Dev Diary: Instance Cluster Part 1

December 13, 2012


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

Seat of the Great Goblin

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

Chambers InstanceDol 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 Warg-pens 3-man Fellowship
65-85 Sword Halls 3-man Fellowship
65-85 Dungeons 6-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.

Read the Full Dev Diary

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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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13 Responses to “Dev Diary: Instance Cluster Part 1”

  1. Hatter_of_Bree Says:

    Wasn’t the new ones scalable 20-85?


    • Avatar of Goldenstar
      Goldenstar Says:

      I tried looking it up and found no data on it’s levels. I was already 85 on bullroarer and didn’t start the instances when I ran them.

      I’ll happily add that nugget if someone can show me somewhere their scaling range.


  2. Dan Says:

    Hrm, I know that we were told the new instances were scaled 20-85, but the only place I can (relatively quickly) find this information is on xRaina’s Bullroarer testing post:

    Oh Massively had this information too, fwiw:


  3. Hallagon Says:

    Hey, just wondering if anyone else is unable to see the new website and the way they’re presenting the developer diaries. I go to the links and for a split second i can see the page (with a black background) but then it quickly changes to a “Error 403 – Forbidden” page :C

    The address bar leads me to believe the diaries are part of the new website which has only the home page and the “play free now” pre-hompage 1st time page but no others will load, giving the same error :/


    • Ayalinda Says:

      Its being investigated, but is certainly a cookie issue. Either delete all your cookies, or just the lotro ones from your browser and it should work.


  4. sean Says:

    I went to see The Hobbit the other day (as I’m sure we all did :) ) and noticed that:
    (but we’ve all already seen it)
    a. Radagast had an encounter in Mirkwood with Giant Spiders
    b. the comany of dwarves faces off with the Great Goblin in Goblin Town
    c. they get caught up in a fight with Stone Giants in the Misty Mountains.

    hey, look: just like the update instances, lol! AND we see Radagast exporing Dol Guldur, and it’s foreshadowed that the fight against the Necromancer will feature in one of the later Hobbit films.

    I’m not saying I mind: I firmly believe that ever since we first went into Mirkwood, that the plan was to follow the film(s) up into Dale; there was really no other reason to build a beachhead into Southern Mirkwood unless we wanted to go up through Northern Mirkwood, etc. But the films were delayed and delayed, and Turbine had to kill some time… Enedwaith first, the ultimate time-killer; then RoI (but Saruman is in The Hobbit, so it’s ok) but then time ran out and they had to go to Rohan… but all the while knowing that when the films hit, the focus would (inevitably) have to turn north again. And so it has, with the first instance cluster of the (southern-facing) RoR expansion….


    • sean Says:

      sorry, i put big SPOILER WARNING on that but used , so it didn’t make it into the post ><


    • Goreamir Says:

      Yeah, and unfortunately this pretty much confirms no future landmass expansion for those areas, since the bone is being thrown to us via these instances and raids. We won’t play out the War of the Ring times in Erebor and Dale through an expansion, since we’ll have already done that in the upcoming raid. I think I’m more disappointed in that aspect of it than I am excited about the instances.


  5. Greyfell of Crickholllow Says:

    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

    Ummm, bad lore gaffe there. Boromir coming thru the Misty Mountains to Rivendell? He specifically says in LOTR that he came by way of Rohan and lost his mount at Tharbad (the meeting of Bruinen and Ringlo to become the Mithlond or Greyflood, in Enedwaith) and then had to walk, that’s already on the Rivendell side of the mountains. He could have been attacked, fine, but how would he know where they came from other than somewhere in the Trollshaws?



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