Archive for September, 2009

Champions

Posted in LotRO with tags on September 30, 2009 by koljarn

The sheer cleverness of this post’s title astounds me.  It is clever, because the title applies to both a class in LotRO and Champions Online.  See?  All right, maybe it’s not that clever, but I’m sticking with it.

Yes, Champions online launched.  I bought it and played it.  Then, I set it aside.  I like the Champions setting, and it feels familiar to me.  The interfaces are mostly intuitive.  The same with gameplay.  However, the content is just a little sparse, and it couldn’t keep me engaged.  A few more months of development would have been good for this game – it needs more minor  storylines and missions to flesh things out.  I’m setting it aside in hopes that Cryptic will add some more missions and other content in the future.

Now, back to LotRO.  Minor news updates: maxxed out my weaponsmithing, farmed for gold and bought nicely crafted gear, and I am now in the process of going back and picking up the deed which I bypassed along the way.  Oh, and I finished grinding out Lorien reputation and got a white horse.  I’m so proud of myself, I could just spit.

WhiteHorse

So aside from pointless bragging, let me offer something more substantial.  Some time ago, I offered some mining locations for potential crafters.    I’ll offer a few more here.

Ancient silver and ancient iron: These can be found in a few places.  Forochel, the eastern Misty Mountains, and throughout most of Eregion.  However, the single best place to mine ancient metals is in southern Forochel, on either side of the road heading south from Kauppa-Kohta.  The respawn is fairly good, the mobs are low level for this zone, and the ore spawn points are abundant.

Khazad copper and khazad tin: These are found mostly in the western regions of Moria, though there is a little in the southern parts of Eregion.  I’ve never seen them spawn in great concentrations, but there always seem to be three ore nodes up at the crossroads south of Zirakzigil.  Fortunately, you won’t need these metals for long, and not in great quantities.

Khazad iron and khazad gold: The two best places to find these ores are in the Redhorn Lodes and in Lothlorien itself.  You’ll have to fight a good number of orcs on the Redhorn Lodes, while Lothlorien is mostly full of neutral beasts.  However, use what you have access to at your level and you ought to do just fine.

Mithril: You will find a few flakes of mithril while mining.  It is inevitable.  In my experience, it has come from regular khazad iron nodes, but it has come from copper for others.  And it can be found in Lothlorien, so if you have access, that’s a good place to look for it.  Of course, there are a few scattered mobs hither and yon that drop a flake of mithril, but they are rare, and the area is well picked-over.  If you get an opportunity to bash one of them for mithril, then go for it.  However, you will end up getting most of your mithril from mining, in the long run.

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Lazy Days

Posted in LotRO with tags on September 15, 2009 by koljarn

Work is slow, lately. Wow, is it slow. I do a lot of sitting around and waiting for permission to do my job. Fortunately, I get paid for the time I spend waiting. Anyway, it gives me time to think (but not post, since accessing blog sites is verboten by the firewall).

Between questing for tokens and grinding out mobs for coin, since Burhhelm is doing a few more upgrades, I started a Warden. Now, I already have a Guardian, and he’s OK to play. However, the Guardian and the Champion play rather similar to each other. The Warden is different enough that it has caught my interest. I’ll at least take him to level 20, I think, so I have a god lowbie alt to play around with friends when we just want to storm the Barrow Downs. What sets a Warden apart from other classes is that you need to plan your series of attacks properly in order to pull off a special maneuver. It makes the class a little more challenging, but it also allows you to attack different sorts of enemies in different ways. In short, I put my stamp of approval on the Warden class – it’s different, but still interesting. Try one out.

In the grand scheme of things, the Warden is still only an alt, though. Burhhelm, my Champion, remains my primary character. At level 60, there are three things to do: first, upgrade your gear, second, level up your legendary items, and third, check out all of the content that you can access. The first and second go hand-in-hand via the Lothlorien quests and the crafting instances in Moria. The Lorien quests give you reputation, silver branches, and item experience. The Moria instances give you tokens which can be turned in for gold leaves, and tons of drops and silver from the mobs inside. Admittedly, there are only a few items that I find worthwhile from the Lorien barterers (I picked up the white horse and the Beleriand/Orcslaying scroll for my primary weapon), but the quests do not take long, and they give you a nice chunk of silver coin to boot. I also recommend chipping away at deeds and storylines in area that you neglected (I avoided most of Forochel, except for mining).

Enjoy the game, you paid for it. There are some nice storylines to be discovered.

So, it finally happened

Posted in LotRO with tags on September 14, 2009 by koljarn

No, I didn’t wake up and realize that I’ve been frittering my life away playing video games. That mid-life crisis is yet to strike.

No, I’m speaking of another relatively meaningless in-game achievement. Burhhelm has become a Master Supreme Weaponsmith. Now, this isn’t just a brag post, I really do have something of substance to say.

One thing that MMO developers have begun to realize is that the age demographic of their audiences have begun to shift. Every year, another news story reports that the median age for your average gamer is getting older. When your audience is older, however, you have to deal with the fact that they will have less time available for playing. Work, family, studies, and life in general do not always co-operate with a gaming schedule. Thus, game develops have to adjust their content accordingly. Going on a six-hour raid might be cool, once. Doing it every week? Please, people have other things to do. And so the developers, recognizing where their bread is buttered, have adjusted their content so that it can be tackled in bite-sized chunks. The crafting is a prime example. There are little sub-quests for each crafting skill in LotRO, but there is no grand mastery quest at the end, no huge instance that you must complete in order to be granted your final skill level and coveted title. It’s almost a shame, but there you have it: raiding is no longer the focus.

That doesn’t mean an instance now and then isn’t cool. I rather enjoy a 3-man instance (half-group instances are one of LotRO’s better inventions). It’s the icing on the cake, however. If you do nothing but run instances non-stop, as was required in WoW, then all of the surprises and excitement are quickly gone. So, I suppose I approve of the current trend. Let’s see how they write the games when we’re another 20 years older, and our hands shake when we hold a mouse.