Saturday, December 28, 2013

Winter Series - Snowborn Soldier

I've slowly been reviving last year's Winter Series--outfits revolving around cold weather or the Yule/holiday season. I had taken an unexpected break from LOTRO between January and April of 2013, which put many of my plans for this series on hold. Cosmetic gear went back in the vault and the drawing boards were wiped clean...and I hadn't documented any of my work. But, it gives me a chance this season to begin again and find innovative combinations to suit travelers in the cold regions of Middle-earth.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Winter Series - Steel-clad Santa

It began with a simple shout-out in GLFF meant to relieve a bit of boredom waiting for this year's festivities to start. I jokingly dared someone to cosmetically challenge me for the holiday season. I seriously wasn't expecting to hear anything. Then BAM! A single tell rolled in from an anonymous player--"Make a Santa that rides to war in Rohan!" My initial reaction? Forehead met palm with a loud smack. Good grief. I kinda dug myself a hole and I had to find a way to climb out of it. It took about three days, but here we are...a chainmail-wearing, pauldron-toting, backpack-slinging interpretation of St. Nick that can still deliver gifts to children scattered across the open plains of Rohan. Isengard and Mordor beware!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Curious Scholar - Faewynn of Gladden

Back in early 2011 I had assembled this outfit. It was noble, elegant, refined, intelligent...and the Robe of Leisure was 30% off due to a store coupon. Oh how I miss sales like that! There are still a few pieces that I haven't purchased from the store and I haven't seen any sales lately in the cosmetic department. The robe was, at one point, my most used item because of how dye friendly it was--and still is. I don't know how many outfits I used it in or how many times I changed the color, but nothing seemed to work very well. But, I finally settled on something that eventually was shelved and collected dust for about two years.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yule Festival 2013 Cosmetics

This must be indeed the "Year of the Robes" for LOTRO. We haven't seen a new dress since this year's Spring Festival. Once again, we're seeing a reskinned robe model from the early days of LOTRO. It's a simple winter-themed set this year. Nothing extravagant, at least not in comparison to the stunning job done last year for the Yule Festival.

Unfortunately, I do not have time to catalogue three years of items for my blog, especially for our new players. Perhaps I will be able to that after Christmas, when the holiday chaos has settled down. For now, I can only post the 2013 additions. However, Cosmetic LOTRO has pictures of the cosmetics available from previous years. Please stop by and say thank you to Hymne for providing these screenshots:

Yule Festival Cosmetics 2012
Yule Festival Cosmetics 2011
Yule Festival Cosmetics 2011 (Mid-festival additions)

These new robes are simple and unassuming with a pretty snowflake motif. They are, by default, dyed an interestingly muted shade of least that's how it looks to me. The images on the far right of each set show how the pieces dye, and I've used purple because the undyeable portions are so dark.

Wintertide Robe (35 Festival Tokens)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Winter Series - A Long Expected Yuletide

Why not kick off the Yule Season with a very simple and easily obtainable outfit? Well, mostly obtainable. The Fine Elven Circlet can only be earned from the Anniversary Festival gift boxes. If you don't have it, there's no need to worry! This cosmetic set still looks wonderful without it. With a little work for the upcoming Yule Festival, you can earn most of these easily without having to worry about instance grinding, leveling or endgame. Versus seeing these festival exclusives on stationary models found on the LOTRO forums and blogs, I wanted to give you an idea of how these look combined and in motion. And if you're a first timer to this season in LOTRO, you've got a wonderful idea of what to expect!

This year, the Yule Festival will run from December 18th, 2013 to January 14th, 2014.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thane for a Day - Morghann of Gladden

It wasn't until the release of the Wildermore on Bullroarer that I was able to find an appearance worthy of a Thane. After all, my captain had recently completed building Hytbold and the closing quest chain to go with it. It's not often I'm in a role-playing mood, but walking around with the title "Thane of Hytbold" without the proper accompaniment felt wrong. Lo, and behold! Here came the medium Wildermore Armour recipes, providing me with an elegant, gold-trimmed tunic dyeable in the most heavenly ways! Even the Wildermore Pauldrons are lovely!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Cosmetic Challenge - Wilderness Scavenger

Last year, in October I believe, I was challenged by a friend and former LOTRO player to devise an outfit revolving around the Jacket of the Fist-way (or any of its identical cousins) from the Warden class vendor at the Ox-clan Camp in Nan Curunir. Naturally, it had to be one of those pieces that dyed oddly. If you've ever worked with any T1 Tower of Orthanc gear from the Ox-clan Camp, you'll have noticed that all the pieces dye a muted color due to a greyish-blue base. If you didn't know that, now you do! I had become so frustrated with that centerpiece that I put this outfit aside for a while. Unfortunately, I had almost forgotten about this outfit. If it weren't for me recently cataloging creations that I've never used or had no intention of using, I wouldn't have resumed working on this almost a year later. 

Luciana, my dear friend, this is dedicated to you! Hopefully you're still checking out this blog : )

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wanderer of the West - Andalost of Gladden

Being the cosmetic packrat I am, I had to use one of my extra character slots and build a new character. Even though a new character meant more storage, it also meant seven more outfits to create. And so I built one using a few pieces that were collecting dust and created a sensible traveler's outfit for a fresh Lore-master. It's a rather unassuming compilation. Plenty of earthy colors and a minimal amount of designs that prevented it from looking gaudy. I felt like I was blending in with the townsfolk, even though these pieces seemed a fashionable step higher by comparison.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Harvestmath Series - Lady of the Golden Harvest

Golds and light greens are still seen into late Autumn. They're some of the last colors to fade before Winter arrives, a symbol of the remaining warm weather and the last major Harvest--at least where I live. Thanksgiving is coming at the end of November for me, and I wanted to make an outfit capturing all of this. Unfortunately, there are no turkeys in Middle-earth...but I can certainly toss feathers into the air and pretend there are! This will give me a chance to wrap up this year's Harvestmath Series.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Forest-friend - Lanael of Gladden

Green has always been my favorite color for my Rune-keeper, Lanael. Looks like I've discovered another character that heavily associates with a specific color, very much in the way shades of purple agree with my Captain. It's probably the personality I've envisioned for each specific character that leads me to dress them in certain fabrics and styles. That could very well be why I've stopped working on particular outfits. Even though it can look great, I can't envision that particular one wearing it in Middle-earth. But, that's what alts are for! I originally modeled this outfit on my Warden in navy blue.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Harvestmath Series - Harvest Reveller

The theme from the 2012 Harvestmath Festival revolved around beer and pretzels. Other than the pretzel embroidery on the tunics and dresses, there were handheld items that fit in your weapon slots like silver been steins and giant pretzels (which is great for the RP community). I never knew why, so I did a little research using the two images in unison. Initially, all I could find was some obscure reference to board games called "Beer & Pretzels" and "Wiz-war" because the two items were traditionally consumed while playing them and then a Three Stooges 1933 short film called "Beer and Pretzels." Believe me, I sat there for ten minutes scratching my head and making faces at my monitor while thinking there's got to be more to this. It couldn't be more than a random choice, could it?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Helm's Deep Cosmetics Part 2: Crafted Armor

Now that the NDA has been lifted, I can share these crafted armor sets with all of you!

In each set, you'll have views from the front, side and back. At the far right of each set, you'll be able to see what areas change color when dyed. For the sake of viewing ease, I've chosen a bright red. Beneath each picture is the name of the set, what armor class it belongs to, and the level to equip it.


Westemnet Campaign Armor (crafted light set, level 90)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Harvestmath Series - Stylish Drake-slayer

Combining a love of the lore, my anticipation for the second Hobbit film, and a current obsession with the Harvestmath season cosmetics, I found myself making this outfit. It started with the Gown of Autumn Nights, but it wasn't exactly about the color at first. The pattern on the hem and at the waist of dress is what grabbed my attention in the most unusual way. If you look closely (even at the set matching Cloak of Autumn Nights) this is supposed to be some sort of intertwining leafless tree montage. Instead, I saw a forest burning brightly, and after a chain of freely associative thoughts, I found myself thinking of a dragon's fiery breath.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Gift of Foresight - Lanael of Gladden

Author's Note: It's not often that I encounter someone who gets excited over a very specific cosmetic. I recently resumed using a long forgotten Twitter account, and happened to post that I snagged a particular piece of gear. It wasn't long before I received a tweet saying "For now I can only dream of getting it :D I can't wait to see your outfit :)" I was going to have this automatically published sometime in early January due to scheduling reasons, but I decided to squeeze this in early. Lorinell, this is for you!

