Category Archives: Lord Of The Rings Online

Love Is In The Air For LotRO

Female Beorning Face Tattoo

This week I re-installed LotRO. LotRO is receiving love from the bloggers this week on the heels of a new update and a ninth anniversary celebration.

When LotRO originally went F2P, I was disgusted at the cash shop tactic takeover of the game and interface. Now it’s the norm (unfortunately) and I hardly even notice.

Last week I was playing Ms. Pacman, the new SEGA release on Steam. I made fourth place on the leaderboards and started thinking: I could be playing an outdated MMO for the millionth time, and it would be more fun, and have a better story.

I had to buy the Beorning class and try it. A few years ago, I argued in the official forums for a tribal race, including face tattoos. Turbine provided them! I love my Beorning. I love her grunting she-bear attitude.

There is a wee deal-breaker: a rage mechanic.  For some reason, this mechanic frustrates me.  I quit trying to play Bear druid in WoW because of this.

So I’m playing a Warden. Today I watched some of the six-hour anniversary livestream from a few days ago, which was entertaining, offering a lot of candid dev interviews.

One highlight was the assertion that we will surely see the gates of Mordor within the next year. At least the black gates.

Another highlight was Edgecase’s emphatic assertion that Burglars were in a bad place, and they were a “high priority”.

I’ve never seen an MMO class more abandoned by the players. There are ten classes in LotRO, and about 1.5% of players are currently playing Burglars at cap at any given time, i.e. two players on Landroval.

This is what happens when you ignore a problem for so long, like updating your server software, which as of yesterday was super glitchy, rubber-bandy, and the worst ever. Today the servers are better, so maybe they fixed some issues.

A few years ago the Turbine organization was crass greed (to me), and now they are more like cute, clever, small-handed hobbits, underdogs. The livestream was nice.

Some players today are only now reaching the original conclusion of pure greed, of course, while others are just now discovering LotRO. For the latter, I’m trying to update my Newbie Guide To LotRO as I go along.  The guide still sees 10-20 views per day.

Gaming Stocks

This last week was a brutal week for corporate earnings in the U.S.. Google, Apple, and Microsoft all fell on their faces.

I sold $MSFT at break-even. I tried to buy Sony at chart support, but was forced out immediately when the Bank of Japan held fast on their policy, causing the Yen to skyrocket, and $SNE to break support.

The dollar is plunging, sending every Uncle Joe piling into spiking gold and silver prices. I rode that for a short while, but good grief people.

High Yen puts pressure on exports and revenue in Yen denomination. I guess. So I might be watching the Yen for another Sony entry point, or I might just forget getting into Sony before E3.

Sony is also now under some pressure as an iPhone sensor supplier, like all iPhone suppliers, after Apple’s disappointment, not to mention the work stoppage for the recent earthquake. So I was thinking buy the bad news, but I was too early. Now it looks like the U.S. markets could roll over, dragging down others with it.

With Sony’s supposed PS4.5, Playstation VR, and Sony’s VR games in the pipeline, which were heralded by the Gamestop CEO as something special, this is looking like Sony’s year to push forward after some recent impressive PS numbers.

Nintendo also mentioned this week a new console-type product for possible spring 2017 release, but that still seems to leave Sony in command of the hardware holidays.


Elf In Real Life ~ Epitaph

I haven’t played any games in a few weeks. Over the weekend, I managed to complete a new piece of art, one I’ve wanted to do for a long time. The image below is my Elf Rune-Keeper and Elf Warden from my two LotRO accounts. I might still be playing LotRO if I could transfer my level 85 Warden over to my main account. As it stands, I’ve uninstalled.

So, an epitaph. I tried to get across the impression of Lothlorien. I didn’t want to go crazy on this picture.

Otherwise, I’m back to the novels. I’m trying to finish my fourth novel, setting up to publish all four in the series at once. Basically, ISBN numbers are expensive, so you have to buy them and use them in a bundle. The last I checked, Apple won’t publish proper fiction in its “ecosystem” (not an Apple fan) without a proper ISBN number.

