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The Siege of Mirkwood was an expansion for the Lord of the Rings Online game. Smaller in scale than the previous expansion Mines of Moria, The Siege of Mirkwood was not available as a retail box and was sold exclusively as a digital download.
This expansion introduced the following changes and additions:
- The conclusion to the line of Epic Quests introduced in the previous expansion, Mines of Moria.
- A new Skirmish system was introduced, including a new Soldier system.
- The zone of Mirkwood, including the expected deluge of quests, deeds, locations to explore, and monsters to kill.
- The tower of Dol Guldur, which acts as the primary dungeon hub to the area. Dol Guldur contains a variety of 3 man, 6 man, and 12 man instances.
- The level cap increased to level 65 with access to new traits, virtues, skills and class quests.
- Legendary items were made able to level up to level 60.
- Legendary items were granted a 4th runic slot for player-crafted runes, and other customization options.
- The ability to craft and customize 3rd and 2nd Age Legendary items was added as an alternative to finding them in the world.
- Interaction with NPCs and objects while mounted was enabled.
- Shared storage was added, allowing a few inventory slots shared between all of a player's characters on a given server.
- "Enhanced Combat Responsiveness" - Various tweaks were made to the combat mechanics such as the ability to execute certain skills immediately rather than waiting for an auto-attack to complete.
Skirmishes were probably the most significant addition to the game introduced in the Siege of Mirkwood expansion.
Skirmishes are repeatable instances that the player may scale to fit their level, group size, and desired challenge level. Several elements of each instance are randomized to provide a varied experience over repetitions. Each instance is designed to be relatively brief (30 minutes or shorter), and was intended to fill breaks in the main gameplay such as a wait for group members to assemble.
Each player may also recruit, train, and equip NPC Soldiers to bring into Skirmish instances. Soldiers may be assigned various roles, such as tanking, DPS, healing, etc., and advance along with the player. The player is given only limited control over Soldier followers, which was intended to avoid imposing pet class mechanics on players who deliberately choose not to play a pet class.
Changes as a Result of Free-to-Play
After the game's move to a free-to-play model, the landmass introduced in Siege of Mirkwood was opened to free players. A quest pack for the region may be purchased through the in-game store. Although a few Skirmish instances are available to free players, the majority are available for purchase in the in-game store.