This is a general guide about how this new Epic Battle System works.
There are two ways to access the Epic Battle system. First is the traditional Instance Finder method. The second is through the new UI panel which has been renamed from Battle for Helm's Deep to Epic Battles.
The window itself eats up a lot of space and is 1024x768 in size. If you run on a resolution below 1024x768 there is now a feature allowing you to scroll around the new version of this window. We aren't able to resize the window to our liking but at least we are able to access the full window.
The new panel Epic Battles is accessible in the main system menu on the far left of your UI. It can also be accessed by typing Shift+B.
This new panel is broken into 3 tabs on the left hand side.
Tab 1 - Road to Battle
Road to Battle is a Map of Helm's Deep with 5 numbers on the map. You select the number and then on the right hand side it explains the instance lets you select the group size and then either to Launch or to Queue the instance. If you select to Launch you will be thrown into the queue and then launch the instance with the number of people you already have. If you select Queue you will enter the queue and wait until others wish to do this instance at which point it will launch. Each battle has to be run in numerical order in Solo/Duo to completion before you can access the next battle. On the bottom you see 4 medals with progress bars and next to each bar a button. These bars are the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum rankings you have gotten so far towards Jewelry of each type. The buttons next them allow you to 'forward' your progress from the bar you are on currently to the next bar to advance it more. You are only able to forward your Bronze and Silver reward progression. Platinum rewards have to earned on their own merit.
On the map you can see the 5 instances of Epic Battles.
- Each battle has to be run in numerical order in Solo/Duo to completion before you can access the next battle.
1. Helm's Dike - This instance can be run Solo/Duo or Fellowship
This is a battle that takes place ahead of Helm's Deep itself. It is a dike setup north of Helm's Deep itself. The instance is broken up into 4 segments. The West, The East, The Center and then the Gate/Stables below. The center has a wooden gate that bridges the Western and Eastern Sides of the Dike. A river flows under this gate as does the road south to Helm's Deep. There is a rope on the western edge of the upper gate that leads down to the road below and a rope at the bottom that leads back up to the top of the gate. This instance has 3 phases the first two are East and Western attacks and the third is a Central attack. The Central attack uses the two closest ingresses one from East and one from West in addition to a side quest on the road. Of special note to help you get around in this instance you are able to ride your normal Horse or Goat.
2. The Deeping Wall - This instance can be run Solo/Duo or 12 Man Raid.
This battle takes place mostly upon the Deeping Wall itself. To the West you have the gate room where some side quests take place. To the East you have a Tower with a Catapult on top and under it is another guard house where another side quest takes place. In the guard house there are also stairs that lead down to the Deeping Coomb there are more side quests that take place down there as well. Up on the wall section is where most of the instance takes place. Each section of Wall has 3 Rock Fall defenses that you can arm, load and use to put damage spots below on the ground to harm mobs before they climb up the wall. Periodically ladders and grappling hooks are placed onto the wall by the attacking orcs. You can click on or use Delete U to then disable/kickoff the ladders and grappling hooks. As long as ladders and grappling hooks are on the wall the orcs are able to continue climbing up and overwhelm the defending Rohirrim and yourself. Off in the distance you can see the organizing orcs and their siege weapons their own catapults. You can use your own defenses to take them out. If you don't the catapults will rain down aoe damage upon you that hurts a lot. When this instance reaches its conclusion the western section of the wall explodes, if you are on it you will be defeated but will still complete the instance.
3. The Deeping Coomb - This instance can be run Solo/Duo
This battle takes place in the Deeping Coomb which is the section of land protected by the Deeping Wall only now there is a huge hole in it where orcs will flood in from. There are two battle fronts on on the western side of the river and one on the eastern. The waves of mobs in the first phases will go for one or the other(typically the eastern side first) and the 2nd phase it will switch to the other side (western side). There is a bit of a lag between when they call for the front switch and when the mobs will change to attacking the other side. Until then you have to continue to cover the 1st front. When it is called back to fall back to the Hornburg or Glittering Caves this is the end of the battle. Of special note to help you get around in this instance you are able to ride your normal Horse or Goat.
4. The Glittering Caves - This instance can be run Solo/Duo or 3 Man.
This battle takes place within the Glittering Caves. You start off in a central hill within the caves with all the women and children of Rohan. There are two paths down one that leads off to the east and one more to the south and then west. Both paths circle around the central hill leading to the two man fronts to the NE and NW of the central hill. Each of these is manned by Gamling or Gimli as well as the Rohirrim. In this instance you fight off the waves at those locations before falling back more to two secondary battle fronts again manned by Gamling and Gimli respectively. You hold these points and do the side quests until the instance is completed. Of special note to help you get around in this instance you are able to ride your Goat.
