I knew Moria had gotten a revamp but I didn’t hold any hope of it being enjoyable. Moria is dark, dank and dusty, full of long dimly lit halls, deadly cliffs and tons of Gredbyg. I hate those things! I was excited to get started on Moria so I could do enough to put it behind me. I won’t lie. The only section I was looking forward to was The Waterworks as I’ve always loved questing such a dramatically built area. Matter of fact, it was The Waterworks that first caused me to spend ALL NIGHT LONG running around in Moria (when it was new) just to look at stuff! I’d gone to the Chamber of Crossroads and went to cut across to talk to Bosi when I fell down the well. The well I didn’t realize was a well. I felt that drop in my stomach! When I saw what was at the other end of that well (after a trip to the rez circle of course) I spent the next five or six hours doing nothing but running around every square inch of Moria. When I was done every piece of gear I had equipped was red as I was, if I remember correctly, a level 51? Anyway, I had a blast that night exploring.
Guess what? I’ve had a blast questing on Ollena in Moria. I can’t believe I’ve written those words but it’s true. Moria used to feel like, to me, it was a bunch of bits strung together in a most uncohesive way. It was confusing, the areas didn’t feel like they led into the next area (no logical progression), the lighting was horrible and the run back and forth between quest-giving NPC and quest-objective was intense at times. That’s all a thing of the past! Woot! They’ve added a LOT of smaller outposts and split the quests up between main hub and mini hub in most areas. There are more travel goats available, though I’ve found I haven’t needed very many of them, and there’s a goat in the 21st Hall that takes you right to the Orc Watch even if you’ve never been. How is THAT for amazeballs!
The reworking of the quests make more sense now. Some quests were merged, some were changed a bit and some are new. Least, I think some are new. I’ve never fully quested Moria because I was so quick to start hating it so I may be doing some now that I’ve just never done. Because I’m questing out each area. That’s a first!
I did find the 21st Hall to be confusing however. I’m so used to running in and grabbing a bunch of rings and then goating away to do a few of them before I cancel and head out of the door at the First Hall. Very different now as the 21st feels much more “central” to Moria operations and with the new mini hubs (or small outposts) you’re led away from the 21st to pick up quests. The changes didn’t just confuse me, they’ve confused Lyting the Guardian Trainer as well. If you look in the screenshot about halfway down the text you’ll see him say “… I would never go into Moria myself …” yet there he stands, in the 21st Hall, deep in the heart of Moria. Silly Dwarf! Maybe he’s still celebrating with the Foreman!
There was one revamped quest that I flat didn’t like. The Waterworks quest for “A New Gear” used to have you go talk to a dwarf in the Rotting Cellar to obtain the needed gear. Now you run through that maze by the quest giver and the maze of tunnels is still FULL of different worms that aggro on you (unless they’re grey to you). I was killing my way there but after awhile I thought, ‘Screw this, I’m just going to run for it‘. I literally died so close to the gear I needed I could have licked it. Too much aggro! I like the old version of that quest better. OH! And speaking of The Waterworks, I got my Lizzard Leggings (reward at the end of a long lizzard quest chain) and wore them like a BOSS!
Yes, I was really running around Moria dressed like that! I blame it on dying so close to that gear piece. I’ve since found a way to rock the leggings a bit better. It’s not the best look (so many competing patterns) but it works better than the Christmas suit. I was thinking a solid color top would look best but, really, the pants clash with themselves to start with so why bother. Heh.
Ollena has always known she was born with a specific purpose, a most noble purpose, and she’s worked hard to ready herself for this all important mission. She comes from a very long line of the most stoic guardians, a family of defenders like no other. They never stop to question their purpose in life but instead choose to view it as a birth right. Every member of her family engages with gusto in the protection of their wards and will challenge any who oppose with a brutal assault designed to overwhelm the feint of heart. For the weak, this level of commitment and dedication is staggering, true enough, but not for stock as strong as Ollena’s line. They needn’t even stop to catch a breath, trained to ignore the pain, they just keep charging. The thrill of danger eggs on the warriors heart in each and every one of them and is why they take to heart the Guardian’s Pledge their good name is ingrained in.
Ollena’s purpose was to help a fair hunter named Ranni whose mission in life was to wage across the plains of Rohan and clear a good safe path for the downtrodden Rohirrim beset by countless battles from the Orcs. Ranni, though she tried, needed a protector herself. Ollena was to be that protector and this filled her with a sense of pride. She threw her entire being into training because anything less than the best would not be good enough! The people of Rohan needed her, too, after all, and disappoint was not in her vocabulary.
It occurred to her that she hadn’t yet met Ranni the Hunter and decided it might be a good idea so they could get a sense of each other before having to face Rohan together. Ranni was more than happy to oblige and made the trip far to the North all the way up to the cold desolation of the Misty Mountains. Ollena was a bit taken aback by what she saw when Ranni arrived.
No one had told Ollena that Ranni the Hunter was a Hobbit. “Halflings are harder to protect,” thought Ollena, “easy to lose sight of them in the heat of battle!” And what if they had to race to get somewhere before horrible dangers befell another Rohirrim? Would Ranni’s tiny little whip of a pony be able to keep up with Ollena’s robust horse? It wasn’t that Ollena didn’t like Hobbits. She very much did! Why, the very horse she proudly rode was a gift from the Mathom Society for her valiant efforts in ridding the Shire of those nasty goblins! It didn’t phase her in the least that this particular horse had grown so big no Hobbit could see fit to mount and ride it, no sir, it was a most generous gift of gratitude and had caused her to feel that much more protective of the little folk. This, however, was different. The scope of their combined missions was far greater than a few vermin roaming the fields north of the Plough and Stars and she had to make sure Ranni the Hunter was up to the task. An idea sprang to mind and she suddenly knew just how to test Ranni’s mettle.
Ranni the Hunter was both nervous and proud to accept the task Ollena had given her. She knew she had to prove to Ollena that she could hold her own but deep down in her little Hobbit heart she remembered her last battle with Cinder, a most ferocious salamander plaguing the waters west of Harwick. It didn’t end well for Ranni and although she was bound and determined to NEVER let that happen again, the memory filled her with fear. Still, Ollena would be with her and she knew that she would be fine.
“You must have a strong zeal to fight so you will slay 240 Giants in Giant Halls!” Ollena barked. “When you have proven you’ve zeal you will then slay 360 fissure worms to ensure me that you are one with honour.”
Ranni the Hunter mistakenly thought they would be doing these deeds together based on the sheer number of slayings demanded. Ollena, however, was both wary of Ranni and tired from a long fortnight of endless training. She had decided she would do no more than observe.
And that’s exactly what Ollena did! Observe! This caused much dismay for Ranni the Hunter as she’d been informed Ollena and her would be working together to protect Rohan. She could already feel another Cinder-battle on the horizon and nearly broke down in tears when an evil giant threw her off a mountain cliff. Once she’d completed the tasks Ollena had set before her she mounted her pony, tired and full of dread wondering how on earth this team could be successful. Sensing her trepidation Ollena was quick to set those fears aside.
“It is my hope that our little exercise has proven to you, as it has to me, that you are ready for the task at hand. If the need had arisen I would have stepped in with my shield and bashed whatever creature threatened you, halfling. That need did not present itself for you fared well enough on your own.”
“But these beasts are not like the ones roaming the plains of Rohan, Ollena. This proved nothing”, replied Ranni the Hunter.
“It proved there is a strong zeal in your little halfling heart and that you are one of honour. That is all I need to know. We will do well together as long as you keep your boots on. I do not miss the stench of hairy halfling feet.”
“I’m a Hobbit and would prefer you address me as such!”
Fearing hysterics would soon occur Ollena smacked Ranni the Hunter right across her little Hobbit face. “Fine. Hobbit it will be, Halfling.”
Ollena gave Ranni the Hunter a cloth to wipe her tear-streamed face and waited until she’d composed herself before continuing. “Tomorrow we shall venture forth to the lands called Evendim and slay more Giants. The trolls in Angmar will prove for training in the art of discipline as will the beasts in Sanur. Go and rest, ready yourself for adventure awaits us both.”
With a sigh Ranni the Hunter rode behind Ollena to the nearest outpost for a good nights sleep. She had a feeling she would be doing many deeds for Ollena before they reached the edges of Rohan.
I was looking through my screenshot folder the other day and found a TON of them that left me scratching my head wondering what I’d wanted that particular screenshot for. Ever do that? Hit the print-screen button and then wonder what possessed you to take so many shots of … nothing? /Sigh I do have a few on my desktop that I took, cut or saved and gave a name to so I’m going to post them today. Some are just goofball shots, like this one.
She’s my Lore-Master formally known as “Original Ranni”. Can you imagine how big her Ent (skill) would be?? Made me remember the gags in Farmer Maggots Mushroom field that could shrink or grow you HUGE, depending on which mushroom it was you grabbed.
This one of Gasi, not sure why I wanted it. Assuming it’s because I find it funny how serious he looks lugging that chest from Ost Forod to Tinnidur.
Oh, and Condi finished Hytbold. Not sure I posted about that when it happened but the screenshot has been on my desktop for what feels like 88 bazillion years.
I’ve been playing LotRO for YEARS! I was here before the game released even and I *just* noticed the other day that these goblins in the North Downs are NOT called Stonecold. Every time I’ve ever fought these goblins I’ve always thought about Stone Cold Steve Austin and it’s pumped me up! Now I feel a little silly.
This is Ollena’s skirmish soldier, formally known as Willie. He’s since taken the name of Dopey because he worked so darn hard to earn it.
Whew. Now I can throw these into my bloggy folder for backups and get them off my desktop!
