Update 9 Instances – Clarification

Yesterday evening (GMT) Sapience posted details on the official lOTRO forums regarding the update 9 instance cluster. Not only did he state that they were definitely going to be free for those who had purchased Riders of Rohan but he also provided details such as the title, location and size. He also made a very measured and honest explanation pertaining to the delay and the way Turbine intended to handle the release. Effectively it will be done in two halves, one this year (testing permitting) and the the other next February. However, expect all the usual caveats in case there are delays. Details as follows:

Instances shipping with Update 9: Against the Shadow

Riders of Rohan Instances (Part 1):

  • Iorbar’s Peak (Misty Mountains / Stone Giants-3-man)
  • Webs of the Scuttledells (Mirkwood 3-man)
  • Seat of the Great Goblin (Goblintown 3-man)

Shipping in 2013 (Currently Planned for February)
Riders of Rohan Instances (Part 2):

  • The Bells of Dale (6-man)
  • Flight to the Lonely Mountain (12-man; single boss)
  • The Fires of Smaug (12-man; single boss)
  • The Battle for Erebor (12-man; single boss)

Now some people saw the names and started to jump to all-sorts of conclusions, instantly assuming a link with the release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Superficially the names of the instances do sound like they come right out of the source text of The Hobbit. Unfortunately, such material does not fall under the terms of the license that governs Turbines output. Rowan AKA Aaron “Rowan” Campbell quickly posted a “clarification” on the matter and promptly put paid to a lot of peoples dreams. These instances are set strictly within the existing LOTRO timeline. However, some lore fans are already disputing how this can be cogently implemented.

Personally, I would have liked to have seen a Rohan themed instance cluster to go with a Rohan expansion and judging by the some of the comments on the forums, I am not alone in this. There are also interesting discussions regarding the pro’s and con’s of 12 man raids. Let’s hope that these new instances are engaging, innovative and offer good rewards. Someone in my kin cynically said perhaps instead of offering new gear, they may just offer Hytbold tokens. That is far from funny and may play on the minds of the more paranoid among us. Fear not. All will become clear when the beta testing starts next week. The truth will out.

Post revised 12:00 GMT 27.11.12

3 thoughts on “Update 9 Instances – Clarification

  1. Adam says:

    The thing is, next year, or soon the year after, we’ll get the other half of Rohan, so would people want another Rohan cluster then? I think they were thinking, tie in instances with the hobbit to draw folks in this year, and probably some more bits of instances next year, with a full Rohan themed cluster with Helms deep/Edoras etc.

    As the instances are just that, I see no issue with them being a few LOTRO timeline weeks in the future, after all, Caras Galadhon, Elronds house etc are all stuck at fixed dates, and they are open world, and the skirmishes are stuck at fixed points in time, in past and present: Candaith and Amon Sul, defence of the pony, the mirkwood skirms etc?

    Did you also see in the forums they are finishing the last half of the Moria revamp, they revamped Bree (which was looking a little tired) and scaled all the Mirkwood instances from 65-85 too (3 and 6 man), as well as these instances being 20-85 scalable (opens up to more players, especially new players attracted by the hobbit tie in, and wanting to see it soon, and not being put of by the wall of 85 levels to get there.

  2. Roger Edwards says:

    As ever, Adam, these are well considered and measured points. I see the sense in focusing on The Hobbit this year and looking to Rohan next year but twelve months is a long time in the life span of an MMO. That is my main fear. The MMO market is tumultuous and migratory in nature at present and I don’t want to see Turbine be distracted.
    I shall be looking at the changes you list as soon as I can log on to Bullroarer. Making instances available to lower levels is always a good thing. I have often been concerned how a new player can join LOTRO today and be perturbed by the amount of content between themselves and a friend at level cap.

  3. Jonathan Baron says:

    Indeed it would have been frankly foolish to have ignored the upcoming release of another big budget Tolkien film and impossible as well given who owns Turbine.

    The problem is that this makes some of the more negative naysayers look smart on the issue of mounted combat. A promising new game system is left to languish at the moment it has achieved acceptance and broad customer desire for taking it to the next step.

    But I sense they designed themselves into a corner with mounted combat by refusing to bring it to its logical conclusion as a game apart from the silly trinity. Mistrals, Burglars, Rune-Keepers and, Lore Masters on war horses is as absurd as singing cowboys. At least we have some mighty fast horses 😉

    As for the earnest multiplayer gamers, the dedicated raiding kins were fading before the release of Riders. Now its clear they’d be happier in other games. I doubt Turbine has the resources to hold them anyway, alas.

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