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Current State of LOTRO: June 2018 - Printable Version

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Current State of LOTRO: June 2018 - Arohtar - 01 Jun, 18

Just over a year from my last update, it’s once again time to fill you in on the current state of the game.

LOTRO is currently on Update 22, Legacy of the Necromancer, which was released on March 6th of this year. This takes players away from Mordor and into a new region, the Strongholds of the North. This consists of two areas: Eryn Lasgalen (North Mirkwood) and the Dale-lands. Excerpts from the release notes are below:

Quote:Strongholds of the North

Visit the Strongholds of the North! Encounter the Elvenking Thranduil, discover what is causing trouble in Dale and Lake-town in the Dale-lands, and help the renewed dwarven kingdom of Erebor. Accomplish unique goals with new deeds, and defend yourself against the scourges of these three kingdoms. This update includes over 125 new quests and deeds, which can be accessed by travelling to any hub in the Strongholds of the North. Access this content in the new Legacy of the Necromancer adventure pack, available in the LOTRO Store and FREE for VIPs! Players who have completed the main quest arcs in the Strongholds of the North will receive in their mailbox a "Missive from Dale". This is a vector to the episodic content that will unlock starting on March 14th.

Eryn Lasgalen

The name Mirkwood is no longer. The Wood-elves are reclaiming their forest with the name Wood of Greenleaves, but all is not cleansed yet. Trouble lurks in corners, and mysteries confound the Elves. Where have the spiders gone? Who would steal from the Raft-elves goods? What else has long dwelled, unseen, within the woods?

The Dale-lands

Nearly eighty years have passed since a company of Dwarves, a Wizard, and a very short burglar woke a dragon and Lake-town was set aflame. A new Lake-town has been built, Dale has been re-settled, and the Kingdom under the mountain thrives, but change has not lessened its pace. Mere days have passed since Jangovar Easterlings were repelled from Dale. However, new Easterlings have arrived from far Rhûn, dressed in rags, and telling tales of sorrow.

In addition to 125 quests and deeds, the update continues the Black Book of Mordor (which has largely replaced the Epic quest line) and introduces new episodic content - The Lay of Rust and Rime. Three factions (or kingdoms) exist in the region and achieving kindred with each allows players to access BiS rewards.

[Image: 600px-Eryn_Lasgalen_map.jpg]

The Strongholds of the North offer a nice contrast to Mordor (both landscapes are beautiful, but remarkably different), but play is also still focused around the latter - massive as it is. Here's a breakdown of endgame content:
  • The level cap remains at 115.
  • The Abyss of Mordath (raid), Dungeons of Naerband (6-man), and Court of Seregost (3-man) make up the current endgame group content. The 105-level Battle of the Pelennor Fields cluster (released with Update 18) was not scaled and is now seldom played as a result. COS is frequently run at 105 (T1 and T2) as it drops many LI scrolls and - very occasionally - BiS offhand barter items.
  • Dailies! Daily quests from both the three factions mentioned above and the Allegiances (the racial faction system which launched with Mordor) reward Black Steel Keys. These keys open Gorgoroth Steel-bound Lootboxes, which in turn reward 'Ashes of Enchantment'. Still with me? Essentially, to reduce the grind, rare items that drop via RNG can also be bartered for by deconstructing other rare items into 'ash'. That way, those players who can't run the raid (or do but that one item never seems to drop) can still access particular items. 'Ash' can also be bartered for essences, housing items, mounts and pets.
  • Deeds! Mordor's deed-count is astronomical - I cannot emphasise that enough. From landscape exploration to crafting instances to Scourges, it's enough to keep even the most active player occupied for an age...
  • Featured Instances. Every week, a specific scaling instance (or raid) from LOTRO's old favourites is featured in the Instance Join panel. Characters level 100 and higher can run these daily at level 100-114 and at cap (115). In addition to the regular loot, each of the two runs has a specific featured quest and extra rewards associated with the instance.
  • PvMP. Still going strong on Laurelin, but players typically only log in the evenings and at weekends. Balance is an issue at present and devs have warned it will not be addressed until freep-side class balance changes are complete (more on that below).
[Image: 600px-Mordor_map.jpg]
 
So, what’s coming in the future? Well, Update 22.2 is just around the corner. Here's what it will include:
  • Major class changes are afoot in an attempt to address growing imbalance amongst classes. The changes are varied and comprehensive. Some have been welcomed - others ridiculed - but the devs have made many adjustments based on feedback. They are too numerous to list here, but this link leads to the BR sub-forum focusing on each class.
  • Update 22.2 will also bring a 'region polish' to Breeland and southern Ered Luin. "Expect to see fewer impassable cliffs – and polished impassable cliffs where they are needed. Some terrain textures have been replaced with newer, better looking textures. New waterways and polished water materials have been added to make the landscape feel more like an ecosystem. Trees and frills have been updated in places to take advantage of newer and more detailed assets. Plus – a few small surprises have been added here and there to keep things interesting." The official thread - and photos - can be found here.
Further out, we will be returning to explore the rest of Mordor but not before Update 23 takes us to the Iron Hills and the Grey Mountains. The following is taken from Severlin's (LOTRO's executive producer) most recent letter:
  • Update 23 will increase the level cap to 120 (+5).
  • The Iron Hills and the Grey Mountains will have 80 new quests, and the Black Book of Mordor will continue its story.
  • Update 23 will also come with an instance cluster and, later in the year, a new raid.
  • "Beyond Update 23, we have some threads to tie off before we are done with North Rhovanion, including Gundabad, the Vales of Anduin, and landscape contiguity with Lothlórien".
  • The return to Mordor - specifically, Minas Morgul - is projected for 2019.
  • Further waves of class balances and "incremental improvements" will continue beyond Update 22.2.
Also coming down the road:
  • LOTRO’s PC (playable character) avatars have been updated! However, those who like their old appearance can toggle between the two. Man and Elf avatars were updated with Mordor, Dwarves with Strongholds of the North. Still waiting on Hobbits. However, Beornings and High Elves - being later releases - have not required much work.
  • SSG have confirmed efforts towards a 64-bit client are currently on hold while other issues take priority. But it is something they're actively considering and researching.
That seems enough to be getting on with!


RE: Current State of LOTRO: June 2018 - Ertana - 01 Jun, 18

>>'Ash' can also be bartered for essences, housing items, mounts and pets.

I would also add that ash can be exchanged for new top-tier relics for your LIs at a small camp next to Ruins of Dingarth (Dor Amarth stable-master). I only discovered this some days ago and was pleasantly surprised.


RE: Current State of LOTRO: June 2018 - Arohtar - 02 Jun, 18

Aye Ertana, thanks for pointing that out. In addition, those who haven't run the Abyss will have access to T2 relics after Update 22.2


RE: Current State of LOTRO: June 2018 - Eresmir - 02 Jun, 18

(02 Jun, 18, 10:35)Arohtar Wrote: Aye Ertana, thanks for pointing that out. In addition, those who haven't run the Abyss will have access to T2 relics after Update 22.2

Really?! Awesome, though obviously I want to run Abyss.

Thanks for the synopsis Aro.