We have news of the first part of the Instance Cluster launching with Update 9 in a dev diary posted today as well as the scaling of Dol Guldur.
New 3-man Instances
The back story of the new instance cluster is perfectly summed up in the dev diary as this:
In Part I, Elrond sends you to speak with Legolas, Boromir, and Glorfindel. Each then asks you to aid their allies or hinder their foes. Legolas sends you to help the scouts of his father Thranduil as they scour the Scuttledells of Mirkwood for origin of the Great Spiders; Boromir, having been assailed by goblins as he neared his destination of Rivendell, warns you that a new Great Goblin has arisen within the Misty Mountains; and Glorfindel tells you to aid the Great Eagles of the Misty Mountains, who have been robbed of an egg by the Stone Giants who dwell there.
We have three new 3-man instances:
- Webs of the Scuttledells
- Seat of the Great Goblin
- Iorbar’s Peak
These instances are scaled levels 20-85. I ran all three of these on bullroarer and I enjoyed them. Some of them were challenging for my pick up group and others were easier but all were enjoyable.
For those who are complaining Turbine is just rehashing old landmass to try to extend content, I have done these instances (as I already said) on bullroarer and they are new areas. Yes, they are all in locations we’ve already been but they are newly built instance maps.
All of these instances are included with the Riders of Rohan expansion. If you have already purchased RoR, you are getting these instances.
Clues to Instance Cluster Part II
The end of the dev diary also gives some clues to how the story will continue with the next set of instances we are getting currently estimated for February.
Fast forward to the Battle of Dale at the end of the War of the Ring as Easterlings, Orcs, and Olog-hai assail Dale and the Lonely Mountain. Within the streets of Dale and the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, you will fight alongside Brand and Dáin as they lead their people against their foes and seek drive back the darkness.
Scaling of Dol Guldur
Dol Guldur is being made scale-able so you will be able to play it from level 65 and scale it up to level 85. I thought it was just just the raid being scaled from the previous announcement but my thinking was incorrect as it is all of Dol Guldur and their smaller dungeons as well.
Barad Guldur, Dungeons of Dol Guldur, Sammath Gûl, Sword-halls and Warg-pens now all scale from 65 to 85 and feature 2 tiers of difficulty. The Dungeons have been converted to a full fellowship instance and the Sword-halls have been significantly restructured. All the instances have seen bugfix and polish passes to smooth out previous issues and ensure high quality play.
This means the set up of the new dungeons included with Mirkwood will look like this:
|Levels||Instance Name||Group Size|
|65-85||Sword Halls||3-man Fellowship|
|65-85||Sammath Gul||6-man Fellowship|
|65-85||Barad Guldur||12-man Raid|
Plus I’d like to draw your attention that Mirkwood is 40% off this weekend which would give you access to these newly scaled dungeons if you don’t already have it.
Reward Changes in Instances
Auto-loot is joining the instances added and updated with Update 9 generating individual loot that is automatically dispersed when someone opens a chest.
Within the new update, chests in scaling Dol Guldur and the new 3-mans will automatically create rewards for each member of the group’s pending loot-list as soon as the chest is opened by someone. Each person will get their own loot at their own odds independent of everyone else in the fellowship. These chests will not recognize the standard loot rules we’ve used in the past. This means no more rolling on loot for these chests!
It’s interesting and may stop loot squabbles (well maybe not loot grumbling but at least it’s the RNG fault) in instance runs and may make things move quicker as there’s no pausing to distribute loot. It’s only with the new instances so it may be something Turbine is feeling out before going more wide spread with a change like this.