Lord of the Rings Online – Virtues, Traits and Deeds! (part three)

This is the third post in a series of articles about the Trait system in the online roleplaying game, Lord of the Rings Online.  You can see all the posts in this series by checking the Articles page, under ‘Virtues, Traits and Deeds (Lord of the Rings Online)’ (this link should take you to the V’s).

Update: This article was updated on 2nd January 2010 to correct the section on the Virtue Dialog.


The first type of Trait you’re likely to earn in the Lord of the Rings Online is a Virtue.  For the most part they are given as rewards to Deeds, although it’s possible to obtain them in other ways as well.  Virtues carry the names of good qualities such as Charity, Valour and Justice.  In this article I do not intend to list all the Virtues and their benefits, there are much better resources out there which do that.  I really just want to provide an overview on what they are, where you get them and how you use them.


All Virtues provide three different benefits and each specific benefit is also provided by three different Virtues, but the amount of benefit given varies.  For a particular benefit, one Virtue provides the most benefit, a second Virtue provides a middle-amount and the third Virtue provides the least amount.  Here’s a concrete example using the Justice, Determination and Tolerance Virtues.

  • Justice provides increases to in-combat morale regeneration, base morale and out-of-combat morale regeneration.  The primary benefit of Justice is in-combat morale regeneration (+6 per rank).  No other Virtue provides this much increase per rank.
  • Determination provides increases to agility, in-combat morale regeneration and base morale.  The primary benefit of Determination is agility (+3 per rank), and in-combat morale regeneration is a secondary benefit (+4.5 per rank).
  • Tolerance gives increases to tactical damage mitigation (primary), agility (secondary) and in-combat morale regeneration (tertiary benefit).  The agility increase is less than Determination (at +2 per rank) and the in-combat morale regeneration is less than both Justice and Determination (at +3 per rank).

So, for any particular benefit which interests you, there will be three different Virtues which provide it.  However, they provide it in decreasing value.  One Virtue has it as a primary benefit, giving you the greatest increase, another has it as a secondary benefit and a third Virtue has it as a tertiary benefit.  This system allows for a reasonably complex set of interactions and dependencies.

Gaining Virtues

As mentioned previously, for the most part Virtues are obtained by completing deeds.  These are usually location based enemy kill deeds, but also include quest line completion deeds and location discovery deeds.  Deeds usually provide a single rank increase to the Virtue although there are a small number of deeds which give 2 Virtue ranks.

If you do not have one of the Virtue traits, then completing any deed which provides any number of ranks gives you the new Trait (which you may then equip via a Bard).  If you already have the Virtue at any rank, then any deed which gives that Virtue increases the rank appropriately (up to a maximum rank of 10, at the time of writing).

The reward section of the deed dialog shows which Virtue will be affected, and what rank it will be increased to.  It does not show the number of ranks you will get in addition to those you already have, but the final rank you will be at if you get the reward.  For example, the image below shows that on completing the deed listed (The Ruins of Breeland), the Patience Virtue will increase to rank 4.

Deed Window - example 2

If another deed is completed before this one which also increases Patience, the reward would change to show the rank as 5.

It does not matter what level your character is, and what level the enemies or location you’re fighting in is.  If you’re level 65 and you do a deed in Breelands which gives you +1 to Tolerance for killing 40 spiders, you’ll get the increase.  There are more ways of earning Virtue ranks than there are ranks of a Virtue so you’ll have some choice if you want to max your Virtues out.

Characters can earn Virtues as soon as they can start completing deeds which provide them (realistically, this will be around level 6-8), but they may not equip their first Virtue until level 7.  Subsequent Virtue Trait slots open up at levels 9, 11, 17 and 23.

Equipping Virtues

Virtues are equipped by visiting a Bard, and using the first tab in the Trait management dialog (shown below) which lists all the Virtues you have earned and what rank they currently are (shown as orange squares).

Bard Trait Dialog

As you can see, you can have five Virtues equipped at most at any one time.  That’s a pretty small number considering there are 20 different Virtues in the game (and hence, 20 different benefits that can be obtained).  Virtues are probably the traits that get swapped around the most (especially those that give increases to different types of damage resistance).  Changing a Virtue Trait is reasonably inexpensive compared to other Traits.

