Have you heard the news? We’re going back to the Shire to a new area in Lord of the Rings Online! Yondershire was announced in a recent Letter from Producer Raninia of Standing Stone Games, the new region is available as of April 20, 2022 with Update 33.
So, what’s over in Yondershire? Where is this new place and what can we expect, with no story spoilers, here is what you can expect from the new challenge area that is FREE to VIP subscribers and available in the LOTRO store.
Where Is Yondershire?
Yondershire is located just north and situated in-between Celondim and Michel Delving in the Shire. The area will feature four hobbit villages, Nobottle, Tighfield, Gamwich, and Long Cleeve.
There’s a few ways you can travel to Yondershire, the most direct method will be from Needlehole, which is where you can find the lead quest by talking with Bounder Chubb. From Needlehole head north to The Rushock Gate and through the passageway, at the crossroads turn left until you reach Nobottle.
The portal that connects Ered Luin and the Shire will be no more, and the lands between Ered Luin and the Shire are now connected. To the north east of Yondershire lies Evendim.
You can also reach Yondershire by heading north west from Little Delving along the road you will eventually come to Foxden Heath an area of moorlands , continue through this area to the northeast until you arrive in the settlement, Nobottle.
From Ered Luin travel from Duillond east over the bridge and through The East Way.
The Hobbits of Yondershire
The Yondershire is inhabited by more reclusive and independent sort of Hobbits, farmers, brewers, writers and all type of folk. The villages have many quests and things you are accustomed to in the Shire, places to gather and plenty of Inns to delve into.
The villages are spread out and the region is very expansive, much larger than Wildwood, and it took quite a lot of time riding through it. The area is surrounded with fields of moorlands, forests, and fen.
What Level Is Yondershire?
The zone offers quests for levels 20 to 23 with plenty of areas to explore including five landmark ruins beyond the villages.
Completing quests in the Yondershire will award barter tokens, Copper Bounder’s Coins for the new reputation faction Yonder-Watch. As of the writing of this post the Quartermaster of Yonder-Watch is offering quick return skills for the area, house furnishings including several hobbit themed paintings, postal decor, furniture, planters, wall and floor surfaces and a cosmetic pet.
My Thoughts of Yondershire
I always jump at the opportunity to return to areas previously played through in LOTRO, having the chance to go back to the Shire and explore a new region is something I find exciting, and well quite relaxing and fun. It’s also another reason I love the world events that take place in these areas.
From Old to New
I was curious what the new zone would look like and how it would fit in with the older spaces, but the developers delivered a landscape and seamless transition from the now 15 year old Shire to this current zone, beautifully.
There were times where I felt a little lost in the openness of the land and this really pushes the player to explore and find their way, it’s exactly what I felt like when I stepped into the Old Forest or the Lone-Lands all those years ago, a great sense of adventure.
Plenty of Immersion
The Inns and villages of the hobbits are filled with excellent role-play opportunities and the new interiors of these places are delightful. While the new details are noticeable than the older Inns it doesn’t break any sort of immersion, and speaking only for myself, it adds more.
Welcome Addition for LOTRO
The attention to low and mid-level areas and the filling-in of spaces on the map that we have not been able to discover is very much welcome. In my opinion, this is a great direction the LOTRO developers are taking, offering players a variety of updated content for the whole of the game and not just the typical focus of end-game story that many MMORPG’s cater to.
With that being said, LOTRO has been receiving quite a lot of updates, and regularly. There Fate of Gundabad expansion released in November 2021 taking players another 10 levels to a cap of 140, adding more end game story content and in February 2022 a 12-man raid The Hiddenhoard of Abnankâra was added.
LOTRO Stream of Yondershire
Matt Elliott, aka Scenario, Sr. World Designer for LOTRO recently streamed a Casual Stroll Through Yondershire, in this video you can preview the new area without story spoilers as Scenario answers questions from the audience about the creation of Yondershire. This video is definitely worth the watch if you enjoy the behind the scenes kind of insight from a developers perspective and don’t mind seeing all of the areas before exploring them on your own.
Thanks for dropping in today, I hope you found this preview of Yondershire helpful.