Monday, August 29, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Lore-Master Starting Outfit

For an introduction/explanation of this Starting Outfit series, check out this post.

In the Lord of the Rings, Elrond has always fascinated me. He has lived for ages (literally); his memory is long and his understanding deep. It is fitting then that the lore-master class was created with Elrond in mind. Lore-masters use ancient knowledge to unleash nature against their enemies. Animal companions are an interesting component of this class; both the bear and lynx are just so cute! Apparently the elves trust some men and women to learn the ancient wisdom, for both races can be lore-masters.

The lore-master starting outfit consists of three pieces, two of which are complicated by other classes' starting pieces with similar names or designs.  Please see the post on Sorting out the Confusion for clarification.

1. Chest: Robe (green with yellow accents)
The lore-master's starting robe is a beautiful elven robe in green and yellow with an orange sash. This design will appear countless times in the lower levels as quest rewards, but you might as well put this one in the wardrobe and start dyeing it for various occasions. Just be aware this design is not unique to lore-masters. My guardian found it quite smart for the 2011 Summer Festival Horse.

2. Legs: Quilted Leggings (brown)
Interestingly, you might never realize that your lore-master has these because they're completely hidden from view when the robe is equipped (See picture at right; the shirt there is the male undershirt that cannot be removed, which conveniently prevents streaking in Middle Earth). If you want to deviate quickly from the robe look, these are a basic set of leggings that will serve for a while.

3. Feet: Padded Shoes (brown)
This is a basic shoe that is definitely worth keeping. I have a pair of these in my wardrobe in a dozen colors.

The trick to dyeing robes is figuring out which portions do not dye and what their colors are. Sometimes, only a tiny amount is dyeable and thus the piece has little potential for variety. In this case, the robe will continue to have an orange sash and yellow trim, but the overall impact color can be changed. By the way, sashes are notorious for having odd shades that don't seem to go well with anything! Here I've dyed the robe black, which simultaneously looks elegant and allows the bright trim and sash to pop. Black shoes finish the outfit.

Full Details:
Chest: robe (black)
starting lore-master outfit piece, no min. level required
Legs: quilted leggings (default)
starting lore-master outfit piece, no min. level required
Feet: padded shoes (black)
starting lore-master outfit piece, no min. level required

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Hunter Starting Outfit

For an introduction/explanation of this Starting Outfit series, check out this post.

Like guardian, hunter is an equal opportunity class. Any race can be a hunter. Hunters are excellent archers and are most effective fighters at a distance; they do have a melee weapon as well if needed. Turbine's model representative for this class is Legolas, whose kill record in Helm's Deep kept pace with that of Gimli the axe-wielding dwarf..

Hunters receive a starting outfit of light armor in green and brown tones. The outfit consists of three pieces, one of which is complicated by other classes' starting pieces with similar names or designs.  Please see the post on Sorting out the Confusion for clarification.

1. Chest: Cloth Vest (green and brown)
The green portions of this sleeveless chest piece dye well. The same shirt with sleeves can be found later in-game. If you like the sleeveless look, this is a good piece to keep.

2. Legs: Cloth Pants (green and brown)
These "pants" are skirted leggings whose green portions dye well. There is a crimson stripe around the lower leg that does not dye, and the green belt also stays regardless of dyeing.

3. Feet: Padded Shoes (brown)
These are great, basic shoes. I have a copy of these in my wardrobe in a dozen colors.

This outfit is quite versatile and adapts to many different looks. My take on it here ties in the crimson of the leggings and matches the leggings and shoes to the brown of the vest; it borders on Christmasy but hopefully stops just short!

Full Details:
Chest: cloth vest (crimson)
starting hunter outfit piece, no min. level required
Legs: cloth pants (sienna)
starting hunter outfit piece, no min. level required
Feet: padded shoes (sienna)
starting hunter outfit piece, no min. level required

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Return from Vacation


In real life, I've been on vacation. My original plan was to use some of that time to write a bunch of posts, but I quickly realized that I needed a complete vacation from every aspect of "normal" life, including Lotro and the blog. Although our vacation spot did not have the gorgeous views of Evendim, my husband and I had a wonderful time, and  I came back refreshed!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Misty Mountains

We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming (i.e. the starting outfit series) for a short break. Gelmirian has started questing in the Misty Mountains and has been enjoying the frosty weather. I managed to catch this moody night shot in between snowbeast attacks.
Does anyone else find it strange that the clouds seem to be behind the stars?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Guardian Starting Outfit

For an introduction/explanation of this Starting Outfit series, check out this post.

