Ok, bear with me as these are quite big.  I was expecting a number of things but this is pretty big.  So I’m going to start with the big items and my initial thoughts in this post, and then when I have a chance to go through them all I’ll post more thoughts.

First up, this is a gameplay patch with no new content, however there is a lot in here that really hits many important areas.  I’m perfectly fine with this as long as the next content update comes quickly after the new year.

I highly suggest checking out the full patch notes here, but here’s my quick take on them.

  • The Free portion of the game expands to include
    • legendary items
    • Level cap is now 65
    • Moria, Mirkwood, Lothlorien, and Enedwaith regions
    • Still need to purchase quest packs and/or classes as appropriate
  • Fixed the Swift Travel bug affecting previous subscribers
  • Barter Wallet Introduced that can hold
    • Skirmish marks
    • Anniversary Tokens
  • Task systems introduced (Dev Diary Soon)
    • Free repeatable quests
    • Uses existing trophy drops
    • New deeds and rewards
    • available starting at 8
  • Reputation Mounts Buffed
    • 250 Health
    • Reduced Crit Damage
    • Can block, parry, and evade while mounted
    • And New ones are coming
  • Erid Luin Revamp (Dev Diary Coming)
  • Vault and Shared Storage revamps (Dev Diary)
  • Character Renames in Store!
  • Runekeeper and LM buffs
  • Loremaster and Minstrels can use red/yellow on Fellowship Maneuvers from range!
  • Crafting Ingredient packs.  Applies to certain recipes only apparently
  • Farming Revamp

Not to mention some very cool “Little Things”:

  • Right click to report someone
  • mouse over LI Tracking display to see the stats on that item
  • players can be summoned out of housing and private instances
  • captains and mustering now pull into and out of dynamic layers
  • new consumables for each class

I’m not sure there’s anything in here that doesn’t sound very cool or get me excited.  The Barter Wallet is a great start and will really help out with not only inventory space, but vault space as well.  I’m also a horse junky so those changes are very welcome and it does make me wonder about mounted combat and Rohan!

Sure some may say these are bug fixes, but you know what some of these like the Fellowship Maneuvers for Minstrels and Lore-masters will be a HUGE bonus for them.

I’m intrigued by the task system as this sounds like a quest based grind such that free players will be able to “quest” through content they don’t have quest packs in.  Actually I think this is a great idea as some folks really don’t like quests but want the grind to go faster.  And if you’re grinding a kill deed, why not grab some tasks to make it more productive!

Overall this update really is all about making the game more enjoyable for us all as it adds and fixes a bunch at end-game and really creates the possibility of seeing all of this game for free!