Highlights: Fanrel discovers Saruman's influence over the Dunlendings
January 22nd - 28th
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Rise of Isengard. First released in September 27, 2011. Like anything new, there was quite a stir when the expansion came out:
- The Isengard instances were not released at the same time as the release of the expansion. In fact, it wasn't until the next update in December 12, 2011 that you were able to face Saruman. This caused some confusion when people were given a choice to buy Isengard Quest Pack for 1495 tp and then choose to buy Instance Cluster: Isengard later for 1495 tp at a later date or the whole thing (which includes Draigoch's Lair for 1250 tp) for a total of 2495 tp.
- As much as I would have loved the Colourful Songbird from Mines of Moria, I admit that the bonuses in this expansion were the best in my opinion. That is why I chose to preorder the expansion and get the set of lovely Rohirrim outfits and steeds. I touched on this in my Promotional Equipment post. Just as a side-note: You have the option of using /reclaim to get back any promotional equipment you might have deleted in the past.
- Two people could join an instance. I recall a lot of times where you had to break away from your comrade to do a solo instance. Then my brother and I suddenly found instances with the option for both of us to enter at the same time. I cannot confirm my old memory or affirm what the situation is nowadays. I do know that a warning is given, even in the quests of Great River, that tells people two people can enter the same instance.
- Following the same example of Enedwaith, Isengard also has a slew of yellow-texted ground quest items to click on. By this time, many people grew accustomed to the new format. There were also still issues of not being able to detect when a quest item is looted and thereby accepted.
- Many people still agree that Isengard has the best cosmetic outfits around. Even though you might not profit from the stats on an item, you might just want to keep that chest piece around for its cosmetic benefits. A full set is rewarded in Volume III: Book 5 of the epic.
- Two starting zones. The Grey Company mentions two paths you can take: One through Bonevales and the other through Trum Dreng. Don't worry, you can do both zones. I think they did this initially to prevent an overflow when the expansion first came out.
- Crafting for Gathering Profession started having multiple tiers of crafting in conjuction of the new guild recipes. They added optional item slots for increasing your critical chance like any other profession.
Dunland Tribes. Within Dunland, there are several different Clans, such as the Avanc-lûth (Lizard-Clan), Caru-lûth (Stag-Clan), Deivlig (outcast oathbreakers), Draig-lûth (Dragon-Clan), Hebog-lûth (Falcon-Clan), Turch-lûth (Boar-Clan), and the Uch-lûth (Ox-Clan). Enedwaith helped prelude some of these with the Huntsman spiritual instances. However, Saruman intervened and broke up these clans. Each area you visit has something else going on.
- The Algraig of Enedwaith are outcasts.
- Lhan Tarren Village (Stag Clan) of Trum Dreng fights Dragon Clan coming from the south.
- Galtrev Capital Settlement of Pren Gwydh rebels against the White Hand's tasks.
- Tûr Morva (Falcon Clan) of Tâl Methedras decides whether to join The Grey Company or The White Hand. Easter Egg: There is a village to the south filled with snowmen.
- Avardin of Starkmoor hosts trade negotiations between merchants by Bedwur, a leader among the Ox-clan.
- Dunbog. A swamp-land with a series of locations. Lhan Colvarn where Saruman experimented on both orc and Dunlending. Lhan Rhoas, home of the Avanc clan. Durgors, temporary home of the Boar Clan. Pristine Glade, a secret place of the Avanc clan that becomes under attack.There are various quests in Dunbog that accumulate results in Assembly of the Avanc-lûth before heading into the Pristine Glade. For example, a boy will speak up in your behalf if you find his ball. One will speak for or against your choice in saving or destroying the abominations in Lhan Colvarn.
- Barnavon of Carreglyn is divided up into two sections: The Ox-clan, in the thrall of Saruman, occupies Upper Barnavon while The Boar Clan occupies the lower section. Some members of the Boar-clan work in the nearby mine while others are enslaved in cages. A revolution boils to a tipping point when you arrive.
Gap of Rohan. I think the developers poured all their heart and soul into those epic quests because what comes afterwards feels quite lacking. There is no epic guide for this region and the quests will have you running around the same places. You will get lost.
- Wulf's Cleft is an area located in the Gap of Rohan. The only way of entering this place is from the final quest in Dunbog: Tusks of the Boar. It is the central location of the Dunlending army. Sadly, you won't have any more interactions within this place.
