A Bit of Local Color

One extremely nice thing about Siege of Mirkwood – the content is all going to be more or less on-level for whatever character you bring into it, because the expansion only added five levels to the cap.  So, you can fully explore everything without the fear of out-levelling the quests and instances that might exist over the next hill.

A bit gloomy... hey, could that be why it's called MIRKwood?

A bit gloomy... hey, could that be why it's called MIRKwood?

Burhhelm is creeping along through the quests and open-world PvE stuff.  As I stated previously, there is a very high mob density and respawn rate in these areas.  There are no safe places to stand in a corner while you let the dog out.  Frankly, most of your exploring is best done with one or two friends.  Outside of using stable routes, the roads are the safest method of travel.  That is not to say that the roads are safe, though.  You will encounter many ambushes along the road, especially as you head deeper into Mirkwood.

Burhhelm gives the locals a dancing lesson.

Burhhelm gives the locals a dancing lesson.

I’ve explored everything but the easternmost tip of Mirkwood.  Most of the forest is dark, dangerous, and dreadful.  By daylight, you may find a few rare areas of natural beauty which may remind you that this was once Greenwood the Great.  In other words, I think Turbine did an excellent job on the atmosphere.

Waterfalls are always nice. Even creepy ones.

Waterfalls are always nice. Even creepy ones.

Regarding the new legendary item system – I see no major reason to upgrade your “secondary” items (Champion runes, Captain badges, Guardian belts, etc.) if you have legacies that you really like.  Newer ones will have a higher primary legacy available (for instance, Champion runes increase your incoming healing), but it is still a gamble whether the other legacies will be worthwhile.  Weapons are a different matter…

As I levelled up, I was noticing a significant trend in my DPS not keeping pace with the health of the mobs that I was now fighting.  I was unwilling to stop using my old reforged 2nd age weapon, because it still had a +7.5% damage legacy.  However, the level 65 third-age weapon had about 12% more DPS, so I made the plunge.  I made a regular-sized sword for myself, and a two-handed third age sword for a Guardian friend of mine.  We were both pleasantly surprised by the legacies, and I have to say that I have not forged a level 65 weapon yet that did not have at least one redeeming legacy – most had at least two good ones to start.  So, legendary items may not be as much of an issue as I first thought they would be.  That’s a good thing.

Not bad for a starter weapon.

Not bad for a starter weapon.

So, those are some of the sights, and some of my experiences with the new legendary system.  Mirkwood continues to be an interesting place to explore, and I really can’t ask for more than that.

Reminds me of New Jersey...

Reminds me of New Jersey...

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