This is a repost of one of my earlier blog post. I did not have many readers at this time so most of you probably have not read it. I thought of it when I was writing my last post and I thought that the related post plugin would link to it but it did not so here it is!

I played Lord of the Rings Online a lot this weekend and I have decided to stay with WAR. While LOTRO has a lot of things that it did right and it is a superb game it is missing a few things that would make it stick for me and has one HUGE glaring problem.

As I have stated in a previous post I do not like quests that take a long time to complete and LOTRO is full of them. There are so many crappy quests to do that you can’t even count them. I DO NOT WANT TO DELIVER A DAMN LETTER TO A HOBBIT! Who thought it was a good idea to make people run all over the freaking country side (Beautiful as it may be) for a quest?  Who thinks it is fun to do this? WHO? I want exciting quest, I want to kill things.  I don’t want to be a damn post master. All of the exciting quest are group based and they are few and far between in the first 10 levels.  I spent 20 minutes trying to find a rabbit hole. Then after I found it I had to run 15 mins to the other side of the zone to show it to some dude who then sent me back to investigate further. This is an example of how to not make quests.  A few quests like this may be necessary to move people on to the proper locations, but don’t make this part of the main epic story line. Please show me where to go. I don’t want to figure it out. I don’t want to read why Betty is missing her little kitty.  I don’t want to wonder around for 20 minutes trying to find the stupid cat.

I am not saying that LOTRO is a bad game. There are people out there that want to stick their hands into bunny holes and deliver letters while avoiding nosey hobbits, they like to run around, hold hands, and sing kum bi ya. I am not one of those.


Return to Lord of the Rings Online promotion

I just recieved this in my email

This is very interesting. I think that Lotro is a really good game and this is a tempting offer considering I am between games and this game is always fun for a short time as long as  I don’t play a damn hobbit an have to deliver a letter.

Offering a free expansion if you purchase a certain subscription seems like a pretty good idea.  3 months of subscription is more than the expansion and it really cost them very little. I do not know if they are offering this to current customers, if they are not they should. I will probably be logging in during the free week and depending no how that goes I may subscribe.  So there you have it email marketing does work. Not only am I going to try it again I am going to post about it on my blog for all of my many readers (all 25 of you) to read.

Horizontal Progression

Source From the guy that inspired me to blog.

Note that adding raid dungeons and gear progression afterwards to a PvP game doesn’t work, and it was Mythic themselves with the Dark Age of Camelot expansion Trials of Atlantis who proved it doesn’t work. Mark Jacobs has been very explicit in expressing that he wouldn’t do that again. I get the impression that Mythic plans to expand the game horizontally, by adding more classes, and ultimately new race combos. I doubt we will see an expansion raising the level cap. But Mythic’s marketing has been sending out hints that soon the slayer and choppa classes would be added to Warhammer Online. It will be interesting to see how in the long term a game with horizontal expansions fares against the vertical expansion model of World of Warcraft. And personally I think that WoW could use a bit more horizontal expansion instead of just adding new raid dungeons and 10 more levels at the top.

The biggest problem with vertical progression is it makes your current content obsolete and useless. By expanding out you do not kill your high end raids. This makes it so they do not have to recreate a bunch of new raids for the new level cap. They can just change current raids a little to keep them fresh.  I do not know another company that has been able to successfully do this I wish WAR luck.

Video Games are bad for you!


Are video games any worse for you then TV?

Of course not!

No one in their right mind would believe that crap.  The people making the rules in the this country do not really understand what they are making the rules about.  Anyone that has spent any amount of time playing video games would realize that.  The politicians need to stay out of stuff they do not understand. If you have never played a video game you should not be allowed to make rules about them. /Rant over back to the post

I was around when Doom and Wolfinstine 3D were the games of choice to ban.  Looking back at these games I realize that they looked so bad you could barely tell what you were killing.  Do we have a problem with violence in this country? Does the ever increasing violence have a lasting unknown consequence?

