Monthly Archives: November 2009

Dev Diary – Mirkwood Crafting Changes

So there’s a fair number of changes coming up for crafting with Mirkwood as the new diary explains.  Overall there are some nice additions and changes, but nothing overwhelmingly exciting.  I also found a good legendary page on the Lorebook so check it out – link is at the bottom of the post and on my links section.

  • Multi-output Recipes allow for a single recipe to make variations of that item.  The pictures below show the item pretty well.  This is a welcome change, I just wish they’d do something similar for armor – having 4 of the same recipe is rather annoying.
  • image002_small image003

Legendary Item Crafting

  • We will still be able to craft 3rd and 2nd ages up to level 65, however as a note – level 65 2nd age items are only available through crafting!  This will be interesting to see how this plays out, but it will certainly jack up prices on the AH for them.  These 2nd age recipes also require an item found in “dangerous, dark places” which I’m assuming to mean the new Dol Goldor instances.  The 2nd age requires 2 mithril infused ingots (or comparable item), 5 legendary fragments, and the Symbol of Celebrimbor – which is that instance item, and does not appear to be on the skirmish vendor.

Crafted Relic Recipes

  • There’s a new slot for legendary items that can only be filled with a crafted relic.  There are 2 types:
    • Normal – boost agility, fate, might, vitality, will, morale, or power with one type being available per crafting guild.  However, they are not bound to your player so you can trade them.
    • Legendary – boost melee, ranged, tactical, or healing abilities with all guilds able to make all of them.  These add +390 rating to both the critical and offense rating for melee, ranged, critical, and healing.  However, these are bound to your character so in order to make these I’m you’ll need Kindred rank with the guild and Supreme Mastery, not just proficiency.
    • I looked on my characters, and metalsmiths make +might, jewelers +will, and tailors +fate – with +10 and +20 as the 2 options.  The +10 item is just ingots, but the +20 requires a “Compendium of Middle Earth, Volume 1” which is a barter item from skirmishes for regular marks and a special drop mark.  The Legendary requires a different Compendium but is also available from the Skirmish camps.

Trading up your guild reputation items is now available such that you can trade smaller items for the larger ones with the long cool-downs:

  • 7 small guild reputation items equals 1 medium item of that same tier
  • 3 medium items equals 1 large item of that tier (although Bullroarer has it at 5)

And finally some general crafting changes:

  • The required ingredients for many of the “component’” recipes have been reduced
  • Auto granted recipes no longer require items from other professions.
  • Increased crafting experience for some recipe types
    • Auto-granted recipes = 6 crafting xp
    • Vendor purchased recipes = 8 crafting xp
    • Dropped recipes and reputation rewards = 10 crafting xp
    • One-shot recipes = 12 crafting xp

So some nice changes and I do like that they’re making crafting worthwhile but there still is something lacking for me.  Full article on the new crafting changes are over here.  Also, check out the lorebook as there is a really good breakout for legendary items.

Updates to

So with Mirkwood launching tomorrow, there’s a big push at Turbine to get all the web apps updated as well.  My.LOTRO is getting a bunch of updates to account for the new things coming with Mirkwood, primarily the skirmishes.

  • Updated to WordPress 2.7 – which I’m not 100% sure what exactly it means but hopefully it allows the blog settings on MyLOTRO to be more like the ones I’m used to on WordPress.
  • Improved performance and data, which I’m very happy about as not only were things usually very SLOW but there were a LOT of missing items as well.  And things usually were rather slow to update.
  • There will be new Skirmish leader boards in addition to the already in-place PvMP leader boards.
  • It also looks like they’ve done some overall streamlining on how profile and character are viewed and updated to account for both skirmishes and awkward layouts.

Overall good stuff, and it will be fun to keep tabs on the skirmish stats.  I really hope there’s a way to pull that info somewhere else as I’d love to have my skirmish stats showing on my blog!  Maybe something similar to how the LOTRO Herald works, will have to look into that – or perhaps someone already knows the answer?

Dev Diary – Lone Lands revamp

So I’m a little late, but a busy weekend with Thanksgiving, holiday decorating, and recovery taking up a bunch of my time.  A bunch of folks have already covered this, but I wanted to do a quick recap and summary of what’s coming.  For me, this is a very welcome revamp as not only was the Lone Lands a horrible travel zone but there were some ugly jumps in the Epic line that made it tough to follow.  As a whole, the main areas of focus on the revamp were smoothing out the travel issues, polishing and evening out the epic line, and making the area still challenging but more solo/small fellowship friendly.  I think my favorite part is the change to Weathertop as that was a really fun instance but I’m sure many missed out as they couldn’t find groups.  Now to some of the specifics.

First, for the epic line:

  • moving Book 2 earlier in levels such that it flows better with Book 1
  • there’s now a travel route from Gandalf to the Ranger Candaith
  • Candaith has some quests for you before heading to Weathertop which can either be a solo or group instance.
  • After finishing there, you’re sent to the Forsaken Inn to continue the book which is pretty much unchanged from there until Angamaur

The new faction line, the Eglain:

  • retroactive such that higher level toons will get credit for quests done
  • reputation will be required to finish Epic quests
  • At Acquaintance you get a crafting quest which will reward a small bit of coin and an increase in faction with the Eglain.
  • At Friend standing, players gain access to a pocket item unique to their class that is of rare quality and requires level 32 to wield.
  • At Ally, they have access to the first part of a special jewelry set created with the healer, tank and damage dealer in mind.
  • At Kindred, they can purchase the second piece of the jewelry set.
  • By doing normal content, you should get you to friend without stepping foot inside of Angamaur

Instances in general:

  • challenge mode – “new hard mode” requirements for this will show in quest log and reward  more coin, reputation, and possibly barter coins.  These are daily quests.
  • There are also optional encounters which are similar to challenge but usually only reward more coins and reputation, also daily.

Garth Agarwen revamp

  • NPCs to barter for items including hope tokens using the barter token drops
  • They broke the original GA into 3 sections, so if you’ve done GA before you should have a feel for which areas are which
  • Arboretum – The Arboretum boasts one alternate boss creature, four optional objectives, and one challenge against Grimbark. Instance is designed for 4 players and should take between 15 and 40 minutes.
  • Barrows – Another “4-man” instance which contains Ivar, another boss, and 4 optional encounters which is expected to take between 35 and 45 minutes.
  • Fortress – 6 man instance with boss fights against Edan and Esyld, Vatar, Dúnlang, and of course The Red-maid, Naruhe.   Challenge modes in the space include a survival battle against the Créoth leader Dúnlang, who has captured some Eglain and is attempting to convert them to the service of the Red-maid, and the Red-maid herself.  Expected to take 40-50 minutes.

There also was a general revamp of the zones themselves as they have been broken out into 5 sub-zones, or quest hubs:

  • Forsaken Inn changed a bit with some of the NPCs moved
  • Central lone-lands hub near Minas Eriol with Hunulf Much and the old mugwort now there instead of the Forsaken Inn.  The goblins and spiders in the area have dropped in difficulty meaning they’re now normals or signatures instead of elites.  Refr Quicksilver stands near a new public instance with some new quests
  • Eastern lone-lands – still centered around Ost Guruth, but also some new NPCs in the ruins of Dol Vaeg
  • Southern bog – trolls down there are now signature mobs with Eglain just south of OG still sending you down that direction.  Also, 3 new bounty quests from the ruins in the SW area of this zone
  • Agamaur – dropped mobs to signatures, more solo friendly.  There’s still a group zone but that’s now in GA proper.

Check out the full post on

Great walkthrough for Barad Gularan

Many thanks to Azz for writing up this detailed explanation of Barad Gularan (BG) as this is still probably my favorite instance in all of LOTRO.  I highly recommend running this instance, and if you can do it at 50 it is a really good preparation for Moria instances.  There’s a good mixture of tough mobs, tricky bosses, and the end boss Udinion can be a very challenging fight.  It requires quite a bit of coordination, knowledge (which Azz has provided), quick reflexes, and a little luck (or just not bad-luck).  You may have also have noticed this is the sight of my kin’s epic battle with Amarthiel in these screenshots.

Full article over at Casual Stroll to Mordor.

Also, if you haven’t already check out the guest-writer’s blog – The Wizzard of Azz.

Good grouping guide

This was just recently posted on the live boards, but overall I think this is a good resource – especially for those new to the game or MMOs in general.  He does a good job of explaining not only the mechanics but also the terminology which for many cause all sorts of confusion.

