Saturday, September 27, 2014

Advance Scout - Satella of Gladden

Despite having Dunland cosmetics for over nearly years, I didn't start exploring the outfitting possibilities until recent months. Since May 2014, I've been relentlessly using them in my creations. If only I had done that back in late 2011. Not going to lie here, but there are days where I feel cosmetically behind the times! Sure, I've used a piece here and there (or one pair of bracers shamelessly) but I ignored too many landscape rewards in of lieu hard-earned raiding gear from Dar Narbugud, Barad Guldur, and Orthanc. Funny how I've begun to appreciate the very pieces that have virtually fallen off the radar. All of my characters that I've actively played are well past Dunland, falling somewhere between the Westemnet and Western Gondor, which makes whatever I've collected from the Isengard expansion more valuable.

It wasn't until reaching the Gap of Rohan that we were truly introduced to the Rohirric people. Here, Dunlendings and the Rohirrim freely roam and sortie along the border. Those clashes between the two people became the inspiration for this pseudo-Rohirric uniform with an interestingly strong Dunlending base. It's an unusual concept for sure, but it makes for some unique and culturally diverse accoutrement that recaptures an earlier time and place.

So why use mostly gear obtained from the Isengard expansion and not rely on the Riders of Rohan gear? I do have a couple of reasons. First of all, there's very little diversity between the heavy armor obtained by questing and bartering. Each heavy armor class uses the same exact skins. Second, there's a crest prominently featured on each piece noting the specific region of Rohan. I didn't want those attachments. I wanted to maintain a more generic appearance, an overall representation of a soldier. I used this cloak because I interpreted the insignia on the cloak as a helmet of the Horse-lords instead of something endemic to the Norcrofts. The crafted gear, however, looked wonderful...but it didn't feel particularly Rohirric to me.

In the end, it just boils down to personal preference!

Shoulders: Rider's Steel Pauldrons (Umber, Rohirrim Quartermaster in Galtrev)
Back: Heavy Norcrofts Cloak (Grey, Eastemnet Armor Quartermaster)
Chest: Forged-iron Dunlending Hauberk (Dark green, Dunland quest reward)**
Hands: Dunlending's Plated War Gauntlets (Umber, Dunlending Quartermaster in Galtrev)
Boots: Dunbog Watcher's Studded Boots (Umber, Dunland quest reward)

**On males, this robe is actually ankle-length.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Elven Mettle - Faewynn of Gladden

When I make an outfit, I do my best to confine myself either to the lore of books or the lore of LOTRO (I do make the distinction) and avoid the films. I've never been a big fan of Jackson's interpretation and constant lore-breaking, but sometimes images, no matter how brief, get burned into my mind. Two images from The Two Towers during the Helm's Deep scenes became the inspiration for this elven battle outfit (the one here and then the other) reminiscent of the Mirkwood days.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Student Creates a LOTRO Fashion Based Study

Greetings everybody!

It's bright and early on a lovely Monday morning and I have a bit of news for the cosmetic community. During my internet rounds late Saturday evening (prior to me crawling into a warm bed) I stumbled upon an article from Casually Strolling Through MMOs. Aralath of the Imladris server, a PhD student from Iowa State, is studying dress, fashion, and characters both created and played by female gamers in LOTRO. If you're interested in participating, please direct your attention to the Studying Dress in LOTRO article at CSTM. You'll find all the information you need there.

I, unfortunately, will not be able to participate in this wonderful project. My life is too hectic between work and my responsibilities as a non-profit volunteer. This is why my blog posts are automated and written weeks in advance...I never know if I'll get to the computer on a specific day or time to make an entry. I'm usually working when the weekly outfit is posted on Saturdays!

Spread the word to your cosmetic-loving female friends and make this study a success!

~Nathrien <3

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Steel Waylayer - Cirilyn of Gladden

Steel blue, LOTRO's most recent dye color, has been creating mixed feelings with the playerbase since Update 13. Some think it's too dark or too black, some think it's too close to navy, and some think it's too steely to be considered blue. Personally, I've liked it. I've liked it so much that I dragged myself though the terrible U13 grind for the dye and nothing else. To me, it's been a color of depth and expertise, of seriousness and stability. Depending on how dark it dyes, I've even affiliated it with aggressiveness. I've even surprised myself with how often I'll associate emotions with color and then incorporate those feelings into my outfits. That's exactly what I did. I built a combat outfit, which has been a rarity here at Material Middle-earth.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Simple Fashion - Robe Ideas

The latest installment of my "Simple Fashion" series focuses on three robes. Robes, unlike some tunics, won't use up your hands and feet slots, which allows for better outfit customization. You'll find styles ranging from the simple to the elaborate as well as the seasonal to the year-round. When working with robes, it's always a good idea to keep your race and gender in mind, as these will most likely dominate your outfit. Certain areas look broader or even somewhat stretched. Specific skins, the pre-Moria styled ones and a couple of recent additions, will look significantly different on one gender. These effects can range from having a closed or open lower hem and varying lengths (i.e. floor length robes on males could be knee high on females). It can be challenging at times, but this category of fashion can be rewarding!

Before I get to the outfits themselves, a few weeks ago Ellishul of The Elven Tailor migrated to The Elven Adventurer on Tumblr. If you have an account with that networking site, drop by and show her some wonderful support! Even if you're not with Tumblr, she's making some fantastic posts that you don't want to miss. The move seems to be working very well for her.

Head: Circlet of Adamant (Sea Blue, LOTRO Store)**
Shoulders: Shield-master's Shoulders (Umber, classic skirm camp vendor,  level 65 heavy BG armor)
Chest: Lore-keeper's Robe (Turquoise, classic skirm camp vendor, level 65 light BG armor)
Feet: Glossy Leather Boots (Walnut brown, Bree-town outfitter)

**I have actually purchased a second copy of this piece on the AH. It either dropped from a lootbox or it was a leftover from an old lottery. I haven't been able to confirm this yet.

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