Saturday, December 19, 2020

Frozen Elegance

 

Once again, the art department at Standing Stone Games delivered an impressive and equally beautiful collection of new Yule Festival cosmetics with a wintry gala theme. They've definitely captured the essence of winter in a elegant, yet cozy way. Gloredh, thankfully, over at Wandering Around Arda has provided the community with wonderful screenshots of the new items. The Yule Festival runs through January 5th, 2021 and there is plenty of time for earning the require barter tokens. 

The Gala-worthy Dress, featured here, was the most breathtaking piece. Not only does it have a gorgeous snowflake pattern and copper-toned holly leaves, it dyes brightly and is a sight to behold in any color! The other item that caught my attention was the Cloak of Flurries. It doesn't dye, but the delicate curtain of iridescent snowflakes more than compensates for that shortcoming. There aren't many iridescent skins in the game, most of them gated behind raids like Orthanc, Draigoch, and Anvil and the ever elusive Curator NPC, so don't miss this chance for a shiny reward!

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Autumn Leaf Fashion

I need to put it out there that if I missed LOTRO's Fall Festival--my favorite one by the way--I might have quit LOTRO permanently. As most of my readers and Twitter followers know, this has been a rough year investing in LOTRO. It's been one thing after another, all in rapid succession. A pandemic that forced me into 60+ hour work weeks from April to September. (I had one afternoon of playtime this past July, and that was it.) I came back to an unstable game, due to a combination of issues with SSG's service provider and their server infrastructure. Once the connection issues stabilized early October, my PC monitor died. I replaced it, only to have my PC's motherboard and processor kick the proverbial bucket nearly a week later. I had no choice but to rebuild my PC, which took approximately three weeks. 

Although these circumstances have been out of my control, I feel terrible leaving this blog all but abandoned this year. To make up for lost time, I'll be sharing three new outfits, each featuring a new cosmetic from the 2020 Fall Festival. Golden leaf motifs and tattered, perhaps more accurate to say leafy, fabric are the core components of this year's theme. Between the Leaf-turner cosmetics, which are somewhat reminiscent of pre-Isengard elven design, the spookier looking Autumn Sage ones, I'd say SSG has captured the festival's essence. I haven't been this impressed with the seasonal fall designs since 2018!

Head: Woodland Crown (Default, Yule Festival token barter reward)
Shoulders: Fur Mantle (Orange, Yule Festival token barter reward)
Chest: Vestments of the Autumn Sage (White, Fall Festival token barter reward)
Feet: Embroidered Shoes of the Dunland Healer (Rust, reward from Missing Persons)**

Weapon: Smooth Holly Staff (From the T6 Woodworker Holly Staff recipe)

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Another Update

It pains me to say it, but I'm hanging up my outfitter's robe for the foreseeable future. I, unfortunately, am in the percentage of players that can log into LOTRO, but quickly and frequently experience high packet loss, rubberbanding, and freezing that, in the worst cases, leads to client crashes and disconnects. It was my plan to return this month, but fate wouldn't allow it. I can't even complete an outfit, nor can I travel between locations to snap screenshots. (And I know for a fact it's not an issue on my end. I can play every other online game without issue.)

It is my intent to return once the tech teams at LOTRO can provide a consistently stable experience. And that also applies to CenturyLink, LOTRO's ISP, which seemingly is the source of these external issues.

That being said, I have some good news. Comments have been reopened!

Friday, July 24, 2020

Quick Update

Hello everybody!

I miss LOTRO. I miss the community. I miss sharing new outfits. With how busy I've been and will continue to be, I'll be on break from blogging until September. Now that the once hectic nature of my summer has resumed some semblance of normalcy, I have a good idea of when I can return. That's the good news. Now for the bad news.

During my absence, there will be a temporary change. I've had to disable comments. Given Blogspot's inefficient system, disabling comments also meant hiding ALL previous comments. I've had no choice. On Wednesday evening, I had to remove nearly four hundred bot posts, most of which contained malicious or pornographic links. This afternoon, I removed another seventy-three. I simply don't have the time to monitor Material Middle-earth every day. If all goes well, come September, the bots will have moved on and comments will be enabled once again.

Thank you for being a supportive and wonderful community. And, most of all, thank you for your understanding and patience.

~Nath

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Middle-earth Midsummer


Greetings! Between a lack of time, a serious burn out, and adjusting to a global pandemic, I've fallen behind in all of my MMOs, missing updates and events. I don't know when I'll be ready to return to online gaming, but I did have a chance to explore LOTRO's Midsummer Festival, which coincides with Aragorn and Arwen's wedding, for a single day. Between a generous Twitter follower and kinnies who sent me gift boxes and a brief time spent collecting tokens around Minas Tirith, I acquired the latest cosmetics.

