lord of the rings

See: Lord of the Rings Online

Tamriel Infinium: The bizarre lore of the Hist in Elder Scrolls Online – and how it could matter in Mirkmire

Although our next Elder Scrolls Online venture into Black Marsh is still many months away, I thought I would take a moment to talk about the Argonians. But as intriguing as the Lusty Argonian Maid might be, I will save that discussion for another article and less kid-friendly website. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be hilarious if part of the Mirkmire DLC was finding out the origin of the Lusty Argonian Maid?)

What I would actually like to discuss today is the center of the Argonian religion and mythology: The Hist. It’s hard to tell sometimes if the Hist is an actual god-like presence or if it is mythology built up by the Argonians. Maybe it’s both. So if you’re ready for a drug-induced trip into the core of Argonian culture, keep reading. But if you’re not ready for what has to be the weirdest trip into Elder Scrolls lore, you might want to turn back now.

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LOTRO calls Middle-earth groupies to celebrate Weatherstock X

There is perhaps no MMO player music festival as well-known and -attended as the yearly bash at the summit of Lord of the Rings Online’s Weathertop. This year, the celebration known as Weatherstock will be even greater as it enters its tenth year.

The player-led event kicks off on Saturday, July 21st, at 10:00 a.m. EST on the Landroval server and features 17 bands competing for the audience’s hearts (and votes). If you’re unable to attend in character, you can always boot up the LOTRO Twitch channel, as the music festival will be livestreamed throughout the day.

In other LOTRO news, a small patch dropped this week that made an important adjustment to Wardens, disabled mailing for mithril as part of an effort to combat spam, and allowed Kinship names to use diacritics.

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Battle Bards Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music

It’s a catch-all, catch-up episode for the Battle Bards as they dig through new soundtrack releases from MMORPGs that they’ve covered in the past! You may be prepared for an eclectic and enjoyable mix of music — but there is no way that you can steel yourself for the raw and heartfelt confessions that take place on this show.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 124: Old MMOs, new music (or download it) now:

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Perfect Ten: Best MMO debuts by year, 2007-2017

Continuing from my previous column, I’m going to be running through the second decade of graphical MMORPG launches and picking the best title to debut in any given year. From doing the first decade, I know that this thought exercise isn’t always fair; some years have several great contenders, while others see one mediocre one rise due to a lack of competition.

Still, it’s kind of fun to look back at MMO history and to see which game was really the best of that year. And if you ever felt sore that a particular title got overlooked, well, consider this a retroactive awards ceremony of some sort.

Let’s dive right in where we left off with 2007!

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LOTRO Legendarium: Are the new seasonal instances a win or a whimper?

Let us travel back to 2009, when Lord of the Rings Online released its second expansion pack, Siege of Mirkwood. This pint-sized expansion seemed underwhelming with its options (although it did give us one of my favorite zones in the game), especially after the grandeur that was Moria. However, Mirkwood did factor in a new feature that made a pretty big splash with players: skirmishes.

Skirmishes were a new type of instanced content that could be scaled in both difficulty and group size, both of which felt revolutionary at the time. They threw players into either an offensive or defensive quest, challenging the group to conquer piles of foes and continue to press onward by claiming flags, defending areas, and defeating optional side objectives. To make matters even more interesting, players got to bring along a soldier companion to assist, and this soldier could be modified and trained to become more effective.

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The Stream Team: Sun and fun in LOTRO’s summer festival

It has been… well, almost a fortnight since LOTRO’s last festival, so it’s obviously time for another! The summer festival has begun, and Massively OP’s MJ heard tell of a peacock pet available from it. Of course she just has to get one of those, so you know that she will be heading in to revel, soaking up the pixel sun (which is much better than the real one!) while collecting the festival goodies. Join us live at 8:00 p.m. to fish, frolic, and have fun.

What: Lord of the Rings Online
Who: MJ Guthrie
When: 8:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday, June 30th, 2018

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Lord of the Rings Online plans a ‘perfect picnic’ with this week’s summer festival

Lord of the Rings Online’s summer festival is coming back on June 28th, and this year the event has a couple of exciting surprises for players to discover.

Standing Stone Games is trying out a new type of instance for these festivals, starting with the two that arrive in today’s Update 22.3. These include “The Perfect Picnic” with all sorts of cool rewards (want a raincloud pet?) and a revamped boss fight against Thrâng. The rest of the summer festival offerings will also be available, so head over to the LOTRO Wiki for a full guide through these.

Update 22.3 also makes significant changes to the Hunter’s Lingering Wound skill, adds a search bar to the quest log, and puts a throttle on global chat message frequency to combat spamming.

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The Daily Grind: What are your summer MMO goals?

