Friday, March 27, 2009

LOTROCON: Gauging Interest

Hello fellows!

A few of the other LOTRO commentators and I (I’m host of Moormur’s LOTROCast) have been kicking around the idea of a LOTROCON. This community is very strong and supportive. The one major step we haven’t taken yet is to have a mass meeting of some sort (at least, not that I know of). I’m not really asking for commitment as an idea such as LOTROCON is so abstract right now that it may never happen. The economy being what it is now, something like this would probably have to wait a while anyway, at least until the end of the year or into 2010. But you never know until you ask, so I thought I would. All we are doing right now is seeing if there is even interest in an event like this. There are other LOTR related conventions out there, but this would be one just for us (although we may desire to open it up to DDO and AC players, as well).

What would you do at LOTROCON?

This is a very fair question. The major concern I have is that if we are going to put on some sort of group meeting, it needs to be worthit. I would hate to be someone who flew in to wherever the convention would be only to spend a few hours at a dinner and mingling session, play live with some peeps, then hit the road. We have come up with a few ideas and we would like your input on them. In addition, if you have any sort of inkling of an idea, please list it so we can consider it. Please note that none of us have contacted Turbine in any way to see if they would be willing to take time out to participate in some of the events so any event including Turbine is PURE SPECULATION (although I hope that their commitment to their players so far is an indication of what may come…)

Some of the more specifically game and player centered ideas for events so far include:

-Player Meet and Greet
-Developer Panel Sessions
-Making of Middle-Earth
-Community Panel Sessions
-Gameplay Tournaments
-Chicken Runs
-Scavenger Hunts, etc.
-Turbine could design some cosmetic items specifically for people who attend the convention (this would probably add to the cost of the convention)
-Battle of the Bards
-Symposiums on Tolkien

The main obstacle I think we face in creating some sort of LOTROCON is making it worth the trip. As it stands, I don’t think we are at that point yet in terms of events. But I feel that with input from the community here, we could get some interesting things cooking.

Some things for you to think about:

-Should we include non-Turbine LOTR games? If we can show that it will be worth their while, EA and Warner Brothers (who just gained the license) along with the hardware companies that frequent these types of things may be interested in sending reps and goodies.
-Should we include non-LOTR centered events? Communities that embrace LOTR, RPGs, Gaming in general have other interests. Comics? Card games? Or should we keep it specifically LOTR centered?
-Do we want to open this up to DDO and AC players? I know for a fact that DDO has a strong community. We may be able to add more variety to events if we include some of Turbine’s other games.

Like I said, these are only ideas. LOTROCON may never happen. But do any of these ideas sound interesting to you? I should note that if we have a dream of involving Turbine, we will need to hold the event in Boston, Massachusetts (in general), Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New York, New Hampshire, or perhaps Pennsylvania.

Anyway, let me know what people think. I have set up a spot on the Official Forums to discuss it publicly. You can find the link here.

See you in Middle-Earth,

Host of Moormur’s LOTROCast

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Schedule Push Back

Hey all!

Hope you are having a great week.

I am just writing to let everyone know that I need to pus my schedule back a week. I had a sudden medical issue develop (nothing serious, but one of those lovely cysts that takes a week of therapy to heal...) that requires my attention. I am pushing my production schedule back a week so I can have time to recover (plus I shudder to think about what kind of content I make under the influence of painkillers). Sorry for the disappointment, but I'm sure you all understand!


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bards of a Feather Performance Video

Hello, everyone!

Hope you enjoyed Episode 04. I'm starting work now on Episode 05, to be released sometime in the first week of April (probably that Wednesday if I stick to my every-two-week-on-Wednesday schedule I seem to have carved out for myself).

Towards the start of Episode 04, we highlited the Bards of a Feather. I have put together an accompanying music video of Bards of a Feather, intersperesed with what I think are some of the most picturesque (and my personal favorite) areas of Middle Earth. You can find the video on YouTube here. Please note that it does have an HD version, so make sure you watch that to get the full effect :).

Let me know what you think!


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Individual Episode MP3s

A few quick notes.

1. I recently retroedited the first few episode's IRC information (the information that displays when the episode plays like the title, author, etc.) to bring a bit more uniformity to the episodes. You may or may not need to redownload episodes. Either way they all display more information about the episode.

