Filling in the World of Middle-earth

Elendilmirian

Well-known member
Maybe Mt Gram is a dormant volcano?

Mount_Gram.jpg


Around it you can find some volcanic features like the Malenhad thermal area in Angmar (that allows it to be ice-free) or Dol Dínen (hint: in Sindarin means "Silent Hill", game that was launched in 2006) in the North Downs.
 

Feral_Yoda

Member
Thinking about expansion releases in recent history: a BtS style expansion in Angmar area cannot be the next expansion. That would mean there's two expansion back-to-back without a level cap increase. Maybe this is possible but I think the changes may boil down to losing the original asset files for Iron Pass. If tools got upgraded it might be that assets need to be upgraded as well to continue working with new versions. These changes may simply be due to upgrading the asset file.

Or, it could just be a distraction
I don't think it will be an expansion level type deal when it does come. It isn't a huge area that's visible. So probably a much a smaller update thing like the Breeland Wild Wood or Yondershire was. I could be wrong though, only time will tell.

Nor do I think its a distraction, since that doesn't make sense, and would be rather pointless. Most players are completely oblivious to these changes.

Maybe Mt Gram is a dormant volcano?

Mount_Gram.jpg


Around it you can find some volcanic features like the Malenhad thermal area in Angmar (that allows it to be ice-free) or Dol Dínen (hint: in Sindarin means "Silent Hill", game that was launched in 2006) in the North Downs.
That's what i was trying to allude to when i mentioned gram maybe being involved in some sort of "ring-ish" experiments by the the With King... the basalt flows... the Malenhad geysers... all of it point toward a volcananics. With Gram easily fitting the bill, and kind of looking like one from the Moors.
 

lolplaylotro

Guardian of Time
Nor do I think its a distraction, since that doesn't make sense, and would be rather pointless. Most players are completely oblivious to these changes.
I didn't mean distraction like a pointless distraction, but rather updating the assets would drop a subtle change on the world (which we got). It's ultimately about preparing for some next content. Not about what's coming soon. That kind of distraction. As in they;re not even working on it everyday until after next expansion.

So we're stuck at square one until then. At least that's how it looks. The big something unexpected ended up being something else. Now we can all dream about Mount Gram stories until the fall when we might find out more.
 

Feral_Yoda

Member
One thing i wish was in the game, and could deal with the area people here call "Ettendale" would be the remains of the old east-west dwarf road that went through the Misties but skipped Rivendale's "hidden" valley, as was supposed to be the case in the books.

I think traditionally the road was south of Rivendale, (in LOTRO terms) heading up the same path to the Giant's Valley through Stonesmere and then up to Iorbar via Imlad Norn or Greybound End and beyond to the Passes over the Misties. Sort of connecting two big "Giant" areas... a Giant's Trail type thing, with more exploration on them as a people.

But it could also go North connecting the remains of old Rhudaur roads and ruins that already exist to some extent in the Trollshaws, heading past the physical Lost Temple on the map and into the "Ettendale" and whatever would/could be there (as well as connecting up Glan Vraig to the main road) and then up the mountainside (following another fork of the Bruinen) to Iskeld's lookout maybe and into the Misties.

Either would be fun in my opinion.
 
Did nobody catch the teaser of the new expansion at the start of Scenario's stream on Minas Tirith/Far Anorien?

It's some place called "Ambural North", and it has to be part of the Harad expansion, not the rumored Rhuduar expansion, due to both the location of the coordinates already being taken in the Eriador map and just based on the appearance of the water/foiliage.

If we take a look at the coordinates in the corner of the screen, this area is located at 47.8 S, 37.1 W.

Why is this significant? Well, it can give us a good idea for the minimum size of the expansion. The furthest east location in Umbar is located at 92.8 W, meaning that this location is around 56 units to the east of that.

To give you an idea of that distance, it’s about the east-west distance between Thorins Hall and the Midgewater Marshes….so BIG.

This isn’t even taking into account the north-south area of the expansion. Umbar goes to around 25 S, so we’re talking at the very least around 22 units, or about the distance from Bree to Fornost. BUT you might notice it’s called Ambural - NORTH. This means it goes south even more than what we see here. This isn’t even taking into account the fact that the expansion will go north of Umbar as well most likely.

Now of course, it's possible this is just a testing area that they placed wherever. However, I think it looks way too built out to just be that.
 

