Friday, May 11, 2012

Quest Pack Review: The North Downs


Now that I'm done with all the free zones, it gets more interesting with the paying zones. I hope this'll help you decide what to spend your hard-earned (or bought) tp on. The North Downs is the fallen kingdom of Arthedain with the old capital Fornost corrupted by the dark forces.



The North Downs is mostly a wide open zone, split in 2 by a mountain range where the rangers have their hidden encampment.
goblin
Entering from the southwest, you'll reach the town of Trestlebridge, which has the Trestlespan, a rather large wooden bridge, as its marking feature. Quests here will lead you to orc camps, either looking for objects or kills. The quests lead on towards a camp near the Fields of Fornost and towards a ruined watchpoint where the rangers have plenty of stuff to do. Then it's on to Esteldin, the main ranger base of operations and north to a dwarf encampment, south to an elven ruin.
After this, quests go to the east, towards an earth-kin village and angmarim outposts. Eventually, solo quests dry up and you get to quest in the big camp of Dol Dinen, be sure to take a friend with you here.

the ranger outpost of Esteldin
The biggest gripe with ND is that most of its level range is already covered by the free Lonelands, thus making this quest pack obsolete. The quests are plenty but usually lack originality. If you liked Breeland, you'll probably like this zone too and it's nice to get a break from the Lonelands after the umpteenth time through.

Get this pack to fill out the blanks in leveling or if you are an altoholic and get tired of running the Lonelands. However, this might get a tiny bit different with the revamping of Fornost.


Fornost


I'm gonna be honest. I've never run Fornost completely. I've been inside at higher level than supposed but that's about it. (Also, no screenies because it's closed currently.) The good news is that it's getting revamped for U7, so maybe I'll get a chance to get into a group. Then I'll rewrite this part and might give a higher score. The biggest annoyance I had with this instance is that the quests for it are spread all over the North Downs, so it's hard to get them.
the Fields of Fornost
(Note: Check the dev diary here: http://www.lotro.com/gameinfo/devdiaries/1990-update-7-developer-diary-fornost)


Price/Value: 2/5 (While this is a big zone, the level span is already covered by the free Lonelands.)
Storyline: 3.5/5 (You're helping the rangers and villagers for the most part.Dwarves and elves are around, but their quests aren't that special either. Fornost looks interesting though, but I've never had a chance to run it myself.)
Quest Progression: 3/5 (Nothing to really comment on.)
Atmosphere: 3.5/5 (The zone is large and you'll feel it in some points.)


Overall: 12/20
There's plenty of things going against the North Downs. Most of its level range is already covered by the free Lonelands and the excellent Evendim, the quests aren't all that interesting and quest progression isn't the best around. Not really a pack you'll remember. If the new Fornost will be run more, the score might gain a point ot 2.



Updated: 12.5/20
Adding Fornost into the mix, I've added a .5 score. The instances, while not run that much are kinda fun (though not the best). Read about it: http://gatetokadath.blogspot.be/2012/07/fornost-changes-review-update.html









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