Monthly Archives: November 2010

Podcast awards 2010 Nominations

O.K time to put our money where our mouth is and get behind our favourite podcasters Merric and Goldenstar and their excellent team at Casual Stroll to Mordor. The nominations are due soon, so get your self over to: http://www.podcastawards.com/ and vote.

You are allowed to pick one choice for peoples choice/best produced and then repeat the choice in one of the below catergories, which the most appropriate would be gaming.

You have until 23.59 on the 21st of November, so lets try and get them on the short list!

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Housing Items I’d like to see

This isn’t really much of a post, just  a set of screen shots of things I’d quite like added to the list of cosmetic item for housing that are already items in game in much of the current locations, there are a lot of these, but these are a few I took pictures of in the last week or two. I particularly Like the Drake head which is in the small NPC room at Hrimbarg in the Eastern Misty Mountains, and the two Golden Dwarf Statues which were in a small fellowship instance. The dwarf homestead gardens are awfull for decorating with trees, benches, flowbeds, and crumbly ruins and statues all covered in moss, so something like these which are large, bright and very bold would allow us to perhaps bring a bit of life, and colour into what is just a dull stone front yard!

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Welcome… erm… Trowsacoff

From Left to Right: Haki, Izbaruk, Trowsacoff, and Anlafski

Honestly don’t ask where some of these lot get their names sometimes. Trowsacoff is a good friend of Mikes in real life and joined the Khazad Guard some time ago, but left just before we managed to fully initiate him, but finally on Tuesday night we managed to get him fully rolled in, with the proper uniform and a group swig of the sinister keg! Myself and Mike ended up in Forochel, Emma ended up in Annuminas, and Trowsacoff landed in Bree- lucky swine! So finally welcome!

Two LOTR Fan Films

I’m sure many of you out there already know about these excellent pieces of work, but especially with many new Free-to-Play players I thought I would point you in the direction of some interesting related work, and for those that have seen them before, perhaps prompt you to have a second look!

Both are short (ish) films created by fans for practically non-existent budgets on parts of Tolkien’s appendices from the Lord of the Rings. They fill in aspects of the story chronologically before the Lord of the Rings and provide a little background to the events seen in the books and of course on the big screen in Peter Jackson’s interpretations. They follow a similar film and art style to Peter Jackson’s films, yet I think this is no bad thing, as it means they inherit a lot of the tone and credibility that Peter Jackson and Weta spent of lot of time and money refining, and they spend their time and money adding and embellishing this. I watched them on their respective release days and was blown away, and have periodically popped back to watch them. Born of Hope was particularly interesting to me location wise as I have visited West Stow; the Anglo-Saxon site and reconstructed village, as both an archaeologist and a reenactor, and was intrigued to see what a great Middle Earth set it made! 

The real strength of both stories is that they don’t bite off more than they can chew, and choose to tell a little bit of story very well and in detail, rather than to make a full adventure movie poorly. Both are entirely free to watch, and definitely a very nice bit of background story to the Lord of the Rings Film trilogy as we know them, and indeed LOTRO as a game (Halbarad is in Born of Hope!). So please pop along to their sites and give them a view, you won’t be disappointed!

The hunt for Gollum is about Aragorns attempts to track and capture him, and the site can be found here: http://www.thehuntforgollum.com/

Born of Hope tells of the Dunedain of the north and Aragorns Lineage and can be found here: http://www.bornofhope.com/

A Horse, a Horse, my kingdom for a Horse… Oh and a Goat too!

A we mentioned previously, this Festival Emma and I have been working on the Ale association with two of our younger and slightly wilder dwarves; My Runekeeper; Azaghar, and Emma’s Champion; Ganin. We finally got Kindred 5 days ago and got ourselves some shiny new goats. These guys look excellent, and they really fit with our uniform, and the slightly un-Khazad Guard behaviour of these guys at times!

A couple of days before that, having logged onto F2P and walked into the haunted burrow for the first time, I wandered into the basement whilst searching for hobbits to scare for the Ale Association, opened the poorly hidden chest, and picked up the scroll for the skeleton horse. I couldn’t believe my luck… I am unusually unlucky in this game, my champion looses almost every roll he makes, so I had almost resigned myself to never getting this when I saw how it was obtained on the Us servers. However there it was, I have to say it goes very well with my black mischievous armour on Azaghar too!

