Ask Pineleaf: Which Skirmishes do you recommend for the sale?

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Ford Trio vs Flesh Gorger

This week we have a sale of skirmishes and instances. Therefore, I will provide my opinion on each of the skirmishes that are available in the store.

First off, different players are likely to have different preferences for skirmishes. If you are looking for a skirmish that is light and that you are likely to complete successfully, then you are more likely to want Defence of the Prancing Pony. On the other hand, if you are looking for a challenge, then you are more likely to want The Icy Crevasse.

Storm on Methedras (Level 20-85)

To me, Storm on Methedras is part of the Enedwaith/Dunland story line. There are two quest chains (one in Enedwaith and one in Dunland) that involve a specific enemy.You face this enemy for a third time in this skirmish. If you hate spoilers, then I suggest you avoid this skirmish until you finish questing in the Gravenwood in Dunland. Besides, the skirmish is way out of synch with your landscape questing (what are you doing in Dunland when you are questing in the Lone Lands?).

That said, what about the skirmish itself? Its most unique feature is that the encounters are directly tied to the counterattack system.

The greatest challenge is not pulling part of the next area when you are facing the counterattacks. Of course, you also need to keep you ranger “helpers” from doing that also. There’s nothing that adds spice to a counterattack like pulling in two patrolling lieutenants from the happened to pass closely to the gate you are defending.

Therefore, I do not recommend this skirmish for someone new to the system. It’s nice as a third low-level skirmish for your alts but I suggest purchasing other skirmishes first.

Stand at Amon Sûl (Level 25-85)

Stand at Amon Sûl is a classic “hold the hilltop” scenario. It is certainly ranks as one of the easier skirmishes. You only face two opponents at a time (three if you also face a lieutenant) and half the time that pair is rather weak. On top of this, you have Candaith, who makes the fight even easier in solo runs (in a raid, the only real challenge is keeping him alive). In the days when NPCs stole you XP if they damaged a foe, Candaith was noted as a notorious experience drain.

The main feature of this skirmish is the need to keep the campfires lit to fight at your optimal level. Naturally, each fire lasts for only two minutes before it is put out, thus requiring you to relight them from time to time. If you light all the fires, you will inflict extra damage on the enemy. If you don’t light any, you are fighting at a penalty. Some players skip the fires in solo runs as they prefer less fuss and more challenge (I try to keep them lit for most of the run). I would recommend that you at least light the fires for the boss fight.

Speaking of the boss fight, it is sheer chaos with enemies popping from the ground all over the place. And that’s the solo version. In larger runs, it’s a complete madhouse.

Overall, your take on this skirmish is likely to depend on your attitude towards the campfire mechanism. If you don’t like being bothered with such things, you may want to give this skirmish a pass.

Attack at Dawn (Level 30-85)

Attack at Dawn is a classic raid on a military camp. In this camp, you face densely-packed mobs and artillery fire. The mob density of similar to Tuckborough but you will be facing nastier mobs and you will not have the help of any hobbits.

The boss fight can be challenging, as you will occasionally need to divert your attention to goblins that are attempting to escape from the camp (if two escape, you lose the skirmish).

I suggest that you wait on this one until after you have mastered Tuckborough. If you think Tuck is too easy, then you definitely want to look into Attack at Dawn.

Thievery and Mischief (Level 30-85)

Thievery and Mischief is what I consider to be the baseline skirmish. You get a taste of it in the first skirmish tutorial. Clearing the auction house area can be a little tricky but it is otherwise a very straightforward skirmish.

Well, until you come to the boss fight in larger group runs. The solo boss can be tough but is straightforward. When you up the group size, the boss follows suit by inviting a few of his friends.

Overall, this one is a favorite.

Defence of the prancing Pony (Level 35-85)

Defence of the Prancing Pony is the Sequel to Thievery and Mischief. You get a small taste of this one in the second skirmish tutorial.

This skirmish’s main feature is that torch bearers will try to burn down the inn. Technically, you can allow a few to get through and still win the skirmish, though many players like to stop every single torch bearer.

Overall, this is a favorite at all sizes. Perhaps it’s a bit on the easy side but if you are new to skirmishing, that would likely be a plus.

The Icy Crevasse (Level 40-85)

Do you think that Attack at Dawn is too easy? If so, then The Icy Crevasse is for you.This is most definitely the toughest of the skirmishes, especially if your character is on the squishy side. Think of Attack at Dawn combined with an environmental buff that increases everyone’s damage output (or healing when near a steam vent). It features a boss fight that is tough enough in solo runs and gets only more challenging when you increase the group size.

On top of this, you unlock The Icy Crevasse at level 40 and skirmishes make a major jump in difficulty at level 41. Therefore, you are starting the toughest skirmish at the toughest point to play skirmishes.

To counter the skirmish’s difficulty, it does award more marks than any other skirmish. In addition, this is the only skirmish where I have been able to farm pages for the legendary item deeds (all the other skirmishes that are likely to drop pages are not unlocked until after you are likely to have completed the deeds).

Ford of Bruinen (Level 40-85)

The joke about Ford of Bruinen is that it has two challenges: Elladan and Elrohir. This is a defensive skirmish where the enemy can come from two different directions. Fortunately, the enemy sticks to the same direction for all the waves of an assault, so you don’t have to constantly run back and forth between the two enemy drop points.

The gimmick for this skirmish is a pair of defilers that stay at the center. If you kill them, you activate some archers in the back who add some support. You don’t want to fight those defilers? Don’t worry, Elrond’s boys are likely to notice them at some point, generally when it is least convenient for you.

Survival: Barrow Downs (Level 45-85)

Do you hate getting defeated? Then don’t bother with this skirmish. The entire point is that you will eventually fall. I have heard of players lasting the full hour but not since Turbine tweaked the skirmish to up the difficulty. The other main point to keep in mind that it is the lowest group setting is for three players (there is no solo or duo setting).

This skirmish operates completely differently from other skirmishes. Rather than objectives for fending off waves or taking control points, you instead gain marks based on surviving certain time blocks (2.5 minute intervals for basic rewards, 5 minute blocks for daily rewards). It’s a change in pace skirmish but certainly not one you want to do when you aren’t specifically in the mood (this is why this skirmish can only be run through the Specific tab of the instance finder and it uses the old reward system).

 

Summary

I hope that helps you when you consider the best skirmishes to purchase during this week’s sale.

May you shield protect you and your spear never break,

Pineleaf Needles

3 comments

  1. Andang /

    This could be very helpful to someone who doesn’t have all the skirmishes. Great post Pineleaf!

  2. Lilikate Buggins. /

    I found this useful, I think I will buy a Bree skirmish first for my guard on f2p rather than Amon Sul. Your topic gave me food for thought.

  3. Well I will be looking to get an icy crevasse the next time it is on sale…farm pages eh! Just what I need for most my alts!

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