Pineleaf Previews Update 6

March 6, 2012

General, Skirmish Guides

Introduction

Update 6 brings us a new zone and a new book in the epic story. Is there anything that relates to skirmishing? There are no new skirmishes but there are several other little items that a skirmisher may find of interest. Let’s look at these changes.

Please note that these are the updates that are currently being tested on Bullroarer. They are not yet on the live servers and they are subject to change before Update goes live.

Instance Finder

First let’s look at the promised second phase of the Instance Finder. The updated version adds more flexibility and consolidates the Instance Finder with the old Instance Join panel. The new Instance Finder includes three tabs, each with its own characteristics.

Simple

Instance Finder - Simple Tab

The Simple tab is just that: simple. You select one or more of three instance types and the roles you are able to fill and the Instance Finder takes over. You use this when you are willing to play any instance of the selected types your fellowship is eligible to play. The three types of instances are the same as we saw in the first phase of the IF: skirmishes, Isengard instances, and scalable instances.

Note that you cannot select an encounter size, tier, or level. So if you use this tab, you are saying that you are willing to play any size encounter that your current fellowship can legally join.

If your fellowship has fewer than six players, you will have to wait as the system attempts to match you with other players on the server. If your fellowship is the right size for any of your selections (e.g., you have one, two, or three players and you have selected skirmishes as one of the possible instance types), then your fellowship will be assigned an instance at the end of five minutes if the system cannot find additional suitable players.

If you use the Simple tab, you get the same +50% currency bonus and +5% morale/power bonus that you received under the Update 5 IF.

Advanced

Instance Finder - Advancecd Tab

Wait, what if I only want to run a solo skirmish or a small fellowship Isengard instance? What if I only play at Tier 1 because Tier 2 is too hard (or Tier 2 because Tier 1 is too easy)? This is where the second tab comes into play. Here, you can select the tier and group size (1, 2, 3, and 6). This is also where you can select specific instances to include or exclude.

Naturally, Turbine wants you to select as many instances as possible to increase the chances of finding a match. They do this by scaling the currency bonus based on the number of instances that you are willing to run. The good news for low-level players is that the bonus is not based on an absolute number of selected instances but rather a percentage of the number of instances in the selected categories that you can access. Some examples are shown on the table below.

 

 

Available

10%

15%

20%

33%

50% + 5% m/p

5

1

2

3

4

5

7

1

2

3-4

5

6-7

17

1-3

4-6

7-9

10-12

13+

27

1-4

5-9

10-14

15-19

20+

31

1-5

6-11

12-16

17-22

23+

 

The 7 line is good news for anyone that doesn’t like to run Icy Crevasse. By the time you gain access to Icy Crevasse, you will have 8 skirmishes and can thus leave off one skirmish while gaining the maximum bonus.

There are a total of 17 skirmishes, 10 scalable instances, and 4 Isengard instances available to characters at the current level cap (assuming they completed any other per-requisites for the instances). Raids and Survival: Barrow Downs are excluded from this list. The new instance introduced in Update 6 is also not in this list.

Specific

Instance Finder - Specific Tab

What if you want to take a group of four into an instance rather than wait for two more players to join you? What if you want to run a raid? What if you want to run Survival: Barrow Downs? What if you want to set the level of the skirmish? What if you want to run an older non-scalable instance? In this case, you use the Specific tab.

This tab allows you to select a specific skirmish, tier, encounter size, and level with whatever group you currently have. This option does not attempt to match you with anyone and sends you into the instance right away. The purpose of this tab is to replace the old Instance Join panel.

This new tab has a more compact format then the old Instance Join tab. This means that more instances are visible at a time but the level range is no longer included.

Since you can specify the exact parameters of the run and you will not be to be matched with anyone, there is no currency bonus when you use this option.

Instance Currency Updates

Instance currency is now “Bind-on-Account.” This is Turbine’s wording, though I suspect that it is really tied to the server and subscriptions as most items that use that term. This effectively means that all of your characters now share the same instance currency pool. This is a windfall to the low-level alts of players who often run instances (I have several alts that will likely take advantage of this new feature).

As Bullroarer is a single server, there is no way to test if this is cross server. My guess is that it is not. If it is not, then anyone with a large number of marks should be careful when they make any server transfers.

Skirmish Soldier

Currently in the live game, skirmish soldiers may only be summoned in two areas: within skirmishes and at the central area of the housing neighborhoods. This update allows you to purchase a token that provides you with the services of your soldier for up to one hour in landscape areas.

What, purchase? You mean as in the Lotro store? Yes, that is one place you can purchase the tokens. The other is from the Currency Exchange vendor at a skirmish camp. One look at the Currency Exchange vendor will tell you that the tokens are quite expensive (1500 marks and 75 medallions for a level 70+ character). This means that they are not intended for routine use.

First note that you cannot use the soldier in non-skirmish instances or within a high-population zone (such as Bree of Galtrev). Second, you are only charged for the time that the soldier is actually present. Therefore, if there are only a few moments where you need the services of your soldier, then you can summon your soldier just before you need them and then release them when you are done.

Completion Rewards

Experience awards have been updated. You now get an experience bonus at the end of the skirmish (similar to how it worked when the dailies were in effect) rather than as a bonus to kills. This bonus is scaled with level. The bonus at level 31 is over 3000, which is a nice sum at that level (though not as high as the old daily). You receive this each time you complete the skirmish and not just once per day.

The release notes state that you get experience, ixp, and reputation for completing s skirmish. My testing indicates that there is no ixp award (I submitted a bug report on this and hope that this will be corrected before Update 6 goes live).

