Monthly Archives: April 2011

Last week for Steed of Minas Ithil

This week is the last chance (probably for some time, not permanently I’d guess) to buy the Steed of Minas Ithil, a store only horse, which personally I think looks pretty sweet. This silver-grey dappled horse, draped in a flowing bright blue and white covering with matching banner, is meant to display and carry the fearsome Guard of Isildur into battle. It looks like its following the pattern for the newer breed of in game mounts, flowing saddle cloths and a little flag (like the new anniversary steed) and I really like it. It has a very respectable 250 morale and is 68% faster than walking. However it does weigh in at 1995 TP’s, which is a pretty hefty price tag, one I’m not willing to pay just yet, but then again, you will have something pretty unique, which looks good. I haven’t seen one of these in game yet which shows just how rare they are. If you have TP’s burning a hole in your pocket go on and treat yourself (remember this is per character not per account and is not transferable, so make sure you plum for it on the toon you want it on)

Those of you on the US Turbine servers have had the chance to win this horse in the lottery, those of us on the Codemasters servers don’t have this oprion, but come June we will be in the Turbine fold too and be able to join in all the fun!

Level Usable: 5+
Classes Usable: ALL

A piccie I found on the forums of Bhorgrim the Dwarf on the Minas Ithil Steed


Gandalf, Saruman, or someone else?

This may contain spoilers, so for those of you that don’t want to know anything about volume 3 you have probably read more than you wanted anyways!

I have read a lot of interesting speculations about the future of Volume 3, and with that in mind I have been investigating all the content and instances much more carefully second time through on my Captain, to see if I get see anything extra tucked in there. I managed whilst doing that, to get a screen shot of this chap. When I had finished the Nar instance for Volume 3, book 2, chapter 15 instead of speaking to Elladan I had a look round the instance space, top to bottom, and I ran back up through the instance and out where we came in, then up a series of very small and steep ramps that you do not even go through at the start, when I got to the top I was presented with a corridor I could not enter, and a brief glimpse of this old man, who walked across then seemed to disapear, or head behind the rock? It was difficult to tell as I was trying to get a screen shot in the few seconds I had.

I’m sure someone out there has spotted him already, but who is he  supposed to be I wonder? Could it be Saruman, ghostly images of him or Gandalf, or someone else? The later book 3 reveals more info about the quest line in this area, but this is difficult to be sure which in this case?

Either way, I am still really enjoying Volume 3 second time around, perhaps even more so, and the rewards are fantastic!

LOTRO in Europe to be taken over by Turbine

Well, we have some very exciting news today, and the title pretty much says it all. As of the 1st of june 2011 Turbine will be taking over the LOTRO Europe service from Codemasters, and merging into a larger Global LOTRO service.

To deal with the potential panic issues first, there is a detailed FAQ here, and to summarise for you, its good news! They will in effect maintain our servers, and character names, and honour our current subscription options, lifetime accounts and all. In addition it will finally bring access to multi-month plans, and of course MYLOTRO!

I for one have always found Codemasters to be helpful and reasonable in their service, but there is no denying it is far easier to deal straight with the service provider, and we have always been in an odd position dealing with a 3rd party provider.

I’m not sure what the technical details are yet, but we will be expected to migrate our accounts across, as and when the actually transfer occurs.

So all in all I am very optimistic, and excited for the future, and hopefully this means we can try out some of the American servers on our currently accounts time will tell!


Rune Keeper Quickslot set up advice

This is just a quick post to let you know that I have finally finished working on the Rune-Keeper article on setting up your quicklot bar for Rune-keeper. It can be found from the menu to the right, the Tips section above, or following this link here.

Thanks for reading


Big and Little Northcotton Farms and some thoughts on Update 2

We have had a busy few weeks with birthdays and goodness knows what else, but we have managed to find some time to play some LOTRO, and get a good look at Update 2.

We have been playing our Loremaster duo, and also tried out the new three-man instances, as well as finishing off volume 2 on a few random alts, and getting our heads round the new legendary system and relics on all our characters. I have to say, so far we have had some fun with the new content and we haven’t touched the 6 mans and only just briefly attempted the wound boss of the raid!

