Rohan Instance Cluster Released in Two Parts

November 26, 2012



Sapience has come to the forums today bearing news of Update 9, Against the Shadow, as well as news on the Rohan Instance Cluster. For the most part it looks like Update 9 will consist of fixes and updates and the meat of this update will be part 1 of the Rohan cluster.

Yes, I said part 1.

The biggest news here is that the Rohan Instance Cluster will be split into two groups and we will be getting the first half with Update 9 and the remainder instance in an update expected for February 2013.

The delay of Rohan compounded and caused a delay with the instance development while they worked on polishing Rohan for release. They had stated we would get the Rohan Instance Cluster by the end of the year and have decided to give us the instances they feel are ready (or will be ready for Update 9 release) and save the remaining instances for a future update in February rather than giving us a bunch of broken instance or nothing at all.

The instance cluster will consist of seven new instances in total and does not change the cost of the instance cluster. If you purchased Rohan, you are still getting this cluster included with your expansion purchase.

Sapience writes:

We want to be very clear that if you purchase the Riders of Rohan expansion, the entire instance cluster is free. You will have access to all instances listed below released as Part I in Update 9 and Part II when it releases at no additional charge. As long as you’ve purchased Rohan, you’ll get all of the instances listed.

Instances shipping with Update 9: Against the Shadow
Riders of Rohan Instances (Part 1):

  • Iorbar’s Peak (Misty Mountains / Stone Giants-3-man)
  • Webs of the Scuttledells (Mirkwood 3-man)
  • Seat of the Great Goblin (Goblintown 3-man)

Shipping in 2013 (Currently Planned for February)
Riders of Rohan Instances (Part 2):

  • The Bells of Dale (6-man)
  • Flight to the Lonely Mountain (12-man; single boss)
  • The Fires of Smaug (12-man; single boss)
  • The Battle for Erebor (12-man; single boss)

It looks like the 3-mans they are releasing may be older zone content and not Rohan related. Sort of like the “In Their Absence” stuff we got with Enedwaith’s release. We don’t have any level information at this time but it does have the look of it at any rate.

Rowan has shared some information about the instances in a forum post:

The instances are all set in the War of the Ring (our current timeline, not the Hobbit). It will make sense when you get the quest from Gandalf.

The 12-man instances are the Battle of Dale, and could be thought of as wings of the same raid. We separated them to give context to the story as the battle proceeds over the course of a week.

Smaug is dead, but the Easterlings have new challenges in mind for you (and new engines of war).

We are going to Dale and the Lonely Mountain as part of this story, but will not be adding new landscape in the area with these instances.

Given the 12-man raids they have planned and the first Hobbit Movie to launch next month, I think it is clear they had fully intended to have this released by the end of the year. I would imagine it would have been a great benefit for Hobbit material such as “Flight to the Lonely Mountain” or “The Fires of Smaug” and the movie to release closely together. Seems it wasn’t meant to be.

No date has been given on Update 9. We know Bullroarer (the public test server) is scheduled to be loaded and ready this week for us to take a peak at least. Given past update schedules we’ll probably be seeing launch of Update 9 around December 10th (that is a guess, not an actual date).

level85characterI suspect some negative comments from those serious raiders who are eagerly awaiting new raids to participate in and are now being told to wait until February. I’m not saying your wrong and had I had any raiding intentions, I would feel the exact same way. For the casual player that I am, this works ok for me. I’m not even 85, yet so some three-mans would be welcome.

Also there’s the case that early purchasers (myself included) paid money for this expansion starting back in June but won’t be getting the complete package until February now. Pretty long timeline on that investment we were hoping for in Fall 2012 and latest December 2012.

Turbine is in a lose-lose situation here. They either hold it all back and receive the ire of all who are waiting for more content or release what they can and get the ire of those waiting for more advanced content. Either way those taking previous claims seriously will degrade Turbine for failing to release the entire cluster as promised.

I never was in the camp of some who really railed on Turbine for the delay of Rohan. Companies should give realistic timelines for their products and that I agree. However, I’m always more in favor in waiting a little longer for stuff that’s playable rather than broken junk being forced on us in the name of meeting a deadline.

I’m really not trying to defend Turbine’s actions. It seems they could have possibly predicted a December 2012 release of the instances was pretty aggressive given the Rohan delay but I do think they are trying to take the bad news they had to give about the instance cluster and make the best out of it.

Oh and props to Andang who had an April Fools post about “Adventures with Bilbo coming Spring 2013”. They seem to be more true than he had probably imagined.

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About Goldenstar

Goldenstar's primary happiness in games is anything that involves festivals, parties, cosmetics and pie. If there's any time after those things to kill bad guys, so be it.

