Sunday, November 4, 2007

Book 11 and the Minstrel . . . hooo boy.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything, eh kids? Well Uncle Bach has been busy with stuff . . . like a kid still in diapers that has diarrhea . . . ok, I know . . . TMI. But that’s what this blog is allllll about . . . information! Yes! Information! . . . um . . . you thought it was going to be all about diarrhea didn’t you?

So what’s new? Holy smokes! The new minstrel skills . . . that’s what’s new. You see Book 11 was released. This patch introduced a bunch of great things, the first being player housing. Now the metaphor of playing Barbies is complete as I now have a Barbie house in the hills.

I need to talk to my real estate agent about these mysterious blue squares on the ground.

I went with the elf style of house. I chose a house with a super cool deck in the back where you could fish off of (not really since that isn’t in the game yet) and water tube down. Inside my house I have all manner of fancy stuff and even painted the walls purple.

They also introduced a new instance called the Rift. This is a 12-man raid and is a complete prayer answer to smaller guilds. I haven’t gone yet, but this hasn’t excluded me from being asked to go . . . over and over . . . don’t worry I’m always polite when I say no.

It's not you, it's the repair costs . . . I have a barbie house to keep up now don't you know!

But enough of this Tom Foolery . . . gimme the skills man . . GIMME THE SKILLS.

The new skills are, in a word, awesome. I posted a couple of months ago how I wished we had the ability to toggle our skills. Guess what. At the cost of -50% healing, I now can toggle on the “War-speech” stance and have a decent Damage over Time spell (Chant of the Oathbreaker), 2 AoEs (Call to the Elder King and Call of the Second Age), and a faster refresh on my damage shout/stun. This is fantastic for farming. I mean, who doesn’t want to crit on a mob for +700 . . . Unfortunately, the creeps still have time to run away when I’m solo.

The skills . . . to pay the bills . . . repair bills that is.

When I’m playing it, I like to get the DoT burning (Oathbreaker is so neat to watch since it’s a couple glowing swords that hack away at your opponent), begin the rotation with ballad of resonance (to amp light damage), hit call of the elder king (to make ‘em more susceptible to light damage and do some damage), Round it off with Call of the Second Age (this sucker hits for a lot – they have to be right up against you though), and if it’s up tap Cry of the Chorus (to open up anthems), and lay down anthem of the valar AOE. By this time your call of the elder king will have repoped. It’s farmtastic AoE fun.

Long story short for you minstrels: um, don’t use these when you’re the main healer in a group. Sure, you can stance dance if you have a captain helping you cover heals or something, but come on, -50% healing just isn’t something you want to inflict on your group Now, if you have 2 minstrels in a group or (heaven forbid) 3 minstrels, then FIRE IT UP, BABY! Just make sure one of you has enough common sense to declare yourself “main healer.” Hint: bring a bag of tactical crit gear along. Another hint: Remember you’re wearing medium armor and, therefore, are a glass cannon. Don’t go stealing agro just because you can. Yeah yeah . . . maybe the first couple of times would be good just to say that you’re all that, but we know what really makes you all that: self control.

/wink & have fun!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Gold Farmer Crackdown and /anon on

Pretty much everybody has figured out in LOTRO that if they type in "/anon on", then the spam from Gold Selling websites goes to practically nothing. This is the grassroots effort to silence the annoying tells that look like these:

It doesn't stop there . . . they also like to send you annoying in-game mail, just like back in good ol' WoW.

I've been collecting these screenshots just to kind of illustrate how nuts it is when you're playing and don't have /anon on hiding you from their sight. The problem with this is that when you turn /anon on . . . you're invisible to your friends list and to the zone you're in. So if you have friends outside your kinship, /shrug . . . who knows if they're online or not. Not me! /shrug

I've turned my /anon off, and here's why: I'm cracking down on these fellas thanks to the "spam" reporting feature. Here's what you do, the moment you receive one of these, find a safe spot, hit escape, select "help," open a ticket, click spam as the type of report you're submitting, and type "spam message from www. wherever the link" and the person's name that sent you the tell. So far I've reported at least 7 names in the past couple of days, and I will continue to report this nonsense . . . but I have to tell you this feels very much akin to "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root" as Thoreau put it. I feel like a branch hacker.

So what's the root of the problem? Oh man, it goes deeper than I dare shoot in this blog. MMOs have to make games challenging and they have to make earning money somewhat difficult. When things are difficult, they take time. Some people see these games as a type of "work," and therefore buy gold because their time is worth more money to them.

How deep do you really want to go with that?

This whole discussion could also be looked at from a ladder of abstraction view because the root of the problem is a long root . . . where do you cut and why?

I mean . . .

you could blame a particular programmer for not being energetic enough to develop a "cure" for these advertisements that don't involve the player base.

you could blame that programmer's boss for not directing that programmer.

you could blame Turbine for introducing the refer a friend program, which means gold spammer advertisers get 5 free accounts to spam me with.

you could blame MMOs in general for how their business models are.

you could blame the 3rd level of Maslow's hierarchy.

on and on and on ad nauseum. But, for now, what we have in the LOTRO world is a spam reporting feature. I guess I'll take it and use it.
Although, one warning, when you report spam . . . you get spam . . . thanks Turbine, what in the world are you thinking with this deluge of e-mails to my inbox?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

FAQ for the PvMP minstrel

I came across this post from croupier at codemasters, I'm going to copy it in full below (in compliance with creative commons license) because I just think it's a very good read for minstrels (and a lot of companys would rather block codemasters than blogger ;-)).

I've tried to answer a few most common questions regarding minstrel's work in PvMP.

1. I'm dead, why the minstrel doesn't resurrect me?
Few possible reasons:
a) Our combat resurrect skill (from a legendary trait) has a cooldown of 10 mins. If we used it, we need to get out of combat first, to res you.
b) You are too close to creeps. Our res skills have range of 25m.
c) In tight situations (fighting a tyrant or a large group of creeps) we don't have time to res if we need to heal others. Resurrection skills have a long casting time.

2. If I spam chat with "rez plz", "I'm dead!", "need res!!1one" or send a tell to a minstrel will I get resurrected faster?

3. I died! Why didn't I get a heal?
Few possible reasons:
a) No "line of sight". Any small rock, fence, trunk, wall, tree can cause this. Please stay in line of sight.
b) Minstrels can't heal while moving. If you charge or chase a creep - we have to run too. If we run, we can't heal. If you need a heal, stop or even better - fall back a little.
c) There are creeps/npcs attacking a minstrel. Every hit we take makes our casting time longer, even to the point we can't heal at all.
d) We are stunned/silenced. Creeps who know what they do, stun/silence us a lot.

