Saturday, October 21, 2017

Dauntless Champion



If you've been following my Twitter account in recent weeks, you may have seen the first image entered in one of the many screenshot contests held by LOTRO Family. For those on Twitter, it was a sneak peek of this combat-oriented outfit. Now I've been able to publish it here for everybody to see. I actually had this outfit tucked away for a while. Until Vol. 4, Book 8 and The Wastes had been released, I couldn't find a location that felt appropriate. By appropriate, I mean perfect. Any of the Pelennor instances could have done, but the Battle of the Morannon space was exactly what I needed.


Not only was I content with the location, I was also satisfied with my character's appearance. However, if I could have changed on piece, it wold have been the cloak. I would have substituted the Cloak of the Ibis with one of the Quartermaster of the Host's meta-deed cloaks. Unfortunately, being a solo player at heart, I tend to avoid group content. No Lang Rhuven, Skoironk, or Tower of the Teeth group dailies for me. I got as far as I could with Featured Instance daily boxes in terms of rep and deeds, but I fell short. Very short. Given those circumstances, my lack of craft resources, and the amount of time required to achieve that goal, I tossed in the proverbial towel and settled for what you see in these images. Although, now that my Warden is 115, I could go back and do those dailies...


My Warden has definitely been getting tons of love recently, both on this blog and in-game with outfits I haven't even screen captured yet. Generally, when new content arrives for LOTRO, my Warden is one of the first characters I play. It gives me a chance to gauge the difficulty of the landscape or instances. That's how I slowly made my way through LOTRO from Central Gondor to The Wastes after an almost two year hiatus. It's also how I rebuilt my wardrobe to include the most recent cosmetics.



Head: Helm of the Reclaimed City (Ashenslades green, After-battle Pelennor quest reward)
Shoulders: Pauldrons of the Reclaimed City (Lórien gold, After-battle Pelennor quest reward)
Back: Cloak of the Ibis (Ashenslades green, LOTRO Store)**
Chest: Lacquered Plate of the Ambusher (Ashenslades green, Vol 4 Book 7 reward)
Hands: War Gauntlets of the Deep (Lórien gold, T9 Metalsmith recipe)
Feet: War Boots of the Deep (Lórien gold, T9 Metalsmith recipe)

Shield: Shield of the Golden Sky (Host of the West: Armor reputation barter item)
**If you have any of the Quartermaster of the Host's cloaks, they would be a great alternative to the store cloak!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Sentinel of the Tomb Hills



My Beorning has certainly come to wear the most atypical of outfits since I made her. At first, I wasn't sure what her particular style would be. Whatever new combination of clothing I liked I had her wear. Long before I stuck to leathery wildnerness-themed gear, I tried hauberks, robes, heavy armor, and dresses. This particular ensemble was one of the earliest she'd worn...and one I hadn't replaced yet. Considering this used a combination of pieces scattered across Eriador, I wasn't exactly sure what image this would portray.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ithil-watcher



Sometimes, I feel like I'm always playing catch up in the LOTRO cosmetics blogosphere. Taking that extended break from game content from the release of U14 (Western Gondor) until U18 (The Battle of Pelennor Fields) due to feeling burned out, I missed out on the opportunity to tinker with the newest cosmetic skins as they were released. I missed out on the Osgilliath sets while that content was relevant (I rarely see the cluster run anymore), the Morgul-crest bartered Faramir sets, and, by the time I caught up story-wise, the Pelennor and Throne sets. I had logged in for that long stretch of time only to make outfits. It's only now, after a significant amount of effort, that I've gotten around to showcasing some of the spectacularly designed U19 gear from the North Ithilien/post-Pelennor quests.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Ashen Wastes



As you may have noticed, I purchased the Ultimate Fan bundle for Mordor. I was doing very well resisting the call of the new and exclusive cosmetics, but as the release date grew closer, I caved and purchased it. So far, I have no regrets. Two sets of exclusive cosmetics--the Alliance and Ash Plains sets--and their respective steeds and war-steed sets, the High Elf, the Aria of the Valar (made a High Elf Captain you'll eventually meet), a housing item that takes the user deep into Mordor, and other things. The expansion content and packages haven't disappointed me yet...and neither have the landscape cosmetics! The new Mordor skins have breathed much needed life into the pool of clothing options.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tribal



With the release of Mordor on Wednesday, Aug 2, I considered uploading some of the combat outfits I would be taking through the Morannon. However, a lack of time for taking and editing screenshots combined with heavy questing and exploration prevented me from doing that. As much as I wanted to show my newest creations, I decided to keep my scheduled outfits as they were. As a result, my Beorning has taken the spotlight with another tribal-themed outfit.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Indomitable Spirit



This year's 10th Anniversary Festival and subsequent Scavenger Hunt has produced some amazing rewards this year. My biggest concern this year was the distinct lack of quests that reward Anniversary tokens, especially if you didn't devote approximately ten hours to spamming the intermediate option for the Thorin's Hall Beer Brawl. And the lack of the Inn League and Ale Association token vendors made everything feel ten time more expensive than it needed to be. The anniversary festival had some amazing rewards, but, if you're like me, you don't have a ton of time to grind for rewards. Of everything offered, I set my sights upon the Unflagging Dragon cosmetic set, which is the focus of this outfit.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Uch-lûth Skirmisher



I've been wanting to take pictures of my Beorning's outfits for a very long time. Before I could do that, I made myself a promise first. That promise was to get her to Dunland. This outfit, even though it was assembled mid-2016, I had a particular place in mind to model it. That would be Barnavon in Carreglyn, however she was thirty levels too low at the time. I've put in a significant amount of work with my Beorning since my return and it's been wonderful experiencing landscape content and exploring locations I seldom have reason to visit.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Shimmering Song



A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join a T2 Tower of Orthanc raid as a healer. It was with an experienced group that knew most of the challenges inside and out. Wing by wing, we defeated each of the bosses and climbed our way to Saruman. For the first time since Rise of Isengard, I was able to complete this raid on T2. Also, for the first time, I saw a broken cloak clasp drop...and I was lucky to win the roll. Having been a serious raider back at level 75, I had a full collection of Draigoch cloaks tucked away. Not knowing if or when I'd see another cloak, I chose to upgrade my favorite Wyrmscale Blademaster's Cloak to the Shimmering Blademaster's cloak.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Of Anniversaries and the Ithilien Spring



Seldom do I get overly excited about my character's attire. I've been in cosmetic overdrive since I returned to LOTRO. In such overdrive that, in fact, I've had dreams about what my characters could wear. Moments I've been at my job mentally piecing various skins together and dyeing them. I guess that having worked with the cosmetics from LOTRO for so long that I don't even need to be logged in anymore to do this. Once I envisioned this, I wrote each of the pieces down, and sat down at my PC the first chance I had. I've been waiting for an opportunity to use those North Ithilien cosmetics!

When was the last time I devoted an entire entry to a dress? And when was the last time I jumped into a Spring theme? I wanted greens, whites, yellows, pinks, flowers...anything that captured the heart and soul of the warming, sunny weather and the flowers beginning to bloom.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Anórien Herald



It felt so surreal writing this outfit entry. My last set of them was posted in November. Before then, July. I'll admit that outfitting in LOTRO isn't what it used to be. Material Middle-earth has been around since 2012 and it's become progressively more difficult to find original combinations of attire and color. However, it's certainly not been an impossible task. I've spent some time pouring through other cosmetic blogs for LOTRO, looking at what others have used (or not used) that way I could create something unique. And this, at least to me, qualified as such. I've never seen anyone use a particular reward from the Volume 4 epic line, the Robe of Anórien Mercy. Thus, it became my central piece.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Featured Zone Screenshots - Ered Luin

Greetings readers of Material Middle-earth! I've finally returned to LOTRO and most things gaming. Last weekend, my PC's replacement hard drive arrived and I was able to successfully install it. There is no new outfit this week, as I'm trying to re-establish myself after a forced four month hiatus. It's my intention to have some new character attire featured in the near future!

Despite the lack of an outfit, plus my unusual and fruitful presence on Twitter recently, I had the idea of featuring screenshots from LOTRO, landscapes and places of interest in particular. Although this doesn't seem relevant to this blog, at least initially, taking pictures of locations are extremely important to my creative process. Even when I'm not designing an outfit, I take note of places to model whatever my characters wear in the future, looking for not just interesting vistas but also for places where strong sunlight can easily filter in. The stronger and greater amount of sunlight, the easier it is to see clothing details. Even icons, such as the White Tree of Gondor or the statue at Eorl's Hollow in the Wold or even the Argonath make their way into these pictures and become a great source of inspiration. It's often surprising where bits of lore are either nestled away or brazenly displayed. Long-time readers may have noticed some of this somewhere along the line. And for the new viewers I've been attracting lately, this may be of interest to them too.

This segment of my new "Featured Zone" theme is Ered Luin. Because Ered Luin is vast and contains multiple variations in climate and landscape, there will be a large number of pictures. Normally, I won't post as many. I hope you enjoy this!

Please click on an image to view a larger version.





Friday, January 27, 2017

Blog Status

Hi everybody!

Once again, I apologize for the lack of outfits again. I've actually had a few completed and ready for some screenshot sessions. However, I don't see those making an appearance here anytime soon. You see, back in December, parts of my PC started letting go. My hard drive is a major component on that list. Enough systems are failing that I'm going to let my PC live out what little life is left and then purchase a new one. That being said, I've been lucky to get it to start once every couple of weeks. I've managed to backup all of my important files (especially those several years of screenshots), however I am unable to play any of my games. I don't know when I'll be back. Possibly after my tax return checks arrive...when I can afford one.

Until then, enjoy your adventuring in Middle-earth!

~Nathrien

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