The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Useful information resources for LOTRO on the Internet.
User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:45 pm

Epic Story:
Volume III, Book 9: The Third Marshall

WARNING: This section may contain mild spoilers related to the epic storyline. Read at your own peril!

Starts in Eaworth and a meeting with Éomer where you learn that he came a cross a orc party and met the 3 friends. Your effort of tracking them will take you to Eaves of Fangorn and get to see what really took place as well as meeting some odd looking fellas.

After learning what you can about the 2 hobbits, the Orc band and Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas faith you journey south towards Snowbourn to help Éomer with his work in securing the people of Sutcrofts from advancing Orcs. Not an easy task as Éomer isn't seeing eye to eye with the King and many are still heading the Kings words about the Orcs.

Players can obtain a lv85 Legendary Bridle of the Second Age from the later stages of the Epic Story.

----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:51 pm

Mounted Combat:
War-Steeds


Obtaining Your War-Steed

Mounted Combat is the major new feature of the Riders of Rohan Expansion. To participate in it, you'll need your War-Steed. You get it by visiting the town of Langhold in The Wold (the first town you come across in Rohan), taking the quest there, and following the quest chain through to completion. There are about 12 quests in total (some will take you away from Langhold too but stick with them).

If you choose to start Rohan by heading south from the Great River, then a Rohhirim soldier at the bridge will vector you to Langhold, and the NPC to start the quest, as soon as you enter Rohan.

If you choose to enter Rohan via following the epic story through Lothlorien and The East Wall, then you will be vectored to Langhold in the latter stages of the Volume 7 epic.


What's The Difference To A Normal Mount?

Firstly, and most obviously, a War-Steed can be used for combat - normal "Travel" mounts cannot.

War-steeds also have a completely different speed system. It's a bit like having automatic and manual gears in a car. A normal mount has two speeds - full-speed or stopped - on or off if you prefer. War-steeds have four different speed levels. Just like you would expect in real life, it's easier to turn at lower speeds than higher ones.

Instead of holding down W to "go" pressing or holding down W will accerlerate you up through the gears. Similarly, pressing of holding down "S" will decellerate you down though the gears. You can also double tap "S" to do a Quick Stop. This makes your horse skid to a full stop. Whoa there!

If the new system seems intimidating, there is a new combat option called [TBA] which will make the speed controls a lot more like the travel mounts you are used to. While this option is active, you will accellerate while you hold down W, and decellerate when you let go of the W key.

You can also use Num Lock as normal for the auto-run feature (although if you are using default mount speed settings, you're effectively auto running anyway). You can use the Insert key (normally used to toggle walk speed on/off) to cycle through which mount speed you want to move at.

A War-steed has a much higher top speed than a regular travel mount.

War-Steeds are basically like whole new characters. They have their own stats, XP advancement, traits and legendary items independant of your player character.

War-Steeds can also be customised with difference traits and cosmetics - both of these have their own sections later this this guide explaining their systems in detail.


Dev Diaries

The Mounted Combat Dev Diary cotains more information on the mounted combat system in general.

The War-steed Dev Diary contains more information and screenshots specifically about War-steeds.


The Road to Rohan: Mounted Combat



Inside the Game: Mounted Combat



----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:51 pm

Mounted Combat:
Appearance Customisation

You War-Steed has a cosmetic system just like your character does, with a number of slots that can take inputs. These come in the form of traits (very much like with skirmish soldiers).

Where Can I Get Mounted Cosmetics?

These traits can be earnt from a number of sources, which yes, does include the ability to buy individual items via the LOTRO Store.

Additionally, some premium mounts such as the class steeds and the Steed of Night also come with a full set of traits for each slots, so you can customise your war-steed with these parts as well. Don't worry if you bought one of these steeds before Rohan - No matter when ou bought these steeds, tou will still earn the traits once Rohan launches.

