the Rings Online became a Free to Play game. The LOTRO store was introduced as well as the wardrobe system. 

In the Summer of 2011 all the European servers were taken back to the US. Up to now the Eu Servers, including Laurelin, had been located in Europe,  run and maintained by Codemasters, but in June 2011 Turbine took back control. It was an unsettling time for many on Laurelin, but since then the server has become home to many more players from all over the world. 

The third expansion for The Lord of the Rings Online was Rise of Isengard. The expansion was made available on September 27, 2011 with 4 new raids and the continuation of the Epic quest. In March 2012 a new region, the The Great River, was added, featuring seven new areas. 

The fourth expansion for The Lord of the Rings Online was Riders of Rohan. The expansion was released on October 15, 2012. The great fields of Rohan were finally open and mounted combat was introduced.A new region, Wildermore went live on May 13, 2013 .

The fifth expansion for The Lord of the Rings Online was named Helm's Deep. The expansion was released on November 20, 2013. According to Turbine this was the last ever expansion for the game. From now one they would only release updates.  Several updates opening the Gondor region followed for the next few years.

On December 19, 2016, it was announced that with immediate effect LOTRO would be developed and maintained by a brand new  studio called Standing Stone Games, a newly created company formed by members of the LOTRO team. Once the transition was done, the new Executive Producer announced a new expansion was in the work. The future looks good for LOTRO, the new expansion will take players deep into Mordor and the Epic Quest is about to reach it's climax with the destruction of the One Ring. 

While our personal adventures in virtual Middle-earth continue, we want to wish Standing Stone Games and Lord of the Rings Online


Thank You for 10 unforgettable years!

"Then April the 24th , actually dawned. The sun got up, the clouds vanished, flags were unfurled and the fun began."

Article by Amorey  - Laurelin Archives Webteam

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