The entire dungeon of Dar Narbugud isn't just about being a challenge, it actually acts as a capstone to the whole Nameless storyline. These creatures have been filling the void of power left when the Balrog had fallen, and if you follow along, you'll understand why.
We hope you've enjoyed this trip through Book 8, and you can look for its full release sometime in June, with a test release now available on the Bullroarer server. Also, we're told that the Eyes and Guard Inn may open up today over on the test server, so this is certainly the time to check out the new content before it goes live.
We threw this one in there because it just looks so gorgeous, considering the horrific subject matter. It almost looks like a Larry Elmore painting, which is a credit to the continued improvements being made to the game's graphics.
Turbine has always done well with giving us a variety on the limited creatures they can make with the Tolkien IP (basically... Orcs). This is another example of one freaky looking dude you'll encounter in this instance.
Just another example of the creatures you'll encounter throughout this dungeon. At least they can't see you... I think.
While fighting these two bosses, smaller Orcs will be attacking you from all sides as well. Don't be fooled by their size though. As you can tell from those red numbers flying off my head at record speeds, these guys are tough.
In the new 12-man instance known as Dar Narbugud, you'll face LotRO's largest challenge to date. This angry fella is joined by his twin, and they get a kick out of healing each other. It really makes for some good times.
When you enter the final boss's chambers, you'll notice he's one guy in this giant room, all by himself. As any veteran MMO player knows, this is not a good sign. This big guy is pretty powerful on his own, but what makes it worse is he has little minions who walk up to him from all sides, bringing him special buffs that make him nearly impossible to kill. Eliminate his friends before they reach him, and you'll have a better chance at killing him.
This Fire Archer is probably one of the coolest "regular mob" creatures we've seen at this point (wait, it gets better though). We're told that these Molten Orcs actually adapt and adjust over time to their surroundings.
This is an example of one of the Orcs you'll fight in this room. For some reason, he doesn't look like he's too happy to see you.
Later in the Halls of Crafting, you'll notice these giant bellows which are not functioning when you arrive. It's up to you and your 5 friends to eliminate the monsters guarding them and reactive each one. It's not that easy though. Once you reactivate each one, a new mob bolts down the stairs, determined to stop you.
Ambal here seems a bit determined not to let you into the new 6-man instance known as the Halls of Crafting.
Back out in the familiar world, we're told that there is a heavy concentration on balance with the level 15-25 quests throughout Breeland, the Northern Breefields and the Barrow Downs areas. This NPC shown here offers bounty quests that help you get new rare crafting items and recipes. The entire crafting system has been rebalanced, allowing crafted items to have more value and use to players.
Yes, these giant pistons. How bad could it be when you find yourself in a piston-floor sandwich? Trust us, it's not pretty.
The final boss in this instance is quite difficult for a 3-man dungeon. He regenerates, he flings you across the room, and all the while you have to deal with giant pistons slamming down all around you.
Just like in the Hall of Mirrors, you will need to solve these procedural puzzles that lead you to the next part of the dungeon. Instead of beams of light though, you'll use the flow of water to unlock gates.
In the second 3-man instance, the Water Wheels, you'll notice that you'll do more than just flip a few levers. These wheels will also need to be turned to get that important flow of water back through the system. If you're a DDO player, you may notice some similarities with that Turbine title. Yes, the DDO influence is heavy here, and it's no coincidence. We asked.
This great room show where all the mirrors point in the end, but they also remind you that the real danger is about to begin...
Once you figure out which way to turn the mirrors and in which order they should face, the beams of light will reveal new doors into the next room.
The Hall of Mirrors is a 3-man instance that uses beams of light to open certain passageways throughout the dungeon. These beams of light are redirected through a series of puzzling lever pulls that you must solve.
As you can see in the racer's dialogue, the ale (or food) has a different effect at each checkpoint. "We can see groups of people running around these, cheering on their favorite racers." Adam Mersky joked.
An unlikely line of racers? Not when there's ale involved. We had so much fun cheering on our favorite Dwarves in this one, Aaron 'Rowan' Campbell joked, "Watch, there will be Lar fansites popping up soon."
For the Dwarves, the same event is located on the entry to Thorin's Hall. It's an identical event, yet the Dwarves are drinking ale, which has the same effect as food does on the Hobbits.
If you correctly choose the winner, you're rewarded with special festival tokens that can be exchanged for prizes. There's the usual fireworks displays and fire-breathing elixirs, but they've also decided to do something a bit different this time with festival horses. You can actually earn enough tokens to trade for a festival horse, without participating in any horse races.
You'll notice the little Hobbits are gorging themselves at every picnic table, and their reactions are different each time. Some may feel full after one meal, and walk sluggishly to the next table, while other may get their second wind and run at top speed. The speed between each checkpoint varies, making the race winners completely random.
Further up The Hill, you'll see the event about to begin when all racers are at their mark. This race takes place every 10 minutes, and you won't actually see the racers running around unless you are directly involved in the betting. That's right, you actually bet on who's going to win each race.
Let's start off this tour with a bit of fun. This year's Summer Festival introduces a new event involving Dwarven and Hobbit racing.