The Eastemnet of Rohan is unlike anything we’ve experienced in Middle-earth so far. Wide-open plains, feudal provinces and wild stallions are some of the themes that characterize this landscape. And with these additions comes new mechanics, one of them being the roving patrols of enemies called warbands. You can read Turbine’s developer diary on the subject here.
Warbands are groups of creatures, in most cases hostile, that roam the vast plains of Rohan. They differ from normal mobs in a few ways. First, they have their own unique markers on the radar map and the region map: a red banner with two crossed white swords. This icon only shows up for warbands in your current region. So once you enter the Wold, you’ll see warband icons on your map the active warbands in that region such as Cinder.
Second, warbands roam large areas of the map, much larger than regular mobs and once you aggro them, they’ll follow you across a very long distance. This should give you plenty of room to joust from your war-steed and make your next maneuver without much fear of the mobs resetting.
Each of these groups has their own daily quest to slaughter the warband for faction reputation, steed experience, item experience, landscape barter tokens and a special mystery box depending on the region and difficulty of the warband. Inside the boxes can be anything from Marks, Medallions and potions to a unique banner or pennant for your in-game home representing one of the settlements of the Eastemnet.
Like all enemies in Eastern Rohan, warbands benefit from open tapping. That means that once you tag a mob with an attack, you’ll get full credit for defeating that creature, including all experience, items and quest credit. This works even if someone else tagged the mob first. It even works if multiple players tag the same mob and they aren’t in the same fellowship. Oh, and there’s also remote auto-looting. Hooray for not having to dismount!
Their stated difficulties range from solo warbands all the way up to raid difficulty, though in all practicality, most of them are soloable. The size of the warband can range from a single mob up to a group of Orcs, goblins and dunlendings.
In total, there are 17 warbands in the Eastemnet: four in the Wold, four in the Norcrofts, six in the Entwash Vale and three in the Sutcrofts. Because they’re spread out across Rohan and together with Hytbold daily quests, we should see a more varied playerbase all over Rohan instead of all the level-capped players bunching up in the Sutcrofts. And with the addition of open tapping, there’s less chance for spawn camping and griefing and more opportunity for interaction and cooperation between players embarking on their Rohan journey and those who’ve already blazed through it.