Dec. 28th, 2009

mellicious: pink manicure (winter trees)
We are back to playing LOTRO again (Lord of the Rings Online, that is), since we finally exhausted the available quests in WoW. (Come to think of it, I need to go into WoW and cancel my monthly billing plan, before I forget again, or I'm going to keep getting charged $15 a month indefinitely!) While we were gone, they did a big update in LOTRO and changed a bunch of stuff. There's a new expansion, which is Mirkwood, but we're not likely to see it any time soon since it's a high-level area and we don't have any characters that high. Actually they raised the level cap, too, from 60 to 65. My highest character is 45, and actually we haven't even been playing the highest ones since we got back, we've been playing my "champion" (like a warrior), who is an elf, and Col's minstrel (LOTRO's version of a healer). I can't even remember for sure if Col's minstrel (who is named Loere) is an elf or a human - I think elf. Elves and humans look awfully much alike in LOTRO, except elves are a bit taller and have pointy ears which you can't see half the time anyway. I think they should have made them look a bit more different!

Anyway, those characters were around level 30 when we got back and have gone up several levels since then. Col has another character who he plays when I'm not around, who is one or another of the warrior-ish classes which I never can tell apart, and who is progressing even faster since I was gone for two whole days and Ceir got to play a lot while I was gone, apparently! Col and I both are given to more or less inventing our own names, if you're wondering where all these names come from. He has Loere and Noere and Ceir and Cleia - that one he's used in other games - aaaand one more that is escaping me right now. I have Anerulias the elf-warrior (who I usually just refer to as Ana) and Ceinnwyn the minstrel (she's human) and Zaina the hunter, who is a hobbit, and then I have two more I rarely play - Meleuriel, another elf, and Fineldir, a male human. I hardly ever do male characters and Col never does, but once in a while I do get the urge to try one out.

I usually just make up names by combining bits of things, like, well, Ceinnwyn is supposed to be from Rohan so she gets the "-wyn" suffix like Eowyn, and I think I just thought the "Cein" part sounded sort of generally Celtic. "Meleuriel" was because I usually have a character named Mel-something, and the '-riel" part is another bit of Tolkien-ish name. And so forth.

There are actually four races in LOTRO - elves, humans, hobbits and dwarves. Dwarves are male exclusively - I'm guessing that's because Tolkien was coy about what female dwarves look like. The joke that's in the Two Towers movie about female dwarves looking just like male ones, beards included, is straight out of canon, but it's in an appendix somewhere, as I recall, and it's just given as sort of a rumor - Tolkien just kinda says "nobody really knows." Which is kind of annoying, really, but what can you do. So anyway, Col won't try dwarves out at all, and I did try one once, but I never played mine and I finally deleted him after he stayed stuck at level 6 for a couple of months, because looking at him was annoying me, for whatever reason.

Another new thing that came in with the expansion was "starter horses" or what we refer to as "poky horses" because they're very very slow. But they're faster than walking and you can get them a lot earlier than you can get a regular (non-poky) horse, and they're not all that expensive, either, so I've been getting them for all my lower-level characters (which is all of them except Ceinnwyn, who is the level 45 one). Horses also have names, which they didn't have before - apparently starter horses default to being named Barley, and Zaina's starter pony was named Silver. (Ceinnwyn's horse had a different name which I can't recall at the moment, but it was something botanical.) I didn't think much of Barley as a name, so in a fit of silliness I changed Ana's horse's name to Malt, at least until I get a better idea.

(Interestingly, I actually had an Uncle Barley, although he died when I was little and I don't remember him too well. He was an uncle, or actually great-uncle, by marriage - he was married to my grandmother's sister Ethel. An awful lot of those old-fashioned names have been coming back into style, but I haven't heard of anybody naming their child Barley just yet!)

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