Just What I Always Wanted!

Emsibelle tries on Azbaraks clothes

Just a quick post to say I love the wardrobe! I love it! Since they introduced the Radience gear and I saw a little Hobbit lady in the full Durin’s Guard set I wanted one. And now I can have one! Azbarak, my level 65 fully togged Dwarf Tank kindly donated the Durin’s Guard and Shield-Bearer’s set, and the Cloak of the West-Tower, to the wardrobe so that Emsi, my little Hobbit lady Tank at the huge level of 20 can play dressy-ups. She looks so cute! It means that I can concentrate on levelling up another alt (maybe a Dwarf Hunter this time)without having to grind and have 2 level 65 Tanks, however awesome they might be. I went and got her riding skill and now she can roam around the Shire on her free Dusky Nimblefoot Goat, playing at being Azbarak.

Welcome Aulin

Aulin and Azaghar

A new member joined us this week, a good friend of ours who we have fought the enemies of the free people with for some time. A mighty Dwarf champion by the name of Aulin, who was inducted into the Khazad Guard and given his uniform by Azaghar. We look forward to him training further and joining us in our constant battles against the enemy! Welcome Aulin, may your beard grow long and bushy.

Naming Guide for Middle-Earth

Anyone who has ever seen this blog will know that I am an unashamed Altoholic, and the advent of Free to Play only makes it easier for me to indulge it. I rolled an alt on the new Withywindle EU server when it first became available, mainly because I couldn’t wait for Eldar our usual server to come online so I could see how many Turbine Points I had in the bank. It had only just come online and there were already 24 people in the Ered Luin starter zone. Adam rolled another Hobbit on Eldar the following day and there were over 70 in the Archet starter zone. This is fantastic, as it shows that the community is growing, and so it is for these new players that I have prepared this naming guide.

I have always been interested in the names, I want them to sound and feel right for the appropriate race, and it often takes me quite a while to choose a name for my characters. Adam and myself have also been Viking Re-enactors (not so much now with Baby Dwarf, but we will again when he’s a little older) and so I have researched Norse and Anglo-Saxon names for that, which fit in for the Race of Man, as Tolkien used the same influences.

This guide will be set out in Gender order, and Race order, with Dwarfs being at the end, because it’s not considered polite to ask what gender they are. For each one I will go through the naming conventions, the new random name generator suggestions it gave, and my own suggestions. My own suggestions come from the research I have carried out into Old English, Norse and Saxon names, and Elvish names. Name suggestions for Men and Women of Gondor are in the Elf section as they all use Sindarin conventions.

Men of Bree

These are short English style names, or English style less familiar names, such as Ned, Bill, Humphrey, Cuthbert.

Suggestions

  • Saul                    
  • Rob                    
  • Fulke                 
  • Wilf                  
  • Sawny (A Scottish pet name for Alexander)
  • Hugh                  
  • Eustace               
  • Florian             
  • Rufus                 
  • Guilford                    
  • Herb                
  • Esau

Men of Dale and Rohan

These use Anglo-Saxon and Norse influences, such as Brand, Hengest, Erkenbrand, Eomer.

Common Prefixes are : Beo- , Grim- , Ceol- , Esc- , Theod-

Common Suffixes are : -ferth, -helm, -laf, -wald, -wine, -wulf

Suggestions

  • Egil               
  • Einar             
  • Thorstein              
  • Herewulf             
  • Grimwald            
  • Beofrith               
  • Ceolwine
  • Escferth       
  • Osric             
  • Ulfraed                   
  • Eistein                 
  • Hrolfur                 
  •  Theolaf                 
  • Ketil

Random Name Generator Suggestions in-game

  • Haneding     
  • Tuxton         
  • Manham                 
  • Stathard             
  • Badacin                
  • Ringal                    
  • Idhil

 

Men of Gondor and Elves

These use Sindarin names, such as Boromir, Beregond, Legolas, Elrond

Common Prefixes are: Adan- , Beleg- , Fela- , Gil- , Curu-, Ul-

Common Suffixes are: -randir, -thelion, -dor, -born, -uil

Suggestions and their approximate Meanings

  • Arathalion (Daunless Champion)                  
  • Ruindil (of the Red Flame)                    
  • Ivandur (of the Autumn)
  • Tholrondir (Iron Helm)                                    
  • Mortardur (the End of the Dark)         
  • Carahir (Lord of Fangs)
  • Soronthalion (Power of the Eagle)                
  •  Balcardil (Powerful Tooth)                     
  • Hirithelion (Lord of Mists)

Random Name Generator Suggestions in-game

  • Ilirgar                                       
  •  Bonirun                                        
  • Cugwelion                                            
  • Durduilorn

Fallowhide and Stoor Hobbit Males

These have aristocratic sounding names, often drawn from Frankish and Gothic languages, such as Meriadoc, Paladin.