Some cosmetic options can be earnt through questing, or from loot obtained by defeating warbands. So there are plenty of options that are exlusively NOT in-store.

Many of these slots can also be dyed in a variety of colours. While basic colours are available for free, additional colours can be unlocked by purchasing Colour Packs from the LOTRO Store (TP price TBD). These are Per-Character unlocks, unlocking about 4-6 colours per pack.

Customising Your War-steed
panel01.png
Screenshot of "Mounted Appearance" screen, dated Beta 4
panel01.png (403.85 KiB) Viewed 7600 times
panel01.png
Screenshot of "Mounted Appearance" screen, dated Beta 4
panel01.png (403.85 KiB) Viewed 7600 times
The above screenshot demonstrates what the Mounted Appearance screen looks like.

On the left, you can see all the cosmetic traits you have available, grouped by their category (ie, what slot they go in). In the bottom left of the screen there is an option to show your character mounted on the horse preview, to help you co-ordinate your fashion with your horse!

In the middle, you can see a preview of your horse with the current cosmetic selection. There are also the various boxes for slotting the traits, as well as some round buttons to select colours for the item in that slot. Basic colours are available to everyone, additional colours can be unlocked with per-character purchases in the store. The bottom of the pannel includes buttons to "Apply" (ie, save changes) or "Undo All" to NOT save your changes.

The right hand side of the screen shows your cosmetic outfit slots. Like with normal unmounted cosmetics, you get two slots for free, and several more can be purchased from the store. It is not currently known whether these are per-character or account level unlocks. You can also rename the current outfit to a more meaningful name if you prefer.

There is also a button which allows you to search the store for additional cosmetics by slot/category. There are options in the store to buy items for individual slots, or to buy a full matching set of cosmetics. Additionally, purchasing some mounts such as the Steed of Night or the many class steeds, will grant you a full matching set of War-steed cosmetics in addition to the regular travel mount. You will get the War-steed cosmetic options even if you purchased these mounts in store long before Rohan launches.


A War-Steed appearance made from a selection of pieces
Mount Cosmetics 1.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 1.jpg (128.84 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Mount Cosmetics 1.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 1.jpg (128.84 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
A War-steed modelling a full matching set of cosmetics from the LOTRO Store
Mount Cosmetics 2.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 2.jpg (134.89 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Mount Cosmetics 2.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 2.jpg (134.89 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
A pair of War-steeds modelling full matching sets of cosmetics from the LOTRO Store
Mount Cosmetics 3.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 3.jpg (131.92 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Mount Cosmetics 3.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 3.jpg (131.92 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
A War-Steed appearance made from a selection of pieces
Mount Cosmetics 4.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 4.jpg (111.08 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Mount Cosmetics 4.jpg
Mount Cosmetics 4.jpg (111.08 KiB) Viewed 7664 times

----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:52 pm

Mounted Combat:
Trait Customisation

TBA

----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:53 pm

Mounted Combat:
Legendary Bridles

About Bridles

Riders of Rohan will introduce a new set of Legendary Items exclusively for equipping on your War-steed called Legendary Bridles. These come in Light, Medium & Heavy varieties, and can only be equipped on a War-steed of the same class (So a Light Bridle on a Light War-steed). This is because each type of Bridle has a different pool of legacies improving the different War-steed skill trees. It would be stupid to equip a Heavy Bridle improving heavy skills that your Light Steed can't use (effectively meaning that your bridle does nothing). That's why turbine decided to hard enforce this rule, to prevent players making this mistake. While this might seem a little restrictive, you should be trying out the different mount types while levelling from 75-85, and by 85 you should know which you prefer, and thus which legendary to get at lv85 to work on.

Finding Bridles

Like all Legendary Items, Bridles have a chance to drop from world mobs as loot.

Tailors also have options for crafting them too.

Lastly, a lv85 Second Age Bridle can be obtained from completing the Epic Story in Rohan.

