A Hunter in Dunland

Sagewood has made it to level 67 now and is almost half way to 68. I finally was pleased enough with her deeds to start questing in Enedwaith again. I’ve only ever taken one character through all the quest in Evendim. And that is still true. I left part way through Mincham’s quests with Sagewood and made my way down to Dunland. This time I decided to do the quests in the Bonevales, which I had never actually done before. Navigating the Bonevales was okay. But it was kind of like Trollshaws-lite. Not a big fan. But at least it was something I had never done before. That is one good thing about 65+ leveling: there is a huge glut of content for those levels. Sagewood didn’t even step foot into Mirkwood. And she definitely won’t finish all of Dunland. But that’s perfect! It gives you lots of opportunity to quest where you want rather than be stuck on a linear path.

However as I was leaving Dunland I decided to stop by at Harndirion and check out the barter vendors there. The ‘Of the West’ sets are now purchasable with marks and medallions (at least the lowest tier anyway), rather than Medallions of the Northmen. So of course I decided to have a look and see if there was anything I wanted for cosmetic purposes. And of course there was! I also made use of the near-by skirmish vendors and got some Dol Guldur armour to go with some of the items I got from the Harndirion vendors. And here’s what I came up with for Sagewood:

Ceremonial Voice of the West Robe – umber

Lesser Blade of the West Leggings – umber

Ceremonial Doom-hunter’s Boots – umber

Ceremonial Secret of the West Gauntlets – olive

Shielf-Master’s Shoulders – umber

Ceremonial Doom-hunter’s Helm – olive

Cloak of the Grey Company – olive

I’m especially in love with the shoulders (from the guardian set of Dol Guldur armour), but the champion leggings are really awesome as well. I was originally going to make the outfit mostly brown and use different boots, but the greenish tinge to the mail in the leggins inspired the olive accents.

Back to Scheduled Gaming

As you may have noticed, I have not posted for quite a few weeks. That’s because Nav had finally come over for his visit and then we were in the process of packing up all my stuff and trying to shove it into suitcases (but making sure they weren’t over 50 pounds!). My parents still have to send me a majority of my stuff unfortunately, but not til we get a house. I’ve been in New Zealand for about a week and a half now and my computer is finally up and running. It had been up and running soon after we got here…. but then my CPU died :( We had decided to take all the innards of my PC out and pack them in my suitcase and just buy a new case in NZ (because it would be cheaper than shipping!). We thought that had worked but it seems some or one of the pins of the CPU got bent. We noticed something weird was going on because when we got the PC back together it was running about 40 degrees (Celsius) hotter than it normally did. But now I’ve got a nice shiny new CPU and everything is going great.

To celebrate getting my PC back again finally, here is a new outfit for Sagewood! I’ve been doing a lot of deeding with her the past few days on Nav’s computer while he’s at work. Since she’s 65 now I decided I’d update her outfit to something more ‘level appropriate’. After all, she’s not just traipsing around Bree-land anymore. She’s been questing in Enedwaith so she needed some real armour. I had been saving up TP to buy the Steed of the Khundolar, however I realized I wouldn’t have enough by the 28th of February and I just don’t have extra money to spend on TP right now (since I’m currently looking for a job here!). Instead I decided to splurge on the Ceremonial Secret of the West set and some extra wardrobe storage (which is always needed… and I promptly filled it, too!). Using pieces from that set I made Sagewood this grey-based scout outfit:

Ceremonial Doom-hunter’s Breastplate – grey

Westernesse Protector’s Leggings – black

Ceremonial Secret of the West Boots – black

Ceremonial Secret of the West Gauntlets – grey

Ceremonial Secret of the West Shoulderguards – olive

Ceremonial Secret of the West Helmet – grey

Fine Quiver – grey

Swift Greywood Bow (for photoshoot purposes!)

In other games news, SimCity 2013 comes out in less than 24 hours now. When news and screenshots were first coming out about it, I was quite skeptical of it. It seemed cartoony and simplistic. But after multiple beta events and videos have come out, I am very excited about it and will definitely be saving my money up for it. I think the thing to keep in mind though is that it is not just an updated SimCity 4. SimCity 2013 is a reboot of sorts. The most frequent complaint I’ve seen about it is that the city size is too small. For me personally, that’s not a problem. I always used the smallest city tiles in SC4 anyway and didn’t like the bigger city sizes. Also, the aesthetics of the new SimCity are phenomenal! If you get it, let me know what you think!

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.

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.

Expanding My Outfit Style

Everyone who makes outfits has a specific style. Just like everyone has their own style of handwriting and each author has a specific voice in their writing, so too do LOTRO outfitters. Mine has always been a more realistic and RP oriented style. I use a lot of earth tones. You will never see me rocking a purple outfit, except maybe with one of my elves’ party outfits. Another LOTRO outfitter who has a pretty similar style to mine is Devonna over at LOTRO Stylist.

I’ve posted about it before, and I’m feeling it again: I’m in an outfit rut. I still feel like I tend to use the same cosmetic and armour pieces again and again, the same two or three colors over and over. So this time I decided to take a look at some fellow outfit bloggers who have a different style from my own. Two bloggers with a more adventurous use of color and armor pieces than me are Hymne at Cosmetic LOTRO and The Starry Mantle. The Starry Mantle especially uses a really wide variety of armour pieces and isn’t afraid to try out head pieces I don’t even bother to keep. Hymne uses a lot of fantastic color combinations in her work that makes her outfits very dynamic.

I decided I’d start by trying to find a new outfit for Sagewood. I had posted a new outfit for her a few weeks ago but I still wasn’t that pleased with it. Sure I used some new pieces but they just weren’t clicking. I figured a scout/hunter outfit shouldn’t be too hard to find amongst the outfit blogosphere. Eventually what caught my eye was The Starry Mantle’s Outlaw Wolf-keeper outfit. It’s still within my range of comfortable earth-tones and realism, yet it uses pieces I’ve never used (some of which because I don’t own them!). Not wanting to copy it straight off, I decided I’d get some of the pieces together and tweak it a bit. I ended up using some of the ideas from Hymne’s Beta Sneak Peek outfit as well(the third outfit in that post, specifically). Here’s what I ended up with:

Pathfinder’s Jacket – black

Ceremonial Thrill-seeker’s Leggings

Steadfast Skirmish Gauntlets of the Mark – umber

Vital Eastemnet Combat Boots – black

Resilient Skirmish Pauldrons of the Mark – umber

So far I quite like it. The only thing I’m not 100% with is the shoulders. I am very picky about shoulder guards and I don’t like many of the shoulder pieces in game. I’d love if anyone has some suggestions on what they think might look good though! I tried the shoulder guards the Starry Mantle used in her post, but without the Hunter’s helm from that outfit, it just doesn’t work as well I don’t think.

I tried soloing Northcotton Farms on Cithryth today (so she was 20 levels over). I got past the first boss then got bored. It was just taking too long and my patience has a tendency of waning quite quickly anymore. Gone are the times I would gladly sit through an on-level 6-man like Lost Temple, taking the time to learn every battle and the nuances. I just get bored with it too quickly. My attention drifts and I end up alt-tabbing to the internet. So I probably won’t be earning the last 45 Medallions of the Northmen that I need for that Hunter helm. Oh well. Still lots of other armor pieces available in the game.

Quick Sunday Photo Op!

Unfortunately I don’t have as much time to play this weekend as I would like. My first draft of my big important senior paper is due this week, so I should probably work on that. So my Sunday is going to be full of writing and reading about 17th century pirate scientists. I suppose it could be worse!

Anyway, I got a lot of positive feedback from my picture of Widfara so I decided to do a similar kind of collage for Fram:

I also made another outfit for Sagewood. This one is more of an everyday questing/adventuring type outfit that is a bit more armored than her Cowboy outfit, but still uses the same color scheme:

Ceremonial Townsaver’s Jacket – burgundy

Walnoth’s Leather Leggings – sienna

Vital Eastemnet Combat Boots – sienna

Strong Eastemnet Skirmish Gauntlets – sienna

Shoulders of the Helmingas

Cloak of the Grey Company – crimson

Fine Grey Company Hood – crimson

The Long Dark of Moria

I’ve finally taken Sagewood into Moria! I didn’t finish all the quests in Eregion (still a few out at Echad Mirobel for me to do), but I’ve been really wanting to see the Moria revamp, so I went on in with just over half-way to level 51. I did do a bit of questing in Eregion today, enough to see one of the weirdly vivid night rainbows that still occasionally happen in that region.

