Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Update 19.2, Yule Festival and the future of LOTRO


It's a big day for LOTRO - update 19.2 has launched along with the Yule Festival and then we find out that LOTRO is no longer to be operated by Turbine and instead now belongs to Standing Stone Games, a new indie game developer, and will be published by Daybreak Games.

Already changes have begun when I logged in just a short while ago - there was the Daybreak Games End User Agreement to accept, the Standing Stones Games splash screen when the game loads and Turbine Points have already been renamed LOTRO Points in the in-game store.

From what I've seen so far, most people seem to be surprised but optimistic that this is good news for the future of LOTRO. I hope so too. Quite a few questions have already been answered in a FAQ that confirms the current development team are still working on LOTRO, that the license for the LOTRO IP (which was due to expire in 2017) has been updated and that game accounts and privileges such as lifetime memberships etc. will remain the same.

Update 19.2 won't affect me much - it mostly relates to additions to North Ithilien, premium housing, PvMP and some general bug fixes. Hunters are getting some significant changes (Blood Arrow becomes a general hunter ability available at level 40 with a self-heal effect) so trait trees have been reset. And the Yule Festival has launched with some new mounts and cosmetic items. I can't wait to see the reindeer-like mount!

Update (Dec 22): Steed of Winter's Light

My Adventures in Middle Earth

I've been pottering around on my free-to-play (F2P) account lately, finally having enough Points to remove the gold cap so I don't keep getting reminder messages and so my characters can get faction mounts and buy things from the auction house if they want. Now I just need to get riding abilities for my new characters and then I can start working towards unlocking extra zones. Plenty for them to do at the moment and I do enjoy the low level zones the most.

I've been playing LOTRO via Linux Mint and levelling up a couple of new characters on a new server - my original F2P characters were excited for Spring Festival and got some nice cosmetic outfits and mounts and now my new Linux-only F2P characters are looking forward to Yule Festival for their turn to get some nice things. I do get lower frame rates and more stuttering effects in Linux, but it's mostly working quite well. It will be interesting to see if there are any changes in its performance or to the launcher and compatibility with Wine with Standing Stone Games taking over.

Myndariel is still neglected and waiting to continue her journey to North Ithilien. I think I shall have to set a goal to motivate me - to get her there by New Year's Day. That means my Linux characters have a few days to enjoy the Yule Festival then Myndariel must make a move towards Mordor! You know what? The next couple of weeks in LOTRO should be a lot of fun!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

To everyone out there, I hope you have a wonderful and safe Christmas and all the best wishes for the New Year.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Installing LOTRO in Linux Mint

I've been having a break from LOTRO for the last few months because I've been addicted to World of Warcraft: Legion and Path of Exile: Atlas of Worlds. I know Update 19 came out with a new zone, North Ithilien, and Myndariel is looking forward to visiting there but she still needs to get to level 105.

However, I finally got fed up with Windows 10 on my laptop. So I copied all my important data to an external hard drive and completely replaced Windows 10 with Linux Mint 17.3.

After getting it set up so I could continue my work, I decided to have another try at getting my favourite games to work as well. I have previously tried to get LOTRO to work in Ubuntu on another computer by following several guides and forum posts, but with no success. Path of Exile (PoE) and World of Warcraft (WoW) installed easily in Linux Mint with PlayOnLinux, and finally I got LOTRO working too - just in time for server maintenance!

Finally got LOTRO working on a laptop in time for server maintenance

Installing LOTRO with PlayOnLinux

There are lots of guides out there on installing LOTRO in Linux - some say use PyLOTRO, or Windows Steam via Wine, or straight Wine, or Crossover or PlayOnLinux. There are also confusing lists of libraries that are recommended as necessary to make it work. Some of these guides may be out of date, but also different methods may work for different people or different computer set-ups.

Note: Wine is a program that lets you run Windows programs in Linux. There are lots of different versions, with some designed to work with specific programs, while others are called "staging" versions which include bug fixes or experimental features not available in the stable versions.

Here's what worked for me:

1. Download the game installer lotrolive.exe from the LOTRO website (select the PC Download).

Download installer from LOTRO website

2. [Install PlayOnLinux from the Software Manager if not already available.] Open PlayOnLinux.

3. To check what Wine versions you have available, select the Tools menu and click on Manage Wine versions. The left side of the pop-up window will show the available versions and the right side shows installed versions. I found version 1.9.18-staging worked for several games including LOTRO, so to install it, select it from the list on the left side and then click the little > button in the middle of the window.

