No Rohan?

Friday, September 4, 2009

I wanted to handle this as a separate post because it brings up larger questions. First, though, why didn't we see Rohan? I think we need to look at the development pattern we saw post Moria. Book 7 released the whole of Lothlorien which was supposed to be included with the Moria expansion itself. Book 8 included quite a lot of work in fixes for Moria content. Neither were devoid of Moria slippage content, but it did indeed affect the release schedule. We've had two Book updates from November to (guessing SoM release) November whereas we saw three in the previous year.

Like I said with the announcement post, this is Turbine keeping their promise for one expansion per year. Will this be something we'll see more often in the future? I don't know. I think it's a tool in their box they can pull out when needed. Perhaps we'll see a retail expansion every 1.5 to 2 years with one of these "digital expansions" in the middle. Honestly, that seems a more reasonable schedule than producing one large expansion on the scale of Moria per year. And even with the year and a half from release to Moria, there was some content that didn't make it to MoM.

The content needed for Rohan also made seeing Rohan only a year after Moria unfeasible. First, there's a lot of landscape needed. Two major centers are critical to Rohan - Edoras and Helm's Deep. These locations are on separate sides of Rohan, which is the size of two to three Eriador type zones. Then there's the landscape needed for the lead up to Rohan: down the Anduin and into Fangorn. We also need to look at the idea of mounted combat. Rohan is the perfect, quintessential place to launch such a combat system - and it would require a lot of work: getting the tech built, reconciling the current skills onto a horse, then adding the animations. None of this even touches on the huge amounts of quests, the at-least six books of new epic story. All the instances and raid(s). It's a huge undertaking when the development team has been working overtime on finishing up the Moria content.

I hope that makes sense, and of course it's just my guesses. A dev would be better able to tell us why. Next dev chat or a blog post?

4 Responses to "No Rohan?"

Thallian Says:

yeah, you're right and like I said on my blog, I think they made the right decision in wandering north for a bit. They need more time to do all that stuff.

Yeebo Says:

You raise some great points. Thinking through things, I think that they may have two dev teams working on LoTRO right now. One is doing early prototypes of systems for Rohan. The other team is working on live updates and the digital expansion.

I personally would rather see Dale than Rohan, but I know I'm part of a tinby minority on that.

Jaxom92 Says:

Actually Yeebo, I think a lot of the book fans who play would love to seem some of Middle-Earth that has never made it into another media, or that hasn't been translated as well as they'd hoped.

I'm one of them, but I love Middle-Earth enough that any part of it is welcome to me.

Yeebo Says:

Ok, I'm going on a tangent now, but you touched on one of the main reasons I loved Evindim and Foreschel so much. They were both places mentioned in the books that I always wondered about, and they were fleshed out in LoTRO.

Who knows to what degree they are in line with what Tolkien had in mind, but to me they both felt like logical expansions of his universe. It was like finding a video tape based on an unpublished volume of his books.