Viewing Virtues

You can look at your current Virtues using the Trait window in two ways.  The first tab shows your equipped Virtues and we’ve seen this dialog before.  Hovering the mouse over a Trait icon shows you the benefits provided by that Trait.

Trait Window - level 53 champion

If you click the Virtues tab of the Trait dialog you get a wheel-like layout, showing the 20 Virtues in the game, your current rank (if any) in each of them.  It looks like this.

Virtue Trait Dialog

There are four different icon styles in the Virtue dialog, and they each mean something different, allowing you to see what state of progression each of your character’s Virtues are.

Virtue Icon - no ranks earned A totally grey icon with the number 1, no gold bars below it and no gold ring.  Your character has earned no ranks in this Virtue, and currently has no Deeds under-way which might provide any ranks.
Virtue Icon - Not equipped, but progressing A grey icon, with a number representing the number of Virtue ranks the character has earned, along with a matching number of gold bars underneath and a gold quest ring.  This icon means your character does not have this Virtue equipped, but they have earned the listed number of ranks and they have at least one Deed underway which will provide further ranks in this Virtue.  Clicking this icon will open the Deed dialog on one Deed which is underway and provides this Virtue.
Virtue Icon - Not equipped and not progressing A colour icon, with a number representing the number of Virtue ranks the character has earned, along with a matching number of gold bars underneath but no gold quest ring.  This icon means your character does not have this Virtue equipped, but they have earned the listed number of ranks.  However, they have no Deeds under-way which provide this Virtue and hence are not currently earning any further ranks.
Virtue Icon - Equipped A colour icon surrounded by four diamonds, with a number representing the number of Virtue ranks the character has earned, along with a matching number of gold bars underneath but no gold quest ring.  This icon means your character does have this Virtue equipped and they have earned the listed number of ranks.  The ring does not indicate either way if  the character is or is not earning any further ranks – however like the previous icon you can click and if they are working on any Deeds which provide this Virtue, the Deed window will be opened.

Hovering the mouse over an icon lists the benefits, as shown below for the Loyalty Virtue.

Virtue Trait Dialog - with Tooltip


Virtues are the trait your character will start earning earliest.  There are 20 Virtues, and they provide benefits to 20 different character attributes.  Each benefit is improved by three different Virtues, and all Virtues provide three different benefits.  They are cheap to switch around, and progressing them all to rank 10 will keep you busy long past the point where you reach the current level cap in-game.

For a full list of the benefits of Virtues, check out this page at the Lotro-Wiki site, and for an extremely useful resource for working out how to get the Virtues you want, check out the Virtues page at BurgZerg.

Lord of the Rings Online – Virtues, Traits and Deeds! (part two)

This is part two of a series of posts about the Trait system in the MMO game – Lord of the Rings Online.  The series started with this post.  This time, I’ll be focussing on the Deed system in the game since most of the methods of earning Traits rely on it.


There are two main mechanisms for tracking progress on activities in Lord of the Rings online.  They are the quest tracker and the deed system.  The quest tracker is where most of the XP earning activity of your character is focussed, while the deed system covers the other stuff.  That other stuff includes titles and traits, and sometimes reputation or items.

The key difference between quests and deeds is that starting a quest involves finding someone who needs you to do something (for the most part), while starting deeds tends to be more accidental and passive.

What are Deeds

Deeds are actions your character has completed which are either more general in nature or more epic in nature than a single quest.  For example, a single quest may have you trying to locate a lost fortress, while a deed might encompass finding all the fortresses in a particular area.  Deeds are things that people hear about, things that bring you renown and hence lead to titles or changes to your character to reflect the journey that they have undertaken.

When others hear that you have vanquished 200 orcs in the Lonelands you will find them calling you by a title, or if you find yourself favouring a particular attack you may find that attack becomes both more efficient and more deadly, by completing 60 quests in the Shire you might find you’ve joined the Bounders in the defence of their land, etc.

