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LOTRO: Gettin INTO LOTRO again…

26 Apr

Exploring a new area with my RK GREAT RIVER has not turned out to be such a good idea, yes I do suffer from bouts of completionitis so now that I have begun I will continue… well until the grey mobs and lack of challenge, same same same rotations ad infinitum and, generic questing make me look elsewhere or yet again take another LOTRO break!

I enjoyed a couple of the quests, there are always some gem lines and moments that entertain. But they are few and far between. Instead of immersive play the questing reinforces your rail-like progression, the lack of choice and minimal impact you have. The lack of choice is simply shocking and I had not really given it much thought of late. There are no instances where making a decision will branch the story in any shape or form. The eventual outcome is always the same. The order of events can sometimes be altered but again it all comes together in a planned denouement that is inevitable.

NPC cannot be interacted with unless as part of the design, there is no idle conversation, no snippets of irrelevant gossip, no red herrings. Questing can be a brain dead exercise in ring chasing, NPC conversation can be glanced over and frequently completely ignored. The quest chains are generally linear in nature, minor branches add fluff but lead nowhere.

Orc camps are orc camps they have orcs in to be killed, they react as all NPC’s have reacted since Bree. Oh look a cave, I bet I go there and do something and upon completion I will be sent back in to do something else!

I cannot toast the obvious traitor the first time I meet him and save a 2 hour detour, making a mistake and toasting an obvious traitor that turns out to be innocent does not lead to being chased out of town and having to earn forgiveness to enter, whereas not toasting would have been quicker you miss out on some quests. There are not multiple ways to follow a quest line with multiple endings depending on your choices.

There are no real surprises and the hand holding of the quest narratives can be quite demeaning!

I don’t want to pick any more flowers on the hills, I want to be able to bake the NPC a cake or donate a weapon instead, and depending on how much the NPC appreciates my gift I can expect differing quests with differing rewards.


It all simply drives me to despair… Tsukuld ends up harvesting grass… now where is his pipe!

LOTRO: back again…

18 Apr

I actually got online in LOTRO this weekend.


…for about 20 mins before my kids came and kicked me off the computer.


I was itching to get back into LOTRO the whole weekend… was this due to a desire to get back into the newly updated LOTRO? Or due to my growing malaise with casual gaming?

I have been playing:

CoC for must be nearly a year and I can imagine I will keep playing but it is not exactly immersive, long army build times and even longer building upgrade and research times keep this interesting but not exactly relaxing or even a place to spend time having GAMING FUN.

Clash Royale, the new ‘card battler’ game has its moments but they are getting further and further between… and I find myself thinking of developing a good team in maybe 5 years time by simply collecting the free chests; which if you think about it is not exactly gameplay! Its advancement simply for the sake of advancements sake! I had a rare match which was actually fun the other day, where both players were attacking and counter attacking and I lost with his King’s castle on the brink of falling too!

And my main time sink and what has eaten up my morning gaming sessions has been MARVEL Contest of Champions; a basic beat-em-up with collecting mechanics mixed with social grouping and peer pressure and almost constant new rewards to work for individually and very cleverly collectively! I find there is always some kind of incentivation to grind out a new quest, level a hero or beat up the silly computer controlled opponent in yet another ‘versus’ match! And that’s not including the month long story quests for newer heroes and the daily contests needed to unlock upgrade items for your favourite heroes!  The graphics are great, the game runs very smoothly on the family ipad, the sound effects are even pretty atmospheric. Wanting to level Dr. Strange my favourite 4star hero is my main goal but getting Black Widow 4 silver stars and by far my heaviest hitter and Groot my first ever 4 star and others to their max, and being able to take on the game on heroic for even better prizes and maybe even one day getting a 5 star hero… oh dear can you see the addiction….

Oh and I love superheroes and have done so from when I was a kid, and my sons love the game too, my youngest even to the point of claiming to have HULK inside him! Which we constantly remind him he does NOT! My eldest loves to irritate me by using up hard earned in game gold or credits!

But… But… But… its getting tedious and I am starting to realise that it is just a pointless exercise in grinding up levels to get the same heroes (for the most part) stronger and stronger, whereas the core game of beat-em-up is pretty basic and the ‘vs’ mode is quite obviously an AI played version of player selected hero line up! Even this basic beat-em-up would be awesome if head to head with other players. Then no ‘got-to-get-em-all’ gimmick would be needed. Mind you then why am I not just playing Street Fighter?  Oh how I would love to have an arcade SF machine in the living room, exercise n gameplay every morning!

