Archive for December, 2011

Trecentesimus (That’s 300, in Latin)

Posted in Isengard, LotRO, Online Gaming, Skirmishes on December 13, 2011 by koljarn

My 300th post.  I was torn between using a edjamakated and fancified title or using a 300-related movie reference (Madness?  This!  Is! WordPress!). Obviously, I chose the former.

Fortunately, there is a little substance to this one as well.  Update 5 hit the servers, and it has brought the half-baked instance finder, new instances, and a new barter currency system with it. I tend to skirmish a great deal – when you get an hour here or there on a weeknight, that’s the best you can do – so I’ll pay the most attention to how the barter changes affected the skirmish vendors.

Last night started with an amusing diversion (amusing if you like tech issues).  I was updating the LotRO client, when all of a sudden it errored out and my second hard drive vanished.  Nifty trick, eh? Turned out that it wasn’t a software problem – the SATA cable had a bad connection.  Irritating, since the sables are stretched pretty tightly in my case.   Just to be on the safe side, I ordered some new (longer) cables.  They’re pretty cheap. Anyway, after getting the hard drive operational again, I went back to LotRO.

Update 5 applied pretty quickly, and I logged in to find a “treasure hunt” event underway. It appears that it was linked to the lottery or something along those lines, which means I won’t get getting involved. Since Turbine has had so many security issues, I just don’t trust their LotRO community site.  I know people whose accounts have been hacked multiple times, and they’ve never found any security issues on their home systems – they did, however, log in to the community site.  Maybe I’m just paranoid, but a little paranoia is good for you. Anyway, if you play the LotRO lottery, then you might be interested.

I had a limited amount of time last night, but I managed to do two of the repeatable quests in Galtrev, looked around the new Isengard instance hub, and checked out the skirmish camp. The Galtrev repeatables remain the same, except for the “Defence of Galtrev” quest. That one offers some new titles for legendary items.  I’m not sure about how desirable they are, but it bears looking into. The Isengard instance hub appears to be accessible by a hidden entrance near Quickbeam’s grove.  You’ll get a free port to the hub the first time via a quest. Not much to see, there; class-specific NPCs, standard NPC merchants, and the barter merchant for the Isengard raid.

Which brings us to my focus – the skirmish merchants.  You will find that all of your campaign marks and First through Fourth marks have been converted to the new standardized currency – plain old “Marks.” Superior Fourth marks may be converted to either Medallions or Seals at your discretion right now.

It may be worth your time to take the Medallions, but I chose Seals. If you didn’t buy your armor before Update 5 went live, you’ll find that you need to do a lot more work to get it – a Superior Fourth mark only nets you two Seals, and armor costs over 150 seals. I suppose Turbine didn’t want people stockpiling the old currency and grabbing a handful of new gear.  If you’ve been unlucky enough to not get any cracked sigils, you can get them from the Crafting merchant in the skirmish camps.  However, I found them to be needlessly expensive. Still, if you have more  Marks than you can spend on other things, you may want to buy sigils.

Lastly, Scrolls of Greater Empowerment and Greater Scrolls of Delving are available.

These, I like.  They will cost you some Marks and Medallions (though you can spend Seals, but I think that’s a waste). Medallions are pretty easily found, so you will be able to rank up the tier on your level 75 legendary items with a little effort. More worthwhile than the sigils, in my opinion.


A Civ V Hangover

Posted in Background Noise on December 12, 2011 by koljarn

Wow, I feel like I’m back in college.  I woke up this morning, groggy and with a dull headache, wondering where the hell the weekend went.  Then, I remembered.  A friend and I spent all weekend playing Civ V over Steam.  Not multiple games, mind you – one long, drawn-out game which is still not finished.  Brutal wait times for the A.I. – I recommend that you do not play this game if you lack patience.

On the other hand, it’s always fun to run roughshod over a unit of pikemen with your modern tank platoon.  Just saying.

A Bit of the Ol’ Burn-Out

Posted in Online Gaming on December 5, 2011 by koljarn

The problem with looking for skirmish raids and instance runs every time that I log in is that it’s very similar to looking for a job opening.  I find it draining and, ultimately, it saps my enthusiasm for the game.  So, I took a vacation from LotRO and spent some time in Minecraft this weekend.  Relaxing, but not without flaws of its own.

Anyway, I’ll see what I can do in LotRO this week – maybe levelling my Captain a bit more, or maybe working on my Guardian.  We’ll see. It would have been nice to get a Draigoch run in, though.