Archive for December, 2009

Mireleth, Beer-Champion

Today it’s Mireleth’s turn to move beyond her level 13 rank, but she got distracted by the Yule festivities. She collected berries and snow and then wandered into the Festival Arena, where it turned out that my Elf Champion is a champion at getting to the Glorious Beer first! Unexpected, since I never managed to complete a bar fight on Alduine, who always got flung out of bounds too quickly. Mireleth claimed the trophy on her very first try and hasn’t lost a fight since! After five rounds she’d made Senior Member with the Inn League…and she’s never even done the pub crawl quest, this being the first festival she’s participated in! After seven rounds she decided to get down to work and return to the War against the Shadow. From level 13 she advanced to level 16 and moved on from Ered Luin to Bree, learning dances from Elves, Hobbits, and Dwarves along the way. (She also filled in her Shire map by racing to all its famous pubs…figured since she was already an Inn League Senior Member after the brawls in Thorin’s Hall, might as well go ahead and actually be initiated into the Inn League!)

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-20 14:39:07

I do wonder what Strider thought when this Elf with thoroughly muddled wits showed up to speak with him…

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-20 14:46:05

Likewise, the mayor of Bree was rather more welcoming than one would expect while she was so muddled.

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-20 14:49:28

Fortunately, she did wait to sober up before speaking with a dwarf called Ultan Foebane about her Champion training!

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-20 14:52:49

He sent her to deal with three egregious foes…that would sort of make Mireleth the Foe-Bane instead of the dwarf, wouldn’t it?…of which she has so far dispatched one. Two more to go next time Mireleth comes out to play!

Welcome Back Alts!

I’m taking advantage of Christmas vacation coinciding with the welcome back weekend XP boost to advance the army of alts a bit. Between that and the rested XP from how long it’s been since I played any of them, it’s like alt boot camp around here. :-)

Pellandir went from level 13 to 17 finishing up his Staddle quests and moving on to the big city of Bree. He also finished his level 15 Captain quest – not in an instance like the other ones I’ve done as yet, surprisingly. And not a very hard quest either. In fact Pellandir’s been easily taking on yellow and even orange mobs while scurrying around the Thornley farm killing mean ol’ level 19 wolves and such. Hm. I don’t remember him being that effective previously, so either it’s changes from an update somewhere along the way – or I’ve improved. ;-)

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-19 12:25:01

And he made the welcome discovery that Adso is moving up in the world, as his encampment now has a stable master! I think I’d read about that change somewhere, but had forgotten about it till Pellandir saw it and rejoiced.

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-19 12:42:18

Meanwhile over in Buckland, Trumpkin leveled from 17 up to 20. Taking on three at a time without panicking was one of the joys of Guardian-leveling:

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-19 14:10:21

He did some crafting as well, upgrading some of his bronze armor to iron; he just needs more barrow-iron so he can finish upgrading and look all coordinated. :-)

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-19 15:49:44

And finally – upon reaching 20, Trumpkin bought a pony!

The Lord of the Rings Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-19 18:43:42

Now the pony just needs a name! And then, to see if we can get Pellandir and Mireleth on to level 20 as well….

(By the way…is it just me, or have the most rated and highest rated posts lists disappeared from the main page here?)

Open for Business in the Barrow Downs

I’ve been working on my alts’ crafting this week, which is probably why I haven’t posted for a few days. There are just not that many ways to make “Smelted ore. Tanned hides. Spent hours researching which weapons to craft for which alt” sound any more interesting or less repetitive.

Anyway, today I logged on to Vanita to have her smelt some ore for Alduine’s weaponcrafting, and decided that since she was just a smidgen away from leveling I should go ahead and turn in some quests or kill something to get her to level 23. She actually had three or four quests ready to turn in and had just been consigned to crafting-alt status for so long…there they sat, just waiting. So I did that, and one of them was to turn in to Tobold what’s-his-name, who used to be in the Scholar’s Stair in Bree but now camps out in the Barrow-downs, which suggests he might be getting a little senile because who would really prefer camping out there to a nice comfy library in Bree? Anyway, while turning that in, Vanita picked up a few of the other quests from the Barrow-downs hubs, including the repeatable bounties for crafting. She got to go chop down some really mean and scruffy-looking maple trees south of the Barrows, as well as terrorizing the local wildlife in the form of bears, crawlers, barghests, rats, and wights. (It was also a handy spot for collecting more ore for Alduine, yay Vanita the multitasker!) I noticed a welcome change in the quest hubs of the Barrow-downs: They each now have a Traveling Vendor! It is no longer necessary to run back to Bree to empty your bags before you can actually turn in those crafting bounty quests (since they give you four or more different rewards for each quest…can’t do it after collecting all the vendor trash from the things you killed for the quest)! The last time I was in the Barrow-downs was with Arethryth before Siege of Mirkwood came out, so presumably the vendors were instated then or in the patches since. I am so so glad to see them there.

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-16 17:41:06

Alduine has been Yulefesting a bit too, in between crafting more weapons than she or any of my alts have any use for (nor does anyone on the Auction Hall, except she did sell a few throwing axes there, yay). She gathered snow and fir branches and mistletoe and all that, and attempted to grab some Glorious Beer with, alas, not a bit of success. Unless she was aiming for moonwalking practice, because something is definitely fishy about the gravity in that dwarven arena.

Finally past the Mirkwood landing!

The latest patch must have fixed the bug that was doubling the ranks of orcs around those ballistas, because Linett was finally able to get the last one. Hooray! I wish I’d got a screenshot of it blinking so promisingly, but I was too busy avoiding the orcs that were still there…and still respawn-happy.

Anyway, Linett is now on her way into the rest of Mirkwood, with much relief to be done with the ballista.

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-12 21:00:43

Inspired to Greatness at Weathertop

Horazia made her way through the Lone-lands today to Candaith’s encampment. While chasing down War-Master Uzorr she ran across a friendly Elf who proposed an alliance, as he was on the same errand. With the War-Master quickly dispatched, they returned to Candaith to see what he thought of the orders the Orc had been preparing to execute.

When Candaith appealed to them to retake Weathertop from the orcs….At first we wanted to try the fellowship version, and managed to recruit a Lore-master to assist in the endeavor.
LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-12 13:25:31

The run up to the top built our confidence; with the guardian Findrandir tanking, supported by the Lore-master Ravenar and Horazia the minstrel, we didn’t really have any problems on the way up, apart from odd levitating dead Wargs:
LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-12 13:46:10

We made it all the way to the top of Amon Sul, but alas, the leader and his troll pet at the end were too much for just the three of us in a full fellowship quest. After three tries we conceded defeat and went our separate ways.

Then Horazia went back and tried it again in the solo version, with the Inspired Greatness option. And wow! That was nifty. It was still challenging enough, at least the troll was–Horazia was buffed enough to plow right through the orcs even in that final battle.

So apparently this goblin was wrong–or he was actually speaking of his own death:
LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-12 14:22:36

The Retake Weathertop quest didn’t use to be a part of book 2, so I’d never managed to complete it before–hard to find a fellowship for it usually. I’m glad I finally got to complete it, as it was a lot of fun! Even the unsuccessful half-fellowship run was fun, and in the solo version, I liked how the Inspired Greatness buff worked (although I didn’t even notice at first I had it when the final battle started! Candaith kind of snuck that on me…) I also like how the addition of the Weathertop quests to book 2 serve to introduce you to the Lone-lands region, at least I assume they’d do that if Horazia hadn’t already been questing there. :-)

Horazia, Goblin-bane (also yet more skirmishing!)

I am DONE with the rough draft of my Petronius paper! It’s no good to me to try revising a paper the same day I wrote the first draft; so, since I have truly done all I can on it for tonight, now for some guiltless procrastination. :-)

This probably explains why Alduine still isn’t seeing the new skirmish available that she was supposed to see at level 40. Is the Barrow-downs one the level 40 one, then?

Alduine’s still skirmishing at Amon Sul and Gondamon, undeterred by the unavailability of the Barrow-Downs skirmish. Here’s a happy memento of Weathertop at dawn, the Cargul defeated at her feet:

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-08 17:36:29

Know what my favorite part of the Amon Sul skirmish is? Keeping those five campfires lit. Seriously. I don’t know why that amuses me so much, but Alduine will leave off fighting whatever wight or bat she’s in combat with to run and relight them. I think it’s the “fwoosh!” sound when they catch fire. Shiny!

Just in case you’re getting tired of hearing about skirmishes (Alduine isn’t of doing them…yet…and if you’re not tired of the screenshots, there’s another one at the end after the cut :-) ), let’s see what’s new in the Lone-Lands, courtesy of Horazia, because Arethryth has already done most of the Lone-Lands and is not so eager to go scouring them to find out what’s new, and Vanita has done quite a bit of it too and it’s so long since I played her that I am unsure of the burglar skills anymore, and because Horazia is a minstrel and after a week playing Alduine I am quite comfy with those skills. So here goes a Horazia liveblogging! Hm…I think I’ll try a partial in-character liveblogging, as Horazia the poetess jots down some notes for the song of her adventures. Beware, she may burst into rhyme. Horazia is in purple; and I’m…not.
Ooh, bounty quests for crafting materials have been added to the Forsaken Inn! Those are handy.

9:14 Horazia’s writing home tonight…

Dear Horazio:

Well big brother, I’m sure you are having a lovely time back in the Shire, tending your garden and pounding out that epic of yours, but I do believe I’m having a finer time myself actually living the epic out here in the Lone-Lands. Oh, all right, I don’t suppose it’s quite as momentous as your Bullroarer’s Ballad, but I’m sure I’m on my way to something great. And it’s so marvelous making some practical use of my songs out here; they keep me going, you know, when it looks like a goblin might just get the better of me, and I will swear till I wear your ears out that singing as I swing my mace at a goblin’s head does put him off his guard just so much as it takes to be sure I hit him before he hits me. It works, really, though I don’t know if you could do the same with your epic. Maybe by lulling the enemy to sleep before you throw your spear at him….But all right, brother dear, I’ll leave you to your songs and me to mine. I wouldn’t trade with you, that’s a sure thing! You should see the goblins run when I sing. Now don’t tease and say that so do the Hobbits–I don’t back up the songs with hard steel back home! Oh, such a funny thing to tell you: There was this one goblin I put an end to, but not before he three or four times turned and ran, then turned around and came back to me, then ran again! Couldn’t make up his mind, so I made it up for him, and that’s one less goblin to trouble the world.

I do admire the practicality of the free folk in these lands. Know what they want done, yes they do, and they’re happy enough to pay me in coin or kind to do it. There’s a Missus Dourlily, she’s a barmaid at the Forsaken Inn out just past the edge of the Bree-lands, who’s sewing up a scarecrow from the tabards those nasty goblins wear. I marched out to an old fortress called Minas Eriol and collected a few more for her; their owners got no more use for them now! Missus Dourlily was so pleased with the tabards she showed me her pattern for the dandiest new leather gloves. I’ll send you back a pair if I can save up enough for the materials to make them.

Found a few fancy scabbards the goblins were carrying, too, and a Man called Munce was so pleased to hear me sing of the goblins I’d taken them from, he traded me some odds and ends for them. Learned a pattern from him, too, for a tough-wearing linen shirt–he said, to protect me in the ongoing struggle against the goblins. His people call themselves the Eglain–means the Forsaken, just like their Inn–and I was pleased to make their acquaintance, for they seem decent folk. I helped him get back some goods the goblins had stolen from him; saved his livelihood, I’m sure, and if that ain’t something to sing and celebrate, I don’t know what is! So sing I shall:

Old Goblin wore a bruise-red tabard
Dagger sheathed in rusty scabbard
Now tabard’s red scares crows away
And polished scabbard shines like day
For Eglain in their homes to stay!

I suppose you’ll call that a silly dog-verse, but it made Mr. Munce smile.

Oh, another curious thing! One goblin I killed had in his pocket the funniest little pendant. All polished up it was, sparkling in the sun, so that I knew it was no thing their foul kind could have made. Then a while later when I was scouting a goblin-camp, looking for their Packmaster because Missus Dourlily had asked me to get rid of him, I came across a Man tied up in their camp, and he recognized the pendant! Seems he’d had a mind to trade with the goblins–can you believe it! How down on his luck he must have been; or just not very clever, because of course the foul folk double-crossed him. Well, I helped him escape, even if he was such a blockhead to insist on searching every crate in all their camps looking for a sword he’d got from his father that the goblins had taken a fancy to.

