Category Archives: Just for Fun

The Khazad Guard Baby Boom II

Just a quick note to say congratulations to Aulin and his Mrs, on the birth of their baby boy, and Aulinburr on his new baby brother. We all hope that he’s happy and healthy and of course a sleeper!

That brings the Khazad Guards total to 5 babies in 3 years! If this game lasts long enough for all the kids to gain their fine motor skills, then we will have a very formidable All-Dwarf Army!

Let the Raiding begin!

(We don’t have a piccie of the new baby, so here’s one of our own Baby Dwarf, and Baby Dwarf the Younger).

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Screenshot: Nan Sirannon Sky

Just a quick screenshot to share. Logged on Ganin this morning to check some post and realised was still in Eregion, after farming some ore. Well, the baby was asleep and the boy was working his way through a chocolate cake and was very quiet. So, I figured I’d mine a little more ore while I had a few minutes peace. I really wasn’t paying attention to the landscape, just focusing on my mini map to find the ore nodes. After mining a Khazad copper, I glanced up and saw this.

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Pretty impressive! That’s one of the reasons that I love this game so much – there’s always something to look at.

Oh well, the boys cake is finished and the baby’s awake, time to get back to real life.

Emma

Yule Warsteed

Okay, so the Yule Festival is long over, but in my defence, this post has been half written for weeks now! I thought I’d share a screenshot of my own Yule Warsteed. I could only face grinding the Frostbluff quests on one toon, Barandis, my Cappy of Rohan, to get the warsteed cosmetic appearance. And that was only because babies think it acceptable to wake up for milk at 5am, leaving me a little time to play before Baby Dwarf woke up and demanded coco-pops. I didn’t really mind the deed system brought in for this festival, or the gating of the warsteed cosmetics, but 120 quests was a bit too many in my opinion. Also it was nice being able to buy a reset token in the store if needed, but really, to reset one quest? I didn’t buy any of them, at 100 TP’s per quest that was a bit too steep, but I might have paid 250-350 TP’s to reset the days limit, like a task reset.

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Here Barandis models the full cosmetic festival set, dyed burgundy.

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This shows only the saddle and leg parts of the outfit slotted, again dyed burgundy. I wanted to show these two pieces on their own, as these are probably the most generic and non-festival specific pieces. Granted, the saddle is decorated with a holly motif, but it looks fairly inconspicuous, and is actually a very useable item on its own. As you can see, the legs have no motifs on them, and can be used to add an interesting flash of colour as part of any outfit.

I like these cosmetics a lot, and am looking forward to seeing the ones associated with the other festivals as and when they come up. With the current system though, I’d be lucky to acquire them on multiple alts, although with the updated quest XP for festivals, doing the festival quests is an alternate way of levelling alts, which does give a bit more of an incentive.

Emma

Screenshots – Wolf-Man of Rohan

Our playtime has taken a hit recently with real life stuff, namely tiredness due to winter ailments and rebelling small children. At the minute I’m lucky to check the post on all my alts, let alone level anyone. It was one one such outing this morning that I spotted this extremely hairy Rohirrim, lurking in the Crafting Hall of Snowbourne, and just had to share him with you.

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Khazad Guard Baby Boom, or Real Life Hard Mode

Okay, so this post is a little over three weeks late, and will probably not be much interest to most of you, but may go someway to explaining why we have been being so quiet over the last month or so.

Our newest baby dwarf has finally arrived! Our baby girl, Thea Victoria was born on 10th November, after keeping us waiting for nine days. To start with, our local hospital was full so we were sent out of the district. As it happened, the new place was fantastic, almost like a hotel with personal on call midwives, en suite private rooms and an endless supply of toast. Adam managed to bring in LoTRO terminology, asking me if I would like to pop Dwarf Vitality whilst I was experiencing the worst of the contractions, and true to form, I answered yes, and could I use Endurance of Stone… I’m glad the midwife didn’t understand!

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The alternate title for this post is Real Life Hard Mode. The first step of this Hard Mode was that I was unable to use any pain relief for the birth, so I would have been very grateful for any additional buff; Shield Wall, In Harms Way, Endurance of Stone would all have been very welcome. Thankfully that whole process didn’t last too long all things considering.

Second part of Hard Mode doesn’t actually sound that bad – the day after Thea was born I caught a cold. See, it doesn’t sound bad. But it is definitely not fun to be coughing and sneezing with very tender abdominal muscles and not being able to take anything to relieve it.

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Everything was going very well, the original Baby Dwarf has been magic, being well-behaved, gentle with the baby, and coming close to mastering potty training in what feels like record time. We managed to acquire a newborn baby that actually sleeps at night, only having one or two feeds at reasonable hours, leaving us to play our game a little on an evening. Thankfully Adam has become very adept at playing one-handed, so he can hold the baby at the same time if she gets restless. And then came the third part of Hard Mode. Last Tuesday morning, the baby woke up earlier than usual, leaving us caught short with prepared milk. Whilst making some more, I somehow managed to tip a kettle of boiling water all down my front, badly scalding my chest, stomach and right thigh. My thigh definitely caught the worst of it, with a nasty burn blister larger than my hand. Adam came to the rescue with his first aid skills, and made me sit under a very cold shower for what felt like forever, and then wrapped the worst bits in cling film. He did the right thing and stopped it from being much worse than it could have been, but still, I wasn’t best pleased.