I play all games, and I find more enjoyment out of the ones that have an adult theme to them.  Now I would not let my kid play most of the games that I play until he is older. Becasue I do not think they need to be trying to pick up a prostitute in GTA, they are kids and do not need to know about it yet. But I do not think it would permanatly damage him in any way. I just dont want to explain that stuff to him yet.

The Lord of the Rings Online™ Solo Play, 40th – 60th Level

Feature Article: The Lord of the Rings Online™ Solo Play, 40th – 60th Level

As your adventuring career crests at 40th level, your strength and renown reaches epic proportions. You are needed more than ever to help purge the land of the forces of the Dark Lord Sauron.

You might think that with the increased strength of Orcs, Goblins, Drakes, and other savage beasts that soloing is no longer an option—quite the contrary! With the addition of the Moria expansion, opportunities for solitary play abound beneath the Misty Mountains in the lands the Dwarves once called Khazad-dûm.

Soloing Quests Before Moria

While you can’t trace the path of the Fellowship of the Ring and begin your exploration of Moria until you’ve completed quests in the western lands of Eriador, you’re not required to follow that same path. You don’t have to complete Volume I quests before you start on Volume II. Access to Moria is gated by the start of Volume II of the epic storyline. This series of solo quests leads up to the gates of Moria itself and prepares you for the challenges that lie ahead.

Below are some quest hubs where you can find solo adventuring.

Men of Bree

The lands of Bree have served as a stronghold of commerce and military might for the Race of Man since the start of the Third Age. Since the tragic fall of the lands of Arnor, the Men of Bree have kept a watchful eye on the evil festering in the hills of the Barrow-downs. With the rise of Lord Saruon, vile things have begun to stir once more.

The Men of Bree is a series of reputation quests that send your hero deep into the heart of the Barrow-downs and the dungeon of Haudh Iarchith. There are other lower level reputation quests, but you cannot access the barrow-wight infested catacombs of Haudh Iarchith by finishing them. The Hunters of Bree need help driving the evil from the dungeon and surrounding area, and the reputation gained from these quests can help your hero with crafting powerful items, gaining travel to neighboring regions, and accessing unique vendors.

To start this series, find Thomas Thistlewool near the Bree Vault who starts you on the quests Tad’s Request and Thistlewool’s Sullied Name. In addition, the Deed quests Brood-hunter and Grave-digger can be accomplished within the tunnels of Haudh Iarchith. Gaining reputation with the Men of Bree can get you swift access to Suri-kylä and the lands of Forochel.

Lossoth of Forochel

Forochel is a large expanse of ice and snow north of Evendim and Angmar, settled by a group of people known as the Lossoth. Solo quests here are for heroes of 44th through 50th level and involve building a rapport with the Lossoth. The primary town is Suri-kylä, located on the northern shores of the Ice Bay of Forochel; this is where most of the solo quests are. Hunters especially will find Forochel an excellent place for challenging adventures.

Within Forochel, you can also find several series of solo quests that can gain your hero reputation points with the Lossoth. There are many quests of every variety here, with the majority being kills and discovery – sending your hero into the frozen wastes in search of items. If your hero can achieve Ally or Kindred reputation level, you can gain access to a Superior Workbench used for crafting, several rare recipes, and even the ability to buy a tundra horse or pony. Other rewards include unique armor and weapons, housing decorations, and a few class-based items. Some of the quest-specific hubs in Forochel are:

  • Taur Orthon (44th–45th): Aid a Lore-master- Cenlieg by gathering supplies for him in The Raven, Hungry Bear-friend, and The Choicest Cut. Gather supplies for the NPCs Eija and Mainio in Korkea-Jarvi in Staying Agile, Raw Materials, and Building the Snow-sled. And defeat wolves and Wargs in Daily Defense, Wolves at the Door, The Den Mother, A Minuscule Menace, The Hunt is Afoot, and Driving the Beasts Out.
  • Pynti-Peldot (45th–46th): Help the kind folk of Pynti-Peldot stave off incursions by the savage tundra sabre-tooth in Cat-Tusk Scrimshaw . Pynti-Peldot is also rich in ore, which craftsmen can obtain by speaking with Turkka and completing Ore for the Forge. Earn rings as rewards in the solo quest arc A Midwinter’s Thaw, where you help a happy couple get married in these dark times.
  • Suri-Kyla (47th–48th): The Guardian Nef has lost his shield and has asked you to recover it in The Finest Shield in the Land and Time for a New Shield. Assist the Lossoth in repairing a beacon that helps travelers from getting lost on the tundra in Beacon in the Snow, Resupplying the Beacon, and Under Attack. The Angmarim of Carn Dûm and their sorcery are encroaching on the Lossoth in Threat From The South, Grievous Cold, and A Chill Wind. Rewards from these quests could include the rare items Sûri-kylä’s Retaliation (crossbow), Sûri-kylä’s Revenge (dagger), and Sûri-kylä’s Vengeance (two-handed sword).

Rivendell and the Misty Mountains

Protected by the legendary House of Elrond, Rivendell and the Misty Mountains to the north are two of the most famous regions of Middle-earth where your hero can venture. Solo quests typically begin in Rivendell and move north and east toward the legendary birthplace of Durin the Deathless, First Father of the Dwarves.

The High Pass, one of the more noted locations from Tolkien lore is also a solo quest hub. It is where Thorin’s party and Bilbo Baggins unlocked a way to Goblin-town. To make your way through the High Pass you’ll need the help of Gloin, a member of Thorin’s company and other NPCs, who’ll start you on the quests Into the High-pass, Goblin Hunt, Against the Pack, and Thorkell has Fallen, as well as other solo opportunities on your way toward Goblin-town.

Goblin-town, a network of caves and tunnels beneath the High Pass, east of Rivendell, is one of the largest gatherings of these vile creatures in all of Middle-earth. It is also the place where Bilbo first confronted the creature Gollum and came into possession of the One-Ring. Quests center on slaying Goblins and Wargs and bringing down the bosses that rule here – including the Great Goblin. The quests are difficult, but possible if your hero is near 50th level. Quests to defeat the Goblin leader include: A Missing Scout; Down, Down to Goblin-town; Memory of the Wargs; Order from the Darkness; The Undiscovered Path; Bilbo’s Buttons; and Leaders of the Deep.

The Quest Hubs of Moria

After completing Volume II, Book 1, your hero can delve into the Mines of Moria. The caverns of Moria are vast and seemingly endless, and throughout the sunless passages are many quests and opportunities to help the Dwarves of Khazad-dûm reclaim their ancestral home.

Once in Moria, your access to solo quests is immediate. In addition to gaining discovery Deeds as you explore these ancient halls, there are
chances to net reputation with the Dwarves (which includes the Iron Garrison Guards) as they struggle against Orcs, Goblins, and other wild and savage creatures that dwell here. Many of these solo quests also offer the chance for Legendary Item experience, as the legendary weapons you gain become more powerful and take on lives of their own. Soloing throughout Moria can be broken down into different regions and levels, as well as including the lands to the east. Beware of the different creatures that inhabit these regions as you move through tunnels and caverns to quest hubs.

Western Moria

As you pass through the Doors of Durin and enter Moria, you’ll find yourself in the western levels of the Great Delving and at the first of two hubs in this region, called Durin’s Threshold. Look for the quests Welcome to Moria and In Pursuit to get you started. Through the tunnels to the east is Dolven-view, the second of the two hubs. Here you can obtain several quests for reputation with the Iron Garrison Guards: A Gleam the Gloom, Cleaning the Slate, and Clear Tunnels. Heroes of at least 51st level are needed to survive in The Great Delving.

