1366060582_1445_metal

Metal-Earth Fest 2014

 Join us tonight for the Lord of the Rings Online concert of the ages. 

Turbine and Late Night Steamer podcast team up to present:

MEF

Leave Weatherstock for the fair folk! Do you enjoy PvP fist fights while banging your head to face melting metal?  We sure do.  Come get your palantir’s nut-knocked in while enjoying a fine selection of hobbit head-banging metal songs by attending bands such as:

LAG KILLERZ ~ HARPERELLA AND THE WARBANDS ~ THE LONELY METAL BAND ~ SAM WAS WRONG ~ THE HAND ~ A FLOCK OF SMEAGOLS feat CORY TAYLOR ~ CASUAL METAL TO MORDOR ~ LOTRO SLAYERS ~ 21ST HALL BASTARDS ~ RUSTY ORCRIST ~ TANKING MINSTREL DOWN ~ AND MANY MORE!

Where to meet:

Gather in Angmar at 11.7N 15.3W – “Look for the sweet metal concert and death.” – Landroval server only (Everyone else wasn’t metal enough)

Items allowed into the concert area:

  • Fireworks, duh
  • Warsteeds
  • Sharp objects, preferably First Age
  • Ale
  • More Ale
  • Endless bag of faces that will surely be melted off by the sweet metal.
  • Did we mention fireworks?

 I can’t make it to Angmar! Can someone teleport me there?

NO YOU PANSIE NOOB! One does not simply teleport to metal.   To get there all attendees are required to jump into the fray on a warsteed, warg, or drunken Warhobbit.

Knock knock

Who’s there?

METAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLL!

 (Warning: mind the Balrog)

skyrim_bar

Free music from me – Echoes of Skyrim

I was waiting for Final Cut to render a 4 hour long 1080p movie I am editing and decided, “hey why not tax the processors in my Mac even more?”  God I love my Mac Pro…  dual quad core procs just don’t give a fuck like honey badgers.

Garageband_Skyrim

Anyways I fired up Garageband and started goofing around with some synth.  An hour and a half later I had this. So I am gifting to the world some free music.

DJPimpDaddy – Echoes of Skyrim   (right click and save as)  10Mb hosted at DropBox (so be patient with download speeds)

Listing this as Creative Commons with attribution, non-commercial, alike license.   SHARE SHARE SHARE!

 

 

DJ_DDO_Header

Stepping into The Wavecrest Tavern

Deciding to branch out and experience different MMO’s with an open enthusiasm I downloaded and installed Dungeons & Dragons Online, another Turbine game.  So far I am still in the starter town and my respawn is set for The Wavecrest Tavern.  When comparing Lotro to DDO, they are wildly different so my learning phase of DDO is going to be extended.  Having said that, I am loving my experience so far.

DJ_DDO_Wavecrest_TavernWhen I play DDO, I am having nostalgic flashback feelings to when I played AD&D (2 and 3.5) tabletop. I would spent nearly entire nights at my friends house, rolling dice and drinking Pepsi like it was water.  The room was constantly smokey with coffee stains everywhere. We would laugh, fight, argue rule sets, and sometimes throw dice at each other.  Flash forward to me playing DDO, and I am seeing the underlying mechanics and rule sets of how DDO operates and I instantly understand how the game will react based upon my choices.

The first town gets you familiar with all the game mechanics and elements. I absolutely love the narration on all the events and quests by the dungeon master.  I even spent a few minutes to step up to the bar and try to RP.  In The Wavecrest Tavern, as expected people jump into the starter area and then do their best to leave as fast as possible so RP is kind of pointless.  But that didn’t stop Yorge from enjoying an Ale!

DJ_DDO_PuzzleOne notable entry level quest you are given is to recover a scroll from the town storage building, which of course is not as simple as walking in and grabbing it. No, my good friend, in typical RPG format the building is crawling with spiders and rats.  I can accept this. One task in particular that was interesting was the final puzzle it gives you to free the scroll from the pedestal. The player must flip tiles around to make a rudimentary electrical or magical circuit to free the scroll.  It was this simple puzzle that gives me hope to expect fantastic experiences in the future from DDO.  Lotro has many excellent quest lines and such, but to my knowledge there were few actual puzzles.  And the puzzle-like experiences I can possibly remember so far, the system practically gives you the answer or holds your hand to work you through the riddle.  In this early game DDO puzzle, it says “here’s the puzzle…good luck fucker”.  It won me over.

