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by Bid on Nov 28, 2019 at 12:48 PM
... this happened. I found out that in spite of my absolute lack of musical training or talent, I can play music in the game!

And you can too!

Getting song files

First you will need some ABC song files and LOTRO ABC is a great site to get you started. Place downloaded ABC files in My Documents/Lord Of The Rings Online/Music/. Some come as ZIP and these need to be extracted first.

Getting an instrument

Speak to your local bard for all your instrument needs. The choices may be limited based on your class, however a minstrel can teach you to play any instrument.

Playing solo

Equip your instrument and type /music, followed by /play <filename> (filename without extension)

Playing together (optional)

Fellow up with your fellow musicians. Everyone needs to have the same multi-part ABC file.

Equip your instrument and type /music, followed by /play <filename> <#> sync - # is the number of the track assigned to you, based on your instrument

Multi-part ABC files are sometimes available as a group of files, in which case each musician will pick a file from the group based on their instrument, omitting the #.

Doing this will prepare everyone to start playing, and to actually start someone types /playstart.

Making song files (optional)

If the existing ABC files aren't good enough, or you find out your favorite song is not there, despair not! As long as you can find a MIDI file for the song you want to play, you can convert a MIDI file to an ABC file.

MIDI files often contain multiple tracks for different instruments. The amazing tool called Maestro does just that and allows you to assign these tracks to different LOTRO instruments of your choice, which means you can create ABC files designed for solo, duo, or any number of musicians. Isn't that grand!

Disclaimer: If I seem distant and uncaring to an unusual extend of late I'm probably tabbed out playing with songs. 😀
by Bid on Nov 05, 2019 at 02:41 PM
While the guardian class does not seem to be very popular in our little kin, I recognize the horror of certain other classes tanking, as well as the opportunity to try something new, uncomfortable and rather hazardous.

A mix of hard truth and soft yest, so please don't take this very seriously.

Harmful tanking
Wardens can't -not- harm things. We may focus on generating aggro, building up defenses, self healing, looking pretty, but all the while we always harm things. This means in order to be a convincing tank a warden can't avoid hurting things. If you want us to tank something without damaging it, don't expect us to do very well.

This provides some good fun and great challenge when tanking around mesmerized targets and
you can count on the warden tank to pull the rest away from them so they can begin to generate any meaningful aggro, and so we can all AOE til the eagles come or mobs run out, whichever comes first.

Rationed tanking
Warden tanking is incredibly effective. 20 seconds into the fight everyone in the room will want a piece. Getting there can be a bumpy road.

This is because wardens generate most of their aggro by far over time. A distinct advantage is that it still works even out of range. This may manifest into some arguably exciting times when a mob runs to a healer at the other side of the room, out of the sight and mind of the tanking warden, and still finds his way back to them for seconds.

Riskful tanking
Wardens buff their defenses and self heal at the same time, thus wardens are happiest when their morale is between 80 and 50%.

If our morale rarely drops, especially at the start of the combat, it probably means the healer is at a great risk of drawing unwanted attention to themselves. Not to worry though. This has a tendency of fixing itself as the healer will get interrupted by said attention, take damage and ending up healing themselves instead.

Sadly DPS and others often rush to help them and ruin it for everyone.

Lazy tanking
This bit may not apply to every warden, but it very applies to mine. While they make the best effort to pull mobs from healers, they will make very little to pull mobs from DPS.

If DPS pulls a mob, I always assume they wanted to do that. That's okay with me and it seems only polite to oblige. If the aggro is building up on the mob they might very well turn back. You can see this, sometimes, mob running back and forth, when the warden aggro over time ticks, and DPS does more damage. It is not the warden doing that, this is very much automated.

We really don't care! We're certainly not wasting our precious two forced aggro skills! So good luck!