----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:53 pm

Mounted Combat:
War-bands

Warbands are the name given to elite soldiers - or groups of soldiers - that the enemy has wandering around Rohan. The smaller of these can be soloable, others will require a group. Some consist of unmounted foes, others are intended for mounted combat.

All warbands will have a named leader, and any additional enemies will be designated as "Ally of X". The allies will not respawn unless the leader goes out of combat.

It is possible to pull one of the allies without pulling other allies so standard agro ranges seem to apply for them, although it is not known if pulling the leader will automatically pull all allies regardless of agro ranges (The leader was stunned at the time).

Dev Diary

The Warbands Dev Diary explains more about this feature being added in Riders of Rohan.


Warband Quests

Approaching near a warband will result in the remote questgiver icon popping up on your screen. This can also alert you if a warband moves towards you. Clicking the qest icon will present you with the Quest dialog. All Warband Quests are DAILY REPEATABLES, and award the following:
  • Legendary Item Experience
  • Mount Experience
  • Tokens of the Riddermark (local barter currency)
  • Blue/Green/Red box of Wold Spoils (a goodie-bag)
WarbandQuest.jpg
Screenshot of "A Warband Quest" dated 29th August (Beta 4)
WarbandQuest.jpg (137.72 KiB) Viewed 7654 times
WarbandQuest.jpg
Screenshot of "A Warband Quest" dated 29th August (Beta 4)
WarbandQuest.jpg (137.72 KiB) Viewed 7654 times
Box of Spoils - Rewards

Players in beta have been recording what they got from each warband/box to try and see patterns in the loot distribution. Here are some of the reported drops. Be aware that this information may change before launch.

Given that each warband appears to be consistent in always dropping a box of the same colour, we have theorised that the colour corresponds to the group size of that particular warband's quest:
  • Solo Warband - Blue Box
  • Small Fellowship - Red Box
  • Fellowship - Green Box
  • Raid - Silver Box
The only exception to this appear to be Urush (who gives no box) and Kramp (who is a fellowship encounter that gives a red box).

The loot from any given colour of box appears to be semi-random in terms of both what items, and the number of distinct possible items drop when opened.

RockSteady has confirmed that store items should not be dropping in certain boxes in which thye have been spotted, and that they will be removed.
RockSteady, Developer wrote:The banners and pennants will be small yard items, showing the standard of their respective area. They are not bound.

There is a chance to get the new crafting rare ingredient on boxes which have a 'craft' focus. Each box has a chance to call loot related to crafting, housing items, and (depending on box color) LIs. The better color boxes have higher chances to call certain items, have access to extra items not included on the lower colors, etc.

As for the ring* upgrade trees, there will be additional steps for each ring type. They won't be introduced until a later update. I like my 'barter the really hard to get item to get Legendary' steps.

Urush was feeling left out, and will have a box as well, while Kramp will learn his colors soon(tm).

Bal's Note - The ring in question here is an upgradable item, much like the necklace from the Isengard cluster
NOTE: You can only get ONE box of spoils per warband (available from a daily repeatable quest).

