I posted more of the details on the new diaries Turbine posted on TGN-Stratics but I did want to comment on a couple of things as for me there’s some good and bad to the new content.

Overall I like many points in the diaries especially the difficulty level and differences between tiers 1 and 2.  I’m also encouraged by some of the very cool looking items they’ve shown in the diary as well as the ones linked on the forums. Turbine does seem like they’re adding in some real incentive for folks to continue to head into these spaces.  Hopefully what we’ve seen so far is just the tip of the iceberg and we’ll be seeing lots more of the Wig-feld type cloaks, jewelry, and shields drop from these new spaces!

They are trying to remove a lot of the annoyances with current raid content as they’re removing class cool-downs each time you enter a boss fight as well as trying to remove some of the randomness in encounters.  I really like both of these, as nothing is worse in a raid then the post wipe “I’ve got 30 minutes on cool-down X” immediately followed by “well I can’t wait that long” mass exodus.  And no one likes to lose a fight due to being unlucky, I’m all for hard content and challenges but I want some level of consistency.  Hopefully this will soon be applied to the other spaces, but for now it is just being rolled out to the 12-man raid Ost Dunhoth.

I also do like the addition of the new mob mechanics that seem directly aimed at popular ways of working around content.  I’m not going to use the E word, but I like the idea of creating content that punishes and challenges you in different ways.  Usually kiting is a last ditch attempt which with the changes to cool-downs, you might just be better off re-setting the fight as it sounds like kiting could turn out very badly.  It also sounds like CC is getting a bit of a nerf with the CC “immune” mobs, although I’m not sure how widespread either one of these new effects will be.

However, I’m not sure I’m on board with all their plans.  The medallions (barter currency) needed for the armor sets are only obtained from completing the quests, not the boss chests like it currently works.  It takes quite a few of these coins per piece (minimum 150) and on top of all this, the quests can only be completed twice per week.  So, no matter how much you run the content everyone is guaranteed to get the armor sets at the same earliest possible point.  I realize this will get people running all the instances all the time, but why not reward people for doing it with loot and/or fun instead of designing a time gate?  I just hope we run all the instances because we enjoy them and gain fun rewards as opposed to grinding them out for our armor sets.

The good news about the armor grind is that you don’t need to do it to join in the raid, which will be great for folks like me as I’ll be able to hop in and out of groups without having to worry about specific stats (radiance) as long as my characters are sufficiently strong.

Certainly this will be a different grind then obtaining other armor sets in LOTRO as it will be a more methodical approach and I’m willing to hold judgment to see how this all plays out.  No matter what, I’m really looking forward to getting into this content and seeing what surprises await us.  There certainly are enough carrots in the Echoes of the Dead patch to get me excited!  Now all we need is a date…