Additions to the existing game.
The Mines of Moria expansion added 2 new character classes, and three new zones to the original game, along with an entirely new Legendary Weapon system.
The Rune Keeper is a magic user who uses the power of runes to cast either healing or offensive spells, sometimes switching between the two in the heat of battle. The Rune Keeper builds momentum during battle by selecting spells that attune the character towards damage dealing or healing. If the player attunes towards one specific side (ie, gains momentum in that direction) higher level spells become available to cast in that specialty, while spells in the opposite spectrum are locked from use. In this way the Rune Keeper can build towards a specific role based on the battle at hand. The Rune Keeper is a primary damage dealer or healer, and a secondary crowd control or debuffer. The Rune Keeper is available only to Dwarves and Elves.
Wielding a spear and shield, Wardens work using a gambit system to implement their attacks. Gambits were inspired by fighting game systems, where combos are built up during the battle. Gambits are formed by stringing three basic attacks together, and have effects such as self-heals and evasion buffs determined by the sequence in which the basic attacks are used. The Warden introduces a strategic element to the game, forcing players to plan for which type of skill they will want to execute several seconds in advance. The Warden is considered a secondary melee and ranged damage dealer, and is a primary light armor tank. The Warden is available to all races except Dwarves.
Three new zones were added with the expansion -- two outdoor and one indoor.
Eregion is found due south of the Trollshaws and west of Moria. It is where the Rings of Power were forged in the Second Age. The area includes four major settlements and travel points as well as two new 3-man instances.
The largest new addition to the game is inside Moria, an underground cavern (with the exception of one small area on a mountain peak). Moria consists of nine interconnected areas with numerous travel points and camps. The 21st hall, where the Fellowship briefly camped serves as the main "town" in the expansion. Moria has numerous solo and 6 man instances, along with two 12 man raids.
- The Great Delving -The first area withing Moria, the Great Delving is directly inside the Hollin-Gate and serves as the first quest location inside Moria. Several solo-instances are available from Dolven-View, the primary camp in this area.
- Durin's Way - Consisting of the entire north wall of Moria, Durin's Way
- Silvertine Loads -South of The Great Delving, the Silvertine Loads is connected by abandoned mine rails. The Forgotten Treasury, a 6-man instance, is located here.
- The Water Works -South of the Sivlertine Loads, The Water Works is the location of the only raid in the expansion, The Vile Maw. The Watcher in the Water can be found in this area.
- The Flaming Deeps -Covered in smoke and lava, the Flaming Deeps is where Fil Gashen, a 6-man instance is located.
- Zelem-Melek - Located in the center of Moria, Zelem-Melek is where the 21st Hall is located, Moria's primary town.
- Nud -Melek - Serves as the Eastern side of Moria. Nud-Melek contains the Bridge of Khazad-Dum (where Galdaf fought Durin's Bane) and the Eastern entrance to Moria, connecting it to Lothlorien.
- Redhorn Lodes -Contains the Grand Stair, a 6-man instance.
- Foundations of Stone -Located underneath Nud-Melek, the broken pieces of the Bridge of Khazad-dum are found here, along with the Dark-Delving, a 6-man instance.
- Zirakzigil -The only outside part of Moria, Zirkakzigil is the mountain where the body of Durin's Bane can be found, after Gandalf killed him.
The final outdoor zone, Lothlorien is reached by exiting Moria's eastern walls though Nud-Melek. Lothlorien contains a large area mostly devoid of combat opportunities and violent quests, which is unusual in the genre. The Elven city of Caras Galadhon is the area's central social and quest hub.
Legendary Items were also added for the player to forge during their adventures. The new forging system offers the player their own unique legendary item, with a customizable appearance, statistics and name. Inspired by Bilbo's sword Sting and Gandalf's sword Glamdring, weapons forged by players in the Mines of Moria will be customizable in several ways. Weapons gain experience along with the player, and gaining levels adds the ability to buy upgraded stats for the weapon. In addition, multiple slots are available on each weapon or item to affix runes, stones and gems that further modify and customize the item. Legendary Weapons are rated on which Age they are from, with 1st Age weapons being of greatest value.
MoM also raised the level cap of LOTRO to level 60 and added hundreds of new quests, instances, and session plays. Mines of Moria initiates a new line of Epic Quests, separate from those in the base game, Shadows of Angmar. Other changes include new Deeds, a new Trait System, changes to the combat system (including the addition of stances and corruptions for enemies), and more.
LOTRO: MoM featured several new instances out of the box (with more having been released as free content updates). Out of the box, the game contained:
- The Library at Tham Mirdain: 3 man lvl 50 - 55
- The School at Tham Mirdain: 3 man lvl 50 - 55
- The Forgotten Treasury: 6 man lvl 54 - 57
- The Grand Stair: 6 man lvl 56 - 60 (Hard Mode available)
- The Forges: 6 man lvl 57 - 60 (Hard Mode available)
- Fil - Gashen: 6 man lvl 57 - 60 (Hard Mode available)
- 16th Hall: 6 man lvl 57 - 60 (Hard Mode available)
- Skum Fil: 6 man lvl 58 - 60 (Hard Mode available)
- Dark Delvings: 6 man lvl 58 - 60 (Hard Mode available)
- The Vile Maw: 12 Man raid lvl 60
In addition, there are four solo instances for legendary weapon upgrades, in addition to Epic Quest instances as part of the storyline. Several normal quests also feature instances as part of the quest line.
Changes to Core Game
In addition to new content, the Lord of the Rings: Mines of Moria made significant changes to the core gameplay as well.
Combat within the game was completely revamped with the expansion pack. Prior to the Mines of Moria, combat modifiers were based on percentages, with buffs, debuffs and upgrades adding to the players overall percentage chance for hit/miss/deflect/etc. Mines of Moria modified the combat mechanics to use absolute numbers instead of percentages, allowing the game to grow and to allow upgrades to be more meaningful.
Mines of Moria also made large changes to the Ettenmoors, the game's PvP area. Monster Players were upgraded to level 60, and the Ettenmoors were made to auto-balance based on the number of players logged into each side. In the event of a faction imbalance, the opposing side will receive a temporary buff to even out the game. The Delving of Fror, the Ettenmoors instance, has received an overhaul as well, allowing smaller groups to participate in raiding and controlling points.
In addition, the Mines of Moria added a new artifact system to the game, allowing players to capture artifacts and return them to their keeps to offer a world-wide buff to players.
The Mines of Moria also changes the game's trait system. Each class now has three trait groups, and all traits are assigned to a specific group. Equipping multiple traits within the same group grants the player set bonuses, rewarding players for different types of builds. With three sets per class, the new system is similar to World of Warcraft's Skill Tree, with the added change of set bonuses.
Changes as a Result of Free-to-Play
Since the move to a free-to-play model, the landscape areas introduced in Mines of Moria were opened to free players. Quest packs for the individual regions originally introduced in the expansion box may now be purchased a-la-carte, in the same way as other regions in the game. The Runekeeper and Warden classes introduced in Mines of Moria are initially locked to free players, and are available as optional purchases.