Sadly, I don't and probably won't have the time for tinkering with the Groom's Tunic and the Bridal Veil. However, I did have the chance to make three new appearances with the festival's new dresses. Inspiration struck hard and fast, taking no more than an hour to build, dye, and take quick pictures. I loved how billowy these dresses were, especially on a human female!

I'm not sure when I'll have the opportunity to post new content again, but I hope you enjoy this latest entry!



Head: Circlet of Osgiliath's Fury (White, Osgiliath Dome Armour box from T2 Dome of Stars)**
Shoulders: Embroidered Mantle of the Pathfinder's Artifice (Ered luin blue, T11 Tailor recipe bartered from the Gorgoroth reputation vendor)
Chest: Arwen's Dinner Dress (Sea blue, Midsummer Festival token barter reward)

**This circlet skin can be obtained by any light armor class. Dome must be run on T2 at a minimum of level 50 and any boss can drop this box.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

The Galadhrim Defender & Happy Anniversary



Happy 8th Anniversary to Material Middle-earth!

Every year I've reached this anniversary milestone, which officially falls on April 24th, I can't help but think "Has another year come and gone so quickly?" Having been blogging for LOTRO these past eight years, I'm surprised I haven't run out of content to publish between reviving old cosmetics and exploring the newest ones. I'm always finding rewarding things to do. Just in the past year, I've helped judge several cosmetic contests across several servers, I've even hosted my own with the help of Gladden's Rangers of the West, and I've also expanded the Cosmetic Weapons section to include a vast selection of shields. There have been other projects and events, too many to name in fact, but they've left me satisfied without feeling burned out, as they normally do. I've even rediscovered my love for raiding, which I haven't actively done since Riders of Rohan was the current expansion!

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Silent Knife


Love that Burglar-exclusive dagger throwing action! Been a while since I've shared a combat screenshot...
I have little time nowadays for my low level alts, as Minas Morgul dailies consume most of my gaming time at night. Every so often, I take a break and work on my baby Stout-axe Burglar. In the past three months, I've put approximately twenty levels of work into her. The Burglar isn't exactly my cup of tea, but it gives me a chance to learn the class and appreciate some of the things it can do. Stealthing my way through densely populated encampments is always a blast. And so isn't flinging knives with deadeye accuracy! But that's just a bonus for me. The real treat is having another alt, which means I have eight more outfits to create! And with that, this particular appearance gives dwarves some love!

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Nightshade



Many of my readers have noticed over the years how bright, colorful, and cheerful my outfits have been. I've always liked bold and brilliant purples, blues, greens, and reds. In fact, that's become a defining characteristic of Material Middle-earth. Unfortunately, that hasn't sat well with a multitude of readers. I've been getting messages complimenting me on what content is shared, but also requesting more natural and adventure-worthy outfits. I've also gotten a few rude messages that I will not repeat here. One went as far as to say I've made "outfits worthy of a carnival or circus." Of course, there have been other more modest reactions between those examples. And then there's the general pattern of comments on the official LOTRO forums' outfit thread.

I greatly appreciate my followers, both old and new. I always have and I always will. I've taken my incoming messages seriously, even if I've never gotten a response to my reply (and I have my suspicions about that...*coughjunkmailcough*). And I've also taken feedback and other criticisms to heart as well.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Elite Rider



I apologize for the absence. Most of January and the first week of February weren't kind to me. Having the flu, combined with a case of the stomach flu, left me hospitalized briefly and unable to do very much. Recovery has been slow, but my health has returned to normal. And I'm grateful for that. However, this means I've fallen behind in many aspects of my life, especially this blog. I've run out of scheduled outfits and have had little time for LOTRO. And despite the constant distractions and scramble to catch up, I found time to log into LOTRO and collect the new VIP cosmetic set, the Armour of the Elite Rider. These cosmetics are available to any player on any server so long as he/she is VIP and logs into the game by March 12, 2020.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Penchant for Plum



I loved Minas Morgul. Definitely one of my favorite expansions to have graced LOTRO these past twelve years. Between Mordor Besieged and the Morgul Vale, the story was amazing and the landscape design phenomenal. However, the Vale itself was one of the darkest regions added to the game. My Rune-keeper, known for wearing dark or earthen-toned clothing, was blending into the landscape. It was difficult to play while traveling through light underbrush or while moving against the ethereal glow of the citadel's high stone walls. Sometimes, I didn't know where I was unless I was flinging lightning in some unsuspecting warg's face or roasting spiders in the web-covered Taurlingol. To fix the problem, I took some unusual measures and dived into my dwindling supply of shire plum, which I'll have to replenish next Spring.

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