Monthly Archives: September 2011

Westfold Tier 7 for Farmers

With RoI now live, I was keen to have a look at the changes to the farming profession, something I didn’t sneak a peek at in Beta. Tiers 1 to 6 seem to be unchanged, but Tier 7, the Westfold Tier has a number of changes, which personally I think are pretty good.

Fairwen trying out the Leek Field Recipe

You start with the recipes for Black Barley, which seems to be a must have for all the Tier 7 Cooks recipes, Leeks and Bilberries. The first major change you notice is that these fields are multi-output. You can make either the ordinary field, which uses ordinary crop seeds, and has a low to medium crop yield, and low chance of crit materials, or you can make a hearty field, which uses hearty crop seeds, and has a high crop yield and greater chance to acquire crit materials. This greater yield comes at a price, the Westfold crop seeds are 2.4 silver, and the Hearty ones are 12 silver. In terms of xp, the fields for both give 8 xp, yet the more crops you have the more xp will be gained in the process of turning them into useable items. Also, unlike the previous tiers, you no longer need a form of fertiliser, just the crop seed (or Hearty crop seed) and a barrel of water, bought from the vendors.

The benefits of using a Hearty Recipe

This is where te second noticeable change is. In Tier 7, there is the opportunity to process in bulk. All crops in Tier 7 work on a 1:1 basis, whereas in previous tiers it was 1:4. In the crafting panel there is two options for processing – you can process the crops one at a time (as with previous tiers) for 6xp each, or you can use the bulk option, and process them five at a time. Using the bulk option gives 8xp for five, so is no good if you need the xp, but once mastered it is a big time saver.

You have the option to Bulk process crops

In the process of farming there is a chance to get Pinches of Westfold Herbs, a crit item used by Cooks, and a Pile of Rich Soil. Rich Soil is a random crit item from faring, but it can also drop off humanoid mobs or be found in loot chests or off corpses, much the way whetstones are found. This item can either be used as part of the Compost recipe, which converts it into Peat, a crit item for farming, or it is an essential item in two other recipes. These are the Wild Flower recipe, which has a chance to drop the necessary dye components used by Scholars, for every dye (yep, Amaranth Petals, Iris Roots, Indigo, etc) or a Wild Pipe Weed recipe, which we can assume will do something similar, and get various different types of pipe weed. These two recipes are however only available from the Dunlending Reputation Vendors, and not from Expert Farmers. Unfortunately, none of my alts with farming as part of their crafts (erm I think that’s 5 of them!) will be venturing into the new expansion any time soon, so it will be a while before I get to test those recipes for myself.

Pile of Rich Soil

Pinches of Westfold Herbs are the new Cook crit materials

Hope this helps and Happy Crafting!

Emma

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Congratulations!

This is just a quick post to wish congratulations to our friend, and current kin leader of Heroes of Eriador, Maduin and his lovely wife  Eileithyia, also a kinmmate of ours, who have just recently been married!

Some of us got together for a quick in-game photo, and a kin member; Asi, redesigned a virtual card from us all!

Congratulations, best wishes from Emma and Me, and al of Heroes of Eriador; may the light of the Valar shine upon you both!

What can we expect from Jewellery in Isengard?

With the announcement that Beta will be closing on Monday 19th September, the Rise of isengard expansion will be here very soon. We came to Beta fairly late on, and we both had different things that we wanted to spend our time persuing, and investigating how they worked, and if we found problems, bugging them. Adams main one was to investigate and test the new Champion changes, which you can read all about here.

Neither of us wanted to run around Dunland and Isengard too much, especially not me. I wanted to save that for when the game was live, and I could go “oooooh” and “aaahhh” and explore everything properly, and be all excited about what I’d seen. Not so for the crafting – I wanted a look at that straight away. Crafting is a big part of my game (and real life to be honest) and I was keen to see what the new tier 7 Westfold items were like. With the removal of stat caps in the expansion, this could lead to some very interesting options for character builds, and thus crafted items, much more than we had seen before.

I concentrated on the jewellery because that is really the one craft where all classes can wear the benefits. Both Adam and myself have two Supreme Jewellers in the guilds for this very reason. I levelled up the jeweller in Beta to a level where I could see the stats for the critical successes of the Tier 7 recipes.