Starting a deed is a passive activity.  They are started when you complete the first step in them, even if you don’t know what that step is.  When you kill your first Goblin in the Breelands you might find you’ve been given a new deed to kill 50 of them, or when you find your first lost fortress in the North Downs you are given a deed to find them all, or even using a particular skill presents a learning opportunity and using that skill another 900 times brings you some insight and more deadly force.  You’ll see some text pop up on the screen, and an icon in the notification area telling you that you’ve been assigned a new deed.  Clicking the icon opens the deed window (see below) which gives more details about what you need to achieve.

One of the complications is that deeds are sometimes level linked.  Completing an activity at level 5 won’t give you the deed, but the same thing at level 15 might.  This is particularly true for deeds that result in Class, Racial and Legendary traits.  In the first 20 or so levels, you’ll find you build up a lot of potential deeds, and complete few of them.  As you gain levels you’ll get time to go back and complete those deeds to round out your character, while earning new deeds from new locations further on.

Some of the more common deeds are,

  • Kill deeds – you must kill a certain number of a particular creature in a specific area.  The basic deed tends to give you a title, and the advanced deed (started when you complete the basic one) tends to give you a Virtue trait.
  • Scout deeds – finding locations, objects, buildings or people.  Rewards vary, and sometimes include traits.
  • Quest deeds – completing a series of specific quests, or completing a total number of quests in an area.  These often lead to traits or reputation rewards (or more esoteric rewards, such as being able to swift travel to that location by horse).
  • Collection deeds – finding and collecting particular items.
  • Skill deeds – using the same skill many times.  These always reward you with a Class trait, they are usually level restricted so using a skill at level 38 might not trigger the deed, while the same skill at 40 might.
  • Enmity Kill deeds – rather than killing creatures in a particular area, these deeds require a character to kill a specific type of creature anywhere and lead to Race traits.  The deeds come in several ranks, and are all level restricted.

The Deed Window

Deeds are managed through the deed window, which can be opened using shift + L.  The deed window is a complex beast and it’s easy to miss stuff.  Here’s how it looks.

Deed Window - annotated

The numbered areas are,

  1. At the top of the window (new look with the release of Mirkwood) you can choose tabs for different areas of the game or different types of deeds.
  2. At the very bottom, and the bit most often missed, are tabs which select a sub-area or type based on the selection chosen at #1.  For example, the deed window above has Eriador as the area, and each of the tabs in #2 are for the different locations, such as The Shire, or North Downs.
  3. Here you can filter what is shown in the window, the key option is the ‘Completed’ checkbox.  When ticked it shows only completed deeds, when unticked it shows only uncompleted deeds.
  4. This side of the window shows all the deeds which match the type (#1), area (#2) and filter (#3).
  5. This shows the progress for the chosen deed.  It may be a bar such as in this example, or a list of tasks (in a later example).
  6. And finally, the rewards for completing the deed are listed in this area, you may find a small vertical scroll-bar if there are more than one reward.  Rewards may be traits (as in this case, a virtue), or reputation, an item, or sometimes combinations of rewards.

It’s easy to open the deed window and forget the tabs around #2, or open the window and forget you’re looking at completed deeds not ones you still need to finish.

Deed progress is measured in different ways, depending on the deed in question.  Here we can see a deed which results in a Class trait (and so is progressed by using a skill over and over again).

Deed Window - skill progress

Hovering the mouse over the blue bar shows the progress.  When the bar turns yellow, it means you may no longer progress this deed any further on this day.  Class skill based deeds usually require the enemy they are used against to provide XP (i.e. no slaughtering hundreds of grey enemies) and so have a high daily limit.  However, some class skills aren’t combat related (such as buffs, or summoning pets) and so have a much smaller daily use limit (maybe as low as 5 per day).

Here we see a deed which requires killing a certain type of creature to progress.

Deed Window - kill progress

And here we see a deed which has a number of discrete steps which must be completed.

Deed Window - quest progress

How they link to Traits

Deeds and traits go hand-in-hand because the vast majority of traits are earned by completing deeds (not all deeds give traits, but nearly all traits are given by deeds).  In the examples above we can see in the rewards the following traits,

  • The virtue Empathy in the first image, where the character already has 6 ranks so earning it will provide the 7th.
  • The class trait Athletic in the second image, which will modify how a particular skill for that character works.
  • The race trait Dwarf-Endurance in the third image.
  • Another class trait Deathstorm in the final image.


