Sunday, 24 April 2011

The Grindaversary

As most who've been reading the LotRO community forums and blogs know, the current Anniversary Event, also known as The Grindaversary, has been quite unanimously declared a complete fiasco. The token costs for the few new cosmetic items and the garish festival horse are way too high and they're only available, one at a time, from two minigames, one of which can only be completed twice a day. The other option, the Thorin's Hall bar fight, is fun but gets tedious very quickly — mostly because of the long waiting times between rounds.

And the icing on the cake is, of course, that after the whine escalated Turbine went and added a third option to the token grind, and it's only available on the US servers since our EU provider still doesn't have the system in place that would allow lotteries on our servers.

Damn carebears, whining about pvp.

So I went and did a few rounds of Beer Brawl to get the horse and a couple maps for the new Cartographile deed. And by a few rounds I mean around 80 rounds. I managed to get myself quite addicted to the minigame, and the waiting wasn't so bad after I dug up an ebook to read between rounds. What really really pissed me off (and still does) were some lame table campers — but at least they were easy targets to knock out of the fighting area, ha-HA! After the umpteenth fight I had absolutely no qualms about knocking people away from the beer jug and grabbing it for myself. Give no mercy and expect none!

Luckily I also had several friends helping with the maps so we each ground one or two and then shared them between us so everyone got all the maps counted for the deed.

After Lothi got her horse as well we went to take some screenies together but it was too dark and they didn't turn out quite well. Suffice to say the horse looks very silly and hastily made.

I also got a /salute from somewhere during the Beer Brawl and it finally completed the /swordsalute deed for me. Yay!

Thursday, 21 April 2011


"damn, I broke a nail ~"

A week ago there was an open free trial in Rift, so I thought I'd give it a shot (esp. since I had just turned into a D&D widow for the weekend). I had tried the game briefly during beta, but didn't think I'd want to play it after launch since I was busy with work, travel and the new LotRO update. Luckily Rift was so easy to get into that I finished the trial (the cap was level 15) very quickly and wanted more, so after hunting around on the interwebz a little I found a site that sold the retail code for 25€. I grabbed the offer so I could continue leveling my little mage.

Yup, I rolled a Defiant mage. Usually in these types of games with two factions one of them is the "goodie type" and the other is "baddie/emo", and although the Kelari (Defiant elves) have quite convinving emo looks I think Trion did quite a good job making them more interesting than "hurrdurr we're just misunderstood". I actually tried rolling a couple Guardian characters (the "goodie" side) but my inner antitheist just couldn't tolerate any of that godtalk (and the angel-like npcs gave me bad memories from Aion). So I chose to support the Defiant cause and created a character called... Science. Because I'm cool and edgy like that.

So far Rift has been fun. I like playing it, although I'm not yet sure if I like the game itself and its world - it's as generic as you can get and doesn't seem to have the epic art direction of Guild Wars to make it stand out from the other generic fantasy mmos. The soul system is great fun though and I can't wait to try out all the different roles and combos I can come up with - I like the idea that I'm not locked into a single role (great cure for altitis!) and that I can swap complete builds anytime I want.

Tl;dr: playing a defiant mage called Tiede (Finnish for science) on Argent PVE-RP. Looking for friends and guilds and fun.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Ost DundundunDUUM

Previously, on Raid Channel: Balrogs have wings now lol

Our kin has been plowing slowly but steadily through the newest raid in LotRO; Ost Dunhoth. It's been a nice raid so far, although it does feel like a theme park ride with a ton of reused encounter concepts. In that sense though the whole LotRO game is starting to get old; after the latest update landed I found myself wondering "is that it?". Run new instances, get new barter stuff, get the couple new shinies in those instances with stats a point or two higher on our previous gear, grind all those until you have everything. Oh, a new Legendary Item, must grind! Oh, I need 2000 instance medallions for this armour set which will be obsolete in a few months anyway! HMMMMM.

Yay, back to hunter tanking! I totally have never done this before in a boss fight!

That line of thought got me wondering if I'd even have the energy to grind through the next update, or the Isengard expansion after that, if it's just the same stuff in a new (but deviously recycled) package. I do think LotRO is going to need some seriously new mechanics, be it mounted combat, dynamic events, enhanced pvp or even just a character model update to stay fresh.

Golden showerpoison wing boss. Fun fight, even more so on T2.

Anyway, back to OD. So far I've seen and beaten the first four bosses, two of them on T2. The boss fights themselves are a good challenge and the hard modes will definitely be a tough nut to crack (we've only got one T2 challenge done so far).

I must say though I've been very disappointed in the loot so far, at least for hunters. The regular, non-raid instances don't really seem to have any must-haves for hunters so I've been more tempted to run them on my alts. I haven't yet seen all the OD loot and the hunter armour set sure is sweet, but I'm really put off by the medallion grind, especially since I just burned my meagre collection on Empowerment scrolls to upgrade the godawful first-ager LI you see here on the left. I was seriously considering just throwing it into the bin and grinding a few weeks for a new one!

Oh well, I thought I'll just grit my teeth and do it — replacing every single legacy on the bow and then upgrading them to t5+. If only it had 4 or 5 major legacies! But no, NO I can't have nice things.

Well, the grind is over, now I'll just have to complete the raids and I'll be happy - for now.

Meanwhile, cooling my toes in a place that starts with R and ends with T. More on that later.


Hi, long time no blog! I've been fairly busy with work as well as... traveling! I spent a week in Hong Kong with excellent company, eating and shopping and having a good time. It was my first trip outside Europe and wow it was so different from anything I've seen so far! Makes Finland seem so small and dull in comparison.

Evening view from the walking path high up on Victoria Peak, Hong Kong.

I had hoped to buy some cheap'ish electronics there but in the end I mostly shopped for clothes and noms. I did score a Samsung Galaxy Tab on the way back from the airport though, yay! And also bought a huge crate of stroopwafels in Amsterdam during our flight transfer there.

Sunny Nathan Road, one of the busiest shopping areas. And on our flight back to Helsinki my heart sank seeing all the ice and snow still everywhere...