Ranhold reached level 20 recently and it opened a new stage of game play in LOTRO - Skirmishes. Now I had a little bit of a hard time trying to understand what a skirmish was, but I think I’ve got it now.
Basically the game takes a location, copies it & seals it off from the ‘actual’ game play. Once sealed off it is populated with a battle scenario just for you (or you & your mates – skirmishes can be solo or group affairs) to fight in. That alone is an impressive feat but then the designers have also built in a rather cool system whereby each player gets a soldier, a computer controlled NPC, who will fight along side them. And if that wasn’t enough, they’ve then worked in a skills & training system for both you and the soldier. Bloody hell – there is no end to the intricacies of this game!
Anyhoo, if this sounds complicated, trust me when I say it isn’t as the game designers have included a really good tutorial quest that introduces you to all the aspects in a handy 30 minute blitz. I’m assuming that all four races have a different training location & scenario, but for Men you find yourself defending a snow-bound Bree from the traitor Bill Ferny and his band of brigands and orcs.
I get the impression that skirmishing can either be ignored, treated as a fun diversion or become the main reason for playing the game which is a damn clever idea.