Monthly Archives: September 2010

A Small Foray in Free-to-Play!

Skalddi in the new Intro

As you all know, there is a delay with LoTRO going Free to Play in Europe, and there has been alot of discussion on the matter regarding why, when, and who do we point the finger at? But to be honest I have’nt paid alot of attention to it. I have though, as a self confessed and unrepentant altoholic, been itching to create another account for all those lovely alts.

I know I could have waited a few weeks and bought the extra character slots to make it 17 per server, and no doubt I will do that too. But with three lifetime accounts between the three of us (we have got to the point of justifying the third one as being for Baby Dwarf, after all he is nearly 6months old and nearly getting big enough for an MMO) we would never get the full new player F2P experience. We would always have the full maps and quests, the 500 Turbine points a month, the SGM and Guild crafters to make us the full set of critted equipment, all the virtue slots open, and alts with bank accounts to help us out.

So we decided to download Turbines version, and set up F2P accounts on the US servers. So, the new branch of the Khazad Guard was born. Adam made a Dwarf Champ called Izagar, and I made another ginger Dwarf healer, called Skalddi. Our plan was to see exactly what a new player to LoTRO would experience, and document our progress on a free holiday to Middle Earth, as and when we manage to find the time away from our EU based characters.

Here are some of my first impressions of F2P, from the point of view of someone starting in Ered Luin with a Dwarf character. It threw me a bit only having the 3 bags, I kept thinking I had lost two somewhere (Duh!) and the LoTRO store icon seemed fairly unintrusive but convenient if you need it. I only got to level 7 so there is plenty of time for me to change my mind about this, but so far it looks OK, and there is nothing I really feel I need in there as yet. We’ll see how this pans out long term.

I like the very first starting instance, which has been changed slightly. Gandalf takes you to meet Gloin, Dori, Balin, Dwalin and Thorin, and talks about needing to go off and get Bilbo to be their burglar. You then have to spar against Thorin to prove your worth. I thought that was a nice touch. Also the hints with how to play now have pictures to help explain them. Some people might not like it, but I think it makes you notice them more and actually read what its saying, rather than just closing them down and not knowing how to do stuff.



Casual Stroll to Mordors: Fellowships walk for Childs Play

Hey folks, A quick post to say the guys and gals at a Casual Stroll to Mordor who I am sure you have all heard of (hell lets be honest you only got to this lousy site from clicking a link on their site!) are organising an in game charity event over on the US Landroval server. They would very much apperciate you reading their event info, and popping over there checking it out and donating whatever you can.

This fall, a very special Fellowship will undertake one of the most epic journeys of virtual Middle-Earth. The Fellowship’s Walk is an online fundraising event for Child’s Play Charity, an organization providing toys and games to sick kids in hospitals.

On the traces of Frodo and his friends, their team of writers will walk from Bag End up to Rivendell, and maybe beyond. For every donation made to Child’s Play, their Fellowship will take one step further towards the healing house of Elrond.

Join them in their journey, donate now and help us make it to Rivendell!

This Child’s Play fundraising event will take place from September 23rd, the actual departure date of the original fellowship from the Shire, up to October 24th, when Frodo woke up in Imladris. Every night, at 9 p.m. (EST), the members of the Fellowship will walk the land on the Landroval server, moved by your generosity.

Visit Their blog at to find out more and how you can donate to this event!

Two for Tham Mirdain?

Ganin and Az at school

Okay so this is a little late in being posted but I thought I’d better write a little something on Ganin and Azaghar’s escapades in Eregion. We originally planned to skim through, but ended up completing every single quest here, including the School and Library, which we sucessfully duoed. The quests and mobs in there were 51-53 and Ganin and Az were 55-56 , so were above level, but still it felt like an achievement to duo them. Adam had been in many times, on various alts and I had only tried once. That time was on my 65 Tank, and we were pulling whole rooms at a time for a laugh to see how quick we could advance the pale folk and crebain deeds. So I can’t really say that I was particularly familiar with the layout and tactics of the place. All I can say is thank god for in game chat! It meant that we could both be on the same page and shout out when we were gonna stun, heal, go mad on dps, or if we accidentally got aggro of something else.

