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The Lord of the Rings Online (abbreviated LOTRO) is an online multiplayer role-playing game (MMORPG) set in Middle-earth during the time of The Lord of the Rings. It is based on information from J.R.R Tolkien's novels; as such, it deviates in small ways from Peter Jackson's influential The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, although some of the game's imagery corresponds. It was developed by Turbine - now Standing Stone Games, a subsidiary of Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc. - and first released in 2007.

Its first expansion pack, Mines of Moria, was released in the autumn of 2008; the Siege of Mirkwood expansion was released on December 1, 2009; the third, Rise of Isengard, was released in late September, 2011; the fourth, Riders of Rohan, was released on October 15th, 2012; and the fifth, Helm's Deep, was released in November 2013. On December 19, 2016, the development teams behind LOTRO and Dungeons & Dragons Online separated from Turbine to form Standing Stone Games.[1]

The game allows players to advance to level 140 with thousands of character-customization possibilities, ten professions, and seven vocations, plus over 1,000 titles, skills, and traits.[2]



The Lord of the Rings Online

Example of gameplay

Sierra On-Line first announced the development of a licensed, Middle-earth MMORPG in 1998. This caused some excitement among fans, who were awaiting The Lord of the Rings movies and was also slightly controversial for a few design decisions. The most debated design idea was the planned use of "permadeath": When a player character would die in the game, that character would be permanently dead (most MMORPGs resurrect a dead character with minor penalties). Sierra had financial troubles in 1999 and replaced the staff working on the game.

Sierra continued to confirm development on the MMORPG was progressing, but did not release any development details over the next few years. Vivendi Universal Games, the parent company of Sierra, secured eight-year rights to produce computer and video games based on the The Lord of the Rings books in 2001. Finally, Vivendi announced an agreement with Turbine in 2003 to produce Middle-earth Online (at that time expected to be released in 2004). In March 2005, Turbine announced that it had bought the rights to make massively multiplayer games based on Tolkien's literature and that Turbine will assume publishing duties on The Lord of the Rings Online from Vivendi. The release date was also delayed to 2006.

Version history[]

The release-to-public version of the game was called Shadows of Angmar, released on April 24, 2007. New characters started in either Ered Luin, the Shire, or Bree-land. Many new areas were added over the span of two years in the form of free updates, which filled in most of the current area of Eriador. This included the Player-versus-Monster Player (or PvMP for short) area of the Ettenmoors, where players could participate in player-vs-player combat by either taking their own character into the zone, or by creating a Monster Player, a character allied with the forces of Sauron. Monster Players could not normally leave the Ettenmoors, although an in-game bug was discovered that did allow "Creeps" out of the zone by circumventing the zone's normal boundaries. This bug has since been fixed. Players could reach level 50. The main story was that a steward had taken up the Witch-king's seat in Angmar, and threatened Middle-earth from the north. The player's role was to unseat this new threat.


The Lord of the Rings Online™ Mines of Moria™

The first paid expansion, Mines of Moria, added the entirety of Moria, part of Lothlórien, and Eregion. Eregion was a free update released at the same time as Mines of Moria, and this was where players entered Moria. The rest of Lothlórien, including the city of Caras Galadhon, was added in subsequent free updates. Mines of Moria also included a new system of Legendary Weapons that could gain experience with the player as well as a yet-to-be-named "Hard Mode" feature that allowed players to reap additional rewards from instances if they completed some difficult challenge in addition to defeating the final boss. Also introduced was the controversial Radiance/Gloom mechanic, in which players were forcibly penalized with Gloom when entering an area "of particular danger." Gloom could be negated by obtaining armor that had Radiance. If the character had too little Radiance, or too much Gloom, he/she would cower and be unable to do anything. Two new classes were added: the Rune-Keeper and the Warden. The level cap was raised to 60. The story focused on the aftermath of Balin's failure to retake Moria. The player accompanies the Dwarves once again into the Mines to try to retake Moria from the Orcs. The player follows in the footsteps of the Fellowship of the Ring, and is able to catch up to the Fellowship in Lothlórien as they rest after the fall of Gandalf.

