Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Autumn Attire

It's certainly been some time since my last entry. I've been playing LOTRO quite a bit lately, taking time to work on my characters' gear and catching up on both the new zones and completing the epic story. I found myself falling farther and farther behind my friends and kinmates the more time I spent getting cosmetically creative. Believe it or not, most of my characters have been muddling through with the old statted level 95 gear since Western Gondor was released. I found myself unable to do group content at 105. I obstinately resisted the essence gear from its initial release until Update 19, which was a major mistake. I've come to realize that the essence grind is real. Same goes for stocking scrolls of empowerment. It's a much larger commitment than any level cap gear grind I've ever put myself through and the amount of time I've had to dedicate has been astonishing.

Now that I feel comfortable where I am in terms of character progression, I thought I should post a little something. In fact, since it's been so long, I have THREE autumn-themed outfits to present. Hopefully, I'll be back with more before the winter holiday season!

And I have a ton of outfits on my Beorning to post too! But that's if I ever find time to get out of Moria and get her to level 65. I have specific places in mind for screenshots...and I won't settle for anything less!

In the meantime, here are three autumn-inspired creations!

Head: Ceremonial Circlet of the Graven Word (Bullroarer's green, cosmetic skirmish camp vendor -- Light Rift set)
Shoulders: Ceremonial Shoulders of the Seven Stars (Sunset orange, cosmetic skirmish camp vendor -- Light Annuminas set)
Back: Pack of the Yield (Sunset orange, Farmer's Faire barter reward)
Chest: Tunic and Trousers of the New Bloom (Sunset orange, Spring Festival barter reward)
Hands: Pelennor Bracers of Wrath (Sunset orange, Vol 4 Epic quest reward)**
Feet: Ceremonial Nenuial's Boots (Walnut brown, cosmetic skirmish camp vendor -- Medium Annuminas set)

**Shares skin with any of the medium gloves from the Eastemnet Armor Quartermatser found in Rohan

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Tempered Pathfinder

Every now and then, I like to take a break from making those fancy, overly detailed, and sometimes complicated outfits. Much of LOTRO's gear is covered in large emblems, swirls, leaves, golden trims and accents, and intricate patterns. There is nothing more aggravating for me that having to coordinate racial motifs or making sure that high decorative skins can refer to each other. This week, I'll be sharing an outfit on the simpler side, one with armor skins that have a simple design and dye almost entirely one color. If anything, I used the studs on these pieces as a unifying motif.

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.

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 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.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bundled Expeditionary

Thankfully, having drafted several blog entries is a blessing in disguise. LOTRO's move to the new data center on Monday, January 11th, has made it near impossible for me to play the game. I've experienced, along with friends, long stretches of lag, with latency as high as 1200 ms and loss reaching an upwards of 15% nearly every night this week. Until something gets done, particularly the hotfix Frelorn casually mentioned on the forums late Monday night, I won't be able to play. I'll stop in and try again sometime next week, when I have my next chance to play. If anything good came of this week, it was being able to snag the new Yule Festival cosmetics before my client crashed.

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