Monthly Archives: May 2011
Three years ago Emma and I started playing LOTRO around April/May time on the recommendation of our friend Mike (the ugly one on the right of the header bar above). I have been a Tolkien fan since I read the Hobbit aged 8, and Emma soon became a fan when I made her read LOTR before going to see the films (I had to really!). It was our first MMO and, to be honest, Emma’s first real computer game since the Mega Drive. We had a great summer exploring Middle-Earth, we liked it so much we did Bree, then the Shire, the Ered Luin, and by the end we were in our 20s and getting virtually no XP from quests, but we didn’t really care. It was about the adventure, and that’s a philosophy that has stuck with us since. Towards the end of Summer we started to take thought to joining a kinship, as it seemed that as we got further on in the game, this would be pretty essential. Our friend Mike had recently joined Heroes of Eriador (Eldar Server), but I had a good look around as they were not active recruiters at the time, and we wanted to make sure we found a kin that fits as there are so many focuses to the game, that if we ended up in a heavy PvP or Raiding kin we probably would not have lasted long. As it turned out, they seemed like just what we were looking for, they raided, but for the most part were about having fun as a group, and were always happy to help anyone stuck with an instance.
On the 19th May it was Heroes of Eriador 4th birthday. So on Sunday 15th May we decided to hold a party to celebrate (it was less grindy than Turbines too :D). It was strange to look back over what is quite a period of time, and to be honest some great friends I have met in-game, some from back when we joined three years ago, and some we have only really met recently. We have friends and players from all over Europe, reflecting a diversity of culture, and yet a common love of LOTRO, with any luck and time zones allowing, we’ll be able to add yet more countries to the mix soon. That is the beauty of Heroes of Eriador, we have had many leaders, and many officers (I was one myself for a time) and many different people and motivations in the kin; a real old mongrel bunch. Yet the philosophy remains; it’s all about playing a game we love together.
The whole event had been Organised by one of our Officers Feleg (A nicer chap you’ll not meet), with a some assistance from other officers and kinnies, and some very generous donations from them too. We had about 50 gold and several sealed relic settings amongst other things at the last count I think, but even now after the event donations have come in from ex-members. If nothing else, I think speaks of who and what HoE is.
The First evenings events were to all meet up at the Boar fountain in Bree, it was a fairly flexible event and people came and went all evening. we had a decent turnout (these sorts of things are not to everybodys taste). We very swiftly moved on to the Prancing Pony for a few beers and a kin discussion. To be honest it was mostly just fun and photographs, we have 2 raid night a week which people seem mostly happy with, and Myself and Feleg are going to be starting an Instance evening on Sunday night, just as an opportunity to group up and have some fun.
Here is a slideshow of Pics of some of the HoE beer lords and ladies in action!
Then we moved on to the kinhouse for some fireworks, and a quiz! The fireworks were actually awesome, sadly our screen shots really don’t do them justice, and as you can see a mix of beer and the watcher yard trophy didn’t end well for some! Finally our quiz master Feleg held a 25 question quiz on a mix of Tolkien, and LOTRO, which Adam was lucky enough to win, and Emma came 4th. In her defence, Baby Dwarf decided to get grumpy half way through so she missed some questions out. Adam would also like to point out there were two questions about Champions, particularly their relationship to minstrels, which he refused to answer sensibly. So between us we got a butt load of cash. Emma was also very lucky in that one of our Officers and kinmates who finished second in the quiz was incredibly kind enough to donate his prize to her (and it was a butt load of gold too!) as she doesn’t get on as much as she’d like these days and he wanted to give her a helping hand. Thank you Val, it is very much appreciated.
During the quiz and afterwards, there was also a spar contest going on… To be brutally honest, I’m not sure who the heck won it.I was busy messing about, taking pictures, and answering questions, but there was a lot of ‘whacks’ and ‘aaarghhhh’ noises, so I assume those folks had fun too, and somebody beat everyone else up!
Next up was a 24 man raid in the Ettenmoors which unfortunately we weren’t able to attend as Baby Dwarf needed a bath, and bedtime (yes we dwarves do wash!). From all accounts everyone had a lot of fun, and the creeps must have wondered what was going on, on a quiet Sunday night! By the sounds of things though, the creeps soon grouped themselves up and retaliated, and a tough fight was had.
When we returned later on, we decided to end the evening on a lighthearted and fun note, so we all reassembled in the Prancing Pony again for beer. This time it got a bit sillier, and Azbarak went to put a dress on, and a few of us all went and got silly haircuts for the evening. I sported a very fine handle bar and bald spot.. not my best look I’ll concede!
Finally we moved of to the Tag grounds in the Bree fields, near the festival grounds. Now if you have never played the tag game there it is a lot of fun, but with that many players, it is very hard for the person who is ‘IT’, so we decided to let them use a horse after a few minutes of trying. Of course there are always a few spoil sports who ride the horse when being chased too, but by that time the beer had stopped any one caring too much anyways!
