Spoiler alert: This article contains pictures relating to the Helm’s Deep expansion.
I regularly search social network sites and photo galleries for potential information about new games currently under development. These have proven to be a very useful resources in the past. I was therefore not surprised to find some images that appear to come from Turbine’s new expansion for LOTRO, Helm’s Deep. The pictures are mainly maps of West Rohan and surrounding areas. As usual the bulk of them are temporary place holders for the benefit of the developers. However, even in this form they are still informative, providing clues to the size of the new landmass and what it will feature.
Update: Ethelros over at LOTROplayers edited the above map and marked some potential locations on it. This map was then combined with one of the temporary maps that were leaked last year for Riders of Rohan. The two halves marry up very well. However it should be remembered that this has not officially endorsed by Turbine and remains a work of supposition.
There are also some images from the game which look like the sort that feature on loading screens. One of them features men of Rohan. Another appears to be the Golden Hall of Meduseld.
However the two images that intrigued me the most are those showing enclosed areas with “Objectives” and “Score Points”. One mentions Fangorn and the other Moria in the “Fun Facts” section. I have no idea what these relate to? Perhaps this is some sort of new game mechanic that is being introduced into the game?
Update: It would appear that these two images have been spotted before. Here is a link to a French LOTRO fan site from a year ago. This looks like it may be part of a game mechanic that Turbine never implemented.
These pictures raise some interesting questions and hopefully indicate that the Helm’s Deep expansion is progressing well. Hopefully Turbine will announce a pre-order schedule and a specific launch date soon. If anyone has any theories regarding these images or their source please leave a comment.