*Update: Wine version 1.9.24 also works with LOTRO Update 19*

4. Select "Install a Program". From the PlayOnLinux install menu, select "Install a non-listed program". This will start a Manual Installation wizard.

PlayOnLinux Install Menu

5. PlayOnLinux informs you that they cannot guarantee the application you are installing will work. Click Next. Select "Install a program in a new virtual drive" and click Next.

6. Give your virtual drive a name - e.g. lotro.

7. It then asks what would you like to do before installation. This is where we get to configure Wine and install any extra libraries needed. Every time I tried installing LOTRO with extra libraries it didn't work, so I decided not to install any libraries at this stage. You can change Wine settings or add extra libraries later if necessary (select the game from the PlayOnLinux window and click Configure). Select the options relating to Wine then click Next.

Some pre-installation configuration options
8. It will ask you which version of Wine to use. Select the version that we installed earlier. Then it says it is creating the virtual drive and opens a Wine configuration panel.

Wine configuration panel
9. In the Applications tab, set the Windows Version to Windows XP or Windows 7. *Update: I initially set up LOTRO using Windows XP, but have changed Wine to use Windows 7 and it works fine too.*

I left the Libraries alone so there were no existing overrides listed.

In the Graphics tab, make sure "Allow the window manager to control the window" is ticked. This lets LOTRO change the window according to your in-game settings. I've seen some people recommend choosing the "emulate a virtual desktop" and matching it to your screen resolution, but this didn't work for me - I ended up with the LOTRO client running in a window even though I had set it to run as fullscreen and the bottom of the client was getting cut off so I couldn't click on some buttons (like the Continue or Exit buttons during the character creation process). Associated with this, ticking "Automatically capture the mouse in full-screen windows" caused my mouse to get stuck within the boundaries of the client screen so I couldn't click to close the program. I used another computer and found out that Alt+F2 opens a terminal and typing "xkill" then clicking the window to be closed will terminate the (misbehaving) program. So I don't recommend capturing the mouse. As for "Allow the window manager to decorate the windows" - this seemed to put a plain blue background behind the client when it was in windowed mode. Optional.

Wine configuration - graphics settings
None of the other tabs should need modifications, but maybe check the Audio tab and confirm the sound is working. If it's not working, maybe try installing or adjusting Pavucontrol (PulseAudio Volume Control) and/or Gnome-alsamixer (ALSA sound mixer for Gnome).

When you're finished with the Wine configuration, click Apply then OK.

10.  Next it asks you for the installer. Click the Browse button and locate the lotrolive.exe file downloaded earlier then click Next. This will start the installer. Note that the installer installs necessary libraries such as DirectX 9 as part of this process. Let it install files according to the default installation so they go into your Wine virtual drive. Agree to the terms and conditions.

At the end of the setup it offers you the chance to "Launch The Lord of the Rings Online". Deselect this, then press Finish.

Don't launch LOTRO from here
11. Return to the PlayOnLinux manual installation wizard and it asks you to create a shortcut. Select TurbineLauncher.exe then click Next. It then asks you for a name for the shortcut - I chose "LOTRO" rather than the default "TurbineLauncher" that appeared. Click Next. It asks if you want to make another shortcut - select "I don't want to make another shortcut" then click Next.

12. The PlayOnLinux manual installation wizard should have closed and you should now have a shortcut to LOTRO on the desktop.

Now you can either (I tested both these methods and now have LOTRO working on a laptop and a desktop PC both running Linux Mint 17.3):

- click the shortcut on the desktop to launch the client (or Run from the PlayOnLinux window), install the Akamai service then download the ~ 16GB game,

- or if you have a working version of the game, you can merge the full The Lord of the Rings Online folder (shown below as having 85 items) with The Lord of the Rings Online folder created by the lotrolive.exe installer (shown below as having 30 items) in the virtual drive to save some time and internet bandwidth. If it brings up a pop-up window regarding individual files with the same name, mark the box "Apply this action to all files" and click Skip to keep the existing files from the installer. Once the folder merge is complete, click the shortcut on the desktop or the Run button in the PlayOnLinux window. There may be some additional files to download to get the game up-to-date.

Here's the path to the folder if you called your virtual drive "lotro": [home]/PlayOnLinux's virtual drives/lotro/drive_c/Program Files/Turbine/The Lord of the Rings Online.

Merging the full game folder with the original game folder from the installer

A few last-minute files to download

Myndariel in Minas Tirith (via Linux Mint on the PC)

Performance-wise, the frame rate is lower than in Windows but from what I understand, that is to be expected with games running through Wine. I noticed a similar decrease in FPS with WoW and PoE. I could probably decrease the graphics quality a bit and perhaps tweak some other settings to try and optimise performance a bit better, but at least it is playable.