Bensengan
Blue Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 38 Marks
  • Thornhope Pennant
Blue Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 38 Marks
  • Thornhope Banner
  • 3 Eastemnet Celebrant Salves
Bughrakh
Red Box of Wold Spoils
  • Superb Bracelet of the Aurochs (Level 50)
  • 7 Purple Crystal Lamp Fragments
  • 10 Supreme Ingredient Packs
Red Box of Wold Spoils
  • +20% Monster and Quest XP (3 hours)
  • Tome of Might V
  • 5 +10% Run Speed Boost (60 min)
Cinder
Blue Box of Wold Spoils
  • 30 Marks
Blue Box of Wold Spoils
  • 30 Marks
  • 3 Medallions
  • Floodwend Banner
Blue Box of Wold Spoils
  • 30 Marks
  • 5 Red Agates
  • 3 Rohirric Celebrant Salves
Craban-master Gundul
Red Box of Sutcrofts Spoils
  • 56 Marks
  • 5 Scraps of Rohirric Text
  • 3 Riddermark Celebrant Salves
  • 3 Riddermark Athelas Essences
  • Spotted Warsteed
Dahamb
Blue Box of Norcroft Spoils
  • 35 Marks
  • 3 Medallions
  • Faldham Banner
  • 3 Rohirric Celebrant Salves
Dâl
Red Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 50 Marks
  • 5 Scraps of Rohirric Text
Fearrhorn
Red Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 50 Marks
  • 79 Shards
  • Sealed Ancient Rune of the Moon (Tier 5 Relic)
  • Decorated Heritage Rune of Knowledge (50,200 Item XP)
Gundel
Red Box of Sutcrofts Spoils
  • 56 Marks
Haglob
Red Box of Norcrofts Spoils
  • 45 Marks
  • 6 Medallions
  • 5 Scraps of Rohirric Text
Red Box of Norcrofts Spoils
  • 45 Marks
  • 6 Medallions
  • Faldham Pennant
Hanrun
Blue Box of Spoils
  • 30 Marks
Kramp
Red Box of Sutcrofts Spoils
  • 56 Marks
  • 7 Medallions
Mathum
Blue Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 38 Marks
  • 4 Medallions
Blue Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 38 Marks
  • 4 Medallions
  • 2 Pieces of Sealed Wax
Mirz
Red Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 50 Marks
  • 5 Chunks of Low-grade Riddermark Ore
  • Tarnished Crest of Rohan
Skutog
Blue Box of Norcroft Spoils
  • 35 Marks
  • Elthengels Banner
Blue Box of Nocrofts Spoils
  • 35 Marks
  • 3 Medallions
  • Faldham Pennant
  • 3 Rohirric Celebrant Salves
Urgai
Green Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 62 Marks
  • Thornhope Pennant
Green Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 62 Marks
Green Box of Entwash Spoils
  • 62 Marks
  • Thornhope Banner
Green Box of Entwash Spoils
  • Léotharn Banner
  • 3 Eastemnet Celebrant Salves
  • 62 marks


Warmaster Bugud
Silver Box of Sutcrofts Spoils
  • 95 Marks
  • Gamolfast Banner
  • 3 Riddermark Celebrant Salves
Silver Box of Sutcrofts Spoils
  • 95 Marks
  • 11 Medallions
  • 3 Riddermark Celebrant Salves
  • 3 Riddermark Athelas Essences

Warband - Hanrun the Warg
WarbandHanrun.jpg
Screenshot of "Warband - Hanrun" dated 29th August (Beta 4)
WarbandHanrun.jpg (78.83 KiB) Viewed 7654 times
WarbandHanrun.jpg
Screenshot of "Warband - Hanrun" dated 29th August (Beta 4)
WarbandHanrun.jpg (78.83 KiB) Viewed 7654 times
Warband - Haglob the Troll
Warbands - Haglob.jpg
Screenshot of "Warband - Haglob" dated ??? (Beta 2)
Warbands - Haglob.jpg (132.61 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Warbands - Haglob.jpg
Screenshot of "Warband - Haglob" dated ??? (Beta 2)
Warbands - Haglob.jpg (132.61 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Warband - Cattle Herd
Warbands - Cattle.jpg
Screenshot of "Warband - Vale Cows" dated ??? (Beta 2)
Warbands - Cattle.jpg (129.31 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Warbands - Cattle.jpg
Screenshot of "Warband - Vale Cows" dated ??? (Beta 2)
Warbands - Cattle.jpg (129.31 KiB) Viewed 7664 times
Inside the Game: Warbands



----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:54 pm

Crafting:
Tier 8: Eastemnet

Tier 8 crafting will be introduced to the game, called Eastemnet after the eastern area of Rohan that we will be exploring.

