Episode 119: Merry Christmas 2011

December 25, 2011

Episodes from 2011, Podcast

Baby Hobbit Christmas 2011Recorded December 24, 2011 we are full of holiday cheer (and perhaps a little cheer brought by on by wine in Goldenstar’s case).

Goldenstar was late to the Dum’s meeting due to a flat tire. I was able to join them late and finished the Tomb of Elendil and then ran an Angmar Battle Instance. Also Yule Festival is out so all my characters are in Winter-home.

Merric is playing his Guardian (without Goldenstar I might add) and gotten him to level 71. He’s also working on his crafting.

Intro Song: “Over the Anduin and Through Mirkwood” by Tyler M Jonnson of Middle-earth Network. More of Tyler’s voice over work can be found in the new project “My Little-earth”.

Ending Song: “White Hand Christmas” by Arjan Kiel. Available for purchase from Sword Song Records.

Town Crier:

Store News


Community News

Raise Your Glass

Dr. Stevl

Dear CSTM Pundits,

I may have missed it in your Update 5 discussion (probably a “senior moment”) but it appears to me that they took away alot of the Tier 6 (and maybe lower tier) recipes that you used to be able to buy from Expert Crafters and now you get them in the scroll drops. Im glad I leveled alot of my crafters before this update! Is this true or just an illusion sent to me by Saruman?

Regards, Dr. Stevl (“because there is no I in Evl”)


Hello M&G.

I really enjoy the latest Update(s) of LOTRO.

But I have a question about skirmishes. I always was a big fan of skirmishes. For several reasons like cosmetics, special jewelry, XP, pots, armour sets (Helegord & Annuminas) and some other stuff.

But since the currency consolidation skirmishes kinda became obsolete. Yesterday I ran a skirmish solo on tier 3 on level 75 with my Hunter. I finished it successful and all in all I got was around 110 marks (and some bounty coins). That’s all.

And that amount of marks is nearly the amount you need to barter for five (!) lvl 75 morale / power pots. But isn’t that a bit ridiculous? I mean you need like 5 of those pots for a skirmish alone. So at the end you basically have nothing from the skirmish. And you can’t do much with only the marks alone anyway.

And since there aren’t special coins for special stuff like the rift cosmetics anymore, you just could run a few Isengard 3-men instances or school/library, where you get way more marks way faster plus some medallions and chest-loot.

Okay sure you can run skirmishes as 12-men raids (for pale chest-loot and celebrimbor symbols at level 75) but except for that?

So, maybe I am just blind but what reason is there now to run skirmishes except for some mediocre XP at lower levels and maybe fun? Especially for the f2p guys, who need to buy them with TP, there must be something that makes it worthwhile somehow now.

kind regards – Jan

Alinniel, Officer Beholders of Ainulindale, Crickhollow Server

Dear Casual Stroll to Mordor (dodged that bullet):

I am very excited about the new Instance Finder, but I’m wondering how other players, mini’s especially, handle traits and choosing the different roles available to them in the IF.

Mini’s can choose either a healing or DPS role in the IF. I’m a West Coast player and it’s pretty late in the evenings when I get in game so I end up soloing most of the time. I’m normally traited as a war mini (I just love saying that). However, when in a group I prefer healing, and don’t have issues with paying to retrait to a healing spec. I don’t want to change my traits to healing just in case I can get into a group as a healer. Switching back and forth just can get expensive, and if I run in the healing spec solo it feels like I’m throwing wet toilet paper at the mobs. It’s just enough to annoy them, but not enough to hurt much. Do others have a spec they run that works for both healing and DPS even though it isn’t optimal? Is there time to run and retrait after you are assigned your role? That seems a bit rude for those who have waited their five minutes to ask for more time to retrait.

I’ve only tried the IF once, and I chose both healing and DPS. The IF couldn’t find a me a group and put me in the instance as a healer. Luckily I was still DPS traited or my soldier and I wouldn’t have been able to complete the skirmish.

I’d really love to hear how other players classes handle the choice of roles and traiting.

I really enjoy your podcast. Keep up the good work.


Alinniel, Officer Beholders of Ainulindale, Crickhollow Server

Nalric of Riddermark

Hey Goldenstar and Merric,

I wanted to drop you a line and let you know that as my daughter and I were tracking santa this christmas eve, it was brought to my attention that there is an easter egg in google maps that give you directions from “the shire” to “mordor”. I have no idea if this is old news, but it was news to me and the first folks I thought of were you two so I thought I’d pass it on. Well, Really, it doesn’t so much as give directions as reiterate Boromir’s warning that Walking directions are in beta.
Use caution – One does not simply walk into Mordor. (check the directions column after hitting the link)


BTW, I’ve been an avid listener all year and I’ve started making sure that I grab the newest episode on sunday night to listen to on the way to work on Mondays. So nice you have to listen twice :) Thanks again for all your hard work on the blog and the podcast, and I hope there’s plenty more in the new year (I’m sure there will be).

Nalric of Riddermark

Meleliel of Gladden
Greetings Goldenstar & Merric!

Hope you guys have something fun planned for the holidays! Thanks so much for all of the work you do with the podcasts and website. I am having a bit of an issue with buffbars and was wondering if you had experienced the same or had any advice. I am using the new plugin manager to automatically load buffbars at login. However, it seems as though the quickslots for potions/pots do not work unless I go into buffbars options and click the accept button. They are loaded into buffbars for each character but pop up empty unless I click accept in the options EACH time I log in. The skills that I have set up (like prelude for morale on my rk and wound removal on my lm) all pop up, but the pots just won’t for some reason. Have you noticed this? I have the latest version of buffbars installed. Might try reinstalling to see if that fixes it, but thought you guys might have some ideas.

