Thursday, May 18, 2017

Yo Mr. Orc, please pay attention to me

Over the past few months, I have been enjoying the game as my kinship's primary tank. Yes, we do absolutely have other tanks, but all other guardians seem to be alts of someone's whose main is a different class. So at the end of the day, you'll find me tanking my heart out in some scary cave screaming at orcs to pay attention to me, not the healers.

It's ironic, I suppose, that I ended up tanking most everything my kinship runs. I'm a small, young(ish) girl who is not very aggressive and hates confrontation. But maybe tanking is a way for me to play a different character, though it was entirely not intentional.

I started out with a little minstrel back in 2012 when I first started playing the game. She was a hobbit minstrel with brunette bangs and freckles, who wore dresses and road on a Mathom reputation steed. I have only the fondest memories of that little minstrel and the in-game friendships I made because of her. Who actually knows why I deleted her in 2013.

At that point, I had rolled out a guardian as my alt (my minstrel was level 30! yay me!). If I could remember the exact reason why I clicked the delete button on my minstrel, I'd tell you. Was I bored of a hobbit? Were minstrels too soft (which is entirely not true... but I was really young at the time)? Did I crave the survivability and powerful feeling a guardian provided?

One way or another, Makaia the elf guardian inherited the spot of "main character". She was the first one to brave the terrors of Carn Dum, the first one to see the halls of Moria. It was in the position of guardian that I fell in love with the fields of Rohan, and it was on my guardian I wondered at the magnificence of Minas Tirith.

I had always enjoyed my guardian, but it wasn't until I hit level cap in August of last year that I really, truly learned how to play the class. It wasn't until then that I learned that I shouldn't be using a shield for everything, and that having stats besides might and vitality was a very good thing.

As of recently, I have been tanking some wonderful group content with my kinnies. My personal favorite is Silent Street (my favorite instance of all time! yay Minas Tirith!), but I've also loved our countless attempts at Throne of the Dread Terror, and the runs of Skoironk and the Towers of the Teeth crafting instances in the Wastes.

A guardian's role is to protect those around us and I've enjoyed doing that, and will continue to enjoy that. Onward to Mordor!

P.S. I've included the only throwback screenshots I can find of Makaia. They're absolutely awful, but they're all I got. I know I have more on my old computer, but sadly they may be lost. Oh well.

P.P.S. I've decided to change the titles of these blog posts to something far less intimidating. I didn't like the "grown up" all caps titles.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


Alright, in all honesty this post isn't totally about flowers. But it is about a region in LOTRO that relies like crazy on flowers, and some scary things that came out of that beautiful, flower filled region.

Truth be told I hated North Ithilien for the longest time after the update was released with the region. It came out just before I hit level cap in August of last year, and North Ithilien intimidated me. Dailies terrified me. I think it had something to do with all of these experiened players that roamed the region day after day picking the extracts to give to the herbalists. There's something about being level cap and not really knowing my class that scared me. I got asked questions about my class that I had no idea how to answer. I was terrified of featured instances, and using my headset when I ran an instance of any sort.

See, up until this point I hadn't had the opportunity to run 90% of the instances in game. I had never been VIP and also never had the patience to grind for LOTRO points. Because of that I had access to a very limited amount of instances and quests. And so every new instance I ran I was scared of. I was scared of messing up, of making the smallest mistake, and ruining the instance. I was afraid of looking silly in front of experienced players, and more than anything I was scared of using my headset to converse like they were. I'm a girl, and a young one at that, trying to raid. And from what I could tell at that point in time, not all that many girls are super serious about raiding in this game.

I finally had to decide why I was playing this game. Was I playing it to make friends? Not originally, but I had made fantastic friendships via the game. Was I playing for completion and success and glory? No. Never had. I started playing for the story and the beauty of the game. What was I playing for? I was playing for the fun. It's a video game, and it is meant to be fun. Yes, obviously it can be competitive and frustrating at times, but at the end of the day, remember why you play this game. Remember why you started playing this game.

Whether it has been 10 years of exploring Middle-earth, or just a few months, we all start playing for the story and the experience. Remember that.