Guardians of Middle-earth continues to bolster its roster of playable heroes in rapid-fire succession, as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions announce Saruman the White. As Chief of the Wizards, Saruman holds dominion over the rest of the order, including Gandalf the Grey and Radagast the Brown, both of whom have already joined the struggle for the lanes of Middle-earth.
Saruman brings powerful enchanting abilities to the battlefield with a bevy of skills designed to hinder opponents and lay down significant damage in a wide area. Using his Spies of Saruman ability, the White Wizard slows his opponent, dealing damage over time and revealing hidden enemies. For more straightforward encounters, Saruman can focus his magic for area-of-effect ability damage and a useful stun and transition from the defensive to aggressive with his bursting shield, which silences the enemy upon detonation.
Saruman marks the first downloadable character revealed since the conclusion of the Season Pass. As such, he is not accessible by those who’ve already purchased a pass and must be unlocked separately for 160 MSP. To check out Saruman laying waste across the lanes of Middle-earth, check out his official character trailer after the jump.
The newest addition to the ever-expanding roster of playable characters in Guardians of Middle-earth has waded into the fray. Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment together with Monolith Productions, developer of the console-based MOBA, have announced the Barrow-wight Lord, the undead Enchanter bent on twisting and corrupting everything he sought to protect in life.
Utilizing the essence of death, the Barrow-wight Lord casts grim magics on his opponents, damaging them over time and draining their life to regenerate his own. Should he become overwhelmed and succumb to his enemies, his passive Undeath ability grants him immunity in his final hour, allowing him to teleport and envelope his opponent for significant damage.
The Barrow-wight Lord joins the already robust cast of characters perpetually battling for the lanes of Middle-earth. Available as a singular purchase for 160 MSP or included free for those with a Season Pass, the Barrow-wight Lord marks the final guardian to be included with the pass, though further purchasable content is expected to be announced at some point in the future.
As the last character freely accessible with the Season Pass, the Barrow-wight Lord brings the total number of goods therein to eight guardians and one additional mode. Added together, that’s a 1600 MSP value for the 1200 MSP price of the Season Pass. To see the Barrow-wight Lord in action, be sure to check out the character trailer after the jump.
Guardians of Middle-earth‘s ever-expanding stable of seasoned heroes was bolstered again today, as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions inked the newest name to the roster. Radagast the Brown, the nature-conscience wizard recently featured in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, lends his particular set of skills to the ongoing war for Middle-earth.
Radagast enters the fray as an enchanter, similar to Gandalf, dealing ability damage and crowd control through with his many area-of-effect spells. To compliment his arsenal, Radagast is able to increase his attack speed, and reduce controlling effects on himself and his allies, making for a potent ally in any skirmish. You can see him working his magic in action by checking out the character profile video, after the jump.
Everyone eager to battle with the brown wizard can purchase him individually or as part of the Season Pass, which includes all existing and future downloadable characters, as well as the forthcoming Survival mode for 1200 MSP. Additionally, players will have the opportunity to compete in “The One Road” challenge this weekend. Running February 1 through 3, the competition requires you rack up the “Most Wins on a One-Lane Map” in order to walk away with 500 XP, 20,000 Gold, and three Mithril level items to outfit your utility belt.
The first new additions to the already robust Guardians of Middle-earth roster are now available. Joining the ranks are Bilbo Baggins, the titular star of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, who fills the role of a striker with his blade, Sting. Tipping the scales for the forces of darkness, Bert the Troll brings considerable firepower as yet another tactician, using his abilities to secure lanes and push toward enemy installations. Both guardians can be individually purchased for 160 MSP, or as part of the Season Pass, which also secures future downloadable content for 1200 MSP.