4. How can I protect minstrels?
a) Watch our health. If we are taking damage defend us.
b) If we take damage from NPC try to get his agro. Leaving untagged archers and other NPCs around, will result in minstrels getting their agro.
c) If you see that creeps are on a minstrel, try to root, slow or stun them. If you can heal us - do so please. When creeps attack us it's really hard or sometimes impossible to heal ourselves.
d) Try not to leave us behind. If you do - wargs will kill us in seconds. If we are webbed or stunned wait for us. If you order a tactical fall-back, wait for us to finish our heal or resurrect spells.
e) Try to use your class specific protection skills on minstrels. Don't save them for later or "just in case". We use all our skills and abilities to protect you, often paying with our lives. We expect that you back us up too, if needed.

5. Can minstrels blind NPCs?
Yes, kinda.
We have a skill "Song of Distraction" that reduces NPC's perception by 75%. NPC's can resist it tho (~15% chance from my experience). If they do, they will agro. You can tell that a target is distracted by a black-red debuff icon.
Example: We use "blind" on a Chieftain. Now that Chieftain won't agro, even if a Tyrant is pulled.
Example2: There is only a Tyrant left but there are many creeps hiding behind him, ready to defend him. We "blind" a Tyrant. Now you can move much closer (to 25% of his normal agro range) to him, or go around and nail the hiding creeps before pulling a Tyrant.

6. Omg, wtf? Why that minstrel keeps stealing my kills? Shouldn't he stick to healing?
Minstrels are the only class that can efficiently and constantly damage an opponent from range, while running. That's why we sometimes get killing blows while chasing a creep. For 10k+ kills I got only 230 killing blows tho.

7. How can I thank a minstrel for a great healing?
No need to thank us really. Every class does his job.
But if you really need to - give him some ale. Or a pie. Or both. ;)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Remix! Quick CD run

I'm still messing around with Animoto . . . here's remix with some highlighted screenshots.

Quick 30-second CD video

I'm just messing around with animoto and threw some screenshots from the latest trip to CD . . . more later.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Post 50 life?

It's the question I asked, and it's the question being asked of me . . . what do you do after you ding 50?

1- Dress your Barbie. It's a term I've had for many years. You see, metaphorically all these MMOs are in essence is like playing a grandios game of "Barbies advanced." Yeah, take a look at those girls. They collect their barbies that usually come with an outfit on them. Then you buy new barbie clothes and you put your barbies in kind of imaginary settings. Then you call up your friend and ask her to bring her barbie over to your house because you got a new dungeon . . um, i mean, malibu play set. So your friend comes over, and you two play on the play set and invent scenarios. Heck, you might as go as far as inviting your whole neighborhood over and you end up having an army of small girls armed with their various Barbies. And then you notice Sarah from the end of the cul-de-sac has THEE COOLEST BARBIE OMIGOSH! I WANT THAT OUTFIT!!! When you ask her where she got that outfit, you find out she raided an outlet store called Helegrod's R US until she found it.

*insert the sound of a phone ringing*
*wife answers on the other end*

"Hey, do you work Saturday night? Yeah, the guild is raiding helegrod, can I gooooo oplease please please?!?!?"

The ideal would be to build one super dooper unreal set of gear. Reality, you carry around multiple sets of gear for various situations and forget to slip in and out of them until it's too late. I will probably try to build 3 sets of gear: resistance gear, mana pool, and soloing/pvp set.

2- Factioning. The latest patch in the game introduced a number of grinds into the game. If you faction enough you can open up the potential to buy certain items like rare shields, gear, new horses (not any faster than the regular horse mind you), etc.

3- pvp. See previous posts for information on this. there really is nothing more fun than fighting a thinking person versus a programmed AI.

4- raiding. (I already talked a bit about this)

5- trait and title grinding. this is basically going back through all the content you did leveling up and filling in the gaps on all the titles and traits that you missed.

6- farming gold. Clear out your backpacks and go kill a bajillion cave claws for money . . . so you can buy outfits for your barbie or horses for your other barbies!!! not to mention crafting stuff. some days I'd rather farm gold and buy crafting materials than farm it up myself. /shrug

7- help your lower level friends. GASP! WHY? Doh . . . you want to go through those high level instances with cool people that you know . . . not some random pug. yikes. It's good karma too.

8- crafting. It takes a lot to grandmaster certain crafts. You'll see if you don't know already.

9- Legendary traits. Finish them all off. yup. Even if they seem useless. yup. Actually out of all the things listed here, this is the activity I'm most anxious to complete lately.

10- level up another character. Why have one barbie when you can have two?

I'm sure I'll have more insights to share after a month or so of post-50 activities. Happy grinding to you all!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Ding 50

Here's the video:

I finished my level off primarily from grinding on undead at imlad in east angmar.

Let's review . . .

Ok, first of all . . . all you people new to MMOs have no clue what it was like to ding your last level in the game Everquest. I actually have a chart of my two main EQ charcters and it covers about a year and a half worth of time, and I never in that time dinged the top level. I eventually dinged 75 with my Beastlord (they raised the cap 2 times afterward and have raised it to 80 with the newest expansion to be released Nov 2007 I believe). But this took about 5 months of my very conservative play to ding the top level. I'm not the fastest player; in fact, there was a gal in my kinship that dinged 50 three times over (as in three 50th level characters at her disposal) before I dinged 50 once.

My analsis is that the last 5 levels are the hardest followed by the stretch from 25-35. The rest of the game "leveling-wise" is cake. Your mileage may vary of course.

Here's the deal . . . if you have friends in game and you all level and group and progress along the same paths, you'll sail through the levels. If you primarily solo and group when you can, be prepared to grind without quest bonus exp for a while. In fact, that's how I earned a majority of my final level. I killed a lot of undead in Imlad. This resulted in a bounty of bone necklaces for the blah blah blah of the North faction, but it was probably my least fun experience leveling. On the flip side, I use to grind like that all the time in EQ and that was the norm . . . there really was no such thing as quest exp.

Looking back, here is what I learned from my experiences:
  • Unless you have +/- two hours of free time, don't plan on doing any of the instances along the way. Some can take all day if you let them . . . I never did see Fornost or Carn Dum while I was leveling. I did see Greater Barrows and Urugrath and the new Annubiaus (just murdered the spelling there) instance, but those were lucky nights.
  • It is essential to finish past Book six chapter six in your epic quest lines. Why? You need to get to the eastern part of Angmar, and the only way you can do that is finish that book.
  • If possible, pay a visit to your class trainer every single time you ding . . . until they can't teach you anything more. ;p
  • Work the AH. find your niche and work it until you make money.
  • Get a horse. I originally posted on this blog that it was a luxury item that you didn't need. I didn't own one at the time and was taking the advice of people that I thought were giving me good advice. Listen. Get a horse and learn how to avoid mobs while riding it. Use your mouse with your right hand and your arrow keys with your left hand to move you around . . . learn to strafe. This alone will improve your horse riding skills 100%.
  • The only quests you really don't want to dump are the ones that lead to instances (read that as a long chain quest that eventually leads you to Greater Barrows, Fornost, Urugrath, Carn Dum, etc.) and the epic quests. it's a pain in the butt to research where you were and who gave you the quest after you dump it.
  • Higher dps weapons = good, no matter what the class.
  • Feign Death (FD) as a minstrel is a fantastic way to lose agro in a group, but you have to be smart. If you're in an instance, realize that FD button is your entire group's "oh Sh**" button. You'll need it to rez after wipes.
  • Don't ever lead a train through 4 archers into a group of 2 trolls as a minstrel. >.<
  • You can die from falling in two places that I know of. 1- treslebridge and 2- from the mountains of trollshaws down into rivendale.
  • Go ahead and suspend your disbelief like you were reading a book. I think you'll dig the experience more.
  • This is not WoW. You will not find the funny dances. You will not find the wild colors. You will not find the pop culture references. If you like that, don't play LOTRO or you'll be bored.
  • Try everything the game has to offer. You'll be surprised by the things you may have had a pre-disposition to from your other MMO experiences. For me it was pvp.
  • more to come

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

LOTRO PVP De-mystified

Ok, I’m not the most experienced PvP’er in the whole world, so bear with me and know that I come from a somewhat limited PvP background. To the random visitor, feel free to leave your comments or correct this post as you see fit. The purpose of this post is to try my best to demystify the LOTRO PVP to my non-LOTRO playing friends.

1- You know what PvP is. **Note: I use the term PvP here, but in reality this type of PvP is called PvMP (player versus monster player).
2- You understand MMORPGs.
3- You at least know the basic classes of LOTRO.

How to Start
After installing the game, you begin to play a character up to level 10. Once you hit level 10, you will be able to access the “monster play” button from the start up screen.

Once you do this you will see that you have five character types you may play (and 5 creation slots to play with) . . . in fact creation of this monster player is very similar to character creation except for you don’t get to customize your “creep.” Creep is a term used to classify monster players (you know, things that creep along the ground or creep you out at night).

Once you choose your Warg (stealth fighter), Blackarrow (orc archer), Spider (crowd control fighter), Reaver (melee fighter), or Warleader (tankish healer) you give them a name and enter the world of the Ettenmoors. Bam . . . there you are standing in the start camp as a level 50 monster, ready to snack on both NPC good guys and PC good guys alike.

The Land of Ettenmoors
Ettenmoors is a land divided in two. The North western area is where the creeps make their base and the South eastern area is where the Freeps make their base. Freeps? Yeah, we’ll get into that in a second. Just know that the Freeps are the player controlled enemies who will kick your butt one-on-one. You'll need to group up with other Creeps to have a chance or be very sneaky about when you choose to engage a Freep (like when they're questing and don't think anyone is around, so they let themselves get to 50% life with 2 NPCs attacking them . . . we call this "ganking" shhhhhh).

The Ettenmoors is a zone that is inaccessible from the other areas of the LOTRO world. There are quests here like elsewhere in the LOTRO world and there are NPCs here like elsewhere as well. For the most part, the evil looking beings around the north west are amiable to creeps and the good looking beings (even the bears and falcons) to the southeast are amiable to freeps.

In the middle of the Ettenmoors are a number of forts and areas that creep and freep armies can fight to take over and improve. These have acronyms associated with them, some of which are as follows:

  • DG (Darg-Gazag)
  • EC (Elf Camp)
  • GF (Gramsfoot)
  • GV (Grams—Creep base)
  • HH (Hoarhallow)
  • IM (Isendeep Mine)
  • LC (Grimwood Lumber Camp)
  • Lug (Lugazag)
  • Ost (Ost Ringdyr)
  • SB (south bridge of TA)
  • Stairs (South Coldfells—Freep base)
  • TA (Tol Ascarnen)
  • TR (Tirith Rhaw)


There are various quests located throughout Ettenmoors on both the Creep and Freep side. For example, the creeps have a quest to poison the river that runs through Ettenmoors and the freeps have a quest to cleanse the poison in the river. These quests are repeatable every couple of hours or so.

If you complete a quest on the Creep side, you gain money and destiny points. If you complete a quest on the Freep side, you gain money and a token. Destiny points can be spent to improve your Creep. Tokens can be turned in to open up chests with items in them.

So what about these Freeps I keep mentioning? Ohhhhh Freeps. Well, you know, once you level your main character to level 40, they can go to any stable master and ask for a ride to the Ettenmoors for a small fee. Once you select this, it quick travel teleports you to the Ettenmoors.

So, the benefit here is that you can earn experience in Ettenmoors for killing stuff (both NPCs and Creeps). The quests aren’t going to net you any experience, but the money and items you earn are “real.” Meaning, this is more than just a mini-game experience tied to LOTRO. It’s an extra component to the game where you can take your loot into the PvE world.

Also know this . . . you can earn titles as a Freep in Ettenmoors, and they will be visible in the rest of the LOTRO world.


Both Freeps and Creeps gain titles in front of their name as they gain renown/infamy for defeating foes in Ettenmoors. On the Creep side it goes a bit like this:

  • Rank 0 (no title) 0-499
  • Rank 1 (Tracker) 500-1499
  • Rank 2 (Scout) 1500-3499
  • Rank 3 (Skirmisher) 3500-7499
  • Rank 4 (Fighter) 7500-19499
  • Rank 5 (Soldier) 19500-44499
  • Rank 6 (Sentry) 45000-94499
  • Rank 7 (Chief Guard) 94500-194499
  • Rank 8 (Chief Warrior) 195500-344,499
  • Rank 9 (Taskmaster) 344,500-544,499
  • Rank 10 (Luitenant) 544,500-844,499
  • Rank 11 (Commander) 844,500-???
  • Rank 12 (Chieften) ???
  • Rank 13 (High Chieften) ???
  • Rank 14 (Overlord) ???
  • Rank 15 (Tyrant) ???
On the Freep side it goes a bit like this:
  • Rank 0 (None) 0-499
  • Rank 1 (Footman) 500-1499
  • Rank 2 (Esquire) 1500-3499
  • Rank 3 (Guardsman) 3500- 7499
  • Rank 4 (Man-At-Arms) 7500-19499
  • Rank 5 (Sergeant of the Guard) 19500-44499
  • Rank 6 (Sergeant-at-Arms) 44500-94499
  • Rank 7 (Master Guardsman) 94500-194499
  • Rank 8 (Master-at-Arms) 195500-344,499
  • Rank 9 (High Warden) 344,500-544,499
  • Rank 10 (Lieutenant) 544,500-844,499
  • Rank 11 (Commander) 844,500-???
  • Rank 12 (Third Marshal) ???
  • Rank 13 (Second Marshal) ???
  • Rank 14 (First Marshal) ???
  • Rank 15 (Captain-General) ???

Note that you can toggle this title on and off by simply checking a box in your titles section of your character window.

Titles don't end here though; we've only talked about the prefixes (which are unique to the LOTRO world). There are a number of suffix titles you can earn as well. For instance, if you kill 500 black-arrow Creeps, you can earn the title "Blackarrow foe." There are tons more of these suffix titles and I'll leave those for you to discover. An example creep suffix title would be "mistrel's foe." /shudder to think.

Of Trolls and Rangers
Now to make things more fun, the last expansion introduced a little fun benefit for the Creeps and Freeps: Trolls and Rangers. For the cost of 5,000 destiny points, you can assume a Troll form on the Creep side or a Ranger on the Freep side for about an hour (AFAIK).

These guys have about 12 times the hitpoints of the regular player and really pack a wallop. A Creep raid backed by a couple of trolls can easily drive a Freep raid into hiding. It definitely adds a whole new component to face offs between raid forces.

Destiny Points?
You gain Destiny points as you level your character (past 10th level) at a rate of 200 points per level. These points are account/server based as well . . . meaning, Bachelbu will have earned a total of 8,000 destiny points just by leveling to 50; however, I also have leveled Stingite to 20 . . . that's an extra 2,000 Destiny Points. So my total number of Destiny Points I can use on the Windfola server is 10,000.

As the article states, "If you complete a quest on the Creep side, you gain money and destiny points." This is the benefit of playing a Monster. You earn destiny points for your account.
Destiny points are used for either temporary buffs for your real character (like temporary boost to hitpoints, runspeed, or armor class . . . or to extend rested XP by 2 bubs), permanently strengthen your Creep, or to play as a troll or ranger for an hour.
So Destiny Points are like an alternate currency for you to use on your account/server.

It's pretty much a given that either your creep or freep is going to be defeated at some point in time. The less you're defeated, the more renown and infamy you are worth to the other side and the better your ranking is on the server. This is all tracked in a dialog box from your character information screen under the tab labeled "the war."

If you die as a creep, it has no real impact on your regular characters. So don't worry about leveling one character to 10th level, starting a creep, dying, and worrying about whether that had an effect on your "no deaths" title on your regular character.

If you die as a freep, you don't incur the normally painful repair costs and 10 minute time out due to dread. This doesn't mean you won't incur repair costs "at all." Creeps beating on you will still cause damage to your armor. It just won't be as painful as when you are defeated in the PvE world.

When you do die, you pop up in a little safe circle nearby that is surrounded by ally NPCs that will one shot anyone who gets to close. This is a great spot to AFK. It's also a great spot to trick people into running into after you've damaged them a bit. /wink

Hot Spots
Around every keep in the Ettenmoors, you will find large banners rising into the sky like beacons. The color of these banners will indicate whether the entities surrounding the banners are Freeps or Creeps. White indicates that the hot spot is Freep controlled. Red indicates creep control.

When all banners around a keep are controlled by either the Freeps or Creeps, there is an effect given to the defenders or invaders. The effects of holding all hot spots surrounding a keep could be that any invader nearing the keep will gain a debuff (like an annoying disease damage over time debuff) or that NPCs will help invaders by swarming the keep kamakazi style.

You will hear groups or raids sometimes saying they would like to "flip" or "protect" the hotspot around a keep. Flipping a hotspot means that your fellowship must stand and not move an inch at the base of the banner anywhere from 30 seconds to 5 minutes.

More to come
Stay tuned . . . I hope to add and refine this post as time goes by, but hopefully this has slightly demystified the basics of PvP play in the LOTRO world.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ding 49 and PVP FIESTA! OLE!

Three personal news items from me today:

1- I finally got serious about leveling and ran a couple nights worth of quests. One was a random PUG and the other was just duo'ing with the infamous jello. Ding 49.

2- And I am happy to announce that I obtained 25 pvp tokens and opened the mega chest.

This is definitely a graphic you need to click to enlarge.

I was slightly disappointed in what I found inside . . . yeah, 3 purples, nice potions, some good sellable loot . . . but where's the creme filling you know? I kind of had hopes that a teal item would fall from the heavens. Meh, too much to ask for I suppose.

3- I also spent a night doing a PVP raid where we fought back creeps and trolls for hours . . . this resulted in my first PVP rank of "footman." This is basically like a private rating in the old school WoW days . . . hehe, just a touch more difficult to obtain though.

This was a killshot I got on a troll. Players can opt to be a troll during their creep experience for a cost of . . . I believe . . . 5k destiny points. It's a chunk of destiny points. These things are super nasty and tough to kill. The killshot just means I'm lucky. :-) there was a raid of us pounding on him.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

"It's all about the Challenges!"

. . . sorry about the title, I was having a pokemon diamond and pearl moment. BUT, it is applicable. The past couple of weeks in LOTRO have been all about exploring ettenmores, which is the PVP zone in the game. Now, this is a complete zone that is isolated from the world. It has it's own quests and challenges built into it. Even the random monsters in the world choose sides.
For the most part, I'm one of those that avoids the groups and raids forming to take on the Creeps. I'm more interested in the random encounter with a creep and earning tokens for loot (see post below). I'm already half way to 25 tokens. I've been on a serious drive for these.
First, I'm happy to announce my first kill in pvp! This spider had the audacity to perch himself on a hill in the middle of the hobbit town. Sleeper . . . this bug was worth 89 renown, which I understand is pretty nice. I don't fully understand that system yet. All I know is, I got him and it was fun.

Secondly, I finally figured out this quest. I was looking everywhere for this stump.

The Wolves of Grimwood quest asks you to gather 10 wolf talons (do wolves have talons? I thought that was a bird thing?) and put them on this stump. After waiting a couple minutes (seems like forever), these wolves totally storm the camp. RAWR!

I sat from a distance and watched . . . they will agro on you . . . thank goodness for feign death.

It's pretty fun to watch them clear out the orcs . . . it'd be a great strategy for taking this camp. to help you clear out the trash mobs.

Third, Since kicking up this PvP thing, I've also had the thrill of running for my life and living. YaY. Here's the story as told to one of my good friends in game.

Blogspot just doesn't seem to like the graphics I load up. Anyway . . . post incoming in a bit after I do the 25 token turn in. woot!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ding 48 and pvp land

I dinged 48 a few days ago. It was rather uneventful as I was simply solo griding against orcs in angmar when it happened. If I really wanted to ding faster I'd hang out in angmar and do a few PUGs, but for now . . . it's just grinding mobs solo waiting for something good to happen within the kinship.

LOTRO released book 10 this week and I'm quite baffled at the size of this free content they gave us. They introduced factioning and a whole new line of story epic quests to complete. Amazing. The new area features a slew of evil dwarves, birds, and caveclaws that are on an insanely quick repop timer. /shiver

on another note, I've been hanging out in the pvp zones lately running a few quests here and there. Much to my joy I finally earned 10 tokens and was able to turn them in for a key to a chest full of loot.

As I wrote to a gamer friend of mine in an e-mail:

". . . last night I achieved my 10th token in Ettenmores. I giggled a bit to myself and turned it in for a key. I stuck the key in the chest and rubbed my greedy hands together in anticipation and hey! Looky there . . . LOOT! ALL FOR ME!

1- A purple 1handed mace with +15 will, +90 power, 28.6 dps, and a slow proc (level 50)
2- A medium armor chest with a bunch of will on it (didn’t examine this much)
3- Coin (I don’t even know how much I got . . . but I think the screenshots captured it)
4- 2 pure morale potions (+650 heal range)
5- 2 pure power potions (+650 heal range)
6- A purple heavy armor chest (bind on equip)
7- A purple 2-handed hammer (bind on equip)

So, I got looking at it and . . . whoa . . . ok, the patch introduced three new chests . . . the 10 tokens turn-in is actually for the lowest chest now. 15 tokens for the medium chest. 25 tokens for the grand-daddy chest."

Here's a screenshot of all the loot! WOOT!

Click me to see good stuff!

Now I have a new goal . . . 25 tokens for the grand-daddy chest!!!!! I will most definitely make a report when that happens.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Functionality Toggling

First off, here's what the folks at Turbine have given Minstrels for instruments:

Superior Lute
Serenade Defense Vital Cost Modifier: -15.0%

Superior Flute
Serenade Utility Vital Cost Modifier: -10.0%

Superior Harp
Serenade Offense Vital Cost Modifier: -10.0%

Superior Drum
+15% Ballad Damage
+10% Ballad Power Cost

Superior Theorbo
Threat Reduction During Combat

Basically the only two that people really use are the superior drum or the superior theorbo. Soloing, you throw on your drum . . . group, you throw on your theorbo. It's our way of toggling our abilities to some extent. Now to the outside observer +15% to damage is nothing to shirk about, but I have to tell you that it's not that big of a boost and the power cost is not that big of a power cost. As for the Theorbo, there's no real way of telling your threat in this game aside from mobs leaving their dance partners for you. Tell you what though, strap on your theorbo and add some lute strings of subtlety and you're not going to attract much attention if your tank is even halfway decent.

I just think that the potential for doing damage as a minstrel is kind of poor. Especially AoE. To get to an AoE spell, a minstrel has to cycle through 3 tiers of songs until they can get to an AoE blast, and even then . . . it's kind of pathetic. The legendary aoe blast (which is also a tier 4 anthem) actually does put out some pretty decent damage . . . the problem is the refresh on this thing is horrible; we're talking 15-20 minutes to refresh here.

I like the idea of functionality toggling. If I'm in a group with 3 healers, I think I'd like the ability to toggle my healing off and turn my damage on and turn it on big time. The introduction of these instruments and the threat reduction string for the instruments is a step in the right direction. I would encourage more of this and encourage the ability to damage dump AOEs more frequently. I don't want to have the best dps in the game . . . but I like the idea of trade-offs for the group or the solo'ers sake. If we have strings of subtlety, can we also get drum heads or drum sticks of amplifiction that would boost my damage and extra 15% and an extra 10% mana cost? Options = good.

Ding 47 and holding

I've stalled here at 47. What I'm noticing is that a lot of the quests are now group based, which means when I fight solo all I really can do is just grind mobs over and over for traits. So, you basically kill 240-480 wargs to get a bonus of 4,000 exp and a title. Fun? meh.

Mr. Weird of the Worms to you

It is kind of cool to open up the rare names like "Weird of the worms," which is what you get for killing fire worms in angmar . . . or like "lord of the fangs," which is what you get for killing wargs in angmar. My next target will be orcs and hillmen . . . and then I may go back to worms to get the advanced trait. Let me just say that grinding these solo isn't very fun . . . it's boring . . . but if I want to keep leveling during my weird times of play when groups are scarce, this is what I'll be doing.
Speaking of grind . . . I'm grinding all the page dropping mobs as well . . . they're so pretty.

I swear this Morroval is trying to get me to look down her shirt.

Because I've stalled here, I've also been pulling my champion alt out of the closet and dusted him off a bit . . . you minstrels out there that haven't ever played a champion . . . man, you should see the nastiness of aoe killing on low level green-con mobs. I may have to make a video of it just because it impressed me so much.

I lived through this and maintained my no deaths title on my level 16 champ

Monday, July 30, 2007

Ding 46 in half a bub and screenshot time!

I'm just a little nick of experience away from dinging 46. This is exciting because that means the pvp world has just opened up for me. You see monster players come in to the pvp world automatically as level 50. Being level 46 means that I can now hit them. Hooray! It also means that there are a whole slew of quests in the ettenmoores just waiting for me to help me level up to 50.

So this has been an interesting few days since my last post. There has been a big push in the kinship to complete book 5 of the epic quests and this has led to some amazing battles. Well scripted ones too. Close your eyes if you don't want to see a screenshot of a Nazgul awakening this giant, dead dragon.

