Countdown to Mordor - Day 4
The Dark Days of Mirkwood
I remember being very confused when the expansion 'The Siege of Mirkwood' was announced. Mostly, I was curious as to 'Why'. The Fellowship was ready to begin their trek down the Anduin towards Gondor so I was very curious as to why SSG was going East instead of South.
Regardless, the Siege of Mirkwood would be an expansion that would revolutionize Lord of the Rings Online in more than one way. Aside from it's selling feature; Skirmishes, the expansion also removed Radiance and introduced DX11 Support.
Radiance. I wonder how many of you remember that. Back in the day, dread was countered by Radiance and raid bosses had SO much dread that if your gear did not have the appropriate radiance, you would quickly be defeated.
It made raiding a pain, to be honest. You couldn't do anything if you didn't have the appropriate radiance amount, regardless of your general stats. The removal of radiance opened up raiding to a larger group of the community, which was great.
SSG is apparently revisiting this idea in Mordor with the Shadow/Light system. They are taking what they learned from radiance and making a much more intuitive and manageable system, so I am looking forward to it.
Mirkwood was much different from Lothlorien both in scope and aesthetic. We went from golden woods to deathly hollows (HA!)
I had a lot of fun with this expansion. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the skirmishes were a lot of fun! At least for the first few years. The crowning achievement of the expansion however was the raid.
Dol Goldur was tremendous. For the first time, I truly felt like we were facing a threat unlike anything else. The weight of the Nazgul's fear and malice spread across this fortress and every single encounter in this raid was riveting, challenging, and exciting.
Later on, we saw the release of Enedwaith. I remember not being terribly interested in this zone, mostly because I never really understood it from a lore perspective. Enedwaith IS dunland...but dunland was a zone too? I dunno, maybe i'm just arguing semantics. I didn't enjoy the hill people in Angmar and I didn't super enjoy them in Enedwaith either. That being said, the Grey Company storyline was probably one of the greatest storylines ever written!
and who could forget these guys?
All in all, Siege of Mirkwood set the foundation for expansions introducing new gameplay features and systems. Every expansion since would do this and would allow LoTRO to continue to grow and update as the years passed.
It would be some time until we would see the next expansion. But the time was coming for us to learn the fate of the Fellowship and to help our dear King-to-be.