Lastly, I have to say, I am so sorry and I feel with each and every one of you, for the many runs that you have suffered this awkward warden tanking, and the many that you yet will!

by Alec on Nov 02, 2019 at 04:38 AM
As most of you probably know by now, we have a game of Screenshot Tag running. In it, one person posts the picture of a mysterious location while everyone else is trying to guess where it is. While the first two posts were cracked in just a few hours, the last one proved to be a really tough one. And to make things even worse, all of the hints provided seemed only to complicate the riddle even further.

Finally, Evonil took pity of our utter incompetence and decided to reveal the mysterious location. Yet it wasn't that easy, as to reach the area we had first to chase down and catch the elusive Evo. As they announced themself to try and escape Bree, we took guard of the city gates. This is what followed...
by Narv on Nov 01, 2019 at 01:56 AM
In Carefree, we don't place too much emphasis on gear, we don't inspect people and we don't ask about their stats. Having said that, I think it's only natural to wish to know what the best stats are for your chosen class. This is not a guide or anything, just my ideas of how to choose between 2 pieces of equally good-looking gear.

So let's say you're a Loremaster, Rune-keeper, or Minstrel. Which pair of pants would you pick?

At first glance, the first one is looking good because of the high values of "main" stats on it. But what happens when we look at what those main stats contain?

120 will = 240 tactical mastery, 120 tactical mitigation, 240 resistance rating
105 vitality = 420 morale, 105 tactical mitigation, 105 resistance rating
165 critical rating = 165 critical rating
Total: 240 tactical mastery, 165 critical rating, 420 morale, 225 tactical mitigation, 345 resistance rating

70 will = 140 tactical mastery, 70 tactical mitigation, 140 resistance rating
105 vitality = 420 morale, 105 tactical mitigation, 105 resistance rating
576 critical rating = 576 critical rating
Total: 140 tactical mastery, 576 critical rating, 420 morale, 175 tactical mitigation, 245 resistance rating

120 will = 240 tactical mastery, 120 tactical mitigation, 240 resistance rating
61 vitality = 244 morale, 61 tactical mitigation, 61 resistance rating
70 fate = 175 critical rating, 70 tactical mitigation, 70 resistance rating
Total: 240 tactical mastery, 175 critical rating, 244 morale, 251 tactical mitigation, 371 resistance rating

Tactical classes wear light armor. They usually have one job: stay back and heal/dps. The important stats for increasing healing and dps output are tactical mastery and critical rating. It's easy to see that the 2nd gear option offers way more critical rating than the others at the cost of just 100 tactical mastery, therefore this is the best pick despite having the least amount of will and having no fate.

Another thing that's worth considering when deciding between pieces of gear is stat caps. Once you've reached your critical rating cap, which is 20-30% depending on class and traits, you should stop adding critical rating and start concentrating on mastery or morale. Similarly, if you've reached your mastery cap, which depends on class and character level, you should stop adding more mastery and concentrate on critical rating or morale instead.

I hope this makes sense. I will gladly answer any questions you might have and correct any mistakes you spot.
by Phil on Oct 30, 2019 at 12:50 PM

"Real names tell you the story of things they belong to in my language, in the Old Entish as you might say."

Choosing a name is the hardest part of creating a new character. But for a language geek like me, it's also the most fun part!

My approach to picking names follows a process:

  • I try to follow the naming guidelines for each race, given in the character creation screen.
  • If I can, I like to relate the name to the character's race, class, vocation, appearance, or demeanor. Even if in a cryptic sort of way.
  • The name can't be unpronounceable. Tolkien drew on old Germanic languages for his names, but sometimes those ancient spellings can look really weird to us as modern English speakers. If the name looks too exotic, I'm not afraid to tame it. Tolkien was a master at this---taking ancient words and tweaking them just enough so they sound strange and yet familiar. From Old English eorcan-stán ("precious stone") he created the wonderfully evocative Arkenstone.

Maythorn, the burglar from Breeland

According to the guidelines, Breelanders usually have short English names like Bill or Tom. Ha! Try finding one of those that wasn't taken 12 years ago already!

Fortunately, botanical names like Ferny or Butterbur are also an option.