Harvain

Well-known member
Did nobody catch the teaser of the new expansion at the start of Scenario's stream on Minas Tirith/Far Anorien?

It's some place called "Ambural North", and it has to be part of the Harad expansion, not the rumored Rhuduar expansion, due to both the location of the coordinates already being taken in the Eriador map and just based on the appearance of the water/foiliage.

If we take a look at the coordinates in the corner of the screen, this area is located at 47.8 S, 37.1 W.

Why is this significant? Well, it can give us a good idea for the minimum size of the expansion. The furthest east location in Umbar is located at 92.8 W, meaning that this location is around 56 units to the east of that.

To give you an idea of that distance, it’s about the east-west distance between Thorins Hall and the Midgewater Marshes….so BIG.

This isn’t even taking into account the north-south area of the expansion. Umbar goes to around 25 S, so we’re talking at the very least around 22 units, or about the distance from Bree to Fornost. BUT you might notice it’s called Ambural - NORTH. This means it goes south even more than what we see here. This isn’t even taking into account the fact that the expansion will go north of Umbar as well most likely.

Now of course, it's possible this is just a testing area that they placed wherever. However, I think it looks way too built out to just be that.
Clearly beyond it being a teaser it would be hard to say what might occur. At least for what is seen has a more "Wetlands" vibe for that Section of Landscape to it that is either near to a river or is inward of the Great Sea but along the coast.
  • Background almost looks like a river with some hills on the other side that has some trees but this is going off a limited few seconds of footage + screenshot.
  • Also the Mini-map has a different shown terrain that looks almost Gondorian-like for the buildings so this could just be a teaser of Content not coming in 2024 but is well on it's way for being prepared.
Also Coordinates have to be taken with a grain of salt as not everything will line up perfectly and how Landscape has been built over the years will sometimes vary at Transitions between the Main Regions or how over time the "Scale" of Landscape Content has been getting larger for X amount of Content.
  • Example of Coordinate Transition difference: The Coordinates between Rohan - Eastfold - Rhovanian transitions over into the Dawnless Days Gondor for Far Anorien.
    • This goes from 69.9S, 55.3W (Rohan-Rhovanian) to 41.1S, 45.7W (Far Anorien-Gondor Dawnless Days).
      • There is a Pukel-men Statue at the river crossing.
      • The terrain between the 2 versions are different but are the same river.
      • Beaconworth is visible in both versions.
The 47.8S, 37.1W for Eriador is in the middle of Cardolan. Rohan also has a 47.8S, 37.1W for the Wold & East Wall (on both maps) and this being apart of the Rhovanion section of the Game.

So yeah, fun little teaser but it could easily be something that is hinting at well anything. If that location is a more "Wetlands" bit of landscape, it looks too green to be as south as Umbar or might be in the green parts along the coast that is the area around Umbar but still within the Haradwaith Region. It's wait & see.
  • Could even be a teaser of a bit of how they'll transition from Gondor/Ithilien into South Gondor (Harandor) and heading into Haradwaith + Near Harad with what is being seen is closer to Gondor/Ithilien.
 

Feral_Yoda

Member
Did nobody catch the teaser of the new expansion at the start of Scenario's stream on Minas Tirith/Far Anorien?

It's some place called "Ambural North", and it has to be part of the Harad expansion, not the rumored Rhuduar expansion, due to both the location of the coordinates already being taken in the Eriador map and just based on the appearance of the water/foiliage.

If we take a look at the coordinates in the corner of the screen, this area is located at 47.8 S, 37.1 W.

Why is this significant? Well, it can give us a good idea for the minimum size of the expansion. The furthest east location in Umbar is located at 92.8 W, meaning that this location is around 56 units to the east of that.

To give you an idea of that distance, it’s about the east-west distance between Thorins Hall and the Midgewater Marshes….so BIG.

This isn’t even taking into account the north-south area of the expansion. Umbar goes to around 25 S, so we’re talking at the very least around 22 units, or about the distance from Bree to Fornost. BUT you might notice it’s called Ambural - NORTH. This means it goes south even more than what we see here. This isn’t even taking into account the fact that the expansion will go north of Umbar as well most likely.

Now of course, it's possible this is just a testing area that they placed wherever. However, I think it looks way too built out to just be that.
I missed the first couple minutes of the stream and completely missed that. I wasn't reading the chat either... but i'm surprised a bigger deal wasn't made of it during the stream.

