Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 24

By Shamus Posted Wednesday Jun 30, 2010

Filed under: Column 97 comments

We’ve come to the penultimate episode of Shamus Plays LOTRO. It all ends next week.


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97 thoughts on “Shamus Plays: LOTRO, Part 24

  1. Jarenth says:

    What’s this? No song at the end?

    A troubling development, indeed.

    1. Syal says:

      He’s saving it up for the grand finale. I bet the whole last page is one long song.

    2. Ramsus says:

      Clearly we took the shortcut to get to the song.

  2. ToastyVirus says:

    I have coffee all over my screen.

    Thank you Shamus.

    1. Eljacko says:

      Ahhhh…the ol’ spit take.

  3. Traska says:

    Please, the next Shamus Plays: Star Trek Online!

    OR DIE!

    1. tremor3258 says:

      I dunno, there’s only so many jokes you can make about ground-combat before you just break down and hire turret-spammers as your bridge officers.

      1. krellen says:

        Yeah, every joke would be about Captain Picard deciding to solve every problem by shooting it. Even Captain Kirk was more diplomatic than ST:O allows you to be.

        1. Michael says:

          Supposedly Season 2 (mid-July) is going to add in a diplomacy system. I say supposedly because “diplomacy system” is about the only term I’ve heard for it. It could be dialog trees or a match 3 minigame, I’ve no idea.

          EDIT: I apologize if that reads like demented fanboyism from me.

          1. tremor3258 says:

            In their defense, there is a very, very early mission that requires reading quest text and responding appropriately to complete. So some sort of functionality is in place.

            So maybe they’ll expand on that.

            1. krellen says:

              Had those sorts of missions (and I will admit there is a sprinkling of non-combat missions) been the norm rather than the exception, I’d probably be happier with the game.

  4. Kdansky says:

    That was hilarious.

    OR DIE!

  5. Daimbert says:

    You know, Lulzy’s actually kinda cute in that dress …

    1. Tizzy says:

      Gotta love the traditional look. I would hate to see it spoiled by shoes, ugh!

    2. Andrew B says:

      I am perpetually disturbed by how cute (in a “hey, baby, you’re cute” sense) the female hobbits are. Perhaps it’s just that they are, perversely, a healthy shape compared to other video game females. Either way, there is something uncomfortable about it. The whole “not dissimilar to children to a human eye” thing.

      I try not to think about it much. And don’t play hobbits.

      OR DIE!

    3. evileeyore says:

      Hubba hubba.

    4. Eljacko says:

      Yes, indeed she looks simply adorable.

  6. Awwww… I don’t want to see Lulzy go. She’s so much fun.

    I just love her acerbic Hobbit humor.


    1. What, you are going to end this before Lulzy gets to the truth about Sara Oakheart?

  7. Rosseloh says:


    Best one yet! I’ll be sad to see it go.

  8. tremor3258 says:

    I love the tale of Toradon – I can totally see the let’s plays Rangers doing that.

    I’m fondly remembering WoW’s tendency, once they thought about it, to 1) Make escortees tough. 2) give them some combat ability and 3) make sure you had a much higher threat so that 1) and 2) weren’t tested too much.

    THIS is why the Fellowship is a small party, clearly, all the Ranger competence is concentrated in their chief.

    That’s a nice dress, by the way.

    OR DIE!

  9. Marlowe says:

    You can marry Aragorn? Did Bioware have something to do with this?

    1. acronix says:

      If he turns to have a daddy issue, then yes.

      1. Marlowe says:

        Lulzy dies during childbirth in that case.

        1. Eljacko says:

          I don’t think human-Hobbit interbreeding is actually possible. I mean, I’m pretty sure the last time a species tried to interbreed the result was freaking ORCS.

          1. Marlowe says:

            A lack of inter-species romance opportunities severely curtails the popularity of a MMORG with its target demographic.

          2. Moridin says:

            There are several humans with elven blood as well as elves with human blood. But it’s all a bit mystical.

