Archive for Draigoch

Time For The Next Generation

Posted in Diary, lotro with tags , , , , , , on September 3, 2012 by Corleth

If you subscribe to this blog, or if you check back here reasonably regularly, you’ll realise that there’s not been much happening. No apologies for that, because my gaming has been in the doldrums of late. As mentioned in my previous post, I came back to LoTRO after the best part of a five month break, back at the start of July. I’ve kept my promise too, in so much that I’ve just been dipping in and out, since my return. However, this is what I’ve managed to get up to:

  1. After my five month hiatus, I found that I had very little ‘feel’ for any of my toons. As a consequence, the first thing I did was spend an evening or two playing each, just to remind myself what they were all about. Quite enjoyable it was too.
  2. Running though the ‘new’ (to me) epic quests in the Great river zone was interesting – at least the first time though. However, ‘Great River’ is, in my opinion, nothing but a reputation grind, unless you’re using it as an alternate leveling zone to Dunland; so, one toon aside, I have avoided its quest hubs.
  3. During July, my kin was still running raids on a fairly regular basis. Draigoch was successfully dispatched on several occasions, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed being back in the raiding circle for a few weeks. I even attended one or two Isenguard runs, but found those instances more challenging. As an aside, the kin last month managed to 6-man Draigoch, and also managed to down Sarauman (i.e. complete the Isenguard raid) on Tier 1 – neither feat to be sneezed at….I was involved in neither, sadly.

All of the above aside, the main reason I’m playing LoTRO at the moment, is to keep my kids company. My two boys are coming up on nine and ten years old respectively, and during the summer, after many-a-pleading, I finally relented and let them start their own toons. LoTRO is rated at as an age 12+ game, but my feeling is that, providing you keep a close eye on in-game associations [with other players], then the game is inoffensive enough. As such, I started a free-to-play account for each of my two offspring, and rolled a couple of new toons for myself on my VIP account. Between us we have so far tackled the starter zones and are now moving though the Lone Lands and North Downs. We have created our own kinship (currently rank 4) so ninja kin invites, and resulting conversations, aren’t a worry.

As an experiment, it’s been a success. Being young, they’re picking up the concepts very fast, and will make fine players if they choose to continue to play. Of course, hitting the mid-twenties with free-to-play toons brings its own dilemma…namely:

  1. Do you start paying a subscription, or do you invest in Turbine Points and cherry pick your content?
  2. My initial response has been to subscribe them both for a single month, and thus upgrade them to ‘Premium’ account holders.
  3. The month of VIP is being used to negotiate through to level 34ish after which I’m looking at the digital ‘Mithril Edition’.
  4. The Mithril Edition which comes with 2000TP plus the path of the fellowship quest packs. The 2000TP will allow the purchase of Evendim, after which there’s a free run right through to Lothlorien!

    Mithril edition - all the way to Lothlorien!

    Mithril edition – all the way to Lothlorien!

I’ll report further progress, as and when it happens…

Saviour Of Khazad-dum…almost!

Posted in Deeds, Diary, Instances, lotro with tags , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by Corleth

Firstly, a belated welcome to 2012. Since my last post, Christmas and New Year have come and gone. I was lucky enough t have a fairly extended Christmas break, and while I wasn’t by any means glued to the PC over the holiday period, I did spend a good few hours gaming. However, LoTRO wasn’t top of my festive activity list – this year Orcs Must Die and SWTOR were my two avenues of gaming-based escapism. Both provided some excellent entertainment, but mid-January finds me drawn back to LoTRO like a helpless bee to a honey pot.

My loremaster is now level 75. Only just, but level 75 nevertheless. I still have some way to go with regard to maxing out reputation with Theodred’s Riders, but that will come in time. In the meantime, I now have my guardian, my rune-keeper and my loremaster, all at the level 75 level cap. Variety is the spice of life and also helpful when getting kin raiding groups together!

My Loremaster Hits Level 75

My Loremaster Hits Level 75

Talking of raiding, my kin have now had several nights-worth of attempts at Saruman in the Tower of Orthanc raid. We’ve gotten to stage five a few times, but never completed. More practise required, obviously! In fact, with update 5.1 hitting yesterday, a few of the bugs with the Orthanc raid look to have been sorted, so I’m hopeful that things might go a little better in our next attempt or two.

Saruman - going down! (hopefully)

Saruman - going down! (hopefully)

The Draigoch raid takes noticeably less time (but is not much easier!) since update 5.0 came out last month, and I have to say I’m appreciative of Turbine for that – reducing the Big Dragon’s morale from 9 million down to 6 million, means we don’t have to stay sat down, glued to the mouse & keyboard, for an hour and a quarter straight…Now it only takes around 45 minutes for a typical tier 2 (12-man) run, if you don’t wipe! Having been asked to tank in there for the very first time last week, I can honestly say that my nerves were shredded by trying to work out the ‘go left!’ and ‘go right!’ calls for the rest of the raid – particularly in phase 2. And yes, I did make a mess of it first time around and yes we did wipe 😛

Finally, remember Moria? It was officially released on 18th November 2008. I reckon my first toon, my guardian, entered Moria for the first time a few weeks after that – probably around Christmas 2008. That’s just over three years ago now. And guess what? I’ve gradually been soloing my way though the very few remaining Moria deeds that I have outstanding on that same guardian. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve completed (solo):

  1. The Grand Stair troll slayer deed.
  2. The Grand Stair warg slayer deed.
  3. The Fil Gashan orc-Skirmisher deed.

Completing 1 & 2 meant completion of the Grand Stair deed.  Completing 3 meant completion of Marshal of the Burning Depths. In turn, this means that the Saviour of Khazad-dum meta-deed is almsot done. The very last Moria deed I have left is the Skumfil kergrim slayer deed, required to complete the Mastery Over Fear deed. 28 kergrim left to kill and counting!

