As they hinted at last week, Turbine has released information about the upcoming Instance cluster promised when they announced the Riders of Rohan Expansion.  The good news, is that the cluster is still included in the price of the expansion and we will not have to pay extra for the instances.  We’ll get to see all the ins and outs when Bullroarer pops this week and we get full patch notes and a chance to check things out.

However, there is some bad news – we’re not getting the entire cluster with this update.  All we are getting with Update 9 are 3 3-man instances:

  • Iorbar’s Peak – Misty Mountains
  • Webs of the Scuttledells – Mirkwood
  • Seat of the Great Goblin – Goblintown

Now they did let us know what is coming down the line, tentatively slated for February:

  • The Bells of Dale – 6 man
  • Flight to the Lonely Mountain – 12 man, single boss
  • The Fires of Smaug – 12 man, single boss
  • The Battle for Erebor – 12 man, single boss

This also answers another question about whether we’ll get any tie-ins from Turbine to the upcoming Hobbit movies.  I’ll be VERY curious to see how they’ll tie this in to our story-line and yet keep our same skill sets.  I liked the mechanic they used in Ost Dunhoth to take us other places, but I’m not sure how they’ll handle the time-travelling aspect these instances will require.

Personally, I am disappointed by the split but I do want quality content and not crap so I’m ok that they pushed things out.  However, it does concern me that content supposed to be in an expansion has now slipped out of the expansion 2 years in a row, and this slip will be almost 5 months!  I’m also a little disappointed that so much of the new instant content is a tie to the Hobbit and not following our story-line.  I think there are lots of other ways they could’ve gone to advance the game’s story and not rely so heavily on content that honestly doesn’t apply to what we’re currently doing.