LotRO’s Update 9 Launches with Hobbit-themed Goodness
Against The Shadow is the title of Lord of the Rings Online‘s content update that went live yesterday. It kicks off Hobbit-themed content known as The Road To Erebor (aka The Lonely Mountain) with a trio of new 3-man instances. Though the instances are tied to the Rohan expansion, they are all based on events in The Hobbit.
Webs of the Scuttledales has you squaring off against the Dígelir, queen of the Great Spiders of Mirkwood. Seat of the Great Goblin sends you into the Misty Mountains to dethrone the latest pretender to the goblin crown since Gandalf dispatched the last one. And finally, Iorbar’s Peak has you retrieving an egg of the Great Eagles from the stone-giants and Dourhand dwarves of the Misty Mountains. All three instances are scalable from 20-85. Talk to Gandalf the Prancing Pony Inn of Bree to get started.
More 3-man instances and a raid are coming with a projected released date of February 2013. That content will focus on The Battle of the Five Armies and have you fighting along side Brand and Dain as they lead the Free People of Dale against the marauding orcs and wargs. You can experience it before you see it in the theaters…in 2026.
That’s not all for those of you that enjoy running instances. Dol Guldur, the Mirkwood cluster of instances, is now scaled to characters from 65-85 and Tier 2 difficulty has been added. All five instances have been polished and had a bug fix pass. Also, The Dungeons of Dol Guldur has been restructured to be a full Fellowship instance. Loot has been scaled up as well and everyone gets a chance at a piece that is geared towards their class (see Odds and Ends below.)
Moria Revamp Part 2
The back half of Moria got a dev overhaul to cut down on the running back and forth among quest NPCs and also the addition of more travel points. Revisions of The Redhorn Lodes, Zelem-Melek, Nud-Melek, and the Flaming Deeps are all included in this update. If you are in the middle of that expansion, expect to see a lot of quests disappear from your log as they streamlined those and added a number of quests that are granted when you enter an area. Many out of the way places will only grant quests when you explore so be sure to poke about.
Yule Festival Returns
Winter-home is back with all the quests and activities from last year, plus new cosmetic items. Top on the list for Rohan players is going to be the new Winter Yule steed and war-steed cosmetic. For player avatars there is Snow Beast boots and cloak. Remember that all seasonal tokens are being merged into one currency, so don’t be surprised and don’t spend it all on Christma–uh, the Yule Festival.
Odds and Ends
Let’s not forget the other quality of life improvements that come with Update 9. Auto-bestow Quests, Open Tapping, and Remote Looting are now available across all of Middle-earth, not just Rohan. You are also able to use mounted skills outside of Rohan.
Remote Looting of chests in instances now means there is no longer a need for a Master Looter. Everyone in the group will get an individual roll for loot and items won will be tailored specifically for their class. All items will be Bind on Equip in case someone in your group wants to trade.
A new item, the Traveler’s Writ, is available in the LotRO store that will allow you return immediately to a quest NPC. This should cut down on the back and forth running around if you can spare the Turbine Points. I can see this coming in handy when finishing all the quests deep in enemy territory and you just don’t want to fight your way out again.
Three new instances, new seasonal content, and ton of improvements are what Turbine has given you for the holidays. Are you diving in or are other MMOs taking up your free time?