Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Quest Pack Review: Rise of Isengard Quests

Heading south from Enedwaith, we enter Dunland and get very close to Isengard. The Wizard Saruman is now openly showing his true colours.



First up is the Dunland region, which has 2 entry points from Enedwaith. Either you go for the Trum Dreng region (which is dunlending style) or the Bonevales (barrows). Quests here are the same way you're used to from Enedwaith, meaning that you'll do 1-4 quests, which will add more quests and change the npc's available. Once you're done with one of the 2, you'll get a vector quest taking you to the other and one taking you to Galtrev (Lagtrev for most). Learn your way around here, as this'll be the main hub for everything (at least until RoR hits). Getting kindred with the dunlendings is cake and gives access to the return to Galtrev skill.
 Of note is that, among the li exp quests you'll find what may be the only fishing quest in the game (not counting festival ones). As you go along, you'll head to more plains, a swamp, an icy mountain zone (epic story mostly), a dark forest and lots of Dunlendings. (It gets annoying after a while to be called Duvodiad over and over.) I'll also mention that I felt this zone had a lot of solo/duo instances, some of which are quite nice.
Monsters here include dunlending (draigh-luth and other clans), boars, wolves, and about any mob you can imagine (even those mutated orcs from under Moria). You will also encounter extremely scaled-up versions of these. That mega-boar is just plain awesome.
Once you're done, it's time to go south to the Gap of Rohan and Isengard. You'll probably even have reached cap (lvl 75 as of writing)!

The gap of Rohan

The gap of Rohan is a horizontal zone, though you won't be going left to right, as you enter somewhere in the middle. For deeds, these quests belong to the quests in Dunland deed. There are 2 quest hubs in this area and if you're following the epic story, I suggest doing them from right to left, meaning you'll tackle Grimbold's camp first. Quests here are again grouped by 1-4 unlocking new quests as you complete them. There's also one public dungeon here called the pit of iron, which is similar to old Moria in that there are a lot of mobs and the 3rd dimension is very prominent. Mobs here include  dunlendings and wargs. Atmosphere is nice with rolling hills and big flower fields. Note that the Wulf's Cleft area is only accessible once in an instance but has a nice view from up the ridge to the north. No quests take place there. Once you follow the river Isen north, you'll wind up at ...


The ring of Isengard features few camps (only 1 stable) but as you follow the quests from there out, you'll find several other quest-givers spread out over the Ring. This zone is mostly a barren waste, with spiky bushes, broken wood and a lot of enemies. The mob density is quite high and the quests spread out. Mobs include a lot of uruks, wargs and goblins. This is also where the Isengard instance cluster is located if you have it. (Included in the Expansion).

No instances

The Rise of Isengard quest pack doesn't include the instance cluster, which is for sale in the Lotro Store separately. The expansion does include both the cluster, the Draigoch raid and a skirmish soldier lvl cap. I'll be reviewing the cluster and Draigoch on their own.

Price/Value: 4/5 (Currently a must. Lots of quests and good rewards.)
Storyline: 3.5/5 (Some really nice questlines, though it mostly boils down to investigating whether Saruman has influence and gaining favor with the people.)
Quest Progression: 4/5 (Again with the instance technology. Quest progression is pretty straightforward, especially when following the epic.)
Atmosphere: 4/5 (A varied landscape and Isengard looks nice.)

Overall: 15.5/20
The pack is definitely nice, featuring many quests, many solo instances and some nice scenery. Currently a must-have, unless with RoR they change the Great River to 65-75.

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