So in closing you should expect many future posts on my experiences in DDO. For now I am going to try and play the game pure FreeToPlay.  Adding it to your existing Turbine account was as simple matter of calling or tweeting to DDO Support and getting a free activation code for the account.turbine.com page.  I even had a great experience from the DDO support agent too on the phone!  Kudos on having excellent customer service Turbine!  Cheers from the Wavecrest Tavern!

DJ_Floyd_Sarreh

Taking your sweet-ass time to Mordor – Step 1: Stop paying

Slow down.  Enjoy some Lembas. ~ DJ

[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] E [/dropcap]very time I log into Lord of the Rings Online I am impressed at how many of my Kinship mates are all at end game.  Typically most people want to blast through the content and areas and get to the end game content, which might be very good, but I won’t know for quite some time. You see, I enjoy the slow grind. I enjoy getting lost in the Lone Lands sight seeing while battling off orcs that are strong enough to overwhelm me.  In all my gaming I have gotten to the point where I love a good challenge and if I am overpowering an area/level/boss fight I am bored. My days of popping in a Game Genie and setting myself in God-Mode are less and less.  Even simple things like grinding out a slayer deed can provide hours of entertainment if you are in the right mindset. It’s all about using your imagination and enjoying the distraction from real life, where you can’t run around killing 180 warg.  Well you could I suppose but they would come take your weapons away and give you a hunting fine.

[one_third]Reader: DJ, do you ever want to actually make it to Mordor?

DJ: “Eventually[/one_third][two_third_last]So I am making a multi part blog series on how to take your sweet time getting to Mordor. I was a long time fan of Casual Stroll to Mordor because of their underlying declaration that they are casual players of the game.  Now, listening to their podcast made me realize that they were a lot more hardcore than I am at Lotro, which made me laugh when I tried to compare how casual’er I am.  Its like I am the Nintendo Wii to their PS4 when I compare the two.  Still, their podcast and site is a fantastic guide for everything and should be thoroughly explored.[/two_third_last]

Step 1:  Become a cheap ass and stop paying

No really. If you want to play Lotro for years and years, don’t pay for it monthly.  This goes without saying for any game mind you.  I love Turbine to death and support their games, but paying VIP for an entire year taught me an important self realization: I hate paying monthly fees.  So sit down and really do some math and figure out for yourself if it is easier to just pay for the content you want to play outright vs playing as a VIP.

Lets break this down shall we:

Assumptions: You are like me, want to take your time, play all quests, do little to no raiding, are open to role play, and LOVE grinding and exploring!

[one_half] 3 years of VIP[/one_half][one_half_last] 3 years of Premiumish[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Description: Pretty simple: you buy 3 years of premium VIP. You get everything including the kitchen sink as well as VIP perks like a flashy character portrait border I think. [/one_half][one_half_last]Description: Pay for 1 month of VIP to unlock all of the static perks like riding, extra bags, increased purse, quick travel, all trait slots, and all the starting presents PERMANENTLY. Then as sales present themselves purchase stuff like the “All Quest Pack”, “Mithral Edition” if you can find it, Stone of the Tortoise, Steam Triple Pack, RoR etc.[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Pros: You don’t have to think about stuff. You just play the game and keep paying like a sheep.  Baaaaahh![/one_half][one_half_last]Pros: Money.  Its nice to have it.  Plus you get to explain complicated reasonings and mathmatics to justify how you play Lotro.  You can also continue to buy stuff in game with free earned TP if you are a deed grinder like myself![/one_half_last]

