Work, as anyone who follows my tweets will know, has had my love spuds in its cruel, vice-like grip of late so I’ve not had the time or energy to blog about my activities in LOTRO but let me assure you, and as the good Lady Antfarm will attest through gritted teeth whilst cursing my computer in several different languages, there have been activities aplenty.
After my post about Ranhold needing better gear, I decided it was time to put my money with my mouth was and seriously look into advancing his weapon making craft. I also decided Gorfrik’s tailoring and armoursmithing had floundered enough. It was time for action! It was time for crafting! It was time to buy materials from the auction house!
Christ on a Bike but they are expensive! I managed to buy some ingots for Ranhold, but not enough. I also needed some polished jewels but more of that in a sec. Poor Gorfrik’s bids on leathers all fell through and it was only with the help of kinmates that he managed to get some of the furs he had collected turned into enough leathers to kick start his tailoring again. But still, both he and Ranhold hit brick walls pretty quickly and I logged out in frustration (I suspect work stress played a large part in my flouncing out if I’m honest).
That night I had a revelation in a dream*. I needed to become more self-sufficient in crafting! Both Ran & Gor had their crafts now so I couldn’t change them (nor would I want to – that would defeat the purpose) so what I needed was a new character to take up a new profession that would produce raw materials and goods both Ran & Gor could then turn into weapons and armour all three could use and could be sold at the auction house for some (after my recent purchases of ingots, much needed) silver & gold coin. Simples!
The very next day (or thereabouts, I forget a lot these days. I blame having kids, the missus blames my age, my dad says I’m starting early onset dementia whilst my mum claims it’s all because I ate cheap beef at Uni and how have CJD. Take your pick.) I created Hocko Harfoot, gentleman burglar and all round hobbit of nimble fingers & silent feet.
I quickly ran through the introduction (the attack on Archet Ranhold had been part of when her started albeit with some small & cool differences) and found myself in Michel Delving as a trainee bounder after witnessing a Nazgul chasing Frodo**.
I quickly got him started as a Tinker to give him the crafting abilities of a prospector (Gorfrik already has this but both he and Ran need a lot of ingots so two ore collectors would be good), jeweller (he could now polish all the dozens of precious stones I had been keeping in storage for auction but rather than sell them Ranhold would need them for his weapons and Hocko would need them for his performance-enhancing jewellery which I could both sell and equip all three characters with), and cook. This last one will, I suspect, end up being one of the silent, forgotten crafts that proves to be very, very important in much the same way as farming did with Ranhold.
And so the Great Crafting Experiment began.
And promptly stalled.
Sure Hocko could collect furs for leather, but he couldn’t turn those furs into leather for Gorfrik to make armour with. Sure Hocko could collect ores for metals, but the Shire is copper & tin rich and Ranhold needed steel and barrow-iron.
Frustration began to set in. I moved Gorfrik to Bree and spent what seemed like an entire day just riding around collecting barrow-iron ores and silver ores as well as light and medium furs. Hocko stayed in the Shire and collected as much tin & copper as he could as well as quite a few light furs from the wolf den near Waymeet. At the end of it Gorfrik could make the barrow-iron ingots Ranhold needed and Hocko polished the jewels that would adorn the swords, but progressing Ranhold’s weaponsmithing now seemed secondary to getting Gorfrik off the starting line of tailoring with some leather.
The solution was obvious. I needed another character. With nary a second to ask myself “Really? Another?” I created Nimlarn, Elf minstrel and, once I had completed the excellent Erid Luin introduction that Gorfrik had also gone through, Woodsman.
Being a woodsman gave him the crafting skills of forester (meaning I could turn furs into leathers for Grofrik at last!), woodworker (better bows for Ran & Gor and better fishing poles for all!) and farmer (double the chance of producing materials for Ran to make into dyes and auction for mucho silver & gold!).
Now my Circle of Crafting*** was complete. Now I could be, as long as I put in the time, effort and (in-game) money, self-sufficient and profitable. So far I’ve been really enjoying playing Nimlarn (minstrels are sooooo freakin’ cool!) that my crafting is going slower than I’d hoped, but at least it is going at last. When all these bad boys are up to the right levels in their crafts I’ll be pumping out top notch gear like something that pumps out top notch gears. A gear factory I guess, one that’s had some sort of ISO & IIP system in place and where the workers are happy & well paid. Yeah, something like that.
Nimlarn: Gathering wood & furs to get out of the Apprentice stage is going slowly right now, mainly because wood isn’t as plentiful as it feels it should be but I think by the time to post is published he’ll be nicely on his way.
Hocko: His jewellery is progressing nicely and I expect to start making things of real worth soon. His cooking needs attention but to do that I have to get Ranhold & Nimlarn down to the farm (lazy buggers).
Gofrik: His tailoring & armoursmithing are both coming along too. I’m finding that armour does not sell well at the auction house unless it’s been ‘critted’ (by which I mean that during its making there was a successful critical chance it would turn out to be superior to the original plan) so this could be a money sink.
Ranhold: Ironically, he’s not actually made any weapons despite having had all the materials for quite some time and my need for him to have better swords being the catalyst of all this alt & crafting lunacy. Instead he’s been concentrating on crafting scrolls for reputation with the Scholar’s Guild at Rivendell so he can make Guild-strength potions and dyes for sale in the auction house. So far he’s proving to be the financial powerhouse of this endeavour, pulling in around 500 silver pieces a day. I’m still a looooong way of being comfortably off in game, let alone rich as I only have a combined total of about 6 gold pieces (I’ve had more but spent them on houses, horses, extra storage & crafting supplies at the auction house, right now I’m recovering from being nearly broke a week ago – a horrible feeling!).
So there you have it. I – we – have been busy bees in-world and as I’ve booked a whole day off work next Monday I expect to be even busier. I want to get to a point where all my characters can process and produce goods that Ranhold (my highest level character) can use or that will sell in auction rather than just be vendored away. It’s not much of a plan but it’s the best I’ve got ;)
* I didn’t really. Well I did but it was about a workmate taking a wee in the street so I’d rather forget about it if you don’t mind. No, this revelation was more of a slow distillation as I drove to work but having a dream message seems more dramatic, don’t you think? I’m not sure what message the workmate-wee-street dream was trying to impart and if I have my way I’ll never know as I’m refusing to think about it.
** Really, do I need to start just how amazingly cool this encounter was? No, didn’t think so :)
*** Totally by accident and about five days after I had created Nimlarn to as according to My Great Plan, I came across a post over on Casual Stroll to Mordor that sort of proves I’ve done the right thing. Nice to know that my old noodle isn’t totally mushed up yet :) Read it here: http://www.casualstrolltomordor.com/2011/03/self-reliant-crafting/