LOTRO Before the Shadow
Mini Expansion Announced!

LOTRO Before the Shadow - new Regions and information on this mini expansion

I wanted to chat with you about the upcoming Before the Shadow content in LOTRO. This is going to be the latest “mini expansion” released by SSG and open to lower levels. Sometimes, when you’ve been playing The Lord of the Rings Online for a long time, it’s easy to forget that the “base pack” had a name: Shadows of Angmar, but the new expansion includes a starter area! So, let’s take a look at what we do know at this stage – as we are taken before Angmar’s Shadow fell.

Apart from the additional text, header and branding is © The Lord of the Rings Online/Standing Stone Games. I (in my guise as FJ or under my real name) am not associated in anyway with LOTRO or SSG. While stocks last, that kinda thing.

Boromir’s Story?

Per the official announcement, Before the Shadow will follow

Boromir’s journey North to Rivendell ahead of the meeting of what will eventually become the Fellowship of the Ring while the Nazgûl search for “Baggins” in the peaceful land of the Shire.

This ties in with how the Hobbit race story begins where you and some notable Hobbits encounter one such enquiring Nazgûl.

Before the Shadow Regions

Unlike the Wildwood of Bree-land, the Angle of Mitheithel and Yondershire, Before the Shadow will take players into two new regions.

So, the regions LOTRO is taking us to are steeped in history and relevant backstory before the Shadows of Angmar base pack.

What Level Range is Before The Shadow?

Interestingly, it’s for Levels 1-32 and will include four new Epic books for new characters. Offering this gives players a choice about how to approach their early levelling experience. In theory, you could run Before the Shadow, then journey through Evendim and level beyond L50 in those regions alone!

So this is a new LOTRO Starter Zone?

Yes. Scenario referred to it as a “beginner zone” in this forum post.

It also makes reference to a “new leveling experience”, so I’ll be interested to learn more about that the closer we get to the Release Date.

Is There a New Race with Before the Shadow?

I don’t believe anything’s been officially stated about that yet. World Chat has an opinion on the matter though.

Other Announced Features

  • A new 6-person instance
  • A new Skirmish, which involves a fight with Sauron!
  • A “Delvings System”.

The Delving System

This Delving System is a way to increase the difficulty of new LOTRO Missions so you can challenge yourself with them.

Do note the word “new” here. The Delvings System appears to only apply to missions added with – and after – Before the Shadow, not those already in existence. At least initially.

Here’s the official page on it and a Livestream by Cordovan where he also covers it.

@Bludborn has a video all about the Delvings System, so take a look, if you’re curious:
Bludborn Video on the Delving System
Play this video
Bludborn Video on the Delving System

Before the Shadow Release Date

When Is It Coming Out?

The date has changed! The release of Before the Shadow is scheduled for the 15th November 2022. This is a week earlier than the originally-announced date (see this tweet from @lotro).

Pre-Purchase is now open!

As is normal for LOTRO expansions, there are three tiers. However, the basic content is (in my opinion) an affordable £16.99. But there is also a VIP Discount for Subscribers. Click/tap the image below to open the LOTRO site with the feature comparisons.

LOTRO Before the Shadow Editions Comparison
Before the Shadow Editions Comparison

VIP Discount

If you’re a LOTRO VIP (Subscriber) then you get a 10% discount all bundles.

  • Standard Edition: £15.29 / 17€99
  • Collectors Edition: £44.99 / 53€09
  • Ultimate Fan Bundle: £75.59 / 88€19

When Can I Buy “Before the Shadow” With LOTRO Points?

Per the FAQ, you will be able to buy

Base Edition (includes the new regions, Missions, & Instances only)

For 1,995 LOTRO Points LOTRO Points in March 2023.

Before the Shadow Teaser Video

LOTRO Before The Shadow Teaser Video
Play this video
LOTRO Before The Shadow Teaser Video
Here’s the official teaser video. From what we know so far, it seems that there should be plenty of content for a so-called “mini expansion”. We’ll get to learn more about the history of a former kingdom of Arnor and hopefully meet some Stoors. Though that depends on it being plausible not all Stoors left after the plague.

Though it is a paid-for expansion even for VIPs, I am looking forward to it. And to writing about it too.

Update: A huge thank you to SSG for granting me account, allowing me to write about the Before the Shadow Ultimate Fan Bundle!

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