Dev Diary: Update 10 Instance Cluster

February 26, 2013


battle_erebor_03Today’s Developer Diary by Joe “jwbarry” Barry and Sleepy centers on the instance changes coming in Update 10.

The New Instance Cluster

First we have the new instance cluster; all of which takes place in the future during the period of time in the Lord of the Rings when Sauron was engaged with Gondor.  The locations for these clusters are in Erebor, at the town of Dale and at the Lonely Mountain.

The Instance Cluster will contain several instances including:

  • The Bells of Dale
    • 6-man instance
    • It takes place shortly before the Battle of Dale
    • You will assist King Brand in driving out Easterlings and sounding the Bells of Dale.
  • Flight to the Lonely Mountain
    • 12-man raid
    • Occurs immediately after the Battle of Dale
    • It contains a new style of raid encounter; “a survival style space” where you must hold an area for a certain amount of time.
      • In Tier 1 the waves come on a timer (allowing you breaks if you kill fast enough)
      • In Tier 2 the waves come based on kills
      • 7 prebuilt waves made up of 7-10 enemies and consisting of 4 enemy types
      • Spawn order is randomized
    • Tier 2 challenge is to kill 100 enemies before for the time expires
  • The Fires of Smaug
    • 12-man raid
    • Takes place halfway through the siege at Raven Hill
    • You must defeat the Easterlings and a Fire Grim who are pumping noxious fumes into the Lonely Mountains
      • There are 4 pipes with valves that can be closed or opened in varying degrees.
      • Group coordination will be needed to close the valves
    • If too much smoke is released the fight is lost.
    • The fight also has a time limit of 25 minutes.
    • The challenge for this raid is to win with no more than 20 units of smoke being piped in.
  • The Battle for Erebor
    • 12-man raid
    • Corresponds with the breaking of the siege and the end of the fighting
    • Occurs at the gates to the main entrance of the Lonely Mountain
    • You will need to fight 2 Olog-hai champions
      • The champions will utilize up to 6 different mechanics chosen by the players
        • Tier 1 will use 2
        • Tier 2 will use 4
        • Tier 2 challenge will use all 6

In Their Absence

3mi_stoneheight_03Continuing onward, Sleepy informs us that the “In Their Absence” instance cluster has been updated. After the release of Update 10 all of these instances will be able to be played from 65 to the level cap.  Their rewards have also been updated.  An although Sleepy states he did his best to maintain as much of the instance design as possible (you’ll still be slapping hobbits) some of the initial designs had to be changed.  For one, any challenge modes that didn’t focus solely on the final boss had to be changed (such as Stoneheight’s challenge).  Ost Dunhoth has also been broken up into 3 wings without raid locks.  And finally “gameplay adjustments” have been implemented in order to make fights flow more evenly and player friendly.


I have to say I really like the sound of the new raids. They have a different (non-dungeon) look about them as well as some pretty interesting mechanics. The story also ties in nicely with The Hobbit and allows us to get a unique look at the war’s affect of the northern areas. It’s almost like a “break” from the story we’ve been going through. Combine that with the “In Their Absence” dungeons getting a makeover with new loot (and adding another level-cap raid) I’m pretty excited about what I might be able to do post Update 10 by sacrificing some sleep!  How about you?

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About Merric

Co-founder of CSTM and an avid LOTRO fan.

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8 Responses to “Dev Diary: Update 10 Instance Cluster”

  1. nova Says:

    a 25 minute raid? cool way to prevent farming


  2. the Sphinx Says:

    And with no locks…


  3. lawless168 Says:

    Happy to see a 6 man, and the raids do look/sound very cool …


  4. lawless168 Says:

    Happy to see a 6 man instance, and the raids do look/sound very cool …


  5. Avatar of Andang
    Andang Says:

    Yay! Merric wrote an article…YAY!


  6. Goreamir Says:

    I think I’ve logged into the game twice in the last month, and I don’t see anything changing with this update. Maybe update 11 will pull me back in.



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