"arise, spirits, and awaken this great beast back to our world"

Here's a good one of our fellowship hanging out with Glimly before a nasty fight in book 5.

love it when Glimly talks tough.

Dinging 45 was pretty cool as this is when you can start raiding if you want to. This is just a quick screenshot for anyone that may be wondering where Sigrun is for opening up all the Helegrod raids. Look for the red arrow.

Do you see it? Sigrun, right below the bitter stairway and to the west.

And just to round out this screenshot extravaganza I've got going today . . . here's one of a random named (shataz) in the misty mountains.

Gratz Shyadarin on the kill. :-)

And last but not least, the ego-stroking closeup of me and Jello. We were hanging out last night in gloomy ol' Imlad and I snapped this closeup. Our barbies sure have nice clothes these days.


Jello and Bach, the duo of rock on Windfola. ;-)

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ding 45, minstrel of such talent

So, when you ding 45 and go talk to the local minstrel trainer you find out a couple things. 1) hey, there's no more skills for me to learn from these people. nice. 2) you get paid a nice compliment and told to go find a nice elf lady who wants you to grind out stuff and in return she'll give you some epic gear stuff.

I've just received the first part of this, but there's more you need to grind than just this. Here's a screenshot of the first two gathering quests.

So basically I need to farm snow beasts, orcs, a named warg, and some wing-less dragons. In return I'll get some . . . da da da DUN . . . teal gear. Screenshots to come . . .
And speaking of screenshots, here's how the ol' boy is looking lately. Dig the purple shoes man . . . dig 'em. That club I'm using is fairly nasty; it does bonus damage vs. trolls, but it's most notable characteristic is a mana drain proc. niiiiiccce.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Ding 43 . . . well close enough

I'm just a bub away from 43. These last couple of levels have been all about Angmar. Ohhhh my, Angmar.

You see, Angmar is the Maiden's Eye or the Plaguelands of Lord of the Rings. Why do I say that? Well, in EQ, Maiden's Eye to me was one of "thee" scariest zones out there back when you were in your low 50's. It was easy to get overwhelmed and die there . . . and die quickly. There was just a feeling about Maiden's eye that will stick with me always. spooky. Plaguelands in WoW was the end leveling area back before Burning Crusade. It wasn't terribly nasty although you could definitely die there if you weren't alert. But it too was slightly overcast and forboding.

So let me see if I can describe what I've seen of Angmar so far. It' chock full of nasty mobs that will kill you quick. Anywhere you go, there's something there to kind of keep you on your toes. In the fields there are these hitpoint heavy elite bulls (called "Gouge-horns") that give you a nice 2 second warning before running you down if you're still in their agro radius. In the bogs there are these gigantic hitpoit heavy elite turtles (yes, turtles . . . it's quite funny to be attacked by a giant aggressive turtle) that can mow you over faster than one would ever dream a turtle could. In the center of the bog there's a hidden den of fire worms (like dragons without wings) . . . again, these things will kick your butt faster than you know your butt's on fire. In other areas mobs like to come in twos and threes and assist each other. There's also a bunch of connecting raid instances in Angmar. It's just a downright spooky zone.

Jello and I leave a lot of these turtle corpses around when we duo.

If you can't tell by now, I like Angmar a whole lot. :-) It's just the way I am. So, I'm having a ton of fun working through this stuff as well. The run to level 50 is going to be spent 2 places . . . angmar and misty mountains . . . there's really no where else to go. i guess some parts of Evendim are still viable, but this is the spot atm! Good stuff.

There was one particular quest in Angmar that lead me through 3 challenges. The end challenge was to sneak/kill my way into a nasty hillman camp and kill their chief. this was by far one of the coolest quest lines I've done so far. Chief Walraig came in a pull with a healer. It was an incredibly difficult fight, but I lived to tell the tale and have the "solo pwnd" screenshot to match.

Walraig and Bach tango into the night. HACHA!

**NOTE** this quest line was changed in a recent patch, please go to this newer post here to read about it **NOTE**

Of other note I also crafted a really nice “crit” ring and discovered that when you crit on these upper items you get to “inscribe” a word on them. Awesome.

I wanted to inscribe "Bachelbu made this beeotch," but opted for a simple "Bachelbu" when I discovered you couldn't put spaces in the inscription.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The grind . . . here it is

I found on the LOTRO forums some great information on gathering the Legendary Trait books for minstrels. I'm shamelessly stealing it and reposting it here because it's a great list.

Book Name: Melodies of the Valar
Granted Trait: Rally!
Description: In-Combat Rez

Book Name: The Rising Chord
Granted Trait: Song of the Hopeful Heart
Description: 60 second +hope buff

Book Name: Valour's Marches
Granted Trait: Anthem of the Wizards
Description: Light damage AOE + debuff

Book Name: A Lesson from Lindir
Granted Trait: Fellowship's Heart
Description: Instance cure of fear + fear immunity + HOT

Level 50 class quest
WHere to get the pages

Rising Chord:
1st 4: Orcs in Dun Covad
Last 4: Wights in Imlad Balcoth - all of them, not just archers

Valour's Marches
Worldwide random drop off humanoids (aka non-beast/insect) lvl 39+

Melodies of the Valar
1st 4: Morroval in Western Angmar (both outside and inside the cave)
Last 4: Goblins in the MM

All books drop the same as valour's marches pages, but at a reduced rate. I would guess if you have the book for valar or chord the drop rate is around 5% or less, tradeable pages around 2% and books less than 1%. I firmly believe this drop rate increases slightly based on the level of mobs you kill.

Go ye' forth and grind your hearts out friends. Grind grind grind grind grind.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ding 41 and King Charles

So being friends with Cagefury has already paid off in bling . . . hooray for my new horse. She lent me the last gold I needed to get my pretty pony.

I'm still thinking of a name for my new horse, but I'm leaning toward "King Charles the looming."

I dinged 41 while grinding Wargs the other day in Misty Mountains. Ahh, the good life.

Jello and I managed to group up again, and I did capture some video footage. After viewing it a bit, I think I need to not zoom out so much and try again. But, here is what I captured anyway. It was kind of difficult to play the game with no interface and really show how it goes down, but my Fraps is currently set to start video capture when I hit F12 and that's the same key to hide the interface. yeah, easy fix. Let it be done. this was just some easy grinding on some humans. We chose them because the humanoids drop pages for our legendary traits . . . it's the big, cool thing for level 40+ people to work on. To tell you the truth I don't even know what my legendary trait is. LOL. I should spend some more time researching this stuff.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ding 40! Oh Noos!