SPOILER ALERT – PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FOLLOWING IS A TASTER OF THE CRAFTED JEWELLERY CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN BETA. AS SUCH ALL ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

The following are the recipes available from vendors, and do not form a complete set, indeed there are no complete sets for a level like there has been for previous tiers. The other recipes, like the other tiers, will be world drops. The critical success stats are alongside in blue. It’s interesting to note that this time the yellow items (that is the items which have yellow text in chat, but who’s icon has a light green colour background), both crated, skirmish, and world drops, are actually worth considering this time, at least temporarily, and not auto-trash that they have been in the past.

The guild recipes are well worth a look, but I’m not going into those here as they can be seen linked on the forums here. It is notable that a lot of the new gear concentrates on heavily loading a few key stats into an item, which could lead to the temptation of heavily investing in your core stat, but perhaps leaving your character a little lacking in other areas, and thus perhaps forcing the choice of giving up some primary stats on an obvious item for your class, for one with secondary stats for your class, to round your character out a little more for raids and such.

VIBRANT CALENARD NECKLACE (LEVEL 66)

46 Might, 47 Might

23 Vitality, 47 Vitality

218 Morale, 225Morale

FATED CALENARD NECKLACE (LEVEL 66)

46 Will, 47 Will

23 Fate, 47 Fate

218 Morale, 225 Morale

RESILIENT WESTFOLD BRACELET (LEVEL 68)

48 Agility, 49 Agility

102 ICPR, 102 ICPR

140 Crit Rate, 284 Crit Rate

VIBRANT WESTFOLD BRACELET (LEVEL68)

24 Vitality, 49 Vitality

48 Will, 49 Will

206 Power, 212 Power

POTENT GREEN GARNET BRACELET (LEVEL 72)

104.4 ICPR, 105 ICPR

240 Power, 236 Power

148 Crit Rate, 300 Crit Rate

RESOLUTE GREEN GARNET BRACELET (LEVEL72)

52 Vitality, 53 Vitality

260 Morale, 267 Morale

148 Crit Rate, 300 Crit Rate

GREEN GARNET NECKLACE OF THE WARRIOR (LEVEL 72)

52 Might, 53 Might

52 Agility, 53 Agility

26 Vitality, 53 Vitality

GREEN GARNET NECKLACE OF THE WIZARD (LEVEL 72)

52 Will, 53 Will

52 Fate, 53 Fate

26 Vitality, 53 Vitaity

WINGED NECKLACE (lEVEL 75)

This is a single use recipe which drops from the new Draigoch Raid. It appears as if there is a single use recipe which can be dropped relevant to all crafts. The frequency of the drop is unclear, though I imagine that it may be similar to the rare drop of the Tortoiseshell bracelet recipe, from the Turtle. Either way, its pretty special. I’ll leave the exact details for you to find out when RoI launches, but I think this sort of attempt to tie uber crafting gear to instaces and raids is a great idea, the raiders can’t complain crafted gear is to powerfull when you need to run group content to get it, and the crafters have a reason to have a craft, and a reason to raid, and some great stuff to make.

REPUTATION JEWELLERY

At Galtrev (and possibly else where; as I mentioned we did not explore that much), there are Quatermasters for both the Dunlending faction and the Riders of Theodred, who sell a range of armour, weapons and jewellery, and also crafting recipes, both permanent and single use. I didn’t have time to gain reputation with both the Riders and the Dunlendings, so though I could see their recipes, and what they produced, I was unable to to see what their critted counter-parts would be, though many are clearly just the single use versions of the guild recipes. As it is, I’m pretty excited about it. I’ll give you a sneaky peak, but don’t want to spoil the fun! The recipes and items range in price from a few hundred silver to several gold, and in my opinion, they are well worth it.

From the Riders of Theodred Quatermaster:

Bracelet from the Riders of Theodred

Pocket Item from the Riders of Theodred

From the Dunlending Quatermaster:

Ring from the Dunlendings

Another Ring from the Dunlendings

SKIRMISH JEWELLERY

Barter items from the Jewellery vendor in Skirmish camps are also pretty nice, and are a good alternative to crafted gear. They include some pocket items also. I am not going to list them all here, as you can all see the full range for yourselves in 10 days time.