Common Prefixes are : Ever-, Ferd-, Isen-, Dino-

Common Suffixes are : -acar, -gard, -fast, -wise, -mond

Harfoot and Stoor Hobbit Males

These are simple names, commonly ending in “-o”, for example, Polo, Lotho, Drogo

Suggestions

  • Almaric                    
  • Anselm                      
  • Banjo                        
  • Frogo                  
  • Leo                         
  • Philbo
  • Manwise                    
  • Spamfast                  
  • Ranulf                       
  • Warin                 
  • Engeram                 
  • Hamodoc

Randon Name Generator Suggestions in-game

  • Pato                             
  • Dodpecil                  
  • Voquo                      
  • Wilbordic         
  • Dondercar            
  • Ladboroc

Women of Breeland

Women of Bree have simple English sounding names, or less familiar English sounding names, such as Ellie, Dora, Maribel, Livina.

Suggestions

  • Ada                      
  • Maude                     
  • Hawise                        
  • Avice                       
  • Nora                           
  • Sarabelle
  • Richenda           
  • Sabelina                   
  • Effie                              
  • Petronilla               
  • Ines                               
  • Isolde

Women of Dale and Rohan

Women of Dale and Rohan have Anglo-Saxon and Norse influenced names, such as Leofwen, Eowyn, Ethelhild.

Common Prefixes are : Elf-, Esc-, Beord-, Cwen-, Leof-, Here-, Wulf-,

Common Suffixes are: -flaed, -leofu, -bur, -wen, -gifu, -waru, -swith

Suggestions

  • Aelith                       
  • Ethelflaed                    
  • Bebba                        
  • Luta                          
  • Aelgifu              
  • Leofwyn
  • Hereswith               
  • Coina                             
  • Beornwyn                  
  • Cwenthryth            
  • Merewenna      
  • Wulfwaru

Some unusual suggestions from Historical Records

  • Oddtuna                    
  • Saexburgha              
  • Turid                            
  • Angerbotha          
  • Assi                      
  • Yule

Random Name Generator Suggestions in-game

  • Brunthondyn                                          
  • Faelraen                          
  • Eirenil                                   
  • Turdgythfaru

Women of Gondor and Elves

Women of Gondor and the Elves both share names from the Sindarin language, for example, Gilraen, Ioreth, Arwen, Celebrian and Galadriel.

Common Prefixes are : Breg-, Hir-, Ir-, Rod-, Sael-, Bel-, Galadh-, Nim-, Tinu-,Edhel-

Common Suffixes are : -dal, -ieth, -iel, -rian, -wing, -uial, -los, -uilos

Suggestions and their approximate Meanings

  • Giluen (Pale Star)                                     
  • Nauriel (Daughter of Flame)                                
  • Lothlariel (Dauntless Flower)
  • Naurmiriel (Fiery Jewel)                       
  • Guluin (Pale Magic)                                                       
  • Faerindeth (Spirit Bride)
  • Sedryneth (Faithful)                                 
  • Draugwing (Of the Wolves)                                         
  • Tindomelos (Starry Twilight)

Random Name Generator Suggestions in-game

  • Brodhrimgiel                                                                     
  • Thadhronthael                                                               
  • Ruthedhail

Hobbit Women

Hobbit women are named after flowers, plants and jewels, such as Ruby, Tulip, Belladonna

Suggestions – Jewels

  • Amber                                    
  • Copal (a type of young Amber)                           
  • Garnet                                       
  • Citrine
  • Rhodonite                            
  • Sardonyx                                                                      
  • Peridot                                     
  • Lazuli
  • Tourmaline                           
  • Chalcedony                                                                 
  • Haematite                                
  • Sunstone

