Welcome to the Rohirrim Rambler, where I’ll be taking you on a guided tour of the East and West Rohan. Inspired by the LOTRO Epic a Day column on CSTM(1), this series will provide an overview of the region and its major quest hubs, giving you a clear guide to follow through the area without ruining the story with spoilers.
Our first stop is the East Wall, an area designed to be your first taste of East Rohan and featuring level 76-77 content. You’ll arrive here following the Epic Quest (Volume III, Book VII), being ported here straight from the Great River. If you already have your War-steed, you can use it to help you compete quests in this area, but if not don’t worry, the quests are designed to be completed on foot.
Note that you can also enter East Rohan through The Wold, which is connected via bridge to the south of the Great River. Choosing to go this way will allow you to acquire your War-steed early, though will disrupt the story of the Epic. Given that your War-steed is of limited use in the East Wall, I suggest holding off getting it just yet. It’s easy to get distracted learning the mechanics of Mounted Combat and miss out on the great moments the East Wall has to offer.
Another thing to be aware of in East and West Rohan is the style of questing. Rather than being able to jump between hubs and skip quests you aren’t interesting in, in Rohan you have to do each quest in turn in order to unlock the next. It allows Turbine to develop a strong story line at the expense of player flexibility.
The first quest hub of the East Wall takes place at one of the East Rohan’s most iconic locations – the Argonath. You arrive at the foot of these majestic monoliths following the Epic Quest line, though don’t spend much time here at all. There are only a couple of Epic Quests to complete, and before you know it, you’re vectored to the next quest hub. You won’t rejoin the Epic until the final quest hub of the area. In same ways this hub is a bit of a missed opportunity, as the Argonath would have made a great backdrop some questing. For most players though, finally seeing these monuments realised in game will suffice.
Upon arriving at this small Rohirrim camp you are given a couple of quest lines relating to dealing with the surrounding Orc and Uruk forces. Quests are the usual ‘kill X number of Orcs’, ‘collect X number of Uruk bows’, and while they can be completed using your War-steed, the terrain is filled with rivers, rocks and trees which can make Mounted Combat a challenge. Note that there is no mailbox, crafting facilities, or legendary vendors here, so make sure you have a travel port to somewhere better equipped for these services.
Dead Orc Glade
The Dead Orc Glade, and the events that unfold here, provide one of the areas best fan moments from Fellowship of the Ring. While you return here during the Epic, the initial quests have you helping an injuried Orc in return for information. While that sounds fine enough, I couldn’t get past the fact that he rewards you with Rohirrim items. This would have been the perfect opportunity to give players some unique and creepy Orc items to assist in their travels. Make sure to grab one of the arrows stuck out of the surrounding trees to start another important quest line.
While you are officially vectored to this hub from Mansig’s Encampment, more than likely you’ll stumble across the entrance to the cave while en route to the Dead Orc Glade. The visuals of the cave are outstanding, and it’s good to see Turbine creating a cave that actually looks like it was dug out of the ground, rather than a dimly lit hallway. The Under-wall features a handful of quests where you deal with two distinct threats to the expedition which is attempting to map out the tunnels. The absence of auto-bestow questing is a curious feature here. As I’ve discussed previously(2), recent content has moved away from the old quest model, that of going into an enemy camp two or three times for a single objective each time, to a quest structure where you’re given all the quests for the camp before entering or are given them when entering the camp. Unfortunately, you’ll find yourself running back and forth down here quite a bit between the quest givers and the objectives. Streamlining this questing would be a real benefit to an otherwise visually rewarding part of this East Rohan.
Here you will finally link back up with the Epic Quest, and meet the East Wall’s most entertaining inhabitants: a group of explorers from Gondor known as the Bumbling Fellowship. While the quests are what you’d expect, the dialogue and stories between the members of the fellowship provides some much needed light hearted content. Be prepared, as part of the Epic you’ll experience some most iconic moments, including some very well thought out and executed session plays. Be sure to fully check out the descriptions of each session play characters skill for some great fandom moments.
I quite enjoyed my time in The East Wall. Unlike later parts of East Rohan, the quests go by quickely and aren’t overly numerous, which doesn’t result in the feeling of ‘overstaying your welcome’ that you get in other parts of Rohan. My one annoyance is the ‘Quest of The East Wall’ deed, which doesn’t give you an exact figure of how many quests you need to do, and forcing you to complete all quests in order to complete it. Be careful to not skip a hub of you could find yourself doing a lot of backtracking.
1. Rohirrim Rambler: The Wold