Ladies and Gentleman, Start Your Launchers: Shores of Evendim Has Arrived!
Written by Cameron "Aelryn" Sorden
It's official, everybody! The first LoTRO content update should be just about ready to download by the time you read this, so hang on to your seats and watch your launcher. The servers will be down from 7:00am to 2:00pm in preparation for the monstrous patch, so if you don't feel like goofing off at the Roheryn event or you're stuck at work, I thought you might like to read a fun little recap of what you can expect from this patch. The patch notes might be up by now (they weren't yet as of the time I wrote this) so have a look at those, too, when you can. Okay... what do we have to talk about?
I'll skip the obvious: Narsil, Annuminas, Strider, Elven smiths, story, excitement, yadda yadda. I'm sure the quest and story elements are awesome, but you'll see those soon enough, so lets get to the nitty gritty of what this patch actually adds. You're getting new monsters. You know that already, but have you actually seen them? Go have a look at our screenshot gallery of Evendim to gaze upon the Kergim, Gauradan, Wood Trolls, Ents, and Angmarim. Some of them are downright scary and should be a blast and a half to pummel with your buddies. Especially those creepy ape-like Kergrim... those things give me shivers. I bet they have some great loot from the new nasties too.
Speaking of great loot, have you heard about the armor sets? Yep, that's right. Taking a page right our of Diablo 2 and WoW, we'll be seeing matching armor sets that give specific bonuses as you gather more pieces of them so that you can fashion-conscious as well as uber. There isn't a whole lot of info out on these yet, but the word on the street is that you'll see both epic-level sets and lower sets that range from level 30 to level 50. I did find a screenshot of one of the new set items by cruising around the web a bit (pictured to the right), and early reports indicate that the low-level sets might be jewelry-heavy. That's kind of cool if true, because it means you can still have a distinct look while getting the set bonus.
Also, if these new sets are an upgrade for you it will be easier to make sure you get them thanks to the new looting NBG system. NBG stands for need before greed, and it lets you roll need, greed, or pass on any item that drops. The debate on this topic is hot and everyone has an opinion, but I think it's a good addition. It can be tough to sort out who needs what in the thick of battle, and it's pretty easy for someone to accidentally walk away with something that was a huge upgrade for you and not have anyone know or care. While that's still a potential problem in the new system, at least people will notice the classes that roll on stuff they can't use over someone who can actually use it.
That covers some of the biggest changes. I hope this has you good and ready for Evendim (a mere few hours away). You probably already know about the quest updates, farming updates, and the new raid content from interviews and what-not, so I'll wrap things up with the unofficial/undocumented change list I dug up in the official forums (these might be documented once the final patch notes come out, but enjoy them in the meantime). Have fun picking through them, and I'll see you in-game!
* Fate now contributes meaningfully to power regeneration in combat (Paratick)
* Tailors can now make cloaks upon learning the profession (beornin8)
* New crafting hall in Bree-Town. It's located across the street from the old location. It looks great, roomier, and better represents a "hall" (Blazze)
* Crafting tools can be better than "brittle" (Mike000)
* New icons have been added for spawnable "crop" items. Strawberries, for example, look like strawberries on the ground, instead of a plain bag. (Calimmacil)
* Crop tracking does not only track farmable and cookable items; it also tracks Scholar-related plants such as Yarrow. (Calimmacil)
* In addition to regular metal nodes and branches, there are also rich metal nodes and heavy branches. Not sure about the difference between regular and rich ones, but it's possible that rich ones yield more ore/wood (Lomeloth)
* I noticed at least some crafted items are now bind on equip that weren't before. Opal Necklace and Elven Hunting Dagger being the 2 items I noticed. (Maiden_of_Gondolin)
