What could possibly go wrong when Gandalf planned to meet all 13 dwarves in the Shire? Or to be more specific... He had planned to meet them where the Bywater Road enters Hobbiton. The plan sounded foolproof. But now, Gandalf is the only one standing at the rendezvous point and the dwarves are nowhere to be seen. So Gandalf begins his search through Hobbiton, Bywater and around the shores of Bywater Pool, hoping that he will find the dwarves on his way. During that journey, he receives help from the Hobbits of the Shire, who are more than happy to talk with the strange Wizard. Furthermore, they will even notify him of any nearby dwarves if he bribes them with a bit of Pipeweed. And of course, some Hobbits may have some special wishes and requests which might get Gandalf their favour, too.
Persons of interest
What makes this mission special is that it introduces a completely new system. This system allows the player to interact with characters on the map in a special way. The interactive characters can be recognized by the large question mark above their heads. Right-clicking on those question marks starts a conversation with the character and allows some special interactions. On this particular map there are 3 special interaction options:
- Chatter: Gandalf chats with the hobbit. This way, he might get some new or useful information or even a quest from the hobbit.
- Ask about dwarves: Gandalf asks the hobbit if he has seen any dwarves recently. Any nearby dwarf will be marked.
- Give pipeweed away: Gandalf gives the hobbit some pipeweed as a present. The hobbit will inform Gandalf immediately whenever there is a dwarf near the hobbit.
Therefore, the strategy of the mission includes the usage of questions and pipeweed presents to find out where which dwarf is at the moment, and after locating them, to meet them and make them join Gandalf. Even though pipeweed might be extremely useful, there is only a limited amount of it, meaning the player has to use it well and be careful about spending it. Nonetheless, there is some extra pipeweed hidden at different places all over the map. Additionally, if you have fulfilled the request of a hobbit, you have gained their favour and won't need any pipeweed for them to report nearby dwarves. Fulfilling all the smaller and bigger requests of the hobbits might be quite useful after all! And to avoid wasting any pipeweed, it might be advisable to have a nice chat with them before giving them any pipeweed. You might find that they have a request for Gandalf.
After finding all dwarves and bringing them to Bag End, the secondary part of the mission starts, which is much smaller and takes place at night. Due to the darkness, the player doesn't have any access to the normal tools such as the minimap and has to find his way through Hobbiton just from his memory and the available roads.
On this image you can see a few of the landmarks of this map, namely:
- Starting Position: Blue
- Farmer Maggot's Farm: Orange
- The Market: Red
- Bag End: Purple
- The Fairground: Green
- Find Fili and Kili
- Find Balin and Dwalin
- Find Oin and Gloin
- Find Bifur, Bofur and Bombur
- Find Dori, Nori and Ori
- Find Thorin
- Find more pipeweed for Gandalf
- This mission contains three cameos, referencing members of the Edain Team.