Now that most schools are out and the heat has begun in earnest in the northern hemisphere, it’s the perfect time to retreat into sunless rooms and pour yourself into MMORPGs. It’s also the perfect time to get stuff done and accomplish everything that’s been stacking up on your gaming backlog.

Getting everything ready for Battle for Azeroth is a high priority for me, although I’m pretty much ready right now. Past that, I’d love to get through Star Trek Online’s newest expansion, enjoy my weekly DDO group nights, and find my way out of Northern Mirkwood in Lord of the Rings Online. There aren’t any summer festivals that are particularly calling to me right now, but that may change.

So what are your summer MMO goals? What do you want to get accomplished by the end of the season?

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Lord of the Rings Online continues to fine-tune class adjustments

How many number twos can Standing Stone Games put after a Lord of the Rings Online patch before it collapses from the sheer decimal weight? We’re getting close to finding out, as Update 22.2.2 arrived today, bringing further adjustments to last week’s mid-tier patch and its class balance changes.

Hunters, Guardians, Lore-masters, and Minstrels all should definitely read the fine print on this update, as many of the skills changes have been changed once more. Some nerfs, some buffs, you know the drill.

The studio also added a new chat restriction to premium accounts: “To help alleviate some chat spamming issues, characters on premium accounts must now be level 10 in order to chat on the global chat channels. Characters on VIP accounts continue to have no level restriction to chat, while characters on free accounts must still be level 20 to use the global chat channels.”

Source: Patch notes

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Battle Bards Episode 122: Happy town

In peaceful villages and bubbly burgs, you just know that there’s bound to be an abundance of happy music! Whenever the Battle Bards regroup to lick their wounds and drink the terrors away, they often find that happy town music is perfect to soothe jangled nerves and re-center one’s heroism. There’s plenty of those tunes in today’s episode, so recoup with them as they listen to the songs of the common folk.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 122: Happy town (or download it) now:

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The Daily Grind: What MMO celebration do you never miss?

The first year that any MMORPG that I’m playing launches a new festival or holiday, I’m usually all over it. Sometimes I get too much into it, spending so much time farming rewards or digging through the activities that it sours me for future years.

But there are always those celebrations that I make a point to check in and see. The allure of a free Tier 6 starship in Star Trek Online usually brings me out for its summer holiday event, and I am a huge fan of the haunted burrow in Lord of the Rings Online’s fall festival. And it wouldn’t be Christmas if I wasn’t logging into World of Warcraft to see what awaited me under the tree!

What MMO celebrations or holidays do you never miss? Which ones pull you back to the game, if only for a day or two, even if you’ve been away for months?

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Apple’s OpenGL deprecation could spell trouble for some MMOs on Mac

Get all the “haha people game on Macs?” out of your system right off the bat because this one isn’t funny. MOP tipster Apparition pointed us to a GamingOnLinux thread yesterday in which Linux and Mac gamers worry over Apple’s recent decision to deprecate OpenGL as of the next macOS release. OpenGL is basically a programming interface for graphics rendering, and it’s used heavily in gaming, particularly for supporting games on Macs.

Apparition’s, and our, first thought was for MMORPGs that might be affected. There are plenty of large MMOs that utilize this tech for Mac support, including Elder Scrolls Online, but it’s probably the smaller ones who might not be able to afford to switch to updated codebases. According to GOL, plenty of smaller devs, though not for MMOs, have already announced their intention to simply stop supporting OSX altogether rather than migrate to new tech.

As for MMOs, Guild Wars 2 may be affected, Lord of the Rings Online is reportedly already working on the problem, and of course, World of Warcraft has already migrated. We’ll be digging around for more clues from Mac MMOs. If you play on a Mac and your MMO of choice has made a statement about its security or its plans for the client, sound off in the comments and we’ll try to keep this post updated.

Source: GamingOnLinux, Reddit via @that_shaman. With thanks to Apparition!

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Lord of the Rings Online 22.2 update is live with sweeping class balance changes, wearable instruments, and new story quests

It’s release day for Lord of the Rings Online. Update 22.2 is the big ol’ class balance patch that everyone’s been fussing about for the last few weeks.

“We have taken steps to improve the power, gameplay, and overall enjoyment of numerous classes throughout the game, as part of a longer-term effort to optimize class balance,” Standing Stone says. It’s buffed the potency of multiple traits and reset trait allocation for all affected classes too. Notably, Champions got a hefty damage and healing buff, Guardians will find Keen Blade got a do-over, Hunter lines and skills got major overhauls, Warden DPS is up up up, and some of the Lore-master’s traits have been outright deleted (I’ll let MOP’s Justin be the arbiter of whether that class is improved or not!).

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