After two arduous years of raiding and running retro content, I finally managed to get my hands on the chest piece elf-stone from the Mistress of Pestilence in Dâr Narbugud. Although the elf-stones are bound to account, this is a Rune-keeper exclusive item--the Robe of the Lady's Foresight. You'll have to drag a level 60 Rune-keeper to Caras Galadhon to barter for it. Similar to obtaining the class-specific teal armor from the Moria instance cluster, you won't be able to talk to a class vendor in the Twenty-first Hall unless you are that class. It's sad when a restriction like this many great cosmetic pieces either go unnoticed or unused.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Harvestmath Series - Lord of the Autumn Nights

Until this year, I never had any particular use or interest in the Autumn Nights gear. No matter what I used or what I combined with anything out of the set, I simply could not get those pieces to jive. I was determined this year, and there was a single piece that made such an outfit possible--the crafted light armor Wildermore shoulders. I snagged that guild recipe recently and have been combining it with as many other cosmetics as possible! And I never realized the array of Autumn colors in the leaf pattern of the cloak until I dyed it black.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Harvestmath Festival 2013 Cosmetics and Steed

Today at 10 AM EST, the 2013 Harvestmath Festival began. It will continue to run through November 4th. I was logged into LOTRO about 10 minutes after the festival started to grab some screenshots of the new cosmetics. As much as I love the designs, we have another rehashed skin of the old robe. I'm not going to lie, I was looking to something a little more innovative this festival. Anyway, I'm working my way towards getting all of these! Below each screenshot is the name and cost of each new piece.

And for your comprehensive convenience, here's a link to the rest of the obtainable cosmetics from previous years.

Spooky Robe of the Bat (24 Fall Tokens)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Harvestmath Series - Scarlet Witch

It's mid-October and Halloween (some of us refer to it as All Hallow's Eve) is fast approaching. Last year, I had a triple feature post with ideas for outfits and costumes related to the season. This year, I'm expanding the costume theme to a general Harvestmath theme, using gear and colors appropriate to the festival or the spirit of the season. I'll be occasionally posting outfits of this nature until mid-November. If I'm feeling creative, I might even attempt to reclaim some of the lesser-used Harvestmath cosmetics.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Soldier of the Mark

It's been rather interesting two weeks digging through my massive cosmetic vault, spread across three cosmetic mules and several level-capped characters. At last count, I made a dozen new outfits, which I will be releasing at a rate of one per week. Anyway, as I was sifting through everything, I found those undyeable pieces released with every expansion starting with Rise of Isengard. I haven't seen anybody using those on my server in the past year, so I felt it was time to start reclaiming them and integrating them into full outfits. When I pick up Helm's Deep, I'll add the new set to my repertoire. With the upcoming expansion, I've wanted to create some sort of a Westemnet-worthy outfit.

For this particular blog post, I'm focusing my energy on the Hauberk of the Eastemnet--the pre-order piece exclusive to the Riders of Rohan expansion. On top of that, it's very rare that I focus on a heavy armor appearance.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

First Cosmetic Adventure - Faewynn of Gladden

Finally, my favorite time of year has arrived. The air has a slight chill to it and the leaves are just starting to turn. I believe this is what Tolkien would have called Yávië, meaning early Autumn in Quenya. Where I live, the change in season practically occurs the same time when the leaves display their characteristic colors of red, orange, gold, yellow, and chartreuse. Because of this, I've decided to revive something from my infancy as a LOTRO player...something older than what I thought was my actual first cosmetic endeavor last year.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Elven Blossom - Nathrien of Gladden

It was by chance that I had found the Lissuin cosmetic pieces on the AH this month. Normally, I would have spent a portion of my time gathering tokens during the Spring Festival this year, but it was nearly impossible at the time. You see, my PC hadn't been repaired yet and my laptop could barely handle LOTRO. I had to cash in half of my Badges of Taste from previous festivals to grab the war-steed pieces, as those are bound on acquire and can't be purchased elsewhere. The rest of the new cosmetics would have to wait, and with some patience, I hoped to find them on the AH...and I did. For thirty gold, I purchased the Lissuin Robe, Lissuin Dress, and the Lissuin Cloak. The hooded version of the cloak still eludes me.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Eagle-friend - Satella of Gladden

Can you believe that I haven't posted an actual LOTRO outfit since April? It certainly feels nice to get back this! The first thing I did when I got back was figure out what I've used in outfitting (and how frequently) as well as what I haven't used. Needless to say, I've heavily favored a few pieces. One piece, the center of this design, the Hauberk of the Eagle's Crest, hasn't been used until now. You'd think that having a particular piece for more than two years would mean I use it more often. Nope. After fooling around with it, I discovered why it sat in storage. Only the white portions of the piece actually dye, leaving you with a primarily navy color.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My Cosmetic Adventures Away From LOTRO

Greetings everybody! I remebered saying in a previous post, that I've been dabbling in other games like Neverwinter, World of Warcraft, Star Trek Online, Marvel Heroes, and Rift while on a semi-break from LOTRO. I had a bit of an idea. This post is going about cosmetics, but this contains little directly regarding LOTRO. This will probably be the only post of its kind, but it'll give me a chance to talk about the cosmetic and outfitting systems of a handful of other games from a cosmetic blogger's perspective.