The Master Guardsman of Erulian items (min Level 70) are 596 Skirmish marks, the Veteran Master Guardsman of Erulian items (min Level 70) are 1192 Skirmish Marks and two Fourth Marks. The Master Guardsman of Adlan items (min Level 75) are 716 Skirmish Marks, and the Veteran Master Guardsman of Adlan items (min Level 75) are 1432 Skirmish Marks and two Fourth Marks.

Level 70 Veterans Earring

Level 75 Bracelet

Read the rest of this entry

The Rohirrim are Coming!

Horses in RohanThe Door of the Tower of OrthancGaltrevThe Fords of IsenHorses in Rohan
Rohirrim TentsRohirrim TentsThe Rohirrim of DutyMen of Rohan

So we recently took a look around some of the Rohirrim camps on the LOTRO Bullroarer server, and we have to say; wow! The NPC’s look fantastic this time. Both characters, and random soldiers look detailed and heroic, and are now animated in a lively way, similar to that which we saw with the Free to Play update additions to the Dourhand Dwarves.

We have taken a few key snap shots of these, and the Dunlending camps, including the new horses we noticed. There are none there currently, but heres hoping these new mounts end up being reputation ones, because they look fantastic, and here is hoping for some new Rohan housing cosmetics too!

We have to say, absolutely top notch job Turbine, these NPCS and camps are really your best work yet!

Check out our photostream on Flickr for the pictures (you don’t have to join to view, and its free even if you want to!) As always remember, this is BETA and always subject to change!

thanks for reading
Adam and Emma

The Martial Champion ROI updates (Solo attempt Video)

I thought I’d do a little post and video about my thoughts on the Martial Champion in Isengard, based on my experiences on the Bullroarer BETA server. For starters let me say, the class is in great shape, it has never been cooler to be a Champion!

I should state to begin, that I am an EU player, and as such was not able to copy over my live characters, however, thanks to the eyes and guard tavern and its goodies bundles and auto-levelling, I was able to investigate the level cap thoroughly. I went through a few variations, and found a few bugs which I duly submitted, so I wasn’t just messing about! I did try out both the Fervour and Ardour stances as well, and yes, they are both great. Fervour feels pretty much the same as it always has, with some really nice additions and tweaks to inject a little variety in a Champ rotation. In addition Ardour… well for a start it now has a reason to exist, so that is something. In fairness, I didn’t play with it enough to make a detailed judgement, but it now clearly has a very specific and useful role, especially in landscape questing/skirmishing, though I can also see it being a cool alternative for different play styles in raids and FS content, though I still think for it to be truly utilised, LOTRO is going to need some kind of dual-specing system so we can switch out of combat without a bard, because AOE is rarely much use in a raid boss fight, and the retraiting hassle may just not be worth it.

However, what really blew me away was Glory and the Martial Champion traitline, in a very big way, and quite unexpectedly.

I had auto levelled my Dwarf Champ to 75 and geared him out in the level 75 Ettenmoors armour, and grabbed a few decent jewelry items (a mix of current teal drops and level 75 Ettens). I then created a level 65 second age rune, with tanking legacies and maxed those, I had been lucky enough to find a level 75 third age legendary weapon which I also turned into a decent weapon mainly by looking for sudden defence duration, critical magnitude, wild attack, and brutal strikes and maxing those, and the level 75 Ettens off hander to go with it. I then slotted these with some standard tier 7 relics (mellee offence/morale setting, vitality and crit gems, and Parry and ICMR runes, with crafted melee offence relics. I then traited down the martial champion line, with stalwart blade from the deadly storm set throw in for the extra fervour pips, and set off for Nan Curunir, and Orthanc. When I got there, and legged it past the two doors trolls (one of which one shotted me first time for a rare 8K), I made a bee line for the smaller trolls that patrol the interior paths. These guys are level 75 Elites with about 75-6K morale,  and were hitting me (as you will see) for a good few hundred, interspersed with 5-700 and the occasional 1000+. In Fervour, though your DPS is demonic, and you can tear a good chunk off them, they soon pummel you into dust… and that is as it should be. However, though I could feel the dps was much lower in Glory, I felt incredibly durable, confident even, that I could last it out for a good duration. So, I Popped hope, some scrolls, food, and set at the Troll. My rotation wasn’t up to much, I had guessed I’d have to keep hedge up for my armour buff, sudden defence for its bubble when I could, bracing attack as often as able, and wild attack to fervour build, and (with a new trait) reduce the cool down of sudden defence, popping adamant/invincible to cover weak spots. I started on this rough idea as a basis, and chucked in a brutal strikes for some dps as and when I could. Imagine my surprise when he kicked my ass with only 9k of his health left. This was definitely doable, and more to the point there would be no need for messing about with kiting and bleeds, which I hate!

