The White Captain of Rohan

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This is probably the longest I have ever taken to work my way through an expansion’s content (expansions that came out during my hiatus not included of course). I am only just now getting Cithryth to level 95 and completing the corresponding Epic Story. And what a spectacularly epic story it is too! While I really appreciate the story and character crafting that goes into the Epic Story in general, I’ve never been quite as avid of a fan of it as some people. But as a Captain of Rohan, the Helm’s Deep Epic Story was trulyย moving.

 

Continue reading…

Back in the Saddle

This weekend we finally got the finishing touches (for now at least) on our game room – just in time for Update 11 in LOTRO! It’s been tough not being able to game (well, I was playing Pokemon White version on my DS, but that’s it) for nearly two weeks. It’s one thing not being able to game if you’re on vacation or something, but if you’re just sitting around the house all day? It’s painful. We ended up making the ‘desk’ out of a kitchen counter exactly as long as the room and it’s held up by L brackets. It’s… not exactly level. It kind of bows down in the middle. But for our purposes it doesn’t matter too much. And you can’t tell when you’re sitting at your computer. It’s not like all the pens/pencils roll into the middle or anything. We also got some really fancy pants desk chairs! They are San Marino RaceTec chairs. No, we didn’t actually pay that much for them (yay, haggling!) They are super comfortable and I love that the back pillow can slide up or down and that you can adjust how much the back of the chair pushes forward. It’s nice because we can both have the same exact chair but can adjust it to ourselves (which is important because Nav is very tall and I am very short – so where we want more cushioning is very different!). I also got the whiteboard I’ve always wanted in my battle station! So here’s a pic along with a pic in the other direction of our new cat, Nyx, on her strategically placed bed:

Still to do: Paint the walls (we’re thinking a dark grey to match the table top), get some blinds for the window/get rid of the curtains, put a mini fridge under the desk, I want to get at least one (but maybe two) more monitors, and I need to get a new keyboard soon. Right now I have a Logitech G19, which has been really great for the past 4 years. But because of all the travel I’ve done with it it’s starting to get a bit wonky. Like all day yesterday for some reason it wouldn’t load my M1, M2 or M3 profiles, even after I disconnected it and restarted the computer. This morning when I booted up my PC? They loaded just fine. I’m looking at getting a Corsair K90 keyboard. It’s a mechanical keyboard, has backlights that match my color scheme (very important!) and I have always been a big fan of the Corsair brand (except for when I tried switching to their Corsair Vengeance 2000 wireless headset instead of the 1500 wired one I had been using and its software continually caused my PC to bluescreen, but whatever).

So I was very glad to have all of this set up for yesterday because, yay updates! Of course the first thing I went to was Lalia’s Market. I saw it on Bullroarer before I had to pack everything up for shifting, so I knew it was awesome. When I heard about it, I was just so excited. This is a great direction to take cosmetics in, I feel. I know it sucks having to pay so much for them in Mithril Coins (which means spending real money), but I would honestly much rather Turbine focus getting money from things like horses and cosmetics than more game-play central things like armour, high-end potions, etc. I especially love that they have gloves, shoulders, legs, chests, boots and helmets as separate purchasable items. That was something I was disappointed about with the original implementation of mannequins – you either had to buy the whole outfit or nothing. I love the mix and match! And of course I bought a pair of boots, gloves and shoulders within minutes of stepping foot into the market! I decided to make a new outfit for Cithryth for questing in Wildermore. It needed to be warm (because snow) and tough because “wild” is right in the name of the region! So I put this together:

Scout’s Weathered Leather Jacket – black

Ceremonial Shoulder Guards of the Porbad

Ceremonial Secret of the West Gauntlets – black

Ceremonial Boots of the Gambler

Cloak of the Unwelcome Guest – grey

Shaggy Roan war-steed hide – black

Simple Tail – black

Burglar’s Saddle

Burglar’s Caparison – black

Burglar’s Gear

Captain’s Halter – black

Captain’s Leggings

It kind of reminds me of the Night’s Watch from Game of Thrones… but I think that’s just because of the black and the snow. Something I noticed in Wildermore that really intrigues me are the horse blankets that the horses in towns have:

They seem to come in all the regular dye colors… and I really want them! Or something like them. I’ve always really wanted a very plain blanket, easily dyeable blanket as a war-steed caparison. The Guardian’s Caparison is the closest I’ve found, but then you get the big red and white shield on the horse’s chest, not to mention you’d have to buy the whole Guardian Steed to get it.

I Fight for the Users!

Today they officially announced the members of the LOTRO Player Council… and I’m one of them! I’ll be honest. I kind of was expecting to get rejected because my application was basically “My play style is pretty outfits, I am interested in talking about pretty outfits… oh and I guess ‘solo’ is a thing? Whatever. Outfits > everything else”. Yeeeeah, I’m paraphrasing but that’s pretty much what it was like. Anyway, it’s true. My goal is to focus on “fluff” gameplay – especially player cosmetics, mount cosmetics and the housing system. Secondary to that I will focus on solo play, namely zone questing and making sure it is an enjoyable experience for soloers of all skill levels.

There’s not much more to say about that at the moment. Especially since that’s about all I can say until they give us specific assignments to make reports or something like that. Anyway, I don’t have any new outfits to post really though I do have one that I think I am aiming for (or for something similar to it). I logged into my baby champion last night because I love playing with outfits on her. She’s an elf who dresses all in black/grey/white. She’s the only character I have that I feel like I can dress in the heavy elven armours, so when I really get a hankering to use those stylings I pull her out. Here is the outfit I’m looking at and still tweaking:

Battle-leader’s Breastplate – white

Trousers of the Hopeful Melody – white

Boots of the Steely Dawn

Battle-leader’s Gauntlets – white

Shoulders of the Deathstorm – white

Ceremonial Helm of the Lady’s Secrecy – white

Cloak of the Silver Birch – white

I think I may change out the leggings and gauntlets. I also absolutely love how elegant the shoulders look, but they are just so… inefficient and look kind of ridiculous when you are looking at the character from behind. But I love the leaf/butterfly kind of effect! So I’m not sure what to pick for those yet. I still have plenty of time when I get enough marks and medallions.

In other game news, I decided to start learning to play DotA 2 this week. It’s really fun and I hope to one day get good enough at it to play with actual people. After playing for 9 hours doing the “Practice with Bots” I figured I’d finally try my hand playing with others. The first game was not bad. I mean, I died a TON! But the other players didn’t really say much about it, just kind of kept saying which lanes to push, announcing misses, etc. The second game though… my goodness. They really hated me. I died within the first minute (which I do admit was my fault because I kind of was zoned out) but then the rest of the game they spent telling me how “f****** stupid” I was. I told them this was my second game and to give me a break, jeez! Nope! Apparently you are supposed to know everything before you ever think about playing with people. Duh! I think the experience just reminded me why I have mostly stuck to LOTRO for so long.

I did get some friendly advice on twitter though (Thanks, @ALLout_DotA!) and have decided to really double-down on reading guides and watching videos. I’ve also decided to stick with one support hero to focus on: Dazzle. He heals, can stun/slow a bit and is generally pretty helpful and seems to be recommended by many for new players… and he’s also pink. So hopefully with hours more of practice I’ll get better. I’m also trying to convince Nav to start playing.

Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

I mentioned last week that I had finally left Moria with Sagewood and started tackling the orc camps around the Mirrormere. I really miss questing in Moria now. The contrast between the revamped quests of Moria and the old outter Lorien quests is quite noticable. Whereas in Moria there is very little back-and-forth between the questgivers and the questing areas, in the Mirrormere it is all about back-and-forth! It really is tedious.

But here are a few shots I took just before leaving Moria. I really like the one with the Balrog – the quest line of traveling through the 2nd Hall and figuring out what happened to the Bridge of Khazad-dum is a really good way to end Moria. The 2nd Hall in general is, I think, the best looking place in Moria. The Gardens are gorgeous as well, but the stone trees are what does it for me I think.

On the other hand though, it did give me an opportunity to change her outfit from that black stalker’s outfit Sagewood had been wearing throughout the long dark of Moria. I decided to go with something Elvish (since it is Lorien after all) but not all-out Elvish. Sagewood doesn’t like Elves very much. I specifically got the Poacher of the Protected Woods title for her by doing the quest-line to kill various protected animals in Lorien.

Bear Hide Jacket – umber

Ceremonial Trousers of the Learned – violet

Ceremonial Town-saver’s Shoulders – umber

Herald’s Gloves – umber

Ceremonial Doom-hunter’s Boots – olive

Trech-helm – olive

I also was able to get in a bit of play-time with my kinmates this weekend. Quite a few were on, including Farwing who I haven’t seen on in ages. Two years ago I got the opportunity to go visit her IRL in Australia. It was super fun! I always love hanging out with my kinmates in real life. Here are the two of us hanging out in Rohan, tackling warbands together:

Knight in Shining Armour

The past week I’ve been tinkering a lot with the White Captain outfit for Cithryth. It always feels like it’s never quite right or perfect or good. And then everytime I make a new one I announce how it’s the perfect White Captain outfit and inevitably I change my mind again. However this time I’m sure this is the perfect White Captain outfit!

I had always tried to stay away from the Rift captain set. It is gorgeous, however there is a very famous captain on Windfola named Annoula whose female captain is always dressed in the full Rift set with the Cloudbane cloak. Annoula has been wearing that since basically forever and I believe has achieved the Fashionable title for it. Finally yesterday I decided to just not worry about that and decided I would make it unique looking somehow.

I ended up using the champion Rift shoulders (partly because I think the captain Rift shoulders look freaking ridiculous and WoW-like). I also used my absolute favorite boots: the Potent Battles Boots of the Mark. I’m only disappointed that they have a warm undertone to them compared to the pale blue undertone of the Rift set. So I had to dye them a blueish color to keep the color scheme cohesive. I also opted for no cloak and instead went with the signature Winged Circlet.

Ceremonial Breastplate of the North Star – white

Ceremonial Leggings of the North Star – white

Ceremonial Shoulders of the Gloom-bane – white

Ceremonial Gloves of the North Star – white

Potent Battle Boots of the Mark – Evendim blue

Winged Circlet

And of course I had to make a warsteed that matches. This took quite a lot of tinkering to find a warsteed look I liked. Honestly it was quite frustrating because some pieces don’t dye quite the way you’d expect or want them to dye. Last night I eventually settled on using an all black steed with black barding. But then today while doing my daily warband runs I switched to all white with navy and it turned out really well!

Solid Hide and Simple Tail – white

Light Caparison of the Norcrofts – navy

Captain’s Halter – white

Captain’s Leggings

Burglar’s Saddle

Burglar’s Gear

At the point the only change I think I would make for the warsteed is to put the Champion’s Gear on instead. That is definitely going to be the next steed I purchase because I have been coveting the Champion’s Gear for too long! It’s the most fitting Gear accessory I’ve seen, or at least one of the least ridiculous. Some of the gear in the Store is quite lovely, however I feel a lot of it is made useless by its coloring and the lack of the ability to dye it. For example the gear that comes with the Heavy Norcrofts set bundle is cool… but it’s also a heinous yellow color that wouldn’t match any kind of character or warsteed outfit I would ever put together.

 

In other news, my hunter Sagewood made it to level 60! Woo! I actually stayed in Moria until level 61, which is absolutely unheard of for me. I’ve taken 4 other characters through there and I’ve always left around level 58 or 59. The Moria revamps were amazing and made me like questing there! I love the quest auto-bestowal system. I enjoy exploring and that system definitely works with an exploration based playstyle like that.

Rough Rider

I’ve not been playing too many games the past week or so it feels like. I’ve been slowly going through stuff in my room – what to take with me when I move, what has to get shipped later, what I’m just plain getting rid of. It’s very tedious and not super fun. I wish all my stuff could just sort itself! I also ran my first 5k race this weekend. My mother is very into running and triathlons, so for her Christmas present I agreed to run a race with her. My time was not so great so I’m not going to share it ๐Ÿ˜› I ran about half of it and walked about half. I’m not in the best of shape, I’ll admit!

Nav finally got to level 74 though and that was very exciting because it meant Rohan time for Herefara! Nav and Herefara are both 75 now and we have our warsteeds. I am very excited to learn another class’s mounted combat system. Nav, though, does not seem to enjoy it quite as much. He still clings to the way of controlling the travel mounts and finds the warsteed very ungainly. It’s too bad because I love it so much! Hopefully with time and practice he too will learn to love riding down his enemies.

Most of my kin, Windriders of Rohan, also got together and completed a skirmish for the first time in ages! It was awesome. I remember when I first joined, we were doing Moria instances almost every night with our allied kins. Now it’s lucky if two or three people are on at the same time. So it was very serendipitous when six of us were on! Me, Nav, Swiftly, Kharrn, Brie and Tryll all did the Storm on Methedras skirmish. We failed one or two times to start but we eventually got it. It’s always so nice being able to play with good friends again!