So a final thank you to Feleg for organising the evening, to all our donators for providing prizes, for all the Officers and Leaders; past and present, and finally to all the Heroes themselves that make our kin a great one to have fun in!
So this is a little late in being posted thanks to having to reinstall windows, but better late that never! Apologies to all kinmates who have been waiting for the pictures (imagine it was the old days and they were being developed :D).
Adam and Emma
this Sunday morning I found myself looking after baby dwarf, who was mostly playing happily so I thought I would have a bit of a revamp of my deluxe Thorins hall house. I had recently finished the third book of the Volume 3 Epic story, and decided I would try to incorporate the new ‘Gondor’ style into my designs.
Firstly I had to try to work out where they would go, and immediately decided on the back wall for the tapestry as it is the first thin you see when you enter, and looks good lit by the fire. I was then left with the rug and table that were already in there, and noticed how well the red and yellows, pick out the reds and yellows in the tapestry, so that instantly gave me two colours. The final one was going to be black, as the base colour of both the tapestry and the lamp is black. I tried a variety of wall and floor skins, but decided actually the default had a suitable austere stone appearance, fitting of the heritage of Numenor. the floor I turned black, the walls gold. I then saw a ‘red elven box’ in my house chest, and thought it was worth a try as the colour was right, and bingo it looked great! I then thought that the red scholars bookshelves, and the heraldic painting, and the elven furnace which would reflect the gold, red, and black motif further. It was then just a case of finding a few extras to fill in the gaps, and a few crafted dwarf lamps to brighten the place up.
I am quite pleased with the results. The side rooms are still a work in progress, and there are still a few tweaks I want to do to the main room, when I get some more time, but overall I think the theme works quite well!
Dwarfdom Needs You!
The Khazad Guard is cordially inviting all you fine people of middle earth to send us your screen shots! What we would really like to see, is something you think embodies the Dwarves. Now you don’t have to be a Dwarf racially: just look at Carrot Ironfounderson, or even have a dwarf in the screen shot, as long as it shows something of the heart, soul, and spirit, of the dwarves. We will leave the rest up to your imagination. If you want to go ahead and write an expanded caption please feel free to.
You can send us your pictures in one of several ways:
- Simply email your picture to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Upload it to flickr or some other photo software service and send us a link via: email@example.com, or a comment on this site.
- Or link them right here in the comment section!
There is a new flickr LOTRO screenshots group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/lotro_screenshots/ of which we are a member, set up by the good folks at A Casual Stroll to Mordor. So if you want to add any of your flickr pictures to that, and send us a message via the above means as to its whereabouts we’ll be sure to check it out.
Each month on the 7th (in honour of the Seven Durins) we will feature a selection of our favourite entries and add it in a featured post. We are not 100% sure on the format yet (possible theme change each time), as we are not sure what/if we will recieve anything, so we look forward to seeing what you guys come up with!
We should state this is just for fun, and just because we love looking at screen shots people have taken. Sadly we don’t have any goodies to give away, but you will get the respect of all Dwarves! So step forward people, your Dwarrowdelf needs you!
Just a quick post to warn all players on the EU servers that Codemasters will be gradually withdrawing some of the services offered, in preparation for being reabsorbed into the Turbine fold, scheduled for June 1st. Please also note that those of us on the EU servers will not be receiving the new update, scheduled for 24th May, until after the change over. We personally anticipate that the EU servers will probably experience about a weeks downtime while this takes place, I hope it’s a day or two, and not a few weeks, but realistically we think expect a week.
Here is a list of the following services due to be withdrawn first:
Players will be unable to purchase or raise tickets for the following services on or after the dates shown:
Tuesday 24th May, 2011 9:00 AM (GMT+1)
World Character Transfer
Hacked Account Restart Programme
Monday 30th May, 2011 9:00 AM (GMT+1)
Any open requests or orders for these services at the time of their closing will continue to be processed normally.
Announcements will be made later on telling all Codemasters customers what procedure they will need for switching to a Turbine account, and we will keep you posted as soon as we can.
Over the weekend we forfeited our LOTRO time to have a much-needed revamp of the blog. Things were getting a bit cluttered, and it was only getting worse as we added more articles. In addition some posts were getting some continuous use and referral, so we have decided to move those into permanent pages under the menus, and will be expanding these across the board and developing them more fully in future. We also decided it was time to brighten the place up and make it look a bit better, we have learned a lot over the past 12 months so it was time to start using it!
How it Works Now
We have cleared off the endless side bar from the old blog, and simplified everything down. So the new layout now has all the main articles under drop down menus at the top. These are: the Khazad Guard info and Bio, our alternate character pages, a new ‘guides’ section, and a new gallery page. We now also have RSS feed, Twitter, and Flickr buttons on the top bar.
