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Archive for March, 2007

USA Today blogs Middle-earth Idols

Jewels passed on the USA Today blogging of Middle-earth Idols! TORn gets credited instead of our friends at www.marsproductions.net and our own Xoanon is part of the production, but Ashlee & Rachel Scott did all the work! Read the blog and what others have to say here

Posted in Old Main News

LOTR battles rated among film’s best – and worst

The LOTR movie trilogy is well represented on CNN.com’s list of the ten best movie battle scenes. It also shows up on the worst ten. Other beloved geek films make the list along with the obvious war films. Thanks to GreenHeart for the tip. Read all about it at CNN.com

Posted in Old Main News

Sideshow Collectibles Newsletter

Be sure to check out our weekly Sideshow Collectibles update! Each week we provide an update on your favorite Sideshow goodies, from busts to premium figures and more! Take a look! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

New Weapons Doco Out Soon

Ever wanted to lead an army? Or just pretend for a day that you were King Theoden from LOTR? Well, lucky you because I can reveal that soon you will be able to re-live the trilogy in a new documentary coming out later this year, called ‘Reclaiming The Blade’. Just last week, the crew from RTB popped into the Workshop to talk to Richard and our Senior Swordsmith, Peter Lyon about the making of the weapons for the LOTR trilogy, The Last Samurai and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

EA Ties Up Lord Of The Rings License Through 2008

EA Ties Up Lord Of The Rings License Through 2008 Major publisher and developer Electronic Arts has renewed its license to release additional games set within the literary world of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings through 2008. EA has been responsible for recent titles based on New Line Cinema’s film adaptations of the classic novels since 2001. In addition, EA acquired the rights to develop games based on the classic The Lord Of The Rings book series itself in 2005, thus bringing all The Lord Of The Rings titles under EA’s umbrella. Previously, Vivendi Universal Games had separately licensed the right to use the Tolkein books from the Saul Zaentz Company, a situation which led to competing Lord Of The Rings games being released at the time the first movie debuted. However, Vivendi’s titles, which included a game based on The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, failed to garner either critical or consumer appeal. [More]

Posted in Old Main News

Live in NJ? Wanna Meet Daniel Reeve?

The girls from M.A.R.S. Productions write: We are pleased to announce the following U.S. appearance by Lord of the Rings Calligrapher, Daniel Reeve (danielreeve.co.nz) will be the keynote speaker at Thinking Creatively 2007, the annual conference of the Art Director’s Club of New Jersey. The conference reinforces the relevance of what creative people do best – imagining possibilities and creating them! [More]

Posted in Old Main News

LOTRO to serve as social hub for Tolkien enthusiasts

BOSTON – Reading a novel, with some rare exceptions, is a solitary experience. Reading “The Lord of the Rings” has been bringing fans together almost since the work was published by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1954 but the group experience was shared after the initial journey through Middle-earth. “The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” game hopes to bring Tolkien enthusiasts together in real time to experience an immersive version of Tolkien’s fictional world as a social experience. Read more here.

Posted in Old Main News

LOTRO to serve as social hub for Tolkien enthusiasts

BOSTON – Reading a novel, with some rare exceptions, is a solitary experience. Reading “The Lord of the Rings” has been bringing fans together almost since the work was published by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1954 but the group experience was shared after the initial journey through Middle-earth.

“The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” game hopes to bring Tolkien enthusiasts together in real time to experience an immersive version of Tolkien’s fictional world as a social experience. The spread of the internet has turned Tolkienite fandom from isolated groups or individuals that held dialog in fanzines publications or at conferences into one of chat rooms and message boards and instant messages.

Turbine Entertainment is doing everything in its power to create a social network inside its game to foster the same social opportunities for those who share a love for Middle-earth have been creating for decades. Like any game, especially ones with an ‘adventuring’ backbone, conflict (fighting) is a key motivator and way to improve a character. But most readers of Tolkien’s books aren’t skipping right to the Pelennor fields section and Middle-earth isn’t one big battle ground.

So inside the 50 million square meters of Middle-earth available to be explored, (with likely expansions on the horizon) the game is arranged to make things social. When TheOneRing.net visited Turbine CEO Jeff Anderson said the game is stocked with “social innovation.” According to designers and Anderson, a solitary player will find plenty to do and there is not a need to join even the smallest official social unit called, naturally, a fellowship. But there is little doubt that such connections will create an enriched in-game experience.

