Vyvyanne, LOTRO’s Executive Producer, has recently made a variety of posts about the new raid coming with Update 18.2.
To start with, Vyvyanne confirms that the new raid will in fact be included in Update 18.2 this summer.
“The raid version of the instance will be coming in 18.2 the next major patch after Update 18. Summertime.” – source
Vyvyanne also gives information regarding how the raid is related to the epic story:
“The raid is being built off of a solo instance that is in Update 18. In U18.2 that same storyline and space from the solo instance will be expanded upon with additional raid bosses, space and mechanics not found in the solo version you experience in U18. We made this choice because while this moment made a great raid experience, we did not want to block that part of the storyline from those who might never wish to do a raid.” – source
Finally Turbine understands how to integrate a raid with the story without really integrating it. I wish they would have done this with Helm’s Deep instead of gating the Volume III conclusion behind an expansion.
Vyvyanne also talks about mounted combat in relation to the new instances:
“There will not be mounted combat in the raid.
We are including one mounted combat instance in U18 but we feel riding with the Rohirrim into battle would be missing something if you were not on your horse. Thus the reasoning behind the damage changes.” – source
Watch preview videos about Update 18, including videos about the non-raid instances, here.