Countdown to Mordor - Day 6
Strawberry LoTROYou know....like Vanilla WoW? Strawberry LoTRO :D Ok. I'll stop.
I remember the day my guardian turned level 50, which was the cap for Shadows of Angmar. I recall the very first thing I wanted was that AWESOME crafted teal cloak with the White Tree of Gondor; The Exquisite Radiant Cloak. I also REALLY wanted that sweet Heavy Elven shield. Both of which I got thanks to a great crafter friend!
There were tiers of endgame back then. The first group were the people who ran Carn Dum and Urugarth regularly. Now, this might seem like a basic thing to you today but back then these dungeons were an involved affair. Carn Dum took AT LEAST 3 hours to complete, which didn't include the final tower where Mordirith resided. Even he was only tackled by the most skilled of players that had mastered the mechanics of that insane city.
The next group of people where the people who ran Barad Gularan. This dungeon was unlike any other dungeon in the game. The skill level required to complete this dungeon was tremendous and was really only ran by the absolutely most skilled players in the game. This (and Mordirith's tower) was one of the first dungeons to leverage large scale AoE damage and instant kill-shots. Even those who did run the dungeon didn't always beat the final boss; Udunion.
Book 9 saw the release of the very first raid in Lord of the Rings Online; Helegrod. A lot of people didn't really know that Helegrod is actually technically part of Moria! It is a northern-most outpost of Khazad-dum, just an interesting tidbit. On Brandywine, I didn't know -anybody- who did these raids. Of course, there were groups of people who did it, but it was quite literally the upper echelon of raiders in the game.
Book 10 and Book 11 continued this trend of 3-tiered endgame. Book 10 saw the release of the Annuminas Instances: Glinghant, Haudh Valandil, and Ost Elendil and Book 11 saw the release of the Rift of Nurz Gashu.
The Rift, as it was known, was released and saw a great amount of popularity by the general population because of the ease of access to the first few bosses. Most organized groups could clear the first 3 bosses with some work, but the rest of the Rift was really reserved for organized raiding Kinships. Fun Note: My wife's kinship 6manned the Balrog at the end of the rift during this time! Video: https://vimeo.com/1464351
The Annuminas Instances, like BG, where really only done by very skilled small group of players. Again, we had a cluster of instances that were very mechanic-driven and required specific group combinations and an intense amount of focus.
Now, all of this changed over time as gear became more available and more people started to get to endgame, but this is how it was Pre-Moria for some time; at the very least on Brandywine Server.
Oh. Moria! The Beginning of a new Age! See you Tomorrow!