If quests are the Fairy Cake of Lord of the Rings online then deeds are the Pink Icing.  Deeds provide many rewards including titles and swift travel options, but most importantly they provide traits.  It is common to complete all the quests in an area before completing all the deeds and you need to decide whether to move on and complete the deeds later, or stay longer and complete the deeds there and then.  There is no right answer.  Skill based deeds take a long time to progress and if you don’t actively work on them, you’re likely to never complete some of them.

In the third article, I’ll focus on Virtues.

Lord of the Rings Online – Virtues, Traits and Deeds! (part one)

I tend to write blog posts for a few reasons, maybe I just have something in my head I want to get out, or I feel like ‘talking’ or because I want to write something I hope might be useful.  This post falls into that last category.  Here then, is a long blog post probably broken up into multiple parts, on the Traits system within the Lord of the Rings online game.  It won’t be the most comprehensive guide to Traits, but I hope it’ll be a useful introduction to the different elements and how they fit together.


Most roleplaying games have a number of elements which combine together to give your character their shape.  Often, there is an overall level which provides a rough power indicator for your character, then some skills which define what you can do and usually some attributes (like strength or agility).  Beyond that, games differ greatly on how they let you fine tune your particular character, and in online games, that fine tuning is often something that involves the most effort for the least overall reward.  Despite the small returns, those little tweaks are what make your Warrior different from some other Warrior.  Yours might have a quicker thrust, or a faster retreat option, while theirs might have a stronger arm or more solid shield.

In Lord of the Rings Online that customisation is provided by the Traits system.  Traits affect your character attributes and skills in a multitude of different ways.  Traits might provide more morale, faster power regeneration, they might extend the time a skill works for, give you more resistance to fire based attacks, or even provide entirely new skills alltogether.  Two Hunter characters might fair very differently in the same fight based on their trait choices.  There are four types of traits, lots of different traits in each type, completely different traits for each class and race, and a large number of ways they can be earned.  You could spend weeks reviewing all the options and how they affect a specific character.  For the most part, average players don’t spend that much time on them, but as you reach higher levels there usually comes a moment where you wonder why someone else survived a fight you didn’t and often the answer is trait choice.

Here then is my description of Traits, how they’re earned, why they’re called Virtues and why Deeds are so important.  Part one will be a general overview of the system.


There are four types of trait.  The different types tend for the most part to be earned in different ways, although there is some overlap.  In the section below I’ll provide a basic overview of each type and how they are most commonly earned.  Subsequent posts will go into more detail on each of the different types.

Virtues (can be equipped from level 7)

Virtues are the most basic trait, and your character starts earning these almost as soon as they start adventuring.  Each virtue provides three benefits to your character in the form of improvements to their attributes.  The range of attributes is diverse and includes basic stats such as Agility, defences such as Fire, improvements to in-combat power regeneration, and a large list of other possible benefits.  Nearly all virtues are earned as the rewards for common deeds.  They tend to be location based deeds such as killing orcs in The Lonelands or scouting ancient ruins in the North Downs.

Virtues are unique among the other types of traits in that additional instances of the same virtue stack together.  For example, you may earn your first Charity virtue by completing a deed in The Shire.  You could then equip it, and it would be at rank 1.  If you later earned another Charity virtue, perhaps in the Lonelands, it would automatically increase your equipped Charity trait to rank 2, and the benefits provided by the virtue would increase.  It does not matter where you earn your first rank of a virtue, nor what level you are when you do it.  The maximum rank any virtue may rise to is currently 10.  Earning multiple ranks in virtues is one of the ways to greatly increase your character’s power.

Virtues are identical for all classes and races in both name and benefit provided.

Racial (can be equipped from level 13)

Racial traits are, as the name suggests, unique to each race in both the effect they provide and the activity required to earn them.  They are mostly earned by killing enemies considered to be racial enemies.  For example, Dwarves have great enmity towards the Dourhands, Elves towards drakes, Hobbits towards wolves and Men towards the dead.  They tend to provide new skills or unique bonuses as rewards.  They are level restricted such that you may not see the deed required to earn the trait until you reach a certain level, at which point killing one of the enemies in question will give you the new deed.