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50 Responses to “Rohan Instance Cluster Released in Two Parts”

  1. Avatar of Ethelros
    Ethelros Says:

    There’s some related posts by Rowan too:

    As someone who’s more into story than the actual fun of raiding, I am excited to go to some brand new places. I am especially looking forward to seeing Turbine’s art team do Erebor and Dale.


  2. David Says:

    Sounds like there are giving low levels instances before the good 85th levels (althought might be skirmishes)


    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      I honestly expect them all to scale to 85 anyway.


      • Cory Says:

        The last couple of sets didn’t scale, I wouldn’t expect these to either. I expect that it’ll be exactly like Northcotton and Stoneheight, nonscalable instances that are in lower zones but still intended for capped players.

        On one hand, I’d hope they’d scale since we need more scaled content. On the other hand, current content that scales gives absolutely terrible rewards (if it’s a 6 man or below, which those 3 mans would fall into) and I would hate if the only new instances we had until February still gave lousy rewards.


        • Gorfaroth Says:

          They will probably scale IF they have lover base levels. Turbine always releases content open to the level cap.

          This year’s instance, Roots of Fangorn, cannot scale because it was released at the level cap of that time. Same goes for the instances with Armies of Isengard and In Their Absence.

          If they are made for lower levels and scalable (I believe so), there will be decent rewards. With Halls of Night and Inn of the Forsaken, scalable instance, there were level cap appropriate rewards, granted, they were only pocket items.


  3. Joshua Says:

    Wow. I’m actually really surprised that the instances wound up being Hobbit-themed.

    How the heck does any of this tie in with Rohan, though?


    • Sig Says:

      During Andang’s update talks we were trying to figure out how Turbine would introduce content that would take advantage of the Hobbit hype…

      During this discussion none of us thought of the actual tie in:

      With the release of Riders of Rohan and upon completion of the included epic books, our characters are stuck in time on March 1 3019.

      A little over two weeks later on the 17th, the Battle of Dale (in Erebor= Dale, Lonely Mountain, ETC) is taking place while the battle of Pelennor Fields finished up the day before and Aragorn and Co. are getting ready to head out to the Black Gate.

      You have to get into the appendices to find out about the Battle of Dale. AFAIK, Turbine has rights to this and can expand on it.

      The War of the Ring was much bigger than what the main story line told us about, with Battles in Erebor and Mirkwood simultaneously taking place as Battles in Rohan, Isengard and Gondor.

      The timelines in LOTRO are a bit jumbled because of the way the game HAS to play, so I can see them skewing the dates a bit to make this work.


      • Joshua Says:

        I had an insight about this, actually. All over Rohan, but especially in the Wold, you hear about the Easterling threat and how Rohan is caught in the middle of three enemies: the Easterlings, Mordor, and (though most don’t believe it) Isengard.

        Only two of those groups show up at Helm’s Deep, so obviously something happened to the Easterlings to make them give up their advance into Rohan. I suspect that’s what we’ll be up to between now and the Western Rohan expansion. :)

        The timing is still off a little, at least if we assume that the instances we’re participating in actually represent the Battle of Dale. But they don’t HAVE to be the same battle; they could easily be a separate skirmish that takes place before the bigger Battle of Dale that happens after Helm’s Deep is assaulted.


  4. Scormus Says:

    Well, at least we now know what that $40 to $70 purchase of RoR actually bought, with the final list of instances that are included. Unfortunately, it still doesn’t match up with similarly-priced expansions for “World of Warcraft” and “Rift” that came out about the same time. “Mists of Pandaria” has nine instances and three raids, while “Storm Legion” has seven instances, three raids and a two-person Chronicle instance.

    All in all, “Riders of Rohan” is not worth the cost, not even the base price. Heck, I got “Storm Legion” for free with a one-year subscription to “Rift”! Color me not impressed with Turbine’s work here.

    Furthermore, does it disturb anyone else that they are taking longer and longer to get these instances out? The instance cluster in RoI was delayed three months, and we won’t have all of RoR’s instances until 5 months after it was originally supposed to be out, and four months after actual release? With Turbine having laid off some devs not too long ago, does anyone think Turbine will be able to pull off a complete release of the second half of Rohan next fall?


    • susan Says:

      I’m kinda getting nervous on that front, not the release of the instances but on the layoff and demoralizing effect that has on the team in general, plus not to confident LoTR has been meeting WB profitability quotas.


    • Avatar of Andang
      Andang Says:

      I would take 1 instance in LOTRO over 10,000 in WoW and 10-20 in Rift


      • Avatar of Ellrion
        Ellrion Says:

        in fact i’d honestly take no more instances in LotRO ever again, over having to play WoW (even for free) ever.

        i love this game. i really don’t care that much about “end game content” at all.


        • Avatar of andyb
          andyb Says:

          Consider the relative costs though!

          WoW is still a sub only game and the expanion was given the price tag of similar of more than most full price games, with the obvious exception of those awful cod games.

