Monthly Archives: July 2011

Some of my current cosmetic outfits!

I have had a few nice comment about some of the cosmetic outfits on our Flickr acount, and also in game, so I thought I would take a few quick shots showing some of my current cosmetic outfits on a few of my characters, and occasaionally post them, as a bit of fun!

First up is my Rune-keeper Azaghar. He is a member of the Khazad Guard so is usually in the regimental casual uniform, but when he is on his own, or incognito, he has a fun little outfit I knocked together. This outfit consists of loose (or pliant for the critical version) elven explorers leggings, armour, gloves and shoulder guards, dyed black. In addition I have the brushed leather boots, and the cloak of the Golden wood, again both dyed black.

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A Tale of Three Horses

As we’ve mentioned in some of our previous posts, we have been working on trying to get the Eriador steed, for completing the World Renowned deed on two of our characters; Izbaruk and Haki. For this you have to become kindred with all reputation factions in Eriador, except the Eldgang of the Rift. WE have however, slowly expanded that to try and get it on Ganin and Azaghar, our Dwarf Champion and Rune-keeper duo, and have even been working on Elgalandir and Azbarak. Last week we had a break through, as Ganin and Azaghar got kindred with the Algraig in Enedwaith, leaving us with the Elves of Rivendell and the Grey Company still to get on those two.

Apart from a few skirmishes in the Ford of Bruinen for the Elf reputation, we decided to speed things up a little on these two, and resorted to the Auction Hall, buying Elvish Relics, giving 700 reputation each. Azaghar got there first and on reaching kindred, was awarded the Elf Ambassadors Horse. Ganin followed a day later (after a very lucky purchase on the AH), although when I went to hand in the reputation in Rivendell, I must admit that I had forgotten all about the Elf Lords Horse, so that was a nice surprise!

Ganin on his Elf Lord's Pony

We’ve been spending every night this week running the repeatable quests in Enedwaith which give Grey company reputation – one at Saerdan, and three others in Echad Dagoras, which was definately starting to become a grind. The quests in themselves weren’t difficult (although dousing the torches inside the Black Dens could be tricky when running into several of the 20 thousand health ‘Shadow of the Eye’ wolves at once. We were certainly getting a little fed up of running them. Last night after completing these quests we looked and were still a few quests away from Kindred with the Grey Company, meaning another night of running them. With our remaining play time we decided to get a few deeds done in Enedwaith – Half orcs and Wolves. We were about even on how many we needed to get to complete the deed, with Ganin being just a few wolves and half-orcs ahead. We did Half-Orcs first, then once done, we headed back to Echad Dagoras and the Black Dens to finish off the Wolf Slayer. We were only about 20 wolves away from completing it, so knew it wouldn’t take us very long. Ganin was six wolves ahead, and on killing the last one, without expecting it, noticed the Steed of Eriador had appeared in my inventory, along with 80 Turbine Points for competing the deed. It came as a complete shock! While we were aware that completing certain deeds gives reputation, we hadn’t factored it into our rep earning, though we seemed to get a decent amount, and these two deeds were enough to tip us over the edge. Azaghar followed close behind, so both of us are now World Renowned, our first characters to achieve it.

Ganin on the Steed of Eriador

We were really pleased, having finally earned the Elf Ambassadors horse, and then the Steed of Eriador a day earlier than expected, two of our goals met, as well as some welcome Legendary Item XP runes for completing the two deeds. We were particularly happy to see that the Steed of Eriador matches the Khazad Guard uniform, being white with red, brown and gold accents and flag, although that does mean that we will probably have to get it on all our Khazad Guard members.

If that wasn’t enough, Ganin decided to go for the hat-trick – he visited the Grey Company rewards barter NPC back at Echad Dagoras and traded in 20 of the Gold Tokens of the Wilds (The Enedwaith quest reward barter tokens) to get the prized Grey Company steed, a very attractive yet much more work-a-day horse than the blingy World Renowned one.

Ganin on the Grey Company Horse, and Azaghar on the Steed of Eriador

I’ve yet to decide whether or not to get the Algraig horse from the vendor at Lhunach, which also costs 20 Gold Tokens. I really like it, being sandy coloured with little tribal motifs, but I just don’t think its very Dwarvish. I will perhaps wait until Barandis hits Enedwaith and maybe get it then – it seems fitting for a lady of Rohan to have a fine collection of horses.

Happy Horse shopping!

Emma

Some Dunland Screenshots

Today over on the Lotro forums a link was put up to a German site; Allavatar, which has a few screen shots for the new Dunland region, which we have added below in a slideshow.

