LOTR: Return to Moria Update 2 Release Notes for PC

Turugnî hisgin!

This update’s theme is “Barkû yaggin,” the Khuzdul phrase for “My axe is restless.” It’s been almost 4 months since their last update, and the development team is as restless to get it to you as you are to play it.

Title Update 2 is their most ambitious addition to the game since launch. In addition to over 300 Bug fixes and numerous other features, they are releasing an Alpha version of “Sandbox Mode” to PC players. This represents a new way to have a more non-linear, procedurally generated experience. They think it will be enjoyable for players who want a more traditional survival experience or for those who have finished the story campaign. 

Please note that today’s update is for the PC only. The game will display version 137922 in the Epic Games Launcher once it is updated. They are already working on the PS5 update and will have an estimated date on its release in the near future.

To help them fine tune Sandbox mode, please add your feedback about it via their support page. Same If you experience any bugs while playing Return to Moria or have any other feedback you wish to share with the team. You can find the links here: https://northbeachgames.freshdesk.com/support/home 

Notes and Updates

Caution: they’ve done their best to avoid major spoilers in the notes, but there are mentions of some locations and items below that some players may consider spoilers.

Unless otherwise stated, contents of the update will apply to pre-existing saves.

Some changes require a reshuffling of resources in existing worlds.  In most cases this will be seamless, however there is still a chance some objects in existing worlds may have shifted.  

They’ve grouped updates together to give you an overview of what these fixes and changes mean for the game. 

Update 2 Details

Sandbox Mode (Alpha preview for PC)

New for Update 2, they are releasing an entirely new way to experience the game. “Sandbox Mode” will be enabled for PC players only as an early alpha of the feature. They can’t wait to gather feedback from the community, then go wider after tuning and iteration.  

  • The original version of the game world is now called “Campaign”
  • Selecting Sandbox mode will generate a sandbox world based on a seed. Players can share seeds if they like particular generations.
  • Sandbox generates a smaller world than Campaign. This increase in density means players can traverse the world horizontally much faster.
  • Connections between biomes are not limited to story moments, as in the Campaign. This means players can find themselves in very deadly situations very quickly.
  • Sandbox-related features require the creation of a fresh Sandbox game world. 
  • Although they recommend trying Sandbox with a new Dwarf, players can bring existing Campaign Dwarfs into Sandbox and vice versa. 

New Content Exclusive to Sandbox Worlds

The layout of a Sandbox world is different enough that they needed to add more recipes to keep the intended ratio of exploration-to-discovery.

  • New Weapons and armor recipes can be found by repairing statues, re-igniting Forges and building crafting stations.
  • All new weapons and armor crafted in Sandbox can be taken into new and existing Campaign worlds. 
  • New biomes and environment locations have been added. Be on the lookout for new Elven locations, new vertical passages (stairs and mines), and even caved-in portions of the world.  
  • We’ve added a new Small hearth, intended to exist between the campfire and the stone hearth. It works best in existing, cramped buildings.
  • A new, smaller Camp Meal Table is unlocked early in the game and intended to be used alongside the Campfire or Small Hearth.  
  • In Sandbox Mode, there are tuning and progression changes to existing items, to support a more sandbox-style of play and exploration. For example, unlock steel by building the bellows! Keep building and collecting to unlock everything.

Improved Map

They have iterated on the Map experience for both Sandbox and Campaign.   

  • Color coded biomes. Westgate for example will show up as a different color than later biomes in the game.  
  • Improved the visualization of adjacent environments. They now connect into a seamless row instead of separated grid cells.  
  • Reduced visual noise around environments that are on different heights than the player.
  • Added 2 Colorblind options for the map to help with legibility.
  • Renamed the area previously called “Cruel Caradhras” to “The Redhorn Lode”
  • Renamed the area previously called “Dwarrowdelf” to “The Upper Halls”

Change Difficulty in Realtime 

They have added the ability to adjust difficulty within the game. Upon release, the game was tuned for a small party of 2-4 dwarves. This meant some portions of the game were very difficult for solo players, while others were very easy for larger groups.  

  • Difficulty settings are now available for all worlds, new and existing.
  • Difficulty settings can be changed in real time from the Escape menu
  • Four preset difficult settings exist (from easiest to hardest): Story, Solo, Normal, Hard
  • Note: Story mode still has orcs and combat challenges, so players will still need to keep a weapon at the ready. However they should die faster and not do as much damage.
  • Players can also make custom difficulty settings, tuning everything from combat to resource drops to enemy patrol/siege frequency.  
  • Note: Only the host player can adjust the difficulty of online games.
  • Note: Difficulty presets can only be customized while in an active play session
  • Known Issue: Occasionally, after customizing Difficulty in a world in an active play session, the Load World screen may show incorrect Difficulty information.

Improved Building & Restoration

Building and decorating bases is a favorite of many players and this update should help all players, especially the builders, create what is in their head much easier. They have worked hard to make sure things “just fit” way more often.

