Saturday, May 6, 2017

Shimmering Song

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join a T2 Tower of Orthanc raid as a healer. It was with an experienced group that knew most of the challenges inside and out. Wing by wing, we defeated each of the bosses and climbed our way to Saruman. For the first time since Rise of Isengard, I was able to complete this raid on T2. Also, for the first time, I saw a broken cloak clasp drop...and I was lucky to win the roll. Having been a serious raider back at level 75, I had a full collection of Draigoch cloaks tucked away. Not knowing if or when I'd see another cloak, I chose to upgrade my favorite Wyrmscale Blademaster's Cloak to the Shimmering Blademaster's cloak.

I had to use it in an outfit, but I wasn't sure how. Since the cloak is iridescent, and that the colors it rotates through are washed, finding the proper clothing and dye color would be difficult. Pairing it with any of the T2 Orthanc armor sets would be easy. Just as easy pairing it with anything largely white. It took a few days, but I learned that almost anything that dyes belegaer blue is a perfect match for the cloak. A light blue against a washed rainbow of color.

As for the rest of the pieces, it's an unconventional combination. Normally, I'm a but picky about what I pair with what, but something about the blend of the shoulders with the robe were appealing. By themselves, they might feel out of place. Thus, I complimented them with a particular sword and shield set from Stangard in the Great River.

Some of you may recognize this outfit from recent pictures on Twitter. If so, this was the outfit my little hobbit wore for Rangers of the West's Hobbits to Isengard event. I needed a quick outfit for her, that way she wasn't running around in her intro gear, and these pieces were still in my wardrobe at the moment.

Head: Runemaker's Hat (Shire peach, Runekeeper Barad Guldur armor set - classic skirm camp vendor)
Shoulders: Shoulders of the Ancient Tongue (Grey, Ost Galadh Runekeeper vendor)**
Back: Shimmering Blademaster's Cloak (Default, Ox-clan Camp)
Chest: Tattered Robe of the Dunland Sage (Belegaer blue, Dunland quest reward)***
Feet: Westemnet Campaign Shoes of Fate (Black, T7 Tailor recipe)

Weapon: Sword of the Steady Mind (Stangard repuatation vendor)
Shield: Eastern Herald's Shield (Stangard reputation vendor)

**Shares skin with the Shoulders of the Lady's Foresight, the Dar Narbugud set from Caras Galadhon
***Shares skin with the Robe of Countless Stars, which can be purchased from the Dunlendling Quartermaster in Galtrev

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Of Anniversaries and the Ithilien Spring

Seldom do I get overly excited about my character's attire. I've been in cosmetic overdrive since I returned to LOTRO. In such overdrive that, in fact, I've had dreams about what my characters could wear. Moments I've been at my job mentally piecing various skins together and dyeing them. I guess that having worked with the cosmetics from LOTRO for so long that I don't even need to be logged in anymore to do this. Once I envisioned this, I wrote each of the pieces down, and sat down at my PC the first chance I had. I've been waiting for an opportunity to use those North Ithilien cosmetics!

When was the last time I devoted an entire entry to a dress? And when was the last time I jumped into a Spring theme? I wanted greens, whites, yellows, pinks, flowers...anything that captured the heart and soul of the warming, sunny weather and the flowers beginning to bloom.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Anórien Herald

It felt so surreal writing this outfit entry. My last set of them was posted in November. Before then, July. I'll admit that outfitting in LOTRO isn't what it used to be. Material Middle-earth has been around since 2012 and it's become progressively more difficult to find original combinations of attire and color. However, it's certainly not been an impossible task. I've spent some time pouring through other cosmetic blogs for LOTRO, looking at what others have used (or not used) that way I could create something unique. And this, at least to me, qualified as such. I've never seen anyone use a particular reward from the Volume 4 epic line, the Robe of Anórien Mercy. Thus, it became my central piece.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Featured Zone Screenshots - Ered Luin

Greetings readers of Material Middle-earth! I've finally returned to LOTRO and most things gaming. Last weekend, my PC's replacement hard drive arrived and I was able to successfully install it. There is no new outfit this week, as I'm trying to re-establish myself after a forced four month hiatus. It's my intention to have some new character attire featured in the near future!

Despite the lack of an outfit, plus my unusual and fruitful presence on Twitter recently, I had the idea of featuring screenshots from LOTRO, landscapes and places of interest in particular. Although this doesn't seem relevant to this blog, at least initially, taking pictures of locations are extremely important to my creative process. Even when I'm not designing an outfit, I take note of places to model whatever my characters wear in the future, looking for not just interesting vistas but also for places where strong sunlight can easily filter in. The stronger and greater amount of sunlight, the easier it is to see clothing details. Even icons, such as the White Tree of Gondor or the statue at Eorl's Hollow in the Wold or even the Argonath make their way into these pictures and become a great source of inspiration. It's often surprising where bits of lore are either nestled away or brazenly displayed. Long-time readers may have noticed some of this somewhere along the line. And for the new viewers I've been attracting lately, this may be of interest to them too.

This segment of my new "Featured Zone" theme is Ered Luin. Because Ered Luin is vast and contains multiple variations in climate and landscape, there will be a large number of pictures. Normally, I won't post as many. I hope you enjoy this!

Please click on an image to view a larger version.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Blog Status

Hi everybody!

Once again, I apologize for the lack of outfits again. I've actually had a few completed and ready for some screenshot sessions. However, I don't see those making an appearance here anytime soon. You see, back in December, parts of my PC started letting go. My hard drive is a major component on that list. Enough systems are failing that I'm going to let my PC live out what little life is left and then purchase a new one. That being said, I've been lucky to get it to start once every couple of weeks. I've managed to backup all of my important files (especially those several years of screenshots), however I am unable to play any of my games. I don't know when I'll be back. Possibly after my tax return checks arrive...when I can afford one.

Until then, enjoy your adventuring in Middle-earth!


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