So far these look great, and it appears they are continuing and developing the Welsh/native Briton theme, from 8th-11th century Britian, of the Dunland regions. This I wholeheartedly approve of, as this period in British history is my specialist area, and certainly in Tolkiens Writing the Dunlendings have very strong links to the Native britons of Wales, Strathclyde, and Cumbria.

All in all, looking great, and getting me more and more excited!

The original article can be seen here:

http://lotro.allvatar.com/galerie/index.php?p=album&aid=5881&bid=186306#col2

So what are WE doing to prepare for Isengard?

Well thanks for asking Merric, actually… 😀

In all seriousness I saw Merrics post over on CSTM, and started to reply, then I realised it was unkind to spam another bloggers page with a comment of the size I was beginning to formulate :D. Instead I thought I’d make it into a post to follow-up from Emmas news round-up here on the Khazad Guard.

It is a great question he has asked, especially when you run multiple alts and are busy parents to boot (as I am sure he and Goldenstar appreciate!). It is not necessarily an exercise in number crunching or boring homework, as it might sound and some people seem to interpreted it as, but does perhaps beg the wider question about what we want and expect from our hobby, and how we can achieve that. Making sure you have an idea what you want to do to get the most fun out of your leisure time in LOTRO, is something we had already perused and had to make some decisions about.

We did finally acknowledge when the release date was announced that we needed a plan of action before Isengard. As much as we have been enjoying messing about on alts, or with reputation and cosmetics, we have still to see some of the content, and have multiple level cap ‘toons to potentially run with. We have begun to notice the further away from release you start to explore an area, or run instances, the less easy it is to find people to run content with, except some of the easier to grind ones (Sword Halls, Grandstairs, or North Cotton Farms), and to be fair the desire to run it seems to fade with us too. The new scaleable instances have done wonders to prolong the life of the content, but there is no denying the best time to get a group together for an instance is a month or so after its release. We felt if we didn’t try to sort this out, some of the fun things we want to do might slip away from us, and with the level cap increase with Rise of Isengard, this became a more pressing issue, and on top of it all, it is sometimes nice to be playing the new stuff when it is still new! The sad truth is, sometimes if you try to do it all, you don’t end up doing very much.

Elgalandir isn't sure what we should do either

We had some choices to make. Between us we currently have 6 level capped characters, and two very close, and a host of others lower down, so deciding what we want to do, and how, took some thinking. Here are our characters as they stand today; Emma’s are in pink, mine are in blue.

Level 65:

  • Elgalandir; Champion
  • Chumbo;  Burglar
  • Eodraed; Captain
  • Azaghar; Rune-keeper
  • Ganin; Champion
  • Azbarak; Guardian

Level 64:

  • Izbaruk; Guardian
  • Haki; Minstrel

Level 48-54:

  • Tyri; Hunter
  • Elgilas; Warden
  • Barandis; Captain
  • Gilforniel; Champion

Level 1-38:

  • Feaglin; Loremaster
  • Fearien; Loremaster
  • Cebelia; Hunter
  • Hain; Champion
  • Emsibelle; Guardian
  • Fluzi; Hunter
  • Fairwen; Warden
  • Beana; Burglar
  • Tedwise; Minstrel
  • Flokki; Minstrel

Level 15-22 on Landroval

  • Izbarak; Guardian
  • Bimbli; Minstrel
  • Alfvin; Rune Keeper

So as you can see, plenty of characters and loads done, but there is still a lot to do, even on some of the level cap characters, and if we try to play them all, then I suspect we will get caught in the metaphorical plate spinning exercise we have in the past, and feel like we are missing out.

Azaghar getting ready for the long road to Isengard


As you can probably guess from the list, I tend to consume, or play a little more than Emma. We both have a variety of other non-gaming hobbies we enjoy, and there will usually be an evening one night a week where Emma will indulge one of her other hobbies whilst I play LOTRO, alongside the inevitable late night where I wish I had gone to bed earlier! These solo characters used to be my Captain and Burglar, but I prefer playing these will other people, as despite being very tough classes, they can be quite slow to play during general questing, and are much more fun in a group. Other than these, we tend to play as a duo, and have a number of regular groups we always play in on a weekly basis.

So our goals are:

  1. To establish new main characters
  2. To maintain as many of our duos; some in the Khazad Guard Dwarf kinship, and some Heroes of Eriador kinship
  3. Maintain our regular levelling groups with our friends
  4.  I want to keep a solo character to play
  5. Bring some more of Emma’s characters forward
  6. Above all, we want to try to make sure we get to run the Isengard content, whilst it is fresh and new.

