Saturday, April 21, 2018

Recollections of the Last Alliance & Happy Anniversary



It's difficult to believe that I tried retiring from cosmetic blogging for LOTRO three years ago. And it's even more difficult to believe, after all that work I'd put into what were supposed to be the final days of my blog, that I would miraculously return seven months later. I haven't regretted coming back. Even though the golden age of the outfitting community has long passed, I've done my best to keep Material Middle-earth running strong and continue creating fresh content. If it weren't for CosmeticLOTRO, The Starry Mantle, and LOTRO Fashion, the original pioneers of this niche community, my blog may have never existed. Speaking of which...

Happy Sixth Anniversary to Material Middle-earth! The official date is April 24th. If you asked me back in 2012 how long I expected to maintain this blog, I wouldn't have been able to guess. But it's been six years. Six years! "Retirement" and a multitude of PC hardware failures hasn't stopped me yet. Here's to another six...hopefully!




This particular outfit was inspired both by the NPCs in LOTRO's High Elf intro and the Battle of Dagorlad, the focal point of the intro's story.  (For those who haven't had the opportunity to play that intro, here are some pictures of those NPCs from my Twitter.) I've always imagined what these Second Age soldiers and commanders would wear into that particular battle. We've seen one interpretation in Jackson's LOTR films. We've seen another in SSG's rendition. And the Silmarillion only says that this host of elves were "fairer and more splendid in arms than any that since been seen in Middle-earth." Given what I had accessible, and there wasn't much to work with, I decided to combine the clue from the Silmarillion with SSG's NPC visuals. Using the gear skins obtained from the High-enchanter vendor in Mordor, I put my own spin on an outfit suitable to the War of the Last Alliance.


Originally, this outfit was prominently dyed evendim blue to match the colors in Círdan, Gil-galad, Harthalin, and Isildur's clothing. At the last minute, before applying the dyes outside of the dressing room, I made some unexpected modifications. When I tried the Cloak of the Summer Sea, I realized that I could create a gradient from the golden shoulders of the chestpiece to the sea blue hem of the cloak, which would tie together multiple pieces. Naturally, that led to a shift from evendim blue to sea blue. Honestly, I think it worked better that way. If you'd like to know the original outfit, I'll add a picture and list the pieces to it at the very end of this post.


Head: Turquoise Summer Circlet (Sea blue, dyeable LOTRO Store version)
Shoulders: Embroidered Mantle of the Last Alliance (Shire peach, High-enchanter ash vendor in Mordor - light armor)
Back: Cloak of the Summer Sea (Shire peach, Summer Festival barter reward)
Chest: Heavy Hauberk of the Last Alliance (Sea blue, High-enchanter vendor in Mordor - medium armor)
Hands:  Strong Gauntlets of the Last Alliance (Default, High-enchanter vendor in Mordor - heavy armor)
Feet: Thick Sabatons of the Last Alliance (Default, High-enchanter vendor in Mordor - heavy armor)

Main-hand weapon: Blade of Unity -- Reward from the Epic quest 2.7.3
Off-hand weapon: Blade of Unity -- Reward from the Epic quest 2.7.3
Ranged weapon: Well-worn Mûmak-rider's Bow, random chest drop from the Osgiliath instance cluster.

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The original outfit:

Head: Turquoise Summer Circlet (Evendim blue, dyeable LOTRO Store version)
Shoulders: Fine Camail of the Last Alliance (Shire peach, High-enchanter ash vendor in Mordor - medium armor)
Back: Autumn Leafmail Cloak (Navy, Fall Festival barter reward)
Chest: Heavy Hauberk of the Last Alliance (Evendim blue, High-enchanter vendor in Mordor - medium armor)
Hands:  Strong Gauntlets of the Last Alliance (Default, High-enchanter vendor in Mordor - heavy armor)
Feet: Thick Sabatons of the Last Alliance (Default, High-enchanter vendor in Mordor - heavy armor)

4 comments:

  1. Happy Anniversary! I'm happy you did not "retire" as we would be bereft of many beautiful outfits now :) like this one- The gold white and sea blue are perfect with the theme and that bow, wow! I never saw it drop in any Osgiliath instances I did, and on my server only saw it worn by very few players, it looks very elegant and elfy. I need to hunt it down hehe XD

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Playing LOTRO had felt like an empty experience without Material Middle-earth. I'd been posting outfits, advertising fashion events, and sharing cosmetic news for so long that I hadn't realized just how much it was a part of the experience.

      And as for that bow? It drops on T1 and T2. I farmed for it on level 50 T1 and was lucky to get it from the Mûmak in Dome.

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