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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!



Comments:
10
  • This sounds so promising! Challenging, fun content – wow, just wow! I share your concern though, they probably did not care too much about it when making them available for low level players. If you do a lot of skirmishes, you will indeed end up with a lot of grey mob killing for traits and questing grey quests. Which is already quite common in LOTRO, given the ton of XP bonuses and the quite frequent 25% extra XP weeks.

    I wonder how the new system will change your Moria experience, I am quite confident that you will have trouble even to see the Dark Delving or 16th Hall of Moria instances, as they are quite hard and have no proper rewards, no rare drops that motivate people to do them again. People will probably prefer to run the Stairs or Fil Gashan over and over.

  • […] can also scale with levels from 30 up to the level cap. I haven’t tried them yet myself, although Pete@Dragonchasers is a huge fan, and played some in beta as well as in the live version. Still, I’m excited at the notion that as […]

  • Ok I finshed the two tutorials last night in Bree, but I can’t figure out how to start a “real” skirmish now. No Quest givers in Bree or Rivendell, so how do you start a real skirmish after completing the tutorials?

  • @Scott – From that new “main menu” they added. There’re 2 Skirmish related entries, Join Skirmish and [mind goes blank] something about launching a skirmish. It’s near the bottom of that menu. Anyway, you use that, and you can do it from anywhere, not just the skirmish camps.

    It’s a weird disconnect and I should’ve mentioned it in my post.

  • Cool, and thanks. I know I did find those two options in the new menu, but the one I selected had a big red (!) and I couldn’t go any farther, I will check them again and see what I can get working.

  • Pete, hey I got the skirmish thing to work. There wer actually some options up this morning that were not there last night. Not sure what the deal was.

  • Glad to hear you got it working; hope you have as much fun as I did!

  • Did 4 of the 3 man fellowship skirmishes today. (3 level 60 players) We won all but the one in the Barrow Downs and I do not think that one is winnable as the rewards are for how long you stay alive. We made it thru the five minute tier and died before we hit the ten minute one.

    The battle at the Ford of Bruien is neat. You have archers that back you up with vollies and the trick is to lure the baddies into the spots where the archers vollies land and it helps.

    I won arond 1000 marks on these runs and reinvested all of them in to my solider.

  • If I happened to have a lifer’s tab to the game, I’d probably really enjoy Skirmishes. As it is, I’ll just applaud the game design decision, and say thanks for your reports on it, Pete.

  • […] the whole “SWTOR companions are solo friendly, and LOTRO Skirmishes are solo friendly and FUN“, the “MMOs are for grouping only” zealots are tunneling out of the woodwork […]