Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle Unboxed!
What's in this LOTRO Box, Precious?

LOTRO Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle Unboxed - What's in the Ultimate Edition?

With the latest expansion of The Lord of the Rings Online being released in early November 2022, it’s time to have a look at the LOTRO Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle! Let’s unbox it all and let you have a peek in to see if that is the package for you. I’ve marked which features apply to which package in most cases to help you out, too. This guide is mostly done at last so, enjoy!


Starting Comments

Image Quality/Load Speed

Usually I compromise image quality to gain load speed. While I have compressed the images slightly, I’ve not gone as far as I would normally. The reason is that some people may or may not choose to pay real money based on what they see in this Ultimate Fan Bundle review. Therefore, I’ve kept the picture quality high so you can make informed judgements either way.

Until tech evolves again in a way to use higher-quality images on faster connections, I apologise if load time is slower here than my other content.

Disclaimers

  • LOTRO gave me a Code for the Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle for free.
  • There was no expectation or inference from them that I should, or would, publicise it in anyway.
  • There were absolutely no conditions on my receiving of it.
  • I am reporting on it, with the occasional opinion. You are responsible with your money. Hopefully.

I guess that’s clear enough? Onto the interesting stuff then!


What’s in the LOTRO Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle?

The main items included are (use the links to jump to items of interest!):

And there is more! So, in one sense, a better question would be what’s not in the Ultimate Fan Bundle, because there’s a bit of everything packed into the small 32×32 icons! So let’s get into it.


Mounts

Before you open your boxes and ask Where are my Before the Shadow Mounts that I paid for?, the answer is that they are…wait for it… in your Mounts Panel! You don’t need to click anything to activate or “learn” them as you do with pets.

Elk of Flowing Silver

Ultimate

Valiant Steed of the Dúnedain

Ultimate Collectors


Matching Cosmetics
Valiant Armour of the Dúnedain
The Valiant Steed of the Dúnedain is a mid-grey horse (or pony), with what appears to be a combination of both metal and leather armour plates. As with the Valiant Armour of the Dúnedain, your mount has a “real” metal helm. Plate armour covers the back of the neck hiding the horse’s mane with a bit of extra support on the rump and chest.Valiant Steed of the Dúnedain (from the back)
This Before the Shadow mount has no separate saddle, as you just sit on an area of leather “plates”. Finally, it has no fancy tail, maybe a testament to the fact that many Dúnedain had been in the wilds.

Outfit Cosmetics

The Ultimate Fan Bundle contains two unique – and I mean, totally unique, cosmetic armour sets. One is a very shiny Elven-inspired outfit while the other is a lightly-armoured one.

I am aware I've mostly only shown female 'Big People' here. I wanted to get something out for you all. I have started on other races/body shapes, so will release these soonish.

Cosmetic Armour of Flowing Silver

Ultimate

Health Warning: don’t look at this in broad daylight – it’s very reflective! The Armour of Flowing Silver is a combination of – I think – metal plate and cloth. As with other Elven sets, there is a nod towards nature; either leaves themselves, or the veins found on leaves are used, but in a tasteful way.

The only other thing I’ll give an opinion on is I think the helm is weird. The plate on the cheekbones and across the nose are great, but the spikes upward seem a bit more Angmar-inspired than Elven. But maybe I’m missing some lore in terms of how the Eldar dressed, or something?

How Well Do These Dye?

I need to experiment on all pieces, but from my initial quick tests, the plate metal bits do not dye. I’ll provide screenshots soon.


Valiant Armour of the Dúnedain

Ultimate Collectors

How Well Do These Dye?

I’ll provide shots soon, but the only bits that dye are where you can see red. Bits like the cloak’s trim, the pauldrons’ fabric, that kind of thing.


Weapon Aura of Elven Blessings

Ultimate

Inline with the “Flowing Silver” cosmetics and mount, the Weapon Aura of Elvan Blessings is a bright, glistening aura for your weapons and shields. Especially clear on the shield in the video (on the right or below), is the beautiful “flowing” effect. There are also bonus sparkles, as seen on the mount when it’s in motion.

For auras to show, equip a 'blank' in the equipment/gear panel. They do not appear to work if an actual aura is in the gear and a different one in the outfit slot.

Weapon Aura Of Elvan Blessings
Play this video
Weapon Aura Of Elvan Blessings

Cosmetic Pets

Friendly Heron

Ultimate Collectors

Loyal Turtle

Ultimate


Emotes

Emote: /dance_elf4

Ultimate Collectors Standard

Elf Dance of Old Traditions (/dance_elf4)
Play this video
Elf Dance of Old Traditions (/dance_elf4)

Emote: /mountdressage

Ultimate

Mount Dressage Emote (/mountdressage)
Play this video
Mount Dressage Emote (/mountdressage)

Flowing Silver Stones

These are Pocket slot items and have different effects. Only people who purchase the Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle are granted these stones.


Titles

The Ultimate Fan Bundle contains these two titles:

  • Title Before the Shadow
    You have been here since before the shadow crept over Middle-earth.
    Ultimate
  • Title Of the First Page
    You were there, from the first page, through the last, and onto the next.
    Ultimate Collectors
Titles granted from the Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle
These may not appear underneath each other in your Titles panel. Image for illustration only.

Carry-All Selection Box

Ultimate

This has the snappy name of Before the Shadow Ultimate Carry-all Selection Box! This lets you choose one Large Carry-all from the following types:

  • Healer’s
  • Crafting
  • Task Item
  • Essence and Tracery
  • Instrument
  • Housing Decoration
  • Dye

Other Items

Ultimate Collectors

Ultimate

  • Extra Character Slot
  • Shared Storage Slots × 10
  • Ultimate Expedition Supplies
  • A “Housing Teleporter”: I’m not sure what that is…considering we already have “Return to” for both standard and Premium properties like the Rohan Housing but the FAQ references Caras Gelebren Mural Alcove.
  • Monster Skins…sounds gross but I guess it’s for PvMP rather than a Task Board!

What are Expedition Supplies?

Improved Expedition Supplies

  • Virtue XP Acceleration Tome 1 × 5,000 Virtue XP VXP Accelerator
  • Large Reputation Acceleration Tome 5 × 5,000 ReputationReputation Boosts
  • 5 × +100% XP Boosts
  • 5 × Rare Crafting Components

Ultimate Expedition Supplies


Choose Your Before the Shadow Edition

LOTRO Before the Shadow Editions Comparison
As always, there are three levels of packages available. It’s up to you which Before the Shadow edition you want. However, just an FYI, that the following items get delivered once BtS is launched:

  • The expansion story and quests: in case that needed saying…
  • Additional Character Slot (Ultimate/Collectors)
  • 10 × Shared Storage Space (Ultimate)
  • The Mysterious “Housing Teleporter”: no doubt it’s been announced someplace and I’ve missed it.

Further Reading


TL;DR Is the Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle Worth It?

That is a question only you can answer! I’m not completely copping out. LOTRO have put a lot into this bundle, but I think the number of items and bonuses given for each tier is representative of the proportional increase in price.

Had SSG not given me a code for a LOTRO Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle, my choice would have been based on our family’s financial situation, rather than what I thought I was happy to buy into.

After all the above, my favourites are the Weapon Aura and the new Tortoise Stone, which may not be what SSG would anticipate! Anyway, whichever you go for – even if that’s the basic package – remember “basic” includes two new regions and a shedload of new storywriting and world exploring. I’m looking forward to it!


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October/November 2022: I've been fixing broken images recently, which will surface some very old content, some of which may be inaccurate now. I can only deal with one problem at a time!