  • All pre-placed buildings have been re-built to the world grid, using blocks of the same sizes and shapes as player building blocks. This creates a more consistent building experience, especially around existing architecture.   
  • Reworked many of the player build blocks to better fit into open spaces or replace prebuilt architecture blocks.
  • Known issue: players with existing worlds will see some duplicate item names including 2 versions of the regular and small granite floor.
  • Added significantly more stability when building upwards, reducing random stability breakages in multi-story structures
  • Added more leniency to the placement of stability improving structures like walls and columns. It should now be much easier to improve an object’s stability.
  • Retuned the restoration hammer to allow most items to be repaired more quickly.  
  • Added a new shortcut to build when playing with a controller. Press Up on the D-Pad to quickly go to build mode.
  • Added a new shortcut to deconstruct when playing with a controller. Press Up on the D-Pad then down on the left stick to enter deconstruct mode.
  • Reduced instances of buildings exploding when one building block was destroyed.
  • Players can now destroy floors in existing dwarven buildings
  • Replaced all graphic style icons in Build mode with more representative images of each item.  

New Decorations and Furnishings

They’ve created new placeable objects and allowed the player to place decorative objects that were previously in the world but not available in the menu. This includes these additions or improvements:

  • Eight book and scroll shelves
  • Six monuments to Durin
  • Tavern counter and cabinet
  • 12 rug and carpet segments in various colors
  • 16 banners and flags in various colors
  • Eight new kinds of crystal lamps
  • Player-buildable brazier
  • 12 kinds of decorative Tables and Chairs (note: the player won’t be able to sit in them)
  • A step ladder
  • 14 stair segments
  • 12 roof and ceiling sections
  • Six scaffolding platforms
  • Seven fences, trellises and banisters
  • 17 column and post segments
  • 27 walls, windows, and archways

Combat Feel

This iteration of combat was meant to give fighting more weight, with an emphasis on sound, effects, and knockback.

  • Increased knockback on weapon combos, charged attacks, and shield bash
  • Added a large stagger and knockback to perfect block. Note as part of this change, perfect block no longer blocks durability degradation of shields
  • Improved VFX and SFX when fighting enemies
  • Improved VFX for charge attack windup and followthrough.
  • Improved VFX and SFX to runic weapons and attacks.
  • Status VFX added to enemies hit with the Dâmir, Ashnaraz, and Udûlâ rune
  • The dwarf now faces camera forward when charging an attack
  • Retuned default enemy aggression to attack less often, giving dwarves more opportunities to finish combos and unleash charged attacks. Note, enemy aggression can be increased or decreased in the difficulty settings mode 
  • Dwarves do not “need a better weapon for this” when shield bashing enemies. The shield is completely sufficient for this. 

Retuned Horde and Siege experience

Hordes and sieges are a key part of the combat challenge of the game, reinforcing the need of players to stay alert and be prepared in most situations. The drive to stay at the best tier of weapons and armor is key to the feeling of progression. However the balance of hordes was off, making them infrequent and often much harder than intended. Sieges were often toothless, making them more of a nuisance than fun gameplay. These changes should improve both experiences.

  • Retuned hordes to be shorter, more intense fights. Beware! They can now be triggered more easily. Rewards have been updated to match this.
  • The danger/awareness meter now decreases over time, but is no longer fully reset by sleeping
  • Repairing all legendary forges now have a very high probability of summoning a horde.
  • Architecture is now more vulnerable to orc attacks in a siege.

Updated Sound and VFX throughout the game

The long dark of Moria can be lonely, but the Dwarves bring joy with them regardless. To match this tone they have added more joy and sound throughout the game.

  • Added ambient music that periodically plays near a hearth so the player can listen to the hospitality of the Dwarves. 
  • Added ambient music for exploration in the world that periodically plays as the players are out in the world.  
  • Added high tension music for when the player is being attacked.
  • Crafting stations have received a VFX and Sound Effect Pass to make using them more engaging. 
  • Meal Table has had VFX added and improved 
  • Poison and Starving now have Sound effects to indicate when you are taking damage from either.  
  • Fixed instances where the opening cinematic audio plays before the video starts.  
  • New SFX for a variety of player actions such as rebuilding statues and unlocking new recipes.
  • Missing SFX on various UI elements have been hooked up throughout the game
  • New VFX and SFX for rebuilding of key structures 
  • Improved the general appearance of the Shadow Fog. 
  • Overall VFX optimization pass 

Pause the Game in Offline Mode

One of their most requested features! If you are playing alone, you can take a break without having to exit the game.

  • Solo players in offline mode can pause the game by navigating to the Settings tab of the global UI.
  • Via keyboard, simply press the ESC key.
  • Via controller, go to any menu then navigate to the Gear icon.
  • Note: The game is NOT paused on any other UI screen. This means the simulation is still active when in the Goals, Appendices, Map, Inventory, Crafting or Building screens.

