Earning Gear in Isengard

October 7, 2011

Dungeon Guides, Skirmish Guides

With the release of Rise of Isengard, we have new class armour sets for level 75. Four pieces of this gear are obtainable through Classic Instances and Raid-sized Skirmishes, while two pieces (helm and shoulders) are available from the Draigoch raid only.

The barter token required for the first four pieces of the set is the Superior Fourth Mark (SFM). For the gloves and boots, you will need 18 of these marks for each piece. For the chest and leggings, you’ll need 30 Superior Fourth Marks each. That’s a total of 96 Superior Fourth Marks.

At first, that sounds like a lot of marks, however, it’s not quite as bad as it seems. For each Classic challenge or raid skirmish quest that grants these marks, you will earn 3 marks. Also, chests in these instances and skirmishes also have a chance to give an extra mark. So, at most you’ll need to run 32 of these instances to obtain your gear. It is highly likely that you’ll earn a few extra marks along the way and won’t need to run quite that many instances to complete your set. Also, you can barter for Superior Fourth Marks from the Skirmish Exchange barterer. (2,506 Skirmish Marks and 1 Veteran’s Fourth Mark or 2 Fourth Marks will earn you 1 Superior Fourth Mark.)

In addition to Superior Fourth Marks, the instances and raids listed below now have chests that give gear appropriate to the level the instance is set at (rather than only skirmish barter loot as before). The raid skirmishes in particular give really nice loot (some of which is listed in this forum thread) that is comparable to (or even better than) the highest tier crafted jewelry and the raid set pieces (comparable in stats only, there are no class specific set bonuses on these pieces). Rarely, raid size skirmishes will drop the Worn Symbol of Celebrimbor which is used in crafting level 75 second age legendary items.

Classic Instances

These are instances that will scale up from their minimum level to 75. To complete the challenge that grants a SFM, you must be level 75 and make sure that the instance is set to run at level 75. (You can join these at lower levels, but the only SFMs you’ll be able to earn are the random drops that come from chests.) For instances that have more than one tier, you must make sure that you run the instance on tier 2 in order for the challenge quest to be available.

Most of the 3-man instances can be run with pretty flexible group make-ups, but Inn of the Forsaken is the exception to this. You must run this instance with one “brawn” class (Guardian, Warden or Champion), one “aware” class (Captain, Hunter or Burglar) and one “lore” class (Minstrel, Rune-keeper or Lore-master) in order to properly complete the challenge, which requires you to use every class-restricted item in the instance. I’ll be listing these instances with the acronym or name you’re most likely to see them called as people are looking for groups in LFF or GLFF chat.

Small Fellowship (3-man) Instances

These must be run on tier 2 for challenge:

  • Halls of Night (HoN)
  • Inn of the Forsaken (IotF)

These are usually run together, and will often be called out as “School/Lib” in LFF.

  • School at Tham Mirdain*
  • Library at Tham Mirdain

*Chests for this instance are only dropping barter items (no gear). This is a known issue.

Fellowship (6-man) Instances

The three Great Barrows instances are usually called out as “GB Trio” and run together. You must have completed the Maze and Thadur at least once before you are eligible to enter the Sambrog instance.

  • Great Barrows: Maze
  • Great Barrows: Thadur
  • Great Barrows: Sambrog
  • Annuminas: Ost Elendil (OE)
  • Annuminas: Glinghant
  • Annuminas: Haudh Valandil* (HV)

*This instance’s challenge is not currently working and you will not be able to get the 3 SFM for completing it. There is still a chance that you will get a SFM from a chest drop, but it is unlikely and most groups won’t bother with the instance until challenge is fixed. This is a known issue.

Raid (12-man) Instances

These are usually referred to as “Hele” followed by clarification as to which wing is intended.

  • Helegrod: Spider Wing
  • Helegrod: Drake Wing*
  • Helegrod: Giant Wing*

*Challenge for these instances is rewarding a Helegrod Mark instead of SFMs. This is a known issue.

Raid (12-man) Skirmishes

New, weekly raid quests have been added to skirmishes. These quests will grant 3 Superior Fourth Marks and will have an extra chest with really shiny gear as a reward for completing the skirmish.

This only applies to level 75 raid size skirmishes. The quest resets once a week (the reset is on Thursday) and, unlike typical raid instances, you will be allowed to participate in the skirmish even if you have done the quest already that week. However, if you are repeating a raid skirmish during any given week, you will not receive the 3 SFMs for the quest, and you will be unable to receive any loot from the chest at the end. From what I can tell, the quest (and chest loot) is the same regardless of the skirmish tier.

Not all gear is available in every skirmish, so you’ll want to consider running skirmishes from different campaigns to have a chance at all the loot available.

jwbarry said:

The chests share a loot profile within a campaign. Swap to a different campaigns set of skirmishes and you’ll get pulls from a different list of items.

There are 17 total raid skirmishes to choose from (18 if you include Barrow-downs Survival, but as far as I can tell, it does not have one of these weekly quests). Since the loot varies based on the campaign, I’ll be listing them that way.

Eruilan Campaign

  • Siege of Gondamon
  • Trouble in Tuckborough
  • Stand at Amon Sul

Adlan Campaign

  • Defence of the Prancing Pony
  • Thievery and Mischief
  • Barrow Downs Survival (Does not appear to have a raid quest.)

Naillan Campaign

  • Ford of Bruinen
  • Strike Against Dannenglor*
  • Protectors of Thangulhad*

*In order to access these skirmishes require you to be on (or have completed) the appropriate chapter of Volume 2, Book 9.

Cannuilan Campaign

  • Breaching the Necromancer’s Gate*
  • Assault on the Ringwraith’s Lair*
  • Battle in the Tower*

*In order to access these skirmishes require you to be on (or have completed) the appropriate chapter of Volume 2, Book 9.

