According to Turbine president Jeff Anderson, the studio's "number one goal is to deliver on Tolkien" by focusing in great detail on a portion of the fantasy world--specifically the realm of Eriador (where all the events of The Fellowship of the Ring take place)--rather than attempting to re-create the massive sprawl of all Middle-earth. The developer is hard at work creating a densely packed world full of quests (more than 1,300), characters to meet, and interesting, authentic locations to explore. The game will take place during the "Third Age," the same time frame in which the events of the Lord of the Rings novels unfold, so you can expect to meet with key characters like Gandalf and Aragorn and fight alongside them in the War of the Ring.
Anderson explained that the game is intended to appeal both to casual players who might be more familiar with Tolkien's novels than with online games and to veterans of massively multiplayer games. Casual players will hopefully be drawn into the game by its faithful interpretations of Tolkien lore, since the game will include major locations and characters from the novels, as well as in-game cinematic sequences called "dramatic moments," which often precede or follow quests.
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