Fearien and Feaglin duoing the re-taking weathertop instance

We managed to get our loremasters to level 30 in the Lone Lands prior to the Update 2 release, during which both of us were reminded what a decent job they did of the lonelands revamp; it was smooth and fun. We managed to duo the fellowship version of the ‘Re-taking Weathertop’ quest, which we were pleased about though we did lose our bears in the fight towards the end. We were reminded what an awesome little instance that is, lots of cool drama! I might add, that it was pretty busy in the Lone Lands too, with plenty of Garth Agarwen groups we could have joined, so it seems like there are still more people levelling though, indeed another friend of ours is about to join, so lets hope this continues!

We were then in a position to move to Evendim at 31 with these two to level and check out the new zone. At the same time we decided to run our level 65 Dwarf Champion and Runekeeper- Ganin and Azaghar in the new Evendim three-man with a friend’s hunter. We found ourselves in the position of doing the Northcotton farms as a questing zone for level 30, and an endgame instance for 65, and I have to say we had great fun with both.

For those of you that like a real strategic challenge, and interesting fight mechanics, I would probably skip the Northcotton level 30 quests, it’s basically delivering sheep and chickens, and knocking out the odd naughty crow and shrew. However, as parents of a teething child I think we both found delivering chickens and chucking buckets of water at pigs a pleasant way to switch off, and there was a fun little grand story to go with it all.

We then moved onto the next village of Dwaling, and I must say it was great to see this cool little place being actually used, all I ever remember seeing of it before was my Burglar class quest many moons ago for level 30 I think? But yet more quests hubbed here, and even cooler an instance in one of the houses, which we both thought was great, it felt very odd to be fighting in a confined space you couldn’t run away of kite so easily in. The quest line was a lot of fun, and very ‘hobbity’ in attitude, it also contains a great punch line at the end of the quest:

Visiting the Northcotton level 65 instance was a different experience again, and another we both enjoyed. Our first run in their we just did tier one, and I have to say whilst we learnt it I am pretty glad we did. This instance isn’t really about ‘removable’ poison, but about positioning and communication between your group, at least certainly in early run through. The first boss was easy enough, as we are all old pro’s at Skumfill, and it is just Skumfill HM 3 man, we did miss all three eggs sacks, and we were taken aback a little at their appearance, and didn’t realise just how quick they would hatch into spiderlings, so she healed up three times, but with a champ and RK there are never really any power problems so we just slogged it out.

Boss two, on the other hand, we needed a few tries at. We understood the general gist; kill a cauldron, and slap hobbits, there will be poisons eyes you will need to run off, but actually getting to grips with who, how and what took a little running through, but on our fourth run we did it perfectly, the main thing being realising when you have that poison eye, you have to just run, stopping for anything is a bad idea! Then finally we moved onto the last boss, again it took a couple of goes to understand what each attack of his did, and to coordinate ourselves, but third time off we did it. We all really enjoyed these, and whilst it may not be the hardest content in-game, everyone needs to be alert and on the ball, and communicating, if that is the case, then they can be very smooth and easy instances to run through, and a lot of fun.

We then had a quick look at the Stoneheight 3 man in the North Downs, and got our way to the first boss and started him, we managed to get one add down, and the second almost dead, when we slipped up a bit, mostly through a little lack of co-ordination, the bleeds, and it being a bit too late to be starting something else!

Later in the week we tried both these again, Northcotton, and then Stoneheight and rolled through them both, again only on tier one, to get a handle on what we are going to have to do in tier two, and with their challenge modes. Northcotton, was very simple this time round, we blitzed through it easily, and with a hunter and RK, we think we can easily do the challenge mode on the cauldron, so we hope to give that a try very soon. Stoneheight, we thought was a really cool instance, and we are looking forward to trying that on tier 2, and challenge, though that looks a little trickier. We all really enjoyed those two, so we decided to go take a nosey into the 6 man that followed, the lost temple, and when we stepped through the door and saw the view we were mightily impressed, and all really looking forward to giving this a try.

