Updated Wed, Oct 05, 2011 by gunky
I spent a good deal of Day 5 catching up on my crafting. I kinda had to in order to clear up some inventory space. My bags were getting pretty cluttered, and my vault is almost completely stuffed. This is an issue I brought up in the Preparing For Launch write-up - there's a whole ten levels' worth of new stuff to hoard, and vault space will be at a premium. My own vault is upgraded to 120 spots (the most I can get without spending a huge amount of Turbine Points to unlock more space), and it's jam-packed with old gear, consumables, bound barter tokens and other stuff I can't bear to throw away. My personal inventory is also limited, because I carry a full raid-ready "package" at all times (and this is fairly extensive for Hunters: 4 or 5 different kinds of crafted traps, stacks of 3 different kinds of bow chants, 2 kinds of oils, Focus potions, extra traveling rations, curatives, morale and power potions, food, battle and warding scrolls, hope tokens, a bunch of "trash" LIs that I'm leveling for relics, a few store items), which takes up two and a half bags. Honestly, I probably don't need to carry all of this stuff all the time. I mostly only use the Breach-finder scrolls and fire oil, and I could probably ditch most of my traps since they're kind of outdated now anyway - I'll probably donate them to a lower-level kinsman working his way through Moria, Lothlorien and Mirkwood.
Anyway, the new Westfold crafting tier is a little different from previous tiers. Here's a bullet-point list of differences:
Gunkydoc is a member of the Tailor's Guild. In the old ranking system, he was Kindred with the guild, and in the new system that translates to Artisan of the Guild. The next rep tier is Master of the Guild. I had him make one each of all the guild rep items, from Expert to Westfold (which requires Friend standing with the Dunlendings, as it requires the teal item for the Westfold guild recipe), and when I turned them all in, I filled half the bar. If I had really been planning ahead, like a bunch of my kin-mates and friends did, I would have stockpiled the rep items for a few weeks in advance and turned them all in at once. This strategy allowed a bunch of my friends to earn Master of the Guild standing the very first day. I'll be able to get it by next weekend when all the recipes are cooled down again. It will be slower going for my alts, who do not yet have Friend standing with the Dunlendings and can't make the teal items needed for the large rep items.
When my inventory situation was handled (I ended up spreading a bunch of stuff among my alts and donating crafting mats and random LIs to my kinnies), I headed out to Isendale. This region, in the narrow southern pass that is the Gap of Rohan, is the temporary home of the Rohirrim, who are in a long, protracted military engagement with the Draig-luth Dunlending tribe. The Draig-luth are at war with everybody, so that's not really a surprise. You are sent first to Forthbrond, where the Rohirrim have set up a military encampment with a good range of town services. Beware of the other settlements here that look like Dunlending towns - they are Draig-luth towns, and the inhabitants will not welcome you warmly.
The Heathfells is a kind of neat area - its
central feature is a broad hill crowned with a ring of purple
The area is spotted with little caves, and the hills are crawling
with hostile Dunlendings, orcs, hunting dogs and other nasties.
Much of the questing here involves helping out the Rohirrim in the
two camps, Forthbrond and Grimbold's Camp,
usually by killing Dunlendings and taking or destroying their
I ran a few quests out of Forthbrond before ending Day 5 at level
73. The gates of Isengard lie just ahead, and Gunkydoc is knocking
at the door of level 75.