Tuning Changes

Along with fixing various bugs that affect tuning, they have made the following changes:

  • Increased the amount of Muznakan carvings in Westgate, Lower Deeps, Dwarowdelf, and Desolation in newly created Campaign worlds.
  • Increased the instances of shadow vents spawning with “broken Durin Lamps”. The lamps can be repaired to seal the shadow vent in newly created Campaign worlds.
  • Shrank the batch size (and corresponding recipe requirements) for brew at each of the breweries.  
  • Hunters rune now restores 3 stamina pips when the player completes their combo, as opposed to 1 stamina every hit

Bug Fixes & Other Improvements: 

In addition to the above, they have fixed about 300 bugs since our last update.  Major bug fixes include (but are not limited to): 

Stability and Performance

  • Fixed many bugs that would result in the game crashing, common and uncommon (thank you for all the crash reports)
  • Fixed many instances of hitching or poor performance throughout the game.  
  • Fixed an issue where skipping the opening cinematic could cause the game to crash.
  • Decreased load time before respawning back to your base
  • Fixed several bugs related to game settings being saved incorrectly when playing in a language other than English

Multiplayer Experience

  • Greatly improved the start of game flow, including issues related to hosting and joining multiplayer sessions.
  • Improved error reporting when a game can’t be found or the player cannot connect.  
  • Trophies and Achievements are now given to all players, not just the host or the one who dealt the final blow of a boss fight.  


  • Improved controller support for PC.
  • Fixed an issue where the goal screen could not be interacted with when using a controller on PC.


  • Fixed an issue where Troll could get stuck in the interface between bubbles. (Keep running Dwarf!)
  • Reduced the frequency of dwarf grunts when swinging weapons.
  • Improved Dwarf bending at torso when mining.
  • Improved how a Dwarf aims a bow so it is more predictable when lining up a shot.

Quality of Life Fixes

  • Fixed a bug where the exhausted SFX would play when a client joined. (This was a teamwide pet peeve!) 
  • Fixed a bug where a new character hosting an existing game would see every waypoint in the world.
  • Game startup logo movies are now skippable.
  • “Deposit Similar” button now also moves items in the Action Bar to a Storage Container. 
  • Added “Take All / Deposit Similar” to the Akhfur chests. 
  • Fixed instances where “Take All / Deposit Similar” could disappear when interacting with a different chest, then coming back to the original chest. 
  • Fixed an issue where “Take All” functionality was not available on non-player built chests 
  • Mapstones now correctly show whether they have been activated. They still need to be activated after being built or rebuilt.
  • Chests and pallets in the world now share their contents with crafting stations.
  • Uprooting a plant now returns the plant to your inventory.    
  • Fixed an issue with the adamant hammer that prevented it from repairing lower tier statues
  • Removed partial completion from repairable items like statues and the Eastern Stairs so players don’t accidentally dump resources for no reward. 
  • Death chests/urns no longer have to be interacted with twice to open.  
  • Fixed an issue with the “Undaunted buff” that blocked stamina regen for 20 seconds
  • Fixed an issue where the stamina bar pip visuals would be broken when the stamina bar was updated
  • Fixed an issue where Muznakan carvings could fall through the world. 
  • Fixed an issue where new worlds could disappear from lists in the Select World screen. 
  • Fixed an issue where time would not progress for crafting stations when the player was not nearby. (No need to babysit the Salt Bath anymore!)
  • Fixed an issue where enemies could spawn under the world. This should help with instances of enemies not spawning in the final boss fight among others. 
  • Getting to the First Hall, then watching the end cinematic should now happen in the correct order.
  • Campaign worlds now generate better locations for Orctown; it no longer overlaps with the Elven Quarter.
  • Baranzinbar in Campaign now has less procedurally generated vertical overlaps and should be easier to navigate.
  • The “Darkness of Night Falls” announcement now happens at Night instead of Twilight.
  • Opening the Belegost Forge is now done at the Forge gate itself, rather than the other location where it had previously been done.
  • Some new locations created for the Sandbox mode have been added to certain areas in the Campaign to help create more navigable connections in the world.
  • Fixed a small portion of broken navmesh in the Mithril Forge.


  • Fixed an issue where character’s arms and backpack only may show up when first opening the character select screen.  
  • Fixed an issue where resin ore could clip through its pallet
  • Fixed instances of lighting and shadow issues throughout the game.  
  • Fixed an instance where active crafting stations were not visible to a client who had traveled by Mapstone to the base.  
  • Wizard marks no longer have outlines that show through dirt voxels.
  • Prevented decoration from spawning on Aric’s landing location in Westgate. 
  • Fixed minor bits of untextured mesh in several areas in the game
  • Improved elven tree destruction
  • Removed duplicate instances of Goal and Tutorial banners
  • Fixed the Shadow Fog bug that caused the shadow fog to cull on low graphics settings. 
  • Fixed the Shadow Fog bug that caused the fog mesh to be jagged and low poly. 
  • Fixed the Shadow Fog bug that caused the interaction with Durin’s Axe and Light weapons to not properly activate. 
  • Fixed several VFX bugs on the Watcher Fight.
  • Fixed bug creating lighting artifacts on high and Epic settings with DLSS.
  • Fixed bug where certain VFX would disappear when reloading an area.

This update 2 brings so much that the community has been asking for and shows that the dev team is dedicated to bringing quality updates along with more content.

For the latest information, updates, and community discussions, join our Official Discord Server! And remember, for more Return to Moria content, visit our LOTR: Return to Moria Homepage. Happy adventuring!


Related Posts