Suggestions – Flowers and Plants

  • Bellflower                            
  • Cowberry                                  
  • Rampion                              
  • Agrimony                
  • Pearlwort
  • Silverweed                          
  • Candytuft                                 
  • Hemlock                              
  • Orlaya                        
  • Bryony
  • Feathergrass                      
  • Pasqueflower                                                 
  • Sneezewort              
  • Edelweiss
  • Samphire                             
  • Imortelle                                   
  • Lemonbalm                         
  • Periwinkle                
  • Meadowsweet

Random Name Generator Suggestions in-game

  • Marrosulfa                                      
  • Ausemera                                                  
  • Widca                                   
  • Rodniltharda

Dwarves

Dwarfs tend to have simple Norse-influenced names, such as Flosi, Gormur, Kili and Thorin. They tend to start with consonants or paired consonants such as D,Dw, T, K, F, H, Gl and Thr. Common suffixes are -oin, -ili, -imli, -in.

One example of Viking Runic Text

When naming my Dwarf characters I tend to use a mixture of Norse influence and lean towards letters which appear in the runic alphabet – that is letters made up predominantly of straight lines which would be easier to carve in stone, wood, or bone. I also have a little fun with these and use some dialect words from my native North-East of England. Hence my Dwarves have names such as Ganin (we would say ‘Ganin oot’ as in “going out”) Guzundr (a name for a chamber pot, because it ‘goes under’ the bed) Azagan (‘has a go’) and Ganzi (a jumper or sweater, as it ‘gans ower your heed’). They are a bit of fun, but still conform to these conventions.

Suggestions

  • Snorri                                     
  • Khazakal                                  
  • Trali                                   
  • Izagar                                      
  • Rorin
  • Thrili                                      
  • Bimbli                                       
  • Sombur                             
  • Gili                                           
  • Snorin

Random Name Generator Suggestions

  • Lorund                                   
  • Norlyg                                     
  • Snorkuld                           
  • Hunun                                    
  • Kvelki

And there you have it; my humble guide to naming your characters in Lord of the Rings. See you in Middle Earth!

Emma

The Mighty Duo

A week or two ago Emma and I dinged 65 on Ganin and Azaghar, our Dwarf Champion and Rune-Keeper.

We are currently cleaning up the Gathburz quests, and heading into the Mirkwood three mans; the Warg pens, dungeons of Dol Guldur, and sword halls. We have been a little delayed in a post about this as we have been pretty busy in Real life, and have been tinkering with refining our characters jewelry and armour. However, we also thought we’d write a little post on some of the things we have found and enjoyed about this specific duo, which has a lot of real strengths.

Firstly to point out the obvious, with our two classes we can add any other class to this set up because both our Champion and Rune-keeper can play two roles very effectively, and to no real detriment. Emma’s Champion can do excellent DPS, or be a very effective glory tank, and my Rune-keeper can with a quick re-trait be a healer, or do fantastic DPS, so any other class that comes along we can adapt to very easily, but it has to be said a captain, hunter, or a minstrel would be favourite choices to really complement this duo!

In addition because we can both really crank out serious DPS we have found blitzing through trash both whilst levelling and in small fellowship content very easy. A lot of time I place a healing sigil down, and a prelude to hope on each of us, and with just this we can get us through some huge loads of adds, with liberal use of Ganins ‘sound the attack’ stun skill as much as possible; interspersed with my short stun from shocking touch, AOE stun from vivid imagery, and liberal use of the frost de-buffs we have found we can pull multiples of 6-10 average mobs before I need to start healing in earnest.

It has been a very interesting experience taking these guys as a duo from the start to cap. From my point of view as someone who has played champ as a main for 2.5 years, seeing it from another side has been intriguing, both in terms of learning how I can play a champ better to help a healer, and also from my previous experience applying that to how best to heal a champion. In the early to mid 30’s we struggled a lot as a duo, especially in skirmishes. Duo skirmishes can be hard, but realistically we should have been fine, but we died quite a bit. With hind sight, I think this was part of the learning curve. Emma as a Guardian previously spent a lot of time getting used to the AOE tanking and the champ philosophy… not that it’s a complex one: If something is killing you fast, kill it faster. However, Guardians tend to hunker down and get their buff skills up, whereas on a Champ it’s usually best to pop your Horn stun and wind the DPS up some more, the faster one dies the less damage you take. There was also the ‘stance dance’ to deal with, when she should be in Glory, Ardour (Never I hear you cry!), Fervour, and finally when we finished our level 45 class quest; when to pop Controlled Burn stance.

