Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Double Birthday!

So Today we have two birthdays… well actually one was a few weeks ago, but we thought we would wrap them up in one post.

Firstly the Blog was a year old a week or so ago. Neither of us have ever blogged before, and the last few months real life has meant the posts have slowed down quite a lot more than we hoped. However, over the past year it has been a great experience and we have had good fun doing it. We still have plans for more guides and suggestions, as well as our usual dwarven ramblings, but we’d really like to thank all of you who have visited and commented.

When we started we had a few hundred views a month, thanks to a mention by the lovely folks at A Casual stroll to Mordor this was tripled the following month, from then on we seem to have grown steradily, but since November last year we were both very surprised to see we have had well over 2000 visits every month, so thank you to everyone for reading.

Secondly, and more importantly; it is Baby Dwarfs first Birthday today. Looking after that little monkey is part the reason why posts have been so slow, especially as he is just getting his teeth through at the moment; perhaps launching a blog a few weeks before our first born was due was not the smartest decision ever made, but in fairness we have enjoyed every minuite, and are both looking forward to another year of blogging, and having fun with our boy!

Adam and Emma

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Instant Sobriety in the 21st Hall

With the Spring Festival in the air Izbaruk, Lord of the Khazad Guard, and second in command Haki decided to let their beards down and have a little fun. Trying to redress the slight to the Hobbits and their brews by Ganin and Az, two of the Guards younger and very Patriotic Dwarfs, who had fallen in with the Ale Association to such an extent that they are treated as Kindred, Izbaruk and Haki set off to join the Inn League, to make amends.

A Few Rounds In

They made their way up to Hobbiton and made their introductions, and had a couple of pints (or six). Such a good time was had that it seemed a good idea for them to carry on to the next village, Brockenborings, then another, then another, until their wits were truly muddled and the Halflings thought them fine fellows.

 

A Few More Rounds In

By this time news had spread of more Festival shenanigans over the Brandywine in Bree, and well in their cups, it seemed like a good idea to go. Avoiding the Bounders, who would have had something to say about two foreigners wobbling through the Shire, riding whilst under the influence, they made their way over to the Horsefields of Bree. There they discovered several quests and one of their new League friends with an errand to run in the Hedge Maze.

 

Needless to say, they sped off to find lost Elves, much to their amusement, scold excitable Hobbit Tweens, and set false trails. This is thirsty work, and they ended up sampling some strange brews which had been left around the maze. These drinks were so potent that they woke up with no memory of how they had arrived at a completely different part of the maze, and badly in need of a kebab. Eventually they made it through the maze, and with the tokens they had earned, Izbaruk bought what he thought was a carry out keg, to share with the Kin.

They set up the new keg in the Kinhouse, paying no heed to the legend “Moria Sinister Keg” attached to it, and decided it prudent to sample this brew.

 

The Lost Pub of the 21st

 

 

On waking from their drunken stupor, they discovered they had mysteriously appeared in a deserted Dwarf Inn. The lack of Bar-keep soon meant that the effect of the brew wore off, enabling them to have a little look around. It turned out that they were incredibly high up, but there was no door, ramp or stairs to their current place. Perhaps the working Dwarfs of the 21st Hall in Moria, for they were beginning to recognise some landmarks, lingered too long over their ale at lunch, and this little establishment had been closed down to prevent temptation.

There was no way down.

 

It's a long way down.....

 

 

Izbaruk, as leader decided to make a leap of faith, and jumped into the abyss. There was a sickening crunch and faint “dong” of metal, such as a sturdy Dwarf in full armour hitting a distant walkway. Haki tried all his healing arts but to no avail, he simply could not reach Izbaruk. He climbed onto the railings, and then he too leapt, but too far, he missed Izbaruks still form and carried on down, until he landed without grace outside the vault and Auction Hall of the 21st.

Bruised, and in Izbaruks case, dented, they dusted themselves down.

“Same time next week?”

Tuesday Treats!

Todays Tuesday treat is 50% off the Dusky Nimblefoot Goat, now at 498 TP’s. It has 60 health and a run speed of 168%, the same as the non faction or rep mounts, with the bonus that you don’t have to walk through Moria! Bill the Pony shied away from the Gates of Moria, and no horses will enter, but not so for goats. It can be used from level 5, and can be used as a standard mount.

Players who pre-ordered the Adventurers Pack with the Siege of Mirkwood Expansion back in Dec 2009 got this goat for free on the account, along with the Harbingers cloak, two character slots and some shared storage, so this purchase is only for those who didn’t pre-order the expansion, or grind the rep and the gold to buy one the old-fashioned way.

