I bought the expansion pack. So far, no real changes except in the numbers.
The level cap is higher, and it is neat to see experience on my level 50. My characters have new deeds, which will alter their numbers after I do certain things 100-1000 times. The deeds combine to other things that alter my numbers. All the defense numbers were moved to a different scale, which may have been meant to hide the nerf to all defenses; if you already blocked, parried, and evaded most attacks, you could not get much higher without breaking the game, so now you can earn your way back to where you were (at level 60).
I joined a crafting guild on two characters and unlocked the sixth tier of crafting on my main. Maybe there is something special in the guilds, but again it looks like the same thing with larger numbers, this time with a reputation grind built in. That grind does not seem too onerous; using tier 5 materials that I had on my main, I earned two-thirds of the first reputation tier, gaining 115 points towards tier 5 mastery at the same time (she is a Master Tailor, not a Grand Master Tailor). There is a timer on the reputation grind recipes, and a different timer on each, so I can craft-grind more reputation in a day, a couple days, and a week; I can also farm/buy some lower-level materials to do those recipes.
Eregion is the last zone in Eriador. I already have a southern town and horse route mapped from Volume 1, Book 14, but I decided to try it from the walking entrance. There are two of those from the Trollshaws, and I guessed the wrong one. The first town/quest hub is by the southern Trollshaws entrance, not the eastern Trollshaws entrance. This led me to visiting the first two towns, both entrances, and the northeastern part of Eregion. These feature the same monsters with slightly different names and numbers: trees, bog-lurkers, crebain, pigs (of course), worms, wood trolls, humans, half-orcs, fireflies, and lynx. There may have been some appearance tweaks from the ones that we have seen before. The only non-solo creature I spotted was an elite warg on a wide patrol; I grouped with two burglars, and I won the roll on the shard.
The quests I did were: kill trees and bog-lurkers, kill humans, kill birds, kill worms, pick up leaves (for tea), pick up more leaves (for more tea), pick up boxes and satchels, and talk to a few people. For the next time I play, I have been asked to kill trolls, burn a tree (newish?), kill a named worm, kill half-orcs, and kill more half-orcs. Adding tea to the game is new, although it is another food (vitality). I can pick up those leaves as a daily quest for more free tea, and the humans around them have a slayer deed.
I took my hunter to Forochel to buy the new guide skill there. That lets me change my map point to Eregion. I need more space for my teleport skills.
I need more space in general. I have not logged on much in the past six months except for social content. As a result of the festivals, I have several types of tokens, several masks, and a few housing items. I cannot buy another pack of storage space for a few levels yet, so I am low on space unless I want to start burning things. Crafting trophies can have larger stacks now, which frees up a few slots. I also cashed in the Annuminas stuff I had; I will out-level the barter gear before I find a group to farm it all. I should probably toss the Angmar pieces I found. It would be nice to have something like WAR’s Tome that lists what sets you have found, or a mannequin I could place in my house in the gear. I did not think that I got these things to throw them away, but it seems that I did.
Moria gives two character slots. I made a Captain, who is building up rested xp. I will make a Runekeeper. Maybe I can use them as mules to reduce storage issues.
I am hoping to see something new. Volume 1, Book 15 must be around somewhere. I can see what new toys there are for Monster Play. I expect some new skills as I level up, and maybe all the new stuff is in Moria itself. Sanya says that I will need to xp-grind an item before I am allowed in. I shall get there someday.