- How Can I Buy Before the Shadow?
- Character Name UI Update
- How to Start in the New Area – Choose Your Tutorial!
- Why I Like the New Tutorial
- A Little Extra Mount
- When Can I Start Before the Shadow?
How Can I Buy Before the Shadow?
As of March 2023, you have two options:
- Buy an Expansion package, with various fab extras bundled in. I did a review of the Before the Shadow Ultimate Edition, for example.
- Unlock the basic expansion for LOTRO Points in the in-game store. The price is 1,999. A rough calculation puts this at about £16.25GBP, not much different to the £16.99 Standard Edition price.
Character Name UI Update
The Randomize button is still there if you want automated character name suggestions. This is handy in case coming up with your own name is difficult.
How to Start in the New Area – Choose Your Tutorial!
If you choose to run the tutorial quest/instances then the default is “Shadows of Angmar”. To new LOTRO players, this is the “base pack” that runs up to L50 Epic quest before Moria.
These begin in various locations and depend on which race you have chosen.
As the UI box says, you can skip the tutorial, which does exactly that. You’ll then begin post-tutorial in the default zones based on your race. But skipping a tutorial isn’t why you’re here!
Start in Before the Shadow
Instead of the defaults, click the “Before the Shadow” button then complete your character’s appearance. Hit “Enter Middle-Earth” and let’s see what happens next!
Here, you get a unique tutorial that covers various aspects of the game.
How to Start Before the Shadow on an Existing Character
If you just want to pick up the Epic and side quests on a character you already have, then just head to Mossward.
Another player told me that the easiest route is Michel Delving → Mossward with the Stablemaster.
Why I Like the New Tutorial
You are the Tutor
However, he plays a key role in the new LOTRO tutorial. What I really like is that SSG have made a tutorial that doesn’t treat you like a clueless, lumbering fool. Instead, your character is instructing Tegwyn on the basics of the adventuring life. So you take him to key locations.
- The Blacksmith’s shop to show the importance of gearing up and repairing your gear.
- In that shop, a side-line is about needing to earn coin to pay for gear and repairs.
- The defeat circle outside of Mossward, so you understand what happens when you are defeated.
- A training dummy to demonstrate the basics of your class’ fighting style.
So, while it is a starter guide for the player themselves, it doesn’t make you feel bad for not knowing the basics of a new game. And I like that a lot.
A Little Extra Mount
How to Get This Steed
Anyway, per the Update 34 (Beta 2) Patch Notes, you can get the new Little Extra Mount by completing the quest “A Little Extra Never Hurts — Part 2“.
It’s a lovely grey horse, or pony, with a simple bridle. And, although it’s a “standard steed”, it’s based on newer LOTRO mounts models, so “feels” more real.
Unless you have at least Apprentice Riding, this steed gives a +32% movement speed.
Getting the Mount on Other Characters
The Patch Notes also say you can pick up this steed by bartering Mithril Coins at Archet, Celondim, Little Delving and Thorin’s Gates.
When Can I Start Before the Shadow?
I updated my original LOTRO Before the Shadow post after see this tweet from @lotro. If you have purchased a copy of Before the Shadow, the release date is now the 15th November 2022.
From what I’ve seen on Bullroarer so far, it will be worth the wait!
TL;DR Start A New Character in Before the Shadow to Experience It!
My initial impressions of Mossward and Swanfleet are that it is a beautiful region. The music here is sublime. So, once it launches, go and start a new character in Before the Shadow, experience the new tutorial and claim your mount. I’m very much looking forwwrd to digging deeper into the new regions. I hope you are too. Have fun in Middle-Earth!