Other than that I’ve just been doing my Hytbold dailies (and missing a few days here and there… oh well). I tried starting up a new coffee and tea thread in the Windfola forums but so far only two others have taken it up as well. If you’re on Windfola, come say hi and tell us what you’re up to!

Today I made a new warsteed and an outfit to match. I don’t have a name for his horse. The general theme I suppose is a rough-rider of sorts, or perhaps a slightly armoured scout. It mostly started with me really liking the colors of the warsteed hide (dark chestnut) contrasted with black and went from there.

Character Outfit:

Pathfinder’s Jacket – black

Walnoth’s Leather Leggings – sienna

Potent Battle Boots of the Mark – black

Heavy Plated Dunlending Gauntlets – black

Hyrde-Axle – grey

Horse Outfit:

Solid Warsteed Hide – dark chestnut

Simple Tail – black

Burglar’s Saddle

Burglar’s Caparison and Leggings – both black

Norcrofts Captain

Happy Yule everyone! Sorry I didn’t make a blog post this past weekend. I finally graduate from University and have moved back home for the holidays. I am super full already and have only eaten the first course of our Christmas dinner. At least there will be lots of leftovers!

Although I haven’t been posting, I have been playing. Sagewood is level 56 now, Herefara is 74 and Cithryth is getting closer and closer to completing Hytbold. Speaking of Hytbold though – what’s the deal with the Captain’s Hands of Healing Hytbold set? It makes no sense. Tons and tons of might but hardly any vitality? Quite a few of the captain’s healing skills requires a sacrifice of the captain’s own morale, or at least the main single-target heal. Very strange! So I’ve gone with a combination of Hands of Healing and Leader of Men pieces from the Hytbold sets.

And thanks to some very generous friends on Windfola, Giggles and Sparthir, I was able to get the boots I’ve been trying to get for ages to complete my new outfit! I don’t have a metalsmith and I’ve only ever seen the teal critted versions of the boots on the AH (selling for 20g!). So I tried getting people in GLFF to make me some with payment, however they were less than helpful (only response I got was someone telling me to get armour from the Classic skirmish vendor, even though I specifically said I wanted these boots for their looks, not their level or stats). Giggles and Spar saw my pleas on twitter and Spar logged in and made me some free of charge! That’s why friends are awesome! So thanks to Sparthir and his metalworker Spardor, here is my newest outfit, the Captain of the Norcrofts:

Character Outfit:

Helm of the Eastemnet

Commanding Battle Pauldrons of the Mark – green

Elfmar’s Cloak

Combative Eastemnet War Armour – olive

Vigilant Eastemnet War Gauntlets

Potent Battle Boots of the Mark – olive

Warsteed Outfit:

Tobiano Warsteed – black chestnut (with black chestnut Simple Tail)

Captain’s Halter – olive

Light Caparison of the Norcrofts – Rivendell green

Burglar’s Leggings

Guardian’s Saddle

Burglar’s Gear

The White Captain Rides Again

Really glad I found that post I mentioned in the update to my last post. So here are some pics of my new White Captain outfit using the armor from the Steely Dawn:

Armour of the Steely Dawn

Dreng-gesc – black

Barnavon Hunter’s Cured Gauntlets – white

Commanding Battle Pauldrons of the Mark – black

Cloak of the Dreamflower – white

Winged Circlet

I’m not sure if I like the choice of gauntlets and boots right now. I’ve always expressed a dislike for wearing the same boots and gauntlets from the same set as the chestpiece, but I think I might be able to get away with it in this instance, mostly because I think the set will be fairly rare anyway. It’s also hard to find boots and gloves that don’t clip this chest piece. The wrists and ankles are quite bulky and clip through a fair number of gloves and boots that I would otherwise think look fine.

As for the steed in these pics, it does not have a name at this point. I used the extra 500 TP I got from the Steely Dawn pack to buy the Shaggy Roan hide, because I really like the black legs on it.

Shaggy Roan hide – white

Simple Tail – black

Plain Black Saddle

Guardian’s Caparison – sea blue

 

Waiting in a Disgruntled Fashion

UPDATE AT BOTTOM OF POST!