Human Guardian
Gelmirian, my main, is a guardian, so I know this class the best of any of them. I chose it because I have an aversion to my characters dying, and the guardian class has enough morale to withstand most fights and tank for another player as well. And now that Gelmirian is high enough level to also use a bow, I can snipe and tank. It's great!

all pieces dyed red
Unfortunately, the starting outfit for guardians is my least favorite due to its dyeing limitations. The outfit consists of five pieces of medium armor in blue and brown tones, but most of the blue areas on this entire outfit are undyeable. In the picture at right, I have dyed each piece red; notice how much blue remains.

Again, all the pieces except the shoulders are complicated by other classes' starting pieces with similar names or designs.  Please see the post on Sorting out the Confusion for clarification.

1. Chest: Leather Shirt (blue and brown)
This shirt is a short-sleeve version of the champion's chest piece. It dyes well and is worth keeping in my opinion.

2. Shoulders: Leather Shoulder Guards (blue and brown)
Chiefly blue, you can dye a ribbon width of trim.

3. Hands: Leather Gauntlets (blue and brown)
Fairly standard design for medium armor bulky gloves; you're just stuck with the blue.

4. Legs: Leather Leggings (brown)
Basic leggings that dye well; worth keeping.

5. Feet: Leather Boots (blue and brown)
These boots dye strangely in two stripes; these might be useful for coordinating complicated outfits with multiple colors as long as one of them is blue.

When I'm designing an outfit and there is a difficult color that I am forced to work with (e.g. the sea blue trim on the Fourth Anniversary pieces), I tend to embrace that color and add more of it. That is what I did with the guardian's starting armor and its unchangeable blue.

Full Details:
Chest: leather shirt (orange)
starting guardian outfit piece, no min. level required
Shoulders: leather shoulder guards (default)
starting guardian outfit piece, no min. level required
Hands: leather gauntlets (orange)
starting guardian outfit piece, no min. level required
Legs: leather leggings (navy)
starting guardian outfit piece, no min. level required
Feet: leather boots (sienna)
starting guardian outfit piece, no min. level required

Monday, July 25, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Champion Starter Outfit

For an introduction/explanation of this Starting Outfit series, check out this post.

Elf Champion
In contrast to captains, who can be only human, the champion class is available to all races except human. Champions are fierce and unflinching in battle, wading into swarms of enemies and racking up the kills. With half the health of other melee classes, though, they are more apt to die unlike Turbine's model representative for this class, Gimli son of Gloin.

Champions receive a starting outfit of medium armor in green and brown tones. The outfit consists of three pieces, all of which are complicated by other classes' starting pieces with similar names or designs.  Please see the post on Sorting out the Confusion for clarification.

1. Leather Jacket (green and brown)
This long-sleeved chest piece has an interesting cross-hatch pattern on it, and the background dyes very well in various colors. If you like the style, definitely keep this.

2. Leather Leggings (green and brown)
These skirted leggings go with the jacket, but could undoubtedly be used in other outfits as well.

3. Leather Shoes (brown with green cuff)
These shoes dye only on the cuff and are good when you need an accent of color instead of a block of color. The minstrel copy of this design is in my wardrobe.

I really like this outfit for its versatility in dyeing. It simply looks good in a lot of different colors. Here's just one variation. Notice how brightly the jacket dyes white!
Full Details:
Chest: leather jacket (white)
starting champion outfit piece, no min. level required
Legs: leather leggings (white)
starting champion outfit piece, no min. level required
Feet: leather shoes (Evendim blue)
starting champion outfit piece, no min. level required

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Starting Outfits: Sorting out the Confusion

So far we have looked at the burglar and captain starting outfits.  But we need to pause for a moment, for it doesn't take long to realize that working with multiple classes' starting outfit pieces is confusing because there are:
  • pieces with the same name that look nothing alike
  • pieces that do not have the same name but do look alike
  • pieces with the same name that do look alike
To bring some clarity to this situation, here are pictures of the confusing pieces next to each other along with which class they belong to. As usual, I'll go from head to toe. Throughout the pictures, I have used different races, so sometimes a piece is a bit elongated (particularly for hobbits). Also remember that I do not have access to warden and runekeeper beyond the main character choosing screen, so those images do not have specific names given.

Head, Shoulders, and Back:
Blessedly, there are no confusing pieces in these departments! No class starts with a head piece or a cloak, and starting shoulders are given only to guardians and captains. And Turbine gave them different names. Excellent.

Chest:
There are four styles of starting chest pieces. Below are the three confusing styles. Notice the key difference between each design pair is the length of sleeve.

Hands:
Four classes have gloves, and each seems to be a unique design, although I can't get a good enough look at the runekeeper's gloves to be sure they are different than the burglar's.
Legs:
Legs epitomize the confusion of starting pieces. Notice going down the first column, three different designs are called "Leather Leggings," and across the first row the same design has two different names. I also made a point of including all three skirted leggings (the middle row) because they are notably not the same design. If I had to guess, the runekeeper's leggings, which are not visible under the robe, would be similar to that of the loremaster.
Feet:
Let's keep this simpler by splitting "feet" into boots and shoes. There are two types of starting boots. The captain and warden boots dye all over, so if you like the strappy look on big boots, these are worth keeping. The guardian's boots dye awkwardly in stripes, and the blue cuff cannot be dyed at all; in my opinion they are not worth keeping.
Starting shoes also have two styles. The top row of shoes all dye as one color, and are worth keeping. This style shoe is in my wardrobe dyed in a dozen different colors. In the bottom row, only the cuff dyes; this style is also useful for when you want just a touch of coordinating color.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Captain Starter Outfit

For an introduction/explanation of this Starting Outfit series, check out this post.

Only the race of man can choose the captain class. Captains provide healing in the heat of battle and inspire their allies to great feats of strength and courage. Since captains need more armor, they are one of the two classes given shoulder pads to start. In total the captain is given five medium armor pieces in a red, gold, and black theme:

1. Leather Jacket (red and gold)
This piece is made of squares of leather sewn together with thongs. Only the center "vest" portion dyes.

2. Leather Shoulder Pads (black and gold)
These shoulders dye everywhere you see black. These could become wardrobe staples if you like the patchwork look.

3. Leather Gauntlets (red and gold)
Only the cuffs dye, but these are worth holding on to.

4. Leather Leggings (black and gold)
Only the black portion dyes. I find the gold markings to be a bit awkward and personally would not keep them long.

5. Leather Boots (gold)
These boots dye all over, so if you like the strappy, big boot look, these are keepers.

Pictured at right is the Captain starter outfit dyed in a regal purple. A purple or gold cloak and a bold helm would make this outfit battle-ready!
Full Details:
Chest: leather jacket (purple)
starting captain outfit piece, no min. level required
Shoulders: leather shoulder pads (purple)
starting captain outfit piece, no min. level required
Hands: leather gloves (gold)
starting captain outfit piece, no min. level required
Legs: leather leggings (ranger green)
starting captain outfit piece, no min. level required
Feet: leather boots (gold)
starting captain outfit piece, no min. level required

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Burglar Starting Outfit

For an introduction/explanation of this Starting Outfit series, check out this post.

Burglar is the first class listed on the character creation screen and is available only to humans and hobbits. Burglars are "tricksy" and apparently not above throwing pepper in enemies' eyes. According to Turbine, the inspiration for this class is none other than dear, old Bilbo Baggins.

Burglars wear light armor, and the burglar starting outfit is black hued, probably to evoke the idea of blending into the night. The outfit consists of four pieces:

1. Quilted Shirt
Only the center "vest" portion dyes; matching leggings can be acquired later. This shirt is worth keeping.
 
Hobbit Burglar
Tip: If you missed this one, keep an eye out for the identical "Enduring Dwarf-Quilted Shirt of Determination", min. level 18.

Note: The Minstrel's starting Quilted Shirt is the same design (dyed blue) but long-sleeved.

2. Cloth Gloves
Basic gloves. They have a yellow strip around the cuff that does not dye, so I wouldn't bother keeping these.

3. Quilted Leggings
These are standard issue on burglars and guardians. Note that the brown "sock" is part of the leggings and does not dye. You will get longer pants from the Introduction, but these are worth hanging onto if you like the style.

4. Padded Shoes
The great thing about this pair of shoes is that all visible surfaces dye. These are in my wardrobe and dyed in a dozen different colors!

This is a versatile outfit, and one should not feel limited to the burglar black palate.  Pictured at right is another take on the same outfit, brightened up for a night on the town (instead of a night on the run!). After the Introduction, add the plumed hat for an irresistably charming look.

Full Details:
Chest: quilted shirt (gold)
starting burglar outfit piece, no min. level required
Legs:quilted leggings (red)
starting burglar outfit piece, no min. level required
Feet: padded shoes (umber)
starting burglar outfit piece, no min. level required

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Starting Outfits Series

Human Guardian
Our Lotro characters start playing at level 1, and even then they already have an outfit!  Each class has a different starting outfit, and depending on which race and gender you have chosen, the standard class starting outfit may look great or hideous. But before you quickly compare stats, and dump the starting outfit, consider saving it.  Most starting pieces look good on some race/gender combination, and because these pieces are not bound, you don't need the wardrobe to use them on different characters, even on different accounts as long as they are on the same server.

For inspiration and general information, I will be posting a separate post for each class except warden and runekeeper (unfortunately I do not have access to those classes at this time).  I'll show the starting outfit, list the names of the pieces, and then share a dyed version of the outfit.

By the end of the introduction, each character has completely replaced their starting outfit with quest reward pieces with better stats.  The replacement outfit will be referred to as the Introduction Outfit, and I will be posting about those as well. A sneak peek: there are only 4 distinct Introduction Outfits, and some of those pieces are worth saving, too!

One word about dyes. You'll notice in the posts I use a range of dyes, including high-level (i.e. expensive) ones. In the introduction, each character can choose a stack of 3 dyes from a list of colors, and one of the lower-level gift packs includes 2 navy dyes. Beyond that, you're on your own. You could become a scholar, but it takes a long time to level. At low-levels I have two suggestions:
1) Make friends with a few scholars and barter with them.  
2) Pick a profession that gives you processed materials that sell well (ore ingots, leather, planks), and use the silver to buy the dyes you would like. If you go this route, try to avoid buying whatever happens to be on the Auction Hall at the moment; instead, watch for bargains.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Unexpected Common Interests

Thorin's Hall greenhouse at dawn

Norvtia's favorite place in Thorin's Hall is not the Inn with its ale or the forges with their heat. The place she steals away to think and dream is the greenhouse.  It is here she met an adventuring elf named Gelmirian who was surprised to find a (female!) dwarf loving the serenity of flowers and trees. Gelmirian was even more surprised at Norvtia's curiosity, thoughtful questions, and genuine friendliness without a hint of distrust or hostility. These two quickly became friends, and before heading off to her next adventure Gelmirian offered to serve as Norvtia's patron in learning forestry and woodworking. Norvtia gratefully accepted as her twin Norvti is more keen on seeing her married than master of a craft!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Blue Ceremonial Dress

This is a beautiful dress, particularly for those with blue eyes.  I expected to use a different cloak since the golds are of different tone, but the navy pieces went so well together that I really like the flow of the outfit. In the picture below, you can see how in the right light, the gold bands on the sleeves actually match the cloak.




Full Details:
Chest: Ceremonial Dress
navy non-dyable cosmetic Summer Festival barter item, no min. level required
Back: Cloak of the Shining Star (navy)
2011 Anniversary cosmetic barter item, no min. level required

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Riddle

Question: What is at the end of the rainbow?


 Answer: A Pale Golden Summer Horse!

For more details on the outfit check out this post.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Festival 2011 Scrapbook (Week 2)

The festivities continued into the second week with several notable moments!
First off, Luivia made her first trip out of the Shire in order to claim her prize for winning the horse race in Michel Delving.  She was understandably nervous, but she followed Gelmirian's directions to the letter and didn't get lost once on the way to Hengstacer Farm.
Luivia in Breeland on her new horse!
Luivia also stopped in Bree on her way home, and what should be her first sight in the "Big City" than a trio of performing hobbits!
Bree is not just for the Big Folk
Back in the Shire, Gelmirian attended many more Taste of Hobbiton races, and she's pretty sure Gladdy Chubb Baggins is the overall champion.
Daffadilly and Burdy filling their faces on a hot, hazy day.
During all those races, she earned enough tokens for this year's festival mount. Needless to say, she then worked hard to find an outfit to match.
Posing next to the new summer hammock.  For details on the outfit, check out this post.
What a great week of festivities!

Summer Festival 2011 Mount Outfit


This outfit took a while. I tried all sorts of various green-themed outfits. Then I tried other colors in all sorts of raiment, and finally this red robe surpassed them all. The bright hue of robe matches the brightness of the green and yellow tack, and the robe, tack, and boots have similar swirls.  The white plume of the hat matches the whiteness of the horse, and the gilded brown echoes the leather of the tack.

Full Details:
Head: Plumed Hat (gold)
quest reward for classes that wear light armor (Introduction), no min. level required
Chest: Elven Robe of Might (red)
monster drop, light armor, min. level 30
Hands: Elven Cotton Gloves (gold)
Expert (T3) Tailor recipe, light armor, min. level 22
Feet: Elven Leather Boots of Vigour (red)
monster drop, light armor, min. level 30

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Aurë Entuluva

Darkness hung heavy over the land.

Gelmirian is now Einior (Founder) and  Tûr (Leader) of the kinship Aurë Entuluva.

Gelmirian has a soft spot for new adventurers, particularly young females of any race who are just starting to spread their wings and sharpen their talons.  She first noticed the plucky Luivia during her travels through the Shire and quickly procured her services as cook.  Lately she's begun mentoring/partnering with a few others, and she realized that with her growing network, she could form a kinship.
  
The name of the kin comes from the story of the fifth battle against the forces of Morgoth. Here is an excerpt from the Silmarillion:
"Last of all Húrin stood alone.  Then he cast aside his shield, and wielded an axe two-handed; and it is sung that the axe smoked in the black blood of the troll-guard of Gothmog until it withered, and each time that he slew Húrin cried: 'Aurë entuluva! Day shall come again!' Seventy times he uttered that cry; but they took him at last alive [. . .] Great was the triumph of Morgoth . . ."
Once again in Middle Earth darkness is encroaching upon the great and the small. Gelmirian remembers how dark the night can become before daybreak, and so she takes up the ancient cry. Aurë entuluva!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Festival Cosmetics

In an earlier post, I suggested hauberks as one way to start outfitting at lower levels.  Another way is by bartering festival tokens for cosmetics.  These festival cosmetic items have no minimum level restrictions and many can be dyed for personal outfits.

In the example pictured here, Luivia models the Short-sleeved Summer Tunic and Pants, which is available for 12 summer festival tokens. For a different look than the default green, I dyed it a vibrant blue and added my favorite Hobbit accessory, the bounder cap. To finish the look, I dyed one of the festival cosmetic cloaks. I could have added something to the shoulder slot as well, but that seemed a little warm for a summer outfit.


Full Details
Head: Bounder's Cap (orange)
quest reward (Quest: Joining the Bounders), light armor, min. level 3
Chest: Short-sleeved Summer Tunic and Pants (Ered Luin blue)
summer festival cosmetic barter item, no min. level required
Back: Golden Tree Summer Cloak (Ered Luin blue)
summer festival cosmetic barter item, no min. level required

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Festival 2011 Scrapbook (Week 1)

Luivia is too busy cooking during festivals to take part in much of the fun and games, but Gelmirian takes a break from adventuring abroad to return to the relative peace of Hobbiton, Bree, Colondim, and Thorin's Gate.  Here are the highlights of the first week of the Enhedrin Festival.
Dancing under the stars at the Party Tree.

Betting on the Taste of Hobbiton races . . . go Daffadilly!

Riding away from Hengstacer Farms with her newly won Pale Golden Summer Horse
A bite on the hook . . . will it be Starry Flounder or weeds?

A new horse needs a new outfit! Check out this post for more details.

Excuse me, Sir Cat, but someone seems to have misplaced this string.

What lies in store for Week 2?  We'll see, but among other things, I predict another horse, outfit, and housing purchase!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Pale Golden Summer Horse Outfit

Gelmirian qualified for a festival horse, and she chose the Pale Golden Summer Horse, which is technically the Summer Festival 2010 mount but happily still available. The horse is a pinkish tan with black mane and tail; the tack has rich gold and dark brown. Interestingly, there are two points of bright sea blue on the tack, so I tried at first to work with the anniversary cosmetics that included sea blue as an accent.  After several futile attempts, I finally turned to other dresses and cloaks and came up with the combination pictured below:


The default shade of the Elegant Formal Dress matches the skin tone of the horse fairly well, and strangely the black background of the cloak combined with orange dye creates a nicely matching brown.  The circlet is an attempt to link the outfit to the sea blue gems on the tack.


Full Details:
Head: Turquoise Summer Circlet
summer festival cosmetic barter item, no min. level required, often available on Auction Hall
Chest: Elegant Formal Dress (default dye)
in-store-only, cosmetic item, no min. level required
Back: Golden Tree Summer Cloak (orange dye)
summer festival cosmetic barter item, no min. level required

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trestlebridge: A Different Point of View

The covered wooden trestle of Trestlebridge is quite a feat of engineering, and Gelmirian has completed several quests to protect it from orc's fire.  Behind some of the buildings in Trestlebridge is a path that wends its way down to the river's edge far below the bridge.  Here's the view from there.