Class (can be equipped from level 15)

Class traits are most often earned by repeatedly using class based skills.  The traits and their benefits are different for every class.  These traits provide the most significant customisation of the classes.  In the Mines of Moria expansion class traits were modified so that for each class they now fall into three groups.  Each group or set gives a particular class focus, and they achieve this because collecting traits within the same set/group provides additional benefits.  For example, you might choose to play a Guardian and focus on two-handed weapon / overpower traits, or you may prefer to generate more hate.  Choosing traits that match those rolls will provide additional benefits that complement that style.  That will be covered in more detail in a later post.  It is worth noting that this system is optional, you are free to equip any combination of class traits you like.

Legendary (can be equipped from level 41)

The last class of trait and the least numerous are Legendary traits.  As the name suggests (at least in theory) these traits provide your character with legendary abilities that define their place in the War of Middle Earth.  In practice some people find the benefits vary in quality on a per trait basis.  Each class gets a totally unique set of Legendary traits.  They are earned in different ways, either through collection deeds, earning reputation and purchasing books, or completing quest lines.  The only common factor is that at each stage, each class has to complete the same type of activity to earn similar legendary traits.  For example, in the mid 40’s the first three legendary traits are all earned by collecting a book and then 8 missing pages.  Each class requires different books and pages, and gets different traits, but they are all earned in the same way.

Viewing Traits

Traits can be examined using the trait window (by default, this is opened by pressing J).  The trait window has 5 tabs along the top, the first shows all equipped traits, the second lists virtues, the third lists race traits, then class traits and the final tab lists legendary traits.  The window changed in the Mines of Moria expansion, and the final four tabs now show all the possible traits your character may earn, and which ones you have completed.  Here’s how the window looks as a starting character (for all images in this series of blog posts, you may click for a larger picture).

Trait Window - new character

And for comparison, here’s the same window from a level 53 Champion,

Trait Window - level 53 champion

Later articles will go into more detail on each of the tabs and what the dialog is actually showing you.

Equipping / Changing Traits

Equipping traits you have earned or changing your existing trait line-up requires a visit to a Bard.  They’re placed throughout Middle Earth and nearly every town or city has one.  Visiting the bard will turn off any active skills you have on, and will present you with a dialog that looks like this.

Bard Trait Dialog

Using that dialog you can remove or add traits to your line-up and see what the total cost will be, as well as see which traits you already have equipped.  Traits can be changed at will and the only downside to doing so is the cash cost, which can get quite high.  Some players have combinations of traits they equip for different roles (maybe soloing, or grouped, or raiding, or fighting creatures with high Shadow damage, etc.)  Doing so might be useful but it’s also costly, and the people I play the game with don’t tend to bother.  They find a combination of traits which gives them an overall decent character and then tend to stick with it.  It might get changed if a specific encounter is giving a specific issue, but in general, it stays reasonably constant.


Traits provide a mechanism for customising your character in Lord of the Rings online.  They offer a huge range of variations for each character, and are the most complex part of defining your avatar.  They are split into four types, virtues, class, race and legendary.  They are earned in a myriad of different ways (although nearly all of them rely on deeds to track progress).  In the next article I’ll provide a refresher on deeds, what they are, how they are started and how they are tracked.  Traits rely heavily on the deed system in Lord of the Rings online so you need to have a good grounding in how that works, before you can progress.

Avatar – initial thoughts

So, just got back from Avatar (Digital 3D).  Totally engaging movie experience.  The time flew by.  I’ll write a longer review (maybe) later, but for now, here are my initial thoughts.