The side bar is now more streamlined. It has a prominent search box, a combo box containing tabs with the latest comments, post archives, and post categories. There is also a links section split into: other blogs and podcasts we follow and useful game resource sites. Finally the bottom chunk shows our latest tweet, a link to the lotro combo blog and its latest 5 entries, and an email subscription option.
New, New, New
We have a few new features added, the main one is our Gallery section. This is a link to our new Flickr page, with an embedded viewer. We have a selection of the better screen shots we have taken. This is very much a work in progress, we are skimming through our screenshot archive folders, but we have 40 of these, and so far have done 3, even edited down heavily (probably 5% retained) so it will take some time to select and upload them.
The guides section has been restructured, so we now have Adams legacy and quickslot layout articles hosted in there, and also Emmas character and loremaster pet naming guide and Eglain reputation guide there too. She intends to supplement the Eglain guides with Reputation guides for each faction over the coming months, and cover all the methods of acquiring that factions reputation to complement questing. As you can see the naming guides have been broken up by race/language, so in addition to these she will also be expanding them to cover more suggestions, and a little more detail. Finally, the solitary Burglar level 45 class guide, will be extended across the board to cover all classes, initially the Loremaster one as we are imminently about to do it.
Adam has also finished the Second Age portion of the Khazad Guards illustrious History: Of Moria, the fall of Eregion, and the battle of Dagorlad. You can check out what the Khazad Guard did to help overthrow Sauron the first time around!
Finally we have overhauled much of the existing content, some adjustments to the legacy guides and our character bios have been largely updated and extra images added. This is by no means finished; is anything ever? But we are very pleased with the result, and had a lot of fun doing it, and it has given us a new impetus to carry on working on it!
Please let us know what you think, and thanks for reading,
Adam and Emma
Most of you are probably aware of the little tweaks to the crafting system, in particular the new introduction taster quests where you are given the required ingredients to craft an apprentice tier item for each craft you have. I rolled a new Dwarf Hunter ( I know, that’s 16 alts now! ) something to just tootle along with while Adams raiding – at the moment we can’t have both of us raiding at the same time because Baby Dwarfs sleeping pattern is very erratic at the mo, as he’s teething. Anyway, I was wandering around Frerin’s Court and saw the new mini crafting area, which is on the right looking toward the stables, just before the road to the homesteads. There’s a little door set into the wall now and the crafting area is just inside. (I’m assuming each of the starter zones has one of these now, but as I keep rolling Dwarf characters, I haven’t come across it yet.)
Inside is the Master of Apprentices, where you can train your craft vocation, as well as suppliers and a forge, oven and workbench. I chose Woodsman, mainly because I don’t play my other woodsman very often, and I have a load of explorers for the materials. On choosing Woodsman, three quests opened up – to speak to three NPC’s, one for each craft. As a Woodsman, you get Woodworker, Forrester and Farmer. The Forrester gives you a crate which contains some rowan wood and wax to treat. The woodworker gives you some treated roan to make a bow with (which was great – a free bow for my Hunter!) and then I still had to talk to the farmer.
It was pretty obvious that there was no farmland in the little crafting room, and so I assumed that I would have to visit another area for the farmland – probably the Shire. I will add that these quests in Ered Luin are a little difficult as the quest has the wrong NPC names on it, probably the NPC names related to another starter area. So I changed the quest tracker to set the quest as the focus, and the arrow in the mini map pointed towards Thorin’s Hall, so I followed it. It took me up the stairs towards the Skirmish Camp, where I saw a little door, labelled as Greenhouse. In I went and it was a Dwarf Greenhouse with neat little farming plots inside. Even if you don’t have the quest, pop in next time you visit Thorin’s Hall, it really is very sweet. The NPC gave me some seeds and asked me to make some onions, which I did, and promptly posted to my Cook.
All in all, the new introduction to crafting is very good – it gives you all the materials you need and for new players or those who have never bothered with crafting, it’s a good taster of just what is involved with it. Experienced crafters can also do these quests as I’ve found out. Also each crafting vocation has a title associated to completing this little intro. I’ve included the titles here, they may tempt you to have a little look. Apparently if you are an experienced crafter, if you crit an item required by the quest it is not accepted. Also if you do not have a craft, you can do all of these vocational quests (just keep changing your profession after each one) and keep the titles for each.
Woodsman (Woodworker, Forrester, Farmer):Student of the Forrest
Tinker (Jeweller, Cook, Prospector): Handyman
Yeoman(Farmer, Cook, Tailor): Drudger
Historian (Scholar, Weaponsmith, Farmer): Student of the Past
Explorer (Forrester, Prospector, Tailor): Easily Lost
Armsman (Weaponsmith, Woodworker, Prospector): Apprentice of Blades
Armourer (Metalsmith, Porospector, Tailor): Student of Metalwork