There is a Skirmish Event going on now, scheduled to end March 11. Here are some things I've figured out:
Each day, Nedda Pinleaf in the Bree, 21st Hall, and Ost Galadh skirmish camps, offers a Skirmish Assault wrapper quest. The quest lists 4 or 5 skirmishes that have an extra encounter-like mob called a Harbinger. For the event, there is an auto-bestowed quest, Skirmish--Ill Omens, to complete the Skirmish Assault quest on 12 days.
To get credit, you must:
Pick up the daily quest from Nedda Pinleaf before doing the skirmishes
Turn the quest in to Nedda Pinleaf once completed
Do all but one of the skirmishes in the list.
You must qualify for the skirmish (minimum level, owning the content, any prerequisites to open it, etc.)
Defeat the Harbinger in the skirmish.
The Harbinger may appear during or after completion of the skirmish. Solo t1 120, the mobs had about 500k morale and were not difficult for hunter Michaleo but were not trivial for minstrel Wrytune. Do not exit the skirmish before defeating the Harbinger.
You may do the skirmish on any tier and any size (solo, duo, small fellowship, fellowship, raid). It has been said but not verified that you get credit as long as the skirmish is within +/-5 of your level. It is not necessary to do the regular skirmish encounters.
Although on the first day, the quest reset but didn't change at the usual 3AM server time reset, they plan to fix it so that it resets and changes at that time. This means you must complete the required skirmishes and turn the quest in before 3AM server time (or do the next day starting after 3AM server time).
It is claimed that, for skirmishes where the Harbinger appears before the end of the skirmish, you can defeat the Harbinger and get credit without bothering to complete the skirmish. I haven't tried that.
There is a deed Banisher of Ill Omens for doing 60 total skirmishes (in the Deed Log on the Skirmishes tab). For some reason, it does not count all of them. Although I did 3 of the 4 and completed the quest, the deed only showed 2. Cordovan suggested it may be because the Harbinger was defeated too far from its spawn location. Apparently the "Do not retreat from combat" warning means don't kite. Or it could be some other bug.
You get 2 Tokens of Ill Omens per Harbinger and for the Skirmish Assault quest. So far, the only things you can buy are cloaks and pets.
Completing the Skirmish Assault on 12 days rewards with a super-essence box, like the Yule Seasonal Instance did. Doing all of the skirmishes on t3 supposedly rewards another super-essence box. Those boxes are bound to account, suggesting that lower-level characters could get boxes for higher level characters on the same account.
I'll post anything else I find out. Feel free to add to this thread.
In the Battle in the Tower, the Harbinger ended up being in the room with Mazog (the end of the Skirmish), up and to the left as you enter the room. Because the message came before I got to that room, I wasted time looking for the Harbinger elsewhere.
Getting to him triggers Mazog. This seems to be an issue on higher tiers, but on t1 I was able to defeat the Harbinger before Mazog finished his speeches.
Being defeated doesnotseem to keep you from completing the quest, if you retreat and come back to beat the Harbinger.
Being defeated does notseem to keep it from counting for the deed. There may be other reasons or bugs for the deed not incrementing. whether or not you complete it without being defeated.
The particular Harbinger you encounter seems to be randomly generated. If you don't like the one you get, but don't want to have to do a different skirmish, you can exit the skirmish and start it over (you may need to enter a different instance in order to force it to forget the current skirmish). There are enough different harbingers that you're unlikely to get the same one the next time.
So far I have only done them solo t1. The t3 scaling of the Harbinger would likely make it infeasible for most classes solo, even assuming you could handle the skirmish t3. The canonical DPS, healer and tank group gives you the ability to defeat much harder mobs.
If someone wants to group, I'm happy to help, but I'll probably barely manage doing t1 solos on Mic, Nod and Wry. So far it seems like a lot of work for one essence that will make a small difference on my overall stats.
The most recent patch seems to have fixed the issue of below-level quest completion. It now seems to complete if you do the skirmish 5 levels below yours. There still seems to be cases where you do the Harbinger on-level without incident yet it still does not count it in the Banisher of Ill Omens deed. Some say you have to defeat the Harbinger before defeating the skirmish boss. This seems arbitrary to me, since some skirmishes make this harder than others, but I can't confirm or refute it.
I was able to do the skirmish daily quest on a level 60 character, and it did count for the 12 day wrapper quest. In theory, this means I could earn another bound-to-account Box of Essences and pass it to a level-cap character and extract another super essence. Any character that can do all the skirmishes could do the same. A lower level character might not be able to do it every day; for example, my level 60 character cannot do the level 65 skirmishes, but could do 3 out of 4 days in the cycle.
It is almost 12 days since the start of the event, so if someone has been doing the skirmish event on a lower-level character, we should soon hear reports about whether or not this plan works. There are about 20 days left, so it would still be possible to do it. Stay tuned.
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