When the latest digital expansion for LOTRO arrives with Siege of Mirkwood, the MMO will be updated with a new Skirmish mode that Turbine hopes will keep replay burning.
Essentially the Skirmish mode has you and friends complete story-led objectives, with randomised secondary tasks for that fresh feeling. Each player has their own NPC soldier.
While you don't get to control the soldier directly you can customise their look and choose their skill advancements. This is so that each Skirmish battle can feel more epic as it turns a 12-man raid into a 24 one - crafty isn't it? Turbine calls this their Epic Battle System.
If it proves a hit with LOTRO users then it's likely to feature elsewhere in the future. These skirmishes can be started or joined at any time or point during the game, with difficulty settings and party sizes of 3, 6 or 12 to choose from.
Other notable changes coming in the $20 expansion is a level cap raise to 65, new instances, new titles, deeds and traits, updated horse mechanics, plus legendary item tweaks.