The Skirmish System: I Approve

Yes, the skirmish feature from The Siege of Mirkwood definitely has Burhhelm’s seal of approval.

Hold the line!

Burhhelm shows Elrohir how it's done.

Even with my hardware issues over the weekend, I was able to undertake many skirmishes with only minor issues.  There were a few minor bugs, but nothing that was a show-stopper (a few misspellings and a pathing issue).  I’ll break down my experience into a few categories:

The Good

Skirmishing has a bunch of very positive attributes going for it.  First, it’s quick.  My average skirmish lasts about 15 minutes, give or take a minute.  You can also initiate a skirmish from anywhere in the game.  So, if you have some time to kill, but you don’t want to get too involved in anything, you can play a few skirmishes.  You can also set the level of difficulty in the skirmish.  This is great – you can tailor the skirmish to skills of yourself and your character.  Heck, you can set the level to the minimum if you just want to learn how the skirmish scenario works.  Each scenario also has a daily quest which will afford you a bit more experience for completing it once each day.  Oh, and you get to summon a soldier to accompany you on the scenarios.  You can train this soldier in a role which you need, but do not have.  For instance, Burhhelm has a healer (Herbalist) running along after him and patching him up.  It’s quite nice, since it lets you solo very effectively.

The Bad

There are some downsides.  For instance, you can turn in the skirmish marks which you earn (which are essentially a form of currency) for some gear.  Armor, weapons, that sort of thing.  Unfortunately, this gear is quite sub-par.  The level 65 stuff is inferior to the crafted level 60 stuff.  I wouldn’t bother with it.  Also, some instances need to be unlocked by doing the epic quest, which can be a chore.  Burhhelm still hasn’t completed Volume I, because it is so difficult to find a group for it.  You also have very little control over your soldier companion, and that leads to them standing in bad places, pulling mobs, or worse, charging off after mobs (soldiers have an immense agro radius).  Overall, those are minor issues.

The Ugly

Good grief, it’s “Guardsman,” not “Guradsman.”  Yes, it’s minor, but it makes me squirm when I read it.  Also, not all outfits and attributes which you buy and equip on your soldier seem to work.  Yeah, it’s relatively unimportant, but that’s why it’s under this category.

There are some other things which no one could tell me about training a soldier, and I had to figure most of them out on my own.  First, your soldier will start off as a warrior – it’s part of the introductory skirmish quest line to train a warrior.  If you want to train them as something else, you need to visit the Skirmish Trainer an uncheck the box which hides all untrained roles.  Also, I mentioned Skirmish Marks above.  Other types of marks will also drop.  Some are level-dependant.  Some are scenario-dependant.  The First, Second, and Third marks are used to buy new skills for your soldier from the Skirmish Captain.  If you have all of the skills you need, you can turn in these marks for a handful of regular Skirmish Marks from the Curiosities vendor.  Also, the Guardsman, Footman, and Esquire marks can be turned in to the Curiosities vendor for a nice fistful of marks.  Finally, the campaign marks seem to be used for cosmetic purposes (at least for your soldier).

Oh, and while you can get gear, crafting items, reputation items, and other drops by purchasing them with Skirmish Marks, I found them all to be prohibitively costly.  It takes much less time to just go out and get these things the old-fashioned way.


5 Responses to “The Skirmish System: I Approve”

  1. […] Nuts and Bolts re: LOTRO – “Yes, the skirmish feature from The Siege of Mirkwood definitely has Burhhelm’s seal of approval.” […]


  2. Skirmishes definitely good, but for me, I think the main positives lie in the fact that they provide an easy and accessible social grouping opportunity. I’ve done some solo skirmishes, and whilst they’ve been fun, I think I prefer getting ‘out and about’ in the world questing to shutting myself away in an instance. I love the way you have the choice however.


  3. I can appreciate that. Most of the game has been “open PvE,” of course. Where skirmishes really shine is during times when the server is over-crowded or when you only have a few minutes to play.


  4. The gear rewards are actually pretty good for the lower levels.

    Specially if you are new to the game and dont have a 40+ feeding you with crafted items.

    At lev 30 i got some purple stuff and a nice weapon.

    Just upgraded to the level 38 stuff. at 40 its a complete set of purple armor.

    Me likes.


  5. True, if you are relying on questing and drops for gear, this stuff isn’t terrible. However, if you go heavily into crafting, you can make better stuff on your own. Also, if you grind out deeds (especailly the kill X mobs variety), you’ll end up with more than enough coin to buy some nice crafted stuff off of the Auction House. I just don’t think that the gear gives you the most bang for your buck. Or mark. Whichever metaphor you prefer. My advice would be to use the marks to pump up your soldier, so they can support you more effectively as you level up.


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