The Instance Join panel aka "Instance Finder" is an in-game tool used to find others who are looking to play a particular instance. First introduced in Update 5, its functionality was expanded in Update 6 and again in Update 18.
- While designed to facilitate PUGs (Pick-Up Groups) a pre-existing Fellowship can easily use the instance Finder to launch their encounter.
- Update 6: Developer Diary: Instance Finder (Archived using the Internet Archive.)
- Update 5: Instance Finder Developer Diary (Archived using the Internet Archive.)
- Update 18 - Instance finder announcement in the Release notes
- https://www.lotro.com/en/game/articles/featured-instances - am April 2016 Dev Diary by "EdgeCase."
Some important bits
Please see the two Developer Diaries above for detailed information about the Instance Finder.
- For an explanation of the different types of Instances and a list, see Instances:
- You have to be at least level 20 to use Instance Finder.
- Shift-F is the default keyboard shortcut for it, or you can use the Main Menu to select the Instance Finder item.
- For each class, our system design team has decided what roles they think that class should be able to select, and the other roles are grayed out.
- The Instance Finder operates BY SERVER - no cross-server PUGs can be created.
- Many people "advertise" in World instead of using the Instance Finder.
- Note: LFF is local to a particular region; World is global to the entire server.
Keep in mind that most instances require a certain set of skills for successful completion. This is especially true for 6-man and larger instances. Similarly, there is a tendency for many players to select certain roles, especially DPS. Consequently, there is frequently a mismatch between the roles needed for an instance and those individuals advertising their desire to participate as a particular class.
Instance Finder Simple Tab
- Instance Finder is a tool for quickly finding and playing instances and skirmishes. On the Simple Tab, choose your preferences and Instance Finder will work in the background, allowing you to continue playing while it searches. When a match is found, you will be informed of the group's makeup and then teleported into the instance it found.
- The preference you may set are as follows;
- Role: Instance Finder will attempt to create groups that have a good mix of the different player roles. Select the role you are willing to fulfil in a fellowship.
- Type: There are four categories of encounters Instance Finder can match you into: Skirmishes, Instances, Erebor and the Battle of Helm's Deep. Skirmishes consist of all Skirmishes you have access to. Instances consist of all the scaled Classic Instances you have access to. Erebor consists of the most current instance cluster, where you will find the most potent rewards.
- Remember, the more options you select the better chance Instance finder will be able to find you a group!
- The Instance Finder image to the right is as seen by a level 14 Hunter who is not yet eligible for Skirmishes. Skirmishes become available as a character reaches level 20 and different skirmishes become available as the character increases in level.
- The Roles available to your character are determined by their Class. A Hunter is not a Healer, but can act in a support capacity with his ranged attacks; or directly as a damage dealer.
Instance Finder Advanced Tab
- The Advanced tab of Instance Finder has all the functionality of the Simple Tab, with the additional ability to opt in or out of specific instances. Choosing Type, Size and Tier configurations up top will populate the list of instances below. Within that list, click on the instances you are willing to play then press join. Instance Finder will search only for the instances you've indicated.
Instance Finder Specific Tab
- The Specific Tab of Instance Finder allows you to enter instances from anywhere in the game. Navigate the window below to find the instance you wish to play, then configure it with Size, Tier and Level as applicable. Press Launch Now when you are satisfied and you're off! Fellowship members will receive a travel invitation to follow their leader into the selected instance.
- Size: Most Instances have only one viable group size, this option is used primarily for Skirmishes.
- Tier: Choose the difficulty tier you wish to play on. All instances may be played at tier 1, some have the tier 2 option as well. Only Skirmishes have tier 3.
- Level: Indicate the level you wish the instance to be scaled to. All instances have a minimum level. Rewards will be scaled to the level of the instance.
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Featured Instance Mechanics
Featured Instances were added with Update 18 and are available to players with characters of level 100 and above.
Every week, changing at Monday 10:00 am /servertime (Eastern time zone), a specific scaling instance (or raid) from LOTRO's old favorites is featured in the Instance Join panel. Characters level 100 and higher can launch it through the Instance Join panel Specific Tab.
Each instance can be run daily at level 100-104 and at level 105.
In addition to the regular loot from the instance chests (such as a chance for remembrance crystals, star-lit crystals, relics and fixed-stat scaled gear), each of the two runs has a specific featured quest associated with the instance, one for level 100-104, and another for level 105.
Completing the quest will award extra rewards for completing the listed instance, resetting daily at 03:00 am /servertime. (The quests can additionally be reset with Mithril Coin, as well)
The quest reward from a level 100-104 run is a Item:Grey Box of Ancient Spoils. For a 105 run the quest reward is a <Colour> Box of Ancient Spoils with the colour depending on the instance. These boxes contain similar loot as the grey box and additionally have a chance to drop specific two-slot essence armour or jewellery.
Initially the challenge chests for any of the instances regardless of the current featured one, had a chance to also drop one or a few pieces of equipment from the featured instance set or jewellery. They were completely randomly rewarded out of the entire sets and not restricted to the classes that were actually in the group. This dropchance was removed in U18.2.
A complete description of the Featured Instance mechanic is contained in an April 2016 Dev Diary by "EdgeCase."
Featured Instance Rotation
The Featured Instance rotation follows a six-week roster. The weekly instance changes at Monday 10:00 am /servertime (Eastern time zone), and the quests reset daily at daily at 03:00 am /servertime. On Monday it is possible to do the daily quests twice without using mithril coin to reset them: once after the daily reset time but before weekly rotation time, and again after the instance changes.
The list of instances in the rotation has changed after it's introduction, with U18.2, U19, and U19.1.1.
This is the roster of instances featured as of U19.1.1, and the possible equipment drop from the 105 daily box:
Featured Quest Reward Summary
All boxes of ancient spoils (grey and coloured ones) always contain:
- , which can be traded to the Quartermaster (Featured Instance Rewards Vendor)s around the world.
They almost always contain:
They frequently contain:
- 1 random major tier 8 essence
They rarely contain:
In addition, the level 105 coloured boxes also rarely contain:
- (added in U19)
- A class-appropriate equipment piece from the featured instance sets or a two-slot essence jewellery piece:
You are also able to swap a Class-appropriate featured instance armour piece if you already have it with the Quartermaster - Featured Instance Rewards Vendor who can be found in the following locations in Middle-earth:<onlyinclude>
- At the Great Gate of Minas Tirith
- At the Boar Fountain of Bree
- Near the stable-master in Dol Amroth
- Beyond the entrance of Thorin's Hall
- At Min as Tirith, After the Battle
Featured Loot Barter
can be traded to the Quartermaster (Featured Instance Rewards Vendor)s around the world for the same kind of essence equipment as can drop from the level 105 reward boxes, as wel as tier 8 essence recipes.