Thanks Much!

Meleliel of Gladden

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About Goldenstar

Goldenstar's primary happiness in games is anything that involves festivals, parties, cosmetics and pie. If there's any time after those things to kill bad guys, so be it.

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8 Responses to “Episode 119: Merry Christmas 2011”

  1. grimbran Says:

    The letter from Alinniel, With the message about mini skirmishes and traiting to cover both dps and heals, trying to find a middle-ground, I would suggest trying a harmony spec with red traits for the extra slots. (either 4/3 or 5/2)
    The nice thing with harmony spec + harmony-stance is that you still get boosted ballad damage and your coda will *both* dps the target *and* heal all fellowship members that are close by. (if you want to do frequent codas and not focus on stacking anthems) You lose access to some warspeech-only calls, but you don’t have your damage nerfed nearly as much as a full-healing traited spec.(and if you get into a 3-man or higher, stacking those anthems makes a big difference since everyone has skirmish soldiers out too)


    • Rorggrim Says:

      To that point, Harperelle has a 4y/3r spec post up on the official Minstrel Forum that looks quite good. I tried something similar, but lacking good heal gear/stats found it a little lacking for me to heal, so I went to 4y/3b, which made healing MUCH easier, and frankly, while soloing is significantly slower than 5r/2y was (duh), it’s certainly doable.

      75 Man Minstrel
      Jesters of Landroval


  2. Maedhric Says:

    Merry Christmas, youse two!


  3. goo Says:

    In regards to Jan’s letter about solo skirmishing: This is actually a two-way street, in my opinion. Some people find it better in this new system than the old system, while others dislike it. Me, personally, I don’t mind the changes.

    For starters, grouping with others will usually get you rewards quicker using the new consolidated system. This is true to a certain extent in the old system. Before Update 5, you could run school/library and get at least six superior fourth marks going toward the dragon set or scrolls of greater empowerment/delving with 400-600 skirmish marks if you turn in other marks for skirmish marks beside the s4m’s.

    With Isengard now, you can score around 150 medallions per 3-man or 6-man instance on tier 1. I think tier 2 is a little greater going around 200-250 or so. And getting seals semi-weekly doing these net 3 on t1 with 6 seals on t2 plus whatever you get for completing challenge. However, doing isengard instances, you will get 0 marks. You would need to downgrade if you wanted marks.

    With skirmishes, you can get marks for stuff like scrolls, cosmetics, ixp, relics, etc just like before. However, you have 2 different costs for scrolls of greater empowerment. One being like 63 medallions and 830 or so marks while another is around 150 medallions and a fair number of seals (not sure of this cost atm. For me, I’d rather go with the 63 medallion/830 mark cost than the x# of seals/150 medallions. Of course, you can run 2 or 3 isengard instances and gather around 340 medallion, convert down, and get a scroll that way.

    Or you can use the instance finder which rewards 1.5x marks and medallions and get a random solo skirmish. On Tier 1, the best random is Icy Crevasse where you can score over 200 marks and 16 medallions (including encounters). The lowest I’ve seen using I.F. is getting 7 medallions, and around 130 marks which is the rift skirmish (also doing encounters). You average around 9 medallions and 150-200 marks per skirmish you use on the instance finder. On average, with this new method, you only have to do 7 random skirmishes getting a greater scroll of empowerment. This, imo, is much better than it was in the past where you need to do around 8 or 9 skirms plus have a superior fourth mark to pick up a scroll of greater empowerment. This method, you work toward 63 medallions and/or 830 marks. Granted, you have to do the encounters, but the encounters are now worthwile to kill now than they were in the past.

    Also, with the new change, Lieutenants have a chance to drop tier 3 relics. Depending on the skirmish, there is a chance to score marks on LT’s as well. As with before, with the higher tier skirmishes, Lieutenants have a greater chance to drop more stuff and/or be worth marks when you kill them.

    In summary, grouping, of course is the best way to get rewards overall. That has never changed with update five. However, I find doing skirmishes using the instance finder is a faster way to get scrolls of greater empowerment. Combined with getting medallions from grouping, you probably only need to do 4 or 5 solo skirms to get a scroll of greater empowerment instead of 8 or 9 you needed to do in the past.


  4. Rorggrim Says:

    Ahh, what a great week to pick to grind virtue deeds. Only have one left (Creban in Eregion) to get everything to 12 … I did all the soloable deeds this weekend, which took them all up to 10-11 and bought the last 1 or 2. On sale! Wheee!


  5. Bellebrian of Vilya Says:

    Buffbars bug — yes yes yes I have the same problem!


  6. Ithilwen Says:

    Re: Vitality food on the Westfold tier.

    There’s another type of Vitality food (not gated by Riders’ rep) – for the Cottage Pie Recipe you have to have Friends Standing with the Men of Dunland (which is ridiculously easy to get). So while you still have to gain rep with one of the two new factions, it’s the easier one of the two. The only difference between the two is that the Cottage Pie needs more ingredients than the Potato Scone and also the Scone will give you a few Vitality points more than the Pie.

    Hope this helps ya :)



  1. 500 Point Codes Giveaways! | A Casual Stroll to Mordor - December 26, 2011

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