The fifth free content update for Lord of the Rings Online has gone live on European and American servers today. Book 13: Doom of the Last King - which arrives just after the Tolkien MMO celebrated its first anniversary - adds a whole new region to Middle-Earth, as well as introducing a new monster play class, and a hobby system.
To mark the release and the occasion, we've teamed up with Codemasters Online Gaming to give away 10 Gold Editions of the game. There's also one not-available-in-the-shops Exclusive Collector's Edition, which comes with a full lifetime subscription to the game. Head over to the competition page to get your entry in.
Book 13 offers an impressive amount of content for a free update. Most significant is a whole new high-level questing zone, Forochel, a frozen where players will have to battle the debilitating effects of the cold as well as "wolf-loving barbarians" in their quest to earn reputation with the Eskimo-like Lossoth tribe. The zone also plays host to a new episode in the Epic quest line.
The new character class for monster play - LOTRO's player-versus-player system that allows you to create temporary bad-guy characters - is the Defiler. This healer rounds out the selection of monster classes available.
Finally, the ever-popular MMO pastime of fishing arrives in LOTRO courtesy of the new hobby system.
Developer Turbine is keeping the pace up when it comes to new content: the next free patch, Book 14, will arrive "this summer", according to company president Jim Crowley. The first full expansion, Mines of Moria, will come hot on its heels in the autumn.
If you're inspired to give LOTRO a go, you can download it and try it for free at www.trylotro.com.
For more on Book 13, read our recent interview with executive producer Jeffrey Steefel, and to see how the game is shaping up, read the re-review by Eurogamer MMO's resident Tolkien buff and LOTRO expert, Dan Gril.