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

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Captain Stat Priorities

Captains are versatile characters, who can tank, dps, heal and buff groups while wearing heavy armour and mostly staying in melee range. They are the jack of all trades and master of none, but still in high demand for grouping. The following stats may be important and help captains to be more effective in their various roles.

The Basics


Captains are a might-based class so this is the most important stat and increases both offense and defense.

Captains who have chosen the yellow trait tree (Leader of Men, tanking) can gain the set trait Two-Handed Prowess that lets you block with a two-handed weapon (normally a shield is required for blocking).
  • Increases physical mastery (more melee damage)
  • Increases tactical mastery (more potent cries and healing)
  • Increases block (avoid physical damage taken from a frontal attack)
  • Increases parry (avoid physical damage taken from a frontal attack)


Captains rely on critical hits a lot to increase damage generally and to trigger Enemy Defeat Responses which can make certain abilities more powerful.
  • Increases critical rating (more damage/healing)
  • Increases tactical mitigation (reduces damage taken from spells)
  • Increases in-combat morale regeneration (more survivability) 
  • Increases power regeneration in and out of combat (more endurance)


Vitality increases your survivability.
  • Increases morale (health points)
  • Increases resistance to debuffs (reduce effects of wound/fear/disease/poison)
  • Increase out-of-combat morale regeneration (reduce recovery time between battles)


Agility is a helper stat that increases both offense and defense, but not as much as might.
  • Increases critical rating (more damage/healing)
  • Increases evade (avoid physical damage from any direction)
  • Increases parry (avoid physical damage from a frontal attack)

Offense Stats

Physical Mastery increases damage dealt. It's one of the most important stats for Captains and melee damage-dealers in general. Even if you're a healer you will need physical mastery because a lot of heals are triggered by melee attacks such as Valiant Strike.

Tactical Mastery increases healing and cries. If you're a healer you will want lots of tactical mastery, but damage-dealers will want some as well to improve abilities such as Battle-Shout and Routing Cry. 

As mentioned above, Critical Rating is important for triggering more powerful versions of abilities, and is useful for both damage and healing. The cap is 25%.

In addition to fate, agility and direct critical rating on gear, essences or legendary item relics/titles etc., the trait trees also provide buffs that increase critical hit chance (Astute Hands in Blue Line for healing and Arterial Strikes in Red Line for dps).

Finesse becomes more important at high levels. It helps weakens your enemies resistance to debuffs and ability to block/parry/evade your attacks. As a Captain who will be attacking in melee range and who has several bleed attacks, finesse will help your attacks to be more successful.

High level enemy mobs, especially in instances or PvP, can also have finesse. Ideally, you want to make the enemy mobs more vulnerable than they make you.

Defense Stats

Physical and Tactical Mitigations are essential for survivability. These reduce the damage you take from physical damage (melee and ranged) and from spells (e.g. light, fire, frost, lightning, shadow damage).

The cap is 60% and you should try to get as much mitigation as you can. Mitigation can be obtained from stats (armour gives physical mitigation, fate and will give tactical mitigation), gear, virtues, essences, legendary item relics/titles etc.

Resistance to wounds/fear/disease/poison helps decrease the damage you take. However, there are also other ways to deal with these debuffs - such as using Muster Courage or potions to remove them, having mitigations to reduce the damage they inflict, or having lots of morale so that they do not significantly affect your health.

As a result, resistance is something that you shouldn't need to gear for specifically. Virtues are a good source of resistance, as well as vitality.

Critical Defense is mainly a tanking stat that reduces the damage taken from critical hits. This can make it easier for healers to keep you alive. It may also be useful when soloing or in PvP. Captains gain some critical defense as a passive skill at level 20. The Yellow trait tree for tanking also provides some critical defense (Shrug Blows Aside). Critical defense can also be found on gear, essences and legendary items relics/titles etc.

Incoming Healing is also mainly a tanking stat that increases the amount of healing you receive. Again, this makes it easier for healers to keep you alive and can be useful when soloing or in PvP. Incoming healing can increases heals by up to 15%. Incoming healing can be found on some gear, essences and legendary item relics etc.


So the stats Captains need in general:
  • Might
  • Physical Mastery
  • Physical and Tactical Mitigations to cap (60%)
  • Critical Rating
  • Fate
  • Tactical Mastery
  • Finesse (at high levels e.g. level 75+)

Please correct me if I am wrong or leave a comment if you have something to add about how stats affect Captains.

A New Free To Play Account

For the last week, I've been having fun playing with a new second LOTRO account, a completely free-to-play account.  I immediately noticed that there are a lot of features I take for granted as a VIP/Premium player, but it also gave me more goals to work towards and made me want to keep playing and making progress.

The two biggest features I missed - having riding and mounts available to me as soon as I finish the intro quests on a new character (around level 5-6), and shared storage space in the vault (but I found a way to alleviate that).

Starting new characters on a new account, the tutorial mode was automatically turned on. While I didn't need to be told how to move or loot, there is a little bit of interesting lore at the start that gets missed when you skip the tutorial - for example, seeing how and why Amdir gets stabbed with the Nazgûl blade in the starting area for Men. It's been a while since I'd played through the tutorials so it was good to revisit them. I'll have to make a new hobbit and dwarf soon to see their tutorial lore!

Shared storage space is the best thing since sliced bread and I don't know how I survived without it in other MMOs. Finding out that free players don't get any shared storage space was a horrible shock and became my number one goal to overcome. 995 TP for the first tier of Shared Storage seems like a lot for a new player, but there is another way. By level 15 I had enough in-game money to buy a small house which comes with 30 shared storage slots. It's not as convenient as the vault in most towns, but it'll do.

Small Bree-land House

The house is quite empty at the moment, but I could work on the Bingo Boffin quest saga to get some decorations (and pets).

I really missed having a horse - I was almost level 20 before I had enough turbine points and money to buy the Riding Skill (normally 95 TP from the LOTRO Store) and standard mount (500 silver - additional standard mounts are 200 silver each). I was so happy to finally get her - I've renamed the horse Preshus (since the name Precious is not allowed) and we shall be inseparable as we journey through Middle Earth, like Floid and Dewitt.

My next goal is saving up the TP for North Downs. I still have a lot of free content available in Bree-land, the Shire, Ered Luin and the Lone-lands though, so no rush. Getting some decent-looking outfits is also a high priority, but the Spring Festival is coming up soon so I can get some nice gear there for free by participating in the activities.

Having tried a number of other free-to-play MMOs where there are paywalls blocking progress and/or basic features, or frequent pop-up advertisements encouraging you to buy things from the in-game store, LOTRO is pretty good in comparison. It's not that difficult to earn TP just by playing the game, so even though many features are locked to free players, it's only temporary if you have patience.