Journey to Winter-home is the latest content update for Lord of the Rings Online. As with other content updates since Mirkwood, there are several changes to the skirmish system. Today, we will review the skirmish changes that are included in this update.
Since the content update centers about Winter-home, we will start with a look at one of the wintry skirmishes: Siege of Gondamon. While nothing in the mechanics of the skirmish has changed, you will notice a new look for the Dourhands.
In the picture above, you will see two of the new Dourhand appearances. There is quite a variety of looks and even the lieutenants can vary in appearance each time you face them (the left Dourhand is a Storm-keeper).
The opening of Moria and Mirkwood to players without the expansions means more free skirmishes. Why? The Volume 2 and 3 epic quest lines are now free for all players and all skirmishes linked to the epic quest lines are also free. This means that there are now six additional free skirmishes.
You won’t be able to access these new skirmishes immediately, though. First, two of these skirmishes have a minimum level of 60 and the other four have a minimum level of 65. In addition, you will need to progress to a certain point in the epic quest line before you can run the skirmish. When you reach that point, you will receive a quest that requires you to run the skirmish. The minimum level and epic quest chapter for each of the skirmishes is listed below.
|Skirmish||Minimum Level||Epic Quest Chapter
|Strike against Dannelglor||60||2.9.4|
|Protectors of Thrangúlhad||60||2.9.14|
|Breaching the Necromancer’s Gate||65||2.9.15|
|Assault on the Ringwraiths’ Lair||65||2.9.15 (after previous skirmish)|
|The Battle in the Tower||65||2.9.18|
|Rescue in Nûrz Ghâshu||65||3.1.8|
I discussed my opinions of each skirmish in a previous article concerning Mirkwood. Obviously, access to these six skirmishes is no longer a factor in deciding if you wish to purchase the Mirkwood expansion.
The barter wallet is a welcome addition for those short on inventory space. While there are still many items we would like to see added to the wallet, skirmish marks are the first item to benefit from this feature. Any skirmish marks that can be bartered for items are now placed in the new barter wallet rather than your inventory.
Note that skirmish marks that can only be exchanged for other marks (such as Guardsman marks) will still be placed in your inventory. This is to reduce that possibility that you would just forget to exchange them for marks. Just remember that if the marks are in your inventory, it is safe to exchange them for standard skirmish marks.
Venomous Blood-arrow Fix
When Book 3.2 was released, the Venomous Blood-arrow was made more powerful. Unfortunately, it was made a little more powerful than intended in group modes. The November update reduces the Venomous Blood-arrow to a more reasonable level. With this update, the countdown abilities inflict one of the following results:
- Stun for 6 seconds (this one is unchanged)
- Subtracts 35% of maximum morale
- Subtracts 35% of maximum power
- Subtracts 20% of both maximum morale and maximum power
This is certainly better than the > 100% values we were previously seeing for full fellowship and raid settings.
Reputation for Daily Quests
Prior to this release, the only skirmish daily quest that earned reputation was Rescue in Nûrz Ghâshu, which earned reputation for the Eldgang. With this new release, a total of ten skirmishes earn reputation when you complete the daily quest.
|Skirmish||Minimum Level||Reputation Group
|Trouble in Tuckborough||20||Mathom House|
|Siege of Gondamon||20||Thorin’s Hall|
|Stand at Amon Sûl||25||Elgain|
|Thievery and Mischief||30||Men of Bree|
|Defence of the Prancing Pony||35||Men of Bree|
|Ford of Bruinen||40||Elves of Rivendell|
|Breaching the Necromancer’s Gate||65||Malledhrim|
|Assault on the Ringwraiths’ Lair||65||Malledhrim|
|The Battle in the Tower||65||Malledhrim|
|Rescue in Nûrz Ghâshu||65||Eldgang|
Soldier and Companion Auras
Soldiers and companions are now affected by each others’ auras. This is certainly welcome news for captains and Lore-masters.
While there are no new skirmishes, there are certainly several new items for the skirmisher. Free players will certainly like having access to additional skirmishes at no charge. Anyone grinding for reputation will certainly like the new reputation awards. Captains and Lore-masters will like the aura enhancement. And I am certain that everyone will like the new barter wallet.
Now I need to go and work on some reputation.
May your shield protect you and your spear never break.