Turbine has released another Developer Diary from The Lidless Eye focusing on East Rohan, the region coming in the Riders of Rohan. So why Rohan and not a different area? Well, as The Lidless Eye explains, we are finally coming back to the path that The Fellowship took as we journey into the timeline of The Two Towers. And so we enter into Rohan!
Of course Turinbe isn’t just unleashing Rohan on us unprepared. As he explains, earlier this year the Great River was released as a precursor to the area.
Our goal with the Great River earlier this year was to give players a taste of the Eorlingas as well as pushing development down the Anduin, right to the border of the Mark. While the world and content teams were at work populating that area, it fell to me to start work on the other side of the Limlight, in what turned out to be the largest landscape-development project for LOTRO since the initial construction of Eriador for the launch of the game.
He also explains that when they started planning the area they quickly discovered that Rohan was so large that it wasn’t feasible to create the entire zone in one pass without doing a poor job; so they cut it in half. This allowed for them to focus more on the eastern part of the region “…without getting distracted by the more major set-pieces like Helm’s Deep, which we’ll concentrate on more in the next update” It also provided them a way to break up the zone “thematically” so that for right now we can deal with Rohan while Wormtongue holds sway over Théoden; and later we can experience Théoden’s return to glory.
The rest of the article focuses on the development of the area and how the team went about planning and then later creating the zone. One interesting point that I thought was made was that they had to make the zone interesting without making it boring; which was tricky especially since the majority of the area lacks trees. The team also had to remember that Rohan is “a huge, functioning kindgom” that had to be taken into account as well.
The diary really lets you into the process of what goes into making a zone and really worth the read.