You see, I can't resist a good outfit no matter the game I'm playing and I enjoy seeing what I can do elsewhere with my background as a outfitter. I'll be talking a little about RIFT, Neverwinter, and World of Warcraft and reflecting on LOTRO in the process. You learn about dye systems, the pros and cons of taking  screenshots, and the acquisition of cosmetic gear. For clarity's sake, I cranked the graphics as high as my computer would let me.

 I hope you'll enjoy this minor excursion while I work on future LOTRO ensembles!


Left to right: Krysanthe, mage; Asphodella, rogue; Aerthain, warrior

One of my greatest pleasures since June has been exploring the landscape in RIFT. I have been absolutely impressed by the design of the world and the cosmetic versatility of many pieces of gear. The designers have certainly performed above and beyond my expectations with the details of every piece on an engine intended for gameplay over graphics. Clipping is virtually nonexistent. Each and every piece fits your race and gender perfectly, as if they were specifically tailored to that model. (If only LOTRO could get that right!) The RIFT Store offers prepackaged outfits, usually in the form of cosmetic end-game armor bundles, both PvE and PvP, and expansion specific sets! Both sexes can strip down to undies and wear festival-earned bathing suits if so desired. Have I mentioned that there is no level requirement to cosmetically slot a piece of gear?

The wardrobe system is very simple and is comparable to LOTRO. Just access your wardrobe and drop the piece into its respective space. Feel free to toggle on and off each piece as you see fit. RIFT features twenty possible wardrobe combinations per character, unlike LOTRO's seven. You can purchase each set with either game money or Store currency and the cost incrementally increases with each purchased.

Oddly enough, this is one of those games where your gender affects how your outfit appears. Unfortunately, I'm very on the fence about this. Unlike LOTRO, the appearance of your characters--females especially--lean towards the more mature, fan-servicey side of the spectrum. Most chest pieces will give you a wonderful helping of cleavage from a variety of perspectives and most leggings will give you an eyeful of her thighs. Even full-plate emphasizes your female character's chest no matter the race, constantly shoving her gender in your face. On occasion, you'll be dealing with the aggravating cleavage wedge. Male characters, however don't have to deal with this issue. This is my only gripe about the cosmetic system for RIFT. You will not find hypersexualized characters in LOTRO, for which I am eternally grateful.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Helm's Deep Cosmetics Part 1: Pre-order Goodies

The pre-order expansion information for Helm's Deep has been released. Naturally, since this is a cosmetic blog, I'll be bringing the skinny on the cosmetic portions of these packages. It's expected to go live on November 18, 2013 and provide the following bonuses:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Up to Speed

It's certainly been a while since I was last here! Now that my computer is back in working order, I can resume working on my blog from time to time. However, I'm still somewhat on break from LOTRO and biding my time until Helm's Deep. I've been fooling around on Rift, Neverwinter, and World of Warcraft (someone got me a 30 day game card last year and I never used it until now) in the meantime. I do have to say that of all the games that I've ever played, LOTRO by far has the superior cosmetic system between the versatility of designs and the assortment of color from which to choose! I took a couple of screenies from my brief adventures today...hope you enjoy them!

I hope to be back in full force soon! : )

Spring Lissuin War-steed set & matching Lissuin ensemble - this outfit is in progress!

An old, but favorite outfift that's been slightly modified. From the "Grace of the Golden Wood" post :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Blog Update

Sorry that I haven't been around lately as I kinda promised I would be. Unfortunately, my power supply and graphics card on my gaming PC let go recently--and as a result, I won't be able to update this blog for the time being. Hopefully, when my monthly budget allows me to be more flexible, I'll be able to replace both of those parts. I do have a laggy laptop that can run LOTRO on very low using DirectX 9, which means I might still be able to draft outfits for future display. I wish you all well, and happy gaming!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Update 11 - Wildermore Cosmetic Preview

Today, I discovered that Update 11 was on Bullroarer. Naturally, I wanted to get the scoop on upcoming cosmetics...and to my surprise, there is quite a bit to experiment with! Leave it to me to forego actually gearing up my toons. I haven't seen everything yet, as I haven't worked on the new reputation for crafting. I'll share with everybody what I've encountered so far.

Armor Sets

I have to say these three new sets make me feel like Forochel meets Rohan. After all, the Wildermore is mainly a snowy region! These three featured armor sets might not have their names set in stone quite yet, after all this is the first build. From top to bottom, in this section, you have the Heavy Wildermore Set, the Medium Wildermore Set, and the Light Wildermore Set. From left to right, for each respective set, is the default color scheme followed by a dyed version. 

