The whole Reputation mechanic of LotRO overwhelms me. I needed ten-thousand points to lose my outsider status with the Lossoth of Forochel. I needed to earn another ten thousand to become an acquaintance. I just finished earning the additional twenty thousand to become a friend. Now I need twenty-five thousand to earn ally status. Then it's another thirty thousand to become kindred.
Stacks of reputation items earn three to seven hundred, as do most quests -- if reputation with the Lossoth is one of their rewards. There's a dwarf hold in Forochel that is filled with dwarves that award reputation with Thorin's Hall. I am saving those for later.
Hours of playtime and days, maybe weeks, of game time spent in Forochel are finally starting to pay off. I now have slightly faster ways of getting there. Maybe someday I will be considered an ally, or even kindred and have swift travel there from Bree, or even Rivendell.
I am still grinding Reputation for the Lossoth in forochel. Overall the questing is fun and fairly straight forward. With enough time I might even be able to barter my higher reputation items. Though the barter NPC is a long way from where I am questing.
Meanwhile I am experiencing some fun mechanics. I think the critical-hit system has been revamped since the release of Moria. My champion is hitting for massive amounts of damage, even without Fervour toggled.
Another fun mechanic is cold damage. The longer she stays away from a fire, the lower her cold-damage resistance. Many of the mobs hit for cold damage and some of them even hit with nasty Damage-Over-Time ones. I have to pay attention to her moral, even fighting green mobs. I also have to spend some time standing next to fires to get her cold resistance back up.
I may have to invest in some of the Lossoth-Reputation items which focus on cold resists. Well, I might if I ever get my reputation high enough...
I have taken a break from the newest areas Eregion and Moria and gone back to Forochel. I am trying to finish up some of my lower level quests to free-up some space in my crowded quest journal. Even though my champion is earning more spaces in her journal as she levels, too often I receive the message that her journal is full. At least I don't receive that message as often as the one that tells me her bags are full.
And what are they full of, one may ask. Well there are crafting items and loot. Turbine was kind enough to take most quest items out of our bags. But my champion has a bag filled to overflowing with reputation items. Each of the many factions wants several, specific items and the Lossoth of Forochel are no exception. I need to earn their Friend-level reputation with them just to swiftly travel there. Well, I also need to earn Friend, or maybe even higher-level reputation with them to turn in two-thirds of the reputation items that I have collected. It took several days of questing just to earn the ten-thousand points of reputation to lose my "Outsider" status.
So, I need to spend massive amounts of time there so it is easier to get there and so it it easier to earn more reputation while there...
Don't get me wrong, overall I like the Reputation System, but having to earn forty-thousand points just so I can get there more quickly and get rid of the stacks of reputation items taking up space in my bags seems a bit silly. And I need to do the same thing with the Wardens of Aninumas in Evendim and the Coucil of the North in Angmar. At least I earned "Swift Travel" to Eregion just by doing ten quests.
It came across several of the chat channels right after the latest downtime. People were rubber-banding everywhere. I could not run past a certain point without bouncing back. I heard of another that was trapped in a small, invisible rubber-circle. My friend used her map to get to Thorin's Hall, bought and sold some stuff, and then bounced all the way back to Kheledul.
I am no stranger to lag. I've played on dial-up. My friend and I starting calling it "bogarts" because we would always experience it whenever we encountered a mob of them. They're very easy to kill, especially with a champion with tricked-out, Area-of-Effect Attacks, until the screen freezes.
Anybody who has played an online game has experienced this: mid-fight, everything stops, your avatar is poised mid-swing. Suddenly, everything speeds up, combat messages scroll past in a blur, and your avatar is dead, or defeated in the case of LotRO. Is there anything more frustrating?
I was trying to grind my champion to her fifty-second level so I could equip her with a better, at least better looking, sword. Running around, trying to find mobs was a constant stutter-step. My avatar would freeze up for seemingly hours (more like minutes) and then bounce back fifty feet. This is irritating. Then I would get into a fight and it would become anxiety producing. In one long, lagged-out fight, there were several adds that I never saw until "things caught up" and my avatar was defeated.
In LotRO, for those not familiar with its death mechanic, the avatars don't die, because that is not kosher with the lore, they are defeated. Reviving means you've decided to run back to the nearest "Rally Point." It also means that all your equipment needs to be repaired. Repairing high-level gear, especially heavy armour, is expensive. Well, thanks to the rubber-band man, I had quite a few repairs.
The other cost of being defeated is Dread. It is a nasty debuff. It takes away Moral (hitpoints) and darkens the map. The higher-level the mob that defeats you, the more dread. This Dread lasts for over ten minutes. It can be countered with Tokens of Hope, but one can only carry so many (in stacks of five) and they cost money too.
So, thanks to the rubber-band man, I probably lost a gold's worth. I wonder if Turbine would refund me?
I have not blogged in an eternity!
Sorry Algiovetti! And greetings to Cronus!
Currently my now 51st Champion is exploring Eregion, which is the first new zone as part of the Mines of Moria expansion. Some quick comments on the Mines of Moria:
Even though there is a big map for it, Lothlorien is not completed. By doing several chapters of the new book, epic quests, there are parts that can be entered. We found this out the hard way after fighting our way across several zones of Moria. The parts of it we could see were pretty though.
Moria, by the way, is fantastic! Huge halls, perilous drops and some well placed camps make it a fun area to explore. There are a series of instanced quests one must complete to enter. They act as an introduction to the History of Moria and to Legendary Gear.
Legendary Gear, in many ways, was kind of a let down for me. The legendary gear earns experience and it modifiable with different relics and gems and runes. But one needs to get new ones every few levels. So in some ways they are worse than crafted gear. Many have to be leveled several times before they are better than the old, level-fifty stuff. Most of the modifications to them are worthless, at least for my play style. And don't get me started on some of the graphics. I can't wait to get rid of my champion's current greatsword. On the positive side, equipping legendary gear means one experiences more dings, since she is leveling many things at once. And we are given an extra slot to equip class items, such as the legendary rune, in my champion's case.
I cannot wait to log back in to explore some more.
Lots and lots of complaining on the official forums about this year's Yule Festival. Last year, we got one quest to get a snow covered tree. This year, that quest is there, but there's 8 additional 'fetch' quests, for which you earn tokens.
5 tokens will let you get a gift box. There's a different gift box per race (man, elf, dwarf, hobbit), and there's some race specific things (like snowglobes and wallpapers). There are several festival specific things - snowglobes, wallpapers, a candle, a feasting table - several clothing articles (nothing new) and two 'booby prizes' - a tater and a piece of coal. What you get when you open your box is all luck of the draw (other than getting the race specific things at that race's rep (ie, elf snowglobe from the elf vendor). To run all 8 quests takes about 45 minutes, and there's no level restrictions, so if you had time on your hands, you could earn 56 tokens a day.
That's why the community is up in arms - some people don't think that spending all that time and only netting coal is a very nice Yule gift. They think that Turbine should have provided an interface where you could pick the gift you wanted, like they did with the Summer Festival. In my opinion, I don't think they should look a gift horse in the mouth. This is not end of the world stuff. If you don't have a crafter that can use coal or a tater, then sell it. At least then you get cash out of the deal.
Maybe I don't have the right perspective, because I've been lucky. I've run the festival quests on just 2 characters, once a day each since the festival started, and I've gotten 3 taters and 2 pieces of coal, most of the housing items, and plenty of clothing that I'll eventually auction off or give away. So, I've had a lucky streak and they haven't - I'm not sure that means the entire system is broken. My main thought is - it's the holiday season, but people will complain about anything.
The date of the Yule Festival is set!
Yule Festival [Dec 08, 2008]
As the days shorten and the nights grow colder all the peoples of Middle-earth turn their thoughts to the annual Yule festival. Yulemath is celebrated by all the free peoples during the last month of the year. With traditional decorations, warm cider, rich feasts and other, more mischievous, pursuits; Yule is a time of hope across Middle-earth even as the Shadow of the enemy continues to grow.
Bree-land and Michel Delving will once again host exciting horse races with the winners taking home a sturdy winter mount. Visit the home lands of all the free peoples to experience their own unique take on the Yule festival. You may even learn some exciting decorating tips to take back to your own home.
Visit all the homelands of the free peoples to enjoy all the festival has to offer. You might even earn a new four footed friend for your efforts!
The Yule festival starts December 11! Dress warm!
~waves to his fellow blogger~
No, I haven't abandoned you, though I have been playing Warhammer.
I spent this last weekend playing one of my alts, helping my friend's daughter level. My alt is another champion, but this one uses a shield and is fairly different to play. I like the flexibility of the Champion. They can tank fairly well, or concentrate on damage.
And with the impending Moria release, I can admit that I have played the Beta on my friend's invite. I rolled up a Warden. They are kind of a cross between a hunter and a champion with some nifty shield, spear and javelin abilities. Instead of building Fervour or Focus though, using certain skills in specific orders will unlock more powerful attacks. I only played her to tenth level and ignored all the shortcuts to try her at higher levels.
Me, my main anticipation is getting my fiftieth-level champ to Lothlorien, which is on the other side of the huge areas of mines. The mines themselves are several maps unto themselves. Think Goblin Town multipied by at least ten. I also am interested in the stuff I've read about legendary weapons: they are modifiable and level up with the character. The "gear queer" in me drools at the prospect of newer, more uber, stuff. I am also eager to more with my champ than log her on and grind reputation. I want to start filling her experience bar again!