Of Mounts And Blades: LOTRO’s Mounted Combat

Wait until Sauron's uprising, fellow beasts of burden. Then, at dawn, we strike.

Lord of the Rings Online has sort of gotten trampled by the recent surge in new MMOs recently, but the F2P journey through the One Fantasy Universe To Rule Them All actually hasn’t disappeared off the face of the planet. On September 5, it’s even getting a shiny new expansion in the form of Riders of Rohan – which, sadly, is not about putting a saddle on the Rohan region and charging into battle atop a colossal landmass. The largely free chunk of content will, however, give everyone their own WARSTEED from which to do violence to both people and monsters. Turbine’s even sent along a nice trailer, which actually looks really impressive. Go on an epic quest of self-discovery, friendship, and betrayal culminating in a battle that nearly tears the world asunder and also ewww there’s a giant spider past the break to see the full thing.

Reading through the FAQ, it sounds like Turbine’s really thought this through, too. Each class gets WARSTEED-specific skills, WARSTEEDs can level up, and – most importantly – this: “Q: I’m a Dwarf or a Hobbit. I’m tiny! What do I ride? A: Your [WARSTEED] comes in pony size!” Hooray! WARPONIES! Also, PVE content in the expansion is largely being designed with WARSTEEDs in mind. Turbine explained:

“Many of the opponents you encounter in the plains of Rohan will be mounted and an unmounted combatant will find combat more difficult against mounted opponents. Mounted combat is likely to be incorporated into parts of the epic quest line so in the course of completing that content, you will spend a moderate amount of time fighting from horseback.  There may also be some optional quests that can only be completed with the extra speed and agility you will have when riding your [WARSTEED].”

Truth be told, I haven’t played LOTRO in ages (possibly literally, in Middle-Earth time), but this sounds really enticing. Back when I gave it a go, it was a glorified WoW clone, but between things like this and an in-game, player-driven music festival (!), it really seems to have picked up an identity all its own. So, does anyone still play? If I find myself languidly sitting in my idyllic hovel, munching perfectly aged cheeses and waiting for a wizard who swears he’s not running late, should I pass the time by jumping back in?


  1. MadTinkerer says:



    EDIT: So if I play a Hobbit, by definition my warsteed is my little pony. Hmmm.

  2. Martel says:

    I used to play this back when it first came out, and I have kept this installed and updated ever since they went F2P, but I can’t seem to do more than login and look around, then logout.

  3. Mungrul says:

    Do Hobbits get Shetland Ponies?

  4. lorddon says:

    Poor LotRO. If I didn’t have Guild Wars 2, I would choose you.

  5. Skeletor68 says:

    Is it worth it for a bit of soloing? I’m a pretty big LOTRO fan but have only had a stable net connection for the last few months.

    • dawnmane says:

      I have been soloing in the game on/off for years, and if you are a Tolkien fan, I think this is the best digital adaptation of his work so far. Give it a go.

      • syndicatedragon says:

        Agreed! I play (solo) simply for the “tourism” aspect.

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      It is okay to solo. Pretty easy, actually. And plenty of story if you do the main quest. My advice: Be a hobbit… they have the best starter area and side quests.

      • Torgen says:

        By far the best starter area. The mail delivery quests may seem tiresome, but they not only lead you to all the little hamlets of the Shire, but also many other quests. Just load up on all of them, and you’ll find that you’re completing multiple ones at once. The Shire is beautiful, and the haunted hobbit house of Bag End every Halloween is a marvel.

  6. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    The in game player made music is the best thing about LOTRO. Mostly it is just people playing files, but it’s awesome to get a real, impromptu jam going.

    • Torgen says:

      I mourn the fact that I’m not good enough to actually play music on my keyboard in those sessions. I have to load up ABC files. :(

  7. Tayh says:

    Played since release and having waited for more than 4 years, I got tired of waiting for the MPVP(i.e. PVP) aspect to get some love – or even some new content.
    Well, that never happened.
    This update doesn’t really seem interesting enough to return to the game and my lifetime subscription.

    As far as I know, they still haven’t fixed the rampant lag that most people suffer, either – instead preferring to sweep it under the rug and ban/silence everyone who complains about it on the official forums.

    • Torgen says:

      I don’t recall any lag (played original beta and F2P beta,) but I never participated in any huge battles. The largest battles I was in were those daily ones you could do in the warcamp outside Bree.

      • Tayh says:

        I’m talking about the lag introduced in the relatively-recent Update 6.
        There’s always been lag issues in Raid v. Raid fights in Ettenmoors, though.

  8. SkittleDiddler says:

    Rumor has it that mounted combat is only possible within the region of Rohan, and, as the article points out, with a specific steed. Can anyone verify if this “one region only” crap is true?

  9. TsunamiWombat says:

    Oh..man…urge to try rising…

    And it IS f2p…

    • Lokai says:

      I understand why Nathan says, “The largely free chunk of content will…” How is it free? I don’t see any mention, on their website that he linked, of anyone getting any of this content if they don’t pay the base price of $40 for the expansion. Am I missing something?

  10. wodin says:

    When I first read LOTR at the age of 12…I loved the Riders of Rohan….Strider and Galadriel..actually ever since I always compare supposedly beautiful women with the image I have of Galadriel I my head women on a kind of Galadriel chart of beauty

  11. Grey_Ghost says:

    WoW clone? I’ve never played WoW, but I am playing SWTOR which is repeatedly called a WoW clone, and it doesn’t remind me of LOTRO at all.

  12. hench says:

    I would download and try LotRO another time if I didn’t have to use the Pando Media bullshit

    Edit: It’s also one reason why I haven’t tried DDO yet

    • MultiVaC says:

      Isn’t it available on Steam now? I think the Steam version circumvents the Pando Media bullshit, since if I remember correctly it was only used in the installer and not the patcher, and with Steam handling the install you shouldn’t the end up with any of the Pando stuff. I just installed LOTRO from Steam recently, and I have no sign of the Pando crap here.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        Pando is just a bittorrent client. Uninstall it when you’re done downloading.

  13. ichigo2862 says:

    Can you charge with a couched lance? I want to charge with a couched lance.

  14. RvLeshrac says:

    You know what was awesome? LOTRO before Turbine sold the company (WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK DID THEY SELL TO WB FOR AFTER BITCHING FOR YEARS ABOUT EVERY OTHER COMPANY THEY WERE STUCK UNDER) and decided that double the full retail price of every other MMO expansion was a valid price point for an expansion with an incredibly tiny amount of content.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Oh, yeah, and having to re-buy every fucking horse in the game that you might want to use for mounted-combat. What in the holy fuck is that bullshit about?