            Also, orcs aren’t results of crossbreeding. But of course, you knew that already.

            1. Robyrt says:

              Interbreeding hobbit/dwarf with man/elf is rather dicey, given the size disparity. Without modern medical technology, Lulzy would probably die carrying Aragorn’s love child. :(

              1. Tizzy says:

                I’m not so sure about that. Hobbits are renowned for their superior fortitude; none other than hobbits could conceivably cross the whole of Mordor, for starters.

            2. Eljacko says:

              Yeah, but when I imagine a cross between a Hobbit and a human and a Hobbit and an Elf, I see Goblins, and when I imagine a cross between a Dwarf and a human and a Dwarf and an Elf, I SEE FREAKING ORCS.

              1. acronix says:

                Sir, what do you have against dwarves?! It´s that you are jealous of the beards, I bet! Admit it!

                1. Eljacko says:

                  Yeah, yeah that’s definitely it.

                  I hate not being able grow a stylishly tasteful goatee.

            3. Viktor says:

              I’m pretty sure that if a dwarf and an elf boinked, the result would look like a hobbit. Maybe that’s the origin of the term ‘halfling’. ;)

          3. Michael says:

            No, that was the Uruk-Hai… or however it’s spelled. Orcs were the offspring of Tolken’s xenophobia. :p

            1. acronix says:

              I tought they were his verison of evil mooks, since he needed some for the good guys to slay without remorse.

              1. Eljacko says:

                A little from column A, a little from column B.

  10. Falcon says:

    I will certainly miss Lulzy’s wisdom when the series is done, after all we’ve learned such important life lessons as:

    -fashion is murder(literally)

    -rangers are stupid and incompetent
    -until they turn evil

    -you don’t make money with plans that make sense

    -hobbits are natural delivery disruptors

    -mail exists for the sole purpose of giving super-hobbit speed

    and finally

    -if you ever feel that the entire world around you is either stupid, or blind… they’re probably both

  11. Hal says:

    Hm, sounds like Lulzy’s aiming for a tall dose of Vitamin H(uman).

      1. Daimbert says:

        You’d prefer “She’s looking for Treasure Type O”?

        (Ripped shamelessly from OotS).

        1. Eljacko says:

          No. NO. You are absolutely right, Hal’s crappy pun is preferable.

  12. Jeffwik says:

    I was really hoping this series would continue longer; I enjoy it a great deal. I realize it’s hard to come up with new ways to describe long slogs of spider-killing, but still.

    1. Eljacko says:

      I figured Shamus would slog it all the way to the level cap, but I guess some things would frankly be too good to be true. For us I mean. Man, that would really suck for Shamus. I keep imagining him seated in a computer chair, weeping and tearing out tufts of his hair, watching in horror as a stream of ten thousand spiders emerges from a small hollow, converging upon Lulzy for what can only be called “Arachnogeddon 3: The Spidering”. The end result? Ten thousand dead spiders, one dead quest giver, and one murderously angry Lulzy.

  13. Jeremiah says:

    Well, we know Strider’s not totally opposed to the whole interracial thing. Lulzy may have a chance!

  14. Neil Polenske says:

    You go girl!

  15. RE: the escort stuff – the best solution I can see is to have a set escort path, but only have the NPC move along it if there is a PC ahead of them on the path. That way they hurry to keep up and stop when you rest.

    1. Gale says:

      Also making the enemies prioritise the player. One of the reasons why escort missions are so goddamn annoying is often that the enemies will willfully ignore you, because their AI instructs them to attack the weakest character they see. Oh, and also give the escorted NPC some semblance of a preservation instinct, so that they don’t constantly flee from the safety of your easily-guarded bottleneck to try and punch the big angry ogre in the knee.

  16. Jep jep says:

    Whow, I can’t imagine how much that cost. Looks like a real bargain if you could really afford the dye too with her own cash. Those dresses can go up to 1-3g+ on my server (EU-Laurelin) depending on the season from what I remember browsing the AH.

  17. TehShrike says:

    Aaaah ha ha ha! Top-notch episode today, thanks Shamus!

    Also, while I do dabble somewhat in physics, my specializations have resulted in my avoiding all education in the discipline of common sensology.

    It’s just not practical when there are so many more important things to focus on.

  18. Irridium says:

    I was half expecting the Auction House to be on the other side of a “knee deep” lake.

  19. Daemian Lucifer says:

    Wait,so all these 24 episodes were a prelude to your slash fiction about aragorn?I mean,I knew you had to write a slash fic sooner or later,I just didnt know it would involve a 90 year old human and a hobbit.

    1. Hal says:

      “Why Mr. Strider, we need to discuss these matters in private! Perhaps I could show you to my, ahem, hobbit hole?”

      1. MelTorefas says:


      2. Irridium says:

        He better not take her out on a date. She has a habit of coming up short.

        1. Blackbird71 says:

          Ouch. The only way you could have made it worse would be “a ‘hobbit’ of coming up short.”

          There now, do you see what you made me go and do?

          1. Irridium says:

            I apologize, for nothing!

            /hedonism bot

          2. Rosseloh says:

            Irregular Webcomic already has the market cornered on hobbit puns, so I think he’s safe.

    2. Marlowe says:

      Tolkien got there first:

      I caught him, Gollum. He was covered with green slime. He will never love me I fear; for he bit me, and I was not gentle. Nothing more did I ever get from his mouth than the marks of his teeth.

      — Aragorn, during the Council of Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring.

      1. Heron says:

        You just ruined the Council of Elrond for me.

      2. Eljacko says:


    3. Nyaz says:

      Oh dear. I dare not think what Spoiler Warning has been leading up to.

    4. Moridin says:

      Err… Slash fiction? Lulzy is a female in case you didn’t notice. Or am I missing something?

      1. Shamus says:

        I thought “slash fiction” was any person with another unlikely partner. As in: Person A / Person B.

        Superman / Kaylee from firefly
        Dr. Who / Samus Aran
        Ellen Ripley / Sherlock Holmes
        Wolverine / Godzilla

        But maybe I’m wrong. To be honest, this isn’t exactly my area of expertise.

        1. Robyrt says:

          Wikipedia has “slash fiction” as romance between two same-sex fictional characters, usually male, usually without a canon relationship.

          Although I bet Ellen Ripley and Sherlock Holmes would get along just fine. They could sit and brood for hours!

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            I too didnt know that.After all,fanfic doesnt have to involve a gay couple to be disturbing(cloud mows the lawn,for example).

            – Stick it in me,bitch!
            – Elementary my dear ripley.

            And,to be fair,90 year old man with a young hobbit isnt as bad as 3000 year old elf and a 90 year old man.So this would be an improvement.

            1. Eljacko says:

              That “banter” between (I assume) Ripley and Holmes you have just posted has scarred me internally more than any slash fic about Aragorn and Lulzy could.

              I hope I didn’t just jinx that. Sweet mercy, I hope I didn’t just jinx that.

        2. Hal says:

          Shamus, must you invoke Rule 34? That last one terrifies me.

        3. Gale says:

          I’m given to understanding that the term “slash fiction” originated with the use of slashes to denote same-sex pairings, as opposed to the crosses used in opposite-sex pairings. ClarkXLois, whereas Lex/Clark. When character shipping as a hobby… Diffused, throughout the internet, convention began to mean very little, and now people generally just do whatever the hell they like.

          One thing that hasn’t been forgotten about quite so much is how the pairing is ordered: the dominant partner in the relationship is listed first. This doesn’t necessarily refer to who’s the “man” in the relationship, but more to who actually pulls the strings. This is often a topic of conversation and debate among fans of any given pairing, since it’s just the sort of fluid and meaningless distinction that people love to argue about for days on end.

