Monday, 24 November 2014

The Evernight Alliance

I asked the Evernight Facebook Group if they would like to make an alliance across the kinships of this server. We had an overwhelming response with many kinships wanting to join as soon as the alliance was made. Having had in depth discussions with as many kins as I could talk to yesterday, we have established the first five kinships to be a part of The Evernight Alliance:

Riders of Helm's Deep
Sons of Gondor
Exiles of Eriador

The Leader of Riders of Helm's Deep, Surfman, has been so kind as to allow The Evernight Alliance to use his TeamSpeak channel. This is fantastic as now so many kinships can communicate within themselves and to their alliance kins! Thank you Surfman!

So what is it all about?
The Evernight Alliance is about bringing kinships together in a prosperous atmosphere. Only kinships of good repute (without trolling players) will be welcome into the Alliance. This means that there will be no trolls in the chat channel, no arguments, no drama. We're a progressive atmosphere for the mature player of any age.

Do we need any other requirements to join?
Yes. Your kinship must be at least 4 months old. This means that the leader/officers have done well to keep players in the kinship and feel part of a team.

What happens when we join & how will my kin get involved?
After a discussion with myself (Hannihr) to ensure your kinship meets the two requirements, you will be welcomed into the Evernight Alliance. You will be kindly asked to send out a kinship mail detailing how to access The Evernight Alliance chat channel and TeamSpeak information. This will allow us to talk to each other immediately (you will be given those details upon joining the alliance).
After that you are free to organise events and raids with other kinships as you see fit. Some kins will want to encourage raiding regularly, while others enjoy the social aspect (such as RolePlay or games). You and your kin are encouraged to ally yourselves as you see fit.

I now have another 30-35 kin leaders to talk to over the next week. If you are interested in getting involved, feel free to comment on this article or mail Hannihr in game! I am online every evening (7pm UK time) except Mondays and Wednesdays.

I look forward to talking with as many of you as possible about joining this alliance!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Down for Maintenance: How to Cope

In ways, a server down for maintenance is both a curse and a blessing. When we are out of the game, we can focus on healthy food, exercise, learning and being better to people we can focus on ways to improve our characters from outside of the game!

This article will help you progress on Lord of the Rings Online without logging into your character.

"Maybe if I pose like this in the Ettenmoors I will finally rank up a bit!"

It is so easy to get lost on your path in Middle Earth. You logged in to do daily quests, and instead ran about for 2 hours in the chicken session play. It happens to the best of us. Being offline without the option to play gives us time to focus on using our time effectively and attempt at getting some progress done!

Laphor didn't get to Rank 15 standing AFK in Wildermore! Wait a minute...

First of all, look at your character's goals. Has he been itching to get that Hytbold armour? Wanted to find that final mirror in Durin's Way? To tank in Draigoch? There are so many things to be done, so let's get planning!

"He's not moving guys, I think he's bugged..."

First of all you'll need to write out your goals. Eg:

I want to be World Renowned.
I want to finally get into Goblin Town and NOT get lost.
I want to get to level 100 on all of my alts,
I want to swear in World Chat
I want to walk into the Ettenmoors without being eaten.

The potential is endless. After you have written out your goals, write how long it will take, followed by a likely deadline next to them, eg:
I want to find that NPC in Bree called "Nob" and /kiss him, so I can make a funny character biography about it. (Will take 5 minutes, deadline: tomorrow).

Making your goals achievable will ensure you will get them done. Adding a deadline will make the goal seem more important. Now you have planned what you are going to do, it's time to research your goal. If this goal is to complete a raid, it will take some serious consideration. Check YouTube, Lotro-Wiki and the Forums to learn more about your task. Let's get planning!

"It's... some kind of Elvish...or maybe Klingon."

Now you are ready to achieve your goal. The servers will be back up soon, and you will be ready to get that goal crossed off your list! The trick here is to stay focused and make sure you carry out what you set out to do. Before you know it, it'll be completed. How wonderful!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Middle Earth Etiquette

Etiquette in Middle Earth should be one of the most important aspects of playing any MMORPG. Whether this be in World Chat or among our kinship, being polite will place you in high regard in the eyes of your fellow players. This article will help you maintain strong friendships across Lord of the Rings Online while also helping you deal with troublesome characters.