Oh how I digress…

Instead of the latter I am tempted to get back into the lukewarm water of LOTRO MMO gameplay! It has stories, the ME world, the long term grind, mediocre graphics (well on my wife’s non gaming PC I push it to high quality graphics for stationary screenshots!) old school MMO questing, old school MMO advancement…but it offers constant gaming FUN. ‘Offers’, you have to find it but when you find it is even sometimes fantastically immersive and surprisingly GREAT FUN!

I was really enjoying the Bingo weekly adventure, and have my one legged hobbit Opopa fan-fiction project to continue…

Tsukuld was levelling nicely in ROHAN, solo mounted combat crapness ignored, it was enjoyable.

Diverse alts dot the spectrum of levels  and character types throughout LOTRO for diversions sake.

The server consolidation and lag issues arrived and my interest waned markedly… my RW existence has become more time consuming, work is busy (too busy!), kids getting older and more demanding, wife, well is WIFE! Less weekend time to play, fewer long immersive sessions which drove the smaller weekday pre work sessions… I have long battled for an early evening gaming slot where I can log in the same time as my mainly European kin mates… rather than catching them mostly ‘out to lunch’/’working’ during my Argentinian early morning sessions.

I have always loved LOTRO, but I grew tired of the repetition, grew tired of the samey gameplay, grew tired of my RK’s combat rotations, and I found I was not finding FUN often enough,  I am back but I don’t know for how long I will last before I grow tired again!

I hope I find lots of FUN in LOTRO 18.1!

LOTRO: Sighs… silence shattered!

21 Jan


The long goodsigh…
Depressed Mode, Silent
Crazy Gem… Polishing needed…

The lotro good sigh

Raebidus inspires today with his blog sigh:

Sobering Sighs…
LOTRO woes
Turbine blows

‘Words like violence
Break the SIGHING
Come crashing in
Into my little world
Painful to me
Pierce right through me
Can’t you understand
Oh my little GAME
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm’

Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence

LOTRO is not a WOW clone but, WOW! an amazing Middle Earth, online game!

MMO’s are suffering at the moment… the gamers have seemingly moved on and the hardcore have spread themselves thin across the spectrum of offerings available.

But serious LOTRO players should be able settle down to some seriously well done Middle Earth exploration. Whether solo or grouped up, with friends and together with kin mates or just whomever you bump into… LOTRO aint so lonely anymore…

If only the players could log in, move through the lag and chat! Some slight technical issues remain after the server upgrade(!)

So TURBINE you have consolidated, you have upgraded. Now you must FIX and polish the gem you possess, do not try too HARD to cut more facets into this GEM you possess, cutting this crazy diamond of a game; you risk shattering it!

‘Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Now there’s a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
You were caught in the crossfire of childhood and stardom, blown on the steel breeze.
Come on you target for faraway laughter, come on you stranger, you legend, you martyr, and shine!

You reached for the secret too soon, you cried for the moon.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Threatened by shadows at night, and exposed in the light.
Shine on you crazy diamond.
Well you wore out your welcome with random precision, rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions, come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!’

PINK FLOYD Shine On You Crazy Diamond

PS: Not just poetic but ‘Crazy‘ refers to an actual term for when a gem starts to ‘crack’

LOTRO: Withy transfer…LOTROzone!

30 Dec

withy transfer


I got LOTRO to work after just a little fighting with Windows 7 permission issues! I used my old install on the secondary harddisk of my wife’s repaired computer… she now has a full TB of new HD to fill with photos! I can upgrade to windows 10, should I do so?

So I completed the transfer of all my chars from Withywindle to Laurelin without a single issue (or not found as yet!) My kids were instantly all over me wanting to jump, swim and ride mounts around. I was completely at a loss at what to do! So I headed off with Tsukuld to the yule festival, I got there only to be mugged by my sons again… so I am back in LOTRO but have yet to do anything at ALL!

And finally… in response to HAFFLE who WON a HOBBY HORSE (!!!!) in this year’s Yule Festival.