* Some campfires in the "wild" are now able to be used for cooking. Adso's Camp has 2. (Mookitty)
* Burglar's heal is much quicker to go off (Vymes)
* The animation for the Burglar skill Trick: Disable has changed. (labyrinth)
* Devastating Blow and Pressing Attack's descriptions now include the information that a critical hit on either will open up your enemy defeat skills. (Kalonthar)
* Telling Mark now increases damage on target, not critical hit chance. (Kalonthar)
* Pressing attack now has its attacks as 45%/85% instead of the 65/65 on live. (Paratick)
* Coordinated attack has positional modifiers on it now as well. (Paratick)
* Hunters' Desperate Flight had its cooldown upped to 30 minutes and is now instant cast. (Paratick)
* We are now able to use Blinding Flash on Dragon-kind! (Diora)
* It seems that overall DPS has been improved. (Diora)
* There is a "beam of light from the sky" effect now for Light of the Rising Dawn (Diora)
* Flanked! lasts 7 seconds as opposed to 6 on live (Diora)
* Inner Flame now heals both you and your pet, and it requires that your pet be summoned in order to cast. (Diora)
* When the Minstrel attacks with a skill that they can do running, they now continue running, and don't SLIDE into the mob - animation fix (openedge1)
* Several spells got different sounds (unique). (Blazze)
* Piercing Cry no longer makes a shout sound, but more like a roar... then a thud... (might be the same for cries on other classes). (Blazze)
* Ballad of Resonance now gives +10% Tactical Offense instead of just Light Damage (Blazze)
* Bolster Courage seems slightly faster, might just be me... (Blazze)
* My Character's Name is unchecked by default in the Floating Information under UI Settings
* Can't right click items to unequip them (KitsuneGirl)
* Floaty names now get smaller the further away you get from the person/object
* Shows what you have equipped on the repair screen with a green "Equipped" text
* Crafting components (such as light hides, wax) now have a green background. (GreatRegide)
* Vault Keeper symbol changed from stacks of gold coins to three different coins, each a different color and flat. (GreatRegide)
* Interior locations that contain grey quests no longer have the quest indicator on the minimap. (GreatRegide)
* Stablemasters now show the minimum level required for a swift travel. (Ex.: It now shows at Esteldin the minimum level of 30 to swift travel to Bree.) (GreatRegide)
* Your skills now show the damage type (melee, ranged, tactical)
* Weapon DPS is shown in parentheses
* New UI checkbox to show out-levelled quest rings on the radar. (Mike000)
* The "in-game time" only shows whether it's dusk, dawn, day, or night and not the real time in game (Mike000)
* When moving through several pages of auction listings, the next page starts at the top of the page, rather than the position where you were looking on the previous page (Calimmacil)
* There's a new UI option to have floating names "always on top" of other terrain objects. (Diora)
* The Last of the Fireworks has been changed. You are now no longer able to shoot them off at time or place. This is probably by design, but takes a bit of RP fun away. (kckunz)
* Swift travel to ettenmoors is now 45s
* Swift travel to Esteldin from Western Bree's Stablemaster is now 35s instead of 100s. (GreatRegide)
* South Bree to West Bree swift travel increased to 5s from 1s. So much for laziness. (GreatRegide)
* Hobbiton to Michel Delving is now 5s
* Musical instruments now cost 2s
* Whelan Appledore, Bree-Town Hall's resident Grocer, now repairs for the same price as everyone else. (GreatRegide)
* Walking speed increased a bit (KitsuneGirl)
* Can't right click past the beginning shows when you start the game - esc still works though (Dell8400p4)
* When using escape during the cutscenes, the narrator no longer tries to keep stuttering through it. (KitsuneGirl)
* Bright Campfire has a 3 minute cooldown. It used to have a 2 minute. (Paratick)
* They have added 2 mailboxes to the auction hall in michel delving (inside the auction hall). (jalida)
* There is a Deed for the Epic Books. Once you complete Books 1-8, you gain the title "Light from the Shadow". You'll find the "Shadows of Angmar" Deed in your "Racial, Social" tab. (Enzdid)
- Cameron "Aelryn" Sorden
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