Sunday, September 29, 2019

Memories of the Last Alliance

It was exciting to come home on Wednesday evening and discover that The Minas Morgul expansion was available for pre-order. I wasn't expecting it so soon since the Vales of Anduin region hasn't been out very long! I did pre-order the expansion almost immediately that night, wanting to get my hands on all those new cosmetics, steeds, and the Stout-axe race. I'd known we'd be exploring the Morgul Vale, specifically, Minas Morgul itself, and I was hoping we'd be returning to explore other areas of Mordor, like Nurn (that gate in southeastern Talath Úrui was such a teaser!) It turns out that wasn't the case. After watching Friday's Q&A stream, I learned about "Mordor Beseiged," the other area mentioned on the expansion page.

As it was explained, we'll be playing a character living through the final year of the Second Age, specifically during the Siege of  Barad-dûr. If I understood MadeOfLions correctly, Mordor Besieged acts as a sort of session play styled zone, allowing us to retain our character's skill sets and appearances while experiencing someone else's narrative. Certainly an interesting way to tell the new story! Though specific details weren't revealed, I hope the Siege of Barad-dûr's addresses the end of the Last Alliance of Elves and Men, the deaths of Anárion, Elendil, and Gil-galad, the temporary defeat of Sauron, Isildur's acquisition of the One Ring, and the numerous sorties between Sauron and the Alliance.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Pastel Brilliance

My, it's been a long time since I've uploaded an actual outfit. The summer kept me unusually busy, preventing me from investing any quality time in LOTRO and leaving me a backlog of outfits. However, it gave me the chance to gradually complete the Cosmetic Weapons Project. I haven't anticipated giving it any major updates in the future, except for new crafting recipes or when new vendors with swords and shields are added. It took over a year to add 1000+ images to that database! I'm glad it's finished, but there was an unforseen cost. I've almost used all of my free storage on Blogspot. That means I'll be cutting down on outfit images, starting today. I've even considered removing some from earlier entries as well, just to extend the life of Material Middle-earth.

Storage issues aside, there have been a handful updates to LOTRO in my absence. I've barely started Vales of Anduin and I very much need to complete it. Since the number of Embers rewarded from Skarhald dailies were reduced, I'll need the Vales dailies to supplement them. I often convert those extra Embers to Figments for cosmetics and housing items. And that brings me to the next topic. The Curator NPC. With the end of the Summer Festival, that particular vendor vanished. I was saddened to hear that, as I was still collecting those items. I wish that SSG had announced the Curator was a seasonal NPC months earlier...or at least from the very start. But now we have Rowan Raspberry...and new cosmetics to collect!

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Heavy Shield Skins, Part 2

The second installation of the heavy shields collection embodies bartered shields, world drops, and dungeon chest rewards.

Algraig Heavy Shield of Resilience - Bartered from the Grey 

Company reputation vendors in Enedwaith

Eoscyld - To be honest, I'm not sure if this is a world drop. This is 

a level 50 shield, which means it could drop randomly from creatures 
in the Carn Dum, Urugarth, or Rift raid instances. Or it could be loot 
from one of the bosses within those instances. Being an old item, 
details on this have vanished over time.

Sergeant-at-arms' Heavy Shield of Eruilan - Bartered from the 
Skirmish Camp

Friday, September 13, 2019

Heavy Shield Skins, Part 1

The first installation of the heavy shields collection showcases the crafted ones.

Anórien Battle Shield - Crafted from the Anórien Battle Shield 


Combative Eastemnet Battle-shield - Crafted from the Eastemnet 

Battle Shield recipe 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Warden's Shield Skins, Part 2

The second installation of the Warden shields collection embodies bartered shields, world drops, and dungeon chest rewards. The largest shields are towards the end.

Beleaguer - I believe this drops from the Stone-biter and 

Shadow-eater chest in The Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu. It's unlisted on 
the Wiki, but the U7 patch notes and that it sits in my inventory 
confirms its existence.

Blackroot Strong Warden Shield - Reward from the quest A Dark Pact

Blackroot Tempered Warden Shield - Reward from the quest A Dark 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Warden's Shield Skins, Part 1

The first part of this collection focuses upon crafted shields for the Warden.

Anórien Skirmish Shield - Crafted from the Anórien Skirmish Shield 

Balanced Iron Warden's Shield - Crafted from the Balanced Iron 
Warden's Shield recipe

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Light Shield Skins, Part 2

The second installation of the light shields collection embodies bartered shields, world drops, and dungeon chest rewards.

Algraig Light Shield of Perseverance - Bartered from The Grey 

Company reputation vendor

Lórien Light Shield -  Bartered from the Galadhrim rep vendor

in Talan Fanuidhol 

Saelthann - Bartered from The Grey Company reputation vendor

Blackroot Tempered Shield - Rewarded from the quest A Dark Pact

Monday, September 9, 2019

Light Shield Skins, Part 1

This is the beginning of the light shields collection. Part one, simply put, focuses on LOTRO's crafted shields.

Aegis of Stonehelm - Crafted from the Aegis of Stonehelm recipe

Anórien Campaign-shield of Might - Crafted from the Anórien

Campaign Shield recipe

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Cosmetic Shield Skins

Many of these traditionally held shields also share the appearance of the back slot shields, which is why they look familiar. This collection also features some unique skins that can't be found anywhere else and require some minor effort to obtain or completing lengthy reputation grinds.

As for the replica shields here? SSG had reinstated the original level 65 Ost Dunhoth loot pools with one of the 24.1.X patches to coincide with Mirkwood's release on the Legendary servers. There is the possibility those can also be obtained from that raid, but this is unconfirmed.

Battle-shield of the Mark - Bartered from the Defenders of Minas Tirith

Bingo's Serving Platter - Bartered from Bert Bartelby in Michel 

Delving after finishing the entire Bingo quest chain

Saturday, September 7, 2019

"Back Slot" Cosmetic Shield Skins

It gives me great pleasure to continue the next phase of the Cosmetic Weapons Project by introducing the long-awaited shield categories! One section will be released every day from today, Sept 7 through Sept 14. Today's feature focuses upon the shields that replace cloaks by using a character's back slot. There aren't very many that fall into this section, but they make a great role-play alternative for two-handed wielders, allowing them to continue displaying their shields during combat, while riding steeds, or while simply walking around non-combat areas.

Pack of the Anorien Autumn - Barter reward from the Fall Festival

Shield of Anfalas - Reward from the Shields of the Valiant box

bartered from the Keeper of Mysteries vendor

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