Not Horsing Around: LOTRO’s Mounts Mean Business

By Nathan Grayson on August 11th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

I know it's just a hoof and a trick of perspective, but I can't stop seeing the horse in the foreground making a really silly face. And, you know, I don't think I want to stop, either.

Business horses! With suits and briefcases and stuff! That’s completely not what I’m talking about. And as much as I wish it was, an in-depth look at Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan‘s mounted combat’s not a bad consolation. Now, obviously, any game could put you in a saddle, hand you some variety of pointy stick, and send you haphazardly swinging on your way, but LOTRO’s basing an entire expansion around hard-charging equine-fu. Classes will have unique skills, playstyles, and – hopefully – /dance options. Ride past the break to watch some nice people explain the real horsepower behind your newfound horse powers.

This really does sound like it changes the dynamics of traditional MMO combat, and I’m definitely digging that. While many MMOs have attempted to add an element of movement to their hotkey-mashing hacking and slashing, few have really made it crucial to success. Here, it sounds like even basic things like tanking and maximizing DPS require you to constantly stay on your toes. Hooves. Whatever.

The horses definitely move like they’re big, heavy hitting creatures, too – a far cry from something like WoW, where you may as well be riding a parade float. Granted, combat still has the same underlying systems as always, so sword swings and whatnot look a bit flimsy by comparison. But honestly, I doubt there’s a whole lot Turbine can do about that without gutting its entire game and starting over.

The expansion’s dropping on September 5th, but the landmass of Rohan, many of its quests, and access to mounted combat are all free to everyone. So great job on that, Turbine. You have my sword. And maybe also my wallet, but we’ll see.

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37 Comments »

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  1. MadMatty says:

    Is it just me, or do they graphics look a lot better all of a sudden?

    • bodydomelight says:

      It’s not just you. They have revamped elements of the graphics engine and beefed up the Rohan zone in particular.

  2. Terragot says:

    they see me rohan tag made me crack up. Damn Nathan, you one funny ass cracka.

    Always wanted to try this out, I actually have a boxed copy and isn’t it free to play now? Is it worth a punt?

    • nizzie says:

      Only if you’re willing to pay. The game makes you want to pay for nearly every aspect, which is highly annoying. I used to play quite a bit when it was p2p, and I always enjoyed it. Last month I tried the f2p version (on my old account which included the Mines of Moria expansion), bought the Mythril Edition for good amount of Turbine Points and.. well, it annoyed me to the point I was either going to resub or quit. I didn’t like that I had to pay for almost everything, the riding skill, additional backpacks (sorely needed and like 3-4 bucks a piece), traits (think of talents), quest zones, and also quick travel. The moment when I had to WALK to Ered Luin from Bree and back again I just lost my appetite. Terrible f2p model, if I ever decide to come back it’s not going to be without a subscription.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        As a former subscriber you should’ve gotten some of that free. Although maybe that is only on characters you’ve used while subbed? They’re pretty tricky about that actually.

        But if you get one month’s subscription and create all the characters you’re likely going to want to try and play them at least once then they get certain holdover benefits from the subscription.

        Not a perfect situation at all of course but it is worth knowing if you do want to play.

        • Premium User Badge

          Lacero says:

          Yes if you know this the whole thing becomes much more fun.

          A one month sub is worth hundreds of pounds ( or thousands of grinding hours) in benefits.

        • nizzie says:

          Yes, it was a new character. But thanks for the info, I’ll keep that in mind for the next time I revisit Middle-Earth.

          • bodydomelight says:

            You may also want to note that a couple of days’ worth of deed grinding should give you enough TP for most of the essential features.

      • Roshin says:

        Yes, I used to subscribe monthly as well, but quit because of MMOG fatigue. When I popped in again a while back to try the the F2P model, I felt overwhelmed by all the little things I had to pay for. I played for a short while, but eventually couldn’t stand it and quit.

        When LotRO hit Steam, I felt nostalgic and wanted to have another go at it. Problem was I had forgotten most of my account details. I talked to Support and came across the most unhelpful little sod who wouldn’t even try to help me. But that’s another story. :D

      • RavenGlenn says:

        As someone already pointed out, if you are subbed and make a character you get all the bags and a whole slew of other perks that carry over to your f2p. I haven’t been subscribed in a long time and the only thing I really miss out on is rested experience. Everything else I have and didn’t have to spend any extra cash on.

        It’s actually a very nice and generous f2p model I think. Once you get to 50+, all the content you need is provided in the expansions and you never have to pay another dime outside of them.

        Also, you do not have to pay for the riding skill. You can acquire it early for cash, but you can just wait until the normal level and do the quests to get it in-game.

  3. BigJonno says:

    I’ve just started playing this again and the expansion looks pretty sweet. I never made it past the base game stuff, so I’ve got a lot of content to look forward to.

