Friday, 30 October 2009


Well, as anyone who was in the least bit interested will have realised by now, Turbine lied - I mean, was economical with the vérité - both implicitly and explicitly when they implied, or even in one notorious case claimed outright, that our legendary items would be with us forever, increasing in potency as we increased in level. So by next month, or a bit later, it's bye-bye l.60 First-Age Bow...

Despite the great number of leaks, official releases, forum posts and dev diaries, there is still much that is unclear or obscure about the future of Legendary Items post-Siege of Mirkwood. One question (or possibly hot potato) which as far as I know nobody has yet addressed, is what will happen to our hard-earned Bright Emblems of Nimrodel, otherwise known as First-Age tokens. It is just conceivably possible that come next month, it will prove possible to trade them in for the new SoM LIs, or perhaps exchange them for whatever barter currency will replace them - but if you believe that, you probably also believe in the Easter Bunny. Turbine has never, in the past, provided an upgrade system for outdated barter currencies, and I don't think they're about to; I mean, how many of us still have chests cluttered up with now thoroughly useless Vile Coins, Rift-iron Coins, Marks of Triumph and the like?

No. If you want my advice, take those Emblems of Nimrodel and run, don't walk, to your nearest class trader and hand them in for whatever level of First-Age LI you can afford, then waste no time shoving it into the Auction House for whatever insane price you can think of. Even though l.59 and 60 First-Agers now have a well-defined sell-by date, there will always be somebody who will pay good gold for them. You'd be surprised. And when you enter Mirkwood with a rapidly ageing First-Age weapon, you'll at least take comfort in also carrying a well-filled purse.

WARNING: The management take no responsibility for the consequences of following financial advice made public in this blog. Gondor's Financial Watchdog says: "The value of your investments can go down as well as up".

Wednesday, 14 October 2009


There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy, and there are certainly more strange and terrible things in LOTRO than ever see the light of day. Or, to be more precise, not everything in Beta eventually finds its way to the final release. In a recent thread on the Codemasters forum, Steelskin posted the following highly intriguing snippet: “There are quite a few mobs used in beta which make it into the final client but are not used, I remember a "Squirrel-King" but it apparently got deleted at some point”.

A piss-take? Quite possibly, though if it was, fellow poster Ganoderma must also have been on it, since he weighed in with “Ah, the good old squirrel king: see Official entry is gone, page still exist though”. Well, Ganoderma is quite right; the page referenced is there but empty. However, a quick bit of detective work on the net eventually traced the original Lorebook entry, above. The full entry runs as follows:

"Ever since regaining access to Moria the dwarves have been trembling. The Watcher is not the only creature lurking in the depths and catacombs of the previously great palace. Far beneath the pool where the Watcher hides lies a hidden cavern, patrolled by NeekerBreekers and squealing spider queens lies the most fearful monster, surpassing even Balrog. Laying under the Mithril Mines for Aeons this creature lay trapped until the Balrog, released by the greedy (and hairy) dwarves tripped over a rock and broke through... releasing the Squirrel King.

Be aware that your average level 60 raid party has no hope of bringing down this Uber-Nemesis Level 70 boss who uses acorns to bring down even the strongest and most able warrior. Later in the year though the level cap will be lifted and you can leave turtle soup and calamari behind to get kicked in the nuts by this boss of bosses."

So did the dread Squirrel-King enjoy a ghostly existence in Beta? All one can say for certain is that Turbine, for reasons best known to itself alone, saw fit to delete every trace of its brief existence… Did I hear the muttered words “conspiracy theory”?

Thursday, 1 October 2009


There appears to be some confusion at the moment over what exactly the new Adventurer's Pack which is being released in North America at the same time as the Siege of Mirkwood will include. Apart from the two extra character slots, interest has focused largely on the promise of "shared storage" between characters on the same account. Unfortunately, expectations that this means all storage will be common to all characters must be dashed; according to the official Turbine publicity posting "Answer the Call of War", shared storage will consist of nothing more than "a storage space capable of storing 20 items accessible by all your characters on the same LOTRO server/world".

The obvious implication is that this will consist of an extra storage module of limited capacity over and above what is currently available - my guess would be an additional chest. And it's virtually certain not to accept bound items, including those quite unnecessarily BoA decorative items. Not really all that much help, then, in terms of housekeeping; you might store a small range of potions there, or perhaps a few crafting materials... Better than a kick in the pants, of course, but far from earth-shaking.