Lord of the Rings Online – Minas Morgul Expansion Review

One Game to rule them all, One Game to find them, One Game to bring them all and in the darkness bind them. Ok so Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) may not be the top game on everyone’s MMORPG playlist, however, it is one that I have played since closed beta and has earned a lifetime membership from as well. Now we are exploring times of the Second Age during the War of the Ring in the Minas Morgul Expansion pack and here is our review.

From Developer Turbine and Publishers Turbine, Daybreak Games, Midway Games, and Codemasters come the next installment to the Lord of the Rings Online in the form of the Minas Morgul expansion pack. Included with the new pack are over 250 new quests to complete, seven new instances, new storylines for Mordor and more. One of my favorite additions to any pack is when they add a new race to play. In this expansion, we meet the Stout-Axe Dwarves.


The Stout-Axe Dwarves are those that were once known as Drasa’s folk, one of the seven houses who were corrupted by the rings gifted to them by Sauron. This, in turn, sentenced them to slavery for a very long age. In LOTRO, you begin your journey in the dungeons of Barad-Dur doing menial tasks for your masters. Once you have completed these tasks you leave the area and head for the normal Dwarf starting area in Thorin’s Hall. Complete a few more missions and then begin your journey through Middle Earth on your way to defeating Sauron and his minions. Here are the passives you can expect from the Stout-Axe race.


I just recently started the Stout-Axe on the Legendary Server Anor. I plan to take it nice and slow as I level this character up trying to learn everything new about it as I go. So far I haven’t played with him much but from what I have played it is very fun. The new starting area for it was very fun as well.

There are a lot of missions that have been added to keep you busy post-Mordor. When I first logged in and created a character to boost up to level 120 for the review, I was brought instantly to the Vales of Anduin. This is the area where the Black Book of Mordor story line begins. You have to chase down some Orcs and then do a couple of missions to find someone you are meant to find. This begins a retelling of the War of the Ring in the Second Age. It is very intriguing to be playing this area in Mordor as yourself but to be “hearing” it from someone else’s perspective. With new (old) enemies to fight, new quests to complete, and meeting with important characters from Lord of the Rings lore it will keep you entertained for hours.

People love their cosmetics and that doesn’t stop them from wanting to get them in all of their favorite games. The crew brought a lot of new suits and pets for us to use in this update. There are now armor and cloaks from the Great Alliance and the Dead City. There are also new auras for your weapons that make them shine, quite literally. With these new cosmetics, players will have fun showing off their new clothes and effects to friends all the time.


In a game that is fully rooted in story, and making you feel like you are part of the story, you will find yourself adventuring through lands old and new. Some parts of the story will fall to the wayside for new players, especially if you used the level 120 booster to start a new character without finishing the beginning of the Black Book of Mordor. You begin your trip adventuring around the Boernings area, which should seem very familiar, if you have played as that race and if you haven’t you should try it out. The shapeshifters have need of your help with minor tasks around their house prior to you venturing further into the Vales to find your path. There are familiar faces to be seen such as Lord Elrond and Gandalf. They will begin some new quest lines for you to play through as well.

Crafters unite as we get even more levels of items and food to craft or cook. One thing that is a hassle for crafters is definitely the number of spaces ingredients take up in your bags. Well, not anymore. Now we have a carry-all bag that stores all of your crafting ingredients, which saves us unnecessary trips to our storage vaults or to the auction hall. Buy what you need and carry it all right from there. Just a quick note, this item is good for one server only. Choose wisely where you would like it to go. You can transfer it to other characters on your server by use of your shared storage vault, but you can’t transfer it to another game world. This part is a little disappointing. Either way get your anvils, your tables, your pots and pans ready to get crafting!


Note: Our copy was reviewed on the PC with a code provided by PR.

I really enjoy playing LOTRO, and with the new expansion pack launch, I am enjoying it even more again. The new race, the new areas and crafting items and everything in between offers a ton of content for new players and old to play through. The story is as rich as ever, and you will find out what happened during the War of the Ring. We reviewed the expansion pack with the Ultimate Fan Bundle which afforded us a few more items than the collector’s pack or the basic upgrade. Prices at $129.99 USD offered a lot of bang for your buck while the collector’s pack runs you $79.99 USD for a few fewer items, and then the basic for $39.99 USD. Anyone looking to upgrade will enjoy the new updates to the game either way. Get back to Middle Earth and have fun!
  • New areas and story
  • Stout-Axe dwarves race option
  • Crafting updates for all
  • Some of the filler quests make you want more
  • Story is important, but some missions have you sit there for a period of time just reading the screen
Written by
Long time game enthusiast and writer. I have beta tested a lot of Mmorpg's since I was thirteen including Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online, and Star Wars The Old Republic. Currently attending The Art Institute of Pittsburgh for a degree in Game Art and Technology.

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