blog moving

I’ve started a new blog at   If you would like to continue reading, please update your links, readers etc 🙂

I will not be updating this blog anymore, although I will be keeping an eye on it and the posts will remain.

I have transferred some posts over to my new blog – the cook’s guild repast spreadsheet, some useful info posts, the red maid series and the sindarin series.

I’ve moved for a few reasons.  Firstly, I am now getting a lot of spam comments to deal with (even though Akismet saves me from loads), I don’t really want an audience of spammers 😉  Secondly, as this blog is now over 4 years old and was something of a learning process, I have hundreds of posts and screenshots all organised very badly…  Finally, the change from blogging about EQ2 to LoTRO meant I lost focus with what I wanted from writing a blog.  Really I want a place to share screenshots and details of my adventures.  I do occasionally write something that others find useful and I’ll continue posting anything I do like that.  I will also carry on sporadically adding entries to the sindarin and red maid series.

See you all over at the new site 🙂


exploring Telon

As I’m in a bit of a pre-update 10 lull with lotro (and the server downtime), this week I’ve been playing some Vanguard again.   To get back into the game, I decided to roll a new character (a shaman halfling) in their racial starter area rather than go to the Isle of Dawn.  Although the Isle of Dawn is probably the best all-round newbie experience, I’m preferring being out in the open world, especially as they have revamped the racial starter areas to be more in line with IoD including the rewards.  The Bracelet of Lucky Charms is now available from the questlines found in the Cliffs of Ghelgad, Tursh and Dallerjuba Village.

I began by helping a farmer to deal with zombies afflicting the village graveyard.  The animation on these is great and zombie slaying was a fun way to start.  I was next sent to a guard post where I was asked to deal with some brownies who were creating constructs in another graveyard and some books who were misbehaving and causing a nuisance in the absence of their wizardly owner.  My next objective will be to deal with imps emanating from that tower…  So far, so fun 🙂  The shaman seems to be good fun so far, the damage capabilities seem ok though I don’t know how this will change as I get more into the game ‘proper’, she will get a pet at level 15 so I guess that will be when I start experiencing the class more as it is.  It is refreshing to be in a new world, especially one which is so full of magic – good and bad.

I’ll be picking up some other characters as I’d like to explore Qalia, Kojan and Thestra as much as I can and the continents are huge, so much to find and see!   So I’m looking to have a good soloer on each continent, I have a Dreadknight on Qalia, a Disciple on Kojan and I’m not sure whether to play my Shaman or my Paladin on Thestra.  My Ranger is waiting patiently for Dimzad to pop back in before she gets to go out and play 😉  I’m also hoping to find time to play regularly, although lotro will remain my main MMO for now at least.  If I do manage to play at least somewhat regularly I will resub too.

On a side note, I’m considering starting up a new blog address (and moving some posts over if I do) as I am getting hit by spam comments quite a lot and where this blog is now over 4 years old, it is quite messy and unorganised behind the scenes…  I’ll keep you all posted 🙂

Hytbold, Moria and Mirkwood

A very busy week for me, with a lot of fun had and a lot achieved.  It’s been a mix of grouping and deeding this week (click for larger images and slideshow)


In the recent dev chat on twitter (transcript), it was mentioned that ‘with upcoming class changes ALL CLASSES will have some difficult choices’   this quote was directly relating to a question about hunters having to choose between survivability and dps.  Its an interesting quote though and makes me wonder what they have planned.  I would imagine that if we are going to have to make choices, they will be going beyond minor tweaks.  This quote may back this up (in response to a question asking when the class updates would be happening): ‘we are laying the groundwork now (and there’s lots of it). Later this year, we’ll see the big changes‘.