Imagine you could only choose one between the following options:

1) You have spent years developing your character. Across Eriador, Rhovanian and Harad your deeds are respected by little NPC s who are eternally thankful for your kindness. You have earned reputation in factions, gained merit in Helm’s Deep and you are now on first name terms with Elrond Halfelven. Hobbit children sing songs of your victories! Even Eru wants to shake your hand!
But half of the server have you on their ignore list.

2) You have spent a good 5 minutes developing your character and about 2 years running about in circles. Across Eriador, Rhovanian and Harad, your deeds are acknowledged in the most part by some NPC s who are somewhat okay with you for your ‘efforts’. You are on acquaintance standing with certain ‘questionable’ factions (cough cough Ale Association, cough). You aren’t sure what Helm’s Deep is, but you are hearing more cannons being set off these days. You don’t know who Mr Halfelven is, or Rivendell. ‘That’s a river, right?’ Hobbit children generally avoid you on sight, and Eru shakes his head in shame when he remembers creating you.
But your server welcomes you when you speak in World Chat, with friends looking forward to your return and want to hear about your day and invite you to join them in instances.

If you chose the second option, I take my helmet off to you. If more players chose the latter option, many kinships wouldn't fall apart and players wouldn't want to leave the server/game. So why do so many players value gold over integrity? Why do so many players go for the first choice?

Well he's got great gear, but his interpersonal skills...

With great anonymity comes great responsibility.

Given the chance, players will change their behaviour when hiding behind a mask (or a character) for good or for evil. People are more likely to conform in using bad behaviour when their actions cannot be identified for themselves.
This explains why so many people on the Internet insult each other, while they would never say the same to a stranger in real life.

Although we are only seen as our characters to the majority of players, our words have just as much meaning as if it were in the real world. It’s all well and good to have high level gear, but it is fundamentally worthless to anyone except you. Your friendships made from an MMORPG are real and have significantly more worth than many people realise.

How to deal with bad behaviour:Report it. Ignore it. There are players who just want to see the World Chat burn. These players are trolls, and should be treated as such. Let them stew in their own undoing, being progressively /ignored by more and more good players.

Monday, 17 November 2014

How to Save a Dying Kinship

Earlier this evening, a fellow Evernight Kinship Leader sent me this /tell concerning the activity of her kin.

Anonymous* tells you, 'I know you're the leader of Stormborn but from one kin leader to another (this is a new alt for me)... I'm having a hard time to keep the conversation/and activeness up recently in my own kin. We have about 40 active members right now... could you give me any advice on that I'm at a loss at this point?'
*name has been edited.

If all you have is NPC cats for company, read on.

Cats don't count as kinsmen, folks!

With a small server population comes the inevitability of dying kinships. Fewer members log in, the officers haven't recruited to compensate, and so the members who are left feel disenchanted with no motivation to visit a once thriving atmosphere in Middle Earth.

How do the remaining members not give up hope? Their kin was once a beacon of hope, now looking back on the good ol' days. Make sure your old memories of your kinship does not interfere with building it back up again. Every kinship has had its arguments, fall outs, people leaving and general "bad times". But that is no reason to quit on a kinship.

My biggest regret in the past 4 years of playing Lord of the Rings Online was disbanding my first kinship.

"Equus Ferus Caballus, no kinship as fabulous!"

If you are a member, officer or kin leader, this advice should help you regardless of position. I wish I had known this information when I was younger.

First of all, look at why the kin became inactive. Was it inactivity of the leader? Maybe kinship drama split up the team. Sometimes it is a slow process that goes unnoticed. The important thing now is that you are aware of the problem and want to rebuild to your former selves. Write down why you became inactive.

"No Gimli, I don't see any of my kinsfolk either..."

Secondly, create a website. If you already have one, change its themes and designs so it feels new. You want to work on a side project that helps build your kin. Add kinship news to it when appropriate. Make sure your kinsfolk use it.

Thirdly, get Skype or TeamSpeak. Just use some method of clear, vocal communication. Kinships are all about socialising, and the more confident you are over the mic, the more you can really understand your fellow kinsfolk.

Lastly, recruit like mad. Recruit like you have never recruited before. Recruit like your homework is due in 15 minutes and you're drinking your fifth energy drink. RECRUIT!

Yes that's RedBoar. Like RedBull but Middle Earth appropriate.

Methods of recruiting:

-As stated in my previous article you will need to use the OOC and World Chat channels to your advantage.
-Make your adverts stand out from your competitors. This means being unique, funny and witty.
-Use the social panel to look at unkinned players. The lower the level, the better.
-Use your knowledge of the game. Eg: Beorning class has just opened. I made an advert purely by writing in growling and grring, and we had 10 new Beornings join us within half an hour. Be clever.
-Plugins are good. Don't over use them. ChatEdit (colour changer) is handy but make it unspammy as possible.

Individual Messages
-See unkinned players running around? Speak to them! Compliment their outfits and steeds!
-ALWAYS say their name when sending them a tell. Eg: Hello Hannihr!
-Be polite and always thank them for their time when they say they do not want to join. That shows you actually cared for their answer more than just for getting them to join.

Fresh meat!

Keeping Them In
The newer the player is in the kin, the more likely they are to leave for any reason. This means keeping them in the kin by making them feel committed. Do this by:
-Sending them a mail, welcoming them into the kin. This will do wonders.
-Ensure you welcome them as soon as they join. This means they will welcome other players when they join, too.
-Invite them to join your website immediately. This will make them feel like they are committing to something.
-Set up a weekly timetable. It keeps things regular.

What to Avoid
-To quote a rather witty, British politician of the 1940s, "Never, never, never give up".
-New members who cause drama, kick 'em quick.
-Confrontation. Keep it out of the kin.
-Going offline for too long. Keep up to date with your kinnies!

I hope that this article helps you. If you have any questions, comment below.

See you in game!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A Kinship Guide

"Well met, traveller."

From the Shire's rolling hills to Rohan's musical themes, Lord of the Rings Online offers an encapsulating experience from the moment your character is created. True to Tolkien's Legendarium, this virtual Middle Earth provides an honest depiction of even the smallest details.

An ongoing theme in the trilogy is the power of friendship and comraderie. Turbine has brought this theme to life, and has allowed us to feel belonging, by creating Kinships. This article offers even the newest of players a guide of how to create and maintain a strong and stable kinship in our second home.

The Name

The name of your kin will be its primary advertising strength. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Unfortunately, we can't smell anything in Lord of the Rings Online - except the coffee that keeps us awake in a 3 hour long raid.

Does the name invoke power? Does it suggest roleplay? Or is it a play on words? (The Silly Marillions, anyone?) Spend time on the name. Check the spelling/grammar. You don't want to have a well established kinship with an apostrophe in the wrong place! Durin's Beard!

The goals of the kinship should be just as important as the name. Pick up a piece of paper and a pen and write down your kinship's goals. Example:

-To be a constantly recruiting, massive kinship (Everlasting Hope).
-To have a weekly raiding team in a casual setting (Lost Realm of Imladris).
-To encourage roleplay and appropriate events (The Elite Archers of Elrond).
-To enslave Hobbits and torture them regularly (Stormborn).

Whatever you decide, keep it in mind when you advertise and ask players to join.


Use the regional channel and World Chat to your advantage. Here, you can communicate with hundreds of players and tell them what you guys are about. Just remember not to over do it (one advert per hour usually is a good amount).

An example of a great kinship ad:

Do you find yourself falling off cliffs while riding around Moria? Do you regularly pull 20 mobs at once? Can't tell your hammer from your helmet? We want useless players like you! <Kin Name> are recruiting completely useless people! Are you just awful? Send me a /tell!

Make 'em laugh, guys.

There is nothing worse than a single liner like "<Kin Name> are recruiting. Send a /tell to join".

Also, not every unkinned player will want to join you. Some have reasons to run around on their own. “Not all those who wander are lost.”

The Road Goes On, Ever Ever On!

"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world."

Your kinship is growing. You have more than a handful of players who seem to think there's potential here: be sure not to disappoint them! The more effort you put into the existence of the kin, the more quickly it will come alive and stable on its own. Within a few months, you will see it developing its own traditions, jokes and general all round fun.

The key to keeping a stable, well maintained kinship is to have your good ol' regulars. Just like pubs and bars in the real world, you need a regular band of merry men and women to keep the kinship alive. The following examples will help maintain your kinship:

-Promote some members to Officers if they feel up to the role and could help the kin.
-Find people from the same areas of the world. We live in different timezones - make sure people have friends to great them when they log in!
-Give people a reason to want to log in to their kinshipped character.
-Create a weekly timetable for your kinship.
-Create a social setting for the kinship outside of the game. This means places like Facebook, a blog, even your own website!
-Create a handbook for new players so they know the ins and outs of the kinship. The rules and codes of conduct.
-Create a TeamSpeak or RaidCall channel for your kinship.

In summary: keep the kin regular, keep the kin clean from bad manners, keep it active and keep it helpful.

And finally...

Have fun! Remember kinships should be about having fun. Try and keep it light hearted. Look out for arguments in kin chat - things like that can ruin even the best of kins. Young players can be a handful, so make sure you recruit wisely.

Good luck with your kinship. It can be the best thing about Middle Earth!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Kinship Spotlight: Stormborn

Unless you have been living in a Middle-Earth cave for the past 2 months (Beornings excluded here - get back in your cave!) you will have seen Stormborn advertising in colourful fades across the World chat and OOC channels.

Yes, they do like their colour fades.

As of today, the Falathlorn based kinship turned one thousand days old - an accomplishment for a sever as quaint as Evernight!

The Kinship is run by Hannihr and Aliramiel. Based in the UK, the kin is a primarily English speaking setting with the occasional player from all corners of the world.

Congratulations Stormborn!

Recently Stormborn have made an alliance with the Elite Archers of Elrond and Lemniscate. Two excellent kins!

If you would like a Kinship Spotlight for your kinship, send an in game mail to Hannihr, or comment below on this article!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Evernight Report is here!

Today marks the first article of The Evernight Report. Here you can find current server-wide news for Lord of the Rings Online's best server! You will also find hints and tips with upcoming articles, player-spotlights and local events... so stay tuned!

Last week we saw the release of Update 15: Gondor Aflame. With this, the Beorning class clawed its way onto our screens, offering a new character dynamic to the 7 year old game. Of course, the Beorning puns quickly became unbearable. It has proved to be an enjoyable, if not slightly overpowered, class.

Today I had the chance to interview Soluman the Beorning - recently turned level 85 within one week of Update 15 being released. Unbearlievable!

Hi Soluman! Thank you for meeting with me. What do you think of the new Beorning class?

I do enjoy this class very much, it's very strong and can survive a lot of mobs.

What about damage? Which tactic would you recommend we use to progress on the Beorning?

It kills super fast in bear form in the Red tree trait line. I just build up wrath from a trash mob, then go to bear form and kill even elite monsters in seconds.

That really is quite impressive. There have been mutterings that this class is overpowered. Do you feel it is? Or would Goldilocks say it was "just about right"?

Just about right in my opinion. It will be interesting to see them at level 100 with the best gear!

That's reassuring to know! I think there would be complaints if a primary damage class, like the Hunter, was being over-shone by a new kid on the block.

Compared to Hunters, I believe we do a little bit less damage. I was levelling with an even levelled Hunter yesterday and he killed much faster when I was not in bear form. But in bear form I could finish a mob a bit faster.

Oh really? Maybe that's why there are rumours of being overpowered!

Nah, not too overpowered. Bear is "OP", but not really, because it costs a lot of wrath, and that takes time to build and decreases very, very fast.

I suppose that levels things out a bit. Talking of higher level game content now... I can't imagine Beornings riding a horse in Mounted Combat. A circus bear riding around the ring comes to mind... What is the class like when attacking from a horse?

Mounted combat is heaps of fun, but not when trying to be fast... it's a bit slow.

With time let's hope the developers speed things up a bit!

Exactly, for example: Hunters and Wardens get an out of combat run buff. I don't see why Beornings shouldn't get the same.

Slow levelling is surely a thorn in the paw. Are there any other issues with the class that you have found?

Hmm... the gear I've seen so far has all been identical design copies from Warden... The Moria set for example.

Has that been a good thing or annoying?

Kinda annoyed about that, I hope there is some unique ones further on. Also the Moria teal set has no set bonuses of anything so it's not worth getting at all. The cheapest one is best at the moment.

Yes I saw the Beorning Hytbold set. Some room for improvement I think!

I'm thinking they rushed the class a little bit, could of done some more stuff. But I've yet to see level 100 so, hey!

Indeed! Off to level 100 with you! Thanks for the chat Soluman, enjoy the end game content on your Beorning!

Thanks, I will! For the moment it's my new favourite class.

If you would like to be interviewed on any aspect of Lord of the Rings Online, send an in game mail to Hannihr, or comment below on this article. See you in game, folks!