Friday, July 27, 2012

Quest Pack Review: Enedwaith

The rangers have been called to their leader Aragorn. They travel south into Enedwaith, a land where northerners are distrusted and where the white wizard is seeking allies. Will you be strong like an ox and swift like an eagle?

Entering to the north of the zone from Eregion, you'll come to the first encampment. But wait? Why are there so few quests around? Don't fear, because Enedwaith is one of the first zones you'll come across that uses Turbine's new instancing technology. As you complete quests, new npcs might pop up (only visible to you) that offer new quests. In this case, you'll get access to 2 more npc's after you rescue them.

As you quest in these lands, you'll earn reputation with 2 factions and in one occasion have to make a choice.  It's not quite clear it is, but as long as you don't do any repeatables before completing the other quests at the region, you'll make the (what is considered by most including me) correct choice.
Enedwaith is all about different clans and the spirits they revere. This zone is quite varied, expect to see rolling hills, haunted marshes, forested ridges and snowy peaks. Fight the influence of Saruman, who is now openly opposing the Free Peoples and the Draigh-Luth, whose name might hide more than you might think.
You will also meet a clan of a most unlikely race, who are a bit more fierce than their brethren.

The quest packs include 2 3-man instances and 2 6-man ones located all over the world and one raid in Enedwaith. These are gated by the In Their Absence Quest-chain, where you investigate several strange disappearances. All are lvl 65 instances.
Once you reach lvl 65, you'll receive a letter starting off the chain and unlocking the first of the instances: Northcotton Farm.

In their absence: Northcotton farm (3-man) (Evendim)

Investigate the disappearances in Evendim. Most mobs are spiders and undeads, though there is also the first boar in Evendim!
The instance itself is fairly straight-forward. As you kill trash, you reach the several bosses which are:
-tank 'n spank
-featuring one player getting a debuff which makes him drop poison clouds, hobbits come to eat spoiled pies and need a /slap to calm down. This is probably one of the few non-living bosses in Lotro.
-One familiar sight who has a few interesting attacks but is otherwise tank 'n spank.

In their absence: Stoneheight (3-man) (North Downs)

This old settlement has been overrun by goblins. Pretty much the same as always with trash mobs interspersed with bosses.
 All bosses here are tank 'n spank so not so much to say about this instance.

In their absence: Lost Temple (6-man) (Trollshaws)

Explore an old temple in the Trollshaws. As with every instance, trash is spread out between the bosses.
A dual-boss and  a boss where it's actually not that interesting to go all-out dps because of certain effects he has.

In their absence: Sâri-surma/ Glacier Fortress (6-man) (Forochel)

In this icy fortress, a death-monger has taken to resurrecting wildlife. One bear is highly persistent and won't let his defeat stop him. The 2nd (or 3rd) boss summons adds that will occasionally buff him. The final boss can knock you off his platform easily so make sure to fight with your backs to something.

In their absence: Ost Dunhoth (12-man raid) (Enedwaith)

I haven't run this one yet but have asked people who have about their experiences. The raid consists of 4 wings (like other raids but this one isn't split) that must be completed before attempting the final wing. Every wing stands for a certain debuff so make sure to bring appropriate pots. The bosses mostly require interesting tactics so make sure everyone is briefed beforehand (and has brought enough pots).
 The final 2 bosses include an old enemy (almost as old as the one from Northcotton) and the last boss will at one point transform and call adds from the previous 4 instances.

Price/Value: 3.5/5 (You'll want either this or Mirkwood. Though the five levels might be doable with lothlorien and then just skipping to Dunland. 5 instances, though not run that much.)
Storyline: 3.5/5 (Helping out the clansmen and becoming one of them in thought and act. Some nice stuff here.)
Quest Progression: 4/5 (Using Turbine's "new" technology, on one side it becomes more strict and focused, on the other there's less skipping if you get bored.)
Atmosphere: 3.5/5 (Quite varied and good-looking in places.)

Overall: 14.5/20
The 5 instances are nice to have (if you ever run them), atmosphere is cool and there's some interesting quests. Kind of a hard choice to make between this and Mirkwood.

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