We Killed Draigoch

Posted in Deeds, Diary, lotro with tags , , , , , , , on November 8, 2011 by Corleth

Very much alive!

Very much alive!

I’m reliably informed that my kin was the fifth kin on the Gilrain server to nail Draigoch, on tier 2, in challenge mode. Not a bad achievement for a casual-raiding kin. I was lucky enough to be one of the twelve on this first successful run, whilst playing my guardian last Sunday night.

A Dead Draigoch

A Dead Draigoch

The run went without a hitch and took a slightly over an hour, by my watch. I wasn’t the main tank, nor was I in the group executing the required FMs, so I probably contributed very little to the overall success of the run. However, at least I can say ‘I wuz there’ (sic) 😉

Draigoch’s challenge-mode loot was quite nice (four chests!), with four people picking up coins for the raid-set (2 x helm and 2 x shoulders). Not me on this occasion, but not to worry about that. I was just happy to get the deeds done, picking up four new titles to boot. These are awarded as follows:

  1. Bathed in Fire’ – for killing Draigoch on tier 1.
  2. Born From The Ashes’ – for killing Draigoch on tier 2 (i.e. the 12 man raid, as opposed to 24 man raid for tier 1).
  3. Manoeuvre Master’ – for killing Draigoch in challenge mode (i.e. executing the 12 special fellowship manoeuvres [FMs] in turn, before killing him).
  4. The Red‘ – for completing 1,2 & 3 above.
Draigoch Titles/Deeds

Draigoch Titles/Deeds

Oh yes – and there’s also this sweet little fireplace in the kinhouse now…ideal for toasted crumpets!

Draigoch's Fireplace

Draigoch's Fireplace

Elsewhere this week, I’ve been kind of quiet. I managed to move my rune-keeper along only slowly – from 68 to 69 (well, almost 70) – and will shortly be entering Dunbog.

I was lucky enough to pick up five ‘Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigils’ via a mylotro lottery win, during the week though. Added to which, last night, from two successive birch nodes, I picked up two more! These seven sigils will allow me to craft without fear of running out – at least for a few weeks.

Draigoch, I see you!

Posted in Diary, Instances with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 25, 2011 by Corleth

My guardian finally reached level 75 over the weekend, and on the way completed the last of the non-repeatable quests in the Dunland & Isenguard regions. All exploration deeds complete, too. I’ve even hit kindred reputation with Theodred’s Riders, thanks, I think, to completing a good number of daily tasks out of  Frothband (5 x 300 rep = 1500 rep from tasks, per day).

If you’re short of rep with Theodred’s Riders, don’t forget:

  • the two repeatables in the ‘Pit of Iron’ (2 x 500 rep = 1000 rep)
  • plus the four repeatables inside Isenguard itself (4 x 700 rep = 2800 rep).

Once you hit kindred with the Riders, it’s well worth checking in with the Rohirrim Quartermaster reputation reward vendor in Galtrev, to see if anything shiny catches your eye. This took my fancy!

Bracelet of Remembered Strength

Bracelet of Remembered Strength

Going back to the ‘Pit of Iron’, briefly…it’s a bit scary, but I’m actually beginning to find my way around. In fact, I seem to now know where I’m going! Maybe my sense of direction isn’t as bad as I thought…hmmmm!

On my way through Isenguard, I also made the little map (below) of The Savage Dens, a cave system that’s part of Fang Rider’s Warren. My map shows where to complete the following quests:

  • Master of the beasts
  • Horses gone astray
  • Captain of fangs
  • Recipe for disaster
  • This is not the work of a cook
  • Not cute at all
Savage Dens Map & Quest info.

Savage Dens Map & Quest info.

On the end-game armour front, I now have three pieces of the level 75 crafted armour (chest, shoulders and helm), but I’m thinking of holding off crafting any additional pieces due to the fact that the first four pieces of the ‘Draigoch set’* seem to be easier than I anticipated to get hold of. I can then keep those all-too-rare ‘Cracked Rhi Helvarch Sigils’ for jewellery crafting.

* – as outlined here, this is the current end-game raid-set, available via barter from Lugdagnir (Adventurers Quartermaster) in Galtrev. Four pieces can be bartered with superior fourth marks (chest, leggings, boots & gloves), while the helm and shoulders require coin drops from the Draigoch raid.

In the medium term, I can see myself running around with crafted helm and shoulders (Armour of Theodred), plus the chest, leggings, boots and gloves from the Draigoch set. I reckon it could take a while before I win a coin(s), from the Draigoch raid, that would enable me to enable me to get my dwarf-paws on the raid-set helm and/or shoulders 😛

I’m finding that the easiest way to grind superior fourth marks (S4Ms) is to run ‘The School’ and ‘The Library’ (3-mans) on a daily basis. Running these two instances yields a total of six S4Ms, per day, and usually takes less than 25 minutes (if you only bother with the challenge quests within the instances). A handy by product of these two 3-mans is the acquisition of skirmish marks – which I need a lot of to bring my skirmish soldier up to scratch.

Speaking of the Draigoch raid, my kin ran this for the second time last night, my first time, in 12-man (challenge) format – and I had a ball. We didn’t complete it, wiping after hitting six (or was it seven?) fellowship manoeuvres. Enjoyable though!

Draigoch - 'My what big teeth you have' :)

Draigoch - 'My what big teeth you have' 🙂

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