Dev Diary

The Crafting Dev Diary outlines the major features & changes coming with Riders of Rohan


Raw Materials

The new wood is Oak.
The new ore is Riddermark Ore.
The new scholar mats are Scraps of Rohirric Text.
The new hides are Riddermark Hides.
The new gems are Red Agates.

The same style of system as used for Tier 7 (Westfold) will be used again. IE, you only have one resource type which can be refined into a Low/Medium/High quality product, and the High Quality raw mats can be refined into either crit mats or the High Quality product.
OakBranch.jpg
Screenshot of "Oak Branches" dated 29th August (Beta 4)
OakBranch.jpg (95.85 KiB) Viewed 7641 times
OakBranch.jpg
Screenshot of "Oak Branches" dated 29th August (Beta 4)
OakBranch.jpg (95.85 KiB) Viewed 7641 times
Recipes

After the complaints about Tier 7 crafting not having full full sets at each level option, Tier 8 will once again feature full sets. These will be at lv80 and lv85.

As a result, very few recipes will be auto-bestowed, and you will have to find the rest via mob drops etc.

Crafting Guilds

A new Guild Rank will also be added to the game - Grand Master of the Guild. This requires 60,000 reputation to advance from the previous tier (current cap). A full set of Tier 3-7 guild emblems (1 of each) will net you 28.6k Reputation with your Guild, so if you want to craft them ready for launch day, you'll need about two weeks worth on standby.
GuildSymbols.jpg
Screenshot of the "Guild Reputation Symbols" dated 20th August (Beta 3)
GuildSymbols.jpg (87.61 KiB) Viewed 7646 times
GuildSymbols.jpg
Screenshot of the "Guild Reputation Symbols" dated 20th August (Beta 3)
GuildSymbols.jpg (87.61 KiB) Viewed 7646 times

Crafted Relics

New crafted relic barter recipes and barter options are being added to guilds. This includes THREE Rare (Teal) quality crafted relics PER CLASS. Confirmation is needed as to whether these options are identical across all guilds or unique per guild.

There are also FIVE new barter options for Legendary (gold) quality MOUNTED crafted relics. These can only be slotted on Legendary Bridles. Their current naming convention matches the five base stats of mounts (Agility, Strength, Speed, Accelleration, Turning). Confirmation is needed on whether these excelusively buff these stats, or have additional bonuses.


New Crafting Tools

There will be new crafting tools available to craft. Like the Tier 6 tools, these will still be 3-in-1 tools, but with slightly improved stats. They require character lv80 to equip.

For example, the "Tools of the Eastemnet Armourer" have the following stats at the time of writing:
  • Purple (Uncritted) Quality
  • -3s Prospecting Mining Duration
  • +21% Metalsmith Critical Chance
  • +21% Tailor Critical Chance
Tool recipes will be single use recipes fround on mobs, however this time there will also be a guild recipe available.

Tarnished Crest of Rohan

This is the new version of Tier 7's "Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigil". Like the sigil, these can be obtained from harvesting Ore, Wood or Scholar nodes.


Jewellery

These are the guild auto-crit recipes (names are off atm). Stats are placeholders and NOT final, and almost certainly will be buffed. However will give you an idea of what stat combinations the devs are considering.
Rings.jpg
Rings.jpg (61.22 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
Rings.jpg
Rings.jpg (61.22 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
Bracelets.jpg
Bracelets.jpg (50.77 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
Bracelets.jpg
Bracelets.jpg (50.77 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
Necklaces.jpg
Necklaces.jpg (60.26 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
Necklaces.jpg
Necklaces.jpg (60.26 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
Earrings.jpg
Earrings.jpg (74.92 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
Earrings.jpg
Earrings.jpg (74.92 KiB) Viewed 7670 times
----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:55 pm

Crafting:
Resource Instances

Riders of Rohan includes three Resource Gathering Instances (like Moria), which allow easy gathering or Ore, Wood or Scholar supplies.

