Well okay then! New content is new content, I'll take it. But if these quests are instances, why the heck aren't they skirmishes? That's what the whole point of skirmishes was, I thought, was just this sort of thing?
I have a sinking feeling that skirmishes are an abandoned mechanic, which would annoy the heck out of me because I really liked them and they were the main subsystem of LotRO that actually seemed to work well. (I mean cripes, legendary weapons are still clunky and annoying as hell, or at least they were last time I messed with them.)
Anyway, they're also very serious about that "small fellowship" thing, at least as far as these not-skirmish instances are concerned. Out on the landscape, a champion with decent gear can usually take an on-level small fellowship quest if you approach it intelligently-- not so, these things. Granted I only tried the one, but it was quite literally a narrow path that led from one bottled encounter to the next, and each encounter was a brute, fighting 2-3 elites on top of whatever regular foes might be there. There were also giants tossing rocks down and making "kill zones" which I tried to use strategically, but more often than not either didn't come into play at all, or bit me in the butt instead.
Fortunately, my lil' champy is level 21, so I don't have to worry about the "don't die before level 20" deed; but all her equipment's broke and she's felt the sting of "you can't finish this one without some more levels under your belt" for the first time. I imagine I'll try to get jamesbarrett to go along with me for them, assuming he's got a character low enough to group with.