Sunday, November 1, 2020

Autumn Leaf Fashion

I need to put it out there that if I missed LOTRO's Fall Festival--my favorite one by the way--I might have quit LOTRO permanently. As most of my readers and Twitter followers know, this has been a rough year investing in LOTRO. It's been one thing after another, all in rapid succession. A pandemic that forced me into 60+ hour work weeks from April to September. (I had one afternoon of playtime this past July, and that was it.) I came back to an unstable game, due to a combination of issues with SSG's service provider and their server infrastructure. Once the connection issues stabilized early October, my PC monitor died. I replaced it, only to have my PC's motherboard and processor kick the proverbial bucket nearly a week later. I had no choice but to rebuild my PC, which took approximately three weeks. 

Although these circumstances have been out of my control, I feel terrible leaving this blog all but abandoned this year. To make up for lost time, I'll be sharing three new outfits, each featuring a new cosmetic from the 2020 Fall Festival. Golden leaf motifs and tattered, perhaps more accurate to say leafy, fabric are the core components of this year's theme. Between the Leaf-turner cosmetics, which are somewhat reminiscent of pre-Isengard elven design, the spookier looking Autumn Sage ones, I'd say SSG has captured the festival's essence. I haven't been this impressed with the seasonal fall designs since 2018!

Head: Woodland Crown (Default, Yule Festival token barter reward)
Shoulders: Fur Mantle (Orange, Yule Festival token barter reward)
Chest: Vestments of the Autumn Sage (White, Fall Festival token barter reward)
Feet: Embroidered Shoes of the Dunland Healer (Rust, reward from Missing Persons)**

Weapon: Smooth Holly Staff (From the T6 Woodworker Holly Staff recipe)

Shoulders: Disused Mantle of the Dunland Soothsayer (Gold, reward from Mean, Old Big Bloodtusk)**
Back: Plain Cloak (Ashenslades green, purchased from the Outfitter in Bree-town)
Chest: Tunic of the Leaf-turner (Gold, Midsummer Festival token barter reward)
Hands: Gauntlets of the Anorien Fields (Ashenslades green, reward from The Broken Causeway)***
Feet: Boots of the Anorien Fields (Ashenslades green, reward from The Seven Gates)***

Shoulders: Expeditionary Mantle (Sienna, reward from A Sneak Among the Leavings)****
Back: Cloak of the Autumn Sage (White, Fall Festival token barter reward)
Chest: Arwen's Dinner Dress (Gold, Midsummer Festival token barter reward)
Feet: Embroidered Shoes of the Dunland Healer (Rust, reward from Missing Persons)**

**For these Dunland rewards, multiple quests also offer these skins as rewards. Please see Devonna's wonderful Cosmetic Guide to RoI Quest Rewards at the LOTRO Stylist.

***These Epic quest rewards are not to be confused with the reputation vendor rewards in Gondor. Though they have the same name, the vendors offer different skins. The ones seen here are unique to the Epic quests.

****This Mordor skin also drops from other quests under different names. Also, this skin can be found as a rare and random deconstructable drop in the Mordor daily resource instances.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Another Update

It pains me to say it, but I'm hanging up my outfitter's robe for the foreseeable future. I, unfortunately, am in the percentage of players that can log into LOTRO, but quickly and frequently experience high packet loss, rubberbanding, and freezing that, in the worst cases, leads to client crashes and disconnects. It was my plan to return this month, but fate wouldn't allow it. I can't even complete an outfit, nor can I travel between locations to snap screenshots. (And I know for a fact it's not an issue on my end. I can play every other online game without issue.)

It is my intent to return once the tech teams at LOTRO can provide a consistently stable experience. And that also applies to CenturyLink, LOTRO's ISP, which seemingly is the source of these external issues.

That being said, I have some good news. Comments have been reopened!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Quick Update

Hello everybody!

I miss LOTRO. I miss the community. I miss sharing new outfits. With how busy I've been and will continue to be, I'll be on break from blogging until September. Now that the once hectic nature of my summer has resumed some semblance of normalcy, I have a good idea of when I can return. That's the good news. Now for the bad news.

During my absence, there will be a temporary change. I've had to disable comments. Given Blogspot's inefficient system, disabling comments also meant hiding ALL previous comments. I've had no choice. On Wednesday evening, I had to remove nearly four hundred bot posts, most of which contained malicious or pornographic links. This afternoon, I removed another seventy-three. I simply don't have the time to monitor Material Middle-earth every day. If all goes well, come September, the bots will have moved on and comments will be enabled once again.

Thank you for being a supportive and wonderful community. And, most of all, thank you for your understanding and patience.


Sunday, July 5, 2020

Middle-earth Midsummer

Greetings! Between a lack of time, a serious burn out, and adjusting to a global pandemic, I've fallen behind in all of my MMOs, missing updates and events. I don't know when I'll be ready to return to online gaming, but I did have a chance to explore LOTRO's Midsummer Festival, which coincides with Aragorn and Arwen's wedding, for a single day. Between a generous Twitter follower and kinnies who sent me gift boxes and a brief time spent collecting tokens around Minas Tirith, I acquired the latest cosmetics.

Sadly, I don't and probably won't have the time for tinkering with the Groom's Tunic and the Bridal Veil. However, I did have the chance to make three new appearances with the festival's new dresses. Inspiration struck hard and fast, taking no more than an hour to build, dye, and take quick pictures. I loved how billowy these dresses were, especially on a human female!

I'm not sure when I'll have the opportunity to post new content again, but I hope you enjoy this latest entry!

Head: Circlet of Osgiliath's Fury (White, Osgiliath Dome Armour box from T2 Dome of Stars)**
Shoulders: Embroidered Mantle of the Pathfinder's Artifice (Ered luin blue, T11 Tailor recipe bartered from the Gorgoroth reputation vendor)
Chest: Arwen's Dinner Dress (Sea blue, Midsummer Festival token barter reward)

**This circlet skin can be obtained by any light armor class. Dome must be run on T2 at a minimum of level 50 and any boss can drop this box.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Galadhrim Defender & Happy Anniversary

Happy 8th Anniversary to Material Middle-earth!

Every year I've reached this anniversary milestone, which officially falls on April 24th, I can't help but think "Has another year come and gone so quickly?" Having been blogging for LOTRO these past eight years, I'm surprised I haven't run out of content to publish between reviving old cosmetics and exploring the newest ones. I'm always finding rewarding things to do. Just in the past year, I've helped judge several cosmetic contests across several servers, I've even hosted my own with the help of Gladden's Rangers of the West, and I've also expanded the Cosmetic Weapons section to include a vast selection of shields. There have been other projects and events, too many to name in fact, but they've left me satisfied without feeling burned out, as they normally do. I've even rediscovered my love for raiding, which I haven't actively done since Riders of Rohan was the current expansion!

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