‘Haffle, Haffle, give me your answer bro
I’m half crazy jealous of ur hobby horse…
It won’t be a stylish journey…
I can’t afford the time to get one…
But we’ll look sweet
Upon the seat
Of a hobby horse built for two!’





LOTRO: Swallowing the bitter pill of disappointment…roar…

26 Oct


Well I had installed Bullroarer LOTRO to my wife’s computer earlier in the week but was dismayed to see that it began patching at 10 AM in the morning… 7/8 hours pre TEST and TP giveaway… And of course it didn’t finish patching until 8 o’clock at night after TEST/giveaway had ended.

After checking forums I could see that even those with up to date clients couldn’t get on to BULLROARER. Compounding my bitterness was the fact that those that did get in are entered into the giveaway, they also had a lot of fun!

So my comeback to LOTRO left a very bitter pill indeed, if a slight desire to play LOTRO.

So even 2 days later and still bitterer than a bit of bitten bitter bitter thing! I actually took my lv13 champion on Laurelin for a quick spin, but this only reminded me than I created him to level up and head off East of Esteldin to farm Sturdy Leathers for my Hobbit Burglar to level Tailor to get some improved armour to level himself up to enable me to engage in some more creative storytelling in the Adventures of Opopa. All of which adds to my little bite of bitter bitten bit of a very bitter thing…especially as the rapid bitterness bites home that, after the server merge of Withy to Laurelin, I will have oodles of sturdies, tons of GP and a whole friendly kin to insta craft such stuff! Then I can continue my Adventures of Opopa and even keep levelling Tsukuld to lv100.

And the server mergers, slow as they are, are presently on hold until the new servers are up and running…

‘More bitter than death!’ Well, death may be slightly more so…

A hard and bitter pill to swallow, a pill of Picraena Excelsa, intensely bitter…bitten in a tent, ten bites of, attempting to remove the vile after-taste of the fact I cannot play LOTRO the way I want to… but swallowed it is an aperitif, an appetizer and aid to digestion of the fact I must wait, I will wait, until the server mergers and then once again I can get my daily fix of sweet and stimulating LOTRO.

The Bullroaring didn’t go to plan but it has wet my palate, even if that palate has a lingering bitterness to it!

LOTRO: What does this gamer wanna?

10 Aug

I am going through one of those irregular moments in a gamers life when what he has is not enough and yet he cannot for whatever reason find what he wants!ScreenShot00237

So I spend a few moments each day wandering the Trollshaws with my cappy Tsudryt on Landy, deed grinding, ad hoc quests left uncompleted, NO CHALLENGE AT ALL as he is over 20 levels above this area… but the sense of adventure is there(even now 3/4 years later am still finding new stuff in old places!) and the sense of completing something is there (deeds).


This little hobbit feels invisible! “Please sir, a dagger please?”

Opopa on Laurelin the cause of my creative blockage, his fan-fiction story, The Adventures of Opopa, chapter 3 is still ongoing 3 weeks after I started it! He himself is having not so much fun trying to get his mitts on better equipment in Bree. The AH is dead a possible indicator that the server mergers are needed sooner rather than later!

LOTRO: 2 Liebster again!

5 Aug


Haffle from Level Up Haffle (formally the Malaysian Gamer blog) has liebered me …it’s no hassle so I’ll hustle some answers!

Tsuhelm/TsuEveCreative, quirky, fun and entertaining with everything Lotro and Eve, Tsu’s brilliant mind will be suited for this!’

WOW if I ever write a book I want that on the cover! THX 🙂

The Questions

How did you get into blogging?

I had tried to blog at its height when I was out travelling: 2 years Spain, Europe tour and then South America. But I was uninspired and soon stopped. After settling down in Argentina, bored at work, I had just started to get into LOTRO big time, I decided to start a gaming blog, this time I simply couldn’t get the dammed top back on and my madness has been pouring out ever since… surely a mismanagement of time at work but I do not regret a single word blogged!

Describe yourself using a song…

FIRESTARTER – Prodigy…all punky and spiky on the outside but inside am just a big old soft pop kinda guy!

Favourite video game character and why.

Oh this is gonna be a tough one, historically would be Sonic cos it was the first ever gaming character that caught my imagination in game and without!

What was the first video game you played?

Probably space invaders…

My top 15 games, chronologically ordered:

Favorite snack while gaming?

