Category Archives: Dwarf Adventures

It takes three to tango

The Khazad Guard has been very quiet recently, mostly we have been tinkering away at the game casually, with craft hobbies, reenactment, and dealing with baby dwarves taking up the majority of our time. In addition to that, our friend Mike has had some exciting new ventures at work and has spent a lot of time overseas smuggling mithril axes to South Africa, China, Eregion, and so on, which has made it almost impossible to get on for our regular weekly dwarf three man, and put the final nail in organising our dwarf 6 man.

LOTRO seems to be a little static at the moment, and we were a little burned out after doing Hytbold and took a short break, but the lull means we haven’t missed a great deal. However, a few weeks ago we decided to have a little look at some of our dwarves again, and began playing Hain and Azagan.

Hain and Azagan

Hain and Azagan

Another Khazad Guard member Rich had also been playing his alts a little lore, including a Dwarf of his, having got a little jaded with endgame, and wondered if we fancied teaming up for more dwarfing, and a new trinity was born!

We did a little levelling to catch Rich’s Tank up, so now we are all 44-5. Rich brought his Guard: Thlumpi, I was on my Dwarf Champion; Hain, and Emma on her Dwarf Rune-keeper; Azagan. We had our first evening of dwarfage last night, and had a great time. Having not played for so long, and with two of us on classes we have not really grouped with before, it was a fun and interesting learning experience, especially for Emma, who had the challenge of learning the philosophy of proactive Rune Keeper healing, after 5 years of Minstrel reactive healing.

We ran a Amon Sul Skirmish, an Iobar’s Peak, and a Seat of the Great Goblin, instance and had a great time. Having only been in one of the new Erebor instances, it was nice to take a look at the new content and stories. We managed to complete them all, with a few deaths along the way, and started to get to grips with our new classes and group. Next time we are thinking of getting out into Angmar and trying our hand at some of the landscape Small Fellowship and Fellowship content.

The Victorius Dwarves: Thlumpi, Hain, and Azagan, on the Goblin Kings' throne, and yes I mean Kings' there are three of the buggers in there!

The Victorius Dwarves: Thlumpi, Hain, and Azagan, on the Goblin Kings’ throne, and yes I mean Kings’ there are three of the buggers in there!

All in all a fun time, but Thlumpi, dude, you definitely need to step the outfit up a level; Orange pants and a fluffy hood; you are letting the team down!

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The Story so far

I’m sat here bored waiting for the imminent arrival of our second Baby Dwarf. The original not-so-baby-anymore Dwarf is sleeping. Waiting for a baby’s due date is like waiting for Christmas – your focus is on a set date, but then once it comes, you realise you’re not going to get any presents, and may not for some time to come.

So, I thought I’d write a little post rounding up the things we have been doing over the last month – what became of our preparations for Rohan, and our first experiences with the expansion.

Ganin and Azaghar

We spent a bit of time finishing off reputation with the Stangard and Limlight Gorge factions, which involved completing all the quest chains and taking on a lot of trees. Duoing the titans in Limlight Gorge was actually a lot of fun ( Adam soloed a lot of them on either Ganin or his champ Elgalandir) and we finished most of the deeds around there. We cherry picked deeds to do and worked on those, but weren’t too worried about getting all the virtues to 16, assuming (rightly as it has turned out) that we could get the last few whilst exploring Rohan.

They were our first characters to foray in to Rohan. It just seemed natural that it should be them to explore the place first. Taking it slow and exploring everything there is to offer in the expansion, tweaking graphics settings to try to see the landscape at its best without compromising game play,  and submerging ourselves in the storylines has us currently at 81, and ready to leave Cliving.