Lefnuilan Campaign

  • Rift Rescue**

** In order to access this skirmish,  you must have completed Volume 3, Book 1.

Enguilan Campaign

  • Battle of the Twenty-first Hall*
  • Battle of the Deep Way*
  • Battle of the Way of Smiths*

*These skirmishes are part of Volume 2, Book 5, Chapter 5 and require you to be on (or have completed) that chapter to access them.

Odothuilan Campaign

  • Attack at Dawn*
  • Icy Crevasse
*This skirmish appears to be bugged in that it is not dropping Superior 4th Marks. It does have a chest with loot at the end, though.

I wish that it was a little bit clearer that you won’t be eligible for loot if you’ve already run a skirmish during that particular lock set, though. The only way to confirm that you’re eligible for loot in a particular instance is to check your quest log while you’re in there. It will show a raid quest that lists Superior Fourth Marks in its rewards if you are able to receive loot. The quest will not be automatically added to your quest tracker.

The other day I saw a really nice caster hat drop that only one person in the raid needed, but because he had already run that raid skirmish the day before, he wasn’t able to get the hat. Of course, there is enough incentive to run a raid more than once in a week just because of the chance to get a Worn Symbol of Celebrimbor or tier 7 relics. Even though the person repeating the instance won’t be able to directly receive them, they can be traded to them from another player. For this reason, I prefer to run these instances with the Master Looter loot rule, rather than just roll/pass or something similar.

When you finish a raid skirmish, be sure to loot the chest and/or boss corpse right away. There is a timer after you’ve killed the boss (seems to be around 3-5 minutes) and your group will automatically be removed from the instance. Any loot that hasn’t been assigned yet (if your group is using master looter) will still be available for the leader to pass out, though. However, this won’t stay available on the leader’s screen for very long, either.

Overall, I’m really happy with the variety of ways to get the new gear, and the addition of new drops to older instances and skirmishes. The drops I’ve seen so far have been really nice, to the point where I’ve swapped out the helm and shoulders from tier 2 Ost Dunhoth in favor of drops from the Library and Great Barrows on my captain.

And now, I need to get going. There’s a pocket item in Halls of Night that I’ve had my eye on for a few days…

, , , ,
Avatar of Ketani

About Ketani

Ketani is CSTM's resident Livestock and Fertilizer expert. When not leveling more captains, she enjoys raiding, crafting, adding new horses to her collection, stomping shrews, betting on hobbit races, exploring haunted burrows, attending plays at the Frostbluff Theatre and tracking down wild cosmetics and making outfits out of them.

View all posts by Ketani

19 Responses to “Earning Gear in Isengard”

  1. DancesInTrees Says:

    I guess abbreviations vary across severs. On Snowbourn we usually see IoF rather than IotF, and GB 3 or GB all 3 not BG Trio – minor I know ;-).

    (Also Sambrog is sometime Samborg (erm, not StarTrek here!) or Sammy :D )


    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      Ah, good to know. At least those are still similar enough that people should still be able to figure out the instances. The biggest difference I’ve seen before in GLFF abbreviations across servers is in what people call that group of 8 small fellow quests in Enedwaith to kill gwibers and giants. On Brandywine I’ve seen those called out as “Nar’s” Or “Nar’s Peak dailies”, while on Elendilmir they’re usuually “TC dailies”.

      And yeah, I’ve had a good laugh before when seeing people looking for a group to run “Samborg”. :)


  2. Pickles Says:

    Up until recently, I have always though BG meant “Breat Garrows.” =P


  3. GoTiK Says:

    TC dailies? What’s TC suppose to mean?


  4. shipwreck Says:

    I can’t tell you how helpful this post is. Thanks!


  5. Narnian of Vilya Says:

    3 marks apiece? Whew, that’s a relief.


  6. Adam Says:

    What a great post Ketani, really usefull to see it simplified, and laid out liek this with the known issues, well be refering back reuarlly to this!
    Thank you so much!


  7. Texborn Says:

    Ketani, is the weekly raid quest per skirmish, or just once a week, independent of which skirmish your run?


    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      The quest is per skirmish. So you can run Siege of Gondamon and get the weekly quest and loot for it, and then immediately run Trouble in Tuckborough or any other skirmish. You just can’t run the same skirmish more than once in a week and get credit for the quest or loot from the chest.


  8. Rorimli Says:

    Go to page 5 in the Isengard Loot List thread there is a recap of the pictures in the thread as well as a link to an awesome spreadsheet Reillan/Reinold


  9. Mla Says:

    How important is your skirm soldier’s level in those raids?


    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      If you’re running these on tier 1 (drops the same loot as far as I can tell, so why not?), then your soldier isn’t overly important. For the higher tier skirmish raids, it can help to have a well leveled skirmish pet (especially an herbalist). When leveling your skirmish soldier, keep in mind that you’ll get more benefit from leveling their skills and training than level alone.


  10. Bellebrian of Vilya Says:

    What about soloing? I understood that we could earn four pieces solo. Did I miss that in your post?


    • Avatar of Ketani
      Ketani Says:

      The direct quote from the dev diary regarding this was, “Over time the Solo Player can, through the skirmish system, purchase enough Superior Fourth Marks to barter for the first four pieces of their class raid set.”

      It takes approximately 2,506 Skirmish Marks and 2 Fourth Marks or 1 Veteran Fourth Mark to barter for 1 Superior Fourth Marks. For 96 SFMs, you’re looking at 240,576 skirmish marks if you’re wanting to get the set from solo skirmishing. So, it’s possible, but will require an immense amount of effort to earn this gear as a strictly solo player.


  11. Grotfo Says:

    Nice guide. Though its a shame nobody runs anything but endgame instances nowadays.


Leave a Reply