Outfits or Screenshots?

There’s an interesting debate going on in the Fashion Contest Fan Favorite Voting Discussion thread at the official forums and I just felt like I had to comment on it.

Basically the debate is whether people should be voting for the screenshot (the pose, outfit, setting, etc) or just base their votes on the outfit.

Here are some key points from different users who argue that the whole screenshot is important. Fleurlis saysFor example even though your outfit may be wonderful and unique if you take a screenie of it in a barren area where there is not much going on and nothing to really express the theme you are trying to produce then it takes away from the experience of a themed outfit in action for the role it was made for. Bucaneve says “Some outfits are indeed thought of with that purpose in mind, so it would take away from them not to consider how well they blend in with what’s around them.”

Regarding the idea that the outfit is important it seems that many people are focused on the wording that this is a Fashion contest, and not a screenshot contest (which they have had many of those before). And as far as other Fashion contests go, Valkrist points out that in past Fashion contests there was specific wording regarding taking your screenshot as ‘action shots’ or in certain types of setting, and that kind of wording is absent in this contest. Marguerita also says “I just have some difficulty with some screenshots, because it is not the outfit that is the center piece, but the area around and this contest was more about fashion. But this does not remove any beauty to their outfit.”

Now in my opinion, I think the main focus of the contest (seeing as it is a Fashion contest, not a Screenshot contest) should definitely be on the outfits. But at the same time, no mistake should be made that setting and composition are not important. If you are submitting your outfit to a contest where you know tons of others will be submitting as well, always try and take the best possible screenshot that you can. This includes the lighting on your character, the colors in the background, the theme of the background and how those three things work with or against your outfit.

Using examples from the Fan Favorite Polling selection, I think that Screenshot #1 does a very good job of matching the outfit to a setting.

And I think the outfit in Screenshot #5 is really awesome looking… however since the character is just standing in the Bree Homesteads, it makes it less epic than if she were standing, for example in Mirkwood or Moria, places where a lore-master with a covered face and an epic battle-cat would make sense.

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 😛 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!

Cosmetics Club?

I’m sloooowly getting back into LOTRO and blog writing. Like I said last time, baby steps.

Before I get into the meat of what I really want to talk about, I’ve got a few things I am going to shamelessly plug because they are just awesome.

First off – music! Over the weekend I bought one of C418’s albums. He is the one who did the soundtrack for Minecraft. Very soothing piano with very calm techno-y bits. Not sure how to describe it. I’m sure there’s a name and a genre and everything, but you can listen on the site to some of it. My favorite song is ‘Cat’. It’s also great because his albums aren’t very expensive and you get an instant download in whatever kind of file format you like!

Next – LOTRO stuff! I know it’s linked on my Resources Page here, but I just want to put it in a spotlight real quick. Nav’s Crafting Calculator. He’s gotten a lot of comments lately along the lines of “Well I’m not going to use it because it’s not updated”. The fact of the matter is though that he and I don’t play LOTRO near as much as we used to and we aren’t so good at keeping up with crafting updates. So he’s added an edit option. You can add and edit recipes and items. In the How To section he explains how to do it. It’s pretty easy, mostly a matter of copying and pasting. I’m plugging this because I feel like it could be a really helpful tool for the community, if the community is willing to pitch in a bit. The one caveat is that you have to request a forum account on the site. This is so that people are deterred from just randomly changing recipes and items and generally mucking things up. With the forum account, Nav can track who does what changes.

Okay, so on to what I actually made this post about. I was thinking over the weekend – what if there were a Cosmetics/Fashion/Outfits club that met regularly in LOTRO? Maybe every two weeks or even every month (so people really get a chance to go all out), people can meet at a specified location and show off their outfits. Obviously the matter of servers comes into play here. But I think it could rotate among the servers each time the meeting happens. Even low-leveled or people who have rolled toons for the express purpose of coming to the event can come just to ogle the outfits and get ideas.

I’d like to hear what others think of this and if you think it’s a viable thing (obviously detailed would have to be hammered out). I know I love seeing peoples’ outfits while I’m running around in-game and so I think an event dedicated to that would be awesome!

Fishing in the Dark [FTIL Write-up]

I am not much one for writing anything down, so I will keep this brief.

I was in the Mestrof neighborhood near Thorin’s Hall, chatting with a dwarf merchant I had met once at Erebor, sometime after Smaug was killed. He said he heard that a group was gathering at the near-by underground river to do some fishing. I have no love of fishing or doing such dirty works, but he mentioned that they might be open to hearing my songs. I could not resist the possibility of a captive audience! I decided to wait for this group to arrive.

I had expected the group to be mostly Dwarves or Men. Much to my surprise, there were quite a few Elves and a Hobbit even. I don’t know what business was brought them to go fishing in the halls of the Dwarves, but that’s not my business to know I suppose. They were an amiable folk, though some wore strange armours that put me in an off mood. I know some of my fellow Dwarves have a love for battle and the ringing of steel but I do not. I am, one might say, more inclined to the scholarly pursuits.