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So, this Hard Mode Challenge consisted of dealing with a two-year old, a newborn, and an incredibly painful fire DoT, and still managing to do the Hytbold dailies (although Adam does usually do both of our characters), the Sutcrofts Warbands (Adam was lucky enough to get a well deserved tarnished symbol on one of his Bugud runs) and getting our cappys their warsteeds.

But, with the birth of Vithars little girl a couple of months ago and our new arrival, the Khazad Guards membership numbers have never looked so good. Granted, our six man group play time is rather limited at the minute, but in a few years time we should have enough Guard members for a full raid! Hopefully in a few months things may settle down, and something more akin to normal service will resume!

Until then, we hope you all enjoy the Hobbit (Yes we certainly have a baby sitter booked, and reserved tickets for the 3d HFR version), and we shall try to make more of an effort on post as soon as possible!

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.

You Pesky Kids!

I must say that so far we are loving Rohan! We are by no means speeding through it – we want to take our time and explore what has turned out to be an epic landscape and often gripping storylines. Last night saw us ding 81 and reach Cliving for the first time. Rather than head straight out on the next round of patrol quests, we stayed in the town looking at the murder mystery quest (that’s all I’m saying for those who haven’t got there yet) and basically just nosing in all the houses. The place is huge, and so well done. If this is a fairly small settlement, I can’t wait to see what Edoras will be like! The NPC skins in Rohan are very well done, and the populations of the various towns and farmsteads well thought out. The places feel naturally lived in. Although I must say that while the guards stationed around Cliving seem to be slightly better equipped than those we have come across so far, there are a few chunky ones wandering around, so it’s obviously a plum of a posting. We had a lot of fun exploring Cliving, and in one of the houses we spotted this amusing little scene.

I’ve got no idea what the kids have done, but the mother doesn’t look too happy! The ominous presence of hammers on the floor suggests that whatever punishment is about to be meted out, is probably well deserved.

Down in the Dumps

Whilst questing recently in the North Downs, we came across an aurochs, who had quite frankly, given up all hope and fallen into a deep depression. We waved at it in the hopes of cheering it up, but to no avail. We have sent a message to the Rangers of Esteldin to see if they can do anything to alleviate the beasts condition, but so far we have heard no word. We ask everyone to be on the lookout for other beasts suffering the same malady, and to notify the Rangers at once. A raven has been dispatched to Ost Guruth to seek out Radagast, to see if he has any advice, being well schooled in all things natural. Until then, please try not to taunt these poor beasts whilst passing them, and if you must hunt them for their hides, please do so in a quick and dignified manner.

New Devilry- Screen Shots (Image Heavy)

As Adam mentioned in his last post, he had been kindly giving me a hand levelling both my cappy and my second champ. As the cappy is on our second account, I get two toons levelled for the price of one. I really just wanted them out of Moria, and so we worked mainly on getting the Moria Epic book done.

Azagan modelling the Cloak of Shadow and Flame

Anlafski and Izbaruk modelling the Singed Cloak

Vol 2, Book 6 Chapter 8 is New Devilry – an instance that I particularly love. You can go in either solo or duo, either way getting the inspire buff. It’s pretty simple, its fun, you get a nice pile of cash, a load of rep items, and one of two possible cloaks – The Singed Cloak, or as a rare drop, The Cloak of Shadow and Flame. One of these will drop from the boss, Gwathnor, who is in effect some type of lesser Balrogesque spirit. On level (60) these are pretty nice and for some classes really worth wearing, otherwise they are worth it for cosmetics. I love them both and use them on various alts. They are a permanent fixture in my Wardrobe.They dye really well, with the cloak of Shadow and Flame having some interesting outcomes because of the existing colours on it.

However, the best thing about this instance is the ambience, and screenshots in here are always stunning. We went in duo, and I spent the whole boss fight taking pictures. I put down a banner, then let Adam do all the work on champ while I clicked F11 and enjoyed the view. Gwathnor is an interesting boss fight to witness and capture screenshots of as he will periodically change appearance throughout the fight. Blacks and purples for the Shadow phase and reds and oranges for the flame. There are no special tactics needed, its just a tank and spank fight, and great to watch. The good news is that if you need these cloaks for yourselves, the instance can be revisited via the reflecting pool in the Twenty First Hall, under Return to Azanarukar. I think I ran this about four times on Ganin my main Champ to get the Cloak of Shadow and Flame for my wardrobe. Although I will say that if you go in through the reflecting pool, you will be left in the Shadowed Refuge, and if you don’t have the rep for the swift travels, this can be a bit of a pain in the proverbial.

As you can see from the following screenshots, its a nice instance to run, especially if you have a friend to do all the work. I probably took close to 50 screenshots in there, and it was difficult to choose some to show because they are all pretty good.

Disapearing Tricksy Elves!

Sorry about the little tonic bar icon in the bottom left, we always forget to unload them, but they are just too usefull! Thanks to Adam for levelling my character,and I hope you all enjoyed the pcitures!

Emma

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