Finally Update 7 is upon us friends and it has many surprises for us along with what has already been mentioned in other articles. Here’s what has made an impression on me from my time spent on Bullroarer.
For starters there is 1 new map (Tal Methedras (In Dunland)) and 2 revamped maps (Eriador and Rhovanion). All three of the maps follow the new style started in Update 6 with The Great River zone. I currently have all the new maps in a changing desktop background on my computer and I could just look them all day long. They make it hard to actually play LOTRO because of how well they are done. I do admit that I love to look at maps anyway but these maps are just beautiful. I hope they continue to revamp the old maps to have the new design.
You might have also noticed that the places we have not been are faded to clearly show which zones are playable and which ones will come with later updates. I really like the that they did this because as we continue to get more and more zones it gets harder to remember where we have been. I also know many new players who tried to go to Mordor because they wanted to throw a ring into the fire and so this new design should help solve both of these problems.
You might have also noticed that the Brown Lands are faded meaning that we will get a full zone dedicated to the Brown Lands. This is good news for people who have read the books and know just how big the Brown Lands are supposed to be. Even more exciting is the fact that Wilderland shows up being faded on this map implying that someday we might be able to go to some of the historic locations from The Hobbit. Another place to note would be the Gladden Fields which include the place where Isildur lost the One Ring.
Some minor problems I have with the maps have to do with the coding on the maps. I found that the Dol Guldur icon and Mirkwood both take you to the Southern Mirkwood map. This is a little bit of a problem as it could imply that we will never go to Northern Mirkwood because they consider Southern Mirkwood to be all of Mirkwood according to the map. Another coding error is that Isenguard in Rhovanion is not selectable and seems only there to help players see that Rohan is close to Isenguard.
Some other quick notes include that Rohan is not listed on the map and instead is represented by Westemnet and Eastemnet, and that there are no faded areas in Eriador implying that we will not get any new zones south of The Shire and Breeland anytime soon.
I also found it odd that the overall map of Middle Earth is still the old style but I am sure they will be changing many of the maps in due time. If I could make a suggestion on which map to do next it would be the Trollshaws as there is a lot of white space on that map.
Task Icons have been added on to the maps so that now players can find task boards easily across Middle Earth. They are represented by a yellow feather pen symbol on all of the maps.
Doors in Bree
The doors in Bree (and according to the patch notes Breeland) have been changed to clearly show which doors can’t be opened by the player and which ones can. Also players can now go into 4 new buildings that give Bree a little feel of Stanguard.
Two of these buildings are the old level 90 blocked doors that were found in the past. These 2 buildings now have quests linked to them that you have to complete in order to get inside them. I have not yet found where these quests start and so I have not seen inside these two mysterious buildings. The other 2 buildings in Breeland are open to anyone and allow you to get an insight on both a poor house and a rich estate owner’s house in Bree. Interestingly all 4 of the new buildings are in about the same place in Southern Bree.
If players pre-order Riders of Rohan (RoR) they can get a sixth bag for their account. I absolutely love this because even if you don’t fill up your bags like me and Goldenstar, you won’t have to go to the vault and venders as often to clear out your bags for another round of playing your character. I know crafters will really like this new feature because they might be able to quest and craft without having to go to the vault in-between.
Moria Revision- Part 1
Moria is getting quests closer together, getting main paths cleared and getting deeds. I was really glad when I heard about a Moria revision and then I found out it was just for the first half of Moria. I actually liked the first half of Moria and didn’t know how I would like this update.
Let me say that clearing the paths and giving us a free goat is the best thing they ever did for Moria. I no longer have to grind for rep in Thorin’s Hall just to get a goat for Moria; I now can go anywhere and not worry about being dismounted.
I was really worried about them changing the Waterworks as it is one of my top five favorite zones in all of LotRO. Those worries all went away when I got to the zone and realized it is the same area just with better, faster and more efficient questing. Moria is still Moria but now it is fun to play even in my least favorite areas of the first part.
I don’t know if just doing the same thing for the later 5 zones of Moria will be enough since, for me, they are much worse but for part one of the revamp it is well worth a look even if you swore to never return.
Pineleaf and I got together on the test server to try the new skirmish and I think we both agree that it is a lot of fun. Most of you don’t know it but I am a huge fan of skirmishes. I have leveled 3 alts just with skirmishes and really can’t get enough of them and any new skirmish is good to me. It has been a long time since the last skirmish and I am glad they have finally gotten a new one.
One thing I have mixed feelings about though is the fact that the new skirmish takes place in a level 70 area and yet it is available for level 20 up. I love the fact that level 20-24 players will now have three options for skirmishes. I don’t however like that they chose this skirmish for new players. Usually skirmishes stay around the level that they take place in. For example the Mirkwood skirmishes take place when the player would be in Mirkwood. I think that taking players to a level 70 area in a skirmish when they are only level 20 could confuse them. They have no idea what the story is in the skirmish and it could really confuse them and even give away spoilers to plotlines that they will not even be able to start until level 60. While I love having new skirmishes to do at early levels, please don’t make the new skirmish have spoilers in it for the new players next time Turbine.
While the skirmish is short, it is worth every penny if you have already done the lady in the mountain quest line or you don’t care about spoilers.
Legendary Item Changes
I know I am part of a very small minority but I absolutely LOVE the LI system in LOTRO. I know there could be some improvements and it could be made easier but especially after they increased relic forging rewards in Update 6 it has been my passion.
I have not yet tried the new Star-Lit Crystals because I have not acquired any of the crystals yet. I am however really excited about them because they are to make LI’s even more powerful. They can upgrade tactical ratings, shield ratings or even DPS for your character. Even better is that they drop from skirmishes which is another of my passions in LOTRO. I do wish that they would drop from other places so that players did not have to do skirmishes or instances to get the crystals but I am glad they are adding them to the game and I can’t wait to finally get one.
Audacity is Power-full
A big problem after they released Audacity in Update 6 was that players were running out of power from the longer fights. It made it really hard to kill the other side when you ran out of your precious power. With update 7 this changes as rank one of Audacity will reduce power costs by 10% and a fully ranked audacity will give players a 20% reduction in power costs. This makes audacity an even more powerful tool to have in the Moors. I think that this makes it harder for new players as the game has almost just become a matter of which side has more net Audacity. Thankfully Audacity costs a lot of Commendations to purchase and so it has not become the win all skill.
I am really glad they are adding power reduction costs to Audacity now that the fights are longer and am looking forward to what they cook up next for the Creeps and Freeps in the Moors.
This is really my favorite update to LOTRO since F2P because I really can’t find anything they did wrong with it and it adds so much to the game. There is a new skirmish, a zone revamp, a new bag, changes to PvP, LI additions, new maps and bug fixes. I think many players have been waiting for an update that gives new content while improving problems with the current game without messing up anything new and that is this update.
This update has really gotten me excited for Rohan and beyond as Turbine continues to take us through Middle Earth and CSTM will be there the whole way to keep you a very informed citizen of Middle Earth.
What do you think about Update 7?
What is your favorite part?
Are you excited about Rohan?
Feel free to answer these questions below and also ask me any questions you have about LOTRO and beyond.