  • 3D worked well in some places (looking through windows, heads-up displays, floating embers), didn’t really get in the way, not sure how much it added to the experience having not see the non-3D version.  It does give you a headache afterwards, because (I’m guessing) your brain gets pissed off with seeing in 3D but not being able to choose what to focus on.
  • The CGI – breathtaking.  Really, just astonishing.  It’s a step and a half up from anything I’ve ever seen, anywhere.  There’s plenty of stuff on screen that I truly have no clue if it was CGI, model work or real.
  • The story – go with an open heart and let it affect you, and you’ll love it.  Go and don’t open up to it and it’ll look cheesy.  I hope you can empathise and get involved because it’s truly, honestly, moving.
  • Some people will call it Dances with Wolves meets Dragon Riders of Pern meets Aliens meets World of Warcraft.  Maybe they’re right, frankly, I don’t care.  It rocked.
  • The trailer, no matter which one you have seen, does not do the movie justice.

Will Avatar change Cinema? No, I don’t think so.  Is it groundbreaking?  Yes, in parts.  Is it a fantastic fantasy/sci-fi movie with a heart?  Yes, totally.

Every so often a movie comes along that not only begs to be seen on the big screen, but requires it.  Avatar is one of those movies.  If you do not see this on the big screen, if you do not let it fill your vision, your heart and touch your soul, you’ll not be seeing the same film as those people who do.

Go and see it, please.

More snow?

When we were deciding which day to head south, we almost decided to leave it until Monday / Tuesday in the hope of the weather having cleared up.  As it happens, we made the right choice going on Sat / Sun,

Thousands of people have been trapped in their cars overnight after snow and ice brought roads to a standstill.


In which I provide updates

It’s been a little while since I just blogged about life.  Mostly it’s been about games or movies or movies about games, or games based on movies about games.  Or books.  Or games based on books.  You get the idea.

We tend to do a little bit of travelling around this time of year, up to the North East to see my family and down to the South Coast to see Grete’s.  In terms of distance there’s not much in it either way, 160 miles North East and 200 miles to the South Coast.  Okay, so there’s 40 miles more going south.  But those 40 miles make a hell of a difference, because most of them are around the M25.  In fact, I reckon it’s about ~45 miles around the M25 from the M1 junction we arrive on, to the M23 junction we leave via.  It’s only 20-30 miles more going around than it would be going across London as the crow flies, but those miles are often the most painful.  This time we went north twice, and each time went up and came back on the same day, it’s about 3-4 hours depending on traffic and stops, and it’s a pretty easy run (especially for me, since I can’t drive).

Going south has traditionally been our nemesis though.  We once missed a wedding while we sat on the M1 and then the M25 for about 5 hours and only just made it for the reception.  The M1 is usually okay, but the M25 is often slow, busy, and inexplicably stop-starty (it might not be a word, but you know what it means).  Sometimes we’ll chug along at 15mph for ages, and then speed up with never any sign of what’s going on.

We set off for the South Coast late morning on Saturday (11am), the weather reports had us concerned and while we would normally head out at 8am, we didn’t want to set off without checking ahead, making sure it looked clear.  The terrible weather of Friday had mostly cleared, most of the main roads looked fine and although there was still some ice on local roads near Grete’s folks it wasn’t too bad.  We made good speed down the M1 and were about 7 miles out from Toddington services when,

  1. traffic slowed to a crawl, it took us about 50 minutes to go those 7 miles
  2. we were passed, in the hard shoulder, by 2 ambulances, a fire engine and several police vehicles (and some cheeky bastard using it to bypass traffic)

We went into the services, there was a maintenance vehicle parked in the chevrons of the junction before which we thought little of.  We picked up some drinks, used the toilets and were ready to set off, when we noticed another maintenance vehicle now blocking the route back on to the M1, and no traffic at all passing down the M1, or arriving at the services.  I can’t find any reports on the web, but from what I heard a couple of vehicles had to be cut open, and the police investigated the causes.  Which left us in the services for about 3 hours.  It’s better than it could have been,

  1. we could have been stuck on the M1, behind the closed junction
  2. we could have been in the accident, and I truly hope everyone involved came away as well as they can be

Once we got going again everything was clear and other than a minor issue on a local road (sheet ice, preventing us from making it up a hill three times before we found another route), we got there fine.  Pretty cold the whole way, made it to minus 7 Celsius at one stage.

It’s always worth the journey of course, both North and South.  Grete’s mum made a lovely roast dinner for us when we finally arrived, and we got to see her sister and their kids, some friends of ours in Hailsham, and my mother, sister and kids when we went North.

