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.

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.

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.

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:

When you find that perfect outfit and horse match up…

So remember when I said I wasn’t going to buy more horse cosmetics? Well I found out that rather than the Spotted Warsteed Hide being the only alternative hide available in game as I previously thought, there are more hide styles available in the store. These, too, are 595 TP. However, I find that that is a more reasonable price for a warsteed hide style rather than a pack of 4 predetermined colors. The hide styles are versatile: work with any color scheme really and can also go with any outfit you set up. Not to mention, there are much fewer hide styles than color packs. And I’ve always liked this hide style that I bought on the random horses in game.

First I’ll go over the outfit:

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Chest: Combative Eastemnet War Armour (olive)

Feet: Ceremonial Boots of the Learned

Hands: Heavy Plated Dunlending Gauntlets (umber)

Shoulders: Pauldrons of the Stoic Stag (olive)

Back: Plain Cloak (olive)

I saw pictures of this chest piece posted during beta and always loved it. I don’t have a metalsmith, so can’t make it myself. I’ve been compulsively checking the auction house the past few days hoping someone would post one up and they did! Snagged the lvl 80 teal version of it for just over 10 gold. Not too bad I don’t think. I didn’t even bother looking at the stats, I just knew I had to have it cosmetically.

So then of course I was riding around with my shiny new outfit on my warsteed. I thought to myself, “Well, it fits… but not quite as well as I had hoped.” I looked through the Warsteed Outfits thread on the forums and saw people with the different hides. I couldn’t figure out where they got the hides or their names (they didn’t say in the thread) so I looked in the store on a hunch. There they were, a few pages of different hide styles. I sighed, decided to give up my weekly Starbucks and paid for some TP to snag the Tobiano Warsteed hide.

Honestly, I’m glad I did. This horse is magnificent.

Hide: Tobiano Warsteed Hide (Black Chestnut hide and tail/mane coloring)

Blanket: Guardian’s Caparison (olive)

Legs: Burglar’s Leggings

Saddle: Guardian’s Saddle

He’s not as fully armoured as the darker steed I posted yesterday, but the simpler armouring is good I think. And now my horse matches my outfit so well. It looks and feels so Rohirrim and I love it! I just keep riding around taking screenshot after screenshot. I love this combo! I’m hoping this will keep me satisfied for awhile so I don’t feel the need to purchase more warsteed things in the store.

Right now Nav is only level 72 (well, he hit 72 last night anyway), so I was helping him quest in the now 70-75 Great River area (I am so sick of Dunland honestly). So of course more pics of me on my horse were taken during questing.

Here’s Nav and I running through Eorlsmead. Notice that his steed is very puny compared to mine:

Once I get to 85 on Cithryth, I’ll probably finish off my quests in Dunland on Herefara and then level her through the Great River. She’s 68 right now, so it shouldn’t be too long. I’m sick of Dunland because of the rails. If you lose your trail of chaining quests, you can’t find anywhere else to pick up quests. I going around for ages trying to figure out how to start quests in the town in the north west corner of the Dunland map (can’t remember the name of the town). Turned out you had to go find the scout north along the road first. Ugh. Oh well. At least Great River stuff is 70 to 75 now!

Tis the Season

… To want to do nothing but sit inside and read and play video games. But alas, I still have two papers to write, a video production to film and a French test to sit. Ah well. I thought now might be a good time to share the random things I’ve been doing across my games. Minecraft, LOTRO and Skyrim have all gotten some use recently.

Since this is a pretty image heavy post, I’m going to put most of this into the “Read more”, so read more!

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