I bought off my dread, set everything going again and had a good read of my tool tips an traits whilst parked up in a ‘quiet corner’. I formulated a rough plan, to be fair, still playing by the seat of my pants a little, though I took note now that Heroics, it would seem, finally lives up to its name as a skill… wowza. Dire need, especially combined with its new trait, and the second wind skill, is now also usable much more frequently! So I had a second attempt, and lo and behold with a bit more concentration, I kicked his butt!

I was so pleased myself it was quite sad (and proud of Durzi too)! But I thought to myself, hang on; you are in level 75 top grade PVMP gear, with some great level 75 PVMP jewelry, 75 PVMP off hander, level 12 traits, high finesse rating… of course you did great, but you won’t get near that gear on the live server, and probably never be able to achieve that unless you start raiding a lot more again for some awesome gear. That bugged me.

I set off to look at the vendors, skirmish camps, and quest gear, to see what it held. I was pleasantly surprised, the Isengard gear from a variety of sources looks nice. Even using quest items, and skirmish barter gear, it will be easy to surpass the Moria and BG sets which we have had for so long, and decent teal crafted gear and above, is better than the OD T2 stuff by a good way. Finesse, also seems to be spread around quite evenly, so all in all I thought it was achievable, so I aimed to put it to the test.

I used Emma’s account, and her level 75 dwarf, to do this, the rune, weapon, traits were roughly the same as before, and you can see them on the video below, though I could only get a level 75 third age two handed weapon. This time however I handicapped myself in a few ways. Ideally I would have scoured the auction for sensible and obtainable gear, or even levelled up organically, and acquired what I could, but to be frank there is no way I had the time. However, by looking at crafted recipes, and skirmish gear and quest rewards, I got a good handle on what I thought was easily achievable for a fairly casually levelled Champ at 75, with regard to amounts of stats. I decided to use a selection of gear to reflect what I thought was this sensible level of stats and armour, before the min maxing of end game starts. Firstly I left all my traits at 10. For jewellery, I used two easily obtainable skirmish barter earrings, a mix of Moria/Mirkwood jewelry, with the exception of one PVMP ring for its finesse rating(this I was using to represent some decent level 75 crafted jewelry or drop). For armour I wore the BG set, with the level 75 PVMP helm, and pendvig clog.

You can see all these itemized in the video (this one is in HD so you can pause and read the tool tips, but sorry I squashed the screen ratio during compressions, yes… I’m a noob).

However, here are some basic core stats for reference:

  • Morale 7875
  • Power 1961
  • Armour 4893
  • Finesse 1390
  • Might 798 (I think I ate 46+ might food but can’t be 100%)
  • Agility 427
  • Vitality 569
  • Fate 110
  • Will 115

I had just short of 11K melee offence too, from might and bonuses. I think this is more than achievable, indeed, with the exception of the finesse and might, this is quite attainable on the current live servers, so I am happy that I handicapped myself enough with this, that I will, in fact, be above this level when I actually get to try this out on Eldar.

So I mapped back to Isengard, ran past my Troll gate guard mates, and went hunting. Once again, I used food, hope, and scrolls (all current Tier 6 ones) I didn’t want to record straight away, as I wanted to make sure I could do it first, so I didn’t look to daft posting a video of me dying. I decided on a few trial runs. The first time through, I got my butt kicked with only 10K to go… that, I thought, was just you being sloppy. So I bought off my dread, got the hope, scrolls, food going again, and tried once more. I kicked his stony butt this time, so I traipsed down stairs for some coffee, and decided to go for a live take. You can see the results for yourself below. Rather sadly, with 14-5K to go, Emma logged in her account downstairs amidst a bout of post checking and task handing in, so it cuts a bit short. But as you can from the vieo, I had whittled 50K off with no real drama, and by that stage it is a fairly ‘rinse and repeat’ rotation, which is fairly sustainable probably quite comfortably beyond even this level with practice.

