Tag Archive: Ssenir


Level Up… With Festival Quests!

I was playing with my girlfriend tonight. We started off by playing the through day 1 of the Yule Festival, her on her level 45 Hunter, me on my level 85 Captain. Afterwards, she we joined up on our dynamic duo, her Hunter and my Burglar, both level 45. We’ve been playing with these two together (and almost exclusively together), so I was rather surprised when her Hunter had gained over a quarter of a level on me!

Later on I took my Burglar through Winter-home, and I was quite surprised to find that all Yule Festival quests are on-level quests (for level 45 characters, they will be level  45, for level 20 characters, they will be 20, etc.)! Previously, all festival quests were level 10, period. If you were well over that level, you did not get experience. The full Dev Diary for this year’s Yule Festival can be found here.

I think this is an excellent change, especially considering the number of Yule Festival quests that have to be done to get the best rewards. I don’t feel as guilty now playing through the Yule Festival dailies knowing that in the process, I’m actually helping them level up as well. What are your thoughts?

fest quest lvl

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ScreenShot00314I started playing LOTRO again in early November. Last night (well, technically at about 3:00 AM this morning), my captain Carolinn hit level 85. Most of the time I’ve spent playing LOTRO, however, I’ve spent on my burglar, Daag, and a few other characters, leveling and playing with my girlfriend (who I introduced to LOTRO). In other words, if I had devoted more time to my captain, I could easily have hit level cap much sooner.

One thing I’m glad about is that I did not hit a wall and run out of quests in this expansion. I didn’t feel as though I had to go out of my way and make an extra effort to do tasks, repeatable quests, and skirmishes to get there, either. That’s definitely an improvement, because I ran into that with Rise of Isengard.

However, one thing I heard before purchasing this expansion was that Rohan was going to be much bigger than Moria. In sheer landscape, it probably is, however since you have a super-speedy War-Steed which you can ride in a straight line without have to worry about falling into chasms of the abyss, Rohan did not seem as large as Moria to me. I probably could have completed finished the ten levels within about 2 weeks. The first time I played through Moria, it took me much, much longer than that (probably about a month).

As far as content goes, I was somewhat disappointed about the lack of new raids and instances, although I know they are coming soon and will be free for anyone who already purchased Rohan. I spent a lot of time at level 75 getting Carolinn the best gear I could get, and the only equipment I’ve found so far that’s actually better than my level 75 gear is the Hytbold set.

To get the Hytbold set, you have to restore the city of Hytbold to its former glory, all by doing repeatable daily quests which grant you tokens. Unfortunately, those quests pay out 5 tokens each, and it takes at least 300 or so tokens to repair the necessary buildings and barter for a full set of armour (and that’s if you build ONLY what you have to build to get a specific set of armour). You can only do 5 quests a day, meaning you are basically given a stipend of 25 tokens per day to restore the city. That’s going to take a pretty long time.

However, one thing I like about this idea (besides the technological side of it) is that once your five daily quests are done, which takes maybe 20-30 minutes, you have the rest of the day to go back and work on deeds, reputation, crafting, or alts (whereas with Isengard, as soon as a raid or instance finished, I’d be already looking for another one).

I greatly enjoyed mounted combat. However, I’ve already devoted an entire blog post to it, so I’m not really going to talk about it a whole lot more in this one.

I also liked some of the mechanics of this expansion. Open tapping is fantastic, and remote looting is super awesome as well. I do wish they’d make some modifications to captains’ buff skills for open tapping though (allowing me to heal players I’m not grouped with and buff them as well). I can see where that would get unnecessarily complicated, though, so I’m just going to leave it be.

Overall, I think Rohan was an excellent expansion, and probably their second best to date (although I’ll have to reevaluate that when the instances get released). I still think Moria was Turbine’s best. If you are getting close to level 75 and you haven’t purchased Rohan yet, I would definitely recommend doing so.

Mounted Combat

With the release of the Riders of Rohan expansion, we were given mounted combat. The expansion focuses heavily on it, so whether you like it or not, you will be doing a great deal of it. I didn’t think I would like it, and it definitely took some getting used to, but now I find I fight on my War-steed whenever possible.

On a cosmetic note, I love the fact that you can customize how your War-steed looks, but I wish you could steal pieces from ALL your standard mounts, not just your store-bought ones. I also wish Turbine gave us just a few more color options for free.

Getting used to the War-steed controls after playing for years with standard mount controls was probably the biggest hardship with mounted combat. Unlike a standard mount, which is controlled just like your character on foot, the War-steed speeds up, slows down, and turns based on momentum. I’ve found that while that isn’t really a problem on the open fields of Rohan, I still prefer to use a standard mount within towns.

As your War-steed levels up, you are able to increase its speed, agility, and turn speed, which makes it a lot easier to control. Due to these upgrades, your War-steed will almost definitely end up being faster than your standard mount, and therefore is much more useful for hauling long distances from town to town.

As for combat, I’ve played on both a captain and a hunter so far. My mounted combat tactics usually involve running around in a circle and firing back at enemies (arrows with a hunter and shouts with the captain). The damage I can do on a War-steed is well above what I can do on foot, and you also take less damage because as long as you keep moving, the foes usually can’t catch you to deliver more than a single blow here and there.

When I first started playing around with mounted combat, I would simply run up to an enemy, stand in place, and hack at it. I would strongly recommend against this. The biggest strength of your War-steed is its ability to stay on the move constantly; it turns you into the ultimate kiting machine. Staying on the move will allow you to bring down enemies you couldn’t possibly bring down on foot.

Mounted combat isn’t perfect, however. I wish that some of my buffs on toggle skills (such as IDOME on my captain) would carry over, as long as I had it activated before mounting up. Also, unless you zoom the camera way out, it becomes very difficult to see what you’re doing, and I’ve found that while running around I tend to accidentally pull other enemies on a regular basis (maybe I just suck, though).

What are your thoughts on mounted combat and War-steeds? Good or bad?

Power Leveling Guide (1-20)

Power level refers to leveling as quickly as possible. Although I don’t recommend it for new players (do yourself a favor and take the time to stop and smell the virtual roses), I do it regularly. I am, and always will be an altoholic., therefore I have played though the first 20 levels or so of LOTRO many, many times. I don’t feel the need to stop and smell the roses in the early levels anymore, because quite frankly, I’m pretty sure they still smell the same as the last fifty times.

Since I recently started playing LOTRO again, I have power leveled 3 characters to level 20 or higher (for various reasons). It generally takes me about six hours of continuous play to get there using this method. It could probably be shortened to five hours if I didn’t take the time to craft or gather any crafting-related resources.

This guide should work for all races and classes, although there may be a little variance in the amount of time it takes based on that factor.

Playing through the intro should get you to level 6 or so. As you’re playing through, don’t take too much time to explore, do deeds, or kill extra enemies other than what’s required by your current quests (quest EXP is where it’s at).

After the intro, start on the Epic Prologue, and do some of the quests around those areas. At level 8, you will unlock the capability to unlock the riding skill (if you want to purchase it from the LOTRO store). At that point, you will have a red gift-box in your inventory (make sure you check your mail) that will turn into a 24-hour horse-whistle. Make sure you use this, it’s much faster than running around everywhere on foot.

Try to avoid working on any less than 2 quests at a time in any given area. Once you hit level 10 or so, speak to a stable-master and fast travel to the West Bree Gate. From Bree, head to Combe and do all the Chetwood quests. That should get you to at least level 12. After Combe, it’s on to Staddle to do the quests there. Make sure you accept the Midgewater Marsh quests and the Widow Foghorn quests. After completing the quests in the Midgewater Marsh, head back to Staddle and turn everything in.

Now, head to the Prancing Pony in Bree, and talk to Strider to get Epic Volume I, Book 1. Do a couple instances in the Epic Quest line, and eventually Strider will give you a quest to go all the way to the western edge of the Bree-Lands and talk to Lenglinn (30.1S, 61.3W). Once you’re over there, head into Buckland and accept the quests from the trio at the north gate and from the group at the entrance to the Old Forest. Once those are completed, you should be around level 16.  After talking with Lenglinn again, he’ll send you back to Strider. Mount up and head back towards Bree, but make sure you make a pit-stop at Adso’s Camp to pick up a few more easy quests. After doing these, continue back to Strider to pick up Epic Volume I, Book 1, Chapter 8, which will send you to Tom Bombadil.

Go west out of Bree and take a left on the road that goes south into the Barrow-Downs. There will be a corpse at the entrance that you can pick up a quest from. Follow the quest to a quest hub in the Northern Barrow-Downs. Before doing any of these quests, head past them and back into the Old Forest to knock out a couple more Epic quests. Once you are on Volume I, Book 1, Chapter 10, head back and start working on all the Barrow-Downs quests. Don’t forget the quest from the Wandering Shade near the Dead Spire (32.1S, 55.1W)!

After doing these, you will be sent into the Southern Barrow-Downs by a group of quests from the guides at Dead Man’s Perch. I always do the bounty quests and the quests from the “Find Malin” questline, but I skip the others because they’re a pain and they take too long. After doing the bounty quests three times, you should be level 20. If not, head back to Adso’s camp and do a couple more miscellaneous quests to finish up the remainder.

If you follow this guide, the whole process should take around 6 hours. Keep in mind that the horse-whistle is only good for 24 hours of real-life time, so if you split this up over multiple days it’s going to take longer unless you spend the TP for the riding skill and get a horse for 500 silver. And then it will still take you longer because you have to detour to Hengstacer Farm. Best of luck always!