Adam has been experimenting with his warsteeds, resetting trait points and trying out Light, Medium and Heavy steeds, while to be honest I’m sticking with a Medium Steed and spending points as I see fit, whilst I get used to it. We did both spring for a hide colour pack from the store, being a lot more restrained than we wanted initially to be. Horse skins, were okay but a bit pricey, Horse hide colours we were a bit less comfortable with, but accepted, though they were a little more than we wanted to spend, cosmetic colour packs for the items we are still staying clear of as they are too much! We made a conscious effort to restrain ourselves – each alt can have one horse colour and/or skin as a treat, and that’s it. We have found that the free cosmetics from the epic book dyed either orange or sienna match the uniform pretty well, otherwise the horses are au-naturale. Ganin does have a grisly Orc head on a spear with matching pestilence cloud equipped on his blonde horse, which he found in a blue gift box, a quest reward for defeating a solo Warband. Tyri, Adams hunter also has one of these, again from a blue gift box.

Ganin and Az are both now master crafters, and as the main players it is their responsibility to filter down recipes and supplies to our legion of hungry alts. With the open looting system, we both now end up with stacks of recipes and crafting materials, whereas previouslywe would each roll on certain items and stackables and then split the winnings after as we needed. While both of our bags get full, it does mean that we end up with a lot more crafting materials than we would usually do, very handy when you have as many alt crafters as we do.

Fairwen

Yep, Fairwen, my little Hobbit Warden finally got out of the cupboard and got some play time. I fancied having a solo character I could level through the day, as a little side project. I was pondering what to do, unsure whether to level my burglar, my second tank, my second hunter, my second minstrel or my warden (all hobbit ladies) with a strong compulsion to create a brand new alt.

In the end it was after we teamed up with a couple of guys from our old Heroes Kinship to kill the really big spiders in Limlight Gorge that I settled on my warden. Rich’s warden Feleg (an alt of the Khazad Guards Aulin) was great fun to play with, and it made me realise how good a class warden is. I created Fairwen my warden probably on the day Moria was released, and since then she has been sat at level 20 in Michael Delving cooking.

I hadn’t actually played with a Warden in a fellowship since the days when the Watcher was end game stuff, and whilst Adam had dabbled on his as a solo projects that he can’t really get into (one at 36 one at 50), they kind of slipped by me. Fairwen got a complete makeover to get me excited about playing her as a character again, moving from fresh-faced blonde to a feisty red-head, complete with killer outfit. Within the week she had gone from 20 to 31, and completed all of the Lone Lands quests.

Barandis and Eodraed

Our brother and sister cappy crime fighting duo progressed nicely from 65 to 73 in the days leading up to the Rohan launch. As they are both from Rohan it seemed fitting that they get ready to enter the area. We tried to cherry pick areas on them, missing out the Dunbog completely as we both hate it in there having been through a few times, but we are still only at Isendale. We now have the choice of whether or not to skip vast swathes of landscape (Nan Curanir, The Great River, Stangard, Limlight etc) in favour of starting Rohan fresh on them.

While we would like the reputation with the Riders of Theodred faction, and the Riders of Stangard and Heroes of Limlight, but even with the re-levelling of the Great River zone, if we did those it means that we would be greatly over level going into Rohan, and our dwarves are already 2 levels ahead of their quests, just heading into Rohan at 75.

Having gone into Rohan with Ganin and Az, and getting our crafting up to par, we know that while still nice, the Draigoch raid set and the Limlight jewellery set are not really necessary, though things like the cloaks are still nice, so we will probably keep hold of our medallions on those two as the crafted sets will be a suitable substitue. I was going to have to do that with Barandis anyway, as she is the only really played character on our third account, and as such has a lot of ground to make up in terms of saving up shards, seals and medallions, compared to the main account. It would be nice if Turbine could come up with a way of transferring characters between account, but I guess that has too many potential exploitable applications.

Azbarak

Even Azbarak has got a little play time, being my solo project in Rohan. Granted what with everything else, she hasn’t got very far, only to Harwick (I didn’t follow the epic book on her and so will have to go back and do the East Wall) but she has got her warsteed. I’m pretty happy with it, as I can utilise parts of the Steed of the Guardian which I won in a lottery, and the free colours for horse cosmetics include indigo and rose (which looks purple), Azbaraks signature colours.

