Tag Archives: Rohan

Fun geeky post on the Beacons of Gondor

I’m sure many of you remember the vivid scene from the movies showing the lighting of the Beacons as they stretched from Gondor to Rohan.

I always took that scene with a pretty big grain of salt and just assumed they took a few liberties with reality to make something that looked cool but kept to the general concept.  However, this post from an Associate Physics Professor was mentioned on the official forums and I couldn’t help re-posting it.  He goes into incredible detail about the speed at which things could really happen as well as how fast they would be moving to match the movie clips.  He does note that the books pretty much gloss over this whole concept and I’ll admit I was always curious how something like that would work.  He proceeds to the do some real-world testing and extrapolation to what it would take to send a similar signal down the East Coast of the US.

A fun read and certainly one that goes to show that no matter how much you think you know about something there’s always someone looking to go one step further 🙂

I will be curious to see if and how they do something like this in LOTRO.

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FileFront Hands on with LOTRO F2P

There’s been a number of write-ups from people (Massively Part 1,Massively Part 2) who have had hands on experience with the new content and business model but Ron Whitaker’s (@ffronw) from FileFront did have some new tidbits that I figured I’d touch on.  I’m not going to focus on the portions that are common from the other previews, just the things I haven’t seen before.

The initial thoughts of the zone are pretty similar to many others with the appreciation of the zone and the diversity but  it is a good point that this is arguably the first zone (Forochel could fit a similar description) developed without prior information from Tolkien.  This does give Turbine lots of room, but also they need to careful and respectful of the lore.  Based on what I’ve seen of the game so far, I will be going through all the new content just to see what kind of story Turbine will tell, even though my main characters are at the level cap.

He mentions that the main portion of the story will be learning about the Rangers and a good deal of this is through session play.  I’m pretty intrigued by this idea as it gives Turbine all sorts of options to tell back-stories for these various Rangers.  Some of my favorite quests have been of this sort as it provides a great combination of game, lore, and challenge.  I’m looking forward to another good story book like Volume 1 Book 15, although hopefully a bit less travel 😉

He mentions the changes to the quest system which seems to indicate that instead of scrolling to the bottom to figure out what to do that information is up at the top.  I can understand this change, and it will make it easier for quests that either you’re repeating or if you don’t read quest text.  Instance scaling is also mentioned, but nothing new here.

Jumping to the store, Ron did ask about the complaints on the faction horses but Aaron Campbell didn’t indicate either way on a decision but did leave room for them to change things during the beta.  I was intrigued by the question asking about additional houses or housing storage in the store as I hadn’t thought of that one.  I’m reading into the response, but it doesn’t appear this is possible currently but might be down the line.  I’d love to have this option both in-game and via the store as I already have a deluxe and kinship house filled.

Ron touches on the festival and the Haunted House which I’ll admit I’m quite excited about.  They’ve done a really good job of creating some fun side things to do in-game and this sounds like it will be another great addition.

Ron also did ask about the next big three items to receive focus Legendary Items, Monster Play, and Radiance which no surprisingly did get a canned response.  “Those are three big things we will be working on over the next year,” but there was an even more exciting quote about the upcoming content.  Aaron did confirm that they are working on mounted combat – “There are prototypes being worked on.”  I can honestly say I want to see the “Big 3” topics addressed first but those may be more of a gradual incremental change.  As for mounted combat, I don’t see that until Rohan which is looking like a late 2011 or 2012 update since the next expansion is confirmed for Isengard.

Overall it is a good read and some more amazing screenshots in case you haven’t gotten your fill of news,

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LOTRO Volume 3 – Oath of the Rangers

So yes, I’m a little late on this one but it has been a long week for me.  Turbine released the first bit of news on the upcoming new content that continues the epic story.  Certainly there’s more info coming but it appears that one of my early predictions is already wrong as it doesn’t look like there’s any new area to explore.  Don’t get me wrong, there are some good things in the update but I’m a little worried that this seems a bit light.