So here I am . . . facing my last ten levels. Btw . . . as a tip, they give you a free 2.5k exp at 40 just for visiting Ettenmoors (the pvp area). Sure it'll cost you 35 silver or so just to pay a visit, but I don't care. I didn't go out to pvp or anything; I just talked to the stable hand, he ported me there, I talked to the stable hand there, he gave me exp loving, and I ported back to the real world. yay. Harmless, shameless exp.

I spent some time the other day just running around mining up copper and gems and killing low level wights. Why? Well I just figured something out in the totally non-intuitive crafting dialog box. You see, once you've completed a tier of crafting, you then have a second notch in that tier of crafting open up so you can "master" that tier of crafting (provided you "mastered" the lower level tier of crafting . . . clear as mud?). What I didn't really get was that there was a tab at the bottom of the dialog box (TOTALLY UNINTUITIVE . . . SERIOUSLY) that you can click on and . . . wow . . . this is what I thought to myself, "you mean if I go farm wights I can get a drop from them that gives me an almost 50% chance to crit when crafting an item? no way!" It's true! (someone is laughing at me for taking so long to figure that out on my own /shrug.) So a lady in our guild wanted some jewelry crafted for her alt and I volunteered. This wasted a bunch of time as I farmed up crit items and enough to give it two shots. LOL. I didn't crit either time. Oh well. It was a nice distraction.

On the killing things front, It's all about Misty Mountains for me now. Jelalron and myself went and killed a bunch of really grumpy Mammoths the other night and also discovered the joys of training through a number of seriously nasty elite mobs to get to some precariously placed non-elite bears I needed to kill. Good times. We then proceeded up a trail through goblin territory and completely destroyed a named at the top. Our little hunter/mistrel combo is something to be feared. Add Rogart for some tankage and we are even more deadly with random world stuff.

Onward to 50! /snap

btw . . . bad me for looking at upper level loot, but I saw this today and actually drooled a bit.

Daddy wants.

Monday, July 2, 2007

A horse? and POWA!

So it's now become public knowledge in the kin that I don't have a horse, and I'm a hair away from 39th. This seems strange to most.

Wait a second. You hit 35th and didn't get a horse? What the heck are you thinking?

I'm just thinking I don't want to slow down and get a horse . . . that's all.

Wait a second. Did you just say "slow down" and "horse" in the same sentence?

yeah, I did. First of all, the horse you buy isn't as fast as the horses you rent. Second of all, you actually have to pay attention when you drive your own horse, you can't put it on auto pilot and walk away from the computer. Third of all, you can get knocked off your horse if you get tagged by a mob when you're riding it. And you get all this excitement for 4.22 gold. Yeah, it's a luxury item to me. /shrug

But it's all good . . . people seem to like offering up suggestions of how they farmed up their 4.22 gold. This is good info to absorb and hide in the folds of your mind (only 50 years later to be revealed to your 80-year-old buddies at the nursing home *there goes Tom talking about gold again*)

I thought for a second that I might have a good cash farm the other day. The boss mob for Book 3 chapter 5 is a nasty orc called Drukordk). He's tucked away in a corner of North Downs. Everything there is grey to me at this point, meaning I can just run past them and they don't agro. I can even go dance with Drukordk and he just continues walking with his whole, "I ain't gonna mess" attitude with me. I found a nice pathing for him and a spot to pull him to. I was probably crazy for trying to solo him . . . he is a 9k+ hitpoint super dooper elite mob anyway, but I tried it.

The first time he owned me when he was at 200 life. The second, third, and fourth time he coughed up 20 silver and loot for me. Also, there are two ground spawn chests (well, corpses . . . same thing *shifty hands*) up by him that I can loot from as well.

You know . . . if I had a way of transporting people to me, I could port them in to my farm spot, tell them to sit very still, kill the mob, and charge a fee for service. It would be awesome.


As it turns out, I can make money faster from killing other stuff.

Someday I'll have my horse, call it Betty, and feed it crispy bacon. Until then, the bacon is mine, and I'll keep riding the rent-a-horse.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A light blue kind of excitement . . .

So, I'm level 38 (ding 38 btw), and I'm closing in on my 40's (and the last 10 levels before the cap). From what I hear 40-50 is a longer haul, so it'll probably take a while.

*puts on his Mr. Explainer cap*

You see, there are really 5 levels of gear in this game

White . . . you're only going to see levels 1-10 wearing any of this stuff.

Yellow . . . your standard world drop and easy quest reward (equate to greens in WoW).

Purple . . . the nice quest rewards and world drops (equate to blues in WoW).

Teal (incomparable) . . . Raid gear and high level epic quest rewards (equate to purples in WoW).

Dark Blue (legendary) . . . /shrug . . . not many get 'em? (Equate to orange in WoW)


People in guild have been linking a lot of their teal “incomparable” weapons in guild chat lately, and those weapons are pretty nice. There's also some talk of raiding. Some of the 50's in our guild are already doing pickup raids or forming alliances with raiders, and I can already feel the pull inside me to get to 50 and see the raid stuff.

This is tough for me. I've quit two other MMOs before over raiding, mainly because I know how tough raiding can be on me and my family. Let's face it, raiding in WoW and EQ can be unforgiving for the essential classes, but developers don't stop at essential classes anymore. Take WoW's Karazhan instance; it's brutal (from what I hear). It was stated to me that I could expect to not move from my chair for 3 hours if I raid Karazhan. Ridiculous! If you think the kids and wife will put up with that nonsense, you're living in a completely different universe than me. Even in EQ the newer raids were starting to glue me to my seat, and I was playing a beastlord. Yeah, next to the bezerker, a beastlord has the most uninspired role ever in a raid force. Point. Click. Kill. Yeah yeah, I know, buffs, fero, and pet control, but still there's not much to it.

I've chosen to play a minstrel in LOTRO. There is some heavy, heavy, and intense wack a mole going on with minstrels. Wac-a-mole you say? Yeah, if you've played a healer in any MMO, you know that what you really do is not look at the pretty undulating graphics in front of you; you instead look at the little health bars and wac at them before they reach empty. It's just an advanced version of wac-a-mole.

Events that make it so you have to position, run, jump, tap your neighbor on the shoulder, and bonk your head twice on the mystic healing tentacle while playing this advanced game of wac-a-mole are brutal. fun. but brutal.