2. A few people have requested the individual episodes in MP3 format to bypass the RSS entirely.

I am more than happy to provide links but just keep in mind that if you are not subscribed to the feed in some sort of aggregator, you will miss out on the automatic updates. I highly recommend that you subscribe in some way just to make sure you are given the most up to date information.

Here are Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, and Episode 4.

Let me know if you need anything else!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Episode 4 -- PvP Shownotes

Its episode time again! Welcome everyone to the fourth episode of LOTROCast: the Lord of the Rings Online Podcast. There is a lot of show in this episode. If you wish to access it, you can find LOTROCast on iTunes (Mine is the one with the author listed as Moormur), the Zune Marketplace, or right here at the official feed.

I apologize for my voice…it has been raw as of late. I sound weird (at least I think I do) in some of the segments but there ain’t much we can do about that. I also am very aware of how long the episode is, so feel free to listen to this episode in several sittings. There are plenty of good stopping points so, just like the game, don’t rush it! I know it is a lot of content, but I put even MORE work into it and I think it is good content. I don’t forsee another episode this long for a while…it just happened that a lot things all happened at the same time that I felt should be included.

Also, this will be the last episode that I record with my old microphone and software, meaning we will have a nice upgrade in the sound quality in future episodes. With the new wind shield, there should be less popping and overbearing breathing, but alas that is not until the next episode. Patience! Better sound will come.

Like I said, there is a TON of information in the show today. To make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of language, a “Creep” is a player who is on monster play and a “freep” is a player on their normal character. Also, CONTRARY TO WHAT I SAY IN THE EPISODE, PvMP stands for Player Versus Monster Player. Thanks to Rugzug and Maldur for the discussion.

Special thanks to Tookwell for turning my attention to the song that started this episode!

On to the content…

You can find the story about the flight of Coco the Chicken at my my.lotro here.

Book 7 is out! You can find the full patchnotes here.

I URGE that if you have differing opinions on how the patch notes will affect the game, that you contact me (although I do not respond to insults and flames).

If you are at all interested in the Player Music System, there are a few resources I would recommend. First of all, Bards of a Feather has a wonderful collection of solo and multi-part .abc files, as well as instructions for setting up the music files, playing the music files solo, and synchronizing parts so you can create some wonderful melodies. You can find their website here. You can also find a spectacular amount of .abc files at the Fat Lute, found here. Recently, I started a discussion thread in the official LOTRO forum about the music system. Not only do some other players list some additional resources, but if you have a thought or experience you would like to share you can feel free to post it here.

A video of the song they performed will be posted by me as soon as I get it edited.

For info on the Element Zero Hide and Go Seek game on the Snowbourn server, take a look here.

To find out more about the Brandywine Serverwide Scavanger Hunt, check out the official event posting here.

You can take a look at the PvP forums here.

I am still taking submissions for “Things you wish you knew when you were level 5.” You can either send them via email to, or you can send them as an MP3 attachment to the same address!

Looking ahead, the next episode will have two focuses: it will have a segment that is a sort of new-player tips and tricks section, with a short piece on the newly redesigned starter areas. It will also have a focus on the Lore Master.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Episode 4 Update

Hello, all!

Hope you are having a great week!

Just wanted to bring everyone onto the same page about the upcoming release of Episode 4.

Episode 4 will be an episode on PvP. It will be released on Wednesday, March 18th (I seem to have fallen into an every two week pattern and I am going to do my best to stick to that). Unfortunately, much of Wednesday will be spent driving up from a trip to Independence, MO back up to my home in Wisconsin, so what time on Wednesday I will release the episode is a little more ambiguous.

So to those of you waiting for the next episode, rest assured that it will come out next Wednesday however if you are a person who values sleep, you may not find it until Thursday.

Also, thanks to those of you who have already submitted advice and pics! Keep 'em rolling!

See you in Middle-Earth,


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

LOTROCast Call for Submissions

Hello, everyone!

For some of the upcoming episodes, I am looking for some listener contribution.

I am looking specifically for two things:

1. Things you wished you knew when you were level 5.

I'm looking for one or two sentences pieces of advice from players to pass on to new players. Little tricks like the fact that you can 'link' an item by dragging it into the chat box, etc. that would have made life that much easier back in the early days.

