Along with the new class/race Beorning arriving in Update 15, it seems that the barbers of Middle-earth are finally making an effort to catch up with modern hair trends. It’s been quite a while since LOTRO’s character creation received some attention but so far it’s only the Beorning that gets the love. No new elf mohawks or hobbit dreadlocks just yet. And these changes only affect Beornings, not Race of Man characters for now. All this comes from the Bullroarer preview server and with each build I’ve closely watched the progressive tweeking and retuning of Beorning hair so what you see here will most likely not be the final release version.
While these new hairstyles are more detailed than their boxy predecessors, they still lack any physics. I’d have liked to seen some long hair blowing in the wind or getting wet in the rain but that’s asking too much from a seven-year-old game. The male facial hair and his natural unshaven look, though, makes the Beorning appear very rugged and integrates well with the rest of the hair. However, I echo the disappointment of many with the lack of a bald option*.
Almost all of the new hairstyles look like the Beorning just jumped out of the shower and flipped his hair back. Maybe that makes it easier when he’s constantly shifting into and out of bear form, but I was hoping for a bit more variation. The one that stands out for me, though, is female hairstyle 07, the shaved side flip that has become popular in recent years with an added braid down the middle. My female Beorning may just feature that one if only because it’s so different from the rest.
*Beta 4 added a bald option for both male and female beornings: