Archive for December, 2011


I figured it was time to introduce you to another one of my characters! This time, we will meet Aerfin, my minstrel and go-to role-playing character.

  • Name: Aerfin
  • Race: Man
  • Class: Minstrel
  • Level: 32

Aerfin, Singer of Songs, Teller of Tales, Weaver of Words… He is a man of many titles. A minstrel, hailing from the distant lands of Rohan, he has travelled the world in search of inspiration. Although he possesses some musical talent, he is far more renowned for his storytelling, and for his clever style of writing. He toys with words, and weaves them, as a potter may mold clay.

He is highly intelligent, and his command of language is quite good. He is known to have moments of unparalleled genius.

Although he is a gifted writer and thinker, it is perhaps because he is ever-so-slightly touched in the head. Insane. Batty. In a different realm of thinking… take your pick.

He considers himself a “half-pacifist”, that is to say, he spends at least half of his time doing something other than fighting (usually having a drink in the local tavern, where he may provide some entertainment).

He is known to randomly break into song, or rhyme, or verse, whenever inspiration strikes him. When asked what he is doing, he will often state that he is doing something entirely different from what he is actually doing, and that if you think otherwise, it is because your perception is skewed, and you should perhaps direct your skewed perception elsewhere, and perhaps see a local doctor to get that checked out.

Aerfin often speaks before thinking, except for when he thinks before speaking (he has been known, on rare occasion, to ponder his words for days at a time).

He is fascinated by things that to most people seem inconsequential: a flower picked from the south Bree-fields, a trinket retrieved from the Barrow-downs, an empty mug at the tavern. When Aerfin looks at objects such as these, he imagines an entire story; where they’ve been, and what they’ve witnessed.

He believes in neither strength, nor flaws, but rather, does whatever seems like the best option at the time.

Aerfin stands at approximately 5’10”, and weighs about 150 pounds. He has blonde hair, and blue eyes. He often says his song level is 70 birds (whatever that means).

He has an older brother named Diende, who is altogether much more gruff in demeanor than Aerfin is. Perhaps it is because Aerfin calls him “Old-timer”, or perhaps it is because Diende has a slightly more realistic view on life, whereas Aerfin is content to simply sing and write as the world around him crumbles (at least supposedly, that stuff is all personal perception anyway).

He met Tom Bombadil once, in the darkest part of the Old Forest. Tom told Aerfin,

“Slightly strange are you, 
and not as old as I, 
but you remind me of me, 
in a younger time.” 

Aerfin raised an eyebrow and replied,

“Old man, I fear you are mistaken, 
for time passage is but a dream, 
now go, and find what I have taken, 
to pass your wisdom onto me.” 

Tom was altogether impressed by Aerfin’s quick thinking, and decided to let him keep the old boot, about which Aerfin crafted the famous “Tale of Tom’s Boot”, which was widely and highly critically acclaimed (I think).

Aerfin is an altogether uninteresting person, once you move past his relatively low level of insanity. In fact, sometimes it is difficult to determine whether he is insane, or rather just flippant, quick-witted, and difficult to interpret.

He also has a tendency to make up words, when he is unable to find one that suits his purpose.

An obvious example may be found in the following anecdote:

He was in a tavern, enjoying a wonderfully flavorful and crisp pint of ale, when he was approached by the proprietor of the establishment, and asked to perform.

He smiled half-heartedly, and said, “I would be overjoyed to do so, however, I would not wish to mosh it with my jabberdowitty.”

Taken aback, the owner hesitated, and asked, “What, exactly, is a jabberdowitty?”

“Well, my good man, it is simply a term, which captivates my non-willingness to perform. I am completely and totally performed out for the evening. Even sousadewhatsits such as myself need breaks!”

The proprietor, at this point, understandably gave up.

He spends his spare time writing, and pouring over the texts of the ancients, looking for subject material for his many short stories and scripts.

For some reason or another (probably another, as “some reason” is simply not a very good answer), he has a tendency to start a story, or song, and only complete half of it. When questioned about this, he has been known to say, “That is intentional. I leave the rest open to interpretation!”

Concerning his personality, he is easygoing, although he does have a small twinge of arrogancy. He rarely overthinks things, in fact, the only time he thinks is when is thinking, and by thinking you could be far more descriptive by saying meditating.

