Siege of Mirkwood Preview Event (LOTRO)

I didn’t do anything to prepare for the Siege of Mirkwood preview event that was held tonight, and it kind of bit me on the arse. My intention was to get in there and check out Skirmishes, but first I had to d/l the test client, then I had to patch the test client. So that took up about half my night.

Then I logged in somewhere in the midst of the Shire. I couldn’t do a Skirmish until I did the Skirmish tutorial, and I needed a Skirmish Camp to do the tutorial. So I recalled to Bree and quickly found the Skirmish camp outside the south gate. But before I could do the Skirmish tutorial, I had to do a quest which involved killing humanoid baddies. I was bound to Esteldin so I mapped to there, then headed towards Angamar to find some non-gray baddies (I was 39). Found some of those giant-ish types that fraternize with the hillmen, spent some time killing them until I had 10 Orders that I needed. Rode back to Esteldin, then Fast Traveled back to Bree, only to realize I need 10 Orders plus 1 War Plan. Argh! Haste makes waste!

I was still waiting on cooldowns so I thought I’d try another venue for the last bit, so I headed to the Trollshaws, a zone I don’t know very well. Actually I Fast Traveled to Ost Guruth (?) on the edge of the Lone Lands, then rode into the Trollshaws. Saw some goblins who conned green but I headed deeper into the hills and found the trolls that the Trollshaws got their name from…but they were all Yellow Elites. I wasted far too much time in there, dodging worms and fighting wights and bears and everything *but* humanoids. I did hit 40 though. My map had cooled down by now and I was making no headway in the Trollshaws, so I recalled back to Esteldin, then Quick Traveled to Tinnudir, then took the boat across the lake and headed up to go after those Gauradan that roam the hills above the lake. Finally found the War Plan I needed, and recalled to Bree.

Finally I finished my quest! And got another quest which was the Skirmish tutorial. It was one of those “Talk to me again and we’ll go” quests, but when I talked to the guy again and hit “Travel Now” nothing happened. Tried waiting, tried spamming the button, tried relogging. Lag was tremendous, frame rate was like a slide show, so I’m assuming that’s why.

Sadly I’m an adult who has to be up at 6 am to write a blog post, so at 11 pm I gave up on getting a taste of skirmishes. I should’ve just played Dragon Age tonight. But now at least I know not to worry about playing Siege of Mirkwood for the first few days of release.

I generally play LOTRO pretty casually, and now I guess I know why people get so upset with the travel options. When you’re really feeling driven to accomplish a particular goal, travel really does become an issue. I’m glad I don’t normally play with that mindset of “Must complete goal tonight!”

I did get to experience the new combat system, though honestly it was hard to tell what was abbreviated combat animations as a result of the new system, and what was lag. Frankly it looked a LOT worse than the LOTRO I’m used to. I guess I’ll get used to it, but my Champion looked like he was going into convulsions at times. I never had any issues with the combat system the way it used to be; I guess I’m in the minority there.

I snagged a screenshot of the new “Main Menu” which will look familiar to anyone who’s played any of a number of other MMOs. Also a shot of the poor besieged Skirmish Captain. I checked out the old goat that comes with Mirkwood (or is that in the Adventurers Pack?) and named it Pete, of course. And my Lithe Festival horse got renamed to Mimi. Silly me, one of the things that most excites me about Mirkwood so far is being able to name my mounts, and being able to talk to NPCs from horseback.

Really, the best thing to come out of this preview for me was discovering all kinds of cool things going on in the Trollshaws. I have to go there on my ‘real’ character!

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4 thoughts on “Siege of Mirkwood Preview Event (LOTRO)

  1. I do like the new menu’s, but I am in agreement with you I like the combat the way it is now. I like the idea of the new skill timing, but if it’s going to cause all sorts of animation issues then why have it. WAR had kind of the same issue when it was first released. One thing I like about Aion and WoW is that the combat is very responsive, doesn’t feel slow and cumbersome.

  2. Thanks for the report, Pete. I am sorry for the pain of patching and downloading stuff, I am afraid you are right and should have played Dragon Age instead. And I urged you to do it, I am so sorry!

    Yep, I fear going over the Anduin River to Mirkeaves upon release will be a pure lag-o-rama in the first days. I heard Skirmishes have “slots” like session play, now I am on a highly populated server, I wonder if I feel like a thief if I start a solo play session… I already do. I guess I will team up with a bunch of guild mates early on.

    COMBAT – uhoh. This does not sound too cool. Now that we all got used to the way it plays. In the end the revamp might be not really that much else besides executing skills immediately and just skipping animations. Which will inevitably look jerky. Execute a slow, longish animated skill and then press the “clobber” button and it will immediately execute the interrupt skill. There must be some jerkiness if they did not create some animations to bridge the gap, and I am afraid judging from your report they did not.

    I fear you did not have the time to check if weapon damage ranges of all weapons got normalized. This is one of my concerns that they are a bit too similar after this change.

    Kudos to you for fighting on Bullroarer. I guess I should find something else to play during the first week after release. We don’t have any events at the moment and on Mondays and Thursdays (EU raid resets) my servers is really cramped full of players. A good thing, in general. So I won’t complain too much about it.

  3. Personally, I’m making a point of saving Moria-era non-instanced content for the expansion launch. It’s a safe bet that A) the entry to Mirkwood will be flooded and B) all the skirmish instance slots will be full. Hopefully Turbine was able to get some data off of the preview to improve the load a bit, but I’m not hopeful.

  4. I’ve been in the beta for a couple of week, but hadn’t really paid much attention to the combat changes. Either I was paying more attention last night or they made some new changes. As a hunter, I did notice a general speed-up in the pace of combat. There is also a new animation on Swift Bow, that I like, and it now release all three arrows much more quickly. I didn’t have any jerkiness in animations, but that maybe a difference between melee and ranged. I’ll have to pop on with my champion tonight and see how it looks.

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