Haki, Izbaruk and Vithar

The main Khazad Guard triumvirate got themselves into Rohan too, immersing themselves in the Epic Book and the East Wall area. This was actually a bigger achievement than it sounds as Vithar (aka Forrest) and his wife had their own second baby Dwarf only six weeks ago, so while the Khazad Guard is growing in numbers, our play time is reducing. We love our regular 5-6 man fellowship group, though recently has been on a bit of natural hiatus with a new baby there, and the imminent arrival of a new baby here, work and other real life commitments have made it nigh on impossible.

The main achievement on these guys in the couple of weeks leading up to the Rohan release, was that we managed, over a couple of nights (one night a week), to three-man all of the Moria instances and complete all of the associated deeds and meta deeds. We are now only a Watcher defeat and about 40-50 arms of the Watcher away from getting the Moria Meta Deed goat on these guys. We did try to three-man it, but it was just too much for us on our own, even 15 levels ahead. The plan is to go back and have another go when we reach the new level cap (and the babies have hopefully settled into some sort of routine to allow coordinated game play again), and maybe bring a few mates!

Haki also got his act together and went back to Enedwaith, getting Kindred with the Grey Company and the Algraig, and is now World Renowned. It’s a shame that Reputation and Meta Deed Steeds are not granted Warsteed matching appearances!

Tyri

Adam has been playing Tyri in Rohan as a bit of a solo project, for when I need to have a bath to ease the aches of advanced pregnancy. He’s done pretty well, getting up to 80 and round about the same area as Ganin and Az are currently questing in. True to form, on reaching 80, Tyri was treated to a Tobiano horse skin and a brown hide and hair colour pack as a nice treat, as well as the rear up horse emote which happened to be on a 50% off sale this week.

Adams been having fun tackling all warbands he’s encountered so far, be it solo or fellowship size mobs. As a hunter on a light warsteed, the mobs rarely even get to close on him, so he’s not had any problems so far. Tyri has also had a bit of a makeover in the cosmetic department. Playing solo, Tyri is in civies rather than Khazad Guard uniform. I love this get up on Tyri, I think it makes him look like one of the Lords of Winterfell from A Game of Thrones.

The Mother of all Monitors

Finally, a little work has been done on tweaking my PC, the weaker of the two in the house. The Christmas before last my PC was given a shiny new graphics card, which has been awesome, and now it has been treated to new overclocked i5 processor and cooler, new motherboard, and 8 GB of RAM, which Adam installed last week, and it has really brought out the detail. Coupled with that, we inherited a massive 22 inch monitor from Adams brother, which has also been installed. Now I am running everything turned pretty much to the max on 1680×1060. The difference is amazing. Even on a huge monitor like this one, the new processor means that everything still looks better than it did, and runs even smoother. I now spend even more time taking screenshots than I did previously, and every time we enter a new area or instance, Adam has to run downstairs to check out the view from my perspective.

Next week Adam has a new Solid State hard drive he is going to install, and reinstall windows and LOTRO onto, which in combination with the graphics card I alreay had should keep me set up for the forseeable future. Hopefully Adams PC can have the same treatment in the new year.

Thanks for reading

Emma.

What to do with our Warsteeds!

So for some people, this is a non issue. They either have one/multiple characters and are happy to spend money, or simply couldn’t care less about cosmetics. That is fair enough, but for folks like us that love messing about with cosmetics, and have a lot of alts, the Warsteed cosmetic system was both a source of interest and excitement, and a huge disappointment.

There have been a number of post on the major blogs around about this issue, Ketani at CSTM, Hymne at Cosmetic LOTRO, and Sig at the excellent new (ish) Warsteeds site to name a few. I won’t go over the fine details here, as they do a better job of it that we will, so we will just look at how we are deciding to deal with it, in our specific circumstances.

The items; saddles, tails, gear, armour/cosmetic sets, and hides I am sort of O.K with. I mean, they are expensive, but they are in line with the sorts of things the LOTRO store has been retailing so far, and there are for the most part in-game alternatives, or options.

The hides and horse colour dyes other than the default grey were something that, if they were cheaper or account wide, we could have splurged more on, but as it is they are a bit steep at 595 Turbine points per character. As a result, I have decided when I hit 80 with a character to choose them A horse each, and that will be it.

