Continuing from my previous post, we're now going to speculate on the next major (as in not free) content update. As I said before, the most probable course in my opinion is to continue down the Anduin river, following the Fellowship's path Southeast. For the sake of this post, we're going to assume that I'm right (a lovely fantasy for me).
With the area Southeast of Lorien now filled in, it leaves a perfect opening to zip back west and continue Southward to Rohan. In my mind, we can expect the boundaries of the next expansion to include Fangorn (all the way up to bordering the Lorien area), and all the way West to the Gap of Rohan (including Isengard). I can see the developers still using the Anduin as the Eastern border, probably including Amon Hen at the Southeasternmost point of the expansion.
An interesting question now comes up. The only basis we have for the size of a major update is Moria. This is a pretty tough scale to use because it's extremely dificult to compare underground area to above-ground area. So in this speculation, I'm also going to take a stab at saying that the expansion will continue Southward until it hits the White Mountains. I'm not certain about that though.
The final thing I want to mention are two areas that have been largely looked over (by us at least, hopefully not by the devs). South of the Shire and the Lone Lands and the Trollshaws is a huge place called Cardolan. Briefly, it was a country that contained (among other things) the fortress of Amon Sul, and it was a key player in the long war with Angmar in the Second Age.
South of that is another area called Enedwaith. Originally this was a huge forested area, but the Numenorians in the Second Age as well as the War of the Elves and Sauron decimated most of the landscape. The Old Forest is one of the very few remnants of it's former glory. However, it's south-eastern portion apparently (accoring to Tolkien's writings) remains "well-wooded", but it's mostly grassland now. Some surviving traits are the ruins of Tharbad, an ancient city that was wiped out by floods in the late Third Age, and two groups of people: the Dunlendings in the east parts, and to the west, "fairly numerous but barbarous fisher-folk" on the coast of Belegaer (the sea).
These two areas seem (to me at least) to be an interesting opportunity for Turbine to use it's creative talent to give us some new and fairly open gameplay (akin to what Rohan will be). Both areas seem to be flat and wide, which should compliment the expansion nicely. When will we see these new areas? Probably not until at least after the Rohan expansion, but if you look at the map when they're done it will round out the world nicely.
2 months ago