Perhaps the biggest change to come in Lord of the Rings Online Volume 3, Book 1 update will be that skirmishes can now be done with a 2-person party. It was the podcast by Casual Stroll to Mordor where the devs talk about the “need” for this and how they went about it. (I also learned a new meme, like how my mom just learned about the Google.)
The most interesting statistic was that 40% of players doing the 3-man skirmishes were using only 2/3 of their fellowship slots. This gave the devs the oompf they needed to get their turbines in gear. The way they made the extremely fine point between solo and 3-man was to use the 3-man mobs and apply a reverse Tier debuff to the 3-man mobs. So 2-man skirmishes are basically a 3-man minus a Tier of difficulty to the mobstats. Then the 2-man skirmish will use the solo mechanics instead of the 3-man mechanics such as how counterattacks or waves will work.
I want to posit that this will have good, unintended consequences because it further lowers the activation energy to group. Players can nearly always find one person. So there is a group for skirmishes right there. Add another person, and you have a three-man. This sequence of grouping is simply going to be smoother than the need to find two other people at the outset. If I had to bet, I would say that 3-man skirmish play will increase and solo skirmish will actually decrease due to the advent of the 2-man skirmish.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled rants on Legendary Items where it is apparent that Turbine never listens to us.
down by the schoolyard