By the way, screenshots, user preferences (e.g. keymapping) and plugins are stored in [home]/Documents/The Lord of The Rings Online.

I hope this helps some people who want to play LOTRO in Linux. I'm very much a noob - I've tried Linux many times but had problems and couldn't find a solution so gave up and went back to Windows. Linux Mint does seem to be more user-friendly though so here's hoping I can stick with it this time.

And maybe I'll even play Myndariel some more. She really should catch up with the Epic Quests and fully explore Gondor before Mordor is fully released.

Saturday, 27 August 2016

The Ballad of Bingo Boffin Part 5

Bingo's journey continues from Wildermore. See the guide to The Ballad of Bingo Boffin for his earlier adventures.

Chapter 41: Mistaken Identity (level 90)

Bingo is ready to leave the cold Wildermore region and suggests you meet up with him and Egwylf on the road to Entwash Vale. When you arrive, Egwylf experiences a sense of dread. You look around and see something high in the sky, but it quickly disappears. You mention it to Bingo and he wonders if it might be Landroval, one of the Great Eagles, but if so, why didn't it come to say hello?

The group heads into West Rohan and visits the town of Oserley. The people are on edge and have also felt that sense of dread and being watched. Egwylf suggests leaving the town by a goat track so that it will be harder for any potential pursuers to follow.

The Nazgûl thinks all hobbits look the same

You leave Oserley during a storm, but a Nazgûl spots Bingo and mistakes him for the Ringbearer. You and Egwylf drive the Nazgûl away with fire while Bingo escapes. But now where has Bingo gone?

You search for him across West Rohan, all the way to Woodhurst. There, Egwylf says she will help you find Bingo but then she is leaving to help the people of Rohan.

Chapter 42: A Horse in a Haystack (level 92)

You return the site of the Nazgul attack and find pony tracks heading west. On the road to Brockbridge you meet Humfrey Rumming - he is on his way to the Gap of Rohan to sell his wares and yes, he did see a pony heading west but didn't pay much attention. You find some muddled pony prints near Woodhurst and Willem Whisker runs off towards Gapholt.

Tanglemane has found an apple tree

Bingo is happy to see you and is proud of Willem Whisker for tracking him down. Bingo used to think horses were scary, but not anymore - now he knows there are terrible winged creatures to be afraid of instead!

Chapter 43: Thoughts of Home (level 93)

Egwylf says goodbye at the entrance to Helm's Deep. She wants to warn Erkenbrand about the Blood Eye cultists and she is sure Bingo will be safe with you and Willem Whisker and Tanglemane.

Bingo is sad to see her go, but he is now craving a good meal. He doesn't want to go to Helm's Deep because he understands they have to ration food during a war, so he suggests heading to the first village they find.

The first village we find is Marton, but it has been destroyed by orcs. Bingo loses his appetite and decides helping any survivors is more important. He finds a woman who has lost her home and promises that we will take her to Grimslade - it should be safer there. On arrival, Bingo is invited for supper at the Mead Hall. It has been a long day and he is grateful for the respite. Seeing Marton in ruins quite upset him and makes him worry about the safety of the Shire. Is it time to go home?

Chapter 44: Willem Whisker and the Wide World (level 93)

Bingo doesn't know what to do next and he is worried that Willem Whisker doesn't seem himself either. He asks you to talk to Willem, but when you do, the lynx runs outside. Bingo says you have to follow him. Willem Whisker leads you all the way through the Gap of Rohan to Dunbog in Dunland! You find him with some other lynx under a tree in the middle of the swamp.

Willem Whisker is reunited with his family

Bingo decides to make the area safer for Willem Whisker and his family, by eliminating some orcs and collecting some food and shelter for them. Then it is time for another farewell.

Chapter 45: A String of Ill Fortune (level 93)

We head off to the nearby town of Avardin and Bingo plans to do some writing, but he keeps getting distracted - he misses Willem Whisker. So he suggests we head to Galtrev to learn more about Dunland.

In Galtrev you meet Humfrey Rumming and he has just been providing treasure maps to Theodore and Haley, the treasure hunters from the Lone Lands. They mentioned to Humfrey how you were good at solving riddles, so he gives you a riddle and if you can solve it, you should find Theodore and Haley.

Riddle solved

Haley is pleased to see you and Bingo and says they have had a fairly uneventful trip - Theodore doesn't quite see it that way. He finally realised that the necklace you offered him in Eregion was real and not a fake, and now he claims it has cursed them with ill fortune:  they have had terrible weather, he twisted his ankle, every treasure chest they found has been empty, the treasure maps Humfrey sold them were useless and now you are here (again). Theodore is so frustrated that he is ready to turn around and head north.

Haley doesn't mind if they travel north if they can join us for a while and Bingo would be glad of the company.

Chapter 46: Treasure Lost, Treasure Found (level 93)

Bingo has learned there are several tribes in Dunland that do not get along, and Bingo wants to try and help. We head back to Galtrev to start the journey, but Theodore disappears. After looking all around town, Haley notices the necklace you gave her, the Rothstone, is missing too. Theodore has stolen it! Humfrey Rummings thinks he might be taking it to one of the spots marked on the treasure maps Humfrey gave him - a dragon's lair in Thrór's Coomb.

Bingo says we should go save Theodore before he gets himself in trouble. "No dragon will stand in our way!"

Don't wake the dragon

We escape the dragon's lair and Bingo suggests we go to the village of Llanuch in Enedwaith. Theodore is happy - now that he has got rid of the Rothstone, his fortune is changing - he now knows what good friends he has and he survived his encounter with a dragon. Bingo has had enough of dragons - the only kind of dragons he likes are the ones that offer refreshments such as The Green Dragon in Bywater.

Chapter 47: Full Course, Of Course! (level 93)

One of the local people from Llanuch asked Bingo why he left the Gloomglens. Bingo has never been to the Gloomglens so the villager laughs and says he must have knocked his head and forgotten. Bingo doesn't appreciate being reminded of his forgetfulness after his adventure in Moria, but if there are other hobbits in the Gloomglens he would like to go there and visit.

The hobbits of Maur Tulhau in the Gloomglens think Bingo looks strange for a hobbit, but they offer their adventurous cousin from the north a Welcoming Feast of the Stoors - apparently it can last up to a week!

Maur Tulhau - home of the Stoor hobbits

Chapter 48: Homesick and Just Sick (level 93)

Bingo has thoroughly enjoyed the Welcoming Feast but he may have over-indulged a little and made himself sick. The local healer says she can make a cup of tea for Bingo to help, but she is almost out of tea leaves so you will need to fetch some for her.

The tea finally helps and Bingo feels ready to have a little more food before they leave - just kidding!

Chapter 49: Through the Blockade (level 93)

Before Bingo leaves the hobbit village, they warn him of orcs on the road north. Haley and Theodore have also seen the orcs and kept well clear of the blockade they set up at the King's Way Gate. However, when we arrive, the orcs are gone and brigands from Bree have taken over the blockade.

Brigands at the blockade

Haley asks them to let us through; they demand money and Theodore's hat. Bingo speaks up and tells them they can't have Theodore's hat, then tells them about his journey and how he has seen much more dangerous creatures than them and we are more dangerous than we look so they shouldn't mess with us. Some of the brigands are impressed that we saw a dragon and start having second thoughts. Eventually, Bingo talks them into going back to a peaceful life of farming instead of risking their lives as brigands.

The former brigands even leave the treasure chest of coins behind for Bingo and thank him for talking sense into them.

The road north leads us into Bree-land. Theodore and Haley say farewell - they are retiring from treasure hunting but would be keen to join Bingo on any future adventures - just expect to find them someplace dangerous!

Chapter 50: Bingo Returns Home (level 93)

Bingo is looking forward to going home but is also planning more adventures - there are so many places he still hasn't seen. Outside his home in Michel Delving, Bingo is greeted by a grumpy Myrtle Boggs who claims that his absence had cast a poor light on the neighbourhood - "a neighbourhood needs neighbours" - and caused many rumours. Bingo is happy to know she cares; he'll try to make it up to her. There is also an overdue library book notice stuck to the front door.

Bingo is embarrassed that he forgot to return the library book before embarking on his journey, so he asks that you return the book for him, and donate the brigand's treasure to the library to pay the fine and help with upkeep and maintenance of the library - he only asks that they keep a copy of his book in the library when he has finished writing it. The librarian is delighted and looks forward to encouraging a love of books throughout the neighbourhood.

You return to Boffin Manor and Bingo asks you to help clear away the cobwebs that have invaded his home while he was away.

Boffin Manor with cobwebs

Chapter 51: Hand-written, Hand-delivered (level 93)

His home seems large and empty now and Bingo can already feel that sense of loneliness creeping in. He misses his friends, so he will organise a dinner party and invite both old and new friends to come. He has hand-written the invitations and suggests you ask Bert Bartleby where some of the guests can be found, and the invitations you can't deliver should be taken to the postmaster and the Quick Post will sort it out.

Chapter 52: The Perfect Recipe (level 93)

The day of the dinner party is here and Bingo is glad to have help with last-minute preparations. He asks you to greet the guests outside as they arrive.

The guests arrive

Inside, they mix and mingle and several hobbits get ideas about going off on adventures themselves! Bingo takes you aside and thanks you for being such a loyal friend and keeping him company on his journey. Finally, Bingo has found the Perfect Recipe, so it's time to eat!

The End of the Ballad of Bingo Boffin

Thus ends Bingo Boffin's adventure. I hope you enjoyed it and have many wonderful adventures in Middle Earth of your own!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Quick Update

Bingo Boffin

I've added some more items to the Bingo Boffin and Housing Decorations page. There is still quite a lot more to collect but at least now thanks to Update 18.2, we have more places in our houses to display the decorations!

I plan to finish the Ballad of Bingo Boffin soon, as I believe the last quest in the story, chapter 52, is due out this week. It's been a great journey and the rewards have been awesome. Definitely worth giving it a try if you haven't already.

Level 105 Gear

I found a couple of good guides for level 105 gear. My characters still aren't level 105 and haven't done any of the new group instances yet, but it's always good to know what options will be available when you get there.

Ozraid has an article called Update 18 Armour Guide: Level 105 which explains the various level 105 armour sets and how to get them from instances, and a similar article called Update 18 Jewellery Guide: Level 105.

For Level 105 Essences, Dadi's Lotro Guides has an article called U18: 105 Essence Guide with information about how to get the recipes by completing instances and what you need to craft the essences.

The Department of Strategery also has an article on Level 105 gear (Update 18: New armour sets, instance jewellery, essences and featured instances), with screenshots taken during beta testing.

These articles don't mention the gear from the new raid (they were written before Update 18.2), but if you're looking to gear up to storm the Throne of the Dread Terror, they might be helpful.

I'm still hoping they bring out some crafted level 105 gear, and perhaps some gear with stats instead of essence slots from a faction quartermaster. Options are good.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Level 100 Beorning

Hooray! Tyravorth my Beorning has reached level 100 in Central Gondor. It might not be the max level, but it's the beginning of the end.

Questing along the Gilrain river at night

Now she has to start worrying about essence gear and getting the perfect legendary items for imbuing.

Essence Gear

As a tailor, she has made a set of Anórien armour and cloak for starters. She didn't have anywhere near enough essences to fill the 18 slots, and certainly not with the essences she needs. Questing through West and Central Gondor since level 95 has so far earned her about half a dozen essences. A couple for morale and finesse, and one each for evasion, tactical mitigation essence and critical rating.

She still needs new jewellery, and the crafted jewellery has more essence slots to fill too! 

Crafted Anórien Medium Armour

There is other gear available at level 100 with stats or essence slots, but the crafted gear is easy to get.

Where can fresh level 100s get essences?

  • The skirmish camp - the curiosity vendor sells level 100 major essences for 500 marks each. 
  • The auction house - since level 105 is now the max level, level 100 essences have reduced in price a lot.
  • Essence vendor in Dol Amroth - completing quests for the city guard factions in Dol Amroth rewards tokens used to buy essences (some RNG involved for which essence you'll get though).
  • Crafting - The Dol Amroth quartermaster has level 100 greater essences recipes, and each crafting profession can make a few types. 
  • Quartermasters in Central Gondor - class-specific essences can be obtained with rep tokens. 
  • Questing - some quests have guaranteed essences as rewards, particularly in the epic quest chains.
  • Mob drops - occasionally. Elite mobs and instances may have a higher chance of dropping something.

I decided to go the skirmish camp route for essences - I'd rather have cheap level 100 gear and save up for good max level gear.

Dol Amroth Skirmish Camp

As an aside, I hated Dol Amroth when it first came out because of all the extravagant building decorations, but after travelling deeper into Gondor where the zones become more gloomy, Dol Amroth seems beautiful and bright by comparison, and now I quite like it.

So what essences to get for a Beorning who is mainly questing?

  1. Mitigation - My physical mitigation was nearly capped but I needed a lot more tactical mitigation, so that was my first priority.
  2. Avoidances - My parry was capped at 13% but I didn't have much evade, so that was my next priority.
  3. Defence - My critical defence wasn't too bad for solo questing - I don't see my health dropping suddenly from enemy crits, but I increased it to 50% to be on the safe side.
  4. Finesse - I've noticed mobs avoiding too many of my attacks, so I wanted more finesse.
  5. Might - I grabbed a couple of might essences so that I wouldn't lose too much dps/healing. My mastery has still gone down, so I will aim to add more to my jewellery.
  6. Morale - I filled the rest of the slots with morale. From everything I've heard, morale is the best for survival.
Your priorities may be different, especially if you do lots of instances or pvp or have already capped your stats.

