The upcoming update 35 for The Lord of the Rings Online is available to start testing today via the Bullroarer test server. Highlighting the test is the revamped classic instance, The Return To Carn Dum.
Announced as part of its 2023 roadmap, The Return To Carn Dum does exactly what its name implies: returning to one of the most iconic instanced dungeons from the original release of The Lord of the Rings Online. During the Shadows of Angmar era, Carn Dum was one of three Angmar-based endgame dungeons, and with Update 35 players are returning to it at long last to try to drive out the "last remnants of the Iron Crown."
"After suffering countless setbacks and defeats, the last remnants of the Iron Crown have returned to Carn Dûm, hoping to wield a lost artifact of the Witch-king of Angmar to win dominion over the Free Peoples of Middle-earth. Aid the Hill-men of the North and their allies in the fight to cast off the Iron Crown once and for all!"
Players will be able to take part in the instance and the Gwathrenost raid in this first batch of testing, running starting today through February 10th. The testing will also help to run new mechanic tweaks through their paces at scale, with revamps to the Captain and Warden classes, and more.
One major revamp being tested is LotRO's role of Power (think Mana in other MMORPGs) in the MMO, especially for late-game players. Power is something that affects most skills, but in recent years it's been less important to manage versus just managing skill cool-downs. The update being tested brings meaningful changes to how Power is handled in-game, especially for those healers and crafters who found the resource lacking as of late. One major change is that Fate, one of the stats each player has, will no longer impact In-Combat Power Regen, something a Hunter like myself has been building around for a while now. Instead, In-Combat regen will scale based on level rather than your Fate.
You can check out the full notes on the Lord of the Rings Online forums. 2023 stands poised to be a big year for the MMO, reaching the shores of Harad with Umbar being the destination for the next expansion, a prospect that has me more excited than I can express.