Saturday, June 4, 2016

Red Arrow of Gondor

Turbine's ability to reskin old cosmetics has been hit or miss the past couple of years. Festival robes. War-steed caparisons. Various crafted items from the Eastfold and Westfold tiers. Sometimes there have been amazing successes, like the Robe of the Five Rivers featured in my previous entry. Sometimes there have been complete and utter failures, like the aforementioned 2013 and 2014 festival robes. Then there have been those that leave you feeling neither impressed nor unimpressed, but somewhere in the middle. Forlong's Ill-fitting Armor, another skin earned from multiple quests in Eastern Gondor, fell into that third category.

Essentially, this chest piece was a reskin of the crafted Eastemnet Battle Armor, which was featured in my 2012 outfit, Return of the Shield-maiden. Certainly, it's a far more vibrant and detailed reimaging of the original. However, when you dye it, most of it dyes that color. That made it difficult to use, considering how much potential this had for outfits. If I had the chance to redesign it, I would have made the sleeves and pants an undyeable grey or black. Since that's impossible, I used black and gold (perhaps even chrome or bronze-colored) accented pieces for color balance. The cloak choices, however, were deplorable. Not many fit the criteria. I considered the cloaks bartered for in any of the Eastemnet cities, but they all had an unchangeable strip of green. In the end, even though I used it in my last outfit, I chose the Eastemnet Cloak. Feel free to suggest or use a different cloak!

Despite my mixed feelings for this outfit, I had to step back and realize that Material Middle-earth is a blog for outfit ideas. I decided to post this, hoping that someone could take it and craft it into their own battle-ready attire. I've had a mix of successes and failures in the past. Then there have been mediocre creations like these, which seems to be a theme in this post, that can fall into either category.

And as always, cosmetic weapons have been optional in these outfits!

Shoulders: Eastemnet Battle Pauldrons (Black, T8 Metalsmith Recipe)
Back: Eastemnet Cloak (Black, T8 Tailor Recipe)
Chest: Forlong's Ill-fitting Armor (Crimson, Eastern Gondor quest reward)**
Hands: Steel Gauntlets of the Norcrofts (Black, Eastemnet Armor Quatermaster token vendor)
Feet: Eastemnet Battle Boots (Black, T8 Metalsmith Recipe)

Main-hand weapon: Veteran Master Guardsman's Blade of the Adlan (Medium Armor skirm camp vendor)
Ranged: Yew Javelin (T3 Woodworker recipe)
Shield: Esquire's Warden Shield of Naillan (Medium Armor skirm camp vendor)

**Multiple Eastern Gondor quests reward this skin.

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.

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 GĂșlaran. 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.

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