Yesterday saw the release of Update 5 for LOTRO, an event I was neither excited nor depressed about, rather I was a happy passenger as most of what has come with Rise of Isengard has passed me by (or, more likely, gone over my head) and with the exception of my Champion now being a viable tank and all-round badass I’ve merely carried on carrying on. But Update 5 has changed all that. And why (I hear two of you eventually ask in a sullen tone that I am certain I don’t like)? Well I’ll tell you.
That’s right, you heard me, marks. Skirmish marks to be exact. Up until now the currency you got as a reward for skirmishes was a confusing jumble of (frankly) low value crap. In the two months I’ve been skirmishing with Keltorn I have barely earned enough for upgrading my soldier’s skills let alone the much-needed crafting items and much-wanted cosmetic items they supposedly could be exchanged for. Skirmishing to me was a grind for little reward – a fun grind maybe, but a grind nonetheless.
Update 5 has changed this. The LOTRO Devs have simplified all the various mark-type reward currencies down to a simple mix of three and on top of that they have reduced the cost of the much-needed & wanted items they can can purchase. In two minutes last night I managed to ‘buy’ more cosmetic items than I had dome in the past two months, all without running one single skirmish. Add to that the fact that the Instance Join makes finding a skirmish a cake walk and what Turbine have done is finally turn me on to Skirmishing! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord I’m a convert!
Addendum: In the interests of balance I should point out that many folks are not happy with either the Rise of Isengard expansion or Update 5 as they feel they were both rushed out unfinished & untested (the later specifically to trump SWTOR early opening later this week). I don’t know, I haven’t got to the Isengard areas yet and won’t for many moons – hell I suspect it’ll be Update 7 or 8 by then – but the list of known issues and bugs for Update 5 was released at the same time as it went live which struck me as odd. And what a whopper! It’s a huge list! Really! Giant’s cock length! I kid you not! The biggest Uh-Uh for me is that “Assisted Movement” has stopped turning you to face an enemy and now merely has you charging at it like a mentalist – not great for ranged classes I can tell you ;-D