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Episode 13: Set Phasers to Stunning!

Probably our most delayed yet still fairly current on news Episode yet. Join Ivaneus, Matthrim, and Drilorin as they discuss Isengard, Defending squishy little healers, and the Rise of Wheaton on this, their thirteenth episode of Through the Palantir. In addition they also go through several dev diaries and dissect them before going into the Defend the Healer segment. Defending the healer is the final installment of the combat mechanics series, which will be followed by a return to the Ettenmoors in bite-sized pieces.

You can download Episode 13 here.



Status Report - December 1st and the November Update

Well things have been pretty crazy lately on this side of the Palantir. We just finished off a collaborative segment with Lotro Reporter this week and Drilorin is in the middle of moving to the USA.

We recorded Episode 13 almost 2 weeks ago but I have not had an opportunity to even start editing it yet.

As for stuff coming out: Well we have tenative plans to record a bit more for Segment 13 relating directly to the launch of the November Update and how that has gone as well in addition to a few things we did not get to in the first recording session and we'll also talk about the results of the poll if we can manage to record.

The other thing coming is our next Bundle of Superior Tictacs and the exclusive Behind the Scenes of those Segments! This will also require more recording with Drilorin which will be difficult while he is traveling but might not be impossible. However don't expect anything to suddenly appear next week.

The final thing to address is that because of Drilorin traveling, busy schedules, Turkey overload, etc. we are taking a short break from recording the podcast. We will not be recording again before the 20th of December at the soonest so don't hold your breath. I personally will try to see if we can get anything done around then but don't expect anything. But we will certainly be back to recording in January so don't worry that we'll be leaving. We will continue to record Lotro Reporter segments in the interim since those are easy to record due to the short recording sessions involved.

Anyway, you can catch us in-game and we will be back to recording soon. In the meantime, good luck and have fun in game!


Episode 12: Please Don't Arrest Us

Episode 12 of Through the Palantir features our first guest interview! Who we interviewed twice because Ivaneus lost the first interview! We also cover the November update and reams of feedback to discover that 1) Nobody Cares 2) Some people like our musical tastes 3) We have a european Audiance and 4) We are directly responsible for Free-to-Play launching in Europe. To find out all this and many things about the secret life of Gagmba, dive right on in!

You can download Episode 12 over here.


Behind the Scenes: TTP Superior Tictacs 1-10

In this exclusive look into the making of Through the Palantir's Lotro Reporter Segments, you'll learn more than you ever wanted to know! In this 3 hour and 20 minute look we will go into the origins of all the main characters of these segments, show our creative process at its best (and worst), and settle once and for all what Drilorin adds to the segments.

While we certainly hope you enjoy this "interesting" tour of our inner machinations we also want your feedback on how these behind the scenes things will come out in the future! How many segments in each? Do you want our commentary? Do you not want bloopers? Do you want background music? All this and more is to be decided by you, our listeners, right now! So leave a comment on this post, send us an email, or get in touch by smoke signals but we want to know how you want these done! And please also remember to fill out the polls.

You can download the Behind the Scenes pack here.


Status Update:

Hey Everyone, as you all are keenly aware, the blog has been quiet and there is no Episode 12 out. I'm here to tell you why, and why the why is good news!

Let's start with Episode 12 being MIA. We recorded it as scheduled, and I then got busy editing everything but the Episode and before I knew it I was out of time to get any editing on it done this week. On the other hand, I finally caught up on the segments and Finished most of the editing for the Behind the Scenes of Lotro Reporter Segments 1-10.

This leads into the second question, if you finished editing the Behind the scenes, where is it? Well I said "most" of it. Matthrim, Drilorin, and myself still had to record our commentary for the segments and we only finished that up Friday night. So i haven't been able to finish that up, but it's close to being done.

The last question would naturally be about the blog itself, after all we promised new "pages" about your hosts and other fun things didn't we? Yes we did and you can blame Matthrim for the host bios not being finished. Drilorin and I both wrote our own bios for everyone while Matthrim did not, but once he writes his we will take our three works (which were all written completely separately mind you) and blend them into cohesive, whole pages for the hosts. Our other pages will follow soon after, especially since we had our discussion about what the Segments are during our making of Segment.

So basically I've told you that all this stuff is close to being done but not yet done, how is that good news? Well it's good news because it means we are on the verge of catching up on all this stuff! But even more important are the ramifications for Episode 12, which was supposed to feature a guest. When we recorded it we were unable to get a guest on short notice and were, naturally, disappointed. But, because the editing has been delayed 1 whole week . . . we have a guest!!! Just today, Matthrim and I conducted the interview with our guest (who will remain anonymous until the Episode is released) and that entire section will be put into Episode 12!

Some of you may still be doubting that this was good news, but you'll just have to decide for yourselves over the next week as we get this stuff rolled out.



Lotro Reporter Bundle 1: Segments 1-10

The first 10 lotro reporter segments are now up in an easily accessible package! The warranty is good until you remove the shrink-wrap, so feel free to mount this as a trophy or add it to your arsenal of hand-powered ballistic weapons!!! Batteries not included, terms and conditions apply.

You can download this bundle right here.


Some extra stuff coming soon

Well unfortunately we have been delayed in recording Episode 12. We postponed last weekend so that we could talk about the fall festival instead of just the festival dev diary, and this weekend there were some sudden schedule changes that kept us from being able to record.

But in the interim we do have the first bundle of Lotro Reporter Segments coming (just as soon as we fix an erroneous skill name in Segment 11) and we are also working on a behind the scenes of the segment recording process! Currently, we have not decided whether or not we will combine the segments and the extras in one bundle. We will most likely release them separately, do another version where they are together, and allow all of you guys to pick which format you prefer.

In addition to this, I have something special planned for Episode 12, but I'm not going to say anything more about it at this time.

One final note is that I am currently looking into a way to put up additional blog sections and/or links in the history area so we can write up some general information about stuff and leave it in a easily accessible location (while still being part of the blog). If any of you know how to do this with blogger (we are not moving to a different platform at this time (AAAAHHH!!! Marketing Speak!!!)), please let us know.

*Edit I already figured this out. But if anyone knows how to increase the 10 page limit that would still be usefull information to possess*

So where does this leave you? Well in summary: 1) Episode 12 is delayed and will be recorded (not released) next weekend
2) There is something planned for Episode 12 but it's a secret
3) Before Episode 12 is out you will have the first Lotro Reporter Segment and our special Behind the scenes/making of for the first bundle, complete with bloopers and other fun stuff.
4) We are working on putting some more stuff into the blog along the lines of "About Matthrim", "About Grimmfungle" or "About Drilorin talks about Drilorin."

And for those of you wondering, the first episode of Drilorin talks about Drilorin is slated for release S00N. =P

And please fill out the polls.



Episode 11: Tea in Rivendell

What do Tell the Community Team threads, physics, elves, and the new forums have in common? No! Not bistronomics! It's Episode 11 of Through the Palantir! Join our crew of three as they tackle some game news, the lack of player news, and the next part of the Combat Mechanics focus: Target Assisting. And continue to keep supporting The Fellowship Walk and Child's Play over on CstM!

You can download Episode 11 here.


You can create an alias by following these simple steps:

Which will be added by Drilorin later.


Episode 10: Free 2 Play Pirates of Ecuador!

Prepare to be boarded as Through the Palantir comes through Free 2 Play and September 19th bearing audio swag! Learn the secrets and exploits of Matthrim, Drilorin, and Ivaneus as they reveal much! Learn that even though Drilorin's router is constructed from old radio parts and a flip flop, his real name is *not* MacGyver. Learn just how well Matthrim can talk like a Pirate! And learn what can cause Ivan to unleash an Ugrant! But mostly, you will learn of the opinions of these three scury ridden podcast hosts on Free 2 Play and the changes it has brought. Finally we wrap up by dragging some letters out from below deck before hoisting anchor and leaving port. So strap in, grab yer' cutlass an' pegleg and get ready for a ride like none other. Yar!

You can download Episode 10 here.


The silence is broken

Sorry we haven't been doing anything here in a while. Just thought I'd let you guys know that we have been pretty busy lately and it has affected my ability to get the Episodes edited and out quickly. We did record Episode 10 on schedule and will record Episode 11 this weekend, but due to my busy schedule and the need to go hunting for some extar music and sounds for Episode 10 it is VERY late. But it is coming!

And in Episode 10 we say that the Lotro Reporter Segment bundles will be in a pack of 8, then 7, and then 5s. This has changed. We are probably going to release the first 10 segments all together and then release subsequent segments in sets of 5.


Episode 9: So Much for the Rush Job

Recording just prior to the Lotro F2P headstart; Ivaneus, Matthrim and Drilorin were confident of their chances of getting the Episode out before F2P. Unfortunately reality had a slightly different agenda. Join Ivaneus, Matthrim, and Drilorin as they go through the final news and attempt to get you ready for the free to play headstart and launch which have already happened. We also plough through several listener questions and comments and give you the first part of our new Combat Mechanics section: Armor Rating and what it does. So sit back, relax, and get ready for some Lotro dissection.

You can download Episode 9 here.

*Once again we ran into a problem uploading the Episode, but I have definitively nailed down how to prevent this from happening again so this won't be a problem again. Once again I suggest you use the guide to make sure you have the correct version if you are using iTunes.


The Duels are Up!

I have finally finished Editing my version of the Duels from Episode 7 (Drilorin was done a few weeks ago) and you can now watch them! Links have been included in the Episode 7 show notes and the videos are embedded in this post.


Episode 8: Beach Sports and Martinis in the Necromancer's Tower?

For once we are on schedule and under our time limit! It must be Superior Editing™!!! Join Ivaneus, Matthrim and Drilorin as they continue to sift through the major changes that F2P will bring and express their thoughts and opinions about anything and everything. We also want to wish Casual Stroll to Mordor well on the anniversary of their podcast and their 50th Episode! Congratulations Merric and Goldenstar. You guys are outstanding.

You can download Episode 8 here.


Episode 7: We've Created a Paradox! (Matthrim Edition)

Follow Ivaneus, Matthrim, and Drilorin as they start recording exactly two weeks after recording Episode 6. But will they be able to reach the 2 hour Episode goal? Not if our procrastination has anything to say about it! Join us as we crunch our way through game news, beta news, the NDA, pickles, and the space-time continuum itself! In this Episode we go through a slew of tell the community teams finishing off the free people's classes, discuss the major class changes from the Beta and the lifting of the NDA, and dissect the dev diaries on the upcoming instance revamp. And we will succeed in making next episode only 2 hours long. Maybe.

You can download Episode 7 here.

Watch Drilorin's view here or you can watch Ugmog's perspective here.


We ran into some problems uploading the Episode and the first version linked here was 5 hours long and contained loops of the same content, probably from the multiple disconnection hiccups. That problem is now fixed but you'll probably need to look at that helpful guide again to get the appropriate version of the Episode.

Still more problems, but as Bilbo would say, "Third time pays for all."



Episode 6: It's Covered in Snow!

Travel back to the past with Ivaneus and Drilorin as they wade through the sea of Tell the Community Team community polls while Matthrim is on vacation. Everything concerning community news is already out of date so you can laugh as we talk about how great it will be when things that have already happened start (such as Summer of the Orc). In other news, Through the Palantir is moving to a bi-weekly schedule and attempting to trim all future Episodes down to approximately 1 hour and 58 minutes in length; and to all other Lotro Podcasters out there: If you can beat Episode 5 for length then you win several prizes and will force us to top you. Ye have been warned!

Oakleaf Order Kinsite
Lacho Calad Kinsite

You can download Episode 6 here.



Summer of the Orc Reminder

Remember that Summer of the Orc starts today on the Brandywine server in the Ettenmoors at 9PM EST!

Although Ivaneus and Drilorin will not be there today, they will be there for all the other days of the event. Matthrim, however, should be there tonight.


Episode 5: Melodrama, Moors, and Manatees

At long last, the Ettenmoors Episode is here! With all of its 4 hour glory, this episode is not for the faint of heart! Join Ivaneus, Matthrim, Drilorin, Ugmog, and their Manatees as they introduce you to the zone known as the Ettenmoors and the part of the game known as PvMP. Our intrepid band also tackles Lotro's move to free to play and gives you all the details. You can find maps of the Ettenmoors on our blog and don't forget to vote on our poll regarding how long our episodes should be.

You can download Episode 5 here.

Forum F2P FAQ Thread
F2P Account Level Comparison


Edit by Drilorin: Found that screenshot I mention during the orc stealth segment.


Through the Palantir and the free to play announcement

It is officially happening and we know about it.
It will be in Episode 5.
And I'm not going to speak for anyone else as far as it goes.
If you're looking for more information then try some of these links:

The official announcment

letter from the producer

Interview with Turbine employees

another interview

You'll find out about our opinions on this when Episode 5 is released. In the meantime, stay calm and don't rage quit.


Episode 5: Delays, Mayonnaise, and why our barbecue sauce isn't bold enough.

Hey everyone it has been a while since anyone spoke recently on the blog, mostly because I'm the only one with both the time and the means and I was waiting for someone else to say something for once.

Here's what's been going on on our side of the palantir lately:
1) Due to Matthrim's misinformation about Drilorin's schedule we've been trying to get Episode 5 recorded at all the wrong times and therefore didn't get anything done until Monday when we recorded the first part of this mammoth.
2) Matthrim and Drilorin have been very busy with exams and the end of the school year. This has prevented Drilorin from getting anything to do with the podcast done.
3) We have found some flaws in our blogging system relating to permissions and the ability to post. These are: A) That I only have the power to post and cannot do things like update the poll and links etc. B) Matthrim can't even do what I do. We are trying to get this fixed but with the aforementioned scheduling problems, this has been nearly impossible (despite being priority Alpha).

But we have good news! First is that we have recorded about 1/3rd of the Episode already. The second is that Summer will be fully upon us by Friday and both Matthrim and Drilorin will no longer be distracted from the busy podcasting schedule I dream of putting them to *cracks whip and cackles maniacally*. We do now have a definite date that there is no room for confusion about and that is this Sunday, the 6th of June (Dun Dun Dun D-DAY!!!!) where we will storm the beaches of the Hoardale river in order to breach the confusion held shores of PvMP and bring the light of clarity, brevity, and comprehension to the masses!!!!!
*cough* I think I got a little carried away there . . . *cough*
Anyway, I would ask that you send us all of your questions regarding PvMP to either the email (the address is on that side ---> ) or as a comment right here. We need more input from our listeners . . .
. . . Okay! *I* want more input from our listeners! Are you happy now guilty conscience which causes me to waste space writing out a version of my inner thought process when I attempt to implicate my co-hosts in my own machinations?
Well I've rambled enough for now. Expect Episode 5 next week for sure. And we will see you in middle earth. Maybe.

-Ivaneus, the one who types too rapidly for his own good if he wishes to present a calm and intelligent demeanor to the Interwebz . . .

P.S. I lied about the condiments. We're saving those for later.


Episode 4 Part 2: Revenge of Episode 4

What was originally thought to be Episode 5 reveals its super-secret identity as the missing half of Episode 4! Join Ivan and Matthrim as they don tinfoil hats, rose colored glasses, and pop filters in an attempt to get through the news and on to other content.

You can download Episode 4 part 2 right here.


Episode 4 is experiencing Technical Difficulties

Alright here's what happened, I posted The first version of Episode 4 and then listened to it and found a slight problem with it that then corrected. I reposted the Episode and didn't listen to it /facepalm

about 18 hours later I found out that because of the deletion of a WAV file almost all of Drilorin's audio had been wiped from the new version of the Episode. I have, however, fixed the problem by re-creating the WAV file and have re-uploaded the re-re-edited version of Episode 4.

For those of you using iTunes I have also created this easy to use, color coded visual guide on how to get the new version of Episode 4 downloaded. The directions are written below the pictures (which are slightly too large for the blog, you'll need to click on them to view them properly) for those of you who don't need the visual guide.



1) Right Click on Episode 4.
2) Click Delete and click "Move File to Trash/Recycle Bin/Mordor".
3) Click the Unsubscribe button.
4) Click the Subscribe button.

Sorry for all the technical difficulties. I should've previewed it again before uploading the fixed version.



Episode 4: Disconnecting in 3 . . . 2 . . . 1

This time on Through the Palantir Ivaneus and Drilorin attempt to tackle 4 weeks worth of game news (no Matthrim), but the evil forces of the Internet have other plans. Can Drilorin and Ivan save the show and thwart the power of the INTERNET?

Absolutely not.

We do however talk about some interesting stuff before losing our battle with the internet and hope you enjoy it.

Disclaimer: Through the Palantir recognizes that The Lord of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings Online, and the word "Palantir" are the Intellectual Property of Turbine, the Saul Zaentz Company, Warner Brothers, and the Tolkien family, respectively (or something like that). All this is for fun and the benefit of the Lord of the Rings Online Community.

You can download Episode 4 here.


Episode 4 Delayed

Drilorin won't have his computer fixed and back to him until next week and Matthrim wanted to wait for him. Although it does mean we missed recording on the third anniversary of Lotro :( ; we will record next week and have plenty to say. And Matthrim did not post this when he was supposed to so we missed doing anything at all on the 24th itself.

But anyway, enjoy the anniversary and your writ of virtue when you log in!


The Beginner's Guide to Raiding Part 2

The Raider's Backpack

What you carry in your backpack on a raid will fall into three categories. Gear, Potions(or pots), and Consumables (Yes we know that pots are consumables, but we prefer to differentiate them). We'll tackle these categories in the following order: Pots, Consumables, Gear, and then talk a little about how much empty space you'll typically want to have in your bags.

Pots come in 6 flavours; health, power, diease, wound, fear, and poison cure. In addition to the potion varieties; diease, wound, fear, and poison cure pots also come in slaves which can be used on other players. While this makes salves an incredibly usefull tool, there are other factors regarding playstyle (both yours and of the other raid members) that need to be analyzed before you decide which pots to stack up.

Health and Power are essential for everyone. Don't even think about it, just have them. Now certain classes have the ability to cure themselves and others of various effects (eg. hunters can cure poison; Captains fear; and LMs wounds) so they don't need to carry one type of pot. Their ability to cure others is where the first calculating comes in. Not all players of those classes actually use their abilities to cure their fellow raid members. So you will need to find out if they will cover a type of curing or wether you need to bring your own cure (Generally Captains are fairly reliable with curing with LMs being a bit less reliable and your average hunter has a 50/50 chance of realizing that they can cure themselves, let alone others).

The second thing to weigh is wether or not to bring salves instead of potions. Timing is critical when curing with pots because all 4 types of cure pots go on cooldown when you use one. This means that you might decide to remove a disease from a champion, only to get hit with a poison and be unable to cure yourself. Additionally you need to know if you will remember to use the salves on the other members of your raid, and if it will affect how well you are doing your job. If you can manage curing without affecting your own performance then you might as well do it. Avoiding getting hit while still on CD will take practice and sometimes, just can't be done.

Consumables come in 4 major categories: Food, Tokens, Scrolls, and Class items. Food and tokens are the most usefull so we will focus on them first. Now then, thanks to the changes to cooking in Volume 3.1, food comes in 3 types: A (max In Combat Regen, Min Out of Combat regen), B (balanced in and out of combat regen), and C (Min In combat regen, Max out of combat regen). Knowing what type(s) of food to bring and how much will allow you to do your job more easily and free up bag space. You are obviously going to want type A food for raids since I'm sure you've heard of (or done) some long boss fights where health and power managment are critical. But what you probably haven't realized is that you are also going to want type C! Type C food will allow the raid to move more quickly through the instance, eliminating trash and quickly regenerating for the next pull. Since trash fights generally don't stretch on for a long time, having Out of combat regeneration boosted (which always ticks faster and larger than in combat regen) will greatly speed up the time you take to get to those encounters where you will need to switch food types.

Since the change to Radiance gear Hope Tokens have once again become invaluable for raiders. You will want to be carrying a stack of +5 Hope Tokens to buff yourselves and counter Dread. Some encounters will strip hope from members of the raid (The Balrog in the Rift), so you will need a steady rotation of Tokens to keep the Dread in those situations at bay.

Scrolls are used to buff yourself temporarily. They come in a somewhat wide variety of flavors so look around before deciding which ones you want to carry. Scrolls are not a neccessary part of the raider's gear so choose carfeully between having some, and having more space for loot.

Class Items (like Triple Traps, Fire Oils, or Shield Spikes) can be a decisive factor in your effectiveness for an encounter (e.g. Some raid encounters are completely immune to common damage, so a Main Tank Guardian should use shield spikes to make their shield attacks do Westerness or Ancient Dwarf Damage). But using these items may not always improve your effectiveness. So find out before hand if you need to bring anything or if having them will just waste space.

Gear, the need for extra gear is really class dependant. Some classes will need some extra weapons and LIs in case they want/need to switch roles and others won't need to bring any spares (e.g. Hunters). Just ask the leader ahead of time and they'll tell you if there is any possobility of you needing extra gear. If you need to bring it, then remember that this is eating up quite a bit of space (if you have extra armour and not just 2 other LIs) so adjust how many consumables your carrying and your loot rolling accordingly.

Empty space is important because otherwise you won't be able to hold your loot. Now remember that you won't be getting stuff from every mob and that you will need room for more than just vendor trash. If you don't have the bag space when you win that First Age Axe then you cannot take that First Age Axe(but you can quickly empty a slot in your bag and then loot the corpse to pick up that oh so shiny First Age Axe).

UI Setup

Your raid UI is can vary depending on what role you have. Are you the leader? Then you're going to need see basically everything. If you're a healer you'll want to see everyone's vitals, but a champion or burg probably won't. But there are many basic things that everyone will need to turn on.

First up is the target assist window. There are two ways you can turn this on. The first is to go to your social panel (the O key is your default shortcut) and go to the raid tab. Then check the box at the bottom that's by the words "Show Target Assist Window." Option 2 is to go to your settings in the menu and turn on the target assist window under gameplay options. After you turn the window on you'll probably have to use ctrl + \ to move the window out from under the chat window (you might have a big enough screen that it doesn't defaultly pop up under there). We'd
recommend putting it in either the middle of the top or the middle of the bottom of your screen; but as always, player's preferences will be the deciding factor there.

After that's done you'll want to turn on target of target so you can see what your target is targeting (it's pretty self explanatory). Go to the gameplay options and check the box. You'll want this on no matter what so that: if you are the tank, you know who the mob you missed is chasing, if you're the healer you know who to heal, if you're the leader you know who to blame(either for not getting aggro or for not managing their aggro), if you got aggro you know before they start hitting you and you can run towards the tank (if you run away then you can't blame anyone when you die).

Third, unless your raid is using a third party chat system (Ventrilo ect.) you will need to turn on the in game voice chat. Even if you don't have a micraphone, you need to turn this on in order to be able to hear the people (mostly the raid leader) who do have mics. If you are using a third party system then you'll probably already have it set up, or you'll just need to ask the other members of the raid to walk you through setting it up. If you are using the in game voice chat, you'll probably need to turn all the other sounds down (in the volume settings) as the voice chat tends to be a little soft.

And now we get into preferntial stuff, like the directional indicator, skill target forwarding, and auto move to target. Our advice on this is to take what you think will actually be helpfull for you. If you often lose track of targets, you may want the directional indicator or auto move turned on. Skill target forwarding is great for everyone, but you need to see if it suits you. If something just doesn't really work well for you, then don't use it. However we do recommend that everyone at least try skill target forwarding. It's not as essential for some classes, but healers almost universally love it.

Basic Raid Etiquette

Voice chat priority is most important during actual combat. Voice chat priority is basically the idea that unless you have been told to report certain combat states out loud(e.g. I'm out of power), that you do not talk over the raid leader or target assistant(s). This may extend to any downtime you end up having while in the raid and is entirely dependant on what the raid leader says, for if it's a PUG of Helegrod then chances are that they'll be explaining what comes next for everyone and will therefore want the chat clear for their explanation so always check with them at the beginning.

The basic principal of listening to the leader and following their orders is the most important one when it comes to raiding. Raid members that are not doing what they are supposed to be doing have a very high chance of a) causing wipes and b) getting kicked. Raid leaders will always take the time to explain how and why every unique part of the raid is done the way that it is for new people. Listen carefully to those explanations and then listen carefully for the orders that are given in the fight (e.g. do not attack mob x) and follow them immediately.

Another thing that you can do to be more helpful to both the leader and the healers is to stand directly on or behind the leader and try to stay in that position while moving (unless of course you are told not to). Keeping the entire raid in closer proximity makes switch healing easier (since the healers won't have to move) and also helps the leader keep track of everyone without having to pan their camera around too much.

When asking beginner questions it is better to give them all at once instead of slowly one at a time. Whenever you are asking questions, remember to always be polite when asking and to thank whoever answers you. Now most people will not mind at all if they have to stand around for 10-20 minutes while the new guy has everything explained to them. There might be some "pr0" who feels like their time is being wasted but polite questions and thanking people for their answers will help reduce the irritation felt by that "pr0." Most people will, however, start to get annoyed when you ask the same question 3+ times and especially if you can't give them at least a clue as to why you're missing what they are saying. There's a big difference between: "What do we do on the dragon?" X3 and "What do we do on the dragon?", "Could you go a little slower, I missed a lot of that.", "It's still too fast, could you type it out?"

Then there are the two chat channels you have at your disposal in a raid and what you use each for. The first is the raid chat (/ra) and it speaks to the whole raid. Use this for asking questions, particularly at the beginning of the raid. The second is the fellowship channel (/fellow or just grab it in the drop down menu) and this has two main uses. Firstly, if you only missed one detail of what you're supposed to be doing, ask in the fellowship channel. Secondly, use this for arranging fellowship maneuvers. Keep in mind that some leaders will set up the maneuvers themselves for all groups, but if you know the other members of your group and can pull off more complex maneuvers just clear it with the leader and go to it.

When you have no idea what you are doing, well firstly you should've just asked "what am I supposed to be doing?" but since you're in the situation here's our advice. Stand right next to another person of the same or a similar class and follow the tried and tested Monkey See Monkey Do technique. If neither one of you knows what you're supposed to be doing then the chances of things getting interesting just went up 50% because there was probably a breakdown in communication at some point.

Finally there is the problem of dealing with a situation that will always arise for every raider at some point. How you handle yourself after making a major mistake (enrage the balrog, pull the extra mobs, pull the boss before everyone is at full health/power ect.). This will happen to everyone at some point and your conduct at such a point will be a major part of how the other raiders see you as a player. We advise that you immediately admit to making the mistake (if you realize that what you did was a mistake) and say sorry it won't happen again (mistakes are always bound to happen, probably few and far between, but it's the attitude and intention that counts here). If you don't know that you caused whatever happened then just answer honestly when the leader is trying to figure out exactly what happened. Since in our theoretical example you will have made an error (although in reality you will run into this situation and and not be at blame) just say that you didn't realize that, and that it won't happen again.

Keeping you're speech short and to the point will help you get it out, and help everyone else with not wanting to rage quit because of their repair bill (of course only our hypothetical "pr0" is considering this, you know how "pr0"s are -.-). Absolutely do not attempt to blame other players, that is the kind of behavior that causes people to dislike having you in their raid. And if you feel uncomfortable with this whole little sub section imagine how we feel trying to write it! Actually remember that this is the internet, and your conduct in such an informal and anonymous setting speaks volumes about your character and the other people in the raid will know it.


Episode 3: 2/3 LF Rez

This week we join Ivaneus and Matthrim (no Drilorin) as they tackle three weeks worth of game and player news in a successful attempt to breach the 1 hour barrier (next time we'll go for 2 hours By Any Means Necessary!). We also go through part 2 of The Beginner's Guide to Raiding and we rehash some of the concepts from part 1 as Matthrim delves into his experiences over the past few weeks leveling his Captain. And IF by the end of it you aren't convinced that this episode needs a rez, it'll be because You DO!


You can download the podcast here.


Happy Easter

I just thought I'd bundle up a nit of news for anyone still looking at our blog. First off, we have been delayed in recording for 2 weeks so far because Drilorin's computer has expired and not been fixed/replaced yet. We had been hoping to record something on Easter Sunday (our time) and hopefully get it out on Easter Sunday (US time) but that fell through. We are going to try to get something recorded this week and it should be up by Thursday (if we actually get it recorded).

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday and these pictures of a Lotr themed Easter Egg that didn't quite come out the right color.


Episode 2, re-released with no music

Due to listener requests episode 2 is now availible with no background music. The link will not start the download, as we do not want to have episode 2 show up twice on iTunes and other feeds. It's here if you want to have it with no music. We will discuss the background music issues in Episode 3.
Until then, enjoy.

And here it is.


The Beginner's Guide to Raiding Part 1

Radiance Gear
Radiance/Gloom is the gating mechanic used in Lotro. Certain instances will have Gloom and you will be unable to enter them without sufficient Radiance. Currently, Radiance is only obtainable as a stat on certain pieces of barter armour known as Radiance (or Rad) Gear. To barter for this armour you will need Medallions of Moria, Medallions of Lothlorien, or Medallions of Dol Guldur; depending on what armour you are trying to get. The Medallions are obtained in certain instances called Radiance Instances. Rad Instances always have a Daily Challenge Mode Quest which will allow you to gain more Medallions than usual, but in a more difficult manner (e.g. Do not kill certain mobs, time limits, ect.). For each type of Medallion there is a favored instance that is usually the fastest and easiest to run (eg. Grand Stair, Sword Halls), a second favorite that takes longer and has a high number of medallions (eg. Forges) and some instances that are not run because they are very difficult (eg. Dark Delvings). For a casual player who only runs 1-2 rad instances per day (and does the dailies) it will take approximately 2 weeks to assemble a full set of Radiance Gear. Outside of Radiance requiring instances, the Moria Rad gear (top level Moria) is the best barter able Rad Gear in game, surpassed only by drops from some of the Raids. However it does not have enough Radiance for you to run every raid, so you can choose to have a Moria set and a Mirk set for higher radiance raiding, or just go with the Mirkwood gear.

Despite what the average raid novice thinks; Radiance gear is not the most grindy part of preparing to raid. Ranking up Virtues is. They are also the one part that you don't need to have finished in order to be a decent raider, particularly if you aren't a tank. But the difference between someone who has finished their Virtues and someone who hasn't is quite noticeable. Now ranking up Virtues can be quite tedious for three reasons: 1) You can only rank up a given virtue once in a single zone 2) Virtues are ranked up with slayer deeds, which get longer at higher levels, or exploration deeds, which can be difficult to finish. 3) Slayer deeds don't tell you what virtue they unlock until you open the advanced one after getting the title. As you can imagine going through all the slayer deeds in Angmar trying to find one that will increase say Determination, can be quite painful. Fortunately there's help in the form of Burgzerg and other sites which tell you which deeds advance which Virtues along with all kinds of other useful information (the link to burgzerg is to the right). The most important thing on burgzerg other than the list of where to grind specific Virtues is the ability to mix and match Virtues to see what bonuses you can get with your five slots. Try it out there, instead of spending the time to grind every single Virtue to 10.

Class Traits
Class Traits are the single most important part of defining your character and role within a raid. You can easily look at all your class traits and what they do by hitting the J key while in game. Most players find that they have the majority of these completed when they hit level cap, because they are advanced by using your abilities. More important is deciding which ones to use and which of your three trait lines you will invest in. Each line gives bonuses for having certain numbers of traits from that line equipped, and eventually allow you to equip a special "capstone" legendary trait that is associated with that trait line (e.g. Guardian's have the Trait line "Keen Blade" with the capstone trait "Hemorrhage.")
Don't feel that you need to invest all the way to the capstone, multi speccing is perfectly acceptable. And since you have enough trait slots to go 2 deep into one trait line while getting the capstone from another, I'd even say it's encouraged.
One final note about Class traits, your raid leader may expect you to be traited a certain way, if you aren't ask the leader if your spec is fine for what's needed, or if you really need to re-trait. If you are traited away from your class's main role (e.g. Warspeech(DPS) Minstrel, Overpower(DPS) Guardian, Glory(Tank) Champion) then tell the leader immediately so that you don't get handed the wrong role without the chance to re-trait. Sometimes a raid leader will want you to trait a certain way or leave; don't take it personally and decide which option appeals more to you. If re-traiting means playing in a way that you just don't enjoy, then that's that. Don't let filling your role in the raid come at the expense of your fun.

Know Your Role
Knowing what your job is and how to do it is the single most important part of raiding. Can you imagine what happens when a tank doesn't know how to tank (if you've grouped with a Warden as the main tank, put your hand down), or how about DPSers who can't manage aggro or healers that don't manage their power? All of these are capable of wiping a raid if they aren't immediately compensated for by other members of the raid. Any of those problems will also probably lead to a swift ejection by the raid leader. So tip number 1 when it comes to Knowing your Role is this: Learn your Role before joining a raid. There are plenty of 6 man dungeons in Lotro in addition to landscape grouping areas and Skirmishes. All of these are fine places for learning how to do your job in a group setting. Tip number 2: Use the forums. Players on the forums know how the various raids are done. They know how your class is generally traited for each raid, and they know what to do in a different role. Ask on your class forums and you will get a reply. Don't always take what advice is given at face value; we are talking about different people whose play styles are probably different. Try out suggestions in a non-raid setting and see if they work for you. Some will, some won't, but you'll learn a lot more about what you can and cannot do; as well as what's effective for your class in a raid setting.

Practice Practice Practice
This goes hand in hand with knowing your role. The way to learn your job is to practice it every chance you get *cough cough* Wardens *cough*. Group up and go do some dungeons. Try taking more than thee, thyself, thy soldier, and thy into a skirmish; or maybe run some of Volume 1 with your Kinship and friends instead of solo. To help with this we have created a list of our top instances to practice in.
Matthrim's pick: Grand Stair. It's easy to find a group for it. It gets you Medallions of Moria for your Moria Rad Gear, and it's a fairly straightforward run.
Drilorin's Pick: Halls of Crafting. Helps you get some Mirkwood Rad Gear, fairly long and complex. More interesting/difficult boss encounters which is more similar to what happens in a raid.
Ivaneus's pick: Urugarth and Carn Dum (Class Quest Items). Lower level instances so they're easier to do. Wide variety of mobs, moderate difficulty getting groups together, and Carn Dum is roughly as long to finish as a raid.
We also suggest that if you have the chance to run Helegrod or The Rift that you take it since they are fantastic raids, are only level 50, and don't get run as often as other content.

Note to Wardens: We understand that many of you can tank, and are simply playing off the popular stereotype. If you don't like that then try joining Wardens for Change or just following their creed.
"I am a Warden. Not a mindless aggro-unmanaging machine.
If I am to change this image, I must first change myself.
Wardens are tanks, not noobs."

Through the Palantir fully supports and endorses Wardens for Change; and a tounge in cheek approach to blogging :D


Episode 2: III is Company, or at Least a Small Fellowship


In this Episode we meet Ivaneus, the third member of the podcast; Discuss Volume III now that it is live; Go through Part 1 of The Beginner's Guide to Raiding; and talk about some upcoming player events. Enjoy!



Episode 2, coming soon.

As most of you are probably aware, Volume III arrives on Monday (Tuesday morning for us) which means that we will soon have a new episode. Fortunately Matthrim has already been wandering around on Bullroarer so he already has an idea of what to expect with the new book which means I can push on them to record the Episode sooner so that we can get it out faster.
Keep your fingers crossed on that one.


The wheels are now turning.

Well we've got our links set up, the RSS is rolling and we are currently being reviewed for the Zune Marketplace, and are now on iTunes!

If there's anywhere else you want to be able to get the podcast just send an email to us and I'll make it happen.



Episode 1: The Journey Begins with Volume III

And here is our very first episode of Through the Palantir! Unfortunately, Ivaneus couldn't be with us for our premier episode, but he'll be joining us somewhere down the line. For the time being, however, it's just Drilorin and Matthrim.

- Drilorin

Download Episode One here.

In this Episode we: Introduce you to two of our hosts, Matthrim and Drilorin; Discuss our plans for the podcast; and go over the Volume III Book 1 Patch notes.

Look for Episode 2 after the release of Oath of the Rangers. Also note that we have set up an RSS feed for the podcast and that there are links to our Facebook and Twitter pages up on the blog.

See you soon!