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The Battle for Lorien

June 16, 2009

Just because we had a rotten run of it on sunday, and because I’ve not really mentioned it before…

The Battle for Lorien is a battlefield instance in LotRO, which starts in Caras Galadhon. Once in, you get to direct troops to one of three barricades (helpfully called western, eastern and northern), and then to succeed you need to destroy idols held within orc encampments while also defending the barricades from swarming orcs, wargs, and occasional trolls and more ‘elite’ orcs.

While the locations of the orc encampments are fixed, the mobs you get during the barricade attacks varies quite a bit, sometimes you get an easy bunch, other times you get additional elites. It’s a bit of randomness in a time-based instance that can be quite frenetic but fun.

It’s also a pretty good way to get the barter-able gold leaves, as once you’ve done it through once you get the option to do two quests per run, which reward 5 gold leaves between them. Also, every few runs you get to complete a deed, get some kind of title and get more challenges to choose from.

So, first of all, you have to complete it through once. The tactic we’ve most often used it to send all the directable troops to one barricade (the western one, generally). Then healer/tank (usually my capt and a guardian) stay at the northern barricade and run between attacked barricades to help defend them with help from Elf NPCs.

The rest of the group gets to dash around clearing encampments of orcs to free up idols. Each idol is surrounded by some orcs that need to be killed and then someone needs to head to a barricade and pick up a banner – the idol is only vulnerable when the banner is near it (and the banner has a timer on it). Sounding fun? It’s easier than it sounds, but the first time you run it, when no-one has any idea where anything is… well, it might be best to just treat that as a training run and let everyone acquaint themselves with the layout.

During the instance some named mobs appear, and one of the subsequent quests is to kill one of those as well as complete all the other tasks. This isn’t too bad at all, as long as you’ve vaguely noted their spawn points. Other tasks include making sure the quest-giver takes very little damage and completing the instance in 30 mins. For the record we’ve made the time a few times, but depends on the spawns at the barricades and group make-up. It’s worth pointing out that you can only do the main quest and one of the sub-quests, so you can pretty much decide which you prefer, which I do kind of like (though part of me wishes you had to at least do each one once to get some kind of special title – who knows, maybe you do!)

So, why am I writing this all now? We’ve obviously done it a few times and we’ve had it both easy and hard. It’s amazing how much it depends on the spawns at the barricades. Often we have to call for assistance from the rest of the group and their ability to help depends on navigation, timing and us knowing when a fight is going downhill fast. On sunday we had the worst possible string of spawns (I hope!), me & my guardian pal were fighting non-stop for longer than I think we have in a very long time. It really pushed us to the limit and we took longer than we’ve taken before (while completing it), and it felt great.

Sometimes, it feels good to push yourselves past that kind of limit, to win an unwinnable situation (on paper). And it’s been a good week for that for us!

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