Unfortunately I am pretty busy at the moment, and had hoped to wrap this experiment up in a night (the practice, the video, the editing, writing this post) and it is pretty late now, so I don’t know If I will get another chance to record, edit, and upload another one. If I do I shall add a new post and link this to it, but for now I hope it gives you champs, potential champs, and interested folks something to look forward to and think about. As you may have noticed, this is by no means and in depth scientific test, but though I have been mor erigorous in my testing in the past, I find it saps the fun out of the gaming for me, and I’m sure some talented folks will have some better numbers, calculations, and rotations up, better than I could ever do pretty soon anyway. I dread to think what Athelious will do when he is fully kitted on live servers! Instead I hope that this serves as a bit of a taster, an opinion based test, for the purpose of fun.  I hope you enjoy it.

Cheers

Adam

P.S Don’t forget, its still BETA, still subject to change and all that jazz.

The Greatest Reputation Guide in the World – Tribute

With the Isenguard release day looming and twiddling my thumbs as I resist tinkering on one of my legion of ats, my thoughts turned again to Reputation, and just what it takes to get to Kindred with the various factions you meet in game. The goal for my alts is to get the World Renowned title and Steed of Eriador, as well as the Ambassador to the Elves, and the Elf Lords Horse, which is its reward. Adam and I have got there on Ganin and Azaghar, our Champ/RK duo, and are pretty close on our other 65’s. I get the distinct impression that I went about it the hard way, and so have compiled everything I know about gaining reputation, as a future aide de memoire, and also for others. I’ve gone through every faction currently in game (except the Eldgang of the Rift, as this does not contribute to either horse and it is a specialised area off the beaten track for many players), in the order that they appear in my character Reputation log.

Ganin on the Steed of Eriador

The Guide was made live last month, as a permanent page, under Guides, then Faction Reputation, but I’ve been tinkering with it and have now added all reputation gained through handing in Tasks – where to hand in and what levels the quests are available. Currently Eregion is the last place to hand tasks in at around Level 55, but none of the Eregion tasks give reputation, and no tasks can be handed in in Moria and beyond. However we have been told that Tasks will be back for Dunland.

I hope this guide proves to be of some help to you all, but please be aware that the level requirements for some of the reputation quests and hand ins may have been lowered following recent updates. If you think that I have missed anything out or you know of any discrepancies, please let me know so the guide can be ammended.

Thanks for Looking

Emma

Curret Cosmetic Outfits: Part 3

The next in my series of run through’s of my characters cosmetic outfits is my original main character, and what I largely regard as me, but in middle earth: Elgalandir, Adam Hardhammer to give him his adopted name.

I have until now, usually gone with a quite heavy armour battle look for Elgalandir, and until now he has always adventured with Azbarak the dwarf, so this has seemed appropriate. However recently we decided to switch our characters around, and as a result Elgalandir is rushing off to join the grey company in the south, where Azbarak takes a more leisurely pace with Chumbo. As a result I wanted an outfit that was clearly that of a wild ranger, but that also reflected his craft as a metalsmith, and his role as a champion. I think the inclusion of the elven scale armour does this nicely, making his appear armour, but in a more practicable way for a ranger than plate armour. Elgalandir is a man of Bree, of unknown parentage, but his travels have seen him help many people of middle earth, so in a shabby way I wanted his appearance to reflect that.

The outfit consists of the level 18 elven heavy armour and leggings a metalsmith can make, dyed ranger green. The shoulder guards are level 32 dwarf iron shoulder guards again dyed ranger green. In addition I have added the Eorlingas  gloves, boots, and cloak which are available by pre-ordering certain of the Rise of Isengard expansion packages. So with these items we have the dwarves, elves, and perhaps a little prematurely the men of Rohan represented in his attire.

As an optional extra for this outfit I have added the travellers hood from the LOTRO store again dyed ranger green, I think it adds a nice touch for bad weather, and works well with the cloak.

