Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Spring Shrews, Shrews, Shrews!

Hello hello! I know… you came looking for Ingolemo… but I have to get something off my queue.

Shrews... Shrews... Shrews... Exciting word, yes?

The Spring festival ended two weeks ago and I haven’t written a Spring festival wrap-up post! I will obsess over it if I don’t get it written. I was trying to think which festival I like most, and decided that I like all of them. I love the Haunted Burrow, and the Shrews & flowers, and summer fishing, and even Frostbluff (though the idea of stealing from people makes me sad, so I normally just eat too much food instead).

Spring festival holds a special place for me, because I arrived in Middle Earth during the 2010 Spring festival. As an elf, I started my adventure in Celondim, and I recall seeing the big orange message throughout Ered Luin concerning “Stomp-a-shrew in Duillond”. It took a bit to find Duillond and understand that a festival was going on, but I was hooked.

I’ve said it before, but it still rings true that festival is a great way to break from the routine and meet new people as well as celebrate with people you know. Spring festival was no exception as I got the honor of meeting a few people like Tomeroric, Cessy, and Llynthe.

Here is the most noble Tomeoric. He caught up with me in Duillond and said he actually recognized me from this blog! It is common to ask a fan for his picture and autograph, right? He graciously obliged for this photo.

I had to chase Cessy down into Moria, having missed taking her picture in Duillond with the shrews or flowers. (Note to self, remember to charge the camera each time I go out.) Cessy shows that she can work a Supergirl pose! Own it, girl! Watch out boys, Cessy is Fearless!

And, Llynthe! I was saying hello to people I pass on the street when I came across Llynthe. I was thinking... "she looks so familiar. did we do Foundry? no. Roots? no. Moors? no. Some older content? no." Llynthe is the famous writer of http://thehobbitsinthestories.wordpress.com/.

It is a bit mind-numbing during the Spring festival, but I liked the collecting flowers quest! It is peaceful to roam the countryside collecting flowers, lol! The rewards for collecting flowers were… really lame, hehe. Of course, the only good thing to come out of it was the Steed of the Jester (Jester), which is just a matter of luck, and I got enough Huge flowers that all the hobbit quads could have one. If I was the boss, I might change this quest to reward spring leaves or marks. Even I, who really enjoyed it, couldn’t imagine collecting even one more flower after about 4 hours of it during festival.

Danadalyn (with Cave-claw Masked Steed) paid a visit to the Hobbit golfing statue in Brockenborings. On the "Bullroarer’s Challenge", it takes a bit of patience, steely determination, and nerve to “just go for it”, but the lildanas all got the fence walking done and spring deed completed. That is a fun one. J
"When I grow up, I want to be just like Danaszar!" 
Indeed. Me too little hobbit quest guy. Me too.

Love the festival maze. The only downside is that one can only do it about 4 times a day for collecting barter leaves. I think Danaclaus was more interested talking to the Wandering Elves than actually mazing.

 It is a good place to run crazy, have a few Dire Beers, scold some naughty tween hobbits… Good times.

Symbelmyne Spring horses for all. It suited Danaish quite well as she prepared for a ride across the countryside.

My love/hate part of the festival is the "consumables for deed". If you use 300 of a certain consumable, you will be allowed to do that specific action as a skill. For example, this spring's consumables were the Doom-shrooms and D.R.A.G.O.N. I totally love setting a goal and achieving it, especially with these consumables.

What I Hate though... I deal with the fact that the consumables take many festival tokens (ex. spring leaves), typically about 180 tokens per 300 consumables. However, the really bad part, which is on my top 5 least favorite things in lotro... is that the consumable has a 5 minute Cooldown. With some of the ones in the past (youll-yule-festival), they were on the same CD timer. Fortunately, the spring ones were not, but we still must wait 5 minutes between uses. At best, that is about 25 hours of throwing tricks at other people. AND... they do not advance while in a raid, and they do not work in the Ettenmoors. 

So, you have to be (1) somewhere with people, (2) not in the moors, (3) not in a raid, (4) be willing to continue to throw obnoxious things at people as often as the CD timer expires. I need to make buttons for "/thank you for helping me with my deed" and "sorry I had to hit you. again. with a doom-shroom". My goal is to finish the 300 by the start of summer festival, so I can get more things to throw and wait on long CDs.

