LOTRO: Trolling in the Trollshaws and other tales…

Another weekly update after another week of slow, fun developments 🙂

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Master Scholar. Level 42

Ranhold continues his path along the Epic Storyline and has been scouring the Trollshaws for signs of the missing Black Rider left unaccounted for after Gandalf’s show of strength at the Ford of Bruinen. This has meant some pretty hair-raising exploring and some down-right dangerous troll-bashing! Luckily the Elves have thought of this and can aid single explorers with their magic which helps them survive such encounters*

Away from the main story he managed to wander hither and yon in the strikingly beautiful Trollshaws and complete a great many quests. All this activity progressed him to the dizzy heights of Level 42 although he has moved nary a jot in his crafting as he’s run out of supplies of the next level of ingredients. Still he did manage to get two new swords that were a little better than his last two and his questing netted him a new set of armour (not a complete set**) that looks amazing! This was also the week *I* discovered how to use cosmetics and dyes and the shared wardrobe properly and now, instead of all my guys wearing a mix of odds and ends, I have been finding or making complete sets of armour that looks brilliant! I’ve been dying them as well to colour theme my lads – Ranhold is blue (currently navy but I’m looking to make a lot of Evendim Blue once I have the ingredients) and looks fantastic in his Forest Walker’s set 😀 I’ll post some pics tonight.

* Essentially you get a magic stone that is connected to certain points of the quest and if you are alone you can use it for a short time to make you super-tough and therefore enable you to complete the Epic Storyline alone as opposed to in a group as the game was originally written. These ‘god mods’ don’t work elsewhere so they can’t really help you cheat the game, instead they are a means to an end – getting solo players further into the game so they both continue to enjoy & play it, but also are more likely to part with real money to play other areas of it. Turbine are no dummies when it comes to making money from their player base – look at me, forked out £40 for Call of Duty, found it too hard and with no way of making it easier I left and haven’t played since (nor am I likely to ever again) yet in LOTRO I can keep going and keep giving the more moolah. Smart business model 🙂

** Armour can be made, found, sold & bought in game but the designers have gone to a lot of trouble to make sets that go together and many folks like to ensure they have all pieces because together they not only look like a cohesive collection but they multiply and add extra bonuses the more items you wear together. The designs are stunning and when you craft them (either for yourself or for sale in the auction house) you will find there are often several options of each – man design, dwarf design and elf design. Crafters can make any of those and they can be worn by all races (dwarf design is not just for the Dwarves, etc.) so you can choose from a huge range of gorgeous designs and that coupled with the ability to dye individual pieces different colours AND combine them with cosmetic only clothing layers means you have a freaking huge set of looks to design and chose from – take a look at the LOTRO Stylist or the LOTRO Fashion blogs and see for yourself! I’m still a noob at this but it shows the depth of gameplay when you think I’ve been playing this game feverishly for months now and am only now getting around to what is a HUGE part of the game mechanics!

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Artisan Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 23

Gorfrik has been hard at the forges and workbenches of both Esteldin and Thorin’s hall this week as he has crafted himself, Nimlarn & Rolcko new sets of armour (medium, light & heavy respectively and all critted versions too!). This has pushed his crafting levels up a tier and made him the hero of the team. Go Gorfrik, go you little Dwarven bugger, you! Nimlarn’s colour of choice is Dark Green but will be changing to Rivendell Green once Ranhold becomes a supreme scholar and can make it.

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Journeyman Woodworker. Level 22

Nimlarn has had a quiet old week but does have some nifty new armour to test out when I get around to sending him out for much needed yew wood. He’s gone for gold but neither of us are feeling it yet so his colour theme has still to be decided.

Hocko – Hobbit, Burglar, Tinkerer & Master Jeweller. Level 20

Also having a quiet week and without even a scrap of new armour to show for it, Hocko has become the red-headed step-child of the week. His colour is grey but may well become black in the future.

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoma, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 23

Rolcko has been proving his worth yet again by completing many skirmishes and earning marks so Gorfrik could have flax for stitching his armour together. This is the Circle of Crafting right here in action folks! Rolcko died his first ever death whist running the Tuckborough skirmish, but I predict many, many more as he fights on to give the rest of us valuable crafting supplies, the brave little sod *sniff*

Away from the boys I myself and I bought an extra character slot in the LOTRO Store weekly sales as I want to get an explorer going at some point (these guys can collect ore and wood, both areas I lack in as when Gorfrik is out ore collecting, Nimlarn can’t be collecting wood, etc.) but I have no immediate plans to create a new character just yet. Whilst spending TPs like they were going out of fashion I also bought the Warden & Rune-Keeper bundle so I now have access to all the character types as well as ten more wardrobe slots and an extra outfit slot to cope with my new found vanity. As long as Turbine keep showing me the Double TP Bonus Points deals, I’ll keep filling their wallets for them 🙂

I had a great run with my kinmate Amalthir who helped me with some very tough (and very angry, I worry about their blood pressure) Gauradan wolf-men in the Trollshaws – no idea if he reads this, but thanks mate 🙂

I didn’t get to meet up with my mate Tammi but she and Hocko have been exchanging letters about the silliness of the big folk and the tastiness of pies. Maybe this week we can get together and gang up on some orcs?

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