There and Somewhat Back Again

coffeebreakchat

Semester is finally over, and now comes the barrage of gaming. Throughout the semester, I didn’t really feel like logging in, I guess I was pretty burned out from farming seals 24/7. I did dip my feet into other waters; I went back to The Secret World for a bit, The Last Train To Cairo Issue was amazing, I checked out Neverwinter which I enjoyed so much, especially The Foundry, and also checked out other games like Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3 and Rift. CSTM and Lotro Reporter did keep me up to date on what’s been happening on Lotro. Not a whole lot of news concerning the Helms Deep expansion which I’m really looking forward to, bummer.

It took me roughly 2 hours to update the launcher for Updates 11 and 11.1.  When I finally got in, the new alert panel graphics caught my eye, and I gotta say its a joke. It just looks so cartoony, and at least for me, it’s distracting. I’m really hoping there’s an option to revert back to the previous one. As for the hobbit presents, the few silver presents that I have opened so far has been decent, nothing great to shout about but hey, at least it’s free right? If you want more info about Hobbit presents, Danania, Supergirl of Lorien has a Hobbit Presents: 30 Day Review post up. Check it out.

Also, good to see some old friends online. After spending LI points back into my first agers and mount, I met up with my loyal Mercenary buddy Babbor and the both of us headed into Wildemore to start our new adventure. I hadn’t looked at screenshots, hadn’t read any spoilers etc so I was genuinely excited to see what this update had to offer. Two hours into the new region and my first impressions are…tragic, tragic, tragic! People dying all over the place. It’s like George R.R Martin himself wrote U11. Storywise, excellent albeit much of the story telling revolves around the same dull and over-used quest mechanics. Besides that, I’m impressed with the new warbands in Wildermore. The difficulty has scaled somewhat higher, and I can no longer solo as much as I could with the warbands in the Eastemnet. Good sign. I haven’t gotten that far in the region, Babbs and I have just completed Forlaw. So far, I’m really liking what I’m seeing. I know there is going to be a daily grind at the end for Warband Tokens and Reputation with the Survivors, but I’m not bothered about gear just yet. Hoping to the story fleshes out well from here on.

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And finally, some sad news this weekend. CSTM have announced they will be ending the podcast on their 200th episode. I can’t help but feel sad, I really really really love these folks and their show, which have become a routine Sunday morning tune-in for me. The amount of effort and dedication they have put into their podcast to bring the Lotro community news, events and just a good show has been tremendous over the years, and I can’t thank them enough for the endless amount of fun I have had listening to their show in the background while I’m playing the game. CSTM is hands down, Lotro’s best community blog  and podcast and has been for years. This is a huge loss to the game. So as my token of appreciation, I will be posting a tribute article or mp3 or something like that around the 200th show. Oh and Turbine take note: Thank these folks in person, and, give them in-game titles like ‘Casually Strolled To Mordor’ or something like that. =)

Alright I’m done writing. I want some gaming. Till the next post.

Dev Chat Update 10 Snippets & Opinion

lotro opinion

This month’s LOTRO Dev Chat on Twitter just wrapped and there were plenty of good questions asked and answered. A lot of information regarding Update 10 were given when asked. Update 10 hits Bullroarer next week according to Devs, but here are other little snippets with accompanying thoughts.

1. Wardens will now use Agility as their main stat

- Not a surprise to me; I’ve read about it somewhere on the forums previously. Initial thoughts were of doubt because of the various might+vit gear that Wardens and my own Warden, Dagenath has already acquired. But it’s going to be a scramble now for me to go fishing for Agility jewelry. I’m not so worried about armour, because Medium armour do have Agility variants anyways. Relics on my LI’s will also have to be thrown out the window however(Might ones stacked). I can see the logic to this, based on Wardens and their evasion tanking, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ll pop on Bullroarer and play around with it.

2. Dread removed from landscape defeats

- Interesting but welcome change. Mind you I don’t die a lot on the landscape (lol) but solo-ing Bugud on my Cappy occasionally gets me. Also, I tend to go AFK so much at random times that I simply just sit out there and have boars and other buggers chew me dead. Having no dread from annoying defeats like that will definitely be nice. Thanks I guess.