Here is one of my victims getting a face full of of exploding shroom and dragon fire.

Alas, spring festival only happens during the spring (or in lotro’s case… early summer). I will see you again next year Mr. Shrew.

Finally, here is Danaszar in her Anniversary hat, Yule robe, riding a Dusk steed, in front of the Angel’s Draigoch statue (draigoch-statue-lil-danas-moving-day). It doesn’t have anything to do with Spring festival, but it was a nice picture and I told her I would post it.

I’m already excited for Summer festival! It must be coming up soon-ish!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Steam steed - Noble Grey Steed

Thank you for all the visits! The site rolled past 20,000 visits last night. I’m thrilled as fat caterpillar on a strawberry! 

Now here is a deal I got recently from a site called, http://www.steampowered.com/.

I had never heard of Steam since they hadn’t left any sales fliers on either my house in Thorin’s Hall or the Angels house in Falathlorn, but apparently, Steam is a big gaming site. Who knew?

Personally, I think Merric should get a finder’s fee for directing traffic their way. I found it via the link http://cstm.mymiddleearth.com/2012/06/lotro-is-now-on-steam/. Just sayin’…

Anywho… Short version… Steam’s offer was:  15$ = 1000 TP and a nice steed (and some stuff - Derudh’s Stone for 25% XP and some quest packs: ND, MM, Evendim). (Now 30$, see below. UPDATE 07/13 from Draculetta... back to 15$, "SUMMER SALE! Offer ends July 23rd" ) ...Get it while its steamy!
You had me at steed.

On purchase, a “Mithril edition bonus items” box shows up in your bag. (The horse sticking his nose in my bag in the picture is the Prized Isengard Steed (previously seen at Tonicbars-corral).

Inside the box was the Noble Grey Steed and the Derudh’s stone. The Derudh’s stone is the identical one that came with the RoI expansion, and gives bonus XP til level 65. The 1000 Turbine Points apply automatically.

The Noble Grey Steed is a much nicer looking horse than several that I have paid more for so I am pleased with the purchase. He has some in common with the Isengard steed, but clearly blowing steam out his nose is something unique. 

Gah! Apparently, I got in on the tail end of the sale and the price has reverted to 30$. Check it out here http://store.steampowered.com/app/213174. (UPDATE 07/13: SUMMER SALE! 15$ Offer ends July 23rd)

Would I have bought 1000 TP, a pretty horse, an XP token (I don't need), and quest packs (I don't need) for 30$? Mebbe, mebbe not. If it went on sale at 20$? Very likely. I will periodically check back to the site to see if the price drops again and will put out an immediate note on danania.net if I see a more reasonable price. If you need quest packs or just cant live without a horse blowing steam from his nose, the steam link is just above.

Being a computer noob, I initially had trouble getting my key. My friend Jas pointed out that once the “steam program” is installed on my computer, I was supposed to right click on “lotro” in the steam purchase section to download the game of lotro, which would allow me to get the KEY just like Merric told me in his instructions (see cstm link above). For people with basic skills, I’m sure that was probably obvious. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Dream of Weatherstock

Last Friday night, after an enjoyable time pounding the horde of creeps into submission (or was I the one getting pounded?), I went to sleep in Arkenstone.

Through my mind’s eyes, I saw myself flying across the vastness of the abyss. Unlike other visions where I have become a chicken, a horse, or a ranger, where I still exist in the world but interact differently, this time it was different. I awoke in a world called Landroval, in a time called Weatherstock.

Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Arkenstone anymore. .... We must be over the rainbow!

I had been summoned by friends I hadn’t seen since a previous age (beginning). Szarmaleth and Jairandir were there to meet me. We were soon joined by another old friend, Droggyr.

Szar: Are you a good witch or a bad witch?

Dana: I'm not a witch at all. I'm Danania, Supergirl of Lorien, from Arkenstone. I came to see the Weatherstock.

Jaidan: She wears the ruby boots.

Szar: Oh, so she does! Well bust my buttons. Why didn't you say so in the first place. That's a horse of another color, Come on in!

It’s time to see what drew me across the impassable divide.

