Category Archives: Addons/Plugins

Bookahneer’s Geekwatch (December 12, 2011)

Welcome to today’s Bookahneer’s Geekwatch! The place about miscellaneous interesting news related to gaming (will most likely include at least one piece about Guild Wars 2 ^^).

Let’s start today’s Geekwatch with Lotro. We’ve just received update 5 which gives us the second half of the expansion that launched in September. Since I’m not playing Lotro much, I haven’t actually cared about what’s in the update too much. I know it’s new instances and a new raid. In case you’re interested and for some reason haven’t found them yet, here are the patch notes (and the known issues). An interesting bit of information is hidden inside and fortunately, Doc Holiday posted about it: The plugins finally got a plugin manager! That’s one thing I really wanted Turbine to add. It’s just not so nice to have to use a third party plugin for all that stuff. I’ve only tested it shortly and one plugin worked while another didn’t but I guess that’s because I haven’t updated them in quite some time. ;) I guess that also means that I’ll have to update my Lotro plugins guide. If you want to have a look, ignore the part about needing a plugin manager and ignore the part about the plugins leading to crashes. ;)

And finally, a giveaway posted at Casual Stroll to Mordor: Win Turbine Points! I am not going to participate because I don’t need any points. But I’m sure it’ll make a few players out there very happy. :)

Next on the list: Warhammer Online. Though the poor game isn’t getting any good news, I’m afraid. Or maybe they are good news for the remaining players. Mythic announced two more server merges on Wednesday. After that, we’ll have 1 US server, 1 European server, 1 German server (technically European as well but we do like our own language too much… ^^) and 1 Russian server (not operated by Mythic, I think). Werit has posted a bit more about WAR. Tobold also writes about this and poor SWG. I found this spot-on. SWTOR kills SWG and maybe even Warhammer Online. We’ll see in a month or two. ;)

Let’s switch over to Everquest 2. This game just went “free-er to play” after having had a f2p server for about a year or so. Now you can access all servers. I returned, especially because they made a few changes to their f2p-system. This now is the third try I’ve given EQ2, by the way (in case you remember me asking How many chances do you give a game? some time ago). I wasn’t too happy with any of the available free races but started playing one anyway. After Sony’s hacking fiasco, I’d gotten 400 Station Cash, though, and figured that I could upgrade to silver and buy myself the race pack that includes ratongas. I couldn’t find the silver pack anywhere in the shop and was disappointed only to find out that apparently, Sony had granted all accounts, including previous trial and f2p accounts, the upgrade to silver! So I already do have all those benefits. I quickly bought 500 more Station Cash and am now the happy owner of three races: ratonga, Iksar (lizard ladies! I already made my “Gechi” – and was very happy to see that this name wasn’t taken yet on Freeport and ogres. I was certain I wouldn’t care about the ogres at all but they do have a certain charme. I might make one later. So far, I have Tenedra (whom you can see on the picture on the right), a wizard ratonga and a ratonga swashbuckler. I also have said iksar (guardian) but haven’t played her yet. I’ll most likely continue playing Tenedra. If you’re curious about all the pros and cons of EQ2’s f2p version, head over to Player vs. Developer who wrote a great post about it. This is also the first f2p game that I ever spent money on, I think. And Guild Wars (though it doesn’t count because it’s not a real f2p game to begin with… ^^).

Last but not least: Guild Wars 2 and their lack of news. Sadly. Though I’m just impatiently shuffling my feet here. Hunters Insight reminded me of Eric Flannum’s post again:
“All that being said we’re definitely getting closer, we’ll be revealing the final profession before the end of the year, and we’ve got a few other things to talk about in the coming weeks as well.”

There aren’t too many days left and as Hunters Insight says, they probably (hopefully?) won’t want to tell us all about the last class during the holidays. I also got curious when I saw Massively announce the IRC chat with Jon Peters and Johnathan Sharp on Wednesday. Maybe there’ll be a lot of questions to ask then? Maybe we’ll finally get to hear something new about Guild Wars 2?

