Mar 02 2009

Life of a Bounder, Part VII

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January 8, 2009
Maedhroc’s been a busy little hobbit, so the postcards have sort of piled up since the last time he sent any.

Maedhroc jams at the Prancing Pony with Barathaen and Kozakh

“A lively jam session at the Prancing Pony! The human’s name is Barathaen; the dwarf is Kozakh.”

Maedhroc jams at the Prancing Pony

“Another jam session shot.”

Maedhroc rides for Rivendell

“I thought you might like an action shot — this is me riding hard for Rivendell to deliver an urgent message to Lord Elrond. Quite an honor for a lowly warden like me!”

Maedhroc and Bilbo in Rivendell

Maedhroc, Gandalf, and Frodo in Rivendell

“In Rivendell I found some familiar faces! Mr. Bilbo and Mr. Frodo seemed a bit distracted and weren’t doing so well, I’m sad to say. Mr. Bilbo had aged quite a bit since I saw him at his 111th Birthday Party, and Mr. Frodo seemed to be very concerned about something. Maybe it’s that Gandalf again.”

Maedhroc and an elf share their outfit?

“Speaking of familiar … nice outfit you have there, miss.”

Maedhroc meets Legolas and Gimli in Rivendell

“Some interesting folk I met in Rivendell; they were both quite friendly to me, although they didn’t seem too friendly to each other. In the far background you can see that Strider fellow again. Everyone in Rivendell seemed to think he was some great personage … looks like a scruffy bandit to me.”

Maedhroc meets Boromir

“Now here’s an important personage. First son of the Steward of Gondor, no less! He seemed quite annoyed about something, but was the height of courtesy to me. With emphasis on height, if you catch my drift.”

Maedhroc and Gildor Inglorion

“Another reunion. Gildor was the first elf I ever met, some time ago when he was passing through the Shire, he drove off a rider in black who had given me quite a turn. Gildor remembered me, actually, which I found quite flattering.”

Maedhroc meets a spook in Agaumar

“One of the most unusual people I’ve met in my travels so far. Nice enough fellow, though, considering he was some centuries dead. Better than the ones in the Great Barrow, anyhow.”

Maedhroc says This! Is! Hobbiton!

“Madness? Madness??? THIS! IS! HOBBITON!”

Maedhroc in goblin armor

“This is my ‘Sam Gamgee in Mordor’ costume. Whattya think?”

Maedhroc gets fancy armor

“After some rough encounters with trolls, I decided it was time that I invest in some better armor. I’ve been making a fair amount of coin in my off-time crafting armor and outfits for other folk, collecting ore and wood and so forth, as well as selling off trophies from the various monsters and evil creatures I’ve had to fight, so I picked up this outfit from a dwarven settlement. The helmet is actually elvish, recovered from a camp of orcs and refurbished. I’m not keen on tromping around in boots — its just not the hobbit way — but I’ve squidged around one swamp too many to do that barefoot any more. Besides, have you ever had a goblin spear jammed into your foot? Let me tell you, it’s not a happy experience.”

He’s really becoming quite the hero. I remember when he was carrying mail and gathering chicken eggs to prove himself worthy to be a Bounder!

-The Gneech

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Mar 01 2009

Busy Night!

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Book 1.4 is finished! Running around the Trollshaws with Legolas is fun, but a tough instance unless you have a nice big group. I’ve also almost finished with Evendim, other than the Tomb of Elendil. Not to say I didn’t give Tomb a try — I ran it with a full group containing more than one level 55+ member; we got all the way to the end but then the SPOILER wiped us out three times and group had to break for the night. Unfortunately, operating on tanking duty I couldn’t come near managing the aggro the L60 minstrel pulled every time they healed somebody. I also made Maedhroc’s first trip into the Misty Mountains, just sort of dipping my toe in, so to speak, since Book 1.5.1 sent me to Gloin’s camp and that’s right inside the zone entrance.

I’ll probably hit L41 next session; I’m going to start trolling the AH for my first legendary book (”Bullroarer’s Boy”), which I’ve already got pages for even though the book itself has yet to appear. Once I finish off my Evendim quests, I’ll start really concentrating on the Trollshaws for a while. At this stage I am almost caught up with Maedhroc where Galadhalion was when Mines of Moria came out, which I find strangely amusing. It took Galadhalion two years to get into the 40-50 range; it’s taken Maedhroc four months. Some of that is due to my being a more skilled player and knowing where a lot of things are, but I think a lot of it is simply that the Warden is so much better a fit for me. I’m looking forward to really experiencing some of that end-game content. Rift of Nurz-Gashou, I’m looking at you!

-The Gneech

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Feb 26 2009

The Levels Are Building Up

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Still tearing through Evendim with my lil’ hobbitey warden. He hit level 39 tonight, which is not that far away from where Galadhalion was when he started really running into trouble — and that’s got me nervous. It may just be “once bitten, twice shy,” but I keep having this paranoia that any time now, probably when he gets to Angmar, Maedhroc’s going to suddenly stop being effective against much of anything.

But assuming that doesn’t happen, I’m going to have to start thinking about what my plan for the higher levels will be. I’d really like that Rift armor set for Maedhroc, but I haven’t even succeeded at getting Galadhalion to the Rift, much less successfully grinding it for an armor set. Am I looking at a long slog of begging, pleading, or bribing people to go to the Rift with me starting at level 50?

And what about Moria? It’d be nice to catch up with the rest of the Valar Guild who’ve been tromping around Moria and presumably having fun (since they keep doing it) — which I’m not going to have much luck doing if I’m busy killing Thaurlach over and over again.

Still, that’s stuff I’ll deal with when I get to it. The game is still beautiful, and I’m still really enjoying Maedhroc, so there’s no good reason to be having Gamer Anxiety, is there?

Besides, I’m a warden. I can solo balrogs. ;)

-The Gneech

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Feb 25 2009

Life of a Bounder, Part VI

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Almost caught up!

December 28, 2008
Maedhroc sent some pretty good ones this time!

Maedhroc at the summit of Weathertop

At the summit of Weathertop with a kinmate. That’s a heck of a climb!

Maedhroc meets ... a squirrel?

Those squirrels just get everywhere, don’t they?

Maedhroc on a Bree-pony.

Maedhroc’s moving up in the world — he’s got his own pony! Too bad his own “forced march” skill is faster. Must be one of Bill Ferny’s nags.

Maedhroc piping in south Bree.

Fear the hobbit with bagpipes!

-The Gneech

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Feb 23 2009

Life of a Bounder, Part V

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Only three more and we’ll be caught up!

December 26, 2008
Maedhroc and Gandalf at the Prancing Pony

Nobody who grew up in the Shire hasn’t heard of this guy. When Maedhroc was a bounder, he was actually tasked with keeping an eye on “that dangerous old fool,” although they only spoke once and Gandalf didn’t seem to remember him.

Maedhroc meets Radagast

Speaking of dangerous old fools, it appears to be Wizard Week for Maedhroc. Let’s just hope he doesn’t meet Saruman next.

-The Gneech

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Feb 20 2009

Life of a Bounder, Part IV

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Only a month behind now. Soon it’ll be current!

December 20, 2008
Maedhroc finds himself, much against his will, being taken further and further from the Shire. He’s seeing lots of places he’s only heard about from his old gaffer, but for the most part, they were places he was content to have only heard about — like the Old Forest, where he met this bizarre fellow.

Maedhroc meets Tom Bombadil

Hey dol, derry dol, what-the-hooey-are-you-saying???

Then he’s sent eastward as a messenger boy for the rangers. Did he really work his way to Honourary Shirriff just to end up delivering mail again? But at least he got to see some sights along the way.

Maedhroc at the Midgewater

We’re on the wrong side of the Misty Mountains for Erebor — that must be the famous Weathertop.

Maedhroc looks up at Weathertop

Yup, that’s Weathertop all right.

What’s next, delivering pies to Rivendell?

Meanwhile, half a continent away, Galadhalion comes to the unhappy realization that Moria has sewers, and he’s in them.

Galadhalion in the Moria Waterworks

Don’t step in balrog scat, whatever you do. 0.o

-The Gneech

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