Hawley, destroyer of amphibians

October 29, 2009 at 7:56 am | Posted in LotRO, Minstrel, Moria, raiding | 5 Comments
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Wotcha everyone,

Recently, I killed a turtle.

Admittedly, that’s not the most impressive-sounding of feats.  And it’s a turtle that many others have defeated before me.

At first, it even looked like a particularly weedy opponent (especially for a raid), but pretty soon I discovered, in true Father Ted stylee, that this was because the turtle was Far, rather than Small.  This turtle was a big turtle.  So much so that it went from being “the turtle” to “The Turtle” pretty rapidly.

I’d not faced off against The Turtle previously.  It’s a one monster, one room fight.  It’s a test of dps, where the idea is to race between the amount of damage we can kick out, against the rapidly increasing amount of dot damage the monsty kicks out.

In an age where fighting raid bosses seem to be more a case of performing random crazy acts at the same time as tanking, damaging and healing, this was a refreshing change.  After time spent in Ulduar, this was a fantastically straight-forward fight for a healer;

Can I keep healing fast enough, and cleverly enough, to keep everyone alive?  Or am I going to blow my power so fast that we all end up dying?

It was also a reminder of why I love raiding.  I love pitting my wits and skill against a situation, and constantly wondering if I’ve got it right.  Especially when I’m in a situation that I’ve not encountered before.  Because I’m targeting other raid-members rather than the monsty itself, I have no idea how much longer I need to keep things together; feeling like it’s just about to unravel when the raid boss drops is the best feeling in the world.

It was the first time I’ve been involved in killing Nornuan.  Probably won’t be my last.




Hawley the Lost

August 28, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Posted in LotRO, Moria | Leave a comment
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Wotcha everyone,

The other night, whilst mooching my way around Moria, I was presented with this view:

Hawley, lost again

Now, I may complain about having got lost in Moria the moment I entered, and remaining lost ever since, but this was one of those moments in gaming that I love.

I’m not really an explorer.  A old and very dear friend of mine would take a sub-level 10 gnome rogue exploring in the original Everquest (back when it was cool, y’know) and see what sights he could see with it.  The answer?  Quite a surprising amount.  We used to get the screenshots as “Wish-you-were-here” postcards.  Sometimes he’d buzz level 60 raids as they were about to go into a raid area.  Genius.  If there was an opportunity for online special forces, he’d have been in there.

I, on the other hand, am an inadvertent explorer.  I just don’t feel the urge to go and hunt out the dark and remote corners of a map.  Being some sort of awful achievist, they’re just not exciting enough when compared to smacking something royally about the head.  I know, I’m a healing thug.

Having said that, I just love that moment.  That moment when you see a view, and something about the artwork and artistry involved in creating that view *just clicks*, and I get to gaze in awe and wonder at it.

I had been looking for a quest target, but suddenly I had to investigate the shiny thing more.  So all thoughts of questing aside, I went to explore.  And promptly got a better view:

Hawley, slightly more lost

Fabulous.  Who’d have thought that Moria, with all its dark faceless caves and dour, stentorian halls could have something so…  blue.  And it’s not just the colour palette, but the sheer conceptual bravado:  A Waterworks.  No, *The* Waterworks.  Of course somewhere the size of Moria would have plumbing, but done in the style of the finest builders and engineers in Middle Earth.  And it is the sheer size and scope of The Waterworks that really hammered that belief home.  Only a race born to build would even conceive of such a place on such a grand scale.

Much as I love the look of many of the zones in World of Warcraft (apart from Azshara.  Hates you, Azshara!), one of the things about Lord of the Rings Online that makes it special is the thought that this version of Middle Earth could, just could, exist in the real world.

And one of the things I really like about The Waterworks is that it could, just could, exist in the real world too.  So what did I do?  Well, I went in there, and found stuff to smack about the head repeatedly.  Fabulous!

Games designers are all too often far too anonymous.  I however, would like to send a thank you to the person or persons behind the creation of The Waterworks.  For a surprisingly long time, you made a jaded gamer see something wonderful, rather than just another place to go and collect xp.



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