Oboe WonKenoboe, Doom of Thorog Reborn!

Oh boy lots to talk about from LOTRO!  It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend making the transition into a new Kinship with my friends and meeting new players in Riders of the Apocalypse.  Tonight was one RotA’s Helegrod nights (we raid Monday’s and Thursdays) and I had heard so much about the success this kinship has had in the past.  I was completely blown away with the level of skill and solid gameplay these guys put forth in everything they do.  Every fight was done with precise execution and it made for one really fun and easy evening of Helegrod.

Helegrod’s main boss, Thorog, had a huge update in Book 10.  Going from what was once a decent challenge to what’s now a very difficult fight, players have renamed the dragon Thorog 2.0.  I didn’t expect that we would win going in with only three tanks and so many burglars but it was shockingly tight.  Thorog took about 25 minutes from start to finish which is actually the longest single fight I’ve done in a long time.  My specific job on Thorog was to be one of two Minstrels on the top level healing the hunters and champions.  The Hunters would DPS Thorog by shooting arrows down at him and the Champions would AOE DPS the adds that would rush us up top.  Overall this fight was the most fun I’ve had in LOTRO yet.  I’m looking forward to hopefully having lots of fun in RotA and completing new content as Turbine delivers it.

What’s a boss kill without some screenshots?  The first is of Thorog’s death and the second is the little mini-event that occurs in Rivendell after the Mirdanant is turned to the elves.  If you haven’t completed Helegrod you’re missing out!

Thorog 1   Thorog 2


Stay up to date on the latest Warhammer Online info!

I’ve received several comments that Keen and Graev’s Gaming Blog is a great source for WAR news and the latest information. I received a request today to make a post detailing where I get all this information. Since I am all about keeping you guys informed I’m happy to share the sites I visit daily.

Warhammer Vault – I’m on the staff over at Warhammer Vault and can personally vouch for this site’s constant flow of information and news. The forums here are fantastic and always have great discussions going. I usually browse the boards randomly throughout the day.

Warhammer Alliance – Pretty much just a message board but one with a lot of dev attention. Using their dev tracker I can usually find a lot of current information. This site’s message boards are not very friendly to newcomers like the Vault is, but it has a lot of information.

Paul Barnett’s Blog – Not much more to say here since the title says it all. Paul often posts things on his blog before they hit the eyes and ears of the news sites.

Official WAR Website – This one is a given.

Aside from those websites I sometimes receive information firsthand through friends or other sources. Right now the Warhammer community is experiencing an information drought likely due to the loss of Richard Duffek/Cox. Hopefully we will see more information as the September Newsletter rolls out. As always I will be all over it to keep you guys updated.

Saints Row 2

In the words of Julius, “Hey playa”. Saints Row was one of the greatest console games I have ever played. The story and the gameplay are top notch and they really draw the ‘playa’ into the entire Row experience. Familiar to many as a “GTA ripoff” this game felt very familiar in style yet different enough to consider it a welcomed and flattering near-copy. For those who have never played Saints Row let me share with you a brief synopsis from Wikipedia. Warning! Spoilers.

Saints Row starts with the player (an unnamed character) entering the city of Stilwater in the middle of a gang war between several gang factions. Though he attempts to maintain distance, he gets shot at before the 3rd Street Saints, led by Julius, step in and save him. After proving himself to the Saints, he’s initiated into the gang and then asked to assist to take over the city from three rival gangs (Los Carnales, Westside Rollerz, and the Vice Kings). The player, over the course of the game, assists in several missions and stronghold takeovers against each rival gang, slowly bringing the entire city under control by the Saints. Throughout the game, the player will gain several allies that he can call on for assistance through the completion of side missions, . However, these allies have no effect on the main plot.

Because of the three different gangs, there are three linear plots that deal with the conquest of each gang, though events in one plot do not affect any of the other plots. In the end, the player is able to defeat the boss and several of the lieutenants of each gang and brings all of Stilwater under the Saints’ control. The game apparently ends when the player receives a call from Julius, who tells the player that he is making him his new right hand man and implies he will be arrested by corrupt cops who were waiting for the gang wars to end before they made their move on the Saints. At this point, other members of the Saints ask the player for their orders, implying he has become a lieutenant for the Saints.

After the credits roll and the game appears to be completed, the player is allowed to engage in three “epilogue” missions. In order to free Julius, the player must kill a mayoral candidate, at the request of the corrupt police chief. The Saints, though, also decide to arrange hits on the cops and the police chief. Upon completion, the player is told to meet the mayor of Stilwater on his private yacht. There, the mayor congratulates the player on successfully taking over the city and eradicating the corrupt elements that would have made it difficult for the mayor to assert total control. The mayor then reveals that he will pin all of the city’s recent crime on the Saints in order to destroy their neighborhood. However, before the player has a chance to respond, the yacht explodes. The game then closes, leaving the fate of the player’s character in question.

It’s the ending that made so many of us shout out for a sequel. I’m happy to say that Volition has obliged. Head over to the official Saints Row 2 Website. The Row returns in 08. We’ll see you there!



Win yourself a WAR Beta Key

If you’re like me then you can’t wait to play Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning.  The Warhammer Vault is running their second contest to win a spot in the Warhammer closed beta.  As the description says on the contest page, it’s not certain when access will be granted.

Rules for beta eligibility and other important information

  • You must be over 18 to be eligible for beta
  • Contest open to NA areas only
  • One entry per person
  • No members of the web or print media, moderators or volunteers for a fansite, may enter
  • Winners must be signed up on the NA WAR Beta Center. If you haven’t signed up yet, get going and sign up here now!!!
  • Beta keys are not immediate access to the beta. Winners will receive a code guaranteeing beta entry, assuming you meet the requirements and restrictions, at some point during closed beta, same as the Newsletter winners and Convention winners.
  • Aside from this beta contest there still seems to be an awkward silence from Mythic.  Perhaps the silence before a storm of information.  One can only hope!