Tag Archives: Books

Plans for Patch Day?

As you may or may not have seen, Monday March 1st is patch day for LOTRO as Turbine releases Volume 3 Book 1.  The full official patch notes are up, but I will admit I didn’t see too much different between this version and what was posted to Bullroarer.  I’m pretty excited about this patch not only for the content but it actually hits at a good time for me personally such that I’ll have big chunks of un-interrupted time available!  So I figured I’d try to plan out a bit what I’ll be up to.  I’m sure there will be many other thoughts and/or plans – what’s everyone else excited about doing first?

First up will be a check on my Minstrel for all the crafting changes.  He’s my Cook/Jeweler so there are lots of changes I’ll need to absorb and ingredient lists to make (although I may try to do some of that ahead of time).  Then I’ll probably have to put up sticky notes to remind myself to re-distribute points to my legendary items 😉  It is then off to Angmar to finish up Volume 1 Book 15, chapter 12 and get my new horse!

I’ll then be switching over to my Warden to finish off her epic quests, she’ll take a bit longer as I need to finish off both Books 14 and 15.  These Volume 1 quests have just been annoying me that I didn’t finish them, so it will be very exciting to check those off the list 🙂  I’ll then check out the nearest reflecting pool and see what quests I’d like to re-do so I can start stocking up on my Marks of Triumph as I mentioned yesterday.

Then I’m going to jump in on Volume 3 and work through that on both characters.

After all that it will probably depend on what’s going on in Mirkwood as I’m still short on my radiance pieces.  And then there’s also my Warden’s impending journey out into the Ettenmoors!  But gathering Marks of Triumph for bartering will be a long term goal of mine and will probably occupy a good chunk of my non-raiding time 🙂  Oh, and lets not forget the new Rift skirmish cosmetics…

Like I said at the top – what’s on your list to do first?


Tolkien Professor update

I’ve mentioned his site before but I wanted to post a quick update as he’s roughly half-way through this semester’s course on Tolkien literature.  As a re-cap, Dr. Corey Olsen has been releasing many of his Tolkien lectures via mp3 and iTunes for a while now and this semester decided to record and post his entire class focused on Tolkien’s works!

I’ve been listening to most of it, although I have put off some of the lessons which cover material I have not read.  “Leaf by Niggle” and “Smith of Wootton Major” are the pieces I haven’t touched yet, and I’ve attempted the Silmarillion a couple of times but haven’t gotten that far in it.  The class is just about done the Silmarillion and will then be progressing through the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  With 3 classes a week they cover a TON of material but it is really interesting to listen to the discussions from another perspective.  Each class is about 50ish minutes so nothing terribly long at all.  I find the discussion about the Silmarillion quite helpful as I’ve always struggled with that one and having someone talk me through it makes a huge difference.  I’m going to make another attempt and will probably re-listen to those classes as I go.  I’m very excited to dive into the upcoming material as not only have I just finished re-reading those books but that material is very fresh in my mind from LOTRO.

So if you are a fan of the lore, want to learn more, struggle with the books, are in the middle of re-reading them, or just can’t get enough of Tolkien 🙂 I highly recommend the podcast!  Go check out the site or go straight to the syllabus for the on-going Tolkien class for all the download information.

In addition to the podcasts you can also find information on the Festival in the Shire which is a collection of authors, musicians, scholars, and artists celebrating the works of Tolkien over in the UK.  I doubt I’ll make it, but I know some of my readers are in that general area of the world so it would be worth checking out if you live near there or are planning a visit.

My Volume 3 omission

I knew I forgot something 😦  But as stated on Orion’s blog and teased at in his interview with LOTRO Cast Episode 20 it appears that the Volume 1 revamp has been completed and should also be available for Volume 3 release.  Now granted, there’s no confirmation of when it will be released, but Volume 3 seems to make sense.

So, now that I remember that piece of good news I’m much more positive on the next update.  Being able to finish Volume 1 off on all my toons will be a HUGE relief and something that has really bothered me but is SUCH a pain to get done.

Patch thoughts and other ramblings

I’ll have a few updates today, but the main LOTRO news is the first Siege of Mirkwood patch which rolls live tomorrow.  In addition I wanted to mention a new release of a handy in-game tool and an update on my progress so far.

First off, the patch. Check out the release notes, as there really aren’t that many but some very significant ones:

  • Incoming healing has been fixed to not be defended by tactical crit rating!
  • The skirmish exploit has been fixed
  • The Survival – Barrow Downs skirmish is back up
  • Skirmish kill XP now has a buff icon.  I didn’t even realize this XP was buffed 😉
  • Non Siege of Mirkwood players are no longer limited to 3 skirmishes
  • Summoning a pet (or banner) will no longer wipe soldier vitals!
  • Item wear on defeat has been decreased inside skirmishes
    • This helps, but general item wear is still pretty steep
  • All legendary items will be reset to 0 spent points
  • Various legendary item legacy tier increases have been fixed to actually be beneficial.  I’m not sure this is a complete list of the “broken” ones but it is a good step.
  • Quest items can no longer be kept in shared storage – not sure if this applies to level 45 quest items or not
  • Various other skirmish and instance updates as well.