The maythorn---an alternative name for the hawthorn tree---is so-called because it flowers in spring (which, I have on reliable authority, starts in May in the northern hemisphere).

The haw in hawthorn is from an Old English word haga, meaning "hedge". And indeed, hawthorn is just the kind of shrub that makes for impenetrable hedges on account of its dense growth and defensive spines. Let's not forget that just such a hedge encircles Bree-town!

I like to think of Maythorn as an embodiment of what that hedge represents: a protector of Bree, keeping it safe from assorted half-orcs, wild boars, and various other rogues with his set of spiky daggers.

Bocwine, a lore-master and a scholar of Dale

The guidelines say that people of Dale go for Norse or Anglo-saxon (i.e. Old English) names.

This one's straight out of Old English in the most literal way possible: boc-wine, "book-friend". The -wine element is still present in modern day real-life names like Baldwin ("bold friend") and Darwin ("dear friend").

Tialvi, a beorning

This one was a struggle. The guidelines say Beorning names are "influenced" by Old Norse.

I initially wanted a name that referenced bears, or animals, or the wild, of course. But Evernight must be overrun with Beorning linguists(!), because every variation I tried was taken. After half an hour at the naming screen, I just went with a name wrested from Norse mythology.

I'd been working on translating an excerpt from the Old Norse Prose Edda for my language blog, and elsewhere in that story a man called Þjálfi is listed as one of Thor's companions. But how do you turn that name into something that English-speakers can pronounce (or, more to the point, type)?

The Norse letter Þ is normally rendered "th" in English, but "Thjalfi" is quite a mouthful. By swapping out some of the problematic sounds for simpler (but still related) ones, I streamlined the name to "Tialvi".

On reflection, I don't like how close it ended up to "Tivoli", but eh, what's done is done!

Angendur, a Champion of Gondor

Oh boy. Folk of Gondor use Sindarin names.

You'd think that being a language geek and a fan of Tolkien, I'd know something about his constructed languages. Nope...! Not. One. Word. And even less grammar.

Online elf dictionaries tell me that elves call things made of iron angren, and that dark or sombre things are dur. Smash those together, let the first 'r' get squeezed out, and there you have it. (I hope.) Angendur: iron-dark, a reference to his swirling blades and sober nature...

Bryngrim, a dwarf of the Lonely Mountain and a guardian

Dwarves, they say, have simple Norse names. Good luck finding one that hasn't been used in every conceivable variation.

For this dwarf I started with Icelandic brýnn "urgent", and went back to the proto-Germanic root grimmaz "grim, fierce" for the second component. A dwarf of grim urgency. Or urgent grimness. He does shout a lot. I'm sensing some repressed anger there!

Hearpansweg, a minstrel of Dale

We're back to Old English again. This time with some grammar! Hearpe "harp", but in the genitive case hearpan "of the harp", and sweg "sound, noise". The sound of the harp. Although he's presently more into the beat of the drum, it has to be said.

I don't like how long this name is. Too many syllables, and not at all clear which one the stress goes on! But I'll live with it. He can go by Hearp for short.

So those are my names, and the stories of the things they belong to. I'm an ent, at heart. But then, as the decidedly unhurried folk of Carefree, aren't we all? 😀

by Evonil on Oct 28, 2019 at 06:25 PM
As some of you know I do everything at -4 lvls. Well everything? No not everything indeed. -4 lvls means that when I'm L20, I'll be doing quests and such of L24.
In this post I will tell about what I do and why I do it. It might inspire others to do this as well with other characters.

What do I always do at -4 lvls?
- Quests (If I spot them in time. Sometimes you'll get to an npc that has a lower lvl quest than the one you're doing at that moment. In that case I still do the quest.)
- Elite (master) mobs. Often these are involved in quests for (small) fellowships. Most of them can easily be killed solo though. Some do require more effort. If I die multiple times, then I'll ask for help of 1 person that is max the level of the mob I try to kill.

