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The Lord Of The Rings Online Announces Mariner Class; River Hobbits Finally Coming With Update 37

Joseph Bradford Posted:
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The Lord of the Rings Online hosted a Q&A with executive producer Rob "Severlin" Ciccolini, where more details about the upcoming expansion set in Umbar including a new class, as well as when players can expect to see River Hobbits make their debut in the MMO.

The Q&A, which was hosted on Twitch and YouTube (and archived on YouTube), saw community manager Jerry "Cordovan" Snook chat with Ciccolini for about an hour or so, showing off some concept art for the upcoming River Hobbits, as well as bring out some big news for LotRO players.

The MMO will be seeing a new class when the anticipated Umbar expansion comes this year. Named the Mariner class, the team mentions it'll be a traditional DPS class with some sort of "sea shanty" music system. This wouldn't be the first class to use music to damage opponents, either, as the Minstrel class uses it to inspire party members and diminish foes. 

Other changes are coming to The Lord of the Rings Online, especially a teased stat crunch. While some MMOs have seen level crunches, or squishes, this would simply to bring numbers down across the board and make it clearer to read for each player. Obviously, we'll have to wait to see how this affects things when it's live in some testable format.

Images via LotRO

Crafting changes are coming as well, specifically, the work to decouple the professions themselves from the various vocations they've been tied to since launch 16 years ago. However, LotRO's devs admit that crafted gear has been struggling to keep up with the power level of gear that drops for a while now. There will be new pieces of gear to craft when Update 37 drops, hopefully, to make them more meaningful to players overall.

For those wondering about what regions you might be traveling in during the Umbar expansion, I think the name makes one of them obvious, but the Q&A also confirmed that Western Gondor will also be included in the expansion itself.

The team is also working on the lag that has plagued the MMO for years. Recently, Ciccolini tweeted out that the team had identified two sources of big lag in the MMO, and a big lag fix is coming next week in fact that should make things smoother, especially when running Delvings.

You can check out the full Q&A in the embed below. I'm pretty psyched about going to Umbar and exploring this lesser-seen region of Middle-earth, especially with its rich history and ties to the Numenoreans of old. What say you?


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore