Archive for November, 2011


Alrighty, time for another edition of “Me and My Multiple Personalities”. This time, we’re going to be focusing on Carolin, my favorite of all my characters to play.

  • Name: Carolin
  • Race: Man
  • Class: Captain
  • Level: 75

Carolin is a natural leader, cool under pressure, and brave to the point of idiocy. She leads from the front, not afraid to bark orders or speak her mind. She has a tendency to jump into things without thinking them through thoroughly, but she has an uncanny ability to turn even the nastiest situations around  and salvage something good from them. She has a fairly mellow personality, and is not easily angered. She does not take pleasure in fighting, as some do. However, she does not hesitate to do her duty.

Carolin was born and raised in the Bree-lands. She served for a short while as part of the Bree-town guard, but quickly grew bored of it (very little happens in Bree-town). She left the Bree-town guard and moved on to bigger, better things. After travelling the lands of Middle Earth, she eventually decided to lend her services to a mercenary group, until she could find a place to lay down some more permanent roots. Carolin has yet to find a place where she can picture herself living out the rest of her life, and still therefore lends her services to whoever has need of them.

-=-=-=-=-=-

I love my captain. Hands down, without a doubt, the captain is my favorite class to play. I run pretty much exclusively in Hands of Healing, because I am personally terrible at tanking, and I really don’t see Leader of Men (the “pet” line) as a viable option in end-game group instances.  My favorite role to play the captain in is a general support role. I can off-heal, off-tank, and buff as necessary; I feel like in that role I am most beneficial to my group because the versatility of captains can really shine.

For my legendary traits, I have In Defense of Middle Earth, Fellowship-brother, and Hands of Healing (the HoH capstone trait). This gives me the greatest benefit overall, both in solo and group play, in my opinion, because with Fellowship-brother and Hands of Healing equipped, I can run solo with a herald and self-heal with several different skills. Between Valiant Strike, Inspire, Muster Courage, Rallying Cry, and Revealing Mark, if  I’m getting these skills off, I can take on a lot of guys before I have to worry about my health even going down. Once it starts to drop, I still have Last Stand and Man-Heal (the man racial trait that heals 3k morale). In a group, the benefits are obvious. I can restore morale or power to everyone in my group consistently, in the form of constant HoTs. No too shabby if you ask me.

Carolin has already reached level 75, so at this point, I’m going after gear and virtues. It only took me about a month to get Carolin from level 20 to level 75, so I skipped a lot of deeds along the way. I currently have virtues slotted that are only rank THREE (and on a level 75 character who wants to go raiding, that’s not good). I have some catching up to do, but I can’t wait to get my hands on the Rise of Isengard captain set.

Slaying Dragioch

Last night, I had the pleasure of finally running Dragioch for the first time. I ran it on Carolin with a few old friends from the Crickhollow raiding kin Asylum, many of whom used to be Justified members. It was a great run, not only because it didn’t bug on us, but also because the run itself went very smoothly. We had only 1 member go down once, and that person was quickly revived by super-dee-dooper captain in-combat rezzes! At the end of the raid, I got lucky and won 2 Worn Symbols of Celebrimbor so I could obtain BOTH of my 2nd age legendary items (which I promptly did afterwards).

Now, I’ve heard rumors that with Update 5, the morale for Dragioch’s limbs are going to be reduced, which I take to mean that this fight will get easier (or perhaps just shorter). Now, maybe this is a credit to the skill of Asylum’s raid leader and raiding abilities (this particular raid was led by Rambostacked, an former Justified officer, actually), but I found the whole run very easy. There were a couple of people on this run who had never done it before, including myself, and yet there was only 1 death during the whole run (and it was in the final phase). There was only a few times when I really needed a big heal (which came in time, every time).

I will wrap this up by saying that it was an excellent run, and that Rambostacked did an excellent job leading. Hopefully I will be able to run with them again in the future.

Alright, I am very happy to present this piece, featuring Brucha. Brucha plays on the Crickhollow server, and is the author of the “Total Immersion” forum threads on the Crickhollow forum. If you haven’t read them yet, I highly recommend you do so. The most recent one can be found here. Now, on to the interview!

============================

Brucha: I am glad we were able to finally get together.

Me: The pleasure is mine. I’ve been following your story for quite some time.

Brucha: I am glad to hear that. I never know if people are still following the story since i do not receive much feedback on the forum. I am just glad people find it interesting to read.

Me: Alright Brucha, tell me briefly a little bit about your total immersion project.

Brucha: Well, it started with returning to LOTRO last year. I had not played since 2008, and had started with a toon named Ingion. I had read somewhere online about a player in another MMORPG using total immersion rules and applied them to playing Ingion. I also began a story for that toon at first, but tragedy struck when I accidentally erased Ingion and decided to start fresh with a new toon. The stories I wrote for Ingion were generally light-hearted and I wanted to do something a bit more serious. So, I came up with the idea of a dwarf travelling to Moria as the basis for the story. I was not sure if anyone would even be interested in such a lengthy story when I started. To be honest I still am unsure. As far as playing total immersion, it simply is a way to play the game with more realism to make the game more fun overall.

Me: OK, you mentioned some total immersion rules. What are a few examples?

Brucha: Well, the first immersion rules I found online were really basic and I ended up adding a lot to them. The most important rule was sticking to the in-game cycles of night and day, therefore, always resting during night cycles and only travelling/adventuring during the day. The second important rule was to walk everywhere, since you would not running around constantly otherwise. All the immersion rules in general were designed to add realism in my gameplay. Oh, and always staying in character and role-paying at all times.

Me: Is LOTRO the only game you’ve tried this with, or have you tried it with others as well?

Brucha: Actually LOTRO is the only MMORPG that I ever played. I stayed away from them for a long time, but being a huge Tolkien fan brought me to playing it several years ago. I guess I am a MMORPG noob.

Me: Wow, that’s surprising. I don’t know a whole lot of hardcore RPers who have only played 1 MMO.

Brucha: Well, I have played plenty of pen and paper RPGs, but none online except for some old text-based muds long ago.

Me: So, how is your total immersion generally received by people in-game?

Brucha: In game I don’t get much response, just like the forum. I am not sure why. A few players that have ended up having their stories told on the forum have sought me out in the game. And a few have also sent me gifts in the game – but other than that it seems most players don’t interact with me much.

Me: Do you see that as a good thing or a bad thing?

Brucha: Neither really, from feedback I have received it seems that most don’t want to bother me. But I actually look forward to RPing opportunities in the game. Meeting with new characters in-game just has to be RPed out.

Me: What do you see as your biggest challenge with this whole project?

Brucha: Ha, ha, surviving Moria. I made the number 1 big rule that Nuri could not be defeated in Moria. If that happens, he dies and the story ends. I kind of like to hope that at the end I can take him back to Ered Luin, buy a house and retire him.

Me: Ouch, that’s pretty unforgiving. Once Nuri either retires or dies, do you have plans to start over with a new character?

Brucha: Actually I would like to return to the story of Ingion after this. I went ahead and created Ingion as a new toon just to save the name.

Me: And if people would like to get in touch with you, or RP with you, what’s the best way to do so?

Brucha: Just come up to me in-game, but be ready to RP, because I never react to non-RP interactions usually. There are a lot of good RPers on Crickhollow, and I have had the pleasure of meeting some of them during the story so far.

Me: Do have anything else you’d like to add before we finish?

Brucha: Just to thank all the people that have been following the story and certainly to those that have given me the on-going encouragement to see this to the very end. And for you to give me this chance to bring the story to more people that may never get the chance.

Me: The pleasure is all mine, Brucha. It was great talking to you!

First off, I want to give a MAJOR thank you to Adrian Tan, who commented on my post “The Path to 75” and reminded me about The Pit of Iron, in the Heathfells. Without that friendly reminder, I would have probably forgot about it for quite a while. Now, thanks to him, Carolin has achieved level 75! Yay!

Now, it turns out there was a fairly major questline in the Heathfells that I almost missed. There are several quests that are prerequisites to The Pit of Iron. As far as I can tell, you have to complete the quests from Ondor the Dwarf (86.5S, 4.7W ) as well as the battle for Dol Baran questline, which starts with a quest “Herald of the Rohirrim”. An item dropped by the Hound Master from the quest “The Master of Beasts” will start the herald quest.

Once you have won the battle for Dol Baran, you will be able to go get the quests for The Pit of Iron. The quests start with a “Dwarven Pick-Axe” lying on the ground near the entrance to the cave. The quest will then take you inside to take to Ondor, who will then give you several more quests to take you deeper into the pit.

Unfortunately, the Pit of Iron is currently without an official map of its own, but at least you don’t fall through the floors any more. Remarks from Sapience suggest that there will be a map in the future. If you have trouble starting the quest “Herald of the Rohirrim”, and you have already killed the Hound Master, check your inventory. You may have a letter in there which starts the quest (that’s what happened to me).

Best of luck, and safe journeys always!

The Path to 75

Alrighty, I seem to have hit a brick wall on Carolin. Carolin is just beginning her final level. However, I seem to have run out of on-level quests! I have already completed Vol III, Book 4, and all of Dunland quests I could find. Unfortunately, it has not been enough, and I still need to grind out a final level.

I suppose my options are going back to complete Vol III, Books 1-3, or just doing a ton of skirmishes. Neither of those two options appeal to me very much.

This leads me to a few questions. Is this just a personal problem, because I basically skipped most of Enedwaith and most of the Epic Quest? Is there another questline sitting out there that I don’t know about? Or did Turbine just not release enough content with the actual expansion, opting instead to release part of it with Update 5?

This is a definite issue. In the meantime, I am so close to 75 that I can almost feel it… And so, I will go gets it. Yes, I will gets it from the tricksy devses… My precious…

A Couple Quick Thoughts

Sorry I’ve been slacking the last couple days, but I’ve been swamped. I should be sleeping right now, to be honest, but I’m going to put a couple things out before I do.

1.) THE FALL FESTIVAL ENDS TOMORROW! Monday is the last day for Fall Festival 2011. Don’t forget to spend your tokens, get your consumable deeds finished, and anything else you wanna do, because it won’t be back until this time next year. Each festival uses the same tokens every year, so if you have extra tokens and don’t mind using up the vault space, you can throw the fall festival tokens into your vault for next year.  Lastly, there are lots of lotteries going on at my.lotro.com which could win you tokens!

2.) I have managed to get Carolin, my captain, up to level 73. With 75 on the horizon, I have to decide which character I’m going to level next. I’m considering Ssenir, my hunter (because he’s next closest at 66), Pyrite, my burglar (because she is already in Moria and I like burgs), and Aerfin, my minstrel (because I would like to have a high level scholar and healer). Any input you guys wanna provide, such as with a comment (hint, hint) would be appreciated!

3.) I will have another post up for you tomorrow! Have a great night!

Once upon a starless moon

On which wolves howled and lovers swooned

There was a man, named Berrathan

Whose very name brought fear to man

 

It’s said, with whispers in the night

That Berrathan was scared of light

And so he fought with fire and sun

To make it dark for everyone

 

He devised a plan to make it black

To kill the sun with a mighty crack

And so he went to Mirkwood, dark

Fearing neither goblin nor barghest’s bark

 

With a chop of his axe, he felled a tree

And carved into pieces three

His plan began to take its form

While rain poured down, a mighty storm

 

A giant bow he made from the first

He looked up to the sky and cursed

“Your time is coming!” he yelled at the sky

And miles away, they heard his cry

 

The second, he fashioned a giant plate

The size of which was truly great

A giant arrow, he made from the third

He made up his mind, he would not be deterred

 

He grabbed the plate with one of his hands

And found a spot of open lands

To the arrow, he tied his chest

And decided that his course was best

 

He shot himself into the sky

And experienced what it was to fly

Towards the sun, for miles he flew

He grimly knew what he must do

 

He gripped the plate as he neared the sun

And hurled it, thinking the battle won

It covered the sun, and Berrathan smiled

And all went dark for a little while

 

But he threw too hard, the plate flew by

It flew past the sun, and he sadly cried, “Why?!”

It was obvious his plan had failed

Berrathan let out one final wail

 

It’s said that once in many a year

If you listen closely, you can hear

The sound of Berrathan’s final cry

Before he hung his head to die

 

The plate still comes back into sight

And makes the day into darkest night

The wolves howl, wind violently whips

This phenomenon they named, “eclipse”


You may or may not be aware, but I’m a raging altoholic. That’s right, I said it. I should almost look into therapy for my altoholism… The first step is admitting you have a problem, right? But, I figured it would be interesting for you to meet my various characters, or as I like to refer to them, personalities, because it seems like my mood and mannerisms change, based on which character I am playing.

We’ll start out with my first and probably most widely known: Ssenir, Leader and Founder of Justified.

  • Name: Ssenir (pronounced “seh-neer”)
  • Race: Elf
  • Class: Hunter
  • Level: 66

Ssenir is a level-headed and calculating. He speaks plainly, but is very intelligent and articulate. He cares little of the opinions of others, but is respectful of everyone. He is just and fair, and never fails to see the good in people. He is incredibly patient, but he has quite the temper should it ever be awakened. He is always willing to take time to listen to the thoughts and concerns of others, and assist in any way he can. He is the leader and founder of the kinship Justified, and he believes strongly in random acts of kindness.

Ssenir originally hails from the Mirkwood, from which he left many years ago, before the shadows began to creep forth from the east. He is of average height and weight for an elf. His stare is piercing, as though he looks and sees at a glance what a man is truly wrought of. Lesser men cower before his skill with a bow, and they have been known to flee at the first draw.

-=-=-=-=-=-

For Ssenir, I am currently running in a fairly common critical DPS build. I draw a lot of my damage from Barbed Arrow bleed damage (both traited and assisted by a legendary weapon legacy) and focus skills, such as Blood Arrow (yes, I include Blood Arrow as part of my regular rotation). I admit, I have not logged many hours on Ssenir post-RoI, so the build is in definite need of some fine-tuning.

I trait a combination of Bowmaster and Huntsman trait lines. My current legendaries are Bard’s Arrow, Rain of Thorns, and Press Onward.

For the future, I plan to get Ssenir to level 75, at which point I will start playing around with some post-RoI builds. I enjoy playing in the Moors, so perhaps I’ll give Trapper of Foes another shot and try some Moors crowd control.

/facepalm

Last night, I sent an email to the author of another blog asking if they’d be willing to take a look at mine. I checked my email this morning and there was a reply, saying that they would be happy to… and asking if I could send him the URL. I didn’t include the URL in the original email? That probably was kind of important, huh? /facepalm

So, that brings us to the topic of this post: /facepalm. Facepalm is an implied emote, often used in LOTRO and other MMOs. Although it is not an ACTUAL emote (meaning, if you type /facepalm into your chat bar and hit enter, you character won’t do something nifty), if you use it people will pick up very quickly on what you’re trying to convey. Due to the nature of the way the lotro chat bar and command system works, you will have to type “./facepalm,” or something preceeding the “/”, in order for it to appear properly.

I’m sure most of us have some excellent facepalm stories. I work in customer service for a telecommunications company. I used to work in customer service for a large cell phone company. An elderly lady called in, bless her heart, nearly in tears because her phone was not working properly. When I asked her what was wrong with her phone, she replied, “It doesn’t ring. It just rattles!” The lady had her cell phone on vibrate. /facepalm

Another time, when I was out in the Moors, I was attempting to teach a greenie the basics of PvMP. I answered most of his questions, which took about an hour, before he finally asked, “Wait. You mean I have to kill real players, not NPCs? And they can kill me back?” I replied that PvP was the whole point of the Moors. He then informed me that he had always thought PvP was dumb. He then logged off, and never came back to the Moors. /facepalm

So… what are some of your facepalm stories? Leave a comment and share!

Welcome to the Ettenmoors, Maggot. If you are anything like me, you are competitive. You enjoy competing against others. You may even take pleasure in annoying other players. Well, the good news is, there’s a place in LOTRO for that. It’s called the Ettenmoors, (or the Ettens or the Moors for short). Unfortunately, if you have never set foot in the Moors before, the initial shock of new things to learn can be a little bit overwhelming. Therefore, I have decided that it might be beneficial (especially with the Reaver monster player class recently becoming F2P) to compile a brief guide of some of the things a brand new, greenie monster player should know.

First of all, monster players are referred to as creeps. Non-monster players (elves, dwarves, etc) are referred to as freeps (short for Free Peoples). There are several creep classes to pick from, each with its own niche in the battlefield environment.

There are lots of acronyms and abbreviations in the Moors. In fact, just about everything has an acronym or abbreviation. This is because while in combat, it is not practical to type out the full names of places (and because creeps and freeps are lazy). Here is a brief glossary. Also included are some commonly used nicknames.

  • An – First Marshall An
  • BB – Buffalo Beach, the beach south of TA where there are a bunch of Aurochs
  • DG – Dar-Gazag
  • DP – Destiny Points
  • EC – Elf Camp
  • Girl Scout Camp – Small campfire and tents near the entrance to Glan Vraig
  • Goldie – Old Goldhead
  • Grams – Gramsfoot
  • GV – Glan Vraig
  • HH – Hoarhallow (also know as Hobbit Town)
  • Inf – Infamy
  • Isen – Isendeep Mine
  • LC – Lumber Camp
  • Lugz – Lugazag
  • OP – Outpost
  • OR – Ost Ringdyr
  • STAB – South Tol Ascarnen Bridge
  • TA – Tol Ascarnen
  • TR – Tirith Rhaw
  • WTAB – West Tol Ascarnen Bridge
*    *    *
Now, for a brief tour of the Moors. We will start at Gramsfoot (Grams for short).
Gramsfoot is where you will start out. There are lots of quests you can do there for infamy, including all of the Captain-General killing quests, which pay out fairly nicely both in infamy and destiny points. There are also class trainers, vendors, and barterers there. It is also a completely “safe” zone, that is to say, you cannot be killed there by the freeps.
Lugazag (Lugz) is next on our list; it lies just a little bit southeast of Grams. It is tied to a rez circle, meaning that whichever side controls Lugazag will also have control of the rez circle right next to it. Because of its proximity to Grams, this is often considered a creep base.
Moving east from Lugz, you will run into Tol Ascarnen (TA), which is basically on a big island in the middle of the map. There are bridges to the west and to the south of TA, known as WTAB and STAB respectively. TA is not tied to a rez circle, so if forced to make the choice between saving TA and Lugz, I would save Lugz.
Lastly, if you move east past TA, you will run into Tirith Rhaw (TR). TR is tied to a res circle, and due to its proximity to the freeps’ starting location, it is often considered a freep base (but not if I have anything to say about it!).
The two remaining keeps are Lumber Camp (LC), which is located south of TA, and the Isendeep Mine (Isen), which is located way north of TR.
*    *    *
Lastly, I will give a few general rules of thumb concerning life in the Moors:
  • When fighting in a group, enable voice. To do that, open up your options, go to audio options, and check the box that says “Enable Voice”.  You do not have to be able to talk, but you do have to be able to listen to the raid leader. On that note, listen to the raid leader and obey him!
  • The target assist window is your best friend. Focusing fire in a raid is the best way to quickly cause the other side to wipe. If your group’s DPS is spread around, and the other side is focusing all of their DPS on one character at a time, you will lose half your DPS before anyone on the other side dies.
  • Don’t get whiny. The first few ranks as a creep are difficult. You will die. A lot. Dying is part of PvMP, get used to it.
  • Get your maps! Creeps can get maps, which they can use to warp around the Moors very quickly. These maps are obtained by doing quests at the respective locations for each map: Lugz, TA, TR, Isen, and LC. You will also get a map to Grams, which can be upgraded to have a one-minute cooldown. Get them, use them, love them.
  • Find a good tribe. A tribe is basically the creep version of a kinship. A good tribe will give you a good group to kill freeps with.
This concludes Part I of the Greenie Creep’s Guide to the Ettenmoors. Coming soon… combat tactics!