          Establishing dominance in the relationship was especially important when shipping two male characters; this is, of course, because character shipping is ultimately a business of fantasies, and it is not… Unexpected, for such a business to stray beyond the realms of PG-13 material. As such, it is of significant interest for fans to establish which of the characters would be doing the, ahem, “pitching”, and which would be doing the “catching”. So to speak.

          Since same-sex partnerings were so often based on the barest of interactions between characters, they often ended up being absolutely insane, which is the characteristic that now defines the common layman’s usage and understanding of the term.

          Uh. That’s what I’m told, anyway. Not like I know about this stuff. Cough.

          1. Marlowe says:

            Slash originated among middle aged female Trekkies during the 1970s and concerned romantic situations featuring paired members of the original Star Trek cast, usually Kirk and Spock hence the fan designation Kirk/Spock which became known as slash because of the typographic character (you’ve accurately explained the dominance aspect of the syntax and many of these tales did express BDSM fantasy). These stories were printed on mimeograph (a manually operated printer which used stencils produced on a normal typewriter – you typed onto the stencil and then ran it through the printer), collated and bound by hand and then distributed as a fanzine either by post to subscribers or handed out at SF or Star Trek conventions. It branched out from there.

            Ah, the wonderful world of nerd-dom before the Internet as we know it today.

            1. Gale says:

              I did not know that, thanks.

              It’s interesting that the advent of the internet hasn’t actually changed that aspect of the hobby all that much. Digital distribution may have largely superseded the mail subscription part, but I’m told that fanfiction groups and doujin circles still produce their own books to sell at conventions. It’s still a good way to widen your pool of readers, after all, and there remains an appreciation for having a paper book in your hands.

          2. Coming late to the party, but I’d disagree about the first partner necessarily being the dominant one. (In current usage, I mean, I’m not denying that it started that way.) I’ve never come across that convention in the Harry Potter or Doctor Who fandoms, though I admit those are the only ones I frequent.

  20. Pickly says:

    I’d completely forgotten that the purpose (In the Lulzy universe) of doing all these quests was to get money for clothing that Lulzy had seen someplace. :)

    It does seem too bad that the comics are ending pretty much in the shire, rather than in a larger story, though perhaps the larger story doesn’t have as much humor potential.

    Also, rather than making a practical suggestion, I’d suggest Team Fortress 2 for your next let’s play. Something like “1 Pyro’s journey to push the bomb cart.”

  21. SteveDJ says:

    Very funny episode! All the usual funny has been commented/acknowledged — I just wanted to add that I’m still laughing over “Bilbi” :-D

  22. somecrazyfan says:

    I think the water oart is a joke on the player.

  23. Joshua says:

    All of these stupid rangers, and you know which one I always remember?

    The one Aragorn tells you to meet shortly after these quests who basically blabbers all about Strider’s real name and how he doesn’t know any hobbit named Underhill, but he’s supposed to actually be looking for a hobbit named Baggins, etc.

    You know, the Ranger who’s got like -10 ranks in subterfuge.

    1. Shamus says:

      I’d wanted to include him, too. He’s another hilariously useless ranger. He’s injured and has you kill X of Y for him, but only after blabbing all their secrets. Somehow I messed up the quest chain progression and didn’t get that one. (r it’s later, in which case it’ll be too late.)

      1. Joshua says:

        It’s in the actual Book 1, which means it occurs later. I think it’s around chapters 5-8 or so.

        1. pnf says:

          Yeah, he shows up a few quests down the road: Lenglinn, the Ranger so respected that when he confronted four Black Riders, they trampled over him and kept going rather than bothering to stop to kill him.

          There’s a song somewhere in there. Too bad it appears that Lulzy will instead return to the Shire and spend her days loudly mocking the postal service.

