High risk, high reward, or to paraphrase the IP, delving too greedily and too deeply. That’s the line players will have to toe when they engage with the delving system being added to Lord of the Rings Online with the arrival of its Before the Shadow mini-expansion, which basically lets players ramp up the challenge level of missions for greater rewards.
Here’s how it works: When players complete their first Before the Shadow mission, they’ll receive an item known as an Unnerving Zircon, which can be used to raise the delving difficulty of the next Before the Shadow mission to tier 1. This is done by slotting a delving gem into a delving stone at the entrance to a mission, which will ramp up monster difficulty and unleash effects that rotate on a daily basis.
Success in a delving mission will grant players treasure, the next tier of delving gem up to a maximum tier of 10, and delving writs that can be traded in for a wide number of rewards like raid-level gear, traceries for legendary items, new recipes for craft traceries, and gear enhancement items. Failure, meanwhile, will see the current tier of gem crack, forcing players to go back to an NPC to have it replaced with a gem of the same tier to try again.
As we previously reported, release timing for Before the Shadow is currently looking at Wednesday, November 9th, according to its pre-order and preview pages, so players still have some time to consider how deeply they wish to delve.