The Story so far
I’m sat here bored waiting for the imminent arrival of our second Baby Dwarf. The original not-so-baby-anymore Dwarf is sleeping. Waiting for a baby’s due date is like waiting for Christmas – your focus is on a set date, but then once it comes, you realise you’re not going to get any presents, and may not for some time to come.
So, I thought I’d write a little post rounding up the things we have been doing over the last month – what became of our preparations for Rohan, and our first experiences with the expansion.
Ganin and Azaghar
We spent a bit of time finishing off reputation with the Stangard and Limlight Gorge factions, which involved completing all the quest chains and taking on a lot of trees. Duoing the titans in Limlight Gorge was actually a lot of fun ( Adam soloed a lot of them on either Ganin or his champ Elgalandir) and we finished most of the deeds around there. We cherry picked deeds to do and worked on those, but weren’t too worried about getting all the virtues to 16, assuming (rightly as it has turned out) that we could get the last few whilst exploring Rohan.
They were our first characters to foray in to Rohan. It just seemed natural that it should be them to explore the place first. Taking it slow and exploring everything there is to offer in the expansion, tweaking graphics settings to try to see the landscape at its best without compromising game play, and submerging ourselves in the storylines has us currently at 81, and ready to leave Cliving.
Adam has been experimenting with his warsteeds, resetting trait points and trying out Light, Medium and Heavy steeds, while to be honest I’m sticking with a Medium Steed and spending points as I see fit, whilst I get used to it. We did both spring for a hide colour pack from the store, being a lot more restrained than we wanted initially to be. Horse skins, were okay but a bit pricey, Horse hide colours we were a bit less comfortable with, but accepted, though they were a little more than we wanted to spend, cosmetic colour packs for the items we are still staying clear of as they are too much! We made a conscious effort to restrain ourselves – each alt can have one horse colour and/or skin as a treat, and that’s it. We have found that the free cosmetics from the epic book dyed either orange or sienna match the uniform pretty well, otherwise the horses are au-naturale. Ganin does have a grisly Orc head on a spear with matching pestilence cloud equipped on his blonde horse, which he found in a blue gift box, a quest reward for defeating a solo Warband. Tyri, Adams hunter also has one of these, again from a blue gift box.
Ganin and Az are both now master crafters, and as the main players it is their responsibility to filter down recipes and supplies to our legion of hungry alts. With the open looting system, we both now end up with stacks of recipes and crafting materials, whereas previouslywe would each roll on certain items and stackables and then split the winnings after as we needed. While both of our bags get full, it does mean that we end up with a lot more crafting materials than we would usually do, very handy when you have as many alt crafters as we do.
Yep, Fairwen, my little Hobbit Warden finally got out of the cupboard and got some play time. I fancied having a solo character I could level through the day, as a little side project. I was pondering what to do, unsure whether to level my burglar, my second tank, my second hunter, my second minstrel or my warden (all hobbit ladies) with a strong compulsion to create a brand new alt.
In the end it was after we teamed up with a couple of guys from our old Heroes Kinship to kill the really big spiders in Limlight Gorge that I settled on my warden. Rich’s warden Feleg (an alt of the Khazad Guards Aulin) was great fun to play with, and it made me realise how good a class warden is. I created Fairwen my warden probably on the day Moria was released, and since then she has been sat at level 20 in Michael Delving cooking.
I hadn’t actually played with a Warden in a fellowship since the days when the Watcher was end game stuff, and whilst Adam had dabbled on his as a solo projects that he can’t really get into (one at 36 one at 50), they kind of slipped by me. Fairwen got a complete makeover to get me excited about playing her as a character again, moving from fresh-faced blonde to a feisty red-head, complete with killer outfit. Within the week she had gone from 20 to 31, and completed all of the Lone Lands quests.
Barandis and Eodraed
Our brother and sister cappy crime fighting duo progressed nicely from 65 to 73 in the days leading up to the Rohan launch. As they are both from Rohan it seemed fitting that they get ready to enter the area. We tried to cherry pick areas on them, missing out the Dunbog completely as we both hate it in there having been through a few times, but we are still only at Isendale. We now have the choice of whether or not to skip vast swathes of landscape (Nan Curanir, The Great River, Stangard, Limlight etc) in favour of starting Rohan fresh on them.
