LOTRO’s Riders of Rohan Expansion Trots Out Today

My lovely horse
There used to be famous horses. They ran races, starred in sitcoms, and were occasionally horse-napped. In the 1970s, if you stopped a street urchin and asked him to name his favourite horse I’ll bet a fine collection of horse brasses that he’d have too many to choose from. He might even consult his sticker book of famous horses, The Equus Factor. But as much as I strain, and right now I’m making a face only a horse could love, I can’t think of any famous horses from the past decade. So I just don’t know how well the release of The Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan will go, today.

LOTRO’s free content doesn’t extend to expansion packs, so eager Rohirrim will be required to buy the expansion for at least £30. That might seem steep, but when you consider the top Google hit for ‘buy a horse’ leads me to a page where they cost thousands, it seems like a good deal. For that you’ll get access to the biggest landscape in the game, Eastern Rohan. You’ll get the War-steed mounts to fight on the back of, and the level cap is hiked up to 85. The usual additional quests and powers that all MMO expansions have at their core come along for the ride.

Would you like to see a launch trailer?

It’s out today. While you wait for the developers to agree exactly when today starts, you can watch a LOTRO fan video that makes me the happiest person in the world.


  1. Vurogj says:

    Damn you Pearson, thanks to that alt-text, I have a certain song stuck in my head.

    • Spacewalk says:

      ♫ My lovely horse, running through the field
      Where are you going, with your fetlocks blowing in the wind?

      I want to shower you with sugar lumps, and ride you over fences
      Polish your hooves every single day, and bring you to the horse dentist.

      My lovely horse, you’re a pony no more
      Running around with a man on your back, like a train in the night. Like a train in the night. ♫

  2. razgon says:

    I have this, and every other expansion, and a lifetime sub to the game. Stupid lvl 62 is the highest character I ever have and STILL I purchase the damn expansions :-D

  3. Atic Atac says:

    People still playing this? Last time I checked the F2P model for this game was really expensive…

    Also, doesn’t it feel old and archaic compared to GW2? My dream MMO really would be GW2 in a Tolkien setting. I never felt Lotro really nailed the setting down tbh.

    • razgon says:

      Depends on what you want, but if its Tolkiens own particular style you are looking for, a good place to start is the Shire then. It oozes atmosphere and is probably the closest you can get to Tolkiens vision in a computer medium today.

    • unwize says:

      LotRO is certainly showing its age, and the Legendary Item system is truly horrible, but I suspect there are a respectable number of people, such as myself, who keep popping back for the expansions purely off the back of the license and the promise of exploring an additional chunk of Middle-Earth. The world building is generally pretty strong, and there is a solid enough game there to drive players through it.

      I presume they must be making some money, or else it wouldn’t make sense to keep churning out these expansions on an annual basis!

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      It’s probably insignificant to many players, but LOTRO has the coolest feature in an MMO that I’ve seen: player played musical instruments.

    • skittles says:

      I pop in for the story updates. I rarely play outside them anymore though. And the story has been quite flat ever since the original basegame tbh (It had some interesting little things back then). Ever since they got morphed into skirmishes especially they have gone downhill. I still trundle through them though, not quite sure why at this point.

  4. Screamer says:


    • Rhin says:

      *sigh*, hijacking to protest the missed setup. Or maybe I’ve just been trolled something awful.

      link to lotr.wikia.com

      • Screamer says:

        Ja, it really does look like they just took a rat model, changed its scale, added a beard, and call it a Warg :/

  5. Daniel Klein says:

    Anyone remember Konami’s Riders of Rohan? It was just a bunch of minigames, but for some reason I enjoyed it massively when I was very young.

  6. Mattressi says:

    I’m thinking of trying LOTRO, but I was hoping to find out a little more about their F2P model. Is it reasonable? Is it purely pay2win and I shouldn’t bother downloading? Is it one of those models that sucks you in with F2P then charges huge amounts a little way into it in order to properly play?