This Friday, Steam released a new starter pack for LOTRO: the Steely Dawn Pack. I had vaguely heard about it but didn’t really think much about it. Then today I was looking at the Show Us Your Favorite Cosmetic Outfit thread and andys90 had posted a picture of their toon wearing the chest piece:

I immediately fell in love with it! I’ve been looking for a new white outfit for Cithryth. All the white armour I’ve come across in-game just hasn’t really cut it for the White Captain look, besides dresses. And a true captain can’t go charging into battle in a dress. But THIS! It’s white, not to elvish, but definitely set for battle. So I decided to buy it. I mean really when you think about it, $20 for some armour you get for every character is a better deal than a $20 horse for just one character.

Here are some more hi-rez photos courtesy of Casual Stroll to Mordor:

That’s where the trouble began though. I purchased it and followed the steps to get the CD key for it to put into my Turbine account. You’re supposed to be able to right click the game (in this case, LOTRO) in your Steam library and go to “View CD Keys”. This then brings up a window showing you your product keys associated with the game. No such luck for me, though. The closest thing I could see in the right click menu was “View Downloadable Conent”. That only shows that yes, I have purchased the Steely Dawn pack and yes, it pertains to LOTRO. That’s it. No key. So, not able to put it into my Turbine account to actually get the items.

I looked around Steam support and the LOTRO forums to see if anyone else had the same problem. There was one other poster in the LOTRO forums that I could find (because finding anything in the LOTRO forums is a chore) who had the exact same problem. So I oped to send a support request to Steam. That was about five hours ago and I still have no heard back. I am displeased because I was really looking forward to playing with some new shiny outfits. Guess I have to wait. :(

In happier news, I have continued my theme of trying other outfit pieces and made a new outfit for Sagewood. This outfit I think really makes sense for Sagewood. She’s a Bree-land archer out killing game and orcs and brigands as a mercenary for the town of Bree, or whoever might hire her.

Ceremonial Town-saver’s Jacket

Leggins of the Mark – umber

Vital Eastemnet Combat Boots – sienna

Fingerless Gloves – umber

Storyteller’s Fur-lined Mantle – gold

Plain Cloak – umber

Tattered Hat – sienna

Normally if I had gotten these leggings as a drop and tried them on in the dressing room, I would not have kept them. However I decided to give them a shot and I surprisingly love the way they go with this outfit!

Update Re: CD Key!

Okay, so up until just recently the Steam forums were down for maintenance (thus why I didn’t mention looking in those for help). Well, just after I posted this I decided to try looking at them again and they were up! So I went into the LOTRO section to see the top post was about this exact issue. Many people are having it. Luckily, a user named Pixel Moose posted a solution!

Hey guys, I bought the Steely Dawn pack and ran into the same problem but I have found a solution. If you activate Big Picture mode on the Steam client, go to Library and click on LOTRO, then go the Links and More and at the bottom there should be a link that says View CD key. It is here that you can get the code for the starter pack. It was stupid for them not to put that on the regular Library page.

And it worked! Yay! But that is incredibly frustrating. Why should we have to go through the Big Picture mode (aimed at users with TVs and controllers… not regular PC users) just to get the CD key? Seems very broken to me. But it’s good to know for those having issues.

Rider’s Armour

I haven’t been playing much LOTRO the past week. Like I said in my last post, my old Minecraft had a grand re-opening and so I’ve been playing a lot of that lately. However today I have been spending quite a bit of time on LOTRO – enough to put together a new outfit! I decided to go through the Starry Mantle again to get some inspiration and came across the Sons of Elrond outfit. I liked the combination of the gloves and chest piece – when Cithryth was in her 40’s she used to wear that chest piece all the time and I loved it. The gloves of course are part of the set that goes with my favorite Rohan chest piece. I decided to make the outfit less Elvish and turn it into some light riding armour. Here is the result:

Thick Elven Steel Armour – olive

Tactical Eastemnet Assault Leggings – umber

Vigilant Eastemnet War Boots – rivendell green

Vigilant Eastemnet War Gauntlets

Shoulders of the Eorlingas

Mantle of Framness

To get these pieces I had to go make a trip to the Auction House. I spent quite a bit of gold, but also picked up a few other items that I may use for outfits on other characters. I got my hands on a Tattered Hat that I am definitely going to make use of on Sagewood. I’ll probably put together an outfit for her and post it tomorrow.

Otherwise in LOTRO I’ve pretty much just been doing my Hytbold dailies and trying to get the deeds of each town done. So far I’ve gotten Eaworth and Harwick’s deeds done. I’ve been lazy about remembering to get my fishing rod out of my vault and thus haven’t done any of the fishing quests in Snowbourn. But in general I quite like the dailies. Some of the instances and locations are actually quite beautiful.