There’s been a lot of discussion, some of it heated, about various zones that need revision in light of Free to Play. One zone that I see discussed time and again is Angmar and with good reason. The Eastern half of Angmar is a very group-oriented zone, making it hard for many players to actually finish all of the content in the zone. Angmar was already revamped once, back when Volume 1, Book 12 was released. So what needs to be changed now? I have a few ideas.
1. Leave quest flow alone.
One of the things that Angmar has going is a good quest flow. If you follow the quest chains, they take you to each quest hub you need to go to. This needs to be left alone.
2. Solo and Small Group content instead of Full Fellowships
The one knock that Angmar has on it these days is that it’s nearly impossible to get groups for the many quests in Eastern Angmar. That being said, I’ve been knocking around Angmar the past couple of days and I did see people playing the content in pairs. While there wasn’t an overwhelming number of players on the landscape, there were some soloers and pairs doing quests in Himbar. This should be made easier across the board. If a given quest is already a full fellowship quest, it should be made into a small fellowship quest, adjusting mob strength and such to accommodate. If it’s already a small fellowship quest, make it a solo quest, again adjusting mobs to accommodate. There are, however, exceptions.
3. The City of Carn Dum and Circle of Despair needs to remain untouched.
Despite the need to scale the difficulty of a good many quests in the zone, these areas need to be left as they are. They’re absolutely meant to be played through as a group experience. It’s supposed to be extremely dangerous to go there alone. It’s the heart of the enemy. Leave it be.
4. Certain Instances need to be scaled.
Angmar still has some of the best group instances, both full fellowship content and raids, in the game to date. It’s a real shame that more new players don’t get to experience the challenge of Urugarth, Carn Dum, Barad Gularan or The Rift of Nurz Ghashu. Usually, when they do get to run it, it’s with a buch of level capped players that faceroll everything they come across. For that matter, I can solo most of Carn Dum and Urugarth with my level 75 Minstrel. These instances need to be returned to prominence. After all, they were end game at one point.
5. Landscape Raids need to be scaled and instanced.
I can already hear some of you grouping enthusiasts screaming at me by this point, so this just might send you into absolute fits. But hear me out. There’s two landscape raids in Angmar: Bogbereth and Ferndur. It’s been a very long time since I’ve seen anyone advertise to do these raids. They’re on landscape, so they don’t scale. Meaning once you hit level 60 or so, the challenge to doing these is gone if you ever do get to run them. I can think of no reason not to build an instance, make it scale and add these raids to the instance finder. If this never happens, then it’s just wasted assets being sold in the Store.
6. Angmar Battle Instances need to be added to the Instance Finder
There’s three different instances you can access just outside of Gath Forthnir. They were fairly popular when they were released, but since then they’ve fallen largely into disuse due to a few different reasons. The gating behind two of the instances is one problem. In order to open up the second instance, the first instance needs to be completed X amount of times. Then the second instance needs to be completed X amount of times to open up the third. When this was end game content, that was all fine and well and good. Now, it’s just annoying and keeps more people from running this content. The rewards you could earn from these three instances could be added to Skirmish Camp Vendors. Or you could just leave the NPCs in place with their quests and change the gating so that each instance need only be completed once to unlock the next quest. It’s been requested on the forums many times that these instances be changed to accommodate players who didn’t have the chance to do them before Moria came along. Isn’t it about time?
7. The Seven Swords instance needs to be fixed and reinstated.
The prerequisite quests for this instance are still on the landscape. I managed to do this once with one of my characters. It was a fun instance. Due to some problem with it, Turbine shut it down. It never found its way back into the game. It really needs to be fixed and added back in. It had decent rewards, wasn’t overlong and was challenging on level. Bring it back!
Edit: It seems I was wrong on this point and the instance is active. If you haven’t done it yet, go get a friend or two and get it done!
This is all my opinion on what would need to be done for a real Angmar revamp. Doing so would do a lot of things for the game, such as making it a viable route for reaching level 50, simplifying content while still leaving some group content in the mix and revitalizing assets that have lain fallow for some time now. As you can see, that’s a tall order, the magnitude of which may not be something that could be accomplished in a single update.
That being said, there are two zones I’d like to see revamped before they touched Angmar again. Those being the Trollshaws and the Misty Mountains. Both of those areas are in much bigger need of a revamp and perhaps even added content. Angmar’s main problem isn’t the amount of content, but the difficulty players have finding other players around their level to finish existing content. It’s for that reason that I don’t think we’ll see an Angmar revamp again anytime soon.