LOTRO Leveling Guide Updated

Last month we added a LOTRO Leveling Guide to our blog and the response has been tremendous.  Google search results place our Blog’s leveling guide as the 2nd choice in Google search engines around the world.  We receive over 100 hits a day from Google searches alone!

So why blog about it?  Well there’s bound to be some of you out there that don’t know about it.  If you’re struggling to level up in LOTRO like I myself have been then check out our LOTRO Leveling Guide.  As I browse websites and forums and even as I discover new locations in-game I continually add my findings to the guide.  I also encourage all of our readers to either leave a comment here or on the actual guide’s page with any input or questions you may have.

Also don’t forget our LOTRO Map’s section which is loaded with useful maps of Middle-Earth.

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More on the Lorebook

So I got to thinking after reading various reactions on message boards.  I like the idea and honestly I think Turbine is brilliant to have come up with it.  Thinking back over the various MMORPG launches I’ve been a part of I can’t think of any company that has taken on the challenge, or responsibility, of maintaining their own database website.  Blizzard had Thottbot, Turbine’s Asheron’s Call had that popular site that right now escapes me, EQ had Allakhazam and casters realm, etc.  For Turbine to now start their own it’s actually more interesting than it appears at first glance.

With Turbine running the show this places them in a great position.  They have access to all the data right at their fingertips.  Let’s face it, no manually updated website will be as complete or all encompassing as one that pulls data right from the stream – benefit #1.  Now if I recall correctly Turbine has stated that UI mods or mods that do anything other than change the appearance of the UI are not allowed.  This means that Turbine will be the only ones calling the shots on what they do or not not allow to be shown.  They can make their database site as helpful or unhelpful as they want – benefit #2.  Turbine will also receive the ability to be the first to break news on something, to provide the newest and latest information to their players, and to be the center of attention – benefit #3.  What better way to be in control than to do everything yourself?  It’s good marketing and thus it’s good business.

On top of all these things their Lorebook site is not only functional but it’s great to look at and it draws players in.   Kudos to Turbine on this one.

A Thottbot for LOTRO? Close enough

Today Turbine announced the release of the “LOTRO Lorebook Beta”. It’s a really interesting website almost like a Thottbot database. You can find quests by zone, deeds by race and class, and all sorts of cool things. Over the next few days I will see how truly useful it might be and I’ll let you guys know my conclusions.

From LOTRO.com:

The Preview release of the LOTRO Lorebook Beta is now live at http://lorebook.lotro.com. This is the first version of our all-new reference site dedicated to The Lord of the Rings Online. Currently containing over 20,000 entries (with more on the way), the Lorebook is destined to become the definitive LOTRO resource online.

This Preview Release contains articles with information on nearly every quest, item, creature, NPC, class, and race in LOTRO!

While this Preview release is not editable, the upcoming public beta release features seamless integration with player accounts. This allows active LOTRO subscribers to participate in future community development… [Read More]

LOTRO Forum Digest

After taking a week off from the Digest to go on my vacation I can honestly say that I had fun writing it this week.  There’s something satisfying about reading 30 pages of Official Forums and another 10-15 pages on other various websites.  I feel so “in the know”!  So here you have it, this week’s Forum Digest.  It’s fairly full this week so you’ll have plenty to read.

Keen’s LOTRO Weekly Forum Digest

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2007 shall forever be known as the year of waiting

Spore has been delayed until 2008 and likely 3/4th quarter due to financial problems..  I guess it’s not that bad honestly.  I’ve only been waiting since 2005 to control my little creature and conquer space.  AS long as it’s not going to be a let down like Fable was then I’ll be happy.  Hear that Will Wright?  Make it good!

Spore  Spore

Evendim sneak peak from Eurogamer

Codemasters Online Gaming has magically revealed that Book 9: Evendim will be the first of many significant expansions for Lord of the Rings Online when it arrives sometime this month.

It will add a vast new area for players to explore, Evendim, which will offer more than 60 quests to get stuck into, plus lots of content for players over level 30 – including the first major raid in the game.

You can check out the entire article here and screenshots here.  Enjoy!

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Paying the bills in an efficient and helpful way!

We run a modest gaming blog here at KeenandGraev.com.  That much is obvious right?  Of course with any website hosting comes the cost of upkeep.  Graev and I decided from the beginning that we were not blogging to earn any revenue whatsoever.  It’s just not what we set out to do when we decided that we wanted to run a Gaming Blog and Web Comic.  We want to help our online gaming communities by giving back and supporting them.  We also want to make light of serious topics in the industry with our Ctrl+F Funny comic.  So how do we then keep afloat with our costs?  The obvious choices are either begging for donations or running small unobtrusive ads.

We refuse to ask for money because that defeats the purpose.  This is a website where you come to read what we have to say, take our advice, learn something new, find something you need, laugh, cry, hate, and all that good stuff.  In our blogging we often review games, refer our readers to a favorite game we used to play or currently play, we might mention a game or book or piece of hardware we use, we drop names here and there.  So to help pay our bills and break even, which is all we are looking to do, we’ve implimented a few google ads and an Amazon store.  The ads are straight forward and I need not explain them.  The store however is where we really think we can not only put bread on our table but we can help get you guys the goods you want!

Our Amazon Store (Keen and Graev’s Amazon Store) offers our readers the chance to purchase games, books, hardware, and so many other great things that we have handpicked, own, want to own, and recommend to you.  These are things that we have taken the time to personally add to our store and believe someone out there reading our blog might be interested in.  If the store ends up being a complete flop then we will drop it and just keep the straight google ads.
So to help keep us afloat we appreciate your support and continued dedication!

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Gamestop. What a scam.

I have to vent about this. Today Graev decided that he wanted to give Super Paper Mario for the Wii a try. So we went out to dinner and on the way home we swung by Gamestop. If you don’t already know, their slogan is “We buy and sell used games”. So we get inside and the first thing I notice is the workers goofing off and bragging about the karate moves they can do and how they knocked this guy out and entered a tournament and all sorts of bull you know is made up just to impress the preteen girls hanging around. So right away I was ready to lose my dinner all over the dirty carpet floor.

We get to the counter and begin our attempt at catching the attention of one of the “workers”. He finally slumps over and in what I think might have been slurred mumbled English asks what we need. We tell him we want to buy a copy of Super Paper Mario if they have it. “Let me see if we got that” then he returns asking “Super Mario Paper 2?” …. No we want Super Paper Mario for the Wii… “For the Wii?” he asks.. Yes the Wii – Super Paper Mario for the Wii.  So the guy opens his glass cabinet where it appears most of the new titles are at. After rummaging in there for atleast three minutes he comes out with a sleave and a cd and says “let me get the box”….

What the hell? Get the box? This guy actually wanted to sell us an opened game with the cd in a white sleeve that was opened and obviously played as a store display and pawn it as new. We told him no way and walked out making sure others in the store heard us say “What a scam”. I don’t know if any of you out there have ever had similar encounters with your Gamestop stores trying to sell you used games as new but this wasn’t even our first time nor was it just this store trying to run this scam.

Not too long ago we went in to purchase a copy of Pheonix Wright and they tried pulling a similar stunt. We actually believed them that it was just “taken out of the case for security reasons and stored in the back room”. We got the copy home and popped it into the DS to find it already had a save file on it. We called them back demanding to speak to a manager and we wanted a refund. We received our refund and an apology.

BUT that’s not even all. On MULTIPLE occasions we preorder games from Gamestop’s in our town (we have 3 local Gamestops and use all 3) and EVERY time we preorder for the “preorder bonus” we NEVER receive it. We never got our dog tags for bf2142, we never got our Jade empire bonus disc, we never get anything we are entitled to from this company. The list goes on. They provide lousy service and hire the most incompetent employees I have ever seen.

They’ve forever lost two customers and hopefully will continue losing more until they get their act together. Word of mouth is a powerful thing.

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