Monday, April 28, 2008
Maiden and I scouted the Dead that walked in Haragmar, and we (with some of Radagast's help) identified the Wights' species. Radagast called the particular Wights in Haragmar the Bile-Spewers. Most were fully armed and armored, and some of even had ranged weapons. The older Wights had become bloated, and they seemed like they were ready to pop open with puss and disease. The latter seemed also to lack the more human intelligence. Luckily for us, one stood not a hundred meters away while we hacked away at one of its Dead brothers.
The most evil of the Haragmar Wights were indeed the Deadly Bile-Spewers. Similarly to the Ancient ones, these Wights chose to go unarmored and simply used their vile magics against Maiden and me. They seemed to call forth the poison of the swamp through their lungs. The unworldly roar sounded like the dark language, and my heart grew dreadful until the Dead was vanquished. The world grows so heavy and dark, and I am grateful that Maiden is always with me. I dare not tell her these words, though. I will never hear the end of it.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here we are in Bywater. Found a nice mossy rock away from the dock where all the other Hobbits were casting their lines. Found me a real swell goldfish here.
Found another place just across this quaint stone bridge. Some less clever anglers can be seen across the way.
Found a nice pool right smack in the middle of the Brockenborings market. Was hoping to bag a Koi but no dice.
So then I headed north across the Greenfields up through Oatbarton and found a niiice quiet beach (except for the Salamanders!) way up near the source of the Brandywine River.
Fishing in the Lake is better than fishing in the river of course. So on up to Evendim!
Borrowed the bow of a rowboat and joined this lass in a cast or two!
Finally decided to head even further north for some ice fishing in Forochel!
Prior to the update, only the lowliest caste of people fished for the realms, but now these bottom-dwellers had figured out a way to get adventurer's to feed the masses. A progress bar and trophies. Ravric too was swept up in to the fury of draining the waterways of Eriador of all fishlife, and managed to deplete the pond near Staddle of goldfish, minnows, and pounds of lost rusty daggers. It was all but certain that the hundreds of murderers in Bree-land dumped their blood-stained weapons into the Little Staddlemire, daily.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Radagast greeted me kindly when I returned. The old man either did not smell my odor, or was polite enough not to care, but I dutifully handed over the small pouch of less-than-fresh moss. He seemed to just look at the pouch then toss it aside. I don't know whether he saw with his wizadry, or mucking through shit was just another initiation to help the Free People's cause. Still, I had seen the corruption of the land with my own eyes, and I knew there was work to do.
Monday, April 21, 2008
The reason I like the Scholar job is because I was an herbalist/alchemist in World of Warcraft, and I enjoy creating buffs. Sadly, LotRO has nowhere near the amount of potion-type buffs that WoW has, but I still enjoy it. The biggest asset is the healing and energy potions to provide a quick boost in combat. This is especially good and almost necessary for risky solo play. I feel like burning through potions is not a big deal anymore because they are so easy to make. I can also make a small defensive buff and a small damage buff.
It's a decent Crafting System, and has some cool features, such as critically succeeding on a crafting roll to get more and better output. However, I really did not like their decision to choose a profression, each having three jobs, instead of just being able to choose three jobs. It would have been nice to customize a little more.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
To the East of Esteldin is a wild and beautiful valley known as Nan Amlung.
This area is uninhabited by Men but some of the creatures known as Earth-kin have small tribal villages here. Some of the Earth-kin are friendly to to the Free Peoples of Middle Earth... some are not.
This valley is primarily inhabited by the large docile (but dangerous) Aurochs. Disturbingly, Wargs have also been moving in... and it even seems that some of the Angmarim Hillmen who have allied with the fell army of the Eye are setting up encampments.
It was time for this humble Minstrel to make his way from the safe haven of Esteldin up into the dire chasms of Angmar.
This Warg things he has something to nibble on, but neither me nor my pony stick around to give him the chance.
One of the less hospitable Earth Kin taking a stroll. The hulking brute doesn't notice the Hobbit scoot past.Into the intimidating labyrinth of ravines in the Ram Duath we go!
The more noble sort of Earth Kin have a village here. I have exchanged aid with them in the past. Today I am just passing through on my way to the more desolate regions of Angmar where the defiant Hillmen make a stand against the Iron Crown of the Witch King.
This is a harsh landscape. Swooping chasms and tough vegetation.
The Earth Kin make a home here somehow. They must be wary of the spiders that haunt the canyon below, and the drakes that creep the crags above. Not to mention the ever-encroaching Orc forces of Angmar.
The harsh terrain of the Ram Duath was practically inviting compared to the grim landscape of Fasach-larran. Here the northron Hillmen are just barely surviving against the evil onslaught of the Witch King's forces. If it were not for their strength in defense of their homeland, the Free Peoples might not have a chance of breaching the Enemy's domain.
In Aughaire they lead a hard life indeed, and are not very welcoming nor trusting of outsiders. I will see if I can aid their cause and ease the pain of living on the brink of such desolation.
