Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Yesterday was the launch of LOTRO's Mirkwood mini-expansion. As promised, I received the expansion for "free" in exchange for having my billing cycle set to $30/3 months. (I didn't actually pay for my current time card, because Best Buy wanted to get rid of their Moria inventory that badly, and it appears that I will have the option of canceling before I'm actually billed for that subscription if I'm so inclined.) The patch was done in about two hours, and I'm told it ran in the 400 MB range - for reference, WoW's 3.3 patch has downloaded nearly 1 GB of files so far, so you can draw your own inferences about the amounts of new graphics and sound files in this mini-expansion.
On logging in, I got spammed with half a dozen system notices. I automatically gained several rep levels and transportation routes - notably, it appears that they retroactively increased the rep reward level for the introductory quests in Lothlorien, so that players do not need to do repeatable quests to be allowed into the woods (a pre-requisite for access to the new expansion areas).
Though I did get a notice that the changes had refunded the customization points on my legendary items, I don't get the sense that the Legendary Item system was changed as dramatically as Turbine's marketing would have us believe. I identified some new items and they appeared to be as random as ever, and I also got one of the "good" legacies that are supposed to be "rare" beyond initial identification on a reforge of an item I was about to break down to free up its slot. It appears that the slot machine time sink is still the point of the systen.
(Galadheru, one of the members of my kinship, told me that he had been grinding out the item exp bounty experience quests on a daily basis so that he could try out a bunch of new items when the revamp arrived, and that he also felt that the "improved" legacies still resulted in some lackluster weapons.)
There'll be time for more commentary later, when I've spent a bit more time in the expansion. For now, if nothing else, Turbine can declare victory on the relatively smooth expansion launch.