Also available for download, The Shire map skin brings 3-lane warfare to the rolling green mounds of Hobbiton. The Shire plays similarly to the existing 3-lane map, though players will notice shrine locations are slightly changed, and bushes scattered throughout the map present new opportunities for potential ambushes. Part of a compatibility update, The Shire map skin is free of charge, joining the random map rotation once downloaded.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions plan to release more content over the course of the coming months, including several new guardians and game modes when they become available. For a better look at Bilbo, Bert and The Shire, check out the trailer after the jump. Anyone not yet knee-deep in the battle can see what all the fuss is about in our Guardians of Middle-earth review.
We’ve been talking a lot about Guardians of Middle-earth over the past few months, with a steady stream of character reveals and tutorial videos for the Tolkien-inspired MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title. Though beyond the multimedia fanfare preceding its imminent release, Guardians of Middle-earth carries weighty ambition as the first true title of the genre developed specifically for consoles.
The MOBA is a notoriously delicate genre, requiring nearly constant post-launch supervision in order to maintain the balance of character power as player strategies evolve over time. That balance necessitates regular updates and patches, the kind of support that’s seemingly at odds with the “closed system” of a console, which normally requires any changes be vetted by the manufacturer’s certification process.
When we spoke with producers Bob Roberts and Ruth Pomandl last month, they briefly touched on their plan to issue real-time updates without needing to repeatedly pass through the lengthy and expensive, recertification process. In an interview with VG247, Roberts further explained the importance of fine-tuning character balance and how they intend to continue those tweaks after the title has gone live.
“We did also build a system for having a lot of our balance database saved in cloud storage, that you’re going to download every time you launch the game. It’s a very small, quick update that doesn’t have to go through certification, so we can update it every day, every week – however often we need to if we see critical balance issues.”
Over the last two months, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have, like a sagely Mr. Miyagi, or a learned Obi-Wan, tried to teach us the ways of the MOBA. Today, those lessons are complete, as the final video in the “MOBA Mastery” series debuts in preparation for the December 5 launch of Guardians of Middle-earth. The multiplayer online battler pits teams of Tolkien-inspired heroes against one another, utilizing their varied skills and abilities to achieve control of the environment, and sweep the leg of their opponents.
The fifth, and final, video brings together all the elements discussed in previous weeks, culminating with team strategy and how a match unfolds. If you’ve missed any of the previous weeks, you can find week one, two, three and four, by hitting those links, and part five after the jump.
It’s getting pretty crowded on the Guardians of Middle-earth roster. Over the last few months, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have released a steady stream of information regarding the characters you can expect to employ when Guardians of Middle-earth lands on Xbox Live Arcade next Wednesday, December 5. This week is no different, as we’re introduced to two new guardians who’ll lend their abilities to the team-based arena battler.
Haldir, the dexterous and deadly elven striker, uses his speed and ranged prowess to lay down punishing fire. In a pinch, Haldir can teleport to a desired location, stunning enemies with his next shot before finishing them off with devastating special attacks from a distance. Lugbol, on the other hand, uses his summoned wolves to soak up damage and taunt his enemies. The undead goblin, possessed by an evil entity, then utilizes his dark mastery of fire and lightning to visit utter destruction on his victims. See both guardians in action in the Battle Profile video below.
Thanks to Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions and their ongoing efforts of to get your MOBA skills up to snuff, the fourth video in their MOBA Mastery guide is available for your dissection. The video series, aimed at exploring the genre in broad strokes and progressively finer detail in preparation for the December 5 launch of Guardians of Middle-earth, continues to peel away another layer of strategy this week. Like an unending, informative, Tolkienian onion.
The Guardians of Middle-earth promotional train keeps on rolling as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions reveal two new characters en route to a December 5 release. Guardians of Middle-earth is a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title that pits legendary characters from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey against each other in team-based combat. The newest additions to the already hefty roster include Thrain, the exiled Dwarven warrior, and Gothmog, the master strategist.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Monolith Productions have released the second installment of their video series designed to get you into fighting shape for Guardians of Middle-earth. Dubbed “MOBA Mastery,” the series takes a look at the multiplayer online battle arena genre, from a basic overview on match structure and map layout, to the progressively more complex elements of play.