Thursday, 15 November 2012

LOTRO: Lore-master of many colours

I may have moaned a bit about my kinship's raid activity of the past weeks (although I always try to see things positively), but things have changed for the better. There is currently no official end-game content in Lord of the Rings Online, and everyone is still questing and leveling their characters to level 85. However, I believe it is a good thing to keep doing fairly challenging raid content to keep in shape, especially if there are achievements that you have not completed yet. The only thing that comes close are the T2 Challenges of the Tower of Orthanc raid (intended for level 75, the current cap is 85).

Last Thursday, we had eight signups or our Fire & Frost T2 Challenge attempt, which we had been trying for weeks. We had the tactics settled, the only thing that was stopping us had been stupid misses of the tanks force taunts. I don't want to think about how many times we've reset this particular boss fight the last month. Either way, this particular night we persuaded some friends to come and help us out, and... we did it!

Of course it was a lot easier, because we were over leveled. Even though player DPS hasn't raised that much at all in 10 levels, it was a huge difference, because we didn't miss any skills on the bosses anymore. (That miss chance mechanic really creates a ridiculous randomness, I wish they would remove it from the game.) Also, the force taunts of our tanks didn't miss anymore, which brought an end to our burglars ending up tanking the boss and having to reset the fight.

The defeat of Fire & Frost Challenge brought a burst of enthusiasm to the kinship, and all of a sudden we had overflowing raid groups again. And if you're a bit informed and you know what's on the pictures, you already know what comes next. The next raid was on Sunday, and we managed Shadow T2 Challenge after just a few tries. On Tuesday we beat Saruman T2 Challenge. And then we had completed all challenge modes.

Although I'm still a bit disappointed by not having done all challenges on level, the amazing Steed of Many Colours made up for a lot. I did have to do the Foundry T1 for it after all the raid heroism, but it was worth it: this elder brother of the Prized Isengard War-steed wears a drapery that shifts colour! From blue to green, to yellow, to rose, all soft colours. Do put your graphics above medium, though, otherwise it will just show up white.

 Lore-master of many colours 

This is what Ravanel will look like the coming weeks!

You receive the steed by completing all Tower of Orthanc deeds, including the 3- and 6-mans (on both tiers) and the ToO T2 Challenges.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Skyrim: A mage's retirement

Here I am, disguising myself as a creepy witch (posing with dead bodies of which you nicked the hat is okay if you're supposed to be a creepy witch). I look scary as hell. What I don't know yet is that the fun after the masquerade isn't going to last very long.

I had been zapping around very happily, falling in love with the amazingly strong lightning skill that jumps from target to target. If stuff would really get too hard, I'd place ice runes and sneak around while the enemies would look for me and step in them. I also played around a bit with fire walls and let them walk through that. I'm not sure how stupid you have to be to allow yourself to be kited through a wall of fire, but it worked.

I socialized with fellow mages of the guild and ended up being their guild master. After a lot of magic adventures, I bought a plot in Riften and settled down. No more adventures for me. Just quiet work in my own lovely vegetable garden (it came with me very own grain shovel!) and endless conversations with Lydia at the kitchen table ("I will follow you to the very end, my thane.").

If only it had been like this.

In (virtual) reality, Ravanel was happy with her house, but didn't have any plans of settling down. She dumped all her stuff in it and went on to the next adventure: the main quest that runs through the whole game. Only, there was no next adventure. During my time at the mage's guild, the NPCs leading it had miraculously disappeared. They were not at Riften. They were not in Riverwood. They were not at the Foresworn place in the west where I had to go. In fact, each time I neared the Forsworn place (it didn't matter from which side), my game instantly crashed.

After a long search on the internet, I found I had encountered a known bug with the main story. There was no way to fix it. The only option was to load an older save game and play everything over. Even that was no option for Ravanel: I did not have any save game from before the bug. I could still do whatever I want in game, apart from continuing the main quest. Sadly enough, continuing the main quest was the only thing I had planned for Ravanel after having completed everything at the mage's guild.

