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.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Low-Level Outfitting: Hauberks

Gelmirian has just leveled to 40, so I'm starting to collect a few of the outfit items that end-game outfitters use constantly. Most of the items in my wardrobe, however, are low-level items, and many of these have no minimum level restrictions. My favorite type of versatile clothing for low-level characters is the cosmetic hauberk.

Reasons to try out hauberks:
1. Low cost
Several hauberks are available at Outfitters for less than 20 silver. Others can be purchased inexpensively by watching the auction hall offerings.
2. Less complicated
one-piece, so don't have to match shirt with leggings
3. Still interesting
Most hauberks dye well in multiple colors for very different looks.  Add accessories for an outfit all your own, and adjust them for combat or for a concert.

For example, in the picture above, Gelmirian is wearing the Leather Hauberk dyed violet along with a violet cloak. The cloak dyed in sienna also looks lovely, and the gloves and footwear can be adjusted to match the occasion. Some hauberks are offered only in one region. Celebrate a character's arriving in Bree by picking up this hauberk!

In the next case Luivia is modeling the Sherriff's hauberk, which can be purchased from the Michel Delving Outfitter for 19 silver and 32 bronze.  The hauberk is paired here with my favorite low-level helm, Torchar (optional quest reward from "Payment in Full" which can be done as early as level 12).

Below, Gelmirian wears the Dwarf-Make Hauberk dyed gold with gold-dyed cloak, gloves, and shoes. This ensemble is quite fitting for questing in Ered Luin or wherever dwarves are found.

Other examples of my use of hauberks can be seen in the posts Spring Festival Mount Outfit and A Tribute to Evandim. A full pictorial of all the hauberks available in LOTRO can be found here; note that the dyable parts are grey.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Sense of Scale

Luivia was doing some banking outside the Town Hole when she suddenly realized that something very big was very close to her.  She had been so engrossed in arranging her business affairs that she hadn't heard the soft clops of hooves draw near!

While playing a hobbit, it's easy to forget how short they actually are - until the relative scale of an elf on a horse appears.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Armour of the Forest

One of the many sets of armor available in LOTRO is the Forest-Walker's Apparel. The set consists of an earring, leggings, and a chest piece called the Armour of the Forest. Gelmirian recently acquired the Armour, and it is a pretty piece with an elven flair that dyes well. The metal accent is silver, which does put some limits on coordinating outfits.

Here the Armour of the Forest is dyed gold and paired with elven leggings and boots. Each piece has both the gold and silver bringing coherence to the outfit. The rust of the cape brings out the gold and also provides contrast.

Full Details
Chest: Armour of the Forest (gold)
optional quest reward (Quest: Giant Footprints), heavy armor, min. level 38
Hands: Catchpole's Gauntlets (gold)
optional quest reward (Quest: Mourning the Dead), medium armor, min. level 5
Legs: Elven Steel Leggings (gold)
T3 metalsmith dropped recipe, heavy armor, min. level 22
Feet: Rochwen's Boots (gold)
optional quest reward (Quest: Some Disease Affects Them), light armor, min. level 29
Back: Plain Hooded Cloak (rust)
cosmetic item purchasable from any outfitter, no min. level required

Saturday, June 11, 2011

How Luivia Got a Horse

Not long ago Luivia was horseless, which meant a lot of tedious running or purchasing stable mounts that slavishly stayed on the roads despite there being shorter ways across fields.  When various blogs started running contests for PAX East mount codes, I entered one on Casual Stroll to Mordor.  In essence, this contest asked for a screenshot and explanation of why we needed the mount.  The following picture and story were my entry.

Luivia sighed as she ran across the Bywater Bridge towards Michel Delving.  At least today was a beautiful day; that made the long run easier to bear.  Back and forth, back and forth.  As a little hobbit lass it was such an adventure to go from Hobbiton to Michel Delving and back.  Now it seemed like just more of the daily grind.  

“Now, be grateful,” she scolded herself.  She had much to be thankful for, including her new status as Master Artisan Cook.  Even Aesseledh, Leader of the Cooking Guild highly complimented her first large master repast.  She smiled to herself savoring the sweet memory.  She knew Petunia Greenhand was envious of her fast progress; Petunia kept whining that “Luivia must have a secret ingredient”.  

Luivia threw back her head and picked up speed.  Her secret ingredient?  Hard work.  No vendor food for her dishes where she could help it; her primary ingredients were sown, reaped, and processed by her alone.  

Once she became able to grow expert crops, though, her work became harder.  Those crops needed the superior soil of the Hobbiton fields she played in as a lass.  So back and forth, back and forth she ran.  Sometimes she made use of the stable horse, but that cost precious silver so generously given to her for supplies by her patron, the elf Gelmirian, Honorary Sherriff of the Shire.  And every trip on the stable horse made Luivia long for her own.  

The last time Gelmirian had stopped by for a new supply of Shire Rations she had told such wonderful stories of great adventures in the North Downs.  Luivia’s Tookish blood tingled, and she was proud that she too had become a bounder and could help the Shire in her spare time.  But she couldn’t keep her eyes off of Gelmirian’s new Spring Festival horse.  Gelmirian noticed and told her of other steeds in Middle Earth, including a very rare one that Luivia had been dreaming about ever since.  It was called the Cremello:  smooth blonde skin with light brown mane and tail, smart red and blue tackle with white fringe.  Liuvia could see herself astride, feeling the wind whip in her hair . . . she would name him . . .

“Luivia, why has this happened, you ask? Because the few privileged have hoarded the best fillings for their own!''  With a start she realized she had entered Michel Delving, the statue of Bullroarer Took loomed over her, and that crazy hobbit with the pie conspiracy theory was trying to get her attention.  Quickly she turned towards the crafting area and its superior ovens.  The lovely dream quickly faded; it was time to make some tasty frosting.

The winners of the contest were announced here, and others' plights were deemed more critical than that of Luivia.  But a friend of CTSM graciously offered Luivia the mount code he won upon spotting her comment congratulating the winners!

Now Luivia rides her own mount with pride across the Bywater Bridge.  For details on her outfit, check  out this post.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Do You See What I See?

After a rainy spell in the Shire, the sun broke through the clouds.  For those who looked East, a pleasant sight awaited them.
Heading East from Michel Delving

Rainbow beyond Frogmorton

I don't know how often rainbows actually appear in LOTRO, but this was my first. Now the rainy days in-game are made more interesting by the potential for a rainbow once the rain stops!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tribute to Evandim

Gelmirian arrived in Evandim just after Update 2, and I have been enjoying this region immensely.  The quests have been interesting, but I keep getting distracted because the scenery is simply amazing.
Exhibit A: Lake Nenuial . 
In honor of the region and particularly the beautiful lake, I created an outfit for Gelmirian using pieces dyed with Evandim Blue. The Elven Hauberk with its natural array of blues provided the perfect canvas to reflect the many hues of the lake.

Full Details:
Back: Plain Hooded Cloak (Evandim Blue)
cosmetic item available at all outfitters; no min. level required
Chest: Elven Hauberk (Evandim Blue)
cosmetic item available at Celondim outfitter, no min. level required
Hands: Forge Crafted Gloves (Evandim Blue)
T2 single-use metalsmith recipe that is world drop, min. level 20, heavy armor
Feet: Seeker's Shoes (Grey)
quest reward (The Top Hiding Place; Shire; Lvl. 6); any shoe that dyes solid color will do

One thing I found amusing: I'd never noticed the super-girly bows on the sleeves of the hauberk.  I love the whimsy, especially juxtaposed with the heavy gloves.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Off the Beaten Path

I like to poke around the edges of regions and to discover delightful scenery that some players never see.

In the case of the picture below, Gelmirian was picking flowers on a hillside in Nan Amlug West (North Downs); soon the hillside became quite steep. But instead of encountering impassable rock, she was able to wind all the way up to the peak.  The view was spectacular.
The really neat thing, though, was that Gelmirian also discovered a signal post with wood laid ready to light in time of trouble. The structure is stone and clearly old, but who put the wood there recently?  Rangers of Esteldin?  Dwarves of Othrikar? Dourhands? Hillmen?

Perhaps she will find out the answer in a future adventure.  Maybe it will stay a mystery.