By far, the most exciting thing is the Rift (Nurz Ghashu) skirmish that is the first attempt to revive older group/raid content.  I’m not only looking forward to getting back in there – but it does sound like an interesting story line as you’re called to help one of the rangers and his daughter from the depths and evils of the area.  Although I do find this to be a very similar storyline to Goldir and Amarthiel but we shall see how it plays out.  Since they’re doing this via the skirmish system, it does bring a faint glimmer of hope that we may see similar ideas (and raids) in places like Fornost, Garth Agarwen, and Helegrod.

The rest of the epic story line is centered around gathering up the scattered rangers and marshalling them South the help defend against the growing threat.  I’m curious about the story, but this does smack of the epilogue to Volume 2 Book 9 that sent us all over the land doing various small tasks.  Thank god I’m a warden, but these “travel the world” quests do get a little old.  Hopefully it is more then just talking quests as the war should be spread pretty far and deep across Middle-Earth by now that there should be some good opportunities for battles and/or skirmishes.

In addition to the Rift skirmish, and the epic story there are a few other items we’re teased with, starting with lots of new love for crafting!

  • New level 65 crafting recipes and updates to crafting abilities
  • Updated icons and stats for Jeweler recipes
  • New recipes and updates for Cooks!
  • New class items for Weaponsmiths and Woodworkers
  • New crop recipes for Artisian, Master, and Superior Farmers

I’m happy they’re doing something with farming and cooking, as it really only seems like there’s a couple worthwhile recipes/ingredients and the rest is for cosmetic purposes.

Also, a new set of four skirmishes that appear to be re-formated versions of the Dol Goldur existing skirmishes are opened up with a raid option.  I’m really not sure how this will work as the rewards will have to be tweaked quite a bit.  Meaning I”m not sure I really want to raid for skirmish marks – unless they expand on that system.  But it will be interesting to see, and might be a good way for people to get used to raiding.  The four skirmishes are:

  • Defeating a powerful Olog-Hai at the Necromancer’s gate
  • Disrupt the plans of “creatures of nightmare” who are setting a deadly trap before the Gate of the Ringwraith’s Lair
  • Defend Thangulhad from capture leveraging the catapults and defenses in place
  • Free captured elves from the dungeons of Dannenglor

So we’ll see what other information comes out as we get closer to launch but for now there is some good stuff but it seems a little light on content and more focused on upgrades, which for all we know could’ve slipped out of the Siege of Mirkwood expansion.  And certainly I’m a little worried that we’re not getting any new land-mass as there’s still a pretty big gap between Mirkwood and Rohan (assuming that’s the next large area).  In addition, we still haven’t seen much with regards to our characters progression – hopefully they’re just saving that for the upcoming dev diaries!

Here’s the link to the full notes on the start of Volume 3 – Oath of the rangers,and I’m sure there are lots of posts and such on the forums and other bloggers talking about this as well.

I have some other posts coming out this afternoon, but wanted to get my Volume 3 thoughts out before too much time passed.

Ringing in the new year

This will be the first of a bunch of posts coming up today and tomorrow as I get caught up on things.  I wanted to start of with a recap of 2009 and looking forward into 2010.  This will cover both LOTRO the game as well as my plans for LOTRO and other games.

Looking back

2009 was a pretty solid year for me in LOTRO.  Early in the year I achieved level 60 on my warden although not quite as quite as quickly as others due to the poor timing of the Moria launch (poor timing for me that is).  I also managed to get my three mains (warden, captain, and minstrel) not only watcher ready but watcher kills on each of them.  My minstrel and captain were part of a couple DN raids, but sadly my warden has not seen the inside nor have I been through the entire thing.

I switched kinships twice this year, the first time due to the amount of drama and the second time was just moving from a 3 person kin (more of a holding kin) to a raiding one that included those same 3 people.

I didn’t quite achieve my goal of finishing through Volume 2 on all my toons before Mirkwood, but I came pretty close.  My minstrel is just short 1.15.12 and 2.5.5 –> 2.6.8.  My captain is all finished and finally my warden is short on 1.14.1 through to volume 1 completion and the last chapter of book 8.

