The new update brought various tweaks to the starter area of the Dwarves and Elves: Ered Luin. I decided to create an Elf Rune-Keeper and a Dwarf Champion and check it out.
The view from the start area looked the same, but the area east of Thorin’s Hall looks a lot different:
Those Dourhand Dwarves fell under an evil influence and really let the area go.
As for the starter zone quests, those were streamlined a bit. It has been forever since I had a lowbie Dwarf or Elf, but from what I do remember, the storyline is now more focused and presented better. In the new Dwarf start, you find Skorgrím’s body while exploring a cave-in which releases a troll. In the new Elf start, you are there with Talagan and Elrond at Edhelion, fight off invaders, then watch Talagan sacrifice himself to keep relics away from Skorgrím. Once out into the secondary starter area, you follow clues leading to a Dourhand plan to bring Skorgrím back to life, and witness Ivar the Blood-Hand do it. Overall, Skorgrím Dourhand plays a bigger role, and the corruption of the Dourhand Dwarves is more prominent. Plus, the appearance change east of Thorin’s Hall shows the area is run down and not kept well.
I didn’t quest much once completing the initial quests, so I can’t see how much more has changed. These characters will be a secondary priority than getting Dhrun, Aillas, or Naerys further along… but I do feel the pull of LoTRO again and am eager to play. So if that holds up I’ll be swapping around various characters for the variety in playing in several different areas.