Yes, I’ve gone all soft and given it a name, chosen it a colour, and the characters will have to live with that horse for good. One or two may get a hide skin at an extra 595 TP (though oddly in the store the ‘hides’ button on the MC tab seem to be linked to the colours which dye the body slot item, and the ‘body’ button is linked to the hide skins… weird.)

Ganin and Azaghar on their two steeds: Horsa and Hengest. Can you spot the resemblance?

Having resigned ourselves to this limitation because of the excessive cost, I actually quite like how this has altered my thinking about the warsteed. It has done what the Legendary Item system set out to do, but accidentally, through over pricing.

For us, it has given the horses a character, actually makes it a ‘permanent companion’ so to speak, a part of my character and their advancement experience. Hengest is Azaghars horse, and is a dark grey dappled horse with a black mane, Ganin has chosen a mid brown horse with a blond mane called Horsa (yes, from English Anglo-Saxon history). As you can see above, we bascially made the horse version on our dwarf characters, it made us chuckle and gave us an half hour of fun anyway! Now I grant you, our horses may wear barding, or different saddles and gear, they may even miraculously get larger and smaller if we re-trait them down light or heavy trait lines, but it will still be their horses, looking as they do in that picture, a permanent steed with them from now on, as legendary weapons should have been.

Already we are having fun, deciding what our other characters horses might look like, and what they might be called, how they might represent or complement their riders characters. Obviously not everyone will be into this, but for us, it has been fun, and after all thats what hobbies are about right?

We are Lifetime account holders, so the game holds no running cost for us outside of expansions, and about £40ish a year in Turbine points for stuff we fancy, so in many ways we are able to take this stance, as the high cost impacts us less that subscribers. Given the rate we level and play, realistically the monthly allowances we get from our lifetime VIP will basically pay for these steed colours and hides for everyone oertime if we pace our purchases.

Perhaps we are deluding ourselves, perhaps we should take a harder stance with regard to this, as I wouldn’t disagree that they are too expensive, and prohibitive of the sort of splurge purchasing I thought I would indulge in. However,we have taken the active decision to not get too het up about it, or back ourselves into an ideological corner from which there is no retreat. We have registered our complaint on the forums and within the wider LOTRO community, but we are not going to get overly annoyed or embroiled in the issue as this is our hobby and it is easily tarnished when you set off on a, often futile, crusade to change things. We are taking what we have been dealt by Turbine, and choosing what we feel are appropriate purchases, and what we consider to be cheeky and too much, and thus Turbine will not be getting money off us for, which brings us onto the warsteed dye situation…

Azbarak is pleased she wears purple and won a steed of the guardian in the lottery, because she is one of the few people on the server not wearing variations on the same theme! Indigo makes a good purple match!

To be fair there are some free colours which you can use to dye your horses outfits and barding; Orange, yellow, green, rust, indigo, and rose. So… yeah, ones that would sell well then… not. It is however good news for Dutch or Brazilian football fans. For access to the other colours you have to pay TP to unlock them for use, so far, I am fairly comfortable with this.

595 Turbine Points is far, far, too much for a pack of four predetermined colours, randomly mixed, that is bound per character. For people like me with 5-6+ level cap alts, 2K+ TP per character, just to parp around with dyes is ridiculous. We are part of the LOTRO community that likes cosmetics, naturally fan boy and girls disposed often, and we are a natural target for the F2P marketing, and are pretty comfortable with that, but we are not total idiots.

Two options would have been acceptable to us personally, If they had announced it was 595 TP to unlock the colours for the whole account or server, this still would have netted turbine 2K+ of points for a full access unlock, though admittedly people with alts would have got more benefit than those with just one character, who would still be in the same boat.

The other option is choice, often Turbines favourite word when it comes to trying to flog things. In this instance 100ish points per colour, hell even 150 TP per colour, would have at least given us a choice of what colours to buy and use, but as it stands if you are after black, then you get lumped with a number of other insipid colours, basically just so they could justify sticking the 595 price tag on it, then claiming ‘but it is for four colours‘! I am sure if they could have got away with charging 595 for individual colour of black, red, Rivendell green, Ered Luin blue, and crimson,  and branded them ‘premium colours‘, i.e. the colours the bulk of folks want, then they would, and then stick the rest on for 100 points each, to fill up the corners. I suppose this shows us they still have some shame.