Ollena the Guardian is currently level 49 and sitting in Aughaire waiting for me to log in so she can start V1 Bk6 and deed Angmar. I took a long look at her virtues a couple of days ago and decided that even though she had a few at or near rank 8, they weren’t the best ones to slot. I am so old I have a bad case of CRS and, so, have forgotten what her virtues were but they’re now slotted with Innocence, Discipline, Charity, Honour and Zeal. I remember way back when everyone I inspected had Valour slotted. Well, most everyone anyway.
My point is now all of her virtues are low. LOW! I like to start Moria with them all at rank 8 (or super close) so I’m back to deeding. I’m still in the “I HATE DEEDING” state of mind but it needs to be done, otherwise I’ll pick at it, jumping back to lower levels to deed a little here and there and then back to whatever map I’m working, getting very little of anything done. I don’t like choppy gaming! I haven’t started Mirobel with Ollena yet but she’s otherwise quested all of Eregion. I figure this is the best time to go back and work those deeds up so she won’t feel ashamed for walking into the Halls of Khazad-dûm so grossly under-prepared. Squishy and majestic should not ever be put together, after all.
It’s not very exciting, though, deeding, and is making that feeling of being stuck between all she’s accomplished so far and wanting to be level 85 already that much worse. I’m excited to start Moria. I always am! BUT, I know from past experience that around the time I hit 21st Hall I’ll be running for the backdoor (the front door, actually, as it’s the entrance in the 1st Hall) (thanks @Inge Loots !) like the Balrog is on my tail, wanting to breath the fresh air, feel the sun on my chain-mail and leave the years worth of dust build up behind me as I gallop towards the yellow trees of Lothlorien. Happens. Every. Time. I don’t think I’ve ever completely quested Moria out.
And now I’m thinking about the dragonet deed and I’m bummed again. /Sigh
I’ll feel better once her virtue ranks are up so deed I must! I also want a horse that’s faster than the 62% mount I’m using but the only one Ollena seems to want is the Steed of the Guardian which, of course, isn’t in the store right now. Don’t really have the points anyway if I want to get RoR on that account, but still. I want the option of getting her that horse. Looks like I already have the Dusky Nimblefoot Goat and since Moria is approaching just over the horizon, suppose I should just stick with that mount for now. Stinks being all practical sometimes.
I’ve been doing Trollshaw quests and Epic Book 4 on my Guardian. Other than my Inspiration running out when I was in the middle of a troll cave, fighting a troll, I haven’t had a single problem and have had a lot of fun. When Inspiration ran out (and I realized what was going on) I ran back for the cave entrance. I was literally about to zone through it when I died. HA! How’s that for funny? Those trolls mean business!
Ollena, my Guardian, was 11k from hitting level 42 when I started the instance with Legolas for Book 4. I figured I’d breeze right through the instance and I did! Up until the last boss, that is. I want to say the fight went over 45 minutes but it may have been closer to 30. (felt like HOURS!) I held aggro pretty good but Legolas did get caught in a bit of AoE damage, and if I was stunned Taushalch would turn and stomp him a bit. My damage on the boss was fine but his healing? OHMYWORD was it awful. I couldn’t get him under 6k health for what he didn’t heal himself again. At one point he’d healed himself back up to over 17k health. Stamp, my interrupt, has a minute cooldown (I think) and there were times the boss was healing himself again before the cooldown had even reached the halfway point again. When Legolas finally died I’m sure it was from sheer exhaustion, and I’m also sure I was glad. Glad to be failing the instance so I could get the heck out of there!
And bring Captain Condi in to help me!
Once I had Condi in with me I put Ollena on follow and fought with Condi and her war herald, Grumpy. Talk about super fast! I had planned on needing to use Ollena’s Stamp along with Condi’s Kick and her stun-scream but Condi killed the boss in, I dunno, a minute maybe? Condi is an 85, mind you, but wow. I’m certainly not complaining, I just wish I’d remembered Taushalch had crazy epic healing skills and brought her in from the start.
Things I learned tonight:
- Condi still rocks my socks off.
- Damage type on a weapon can make all the difference.
- Ollena and Dopey, her skirmish soldier, are not very good at the Amon Sul skirmish.
- I really need to stop leveling Ollena and work on her deeds! Especially the legendary books!
- Deep Breath does NOT renew the Stamp skill.
- Pages for the legendary books drop in some of the skirmishes. (Icy Cravasse?)
- Ollena really needs potions for wound removal (to name just one).
- Ollena almost never really needs power potions, unless she’s locked in epic battles with self-healing troll bosses.
- I still haven’t figured out which virtues are best for a Guardian.
Oh, and I learned this when I got Condi logged in tonight.
I love the look of this armour and have worn it on Condi ever since she first got it. I don’t like it as much on Ollena because it makes me think of Condi. Ollena needs her own look! Plus, Condi wears it better.
If I get time to play tomorrow (later today, actually) I’ll start Epic Book 5 and Misty Mountains on Ollena. Hoping for lots of page drops there.