Fellowships
Players (such as users of TheOneRing.net) who find each other in the game can hook into fellowships with up to six players. (Why not nine? Don’t worry, we asked and Turbine explained that in this instance game play was more important than using a symbolic ‘fellowship’ number from the game that would create quests for nine and might be too difficult for smaller groups.) Fellowships (not to be confused with the Fellowship) have the ability for real time voice communication and will enjoy accomplishing “feats” as a group that require co-operation. Get your plug-in headphones ready. The idea here is to feel like family.

Advanced gamers (higher levels) will have the chance to go on raids as part of the game quests, often against groups or creatures that just couldn’t be defeated one-to-one. Raids can use up to 24 players but unlike some games there is no player vs. player feature.

Kinships
The biggest groups in the game are “kinships” which are loosely affiliated groups that can be of unlimited – yes absolutely unlimited – size. With many servers providing the game experience players will need to play on the same servers in order to be in, for example, the TORn kinship. Let it be known now, far and wide, that TheOneRing.net will form a kinship on the “Meneldor” server. Kinships serve to provide a ‘friendly face’ to new players so they can be comfortable in Middle-earth and makes forming kinships for adventures much easier. Groups bond as they not only adventure together but enjoy many of the same experiences that message boards and chat rooms provide. Players can find an inn, such as The Prancing Pony, and sit down for a pint with kinship members and enjoy a fireside chat or a bit of pipeweed as well as a bit of music which will be explained in a paragraph or three.

In-game communication
While in the virtual Middle-earth, several communication functions will be available. Those with headphones can talk as if over the phone. So yes, if your long distance bill is giant and your Mother enjoys a MMO game from time-to-time, why not visit her Hobbity self in the Shire as a gruff but heart-of-gold dwarf? It might add legitimacy to her claim that you are never going to get married, but the nagging might be more palatable coming from a Proudfoot.

The easiest form of communication is just typing to a character that you share game space with but you will also have in-game instant messaging. So, even if Uncle Frogrow (Steve from work) is off in the Barrow Downs you can remind him 30-minute lunch is getting stretched a bit and he better get back to work. The “ignore” feature is always a click away so if there are trouble makers on the server you can pretend they aren’t even there.

Commerce
In Middle-earth players have skills and those skills often aren’t enough to provide everything one might wish for. A miner for example, often can’t turn his buckskin into a vest while a tailor can’t grow a vegetable and needs to buy fortifying food from a cook. As a result there are action houses and trading banks that encourage friendly interaction.

And now for something completely different
All the previously mentioned functions aren’t new to multiplayer online games; in fact they are mostly standard. But Turbine decided early on in development that it wanted to keep players ‘home’ to do many of the things gamers already do away from gaming servers. As a result Middle-earth has some very modern features available to players. Instead of leaving to a community database elsewhere, players can create blogs and web pages for characters full of tips and tricks and guides to Middle-earth. It also allows a “Google Earth” map feature where players contribute information to key map points that for others to use in questing. Later when house and guildhouse building become a feature in later expansions (powerfully suspected after my visit to Turbine) the map feature will make it easy to find such places as (hypothetically) “Xoanon’s News Service” building or “TORn’s Rock Scrawling Message Board Kinship.” A wiki-like feature will also serve players and once again, all of it will be available in-game. And yea, that will keep the company’s page impressions even more robust.

Wight boys can wrap
One of the fun and innovative projects in LOTRO is the player’s ability to compose and play music in the game. The keyboard can be converted into a music keyboard and ta-da! A few versions of recorded songs have been appearing on YouTube. Such as LOTRO Dust In The Wind .

If that doesn’t make the minstrel class cool, I just don’t know what does. The class (selected at the beginning of the game) is useful in groups to rally the troops and increase morale while causing the enemy to lose heart. How much better can role playing get then to actually play tunes in the heat of battle. This next clip has nothing to do with that but it does have great footage of the game and an all-time classic song.
The closest thing to a Hobbit movie we have right now.

In conclusion
So yes, you can play LOTRO alone, no problem. But perhaps the greatest attraction for me is to try to use the social aspects of the game. Tolkien, for many has always been about community. There are many MMO games on the market and by their very nature they share strong similarities but here “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadow of Angmar” really stands out.

Posted in Old Special Reports

1 million to be invited to play Lord of the Rings Online

We are finally able to let the cat out of the bag! Turbine announced today that it will invite 1 million players to try out its “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” game for free. TheOneRing will have a limited number of keys to give away so expect further details and further coverage of the game all week. Read the full press release from Turbine Inc. here

Posted in Old Main News

1 million to be invited to play Lord of the Rings Online

We are finally able to let the cat out of the bag! Turbine announced today that it will invite 1 million players to try out its “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” game for free. TheOneRing will have a limited number of keys to give away so expect further details and further coverage of the game all week.