- Forthbrond is a small Rohirrim camp that sends you on some skirmish runs against Isendale.
- Grimbold's Camp has you doing a lot of miscellaneous quests like training the soldiers and handling the issue with a captive ranger.
- Pit of Iron. This is where things get really messy. Turbine really should have taken another look at the instance before releasing it. There is a quest you get that states "...Dwarf poking around the entrance to a cave north-east of Dol Baran." Hundreds of players, like myself, went inside the cave. You do not go inside. You find an axe laying on the ground just in front of the cave that sends you elsewhere. There was no map. There were invisible holes in the landscape that caused people to fall and die. You didn't respawn at the entrance of the cave. You would get stuck in combat a lot. It was a disaster for Resolina. On the other hand, Fanrel made it through without any problems. I guess they fixed a lot of those problems since then.
Nan Curunír. The epic has you moving around this place a lot. Otherwise, Turbine seemed to squeeze another 25 quests to do in the region. Fun note: The zone actually translates 'valley of Saruman'.
- The Gatekeepers of Isengard: Defeat Ufdrágh and Barashal for the Gatecrasher title.
- Tracking an Old Goat: The entire quest chain in Gravenwood was initally a nightmare. You had to go to specific points, kill named mobs, and backtrack in order to do all the quests available. Turbine changed it, fixed it, and offered people a second chance to talk to Amlan in the Gravenwood to restart the Andreg questline [83.1s 14.6w] for this hidden deed. I believe the deed must be completed before you finish the quest. I made sure to complete this deed before proceeding onward with Fanrel.
- Draigoch's Lair. Some of the best titles for Mordor come from this raid. Bathed in Fire, Born From Ashes, Manoeuvre Master, and The Red.
- Fangorn's Edge. Clear-cutter (Not to be confused with the Clear-cutter title from Enedwaith Slayer Deed): Defeat Undúrz with all four Huorns in his area dead; Last Tree Standing: Defeat the three trolls with only one Ent alive; Save the Trees: Save all eight Huorns in one run; Thoroughbred: Get hit by a deadly troll tree-attack.
Pretty much all of Dunland and Isengard itself is self-contained in Volume III, Book 4: Rise of Isengard. Chapters 1-17 act as a guide through each of the regions in Dunland. It isn't until Chapter 18 where the real fun begins.
- Book 4, Chapter 7 does have a nifty quest dependent on race:
- A Full History. You talk with Elrond's boys to learn a little more of the history of the Dunlending from an elf perspective. Elrohir says, " What history? The most note-worthy event I ever heard tell of was the Dunlending invasion of Rohan, which did not last long and eventually ended in defeat."
- A Rare Dwarf. Lheu Brenin shows off three weapons and quizes you to which was left by the previous dwarf wanderer Lindar. By observing his reactions as you touch each piece you realize all three of them were left as gifts.
- Concerned by Hobbits. You tell a couple of stories of the Shire to the locals. For example: "As you describe to Gwynna the state of the Quick Post service in the Shire, your feet ache with the memory of running those mail satchels from village to village. Gwynna is especially surprised by your account of the numerous nosey hobbits you found it necessary to avoid. "
- Tidings of Anirin: You speak with Anirin's (the guy you saved in Lhaid Ogo in Volume III Book 3: Chapter 4) mother and find out about his beloved, Wenda.
- Book 4, Chapter 18 Instance: The Captive. Lothrandir assists you in speaking with the emissary of Isengard in the Falcon Clan's prisons before he passes. Things turn for the worst when you learn the Falcon Clan decided to side with Saruman. You fight the best you can but are captured and sent to Isengard. There stands Morflak, your new Uruk-hai master. If you wish to revisit this instance or any other one mentioned in Isengard, travel to the Reflecting Pool at the Rohirrim Scout Camp.
- Book 4, Chapter 19 (Area) The Caverns of Isengard hosts just a portion of Saruman's armies. You pick up slop, kill rats, and move barrels of weapons. I thought it was quite amusing you can rattle your Shackles to call the guard if you lose track of him. Since this is not an instance, they also give you an item to return to this quest. It laughably states something like: Though your mind wanders to lands outside, you are still a prisoner of Isengard.
- Book 4, Chapter 20 Instance: In the Presence of Saruman. Saruman summons you to his chambers and tries to persuade you to tell him anything regarding the Rohirrim, the Grey Company, or the Fellowship. There are plenty of interesting things about this quest. You get additional dialogue regarding your class and experience in Volume II, Book 6, Chapter 9 Instance: The Mirror of Galadriel.
