The Lord of the Rings Online's Executive Producer Rob "Severlin" Ciccolini just posted his most recent producers letter, and in ithe talks about the upcoming Gundabad expansion, update 30, as well as the much anticipated Legendary Item revamp.
The producer's letter starts off talking about the release of Wildwood into the live game, bringing the new region of Bree-land to The Lord of the Rings Online. The region itself has been on the Bullroarer test server a few times in recent weeks, bringing both below level-cap and at level-cap content to the MMO. Additionally, March will see the Spring Festival with the new addition of a Festivity bringing Grimbeorn to the party.
Ciccolini also talks about upcoming "Further Adventures," a new quest arc type that uses the Mission system to allow players to "explore new stories involving major and minor characters in Middle-earth." Sev says that the first of these stories will follow everyone's favorite hobbit (Samwise) Bilbo Baggins.
Update 30 is coming as well this year, titled 'The Blood of Azog,' continuing the stories told in The War of Three Peaks and leading into the upcoming Gundabad expansion of The Lord of the Rings Online. After the tepid response to last year's mini-expansion, Ciccolini made sure to stress that Update 30 will be a normal content update, free to VIPs.
The Legendary worlds of Ithil and Anor should also be getting some love, as The Wastes are coming to the servers in April, with Mordor arriving in August of this year. PvMP players might also see some attention as a team member has been dedicated to addressing balance and more.
However, the large update (or one sentence update, really) many are looking for is how LotRO's Standing Stone Games is tackling the Legendary Item issue. The system has needed real work for years now, with the studio always talking about an LI revamp coming and then it gets pushed back. We now have some, if not scant, concrete idea on how the team is starting to address the issue.
Ciccolini mentions the team's focus this year will be to speed up leveling of Legendary Items for players not quite at the end-game content yet, as well as making "newer regions more appealing for people working on their items."
Not a whole lot of information there, but it's a start seeing a plan of action being communicated with the player base. Hopefully throughout the year the team will open up a bit more about exactly how this will work and what benefits it will ultimately bring to the system long-term.
You can read the full producer's letter on the official Lord of the Rings Online website.