5. The Hornburg - This instance can be run Solo/Duo
This battle takes place upon the outer wall of the Hornburg. You start off on the wall directly north of you is the Gatehouse. Inside the gatehouse is a door that will lead you down into the Lower Gatehouse where the main gate is. On the top of the gatehouse are two giant ballista guarding the main entrance to the Hornburg. Durectly south of you is the bridge leading to to inner sanctum of the Hornburg. Going down the stairs to the south will lead you to the wall connecting two towers. It is between these two towers and this segment of wall where all of the fighting will take place. You have a rope that allows you to get back up on top.
P. Retaking Pelargir - This instance can be run Solo/Duo
This battle is an Offensive battle. You start off with the Sons of Elrond and one group of soldiers. Your task is to open the gate for Aragorn and his forces to come into Pelargir and take on the attacking corsairs. There are 3 main locations in this battle. Above the Gate, A causeway and Above the Docks. You will have to fight your way to each location facing minor forces of the Corsairs. At each location you will have to sit and hold that location as you are assaulted by waves of enemy forces which may include a Boss and Epic Foe type enemies.
Tab 2 - Promotions
Promotions is the complex tab that is all about the three roles or professions of the Big Battles. You have Engineer, Officer and Vanguard. On the left you see your general progression of Bonuses a little bit like our Class Trait capstones, the deeper you are traited into one of the roles the more bonuses you obtain. Then next to that on the right are the trait lines for the three roles. On the bottom you see how many promotion medals you have earned that you are able to spend on the different roles. Next to that on the right we have the Re-Specialize, Cancel and Apply buttons just like for our Class Traits. On the far Right we have 5 preset specs that you can obtain just like with our Class Traits and Mounted Combat Traits. If you are Free to Play only 1 will be unlocked, if you are VIP you will have 2 unlocked with a maximum of 7.
The Engineer - The Engineer focuses on utilizing interactives and siege equipment within the space to defeat their enemy. The majority of his promotions focus on improving the efficiency with which he performs his actions and unlocking new options for utilizing and upgrading siege weaponry. Engineers also gain the ability to place a variety of traps that can damage or hinder your opponents.
The Officer - The Officer focuses on direct and supporting the Rohirrim in battle, You can issue orders to tell the defenders to heal, boost their damage, change their target priority or swap stances. Officers also gain the ability to place banners that can aid nearby engineers and vanguards. As you trait deeper the power of your commands increase and their cooldown decreases.
The Vanguard - The Vanguard focuses on directly engaging the enemy before them. As you kill enemies you gain access to new skill and abilities to unleash powerful area based effects and damage. When you fall in battle those around you will be inspired by your loss and fight harder.
- For Promotions Free To Play accounts will have 1 preset available to them free. VIPs will have 2 presets available to them for free. There are a total of 7 presets that can be obtained. Each preset costs 100 Mithril coins.
Tab 3 - Battle History
Battle History shows you how many of each medal you have earned on the far right. on the left it lists off each version of the Big Battles that exist Solo, Small Fellowship, Fellowship and raid. It also depicts the rank you completed of each of the side quests within the instance. You are able to click on each of the instances to bring up more detail about them and see exactly which quests you have completed, with what ranking and suggestions on things to do to get a higher ranking. On the bottom you see 4 medals with progress bars and next to each bar a button. These bars are the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum rankings you have gotten so far towards Jewelry of each type. The buttons next them allow you to 'forward' your progress from the bar you are on currently to the next bar to advance it more.
Before you go into any battles there are two things you should do.
- Go to the Boar Fountain in Bree. There you will find a small tutorial for Epic Battles. In this tutorial it explains the 3 professions Engineer, Officer and Vanguard. It also allows you to try out what its like to give orders to the Commanders and to build, aim and fire a ballista and catapult. Vanguard though is simply explained as to what its function is.
- Go into the Solo/Duo version of Helm's Dike. Before you click on any npc to begin the battle go around and look. You will find npcs explaining a number of different functions of battles. One npc explains how you will be seeing ladders over the course of the night and this is how you deal with them. You can then click on and kick the ladder away. There are a number of little nuggets of explanation scattered about.
Once you are in the battles themselves they are each set up on a Battle Front basis. There are multiple Battle Fronts a bit like Siege of Gondomon. At each battle front there will be at least one Rohirrim Commander and multiple Rohirrim Soldiers. Each Commander issues orders to select soldiers.
- Each battle has to be run in numerical order in Solo/Duo to completion before you can access the next battle.
- Each battle has Instant Death Locations these are places where the enemy archers will instantly kill you. Each one should be marked with Dead Bodies On The Ground.
The size of the instance space is determined by the group size of the instance you are in. Solo/Duo will will have less space to defend than the 3 Man, 6 Man Fellowship or 12 Man Raid versions of a given instance.
- For instance the Deeping Wall the Solo/Duo has 1 gate room, 1 wall section and 1 guard tower and stairwell down to defend. The 12 Man raid has 1 gate room, 3 wall sections, 2 guard towers and 2 stairwells down to defend.