Adventuring in these lands pays better than you’d think, Horazio: I’ve saved up a whole gold piece already. Perhaps I shall buy myself a fancy pony and ride home for a visit one of these days. Till then, I’m sending you a present–berries I found growing wild out here, sweeter than anything your tame bushes can offer. You should come out here and pick a few for yourself, you know. Finest spearman in the Southfarthing, you know you are, and it all goes to waste while you fuss over that poem and those mushrooms. Well, give my love to Mother and everyone, and keep the Shire safe for me to come home to.

Your loving sister,

Horazia is fun to play and no less fun to write. :-) Also, collecting goblin tabards’n’scabbards and escorting Pengail out of the goblin camps* brought her up to level 23! At which point a notification popped up to remind me that now level 20 is the minimum to buy a pony…so she can go do that now! As can Vanita and Arethryth when I get back to them. Oh joy!

Here’s Horazia hunting goblins:
LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-10 18:15:34

I shall leave you with one final Skirmish picture…

Stand at Amon Sul
LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-08 17:34:37

View more LOTRO screenshots on WeGame.

Alduine’s Scholarly Pursuits (and more skirmishing!)

At level 40, tonight Alduine finally managed to complete her crafting quest (fetching some document or other from a hilltop in Angmar guarded by Duvardain and way too many stealthed wargs…who are still orange to her even though it’s a level 40 quest…) and is no longer stuck at tier 3 of scholar crafting! Yay! Guess it’s time to find a superior study and use up some of her stockpiled documents and things. It would be nice if, in her scholarly pursuits, she could turn her attention to some fragmentary documents of the archaic Westron tongue (i.e., Latin) and churn out a paper on Petronius’ Satyricon as quickly as she churns out those scrolls of crafting and dyes and potions. :-) (The aforementioned paper is about half done, if by half done I mean that I have an outline, an introduction, and a bibliography; and for me, having an outline does mean half done because my thoughts are sorted and now it’s just about finding the words to put them into complete sentences. Paper is due Friday, and once it’s done, I will be done with grad school for the semester, yay!)

That level 40 crafting quest had been giving me much grief as Alduine’s bags were filling up with scholar materials she couldn’t use yet because they were for the next tier up, and she was stuck on that level 40 quest though she was level 38….I tried using her elven stealth skill to sneak up the hill and get the paper, but the stealthed wargs kept outstealthing me and leaving me quite dead. Plus, once they unstealth you, there’s a long cooldown before you can use the stealth skill again so after that point it’s either fight your way up the hill, or sit behind a rock quietly for half an hour. I had tried several times to get that quest done but it was just not happening at level 38. At 40, it was a close call, especially since she got unstealthed before she was anywhere near the hill, but I did finish it on the first try this time! Just glad to have that one finished and be free to craft to my scholarly little heart’s content now.

At least, to craft in between skirmishes! My favorite scenes from this evening’s run of Amon Sul and Gondamon:
LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-06 17:46:23
Troll! He was a tough one to kill too. And another of that sort showed up just before the final boss…Alduine perished once during that skirmish. :-) I suppose this Lieutenant probably has a weakness I’m supposed to figure out and use to my advantage but at the time I was just going “TROLL!!!” and…it was fun that way, so I’m fine with it.

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-06 18:02:58
Just why does the final Dourhand boss have a pet dragon or whatever it is? Does he have pretensions to Nazgulhood? My poor Mr. Protector (still nameless, though a hobbit now) perished fighting this fiery beast, alas. But Mathi did not perish so the skirmish was at least a success.

Bounty Hunting

Alduine took a break from skirmishes today to deal with more local problems. Evendim seems to be plagued with villains of the lowest sort. The good folk of Ost Forod were pleased to have Alduine help deal with these blots on their fine society–except for one Cuthbert Sprunt, who took it upon himself to put out a bounty on the bounty-hunter! No problem, however; with Basil Gummidge’s able assistance, Alduine showed those brigands what’s what.