The instances are all accessible from Hytbold, the end-game town. To access them you must unlock Hytbold quests (be level 84+ and complete the last Snowbourne quest), repair the appropriate building, unlock and upgrade the crafting stations, and have the appropriate Ally rep.

Just like in Moria, the resource nodes are on a three-day cooldown, but you may do the instance daily for 3 Tokens of Effort, relics, or Compendiums of Middle-earth IV. 3 Tokens of Effort may be exchanged for 1 Token of Hytbold or other rewards.

Specific Instance Notes:
  • Lumber Instance - Allows war-steed mounting, but only auto-attacks may be used.
  • Scholar Instance - Difficult to see around some corners, so more difficult for ranged squishy classes.
  • Ore Instance - Easiest to get lost in due to winding paths.
Dev Diary

More information on the Crafting Instance can be found in the Hytbold Dev Diary, near the bottom.


----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:56 pm

The Ettenmoors:
PvMP Revamp

TBA

----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

User avatar
Balthelion
The Almighty
The Almighty
Posts: 4838
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 5:45 pm

Re: The Complete Guide to Riders of Rohan

Post by Balthelion » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:57 pm

The Riders of Rohan Soundtrack, composed by Chance Thomas:
Music Videos


"LOTRO Legacy"



This track is a tribute to 5 years of LOTRO, working in many of the familiar themes, now in a fully orchestrated piece. This track was so popular that many people requested it have a practical use in game, and asked for it to be added as the new Character Selection Screen Music. Turbine agreed, so it's now added :)

"Shadow of the Argonath"



This track is used in The East Wall region.
Chance Thomas, Composer wrote:"This piece was written to underscore the players' exploration in the East Wall region.

The music begins with a slow and slightly unfocused version of the Gondor theme played on French Horns and Uilleann Pipes, representing an erosion of Gondor's vision and leadership among the men of the West. The theme wants to rise in nobility, power, might and strength. We can hear it reaching, stretching, striving, even striking a stout cadence for a moment. But it cannot sustain! Stewards alone can never muster the stateliness necessary to bear off the theme (nor the world of men) in full splendor. Uilleann Pipes echo off into the distance, suggesting the long gone majesty that once was the throne of Gondor.

And then, about 1:05 into the track, there is an injection of hope. We get a second rendition of Gondor's theme that's a little more focused, a little more pure, played on Penny Whistle and Uillean Pipes. The Penny Whistle represents Frodo and the race of Hobbits. Frodo brings hope for the world as he aligns himself with the nobler interests of men. The Pipes represent the glories of Gondor (specifically the past glories of Gondor's kings), represented now by Aragorn in his support for Frodo and the quest. The two instruments interlace and support one another, symbolic of how the fates of the two men and their respective races are now unavoidably intertwined.

Close to 2:00 minutes in, there is a gently climactic rise toward hope... but then doubt as the Pipes and Penny Whistle both echo off into an unknown future. And lest we forget that there's peril in the East Wall, we have the voice of the Bass Recorder, the low drum and slightly dissonant strings to bring us back to present dangers.
Nevertheless, the Horn and Whistle rise together one last time in unity and understanding, then ultimately continue apart as the Whistle (Frodo) quietly disappears and the Horn (Gondor) carries on toward Rohan with a determined resolution."
"Boromir's Last Stand"


Chance Thomas, Composer wrote:"This track was composed to underscore the Boromir game instance, with players taking on the role of Boromir as he battles hordes of Uruk Hai in a desperate attempt to save Merry and Pippin.

Boromir has his fatal flaw, as we all know. But this piece is not about that. This music is about Boromir at his most noble, determined and powerful. Big drums, epic choir, robust cadences and powerful statements in the brass all contribute to the feeling of strength and unwavering.

After the choir sings, the Gondor theme makes its final appearance in this expansion. It is a resigned and somewhat naked version (meaning the arrangement thins out considerably) to underscore the utter aloneness of this great warrior-steward in his final mêlée. It repeats with a bit of forlorn (trumpets and high strings) before giving out to the brutal force of ragged low brass as the battle rages to its infamous conclusion.