As it stands, we have decided to not buy any dyes, and do our best with plain horses, or greens. If and when we have used our monthly allowances and bought our steeds some hide colours, then we may consider using our monthly allowance for these, but I am not using Turbine points I paid money for, for this unlock. Once again, I have a lot of sympathy for folks who are subscribing, as this is a bit beyond the pale.

Either way they will get their monthly points back for some of this stuff, but it will take a long while to accrue, still, we are in no rush. If Turbine had wanted our actual money, they went the wrong way about it. But, as always, we shall remain irritatingly cheerfully optimistic, and have fun with the new game mechanic that, I have slowly been creeping through rounds of Beta to live from being suspiciously uncomfortable with, to really enjoying.

Don’t fancy yours much

Outfitting the Khazad Guard

We have finally got round to creating a page about our kin uniform. We were a mottley bunch when we started and it didn’t half smarten us all up! As with everything we do, we think far too much about thing like this, and take it to the ends of the earth, but if you are still not put off, you can read all about it here, or just access it from the ‘The Khazad Guard’ Menu above.

cheers

Adam and Emma

A Recruiting Message for our 6 Dwarf group

The Khazad Guard needs YOU!

Due to a few problems we are currently a Dwarf short in our 6 man fellowship group, and are looking for another member to round us out. It is a really fun project which you can read about here and here and see the progress of in ‘the KG Offensive’ menu above. If the idea of having a regular levelling and fellowship group made of Dwarves appeals to you, then by all means read on and see what we do and what you’d need to be able to commit to join in too.

What we do

  • Our goal is to only play the characters together doing as much 6 man landscape and instance content as possible, on level. This leaves little room to play the characters outside without overlevelling. We are currently level 38ish and about to start the Tomb of Elendil, after that we will be heading to Angmar to play all the landscape and instance content there, including Carn Dum, Urugarth, and Barad Gularan! With long-term plans for Moria, Mirkwood, In their Abscence, Isengard, Great River and beyond, as well as skirmish and scalable content.
  • Joining the kinship would be optional, but prefered on this character. We are a very small social group, many evenings you will have one, two or perhaps no companions. If you want to create this character to play with us, that’s fine, if you want to join other kinships, or play mostly on your original server, or even make more dwarves to play in our kinship, we have no issue.
  • We meet monthly at a mutually convenient date and time agreed by group email, which is usually a weekend in the early afternoon UK time (morning American time) GMT or GMT+1 in the summer months.
  • Our group is made up of myself and Emma, both in our 30’s and a mutual friend who is very, very old… practically bus pass old, and another friend and his son that we all met via another kinship in LOTRO.  We are all English, but are happy to consider any Age, Race, Nationality etc etc, if you like what we do and are prepared to play along the rest is none of our business!
  • And finally, we play Dwarves, and Dwarves only in this instance group

How we’d go about it

  • You would need to have or create a Dwarf character on our server, Eldar (EU), and reach our level. We will be able to help with this. Ideally we would like a Dwarf Guardian, preferably with a reasonable name, we have plenty of fun names like ‘Fluzi’, but ‘Ninjatank’ tends to sound a bit crap to all of us. We are not an RP kinship, but we do enjoy the broader aspects of gameplay, and are by no means averse to it. For us it is mostly about having a background and a reason to what we do, and having a lot of fun with it! We’d be more than happy to help suggest names if you get a bit stuck. If you have a Guardian and definitely do not want another, then we may be able to accommodate a Champion or Minstrel, get in touch and we’ll chat about it. If you really want to play another class, by all means give us a shout anyway, we can always see what we can do, as we have many classes at level 65-75 and it may be we can sort something out.
  • If after trial we are both/all mutually keen to continue, we can help with crafting and the other issues people find with new characters/joining a new server, so don’t panic about that.
  • You need to be able to attend the sessions once a month and complete the ‘homework’ or tasks which usually consists of solo instances and quest lines to unlock group play, for the next play session which is usually fairly minimal, as and when we need to. We provide a full detailed list of what needs doing for the next meeting as in the ‘The KG Offensive’ menu.
  • We would do a couple of runs together to make sure we are all happy to continue. Sounds a bit formal, but we are looking for a compatible form of nutter here so it gives you a good get out clause!
  • When on runs together we have a uniform we wear! What you do the rest of the time is up to you, but in battle we wear our colours with pride!
  • We are all English, and have English as our first language. We use in game chat whilst on our runs, so whilst English may not be your first language being able to understand us and join in might be a good idea.

