As Update 18 releases, we’re deep into the conflict with the forces of Mordor and its allies. We confront new enemies from the far east and enemies from within the white city and rejoin old friends in three engaging instances (and a raid in a later update). It will be the first time we utilize mounted combat in an instance, we’ll battle face to unseen face with the ringwraiths.
Blood of the Black Serpent
We enter the fray Pelennor from the north in this three-person instance and fight our way along the outer ramparts of the Rammas Echor and through enemy Variag camps toward the first boss, Jarl Dauthar, and his war-dog. After the dust up, we’re given our first real chance to use mounted combat in an instance. A warband of Haradrim riders ambush the party threatening your progression. After dispatching them, get back on foot and proceed through the hostile Haradrim camp (who have enlisted the help of half-trolls for the second half).
At the pinnacle, you’ll find the instance’s final boss encounter: the king, A.K.A. the black serpent, and two princes of Harad. This may seem like an ordinary boss fight – kill the two princes then fight the big baddie – but part way through, it becomes another mounted combat skirmish with plenty of adds to boot.
The Quays of the Harlond
Remember all your buddies from the previous epic stories? Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas, the sons of Elrond, even a couple rangers that have yet to die, fight alongside you for part of this three-person instance. Get to the first boss encounter, however, and they leave you high and dry. Typical.
Under the foreboding condemnation of the Forgotten Reaver, a wraith atop its fellbeast, you are marauded by three trolls and a gortherog. Survive and you witness a satisfying charge of soldiers before wading back into the thick of battle. The main challenge here is not surviving, but keeping your companions, Halbarad and Gimli, alive. While not as cool looking as in the movie, we finally get to help Legolas take down a Mûmak. It’s short-lived, though, before you must take on the deadly Nazgûl and his pesky spirit buddies.
The Silent Street
The Silent Street is a six-person instance that takes us into the Fen Hollen where Denethor II tries to save his son, Faramir, from immolation. Enemies of the steward want to harness the chaos as an opportunity to cease Denethor’s rule but they’re no match for you and your cronies, right? Just don’t underestimate how many enemies the steward has made as you grapple with the intended usurpers.
You’ll realize it’s not over when another ringwraith, the Gloom of Nurn, reveals itself to wreak havoc by raising kings, steward and the assorted peasantry from the dead to keep the streets of Rath Dínen from being anything but silent. Best to take your tactical mitigation and be prepared for plenty of stuns and fears.
For your efforts, the black rider summons the spirit of Mardil Voronwë, the first steward, and Eärnil II, former king of Minas Tirith, to harry your advance despite their incessant, vocal protests. Defeat the king and steward quickly (within two minutes) to complete the tier 2 challenge then deal with the robed menace to escape these hallowed avenues.