Skirmishes a success….
Well so far I have done a handful of solo skirmishes, some 3-man, some 6-man and one 12-man skirmish. My thoughts so far. The 12-man was excellent. I loved the accessibility. One moment I was in Mirkwood, the next fighting in Bree. And then, after leaving the group, I was back in Mirkwood. The wide level band the skirmish was set to, meant that we could have a mix of levels; we had one 55 with us and at least one at 65. I could see that once our soldiers were trained up, they would help compensate for class imbalances making it even more accessible. There was no radiance gating so even though we had a raid-sized group tacking raid-type bosses, we could bring along a group, mixed in experience and equipment. No doubt a fully geared up and experienced group of raiders would have fared better (we wiped a number of times on the last bosses before finishing), but the important thing here was that we now had the choice to bring along anyone who wanted to come. The 3-man and 6-man ones were fun too; pulled together on an impromptu basis. Lots of racing around and mutual soldier mockery; I can see already my Protector, Pompy, is not a natural fighter.
Now, I’m a bit more neutral about the solo skirmishes. They are fun. I can see that I will be busy playing them to improve my skills and to level up my soldier and of course to earn skirmish marks to spend. But do I prefer them to solo questing? I’m not so sure. Would I rather be doing skirmishes on my own or running about in Middle-Earth seeing the world? I know fears have been expressed; will skirmishes result in an empty game, with everyone tucked away in skirmishes? But LoTRo, with it’s rich tolkienesque world and bias towards PvE, has attracted a specific playerbase, so I think that these worries are unfounded. Instead skirmishes will provide just something extra for people to do, more oportunity for social grouping, and the basis for future content and game development.