IF you are interested then please either leave a comment, drop an email to thekhazadguard@gmail.com, or send a tell to Izbaruk, Ganin, Haki or Azaghar in Game.

cheers

Adam

The Khazad Guard Offensive

As Emma mentioned in a previous post, we have recently begun a little 6 man Khazad Guard Dwarf group to play through the games fellowship content on level, supplemented by a little solo work inbetween times. Hopefully, for the subsequent runs we can get our act together and document our runs with a few more screen shots and videos, but for now we have set up a permanent page series to chart our path and progress.

These kind of events are really good fun, but take a little organising, so I hoped to encourage others to perhaps try and organise their own permanent groups, and to make it easier for them. As a result, at the top now you will see a menu entitled ‘The KG Offensive’ and this drop down menu should display an introduction and then the content we have been playing together with the level range it covers, which hopefully others may be able to adapt and use, should they choose to follow suit.

Thanks for reading

Adam

 

Sorry; we’re not dead, and a Rushgore Tip!

What We have been up to

Its been a heck of a time since we last posted, as always when we come creeping back from a long break its a confession of still playing the game, but having a bit less time so neglecting the blog. Its the preferable way round to do it for us, but not so much fun for our readers so sorry about that!

As I said though, we have been up to plenty in our online absence. Firstly we moved kinships on our original main characters; Azbarak, Elgalandir, and Chumbo, from Heroes of Eriador to Ainulindele. It was not a sudden decision, or one we did with any animosity, simply that over the last year or two our focus and attitude towards those characters, and the game has shifted, and Heroes, whilst still and excellent kin, had grown a lot, and was focussed much more on larger group content, and tougher level content, just at the time where we were deciding to scale our ambition back and perhaps look at 3 mans, and the odd 6 or skirmish as our endgame goal. It was a tough decision, as 4 years is a long time to play and chat with some of the folks there, but we still have contact with many of them through the game, and the plethora of social media available these days and we hope that the kin carries on thriving, who knows, our focus may change again and we may be back? We have been with Ainulindele a few months now, and they seem to suit us very well, I have only quested and chatted, and run a couple of three mans, but it is a welcome change of pace, and I think we will enjoy it there.

We have run through the Isengard 3 mans fairly regularly, alongside some of the other 3 mans, and earned ourselves 4/6 of the Draigoch armour on both Ganin and Azaghar, and also on Izbaruk and Haki, with Vithar (Forest to me and you). We have been through the Great River region, and are having another look on Izbaruk, Haki, and Vithar, and have been having some fun duoing the Limlit Gorge on Azaghar and Ganin.

In addition to playing the Dwarves we have also been enjoying the Festivals, particularly the Anniversary one, which was a great success for us this year, a welcome break from last years rather more sparse affair. The Firework theme was great, and the events simple yet surprisingly fun to watch.

Emma got very lucky in the Festival winning both the Lossoth and the Dusk Watch Horses, more than once. My Festival character Tedwise was much more unlucky but was consoled by a solitary ‘Toast Emote’ and of course earning the Firework Pony! All in all we had a lot of fun! Emma also lucked out by winning the Steed of the Champion on Dandilyon her Hobbit Minstrel! We also took advantage of the ‘welcome back weekend’ XP buff to level Emmas Rohirrim Captain and Ef champion some more, putting 21/2 levels on them, going from 56-8 and hoping to get to 60 soon and try out the New Enedwaith, and then level her Captain with my Rohhirim Captain waiting in Enedwaith, ready for the Rohan Expansion later this year!

