For a long time now, Player-versus-Monster-Player (PvMP) in
the Lord of the Rings Online has been a "game within a game," and the
PvMP people have been a "community within a community," a dedicated
subset of players within the whole. A number of players will only break
from the Ettenmoors just long enough to blast through new
Player-versus-Everything (PvE) content, and then return to PvMP. Some
dedicated creep players don't even do that - they have one or two PvE
characters, possibly low-level, and ignore them in favor of the very
different play-style of monster characters.

Overall, the creep community is quite small. It has a rather
limited appeal to the casual audience - monster players are limited to
one zone, rewards are intangible (Destiny Points and Infamy, but no
gear), ranking is much slower than leveling in PvE, newly-rolled
monster characters are seriously disadvantaged and the challenge is
considerably higher. So what's the draw? Well, the classes aren't
gear-based, advancement represents skill and time rather than money and
luck and the challenge is considerably higher.

The same can be said for freep-side. Dedicated PvMP freep
players are a distinct breed, requiring a very different skill set and
gear load-out than for PvE. Guardians don't worry about threat
generation, for example, because player-controlled creeps choose their
targets by entirely different criteria. PvMP-spec Hunters are far more
aggressive than group-spec, and Hunters using PvMP tactics in groups
often end up getting chewed out by tanks and healers. And casual
interest in PvMP is relatively low - ranking up in the 'Moors and
earning the top Ettenmoors gear pretty much only makes the player
better at PvMP, and the PvE side of things doesn't really improve.

Well, according to Turbine game developer Jared Pruett, some
of this is about to change.

For some time now, players have wanted better
incentives for
participating in PvMP. The general consensus was that the available
rewards were not worth the time investment required to attain them. We
agreed and have created a new suite of PvMP armours that are comparable
to the Book 3 instance rewards, but with skill mods that are more

Players are given new incentive to participate in PvMP with
the addition of new class armor sets and newly-designed insignias that
can be slotted on legendary items. These runes, when stacked with one
another and combined with the set bonuses from the new armor sets,
provide massive bonuses to PvMP aspects of each class. This gear is no
less polarized than previous Ettenmoors armour sets, but does hold up
reasonably well when compared to PvE raid sets.

Creeps are also getting some attention this update. New players
will start with tougher monster characters, no longer requiring the
lengthy and hazardous ramp-up to acquire Rank 0 skills and passive
traits through PvE-type questing. A number of rank-based skills have
had their requirements adjusted - some higher, some lower.
Additionally, creepside has been made somewhat more newb-friendly with
the inclusion of basic introductory tutorials and a reorganized
Gramsfoot with more specific racial areas. Warg Stalkers will use the
Warg area for training new skills and upgrades, and Uruksand Orcs will
use the Uruk/Orc camp.

Reactions have been - wait for it - mixed. Creeps in
particular feel very strongly about this update. Yes, it is new-player
friendly, but at what cost to more experienced players? Many creep
players feel that the Ettenmoors is already very heavily weighted
towards the freep side in terms of balance, and this update favors
freeps yet more and freeps yet less. Reactions are generally more
favorable freep-side, with the addition of new armor sets and runics.

Details of these changes can be found in the href="">Update
2: Monster Play Developer Diary.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Lord of the Rings Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016