Hi everyone! This is Iinferno of Elendilmir (or Don if you’d rather call me that). I’m a huge moors addict, and love writing, so when I stumbled upon CSTM a while back I noticed a distinct lack in moors related content. More recently I wrote CSTM asking if they had need of a new writer and when they let me in I thought this would be a great time to fill in the gap in pvp content.
A Somewhat Brief Overview of the Moors
Alright, the Ettenmoors, arguably the most dangerous place in LOTRO. Now what is the moors you ask? And what makes it so dangerous? Well, the moors is LOTRO’s only PvP zone. This means that it is the only place where, rather than fighting computer controlled “NPC’s” (non player characters), you fight other players. Many people find the moors to be a nice break from fighting predictable NPC’s and having a chance to test their skills against others. The moors offers a very different play style from the rest of the game, requiring a far different skill set than PvE (player VS environment, AKA anything Non-Player Controlled), and often is more competitive. While these qualities do make the moors different from the rest of the game, they make it appealing to many who wish to challenge themselves in different ways than can be done in PvE. Let’s take a closer look at this place shall we?
The moors is a big place, often to a new PvPer the amount of odd names, abbreviations, etc. that people use can be very daunting. I’ll explain all the different major landmarks of the moors to hopefully give you all a better understanding of where you are, and what people are talking about when the say, for instance, creeps in TR!
Let’s start with the keeps. The moors is the home of the never ending war of the Ettenmoors, there are two opposing sides, Monster players and the Free Peoples. Most people refer to the Free Peoples as the “freeps” and the Monster Players as “creeps”. The goal of each of these two sides is to control as much of the Ettenmoors as possible at any given time.
There are five “keeps” in the moors which can be controlled by either side:
In order to control a keep, a group of players have to enter an enemy controlled keep, and kill a specific NPC (A Captain General if the keep is freep controlled, or a Tyrant if the keep is creep controlled).
The biggest of the 5 keeps is Tol Ascarnen, or TA, which is located at the center of the map on an island in the middle of Hoardale River. TA is a 3 floor castle with 3 entrances, 1 trapped hall way, one pot of boiling oil to drop on the opposing side, and a horn/hornblower which summons extra NPC’s. TA is usually one of the hardest keeps to take due to its massive size and the amount of strong NPC’s it holds. The TA tyrant or CG (captain general) is also the hardest of all 5 keeps’ to kill, with a few devastating AoE attacks and buffs that give +5% damage for every opponent he kills. It usually takes a raid or more to take down TA, although, like everywhere in the moors it really depends on how many enemy players are present more than how tough the NPC’s are.
Tirith Rhaw (or TR, located on the east side of the map) is tied for the 2nd biggest keep, with it’s twin Lugazag (or Lug, located on the west side of the map). Both keeps are 3 floors, slightly smaller than TA, and are equipped with 1 pot of boiling oil. The middle floor of both TR and Lug is extremely small, only 1 room, but is often used by freeps for AoE balls (I’ll talk about that some time in the future). To capture Lug or TR you must kill the CG or Tyrant like normal, but in addition you must go through a hallway (which is locked until you kill the CG/Tyrant) and capture a flag. Both TR and Lug are tied to a “rez circle”.
Rez circles are where you go when you die, just like any other place in the game. In the moors, the rez circles are surrounded by 10 mobs, called 1 shotters. Why are they called 1 shotters? Well, like you probably guessed, they kill anyone of the other side in 1 massive hit. The reason for these guys is to make sure that nobody can sit in the enemy rez circle and kill someone over and over as they die.
Finally, Isendeep (Isen, in the far north) and Lumber Camp (LC, in the far south). These two are the “smaller” keeps (although Isen actually covers the greatest area of all 5), and are usually not considered important for anything but a few extra NPC’s. There are no flags to take after killing the CG/Tyrant, no defenses, simply a group of NPC’s corresponding to whoever controls the keep. There are also ‘camps’ near each of these two keeps, in isen there is “dwarf camp” and by LC there is “spider lair”. These two camps do not change sides based on who controls the keep but often extra NPC’s from these camps will assist in defense of isen and LC if they are controlled by the right side. Isen and LC also contribute to the defense of TA, there are 2 large groups of NPC’s that will appear in TA if the side that holds TA also holds LC and Isen.
Now you may have noticed that on the map of the Ettenmoors above, there are more locations with red eyes (meaning they are creep controlled), and blue trees (freep controlled) than would represent 5 keeps, there are also outposts.
Outposts are smaller, 2 floor buildings that usually have a set of 5 or so guards out front, and a Captain General or Tyrant.
These are essentially “mini keeps” that are scattered around the more remote parts of the moors. Outposts (or OP’s) can’t offer the same protection or tactical advantages that keeps can, so what exactly are they for? Good question, for one thing, keeps usually require large numbers such as a raid to take, where as an outpost can be taken by much smaller groups (even some soloers). More importantly, controlling 2 OP’s allows your side access to the Delving of Fror , the un-aligned, “Pve” zone of the moors, which I’ll explain in greater detail in the future.