I know it's just a game, and I know that I still have huntress Ravereth to play (although she is nowhere near as far with the main quest), but I'm feeling pretty sad right now. So far I've encountered some bugs, but I was always able to find a workaround. I think it's pretty bad that they release a game with such major bugs in the first place, and it's even worse that they don't try to fix it or offer any solutions. I will probably play a bit with Ravereth in the future, but don't feel very motivated right now by not being able to play my favourite character.

Above: endless conversations with Lydia ("I will follow you to the very end, my thane!"). Sigh.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

LOTRO: A tourist guide to the Wold

It's time for my (long overdue) second part of the Rohan landscape series, my very own excuse to post all the landscape pictures I've been taking in-game the past weeks. This time, we'll make a virtual travel through the Wold, the uttermost northern region that falls under Rohirric territory.

I was sent to the Wold by my epic quest from the South, but if you don't follow the epic storyline, you will enter the region (and with that, Rohan) from the Great River region to the North. This will be your first view of the region: a transcendence area with the hills and last remnants of the ruins of the Southern Great River, in which you can already see the grass become more yellowish as it is in the plains of Rohan.

Now I already gave it away! Indeed the well-known plains of Rohan start here, with sloping hills and undeep clear waters in the lower parts. Wild horses wander around, sometimes alone, sometimes in large groups.

The Wold features the first Rohirric settlements after Stangard, of which the well-defended Harwick (picture above) is the largest. Since Tolkien didn't describe any villages in this particular area, the game makers had to make up some names of themselves. And just like Tolkien did, they took their inspiration for Rohan from the Saxons. There's no doubt that they were inspired by the many wics or wichs of the seventh and eight century that are found throughout northwestern Europe. These towns were all harbour towns that played a role in international trade. In fact, they were the only city-like places there were in these times. In England we find places like Lundenwic (London), Eoforwic (York) and Ipswich.

Picture above: stand on the hill north of town to get this typical Harwick picture.

Even though Harwick isn't a harbour town (the water on the picture above is very shallow), its name reveals that our developers tried to keep with the lore and took their inspiration for this region from the Saxons, as we know Tolkien himself did.

War may bring people together, but it may also drive them apart. The village of Langwold experienced the latter. While their houses were burnt to the ground by invading brigands, the leader of the nearby Harwick doesn't want to provide shelter. It is the first example of the troubles in this threatened country.

Lewis Maskell of Stnylan's Musings eloquently describes the atmosphere among the people of the Wold in his article Unwelcome at Harwick. Syp from Biobreak takes a more mundane approach to the behaviour of the thane of Harwick in If LOTRO would let you be evil, the world would be a much better place.

For the nature lovers among us, the Wold features many wild animals, of which many quite unfriendly. I cleared quite a few of them to get the romantic picture above. The shallow waters are inhabited by salamanders, the northern fields by large wild cows. There are no wild bears in this region. My pet bear (picture on top of the article) looked very carefully.

When exploring the plains of the Wold, it is advised to travel by war-steed. Brigands and roving warbands roam the fields, and a quick escape can be of vital importance. For the ecologists interested in boars: they are found just south of Harwick.

More in a Tourist guide to Rohan

Monday, 5 November 2012

SWTOR: On customer service and Opses

Since my last report on not being able to subscribe to SWTOR, we managed to get it working after all and I have been raiding with my guild again a bit, hurray!

Customer service

After not getting any answers on e-mails for about two weeks, the trick seemed to be to call the customer service directly. I was actually surprised how easy this was. We could call for free using Google (also possible through Skype) and the issue was resolved within half an hour. We only had to wait for a few minutes, got directed to another person once and both our accounts were fixed within a matter of minutes. Next time something happens, we won't bother with the e-mail and call right away.

Healing in Explosive Conflict

In between the studying and exploring Rohan in LotRO, I've had the chance to raid several times with my guild in SWTOR the past weeks. The only thing we did in that game, was actually running Opses (err, 1 Ops, 2 Opses?). We once did the first three bosses of the new raid, Terror from Beyond (picture above), and that was really cool, but most times we've been doing EC Hardmode. The most fun were the second bosses (the giant turrets), when I was explained how to run around on the floor, removing bad effects on myself now and then, healing left and right while avoiding scary places on the floor. The other healer had been trying the same for the past week, and was totally fed up with trying. We wiped a few times, but I was so happy (and a little bit proud) that we pulled it off afterwards! I've now healed both left and right turret (which is actually different for a healer) - the left one was definitely the most challenging, but both sides are fun.

There are quite some people who play healers as their main in MMOs. Some even write whole blogs about it. I was just thinking about it, and although my heart lies in support roles, healing is not my main delight in life. In LotRO, I'll play lore-master and captain as mains this expansion. I really much like healing on rune-keeper, but minstrels are much more in demand in raids. Poor Ravalinde will have to live with being leveled as third. In SWTOR, there is no other support role apart from healing (you can either pick "tank", "DPS or  "healer" as role), so my choice was quickly made. I only have one level capped character, and that is my Jedi Sage Ravanel. I think healing there makes up a bit for not being able to heal in groups in LotRO for a while.

I learned something new in today's raid. Sometimes, if you don't retreat after a wipe and people come back to revive you, you might not show up on their monitor: you're simply invisible. This is a very common bug. The solution is to right-click the person who is trying to revive you and select "Follow". Unfortunately, you have to wait longer before accepting an in-combat rez if you've been revived before the fight. If it's a hard fight in which it's likely that people will die, it's better to all retreat and travel that annoyingly long path to the last boss.

So far the healer-talk for today.

The times I was in EC HM, we completed everything apart from the last boss. Tonight we came very close. Tomorrow there's another ops planned, so hopefully I can be in the group again. It would be so cool if we'd make it! And after that hopefully Terror from Beyond. Good times.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bilbo didn't want to come

In the spirit of non-gaming news: look what I got in the mailbox today! It's my favourite (and only) fashion catalogue and - apart from making me chuckle - it reminded me of the fact that the first Hobbit movie is getting nearer and nearer. I still remember how excited I was as a seventeen-year old girl when my favourite book was going to be released as a movie, and I feel a little bit like back then again. 

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is going to be released November 28 in New Zealand. Sadly enough, being Dutch, I will have to wait until December 12. Americans will even have to wait two days longer. I put a counter in the widgets to the right right away in order to not forget the date. You can find where The Hobbit will get released in your country at IMDb.

Even though there are some parts that I dislike about Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings movies (especially the skipping and adaptation of some lore), I'm looking forward to see what this movie will be like and will definitely watch it in the theater. Will you?

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Pink Yoda lives in the deep sea

Sometimes it's fun to not write about the games I play, but to write about the world they are supposed to represent. Today some news from both our own and the Star Wars universe: a new deep sea worm species was found and named after the wise master because of its eary appearance: Yoda purpurata, which you can translate as 'pink Yoda'. I don't know about you, but I like it!

At least it's something different than just naming a species after a scientist you admire, like usually is done. I also like the idea that 'Yoda' is living somewhere on this planet, secluded from the rest of the living world, just like he was on Dagobah.

More about this interesting earthly reincarnation of Yoda: Yoda worm brings Star Wars to the deep sea (The Guardian).

Saturday, 20 October 2012

LOTRO: A tourist guide to the East Wall

It's been five days since Rohan was launched, and I haven't been able to write a single post. Shame on me! I've been so busy with my studies (and I don't expect it to get any less busy the coming two years, to be honest) that I barely had time to let alone play the game, and I'm level 77 as we speak (while many of my kinmates are already level capped). Nevertheless, it's time to get rid of some screenshots I have been capturing!

In fact, I thought it would be cool to guide you through the different regions of Rohan while I quest through it. Today will be all about the East Wall area, where I started off with the new epic book quests.

And what better than to start with the Argonath, the giant statues of Isildur and Anárion that mark the passage into the large lake Nen Hithoel, and more symbolic, that into the reign of Gondor at that time. If you follow it more to the south, you will end up at the Falls of Rauros and Amon Hen, where the Fellowship fell apart.

The landscape of the East Wall region is rough, with many wild weeds, pine trees,

rocks and clear water creeks,

and warped trees. Not warped as like those crazy trees in the Old Forest, but warped in form. Even though capricious, I really like what these look like. I would love to walk through the landscape on the picture above in real life, if only there weren't Uruks hiding behind the trunks.

Sadly enough, these lands near the river banks of the Anduin are infiltrated by orcs of all sorts. Some even got the guts to settle themselves in fortifications such as on the picture above. I was pleasantly surprised, though, when I encountered these. The forts strongly resemble the Iron age and early medieval hill forts as found in northwestern Europe (including England, France, the Netherlands and Germany). It is no secret that Tolkien was inspired by archaeological remains as there are still many to see in Great Britain. 

Often, these forts, by rule situated on hills,  had ditches around them, and circular earthen walls brought up with the earth that was collected through digging them. In this case, the rocks already figure as walls, so ditches are unnecessary. Professionally, I've spend a lot of time studying the early medieval forts, and have recently attended two lectures about Iron age hillforts in France and Germany, so I thought it was pretty cool when I ran into this. For me it brought a bit more realism to the landscape.

As a first impression, I'm glad to discover there has been as much effort put into the landscape of the East Wall (and probably the rest of Rohan as well) as we are used to. It's no punishment to run around here and slaughter some orcs.

More in a Tourist guide to Rohan

Sunday, 14 October 2012

LOTRO: Almost there

We're almost there! Tomorrow at 12 pm (GMT +1) the servers will go down and the Riders of Rohan expansion will fire off. Luckily I have pre-ordered now, so I should be able to get going as soon as the servers are set free. I've always been impressed by LotRO's environment and vistas, so I'm really looking forward to exploring Rohan. I'm so curious to see what it will look like!

Back in August, when we all thought RoR would be released in September, I made a checklist of things to do before the expansion: On the menu. Let's see how I did:

1) Get virtues up to 14 on Ravalinde (rune-keeper) and Ravenwyn (captain)



Failed, but it was a good effort, especially if you knew the state of my captain's virtues before (zeal on 9 and that sort of painful stuff).

2) Skirmisher deed finished on lore-master Ravanel

I honestly tried and even did my least favourite skirmish, Stand on Amon Sûl, like six times, but kept getting the wrong encounters.


3) Gather iXP runes and guild symbols

In addition to these runes, I got around 40 symbols of various sizes on each of my three level capped characters. I think this counts as completed!

4) Finish the last golden Farmer tier on lore-master Ravanel


5) Take down Saruman

See my post Turn of the tide: Completed!

Total: 3/5, not too bad for a lazy elf like me!

The next goal

This was to get all ToO Challenges done, but we haven't managed that yet. My kin's achievement in RoI:

Lightning T2 + CM - Acid T2 + CM - Fire & Frost T2 - Shadow T2 - Saruman T2

I was at all the takedowns save the Shadow one. It's a pity we didn't get to do all the Challenge modes, but still I'm extremely proud of my kinship to have achieved so much in such a difficult raid. It was so much fun to work out all the fights and to grow. It's a good memory to look back at.

Tonight we'll go back in there, to the, as the event description reads, "only raid to ever defeat Asylum" for the last time and show our teeth. I can't wait! 

Friday, 12 October 2012

LOTRO/ME/SWTOR: October update

It's been a while, so I thought I'd give a small update to tell what I'm up to these days (apart from studying and not having enough time to write as many blog posts as I want!).


We've had a period of less signups, but this has changed for the better and lately we've been doing great on Fire and Frost Challenge mode. Fire and Frost T2 is quite easy, but Challenge mode requires some fine tuning. At least we got well-trained at resetting the fight! We have been close a few times and hopefully we'll get it done before the update with a bit of luck. That would be totally epic. It's a shame we won't get all the Challenge modes done in time, but then again, some of them are extremely hard (and indeed, none on our server has completed them all).

After the introduction of Riders of Rohan we can of course still run ToO, but it won't have the same value to me: gaining even just a few levels already has such an effect on the overall difficulty.

On another note, I had great fun when I found that someone had linked to my Raiding rabbits post on Reddit and talked about "the Bear Flattener" as if it was a factual name. Of course I just made it up because I didn't want to call them Rabbit 1, 2 and 3 or something (besides, I wouldn't know which rabbit to give which number anyway)! It did give me loads of pageviews.

Mass Effect

It's been ages already since I finished Mass Effect 3 with the original ending, and I still need to write about what I thought about it. I just feel that so many people have been saying something about it already, it's sort of hard to add something at all. However, I wrote a Mass Effect article for iRez: Avatar & Identity - Mass Effect (1). It's about how the 'Mass Effect experience' works and in what way one gets immersed in that world. I'm really happy how it turned out. In fact, I got so enthusiastic about Mass Effect again that I decided to extend it to two articles, and I feel I should really get the DLC and play the new ending soon. I might also finally write my Mass Effect 3 Ending story here on Ravalation.


Just at the day the new raid was released, our subscriptions ended and we had to renew them. The annoying thing is that you need a credit card for it, and those aren't that normal where I live. You need to pay money to get one, and you don't need it for anything. The only use for one would be if I'd need a hotel in another country (which I never do) or for Star Wars, which is not good enough of a reason for me. So far we've been using Tiger's foreign one which was free, but it now was empty and would take a few days for new money on it to arrive. On the SWTOR website we found it was now possible to pay with Paypal as well and use your normal bank account. However, we didn't get it to work and the customer service isn't replying to our mails. 

So now we don't have a subscription running and I'm not sure how much use it is with Riders of Rohan coming up so soon. I barely have time to game at all with the study load I got. I got a SWTOR post ready (just need to get one more screenshot in game) and I do plan on continuing to play the game, but with all the stuff going on this might be something of a short break.

Sunday, 30 September 2012

LOTRO: Rohirrim in disguise

With only two weeks left before the expansion, I felt it really was time to pre-order Riders of Rohan. I had considered all the ins and outs already in an earlier post (Riders of Rohan Legendary Edition) and decided that it was okay for me to stick with the cheapest version - after all, I really just don't have that much money. The only thing I care about that I'd miss was the Rohan outfit, which looks okay, but I can live without it. I had enough TP to buy the sixth bag in-game after the expansion. 

I was about to buy it, but had to go buy groceries first before the shops would close. When I returned, I noticed an e-mail from the bank. A person called Tiger had gifted me the total amount needed for the Legendary Edition! I didn't really know what to say, apart from that my boyfriend really is too nice for me. I really was okay with the hobo pre-order package, but Tiger said that my captain should really have the Rohirric outfit, coming from Rohan originally. And of course I was really glad with the Legendary Edition, and had to roam the edges of Rohan wearing my new outfit!

I first checked up with my Rohirrim friends in Forthbrond. Can you detect Ravenwyn?

Here I am preparing for our trip. If you're a lucky Rohirrim, you apparently get someone else to scrub your horse for you. I'm jealous!

Then it was time to join the Rohirrim in their favourite activity: slaying Dunlendings.

After a half an hour photoshoot it was enough. I have completed everything I really wanted before the expansion by now, so I'm ready for Rohan. Bring it on!

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Skyrim: I used to be an adventurer like you...

... then I took an arrow to the knee.

* Or well, almost to the knee, but I'm not planning to go and try to reproduce this!

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Skyrim: Kill it off

I have met a new challenge in Skyrim: if you one-shot an enemy, or fire up a particularly powerful killing blow, you get this slow motion short movie, one of the few moments that you can actually get a nice shot of your character doing something different than just standing around! Only problem is, I find it hard to take a screenshot of this moment, because even though it's in slow motion, it goes pretty fast if you're not expecting it and your hands are at the wrong side of the keyboard, still in "fighting", not "take screenshots" mode. 

This is what I managed so far:

Warning: electrifying dwemer guardians may damage cultural heritage.