WESTWOOD, MA and CHICAGO, IL Turbine, Inc. and Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) announced a massive, free “World Tour of Middle-earth” available to players throughout North America. Over one million players are planned to be invited into The Lord of the Rings Online(tm): Shadows of Angmar(tm), the most complete and authentic massively multiplayer online (MMO) world based upon the famous Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The World Tour of Middle-earth is scheduled to begin on April 6th and continue until the anticipated launch of the game on April 24th.

“We decided to launch the World Tour of Middle-earth because of the overwhelming demand from players to get into the closed beta,” said Jeffrey Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine, Inc.

“We expect the World Tour of Middle-earth to be a spectacular event like nothing that you’ve ever seen before.”

Free access to this hotly anticipated game combined with the staggering size and scale of the World Tour of Middle-earth make this an unprecedented event in the MMO industry. Players can pre-order the game at select retail stores nationwide or here and start their adventures in Middle-earth beginning on March 30th.

Advancement in the game will be capped at level 15 which will give players a great opportunity to experience the most authentic online persistent recreation of Middle-earth ever made. Players should visit www.lotro.com/worldtour” to get more information on how to obtain a World Tour key. (Psst – MrCere here again. In addition to the information linked there, TORn will be giving away a few keys as well, look for details soon. Now back to your regularly scheduled press release)

The Lord of the Rings Online is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game based upon the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The game recreates the vast world of Middle-earth with incredible dedication to the lore with an unprecedented level of detail. The game delivers an experience that takes players beyond the Books to where they can create their own story within the most famous fantasy world of all time. For more information, please visit .

Posted in
Old Special Reports

1 million to be invited to play Lord of the Rings Online

We are finally able to let the cat out of the bag! Turbine announced today that it will invite 1 million players to try out its “Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar” game for free. TheOneRing will have a limited number of keys to give away so expect further details and further coverage of the game all week. Read the full press release from Turbine Inc. here

WESTWOOD, MA and CHICAGO, IL – March 27, 2007 — Turbine, Inc. and Midway Games Inc. (NYSE: MWY) announced a massive, free “World Tour of Middle-earth” available to players throughout North America. Over one million players are planned to be invited into The Lord of the Rings Online(tm): Shadows of Angmar(tm), the most complete and authentic massively multiplayer online (MMO) world based upon the famous Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The World Tour of Middle-earth is scheduled to begin on April 6th and continue until the anticipated launch of the game on April 24th.

“We decided to launch the World Tour of Middle-earth because of the overwhelming demand from players to get into the closed beta,” said Jeffrey Anderson, President and CEO of Turbine, Inc.

“We expect the World Tour of Middle-earth to be a spectacular event like nothing that you’ve ever seen before.”

Free access to this hotly anticipated game combined with the staggering size and scale of the World Tour of Middle-earth make this an unprecedented event in the MMO industry. Players can pre-order the game at select retail stores nationwide or at www.lotro.com/preorder and start their adventures in Middle-earth beginning on March 30th.

Advancement in the game will be capped at level 15 which will give
players a great opportunity to experience the most authentic online
persistent recreation of Middle-earth ever created. Players should
visit www.lotro.com/worldtour to get more information on how to obtain a World Tour key. (Psst – MrCere here again. In addition to the information linked there, TORn will be giving away a few keys as well. Now back to your regularly scheduled press release)

The Lord of the Rings Online is the first and only massively multiplayer online role-playing game based upon the Books of J.R.R. Tolkien. The game recreates the vast world of Middle-earth with incredible dedication to the lore with an unprecedented level of detail. The game delivers an experience that takes players beyond the Books to where they can create their own story within the most famous fantasy world of all time. For more information, please visit www.lotro.com.

Posted in Old Special Reports

Tolkien Readings in Italy

Ian Collier, Tolkien Society Publicity Officer writes: I thought TheOneRing would be interested in the dates of some public readings happening in Italy. The Faggiorosso smial in Reggio Emilia, Italy are organizing literary events on the following dates in different venues: Thursday 29 March 2007, 9:15pm (Birreria Artù, via Tassoni 39A, Reggio Emilia) & Saturday 28 April 2007, 4:15pm (380 Art&Jazz Industrie, via Dante 11 (ex Stalloni), Reggio Emilia). The smial will be reciting selected readings from ‘The Hobbit’, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Smith of Wootton Major’, including the mirror of Galadriel, Gandalf and the Balrog, and the arrival at the house of Beorn. All events are free, though the number of seats may be limited. The readings last about an hour / an hour and a half.

Posted in Old Main News