    • TXinTXe says:

      It depends on how you want to play it. If you just want to see landscapes and take a casual aproach to gameplay, then it’s pretty userfriendly and not too expensive. But if you want to make the most of it prepare to grind, grind, and expend a good amount of money.
      You have like 4 zones totally free (3 starting zones and one for levels 20-30 more or less) and then each zone is like 4-5 quid each, but if you subscribe to the game then you unlock all the non-expansion zones (the expansions began with moria at lvl 50, and you must have them in order to reach lvl 75-85).

      • Mattressi says:

        I was mostly wanting to look at the scenery, but I was hoping to have the option of playing it properly without paying too much. It sounds like it’s at least worth a download to have a look around. Thanks :)

    • Sparkasaurusmex says:

      I think LOTRO is one of the games that actually made publishers realize that F2P can work. Actually it was D&D Online. Turbine was happy with the F2P plan from DDO and moved the same people over to LOTRO to implement a similar thing.

      Basically you can play up to around level 20 without ever wanting to spend a dime. You can play up to level 60 or 70 without spending a dime, but after 30 it’s not going to be fun to keep grinding the same old stuff for minimal gain.

    • RavenGlenn says:

      The game is still mostly a pay-to-play model. If you pay $15 a month, it is exactly the same as before it went f2p. The store is still there to pick up boosts, cosmetics, more storage space and character slots, but you don’t need any of them. Subscribing also gives you 500 of their store currency every month that you are subbed though(Which I believe is about $5 worth).

      Also, a lot of the benefits of having paid a month stick with your character after you unsub(Subbing gives any character made during your subscription a full 5 bag slots for instance. Without subbing you’d have to purchase them for your account).

      If you buy the expansions, you have all of the quests from that point on and do not need a subscription, nor need to buy quest packs in order to continue(the expansion go from 50-85). And, depending on the amount of time you have to play, you can easily hit 50 in a month(though you can hit max level easily as well if you have the time. I just had a guildmate level from 1-85 in two days during a double XP weekend).

  7. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Look at my horse!

  8. Sleepymatt says:

    “… I can’t think of any famous horses from the last decade”

    Frankel-y, I don’t think you were even trying Craig.

    • Oozo says:

      And what about Li’l Sebastian?!

    • Sleepymatt says:

      I’m surprised this article was Authorised, given Craig’s lack of knowledge on the subject matter…

    • Vorphalack says:

      I was Shergar he would be able to name at least one famous horse. He could have at least asked his Best Mate to help him out before writing the article. Guess he pulled the Trigger and charged off like a crazed journalist drunk on Red Rum.

  9. Sleepymatt says:

    Reply fail..

  10. Randomer says:

    This $40 price tag makes it more expensive than either the Moria or Mirkwood expansions, if I recall correctly (I think Mirkwood was only $20, Moria maybe $30). Do you get significantly more content than you did from the other two?

  11. Devan says:

    I bought the lifetime membership at launch and have been steadily accruing lotro points since it went F2P, so I can probably pick up this expansion using those in the in-game store. Unfortunately, I haven’t really gotten into any of the previous expansions because I’ve just kind of gotten worn out on the gameplay. I’m not a PvPer or raid runner, partly because of the grind necessary to get the “right” gear and consumables for it.
    New areas and stories are nice, but the pace is too slow and the combat too monotonous for me to put up with the same-y quests and time sinks.
    I do enjoy leveling up alts because of the different mechanics, but I usually only get them to lvl 30-40 before losing interest.

    This expansion seems to alter gameplay and combat enough that I will probably give it a go, though.

  12. ashario says:

    I think LOTRO pretty much nails the F2P model perfectly.

    You get to experience a lot of the game up to level 30ish for free. Doing ‘deeds’ earns you in-game currency you can spend on things such as mounts and quest packs. Advancement past level 30ish will always be easier if you are a subscriber (or at least were one at one stage), but progress is far from impossible otherwise.

    I’ve returned to this game several time since launch and always enjoy it.