I haven’t been to Ered Luin since the game launched. My first character was an Elven Hunter on Gladden that I got to 15 during the head-start week. I ended up re-rolling a Man Hunter on Landroval after I read on the forums that it was going to be the unofficial role-play server. So it’s been nearly two years since I’ve spent any time there. I have an Elven Rune-keeper, Calenel, that I’d started but only played to level 8, so Book 7 seemed a good time to get back to him and see what kind of changes Turbine had worked out.
First thing of course is the XP curve change, I killed a rat and dinged 9. Pretty nice.
Celondim has been streamlined a bit. I remember a fair bit more running from Celondim to Nen Hilith and to Limael’s Vineyard and back again. Now there is a quest NPC that sends you out to Nen Hilith and then is a small quest hub of four NPC’s that the mouth of the dell. The same thing Limael is now at the tower on the hill just before her Vineyard instead of back in Celondim. So now instead of two or three trips out and back, it’s one.
Duillond has a bit more running, but it’s still much improved.
As Calenel reached the teen levels, I noticed I couldn’t find any elites and had no trouble soloing all of the quests I was given. I was especially surprised to find that you can solo all the way through the Prologue now. I’m working through the Bree Prologue quests on a Man Warden character and there are still Fellowship quests towards the end of that chain. I’m interested to see if Turbine changes the Bree and Shire prologue quests as well with the next content release.
Overall, the new zone is much more streamlined and enjoyable. I’m not sure why the Prologue quests were made solo-able but it might point to a general shortage of low-level players in the Ered Luin region. It’s certainly nice to be able to join a Fellowship as an option, but not be blocked. I remember the Lone-lands being especially bad for that, I would login with a quest log full of Fellowship quests that no one was doing.