keltorn

#LOTRO: The Rise of the Rune Keeper

In between trying to get work up-to-date before I leave for the arrival of orcling number two and battling through a family-wide cold of Biblical Proportions to get the house ready for said orcling number two, I’ve not had much time to game. Yet ‘not much time’ is not ‘no time’ (that comes next week with the arrival of orcling two) and I *have* managed a few exciting sessions 😀


Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Supreme Weaponsmith & Supreme Scholar. Level 51
Still enjoying an extended study break in Rivendell, the old battler has put aside thoughts of war and is deep into matters of lore instead. He still finds time to craft potions, dyes and items for the rest of the team but in truth his thoughts are more turned to learning and knowledge than fighting and conflict, for now at least…


Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 46
With the help of a lottery win, all of his marks and medallions and the incredibly kind assistance of my kinmate Saelolyn, Keltorn finally got all his class items together and gained all of his masteries. And this is where the fun wagon of playing this guy solidly from level 40 in early December until now lost all its wheels and came to a crashing halt.


By this point, after the weeks of constant combat with much higher level mobs in Forocel & Erigion, I had got his combat gamit patterns down pat. Ambush, critical strike, 1231, 2121, 1231, 1212, 2323, 2121, 1313, 3123, 1231, etc, etc, etc. Sure sometimes I’d lob a few random javelins in there, or have to change up my heals to attack patterns and ratio if things were looking hairy. Hell sometimes I’d explore the other gambits just for fun, putting evade buffs with tiered heals to see how long I could take a walloping before I had to start the attack rotations again. I wouldn’t say I was an expert, but when I was on my game I was pretty damn good and won many fights I really shouldn’t have taken on.


And then I got the masteries. Masteries are skills that combine two of the three gamits of Spear (1), Shield (2) and Fist (3) into single moves of, for example, Spear & Shield (1-2) or Fist and Spear (3-1). Using one of these instead of the two individual key presses speeds up the building of a combat move and allows more than one use of that combat move when cooldowns might rule such an act out. All of this is fine in theory, but in practice your easy to use 1-2-3 keyboard layout and months of ‘finger memory’ all fight against these like a tiger in a sack and I found my wonderful warden overnight stopped being a playful killing machine and became a bumbling country bumpkin barely able to twunt a neekerbreeker, let alone envicerate an orc or skewer a charging warg.


I fretted and stressed. I railed and cursed. I slapped my PC and walked away from the game. In the end I calmed down and googled. As with many things LOTRO, A Casual Stroll to Mordor came to my rescue. Not only did I find out I was not alone & that Merrick was having similar issues, but they have an excellent series of posts about being a warden. The post about masteries really helped me understand how these things worked (and why!) as well as suggesting a keyboard layout to better manage them, and so I dived in and changed all of my keymapping in order to help me master the masteries. Except it didn’t. It was at this stage I lost it. My fingers simply could not navigate all these new keys accurately enough or fast enough to be of any use and I gave up again.


I sank in to the slough of dispond. My beloved Warden had become unplayable. Woe was me.


In various stages of depression, I tried various different keyboard and skill layouts but nothing seemed to work, they all failed to register in my memory and my fingers crashed across them like a drunken spider. And then one night as I lay in bed it came to me. The answer was there in front of me, my fingers involuntarily dancing across an invisible keyboard as I mapped it out in my mind. It was simple. It was beautiful. What’s more, it would work! Stretch the three gambits and all the masteries across the 1 to 0 keys and my fingers would find the way! They would  dance across the keys, admittedly not in the precise tango they had been used to performing with the simple 1-2-3 patterens of before, but at least it wouldn’t be a desperate stomp across a strange block of keys I couldn’t remember no matter how much I tried. As soon as I tried it, It felt right, it felt like a first kiss, tentative but good. I was back on track!


Unfortunately, by this point, I had grown bored of warden combat and needed something new to avoid burn out. I’m a fickle bugger. Poor Keltorn!