And why???? WHY? (you can tell I've completely lost it here in the rant) For that shiny teal “incomparable” gear . . . oh it's so nice. *reveals a bit of geeky leg to the reader*

So . . . again . . . I'm level 38, and there are basically 12 raids in this game at the moment from what I hear. I have no idea what it's going to entail, but knowing me, how intense or not intense of an activity will be what makes or breaks the game. I love putting ultimatums on a game so I feel like I have a sense of control.

. . . or I could just level up another alt or play monster play . . .

BUT WAIT (the rant takes a surprise and almost shocking turn!!) . . . THIS JUST IN! Wait a gosh darn minute, you can get incomparable items another way?

As stolen from

all single use recipes when crit at grand master produce incomparable items.
some regular recipes when crit at grand master produce incomparable items.
class epic quests yield incomparable items.
incomparable weapons drop randomly from bosses in urugarth and carn dum.
an incomparable pocket item is the reward for completing book 8 chapter 5 (in addition to the selectable reward).

there are many level 50 players running around with 5 or more incomparable items.

some of the more lucky crafters are wearing multiple single use crit armor/rings.

with the best tools in game (20% imcomp) and a scroll, the best any crafter can get is 35% chance to crit and make a light blue tool/weapon/ring/piece of armor. every single use recipe requires a trophy from one of the various semi rare elite mobs in the regular combine (eg: colnor, skybreaker, acathling, sagruz, et al). thus there is no crit item for the combine (hence the 35% max chance to crit).

needless to say, it will be quite a while before we see anyone with a full set of light blue armor/rings.

What's "crit" crafting gear? It's just that.
When you make crafting gear, you get a critical chance for it to be extra nice. It's a good perk for crafters.
*takes a breath*
/end of rant

Thursday, June 28, 2007

conversation with Frodo and Sam

So the developers were kind enough to, throughout the game, give you some alone time with the characters from the book after you complete some quests, etc. In this particular instance, Galdalf sent me to help cheer up Frodo. Frodo asked me to just chill and take a walk with him, which I did. Usually these mini-instances, where it's just you and a character from the game, go horribly awry, and you're attacked by something . . . but not this time. I kept looking around nervously for what was going to jump out at me . . . nothing. /shrug. Easy exp in Rivendale y'all.

I decided while jumpily following frodo to just have the conversation the developers are begging you to have. It's a completely cheesy experience. I guess for the fans that loved the books more than I did, this would be a really neat and intimate gaming experience. And I got that twinge, but it just didn't really unfold that way:

LOOK! I SQUIRREL! . . . typo's ftw.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ding 31-37

Neglectful posting? Definitely! It's a great sign that I haven't been informing anyone on my progress; I've been having fun.

A few things have happened here since the last time I posted.

1) The Evendim free content expansion was released. This new area layout-wise reminds me of an old zone in Everquest called Dragnor's Cauldron . . . only no underwater temple, no difficult to find butcherblock entrance, and no levitation runs at 1,000 feet up. Instead there are a ton of grave-robbers and even more clueless and incompetant rangers. It's becoming a joke now about how all the quests offered to players are basically from ranger NPCs that are pretty much just lazy.

2) The fate statistic has been changed. It now not only effects in combat morale and power regeneration (read that as health and mana), but it also affects crit chance with "Tactic" based moves. That means all the minstrel songs and cries get affected by fate now. Delicious. +will and +fate items are all the rave atm.

3) I have this new guardian friend named Cagefury. She was going out of town for the week and told me to not level while she was away . . . hehe, she's gonna be pissed.

4) I don't have enough money for a horse and I don't really care. They run slower than the rented horses and you can get knocked off of them. /shrug. Maybe someday I'll get enough cash for one. I'm not in a huge rush.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Ding 30, class quest

Yay! Ding 30. I've been kind of slacking off . . . well, I've been occupied with other things lately like relatives. But I did manage to ding 30 and knock out the class quest for this level. It was not too bad. You basically have to fight off 2-3 waves of 3 elites with an NPC helping you . . . so keep him healed basically. Then at the end a boss elite comes rumbling down at you, kill, win . . . everybody sucks up and changes there attitude from you guys wasted a trip here to you guys rock, thanks!

In the end you get to choose between a couple different hats. I went for awesome:

In fact, I don't know how anyone could go with the other option, affectionately known as "not as awesome"

this of course led me to slaughtering more dourhands . . .

These little buggers were actually harder to find than one might think.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Ding 28/29, Crafting, and gear sets

So crafting in this game is a bit interesting. They've really tried to interrelate tasks and also make you a bit self sufficient at the same time. For instance, I'm a "tinker." Meaning I make jewelry, mine for minerals, and also like to cook. However I don't just mine gold and silver and copper . . . I'm also mining tin and iron, but I don't need tin and iron. Take a look however at armor crafting people and you'll see that they don't need the gold and silver and instead need the tin and iron, so there's a lot of trading that goes on between players to get what they need. I really like this aspect of the game. (Why not just make an alt armor crafter and be self sufficient . . . what kind of a poor sport are you anyway? Self sufficient, pfffft. Greedy, double pffffft. it's all about the love, yo.)

The past couple of levels have gone quickly, but I am starting to notice the power decline with my damage. I may have to start to build a soloing set that has more Might, Agility, and Vitality on it. The +will items are just so nummy though.

Building an alternate gear set would have its downside though . . . my backpacks are already bursting at the seams with junk. It may be time to downsize once again and CLEAR 'EM OUT. Lack of packrat space remains my number one complaint with MMOs.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Ding 25, 26, and 27

Levels continue to come pretty quickly here. North Downs is a nice place for leveling in this range. It's just so chock full of quests.

Over this weekend it was really nice to finish out some more of the storyline quests. I had the final two chapters of the first book in my quest log for a long time compared to my level. The first time I had tried this it was with a group of me, another minstrel, and two champions . . . so basically four pieces of paper going up against a burning ring of fire. It was awesome to get a glimpse of a dark rider consorting with his lackeys and I captured some screen shots of his instructions to them.

Also of note this weekend I was in my first all Kinship group. We completely tore up some of the book 3 quests that involved staving off an orc raid on a town and escorting a manly dwarf by the name of Dori through a series of more grumpier dwarfs that had issues with . . . I don't know . . . what exactly makes these dourhand dwarves so grumpy anyway?

And the short lived fun of the top hat is now gone as I picked up a brand new helm that is actually not half bad looking: SKULL PROTECTION!!!

Dancing with Gandalf

Special thanks goes out to Fingalad for completely swarming me with gold this weekend so I could advance my jewelry making skill. Worked like a charm.