Lots of action this weekend in Lord of the Rings Online. I was mostly playing my minstrel, who is now level 17. This weekend I finished the epic epilogue quests with him and then did the complete epic book I quest series together with my guild, from chapter 1 to chapter 12. Very interesting concept: Instead of dungeons, LotRO has these "chapters", many of which are instanced events or dungeons. Generally much shorter than WoW dungeons, but they form a progressing story, with cut-scenes at the end of each chapter tying your adventures to the Lord of the Rings story line. And you can always come back and do the dungeons again and again, if you just want to do it for the loot, which is often quite good.
That was especially fun doing with a role-playing guild, hobbits only. That kind of limits us with the classes, especially since except my alt nobody made a guardian. But the only really hard dungeon was the chapter 11 Barrow Downs one, and we did all the other chapters without problems. The chapter where we needed to pick lillies in the Old Forest actually gave us some nice opportunity for role-playing the effect of the sleep-inducing lilly parfume. In chapter 11 we had a couple of defeats, but in a group with 3 minstrels, a burglar, and a hunter we actually did quite well to finish that chapter after a couple of attempts.
As planned I'm now running around in self-crafted medium armor. But my plans to make that "superb leather armor" hit a snag. The recipes are not only one-use-only, they also each require some rare drop from a named mob around level 20, some of them elite. So up to now I'm mostly wearing tough leather armor, and only two pieces of superb, because that was all that I could find on the auction house. And then I paid far too much for it. I'm now probably the best-armored level 17 minstrel in the game. Have to spend all these farming profits on something. :)
I did some more farming, because I still suspect that farming nerf patch to be applied soon, maybe Tuesday. When I was up to 2.5 gold, I promptly blew half a gold piece on learning cooking up to master journeyman. I could have done more, but the expert recipes already require level 20 to eat the food, so I wasn't that interested. I made a mistake leveling cooking at apprentice level with cooked carrots. While this is the cheapest recipe, I hadn't counted on needing pie crusts for the next level. I could just as well have done pie crusts all the way to master apprentice. Anyway, I leveled the journeyman rank to master on doing Coney Pies, so now I have a large supply of good food for adventuring. Cooking has two sorts of foods. One that gives bonuses to your stats, the "trail food". And the other kind, which increases your morale and power regeneration for 5 minutes. Very useful for combat, although you can't eat in combat and need to think of eating your pie just before.
Besides crafting, I was mostly adventuring. I'm trying to complete all the accomplishments in The Shire, to get all the traits and titles. The biggest problem is the "slug-squasher" one, because there aren't all that many slugs around, and too many people hunting them.
The most exciting adventure was leaving the Shire and going into the Old Forest. The place is a mace, full of monsters, and some of them are too hard for a level 17 solo minstrel, like the huorn walking trees. And if you try to flee and run into a dead-end, you end dead. :) I died several times, until I went to look for a map, and found the one I linked to yesterday. With the map it got a whole lot easier, and I didn't die again. I was trying to find the mobs that drop the rare parts for my superb leather armor, but no luck. One is an elite walking tree which I couldn't have killed anyway, and I never found the other one, the bat, although I was camping the spot where it was supposed to come out for one hour. Well, I found that bat part on the auction house later, so that wasn't catastrophic. And the Old Forest was a lot of fun, being so scary and dangerous.