Siege of Mirkwood: Lone Lands Revisited

In the upcoming expansion – is revisiting the and giving the area some much needed love. Developer Orion talked about the upcoming changes to this zone in his most recent Developer Diary, and I am going to give you all my views today.

The Lone Lands have always been a sort of ‘Red Headed Step Child’ in the game, there exist some serious disconnects between Epic Quest lines here, and the area itself had some amazingly crazy difficulty jumps (Being sent amongst a bunch of elites in a Group Quest area to complete a Single Player quest for example). Some great questing moments have happened here though, I am willing to bet that any LotRO player will be able to tell you memories of their first time Retaking Weathertop, or their first venture over the that crosses between the last of the ‘Settled Lands’ and the ‘Wilds’ of the Trollshaws (If you remember The Hobbit you will certainly remember the bridge).

The Last Bridge

The Siege of Mirkwood update will be changing the difficulty of getting into the Epic Quest parts in the Lone Lands and will introduce a new faction to facilitate this:

With the release of Siege of Mirkwood, all players following the Epic storyline will find that Gandalf now sends them to Saeradan to enlist the aid of the Rangers, to assist with finding another of Gandalf’s order. After making their way to Saeradan, players will find that he will now offer them a free ride to Candaith’s camp in the shadow of Weathertop. Be careful and watch out for any folk in need of assistance on the ride to Candaith! Once at his camp, players follow Candaith’s tale through the battle at the peak of Weathertop and learn of a new faction within the Lone-lands, the Eglain. (This is discussed further in the diary.)

Weathertop will also be receiving a make-over – players will now have the option of playing it as a Solo character, or playing it as a Group [the original method]:

To ensure that we continue forward with the same practices that we attempted to utilize in the Bree-land revamp, there will now be two versions of Weathertop. There is the group version, which remains unchanged, and a new solo version that will enable players to assail the great hill alone against the forces of the White Hand.

This is a pretty good idea in my eyes – it means that more people will be able to experience the great story line in that quest, though part of me is sad that so many quests are going in this direction. While forced grouping isn’t really my thing, some of my best memories come from working through a challenging area with a good Fellowship at my back.

As I mentioned above, and quoted, there is a new faction that will come into play in the Lone Lands – the Eglain. People who have already done quests there know who these people are, they are the broody folks in Ost Guruth who don’t have much trust for outsiders. In Mirkwood, these folks will be added to the Reputation system – anyone who has completed quests in the past for them will retro-actively receive reputation points for those quests, and there will be new quests added for more reputation. At different levels of reputation you will be able to get some nifty gear, including a set of jewlery. Gaining reputation up to Friendly should be as easy as just doing the quests in the area, and more can be obtained by purchasable profession quests.

(GA to most) will also be receiving a face lift – which is great because finding folks willing to take the time to run that area could eat up entire play sessions alone. GA has always been a thorn in the Lone Lands experience, the difficulty of dealing with all Elite mobs is just a bit much for many people – especially with how long that particular quest chain is. More on the changes to GA in a following post (as the changes tie in to another update coming with the expansion).

Many more changes to the region will be included in the expansion, most of them I see as being awesome. One of those little nice changes is the reduction of the Goblin Elite mobs to solo-able signature goblins in the central Lone Lands area, the annoying spiders in that area have received the same face lift thankfully (that could be one tough couple of levels dealing with those quests).

Overall the upcoming changes to the Lone Lands are something I am looking forward to experiencing – LL could be a frustrating place to do quests if you were not high enough to move on to the next area yet. North Downs will be receiving a similar update in a future expansion, so the lower levels will become much more easily manageable as time goes on. Orion puts it very well at the end of the developer diary:

The Lone-lands has undergone a massive overhaul and should prove to be a good option for players looking to level from 22-32. In our next update, we plan to continue the revamp effort focusing on the second of the level 22-32 areas in the North Downs. This revamp will target areas from Trestlebridge to the Fields of Fornost, then east toward Kingsfell stopping short of Esteldín, Orthrikar and Meluinen.

Stay tuned for a post on the GA changes, and what changes to the game as a whole are related to those updates!



~ by Branadoc on November 25, 2009.

One Response to “Siege of Mirkwood: Lone Lands Revisited”

  1. […] Continuing my posts on the updates coming with Siege of Mirkwood, I am writing today about some changes to the Instance system and the changes to Garth Agarwen that come about due to those updates. This is the post I promised you all in my previous post on the updates: Siege of Mirkwood – Lone Lands Revisited. […]

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