Some people suggest grouping similar essences together so that you can easily switch pieces of gear and stats to suit the situation. For example, switching between one pair of boots with lots of critical defence and another pair of boots with lots of critical rating.

Legendary Items and Imbuement

Legendary items can be a real grind if you want to max them out, and if you do - good on you! Fortunately, the grind is mostly optional. You can get through most, if not all, content without maxed out legendaries, but the more effort you put into improving them, the easier the content will be.

While I'm saving up materials and/or gold for first age items, I'm going to be trying to get lots of third age items so I can extract the legacies I want and get plenty of relics and IXP runes.

Many of the consumable items for enhancing legendary items can be used before or after imbuement with only minor differences in outcomes.

Here are a couple of guides that may also help explain the legendary item and imbuement system:


  1. Level a legendary item up to at least level 30 to unlock six legacies.
  2. Use a crystal of remembrance to add a seventh legacy.
  3. Use legacy replacement scrolls to swap out unwanted legacies for more useful legacies. Most legacies will have the same effect before and after imbuement, but a few may have a different effect. Check LOTRO-Wiki (the Legendary Items page has a comparison table) to find out which legacies are affected.
  4. Use a scroll of delving to unlock an extra 10 levels. This will also increase the maximum tier by one for each legacy when the legendary item is imbued.
  5. Level the legendary up to level 70 and get legacy tier upgrades (saves scrolls of empowerment).
  6. Use 3 star-lit crystals to increase the base dps and passive stats on applicable legendary items (e.g. 2H-weapons).
  7. Spend points to rank up legacies. Make sure the default legacy (e.g. the dps legacy on weapons) is at max rank so the highest possible base stats will be on the item post-imbuement.
Imbue legendary items at the Forge-master.


The maximum tier for each legacy will initially depend on what tier the legacy was pre-imbuement.
  1. The maximum tier for the default legacy can be increased towards the final tier with star-lit crystals.
  2. The maximum tier for normal legacies can be increased towards the final tier with scrolls of empowerment.
  3. Use IXP runes or gain IXP through game-play to increase the current tier of each legacy.
When all legacies have full final tier experience bars, the item is maximised (until the next update that increases the final tier level). Don't forget to add some good relics and legendary titles to boost your stats too - these may help reduce the need for some essences!

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Cosmetics: Blue Bear

I don't normally do cosmetic outfit posts - there are other blogs like Wandering Around Arda, Material Middle Earth or The Starry Mantle that create lots of great-looking outfits and presents them beautifully.

Nevertheless, I really like my Beorning's outfits and I'd like to share them. The first I think shows an almost Elven litheness inherent in the flexibility to change between man and bear form, while the second outfit with heavier armour shows strength and her willingness to make a stand, protecting her allies from the enemy.

Outfit 1
Tyravorth wore Outfit 1 for most of the first 90 levels. She changed helms a few times - she started off with the starter Beorning headband, and at one stage wore a shiny navy and gold metal helmet, but I liked this hat best.

Oh, my characters tend to hide their weapons when they're out of combat (unless they have a really cool looking weapon).

Head: Scholar's Hat (Misty Mountains quest reward from "A Scholar's Lesson", dyed navy)
Shoulders: Battle-tested Shoulders (Level 59 quest reward, Battle-tested Armour box, dyed navy)
Chest: Ceremonial Town-saver's Jacket (from Skirmish Camp, dyed navy)
Hands: Elven Leather Gloves of Vigour (random mob drop around level 41-44, dyed umber)
Legs: Ceremonial Town-saver's Leggings (from Skirmish Camp, dyed navy)
Feet: Ceremonial Boots of the Quiet Step (from Skirmish Camp, dyed umber)
Back: Eastemnet Cloak of Might (crafted T8 cloak from tailor, dyed navy)

Outfit 2
This was taken just after the battle of Helm's Deep. The chestpiece was a heavy armour epic quest reward for taking part in the battle and she liked it better than the medium armour option. So she collected it and then raided the shared wardrobe for other pieces to go with it and dyed them navy, or umber for the gloves. I used the same cloak - I like how it dyes and the pattern isn't boring, but it also doesn't distract attention from the outfit.

Head: Inquisitive Lore-master's Hat (East Rohan quest reward from "Leaders from Moria", dyed navy)
Shoulders: Fine Grey Company Wrap (Dunland epic quest reward from Vol 3, Book 5, Chapter 1, dyed navy)
Chest: Breastplate of the Rider (West Rohan epic quest reward from Vol 3, Book 13, Chapter 6, dyed navy)
Hands: Dholen-lhaw (Dunland epic quest reward from Vol 3, Book 4, Chapter 5, dyed umber)
Legs: (not visible)
Feet: Reinforced Leather Dunlending Boots (Dunland quest reward from "Once a Servant, Now a Wizard", dyed navy)
Back: Eastemnet Cloak of Might (crafted T8 cloak from tailor, dyed navy)

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

A Quick Guide to Reputation - Rhovanion

Here are some comments and suggestions on earning reputation with various factions in Rhovanion.

Iron Garrison Guards

  • Questing, deeds and tasks in Moria
  • Mobs in Moria drop rep tokens
  • Iron Garrison Miner rep tokens can be exchanged for Iron Garrison Guard rep tokens
  • Moria crafting instance quests
  • Volume 2, Books 3, 4 and 5 epic quests

Iron Garrison Miners

  • Questing, deeds and tasks in Moria
  • Mobs in Moria drop rep tokens
  • Iron Garrison Guard rep tokens can be exchanged for Iron Garrison Miner rep tokens
  • Volume 2, Books 2, 4 and 5 epic quests


  • Questing, deeds and tasks in Lothlórien
  • Scourge of Khazad-dûm instance quests and deeds in Moria (Dâr Narbugud, Halls of Crafting, Mirror-halls of Lumul-nar and The Water Wheels: Nalâ dûm)
  • Volume 2, Books 6 and 7 epic quests

You must reach Friend standing with the Galadhrim to be able to enter Caras Galadhon.

Killing "Protected" animals in Lothlórien will reduce reputation.


  • Questing, deeds and tasks in Mirkwood
  • Skirmishes (Breaching the Necromancer's Gate, Assault on the Ringwraith's Lair, The Battle in the Tower and Protectors of Thangúlhad) give rep
  • Volume 2, Book 9 epic quests

The Riders of Stangard

  • Quests, deeds and tasks in The Great River

Heroes of Limlight Gorge

  • Quests, deeds and tasks in Limlight Gorge (part of The Great River)
  • Defeating elite mobs in Limlight Gorge
  • Roots of Fangorn instance quests and deeds

Men of the Wold

  • Quests in The Wold, East Rohan
  • Defeating warbands in The Wold
  • Repeatable daily Hytbold quests
  • Tokens of Hytbold can be exchanged for rep

Men of the Norcrofts

  • Quests in the Norcrofts, East Rohan
  • Defeating warbands in the Norcrofts
  • Repeatable daily Hytbold quests
  • Tokens of Hytbold can be exchanged for rep

Men of the Entwash Vale

  • Quests in the Entwash Vale, East Rohan
  • Defeating warbands in the Entwash Vale
  • Repeatable daily Hytbold quests
  • Tokens of Hytbold can be exchanged for rep

Men of the Sutcrofts

  • Quests in the Sutcrofts, East Rohan
  • Defeating warbands in the Sutcrofts
  • Repeatable daily Hytbold quests
  • Tokens of Hytbold can be exchanged for rep

People of Wildermore

  • Quests, deeds and tasks in Wildermore
  • Defeating warbands in Wildermore

Survivors of Wildermore

  • Repeatable daily quests in Wildermore

You must complete all the quests in Wildermore first to unlock access to this faction.

The Eorlingas

  • Quests, deeds and tasks in Kingstead, Eastfold, Broadacres (West Rohan)
  • Defeating warbands in Kingstead, Eastfold, Broadacres (West Rohan)

The Helmingas

  • Quests, deeds and tasks in the Stonedeans and Westfold (West Rohan)
  • Defeating warbands in the Stonedeans and Westfold (West Rohan)

The Ents of Fangorn Forest

  • Quests and a deed in Entwood (West Rohan)
  • West Rohan crafting instance quests

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Spring Festival 2016

Hooray! The Spring Festival has arrived in Middle Earth and runs from June 7 to June 21.

I'm looking forward to getting some nice cosmetic items for my new free-to-play characters. I think my festival fanatic, Robinya the peaceful hunter, will also be taking part, and the new mount would be perfect for my rune-keeper who is a yeoman who loves growing flowers.


For more detailed information, see the LOTRO-Wiki guide to the Spring Festival.