For those of you who use CStats, there’s an update available – this thread has the details. The main updates are for healing and skirmish soldiers.  He’s also made the graphs prettier 🙂  With the updates for the soldiers should make it easier to do analysis on which soldier is best – especially now that healing is properly tracked and accounted for.

For you lore geeks out there (like me) the Tolkein Professor is back in class!  He just posted the first part of lecture 5 on the Hobbit and will be posting his new class which starts today.  Check him out over here.

And finally, a little update on my progress.  My captain is now 62, but I mainly was working on him to build rep up as he’s my metalsmith.  I really wanted that shield on my warden 🙂  I’m now planning to shift gears and work on my Minstrel – partly to level but also for rep as I’m intrigued by some of the jewelry options.  My warden is slowly updating her gear and I now have 3 pieces of the mixed radiance set (the +15 and +25).  I’ve also successfully solo’d the first boss in sword halls – the morrovals however are pretty darn annoying 😉  The other big news for me is I have left my kinship after much internal debating and a couple of in-game events.  Basically it just wasn’t a good fit as there were things that I was looking for.  The kin was mainly focused on running BG and as such all efforts were centered on not only that but getting used to the folks running that raid.  And as someone who’s fallen behind due to the holidays, I was in need of other things.  So, the kinship quest begins and I’ll probably post on my progress but so far I haven’t done all that much.  But, if anyone has any suggestions for a good end-game kinship (that has event sign-ups) on Silverlode let me know!

More later, including lots of good Warden discussions from the LOTRO forums!

Latest dev postings

I’m glad to see a pretty continual stream of information from the Turbine staff (still not the topic I really want) and the MyLotro site has seemed to provide a pretty good mechanism for them to do it.  These two were posted over on A Casual Stroll to Mordor with a pretty good breakdown of the news.  Two main pieces of information – one concerning horses which I think the CStM folks covered pretty well but it is the other piece that was more interesting to me.

This piece comes from Orion on his blog, Orion’s belt where he discussed the issue of completing the epic quests.  Previous diaries have confirmed that Volume 2 Book 9 will use the skirmish technology such that you can choose the group size (or solo) that you want to complete the book with.  When this announcement was made, I was really hoping they could apply that to the Volume 1 content as well, which was agreed might be an option down the line.  Here’s my post on that topic – Made of Lions forum comments. However, Orion’s looking at another system all together where you can basically “super-size” your toon such that you can handle group content – more power and more morale is added to your toon for that quest.  This almost strikes me as similar to some of the Moria session play sequences where we played as a dwarf who had similar skills but much higher morale and power.

So to me it seems like Skirmishes are the methodology for the future but to make them work retroactively is challenging and that’s why Orion (or whichever did the work that Orion posted) came up with their idea as the content and mobs don’t change we’re just given a boost.

Overall, I really like the concept here – catching up on book quests can be a HUGE pain.  I’m currently doing it on my warden in Volume 1 and solo’d up to 7.8, but then needed help.  I duo’d up through book 12  and I believe that’s where I needed a couple others to help out.  I’m currently at 14.1 and will probably need a few to knock out books 14 and 15.

I’d much rather them do things this way as opposed to what they did with Book 1 in that they made it super easy.  Now I understand that having book 1 be as hard as it was off the bat probably wasn’t the best idea – what I mean is that I’d prefer that they continue to have challenging content with an option to complete it on your own if that’s your preferred style.  For on level and on-time content I don’t think these changes should apply but for content that’s a book or two (or in this case an expansion or 2) behind it should be modified such that it is easier to catch up.  They’ve done a good job of allowing “catch-up” points such that you could start a current book without completion of the previous one in many cases, but you’re still missing out on content.  And in most of these cases, we’re not doing the quests for the loot – we’re doing it to get caught up on the story so there’s really not any gameplay impact to others that did the content right off the bat.

So kudos to Turbine for not only looking at this problem but providing a few ways to help mitigate it.  I don’t want a solo MMO, but if you’re rolling an alt, or just get behind, these methods will make it much easier to catch back up with friends or just other players.

LOTR Lore – the Akallabeth

So I found this on the forums, the re-telling of “The Akallabeth” talks of the transition from 1st age to 2nd and the start of the 2nd age.  It is from the Silmarillion which I still haven’t read – and don’t get too excited Merric, I have read the LOTR books and Hobbit (the actual books) numerous times.  Check it on on the forums – Akallabeth.

Tolkien Professor

So I’m just about caught up on his podcasts and so far have really enjoyed them.  He’s starting with the Hobbit but will then move on to the LOTR books as well.  I’ve always enjoyed these stories and listening to somone else talk about them has brought out all sorts of new ways to understand and appreciate the works.  It also helps remind of bits I have forgotten, and quite often does tie into little nuggets you find in game.

One thing I was pretty excited about was that he announced he will be releasing his spring undergrad class via podcasts as well.  He’ll be covering a lot of Tolkien’s works including some short stories, the Silmarillion, the Hobbit, and LOTR.  I’m pretty excited about it as I’ve never read the Silmarillion and would love to have someone guiding me through it as I understand it can be a little tough.  Class starts in January! 🙂

I wish I could remember who blogged about this podcast recently, but thanks to whoever it was!

You can find the Tolkien Professor his Main site which has links to the podcasts, discussion forum, and lots more.