Brackish Waters

how my gaming and life coalesce.

Beer battered chicken

Yesterday marked the first day of the Summer Festival in Middle Earth, a two week long celebration of the summer solstice. So, how does one celebrate during an event such as this? Simple. Drink plenty of beer, light off tons of fireworks and beat chickens til you are blue in the face. Mind you, not in any particular order.

I cannot say the event has been going off without a hitch as one of the main events, Hobnobigans, seems to have its share of issues. If you have never heard of Hobnobigans its pretty simple.  Gather two teams of atleast 5 players each and talk to a team captain on either side of the field north of Bree. Once you have acknowledged the rules and signed a waiver, you can take up your beater and walk onto the field. The game is a close resemblance to that of field hockey with the exception that you are beating a chicken with your stick and the goal is an open net at each teams end.

The issues with Hobnobigans are not that every player is drunk from the Shire Tavern Crawl (more on that soon), but with the chicken itself. It seems that when the chicken is swatted out of bounds it has a tendency to not return. I guess you can’t really blame the chicken in this but it is a game stopping bug and one that I know Turbine is working on.

Another weird issue is that if the game is currently running in either a working state or bugged state, when you walk onto the field and are not one of the players on the teams, you immediately get teleported to the nearest graveyard. While this may prevent spectators in a drunken stupor from charging the field, new players coming to join the game while it is in a bugged state still get teleported. No chicken for you! After trying this multiple times and fighting off a group of PETA protesters disguised as bandits, we made our way over to the Shire.

In a locale called The Hill there is an aptly named Party Tree. This is where you meet your first Tavern Inn Member and the beginning of a grueling run called the Tavern Crawl. While some of the aspects of this obviously evolved from other MMO’s, Turbine does a great job of placing it into the setting of Middle Earth. Not only do you get completely stupid from drinking multiple beers on a seven tavern run, but the members you run into also get more and more inebriated. The hobbit at the end had everyone in my group laughing.

Here are some tips if you wish to complete this crawl successfully on the first try.
* Bring a player that has the Shire Map completely filled in.
* Have that player talk to the Inn Member at the Party Tree first and make everyone in your group wait atleast 20 to 30 seconds before following them on the run.
* Space out your members so that when each player reaches a stop, nobody in your group is there and they have full access to all of the beers at the table. This is recommended because if two players are drinking the same beer, it does not disappear until one of the players has actually finished. The second player trying to drink it will not be notified of somebody else trying to drink the beer until their “casting bar” has filled completely. I think this is intended as I have had this happened to me often when at bars.
* If you find yourself running short on time while drinking, take the lighter beers like the fern and ales, these go down easier and with less time.
* Give yourself atleast 30 to 45 minutes to complete this run.

I definitely had a good time with this event and I look forward to the fireworks show in Bree tonight. Its events like this that give guilds a great chance to mingle all members together and eliminate the need for level based groups. I hope that sometime down the road we will begin to see more content like this that is permanently in game and for a good reason. I’d love to see a chore that involves multiple people corralling chickens in order for a cook to make some adventuring food. This could be a great excuse to make some beer battered chicken. Any excuse to make beer battered chicken is a good excuse indeed.

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June 22, 2007 - Posted by | LOTRO

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