For as long as I can remember, Fornost has been something of the red-headed stepchild of LOTRO instances. Not that it couldn't be a fun instance, mind, but the logistics surrounding it meant that, for many, it was more difficult to run than other comparable instances. The revamp doesn't do much to improve the story of the space, but it does bring it a little more up to date, and improves the flow, the visuals, and fair bit of the fun of the place I think.
There are four wings total, and completing each for the first time permanently unlocks the next one in the sequence.
- Wraith of Water
- Wraith of Earth
- Wraith of Fire
- Wraith of Shadow
Also, it appears that the space has been set under a perpetual night, meaning the creatures that haunt the fallen walls of Fornost do so under the pale light of a full moon.
Now, it might just be the change in lighting (in the past, I mostly saw Fornost in the daylight), but the initial entrance feels smaller than I remember. More cramped somehow. Yet all the little landmarks I remember seemed to still be there and in the same general place. Either way, the first portion is pretty straightforward. Run up the path and kill anything that gets in your way.
Upon reaching the holding pens, we run into the first boss, Zhurmat. He actually used to be a boss in the Earth tower, but now he and his rather sizable posse guard the gate.
Once he's defeated, a certain quest is automatically bestowed. It's optional, of course. And if you've been to Fornost before, you know just the one I mean.
Should you pursue it, it plays out much the same as before. Only this time, you can't open holding pens ahead of her. And it not only generates some extra mobs in the area you just cleared, it also generates another two bosses: Shiruk and Kamordi. They used to guard the base of the Fire tower I believe.
Either way, help an old lady or not, once you're done, it's on to play in the water.
Again, it's fairly straightforward. Cleave your way through water and watery ghosts toward the tower at the far end. And once there, descend into the rather confined basement to face the Wraith of Water, Megoriath.
Poor Megoriath. His old space was basically a large closet. Now it's only a medium closet.
Running won't help, Meg. Just embrace your role as a cannon-fodder boss!
Megoriath, you sneaky git, is that how you spent your time during the renovations? Building a collapsible wall?
Well no big deal. A hop across the lily-pads and I'm right back in melee...
... range. Son of a submariner!
Seriously now. All that bricklaying just for this?
As you can see, Megoriath breaks loose and smashes down some walls over the course of the fight. He then proceeds to run around the room to the three different landings he revealed. While the water in the initial area is shallow, the waters in the expanded areas is deep, and being in it not only slows you down, but also makes you "vulnerable to a special attack". Being in any water in the chamber causes you to be silenced. And as it stands right now, Megoriath's arrows pass through most obstacles, meaning he will be shooting you while you hop or swim toward him.
Once he's down, that's it for the Wraith of Water. Time to go move some Earth.
The second wing starts just inside the gate from the flooded ward. Which means the first thing you see is our old friend, Warmaster Burzghash.
True to form, he has his squad of goblins fight you first, aided by the occasional orc archer from the landing above. Once all but one are dead, he makes his own attempt. And fails.
From there, the upper ward is spread out before you. It's a sprawling tangle of walls and yardage filled with packs of goblins and trolls. And a few trebuchets waiting to be blown up.
And of course Gurkamab. Who's... still just standing in place, not really blocking you or anything. You could run right past him and never know the difference. If you do decide to fight him, mind his berserk timer.
Through the yard, into the tower, past a room or two of more trolls and goblins, and before you know it, we're up to the second wraith.
Rhavameldir's trick is to turn some of his collection of petrified trolls into... not petrified trolls. In the past, with enough DPS, he could be burned down without releasing his entire stock. Now he gets them all out just fine. The armored ones anyway.
Having broken through the outer defenses, it's onward to the courtyard, the orc commanders, and the tower of Fire.
The open-air portion of Wraith of Fire is in the labyrinthine courtyard. It's populated by orcs, mostly. Or what I think are orcs. They seem to have very good camouflage at the moment (it is a Beta and all.)
Not far inward, though, we run into the first Fire boss. Fiamul, the Captain of the Guard. He used to be up at the entry to the final tower, guarding the bridge. But it seems that bridge broke, so now he's down in the courtyard.
Past him are more winding passages. There are orcs to cleave, torches to find, and wretched idols to burn to the ground.
Eventually, we com to a triangular yard. These are the ramparts that Zanthrug normally walks, but the only ones around are some orc flunkies and another idol.
Better smash it to be safe. What could go wrong with that?
Once upon a time you had to have a breastplate to get this guy to even talk to you. Now he does it if you just knock over his statue. Of course this time, he brought more people with him.
As point of note, DPSing him too fast is a really bad idea. On level, not so much an issue, but with a serious disparity, he goes down rather fast, which means that if you're not careful, a Goblin raid will come barreling at you.
The fourth and final leg comes in the Wraith of Shadow. As in the past, it starts where Wraith of Fire ended - just outside Brogadan's tower, facing a network of bridges that run overhead of the streets below. However, the main bridge that once lead into the final tower is broken, meaning you'll have to descend and run through those streets to find another entrance.
Along the way you can find those fabled bonepiles to free spirits. The path itself will bring you near or right over most of them.
Eventually, the path winds around to a lower entrance to the tower. The tower basement to be exact, populated by Krithmog and his pack.
Once the wargs are down, the path leads up through the tower, and a few more fell spirits, to Einora. Who, aside from owning a trio of very large barghests, appears to have an interest in the old palantir stand.
Ultimately, finally, you reach the last Wraith. The Wraith of Shadow, Remmeneg.
While the rain finally stopped falling on him (if only for a time), the brazier mechanism is still intact. There's three, and each dispels part of his defensive aura, making it possible to damage him. Of course, each lighting also summons adds.
Now, it might just be the change in lighting (in the past, I mostly saw Fornost in the daylight), but the initial entrance feels smaller than I remember. More cramped somehow. Yet all the little landmarks I remember seemed to still be there and in the same general place. [...]
Actually, it is not just your perception, the entrance is much narrower than it used to be. It now looks more like a street in a town rather than the entrance to a randomly created rat maze.
I found this thread while looking for information on the Zurthrag fight. Having done it at a lower level (we just zipped through all of them in order to unlock all four wings and see what they were like), I must say I was in for a very unpleasant surprise when our kin decided to give it a go at level 75 tonight. We didn't have any trouble until (cue epic music here)... Zurthrag. We wiped, learned from our mistakes, and took a different approach (I won't give away what we did because it ALMOST worked but not quite. I think because we were short a slot in our fellowship and in need of more AOE dps).
We ended up having to disband due to time constraints, but I THINK we got it figured out and I can't wait to kick some Orc booty next time we head in there.
As a relatively new player, I hadn't had a ton of experience with the original Fornost instance (I'd run it but not all of it ever at one go). I do like the fact that it's broken up because now it'll be less overwhelming to those who try it for the first time. I think most players are ready for ginormous instances by the time they reach the level of CD/Urugarth and The Rift, but since Fornost is available at level 30 it seems appropriate that it's more episodic in nature now.
"There is some good in this world, Mister Frodo, and I believe it's worth fighting for." Visit Echad Wound