  4. Raiyan 1.0 says:

    Well, this spurs my interest.

    • The Hammer says:

      Yep, looks like LOTRO ages like a fine equine.

      • Mrs Columbo says:

        Nice expansion, although my personal enthusiasm for MMOs is somewhat bridled.

        • Premium User Badge

          RedViv says:

          Well, at least keeps you from getting hoarse from all the shows of excitement.

          • McDan says:

            When I read the article I thought for a moment there wouldn’t be any puns, but then realised there’s neigh chance of that happening.

          • Fincher says:

            These puns are headed straight for the knacker’s yard.

          • Torgen says:

            Frankly, this pun thread is a bit lacking. It could use a little dressage up.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Lacero says:

    Does one tank class still take 40% more damage than the other?

    I was so sad when they made that change :(

  6. Reapy says:

    Looks nice, despite mmo fatigue and from what people say a f u f2p model, I haven’t played this game ever, might be worth it to just walk around it a bit, maybe…possibly.

  7. Tayh says:

    Ah, Kate Paiz. The Scourge of LOTRO. Hated and feared by much of the playerbase: completely oblivious about community.
    Great way to introduce a video.

    <-Bitter lifetimer and creep

    • Xardas Kane says:

      I left a couple of months after Moria when she wasn’t around. Why, what’s wrong with her, do fill me in?

      • AgamemnonV2 says:

        She and her husband spear-headed the store for LotRO, eventually turning it into what everyone thought would be “convenience, not advantage” to, “advantage and bits of stuff we would’ve included in free updates for subscribers”.

        Although I’m guessing OP’s trouble stem directly to PvMP, as he identifies himself as a “creep”. You’d be surprised how many PvPers in LotRO actually believe the PvMP mechanic is integral to the game or that they expect it to receive attention, despite that the previous Turbine mantra is, “we don’t care about PvMP”. Also, double points for identifying as a creep as well–chances are he probably thinks “imba”, which is the general mantra of all PvPers in all games, because if you’re not winning, then PvP is broken (only logical solution yo).

        But the true icing to this cake is the contempt someone still has who identifies as a PvPer after Turbine announcing that PvMP will be recieving substantial changes with RoR (in fact, PvMP has never received this much attention ever in LotRO’s development history), mostly buffing creeps to extreme levels and still has the gall to complain. Which just goes to show what most non-PvMPers have always been saying–stop giving PvMP attention because PvMPers will never be happy.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          She hardly seems that evil to me from what you’re saying then. Although last time I checked the game out the in-game store was an absolute joke. Rarely have I felt so penalized for not subscribing to a F2P game.

  8. Randomer says:

    Will all mounts and regions retroactively allow for mounted combat? Or will it just be in the Rohan region?

    • AgamemnonV2 says:

      You have to buy a different mount called war steeds for mounted combat. They said that “some” of the skins of the old horses will be available. They haven’t said how or in what capacity, but we do know that you can buy cosmetic stuff for your horse on the store. Fingers crossed that that’s not where our previously-earned horse skins go to.

      Also, only parts of the region in Rohan will allow mounted combat.

  9. Torgen says:

    Good God, I start watching this video and immediately get this ad:
    “A 12-Gauge Won’t Save You: Discover what the Police and Army don’t want you to know”
    They think that’s the sort of people who play this game, or MMOs in general?

    • MadMatty says:

      i got a flash of an AK47-Assault rifle near the status bar, and i thought “That´d be pretty useful on horseback… is it pay to unlock?”

  10. bodydomelight says:

    It’s refreshing to read an article about LOTRO on a gaming site without an immediate flood of MMO idiots commenting R PPL STILL PLAYNG THIS LOL.

    Kudos, RPS readership. Kudos.

    • AgamemnonV2 says:

      You know, I was tempted to comment on their post on Rift’s expansion saying, “So you guys seem to cover MMO news but the last tidbit of information you have on LotRO was over a year ago and they’ve been coming out with tons of new information every week. Why the cold shoulder?”, but I eventually decided against it because I thought it would’ve just turned into a, “People still play LotRO?” jerkfest. And here they are, pleasantly surprising me.

      • bodydomelight says:

        Indeed. It’s surprising how little coverage LOTRO seems to get on non-MMO sites seeing as it is generally considered (maybe erroneously) to have the third highest subscriber numbers of a Western MMO, and consistently receives excellent critical response every time they deem to actually feature it.

        /bitterLOTROfanboytirade

  11. Howl says:

    Wow, that top screenshot has me drooling. I never saw anything that expansive in LOTRO when I tried it. It was a horrible linearthon like WoW and you couldn’t go 5 feet in any direction without tripping over a quest objective.

    Can you go straight into areas like that or are they high level?