I also struggled a little with the transition from healing to DPS, choosing my moment carefully, picking when to use threat down skills, learning the most power/DPS efficient rotations. There are occasions where it is best for Emma to Glory tank and me to DPS, and others where she may as well go into Fevour and go nuts and DPS and I should just heal. The only way we now know when and how to do this, is because of the numerous wipes, defeats, near misses and of course successes over the last 65 levels.

We have always made and worn critted crafted gear as we leveled, and this has made us pretty tough, yet only from level 50+ have we started to really feel as if we were beginning to understand our class and that made us tougher still. The duoing of the whole of goblin town was a real experience for us, and was a real stepping stone in helping us to start to understand how we worked together, as a duo. The trolls down in Thundergrot were a classic example of this, we could DPS one or perhaps two together, but occasionally as we saw a third or fourth add come in, it would be time for me to switch. At the same time, Emma became far more conscious of her stances, knowing when I could suck up a little more and heal her harder whilst she switched to fervour, and when to use some of her defensive buffs and Glory and Controlled Burn stances.

Victorious after defeating 'Starlight and Shadows'

 We have also been trying a lot of the small fellowship content as a duo. We have posted previously on the school and the library and we intend to try it again at level cap some time after this Tuesday when us Europeans finally get the Free-to-play update. So far we have not tried the Mirkwood or Lothlorien three mans as a duo, as they may be a little beyond us yet. However, we did a have a real challenge with the ‘Starlight and Shadows’ quest which we managed to two-man after an initial wipe on the two bosses, however, it wasn’t easy! I’m not sure what the mechanic in there is but the last bit was hard as hell. The adds were fine, Ganin ‘sching-schinged’ them to death and I healed, then came the two bosses Gulben around 17 and Twilight around 40K, naturally we took out the 17k one first, but I could not lose aggro of the 40K add the whole time, or indeed when we killed Gulben, and I had to just spam heal myself with mending verse and kite as best as possible, while Emma nuked them one at a time. After the ‘add’ stage, Emma’s champ possibly got a couple of mending verses and a prelude to hope for most the fight. I’m not sure what you are supposed to do here, (I couldn’t see any online guides after a few google searches) but healing it was pretty tricky!

I have to say its been fantastic playing these two and I’d recommend them as a duo to any pair of players starting out, a good fun alternative to the ‘tank and heals’ set up. It perhaps would come with a ‘advanced’ warning, as though the individual classes are not overtly complex, to play them well together as to duo some of the tougher content takes some skill, and especially good judgement and timing. So thank you to Emma for putting up with me over months of playing these guys. Seriously; with her playing ‘my class’ I have no idea how that woman did not come up a throttle me on some occasions with my constant “why don’t you try using this skill” ‘advice’.I look forward to exploring more of Enedwaith, Mirkwood, and the future lands to come, and I’ll also be interested to try out the new writ based Rune keeper skills. With our duo set up, me adding more DPS and de-buffs whilst healing, and also more heals whilst DPS’ing will add some extra diversity and choices to our playstyles, who knows what else we may be able to try!

On some final fun notes, we also had a lot of fun messing around with the Mirkwood tower climber deed- Master Ascender! The latter involved getting up to the second of two towers in Ost Galadh, the first one you ascend for part of the Epic book, but the second has a hidden path and some sneaky ledge creeping and jumping. It passed 10 minutes, and we both probably felt a bigger sense of achievement after that than when we have done some of the game content. More hidden puzzles like this please Turbine!

Ganin and Az 'incognito'

We also decided we quite fancied getting the Ales Association Goat, so we started working on our Reputation with them, out of ‘Guard uniform (as you can see left) as I suspect Izbaruk, Haki and the rest of the guard would be unimpressed by our actions. Ganin and Azaghar are two younger and rougher dwarves so we justified a little ‘un-guard’ like behaviour in those two, though we have tried to mostly do the Bree town beer run daily as its more fun than running round slapping other dwarves.

We enjoyed having a look in the Ale Hall. Seriously, we need some of the stuff in there to be Ale Association housing items- how about 6 of the big barrels as a large wall item, or even a yard one? The same also goes for the tables, chairs, lights and other items, they would be great.

Enjoying a Beer in the Ale Hall