Monday, April 23, 2012

LOTRO's 5th Anniversary, plus newbie advice

Lotro's 5th Anniversary event will be ongoing till the 30th. Why is it a great time to try it? Well, the event's brought players back, there's some really fun stuff to do, and you get double XP!

And if you try it and enjoy it, Gamestop is currently doing a sale on LOTRO's Mithral Edition. It's $14.00 to download, and the 2000 turbine points alone generally cost more than that (and there's a mount and quest packs and okay, the mount alone on one toon is generally about 1100 points, so BARGAIN). (much thanks to Casual Stroll to Mordor for the info, and by the way, they have a great podcast. They've been doing a whole series on the monster/creep side of things (that's how pvp works in lotro, it's monsters vs normal toons) which has been greatly informative).

Now here's some pictures to show things off, and then I'm going to attempt a newbie advice thing. Oh and the UI differences are down to me experimenting with different UIs from and moving things around. Lotro might not be quite as moddable as WoW, but you have a huge amount of control over where things go and how big they are, even without a single mod.
This would be one of the repeatable anniversary quests. Launch fireworks just north of Bree while NPCs cheer you on. There's also one in the Shire. This is Nathyrra, my main and she's now level 26.

I dusted off my baby burglar, and you can see the anniversary quest on her quest log. It's a low enough level that any toon that's made it out of the starting area should be able to do it. 

And here we have a modded UI. I forget which one this was, oh and I am in the Barrow Downs, killing undead.


More fireworks, and you can see the invitation quest (another repeatable anniversary quest) in her log. The horse she's riding actually came from one of the envelopes you hunt down as part of the quest, though I believe it's a rare drop.

First off, here's a developer's guide to leveling 1-30. I'm not doing it that way, because I am me, but it's a good place to start.

Class-wise, if you want a glass cannon with ports and decent CC (aka a wow mage) you want a hunter. If you want to sneak, you want a burglar, or an elf. Elves can get a racial trait that allows them to sneak, but burglars do it better. If you want to heal, you want a minstrel (or you can shell out for the Runekeeper who can also heal but costs points to unlock). If you want a pet class, you can choose between the loremaster (squishy magical damage dealers) or captains (melee support with sidekicks). If you're looking for tanking, guardians seem to be the way to go, but wardens (another shell out class) can also tank. Champions are great melee dps.

Profession-wise, I'd say the two easiest ones to start with are...

WOODSMAN: Forester, Farmer, Woodworker. This allows you to collect wood, turn hides into leather (which tailors use to make armor), make wooden weapons and craft tools, and grow crops (which a cook can then turn into tasty, tasty buff food).
EXPLORER: Forester, Tailor, Prospector. Again, you can collect wood and turn hides into leather, make light armor, and mine for ore (which loads of other crafters use)
I recommend these two professions because each has two gathering and one crafting, and the gathering naturally feeds the crafting, plus you get some stuff you can sell on the AH. Lotro forces you to pick one of six bundles of professions, and while the others are fine, it's nice to be able to make your own armor or weapons. 

As far as stuff to get in the store, I'd put off getting more bag space. If you like the game, you can sub for a month, get the 5 bags on all your toons and then...keep the bag space! I'd also keep my eye out for sales and freebies, since the store will offer both from time to time
If I decide to downgrade from VIP to Premium player status, what will happen to my inventory bags?
If you downgrade from VIP to Premium player, you will not lose any of the inventory bags that you had as a VIP. Because you were a VIP, you will not be subject to the inventory bag limit of Premium players.

Now, I have a document on my computer that I use to keep track of my toons (I did the same for WoW and pretty much any mmo I play, just to help me keep stuff straight). Here's one toon from that...

Nathyrra->WOODSMAN Forester, Farmer, Woodworker
Goals->finish North Downs, get other holiday mount, housing, Woodworker guild rep
Stance->Main, Official Woodworker
Crafting Needs:
Prefered Stats:
Weapons/Armor: Light and Medium armor, can use traps made by weaponsmith, Bows, Crossbows, Daggers, one handed axes, one handed clubs, one handed hammers, one handed maces, one handed sword, spears

If you like that, feel free to swipe it, it certainly helps me keep things straight. And last but not least, if you decide to give lotro a try, please use my recruit a friend
It won't work on already made accounts, but it allows me to get points when you buy stuff in the turbine store. And if you log on, I'm hanging out on Gladden, come say hi!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Deeds Vs Achievements

I've been playing LotRO again, mostly because the 5th anniversary event is ongoing (and well worth a look, I shall post details on it later and here's a useful guide). Anyway, it got me thinking about world events in LotRO vs WoW, and then more generally about achievements in WoW vs deeds in LotRO, and what I like and dislike about both.

W achievements have always been more of a max level thing to me, just something else you can do once you hit max level. Yes, there's many you can do while leveling, but most of them do seem far more like max-level things. This is even more true of W holiday events. I can think of one holiday where I could get most to all of the achievements done at a low level (Noblegarden, and even then you want to be at least in your 40s to get to UnGoro and Silithus and survive without help). Yes, there's stuff you can do in most if not all holidays before max level, but you're unlikely to be able to get all the achievements or the titles. And let's face it, most achieves don't give you anything (except possibly bragging rights).

Now, L deeds are pretty different. There's a ton more of them, first off, and they're so much more accessable. To give an example, my hunter is now level 25. Max level is 75 (I think). In the past two days I've managed to get two holiday titles (Master Blaster and another one I can't remember right now), plus here's the current deeds available to me in the zone I'm leveling in (and this does not count any of the class (hunter) or race (Elf) deeds also available)...
EXPLORER DEEDS (go find places)
Strongholds exploration, Eastern Ruins, Villages of the Earthkin, Western Ruins
Of Glories Long Past (intial, advanced and final)->go do quests in this zone (15, 30, 45)
(not the actual name) gain various levels of rep with the Rangers of Esteldin and there's 4 of these
SLAYER DEEDS (kill things and take their stuff)
Goblin-Slayer, Redeemer, Orc Slayer, Worg Slayer, Troll Slayer, and Worm Slayer. Each one of these has two levels and there's three more involving Stoneheight (I haven't been in this zone long, so I have no idea what those are about)

That's just one leveling zone. Now, I don't have to do all of those, and some of them I'll likely just end up getting done while questing, but still, that's a lot of options. Every zone has a list like this, and some have many more (Breelands, I'm looking at you).

Now, part of the reason there's so many deeds is that you use deeds to customize and spec your character. You complete class deeds (use x shot y times) to get nifty abilities, and you combine those to spec your character. You complete other deeds to get bonuses to abilities you can equip, and also probably get a title or two. It can be a bit grindy, but on the flip side, there's always something you can be doing that isn't rushing to max level. And here's a list of all the various kinds of deeds, thanks to lotro wiki.

Holiday-wise, again, the focus does not seem to be as much on max level.  My hunter is 50 levels below end game, and she's gotten two titles, a bunch of deeds, and two mounts thus far (in 3 days), with at least one more mount she can buy (through winning horse races, doing anniversary quests, and getting a 200 silver mount ownership thing) and a couple more mounts (and emotes and I believe some other stuff) available through quest loot RNG.  Granted, one of the holiday quests is level 30 (and the travel required took me through level 38 mobs), but I was still able to do it (and it was awesome)!

I like L's deeds more, but they are a bit overwhelming. I log in, go "um, what am I doing?" and often just log out again. I've found that making a list (I'm going to go get all the holiday quests done, then quest in North Downs for a bit, then go farm) helps me stay focused so I don't get overwhelmed. But then again, I've been known to do the exact same thing in W once I hit 85. I don't level to reach endgame in L, so the XP bar is not the same incentive it is in W.  I like that, and I don't. It means I don't have the same automatic thing to do when I log in, but it also means I can wander around much more, smell the roses, and generally ignore my leveling speed without feeling vaguely guilty about it.

I'd love to see WoW focus a bit more on the leveling game (like LotRO), but I also know that I don't expect that from WoW. WoW is an endgame-focused game and LotRO is not (in my perception, which of course is skewed by not having any toons anywhere near max level).

In conclusion, I HAVE A FIREWORKS HORSE! Now I just need to get an outfit to match...

Friday, April 13, 2012


Things I have done thus far to get the beta to work...

1)Downloaded and started installer. Noticed it'd get stuck in the setup bit. Did the following...
  a)read beta forums extensively
  b)changed internet explorer settings
  c) deleted particular folders
  d) finally had to open task manager, watch agent.exe like a hawk, kill it when its mem usage slipped backwards, then rerun it from the folder it resides in. Watched DOS window like hawk, looking for it to crash. Once it crashed, rerun. Keep going until you luck out and it manages to finish. I followed the instructions in this thread to finally get it to work.
2)Cheered as installer window finally popped up. Cursed when it crashed with an unexpected error  at 11%. Wondered where the heck all my free drive space had gone. Freed up 20+ gigs (the installer needs at least 17) Repeated step d a couple more times, then called it a night. Left things running, woke up to 4 error reporting things, all telling me that agent had crashed. Really starting to hate agent.
3)Restarted in safe mode. Yup, that didn't help either.
4)Realized I've spent over 5 hours and I haven't even managed to get past 11% installation. Decided to say screw it for the moment, type this up, and post it.

And just to contrast with my Cataclysm beta experience, well, the only issue I had with that was the slow download speed.

So if you aren't in the beta yet, be happy. Seriously. If you're desperate for beta info, I'd go check this great blog I just found. Loads of beta analysis, mostly on stuff I like hearing about.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

RP Post of Silly

Greetings, all! Aethilred the Perpetually Sneaky here. You may remember me as Aethelred the Perpetually Unready, but well, after making an uncautious remark to Garrosh about orcs, I though a career change, name change, and learning to vanish would all be good ideas. Still haven't gotten vanish yet, but at least I can see the invisible bears when they sneak up on me now.  Plus leather's so much more stylish than plate. I'm even considering making a druid disguise.

Anyway, I felt I should update you all on some interesting (and rather ridiculous) things I've discovered. One, finding eggs makes you better at stabbing. I have no idea how that works, but it does. Also, my helm hides my incredible hair, which is a crime against elfmanity! And I can make even bunny ears look sexy. And yes, that's my friend Lyllea playing the blushing bride. The dress looks good on her, but the shoulders clash!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

5 addons everyone should have, and 5 more that are awesome

In an effort to continue my occasionally useful posts, here

5 addons every player should have that you may not know about...
(all links go to curse)
1) Align-> puts a grid on your screen for lining everything up just so. I can't find it on curse, but it's rather out of date anyway. As in I'm not sure it's been updated since before Cat.  Here's another one that does the same thing, but updated for 4.2
2) Healers have to die->Okay, you're wondering why I put a PVP addon here. It's so much more than a PVP addon. If a mob's healing, you'll know it. If you're in a group and your healer gets attacked, you'll know it. Sure, it's nice in PVP, but it's just as nice in PVE. It is a tad spammy in raids, but there's probably an option to fix that, I just haven't looked.
3) GTFO->makes noise when you're standing in owie. Brilliant and simple, and useful in all content.
4) Multishot->automatic screencaps of achievements, raids, all sorts of things. Any screencap you see on this blog was probably taken by this addon. You may want to change it from the default options, as they're the reason I had over 4000 screencaps last year.
5) BadBoy: Anti Spam Automatic Reporter-> Because gold farmers are really really annoying.

And 5 more that are awesome (and you may or may not know about)...
6)Gnomish Vendor Shrinker-> instead of those huge boxes, you get a nice compact list. Again, brilliant and simple.
7)OmniCC ->because having the cooldown countdown on the buttons just makes so much sense
8)Tidy Plates-> because the default plates aren't that good, and tidy plates shows you your dots, whether you've got threat on a mob or not, and manages to do that while looking pretty.
9)Bimbo-> Marks gear that's missing enchants or gems. Again, simple quality of life addon, and the second Tekkub addon on this list. He's good at making simple quality of life addons.
10)Quartz-> I've been using Quartz so long that I don't even remember what the base casting bar looks like. It's very customizable and shows you your lag, which is a big help in getting as much as you can out of your toon.

The Scroll of Rez is AWESOME and wow, what a week!

I finally decided to use a scroll of rez to reactivate my second account for, well, the free Cat upgrade and the lvl 80 toon.  And that got me playing more than I have in quite a while, with awesome results....

First, we have a before of my new druid...

Then an after the pimp bat hit her. That gear's good enough to get into Cat normals, and she's got more bag space and medium flying (280 speed). I have 85s with less bag space and slower flying. Totally, totally worth it, and if I'd sent the invite from another server besides Shadow Council, I could have also recustomized her and server-moved for free. Only complaints I have are that now I have to level professions from 1 to 525 and that she has no glyphs. They spec'd her but did not glyph her. And those are pretty minor complaints.

Then I had fun with having free character slots again. Yes, that's a gnome priest. I keep trying to level a gnome, maybe this one will work.

A goblin hunter. Because I could. And also, maybe leveling a new hunter will help me with learning focus. Sigh, I still miss mana and learning which bosses I could steal mana from, and working out how to spend as little time as possible in Aspect of the Viper.

A goblin shammy (because I want one, darn it!). She's now level 13 or so, and made it to Org. I really like the casting animations and totems the goblins have. Also, I had shaman heirlooms lying around, might as well use them.

And Aethelred the Perpetually Unready with the invisible bear phobia has been reborn as Aethilred, the Sneaky and Still Unready. You may vaguely remember Aethelred from my World Cup posts. And yes, he does have an invisible bear phobia. He got killed by them in Silverpine frequently pre-Cat.

Then I lucked out, and got into a twitterland raid yesterday. Tons and tons of fun, and look, achieves! I just love this view....

But I still have no idea what happens in the Al fight.  I must study for next week, since I believe we'll be going for heroic.

And earlier in the week I ran around with friends in Silver Dragoons. Sadly Ars has died, so I'm back to SD Alliance-side. Not a big deal since between twitterland raids and Redeemed, I can still scratch the raiding itch. Plus it's fun to run around with people who were there when I started raiding back in Naxx....