Azbarak on the Dusky Nimblefoot Goat

The goat is a dirty cream with short horns and blue  saddle cloth, and has mining equipment in the saddle basket, and also has a little dwarf lantern on it – all the better to light the way in those dark caverns of Moria.

So, its down to you whether or not you buy it. As a basic mount I like it and I do use it on some of my alts (I had pre-ordered Mirkwood and the Adventurers pack, so I do always have that option) but if you have the time and the inclination and 4 gold burning a hole in your cloak pocket, I much prefer the Thorin’s Hall Rep Goat or the Ale Association. You need Kindred with each of these factions so it can be a bit of a grind, but for me the goats look a little more impressive, and have the extra morale.

Ganin on the Ale Association Goat

Izbaruk and Haki on the Thorin's Hall Rep Goat

Update – Echos of the Dead Delayed on EU Servers

Codemasters announced this morning :

“Due to last minute technical reasons, the release of Update 2: Echoes of the Dead has been delayed momentarily whilst a fix is applied. We will announce a new launch date shortly. Tuesday’s maintenance window will be postponed until later this week.”
We were due to get this update today but it sounds like we won’t have to wait long. Our guess is that the Update will go live on Thursday, keeping the usual schedule of maintainance.
It’s a pretty big update, with instances, skirmishes, overhaul of Evendim, updates to legendary weapons and relics, a new raid, solofication of Book Two, and a new Epic book with the Rangers in Enedwaith. Personally, I’d rather wait a few days and have all the bugs and issues resolved, rather than get it now and encounter problems. The delay seems to be centered around the new Relic system on Legendaries. I remember when the last update went live with the changes to the Vault, and someone lost a stack of Mithril Flakes…….like I said, I’d rather wait!
The following synopsis of the Update has been taken from the EU Lotro Community
The Epic Story 

The Rangers of the Grey Company have uncovered a mystery in the depths of Enedwaith, one that threatens the secrecy of their quest. At the heart of it is the enigmatic dwarf Nár and his surprising knowledge of their road and their duty to Aragorn. Unraveling this mystery will take you into battle against a darkness whose root lies in the Second Age of Middle-earth…

4 New Instances

The Town of Stoneheight: The shadow erupts in the town of Stoneheight on the North Downs, where Ivar the Gaunt-lord spreads destruction as he searches for his helm of power.
Northcotton Farm: Thadúr the Ravager has brought festering venom into the heart of the Shire and seeks to spread his poison to every Hobbit hole and hall.
The Lost Temple: In a forgotten temple of ancient Arnor, Ferndúr the Virulent seeks to unleash plague and terror upon Middle-earth.
The Glacier Fortress: Drugoth, master of death and fear, is assembling an army of walking dead atop an icebound fortress deep in the heart of Forochel.

New Raid – Ost Dunhoth

Gortheron, greatest of the Gaunt-lords, summons the power of death itself in the cursed ziggurat of Ost Dunhoth. In a new 12-person Raid, you must bring the battle to this deadly servant of Sauron and stop him before he raises his underlings to new powers and completes his dominion.

Legendary Items – Better than Ever

Customize your Legendary Items like never before. Preserve your treasured legacies during reforge and bring them to the next chapter of the battle. The all new Relic system allows you to refine extra relics into Shards. Meld Shards into powerful unique relics, scrolls and unidentified Legendary Items.

Additional Features

New Skirmishes: Three new Skirmishes erupt from the depths of Moria. Beyond the barriers of the 21st Hall, in the nighted gulf of the Deepway, and along the Way of the Smiths, defend the brave dwarves of the Iron Garrison from the hordes of Mazog. These Skirmishes are waiting for you to test your mettle and hone your skills whenever the call of battle sounds.
Monster Play Update: With improved Monster Play, being evil has never felt so good. A tutorial and more starting skills get you ready to take on the world. Jump right in and fight on the side of the enemy!
Volume 2 Epic Story Solo Play: Now you can go it alone through the depths of Moria and the shadows of Angmar. The Volume 2 epic story is revamped for solo play and ready for a hero.
Evendim Overhaul: Return to the hills of Evendim, where you helped reforge the Blade that was Broken, and reclaim the land from the forces of the Shadow. Over a hundred new quests have been added and new quest rewards have been updated to allow for better solo play and better quality gear.

As far as I can tell, the four new instances are end game instances, but you must have found the five Mysterious relics which have sprung up in Middle Earth in order to access them. You can do this at any level, I stumbled across a relic in the North Downs and was able to access it on a level 21.

