A Critical Eye at LOTRO

From the moment I found Lord of the Rings Online, I fell in love with this game. For the first time I was able to explore middle earth entirely, meet my favourite characters, and play as a badass elf intent on destroying evil. I met new players who became valuable friends and started my livestream by playing this game on twitch. It’s a great game.

Or at least, it was.

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Make Lotro Playable again

My favourite game in the world became unplayable overnight. Yeah, the update was that bad. After looking on the forums and playing at various levels myself on a few characters the balancing and stat changes have changed drastically for the worse. It’s quite sad to see players are calling for SSG to nerf the characters and gear already. I originally understood that the intention was to make Mordor and higher easier for players whilst making the early and mid-game levels more challenging. However, it seems that the whole game has just become easier with skewed stat changes across gear and weapons.

So while I have a cup of tea and wait for this all to blow over until the next patch/update for lotro to fix what they have done, I’ve compiled a short list of things I believe SSG need to be doing.

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Depression Survival kit

This is a list of things that have helped me out in the last several months with my mental health. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety and these are just things that have been helping me feel better sometimes. They might not work for you or anyone else, but it is a place to start if you don’t know what to try.

Trying to survive and work on my mental health has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. Everything is temporary. It won’t be like this forever. Some days I want to curl into a ball and disappear. Some days I am almost me again and enjoy pleasurable activities again like playing games and streaming. A wise friend told me that recovery isn’t a straight line. I hope some of these things might help you and people you know. Good luck ❤

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Streaming: Look after yourself!

I’ve seen a lot of videos, blog posts and articles about streaming. When I first started and even now from time to time I will go hunting to devour some advice on areas that I feel my stream needs work. However, some of the most important advice I think is concerning your emotional and mental state. I don’t know any streamer, not a single one, who hasn’t been affected mentally or emotionally by streaming. And I’m not immune either. A few weeks ago I read this amazing post here which describes streaming as a high and I have to agree. Once you reach the highest numbers you’ve ever had, it’s hard to watch them go back down. I remember seeing my viewer count boost after a host and it’s never reached that high before, nor have I ever got that back. Which brings me to my first point:

You’re not a bad streamer. It’s really not you.

Well, sometimes it is you. But most of the time it’s not. You can have the best quality, audio, overlays and shiny things in the world, but if someone’s gotta go pick up their kid from school or leave for work there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s hard to see when all you’re looking at is a number. And this might sound obvious, but each number is a person and each person might not be able to sit around watching twitch all day. It might be 3am where they are or they might have to do their homework. It’s impossible to know unless they tell you, which most of the time they won’t do as a lurker.

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Tomb Raider (2018) Review SPOILERS AHEAD

This review will be VERY SPOILER HEAVY. Read at your own risk!

ALICIA-VIKANDER-1224758.jpgI don’t remember when I first found out about Lara Croft. Perhaps I have vaguely known about the games ever since they were around. I remember my friends telling me about them and knowing about some badass puzzle action games on the PS1. I had seen the Angelina Jolie films as a teenager and enjoyed them. And I remember for the first time playing it – a reboot on my friend’s dad’s computer. The graphics blew me away, but more than anything the story completely absorbed me. For a few hours I was there – I was at Yamatai and I was the strong and intelligent and brave archaeologist. Every gun shot, every scream, every puzzle, I was there. My pulse racing to continue onwards to unravel the mystery of Himiko.

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[Faelyne’s Story] A Hunter’s Apprentice

This story will be from the point of view of Faelyne, an apprentice of Nelnardis during the Warband of Imladris days.

“Are you ready to go?”

Nelnardis stood near the water, casting a shadow and blocking out the sun with the end of her bow. The tip of the silver-white wood glinted as she stepped closer, looking down at Faelyne who was filling her waterskin. Her light blonde hair was tightly bound in a braid, cascading down one shoulder. Behind her was her black Rivendell horse, armoured in the green, blue, black and white colours of the Warband.

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[Nelnardis’ Journal] Tell Elrohir

Nelnardis tried not to look at the two boys rattling the door of her cell. They kept speaking in Rohirric, seemingly trying to get her attention.

“Maybe she only understands Westron,” one finally said in the common tongue.

Nelnardis glanced at them. They weren’t wearing any armour, so they couldn’t be guards.

“She does speak Westron!” he continued, grinning, “She just looked at me.”

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[Nelnardis’ Journal] The Swift Arrow

Nelnardis didn’t go back to sleep. She couldn’t. Not while Thendryt was still out there on his own. She stared across the empty fields around the farm where Bovad and rider had disappeared into the distance. He must have known they wouldn’t go after him until dawn. He knew he would have the entire night for his personal errands.

She clenched her fists. How could one man get under her skin so? At first she had thought she was being too harsh in her letter to Elrohir detailing how Thendryt was so secretive there may not be a place for him in Maethelyn. But now she was certain she had been completely reasonable. Elrohir would be sure to understand that.

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[Nelnardis’ Journal] Wild Horses

Eirallyn was eating breakfast when Nelnardis returned from her early morning walk around Mirobel. There was nothing out of the ordinary, though she noted the clear skies and forgotten beauty of the view.

“Good morning, Eira,”

Eirallyn beamed, “Good morning, Nelnardis! They have eggs! And some really good cake things.”

Nelnardis smiled, having enjoyed one or two before she left, “They are delicious.”

Eirallyn peered over her shoulder, “Thendryt! Have you eaten yet?”

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[Nelnardis’ Journal] A Temporary Thorn

As soon as Nelnardis stirred, she willed herself to her feet and reached for her pack. It was just about dawn, but she searched for a piece of parchment and something to write with. Thendryt was already sitting by the fire when she walked into the main room of the beorning’s house.

She said nothing, making her way straight to one of the tables to begin writing a letter for Elrohir. Every now and then she glanced at Thendryt, as if he knew what she was writing about, as if he could see through the back of his head and read the Sindarin on the page.

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