- Burlgar: A great tower in moonlight, a shadow against the sky. A cell with no escape. The stairs are watched. I cannot see how you come to this place, Burglar… nor how you could leave it.
- Lore-master: The prize of knowledge, it waits, ripe for the taking. A library at the pinnacle of the black spire, secrets untold. Enemies without, and within… How far will your heart take you for limitless knowledge, Lore-master?
- Saruman speaks about Nár as if he is dead. After doing this chapter, you can go back to him in Zudrugund in the Quest: Concern for a Friend. Nár says he is doing fine and you gain the Thoughtful Friend title.
- You also get to meet Gun Ain who is still obsessed with getting a new name. She wants to kill you and Lothrandir but only after you consider Saruman's offer. You won't know what really happened until Volume III Book 14 Chapter 7 when you revisit Isengard after the flooding.
- Book 4, Chapter 23 Instance: The Wizard's Vale. You get to see Acca's point of view as Saruman's corruption (or as Gandalf would call it, madness) worsens. You get to see Isengard and all its green landscape before Gríma, the Wormtongue intervenes with your affairs.
- Book 4, Chapter 26 Instance: Escape from Isengard. You obtain the housing decoration: Seer's Orb.
- Book 4, Chapter 29. All of your actions in Chapter 7 to aid Tûr Morva turn on you as you try to help your newfound Rohirrim allies deal with the Falcon Clan's treachery against The Grey Company. You challenge their men and rescue all those who have been held captive in the prison-caves. You try to go after Lheu Brenin but his men are too great. They escape through the tunnels. You don't face him again until Volume III Book 13 Chapter 8 during the Battle of the Hornburg when his he and his men come after you in the Glittering Caves.
- Book 5, Chapter 1. You say your farewells to the Grey Company and head southward with the Théodred into the Gap of Rohan. As you speak with the remaining 6 of the 9 rangers (and Prestadír), you obtain pieces of a complete ranger set, whether it be fine or worn.
- Book 5, Chapter 4. You follow Théodred's plan against Saruman but retreat at the Ford of Isen. There you are cornered and the king's son dies.
Grey Company: Ranger Count
A few things happened to a lot of rangers, most notably at the Battle of Tûr Morva.
- Andreg (a ranger you met in The Old Greenway Fort in Northern Bree) was lost when he sacrificed himself to defeat the Old Woman of the Mountain during the Tribunal of Shadows.
- Amarion from Amon Raith, North Downs is mentioned by Dagoras. He simply states, "Braigiar disappeared during an Orc ambush while passing through the Gravenwood and Amarion failed to return from scouting shortly thereafter."
- Daervunn is temporarily held captive by Théodred's Riders in Grimbold's Camp. You discover Saruman's scheme in the matter and help free the ranger with the help of a bit of ale.
- Lothrandir's fate in Isengard is currently unknown.
- 27 rangers (mostly all those guys at the Harndirion Skirmish Camp) perished at the hands of the Falcon Clan, including Braigiar. You physically carry his body from the centre of the village to Théodred. He carries it back to the encampment.
- 11 rangers are counted to have survived Túr Morva.
Monday Madness: Barad Guldur. I'm pretty sure I heard someone say we were going to fight a big-butt dragon. I was the lowest level in the group (80). The instance was set to level 83 and gave me roughly 250% mark increase. This allowed me to get 850 marks with a 25% 90-minute token. The additional raid in Helm's Deep afterwards gave me 450 marks with 2 minutes to spare on my tome. I also used a Slayer and Skill Deed Boost so I could work on the silly hunter skills like Camouflage 750 times or Blindside 500 times.
Spreadsheet Friday: Wednesday we recruited Gelthion, Ithillen, and Dilluiscar. Even now, we are still recruiting new members. With all the new folks in our kin, we decided to split up our forces into separate groups. We had a few running Roving Threats for Gift-giver's Brands for their legendary weapons. Cyrenia and Dagorhir joined Fanrel into Isengard for her A Thorn in the Hand Isengard quest chain. Ithillen requested Leaders of the Invasion (Advanced) which consisted of the bosses in all 3 Annúminas instances. Hatric joined in on that fun. Others continued to Gondor Roving Threats and Warbands. Then Cyrenia and Bizinga joined Fanrel in Epic Battle: Defence of Minas Tirith.
by Resolina on 2018-02-03 11:32:19
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