Ever since I invested in the sneak tree, my mage has become incredibly OP. It was fun to see this fireball on its way to one-shotting this living skeleton, though. 

This used to be a frost troll. Gosh, I'm such a hooligan when I look back at all these pictures.

There's also a nice slow motion movie of yourself aiming at the enemy if you're using bow and arrows. However, I keep failing to capture this moment and always end up with a shot of what happens next. Charming.

Meanwhile, the search for the perfect one-shot screenie continues. What is your best shot?

Friday, 21 September 2012

LOTRO: Bear tanking

Busy studies

As you may have noticed, my blog has been a bit more quiet lately than it used to be. This is not due to a lack of enthusiasm, but rather due to an overflow of study load. I've just started a new master in September, and I love it, but it does mean less frequent posts. Don't worry, I promise I won't disappear: a one post a week minimum should be doable.

Because I've been so busy studying, I haven't been able to play much either. At the same time, the "final days before the expansion" are very present in the general atmosphere in LotRO: not everyone is as enthusiastic about raiding ToO anymore, and we sometimes struggle for the right numbers or classes. In a weird way, this is actually positive for me: I wouldn't be able to keep up with raiding four days a week with the amount of homework I got. 

Bear tanking

Some failed raids resulted with very fun stuff, for instance the realization of an old dream of me: bear tanking the Twins fight in Barad Guldur ("BG"). As expected, six-manning BG wasn't that challenging, but it was a blast. We went right through the gauntlet, and after that I plus a captain had to "off-tank" Durchest. Lore-master tanks for the win! After that it was off to the Twins, probably the hardest of the three boss fights for over-leveled characters. Stress when it turned out my bear food stock was depleted! So I went out and quickly made some, and then the fun began. It was actually a bit challenging, and I had to be main DPS on Cargaraf (traited reds), while the captain was tanking it.

Advantages of bear tanking:
  • No tank player needed, so it opens up a spot in your raid, which can be filled with an extra DPS class (not relevant here in BG, as we were under-manning, but I guess we were actually effectively 7-manning instead of 6-manning it, if you include the bear)
  • The bear might not take all negative effects (in this case the Immolate effect from Morgaraf, so it didn't have to run away every so many seconds), which sometimes makes up for having inferior sturdyness compared to a real tank

How to bear tank:

To the right: Zwartje moaning about having the aggro of an imaginary fabricated nazgûl (he's such a whimp!).

With all these buffs, the bear should be able to tank sufficiently. You don't need its force taunt Roaring Challenge unless there's an emergency. This skill doesn't give the bear any aggro, but just forces the target to attack the bear for a set amount of time. It doesn't have much to do with actual (permanent) tanking.

A debated tactic

In the past, bear tanking has been looked at with mistrust. The tricky part is in the "bear might not take all negative effects" part. If the bear is able to avoid a total game mechanic and ridicules the fight, you might speak of an exploit. This happened in Moria times, when a lore-master and a minstrel were able to duo the Turtle with a bear tank. The bear didn't get the acid dot that would force real tanks to swap aggro. Thus a fight designed for twelve could be completed by two. 

It must've been a very long fight, mind you. They had no champions or burglars to give the bear aggro, so the players weren't able to deal much damage to the Turtle, otherwise it would loose it. The bear would be main DPS. Meanwhile, the lore-master would be pulling power to supply the minstrel, who had to heal the bear with an increasing intensity. Seriously, it must've taken ages!

In the case of the Turtle, I can can understand how this was considered an exploit and why they changed it so it cannot be done anymore: people were using this to farm for first age symbols without having to roll against many others. However, bear tanking is usually harmless, as most people take the bear with them as a tank to approach fights in a different way and have some fun. Bear tanking isn't something you can do mindlessly: you need to make up a tactic and people need to coordinate and put effort in to let the bear keep having aggro. Also, healers will have to heal the bear more than they would a normal tank, because it's just a bit more squishy. Bear tanking in BG doesn't make the fights easier, rather harder. It did make it faster, though. If done the right way, bear tanking can be very much fun, like it was for us.