Arranborn – Elf, Rune Keeper, Explorer, Level 32
And this is where Arranborn came in. Over this weekend I decided I wanted to dust off my new RK and get him back out and about and I bloody well loved it! I got him from 28 to 32 in a few short (but intense) skirmishes and have kitted him out in critted armour and bling ready for many more trips through the skirmish finder. Yet out osf all this my greatest fun with him has been finding out how much I enjoy healing a group! I didn’t think I would and the first time I was asked to I did a terrible job of managing my agg by constantly joining in the fight with DpS. I was, of course, killed but was lucky enough to be running with a paitent soul who nicely told me I needed to “watch your agg”. I popped into another skirmish and did just that, hanging back, not spamming heals for the sake of clicking something, just watching the ebb & flow of the fight and scanning the green bars for dips I could correct… in the end I found I enjoyed this different kind of play as much as the chaos and carnage of straight up melee 😀


Since then I’ve been desperate to try more and more healing roles and I’m really keen to try and heal a major raid as it sounds like a real challenge.


Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Artisan Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27
The itch to play Gorfrik has gone away again as Arranborn is giving me all I need. He’s been making armour for Saelolyn’s characters as a show of thanks for her help in getting Keltorn his last class item.


Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Artisan Woodworker. Level 22
All that was once beautiful fades and alls to corruption. I weep. I weep. Frig me, save us from the elves!


Hocko – Hobbit, Burglar, Tinkerer & Master Jeweller. Level 20
Hocko is keeping a low profile as the affair with the bar-keep’s wife came to light recently and he has yet another price on his head.


Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32
Cooking and auctioning. What a guy!


Elsewhere…
Salazar is now in the game and exploring Bree-Land and the Shire – our paths have yet to cross, but we have exchanged letters and maybe one day we’ll find ourselves holding the line side-by-side. Outside of Middle-Earth work is insane, the house is a tumble of new furniture and I’m about to welcome orcling number two into the family. I picked a hell of a week to stop drinking draino…

#LOTRO: It’s all about the Warden

I have been locked on a path with my warden since mid December that is nearing its end, but I’m enjoying the class so much I’m in no hurry to swap to anything else right now. Great news this week is that my old SL mate, Salazar Jack, has joined not only LOTRO by my server (Sonwbourn). I look forward to meeting up in the Prancing Pony for a pint of Butterbur’s finest soon 🙂

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Supreme Weaponsmith & Supreme Scholar. Level 51

After gaining his legendary weapons and traits it’s bee a quiet time for the old battler. In the near future I want to get him back on the epic story line and into Moria, but not before I’ve completed his class quests and completed the whole Shadows of Angmar tale.

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 46

Keltorn’s journey through Forocel & Erigion for his legendary traits were fun indeed, as was his gaining of his legendary spear and javelin fighting the Watcher of the Water outside Moria, but since then he’s not stopped! With the help of my great kin mate Elrexob I have gained all but three of his class quests too and once I have those he’ll gain use of his masteries, something I’m both looking forward to (more powaaaaar!) and dread (head storage status is critical). Still, no point bellowing insults at the tide, best just to strip off, run in and have a damn good swim.

My long term plans are to do more skirmishes, move through more Epic Storyline content and write up some more of his adventures – the stuff I’ve written so far can still be read here  (honestly I really do have plans to carry them on at some point! Honest!).

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Artisan Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27

Sewing like a trooper and going through flax like it grew on trees (!) Gorfrik is startingto be a small itch under my skin that says ‘plaaaay me… plaaaaaaaay me again…’

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

The boats are sailing… the world goes grey… the leaves, the fallen leaves make me weep so. Jesus, bloody elf.

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

Hocko is grinding like a demon.If the bar maid’s husband finds out he’s a dead hobbit!

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32

Cooking and very little else. I know I should do something with this guy, but god alone knows what and when – Ranhold and Keltorn have all the action sewn up at the moment.

Arranborn – Elf, Rune Keeper, Explorer, Level 28

After a huge start, Arranborn has been twiddling his thumbs in Michel Delving and awaiting care packages of ore and wood from Keltorn so he could process it for Hocko, Gorfrik and Nimlarn. Maybe after Keltorn goes as far as I want him I’ll come back to him.

Elsewhere…

Work is as busy as hell in high season, I’ve had a total bastard of a cold and my home life is about to get one more person busy. I picked a hell of a week to chewing qat…

#LOTRO: “You, you were supposed to be a monster…”

Last night I realised what a bastard I am.

I realised this as I, or rather Keltorn, was slaughtering his twentieth Dunlending wood cutter. An Elf in Erigion’s Gwingris had sent me out there to kill twelve of these poor buggers and I had set about my task with a certain amount of unhealthy glee* (and an even unhealthier dose of resigned boredom) when it hit me. What a bastard I was.

Here these poor fuckers were, just cutting down trees. True they weren’t their trees but we aren’t talking about industrial harvesting here. Also true they were cutting them down to feed Saurman’s war machine, but these guys weren’t Saurman or any of his generals, they were just labourers and their guards. True they were Dunlendings, but that doesn’t make them inherently evil – many Dunlendings stood against Saurman and those that fought with him were tricked with promises of vengeance for what could very easily be seen to be a legitimate grievance over the Gondorian kings giving their traditional lands to the Rohirrim horsemen. And here I was, taking sides in a fight I, or rather Keltorn, had so little information about he shouldn’t have been forming an opinion on, let alone killing people for.

Yet I was doing just that.

Unlike hacking down orcs and goblins, there were no monsters in this fight. No monsters but me.

What a bastard.

* Glee because it afforded me chance to get more pages of my legendary skills books, more XP to get me nearer level 45 and my legendary weapon and more Dunlending kills to secure me a racial bonus that would help my evade and block ratings in combat. Not only were these poor fuckers part of a conflict Keltron didn’t understand, they were placed there *just* to be killed which also explains the resigned boredom bit.

#LOTRO: Grinding hard!

The Xmas break was just what I needed. I de-stressed from work, ate great food, had fun with the family and spent tons of time on LOTRO moving (some of) my guys up various ladders 😀

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Supreme Weaponsmith & Supreme Scholar. Level 51

The last few weeks have seen me concentrating on Arranborn and Keltorn so lucky old Ranhold had a holiday too. No fighting orcs and worms for him, no instead I managed at last, and with only several days of material gathering and the spending of several gold pieces in the AH, to get his weaponsmith skills up to supreme. This has been the one skill in all my guy’s skills I have found the hardest to level simply because it needed so much bloody metal ores to make the mountains of various ingots the weapon crafting required! God what a ballache! Still, I can now make weapons that go up to 60ish so it’s been worth it 🙂

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 44

Keltorn, bored of hanging around Bree punching boars to death, decided to gather his legendary pages before he hit 45 at which point he would go and get his own legendary weapon from Moria (Ranhold’s been winding up about having an inferior weapon – boys!). He rode out to Forocel and spent an enjoyable time marmalising Guradan wolf-men warriors from whom he got half the needed pages and a couple of lovely levels. After that he rode out to Erigion and set about riding the world of half-orcs and Dunlendings by the cart load. As it stands he has four more pages to collect which should just about get him to 45 at which point he too goes Legendary, baby!

I’m *really* enjoying playing this guy – his self-heals make long fights quite enjoyable as you have to mix the gambits up to keep your morale up enough whilst still doing damage and cycling through evade & block buff moves. All in all it’s way more complex & interesting than fighting with a Champ and almost as much fun. Almost.

Speaking of Champs, Ranhold crafted a big old sword for Keltorn and although I know Wardens use swords and I really like the sword Ran made, something just feels so very wrong about him not having a spear. I wonder what I’ll go for at 45?

My long term plans are to do more skirmishes, move through more Epic Storyline content and write up some more of his adventures – the stuff I’ve written so far can still be read here  (honestly I really do have plans to carry them on at some point! Honest!).

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Artisan Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27

No fighting still for our brave dwarven hunter, but plenty of crafting for Keltorn has seen him rise up a lot. His crit chance is still waaaay lower than any of my other guys which means he wastes a lot of leather and flax. Fair breaks my heart 😦

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

Nimlarn stopped wafting about Esteldin for just long enough to move his woodworking up and and craft some lovely spears, javelins, bows and crossbows for the rest of the team. Still a bloody elf though.

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

Hocko is still grinding out rep items but has also managed to make new bling for Arranborn and Keltorn – what a guy!

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32

Rolcko has been cooking up lots of regen food for Ranhold and Keltorn – the latter seems to burn through it like it’s going out of fashion! The x25 guild recipes are great though – first guild recipe I actually use I think, except for Ranhold’s dyes & health potions.

Arranborn – Elf, Rune Keeper, Explorer, Level 28

Arranborn went from 20 to 28 in a blistering few days of mad skirmishing! He’s already capable of gathering and preping the same level of materials as Keltorn so I just need to get him through his 30s and I can start getting his legendary skills and weapons too. I may leave that a while or I’ll burn out, but I’m looking forward to getting back on with him as RKs are great fun!

Elsewhere…

Back at work now so play will slow down I expect. I picked a hell of a week to stop sniffing petrol.

#LOTRO: Double whatnow?

The family have gone. Peace once more rules in the Antfarm household. Unfortunately work is a right old bastard and I have barely enough time to go for a wee most days, let alone blog. Still, I’ve got some playing in, mainly guild rep crafting, AH playing and some (accidental) power levelling of a certain Warden I know…

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Supreme Scholar. Level 49

Stubbornly hanging on to the dying end of level 49, Ranhold has been ignored of late after my marathons Orc-slay-a-thons in Angmar failed to net me the last to pages of my legendary books resulted in a near case of burnout-induced rage. Still, after a few days of rollicking good fun with Keltorn and then several more days of happily crafting guild rep items across all my guys I was ready to return to Ranhold and his search – and was immediately rewarded with one of the two final missing pages meaning he now has two (count ’em!) legendary combat skills that are both freakin’ OOOSSSOOOMMMM! *sching sching*

I’m hoping to start him back on the path of the Epic Books again soon – after all, Gloin is still waiting for him in the *shudder* Misty Mountains 🙂

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 40

Frustrated beyond belief with Ranhold’s inability to find the last two pages of his legendary books (no matter how many frigging orcs I had to kill!) I decided to roll out Keltorn and run him through a few skirmishes. My plan was to use some of the skirmish reward boosts and XP boosts I’d won in the lotteries to move him up from level 34 to 35 or 36.Little did I know I’d chosen a weekend that Turbine gave out double XP across the board! My we warden shot up through the ranks like a pig with poker up its arse and after what felt like no time at all I hit 40 with him! Since then he’s been on a bit of a go-slow as I’ve been crafting guild rep with the rest of my guys and trying to get Ranhold to the next level but I can honestly say I’ve freaking’ loved playing the warden class! 😀

My long term plans are to do more skirmishes, move through more Epic Storyline content and write up some more of his adventures – the stuff I’ve written so far can still be read here  (honestly I really do have plans to carry them on at some point! Honest!).

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27

Gorfrik hammered his own hand flat whilst making a new shield. People are beginning to suspect he’s not the full shilling.

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Nimlarn was last seen wafting about a meadow somewhere droning on and on about how the world was so sad and grey now. Bloody elves.

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

Hocko is back in Esteldin’s good books and quietly crafting rep items for the bling guild.

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32

Rolcko has been rescued from the well and has been spending his convalescence in Michel Delving cooking for the troops, working his way up the cook”s guild ladder and doing very nicely indeed in the auction house (one sale netted me more GP in one go than I had made from my whole previous 8 months in game – blimey).

Elsewhere…

I’m fighting off the temptation to roll up a Rune Keeper and start it all again. This would be a Silly Thing as I simply don’t have time but man do I want some lightning action! Also? Christsavemeformwork. I picked a hell of a week to injecting CIA-grade acid.

#LOTRO: Snow, snow and more ruddy snow…

My wee gazelleling looked at me yesterday and said “It’s flipping chaos in this house!” and he is right. Family have descended upon us and me and the The Boy are besieged by noisy women. I’ve taken to my computer room and he’s being killed by a thousand aunty kisses and hugs. Still, better him than me and his sacrifice means I am getting some serious game time in 😀

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Master Scholar. Level 48

After the fun and excitement of raiding in Annuminas and watching the Fellowship leave Rivendell, I decided it was high time Ranhold got back on the Epic Story line and met up with Gimli. That was all well and good except I had figured on how much I would hate the misty mountains.

Seriously! there is fuck all there but monsters! I decided it was actually high time I cleared out some quests in other areas instead and I headed back west with all speed. The quests I handed in eventually led me to Forocel and although I had long wanted to go there my brush with the snowy wastes of the Misty Mountains had left a sour taste in my mouth. Still, I had a quest to hand in so I pressed on through and boy am I glad I did!

Forocel is NOTHING like the misty mountains. For one thing it is full of people (and monsters). People who want you do things for them. People who have a complex (by the game’s standards, maybe not quite at the level of the Middle East peace process) net work of political and social links that you have to navigate. For a cold, snowy waste the dam place feels alive and exciting and is a delight to play in! On top of all that it afforded me my first missing pages from the books that would, when complete, grant me a legendary skill with which to smite my enemies and pull chicks!

The three books all had nine missing pages and I had found all those I could in 3 or 4 days (five pages from each book can be found in Forocel) leaving me the tough decision of staying with my new Lossoth friends or travelling back to Angmar to find the remaining pages.

I chose Angmar.

Two days I played there, confined to one very small orc camp as I mercilessly slaughtered every stinking orc I could find to see which of them had a missing page. hundreds have died and at last I have completed one of the three books (and have the excellent skill attached and working – sching sching!) but the remaining teo books are stuck at an annoying one page missing from each. There are only so many orcs I can hack up before I start to run the risk of flashbacks. Or RSI.

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27

Gorfrik managed to sawn his hand to some armour and is currently the laughing stock of Esteldin’s Tailor’s Guild.

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Nimlarn was spotted in Bree poncing about like a great waste of time, musing about the beauty of a cloud and singing to a flower. Bloody elves.

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

Hocko escaped from Estedin’s goal and is currently at large (well, as large as a hobbit can be) and on the Ranger’s “Most Wanted…” list.

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32

Rolcko was investigating some odd sounds from old Pipleaf’s well when he fell in – a rescue operation is slated to start sometime soon.

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 34

Keltorrn’s discovered the joys of polishing his javelin. Dirty boy.

You can still read Keltorn’s adventures here and I actually do have plans to carry them on at some point.

Elsewhere…

Workworkworkworkwork and mad in-laws. I picked a hell of a week to stop licking toads.

#LOTRO: As Arkwright would have said, it’s been a funny old week…

So on top of work grabbing me by the doodahs, poor Mrs Antfarm has ended up in hospital with suspected Swine Flu and a near-miss with pnuemonia, all of which meant many tips to and from hospital and looking after my wee Gazelleling so not much gaming has been done with only Ranhold doing anything of note

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Master Scholar. Level 45

I finally, finally, FINALLY got to the city of Annumias in Evendim and boy I was not disappointed! The who place is magnificent… and bloody dangerous! I died more there in one day than I have in the past 3 months! Bands of Angmarian invaders roam the streets, pockets of Rangers hold key areas and sudden burst of violence erupt as street battles unfold around you. I freaking love it! It feels more ‘alive’ than many other places I’ve been too and I get the impression this pales in comparison to the latest work in Isengard (which in itself is but a shadow of what is to come by the time we get to Gondor!). I’ve been questing a little – the roving quest giving Ranger is a really neat idea! but my main drive has been to get the Epic Storyline involving the re-forging of Narsil completed so instead of fighting around the city, I spent some time completing the Blue Lady quests in order that she would un-flood Elendil’s tomb and allow me to regain the jewel I needed to take back to Aragorn.

Christ on a tandem that was hard! Seriously hard! In the end I had to beg the help of my kin mates and was delighted when 6 of them answered and agreed to help me out there. We retrieved the stone and then went on to do the remaining three instances in Annuminas which were brilliant fun! And despite my fears that I’d be a weak link or hold back these players of 65 & 75, I managed to hold my own and even tanked one of the bosses successfully and was the last man alive at the death of the Cargul! Sure it was largely down to the heroic efforts of the other team members, not to mention a fair bit of luck, but it was also some damn fine playing on my part – I was, as they say, in the zone! Hoohah!

My next steps will be to return the jewel to Strider and help re-forge the famous sword, but in the meantime (and as is the way when playing such a complex tale, i.e. occasionally out of order) I managed to be present at the departure of the Fellowship from Rivendell. It was, without doubt, the coolest moment of my 6 months playing the game – I was there as Gandalf & Elrond spoke to the hobbits, men, dwarf and elves about the their perilous journey ahead, as Boromir again argued for more action, as Aragorn counselled caution and as Bilbo tearfully bade farewell top his nephew. Hell, I even watched as Sam led Bill the pony over the bridge and toward the Misty Mountains! This was a seriously squee, fanboy, 14 year old playing MERP moment for me and no mistake 😀

As this week settles down in to a new routine, albeit temporary until the good lady of the house come back, I shall be moving Ranhold into the mountains as well – I have a certain dwarf named Gloin to meet and several legendary items that won’t collect themselves…

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27

Gorfrik dropped an anvil on his foot and is still laid up in Esteldin driving the Rangers there mad with his rude comments on their health care system.

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Nimlarn has become so fey as be almost transulcent and has spent the last few weeks drifting around Bree like a pointless cloud.

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

Poor Hocko is currently under lock & key in Esteldin when his sticky little fingers were found to be somewhere they, and the rest of him, shouldn’t have been. Bail has been set at 10gp.

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32

Rolcko was returning from his visit to his great Aunt Rose in the South Farthing when a squirrel spooked his horse and he too a tumble. He’s currently recuperating in the house of a very nice widow hobbit named Fleur who is feeding him fit to burst. Could love be in the air?

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 32

Keltorn received a letter from his mother asking him to return to Bree as his uncle was very sick and someone needed to run the farm. He is not best pleased about this as he also received a letter from an Elf in the North downs who needed a good Warden and had been passed his name. He hopes to ride out there soon.

You can still read Keltorn’s adventures here and I actually do have plans to carry them on at some point.

Elsewhere…

Workworkworkworkwork and more work, visiting a poorly wife and looking after a small child. I picked a hell of a week to stop sniffing glue.

#LOTRO: It’s been a long time, baby…

Work has been a swine. It still is, but a little less so hence this post (assuming I ever get to finish it, let alone post it). I’ll keep it quick because I don’t have much time – here we go…

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Master Scholar. Level 44

I’ve really not had much time for gold old Ranhold in the last couple of weeks. He remains at level 42 and in Evendim on the cusp of entering Annuminas at long, long, loooong last. In the meantime I have whisked him away to Bag End so he could explore Bilbo’s Haunted Cellar (which was amazing – well done Turbine!). Now work has calmed down, and after listening to the latest Evendim-themed episode of Shipwreck’s wonderful podcast “Beneath your Feet…”, and seeing how Keltorn has managed to help Nimlarn, Hocko & Gorfrik move up their crafting ladders with yew, lebethron & dwarf-iron, I’ve decided that I will be taking Ranhold through the rest of Evendim now before returning to the Epic Storyline in the Misty Mountains.

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 27

Gorfrik has been stuck over a workbench or forge using up stacks of the materials gathered by Keltorn – slowly but surely he’s moving up the crafting levels helping me become very self-sufficient.

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Pretty much the same as Gorfrik – all the yew and lebethron wood Keltorn has collected has pushed him up a woodworking level or two at long last.

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

Poor Hocko, he just sits in Esteldin like a forgotten dog tied up outside a shop hoping his master will come out soon and give him a hug.

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 32

Rolcko has been on a long holiday to see his great Aunt Rose away in the South Farthing and no one knows when he’ll return. Hopefully it will be soon as all the lads are running out of food!

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 32

With Eventure gone there seemed little sense in levelling Keltron slowly through the Epic Story as was the plan, especially given he is an Explorer and therefore can collect the ore & wood so needed by my other guys for crafting. No, with his partner gone Keltorn began a blazing rise through the levels and in two weeks went from 14 to 32 taking in the Old forest, the North Downs, Evendim, the Lone-Lands and much of the Trollshaws as he collected stacks of yew, rich-iron, silver, gold, lebethron, dwarf-iron and platinum. By the time he dinged 32 the other lads had crafted him and entire suit of armour, range of weapons and set of jewellery to say thanks – and as every item was critted purple it was a pretty big thanks at that 🙂

Keltorn has still been following the Epic Storyline but that’s only for my amusement as I do quite love being part of the unfolding tale, most of his levelling has come through skirmishing and my plan is simple – keep levelling him hard and fast until he can go anywhere and gather the materials for crafting. Essentially this will mean the end to playing Gorfrik, Nimlarn & Hocko (and possibly Rolcko to a lesser extent) as they will be mere crafters now but fighting with Keltorn and Ranhold is such fun that I don’t mind (and it means I only have 2 – or 3 –  combat styles to try and remember instead of 6).

You can still read Keltorn’s adventures here and I actually do have plans to carry them on at some point.

Elsewhere…

Workworkworkworkwork and more work. Bloody work 🙂

#LOTRO: Back to the drawing board…

What a week. My sword mate Eventure (who played Everwyn with Keltorn) has left the game to deal with RL issues so I am once again friendless…

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

Ranhold did a fair bit this week but his much anticipated fight with Longbough the Ent was a damp squib as the instance proved to be broken. I’ve reported the bug (the final boss bad guy, a huge huron, can not be engaged in battle) so no doubt I’ll get to do it one day 🙂 Other than that he’s been completing more wonderful Everdim quests and moving up the reputation tables for both the Wardens of Annuminas and the Elves of Rivendell. He also splashed out and spent about 5gp on scholar items so he could get back to crafting (hence the Rivendell rep increase) but it’s only temporary and he really needs to move to the Misty Mountains to get more of the items he needs. Aside from that he’s just spent a little time making spikes and fire-oils for Keltorn.

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 28

Gorfrik has been out and about in Evendim trying to collect gold, but it’s slim pickings and no mistake. Still, I have a shed-full of Rich Iron ore now which should offset Ranhold’s AH splurge 😀

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Apart from making a fist carving class item for Keltorn (I now wish I’d made shield so I’ll change that tonight) and briefly flirting with the idea of making some Level 20 weapons for him as well, Nim’s been as quiet as the grave.

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

I’m sorry to say I didn’t get Hocko out at all, although he’s building up a nice reserve of gems from my others guys must be almost as rich as old Bilbo by now 😀

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 30

Apart from skirmishing a few times, this old warrior has had a quiet week.

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 14

Ahhhh, Keltorn, my new best guy 😀 I’m still having a blast with my Warden even if I have yet to find a system to help me remember all the gambit combos 🙂 Unfortunately my playmate has left so I’m not following the Epic Story with him now meaning his tales might end very soon. Instead I’m now going to level him as quickly as possible so he can collect ore and wood from all over the place for my other guys to craft with. Still, I will miss the structured group experience I had with Eve a lot.

I have been writing about Keltorn’s adventures here.

Elsewhere…

Nothing much really. Loving my Champ’s Ardour stance and hating how many steps there are in cooking recipes. Still finding and killing Rares but starting to realise the sapphire shards I’ve collected from them are pretty worthless, but that is the subject of another post…

#LOTRO: Loving The Unloved

A strange week for me, mainly because I didn’t get much time to play with Keltorn & Everwyn, something that is rapidly becoming the highlight of my gaming week. Add to that my time away from the computer both the keep my beloved happy and to celebrate our 12th anniversary and I really have felt detached from things.

Ranhold – Man, Champion, Historian, Master Expert Weaponsmith & Master Scholar. Level 42
I did take Ranhold out a little, but oddly enough after last week’s delight at questing in Evendim I removed him completely from that area and dropped him back into Esteldin & the North Downs. There was method in my maddness and I really enjoyed my time in both places, but I’m still itching to get back to my Ent friend by Lake Everdim. The reason I airlifted the big guy out was simple enough – I grew sick and tired of the number of unfinished quests he was carrying so I decided to get the bugger working hard and tackling the Small Fellowship jobs he hadn’t be able to do his 30s. I can honestly say I’ve had a great time smacking the Dourhands about in the mountains north of Esteldin as well as taking on the entire orc & troll army in the south-east single-handedly 😀

Gorfrik – Dwarf, Hunter, Armourer, Master Metalsmith & Artisan Tailor. Level 28
Well paint me blue and call me a smurf if old Gorfrik hasn’t finally been released from crafting duties and given the chance to let loose his arrows upon the poor wargs and spiders of the Lone Lands. I took him there to mine gold after I went and emptied his over-flowing quest bag too. To be honest, the gold has been thin but the deed rewards & XP have been coming thick and fast and he’s jumped up a fair few levels in no time!

Nimlarn – Elf, Minstrel, Woodsman & Master Expert Woodworker. Level 22

Sigh. No one loves poor Nimlarn. In truth I can’t face the time it’s going to take me to learn how to play him again after the RoI update.

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

Although Hocko got no playing time in he did make some very nice gold jewellry for Gorfrik & Rolcko and so managed to push up his crafting a level at long, long last. I just need a lot more gold for him and I can start working on his guild rep next. I can’t see me playing this guy any other way for a loooong time to come.

Rolcko – Hobbit, Guardian, Yeoman, Supreme Farmer & Master Cook. Level 30

Too little time online meant that old Rolcko was left by the wayside. Maybe I’ll get some more skirmishes under his belt this week 🙂

Update: After typing that I was inspired to take him out and complete a few Shire quests such as The Quick Post, Lost Sheep & Brew-Master – he’s now a shade off kindred with the Mathom Society 🙂

Keltorn – Man of Bree, Warden, Explorer. Level 14

Poor Keltorn & Everwyn, my time away really impacted on our time this week. Still we have big plans for the next week or two and are even (as I type) discussing looking for a kin to join together. Personally I’m really looking forward to getting into the Barrow-Downs with her as in all my visits there what I’ve missed most is someone to watch my back (and I there’s) in what is a frankly bloody dangerous place 🙂

Both Everture and I have been writing about Keltorn & Everwyn’s adventures and you can read our accounts here and here.

Elsewhere…

That’s all folks. I’ve been updating my blog over at My.LOTRO but I’ve also opened (yet to post) one over on the revamped My.Middle-Earth.net site as well. Like the My.LOTRO one it’ll just be a mirror for a select bunch of the posts I put on my main Blog de la Burro but it’ll be nice to pick up another reader or two 🙂