Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Some of my Gaming Music....

I've been playing LOTRO for quite sometime, since May 2008 to be specific. When you play a game like this for that long one tends to get sick of hearing the same music and sound effects all the time. The soundtrack to LOTRO is awesome and very well produced (I own the MoM collector's edition soundtrack) BUT even something this polished gets old and annoying (to a certain extent). So I remedy the situation like many other gamers do.... I turn to my Itunes library to add a newer, refreshing element to my LOTRO gameplay. What I wanted to do with this post was share a little taste of what I like jamming out to while running mail in the Shire, smelting ore in Esteldin, and firing arrows into those who oppose the Free Peoples. 

One thing I try and do with my music is tailor my playlist to the mood and nature of my activities in LOTRO. This isn't necessary but I find it adds to the gameplay. The first "type" of music I want to recommend is already present in the game. This of course is your soft instrumentals that have a nice calm, mood to them (I'm no music theorist or lingo expert so excuse the descriptions). They are good to listen to in low stress situations like when you are exploring the wilds, farming nodes, or running delivery quests. The first songs I want to recommend to you is by a (believe it or not) progressive death-metal band called Becoming the Archetype. I find that Hardcore/metal bands like BTA write some awesome instrumentals that go unnoticed for obvious reasons.

*Song links are all from Youtube and are not my uploads*

Song #1: Night's Sorrow by Becoming the Archetype, album: Terminate Damnation ~ (classical guitar instrumental)

Song #2: St. Anne's Lullaby by Becoming the Archetype, album: Dichotomy ~ (classical guitar instrumental)

Song #3: Music of the Spheres: Requiem Aeternam, Pt. 1 by Becoming the Archetype, album: Celestial Completion ~ (piano instrumental)

The next are what I call the "rainy day folk songs". These would also be ones I'd use for low stress situations in-game but they definitely have a different feel (not to mention vocalists). They hold more of a sad mood to them so to speak. These songs don't have lyrics that really reflect anything in LOTRO really, so they can take away some immersion.

Song #4: Idaho by Josh Ritter, album: In the Dark: Live at Vicar Street ~ (a man longing for his home)

Song #5: The Shore by Basia Bulat, album: Heart of My Own ~ (a woman longing for the shore/love)

Song #6: By Your Side by House of Heroes, album: The End is not the End ~ (heartbreaking story of losing a  brother in war)

The last kind of song I want to leave you with (in this post anyways) is the inspiring type. I love all kinds of music, from bluegrass to death metal. However, one thing most of the albums that I own have is positive or "Christian" lyrics. I find it better to be uplifted than to be stressed out. So here are some positive, inspiring songs...

Song #7: Commissioned by Kings by Oh, Sleeper, album: Son of the Morning ~ (WARNING: HARDCORE, lyrics about acknowledging faults, unleashing strength)

Song  #8: Field of Daggers by House of Heroes, album: The End is not the End ~ ( peace, false kings)

Song #9: Phoenix by For Today, album: Breaker ~ (WARNING: HARDCORE "you've been called to relinquish fear, can you hear it?")

Song #10: Iron by Woodkid ~ (Just an epic song really)

These are just a few songs that I listen to while playing LOTRO. If you like any of them please do not download them; instead, buy them and support the musicians!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Questing in Enedwaith: Part Three

Talmidim's journeys had brought him to Lhanuch; the Hillmen settlement in Nan Laeglin. I quite enjoy the quests from Lhanuch myself, they tend to be straightforward and simple. Slayer and messenger quests are great! Soon I had picked up all of the quests I could manage, including the epic quest line continuation. Talmidim repaired his armour and weapons and was off once again to brave the wilds of Enedwaith.

Previously, I had found a strange sword at the blockade near Echad Saeradan. It was located in a treasure coffer that the deserters held. Saeradan had told me to deliver the sword to Wadu's family in Lhanuch (I found Wadu slain on the road above Echad Saeradan, he was assumed to be the owner of the sword). The family of Wadu was indeed in Lhanuch. Nona, sister of Wadu , was insistent on finding the causes that resulted in her brother's death while her father, Suvulch, was not to be bothered about the misfortune of his son. Nona thought that answers about Wadu's demise could be found East in the mountains, specifically the dwarf-halls of Zudrugund. I rode my steed swiftly to the mountains avoiding ambushes and attacks of the local hostile Hillmen. After crossing the river and climbing the steep mountain path I arrived at Zudrugund.

At Zudrugund I met a very strange dwarf named Nar. Nar was extremely incoherent and mentally distant from reality. Another dwarf, Frithgeir was also in the dwarf-halls. He was Nar's protector and guardian who told me I must gather some herbs to help Nar in his weird mental state. I took the list of needed herbs and was off down the mountain and in to the valley. I slew many Hillmen taking their herbs off their now dead persons. I also picked some herbs off the shore of a small lake further South. Soon after I took my stockpile of Frithgeir's requests back to Zudrugund.

Discussions with the rangers Corunir and Calengad, Frithgeir, one of the sons of Elrond, Nona, and finally Nar (after drinking Frithgeir's weird concoction) led us to more information about Wadu's exploits but not his demise. It seemed as though he felled a giant Gwiber deep within the mountain. More importantly though, Nar spoke about the journey Elladan and the rangers were taking through Enedwaith and told them about a coming treachery and deceit. He also spoke of the paths of the dead. All of these things were secrets Nar couldn't possibly know.... so how did he? Elladan was quite flustered after this and so I was sent back to Lhanuch to talk to a Ranger who might know more.... Candaith.