But now we’re home.  It’s still bloody cold and we’ve had (well, once again, Grete’s had) a hectic day, but it should be calmer now on the run up to Christmas.  Some quick shopping today, then a physiotherapy appointment for Grete (the first to see if they can work out what’s up with her back), then Grete taking Fizz to the vets to see why she’s lost her meow, and finally Grete went to the gym.  While she was out I quickly tidied, put our Christmas decorations and lights up and sorted out some stuff I’d been meaning to do for ages (recycled about seven hundred free newspapers).

Already three days of my holiday gone, but the next few should be nice and relaxing.

I was there …

These posts are archives of forum / blog entries I made on my EverQuest guild website. The website won’t be around forever, and I wanted the posts all in one place so I didn’t lose them, this blog seemed like as good a place as any.

You were there.

You were there when the first of our enemies fell. You were all there when blind, we still prevailed against The Itraer Vius.

We were all there the day the Avatar of War fell to our combined might, the moment the cursed snakelords of Luclin gave up their treasures, and when the Emperor’s presence was diminished by our deeds.

I remember.

You were there, risen from near death when we beat the Trial of Endurance and found our way into the lair of the Overlord, and we were all there when he was vanquished to the cries of our revenge. His mightiest lieutenants long dead, the chaotic power of Hulcror nothing before our righteous strength.

Time will not weaken the memory of our journey through its very plane of existence, the effort it took to get there, the sacrifice, the team work. We were there when Quarm fell, we were all there.

I was there when you forged through the Gates of Discord and defeated the best it had.

I was there when we rewarded our allies with epic weapons beyond compare.

I was there when headless monstrosities, dragons, giants, daemons and all manner of creatures from our collective nightmares learned there was something in the darkness to be feared more than they themselves. We were transcendant, resplendant, and we gloried in our power.

We were TNF, and I was there when we learned we had nothing to fear.

It’s only a game they might cry. And we laugh for none know the truth of that as well as we do. It is only a game, but you, you are real. Friendships are real. Shared experiences, triumph, defeat and victory are real.

We were all there, connected, together, a team, friends.

I know who you are because I have seen you in the shared moments, I respect you all, miss you all.

Whatever you’re doing at this time of year, I wish you all the best and hope you can share this moment with those you love, in spirit if not in body.

Here’s to 2010. You will be there, in my thoughts.

Mirkwood, Galadhrim reputation and Lord of the Rings Online

Mirkwood, the latest Lord of the Rings Online expansion has been released (on-time!) and the game servers are busier than ever.  I wrote a post a short while ago about Galadhrim reputation, and how to get enough to get into Caras Galadhon.  You can read it here.  At the end of that post I wondered how Mirkwood would affect the reputation process, knowing that access to that area would be through some part of Lothlórien.  I’m pleased to say that Turbine have done two things,

  1. You need access to Lothlórien wood in order to gain entry to Mirkwood, and they haven’t lifted the restriction on reputation to get into Lothlórien wood at all.
  2. They have added a bunch of new quests once you’re in the wood which all provide reputation.

The result is that once you’re in the wood, there are more choices about how to get enough reputation to get into Caras Galadhon, but the process takes just the same amount of time as it used to (just more choice).  Additionally there’s no ‘fast track’ to Mirkwood.  If you want to go there at the moment, you have to earn enough reputation with the Elves to be allowed into the Lothlórien wood, and that suits me fine.

On the road (kinda)

So I’m in a hotel in Winchester on a course for work. The hotel caters to businesses so they provide broadband in the rooms. You just have to pay 30pence per minute! There’s a cap on the total cost which I guess they hope business users will just accept and claim back, but in the current climate I wonder how many do.

Luckily the iPhone gives me more ways than ever of being in touch without needing a real net connection. The battery life is still the main issue though.

Why do hotel TVs always have the colour settings so high everyone looks orange, I can actually hear anyone dressed in red it’s that bright.

I’m missing the first few days of the new Lord of the Rings Online expansion while I’m down here which is making me feel like a member of Felicia Day’s The Guild web series.