          For the UK it wasnt given any special over the weekend to pair in with the 10day trial for ex subs.

          The very fact that it is a sub only game should discount it from any comparisons.


  5. lorgelas Says:

    Man this doesn’t sound good. It sounds like Turbine really doesn’t have the resources they need to get this content out.They really need some help over there.While on one hand I’m excited to hear some news of the new instances,the amount of content and the time it’s taking them to get this out, just don’t seem to be up to par and I’m surprised these instances really have nothing to do with Rohan. I really don’t know how they are going to be able to sell folks on future expansions :(


  6. Kaethos Says:

    Although they said there is no landscape content to go with these instances I do hope in the future the add some to the game. I would really like to take my time and explore the areas of Northern Mirkwood, Dale and the Lonely Mountain. I have my fingers crossed they will do this as a mini-expansion further down the line to take us from 85-90.


  7. Vraethir Says:

    I’d like to say I’m shocked at all the people raging against the split, the delay and the no ‘multi boss raid’ but honestly I’m not. We may have a lot of really solid people who play lotro but we also have a lot of small minded people that just want want want. We all KNEW from the moment RoR was delayed that the instances 99.99% were going to get delayed as well. So instead of breaking their promise of instances this year Turbine focused on getting out some of them for us to enjoy while they kept working on the others. We had 6 week delay in RoR because the system needed the work. This was bound to happen people get over your rage and look at the bright side of things. You get 3 new 3 mans to enjoy. Then you get a 6 man and 3 single boss raids by the time its all done. And to top it off its all Hobbit themed which is something a lot of people have wanted to see for a long time now. Quit your bellyaching already.


    • Reason Says:

      Small minded indeed…
      People have every right to “bellyache” when they spent upwards of $70 for an incomplete product, only to be hit with . This was bound to happen Vraethir, get over your rage and look at the reality of things.


    • Lothirieth Says:

      3-mans to enjoy? I play a LM. They aren’t that wanted for 3 mans as they don’t heal, dps or tank as well as other classes. Sure I’ll get some spots, but not nearly as readily as a 6 man. And you really think it’s going to take those of us who really like group content 2 months to master these 3 mans?


    • Smugglin Says:

      The ” bellyaching” is coming from people who have madea real investments in this game. I been playing this game since close to launch and I’m a lifer and for the last few years every time something is either coming out or is on a list to be fixed, Turbine has an excuse. Whether it is a valid excuse its still an excuse, every GD time. I have personally shelled out hundreds into this game including lifer membership, xpacs, collectors editions and so many store purchases so yeah I will complain because I am entitled to. On a side note, LOL at serious raiding in LOTRO. More like PUG on day one of release.


      • Isilwren Says:

        And possibly for this reason alone a bunch of people in my kinship have created a guild on GW2 and are playing over there until the expansion opens up.
        Our kin in LOTRO is a good sized one, but the kinchat has been more like – someone has logged on, someone has logged off, on, off, on, off . . . .because a lot of us are feeling like there isn’t much to do after you’ve done your dailies and finished the epic storyline.
        Skraids are fun, but there is just so many skraids you can do before they even start getting old.


    • Kiersyn Says:

      It’s not as simple as people being mad that there are no new raids and being greedy for content. It’s very hard to keep kins and allied raiding groups together when there is nothing to do that isn’t mind-numbingly repetitive. Turbine unfortunately has a bad history of leaving players in the lurch for long periods, and I know of several good kins who have diminished because people were so bored for so long that the game lost its appeal.

      It was much better in the SoA days when there were smaller book releases and not these larger expansion efforts. Of course, it might probably be harder to sell smaller releases and WB is all about the profit. I’m not sure overpriced and oft-delayed expansion content is the best way, though.

      As for the dismay over no multi-boss raids, it is disappointing because they are often simpler and far less creative. Also, there’s the spectre of Draigoch, the hugely-buggy solo boss raid that *still* isn’t fixed. It’s a scary precedent.

      I do love the game, but it does get hard to see reason to keep faith at times.


      • mmicnova Says:

        i have a feeling hytbold was made the way it was just to shut people up and keep them grinding daily instead of looking at other mmo titles available. it works up to a point, but people do indeed get bored and leave. i left for 2 months and just came back recently. i had good friends that left for good, i was in kins that dissolved due to lack of players.
        is there really no other mechanic to keep people interested except endless grinding?
        i was so excited when i started to quest rohan. and i still think it’s a brilliant area, and i just love it. but i’ve been gearing up my war steed with mounted raids in mind. how can you introduce mounted combat and not release a massive mounted raid?? it makes no sense to me, i thought that’s what i was buying with the expansion. mounted instances and raids. not “in their absence” stage 2. i don’t want that.

        from the rift to turtle soup…


  8. Saelyth Says:

    i am leaving lotro this year, this expansion completely discouraged me. Lotro needs a kinship system revamp more than new single boss raids.


