I have been starting the end game for Lord of the Rings Online Mines of Moria expansion. There are six dungeons in Moria. I have not been in every dungeon, but each dungeon seems to be a full dungeon having hours of content. The ones I have experienced so far each have had an excellent story vignette, and they are beautifully crafted.
However, I don’t know if I will ever get to play the full experience of each dungeon.. or just one. Each dungeon has a hard mode. The best way to describe it is hard mode requires a trick, which usually requires two things. The first thing is players must usually ignore a lot of the dungeon’s content in order to accomplish hardmode. The second thing is players must employ some sort tactic that is not usually required.
When hard mode is beat players get a one-in-six chance to get the absolute best armor in the game – radiance armor. This armor is required to fight the (current) ultimate boss of Moria: the Watcher in the Water. The loot gained from doing the dungeon as normal pales by comparison, as does any crafted items. So, Turbine created an atmosphere where players only want to do hard mode. Yesterday, I saw a group on a global chat trying to form for well over an hour to go through to play one of the dungeons normally.
I like the challenges that hard mode presents, when they are not bugged to hell (which many are). I do not like that Turbine funneled players to this extreme degree. I hope that upcoming Book 7 update looks at hard mode with a hard eye.
hip about time