This time through I’m really trying to pay attention to Moria. The last three times I went through I did the minimum and just followed the quest tracker without really looking around too much. This go through I’m taking my time and enjoying all the little things. The way the quests have been re-done really helps I think. Much more flow between areas (granted I haven’t even gotten to Dolven View yet). More mini quest hubs along the way helps to guide you through instead of just leaving you wondering where you’re meant to head next.

I also of course had to make an outfit for Sagewood to traverse Moria in. Her typical Bree-land Cowboy attire wasn’t quite up to snuff for the long dark of Moria. She needed something with more covering to protect her from potential bites of who knows what. She also decided to go with a mouth covering to keep her from any of the mold that may be growing in such a place – who know what kind of insidious fungi await in such a dark, wet place. A pack carrying all her exploration tools would be needed too, since should couldn’t bring her trusty steed Greasewood into the Mines.

Herald’s Armour – black

Leather Leggings of the Stoic Stag – black

Threadbare Boots of the Dunland Healer – black

Leather Gauntlets of the Leaping Stag – black

Fine Grey Company Hood – black

Campaign Backpack – black

I’ve also been catching Cithryth up on her epic books the past week or so. Finally got through Vol 3 books 5 through 6. Book 7 in underway. I love the dream sequence filter they use for some of the dream instances. The grainy, swirly effects are pretty neat looking. I think they make for some pretty cool screenshots too:

Fashion Contest Rejects

I told my self to stay away from the Fashion Contest, but I couldn’t help myself. I just spent the past few hours making two outfits for each category besides the kinship one ๐Ÿ˜› I’m not going to the screenshots that I sent in (I don’t want anyone to copy me lol). But here are two entries that didn’t make my cut for sending in. Unfortunately they are both Sagewood. Not to say that Sagewood’s outfits are my least favorite, I just feel like they weren’t as strong of entries as their competition.

For the Formal wear category, I used an outfit on Cithryth and an outfit on Strumskald. For the Professionally Minded category I submitted an outfit on Cithryth and an outfit on Herefara. For the Fashion in Motion category I used Sriracha and Miniature. Hopefully I get a win in one category (or maybe an honourable mention? lol). We’ll see!

Sagewood enters Eregion – with outfits!

Later this week I’ll be making a post about the things I’ve gotten for Christmas (Some of which are Lord of the Rings related of course), but I wanted to make a post about LOTRO specifically because I’ve been playing it a lot this week since my winter break started. I got 3200 TP as a Christmas gift, which I used to buy the new Fleet-Footed Goat for Cithryth. I think it matches her outfits quite well, just like the Grey Horse.

I’ve also managed to snag a pretty cool light armour chest piece from the auction house. I believe it comes from one of the new instances, but I’m not sure. All I know is, I love it for Sagewood, and Herefara:

I’ve been mostly playing Sagewood since I’ve been home. I’ve always loved the hunter class. My first character (created exactly 4 years ago today!) was actually a male elf named Liras on the Brandywine server. I then ‘lost’ him because I switched to Windfola (LOTRO was my first MMO and I didn’t understand the concept of different servers. I also had a hard time reconciling the fact that I couldn’t pause or ‘save’ the game).

I’ve just hit 48 on Sagewood and finished up about half the quests out of Zigilgund in Forochel. I decided to move her on to Eregion since it is easily my favorite region to quest in. The flow from hub to hub is very nicely done, the quests are pleasant (a nice mix of kill x of y, gathering, and mini-boss slaying), and the scenery is gorgeous as well as easy to maneuver through. I’ve taken a few screenshots of Sagewood in her newest outfit while questing around Gwingris:

I’ve also been working on her repertoire of outfits and I think I’ve finally got a set I like. Here they are, labeled for what I plan to use them for:

We’ll see how long they last. Knowing how often I like to switch around outfits, I give it a month.