Below the Great Delving stretch the western depths of the Silvertine Lodes. The Dwarves of the Iron Garrison ask you to scout and report on Goblin activity here, as well as thinning out their ranks and defeating their leader. Look for the quests The Mark of Loyalty, Know Thine Enemy, and Lawlessness Among Goblins. Heroes of at least 53rd level are needed to fight the Goblins and dangerous insects.

Deep below the Great Delving and the Silvertine Lodes are the flooded levels of the Water-works. These ancient floodgates were once used to cool the fiery forges of Khazad-dûm, but today are filled with deadly spiders, salamanders, and slimes. At the Rotting Cellar at the heart of the Water-works the Dwarves require help with the quests Lying in Wait, Churning Froth, and Dark and Shallow Water. In addition to earning more reputation with the Iron Garrison, these quests offer Item Advancement as well as rare Rune-keeper stones. The Water-works are not for the faint of heart, and heroes below 54th level should beware.

Central Moria

North and east of the Great Delving are the passages of Durin’s Way, where the Dwarves of the Iron Garrison struggle against the Orcs of the White-hand. At the Chamber of the Crossroads, the Dwarves struggle to establish their presence, and your hero can help by completing Drums of War, Stronghold of the Goblins, Shattered, and Likmund’s Companions. To the east in Jazârgund, also known as the Stone Hall, the Dwarves ready themselves for reinforcements; help them with the quests Hope from the East and Crashing Down. These tasks are best completed once your hero has achieved at least 51st level.

As you travel south from Durin’s Way you’ll come upon the halls of Zelem-melek and the chambers of the Twenty-first Hall. The latter is where the Fellowship of the Ring discovered the Chamber of Mazarbul and fled the terror of the Balrog. In the monster’s wake a tribe of Mordor Orcs have established camps outside of the Twenty-first Hall. You can assist the Dwarves of Zelem-melek with the quests A Multitude of Durub, Balin’s Pride, and Lines of Power. Since these involve small mobs of Orc-kind, your hero should be at least 52nd level for these solo quests.

The Shadowy Abyss

Beneath the halls of Nud-melek and the Redhorn Lodes are the blood-stained caverns of the Shadowy Abyss and the deepest outpost of the Dwarves—the Shadowed Refuge. Dwarves and Elves fight a losing battle against the most powerful and vile servants of Dark Lord and Mazog. Your hero can help the Dwarves and Elves by taking on the quests Infestation, Eight-legged Insanity, Lurking in the Shadows, and Infected Samples. These are the most dangerous solo quests within the walls of Moria, and your hero should be 57th level or higher.

Dimrill Dale

The Eastern Gate of Moria is found beyond the Bridge of Khazad-dûm and the First Hall. It leads to Dimrill Dale, Lake Mirrormere and the lands of Lothlórien. Camped in the Nanduhirion is the last bastion of the Dwarves of Moria, trying to hold at bay the Orc-kind sending supplies to their kin beneath the mountains. The Dwarves have several hit-and-run quests here: Digging West and Sappers at the Stone. For those who have earned power within Moria and crested 58th level, the more difficult quests of Fuel for the Fire, Halting the Advance, and Silence of the Wargs present a great challenge.

I like how Turbine publishes this on the Lotro site. I am called to this game ever so often. It is very pretty and has very good PVE maybe the best.

Rumor: Mythic layoffs affect QA, customer support

Go here to read original Story

Is it wise for EA to cut people from the QA department of a game that requires updates often? I could be over reacting here, but it looks like EA is giving up on WAR. Giving up may be a little harsh but this game needs all of the support from its publisher that it can get to continue to grow.

According to this site, as of October WAR had 700k active subscribers. This is a very impressive number and it deserves some attention. EA should be putting more money into it trying to get more players. Taking people out of the QA department is a good way to piss off your current customers.

WAR by pre WoW standards would be a very successful game. There are lots of games out there that are great games, but just don’t have the subscription base of WoW and it saddens me that they are hurt by this. LOTRO is a great game but it is not viewed as a success because it did not make the numbers of WoW.

EA could just be transferring QA of WAR to another QA department to save cost.