Feel free to click on each of these for a larger image!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Come Celebrate in Style!

***Public Service Announcement: In Lieu of the 3rd Shire Riddle Race on Gladden this Sunday, and their addition of a fashion show, my event has been rescheduled to the following Sunday, April 28th to avoid event conflicts!***

Finally, the Anniversary Festival has gone live! I don't have too much to report about the festival itself, since it's almost exactly the same as last year. The two differences are this--you can't use the raid exploit to farm envelopes any longer, but the envelopes have a very slim chance of containing the Reveller's Gilded War-steed cosmetics. One person on Gladden obtained them this morning and posted them on GLFF. Basically, if you've seen the Reveller's Gilded Steed, you'll have a very good idea of what the war-steed appearance will be.  For a wonderful overview of the barterable cosmetics, please check out Hymne's 5th Anniversary Cosmetics entry at Cosmetic LOTRO.

Now for the meat and potatoes of this particular post!

On Sunday, April 28, at 3 PM EST, Rangers of the West and myself will be hosting a server-wide Festival Ride and Fashion Show! This is a two part event, starting at the Methel-stage in the Shire. From there, we'll be riding in unison to the Bree-land Festival Grounds. If you do come early and attend the ride, feel free to bring fireworks, mingle with us, and celebrate! Once we reach the Festival Grounds, we'll let everyone get settled in and begin the Fashion Contest!

There are two categories, non-mounted and mounted, each of which will have prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. All non-mounted players have to do is create and wear an outfit that best defines the spirit of the festival! Mounted players are encouraged to create an outfit that compliments their steed of choice, whether it be a war-steed, meta-steed, or another standard mount.

The prizes will be issued as follows:

1st Place Mounted Category: 50g, Riddermark Crystal of Remembrance, Tarnished Crest of Rohan,  3 choices of dyes
1st Place Non-mounted Category: 50g, Symbol of the Elder King (level 65), 3 Mithril Flakes, 1 Small Star-lit crystal, 3 choices of dye
2nd Place, both categories: 25g, 5 Fused Profound Relics, 2 choices of dye
3rd Place, both categories: 10g, 5 Fused Aged Relics, 1 choice of dye

**Each dye prize is a stack of 3. If you win multiple dye packages, please choose different are limited.**

**Prizes have also been graciously donated by Serious Business, Rangers of the West, and Turning of the Tide**

The criteria by which I will be judging is as follows:

1) The originality of the outfit
2) The integration of pieces used
3) The blending of colors
4) Overall impression

Did you know that the 24th will be the 1 year anniversary of Material Middle-Earth? I can't believe it's already been a whole year! I remember opening this cosmetic blog with a contest for the Forgotten Darkness kinship. Who would have thought I'd be helping to host server events?


Also, Lilyrose and her kinship, Rangers of the West, are planning a series of events that take place at various locations during the festival. As of right now, we have a horse race scheduled for Saturday, April 27th at 12 PM EST that will include a course taking playersfrom the Forsaken Inn to the finish line at Weathertop. If all goes well, we're also planning a Fireworks Extravaganza for the final night of the festival!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Musical Series - Resplendent Lutist

I found this outfit sitting unpublished in my blogger archives. Originally, I had it slotted for release in January, but I had been on break by then. While I'm working on new outfits, I'll gladly post this for everybody to see! With the 6th Anniversary Festival just around the corner, running from April 16 to April 30, this outfit feels appropriate.

Nathellia takes pride in her ability to perform. An uplifting song, a festive dance, and a genuine smile is all she needs to bring joy to the lives around her. She throws herself fully into each note and deliberately placed step. With the festival on the way, she takes the time to practice!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Return from a Lengthy Holiday

My, it's been a long time since I updated here. I had taken a break from LOTRO and all things LOTRO related, but I wasn't expecting it to be so long! It's been four months since my last blog post. It's been two months since I stopped playing. In a nutshell, I just got tired and aggravated with the game, not liking the direction the developers were taking this MMO. Also, with the way my non-gaming life had overwhelmed me, I had to temporarily stop the cosmetic blogging. Anyway, I'm back but not to the extent I used to be before December. Hopefully, I'll have some new outfits ready to go in the next week or two! To those of you who periodically check this blog, if there's anybody left at all (I hope!), thanks for being patient!

As an unusual bonus, here are several screenshots unused in any of my outfitting posts. Whenever I make an outfit, I take at least two dozen photos at a given time at a location...but only four of them make it to the final stages of a blog post. You might recognize some of the outfits below...but I can guarantee you that some of these haven't made it to this blog yet! Oh, the things you find archived from a different time and a different computer...

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