[one_half]Cons: You are a faithful servant of the ever watching eye of Turbine and Warner Bros plus out more money over the long haul.  Long term if you choose to stop paying you will lose the ability to backtrack and do tons of questing in some fantastic zones like Evendim, North Downs, Misty Mountians, etc.[/one_half][one_half_last]Cons: Lets be real, you don’t want to pay for this all at once.  Also it gets a tad complicated looking up what you can and can’t do, but I will try to remedy that in this blog(you are welcome). Also if you want to do everything including raiding and such you are going to start making it more expensive!  Remember: slow down and enjoy the Lembas[/one_half_last]

[one_half]Costs: Ok if you pay one full year at a time:

$99/ yr x 3 years = $297 total

If you are a typical gamer and can’t blow that much at once:

$9.99/month for 3 months x 3 years = $359.64 total

If you are suicidal and pay monthly:

$14.99/month x 3 years = $539.64 total GAAHH!
(fuck that noise!)[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Costs: Let me begin with this:

[box type="warning"] ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS BUY SHIT ON SALE[/box]

  • Pay 1 month of VIP: $14.99
  • The Steam Triple Pack (Steam sale) 50% off at $19.99
  • Riders of Rohan (Steam Sale) 50% off $9.99
  • Helms Deep (Steam Sale) 50% off $19.99
  • In game:Stone of the Tortoise – (Wait for 25% off sale) 371 TP or USE your first 500 free TP from VIP duh…  $FREE!!!
  • The motherload “All Quest Pack” – $79.99 – adds all extra zones which are FANTASTIC!  Don’t skip them!

Total cost: $144.95[/one_half_last]

DJ_Lotro_Tortoise As you can see the cost savings is incredible when you wait and shop for these items on sale.  Steam offers most of this stuff 50% off multiple times a year. I HIGHLY suggest you start as the VIP and add the items in your Steam wish list. When the sale starts you will get an email telling you that something in your Steam wish list is on sale.  Note: The Steam store sells you the expansion packs and just simply gives you the code which you must apply over at your Turbine account page to be valid in game.

In the next few posts I will continue to expand upon how one uses this mythical Stone of the Tortoise to take your sweet-ass time getting to Mordor!   Stay tuned. 

DJ_Lord-of-the-Rings-map

How I became a Lotro fan

[dropcap style="font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;"] F [/dropcap]irst off, who in their right mind doesn’t like Tolkien’s literary works?  If so, please stop reading and leave this blog. You are not welcome here. Go away and spare us the time of editing out any comments you may want to leave.  It was sometime during my 7th grade school year when a teacher of ours told us we would be reading sections of The Hobbit for class.  At the time I was balls deep in the launch of the original NES (this was like 1989) and with it was my favorite game at the time Dragon Warrior.  Up to that point, gaming for me had only existed on either early model Apple IIe or TI-994A computers. There simply was no form of good RPG that I had access to until later editions of Ultima or Might and Magic.  I also had not read much literature up to that point, as most of my books I logged from the library dealt with solving crimes or stuff we were forced to read against our will.

[two_third]The Hobbit, is simply a wonderful book all around. Even today I still think it is a wonderful way to dip your toes into the rabbit hole that ends up being the Tolkien realm without committing to a full plunge. When I read those opening lines, I was immediately captivated by the whole concept of fantasy, taking my adventures into Dragon Warrior even further. Instead of just playing Dragon Warrior and killing slimes to level up to ultimately beat the boss, I was now making additional adventures in my head and adding plot points as I went. I added an entirely new level of immersion to a rather basic RPG by today’s standards. In Dragon Warrior the plot can almost be entirely written in 2 paragraphs if you phrase it right.  Try doing that with today’s games like Skyrim or Lotro.[/two_third][one_third_last]“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.”~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit[/one_third_last]