It seems that the classes do need looking at – I was reading a thread on the official forums where it seems that there is one unpopular trait line for each class (e.g. yellow for hunters – its situationally useful at best but I have to admit, I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve needed or wanted to trait yellow).  It does seem a bit of a waste especially as some of the legendary capstones are very um… unlegendary…  I think virtues are also in a similar position, once at level 85 it seems most people slot very similar virtues – those giving you extra morale, armour, phys and tact mit.  I know I slot the same traits on Eldaeriel and Mallendis (and on my lower lvl burg), Dimzad uses pretty much the same set as I do too (for heals and dps) and I know at least 2/3s of my virtues cross over with Aeo’s tanking ones.  So I think I can see why they are doing it.

Obviously, there are a multitude of possible ways in which they can change the classes.  I did have a mad leap of logic though…  I looked at the colours of the mounted combat stances and then at the colours of the trait lines…  Given that most modern MMOs are introducing more flexibility into classes and into group makeup, what if our trait lines could reflect different roles we could play within a group, similar to how it’s supposed to work in mounted combat?  E.g. Red being a DPS setup, Blue being a survivability/healing setup and Yellow being a crowd control / debuffing setup.  It could make for some very interesting changes and choices.  I’m not sure change on that scale is actually needed though but well, I’m sure I’m completely wrong and they won’t be making any changes even as nearly drastic as that 😉

By the way, I’ve obviously been thinking about virtues and the Slayer deeds are really quite odd.  I did think after completing the Slayer of Dunland meta-deed, I should have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder rather than gain a level of compassion… (of all the virtues – compassion???!!!!)

some speculation re: class changes

weekly screenshot: the watcher

the watcher

I signed up for our kin watcher raid and I’m really glad I did.  We went in with a mostly overlevelled raid force and it was a lot of fun.  I was really pleased to have finally finished the deed and experienced the fight, even though it wasn’t anywhere near the challenge it must have been.  I did sneak the UI off for a quick screenshot before we moved to the platform, I’m glad I did as I was too busy tanking tentacles after that!


a lore-master’s life for me?


I had an interesting night recently.  I took Eldaeriel into challenge mode Roots of Fangorn with our usual group and even though it was 10 levels below us, we had a bit of a mare with Aeo being practically perma-stunned during the first section of the zone.  It got a bit annoying and although we could have persevered through, I offered to bring Mallendis instead with her super awesome anti-stun.  The difference the lore-master made within the group was pretty shocking –  it went from being fun but manic to fun and chilled.  Its hard  to say exactly how much of it was purely down to the change in class but I’m pretty sure it was at least somewhat significant.

So I started  to wonder why I was so fixated on only ever playing a hunter/ranger type and whether I should try something else out for a while.  I have to admit that I am finally getting bored of playing a hunter type in MMOs (it’s only taken me 6 years to get to this stage :P)

malSo I’ve decided to keep Eldaeriel for our Team Orange 3-mans (the warden/rk/hunter combo is just fab) and I’m going to try playing Mallendis for 6 and 12 man content.  I like the fact that I will have more choices in playstyle and traiting and that she can be useful in a number of ways.  I’m currently going for a 5R/2B combo so that I can dps, debuff and backup heal but I can switch / partially switch to full debuff/cc mode if we find ourselves in a situation that might need it.

In a way, she is reminding me of my inquisitor in eq2 (a class I really miss) she’s wielding a staff and sword instead of a great big thwacky hammer and wearing cloth instead of plate but she seems to have the same ability to wade into a fight swinging with a ton of other skills to back it up.

Although she is in a bit of a mess if I’m honest.  I’d zoomed her up through the levels and I missed a lot of deeds and content.  So I have a lot of catching up to do – her virtues and the mirkwood skirmishes being the priority to sort out.  My first aim is to get all her needed virtues to 10 (yes it’s that bad!) and to get her geared up.  Fortunately Eldaeriel is very close to finishing Hytbold so she’ll be able to barter for her gear and I should be able to get her staff to 2nd age, definitely once U10 is out anyway.  I’m really looking forward to doing something a bit different.