All I know is that I don’t care much about SWTOR. It’s not my kind of game. Instead, as you might have noticed, I got sucked into EQ2 and am now exploring this game while anxiously peeking at Twitter, waiting for some official tweet from GW2. ;)

How to get LotRO plugins to work

Update September, 16, 2013: This guide is not up to date anymore! I don’t play Lotro much these days and disabled all plugins. Also, in the meantime, Turbine has added a plugin manager of their own.

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I’ve written this guide for my kin and thought I’d put it up here as well in case others are curious about plugins in LotRO but don’t know how to start.

My recommendation so far is: Plugin Manager, Buffbars and Palantir. All links are found in the text. The sites with the plugins also explain what the plugins do (n short: Plugin Manager loads other plugins, Buffbars shows buffs and debuffs on you, Palantir creates a morale/power hud around your character).

1) http://forums.lotro.com/showthread.php?354331-Introduction-to-Lua-UI-scripts You need to download the file “Beta_LuaPlugins“.

2) Go to your “documents” folder and find “The Lord of the Rings Online” there. This is also where your screenshots are stored by default. Click it. Create the folder “Plugins“.

3) Extract the downloaded Beta_LuaPlugins into “Plugins” – those files are very important as lots of plugin-makers make use of the files Turbine put in there.

4) Download the addons that you want. http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/ – there’s a search box at the top right. Enter “Plugin Manager” and you see a list of plugin managers. Choose one. I currently use this one: http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/info379-PluginManager.html

(Note: I read that some plugins need to be loaded in a specific order. That is, plugin B won’t work if it was loaded after plugin A, so you’d need a plugin manager that has the ability to change the loading order. Buffbars and Palantir have no problems there, however! And I haven’t tried any other plugin managers, so I can’t say which one’s good or not.)

5) Download Buffbars: http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/info361-BuffBars.html

6) Download Palantir: http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/info377-Palantir.html

7) Extract the Plugin Manager, Buffbars and Palantir into your “Plugins” folder. The folder should then have the following subfolders: DigitalUtopia (contains Palantir), Shady (with the Manager inside), PengorosPlugins (Buffbars inside), Turbine and TurbinePlugins.

8) Do the following to load all installed plugins with just a click whenever you log into any of your LotRO characters and want to load all of your plugins: Log into the game. Take away the skill icon in 1 (the skill you activate by pressing “1” on your keyboard). Type: /shortcut 1 /plugins load manager – Take the created alias and put it somewhere on your bars. Put the skill back to slot 1. ;)

9) Click on the alias. It should now list Palantir and Buffbars in the chat window as well as say “loaded plugin manager”. This indicates that everything went well and all plugins are activated. You may need to type /man and check the addons you want (Palantir and Buffbars in this case. The others were made by Turbine and at least their OneBag-plugin isn’t working correctly. So better leave those unchecked)

By typing /buffbars optionen you should get a window that allows you to customise buffbars. It’s in German because it was made by a German who didn’t translate it to English. ;)

By typing /palantir options you should get a window to customise Palantir. I really love having the percentage numbers of my morale and power next to my character. Especially as I need the percentage of moral to know whether I can use one of my skills or not. I don’t like those bars too much. So, in “Main”, under “Player Vitals” I choose 0.00 bar opacity and they’re invisible. :) You can also move the debuff bar further down or up (debuff bar – vertical position).

Both plugins have a bar that allows you to put a potion in them for each debuff type. For example, healing draughts for wound debuffs. I’m using the one that comes with Palantir. You might prefer Buffbars or none at all. If you don’t want the one with Buffbars, disable it: “Schnellleiste“, “Allgemeines“: uncheck “zulassen” and it’s gone.

By typing /man you open the plugins manager. You see some more plugins listed. Those were made by Turbine as example plugins. You can check the box and then apply or uncheck and apply etc.