Haki and Izbaruk, levelling together for some time now

Using these goals, and thinking about what else might like to do (character pairing for example are very important to us), we have made the following ‘post-isengard’ plan, with what we need to do on the run up. The dark green is the planned action, and the light green is what we are going to attempt in the lead up to Isengard to make it possible.

  • Azaghar and Ganin will be our ‘main’ characters and we will head into the new regions and explore them after release first on these guys. This means we get to see, and enjoy, all the new content, try out the new instances, and work on them as our new ‘main’ characters going forward from September.
  • These two require little work as they have almost become our mains anyway in the last 6 months. Perhaps a few deeds grinding out for virtues, a little more rep for their world-renowned horse, but essentially all the books and quests are done, their gear is good, so they are ‘Isengard ready’!
  • Izbaruk and Haki level in a trio on Tuesdays or Thursdays with Anlafski, these two will stay as once a week in a trio with our friend Mike, though he may switch to a hunter for more DPS for the three-man instances.
  • Nothing to do on these two, other than continue to level before Isengard, and then try to work on some gear and virtues together.
  • Azbarak (Emmas guardian) may well now team up more regularly with Chumbo (my burglar) as those two will make a great pair, and enable me to play Chumbo more regularly in a group and with others.
  • Azbarak needs some Epic books completed, and some gear upgrades and a little more work in Enedwaith. Chumbo also needs the Epic books completing, and also some work in Enedwaith, and some virtue grinding.
  • Elgalandir (Adams Champ) who previously played with Azbarak, will probably be his solo play advanced scout! So I can try out the new content, and instances. I find my champ very easy to solo and am very familiar with him, so he will be a great character to continue on, and of course meet up with Azbarak still and run some content with her.
  • Currently he has run most instances and raids, even if just a couple of times, so he is geared and traited fine, and I will probably just do a little rep work to complete the world-renowned horse deed on him too, so another ‘Isengard ready’!
  • Fearien and Feaglin, our two loremasters are currently level 38 and in Evendim, but we are planning on calling a halt to these for a while. Something has to give somewhere, and though we are enjoying them a lot, Evendim and levelling them will still be there in 4-5 months, when we turn back them.
  • For now sit and let them earn rested XP and do a little crafting on them
  • Eodraed (Adams Rohirrim Captain) is going to team up with Barandis (Emmas Rohirrim Captain) and level together down into Dunland and the Gap of Rohan. This has to be done right; Rohirrim characters in Rohan, Awesome!
  • As you can see there is a fair old gap between Eodraed, who is 65 and raid ready, and Barandis: 49 and about to enter Moria, and we have decided to speed Emma through Moria, by me levelling her other champion Gilforniel through to 49 (I have got from 36-48 in 14 days of casual playing) and joining her on that. We can do this because her captain is actually on our third account, so I can still log her Elf champion and play with her. This way we end up with two of Emmas characters at level 65 to even the balance, and Barandis ready to play with Eodraed. This is the tallest order, but I think it is doable without being a chore. We will choose to level the characters up, without feeling like completionists, and see how it goes!
  • Elgilas and Tyri I shall let rest at 50 and 54 for now, I may eventually turn to them when the rest is done, with the intention of on of them rejoining Gilforniel, and levelling with her.
  • Leave alone for now
  • Hain levels on a Wednesday with our friend Dralli, and will continue to do that on a weekly basis, Emma is following these two with her hunter Fluzi in between times and will continue to do so, with the intent of running some SF content.
  • Usually they only get an hour or so, and at the current rate when we have had a few interruptions, or early nights, and missed a few evenings over the last few months we may struggle to get anywhere near cap by Isengard. So far we are averaging one to two levels a week, which hopefully if we can still sustain it, will put us at level 42-5 by Isengard, though we may get a little more time over the summer holidays!
  • The Landroval characters we will leave temporarily, with the intention of perhaps picking up them if/when our servers are down, or we want to attend an RP event.
  • Leave alone for now
  • All our other Eldar characters we will leave for now, to return to at a later date. Emsibelle and Tedwise will be mainly reserved for festivals, unless of course there is a Horse or bound item we really want on another character!
  • Leave alone, except for perhaps festivals!

Feaglin has waited thousands of years, a few more months won't hurt!

So all in all plenty to do. We have our regular slots during the week with friends to sustain, some work on some of Emma’s characters with the intent of re-pairing up some of our characters, and making Ganin and Azaghar our new ‘main duo’.

All in all I am having fun working through this, and looking forward to getting started in Isengard come September!