He has a rather devilish sense of humour, and often causes laughs at the expense of others. A faint smirkish smile dances across his lips, and he enjoys a good prank more than most.

-=-=-=-=-=-

I don’t worry about Aerfin’s level or gear very much. Mostly I play him when I want to RP, although eventually I would like him to be high enough level to be a main healer. Because I don’t focus on leveling, I use whatever traits are available to me. I do have to admit, I’m definitely happy with the changes made to the minstrel class with RoI. I am not yet high enough level to use any legendary traits, although Rally!, Cry of the Wizards, and Call of the North will probably be the traits I will usually keep equipped.

RoI Legendary Edition Giveaway!

Alrighty folks, I have to admit, I’ve been very busy with work. My blog has kinda fallen by the wayside lately. However, I have a few things that should be said. I am always looking for ideas of new things to blog about, and new content to add to the blog. Guest writer submissions, ideas, thoughts, and comments are always appreciated, whether it be email, added to a post, in-game, or otherwise.

I am in need of some new content to get the ball rolling here again, so… I’m having a contest! The winner will receive the code for a Rise of Isengard Legendary Edition expansion download!

That means the winner will get:

    • All three Rohirrim Style Mounts with a blanket & emblem in the colours of green, red and white
    • All three sets of matching cosmetic Rohirrim Style armour in the colours of green, red and white
    • An in-game title – Guard of the Isen
    • Access to the Path of the Fellowship Quest Packs including Trollshaws, Eregion, Lothlórien and Moria plus the Mirkwood Quest Pack as a special bonus
    • 1,000 Turbine Points for use in the LOTRO Store

Second place will get a download code for the base edition, which includes:

    • A Rohirrim Style Mount with a red coloured blanket and sun emblem
    • An in-game title – Guard of the Isen

Yay for contests! So, what is this contest, you ask? I am looking for guest writer submissions. They can be about any topic. The submission may be poetry, a short story, a guide, thoughts on a recent change, or anything else you may think up, as long as it LOTRO related. I will be the only judge as to who the winner is, and my decisions are final. First, second, and third place will all get their submissions posted to the blog, with full credit given to the writer of the piece. I reserve the right to make any minor changes I deem necessary (such as spelling, punctuation, etc.). All submissions must be emailed to lotrolibrary@gmail.com. The final date for submitting the piece is 08 January 2012. Please try to keep your pieces to a fairly reasonable length. Submissions will be graded on creativity, grammar (to a degree), originality, and awesomeness. I look forward to (hopefully) a lot of reading!

Screenshot copyright Turbine, Inc., 2011

Thoughts on the Instance Finder

Now that I’ve had a chance to play around with the Instance Finder a little bit, I figured it was time to give my opinions on it. So far, it seems to be something that works on paper, but not yet in practice. There are still some kinks that need to be worked out.

First of all, the wait time is lengthy. On Crickhollow, the night that Update 5 was released, it took Carolin about 2 hours to get into a group with the instance finder, even though all Isengard 3 and 6 mans were selected, and on both tiers. Even on Landroval, which has a much higher server population, the wait times were long. I think there should be more of an incentive to use the instance finder, which should help with the queue time.

Next, I think it should be possible to select your own level range which you want to play in, as well as specific instances that you don’t want to do. I don’t want to waste my time on my level 30 warden running a level 26 skirmish with a level 22 player, and I don’t want to run Siege of Gondamon for the ninety-billionth time. I understand why they don’t let you only pick certain instances, but I think you should be able to eliminate some instances. Perhaps they could do this by letting you eliminate a set number of instances, so you could at least eliminate your least desirables.

Lastly, the instance finder does not seem to match you into your role which you sign up for! I used in on Carolin,  and I signed up for every role except for tanking (defense) because personally I am just a lousy tank. I got matched up for an Isengard 3-man with a Rune-keeper and a Lore-master. Sooooo… I guess that means the Lore-master’s bear was going to be the assigned tank?

Regardless of the kinks, I am glad that they brought out an instance finder. I just wish that it worked a little bit better, and I hope that in the future they streamline it and work out the bugs.

I was playing around on one of my characters on Landroval today, and decided to run a skirmish to get some quick experience. As most of us know, the daily skirmish bonus alone can be over half a level in the  20-30 level range. I used the instance finder, and eventually I was grouped with another player, and we ran Trouble In Tuckborough. Imagine my suprise when we got to the end, and there was no daily skirmish bonus!