The other game that caught my attention of course was Dragon Age Origins.  I ended up finishing it twice (with a few different endings) and am working towards a third.  It was a great filler as I was waiting for Mirkwood and gives me a good change of pace.  All of the accolades this game has received are well deserved IMO and I would highly recommend picking it up if you haven’t already as I know they’re dropping the price on various sites.

And finally, in September I started up this blog.  As we came towards the end of the year I think I caught my stride and really got into a pretty decent grove of not only news, tips/tricks, and general LOTRO thoughts and ideas which I hope to carry through to next year.  I also started recording some of my adventures, and that certainly will continue.

In LOTRO itself it was also a pretty busy year.  Some folks pointed out that 2009 was a slow-down and pointed to a decline in LOTRO but I think the slow down was due more to some large scale behind the scenes issues (server performance, system overhauls, etc) and not a decline in the game.  Really, 2008 only had one more content update then 2009 and while MoM was larger the SoM there were some very significant system changes with Mirkwood that we haven’t quite had time to absorb.  I’m not claiming 2009 had more content then 2008, but I don’t feel it is a large a drop-off as some like to claim.  In March we saw Book 7 release which opened up the area of Lothlorien as well as the continuation of the epic storyline.  While this area was on the small side for some, I certainly enjoyed the change from the dreariness of Moria and continually enjoy visiting that area just to look around.  Also in this book the famed (or infamous) Turtle raid was launched with a few issues but those were pretty quickly hammered out.  Orion released his first part of the New Player Experience with the re-works of various starter zones.  And we saw the intro to skirmishes with the release of the Crafting Instances.

June brought us the release of Book 8 which brought us back into Moria and new raiding content.  We got 2 3 man instances, 1 6 man, and a new 12 person raid Dar Narburg.  There were some other additions/changes as well with new barter systems and such but for the most part Book 8 was an end-game focused release.

And of course we had Siege of Mirkwood in December, but we’ve seen that covered all over the place so I won’t re-cap that here.  I have a bunch of posts on it, just search for Mirkwood and you’ll find them.

Into 2010

So I’m going through a bit of a rough patch in game right now, and I’m really hoping it is just due to a lack of playing time in December but I feel a bit lost and un-motivated right now.  Part of is that I know my kin is all geared out on at least 2 toons already and I’m concerned about getting my gear that I want.  So I am pondering a kin change or possibly even a server change.  But, I think I’m going to wait a bit and see how things progress here in the next month before doing anything drastic.

Hopefully with Orion’s comment before the holidays, I should be able to finish off the remainder of Volume 1 on my minstrel and warden and I don’t have too much left to do on Volume 2.  I also want to get at least the 2 purple radiance sets on these 3 toons as I should be able to in the 3-mans without too much effort.  And with the new year, there should be some opportunities to run not only DN but also the new Mirkwood raid I just need to keep an eye out for multiple groups.  I mainly want to get back into running content with other people, I’ve gotten into a bit of a solo rut and I’m not enjoying that.

I will be looking to continue my blogging and video posting, hopefully adding some more group action to my videos and not just solo ones.  I’m also toying with the idea of starting, co-hosting, or just guest appearing on a podcast to focus on more of the end-game content.  There’s some great shows out there but I feel this is a missing area.

I’ll save my Dragon Age plans for another post as there is some really cool news coming for that.

As for my 2010 LOTRO predictions, we will see Volume 3 in February as announced which will include Orion’s completed revamp of the Volume 1 epic line.  I’m not 100% sure what land-mass will be introduced (I’m pretty confident there will be more land) but my gut feel is we’ll head south to get back on the story line of the books.  I hope to see in Volume 3 Legendary items 3.0 and Traits 3.0 as I think they could certainly use the bumps.  For legendary items I hope they adopt the skirmish soldier methodology and allow us to have more control over our items.  I still realize there needs to be some randomness and grinding associated with it but I really want to feel more like the item is growing as I do.  As for traits, I want more class options and more legendary options.  I want to see more diversity and options for classes as I still feel even with the revamp in Moria there are still only a couple of viable paths for each class and LOTS of wasted traits that no one uses.  I don’t wait our virtues to scale past 10, although more equip-able slots would be nice 🙂  I’d also love to see them tied to skirmishes and be barter-able.  Allow us to “buy” a level of a virtue for around 1000 skirmish points for the first tier and 2000 for the second (I’m thinking level 65 slayer deeds, scale that down appropriately) as this will still be a grind but it opens up another path to get there.  And I think we’ll see an item/crafting overhaul that will bring radiance gear and crafted gear not only in line with each other but also desirable.

We will also see 2 more free content book releases at least, and possibly more depending on the timing – but I could see an April/July schedule with a possible 3rd in August/September depending on the expansion plan.  Skirmishes will continue to be an integral part of their storytelling and we’ll probably see them continue in the epic line as well as a couple other new ones per release, but I don’t think they’ll replace normal gameplay.  I do think we’ll see an expansion, but I’m torn as to whether it will be a box or digital.  I kind of hope it is a box as that means it will be a bigger deal, but I could also see them just sticking with the digital methodology as certainly that’s a better money maker for Turbine.  I’d love to see Rohan, but I’m just not sure how the timing will work out.  I’m pretty sure we won’t see mounted combat but I do agree with Almazar in his 2010 prediction that we’ll see some new combat technology to allow for large battles like the upcoming Helm’s Deep that we’re all waiting for.

So I think that wraps up my look back and ahead, I’ll have a couple more posts out shortly talking about some various Warden specifics, other Mirkwood items, the exciting Dragon Age news (I can’t wait for tomorrow), and a bit of a rant on micro-transactions (and not in the way you’re probably thinking).

2010 will be a heck of a year, and I can’t wait for it to get rolling!

Turbine 2010 Plans – Volume 3 target date

According to Adam Mersky at Turbine, via MMOrpg.com, Volume 3 is on target for a February release.  I think most other posts had the info that Volume 3 would be the first content release after Mirkwood and “Early” in 2010 but this was the first “date” I’ve seen.  Other updates throughout the year are promised but no actual information – which isn’t surprising.

Seems about right, 2-ish months after Mirkwood – but that probably means there’s not too much in Volume 3.  So most likely, no Rohan, no mounted combat, but probably some land-mass.  Possibly Fangorn or Isengard as I’d expect the rest of Mirkwood to be more closely tied with a Hobbit movie release.   Isengard might make sense as we’re pretty much at the end of the Fellowship book (or pretty darn close) and that area is starting to cause more issue with the rest of Middle-Earth.

Anyway, we shall all see soon – at least what’s in Volume 3 😉

News updates

A couple pieces of news today – Rohan confirmed and then un-confirmed ;), and more on the skirmishes.

As Tony over on mmeow.net posted, there’s an interview by Gamerzines (Link to article) with regards to the next steps for LOTRO.  For me, nothing terribly earth shattering here as Book 9 wraps up Volume 2, so naturally Volume 3 would be following rather soon.  I guess the good news here is that we won’t have to wait that long for Volume 3 and that Rohan is planned for next yearWhich falls into the “1 expansion per year” plan that we’ve heard before. Like I commented on Tony’s blog – it is encouraging that this timeline is being confirmed, but nothing really exciting here for me.  So now that everyone is scrambling to unconfirm the Rohan part, this really isn’t all that exciting at all 😉

The other news bit is regarding Skirmishes as Turbine has released another Dev Diary on the stories behind skirmishes.  Again, I didn’t really get too much new info from this but overall the system hold a lot of promise.  I really like the concept of bringing war to Middle Earth as it gives us players a better feel for the role we’re playing in this story and ties our story to the ring quite well for me.  I already mentioned my thoughts on ties to the epic lines, and hopefully the instances will be diverse enough to  draw me in to replay them.  I think part of re-playability will also be tied to the reward system which has been hinted at, but not specifically talked about.  The story and rewards together will determine how much people re-do the individual instances.