Certainly interesting, but not that surprising. I'm guessing Update 42 is going to be heading up the river, roads and settlements tend to be near water after all. And its size (based on the last 2 paid expansions) i'm guessing will be significant. Can't wait to find out more.
 
Some additional info from Scenario’s stream:

-He mentions Rhun as a possible future zone several times. I wouldn’t put too much into it, but he mentioned it on his own, seemingly without chat specifically mentioning it.
-Don’t expect Middle Mirkwood to be filled in any time soon. If it is, it might be as part of the Rhun update.
-For the Harad expansion, we shouldn’t expect to see a large scale Saharan desert. Scenario made the point that although we certainly will see more arid, desert-like environments with a new structural and landscape assets, we are still in the borderlands between Umbar and Harad.
 

Harvain

Well-known member
Some additional info from Scenario’s stream:

-He mentions Rhun as a possible future zone several times. I wouldn’t put too much into it, but he mentioned it on his own, seemingly without chat specifically mentioning it.
-Don’t expect Middle Mirkwood to be filled in any time soon. If it is, it might be as part of the Rhun update.
-For the Harad expansion, we shouldn’t expect to see a large scale Saharan desert. Scenario made the point that although we certainly will see more arid, desert-like environments with a new structural and landscape assets, we are still in the borderlands between Umbar and Harad.
Just focusing on the "Desert" part for Harad.

There are seemingly a lot of people who know that Harad is "known" for it's Desert(s) and both Inside & Outside of LOTRO believe that when we see a sizeable amount of Content in Harad itself it should be focusing on said Desert(s).

Obviously not everyone playing LOTRO is there yet but if one travels East of Umbar itself into the hills how the terrain looks like there is more akin to what we'll likely see ahead of the "Harad Desert(s)".
  • A mixture of what one would see further north in Gondor as well as stuff one would expect when being closer to more Arid/Desert Regions with sand, smaller & dryer Trees + Plants, along with Animals more native to Saharan/Arid/Desert environments.


Granted Maps can & will change to reflect how Terrain is eventually built but if looking at the Current Pre-Harad Version of Haradwaith there is visually what looks like to be around only 30% that could be "mostly" Desert Terrain.
  • Granted it's just me looking at such but one could only expect "Desert" within the confines of the words: "Umbar, Near Harad, and Far Harad" as seen on the Haradwaith.
It'll be wait & see until Content is added to the Game but the general idea from the Map is that it's only once one is "East & South of the City of Umbar" and heading East to South-East is where full on "Desert Terrain" will be encountered within the Near Harad section.

This also is keeping in mind that we've yet to have any Major Region within LOTRO fully fleshed out where every bit of Map being displayed is somewhere we can either Visit or at least See.

Haradwaith_map.jpg
 

Hierok

Protector of Valinor
Some additional info from Scenario’s stream:

-He mentions Rhun as a possible future zone several times. I wouldn’t put too much into it, but he mentioned it on his own, seemingly without chat specifically mentioning it.
-Don’t expect Middle Mirkwood to be filled in any time soon. If it is, it might be as part of the Rhun update.
-For the Harad expansion, we shouldn’t expect to see a large scale Saharan desert. Scenario made the point that although we certainly will see more arid, desert-like environments with a new structural and landscape assets, we are still in the borderlands between Umbar and Harad.
A good bet is that they are gonna focus on the circle around Mordor so to say. We going east now in the direction of Khand and then maybe north to Rhûn to finish all the stories around Mordor. I notice on the Haradwaith map that the giant river that flows into the Bay of Umbar is not drawn there, but the small river to the north is, so my guess is that we are gonna follow that river on to the east.

Seeing as who know almost nothing of Khand, I hope there is some large city like Umbar Baharbel that is maybe a bit more fantasy like like Minas Tirith. Maybe something like this would be cool in that river.
michael-w-fantasy-city.jpg

But in a different architectual design than the one from Numenor.
 

FeanorDidNothingWrong

Jail-crow of Mandos
Has anyone been able to reach Amon Lhaw? There is a path up there with mobs walking along it, which is unusual for an out of bounds area, but I haven't been able to scale the rocks to get there yet. I feel like I'm a pixel away from reaching the path.
 