So in between little real life things like weekend trips out, holidays, and work we have been enjoying some of the recent things LOTRO has had to offer! We have also made a lot of new outfits for both our characters, which we hope to share fairly soon!

Rushgore Tip

Finally I’d like to share a little tip for those of you that hadn’t already noticed this. The folks in our new kinship put us on to this, and it can be a godsend if you are getting a bit sick in there, it will also work in the Dunbog too. The region is a very cool and pretty looking marshy area on the banks of the Anduin. Graphically it looks great, and first time through, though I found it a little difficult to find some creatures or target where something was that was hitting me, I took it all in my stride and enjoyed the journey, however on subsequent visits it gets a bit old fast, especially if you can’t track like a hunter. The merits and disadvantages of such regions have been discussed ad nauseum elsewhere, so I’m not going to get into that, but suffice to say, I’m glad the World Design team manages to keep a bit of variety in the Landscape, and I think this new land mass bodes very well for future expansions.

If however it is driving you mad for whatever reason, one thing you can do is get rid of all those reeds and grasses, which makes a hell of a difference, at the cost of the look and feel of the place.

Go into Options/Advanced Graphics/ and scroll down until you see ‘Frill Distance’ and set it to none, and behold the results below. All the scree shots are pairs of the same view, the only difference is one has ‘Frill distance’ on Very High, the only has it on none. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you just want to complete the quests, or have been through enough times already, then this can be a godsend!

A bit of an extreme example of now you see it, now you don’t, but it demonstrates the effect nicely.

The first thing I’d have know about that Turtle would have been the comedic rumbling of little feet.

You get a much better spacial sense of distance, unrealistic for a swamp, but a hell of a lot easier to play!

I knew something was hitting me from somewhere!

So whatever your reasons if you want to make the Rushgore a little easier to naviate at the cost of its ambience its a tip worth remembering!

thanks for reading, hopefully wont be too long next time!

Adam

Decimating Dol Dinen

Real life has been kind of hectic lately with all of us seeming to take turns being ill, so this post is a little late.

A couple of weeks ago, we managed to get a full fellowship of Khazad Guard together, for the first time. We realised that we all had various alts and levelling projects in the Guard approaching the mid 30’s, so decided to organise a Guard run. Adam did all the actual organising, checking up all the quest chains we would need to collect, and emailing them around us all. Some other woman called Emma was also copied in on these group emails, Adam having mistyped my email. Either way she is now well-informed on the prerequisite quests needed to clear Dol Dinen.

The Guard stand Victorious over Dol Dinen

Surprisingly everything happened on time, we all met at the appointed time and place, having completed the appropriate quests, and all well stocked with food and pots. Baby Dwarf had also been well prepped, with a huge pad of paper, a load of stickers and some juice. He was really good and I only had to go briefly AFK a couple of times.

Being a mostly alt run, this did mean we were running with two champs, three RKs and a hunter, which certainly covered DPS….This actually worked really well, the RK’s all took turns being main healer, Adam was leading on a champ, a class he knows inside out, and off tanking, which left Aulin to main tank, and me on my Hunter, pew pewing from the back, and in a good position to keep my eye on Baby Dwarf as he emptied all of his toys over my feet. Luckily I hit 34 on my Hunter whilst doing the preliminary quests, which meant that I got the port to Esteldin, which proved very handy.

It was a lot of fun, a good way of further exploring the abilities of our alts, and a good lesson for some of the younger members to pay attention to the leader, and watch where you’re going so you don’t fall off that cliff… And thanks to Adam and his encyclopaedic knowledge of all the areas, maps and deeds, we even managed to bag Tumat for the discovery deed, the one everyone always seem to miss out and have to go back for. The final boss was a little tricky, as we struggled to not to pull too much aggro, but once we got the order right, we killed everything in the tent and completed all the Dol Dinen quests. Unfortunately we were so intent on playing and having fun as a group that we didn’t take many screenshots to share with you all. Were all excited about the next run, which will probably be  either the Great Barrows or Annuminas, as Fornost is temporarily disabled.