His steed for this outfit is the Esteldin reputation mount (yes I do ride slower horses so the mount matches better, why not!) reflecting the aid he has lent the rangers of the north downs, and tying in colour wise quite nicely with the muted greens and browns of his outfit.

So there we are, Elgalandir, man of Bree, ready to take the journey through the wilds to Rohan.

The Changing of the Guard

Haki and Izbaruk more determined than ever to take the fight to the great enemy

Izbaruk, Current Lord of the Khazad Guard, Haki, the Guards current successor and Izbaruks sister son, and Anlafski, high officer of the Guard, have fought together valiantly across Eriador for three long years. In their recent skirmishes in the Mines of Moria, the battle hardened stance and heavy armour of Izbaruk and Anlafski has often saved the guard from defeat in the cold halls, stone passages, and mines, and the wily ways of Haki has kept the bands morale up. However, Mirkwood has proved a different challenge. Often a Dwarves head that is hard to turn in the most complex tunnels and passages underground, can struggle in the woods and forests, especially those of Mirkwood the Great. Such has been the toil of these three who have fought their way slowly to the very walls of Dol Guldur, the Dark Tower of the Necromancer. Recently Lord Elrond of Imladris has sent news to Izbaruk of troubles to the South, and requested the aid of the Khazad Guard in helping the Dunedain rejoin their Lord, Aragorn, in the far south. Thus has Izbaruk, Commander of the Khazad Guard, descended from the Broadbeam Kings of Gabilgathol, faced many tough choices. To aid his allies to the south and forsake his kind and the elves of Lorien in their attempts to reclaim Moria, and suppress the blight from Mirkwood, or to let the last hope of men, and his allies risk death alone in strange lands.

Anlafski being given new orders

To face such problems Izbaruk has risked much and broken his company.  Anlafski, his stalwart companion through many trials, has been given new orders to hold the Southern Mirkwood and Moria frontier against the enemy for as long as possible, his only support Tyri, another grisled veteren woodsman dwarf hunter. The strength of the Guard never truly recovered from the Battle of Dagorland in the Second Age, and the intervening years, and many wars and conflicts since, has whittled their number to but a shadow of their past selves. None the less, the Guard continues to train new warriors, and protect Eriador as best it can from the threat still present in the North. Currently Jualin, Skarvi, Mugwat, Dralli, Fluzi, Hain, Aulin, Aulinburr, Izbarak, Alfvin, and Bimbili are spread across Eriador, with some of their number making for Moria to reinforce Anlafski and Tyri as soon as they are able. Even Izbaruks brother, Azagan, elderly and slightly deaf, has returned to active service to help the Guard in its hour of need.

Haki, Izbaruk, and Vithar ready to face the challenges ahead

 To assist the Dunedain Izbaruk himself, and his nephew Haki are being joined by Vithar, son of Gvmp, know to his friends as Forest, because of his talents as a woodsman. His skill with a bow, and ability to track foes, and traverse open country and woodland at speed will greatly aid the company on their journey south. In addition to these three, the reckless duo Ganin and Azaghar, and also Icklebard; a mighty battle bard will be scouting ahead of the trio, hoping between them to change the fortunes of this great venture for the good.

The new trio challenging the champions of Dol Guldur

However, before they make their great journey, Izbaruk wished to make one concerted assault to buy the dwarves remaining behind time to recruit, regroup, and prepare. This began in Dol Guldur, assaulting the great fortress, rescuing dwarf captives, and helping to defeat Mazog the Orc. They then turned to the lieutenants and captains of the Dark Tower, and assaulted the champions of Dol Guldur in the Sword Halls and the foul Wargs in their Pens.

The Champions of Dol Guldur being bested

The perilous journey back through the Dwarrowdelf brought Izbaruks ears news of trouble in Eriador. Not content to leave, with things as they were, the trio has set about defeating these dangers, to buy the dwarves left in the north more time.

The Hall of night contained more peril than any of the three expected

Thus far they have combatted foes on the northern bounds of the Shire, and in the Southern marches of Angmar, yet still they have heard of perils in the North Downs, and the Lonelands to be faced. They dare not linger too long, and Izbaruk has determined they must set forth within a month, giving them a little more time prepare themselves, and lend aid to the people of northern Eriador before they pass through Eregion at to the unknown.