Harvain

Well-known member
I notice on the Haradwaith map that the giant river that flows into the Bay of Umbar is not drawn there, but the small river to the north is, so my guess is that we are gonna follow that river on to the east.
Most LOTR Maps don't show a River going into Umbar itself.
  • The only ones which I've seen with a River is flowing from the South to South-East from/into the Bay of Umbar and those were a few which were "Metal" Plate Maps.
The River Harnen is that river above Umbar which is the border for Harondor (South Gondor). Honestly the LOTRO Haradwaith Map downplays this River a bit, especially the Mouth of the River is seemingly many times wider than what is seen.
 

Phantion

Well-known member
Most LOTR Maps don't show a River going into Umbar itself.
  • The only ones which I've seen with a River is flowing from the South to South-East from/into the Bay of Umbar and those were a few which were "Metal" Plate Maps.
The River Harnen is that river above Umbar which is the border for Harondor (South Gondor). Honestly the LOTRO Haradwaith Map downplays this River a bit, especially the Mouth of the River is seemingly many times wider than what is seen.

Yeah. Yet, having scoped out eastern Umbar as much as I could, yes, the river flowing from Nen Umbar eastward is more substantial.

I think that the Harnen simply hasn't appeared yet, and it might more likely be "the border" between, say, an After-Battle South Ithilien and Harondor and Haradwaith proper. That just makes some sense.

We really need to remember that we're entering a different type of territory map-wise. The most filled-out, detailed areas of the map are the areas visited by a Hobbit, be it from within the plot of "The Hobbit" or the LOTR. The main characters never visited western Gondor, for example, and so they added a large lake and some rivers. Just because Tolkien didn't draw them doesn't mean they weren't there or impossible for others to imagine there.

The same goes to the brief vision we got there from Scenario of what appears to be a delta, swamp-ish territory. They have to fill-in places that aren't "barren" per se; it's simply that neither Frodo nor Bilbo went there, and so, Tolkien didn't know what - was - there to begin with. The Harnen is honestly a fluke because Tolkien had to give Aragorn's realm some sort of a border to its south. That's literally the only reason why that river "exists" and has a name. There's tons of stuff we can imagine in all sorts of "blank" spaces a Hobbit didn't visit on the map.

Cheers! :D
 
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Ilyana

Hanging Gardens of Lyndelby
Has anyone been able to reach Amon Lhaw? There is a path up there with mobs walking along it, which is unusual for an out of bounds area, but I haven't been able to scale the rocks to get there yet. I feel like I'm a pixel away from reaching the path.
sadly not ... I've tried many times over the years using a variety of methods - it's definately invisi-walled off. LM pets which are usually able to traverse far steeper cliffs than your toon are not able to reach those mobs when trained on them.
 

Scenario_SSG

Senior World Designer
Most LOTR Maps don't show a River going into Umbar itself.
  • The only ones which I've seen with a River is flowing from the South to South-East from/into the Bay of Umbar and those were a few which were "Metal" Plate Maps.
The River Harnen is that river above Umbar which is the border for Harondor (South Gondor). Honestly the LOTRO Haradwaith Map downplays this River a bit, especially the Mouth of the River is seemingly many times wider than what is seen.
I would not be shocked if the Haradwaith, World and Stable Collection maps get updated for U42 as we have a clearer (though still rough) picture of what the geography of the whole territory looks like, particularly in terms of water ways (aka - we did more extensive planning beyond Umbar to support U42 and beyond).
 

Hierok

Protector of Valinor
I would not be shocked if the Haradwaith, World and Stable Collection maps get updated for U42 as we have a clearer (though still rough) picture of what the geography of the whole territory looks like, particularly in terms of water ways (aka - we did more extensive planning beyond Umbar to support U42 and beyond).
That is really interesting news. Are there also cities and such planned for the future, so it might look something like this?
image.png
 

Phantion

Well-known member
I would not be shocked if the Haradwaith, World and Stable Collection maps get updated for U42 as we have a clearer (though still rough) picture of what the geography of the whole territory looks like, particularly in terms of water ways (aka - we did more extensive planning beyond Umbar to support U42 and beyond).

I very much look forward to what happens next!

I just want to take a sincere moment to applaud you, your fellow worldbuilders, MoL, your lore-folks, and your whole Team. This is the best LOTR-based game I've ever played, the most nuanced, and it captures Tolkien's essence and purposes extremely well. I'm very pleased with how you've all handled places like Dunland and Umbar, and I much look forward to where we're heading next! Well done, and kudos to all of you!

Cheers! :D
 
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