Later in the week I popped back with my champ and two kinmates, to try a tier 2 challenge, after a couple of bumps (to be fair all my fault as I was too tired on last boss to pay attention) we completed the instance, and I was lucky enough to win a Sarenzer and an amethyst gold silver bracelet the latter was shockingly better that one of the bracelets I had on my champ (an old pre-revamp aureate ‘combat’ one with fate on it), so I did pretty well out of it!

So far we have had a lot of fun with the update, and are enjoying the tweaks to the LI system and volume 2 as well. (after much grinding we got the cloak of Shadow and Flame for Emma finally!) We have heard great things about the new raid from kinchat, and I got to take a look at the wound boss this week, but we didn’t get to downing him, as it was  a bit of an ad hoc group, though I did think the ‘tunnel/corridor’ chase mechanic was pretty cool!  So we hope that the general tone of this update is setting a trend for things to come. There is always room for improvement, but on the whole, we liked the way this was headed.

What did strike home (especially on my champ) was just how far I have slipped behind on my main characters with progress, so I think both Emma and I are keen to get them back up to scratch again.

As a final thought, we all hoped that if they every revamp the North Downs they find a way to work  the Stoneheight area into the levelling zone in the same way Northcotton serves a dual purpose! I mean the art departments and world builders go to such effort on these things, the more use that is got out of them the better!


75% off Mirkwood Deal- Special Deal

So as some of the EU customers will know, there was a bit of an issue with a recent price reduction with Mirkwood. It was marketed as 75% off, but actually turned out to be 30% off. There was some understandable furore on the Forums about this, and as such Codies have announced a special one day deal this Saturday 16th of April, as an apology, and a refund of the difference for those who bought it at 30%:

Further to an error with scheduling earlier this month, we are pleased to announce that we will be re-visiting the Mirkwood quest pack offer with a full 75% discount on 16th April, for one day only as an additional special daily deal.

Furthermore, as a gesture of goodwill, we will also be refunding the difference to all players that bought this quest pack at 30% discount on 9th April, to match this offer.

Nice to see this rectified, a little goodwill goes a long way!


Weaponsmith Crafting Quest Changes


The Weapon crafters in Thorin's Hall



Baby Dwarf had a little sleep this afternoon so I logged on to my Loremaster Fearien and decided to do some crafting. She’s a scholar, but it was the weaponsmith craft that I wanted to level up. I was partway through the first tier of Expert, and had a butt load of ingots in the vault ready to go, so off I went to Thorin’s Hall to use their Forges (force of habit really, used to going there for the Superior Forges on other characters).

I made a load of steel blades, which use only 2 rich iron ingots for 4 craft XP, and then used these to make Bright Steel Greatswords at 6xp, so each sword in effect results in 10 craft xp. I do it this way because its easier to judge how many you I need to make to complete the tier, and out of all the weapons, the greatsword is worth the most at a vendor, and only costs 2 ingots a go.

Very soon I had completed the first tier, and so wandered around the corner looking for the Weaponsmith, as I knew that there would be a quest to do before I was granted the ability to master that tier and open up Artisan. I remembered I had to go up to Othrikar for this (I had done it before on my Cappy Barandis who’s a Weaponsmith and Gilforniel my Elf Champ, who’s also a scholar) and was already summoning my horse to go off to the stable master.

The quest uses standard recipes

Then I read the quest. It was completely different to how I remembered it – rather than run off to the North Downs and do a favour for a Dwarf up there to convince them I’m good enough to make weapons, I had to talk to the master weaponcrafter in Thorin’s Hall (who was standing right next to the NPC I had picked the quest up from) He then instructed me to make a steel pommel, a bright steel greatsword and a bright steel axe. I did this promptly, expecting a catch. They are just basic recipes and still only use the standard two ingots, and no special ingredients. I handed this in, and was told to deliver the items. Aha, I thought, here’s the catch – run around all over to hand them out, but no one of the Dwarfs was in the Forge Hall a few feet away, and the other two were close together near the post box in the main hall. Back to hand in, still expecting to have to jump through a few hoops.

But no, was immediately granted Superior Forge access, Artisan was opened up and I got 36 craft XP too. I was also given two craft acceleration tomes, 25% craft xp for 10 mins. The whole quest process took less than three mins to complete, a great improvement!


Two of these are the quest reward



It makes me wonder what else has changed?

Happy Crafting!