Finally, hurray for Zwartje, proud tank of Morgaraf!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

SWTOR: Griffon again

Yesterday, SWTOR's servers were down for a considerably long time, and what I didn't know until I checked the notes of that day, was that they were going to merge some of the previously known "destination servers", among which my own server, Nightmare Lands. This time it wasn't a 'voluntary' transfer, as was the case when they merged my old server Frostclaw with Nightmare Lands: now you just end up at a destination server with all your characters.

It baffles me myself how little I care about these server merges. Had it been LotRO, I would have expressed screams of terror at the prospect of losing the small but nice community of the Gilrain server. I guess I mostly feel connected to my guild mates in SWTOR, there isn't that much interaction between others. In other words, I don't sense a strong community in SWTOR - but that could also just be due to my own perception or playstyle, or it could differ per server. I do get the feeling that people are pretty indifferent to yesterday's merges compared to the initial ones of a month ago. Back then it was shocking news and nobody knew how it was going to turn out; today we know the drill and accept that it is a necessary evil for a company losing customers that does want to keep its game alive. That said, there were also a couple of positive notes about yesterday's merges, both general and personal:
  • Everyone now has 12 character slots instead of 9
  • Legacy names no longer need to be universal
Some people believe this is a bad thing, fearing confusion of identity. I myself think this will rarely be a problem. If you think about it, names in real life aren't unique either. I'm particularly happy myself that I got rid of Gryffin and am now called Griffon again!

  • Nightmare Lands was merged with Red Eclipse
Back when SWTOR was launched, many players I knew from LotRO went to either Frostclaw or Red Eclipse. Although most of them have stopped playing, who knows who I'll find back on Red Eclipse!
My only victim of the merges was Yu'no, who's name was already taken on Red Eclipse. The poor thing will have to live on with a further encoded name as Y-u'no (a cookie if you get the reference).

As my guild was doing a late night Ops that we weren't able to attend due to early work/study the day after, we logged Imperial ('imp') side and created new characters. Tiger made a punk-like bounty hunter, I a chiss Imperial agent called Yuniper. I love her cute Leia-like knots, her nice-looking face - she is going to be the new Mata Hari! I might be wrong, though: when I asked the closest authority (Tiger) if Yuniper was indeed pretty, he answered that the red eyes turn him off. Being a chiss she'll have to live with that handicap, however, it was nice to explore the new (Imperial) world and storylines, and we logged out having achieved level 3.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

LOTRO: A wild perlino appears!

I must have been as baffled as Ravanel looks on the picture above when I opened my mail and found a code for a perlino steed from my friend Danania. After leaving jealous commentary about her beautiful perlino steed pictures on Raining Perlinos, she arranged to give away one to me, just like that! Thanks, Supergirl! It was a very kind thing of you to do, and it makes me double as happy with my steed.

After my initial cheers faded, the hard job began: what to wear when riding my new perlino? It had to be something cheerful, because 1. the horse looks happy and 2. for some weird reason "perlino" makes me think of "praline" easter eggs, and those make me happy as well (badly hidden pro-tip for Tiger). Shows how much I know about horses (not so much): apparently "perlino" is about the cream colour of the horse's coat...

I always make sure the colours of my outfit match those of the steed and I had none in stock that would do. So a lot of ctrl + left mouse click followed, combined with a lot of grumbling because no chest piece would dye the same colour as the fabric on the horse's butt. But then I found it: the elven faction dress dyed navy gave the correct colour on top! Combined with Twisttongue's Cloak dyed red and the Turquoise Summer Circlet (note how the drop of the circlet fits with the red drop decorations on the horse) I looked like the princess version of Supergirl!

     Princess Supergirl Outfit     

I'd like to give a special thanks for the knight in hunter's armour, Memyr, who returned from PAX 2012 with an extra steed that he kindly gave away... to a total stranger (me)! It is these nice actions by players or bloggers that brighten my day. I will ride my perlino through Middle-earth with pride.