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.