It’s been a very long time since I’ve done anything with this site. I took a fairly long absence from LOTRO due to technical difficulties with my computer, and have only recently started playing again. Since I’ve been gone, many things have happened. Several festivals have come and gone, the Riders of Rohan expansion has been released, and Turbine has put forth a Mac client,  to name but a few.

As for me, I moved into a new house in June, and started dating a wonderful girl. Recently she expressed an interest in video games, and we played through LOTR: War in the North together. We had a blast, by the way. War in the North rekindled my interest in Middle Earth, and since I had not noticed any problems with my computer lately, I tried playing LOTRO again.

Since my girlfriend had suddenly taken a liking to co-op games, I thought LOTRO would be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, she has a 2009 Macbook Pro, and I didn’t want to deal with all the headaches of trying to get it running on her computer. I was reading through Casual Stroll to Mordor, and lo and behold, I saw an article about a Mac client!

I figured it was worth a try. I took a day off of work, and spent the day downloading the almost 20 GB client onto her Macbook. It didn’t work. I did some reading in the Mac client forums, and found that she had a version of Mac OS X that was too old. So I decided to pay fr an upgrade to Mountain Lion for her. After spending the majority of the day patching, downloading, installing, and upgrading, I finally got LOTRO running an hour or two before she got done with work.The Mac client has worked very well, overall, since then.

As for my laptop, it worked for a while until my computer began overheating (which is what caused my absence in the first place). I decided to try a creative solution. Since I play on a laptop, I decided to hook up my laptop to my flat-screen TV with a VGA cable, using the TV as a super-sized monitor. I then put the laptop on a chair, and put a fan next to it blowing directly at it (see picture). I did have to go out an invest in a wireless keyboard and mouse, but I was able to pick one up for pretty cheap.

It worked like a charm. My laptop hasn’t overheated since, and I get to hear the LOTRO soundtrack through decent speakers instead of my wimpy little laptop ones.

So now, we play LOTRO sitting next to each other on my couch, me on the large TV and her on her Mac. She has already fallen in love with Turbine’s take on Tolkien’s world, and after a visit to my family’s house for Thanksgiving, my sister will be playing again too, it seems.

And so, after rediscovering my love of LOTRO, I have once again started blogging about it. Cheers!

After much anticipatory buildup, I figure it is time to reveal the first-place winning entry in our Rise Of Isengard giveaway. Written by David, I hope you enjoy “Lalia, a Girl in Red”

-=-=-=-=-=-
Lalia, that girl in the red
Somehow got it into her head
To journey to the Barrow-Down
That girl, with her pretty red gown
When she arrived she trembled at the sight
For behold!  A great cruel barrow-wight!
She fled and lost her cloak
And she thought twas a cruel joke!
She lost her way in the vast field
And to fear, she did yield
Soon a noble hero did try to save her
He fought the wight, and gained her favour
Then did a great wight arise
And the hero did look at it’s eyes
And with a shout the hero fell
Those eyes, brought him to Hell
Lalia jumped and ran for her life
She escaped, and lives as a serving wife
Now that hero, for pain never sleeps a wink
And in that torturous place, does he often think
“Lalia, Lalia, of the crimson dress!
My feelings for you I wish I could express!
Alas alas!  I cannot!
So hear my final thought!
Damn the chat filter!
Damn the chat filter!

Alrighty, submission deadline for the RoI giveaway has ended, and I have picked the winners!

The winners are as follows:

  • First Place: David, with the poem “Lalia, That Girl In Red”
  • Second Place: Andared, with a letter to Elrond
  • Third Place: Pounceclaw of Landroval, with a guide to Warg Packs

I will post all three, spread out throughout this week. David and Andared, check your emails and you should see the code for your bright and shiny new RoI expansion!

First off, we will post the runner-up, third place submission from Pounceclaw of Landroval.

-=-=-=-=-=-

The main advantage of the warg pack is the stealth and tracks. Most warg packs avoid the main figh and kill small groups and stragglers. The best is to allow the leader or alloted warg to pounce (5 sec stun/knockout) while the rest of the group uses bloody maul (DoT from stealth). Most groups then split before any more freeps show up, if caught they mainly use Disappear and Flee. The main goal is to stay alive and get quick kills.

Many groups require the members to have improved stealth equipped, it gives you better stealth and +55% run speed while stealthed. A huge point is no matter who is attacking you, stay on the leader’s target. When you pick your own targets you should try to pick healers and hunters (other squishies are okay, too) but if you hit a burg never stun them because it will give them a huge evade buff.

If a freep attempts to flee use sprint then tendon shred (skill given at rank 3) and let other creeps catch up. Warg packs are in my opinion highly fun, depending on your leader, voice chat is highly reccomended so you can hear orders and give advice. Oh, you’ll hear a lot about “nomming hobbits.”

Good luck to you and see you in the Moors!

-=-=-=-=-=-

I will post the other two winners’ submissions later this week.

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.

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.