Ganin at the Relic in the North Downs

There are five relics to find spread across the map – they are in Oatbarton, North Downs, Trollshaws, Forochel and Thrors Coombe in Enedwaith. Once you find them all you need to speak to Barliman in the Prancing Pony in Bree, and then you get the title “The Calm before the Storm.” The LoTRO Lorebook has a great entry on all things concerning these relics, including map co-ordinates for them and the locations of the new Instances. It may be worth having a look at this and going exploring with any characters you may want to play the instance with, so it’s all in place for when we get the update on the EU servers.
Check out Casual Stroll to Mordor to have a look at what the update is all about, as it is live on the US Servers.
Happy Waiting!
Emma

 

Tuesday Treats!

Todays Tuesday Treat is awesome for all you Hunters out there – 50% off Tomes of Agility! For 148 TP’s you can increase your characters agility by 10 permanently, and this can be added 5 times on any character.

Agility increases ranged damage, your chance to hit and critically hit, and your ability to evade and parry incoming blows, so is pretty useful for a whole bunch of characters but especially hunters.

Archet Intro

Last night I found I was left to my own devices, Adam had gone out and Baby Dwarf was in bed. Usually I would have spent the free time levelling up my Cappy Barandis, who is now 47 and has her Legendary Weapon and In Defence of Middle Earth (awesome skill!) However, Baby Dwarf is getting his teeth through and was being particularly grumpy, so rather than play the Cappy in Eregion, I decided I would get my Hobbit Minstrel out of the box. I’d made Dandylion back when the character slots were on sale, and she completes my Hobbit set (I now have one of each Hobbit and Dwarf classes available) though I hadn’t played her.

Bounder Boffin huddles behind Dandylion, faced by a Nazgul

I figured if I started the intro, I could go AFK without worrying about where I was, nothing attacks you in the intro without you first having a go (except Blackwolds) so I knew I would be ok. Now I had done the new starting instances back when F2P first launched, and we rolled a couple of alts on a F2P US account, but November seemed a long time ago, and what struck me this time around was how nice Archet looked. Before F2P it looked like a grim little one horse town with only the quest givers in there. Now it looks like an actual bustling town with townspeople wandering around and you can even see some inside the buildings. I spent a few minutes just wandering round to sight-see, and because it looks so good now it shows the contrast when you revisit after you go into the real world.

Dandylion looks on as Amdir stands up to the Nazgul

I took the time to look at the sequence of the instance which completes the intro, rather than just clicking “yeah” and going on ahead because to be fair I’ve probably done that starter zone like 10 times at least. It flows really nice, looks awesome as the whole town is on fire, and now you work your way around the town fighting minor skirmishes with John Brackenbrook, then meet up with Atli Spiderbane, then go to the centre of the town outside the inferno that was the Mad Badger Inn and fight with Captain Brackenbrook. You then face Calder Cobb and a couple of waves of Blackwolds, spurred on by two Carguls. Amdir, who was fighting with the Captain is called by the Carguls and he follows, now a servant of Angmar. I really liked this addition, it really sets up the start of the first Epic Book, where you aid Strider to try to rescue him.

Archet burns and the Cargul enter

All in all I thought I would be spending half an hour or so getting a Hobbit out into the real world (handy for current storage problems) in a fairly mindless sort of way, having done it a thousand times before. In fact I was pleasantly reminded of all the good work which is going into revamping the game. We’re currently touring the revamped Lone Lands with the Loremasters, which I’m thoroughly enjoying, and if the new tweaks to Evendim are half as good as the new intros and Lone Lands, then I can’t wait!

Happy Exploring!

Emma

Tuesday Treats!

Yep its Tuesday again, and that means sale day! Today you can get 50% of Virtue Slots, now at 48 TP’s each, which can enhance your characters specific stats and resistances. You earn Virtues in game by doing deeds, and each virtue ranks up to 10. (It is possible to have more than 10 on a Virtue, but at the moment you only get the benefit of 10 – but as the game progresses and the level cap goes up again, it is more than likely that the virtue ranks will increase also- we hope).

The maximum number of Virtue slots available is 5 – so this sale is really for F2P players, VIPs and subscribers will already have the max slots open. Please also bear in mind that the Virtue slots are per character not per account, so if you are going to buy them, choose wisely!

Erukhazad the Champion

 

Just thought I’d share a cool video from Erukhazad the Champion. I have seen tougher and more difficult solo pulls, and certainly more challenging fights, though this certainly takes some skill, knowledge and effort to pull off, especially with regard to gearing adn traiting up. If you want to read some speculation and thoughts on how he did it with absorb and heal gear you can check out the Codemasters forum thread it was posted in here.

