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.

The Ancient Inlaid Breastplate, which shares skins with the old-school heavy Ettenmoors gear removed by Update 6, has the virtue of being LOTRO's only heavy armor robe. If you were not a Moors player back then, the only way to get this robe is to complete the Rushgore quest "Banishing the Dishonored." Heavily scaled and painstakingly detailed, it offers a wonderful opportunity for your characters to be both fashionable and effective. Do not miss the opportunity to collect this item if possible. Once you complete that quest, you'll never see this robe offered again. The Great River zone actually offers several exclusive cosmetics as quest rewards, ranging from old Moors skins to pre-order skins.

Walking into Western Gondor has been a reminder of how far this game has progressed since its infancy. It's also a reminder to me how fortunate I've been when it comes to owning unique items removed from loot pools and vendors or having exclusive cosmetics from the legendary expansion packages no longer offered. Even so, there's still more to collect and more places to see!

Speaking of places, Western Gondor certainly has provided us with some of LOTRO's most gorgeous scenery. I love the feel of Tarlang's Crown with its wide range of warm colors, making it a fantastic place for pictures. However, I loved it even more during the early rounds of beta before any of the barricades, towers, and tents were placed...and before the river itself was flooded with darkwater creatures. I tried swimming down the river and learned my lesson the hard way. I had to confine myself to the northwestern end of the zone to keep myself from being shot down by angry patrolling mobs while snapping pics. Nevertheless, I'll continue poking around the zone, looking for amazing screenshot locations!

Head: High-warden's Helm (Burgundy, Ost Galadh Warden class vendor)**
Shoulders: High-warden's Shoulders (White, Ost Galadh Warden class vendor)**
Chest: Ancient Inlaid Breastplate (Burgundy, Great River quest reward)***
Hands: Ceremonial Gauntlets of the Iron Arm (Burgundy, skirmish camp cosmetics vendor, Moria heavy armor)
Feet: Ceremonial Boots of the Iron Arm (Burgundy, skirmish camp cosmetics vendor, Moria heavy armor)

**You can also find these skins by talking to the Lothlórien Warden class vendor, but those versions will require the Greater Elf-stones from Dâr Narbugud.
***If you're fortunate enough to still have any of them, the old level 65 heavy Moors armor used this skin . However, they were removed with the release of Update 6.

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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Farmers Faire 2014 - Steed and Cosmetics

This year, the 2014 Farmers Faire runs from September 1 to September 16. Once again, we have another unremarkable and reskinned robe and cloak in addition to another blanketed steed. It continues to irk me seeing a lack of creativity in Turbine's art department, especially when there is a year-long period between the appropriate seasonal festivals (from summer to summer or spring to spring, for example) to conceptualize and implement original game art. We've been seeing the same robe skin for well over a year now, and I frankly question if we'll ever move out of this cycle and break the cosmetic curse plaguing the LOTRO festivals. I understand that game progression towards Mordor is paramount, but it doesn't mean the aspects intended to provide players a temporary reprieve shouldn't be given the same care and consideration.

Despite my disappointment, what's done is done. Perhaps Turbine should let the players design new festival cosmetics from this time forward. I've even gone and made a suggestion on the LOTRO forums to bring back the old designing contests. If you are dismayed with the direction of festival rewards, I implore you, make your voice heard on the forums. Offer suggestions or constructive criticism. The only way we're going to make any headway is by coming together as a group.

Anyway, beneath this small wall of angsty text are pictures of the new rewards. To the right of each individual cosmetic is a version dyed black to demonstrate where colors change with dye application. Beneath each picture is the name and barter cost of the respective piece.

Robe of Bounty - 35 Farmers Faire Tokens

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