We fought our way through Bleakrift, a White Hand command point. The orcs obviously had some intelligent backing because the ingenuity of their defense - rope bridges causing defensible choke points - was well above an orc's station. Kaetlyn helped readily with her backstabbing and ease of creating Fellowship Maneuvers.
We fought our way to the orc captain Uzorr, and the coward ran back to his tents to wake up his guards. A few came out but between my captain yells, Kaetlyn's excellent use of stuns, and our combined steel, the orcs were quickly vanquished. I also had killed enough crebans (evil crows) to make a feather pillow for someone at the Forsaken Inn. All in all, not a bad day for the Free Peoples.
Friday, April 18, 2008
I went back to talk to Saeradan, the Ranger stationed in Bree-land, and he told me that Sharkey's men and a group of White Hand orcs were going to ally and possibly overrun Breeland! I had to go to the cave to stop it.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I had the Book 2, Prologue quest to go meet Radagast further down the east road, and I gained another one to meet the Eglain, or the forsaken men who got pushed out of their Ruin-Holds due to the White Hand goblin or orcs invasions. Along the way I caught sight of the great ruins of Weathertop.
I then decided to check out the area north of the Forsaken Inn, west of Weathertop. It was filled with White Hand goblins, and crebans (large evil ravens). Far north, I finally fought a few orcs for a Forsaken Inn quest that wanted to take their battle standards and sew it into a baby blanket or something.
Just west of Weathertop (and probably on the other side as well) there are two goblin camps. I think the area is mostly meant for a buddy-play group because it is nearly impossible to get into the camps by pulling one mob. I was doing okay, but I must admit I am again unhappy with the old and worn usage of traditional mechanics that Turbine used. Things respawn once killed. This is not the problem. The problem is that things will respawn nearly on top of you without warning AND immediately attack. At least in WoW, the mob would be in a type of "stasis" for about 5-10 seconds or until attacked.
Basically I went to a sub-camp, killed the two goblins guarding it... went to go poison their food, and while doing so two more goblins respawned nearly on top of me and immediately attacked. I just feel it is a little too unforgiving, and since they chose that respawn style a grace period to gtfo would be useful. Something I will have to get used to now that I am getting in to tougher spots.
[soapbox]One of the things I pray for in future MMOs is the immersive feeling that you are accomplishing something. Right now MMOs fail at this feature. Guild Wars on paper came close, but shied away in the end. Tabula Rasa almost gets it, but you never feel like you are winning. Warhammer Online gets a little closer with RvR changing the landscape, but I am talking more about PvE. It just rips away immersion when you kill 100 goblins in a small camp, and they remain there... and "warp" in. I just feel that if it was a core focus (instead of being lazy, and I'm sorry but warping in mobs is lazy) of development, something beautiful could arise without the sacrifice of gameplay.[/soapbox]
Sunday, April 13, 2008
It seemed that the most pressing issue was that White Hand Goblins had overrun Minas Eriol to the southeast of the Forsaken Inn. This had completely stopped trade as the people of the land, that I talked to at least, were merely gypsies who scavenged the ruins of the Second Age. The shit they sold bought them food and underclothes from Bree, and the goblins had come up in their shit.
I did like what I saw when I did the first few quests, which involved killing a few goblins and rummaging through piles of shit for shit for the gypsies. There were wargs and wolves that used stealth, and the goblins themselves used varied tactics. It was all quite fun, and I cannot wait to start Book 2 this week.
The dungeon is full of elite spiders, wights, and gaunt men (as far as I know men that have been so infused with evil Melkor energy that they became Evil). I was under-leveled for the dungeon, and Moondog was way over-leveled. That meant that Billdo and I, basically hit 50% of the time and did very little damage to anything, while Moondog, the minstrel, took most things out. It took us awhil to get our method, but I did the best by using the skill Telling Mark, that is supposed to increase damage done to the marked foe. And so we killed them...
Moondog was mostly the tank, and felt it many times... but his morale rarely got below 80%, no matter the swarm we pulled.
Our first boss fight was against Thadur the Ravager a gaunt man elite. He possessed one half of the skeleton key that I needed for the dungeon. Thadur came at us, and when lost so much of his morale, he would call his goon wights in and run away for a second or two. We were doing quite well until the goon wights in the last bit go really lucky and dazed Moondog for quite some time. I staggered (ready to retreat), but Moondog made it out of the event before he too fell (he ran out of Power). The next time we faced the boss (minutes later and more readily buffed), we were much better prepared for the goon wights. Thadur went down quickly.
We made it quickly to the bosses that had the next half of the skeleton key (having been through nearly the whole dungeon and enemy patrols to find Thadur. Unfortunately, Moondog ran out of juice really quickly, and we had to retreat to the end. I will save our triumph over evil for another day. We ran out of the Great Barrow, and found ourselves face to face with a fellowship that most likely would triumph.
We had a great play session, and while we could not complete the dungeon, we did accomplish much. I tried out some new software that would take screenshots every 30 seconds. It worked out quite well, and it gave me tons of screenshots I would normally not get. I just have to remember to also take screenshots manually as well. Here is my favorite timed screenshot: