Yesterday, Snowblind Studios and Warner Bros. held an indepth discussion about various elements of the loot system that is incorporated in Lord of the Rings: War in the North. The upcoming Tolkien-inspired action RPG game will be released November 1st, 2011, and lets players delve into unexplored lands and lore of Middle-earth as they fight the forces of darkness.
With a unique 3-player co-op system, gamers must battle, explore and journey together, balancing their strengths and weakness as a cohesive Fellowship of Human, Elf and Dwarf, or falter and perish in their journey. In every aspect of the game – combat, exploration, healing, even loot gathering – the Fellowship plays a vital role.
As for the loot system, Snowblind Studios has made a huge effort to create items that have a true “Middle-earth feel” to them, drawing on inspiration from the Lord of the Rings films and WETA designs. From armor and weapons to potions and coin, players will not go wanting when it comes to loot. There will also be a goodly number of rare and legendary items for those who dedicate a bit more time and effort into uncovering hidden treasures.
Loot can be gained in a number of ways. The most obvious is by killing enemies, gaining you money, ammunition, and the like. There’ll also be plenty of crates, barrels, and chests lying around, just waiting for you to open–or smash. When you get a new item, Snowblind has created a quick-glance inventory system (employing green and red arrows) that lets you easily determine whether the new loot is higher or lower quality than the items you’re already wearing and using.
LOTR: War in the North also employs an equipment upgrade system using “elfstones.” These elfstones will have various stat increases, adding to health, attack power, etc. Certain armor and weaponry will have slots for players to place the elfstones into, adding their stats to what the equipment already provides. In this way, characters can customize stat bonuses according to their gameplay preferences.
Loot also plays an important part in the online co-op mode. Players need not fear having to squabble over loot, as each character will receive individual drops from enemies, chests, and so on. Plus, players will be able to trade loot between themselves. So if you get an incredible sword, but are playing as the elven loremaster, you can hand the weapon over to the ranger and help him deal more damage in the thick of the fray.
Some items will have stat and level restrictions before being usable. A set of armor, for instance, might require a larger amount of strength than a character possesses. Or you might have to wait a few levels before being able to equip a shiny new sword. Certain items will be class-specific, too. For instance, only the Dunedain ranger can handle bows, while crossbows are dwarf-only, and staves are limited to the elf. Also, the elven loremaster, Andriel, is is the only one able to craft various potions and consumables that help the Fellowship along in its quest.
Snowblind Studios hinted at a few famous items being included as potential prizes, including Sting and Narsil–though they did confirm that you won’t be snagging Gandalf’s Staff anytime soon.
What Middle-earth weapons or relics would you love to get a chance to play with?