2. Pictures!

I am looking to expand a little in the form of the Podcast, and I am looking for photo submissions. I am looking more for pictures of scenery and combat, but if you submit a picture of just you and some friends I will consider it too. Send these submissions in the form of links.

If you have a submission for either of these, please feel free to send them on to me at the LOTROCast email address,!

Thanks so much!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Great Flight of Coco the Chicken

Hello, everyone! Hope your week is going well.

Last night I decided to test a hypothesis: can a chicken get into Moria? So I enlisted some of my kin and they escorted me as Coco the Chicken to the very gates of Moria.

I wrote up the adventure, complete with pictures, at the my.lotro page. You can find it here. Hope it brings a smile to your face.

Also (something more of you will care about), look for the next episode to come out next Wednesday, March 18th. It is the long-promised PvP episode. We have some very interesting topics and new features in the next episode, so stay tuned!



Friday, March 6, 2009

How Long should LOTROCast Be?

Hey, all!

I am in a bit of a conundrum right now and I need your input.

For the first few episodes, I tried very hard to keep length within 30 minutes, or no more than a minute or two over. This previous episode, I even cut out or truncated some of the normal features (I would have liked to explore the Bullroarer server a bit more, and I didn't even do a server rundown).

What has happened is quite the opposite of what I feared...when I started the podcast my worry was that I would run out of material in a few months and would become one of those podcasts that hits the skids after 10 episodes. The reality is very different. Thanks to contributions from the community and some ideas that I have come up with, we should be running for a while. In fact, sometimes it seems like there is too much information that we try to pack in.

This leads me to my question: Am I being to restrictive with my time limit? I'm not talking about becoming one of those podcasts that goes for an hour and a half before doing anything...I'm talking about an extra 10 minutes or so, bringing my ideal time to up to 40 minutes. Is this too long? Is 30 minutes right? What do you guys think?

Monday, March 2, 2009

Episode 3 -- Developer Interview Shownotes

Hello, everyone! Here’s Episode 3: Developer Interview a day early! Consider it my early Christmas present.

I’m very, very excited about this episode; the feature of the episode is an exclusive interview with Rowan, the Live Developer for LOTRO! You can find the RSS feed with the episode here. If you like it and you happen to have iTunes, head over to the iTunes shop and rate the podcast accordingly. I do request that if you want to give it less than three stars that you contact me directly first so we can discuss what it is you don’t like about the show.

In the interview, Rowan sheds some more light on Book 7, gives us some peeks at Book 8, talks about PvP, minstrels, hobbies, crafting, and even discusses “The Wall,” that my previous episode was based on! Yes, I know I need to work on shutting up during the interviews…I’ll work on that for my next few episodes (sorry if I cut you off, Rowan).

Also in this episode is a quick overview of the new Open Beta server, Bullroarer. You can find the official announcement of Bullroarer (try saying Bullroarer 5 times fast) here.

I apologize, but there is no Server Rundown in this episode since the developer interview clocked in at 22 minutes. I want to keep the episodes as close to 30 minutes or less as possible, so I had to shed this feature for this episode. It will be back in the next episode.

Looking ahead, the next episode will focus on PvP. The focus will feature a ‘creep’ monster player and a ‘freep’ Free People’s player discussing the current state of PvP and what can be done to improve it. Look for that in mid-March!

I am going to be adding a sidebar to the Lotrocast website called “The Fellowship” or “The LotRO Network” with links to other information sites, blogs, and podcasts. There is a ton of good information out there, so make sure you look around! If you are a proprieter of any such website, please send me a link to your site and I will review it and add a link!

The numbers are in for the first two episodes! There are some interesting trends in the podcast. First, the downloads for March are almost already out to 100. Considering that it is only the 3rd of March, that’s pretty impressive. I’m not sure how, but word is spreading. The downloads so far for all of February (starting with Feb 6th, the day the pilot was released) clocked in at nicely at over 500, which makes me happy. I am perfectly satisfied with those numbers. As of now, I have no way of telling what programs things are downloaded through, but already the podcast is ¾ of the way up the “most subscribed video game’ podcast list on the Zune Marketplace and is the 2nd most popular LOTRO related podcast on iTunes! Thanks to all the listeners who made this possible!

Phew! That’s a lot of show notes, so I’ll stop typing for now. Kick back and enjoy this episode of LOTROCast: The Lord of the Rings Online Podcast