Herefara and Milkthistle

I haven’t posted in almost a month! Sorry! It’s not for lack of time, just lack of anything to post about really. I’ve mostly been working on deed with Sagewood, and so haven’t had much excitement in the land of LOTRO. Also been playing quite a bit of SimCity (60+ hours logged at this point). That game is pretty fun but the way the AI behaves and deals with problems gets annoying after awhile. But generally I think I got my money’s worth out of it.

Anyway, yesterday I had been deeding on Sagewood and dropped by Bree to process ore and hides I had picked up along the way. While exiting the vault I stopped by the mannequins and notices the Minstrel and Captain sets “of the West” were available so I decided to see how much they were. To my surprise, you can now buy them with Mithril Coins! And not just that, but 20 coins gets you the whole set. I have no idea if this is actually a good deal (I didn’t check to see the price of coins in the store nor the price of the outfits with TP, if that’s even a viable option now). I decided to buy both sets since I have a whole ton of coins from all of my characters that I don’t see using much…. except for outfits now I guess! So the outfits gave me an inspiration for a new outfit for Herefara. I also decided to use the TP I won from the LOTRO Fashion Contest to buy her some warsteed colors to match the new outfit:

Herefara:

Spear-shaker’s Jacket – white

Sturdy Westernesse Leggings – white

Ceremonial Cry of the West Shoulderguards – white

Ceremonial Secret of the West Gauntlets – umber

Threadbare Boots of the Dunland Healer – umber

Milkthistle:

Blond Hide

Tan Mane/Tail

Hunter’s Caparison – umber

Hunter’s Saddle

Most of the inspiration for the outfit came from the look of the captain “of the West” set, although I ended up only using the shoulders. I thought about using the chest piece as well, but it seemed more appropriate to use a leather jacket for a warden. I might switch them back again, but for now I really like this outfit. And Milkthistle matches splendidly!

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.

Steed of the White Captain

Today marked the release and announcement of the Steed of the Captain. Although it should be a generally happy announcement, it has been soured by quite a few factors, most of them stemming from the picture linked to my “Steed of the Captain” text, just previously. A few things to note about the picture. Most prominently, the steed is a dark brown, perhaps a black chestnut. The next thing I’ll point out is just a silly thing but I mean come on! The character riding the steed is an elf! Why would you advertise the Steed of the Captain using a character that is most definitely not a captain?!

They also apparently decided to advertise the Steed of the Captain using a horse color that it wasn’t as well. So we have a theme of fakeness going on here it seems. Once purchased, you would discover that the Steed of the Captain is not the black chestnut displayed in the promo pick but is in fact the default, boring blonde sorrel. Turbine seems to love this stupid blonde sorrel steed so much they have been using it as skin for nearly ever new regular mount that has come out recently. It’s annoying and boring. Terribly boring. Many people are upset about this and have made their voices heard in this thread in the Store Feedback forums (and I suggest you go over there and give them a piece of your mind too).

Update as of 2:11 PM EST: QuarterMasterU has come into the thread and said that the blonde sorrel skin appearance is a bug – the hide of the regular Steed of the Captain is supposed to be the dark brown pictured in the ad. The bug should be rectified by Update 9. No word on egg helmets though.

I still bought the damn thing anyway because it’s the steed of the captain and I am the White Captain. So I kind of had to. Also the cosmetics of it are generally quite nice (except for one quip I’ll get to momentarily). Since I’m using it pretty much solely for warsteed cosmetic purposes, the color of the regular steed does not effect me quite as much.

So without further ado, here is my Steed of the White Captain:

The only two things I changed: dyed the caparison olive and left the gear off. “Why would you leave the gear off?” you might be asking. I’ll tell you why: it’s because the stupid helmet looks like an egg on the warsteed version! On the regular mount, it is obvious from pretty much all angles that it is a helm. However, go to equip the gear on your warsteed and it looks like you’re carrying a giant runestone or some kind of rock that you found in Moria. Here is a side by side comparison of the warsteed gear and the regular steed gear:

Why would they change it so much from version to version? Another good question is, why is a helmet the signifying mark of a captain? As many have brought up in the Captain forums, why wasn’t a banner used instead? Clearly a banner is the logical choice for a captain. I mean… part of our whole schtick is banners and heralds carrying banners and whatnot. Guardians got a shield, hunters got a quiver of arrows, minstrels got instruments, champions got a slew of weapons, burglars got tricks and daggers, lore-masters got scrolls, rune-keepers got runestones and books… and we got a helmet?!

Sorry if this post is more negative than my typical posts. However it just sucks when your class steed finally comes along only to be riddled with unexplainable marketing and cosmetic decisions attached. Overall I like the cosmetics of the horse and am pleased with my purchase. I suppose it is just that there’s the ever growing feeling that Store is trying to take advantage of us cosmetic lovers more and more. They realized we were willing to spend TP on cosmetics and over time they have pushed and pushed and pushed how much they can get away with. I think it won’t be too long until they have pushed too far and many of their most long time, TP spending fans will stop spending like they used to.

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!