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 😛 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

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.

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.