The second paid expansion, Siege of Mirkwood, featured southern Mirkwood and the Dol Guldur instances. The Enedwaith area, south of Eregion, was later added as a prelude to the next expansion. Siege of Mirkwood featured the new Skirmish system, in which a player could instantly join a self-contained, scripted instance. Inside Skirmishes, players were able to summon a Soldier, an NPC who accompanied the player and fought with him/her. With the Skirmish system came instances that scaled by level, difficulty setting, and group size. The difficulty settings were finalized into 3 tiers for Skirmishes and 2 tiers for normal instances. The unnamed "Hard Mode" introduced in the Mines of Moria expansion was officially termed the "Challenge", and this Challenge was auto-bestowed on a character when attempting an instance on tier 2. Challenges were not granted for Skirmishes, but extra rewards could still be gained by completing Skirmishes on higher difficulty tiers. The level cap was raised to 65. The story continued as the Fellowship of the Ring left Lothlórien, and the player diverted to Dol Guldur to delay the inevitable attack by Khamûl's armies on Lothlórien.  One year later, The Lord of the Rings Online was also converted to a hybrid Free-to-Play system that restricted various gameplay options for Free players (these options were purchasable a la carte), but still allowed players to subscribe to remove all Free-to-Play restrictions. Notably, when Enedwaith was added, the Radiance/Gloom mechanism was removed due to overwhelming player feedback. The player began a new storyline focusing on the Rangers of the Dúnedain and their march south to meet Aragorn in Rohan.

The third expansion, Rise of Isengard, added Dunland (south of Enedwaith), the Gap of Rohan, and Nan Curunír (or Isengard). A new raid, Draigoch the Red, was added in Enedwaith early on, but later updates included instances in Isengard (including Orthanc itself, where the player could battle Saruman). The new "Instance Finder" feature was added, which allowed the player to set him/herself to fill a role in a group. Instance Finder would then locate other players who filled complementary roles, and would place the players in a group inside a random instance. Instance Finder offered rewards for its use, including a Morale/Power boost, as well as a boost in the rewards gotten for completing the instance. The level cap was raised to 75. The player's story continued south with the Rangers of the Dúnedain until they met with Prince Théodred of Rohan. As the Rangers continued on to meet with Aragorn, the player fights beside Théodred at Isengard (and witnesses his death).

The fourth paid expansion, Riders of Rohan, added mounted combat where you ride on special "war steeds", faster and sturdier than normal steeds, which you can fight from. The whole Eastemnet is added, comprehensive of six regions: The Wold, the East Wall, Norcrofts, Sutcrofts, Entwash Vale, and Eaves of Fangorn.

The fifth expansion, Helm's Deep, added Western Rohan to the game, divided into Broadacres, Stonedeans, Kingstead, the Westfold and the Eastfold. It introduced drastic changes to all the game classes' skills and traits, as well as the Epic Battle system, used to recreate the Battle of Helm's Deep.


The race of a character in The Lord of the Rings Online is nearly inconsequential, and mostly cosmetic. Each race starts its adventure in a different area of the world, and each has its own set of penalties/advantages. As the character reaches higher levels, these differences become of very little consequence. The different races are also granted a few different skills, some of which are fairly useful (others, not so much). Regardless, all races are granted a skill that transports them to an area appropriate to each race, usable once per hour. Humans can return to Bree, Elves can return to Rivendell, Hobbits can return to Michel Delving in the Shire, and Dwarves can return to Thorin's Gate in the Blue Mountains. Humans and Elves can ride horses, whereas Dwarves and Hobbits ride ponies.


Lord of the Rings Online

Video advertising the game

Human characters can be from Bree, Dale, Gondor, or Rohan, but they start their adventure in Bree-land. Humans can play as a Burglar, Captain, Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-master, Minstrel, or a Warden. They are known for their great part in the destiny of Middle-earth, their surprising strength, and how easily they are inspired. They also are known for their weak will, and are easily dominated. Perhaps the most notable racial skill that humans have is Strength of Morale, which heals them for a great amount.

