I’ve been blogging about video games for a long time now.  Interests change, however, and both my interest in video games and in writing about them have declined quite a bit.  I still like playing video games now and then.  And every once-in-a-while something will impress me enough to think about writing about it.  But those days get fewer and fewer as other interests are taking time away from games.

So I’m fading this blog indefinitely.  There are many fine video game bloggers out there.  I have a bunch of them linked in my sidebar.

Farewell, readers, and thank you for your kind attention.

“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.”
~ J.R.R Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

I’ve had some more time to play around with mounted combat in LotRO.  I like it.  I like riding along in the new zones and not have to dismount when I’m suddenly attacked – I can smush stuff from horse-back if I choose.

At first, I found the mount difficult to get used to.   Like I mentioned in my Rohan expansion post, the “w” key acts like an accelerator, not just a “forward” button.  So the longer you hold it down, the faster you’ll go up to your mount’s top speed.  Also, the faster you’re going, the wider your turn radius will be.  I found that a good speed for me is around 8.  (My mount’s top speed is around 14.)  At 8, I have enough “red” in the red bar to do some nice damage while still being able to go slow enough that I won’t take a whole zone to turn in.

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Having raised $8250.00 for Child’s Play, the creators of the Fellowship Walk on Landroval held a special walk event which brought us all the way to the gates of Moria (which is as far as we could go with low levels in the group).  Due to the exceptional work on the part of the security team, everyone made it to Moria unharmed.

I have a few screenshots of the event but they’re all lousy.  Fortunately, A Casual Stroll to Mordor has many that rule.

Wonderful work, fellow Landrovalians!

I made it to Rohan! One of my favorite areas in both the LOTR books and movies was Rohan. I like the mythological Norse quality to the place as well as the simple stoicism of the rohirrim. I was eager to get my wee hobbit out there to see Turbine’s take on Rohan.

While Rohan launched earlier last week, I was tied up with work so I was a bit late to the party. This seems to have worked in my favor as the intro areas were relatively unpopulated. Also, as I understand it, there was a lot of instability during the early hours of the launch.  Other than the copious amounts of lag in the new areas, I didn’t crash and everything seemed to be OK with my inventory.

There were a fair number of kill-ten-x types of quests in the beginning. They also seem to have added some additional quest features. Much like WAR, you can end up getting some quests that will pop up just from being in a certain area. You’ll get a notice pop up in your sidebar which, when you click on it, will give you the new quest. I think there’s a way to turn off the notice so you automatically accept the quests and won’t get the notice. I heard about it in kinchat but haven’t looked into it too much.

After whomping some mobs and doing good deeds (including a pretty cool battle defending a town from the forces of evil) I ended up getting the much-talked-about mount for mounted combat. Overall, I like it. After running some of the tutorial stuff (run in circles, hit some targets, jump some stuff) I think I have a better handle on the horse system and am eager to try it out. The forward button, once pressed, will drive the horse forward until you hit back enough times to make it stop – it’s more of an accelerator than a simple forward command. You can hold forward until your horse is at max speed and then just let go. The horse will keep going. One caveat though: the faster it goes the harder it is to turn.

After the tutorial and some more goofing off I ended the quest line and got a bunch of class-specific mount abilities. I haven’t had the chance to go through them all yet but it looks pretty interesting. There’s a lot of jousting-type skills for a burglar, which makes sense as he’s not really a ranged character.

Overall, I’m liking the new areas and the new quest lines.

** Possible spoilers after the fold **

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This weekend, I took part in a concert and march as part of several server-wide events in LotRO to support Child’s Play – they provide toys and games for sick kids in hospitals. I was thrilled to find out that my current kinship is playing a major role in organizing things on our server (including the party).

The idea is that as we advance in the amount of money donated, we go a little bit further on our way from the Shire all the way to Rivendell. This past Saturday’s march got us as far as Weathertop. In turn, many items are being auctioned off to support Child’s Play including player-created stuff, helpful in-game services, and even a gaming laptop!

I think it’s so cool that something like this could happen in a game world. I went to an event I saw posted on my guild calender, had fun with people I didn’t know in real life in a place that exists only on-line or in a story book (Tom Bombadil’s house), and marched to another non-existent place (Weathertop) using my avatar – all to get physical toys to real children with real illnesses.

It ruled.

You can find information about the Child’s Play initiatives in LotRO on A Casual Stroll to Mordor’s site. They also rule.

(A couple screen shots of the events below the fold.)

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Pineleaf over at A Casual Stroll to Mordor has a great video showing mounted combat in Rohan.  He’s come up with some handy pointers for the mounted combat mechanics and made some neat observations.

I’m intrigued by the class-specific abilities in mounted combat.  Since my main is a burglar, I’m wondering what sorts of skills he’ll have available.  I also like the toolbar changes and mount customization options he hints at.

Once again, as per usual, there is a festival in LotRO.  And also, once again, A Casual Stroll to Mordor has created a kick-ass, awesome guide.

Fall Festival time again!

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