3. Fate potency increase and power pools standardized

- Now the Devs didn’t elaborate too much on this and it had me wondering. I don’t play toons at end game that uses Fate a whole lot, so I am not entirely sure what this change does. As for the power pools being standardized, one of the Devs did say it makes class changes in future a lot easier, and doesn’t make the difference in power pools between classes seem random. O.0? My thoughts exactly. I did see a Hunter with 6K power the other day though..

4. New/Existing/Scaled Instances receiving new loot

- Very Important change for my Kinship and I. We have been running plenty of instances for lootz(who doesn’t love lootz!??) and frankly the variations are disappointing and some of the old scaled ones are downright pathetic (DRAKESPLITTER!!?? ARE YOU FUGGING KIDDING ME TURBINE?). Running these instances are what’s keeping my kinship alive at the moment, so kudos for adding new shinies to keep the fires burning. Thank you.

5. 2nd part of instance cluster introduced

- Same sentiment as above. New content=longer interest. However, I can’t help but wonder why the hell won’t they just add the entire instance cluster into the expansion in the first place. Maybe, I just answered my own question.

6. New armour sets

- Saw this one coming. Was bound to happen. Now keep your eyes out on the difference between stats of the Hytbold raid level gear and the new ones. Let’s see how it holds up with the new instances. As for the BG sets…(insert sarcastic comment here).

7. No new Epic Book with Update 10

- A little let down with this one. But considering where we last stopped in the Epics, it’s only sensible that we continue it with either a new region or something huge that takes us away from the Eastemnet. What I can’t say for sure, but Devs have said that a huge Epic Book will be coming in Update 11. Interesting.

8. First Age LI’s and of Tarnished Symbols

- Yeap, it’s coming. Brace yourselves for a whole new grind end-gamers. Wonder if it will be called a Tarnished Symbol of the Elder King. As a result, Devs did not answer my question but have done so indirectly by saying that Tarnished Symbols of Celebrimbor can be attained via marks, meds, and seals(Skirmish Camp) after the update. This is good news for anyone at 85 who has yet to get one, so start saving your currencies and start running skirms and instances to stock up on some! You’ll need the upgrade. Having gotten 4 before the new year(lucky SOB I know), I’m decently geared on my Champ and Cappy but will still be getting a few more for alternative weapons for PVP and different builds.

And that’s about all the info of Update 10 that came out from the Dev Chat. There were plenty of other questions about cosmetics, housing, mounted combat etc and you can find the full transcript here. Cheers everyone.

Spring Springy Spring!

The Spring Festival is now live.  I’ve just logged in and headed straight away to Hengstacer’s Farm to check out my new ride that awaits me. Here it is…

Introducing the Simbelmyne Steed! A beauty isn’t she? Costs 2 Spring Race Tokens, and a whooping 40 Spring leaves, plus the compulsory Document of Mount Ownership. This seems to be the ‘price’ trend for all the new horses in the Festivals and it seems a little bit expensive to me. But no matter, 40 Spring Leaves is an achievable target especially with all the quests, games and races available. Where you ask? Why the horse races can be found in the Horse Fields/Bree festival grounds, south of Hengstacer’s Farm in Bree Land while the other is in the Shire, just slightly south east from the Michel Delving stable.  General festival areas are in Thorin’s Ale Hall, The Party Tree in Hobbiton, Duillond in Ered Luin and of course, the Bree festival grounds. So if you have your eyes set on the mount, cosmetics or the new consumables etc, start chipping away at the festival content to get your leaves folks! I’m off to get mine..

Edit* 45 minutes later…….

Adhrean is a phreak. Probably stole the horse.

Embracing The Warden 2.0

Can you feel it? From the tip of our spears, to the spines of our shields, change is coming and coming big for Wardens with Update 6. Which as it so happens, has just gone live.  I’ve just about managed to pull away from my pile of academic assignments and launched the LOTRO launcher to patch with the hopes of getting some game time before the break of dawn. Here’s a toast to a successful update, a spectacular new region with tons of memorable and enjoyable quests, and a thumping good time for all LOTRO players out there with their respective classes.