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-06 10:38:52

All that bounty hunting and a few other Evendim quests brought Alduine up to level 40 (yay!) upon which a notice showed up that new skirmishes are available to her. But…nothing new shows up in the skirmish join panel…so I’m not sure what’s up with that. Maybe it’s a delayed notice for hitting level 35…

Some of those orcs must have duties elsewhere…

Linett tried again tonight to finish Engines of War, but it’s still not very soloable with the crowding of orcs in that camp. This thread, however, was enlightening. I’ll try again after that gets fixed. :-)

Alduine, meanwhile, is still in love with the skirmishes and has in fact gained a level just doing, over and over, the two that are open to her now. They hit a nice balance with the skirmishes: more challenging than most plain quests, but still somewhat bite-sized–doable in fifteen or twenty minutes. Alduine has been concentrating on improving Mr. Protector’s traits, taking all skirmish marks earned and spending them on him. (He still needs a name, but maybe that should come after I spend some of those marks on his cosmetics…he might not always be a man in dwarf disguise. Amusing though that is, I think Alduine needs a little Hobbit helper….) He does get distracted once in a while though; especially in Siege of Gondamon he tends to get stuck just outside the west gate while Alduine runs to meet the enemy at another gate. Anyway, I started out (following advice from a blog post somewhere but I failed to save the link to it…must see if I can track it down!) scaling the skirmishes down a few levels lower than Alduine so as to make sure they weren’t too high level for her soldier till he was a little stronger. And also to figure out what was going on in each skirmish! But I’ve been able to gradually scale it back up to her level (and thus earn more skirmish marks each time) and she’s still handling them well.

How about skirmishy combat scenes now? Time for pretty pictures!

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:14:37
Stand at Amon Sul – Lighting the fires

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:17:00
Stand at Amon Sul – here comes a Lieutenant!

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:18:18
Stand at Amon Sul – sneaking up on a Troll from behind, a trick Alduine learned from her burglar friend Vanita…

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:22:27
Amon Sul – those campfires always need relighting at the worst moments…

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:22:32
Amon Sul: Mokum

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:25:59
Amon Sul: Cargul defeated!

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:45:52
Siege of Gondamon: now with Hobbit protector! Yes, after writing half this post I went ahead and bought the Hobbit race trait…

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 17:19:27
Siege of Gondamon – Just a pair of Minstrels

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 17:04:30
Siege of Gondamon – Troll Lieutenant

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 17:02:19
Siege of Gondamon – Wolf

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-05 16:49:39
Siege of Gondamon – Stormcrow, a Lieutenant of the Enemy

Alduine’s New Ally

Alduine upgraded her Skirmish soldier to a Protector. A win-win combination for my minstrel Elf lady: he protects her by keeping the vicious ones far from her, she protects him with a steady flow of healing songs. (She still likes her war-speech, though, and does plenty of shouting at the enemy too…)

One question though. Mousing over the Protector identifies his race as Man. Does this look like a Man to you? So short and stout?

LotR Online Screenshot by RannaDylin - 2009-12-04 20:48:21

Anyway, he makes a very good protector whatever his race. Alduine spent some skirmish marks to train him up nicely and he did a fine job keeping her alive as she tried out the two skirmishes available at her level: Stand at Amon Sul and Siege of Gondamon. Both very fun! In the Amon Sul skirmish, alas, the protector did end up dying on the final boss when Alduine tried to heal him at a crucial moment but the line of sight was not clear. She kept him alive all through the Gondamon skirmish though, so all is forgiven.

Mr. Protector needs a better name, however. Any suggestions?

Blogger Gatherings!

Click the button for reports from the 2010 Spring Blogger Gathering, hosted by Linett of Nimrodel!

Berethron of Brandywine hosted the 2010 Summer Blogmoot.

The Winter Blogmoot was held on December 4, 9 p.m. EST at the home of Telwen of Silverlode.

Next up: The Spring Blogmoot of 2011 shall return to Nimrodel with Tuiliel (Whart, aka user-1027520) hosting! Linett is looking forward to another local moot!



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