Giddy with Anticipation

Okay, truth be told, I haven’t been giddy for quite a few years, now.  Still, it is two days until Volume 3 is officially released, and that’s as good a reason as any to get a little enthusiastic.

To my knowledge, there is no new landmass being added to the game, and the level cap isn’t going anywhere.  Why am I getting (ahem) enthused about this update, then?  There are a few good reasons.

First, there is the change to how Clobber works.  The cooldown is still longer than it was pre-Mirkwood, but it cannot be blocked or parried, now.  It can still be evaded, but removing two of the three possible defenses is fine with me.  This is a nice boost to a Champion’s interrupt ability.  As a matter of fact, Champions are getting a high number of changes to their abilities, but the Clobber change is going to be the most important.

Second, there are new crafting patterns on the way.  Finally, I might be able to craft myself something better than the dropped hammer that I received from the Sword Hall.  Drops are okay, but I always prefer crafted gear – it’s just one of my quirks.  Likewise, jewellery and armor are getting  new patterns, so this will be interesting.  Giving crafters the ability to choose from the type of bonus that an item will give is a nice touch, too.

Third, there is the option to duo a skirmish.  This is progress.  It could be better, though – I think that they should come up with an algorithm to adjust the difficulty of any skirmish to any Fellowship size.  After this update, when only one friend is online, we can still skirmish.  However, when three friends are online, we’re out of luck.  At least it’s a step in the right direction.

Finally, I might be able to clear out my Volume 1 epic quest.  Most players that I know chose this game because of the storyline, and that story is told through the epic quest lines.  Making the epic quest more accessible opens up the content that people want to experience.  It’s a great move on Turbine’s behalf.  And if people want to go through the epic quests the old-fashioned way – with a Fellowship – then they still can.  It’s the best of both worlds.

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