July 16, 2020

LOTRO News: Update 27.2 Rundown - Surprisingly Big Changes to Gameplay

08/03/2020 Update: The beta has ended and the live patch for Update 27.2 is scheduled for August 4th, 2020 with a maintenance time of 8:00 am to 12:00 pm server time (EDT, UTC-4)!

For a "small" update, Update 27.2 for the Lord of the Rings Online, released August 4th 2020, brings some major changes to three key game mechanics along with some continued work on the Midsummer festival and new housing features in preparation for Rohan housing coming soon. To go with the Rohan housing and Storied Tales feature from Update 27, Helm's Deep is also being released on the legendary servers (Anor and Ithil).

For this post (the first in a potential new series on LOTRO news), I want to focus on the game mechanics updates and what they mean for the players. These three game mechanics see improvements in this QOL-style update:
  • Interrupts
  • Taunts
  • Corruption Removals

Read the full patch notes for U27.2: https://www.lotro.com/en/content/update-272-release-notes

Interrupts Buffs

Interrupts stop enemy inductions, preventing them from using powerful abilities. In U27.2, classes will now have baseline immediate interrupts at level 20. This provides a few significant changes:
  • All classes will now be able to instantly interrupt inductions at level 20 - some classes, like the Captain unlocked them at much higher level
  • Some classes will have a greatly improved ability to interrupt, like the Warden and Hunter had interrupts but were difficult to use on time - now, they will be able to provides interrupts much more reliably.
  • Because the interrupts are immediate, all classes will now have access to an ability to animation cancel with (read more about the animation cancelling game mechanic: https://www.lotrobasics.com/2020/05/animation-cancelling.html)

In terms of gameplay, this boils down to more reliability and ease of interrupting mobs!

Force Taunts Adjustments

Force taunts force enemies to attack you for a short duration (read more in tip #2: https://www.lotrobasics.com/2020/07/guardian-tips.html). In U27.2, many CDs and trait/LI boosts for force taunts have been adjusted. Notably:

  • Beorning's taunt Thunderous Roar will now have a shorter CD, but their trait to give Biting Edge a force taunt will now make it's CD 10 seconds longer (previously 5 seconds). These changes helps Beornings use their large AoE force taunt more often, but their shorter CD one that hits fewer targets cannot be used as frequently.
  • Captains will now have access to a new taunt - Elendil's Roar - from speccing into the yellow line (the old trait to make Blade of Elendil give a force taunt now boosts Elendil's Roar). Their old force taunt, Threatening Shout, is now available as a trait in the yellow. This will help Captain's maintain aggro better - one of the their few weaknesses as a tank.
  • Champion's AoE skill from a trait in the blue line, Horn of Champions, will now have the force taunt effect. This will help tanking Champions hold aggro.
  • Guardian's AoE taunt Challenge has a much shorter CD (60 sec -> 30 sec) - this buff will help tanking Guardians keep aggro of multiple mobs more easily.
  • Wardens received no changes to force taunts, but did get minor changes to tanking with the defiance buff duration being increased to 32 seconds (up from 30 seconds). The defiance buff is gained from using Defiant Challenge, a skill unlocked in the second row of the blue line trait tree.

In terms of gameplay, this overall provides tanks with an easier ability to hold aggro with their taunts.

Corruption Removals - A Hint to the Future?

Corruption removals are abilities all classes have that remove corruptions, powerful buffs that some enemies can possess. Corruptions were added in the Moria expansion pack (level 50+) and continued to be a prominent feature in Mirkwood. After that, they have become more infrequently used and are a relatively rare sight in newer content.

In U27.2, all classes' corruption removals will be changed to being granted to you at level 20. They used to be unlocked at level 50 because the content where corruptions were was also level 50+. It seems odd that corruption removals would be changed to such a low level where there is no use for them.

I believe this is a possible hint towards the future of LOTRO. Later this year, Standing Stone Games (developers of LOTRO), is planning on implementing another legendary server, now that the first set has moved on to Rohan. This legendary server was planned to have additional dangers added to the game. Perhaps the new dangers will include corruptions - giving enemies powerful buffs that can only be removed by your corruption removal skills!

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