Beer…or whiskey… not really a snacker more of a glugger!

If there was one video game out there that you’d like to see made into a movie (that isn’t already a movie or in production), what would it be and why?

Vagrant Story cos I just want to see more of the twisted world of Valendia, and if they made a movie they may even make another game!!!

Describe your perfect holiday.

Beach, waves, surf, beer, frisbee, happy kids n wife, good food, good weather (but not so good that it removes the waves!) and friends. FUN! Maybe a good book or some portable gaming. Throw in a great pub and a pool table, a swimming pool and I am pretty much in heaven.

Beer, wine, liquor or alcohol free?

Beer (although I have cut back to only on special occasions), so nowadays its wine, wine, and wine. I do have rather good taste in cocktails too… I find nothing wrong in drinking a well-crafted cosmopolitan! Oh and a nice single malt is a luxury I rather like from time to time, the closest I can afford in Argentina is a glass of JD every so often!

If you could work at a game company/developer of your choice, which would it be and why?

SEGA or SQUARE … cos I am not WORTHY! I would be a willing door mat for them!

What was in your opinion, the worst video game you’ve ever played?

Too many to list, way too many!

Kindle or books?

BOOKS! Pages were invented for turning…My fav books post

Ikeas Bookbook:

The wrap…

If you think you are suffering from deja-vu you are not:

OK Haffle I am not gonna pass around the liebstick but as you are now going to be blogging about your other gaming interests as well, how about sharing your TOP ALL-TIME 15 GAMES… I wonder if it resurrects this old doozy!

LOTRO: Server Status!

4 Aug

So Bingo arrived and I have been focusing a lot on Opopa, my hobbit burglar on Laurelin, I have been neglecting this poor hobbit for an age… and now I have started the Adventures of Opopa fan-fiction I have ideas that require me to get him moving…so there will be more OPOPA stuff in the future which can only be a good thing…keep reading… I created an index page:

adventures of opopa

The wonder of doing an ‘e-book’ is you can change the cover from moment to moment!

Opopa will not so lonely any more…as Tsukuld will probably be moving with his kin to Laurelin due to server mergers. Or closures as some pedantic commentators persist in calling it…why not call a glass half full of lovely beer a dirty smelly glass of disgusting evil liquid…why don’t ya…? Negative trolls you are all! Tsukuld has started exploring the Eaves of Fanghorn, and as all forests should be he keeps losing his bearing, exacerbated by not spending more time there…


Who is that geezer?

Tsudryt wrapped up the Trollshaws wolf slayer deed on Landy: 14’ish wolves a day and finished 1 day earlier than predicted.


Good job Tsudryt and Harold!


Crawlers next…

My original char Tsuhelm (and his extensive support staff!) on Windfola will have to move to one of the remaining US servers… as yet I am clueless as to which I will choose…as all he does is collect Hobbit Presents at the moment there is no rush!


Tsuhelm the carefree hippy!


22 Jul


Opopa got all the way back to the post box from the Bird and Baby and found no mail from BINGO!

So he hopped back to the pub for another beer… where he was later heard mumbling quietly, “Bingo, what kinda name is that for a hobbit!”

LOTRO: Merry Pippins Found In Rohan!

21 Jul


Tsukuld had a productive morning in ROHAN… a16.2

After waiting 20 mins while my wife’s computer loaded the newest version…LOTRO 16.2 has arrived 🙂 There are cosmetic weapons to be had…at last! But first wrapping up Entwash was the priority. And that required me to climb on Tsukuld’s little war pony… it has been ages since he had done this and he was a little clumsy to begin with… in retrospect may have been easier on foot as I don’t think any of the horse thieves were actually mounted!

Horses protected, I lost 2 I think… them orcs will be making salami tonight. (Did you know some authentic salami is made from/includes horsemeat?)


I was caught slightly unprepared for the 85 ding! A shame and Book 11 forward done as well… I must clear up some of these EPIC quests as they are starting to fill up my quest tracker…ScreenShot00056

So another trait point earnt… Entwash Vale completed…

I ended up handing in TASKS and deconstructing LI’s… always tedious…

But LOTRO is fun at the moment, I am starting to get my hunger back…

I think I will go out for some Pizza for lunch to celebrate with, maybe with salami on top!