More on Housing:
I think I have my Hobbit home the way I like it. I have Tom Bombadil’s music playing most of the time. I have a Breakfast table I made in the middle of the main room and everything is colored and arranged the way I like it.
During the Harvest Festival, I got one neat item: a Black Mushroom pot. During the Spring Festival, I helped some lady in the Shire plant some things. I got some ok rewards (pipeweed and some recipes) but didn’t think much about it. There was some mention about coming back in the Fall to follow up with the work I had done, but no indication as to what the reward might be. I went back for the Fall Festival and got the Mushroom pot. I think it’s kind of neat. It’s just a small pot with three mushrooms in it that I can place in a small floor slot. So rare are these that I’ve heard of them selling for 6 gold on most servers in the AH if you can find one there. And I have two of them (one from my main and another from an alt that is also a farmer.) I haven’t decided what to do with the second one yet. I would like to give it to a kinship mate who would like to hang on to it (your very own pot of mushrooms would be a very Hobbity thing to treasure). The money doesn’t really appeal to me that much: making money is easy and I’d rather make someone happy to have something rare than get a bunch of virtual cash that I’d just spend on virtual crap.
High Pass and Goblin Town were introduced in this update along with a new epic quest series: Book Eleven. I haven’t had a chance to get to the Book Eleven quests yet as I am still on Book Ten. For those who read the Hobbit, you may remember Goblin Town and the High Pass as the areas Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin and the other dwarves passed through in route to the Lonely Mountain. The zone is an addition to the Misty Mountains area above Rivendell. It is a very nicely done zone. It’s always snowing there. There are wargs, wolves and, of course, goblins all over the place. Goblin Town itself is in a cave complex with all kinds of twists and turns. It’s really easy to get lost in there. Of course, you can also see, and dethrone, the new Great Goblin. You can visit Gollum’s cave and retrieve Bilbo’s missing buttons for a trait reward. There are many new quests in the area as well.
Along with the new High Pass content is some new content in the Trollshaws near the Fens by the Bruinen Gorges. The zone includes a stream with several large bodies of water (not Evendim Lake big), many new quest NPCs, a new elf camp located in some beautifully rendered ruins and, by my count, three instances containing level-appropriate solo content from 40 to 50 or thereabouts. The instance areas are very well done. As an explorer type, I’ve had a lot of fun just sneaking around in them, taking down random mobs and just goofing off.
Burglar Stealth Cool down:
For those that haven’t heard the screaming from the Turbine forums, there was a change to Burglars in the most recent update. The change is the addition of a ten-second cool-down from the time you exit stealth until you reenter it. In reading the forums prior to the change, you’d think this was going to be the end of the world. Like most of the changes Turbine makes to the game, it actually had fairly little effect on my play style. At the most, I have been standing around for only a second or two after combat with an even-leveled mob. Gray mobs, I no longer bother stealthing for. I suppose the change would most effect those interested in either 1) gathering while sneaking around or 2) playing a burglar in the PvP zone. I’m not sure the channel time for gathering, but anything less than ten seconds would mean standing around for a bit and the possibility of being spotted by a mob. Burgs can still sneak to the node, however, giving them an advantage over other gatherers trying to get to hard-to-reach stuff. The PvP change would effect burgs that like to stealth and then instantly re-steath to drop from visibility once spotted. Not being a big PvPer, the change doesn’t effect me that much. It’s worth noting that a number of people on the Turbine forums are complaining about PvP imbalance (not just due to Burgs) and from their complaints I think the issues with Burglars are relatively small potatoes.
One burglar problem is getting locked into combat if you one-shot a mob coming out of stealth. I ran through most of Goblin Town with a group of kinship-mates stuck in combat because I didn’t want to have them standing around waiting for me to log out and back in. Hide in Plain Sight and Hobbit Silence have no effect on the bug, I’m in combat until I log out. Compared to the locked in combat bug, the stealth cool-down is a non-issue for me. One tactic I employ to keep the locked-in-combat bug from happening is to strike from stealth using a lower damage attack. Yes, this gimps my dps but I’d rather pass on the giant opener than risk having to log off and back on every other minute or two.
I went on my second Helegrond raid this past weekend. I’m raiding with a fairly mature group of people so it’s a pretty casual atmosphere. No yelling, lots of joking around and everyone taking their role seriously while they’re doing it. We farmed the spider boss and the drake bosses as usual. We also took another stab at Thorog (sp?). That guy is TOUGH. As part of our strategy this time our burglars, including myself, ran to the high platform in the instance where Thorog lands and heals himself. The idea is that we do a named conjunction to interrupt the heal. We stood there for what seemed like ten minutes while Thorog destroyed the better part of our raid group. Then he flew up to where we were. We executed our conjunction (all yellow) and interrupted his heal! Hooray! Then he turned around and fire-breathed on us, killing us all instantly.
In other news, a couple members of my kinship (3, actually) are leaving the game in spite of the content updates. The main issues for them are real life issues and not necessarily related to game play. Another friend of mine is actually coming back to the game after a long break. He played WoW for a bit and decided he didn’t care for it (I think his highest-level character was 50 or so).
Comings and goings in any game are not strange, but there do seem to be a lot more people siting RL reasons for leaving or taking long breaks from LotRO over WoW’s typical “I’m quitting and here’s why everyone else should too” given reasons. This may be indicative of the general age bracket the game appeals to (older people with families / careers / school verses a younger crowd) or it could just be the people I hang around with.