InterviewsLord of the Rings Online: Preview of the Balrog Quest From DigitalLifeInterviews - RSS 2.0
We continue with Part 2 of our interview about Book 11 with Jeff Anderson, now former President & CEO of Turbine, and Adam Mersky, the Director of PR. We discuss the new 12 man raid coming with Book 11, and the new monsters we will be seeing soon. We also got a sneak peak at a new Minstrel instrument that will make you laugh.
WarCry: Can you tell us anything that is being added in Book 11 that was just done for fun?
Turbine: We did add a couple of new instruments, I really love one, it is called Cow Bell. The motion the guy makes when playing it. Here let me show you. Watch the hips.
Turbine: Isn't that just funny!
WarCry <laughs> That was excellent. Players will love that.
WarCry: What can you tell us about the new 12 man raid coming with Book 11?
Turbine: Well, the 12 man raid will be against a Balrog. You won't be going to Moria, instead the elves have trapped one, and need your help destroying him.
WARNING SPOILER ALERT!
At this point Jeff fired up the Balrog quest, and gave me a little walk through. What follows is my impression of what I saw, and a few details about the encounter. While I tried not to give away too much here, I do describe the raid in some detail, so if you don't want to know, stop now.
After we receive the quest, we head to a huge, and I mean huge door. You watch as the locks turn and the gigantic door opens. As we walked into the room, following our elf friend, the first thing that catches your attention is the Balrog across the chamber! It is huge, reaching from floor to ceiling in a massive chamber. You are separated from the monster by a pool of poisonous water that can kill you almost on contact. Luckily he is chained up and can't get free, however his roars alone will cause such dread that you will simply want to run away.
Of course all of this is very easy to do, and you will have to fight nothing at all to get this done.... NOT. You will need everyone working together to wade through the new monsters, including one that is such a tentacle balled up oddity, that to be honest, I can't really describe them. I can say that they aren't easy to kill, and there will be a lot of them. While you are doing this the Balrog won't be very happy, and actually breaks free. He uses one of the massive chains as a whip, and picks up a huge sword the size of several people put together. Our elf friend tells us that she will distract the beast, that some of us need to stay with her and keep her safe, while the rest of us finish the cleaning. So off we run fighting our way through more nasties as fast as we can to finish the cleansing process and to let in more light. Once done, we think we are ready to finish off the Balrog only to find out that he isn't alone.... He has friends!
We finish his friends off, which is no easy task, then turn our attention to the Dreadful chain and sword wielding Balrog. I didn't want to give away a lot of details, and ruin it for people, but I will give you a few numbers to let you know that this encounter needs 12 people.... Our friend the Balrog has over 200,000 HP, well over it in fact, and can hit for between 1200 and 1800 a shot. You will need everyone to bring their A game to take this beast down.
Also another hint, don't go AFK during the encounter. Even in between fights, bad things can happen.
Well that's it for the Balrog encounter. I tried to give you a feel for it without ruining everything for you. Overall the Balrog fight felt really appropriate for what the encounter is. Its no walk in the park, I can see groups trying it many times before they succeed. With a monster so Iconic and important to the lore, that's as it should be. I want to thank Jeff and Adam for taking the time to answer all of my annoying questions. You guys are great!