- For the instance Helm's Dike with Solo/Duo you have 2 ingress points on the West and 2 ingress points on the East as well as the road to defend. For the 6 Man Fellowship you have 3 ingress points on the West and 3 ingress points on the East as well as the road to defend.
Each instance as a map table that functions as an exit the the instance if you wish to exit early or you can use Instance Leave.
Within the instance are crates that Engineers of sufficient level can utilize to obtain barricades, ballistas, catapults and other contraptions to aid in your defenses.
The quests work like most any other quest but we are given more information. All quests are daily quests so once you complete them once you can't get credit for that quest the next time you run that battle at that size until the next day.
The quests are laid out like this. You have a Main quest. It will tell you the objectives of the quest. Immediately below that is a 'status bar' This shows you what 'medal' you are currently on task to obtain and how your progression is to being on task to reach the next medal. Below this is the list of medal progression detractors. That is multiple events that will cause your medal progression bar to go down if they happen. On the main quest this is always Death of Soldiers, Death of Commanders, Destruction of Banners, Death of Gilmli/Legolas/Aragorn. Your metal progression on the main quest is also affected by the completion and metal rank of your side quests. So if you get Gold or Platinum rank on your side quests then the main quest will have a better outcome as well.
- All Quests both Main and Side Quests are Dailies. You will only see their progress and obtain rewards if you have not already completed them for the day.
This is a warning that within the Epic Battles there are locations that are instant death if you go past them. These locations should be marked by dead bodies on the ground right before them.
As was stated before the rewards for these instances when it comes to gear is obtained on a merit basis. On the bottom of the Battle History and Road To Battle tabs you see 4 medals with progress bars and next to each bar a button. These bars are the Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum rankings you have gotten so far towards Jewelry of each type. The buttons next them allow you to 'forward' your progress from the bar you are on currently to the next bar to advance it more.For every medal of a certain kind you obtain it fills the meter up of that medal type. All rewards are Bind on Acquire.
- Bronze Rewards are Common Yellow role specific pieces of jewelry.
- Silver Rewards are Purple role specific pieces of jewelry.
- Gold Rewards are Teal role specific pieces of jewelry.
- Platinum Rewards are Class Specific Teal and Gold pieces of jewelry with set bonuses.
The speed at which the meter fills up is determined also by the size of the instance you are in as well as the number of side quests you complete. The breakdown of how they affect the rewards meters are as follows
*Table numbers provided by Lunasa*
Solo/Duo 3 Man 6 Man 12 Man Side Quest 1 2 3 4 Main Quest 2/3 6 9 12
Some Solo/Duo instances have 2 side quests that come up each time you run it while others have 3. If they have 2 you get 2 points from the main quest. If you complete 3 then 3 points.
The first time you obtain a specific medal on a quest your meter will also go up 5 addition points beyond the normal worth of that medal. After that though you will only get the normal worth of that medal.
A detailed example:
You do Helm's Dike for the first time ever. You get Bronze medal on the first quest, Gold on the second and third, Silver overall. This is what you get:
Bronze Reward Bar advances for 26 points: 1+5 for the first quest, 1+5 for the second, 1+5 for the third, 3+5 for the main quest. You get a Bronze-level jewelry piece and gain 7 points extra.
Silver Reward Bar advances for 20 points: 0 for the first quest, 1+5 for the second, 1+5 for the third, 3+5 for the main quest. You get a Silver-level jewelry piece and the Reward Bar resets to 0.
Gold Reward Bar advances for 12 points: 0 for the first quest, 1+5 for the second, 1+5 for the third, 0 for the main quest.
Platinum Reward Bar does not have any counts.
Imagine you return to this battle tomorrow and get exactly the same Medals. Your rewards will be:
Bronze Reward Bar advances for 6 points.
Silver Reward Bar advances for 5 points.
Gold Reward Bar advances for 2 points.
Platinum Reward Bar does not have any counts.
Ok since there is much talk wondering exactly how this works for gaining points to spend on the Promotion trees this is how it is.
Each Medal is worth 1 promotion point.
When you do the quest for the first time and get that level of medal for the first time you get the points for the medal you obtained and any medal lower than that one.
- Example if you get a Silver for the first time you will get 2 points. If you then went in again on the same quest and you get Gold for the first time you will get 1.
Any time after that whenever you obtain a medal you had previously obtained you will get no new points.
So Every Quest is worth all of 4 Medals both Side Quest and Main Quest.
This is the break down of how points are distributed.
Side/Duo 3 man
6 man 12 Man Main
Side Main Side Main Side Main Side Worth
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Number of Quests 6 31 1 6 2 14 1 9 Points 24 124 4 24 8 56 4 36 Points Per Size 148 28 64 40 Total Points 280
So for now if you only do Solo/Duo you can only obtain 148 points. If you do every sized space you can obtain 280 points but currently you can only use 246 of those. The 3 man, 6 man and 12 main numbers will change over time as they are likely to add more 3/6/12 mans to the existing battles.