Hopefully, that’s all and everything works on your end. :)

In the meantime, I’ve also tested http://www.lotrointerface.com/downloads/info536-BusyBeeTasks.html – a plugin to show you which items you can turn in for tasks. LOVE it! And I got that one to work within a minute. /bzb toggle will show you the window on top. Cnt > 0 shows you all tasks for which you have at least one item. Cnt > N shows you all tasks which you can hand in at least once. My Lvl only shows those tasks that your character can hand it (because of his/her level) and All Lvl shows you all tasks for all levels even if your character can’t hand in the task. It’s very useful when you’re sick of not knowing whether to sell certain trophy items or hold on to them.

Rift vs. LotRO vs. World of Warcraft – a closer look at all three MMOs (Part 8)

Part 1: How much do the games cost and which extra security against hacked accounts do they offer?
Part 2: What can I play (races and classes?)
Part 3: What do the games look like?
Part 4: What’s there to fight against (PvE)?
Part 5: Who’s there to fight (PvP)?
Part 6: Crafting
Part 7: I want to be on my own sometimes (- or: What can do I solo?)

Today’s topic: Fluff (aka “other”)

Stuff to collect: Yep, all games have stuff you can collect. I have already mentioned the non-combat pets for Rift and WoW. LotRO does NOT have non-combat pets. If I remember correctly, I read somewhere that non-combat pets would cause too many issues with server performance. So only Loremasters can have them (they are LotRO’s pet class) – but when they have one of those little companions with them, they can’t have a regular combat pet out. So in this case, it probably doesn’t cause any extra stress on the poor servers. ;) The screenshot shows my dwarf in WoW with a little tree pet. It gets smaller and smaller the longer it’s out but once it gets into the water, it grows back to its regular size.

All three games offer a variety of mounts. “Unfortunately” for LotRO, they are bound to Tolkien’s lore. So there are no rideable dragons or unicorns (or sparkling ponies – although I do have a glittering pony). Only goats, horses and ponies are available. Rift has standard horses but also weird looking Yarnosaurs and turtles. They also have mechanical horses. I would say that WoW offers the biggest variety with flying and ground mounts: Horses, dragons, motorcycles, mammoths – you name it, they probably got it. ;) The screenshot on the left shows my warden on her summer festival mount. The next screenshot on the left (a bit further below) shows my character in WoW on her flying dragon. The one below that one, on the right, shows my goblin on her “mount” (well, trike, obviously).

Housing comes up sooner or later when people ask about MMOs. Unfortunately, most developers answer with: “Not in our game, no.” Only LotRO has housing. This, in itself, is very nice. And you can have a sweet little house. However, compared to how other games with houses solved this, I am sorry to say it but LotRO’s housing stinks! You have “hooks” which are predefined areas in a house where only certain items can go. For example: A rug can only go on two or three places in your house. No, you can’t put it in the corner. It’s either in the middle of the room or nowhere at all. You also can’t put a bed in the corner with a shelf next to it and a little stool. If there’s no hook for it, there is no way to put all the furniture next to each other. That’s especially fun when you have a table and a chair. Nope, don’t even think about putting them there next to each other where it’d make sense. ;) You also can’t give a different wall colour to every room. In some cases, two rooms only have one slot for the wall paint. So, it is very restricted! And even though players have been asking for changes over and over again, it doesn’t seem that Turbine sees this high on their priority list. Which is too bad but I guess I am in the minority when I say that I love housing and that’s a big part of what keeps me playing a game. If you want to decide between those three MMOs and you absolutely must have housing, then LotRO is the choice for you.

Also a nice thing for collectors: Titles. There are a ton of titles in LotRO. My hobbit is very proud to be the “Little Wonder” which she had gotten for finding different items in the newest zone Enedwaith. I don’t know if it is complete, but here is a list of titles. WoW has titles as well. Note that you can have a title in front of your name or at the end of your name here. Last but not least, titles in Rift.