Elven characters can be from Lindon, Lothlórien, Mirkwood, Rivendell, or Edhellond. Elves can play as a Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Lore-master, Minstrel, Rune-keeper, or a Warden. They are characterized by surprising agility and resistance to poisons and diseases. They also know that they will soon be leaving Middle-earth forever and are saddened by this. The most notable Elven skill is Sylvan Shadows, which allows them to walk unseen, but very slowly. This stealth is not very good compared to non-racial stealth skills that other characters can earn, but the skill is passable if enhanced with equipment.


A Player Character chats with NPC friends about a quest.

Dwarven characters can be from Ered Luin (Blue Mountains), Iron Hills, Erebor (Lonely Mountain), Ered Mithrin (Grey Mountains), or Ered Nimrais (White Mountains). Dwarves can play as a Champion, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel, or a Rune-keeper. They are known for their sturdiness and stalwart nature in battle. They are also known for their bumbling clumsiness, and they also know their time in Middle-earth is limited. Their most notable skill is Endurance of Stone, which mitigates a large amount of damage for a few seconds.


PC Lord Of The Ring Online Gameplay Demo

Hobbits all come from the Shire, but can be from different clans: the Fallohides, the Harfoots, or the Stoors. Hobbits can be a Burglar, Guardian, Hunter, Minstrel, or a Warden. They are known for their surprising vigor and courage. They are also small in stature, and so are not as physically powerful as other races. Hobbits have several unique racial skills, the most notable being Hobbit-silence. This skill allows the Hobbit to feign death, immediately ending combat and causing any nearby enemies to ignore the "deceased."

In the latest update, the race of the Beornings was added.


In a similar approach to many Massively Multiplayer Online realms, The Lord of the Rings Online retains a class based system.

Class/Race Beorning2 Dwarf Elf Elf High Elf3 Hobbit Man Stout-axe4
Beorning-icon Beorning Beorning-icon
Burglar-icon Burglar Burglar-icon Burglar-icon Burglar-icon
Captain-icon Captain Captain-icon Captain-icon
Champion-icon Champion Champion-icon Champion-icon Champion-icon Champion-icon Champion-icon
Guardian-icon Guardian Guardian-icon Guardian-icon Guardian-icon Guardian-icon Guardian-icon Guardian-icon
Hunter-icon Hunter Hunter-icon Hunter-icon Hunter-icon Hunter-icon Hunter-icon Hunter-icon
Lore-master-icon Loremaster Lore-master-icon Lore-master-icon Lore-master-icon
Minstrel-icon Minstrel Minstrel-icon Minstrel-icon Minstrel-icon Minstrel-icon Minstrel-icon Minstrel-icon
Rune-keeper-icon Rune-Keeper1 Rune-keeper-icon Rune-keeper-icon Rune-keeper-icon Rune-keeper-icon
Warden-icon Warden1 Warden-icon Warden-icon Warden-icon Warden-icon
1 - only available in Mines of Moria Expansion
2 - The Beorning was added with Update 15: Gondor Aflame - 5 November, 2014
3 - The High Elf was added with Update 21: Mordor - 2 August, 2017
4 - The Stout-axe was added 19 September, 2019




Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Die Here van die Ringe Aanlyn
Albanian Kryezoti i Unazave Online
Amharic ቀለበቶች ጌታ በመስመር ላይ
Arabic سيد الخواتم عبر الانترنت
Armenian Մատանիների տիրակալը Օնլայն
Azerbaijani Üzüklərin Hökmdarı Onlayn
Basque Eraztunen Jauna Linean
Belarusian Cyrillic Уладар Пярсцёнкаў У радку
Bengali দ্য লর্ড অফ দ্য রিংস অনলাইন
Bosnian Gospodar Prstenova Na mreži
Bulgarian Cyrillic Властелинът на пръстените Онлайн
Cambodian ព្រះអម្ចាស់នៃកងដែលលើបណ្តាញ
Catalan El Senyor dels anells En línia
Cebuano Ang Ginoo sa mga Singsing Sa linya
Chinese 指环王Online
Croatian Gospodar Prstenova Na liniji
Czech Pán prstenů Online
Danish Ringenes Herre Online
Dutch In de Ban van de Ring Online
Esperanto La Sinjoro de la Ringoj Enreta
Estonian Sõrmuste Isand Internetis
Filipino Ang Panginoon ng Singsing Sa linya
Finnish Taru Sormusten Herrasta Suora
French Le Seigneur des anneaux En ligne
Galician O Señor dos Aneis En liña
Georgian ბეჭდების მბრძანებელი ონლაინ
German Der Herr der Ringe Online
Greek Ο άρχοντας των δαχτυλιδιών Σε απευθείας σύνδεση
Hebrew שר הטבעות באינטרנט
Hindi द लार्ड ऑफ द रिंग्स ऑनलाइन
Hungarian A gyűrűk ura Online
Icelandic Hringadróttinssaga Á netinu
Indonesian Raja Segala Cincin Online
Irish Gaelic An Tiarna na bhFáinní Ar líne
Italian Il Signore degli Anelli Online
Japanese ロード・オブ・ザ・リングス オンライン
Kannada ಲಾರ್ಡ್ ಆಫ್ ದಿ ರಿಂಗ್ಸ್ ಆನ್ಲೈನ್
Kazakh Сақиналар әміршісі Желіде (Cyrillic) Saqïnalar ämirşisi Jelide (Latin)
Korean 반지의 제왕 온라인
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Теңир шакеги Он-лайн
Laotian ພຣະຜູ້ເປັນເຈົ້າຂອງແຫວນໄດ້ອອນໄລນ໌
Latin Dominus Anulorum De recta
Latvian Gredzenu pavēlnieks Tiešsaistē
Lithuanian Žiedu Valdovas Prisijungęs
Luxembourgish Den Här vun de Réng On linn
Macedonian Cyrillic Господарот на Прстените Онлајн
Malaysian Raja Segala Cincin Dalam talian
Maltese Il-Ħakkiem ta 'l-anelli Onlajn
Marathi द लॉर्ड ऑफ द रिंग्स ऑनलाइन
Mongolian Cyrillic Бөгжний эзэн Онлайн
Nepalese द लर्ड अफ द रिङ्ग्स अनलाइन
Norwegian Ringenes Herre På nett
Persian ارباب حلقه‌ها آنلاین
Polish Władca Pierścieni Online
Portuguese O Senhor dos Anéis Em linha
Punjabi ਦ ਲਾਰਡ ਆਫ਼ ਦ ਰਿੰਗਸ ਆਨਲਾਈਨ
Romanian Stăpânul Inelelor Online
Russian Властелин Колец Онлайн
Scottish Gaelic Tha Tighearna nam Fàinnean Air-loidhne
Serbian Господар прстенова Онлине (Cyrillic) Gospodar prstenova Online (Latin)
Sinhalese ද රින්ග්ස් සමිඳාණන් ඔන්ලයින්
Slovak Pán Prsteňov Zapojený
Slovenian Gospodar Prstanov Na spletu
Spanish El Señor de los Anillos online
Swahili Bwana wa Mapete Kwa mstari
Swedish Sagan om Ringen Uppkopplad
Tajik Cyrillic Парвардигори зиреҳҳои Онлайн
Tamil த லோட் ஒவ் த ரிங்ஸ் ஆன்லைன்
Telugu లార్డ్ ఆఫ్ ది రింగ్స్ ఆన్లైన్
Thai ดออฟเดอะริงส์ออนไลน์
Turkish Yüzüklerin Efendisi internet üzerinden
Turkmen Ýüzükleriň Padşasy Onlaýn
Ukrainian Cyrillic Володар Перснів Онлай
Urdu دی لارڈ آف دی رنگز آن لائن
Uzbek Узуклар Ҳукмдори Онлайнда (Cyrillic) Uzuklar Hukmdori Onlaynda (Latin)
Vietnamese Chúa tể những chiếc nhẫn Trực tuyến
Welsh Arglwydd y Modrwyon Ar-Lein
Yiddish דער האר פון די רינגס אָנליין

External links[]