DJ_DragonWarrior_Circular2This was the start of a long journey through fantasy and sci-fi authors that still inspire me to create wonderful worlds today. I love getting lost in a good book or video game, that disconnects me for a while from reality.  I do suppose a signifigant requirement is having a mind that is prone to wandering and a lust for adventure.  Perhaps that is why I grew up with the ability to grind and grind on a character for days on end in some of those older NES and SNES classic RPGs.  I never got bored performing the same task over and over again, which makes me think perhaps I should have worked in a factory instead of an IT guy ha ha.  Regardless I still laughingly say that The Hobbit was my gateway drug.  Since then I expanded and found works such as the never ending Dungeon’s and Dragons series or Hitchhikers Guide series, and authors like Hickman, Wies, Anthony, McKiernan, and Jordan.  I have also spread out my love of RPGs from those early JRPG titles to western games like the Elder Scrolls, Ultima, and Baldur’s Gate.  Between Baldur’s Gate and Neverwinter Nights, I think I have a sub-lifetime of play already sunk.  Trust me, now that I have a fantastic gaming rig we are going to play us some more Neverwinter Nights again!  (Not that MMO mind you)

So naturally, my 7th grade teacher told us one day as we were wrapping up the Hobbit sections he wanted to cover that there was more. So much more.  All you had to do was reach out and find it.  It was later that night that I was bugging my mom for a ride to our county library system.  There enshrined in the library stacks was an entire shelf of Tolkien books. I remember picking a few up and flipping through them. You could tell that when you compare them to the Hobbit that I had just read, these were filled with deeper darker places and subjects. I almost felt as if I was doing something wrong checking them. That still makes me giggle when i remember that day.  In the end a few weeks later when I had to return them after rechecking them out 4 times in a row I was through the first book and hooked.  No longer was it a cheery adventure with dwarves and good song. Now it was an epic tale of sadness and strife.  There was little singing (minus that part at Rivendell) yet I found myself staying up ridiculously late into the night. I literally WAS that kid in The Neverending Story, stuck reading a book unable to look away or I might miss something out of fear someone would die if I stopped reading.

[one_third]I finished the trilogy, paid several dollars of late fees to the library, and didn’t regret one moment. ~DJ[/one_third][two_third_last]I never delved into MMO RPGs beyond playing Neverwinter Nights on a multiplayer server. I spent hundreds of hours playing that game and programming C scripts for my friend and he ran a fantastic server. There were many nights where the server had 20-30 people playing in a world wide. I still can’t that many people logged into a Minecraft server these days at once.  When some of my friends told me about World of Warcraft I dismissed the idea at the time because (get this) I hated the art style.  I couldn’t accept such superficial stuff and decided to skip it completely. Even today I still just don’t enjoy looking at screenshots of the game.[/two_third_last]

logo_lotroA few years back I got into podcasting, and have met fantastic people left and right. It really opened doors and allowed me to network wider than I ever imagined.  As part of one of our shows the guys all wanted to do a project where we all played an MMO for a month and then discussed it.  Their first MMO they chose was Lord of the Rings Online which just went free to play and available on Steam.  I remember the first few hours of play where I was fighting with learning how to do timed combat through menu buttons and constantly having the wrong camera angle. For a first time MMO player they were screaming at me about “fucking up the aggro” and I had absolutely no concept of what that term even ment.  I charged head long (with my minstrel) into frays and wiped us several times.  I was a terrible noob.  I was an even worst minstrel since I never learned how to heal my party. I was too busy standing in the middle of a fight trying to keep my ass alive.  I barely even grasped concepts such as DPS, tanking, or simple group roles.  Eventually they all out leveled me and kept playing, which led to me taking my time through the game solo and enjoying it much more.

DJ_lotro1_Circular2

You see when you are grouped with some fellowship members who either are dead set on end game content or just want to do instances and raids, taking your time is frowned upon.  Playing solo for me was the only choice. We were ripping through quest lines faster than I could even read the titles, much less the story and descriptions.  I honestly believe to my core that Lotro is not mean to be played fast.  i understand and accept that there might be some epic end game content, but half of the fun (and 5 books of Tolkien lore) are getting there!

In the end we did our show and talked about the game. The other guys were super critical about the lack of player on the server as well as the boring quests, and all the typical stuff about “it takes too long to get to end game”.  I completely accept their opinions and we all agreed that Lotro was not for them. They all abandoned Lotro and went back to their other games like WoW.  But I stayed.  I was once again exploring Middle-earth and all it’s wonderful little side stories.  But this time instead of being in my head as I read the books, I was there in character. And it felt great.