What to do in Bree-land

Head to the Festival Grounds and explore the hedge maze (lots of quests that count for the Spring is Dandy meta-deed, plus the chance at a shrew pet in a gift box), take part in the horse/pony races or practise some traditional dances of Men.

The Hedge Maze in Bree-land

Talk to Avery Crabapple in the Bree Market Square to start a romantic quest chain involving patches of flowers (violets near West Bree, marigolds near Michel Delving and primroses near Celondim). Collect enough flowers to earn gift boxes, the Steed of the Jester or Spring Lissuin war-steed appearances.

What to do in the Shire

Head to Brockenborings and the Greenfields and help make Bullroarer's Brew then try the Bullroarer's Challenge (running along the top of a fence while drunk).

Honour Bullroarer in the Shire

Have fun with a traditional Hobbit dance or sign up for membership with the Inn League at the Party Tree. The Inn League Challenge involves a timed Shire pub crawl. Once completed, there are additional quests available from Inn League Tavern Keeps but these do not reward Spring Leaves.

Take part in horse/pony races at the Shire race course near the homesteads, or visit Sandson's Farm, Hobbiton and Cotton's Farm to see how they deal with pesky shrews for the quest "How the Shire Shoos Shrews".

What to do in Ered Luin

Head to Duillond to take part in the Stomp-A-Shrew game at the Festival Garden or help the gardeners collect flowers and materials to make new boots for stomping shrews, or learn a traditional Elven dance. 

The Festival Garden in Ered Luin

There is drinking and dancing at the Thorin's Hall Inn. Try some Dwarven dances or sign up with The Ale Association if you enjoy making mischief. The Ale Association Challenge involves a Bree-land pub crawl. Once completed, there are additional quests available from Ale Association Tavern Keeps but these do not reward Spring Leaves.


Steed of Ethuil (2016)

The new mount is beautiful with a unique saddle blanket decorated with flowers. Previous Spring Festival mounts are available for Spring Leaves or Mithril Coins.

Steed of New Bloom (2015)

Cosmetic Rewards

There are lots of cosmetic outfits available at the Spring Festival for Spring Leaves.

The new Sightseers' outfit will make you look like Bingo Boffin, ready for adventures.
Sightseer's Jacket, Trousers and Straw Hat

There's also the New Bloom set which includes a cloak and tunic.

Hooded Cloak of New Bloom

Tunic and Trousers of New Bloom

Or if you prefer a robe or dress, there is the Lissuin set with a choice of hooded or hoodless cloak.

Lissuin Hooded Cloak

Lissuin Robe

Lissuin Dress/Lissuin Cloak

But wait there's more! The beautiful Simblemynë set returns with a choice of hat or circlet, and a dress or tunic.

Simblemynë Cloak

Simblemynë Tunic and Wide-Brimmed Hat

Simblemynë Dress and Circlet

The Spring-flinger set has variations for cloak and hauberk but the cloaks don't really match the hauberks.

Spring-flinger Cloak

Spring-flinger Hooded Cloak

Spring-flinger Hat

Short-sleeved Spring-flinger Hauberk

Long-sleeved Spring-flinger Hauberk

Last but not least is the Trellis-weave set. The hooded cloak has accidentally been named the Hooded Cloak of Many Worlds at the vendors.

Trellis-weave Cloak

Hooded Trellis-weave Cloak

Trellis-weave Robe

And we have a few other miscellaneous cosmetic accessories.

Spring Dandy Cloak

Spring Dandy Hooded Cloak

Spring Adventurer's Quiver

White Rose Circlet

Other Rewards

There are some housing decorations (mainly sculptures for the yard or maps for the wall), pet shrews, crafting recipes for cooks and farmers, consumables and some of the new seasonal festival dyes.

You can get a pack of six Shire Plum or Bullroarer's Green dyes for 20 Spring Leaves per pack, or a pack of six Lavender or Deep Purple dyes for 10 Mithril Coins per pack. They're pretty colours, but I'm afraid I won't be buying them at those prices.

Have fun!


The Tome of Spotted Shrew can be obtained from a Patch of Flowers while doing the quest A Fistful of Flowers from Avery Crabapple in Bree (I found 3 during the quest). The quest takes an hour, but at the end you should have enough flowers to get the Steed of the Jester (or war-steed appearances) if you want and some giftboxes. The giftboxes gave me flower petals and a cooking recipe.

Spotted Shrew pet

Steed of the Jester

My hobbit minstrel got a Tome of the Dusty Shrew from the giftbox for completing Terrible Tweens in the Hedge Maze.
Dusty Shrew pet