After that, back to the website and my video game project. The fall term is ending (with the kitty hissing and spitting at Dreamweaver), so I’ll have a bit more time on the weekends. Gosh, the snow effect falling on my WordPress blog looks beautiful on that picture. *sniff*

Lesbian Elves Elf LotRO Rune-Keeper Warden

Beorning Combat: Beta Image Leaked

The guy posting a live stream of the closed Elder Scrolls beta was off the chain, but this beta leak is bearly within the bounds of believability. A big thanks to the anonymous tipster from Romania who sent this picture in.

This is the “static electricity” skill tree for the new Beorning class in LotRO, channeling pure energy through the electro-conductive power of loveable fur.

You heard it first here on Kitty Kitty, where the MMO news is hard hitting, sometimes accurate and sometimes not, and whatever other great things we handle between chasing balls and taking naps.

Don’t forget this is 100% bonus XP weekend, with a 25% bonus persisting until the end of September, which was added today in a good PR compromise by Turbine.

Beorning combat image

Good Time To Revisit LotRO

I’ve been sort into helpful posts lately, and you don’t have to listen if you don’t have the time. But let me remind you in case you don’t already know– dining out can happen down below.

Down in Rohan that is–cookfires under the stars, fishing pools.

For a few more days (I think until 8/14?), the Helm’s Deep expansion is at a 50% discounted rate, and still offers store points for the purchase, so if you discount store points as well, you’re technically getting either the base or premium editions for around $10.

And then you’ve got a free 100% XP bonus going from 8/27 through 9/1 (labor day weekend in the U.S.).

And that’s all she wrote, except rest in peace Robin Williams.

LotRO: Update 14: Paths of the Dead

horseLotRO’s Paths of the Dead update released earlier this week, and I was in the hospital emergency room at the time, which is darkly poetic. I had surgery to remove my kidney stone Monday night, and I’m currently recuperating in bed.

I’m no longer in severe pain, although I still have post-operative risks. I have some scary nagging mysterious aches that make the typical LotRO Community lambasting of this update look self-entitled and wretched.

Despite my differences with LotRO, it’s a source of fun and enjoyment, something to look forward to in life after being anesthetized, when you cease to exist completely from this earth for an hour or two, so gone that you don’t even realize that you’re gone.

The LotRO producer letter’s existence, on the other hand, is appreciated. I’ve always like Aaron Campbell. I’m impressed by the LI change.

Wildstar seems to have an achievement-based evolution of its legendary items, and it’s impressive that the Turbine guys are stepping up to the challenge, allowing legacy unlocks based on content you complete (implied from the dev post snippet that was posted on LotRO Community).

This long-requested revamp is well worth putting effort into over another level cap increase if Turbine can milk the system in the press. LI’s are a big reason people leave.

On the other hand, the essence system defrays the step forward by creating another thing that seems to need grinding and slotting, despite Sapience’s well-constructed pre-emptive attempt at panic control in the patch notes.

I agree with starting the Beorning at level one. They should be rare. Blizzard started Death Knights at 55 with overpowered gear, and they remain today one of the most-played classes in World of Warcraft. I hope no one wants the Beorning to be like that. You have to buy it, and then earn it. I like it.

The implementation of global chat is excellent, and so is increased friends list. The content also looks interesting, although based on early screenshots in the LotRO forums, it looked a little rushed and hodgepodge, without so much of the highly refined cultural aesthetic of the Rohan art.

I’m looking forward to checking out this update. I would also like to get back to Elder Scrolls for another go, supporting a solid MMO with a subscription model.

I might try Shadowrun Returns today in bed, based on Yolari’s recommendation. It depends on whether I can play left-handed. Otherwise I’m enjoying episodes of BBC’s Sherlock on Netflix with Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (Bilbo from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, etc.)

So if you’re walking the Paths of the Dead today or this weekend, don’t forget to take a moment to appreciate how alive and healthy you are. Jeepers, maybe even go for a long elven walk among the trees outside to celebrate.