Saturday, May 12, 2012

Quest Pack Review: Evendim

Evendim is the lake to the north of the Shire and is covered in half-sunken ruins of the kingdom of Arnor. Time for some treasure-hunting!

The most dominating feature of Evendim is the lake of the same name. A big mass of water, which used to give this zone the mocking name of Everswim. The devs revamped the zone in U2 (not the band) and made it into what is currently one of the best buys in game.

Entering from the south in Oatbarton, you'll find yourself in a region that looks exactly like the Shire, you'll soon find though that quest progression is quite linear and that the goals are quite different from usual though. Putting on streetlights, tasting tobacco, carrying buckets of mud. These are all things that break the usual fedex quests and you'll find them a nice change of pace after the more difficult GA quests.

Yes you can get on top of that
Northwards, you'll get into bandit territory, for they have taken over a hobbit village for their own and it's your task to get them out with official papers. Next is a white beach along the river Brandywine and then there's ruins. Getting rid of the tomb robbers is quite a task, but they're not the worst around. There are unique quests now and then (climbing on the colossus for instance) that break the usual pace and give some commemorate moments.

Once you're past the quests all around the lake where you'll be fighting tomb-robbers,  gauradan, evil plants (you'll even meet some entish figures!) and other creatures, you'll get to enter the grand city of Annuminas. This half-sunken city is the battleground between the wardens and the angmarim invaders, giving us a unique system of camps to take over and a portable quest dude. (Meaning you'll get an npc with you that gives quests at certain points in the city.)

The angmarim are all but driven out completely though, for apart from the epic story that visits here later on, there's also the Annuminas instance cluster.

A special mention goes to the reforging the sword questline that can be started in Rivendell, the Trollshaws, but is actually a part of Evendim. Don't forget to go pick it up from Aragorn.


The instance cluster of Annuminas features 3 6-man instances. Each scales to cap, just like GB. Glinghant is the most straightforward and the end-boss is mostly a dps-race. Haudh Valandil is a tomb-structure, featuring different rooms that have to be cleared and a duo boss-battle at the end with quite some flames.
Ost Elendil is short, featuring 2 boss-battles that are luckily more than tank and spank, requiring players to be attentive. It's the most difficult of the 3, so come prepared. The instances aren't run that much in public, but they're a nice bonus to have with this pack. Maybe they'll receive some love some day that makes them worth it to be run.

Price/Value: 4/5 (There's no way around it. Evendim is the best zone in its range.)
Storyline: 4.5/5 (Defending ruins may not seem like much, but if you read the quest texts, you'll find some jewels.)
Quest Progression: 5/5 (There's no way you'll ever find gaps in this zone and it's always clear where to go next.)
Atmosphere: 4/5 (The lake is big and offers some nice screenies. The sunken ruins only add to that.)

Overall: 17.5/20
Annuminas is the quintessential quest pack to get. Not only does it's level range adapt nicely to the free content, it features some of the best quests in the game that flow like nothing else. The lake is nice to behold and you'll often find yourself pondering back on the time you spent there. A must-buy.

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