As everyone knows, today was the launch of LOTRO’s latest expansion, The Siege of Mirkwood.
I ran the patcher while I was at work, so everything was good to go when I got home. I wasted no time heading to a Skirmish Camp to get the Skirmish Tutorial quest, then headed back to Evendim to get the drops I needed for said quest while knocking out some ‘kill those dudes who think they’re wolves” (I’m pretty sure that’s how Tolkien described them) quests.
Drop rate wasn’t too bad and I finished 2 quests at the same time. Then I Mapped back to Esteldin and ran through the tutorial, which is pretty much unchanged from when I did my brief report from the preview.
Then finally it was time to start Skirmishes for real. There were two open to me to solo at level 40, one taking place in Noglond and the other on Weathertop. I’d done the Weathertop one in the preview so I went off to Noglond. My soldier was traited as an herbalist and I was feeling pretty confident.
And I died. And died. And died another 4 or 5 times. It was *much* harder than Weathertop during the preview. I did “win” the Skirmish, but my repair costs were about 200 silver from doing it (and I earned 70-ish silver as a quest reward). The problem was my soldier was being a terrible healer, which wasn’t something I saw in the preview.
I took the Marks I’d earned and re-invested them in my Soldier’s Herbalist traits, then headed to Weathertop. I did much, much better there, winning without any deaths, and my healer was doing a good job of healing. Then I did the same skirmish again, and noticed at one point my healer stopped healing and the ranger in the skirmish stopped fighting. And I died.
I’m wondering if that’s what happened in Noglond? I’d have 10% health, my soldier would have full energy, we’d be between waves of enemies and… no heals.
So I’m going to write that off to launch day lag and not worry too much about it.
Skirmishes are awfully fun though! And tense! You get a few short breaks in them but mostly it’s constant fighting for 15-20 minutes. I don’t think I could handle more than 3 a night; I was too stressed out (not to mention out of potions…but DC commenter Grid was nice enough to help me out with that problem).
By the end of the night I’d lost about 100 silver, gained about half a level, completed a couple of Skirmish traits, bumped my soldier to a level 3 herbalist, and most of her skills to level 4 and I have all kinds of special marks and bits and bobs that I can trade in to the Skirmish NPCs for rewards. I decided to wait until things quieted down a bit before I went shopping. It was getting way late for me, and the skirmish camps were mobbed.
All in all, an awesome first night of Skirmishes. My only concern is that I’m just going to out-level all my questing content doing these things! Aside from the potential lag issue I mentioned, the servers seemed stable, but wow, were there a lot of folks playing! No queue for me, but I’m east coast; maybe I got in ahead of any queues.
Congrats to Turbine for what looks to be a great expansion! If I never get to Mirkwood I’ll still be happy with the Skirmish system!