Even for seasoned players there’s some good info in there as a reminder of some of the things we should be doing but sometimes forget or are just too lazy.  I find a lot of these points are really critical when doing the 3-mans and I’m sure with skirmishes they will become even more important as there’s more potential to group and more things going on.

Rain’s Guide to Grouping

LOTRO Forums Discussion

I did post on the LOTRO boards correcting his LS+IHW statement and pointed him to some of my other posts to fill in the warden section.

Morning amusement – WoW too hard

So I was reading through all my morning news and noticed this story, “WoW not easy enough” from the Ancient Gaming Noob and I couldn’t help reading it.  Essentially this individual is suing Blizzard for their game being too hard and causing unnecessary pain and frustration to our poor plaintiff.  I really wish there was some way to punish people who not only file such frivolous lawsuits but the lawyers who support them!

I had some longer rant about forum petitions, gamers demanding things from developers, and the like – but I think it was just a lack of caffeine talking.  So I’m going to get some coffee and maybe post more later.

As an aside, certainly check out the Ancient Gaming Noob if you haven’t as there’s a ton of good stuff there!

Changes to festival horses with Mirkwood

I found this post in the Dev Tracker (Using Yahoo Pipes to filter) that talks about how you’ll be able to get the festival horses in the future.  Nice changes, but also mentions the discount which I believe will also drop the cost of all horses purchased, not just festival ones.  Normally they cost around 4 gold, but with that discount they cost 1.6 gold, which is very nice!

The details are as follows:

  • New vendor Will Peartree will be there at the farm for this purpose
  • You can only buy the festival horse during that festival
  • Each mount costs:
    • 1 Festival run token
    • 12 festival barter tokens
    • 1 “Document of Mount Ownership” purchased from Will Peartree

Further down that thread, Ransroth confirms that when you convert a festival mount to a skill it will provide the discount as a Passive Skill.  I certainly will be more likely to pick up reputation and festival horses with this discount.

Full post written by Budgeford, over at LOTRO forums.

Final Dev Diary on Skirmishes

ZC posts the wrap up on his phenomenal series of diaries on the skirmish system.  Basically it is a good summary of the system and some shout-outs to those who made it possible.  I do especially like these diaries that give us the behind the scenes look as it helps us all better understand the process.  Working through this system during beta I can certainly echo ZC’s comments on the rest of the dev team with a particular nod to JWBarry who was a very vocal developer who did a great job of communicating the new stuff and what they needed us testers to do.

There’s also a little Q&A on the second page with a couple good points brought up.  The first was regarding that some things worked differently in beta and in some cases that was done on purpose such that they could be tested out before scaling to the final values.  Makes sense to me, but then again I might have a bit of a different take on beta’s then some.  Also ZC mentions that most of the “good” drops will be for the entire group while in a skirmish such that there’s no need to roll on drops.  There will be some single item drops but that sounds more like an exception then the rule.

Take a look at the diary over on the LOTRO forums.

Siege of Mirkwood Interview with Jeffrey Steefel

Ok, so nothing terribly ground breaking here (seems a little old, but I hadn’t seen it until today) – but there is some good general information and some very slick eye-candy!

A few more Mirkwood snaps

First off, with the overhaul of the UI my current one is completely hosed.  Luckily, I just happen to follow the LOTRO Interface RSS feed and noticed the Multibar Clean Toolbar UI.  This only works with the Mirkwood client, but for me I really like it as it is nice and clean.  Notice the buttons on the bottom are customizable just like the normal UI – I’m not sure I’ll stick with those, but I’ll usually either have my whole inventory up or just the first bag.

UI snap

I also decided to check out one of the survival skirmishes – sadly the only one I had access to was the small fellowship one, but figured I’d give it a go.  Sadly real-life was not cooperative and I didn’t get very far, but it is a very cool idea that I can’t wait to check out more once live hits.


Starting the skirmish Yes I failed...

I’ll also include some stat comparisons, which aren’t 100% accurate as my legendaries from live and bullroarer aren’t quite exact nor are my traits.  However, I did notice that on live I’m at 19% incoming melee so I’ll have to figure out what I’ll dump to get back down to the cap.  Most likely it will be runes/settings but I haven’t decided yet.

Live stats:


Current Live Stats

Bullroarer (mainly the thing to look at here is the UI and morale jump)


Defenses Combat Effectiveness Melee/Ranged/Tactical