Saturday, April 9, 2016

Scaled Scourge



This week's entry began with an overwhelming question: "What cosmetics have I NOT used?" For starters, I've avoided most of the crafted gear after level 65. That's when gear skins started deforming the bodies of our characters. I also haven't put any of the Eastern Gondor gear to good use. I've been reluctant to use a good portion of the Helegrod and Rifts armor sets. I've often ignored the Draigoch sets, since I can rarely get them to mesh well with gear outside the sets. Suffice it to say, the list was extensive. It boils down to personal tastes, but those tastes, in retrospect, have been restrictive. Taking a chance, I settled for some pieces I've either rarely seen worn by anyone in LOTRO, on the cosmetics thread of the forums, or by fellow bloggers.


While I sifted through my tailor recipes, I came across the medium T9 Westemnet Skirmish set. I recall posting that gear as a cosmetic preview for Helm's Deep back in 2013. Unfortunately, I never had the chance to actually use it. The reasons why? I only leveled my light and heavy classes, using their 85 Hytbold sets right up to 95 when that was the cap. And I only used my tailor to craft guilded light armor recipes.

Anyway, with the amount of scales on the Westemnet Skirmish Armor and Westemnet Skirmish Leggings, I thought something dragon-themed or worm-themed would be fun. Sure, those themes have been done a thousand times in the cosmetic community since Draigoch was released, but I rarely spend time on those themes. (As you've probably noticed, I'm often obsessed with robes and elvish gear.) While I'm on the subject of Draigoch, the heavy and medium sets go very well with the chest and leggings. However, the shoulders might be difficult to obtain. As far as I know, you still need one of the Scorched tokens to barter for them. It's been a couple of years since I ran that raid, so it may have changed. I also want to mention that the cloak is elusive. Outside of Lalia's Market, it only comes from Lost Miner - Siam, a quest in the Barnavon Mines of Carreglyn. If you can't get that one, the Cloak of Unshakable Mettle, obtained from Show No Fear in the Great River, is a good alternative.


In recent days, I've discovered a delightful little plug-in from LOTRO Interface called ItemTreasury (yes, that's actually one word). It can be used to scan the game's database for all equippable, consumable, and quest-based items. It also has the ability to filter items by class, armor slot, weapon type, and so on. It's quite versatile and has been incredibly useful in finding specific skins for outfits. If I'm on my tailor and I need a crafted metalsmith skin, so long as I know the name of it, I can search for it and try it on without having to swap characters. I'd suggest checking it out, especially if you're an outfit builder. The only downside is that you need to update it after every major content release.


Shoulders: Epaulets of the Relentless Fighter (Black, Adventuer's Quartermaster in Galtrev)**
Back: Cloak of the Boar Clan Warrior (Black, reward from Lost Miner - Siam in Dunland)***
Chest: Westemnet Skirmish Armor (Rivendell Green, T9 Tailor)
Legs: Westemnet Skirmish Leggings (Rivendell Green, T9 Tailor)
Hands: Gauntlets of the Relentless Fighter (Black, Adventuer's Quartermaster in Galtrev)**
Feet: Boots of the Relentless Fighter (Black, Adventuer's Quartermaster in Galtrev)**

**Any of the heavy armor sets from the Adventurer's Quartermaster will share this appearance.
***Skin also available from Lalia's Market at time of posting.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Captain's Arm



Exactly as the title says, this outfit was based upon the Captain's Arm, an incredibly rare weapon looted from Castellan Wisdan's chest at the very top of Barad Gúlaran. I farmed for this over a month, running that particular dungeon five times a day, at least three time a week. Even though it's easily soloed at 85, the drop rate is infinitesimal. LOTRO also tends to lock players out of instances if too many are entered within an hour. Given those circumstances, this was, and still is, one of the more painful halberds to acquire.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Whispers of Forodwaith



The Forochel Epic quest reward, the Breastplate of Voima, has finally seen some use. Would you believe it's been sitting in Nathrien's vault since early 2011? I've held on to this for so long because it's a unique skin from the Shadows of Angmar. It probably would have continued to collect dust had I not found it's counterpart leggings, Golubadanir, while deeding in Angmar. I honestly wasn't sure what I could create with the set, but I gave it my best.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Twilight Bladebearer



It pleases me to be able to play LOTRO, as intended, once more. Whatever was done in the past week or two server-side has corrected my issues with the game. Lag is gone, as well as the large ping and loss values, and the characters that were parked in housing instances were finally freed from their virtual confinement. I'll finally be able to sit down and create more blog-worthy outfits again!

In the meantime, I've only had one character free to roam around Middle-earth. Seeing how little I could actually do, I started making my way through Central and Eastern Gondor for the first time. What I didn't expect was the inclusion of the Dawnless Day, a time in which Sauron used smoke and fumes from Mordor to conceal the sun from most of Rohan and Gondor. Although this particular event lasts only five days in lore, LOTRO has made it seem dreadfully permanent. Even though I've only gotten to Bâr Húrin, I can't take much more of the atmosphere. It's difficult to spend so much time in a gloomy area when most LOTRO's landscape consists of clear, cheerful skies and lush vegetation. (I often rush through Angmar and Mirkwood for similar reasons.) In light of that, I was compelled to make a colorful outfit before I return to the doom and gloom of Eastern Gondor.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bundled Expeditionary



Thankfully, having drafted several blog entries is a blessing in disguise. LOTRO's move to the new data center on Monday, January 11th, has made it near impossible for me to play the game. I've experienced, along with friends, long stretches of lag, with latency as high as 1200 ms and loss reaching an upwards of 15% nearly every night this week. Until something gets done, particularly the hotfix Frelorn casually mentioned on the forums late Monday night, I won't be able to play. I'll stop in and try again sometime next week, when I have my next chance to play. If anything good came of this week, it was being able to snag the new Yule Festival cosmetics before my client crashed.

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