You may be interested to know what the choir is singing. The lyrics are in Old English, translated for me by Turbine's lore master Chris Pierson and his muse for all things Anglo-Saxon, professor Michael Drout of Wheaton College. The choir sings: Arë! Thrymnes! Fréot! Maegen! The translation is: Glory! Honor! Freedom! Power! These are virtues upon which Gondor was built and to which Boromir clings until his last breath."
"Horse Lords of Norcrofts"



As the name suggests, this theme is used in the Norcrofts region.
Chance Thomas, Composer wrote:"This is one of the music tracks which underscores mounted game play in the Norcrofts.

The Norcrofts is a complex part of the Eorlingas' world. Here dwell some of the most powerful and loyal of the king's men. Yet in dark contrast, players will find that intrigue and subterfuge are also afoot in this part of the horse realm. The music needs to reflect this dichotomy.

We begin this song with an unfettered exposition of the Norcofts loyal theme in the horns and trombones, joined later by the fiddle. In the Old English tongue, the choir sings heartily of loyal warriors, spears, shields, swords, etc.

But then comes a counter theme. Expounded boldly by a large horn section, it seems to announce its warning with gallant melancholy. When continued in the high strings and Bass Recorder it takes on an air of uneasiness and corruption, erasing loyalty from the senses. All the while the incessant tumbling of the riding rhythmic figure keeps things trotting (or galloping) along for the player.

Such is our dichotomy! And so while the stout and hearty Norcroft theme has a prominent place in the track, there is plenty of uncertainty interwoven through counter melodies and dissonant harmonies. Even at the end, there is no clear resolution as we drone to an inconclusive conclusion with only percussion and double basses trembling on the tonic.

As a side note, this track contains one of my favorite verses from Two Towers: "Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?"

The Old English translation is: "Hwaer nú cwom hors ond hererinc? Hwaer cwom herehorn blawende?""
"Learning to Ride"


Chance Thomas, Composer wrote:"This track accompanies the player's first attempt at horseback riding in the game. It's basically a tutorial tune. Thus the gentle beginning, the gradually climbing harmonies, the simple arrangement, and the gradual tapering off at the end. It also marks our first introduction to Rohan's riding motif.

The riding motif is typically played on the strings in the lower registers. It is a signature rhythmic riff that repeats at various points in the song. The idea is to convey a lively sense of galloping motion. The choice of low strings is due to the organic nature of the instruments. Their hollow wooden bodies resonate with a rich, natural energy in the lower registers. Not to mention the drawing of actual horse hair bows across the strings!

To complement the strings, two differing sizes of Bohdran are added to the percussion ensemble - one with a 12" diameter and a tightly drawn head. The other is much larger, approx. 22" in diameter with a more loosely drawn head. Also unique to our equine percussion ensemble are a horse whip and leather strapping sounds.

By now the players have made their way into Rohan proper, so you will notice some changes in instrumentation and tone. The fiddle takes on a prominent melodic role. The percussion and strings are loose and rustic. The brass adds girth to steady the arrangement. And when the song transitions from the timidity of learning to the joy of roaming freely, we bring in baritone guitar and mandolin too.

All of these elements work together to help us perceive an ongoing sense of forward momentum -- mentally pulling us off the couch and into the saddle of our own fiery Rohirric steed."
"Theme for Rohan"


Chance Thomas, Composer wrote:"I'll never forget my first hearing of the Rohan refrain composed by Howard Shore for 2002's The Two Towers. As the Hardanger melody rang out across the theater, I was completely mesmerized. This was the Rohan of my dreams, suddenly given voice in melody! It was stunningly, intuitively perfect. Of all the themes to be found running through Peter Jackson's trilogy, this one really resonated with me.