The Guard discover Tumat

A special commendation has to be made to Aulin. When his son Aulinburr (one of our Rune Keepers) had to leave, he kept him on follow so that he could complete all the quests, and even managed to join in some rather complicated Fellowship maneuvers on two different PCs whilst being main Tank for the group, and also managed to put down rune stones and res himself whilst fighting the last boss. Now that’s multi-tasking!

So thanks again to Hain and Aulin our champs, Regalbog (I know, but it was an actual in-game name suggestion) Aulinburr and Drali our Rune Keepers, and my little Hunter Fluzi, for a very fun and very memorable first full fellowship outing of the Mighty Khazad Guard.

May our beards remain strong and lustrous, and our axes sharp.

Emma

Urugarth Run – Khazad Guard Style

It been Half Term Hols, one of our younger members, Skarvi, had a concerted effort to level his Dwarf (obviously!) Champion, getting from about 48-49 in a very short time. So we decided to give him a helping hand with getting his Class Quest Items, and had a night in Urugarth. We came in on Ganin and Azaghar, our Champ/RK duo as we still had a few deeds to complete in there.

The Skies above Urugarth

In true Khazad Guard style, we very methodically killed everything in sight, quickly and efficiently. It all ran very smoothly, and Skarvi got all the treasure he needed for the Class Quest (and Controlled Burn), some nice armour,and the Khazad Guard Kin House chest got a few nice items for alts.

Ganin, Azaghar and Skarvi survey a newly empty Urugarth

Everything was fine until we decided to do a Death or Glory head on assault of Lagmas’ Court, which didn’t go quite as smooth. Anyone who’s ever been in Urugarth can tell you that step one foot over the front gate and all hell lets loose, with everything in the place aggroing. It was fun, and we got a couple of the bosses down that way, but we couldn’t compete with all the stuns and knock-downs, and eventually we were whittled down. Not to matter, we went in the back gate and killed them all.

The bridge leading to Lagmas' Court

It was a great training run for Skarvi, being his first time in Uru, and taught him the benefits of his class, what happens when you AoE and wake up stunned things, fellowship manouvers, and listening to the run leader, and most of all playing in a group and getting some really nice things. Class quest done, Skarvi is in Moria with Legendary weapons equipped, ready for some more Kin fun.

Level Cap at Last!

It feels like a long time since I have written a post, so I thought that I would keep you updated on what the Khazad Guard have been doing. Our main Dwarf trio, Izbaruk, Haki and Forest finally got to 75. It only took 3 years, but it was a journey that we thoroughly enjoyed. We dinged just as we got to Forthbrond in the quest chain, so there’s still plenty to explore as a trio, and the Reputation with the Riders of Theodred still to get.

Haki in Mordirith's Throne Room

There was the inevitable break in our regular sessions with Christmas, visiting family and the seemingly obligatory illnesses you always get at this time of year. Of course both Adam and myself have been having a little nosey at the new Star Wars the Old Republic game, which we are thoroughly enjoying. Yet we have managed to still fit in our regular Dwarf Night. We have decided to take a little break at questing and to have a go at some of the instances and skirmishes using the new instance finder, and just have pot luck with what we get. So far we haven’t done any of the new three mans, but have been in the School and Library, finishing off some deeds and looting some very nice treasure.

Taking our ease on Mordirith's Throne

Last night Forrest had been in Carn Dum, grabbing a few last items for class quests, and so we joined in and had a retro Dwarf Night. We cleared Carn Dum, completing loads of deeds, getting a few nice items to save in the kin house vault and then we took on Mordirith. It was a lot of fun and at the end we won Mordirith’s mirror, a nice new trophy of foes defeated for the Kin House. It was a nice change to be going back to somewhere we hadn’t been to in a very long time, much like running the school and library.

Saying that though, the Khazad Guard still to push on their advance, taking the fight on through Isendale, Fangorn and the Ring of Isengard, right to Saruman himself.

Izbaruk assesses the road ahead

Happy New Year all!

Emma