We started in the Library, with Adam laying down some heal over times, and we would munch some food – including the poison resist Lamb and Barley soup, and then I would pull as small as possible groups of mobs. I’d start in fervour to try and get them down quickly, using blade wall and the horn as much as possible, and concentrating on getting the pale folk mobs down first before the orc overseers. This worked very well, and if I was taking too much damage I’d switch to Ardour or Glory to make it a bit easier for Adam to heal me. It got a little tricky in the corridoor when we pulled twice as many adds as we intended to, which added alot of nasty poison debuffs, but we did it. The first boss would have been pretty straight forward except that I ran a little two far back when trying to aggro all the adds which reset the boss, and instantly reaggroed him and brought on all the adds again! Needless to say we wiped but did it second time round. The rest of the instance was straight forward. Baged a few deeds in there too, getting determination, justice, idealism and wisdom and a load of titles, and a butload of xp too.

Next we tried the school – Id never been in here before at all, so it was entirely new to me. We followed pretty much the same strategy as before, the only thing I changed was that I swapped my off hand weapon for one which did light damage for the first boss – a damage type which the adds on the first boss are more succeptible to in here, and mean they went down a little quicker. This all was pretty straight forward; pull the small groups of dunlendings then run around the corner to break line of sight of the uruk archers. This time Adam would start by pulling the archer with chilling rhetoric – a frost skill which makes a single mob run very slow, and I would kill the normal health dunlending adds that ran to us – they were generally dead by the time the archer caught up, if not Adam would stun it and we would carry on DPS’ing the lowest health mobs. Then we cleared the boss in the garden bit which was alot easier than we had anticipated. Upstairs was a boss with two reasonably high health adds, so we simple killed the adds, and then the boxx, Adam healing whilst I tanked/dpsed. Then when he was down, we came to a room filled with uruks and dunlendings and the Final boss, but it was easy enough to pull the adds in groups of two to three until the boss was on its own. This was a very straight forward boss, just a typical tank and spank, the only thing was that he hit damn hard – sometimes about 1-1.5k at a time, but nothing the two of us couldn’t handle. I started in controlled burn so Adam could heal me without me losing dps, and then when the boss had about 9-10k left Adam switched to dps mode and we just burned him down.

I really enjoyed doing these, and am definately gonna try them again when my next toon gets up here.


Ganin and Az at 60!

We have been awfully quiet recently… sometimes life gets in the way, but we have still been plugging away at our two favourite new Dwarves- Ganin and Azaghar. Last night saw us finally ding level 60 in Moria. We have been having an absolute blast on these two, though we do seem to have developed a bit of a completionist attitude with them, doing every quest in every area, which means that they are level 60, and have barely finished some of the early/middle moria quests. We have really enjoyed duoing Moria, when you sit back it really is an awe inspiringly huge place. I always had a mental image as a kid of how it would be, and in places this captures it brilliantly, and in places also the melancholia of seeing its great halls dark, broken, and humbled… maybe that’s just the dwarf in me talking!

I think we will probably try to do more of volume 2 as quickly as possible, and maybe do a little more questing in the redhorn lodes and possibly the foundations of stone. But we are thinking maybe we will make a dash for Lorien as we are keen to get our rep up with the Galadhrim and get those excellent Galadhrim mithril shard recipes for the tailors and metalsmith guild! In a way the free-to-play delay doesn’t matter too much to us at the moment as it means when it does roll out we can pop straight into Enedwaith. One thing I am really looking forward to is my skirmish soldier reset. A little while ago I switched from a protector (who works great on my burglar and hunter) to a banner man, who I also love, and he is turning out great, but it is proving a chore levelling him to the protectors level. When we get the reset I am hoping to be able to use all my marks on my banner man and get him up to  level with me finally, then we can try some duo skirmishes again!

We still are not sure what we will do with these guys when we hit the level cap, though we have thought of doing some of the mirkwood three mans, as any class can be added to these two as both of use can perform different roles easily Emma on Ganin can Tank or go all out dps, and me on Az can heal or go all out dps/debuffs so that seems the logical next step. We may also give a few of them a go as a duo, we’ll see how things go!