Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ithilien Savant

This past month, I've been slowly taking a second character through Eastern Gondor and collecting the cosmetics I missed on my first pass, due to a lack of inventory space. Luckily, the skin used by the Robe of the Five Rivers (along with most Eastern Gondor quest gear) can be obtained from multiple quests. I may be behind the times, as other players have already featured this robe, which can be found here and here, but I wanted to give it my own spin and pair it with an old, hard to acquire staff--Forvengwath's Despair and create a unique appearance. It's not often I use purple in my outfits, as it can be a highly saturated color, but matching the staff made it necessary. I wouldn't have expected sienna and purple to go together so well either! At least this served as a nice break from the green-themed outfits I've published lately.

I'm afraid I don't have much to say about this week's outfit. However, I'll share a couple of thoughts that passed through my mind while writing this entry:

First, if it weren't for the certh (Sindarin for "runes," cirth being the singular) and the celtic knot-like patterns typical of Rohirric dress, this could be passable attire for an Easterling. After all, Eastern Gondor is not all that far from Rhûn. Far Anórien has brought us closer, if only a little. I wish Rhûn wasn't largely a mystery. It's gotten some mention in lore, though references are highly scattered between the core books and the many volumes of The History of Middle-earth. Anything coherent source I've found, especially online, warns that descriptions of Easterling culture is based on conjecture or non-canonical sources.

Anyway, it seems I've slightly strayed off-topic with the brief lore and history lesson. I should consider another Easterling outfit in the future to compliment the one from 2014, now that the juices are flowing again.

Second, I should mention that this outfit, the robe in particular, is more flattering on females than males. It's more form-fitting and doesn't billow outwards in the chest and stomach area.

In other news, it's been a little while since I've regularly played LOTRO. I've been busy with work and all things outside of gaming, I've been sucked back into Final Fantasy XIV with a few friends, and the price of LOTRO's new quest pack, Far Anórien, has become a major deterrent. If anything, that last reason has been the major factor in my lack of LOTRO game time. 1995 TP? Really? Personally, I'd be more inclined to pay 795 TP for the quest pack and instances, similar to Eastern Gondor and Enedwaith, and make the raid a separate purchase for 1250 TP, just like Draigoch. I don't need the raid and I'm only interested in the questing (despite the lack of quests to get players to 105) and, maybe, the 3 and 6-man dungeons. If I do want to purchase it, I'll wait for it to go on sale. Until then, I have an army of alts I can level!

Head: Circlet of the Seven Stars (Deafult, teal version from classic skirm camp vendor)
Shoulders: Shoulders of the Mighty Verse (Sienna, Minstrel class vendor in the Twenty-first Hall)
Back: Eastemnet Cloak (Purple, T8 Tailor)
Chest: Robe of the Five Rivers (Purple, Eastern Gondor quest reward)
Hands: Elven Cotton Gloves (Sienna, T3 Tailor recipe)
Feet: Elven Cotton Shoes (Purple, T3 Tailor recipe)

Main-hand weapon: Forvengwath's Despair (drops from Forvengwath in Barad Gularan)

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.

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.

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