I thought it may be due to the fact that I used the instance finder, but I checked it on a few other characters as well. The ring in the instance join panel used to mark which skirmishes may still be completed for the daily bonus is no longer there. I truly hope that this does not mean that daily skirmishes are gone, that was the only reason I ran them before level cap.

Apparently they slipped this one by us with Update 5, and let me say, this is one change that I am not happy about.

Alrighty, time for installment number two of my Greenie Creep’s guide to the Ettenmoors. This part will cover an overview of the various creep classes, and a basic guide to Creep combat tactics. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

It is important to note that although parallels can be drawn between creep and freep classes, no two classes are the same or equal and opposites. For example, although both a burglar and a stalker can both use stealth, the Warg is capable of things that the burglar is not, and the burglar is capable of things that the Warg is not.

Blackarrow – The Uruk Blackarrow is a ranged DPS class, able to do very good ranged damage and damage over time. It has a few crowd control skills and is one of the stronger classes in the post-RoI creep ranks. The freep class most comparable to it is the Hunter.

Defiler – The Orc Defiler is the primary healing class on the creep side.  It heals primarily through HoTs, so it is important to heal proactively, rather than reactively. In addition to its healing skills, is also has some nice crowd control, debuff, and tactical ranged damage skills.  The freep class most comparable to it is probably the Rune-keeper.

Reaver –  The Orc Reaver is a melee DPS class, able to do very good AoE, bleed, and single-target damage. It also has a couple debuff skills. This is the only free-to-play class, and is one of the easier creep classes to play. The most comparable freep class is the Champion.

Stalker –  The Warg Stalker (more commonly referred to as “Warg”) is my personal favorite class to play. The Stalker is the only creep class able to use stealth, and is therefore the quintessential scout and healer-harassing class. It has several damage-over-time, debuff, stun, and escape abilities. It is also the best creep class for popping Warband Maneuvers (which are basically Fellowship Maneuvers) on NPCs. The most comparable freep class is the burglar.

Weaver – The Spider Weaver is a crowd-control, damage-over-time, and pet-using class. It can be an extremely difficult class to kill at high ranks, and it has the ability to apply several tactical DoTs. The most comparable freep class is the Lore-master.

Warleader – The Uruk Warleader is an extremely versatile class. It can buff, heal, revive, and DPS. Warleaders are tough to kill, and is one of the “tankier” creep classes. The most comparable freep class is the Captain.

Choosing the right class is going to make your Moors experience much more enjoyable. Make sure that you pick one that matches your play style.

Now, let’s move on to combat tactics! I’m not going to turn into Sun Tzu here, but I am going to go over some basic tactics that every creep should know. First and foremost, every creep needs to know how to focus fire, unless you want to be lonely and sad and be a creep all by yourself. It’s very simple and easy to do, to the point where it almost shouldn’t be considered a combat tactic, and yet some people don’t do it. When people don’t focus fire, their entire raid wipes. To focus fire, open up your social window. Go to the raid tab. Near the bottom, there should be a checkbox to enable your target assist window. Once your target assist window is displayed, simply choose the target of whomever the raid leader picks to choose targets, and kill it. Pretty easy, right?

The next combat tactic is the drop pull. This is a very commonly used tactic when trying to flip keeps or outposts. One creep will drop from the raid, run in and grab all of the aggro, and run away, while the rest of the raid runs in and up to the boss without resistance. Once the lone creep has run off the aggro, he is invited back to the group. The best class to do a drop pull with is the Warg Stalker, since they have Disappear (which is basically HIPS) and then they can stealthily sneak back up to the boss and help fight without pulling everything again. When this is done right, the time required to take a keep can be reduced dramatically.

Another common tactic is baiting. All but one or two creeps will bunch up and hide behind a rock, or a tree, or a bush, or a wall, or… well, you get the idea. Then those one or two creeps will run out and try to lure the freeps to a little past where the creeps are hiding to ambush them. The creep raid then charges out and zergs everything, beginning with the healers which are almost always at the back of the freep raid.

There are many, many other tactics that have been used, but these are the main ones. Listen to your raid leader, and you should be just fine. Go out, young creeps, and munch on some freeps!