May your shield protect you and your spear never break,

Pineleaf Needles

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Avatar of Pineleaf

17 Responses to “Pineleaf Previews Update 6”

  1. Keirion Says:

    Did you run the skirmishes with a non max level legendary item with active leveling? If not, you wouldn’t see the ixp award.

    Reply

    • Avatar of Pineleaf
      Pineleaf Says:

      Yes, I was eligible to receive iXP. I was receiving it for all the mob kills.

      I ran another skirmish today after the new build was posted and the issue is still present (that is no surprise as there was not enough time for the issue to have been addressed since I submitted the bug report).

      Reply

  2. firedo Says:

    could be a bad move on non VIP players.
    are instances that are availble to you but that you have not bought in the shop counting in the percentage calculation?

    Reply

    • Avatar of Pineleaf
      Pineleaf Says:

      As far as I can tell, only skirmishes that you can access are counted for the percentage calculations. If you are a non-VIP and don’t own the skirmish, then you cannot access the skirmish (and it will thus not be counted).

      Reply

  3. Ian Says:

    “Instance currency is now “Bind-on-Account.” This is Turbine’s wording, though I suspect that it is really tied to the server and subscriptions as most items that use that term.”

    You sound a bit confused there, Bind on Account is as it sounds, one account, multiple characters of which they all can share.

    Reply

    • Ian Says:

      Transferring items between characters on different servers would be possible if it actually is bound to account by making use of the paid services.

      Reply

  4. Dan Says:

    This is some good stuff, right there! Thanks for putting that together. It is good to have more details about the new and “improved” instance finder, but I remain skeptical that this is an improvement (well, it’s definitely an improvement over the first version of the IF; it remains to be seen if this is an improvement over no instance finder at all).

    Reply

  5. Rinvan Says:

    The new instance finder looks good, I can’t wait to give it a try.

    Reply

  6. Saelyth Says:

    soldiers system is simply awful…
    instance finder is good but the UI is not friendly enough…

    Reply

  7. Nethila Says:

    Seems nice enough. If I understand correctly your description of the various “Tabs”, if in my kin there are 5 of us online, and we’d like to do a random 6 man skirmish (we’re more than capable of handling them), we still can’t use the “Random” feature of the Instance Finder and get the mark bonus without including an outsider…

    A bit sad… :(

    Reply

  8. Baranwen Says:

    I agree with the changes of the Instance Finder. Its better to find a group by instance or skirmish than based only on level (never worked for me that way).

    Reply

  9. mixeddrinks Says:

    skirm soldier system simply awful. I hope this token is reusable… cus that is a lot of marks and medallions for a soldier for questing…

    Reply

  10. Avatar of Carica
    Carica Says:

    Yay for skirmish finder update!
    I’d rather call a friend than pay all that for a short use of skirmish soldier.
    Instance currency being shared is a good thing for alts. Now, only if they would do the same for the other bound rep/festival tokens too…

    Reply

  11. Eleasar Says:

    Thanks for this summary – really appriciate it!

    Skirmish soldier is laughable really. This goes straight into the p2w (pay to win) direction. I mean seriously – this price??

    Also the price for this expansion was said to be 1400 points – really? I was not there – but if you compare it to Angmar that is 800 points or so. You get a big landscape, Urugarth, Carndum, Rift (maybe even more) – for almost half the price??

    About this account bound wallet – is this free for everyone? “Only” the expansion to add also Moria Marks and such into costs 1000 points?

    I find the prices definitely too high – and for me that is at max level the only reason is the overpowerd rings/earrings and stuff plus likely new receipc for beeing kindred with some new stuff.

    Reply

  12. Eleasar Says:

    ok sorry – seems i cannot edit:

    http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?447591-PremiumWallet-Barter-items-in-wallet-finally!&p=6020110#post6020110

    Then it is not so bad. It is a nice extension for everyone and for 1000 points you can use it nicely instead of some shared storage.

    Reply

  13. Andy Says:

    Prices on test server may not be the actual live price so not going to say yay or boo to it. Marks cost for an hour is maybe an evening of skirmishing t2 duo’s so not overly expensive.

    If you read the adverts for soldier into landscape as a swtor style companion then yes its crazy expensive, pay to win nonsense but turbine never said that it was a community assumption that wasnt denied by them.

    Yes it is high however without revamping the entire game from 20+, the point at which we get our soldier, it would make the majority of the content pretty easy. Being done the way it is the soldier is being made into what can be considered a short term buff item similar to the 5min regen foods that you might only want to use for a particular situation.

    I realise that different classes and different players find stuff harder or easier which is why I said the majority of content becoming pretty easy. Certainly I can think of places where my hunter would have benefitted from the soldier where the minstrel or warden breezed through.

    Barter wallet again could be halved in price quite happily but at 1000tp’s for an account wide buy once unlock its actually close to on par with some of the storage options. Once unlocked you gain the accountsharing without having to use the vault and also gain all those bank slots back that are currently being clogged up with tokens.

    Folk that focus on 1 character can probably choose not to use this and just roll an alt to store account bound stuff. Altoholics can probably wait until they amass multiple characters over 30, before then the tokens will be limited to what the wallet currently holds. podcast 130 links to killtenrats where they call it crippleware which I dont agree with as a description. you dont need it to play the game so arent crippled you just lose a bit of convenience. My only complaint is it took them long enough to think that bound + barter = wallet.

    At 1000tp it’s an expensive considered purchase but to me it seems to be of far more use than a per character mount costing almost double. Half price for vip’s would be a nice gesture

    As with the soldier its down to perspective.

    Reply

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