WoW and LotRO also offer festivals that fall accordingly to our RL holidays like Christmas, Easter,… LotRO also has a summer festival, WoW has Children’s week and so on. The screenshot on the left shows the maze in LotRO. It’s quite fun to run through it and there are several quests, even timed ones, that lead you through the maze. During these festivals, you can also usually get a new mount or non-combat pets (the latter only in WoW and not in LotRO). Unfortunately, WoW is not friendly to low level players! During the first WoW Brewfest (yes, on time for Germany’s Oktoberfest ;) ), they had fun ram races where you could get a Brewfest Ram for levels 40+. The next year, those rams were not available anymore and you had to be at max level in order to get the faster version of this ram. There was no explanation as to why the low level ram was removed. It just was. Luckily, those who had already gotten the ram in the first year could keep it (and upgrade it to the faster version). LotRO placed all its festival areas into the low level regions. There’s usually no problem at all to participate as a low level character! I don’t know if Rift offers festivals like this. They had a special event some time ago, though, with special rifts taking place all over the world and there were some open world bosses to defeat. Participation in the rifts and doing some special dailies gave you a special currency which could be turned in for special rewards. I think I chose another non-combat pet.

WoW and LotRO offer addons. WoW has had them for a long time and thus, the addons are usually of a very good quality. It is also easy to install, maintain, load or unload addons. LotRO’s addons (or plugins, as they are called) are still in beta. If you have several plugins, you need to load them all manually by typing something like “load plugin XY”. Imagine what that is like when you have a ton of plugins. ;) Of course, plugin developers solved that problem by programming plugin managers. So you only need to load this plugin manager and can then load the other plugins easily without having to type any further commands. Plugins in LotRO are also heavily restricted in what they can do compared to WoW (no looking at the items in your alt’s bank while you are logged into your main character, for example). All in all, the current system leaves a lot to be desired especially when looking at the usability and the plugin interface. You also need to go to Turbine’s forum to the plugin section, find the appropriate thread with a specific download link and download some folders without which a lot of plugins would not work. Hopefully, Turbine can move that whole development out of beta soon and make it easier to use (it started last autumn, I think, when LotRO turned f2p). Still, there are a few addons that I’ve tested and really like. The screenshot on the left shows Palantir: the percentages on the left and the right show her health and power. The bar below my character has spaces to put pots in that are used to get rid of debuffs. The bar on the right shows a buff she’s just activated and how long it’s still active. This bar also shows debuffs if there are any on her. The screenshot on the right shows my character in Rift after she used some item that temporarily changed her appearance. The next two screenshots show mounts in Rift next to the mount vendor.

Plugins/addons are often criticised. Especially when they are made mandatory by your fellow gamers or used in a way to easily spot the “n00bs” and make fun of them – or kick them from your group. There is the infamous “Damage meter” in WoW which shows everybody how much damage you have done and if it is not enough, you are ridiculed (well, not by everybody, of course. But it has happened!). And then there is Gearscore which adds all your items’ item levels. This alone doesn’t say anything about your skill as a player. It just says how great your gear is. And players started to not invite other players who did not have a high gearscore – even for content where a high gearscore was not necessary. But some players think another player with better items means that they must be a good player. Or, to turn the argument around: A player with a low gearscore must be a new (and thus, bad – or not-good, player) and thus, they would not want to have them in their raid.

Trion is working on addons for Rift. So currently there are none in the game.

Cosmetic items: Both Rift and LotRO let you equip items “cosmetically”. You can wear your regular gear but have the appearance of other items. That is very nice if there is this one item that is SO much better than your current one but you don’t like its look at all. LotRO supports this system by having tons of cosmetic items that don’t have any stats on them but only have a nice appearance. If you want to see some examples, have a look at Lotro Stylist and Cosmetic Lotro, two blogs that show different outfits that you can put together. WoW has no such thing. Rift and LotRO also let you dye your gear in different colours. Again, WoW has no such thing.