Fireworks are fixed!

The patch on January 17th was really only a couple of bugfixes.

A new Yule fest horse was released, as were a few new Yule cosmetic items (two cloaks, a dress and a tunic):
You can find screenshots of the new outfits on CosmeticLotRO and LotROstylist.

Perhaps even more momentous than new cosmetics (though less important than a new horse) is the fact that the fireworks bug has finally been fixed. Fireworks can again be sold, traded, mailed, stored in vaults and housing chests, and generally tossed around between characters.

My storage alts are revelling in their newly freed inventory slots, and my main characters are delighted to be no longer short on fireworks while the storage alts are sitting on mountains of them.

HUZZAH!
*sets off hundreds of celebratory fireworks*

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Fine Grey Company Tunic (which makes elves look fat)

The short version:
The new cosmetic clothing looks great, but why can’t it fit the way it should?!

The verbose version:
Look at my guardian in his brand new, shiny Fine Grey Company Tunic (and the associated gloves and boots, all quest rewards from volume 3, chapter 5). Doesn’t he look awesome? He’s big and strong and handsome.

Except one tiny detail is wrong, my Guardian isn’t big and strong (don’t tell him I said that, he is a Guardian after all and he has an image to uphold. But he is handsome, you can tell him that much).

Here’s my Guardian wearing the Long-sleeved Lórien Tunic and Pants (Galadhrim rep reward available from the barterer at Cerin Amroth).

The Lórien tunic is ordinary clothing, not armour, and so you can see the Guardian’s build. He has a waist which would make Victorian girls green with envy.
The Ranger tunic is also ordinary fabric clothing. It should fit the same way. And yet when this Elf wears the Ranger tunic, he pretty much doesn’t have a waist.

Now, we can talk all day about how male elves are girly and if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but that’s beside the point. If the Guardian has a visible wasp waist, the Guardian should have a visible wasp waist unless he’s wearing bulky armour which would render such a waist invisible.

The Robe of the Learned Stag also looks un-Elvishly bulky on a male Elf, but that was just one piece. Now we have two (three, if you count the other Ranger tunic which is the same thing in a different colour) fabric cosmetics which fundamentally change the character’s build. When I scrolled that “body type” slider over towards the left, it was because I wanted a twig-man character, not so some robe could turn my twig-man into Arnold Schwarzenegger. I’m not sure what to think of this trend.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I do like the new ranger cosmetics, I think my guard looks great in them and he’s been wearing them all over Dunland for the past two days. But in the end it’s just dress-up clothes, like the cowboy robe, and I go back to the Loth tunic for lounge-wear and blue Elven steel armour for tanking.

Robe of the Learned Stag and Halloween Costumes

There’s quite a number of interesting cosmetic gear from the new quests in Dunland, I could fill pages with screenshots fof it, but I’d rather be out there doing those quests (and practising with these minstrel changes) so I’m only going to post one robe.
The Robe of the Learned Stag is available from one of the quests in Trum Dreng (and there are cosmetically identical robes from a quest in the Bonevales  and from the Dunland reputation vendor). It’s a very nice-looking robe, but it comes off rather bulky and not very elven. I can’t really take it seriously for my characters, but I went ahead and made up some Harvestmath costumes.

Here my Guardian is dressed up like a cowboy. He’s got the Robe of the Learned Stag, the snow-dusted hat and the fingerless gloves (from the winter festival), and the Shoulders of the Mighty Verse (part of the Minstrel Moria set). Every piece is dyed Sienna and all he needs to finish the costume is for someone to invent the six gun.

And here’s the same robe used as the base of a completely different costume. Iranon the Minstrel is attending Harvestmath as Dracula. He’s got the Robe of the Learned Stag, the Wandering Bard’s Helm (part of the Minstrel Rift set, available as a cosmetic from the skirmish vendors), the Cloak of the Raven (from the last fall festival), and Shoulderpads of the Learned Stag (also from a Trum Dreng quest). The shoulderpads are dyed black, and the rest of the gear is in crimson. I’m thinking of getting rid of the hat and dying Iranon’s hair black for the festival, but the difficulty in getting the original shade of blonde again might make me just keep the hat.

Interestingly, not only is The Robe of the Learned Stag an incredibly versatile robe, but it also looks like an entirely different cosmetic on female characters. On a girl, the robe has an exterior belt with the tail hanging down in front; it has fitted long sleeves instead of puffy, shorter sleeves; the vest underneath is smooth fabric instead of textured; the top of the vest is cut a little differently and the bottom half of the robe is more closed on a female character and only shows the trousers beneath when she walks. Overall, the female version looks more like a heavily styled dress and the male version looks like a trench coat over a two-piece suit.

P.S.
One benefit of wearing costumes with hats that hide your ears is that when you meet Rohirrim, who don’t really believe in Elves, they don’t freak out and implode.

Iranon’s Extensive Guide to Pipeweed, second edition

Well over a year ago I drew up a rather complete guide to pipeweed, embellished it with screenshots of the smoke effects, and threw it on my kinship forums. That guide moved with me to the Iranon of Arda livejournal blog, and thence to this blog here at WordPress. I was rather ridiculously proud of it, and almost everyone who read it found it to be helpful, or at least interesting.
Then, a good few months back, Turbine changed the process of growing pipeweed. They removed the complexity and made it something you don’t need to think about to master. I threw a fit. When I was through with the fit, I went and updated the Pipeweed Guide with a note saying it was obsolete, but the screenshots were still accurate. But then, with the next patch, Turbine had to go and update all the smoke effects. I went, “Whaaaaaaat!?!?!?!”, but it only took me a few moments to realise that I actually really did like the new effects themselves, and I was only bitter that the guide I had worked so hard on was now rendered completely obsolete. And so I said, “Enough with the grumbling. It’s high time I park Iranon in Lothlorien (he’s big enough now he doesn’t have to work out of the Shire), farm up any pipeweed varieties I don’t have stashed away in the vault from last time, and get all those new screenies”. This time I have also included Ronald Dwale’s pipe and the three varieties of summer festival pipeweed, making this edition of the guide completely complete. Also, all but one of the screenshots in the last version featured Iranon himself, this time I decided to add a bit of variety and get a bit of screen-time for my other characters (although Iranon has hogged most of the spotlight).
And so here I finally present Iranon’s Extensive Guide to Pipeweed, second edition.

Varieties of Pipeweed; their uses and making, Thoroughly revised and updated
By Iranon Ofaira; Supreme Master Farmer, lvl 65 Minstrel, Accomplished pipeweed smoker and grower

Introduction
Pipe-weed it utterly pointless, and, as with most other utterly pointless things in Middle Earth, is absolutely awesome and immensely enjoyable.
Farming pipeweed requires a bit of dedication and much time spent in a boring, brown field; but if the farmer dedicates enough attention and care to his farming, he is assured a lifetime of delightful smoke effects and link-fodder.
When considered from the point of view of the farmer, there are two types of pipeweed recipes; automatically granted recipes and recipies which must be purchased from a farmhand. There are also two types of seeds; purchased seeds from novice and expert farmers, and “rare” seeds which drop from pipeweed fields.
There are also three varieties of special Summer Festival pipeweed, the seeds and recipies for these are available as quest rewards or from vendors only during the Summer Festival.

Listed below are the various types of pipeweed, with illustrations of each.

~Iranon Ofaira; Lothlorien
Fourth Age, Summer, 2011

Tier 1; Apprentice

Longbottom Leaf

recipe: Automatically granted
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: an ordinary puff of smoke accompanied by a subtle ring around the smoker’s head

Rushlight

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: a single smoke ring which spins as it moves away from the smoker

Southlinch

recipe: automatically granted
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: a mundane puff of smoke

Sweet Lobelia

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: two rings which move angled away from the smoker

Stonecrop

recipe: Summer festival pipeweed vendor
seeds: Summer festival pipeweed vendor
effects: a sort of puff of smoke that breaks up into a creature of some sort (perhaps a boar?) for a very brief moment, and then resolves again into a puff

Tier 2; Journeyman

Hornblower

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: two concentric rings

Muddy Foot

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: rare drop
effects: three concentric rings

Southern Star

recipe: automatically granted
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: a smoke triangle

Tighfield Choice

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: rare drop
effects: a smoke square

Tier 3; Expert

Dragon’s Breath

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: rare drop
effects: a smoke dragon

Old Toby

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: a great big heart

Roper’s Twist

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: rare drop
effects: the smoke moves in a great spiral (which is a tad difficult to see in a still photograph, but rather impressive in-game)

Sweet Galenas

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: a ship

Shire Sweet Leaf

recipe: Novice Farmhand
seeds: Novice Farmhand
effects: Three Butterflies
note: Loremasters need Shire Sweet Leaf for their rez skill, Back from the Brink

Lengalenas

recipe: Summer festival pipeweed vendor
seeds: Summer festival pipeweed vendor
effects: crossed swords

Tier 4; Artisan

Eagle’s Nest

recipe: Expert Farmer
seeds: rare drop
effects: an eagle which breaks into three puffs of smoke which then join and resolve into a larger eagle. The eagles only exist for a brief moment each and so are difficult to photograph.

Gamwich Braid

recipe: Expert Farmer
seeds: rare drop
effects: a fish

Tier 5; Master

Wizard’s Fire

recipe: Expert Farmer
seeds: rare drop
effects: a sparrow

Summer Green-weed

recipe: Summer festival pipeweed vendor
seeds: Summer festival pipeweed vendor
effects: a pipe

Tier 6; Supreme

Gold Fire

recipe: Expert Farmer
seeds: rare drop
effects: a target (a large ring with a dot in the centre)

Fungo’s Fuzzy Leaf
recipe: automatically granted
seeds: rare drop
effects: shoots a long and thin jet of smoke which travels remarkably far

Other

Ronald Dwale’s Pipe

Ronald Dwale’s Pipe is a quest reward from the final quest in the “Missing the Meeting” quest chain granted by the Hobbit Ronald Dwale of Dwalling. It is a reusable pipe (not a pouch of pipeweed) which according to the tooltip is filled with Old Toby, but the smoke effect is the same as Wizard’s Fire. Aside from the pipe reward, “Missing the Meeting” is worth completing because the whole chain is a great pile of references to some real life aspects of Tolkien’s work, and you even get to talk to in-game hobbit versions of C.S Lewis and Owen Barfield.

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