19 July 2017

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Voice Cast and San Diego Comic Con Panel

Middle-earth: Shadow of War, the sequel to Monolith's popular Shadow of Mordor, is slated for release on October 10 and features some big name voice actors:
  • Troy Baker as Talion and the game's Performance Capture Director
  • Alastair Duncan as Celebrimbor
  • Laura Bailey (Injustice 2, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End) as the elite assassin Eltariel
  • Kumail Ninjiani (Silicon Valley, Mass Effect: Andromeda)
  • Pollyanna McIntosh (The Walking Dead)
Additionally, Monolith Productions' Vice President, Creative, Michael de Plater, will join select voice cast members for a Middle-earth: Shadow of War panel at San Diego Comic Con this weekend (July 20-23).

The panel itself will take place on July 21 from 2:00 - 3:00 pm PDT:Delve into the depths of Middle-earth:
  • Shadow of War, the follow up to the critically acclaimed open-world action adventure Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, as Talion and Celebrimbor return and go behind enemy lines to forge an army and turn all of Mordor against the Dark Lord, Sauron.  Middle-earth: Shadow of War offers a richer, more personal and expansive world full of epic heroes and villains, iconic locations, original enemy types, even more personalities and a new cast of characters with untold stories – brought to life through the expansion of the award-winning Nemesis System. 
  • Panelists: Michael de Plater, Monolith Productions Vice President, Creative (Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor), Troy Baker, actor and Middle-earth: Shadow of War performance capture director (Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor), along with actors Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick,” “Silicon Valley”), Pollyanna McIntosh (“The Walking Dead,” “Hap and Leonard,” “The Woman”), Laura Bailey (Injustice 2, “Critical Role”) and moderator, Matt Mercer (“Critical Role”).
  • Room 6BCF, San Diego Convention Center, 111 W. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101

If you're attending SDCC this weekend, be sure to stop by the Shadow of War panel!

16 July 2017

Journey into Mordor with LOTRO's Newest Expansion

Middle-earth themed MMORPG The Lord of the Rings Online recently celebrated its tenth anniversary; following this milestone and five expansions packs' worth of adventures, players will finally be able to journey into Mordor with the game's upcoming Mordor expansion, which is slated for release on July 31st.

In an interview with MMO-Central, Standing Stone - the company which took over the game after Turbine switched over to mobile gaming - explained that the adventures will take place after the One Ring has been destroyed by Frodo and Sam.

“The reason that we can enter Mordor and not interfere with Frodo and Sam’s mission is because the majority of the Mordor expansion is going to take place after they’ve already gotten to Mount Doom. It would not be appropriate, I don’t think, for adventurers to be gallivanting in Mordor concurrent with Frodo and Sam doing their thing,” Jeff Libby said. “Fairly early on in the expansion, I think you’ll see that things get sorted out in a way, and then Mordor is our oyster.” (Check out the full interview here!)

LOTRO's Mordor expansion comes with a slew of new features, including:
  • 300+ new quests
  • Hundreds of new deeds
  • New Allegiance system
  • New instance cluster with raid

The expansion will be available in the LOTRO store following Update 22 this winter:
  • Base Edition (Moria region and instances only): 2495 points
  • High Elf race: 1000 points

For now, players can purchase one of three editions of the game:

The Ultimate Fan Bundle - $129.99
  • Aria of the Valar - instant boost to Mordor
  • High Elf race
  • Character slot
  • Exclusive Alliance cosmetics & mount
  • Exclusive Mordor cosmetics & mount
  • Two exclusive titles
  • XP accelerators for all characters
  • Housing teleport for all characters
  • Three relics for all characters
  • Two essence reclamation scrolls for all characters
  • Ten extra shared storage slots
  • Code for a month of free VIP access

The Collector's Edition - $79.99
  • Aria of the Valar
  • High Elf race
  • Character slot
  • Exclusive Alliance cosmetics & mount
  • One exclusive title

The Standard Edition - $39.99 
  • Aria of the Valar  

Will you be journeying into Mordor? And if so, which edition will you choose?

09 July 2017

My Funko Pop! Vinyl Wishlist

Back in September, myself and a few others compiled a list of Lord of the Rings themed Funko Pop! Vinyl figures we hoped would eventually be made, since the company had only put out a very limited line of Hobbit figures and one from The Lord of the Rings.

Since then, Funko has released a new line of figures, including such characters as the Balrog, a Nazgul (in regular and twilight form), Frodo and Sam, Gandalf, and Saruman. Additionally, a San Diego Comic Con exclusive featuring Aragorn and Arwen was also revealed; but beyond that, there's no word as to whether Funko will continue to put out more characters from The Lord of the Rings (though at this point I would be surprised if they didn't, since this line has been so well-received).

In any case, I decided to update my list and jot down a few characters I'd still really love to see in Funko Pop! form someday – but this time, I found myself thinking in general terms, and not just in regards to Peter Jackson's films. I came up with a ton, but narrowed it down for the sake of this post.

Here's a "Top Ten" list of my design – I'd love to hear your choices in the comments below:

From The Lord of the Rings Films
  • Galadriel (standard and mirror variation)
  • King of the Dead (glow in the dark, obviously!)
  • Boromir (with arrows in chest and boat accessory – a little depressing, I know)
  • Treebeard (I kept debating on whether I wanted Jackson's Treebeard or Ralph Bakshi's, but I think Jackson's would be more recognisable) 
  • Gimli (because so far we only have one Dwarf and that is unacceptable! How is Funko Legolas supposed to sail West without his BFF?)
  • Mûmak (especially in baby form, this would just be the cutest Funko ever!)
Other Licenses
  • Tom Bombadil (based on LOTRO's design; since he was absent from the films, it's only right to include him as a Funko Pop!)
  • Bilbo (Rankin/Bass' version would be great for older fans who grew up with the original Hobbit/LOTR films or the collector looking for the unique item)
  • J.R.R. Tolkien (this just seems like an obvious one)

What do you think? Let me know or share your own choices in the comments below! And be sure to follow me on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @TolkienBritta!