Fast forward 10 years. LOTRO has tasked me with creating a theme for their Rohan, a new and different theme than Shore's. What? How is this possible??? Shore's theme was so perfect in the film. The only way I could approach such a task was to think about Rohan in broader terms than the movie presented.

How does one more broadly define Rohan? A storied nation in decline? A land simmering on the verge of all-out war? Anglo-Saxon reference with Medieval overtones? Hearty people, individual and family tenderness, triumph and tragedy, crops and kinships, determined men and women, though wary and weary? Nobility, hope, sadness and uncertainty? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes! All of these intangibles somehow had to thread themselves through a new theme for Rohan.

And so it begins. The theme is introduced on classical violin played in a Celtic fiddle style. The initial modality is minor, setting up the somber tone. The melody moves on hooks of appoggiatura, so prevalent in Old English music. This places the theme squarely in the Northwestern European tradition, tying it tightly to Tolkien's Anglo-Saxon source material.

Other instruments join the theme, including European Whistle, Bass Recorder and Uillean Pipes. All of these colors come from Northwestern Europe of centuries past, clueing us again that the theme is contemporary to the rise of Anglo-Saxon culture.

The progressing harmonies alternate between minor and major tonalities, suggesting the ongoing struggle of the Rohirrim. Triplet melodies against a 6/4 meter further reinforce the cultural resonance.

As our new theme approaches its apex, there is a strong triumphant modulation toward a sense of ultimate victory. And yet the resolve, though major, is a weak resolve (adding even a suspension to the chord) leaving a fragile uncertainty hanging in the air.

These ample cultural tie-ins and musical devices are certainly geeky. But they're meaningless if the tune fails to transport LOTRO's players to the Rohan of their imaginations while playing the game. Ultimately, this is the test of all thematic music, a test which I hope desperately to pass. Time and taste will tell if I rose to triumph or fell to ruin in my quest to hit the mark."
"The Eored"



The song is used as a combat theme for mounted combat.
Chance Thomas, Composer wrote:"This piece underscores the chaos of mounted combat.

Tales of the American West sometimes included a reference to "waiting for the cavalry to come over the hill." In Rohan, that cavalry would be the Eored.

Tolkien's Eoreds were groups of battle ready horsemen -- armored, armed and trained for war. They rode hard and fast into battle, and fought with ferocious intensity. Various references place their numbers at between 120 and 200 riders per group.

This music track was written to accompany each player's own furious foray into full-tilt mounted combat. We're talking about full gallop with weapons brandished. Timid souls need not apply!
The driving tempo and aggressive marcato strings kick the piece off with an intense immediacy. The choir joins in -- at times menacing and rugged, other times epic and regal. There's brass, percussion and woodwinds in the orchestra too, but their roles are generally supportive.

In the tongue of the Old English, the choir sings of battle glory (gewinn arë ), death (déaþ) and freedom (fréot), concluding with the Eored's signature refrain:

We are bold (we sindon bald)! We are mighty (we sindon strang)!
Indeed!"

"Urgent Errands"


Chance Thomas, Composer wrote:"I am a Rider of Rohan.

What I do matters -- to my kinsmen, to my king and to my country. I go with purpose. I go with swiftness. I go with my steed and with my steel. My errand is always, always urgent.

That's the mindset I imagined in composing music for mounted questing. I would continually ask myself, "How would I feel - task in hand, mounted and riding under the banner of Rohan?

That feeling of urgency and importance informed every compositional decision -- from the steady rhythm, to the crack of the whip, to the harmonic cadences framing the piece. All dressed up in the orchestral colors of Rohan proper --solo fiddle, broad brass support, leather skin drums and teethy low strings. With lots of extra rosin!"
----------
Return to Table of Contents
Image
GW2: Taikken ~ Vasuuki ~ Artuura
EVE: Marcus Rushe
SW:TOR: Tannik ~ Celandra ~ Korrun
League | Steam | Minecraft: LeoxStryker

Locked