  24. SatansBestBuddy says:

    Is it just me, or is Strider’s description a little too… what’s the word… feminine to be coming from a male writer…

    Almost as if he’s been thinking those thoughts about Strider before…

    1. krellen says:

      As I recall, Shamus has two daughters and no sons. Feminine thought is probably a defence mechanism.

      1. silver Harloe says:

        You don’t need daughters to find the ability to empathize with females to be an extremely valuable defense mechanism. You just need a wife (or a live in girlfriend. or a female roommate (even a platonic one)). Or really just a female coworker. Seriously – empathizing with women is a deadly important survival skill.

    2. Tizzy says:

      Well, I find this quite understandable. Based on the screenshots, it does look like Turbine decided to give Strider a serious looks upgrade from the original Viggo Mortensen model…

      1. Pickly says:

        That is what I noticed as well (The lack of beard, scraggle, and such.), though the other “good looking” parts of the description don’t stand out as much. (In this case, as with any case where someone thinks another person is good looking, I simply trust the person’s description and leave it at that.)

    3. Shamus says:

      I think of a man. Then I take away reason, and accountability.

      I kid. I’m just imitating the parodies of romance novel styles I’ve seen in the past.

  25. Taellosse says:

    I have nothing useful to add, save to say that this was one of the best episodes to date. Had me literally LOLing at several points. There is a large part of me that will be sad to see this series go. On the other hand, I felt the same way about Star On Chest, and I have not been sorry.

    1. Teldurn says:

      +1 to this. I felt exactly the same way.

      Shamus is a brilliant and talented person. Whatever poor medium next crosses his path, I’m certain his unique sense of humor will come shining through and the masses will love it.

  26. Helm says:

    Damn it Shamus I laughed ALL the way through this one and the end was pure class. Damn shame you are ending this series
    Nice one mate

  27. wtrmute says:

    Huh, I certainly wasn’t expecting Lulzy to fall for our favourite geriatric Dàºnadan. Maybe later she can join à‰owyn in a support group of some kind… ;-P

  28. LizJ says:

    Penultimate? Aww, I’m going to miss reading about Lulzy. This series, combined with the news that LOTRO is going free to play in the fall, got me interested enough to do the free trial. I loved the game world, so I’m purchasing the Mines of Moria and a month or two of playtime to hold me over until I can play without a subscription.

    This series is not just laugh-out-loud funny; it’s skillfully written and Lulzy has a distinctive voice and personality. I’m looking forward to the last episode, and I’ll be sad when I’ve finished reading it because there won’t be any more.

  29. NotYetMeasured says:

    Another great one, Shamus. I’ll be sad when the series ends.

  30. Eltanin says:

    Forgive my ignorant question, but I’m curious about the crunch behind the clothing. Does that dress confer any particular bonus or is it just in-game fashion?

    In case it’s not obvious, I haven’t played the game yet, so please make sure that any explanation uses small words for my simple brain.

    1. Shamus says:

      You can equip items cosmetically. That is, you have your “visible” outfit, and the outfit you’re REALLY wearing for the purposes of stat-booting. Lulzy’s standard outfit (which she wore for most of the series) was all cosmetic by the end. I wanted her to have a fixed outfit so that screenshots would be interchangeable and useful in any order, and also so that I wouldn’t have to stop and explain each new item. Also, her “real” gear looked all goofy and wouldn’t work for the fashion-minded Lulzy.

      tl;dr: The dress is cosmetic and has no effect on gameplay mechanics. Or Aragorn.

  31. Eltanin says:

    “Or Aragorn.”


    That’s an interesting mechanic. Does it cost some in-game resource to beautify* your appearance?

    I can’t help but think about some other games that you have discussed (Dragon Age I believe? Haven’t played it either) which seemed to set out to purposefully place the dunce cap on your character’s appearance.

    *I just couldn’t butcher English so much by using ‘cosmectify’ in a sentence.

    1. Shamus says:

      No. It’s free. Although you have to reach level 20 at least once (for some reason?) in order to use it. After that, all of your characters can.

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