  9. Hildifast Says:

    I read the forums. I now know to never, ever read them again.


  10. Avatar of andyb
    andyb Says:

    Stuff like this should be written as some form of article and posted on their front page rather than a thread on the forums. Maybe they’re saving the pictures to replace the harvestmath splashscreen that still graces the loading screen.

    The lack of any raids in the first part could have a possible knock on effect to populations on smaller servers. People that make a song and dance when they leave withy are often citing the lack of raiding players as a reason for moving on, though a lot of the times they just want to make a fuss out of their leaving.

    Whats surprising is that they didnt try and slot one of the raid bosses into the first part of the IC release. Also fairly surprising that not much really happens around Rohan unless they’re trying to cobble together a mounted skirmish/instance for the next paid update.


  11. Eleasar Says:

    Well. I more or less stopped playing when we beat Saruman T2 in challenge mode. Did really hope to get some nice instance cluster again soon with Rohan. But as they did not tell about any instances and raids i did not buy it. Now it will still be three months (if we are lucky) and then likely some more time for the instances to work correctly (did they ever fix draigoch?).

    This is way too long for me – i did move on to Diablo 3 and now Guild Wars 2. The game is really getting only attractive for casual players. I did really like the raids a lot. For a long time i actually did not do anything else but log in to raid with all our nice guild members. Really miss them. But the actions turbine did take with that i simply cannot bear. It would all be just some time to likely do the same kind of quests just to get lvl 85, then doing skirmishes/daily quests to get some raid gear just to be able to go into a raid a few MONTH after the last raid. That is simply ridicculus for anyone who is deticated and wants to raid.

    So this is definitely the end for me and i guess for many more of the raiders (if there are still many left).


    • mmicnova Says:

      i did play GW2 for quite a bit. it is good, and i do see myself going back and forward between it and lotro. my problem with GW2 is exactly this: the complete lack of raids. the last time i played there were only 5man instances, nothing more. plus, without fixed tank/heal/dps classes, most of the times it’s total chaos. it’s either too hard or too easy, i’ve witnessed both. lotro has a level of epicness that GW2 misses (in my opinion this is due to maps crowded with mobs and level scaling forcing you to fight through everything), but GW2 has much more fun stuff to do, real fun you can sink your teeth into (i’m looking at jumping puzzles among other things here). however, i do wish i’d have some kind of mount in gw2.


      • Eleasar Says:

        Only lvl 35 or so by now and the world feels so extremely alive there. Always events, automatically playing together as a group without any invites and such. No quest chains – so i can drop in and do whatever i like and bring higher level friends along and it still is reasonable and fun for both/all of us.

        For raids i think i agree. I guess i will miss those of lotro – but i really will not go through all the pain in lotro again to lvl to 85, do skirmishes, grind my stuff, wait forever for the raids to come up (and be fixed) just to get 3 bosses or what they explained. Sure Dol Guldur and other instances are scaled – but it is then just repetition.
        Or like the last time when we cleared ost dunhot with groups of six persons going down to only 4 for some of the encounters is also fun. But really i lost faith in the developers/the company.


  12. davidt Says:

    I still expect WB/Turbine to eventually release a separate Hobbit game using the LOTRO landscape populated differently.


  13. Comment Says:

    So I guess if you are a raider you have been mislead, lied to, greviously injured or if you are just a casual player you just shrug your shoulders. I guess the anger level depends on if you paid the 70 bucks and waited, and waited, for something that isn’t going to happen until 3 months later. So are they not going to include instances at all or are they just delaying it?


  14. Avatar of
    knowfere Says:

    If the remaining devs would *concentrate* on content: raids, instances, quests, instead of bending all their thoughts onto what deals they can put in the store, they probably wouldn’t be delayed, bugged, and lacking. And losing customers. With this IP and their graphics department, it IS possible for them to have the absolute most loyal fanbase, but they choose instead to totally destroy ALL. Sad.


    • JR Says:

      I don’t think so. It is far far easier to create content for the store than to develop raids, instances, quests, and more. If they focused purely on the latter, I think it would still be released later than people wish and they would lose out on short-term revenue.

      I am not saying this to justify the situation however. I am growing more disappointed. But I can nonetheless see the pressures and constraints they face. Their purchase by Warner has been a two-edged sword. I am sure a cash infusion helped them with the costly development of the Riders of Rohan expansion, although it didn’t make it exempt from bugs. But the layoff of staff not long after suggests Warner was less than pleased by the return on their investment. I fully expect that Riders of Rohan will be the last ambitious expansion Turbine will produce for LOTRO.


  15. Amy Says:

    Kinda sorry to see only 1 – 6man.



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