What do I sometimes do at -4 lvls?
- Instances. Well not anymore actually. I decided that it does not matter much if I do a 6-man at -4 lvls. It's a team effort and you will not matter much at -4 lvls. In 3 mans you will matter, but it doesn't matter very much. Someone on-lvl will still carry you through easily. So now I do instances between 4 lvls below and 2 above. Unless they're scaling instances, then I just put them on my to-do list.

What don't I do at -4 lvls?
- Deeds. I don't like doing deeds on-lvl or below lvl. It's a lot of work and I do enjoy earning LP, but I don't like to be killing orcs for an hour.

But why do you do it?
Lotro is a work in progress. New items and content gets added all the time and it changes the balance of some older content. In the current state it's certainly out of balance (in my opinion) or I'm just OP. (JK) It's very easy to do content on-lvl. Too easy actually (for me). To get some extra challenge in this game I decided to do everything at lower lvls. It involves quite some deaths, but I have fun this way.

Is this actually an interview by you about you?
... Yes?

Why not at -5 lvls?
I tried to do this at -5lvls, but for some lvls there are not many quests. For example when you just enter angmar. This will leave you halfway the next level without anything to do (except deeding and instances ofc), so that will actually slow everything down a lot. Also, sometimes you're finished with quests on a lvl before you know. You didn't realize it in time and then you also don't have any quests anymore. I now get my experience to about 95% and then equip the stone. Then when I finished all quests 4 lvls above me I unequip the stone and start working on the quests of 5 lvls above me.

Everything? No not everything!
The starter areas (shire, bree and ered luin) are horrible designed (quest-wise). Some quest chains for example have a quest at L5, L6, L9, L12. This means you have to do a quest and then come back later to the same area. This is very hard to keep track of. I decided to level up to L11, do the shire and ered luin and then start in bree. When I've run out of quests for L15 and below I level up to 12 and start my usual business.

If you have questions, please comment. :)
by Fideliss on Oct 25, 2019 at 11:18 AM
1. I love this game but I'm not technically very good at it. I still dont really understand the layers involved with character and equipment building.

2. I'm an officer, but I'm the social activities officer...this means that my general answer in kinchat if someone asks a question about gear, stats, where to find something ingame is generally "I have no idea". This sometimes makes me feel unworthy of being an officer.

3. I absolutely love (and I mean love) sticking my nose into every corner of the game. I worry that this leaves me lagging behind in fellowships as I nosey around in dark corners. Sometimes I wish we could do walking instances, where its more of an exploration than a goal driven activity.

4. I dont multitask well in group content so I miss replying to folk in kinchat...I hate that because if there is one thing I enjoy its socialising.

5. I'm pretty shy in RL and being Fid is very liberating 😊.

6. I love cars...yes its not come up yet in coversation..but Im a full blown member of the Cargirl Association. My pride and joy is my scooby (subaru imprezza) its 2ltr, flat 4, turbo, growling engine makes me happy just thinking about it. Plus Im very small (5ft) so its a hoot tearing around in it with just the top of my head seen over the steering wheel....strikes terror into the heart of on-coming traffic 🤣.

Feel free to add what you wish everyone knew about you (if you want to) 😊
by Narv on Oct 20, 2019 at 01:12 AM
The epic story in the game is so corny. Let's write our own.

Write the next sentence (if you want).

''The hunter, the lore-master, and the Beorning walk into a bar.
by Fideliss on Oct 18, 2019 at 10:24 PM
What I think I look like:

A focused, confident and supremely competent hunter, ready to unleash a targeted avalanche of destruction with minimal fuss and absolute precision.

What I actually look like:

"Hey look at that scenery....what!!! the door closed and I cant get in".

"Why can't I cure myself of this poison?"...*blushes and mumbles..."Never mind I'm targeting the boss"

"Oh a new skill"...pulls every mob in the vicinity...reminds self to actually read the skill descriptions for the 20th time.

"Of course I can port you to Esteldin"...promptly disappears without joining the fellowship.

Remembers not to stand in melee range...."hunter my heals wont reach across to the other side of the room".

All completely true and mostly this week.