Wish you’d never asked now Merric eh? 😀

cheers

Adam

Khazad Guard News Roundup

I’ve just realised that its been a while since I’ve written a post, real life has been a bit hectic recently, but things are settling down nicely now. We had been on a bit of a craft-athon in real life, making a few bits for a re-enactment fair and trying to get a little holiday money together. Thats done now, and Baby Dwarf has obliged by sleeping through again (he’s just had his jabs, perhaps that’s what to thank) so we’ve had a little time to ourselves to sit down ad have a bit of a sort out on LoTRO.

We’ve decided to put levelling the Loremasters Feaglin and Fearien on hold for the time being while we refine our other Duos, Ganin and Azaghar of the Khazad Guard, and our first characters, Elgalandir and Azbarak, who are in our other kin. This is to make sure that they are both ready to explore all the new regions with the Rise of Isengard, which we have already preordered.

Ganin and Az fighting Giants in Enedwaith

Ganin and Az can safely say they have completed Enedwaith (well, as far as its possible as a duo) having done all of the quests, even duoing the Thrors Coombe small fellowship repeatable quest chains, smacking Giants and Gwiber. We did the whole chain once, and completed the epic book ready for Isenguard, and are now just in the last stages of grinding rep with the Algraig and the Grey Company, being well into ally with both. We’ve also been duoing the Halls of Night instance, setting it on 40 and just going nuts in there. All we want are the tokens, for the lovely new bits of jewellery, we can easily skirmish to get the required skirmish marks.

Having noticed that we are not far away from getting the World Renowned horse, at worse being half way through friend status with some of the factions, weve been having a little rep grind, easy on a Champ/RK duo. Last night saw us in the orc camps of Mallenhad in Angmar, a great place to mop up some Rangers of Esteldin rep. In about an hour we got around 120 Orc campaign medallions and 70 War Masters lashes. Another small run and we’ll be kindred for sure.

Elgalandir and Azbarak, our Champ/Tank duo have finally started Enedwaith and are ploughing through the Epic Book. They’ve been at level cap for what seems like forever, but have for the most part been untouched since Baby Dwarf was born. Adam has done some kin runs on Elgalandir, North Cotton Farms and Ost Dunhoth and the like, and a night of grinding Skirmish Marks, mainly when I was too tired to play. That means that Adam has some of the nice end game jewellery, but Azbarak is still in the Aureate/Malledhrim rep jewellery. While its nice, it’s no longer the best, and Azbarak could do with a little work to catch up. I’m kind of shying away from this at the minute just because while I love Azbarak and Tanking, it just seems really slow after playing a Champ.

Anlafski, Izbaruk and Haki in Mirkwood

Anlafski, Izbaruk and Haki in Mirkwood

The original Guard trio, Izbaruk, Haki and Anlafski are on their way to cap getting to 62. We’ve been having a sporadic play for a few hours a week, working through the Epic books, and are now blasting their way through Mirkwood. We have been a bit completionist in the past as we’ve worked our way through the zones, so we took our time getting to Mirkwood, but are now on track. The plan is to get to cap, get the book done, then Anlafki, a tank can move on to play with Ganin and Az, and Forrest, the Hunter, can join Izbaruk and Haki ready for Isengard.

If that wasn’t enough, Adam has offered to help level my Captain Barandis, who’s currently 49. She needs to be ready to explore her homeland of the Westfold with Eodraed (Adams Cappy) her brother. Rather than simply levelling Barandis, which would be quicker but leave me with worrying gaps of knowledge of how to actually play a captain for myself, he is blitzing through levelling Gilforniel, my other champ, who was 36, but is now 43. His plan is to level up Gilforniel (we have both already levelled a champ to cap and so know how to play the class) to the same level as Barandis, then we can do Moria together. Luckily Barandis is on our other Account. That way I get Barandis levelled, while actually playing her and learning the class, as well as another alt higher up, who can then move on and play with Tyri, Adams Hunter. Gilforniel and Tyri originally levelled together, and are keen to get re-aquanied.

Dralli, Haki and Hain on Weathertop

Hain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam and a friend of ours on a F2P account are having a weekly session levelling a Champ/RK dwarf duo, Hain and Dralli. As they are both red-haired, Haki has adopted them as his twin sons. Having earned enough Turbine Points, Dralli has purchased Evendim, and at 29,  they are both set to explore there. In the meantime, I have started to level my Dwarf hunter Fluzi. Thanks to pre-purchasing Isengard and slotting the 25% extra XP rune, it isn’t taking long. I’ve got to 22 and the Forsaken Inn fairly quickly, given that I only play Fluzi when Baby Dwarf has his mid morning nap.

So, as you can see, the Guard are having a busy time of it at the minute. Hope to keep you posted! Emma

Fluzi rides through Ered Luin