What for me really stands out abou this video though is the great little story and production of the video, which is very nice and a very enjoyable watch, and makes an Epic solo pull in a game, into an Epic story of its own!

Well done Erukhazad, the Khazad Guard salutes you!

Enjoy the video

Your Task if you choose to accept it……

Task board in Annuminas

This is something I’ve been thinking about since the November Update went live, and the recent poll over on  Casual Stroll to Mordor just spurred me on to writing something about it. The first time we experienced it was when we started out Loremasters. We had deliberately held off creating them for after the November Update, so we could go through the new Elf and Dwarf Ered Luin starter zone. The first Board we saw was the one in Gondamon, so we picked them all up, and managed to hand in a few straight away – we had kept hold of all trash task items just in case, we really had no idea what we had to do. Went back to the task board, and they started again, so we ended up staying in the area a little longer so we could both hand in again. It was a long and laborious process which continued when we went to Bree and we collected all those tasks too. A jaunt up to Trestlebridge for a craft quest showed that many of the task items we had, could also be picked up and handed in there. We stuck with Bree, as the Trestlebridge ones don’t have a faction associated with them, and therefore no Rep.

We ended up with bags full of random trash, unsure what to sell, what to keep, and what to pass on to alts. Then Adam discovered one of the best plugins ever! It was created by Vinny, and it essentially lists all of the task items you have in your bag and sorts them into groups of what to hand in, where, and for what level. If you log all of your alts into it (they have to be on the same account) it will tell you which of your alts is the right level to hand the quests in! Like I said before, if you are making any attempt to do task, this is the best plugin ever!

The picture shows an example of the magic of this Plugin. I took it on my 25 Loremaster, so anything in red writing is under level and anything in yellow writing is above level to collect the quest. Green is what I can currently hand in on that character, or in brackets afterwards the names of my alts which can hand them in. It really is great – it tells you how many you have and how many are needed for each hand in, of what item: the 12/4 bit, what level it can be handed in at; the 27-31 bit, and where it can be handed in at; @Oatbarton (sometimes there are multiple locations, and in brackets if the quest has associated Rep; (MS)= Mathom Society, and repeats this for each loaction. Finally which of your alts can hand it in alternatively (Fairwen, Emsibelle), especially usefull if your current character can’t.

It finishes by saying how many quests you can hand in – but note that it includes all the places you have task items for, not necessarily on the character you are playing. For example, the 38 quests I could hand in includes three lots of glistening essences which could only be handed in on two of my alts in Bree.

If you are tempted by using all your trash items for tasks (bearing in mind that the last task board is in Echad Dunan in Eregion, so anything which drops in Moria and Beyond is still just trash) this is a fantastic plugin, it makes life so much easier. I was recently doing some deeds in the Lone Lands on my 65 Dwarf Champ Ganin – appallingly I had got to 65 and only had 2 Valour, which seriously needed changing! – I kept all of my trash items (worth nearly a gold) and sent them down the line to lower alts. This was a great start and meant that with a few sneaky purchases of Task Resets from the Store, I could hand a serious amount in on my Loremaster, getting a couple hundred XP for each one and a little Rep too.

Happy questing!

Emma

Codemasters Competition Announced

A new competition was announced today on Lotro Europe, to win an iPad, iPod Nano and Lifetime subscription, as well as Logitec and Codemasters goodies.

The competition is open to new and existing players, so take a look! Answer a ridiculously easy trivia question and log into your account sometime this week and thats it – you’re entered!

Taking part in this event couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is:

1. Successfully answer one quick question
2. Login to the game between 10th – 17th March, 2011.

The prizes available to be won in the Play to Win competition are:

1st Prize (one available)
1 x iPad
1 x Lifetime VIP Subscription for LOTRO Europe
1 x iPod Nano (3rd Generation)

2nd Prize (two available)
1 x LOTRO Europe Collector’s Edition
1 x Logitech G15 keyboard
1 x iPod Nano (3rd Generation)

3rd Prize (three available)
1 x LOTRO Europe Collector’s Edition
1 x iPod Nano (3rd Generation)

4th Prize (four available)
1 x Logitech Headset
1 x Codemasters Goodie Bag
1 x 250 Points code for LOTRO Europe Store

Runners Up (twelve available)
1 x Codemasters Goodie Bag
1 x 250 Points code for LOTRO Europe Store