While we would like the reputation with the Riders of Theodred faction, and the Riders of Stangard and Heroes of Limlight, but even with the re-levelling of the Great River zone, if we did those it means that we would be greatly over level going into Rohan, and our dwarves are already 2 levels ahead of their quests, just heading into Rohan at 75.
Having gone into Rohan with Ganin and Az, and getting our crafting up to par, we know that while still nice, the Draigoch raid set and the Limlight jewellery set are not really necessary, though things like the cloaks are still nice, so we will probably keep hold of our medallions on those two as the crafted sets will be a suitable substitue. I was going to have to do that with Barandis anyway, as she is the only really played character on our third account, and as such has a lot of ground to make up in terms of saving up shards, seals and medallions, compared to the main account. It would be nice if Turbine could come up with a way of transferring characters between account, but I guess that has too many potential exploitable applications.
Even Azbarak has got a little play time, being my solo project in Rohan. Granted what with everything else, she hasn’t got very far, only to Harwick (I didn’t follow the epic book on her and so will have to go back and do the East Wall) but she has got her warsteed. I’m pretty happy with it, as I can utilise parts of the Steed of the Guardian which I won in a lottery, and the free colours for horse cosmetics include indigo and rose (which looks purple), Azbaraks signature colours.
Haki, Izbaruk and Vithar
The main Khazad Guard triumvirate got themselves into Rohan too, immersing themselves in the Epic Book and the East Wall area. This was actually a bigger achievement than it sounds as Vithar (aka Forrest) and his wife had their own second baby Dwarf only six weeks ago, so while the Khazad Guard is growing in numbers, our play time is reducing. We love our regular 5-6 man fellowship group, though recently has been on a bit of natural hiatus with a new baby there, and the imminent arrival of a new baby here, work and other real life commitments have made it nigh on impossible.
The main achievement on these guys in the couple of weeks leading up to the Rohan release, was that we managed, over a couple of nights (one night a week), to three-man all of the Moria instances and complete all of the associated deeds and meta deeds. We are now only a Watcher defeat and about 40-50 arms of the Watcher away from getting the Moria Meta Deed goat on these guys. We did try to three-man it, but it was just too much for us on our own, even 15 levels ahead. The plan is to go back and have another go when we reach the new level cap (and the babies have hopefully settled into some sort of routine to allow coordinated game play again), and maybe bring a few mates!
Haki also got his act together and went back to Enedwaith, getting Kindred with the Grey Company and the Algraig, and is now World Renowned. It’s a shame that Reputation and Meta Deed Steeds are not granted Warsteed matching appearances!
Adam has been playing Tyri in Rohan as a bit of a solo project, for when I need to have a bath to ease the aches of advanced pregnancy. He’s done pretty well, getting up to 80 and round about the same area as Ganin and Az are currently questing in. True to form, on reaching 80, Tyri was treated to a Tobiano horse skin and a brown hide and hair colour pack as a nice treat, as well as the rear up horse emote which happened to be on a 50% off sale this week.
Adams been having fun tackling all warbands he’s encountered so far, be it solo or fellowship size mobs. As a hunter on a light warsteed, the mobs rarely even get to close on him, so he’s not had any problems so far. Tyri has also had a bit of a makeover in the cosmetic department. Playing solo, Tyri is in civies rather than Khazad Guard uniform. I love this get up on Tyri, I think it makes him look like one of the Lords of Winterfell from A Game of Thrones.
The Mother of all Monitors
Finally, a little work has been done on tweaking my PC, the weaker of the two in the house. The Christmas before last my PC was given a shiny new graphics card, which has been awesome, and now it has been treated to new overclocked i5 processor and cooler, new motherboard, and 8 GB of RAM, which Adam installed last week, and it has really brought out the detail. Coupled with that, we inherited a massive 22 inch monitor from Adams brother, which has also been installed. Now I am running everything turned pretty much to the max on 1680×1060. The difference is amazing. Even on a huge monitor like this one, the new processor means that everything still looks better than it did, and runs even smoother. I now spend even more time taking screenshots than I did previously, and every time we enter a new area or instance, Adam has to run downstairs to check out the view from my perspective.
Next week Adam has a new Solid State hard drive he is going to install, and reinstall windows and LOTRO onto, which in combination with the graphics card I alreay had should keep me set up for the forseeable future. Hopefully Adams PC can have the same treatment in the new year.
Thanks for reading