Wow… tomorrow marks exactly a year since my story marathon Steal Head ended. A whole year. Now that has really gone by quickly. To think how much has changed since then – how much of a high I was on. A few more months writing Gang Wars and that would be it for my time in Steelhead and SL, pissed off by a couple of tossers so much that I decided to give another game a try, a little thing called LOTRO… I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I actually have a lot to thank Sheriff Numbnuts and the One-Armed Wanker for 😀
Do you know what… it’ll be my 5th anniversary in SL on the 19th too. Blimey.
Somewhere, god alone knows where or when, I once described my feelings towards SL as a relationship in its final stages where, instead of a clean break, there was a repeating pattern of arguments, splits & reconciliations in which both parties knew the relationship was doomed but didn’t know what to do about it but both damn sure that when the next big argument came along they’d be off. Well that time has come.. except the final argument never happened, rather there was an entirely surprising turn of events that led to the relationship falling apart.
Like a good soap opera storyline, the end for me and SL didn’t come in one of my regular explosions of bad temper and swearing (often caused by lag or crashes or chat channels not working, or photos not going to flickr). No, the end snuck up on me suddenly. It was the equivalent of meeting someone new at work and going home and blurting out to your missus that you were leaving right there and then.
The new woman was LOTRO but she was not the reason I left SL. To be honest, if not her it would have been someone else. I’m sure SL felt the same way about me.
The sad truth is I had not been happy in SL since the end of TSMGO. I looked everywhere for a creative community and found only cliques and barriers. The few chinks of light I did find were too elusive to follow for long and when you throw in someone who really didn’t want you in his house, well lets just say I’m not surprised my eye went a-wandering. After all, how long do you keep head-butting a brick wall before your much admired perseverance becomes your much mocked stupidity?
So I spent a night with my new woman and fell in love. Sure she’s not as flexible as the old one and she doesn’t know my ways yet (or I hers) but in truth there are many similarities… it’s just that this new one is better in bed. Much.
Sorry SL. I didn’t mean this to happen. It’s not you… it’s me.
A busy week at home (as opposed to work for once) saw my online time reduced – oddly not in terms of being online often, but rather online for extended periods. Consequently I hardly got to do anything of any real worth until this weekend. Still, what time I was in-world was great fun – here’s a run-down:
Ranhold (Level 29 Man Champion Historian) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Finally completed the pie-delivery quest in The Shire. Yay. This one came after I’d completed the the quick post quest last week which also sees you running all over the place unable to use a horse and always watching for quest-ending nosey or hungry hobbits. Take my advice, use the special pie you are given to avoid hungry hobbits and buy a mail sack from the Mathom House to get past nosey hobbits – I didn’t realise about these until *after* each quest was finished and they really would have helped. Still, despite the grind of endlessly trudging through the very beautiful Shire, these quests did allow my five year old lad to play with me (the missus tells me off if I let him help kill goblins) and now “You hungry hobbit!” is a common insult at the Antfarm dinner table 😀
Had a good stab at clearing up as many of the last Shire Quests as possible – I really want to move on, but not until I’ve milked this brilliantly designed place dry! I now think there might be another sub-quest involving all the pubs in The Shire and am planning to do them all and drink all their beer (which makes your vision go wonderfully squiffy).
The one night I managed to get a prolonged spell in-world I went to a large Barrow in the Downs to clear up a couple of monster slaying quests. Christ what a slog that was! Luckily a kinmate, Enthallion, came to help me and being a high-level hunter he saved my arse many many times over. We were in that place longer than we expected (I had over 250 to kill!) but now it’s done I only have one more Barrow quest out standing – 300 spiders… if only I can work up the energy… *sob*
This weekend I decided to (finally) take Ran up through his farming skill and in a series of marathon grow-reap-sell sessions got him from zero to nearly the top of Expert. I thought this would be dull but honestly, I’ve LOVED it! You can sell what you grow through the auction house because cooks need it to make their foods, but you can also grow pipe-weed (which is tobacco to you and me) and everyone in Middle Earth loves pipe-weed! There are lots of different breeds of pipe-weed and while only one is really useful for magic, the rest are great fun! When you buy a puck & click on it your character starts to smoke a pipe and, depending on the type of weed you’re smoking, blows a lovely smoke ring effect or even more complex shapes such as this beauty 😀
Gorfrik (Level 12 Dwarf Hunter Armourer)
Poor Gorfik didn’t really get a look in this week. The little I did get to do with him involved:
Exploring the lands around the Dwarven outpost of Gondamon, he managed to level up with a mixture of the extra blue XP boost from Turbine and the +25% XP boost item I got for pre-ordering the Isengard pack. It’s funny switching from Ran in the Shire to Gorfrik in Erid Luin as Ran is way above level there and nothing is really a problem whereas I have to really think things through with Gor lest he ends up as a bear’s dinner.
Other Stuff… ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Two big events and one long thought this week:
I bought the Isengard pre-order. It made really good sense to me as it unlocked all the previous quest packs so my newly upgraded VIP world will now be wholly playable. There’s no chance I’l be ready for Isengard when it downloads in September though 😀 As a side note, I spent the 1000TP on a shared character storage spot which is proving very useful! Also Ran is not using the horses as his horse is just as good so he’s sticking with that, but Gorfrik is because they are faster than his starter pony. I’m not using the title because I feel it is important to earn titles not buy them. I am using the XP boost because I want to level up as fast as I can. Ran is wearing the red armour set where as Gorfrik won’t be wearing any. Phew, I think that’s about it on Isengard ;-D
I’ve also been thinking a lot about Ranhold’s Journal and his story style & arc(s). I’ve been reading a lot of other folks blogs over at my.lotro (such as this great one from Charazan) and wondering where I can go that feels fresh. I want to cover the actual key story, but I spend the vast majority of my time in off-main quests and want to reflect those as well. Also I like the humorous tone to both Ran’s & Gorfrik’s and want to keep that but, and for old readers of this blog this will come as no surprise, I want to introduce a darker element… something to reflect the constant state of danger these guys face. I’ll see how it goes but I welcome your thoughts 🙂
Finally, using the profits from Ranhold’s farming splurge I bought my first house! It’s just a basic, starter house with one chest but both my characters (and any more I create) can use it. Another bonus is that my lad likes to jump off the cliff into the waterfall just to hear my legs break at the bottom 😀