But what I really wanted to talk about here was the changes to the Warden.  I haven’t had the time to hop on to Bullroarer and play around, so I have been relying heavily on the forums and other Warden experts to get my source of information. Now when it comes to updates especially about the Warden, there’s only one person I look to, and that is Josh, Mr. Docholiday at docholidaymmo.com.

In his latest post, he has compiled pretty much some solid information of the changes to the Warden class from the forums, posted by players who have spent enough time testing the new changes. Go ahead and read up on them, some extra information besides the patch notes always helps. Click here.

Now, my personal thoughts about the Warden. I started playing the class when almost every other veteran out there had shelved theirs, during the Rise of Isengard season. It is broken, they said. Unable to tank, they said. I took it all in with a pinch of salt and played through the content my way. Dagenath is now 75 ( more on him and his adventures through Dunland, to be continued in future posts.), and has tanked end game content regularly. Yes I find myself vulnerable to critical boss hits, often getting one shotted, but I draw the line at pure bad luck. The lesson that I learned was to improvise my role in groups and my play stlye, as a hybrid tank. I experimented with trait lines and gear that suited the situation, often resulting in a desired effect that I wanted. Other players that have Warden alts have complimented me for sticking and persevering with the class, while finding my own way to play it when others simply could not. I appreciated that. With the current changes, I see the Warden being able to get into groups more with our new secondary role of ranged DPS. How effective will we be, I have not a clue but we can hope for the best. We might not have gotten the tanking changes that we wanted, but we have other ways of getting by. We have already survived this long even with the ‘broken class’ tag, so what’s a few more months of waiting for that big mitigation update eh? Trust me, this update will make you feel excited, as if you were learning how to play a new class. I for one, am excited. I only ask my fellow Wardens of Middle Earth to have patience and trust the Dev, Orion on getting us back into the front lines with our shield brothers.

As for new Wardens out there, here’s some advice. First and foremost, if you’re having second thoughts about starting a Warden, banish that thought. It’s such a fun and challenging class to play. We definitely can tank when it matters, you just need to be alert and have a good understanding of your class and your role in a group. Everything that comes after will be much easier.

So moving on, now that Update 6 is live, here are my final thoughts.

1. Pleased that the price of the Quest Pack is cheaper than I expected, at 795 TP

2. Disappointed that Skirmish Soldiers on the landscape requires an hourly summoning token that must be purchased from the store of bartered with medallions.

3. Disappointed that the Barter Wallet is a store purchase, and at a thumping price too.

4. Interested in the reward changes and added options to the Instance Finder, I will be using that more often for the bonus rewards now.

I guess that about sums it up for now, as patching is over and I can’t wait to head in game and play around with my Warden changes. Farewell for now!

Forth Eorlingas! Turbine & WB Announces New Expansion Riders of Rohan

Yeap! You read that right! I’m pretty much shaking with excitement inside as I read through the official announcement here. There is also another forum post about it here!

Huge thanks to Adam of The Khazad Guard for alerting us about the news!

In summary, the Riders of Rohan will be released during the Fall this year, and it’s main features includes :

1.  Levelling to 85!

I thought I was gonna stay 75 for awhile, I guess not!

2. Mounted Combat!

Durin’s beard! Read that again. Mounted combat! Finally it’s here! According to the posts, players will get War Steeds which can be customized in terms of armour and skills. We would be facing Warg Riders in the plains of Rohan it seems. Heh. Easy.

3. Option to bring Skirmish Soldiers with you in your adventures throughout Middle Earth!

Finally, my beloved Herbalists can heal me outside of Skirmishes!

4. The new expansion is said to be very huge,twice the size of Moria!

Well, I’m sure there might have been something I missed but please do check out the links for yourself if you want to know more, I’m sure more exciting news will be revealed as time goes on. Again, I’m so stoked for this! Woohoo

/cheer x100