Turbine’s done it, friends. They’ve found a solution! The elusive “third pillar” of content that exists somewhere between raiding and PvP, and you’ve got to wonder why nobody tried it (or took the concept seriously enough) before now. Skirmish is a new type of PvE gameplay being added to Lord of the Rings Online in the near future, and is comprised of a series of instances where heated conflicts are taking places between the good guys and the forces of Sauron.
Instead of working your way through a linear dungeon, semi-randomized groups of enemies will come at you in waves. Defeat them all, and you get to go toe-to-toe with the enemy General. The good news is that these instances are pretty much infinitely farmable, and since you might be running into different sets of baddies each time, the gameplay remains fresh over an extended period of time. It’s also meant to be accessible to everyone. You can go in by yourself (with the help of a few NPC allies) or alongside ten of your closest friends, with the level of strategy and reward scaling appropriately. The loot you receive includes the usual gear and special tokens that can be traded in for character upgrades such as cosmetic enhancements and improvement to AI partners that can be used in the Skirmishes themselves.
In the video below, iTZKooPA and one of the game’s developers walk us through one particular Skmirish dungeon focused around an assault on the Ford of Bruinen. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for a special twist ending.