In the Lone lands, as we walked up the path toward Weathertop, the excitement builds, the bustle and intensity of hundreds rolls like an ocean wave. The crowd is thicker than I have ever seen. As the information rolls in, I see nametags on all these strangers… so very many that I “/n” to focus on their faces.

(side note from the conscious self… Szar warns me to switch out of Ultra High view to Medium to reduce lag, but she was the one who designed this system and it has never been properly put through the paces. It handled the view just fine. J …but if you are ever in a too-much-information area and unsure of your system, follow her suggestion and scale back.)

Through the crowd, I found my friend Goldenstar and gave a /hug and a quick hello, as all watched the revelry on center stage.

It looks like I have arrived mid-festival as one band leaves the stage and the Emcee Harperella announced the next group of performers.

"...This is positively the finest exhibition ever to be shown... well, be that as it may, I your wizard emcee, par adua outer, am about to bring to the stage the next group that will send your mind racing on an unexplainable journey..."

A group lead by lead singer Ingolemo took the stage.

I followed along as the captions imprinted on my mind. His words strung together, I read his lips sing a ballad, called Stridin’ Man.

It is my dream, and of course, in my dreams, I fantasize that people actually show up to read my blog. So, naturally, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting a hobbit named Apis, who recognized me and said she was a fan of the blog! Wow, what a nice thing to say in a dream!

/bow to Apis

I watched a few more bands perform as I could feel my time slipping on reality.
Here are six more.

Phedelene of Leaves of Laurelin.

Larkfeather of Breakfast Club.

Rohaena of The Songburrow Strollers.

Khalawyn of RKO.

Arelias of Mornie Alantie.

Emyli of Symphonia et Gloria

When I awoke, I was back in my bed in Arkenstone, bewildered, amazed by the amount of planning to pull off such an elaborate dream, and glad it was mine to share. 

No, but it wasn't a dream. It was a place. And you - and you - and you - and you were there... But you couldn't have been, could you? Bird, you should have seen it... This was a real, truly live place.

If you have had a similar dream and recognize any of these performers, feel free to let me know who they are so I can include them with the pictures!

Update 07/03/12: followup to Weatherstock at dream-of-ingolemo-weatherstock-forever.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Riders of Rohan Pre-order, horsing around

I am in the kinship, “the Riders of Rohan” on Arkenstone. It is one of the largest and oldest kins in Arkenstone (and I believe one of the nicer ones). Its membership is diverse and has basic tenets supporting fun and respect, both in kin and not.  So, needless to say, the kin was extra excited when the new expansion name was released with the same name.

Ok, the pre-order is the talk of the town. Do you get the pre-order? Do you not? Discussion of what is there, yada, yada.

I mulled it over for a while; it is 75$ after tax after all. But I realized that I was just delaying the inevitable since I would want the expansion and I just don’t have enough horses.

Here is my breakdown of what I see, after I bought it.

This shot is the beginning. The three choices are there; one has more hype. I don’t know what some of that means. I will buy it and find out. J

Alright, I made it through the purchase screens. And... there are more descriptive words about what is what now.

Let’s Break it down. I see 10 topics.

<Update June 14: 2000 Turbine Points come with the Legendary package; does that help sway a decision in its favor?  

One thing for sure, Eastemnet is hard for me to spell. Lol. Started with Easternet. Eastermet. Eastmet. Eastemet… It is E A S T E M N E T.

On login, you get…

(1)  An Exclusive Rohirrim mount – The Steed of the Eastemnet. Let’s see him. Aww, isn’t he pretty?

He does look similar to the “Green-clad steed of the Gap”, which was part of the Rise Of Isengard pre-order.  

For fun, here are the “Red-clad steed on the Gap” and “White-clad steed of the Gap”, which rounded out the set of three steeds from the previous pre-order (not Riders of Rohan). Hey! If you are skimming, these Green, Red, and White are NOT horses with this pre-order, Just the Eastemnet with this order.

(2) An exclusive in-game Rohan title – “Friend of the Mark”.
That is self-explanatory. (I am not big on titles as I use the same one always, but exclusive title will appeal to some.)

(3) An exclusive full set of Rohirrim Armor – Armor of the Eastemnet.
Ok! Some cosmetic armor. Great if you like cosmetics. Here are a few shots.

