One of the first things that Minstrels will notice when they log in to Rise of Isengard for the first time is that they are no longer clad in the medium armor to which they are accustomed. Instead, the Minstrel's medium armor trait is being replaced with something "equally valuable."
The next sweeping change comes in regard to the Minstrel's ballads. Gone are the days when Minstrels had to play ballads in tiers; instead, all ballads have been divided into minor, major, and perfect categories. These categories roughly tie into the three stances that the Minstrel employs, providing either healing, damage, or power reduction. The Major Ballad is of particular note, as its effects will change depending on the stance the Minstrel is in. With no stance selected, the ability will heal allies. In Harmony or War-speech stance, the ability becomes a damage-dealing skill.
Minstrels will also be receiving an upgrade to their available stance choices, allowing players greater flexibility in their playstyle. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the changes coming to Minstrels with Rise of Isengard; they will also be receiving changes to their Anthems and will be given a new type of ability called a Coda. Trait lines are being given a few tweaks as well, so any would-be bards should certainly give the full list of changes a look.
Meanwhile, in the Ettenmoors, changes are sweeping the Freeps. All Freep quests have been made into dailies, and all quests now reward players with a combination of Destiny, Glory, and cold hard coin. Rangers have received a variety of tweaks as well. Freep PvMP rewards have been upgraded to be uniform with the new stat system, and players who previously purchased the old versions of the armor rewards will be able to swap the old version for the new. New jewelry and offhands are also being made available to help the Free Peoples of Middle-earth take the battle to the Ettenmoors.
Once again, the full details, as well as previews of some of the updated items being made available to the heroes of the Ettenmoors.