On my way back to Lhanuch I completed some of the quests that the Hillmen bestowed upon me. I felled many half-orcs finding on some of them articles that bore the white hand of Saruman. I also scouted some Cartrevs in the area before returning to Lhanuch. It was a productive evening. The epic story of Nar and Frithgeir is extremely interesting to me; so full of mystery and suspense. I look forward to continuing the epic story another day.

Previously: Part Two

This week I also started a twitter account for On Distant Shores. You can follow me HERE (@GarrisonODS)

- Garrison

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Questing in Enedwaith: Part Two

What?!? Three posts in two days? An awesome weekend apparently...

I've decided to continue writing about my adventures through Enedwaith mostly out of convenience. This convenience being that Talmidim the champion is now questing through it. I love this region because it looks amazing,unique, and diverse while the quests are different and far spread out. I haven't really done all of the quests in Enedwaith yet so it still has that fresh zone feeling to me; it's kind of a win-win for me (plus Tal gets a ton of LI XP for his 7 LI's on the go).

After my brief encounter with shadow wolves in the Black Dens (I extinguished all of the torches easily this time!), finding all of the ranger caches in Fordirith, and killing many dunlending deserters I was told by the rangers of Echad Dagoras to make a trip further into Enedwaith... up to the overlook of Echad Saeradan. Saeradan had some tasks that needed doing and some investigations that needed... an investigator. I double dipped the epic quests with the other quests of Echad Saeradan. I gathered wolf pelts and ox meat which was quite easy until I ran into a rare spawn elite warg with 20k morale. I accepted the challenge to slay this warg... it took some kiting, a morale pot, my "Dire Need" heal, and a whole lot of sword swinging. 2 minutes later I emerged victorious with a mithril flake. I think the rush of finding a rare spawn in this game is more rewarding than the loot they drop haha.

I then made my way more northerly and investigated a blockade that was defended by some deserters in an unfortunate situation. Their situation was unfortunate because they soon would feel the sting and cold steel of Tal's blades. I then made my way back down the road on the hills above Echad Saeradan where I made a stop at a group of old ruins to slay some more deserters and pick up some herbs. I then gathered some honey and traveled down into the fields below Echad Saeradan. I soon gathered more herbs and other desired items by the rangers and made my way back with a plethora of pelts, meat, herbs, feathers, and honey for the demanding rangers (who were quite thankful).

As quick as I had arrived at Echad Saeradan it seemed I was finished. Saeradan was pleased with the tasks and investigating I had done for the Grey Company and sent me down into the town of Lhanuch for further quests. I chose to deliver the Dun Ox meat to the herders down in the valley rather than slay more (the other ranger thought this might upset the locals). I made the delivery on my way to Lhanuch and also taking the time to slay a very ridiculously sized boar for the worried herders. A short journey by horseback soon landed me at the gates of Lhanuch. What does this town have in store for Talmidim Elvellon? Only time will tell.

Previously: Part One


Casual Stroll to Mordor's 2nd Anniversary Party!

I was lucky enough to have some time tonight to roll a toon on Landroval and make my way to A Casual Stroll to Mordor's 2nd Anniversary Party! It was a blast listening to the live podcast while the Lonely Mountain Band played some nice tunes. They were great hosts holding some cool contests and promoting a positive atmosphere. Well done to everyone involved in that gathering of great LOTRO personalities!

A special congratulations to Merric and Goldenstar for recording their 100th podcast episode! You guys are truly awesome people!

Here are some pictures of the in-game event (click for larger versions):

Of Lands Far Off...

It has been far to long since my last post on this blog. This can be blamed on real life stuff and being a little burnt out of PC gaming. I have been playing some LOTRO here and there though, but not blogging... I've been finding that after playing I no longer have the drive to write about it what I just did. However, tonight just felt like a "blog" night and gosh darn it, that's what I'm going to do!

I've been extremely productive on my champion: Talmidim; he's level 65 now which marks the second time I've taken a character to the level cap. Playing the champion has been some serious fun for me! I rocketed through the Moria content with great speed and precision. I did some group content here and there on Talmidim during levels 50-55 conquering  the School and Library of Tham Mirdain, and the Forgotten Treasury. I made it a priority to get my Moria Blademaster armour set and ran The Grand Stair, The Forges, and Fil Gashan before I hit 61.

One evening while I was still level 60 and close to acquiring my 4th Blademaster piece I joined a PUG for The Forges which turned out to be a very beneficial experience. The other 5 members of the PUG were of a small kin I've never seen around before.; they were extremely helpful, friendly, and funny (and all used voice chat, which I find is becoming rarer and rarer in PUGs). During our run we were talking about kin dynamics for some reason and I mentioned the woes of the large kin that I was in and how the kin chat channel had turned into an  "/advice" channel and no longer seemed like a community. After hearing this and approving of my communication and performance in the Forges of Moria, they asked me to join the ranks of "Hobbition Hoblites". I accepted. It's been awesome to be a part of a small kin that runs things regularly... I find I enjoy the fresh new experience it brings.

Talmidim just recently finished all of the epic quests from Moria to the Dol Guldur and now is delving into Volume 3. I maybe can continue my post on questing in Enedwaith...haha. This blog has become a bunch of unfinished little guides and musings that I've been meaning to finish but never find the time. I want to remedy that some day.

Here's a couple recent epic(ish) screenshots from my adventures that I quite like.(click for larger versions) 

Keep your stick on the ice,