As they fished, I plucked at my lute. They seemed pleased by the sound, though it was a bit hard to hear over the rushing of the waterfall. They mostly talked amongst themselves and I kept out of their talk for the most part. Eventually the hobbit remarked that he had a tale to tell. And what a tale it was! It was the grand tale of Grya and the Fire-Spirit. A great dwarf tale, that it, and the hobbit told it well! I told him he would make a fine Dwarven minstrel. I felt I could not top his grand telling of the story, so I merely played some more songs on my lute, to much applause!

Eventually everyone began to leave and I too made my way out of the halls. A prosperous evening, if I say so myself!

Keg Delivery [FTIL Write-up]

I had finally arrived at the Bird and Baby in Michel Delving with my delivery of Brandy Wine from Stock for the Inn League. While I was chatting with the hobbits in the Inn League’s special room they mentioned there would be a group of people gathering in the courtyard soon for some drinks and a smoke and possibly a story. Could hardly pass up hearing a good story. Not to mention free drinks.

I made my way for the courtyard and stationed myself near the keg wall. I lit my pipe and waited to see what kind of people were going to be gathering. Slowly a crowd of folk trickled in. Mostly men and women, but a few of them Elves too. It being Michel Delving, there were of course some of the Little Folk.

As the ale started flowing, they started to talk about traveling. Where they were from, where they’d been. I noticed a Ranger standing near the wall of the pub. I didn’t recognize him, but he was unmistakably a Ranger. One of the Little Folk, Briefer I think I heard her name was, told one of Bilbo Baggins’ old poems about the road.

At one point, some elf started trying to make small talk with me. Was asking if I knew the Chetwood, and of course I do! I told him how good those trees are for timber. The Combe Lumber camp wouldn’t be in business if that weren’t true. But he got all upset with me for killin’ trees and I laughed at that. He just got more and more upset with me til the warrior Kharrn tried to cool him down. Haughty elves!

Another hobbit, Altigar, tried to change the subject by telling a story. Hobbit stories are always good for a listen, though I doubt any of them are true. He told about a hobbit named Elric Wutherbrook who loved a girl named Lily. He went searching all the world for flowers to give to her because of her father. It’s because of him that the Forget-me-not flower grows in the Shire.

A short time later I took my leave and headed back for Bree.

The Golden Perch [FTIL Prompt]

You notice a small piece of paper nailed near the door of the Prancing Pony. It reads…

To Whosoever Enjoys the Drinking of Ales, Smoking of Pipe-weed and Spinning of Tales:

Meet me at the Golden Perch in the town of Stock in the Shire. It is a quaint hobbit pub I have recently come to enjoy and would like to meet any like-minded friends. Bring your stories and your pipe-weed, but don’t worry yourself over the ale, the Golden Perch has plenty!

Meet me in the courtyard of the Golden Perch at the Usual Time.
Cithryth, Diplomat of Rohan

Friends, Old and New

I began my evening, per usual, sitting on the steps of the Prancing Pony, playing my harp and waiting the arrival of my friends. Slowly Coelbryt, Celebrie, Kharrn, Miss Ghraye and some new friends, Aneofled and Dalthalion, arrived. We waited some time and wondered where our friend Fron had wandered off to. Finally he arrived, however around the same time a gang of miscreants also showed up. I had warned these fellows off last week as well. It seems Bree is no longer the safe haven it once was.

After enough of Barliman’s Best was purchased for our evening, we made our way to the Mess Hall to partake of it and listen to Fron’s tale. We soon realized that quite a few more joined us than we thought! The Mess Hall seemed quite full and merry, but not too much so.

Continue reading…

Fireworks, Friends and Food

Today was a wonderful day for my kin and I had a glorious End-of-Yule gathering to mark the passing of the coldest part of winter. We celebrated with music and a large collection of fireworks!

We also took a gamble on our drinking habits! We designated that whoever to get to Trestlebridge while utterly smashingly drunk would win a large purse. So we all partook of the strongest brew the Inn League could provide.

Continue reading…

A Night of Tales

(January 1, 2011 Finer Things in Life write up)

I began the evening, as I usually do, playing my harp on the porch of the Prancing Pony. Slowly, my friends began to arrive. We smoked and chatted and drank some ale that Honeycheeks made for me especially for the evening.

As we chatted, a miserly elf working for Bill Ferny tried to move us from the street. He claimed Ferny had issued a noise complaint! After a bit of flashing of steel and words, the elf backed down and decided to join us, after I had given him some Honeybrew.

After that was sorted out, Fornagon told his heartbreaking story about his dream in Thorin’s Hall. Not a single tear was dry by the end. As a woman, I will never know the infinite sorrows of the elves.

I then told the tale of Eorl the Young and how the Eorlingas came to be.

Many songs were sung and many dances had. And of course more pipe-weed and ale!

— Overall we had a great turn out. At one point I counted about 12 people sitting and listening with us! —