(4) A 6th Inventory Bag – Grants 15 Additional slots.
That is self-explanatory. Word on the wind is that when RoR is released in September, the 6th bag will be available in the store for 995 TP. If you want it NOW, it comes with the Legendary package. Of course, now my bags are filling up, and I want a 7th bag.

(5) Legendary item booster – Adds one additional legacy to your legendary weapon.
The Crystal of Remembrance. Hmm. On the surface, that seems neat. However, my LIs just really don’t have extra points to spend. I am accepting that this crystal isn’t nearly as cool as it seems. It will probably sit in my vault until I get a 1st Age LI that has some points to spend. (Mebbe I will think of something. See posts on RK legacies: RK stones  and RK bags.)

(6) Exclusive Rohan Content that allows you to earn a Mounted Combat deed that grants an exclusive skill for your Warsteed.
Well, that sounds interesting. I’m not entirely sure what it means, but a quest is opened up to work with horses. The introductory section starts at Combe and leads to 2 daily quests at Hengstacer. Session play is opened up to play as a horse. Lol! That is actually quite fun, and the horse is fast as lightning. “Horsing Around” and “Discovering the Descendant” are two deeds which begin advancing with this quest chain.

Here is a Horse called ~Danania. Hehe That is so cute!

(7) A Rohan cloak that provides a bonus to your hero
I assume that means the pack of 4 level 75 cloaks you receive. They are these four.

They are on par with a good crafted cloak. It doesn’t match a Draigoch or greater cloak by any means.

(8) The Outrider’s token – A 25% XP Boost for all your characters on your account that will last up to level 75.
It is a nice pocket item for characters less than 75. It is similar to the pocket item given with the pre-order of RoI except that one was only to level 65.

(9) A Soldier on Landscape Rohan Appearance
Ok. Here is what it really is. I don’t think it requires being on landscape. The actual description makes it look like it works in a skirmish also. I didn’t bother to check though. I have been with Dr Quinn (my  Herbalist) for a long time, but I’m sure I might check it out eventually.

(10) You will automatically be provided access to the full content and features of Riders of Rohan when it launches.
Well, there you go.

Stuff I will use = steed, 6th bag, horse session quests, access to RoR in September, <06/14 update, 2000 TP>

Stuff I might use eventually but don’t care about = legendary booster, soldier appearance
Stuff I won’t use = title, cosmetic set, level 75 cloaks, outrider’s token

I'm sure the lildana Angels will get a kick out of some of the fluff. They play with the goodies because the stuff shows up in their boxes and they don't even have to leave the house or craft hall to benefit from it. To each her own, I suppose.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

As seen on NBI, Best Newish Blogger, a few links

NBI. Newbie Blogger Initiative. Where to begin? 

I first learned about NBI from Casualstrolltomordor, who promoted Syp’s "Newbie Blogger Initiative". NBI gathered new bloggers together with more experienced bloggers. Since I do whatever Goldenstar tells me to, I went to check it out… and was amazed by the number of blogs out there and the great advice being offered up from knowledgeable savvy peeps. So, I signed my name on the newbie blog roll and started meeting some wonderful people!

As the month ended, it seems that Danania.net is one of five nominated for 
Best Newish Blogger”. 

How awesome is that?? There are a lot of great blogs represented and I couldn’t be more honored and humbled.

It is an open VOTE (at least until it is not) so feel free to go vote! <Update: stop voting>

UPDATE 06/09/12: Oh my! You showed up in spades!
Danania.net won Syp's NBI Award for "Best Newish Blogger"!
I prefer to think of it as the strength of the Supergirl Followers (even you silent ones) actually won since you were voting. :)
Yay! <happy dance!>

I work in elven time, slow and steady and methodical, but you will definitely see some other blogger’s links as I wander through them. I list a couple of the first fun ones I’ve seen at the bottom of this post.

A few links:

Casualstrolltomordor <http://cstm.mymiddleearth.com/>

Lothirieth <http://wanderingthroughmiddleearth.blogspot.com/> wicked wit and full of pizazz!

Llythne <http://thehobbitsinthestories.wordpress.com/> great character writer and story teller!

And where Danania.net was featured as CSTM's “Recommended Reading” hehe <http://cstm.mymiddleearth.com/2012/05/recommended-reading-danania-net/>
More bloggy links to come. :)