Uncle Rooster’s Illustrated Primer for the Escorts of Free-Range Chickens

17 Aug

Instructions for Escorts:

Please be at Sandson’s Farm no later than 5 pm server time so we can form a raid.

We will be using Discord as our voice chat system for the run.  You can download the client in advance from https://discordapp.com/ , or you can just run it through a Web browser!  I’ll post the invite link here on the morning of the run; once you’re connected to “Sandson’s Farm”, come to “The Yard”.

Those of you who know Roman military history will be familiar with the testudo formation, where Roman soldiers would use their shields to emulate a tortoise to protect themselves from enemy arrows.  In that spirit, our group will take on the attributes of a chicken to strike terror into the hearts of our enemies, as chickens have always done.  We will be using: The Gallina Formation.

chicken

The Heart of our chicken will be Uncle Rooster leading our hens;
the Beak of our chicken will clear our path of mobs;
the Wings of our chicken will protect our flanks;
the Feet of our chicken will draw aggro on any mobs that manage to get past our Beak and our Wings;
and the Tailfeather will stay behind our slowest chicken to watch out for possible disconnects or lag issues.

In general, we’ll want hunters and minstrels in the beak, aggro-drawing classes in the Feet, and other classes in the Wings.  This will, of course, depend on who we get in our raid.  I’ll assign people to switch when needed.

We also need an advance team of escorts to port ahead of the main group when the chickens do nest travel.  Hunters will be assigned to those groups and I will give instructions when it’s time for you to break off from the main group.

Speaking of Hunters: No speed boosts, please!  Boosts do not affect chickens, but they will affect the other escorts, and all of us outrunning our chickens is a great way to lose our chickens.  If you fall behind your group and need to catch up, use a horse.

Expect the run to take around six hours.  There should be plenty of relatively quiet stretches when it will be safe to go AFK for several minutes, just let me know so I can coordinate and make sure you don’t all leave at once.

I will be updating this post as needed, so please check back here on the day of the run in case I’ve added anything.

– Hologro, aka uncle Rooster

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Uncle Rooster’s Illustrated Primer For Free-Range Chickens

17 Aug

Instructions for Chickens:

Remember that you need to have completed all of the preliminary quests (Which Laid First, The Early Bird, and The Sky is Falling, and all six Flying the Coop quests) before you can take part in a Free Range run.  If you’re not sure whether you’ve gotten these done, talk to George at Sandson’s.  If he offers you a quest called “Free Range”, you’re set.  If not, you’ll need to do the quests he offers you first.

Please be at Sandson’s Farm no later than 5 pm server time.

We will be using Discord as our voice chat system for the run.  You can download the client in advance from https://discordapp.com/ , or you can just run it through a Web browser!  I’ll post the invite link here on the morning of the run; once you’re connected to “Sandson’s Farm”, come to “The Yard”.

Once you “chicken up”, I advise you to type the following command:

/shortcut 6 /follow

This way, if you want to go on follow, just click on Uncle Rooster or another chicken and hit your 6 key.  You will be doing that frequently, and this shortcut will make it easier.

Another helpful tool you can use: Once you’ve chickened up, hold your cursor over Hologro and hit the H key.  This will generate a tooltip window that you can move to the side of the screen.  If you have trouble seeing me, clicking on the tooltip window will select me, assuming I’m within 100 meters of you.

Your quest is to talk once more to the animals you talked to during the earlier quests, and also to locate several “chicken stones” throughout Eriador, which will look like this:

chicken stone

The most confusing part of Free Range play for new chickens is this: When you step on a chicken stone, you will not get a game notification message!  This is why we encourage you to add the deeds for the current region to your quest tracker as we go.  The only way you’ll be sure that you got credit for the stone is from the deed listing.

As Rozalinde always said, Free Range is 98% travel and 2% terror.  For the most part, you’ll just be closely following Uncle Rooster and staying within the protective confines of the escorts.  When you need to stop following me and stand on a chicken stone or talk to an animal, I’ll let you know.  I’ll also ask you to stop using /follow when we’re on narrow bridges or switchbacks, as a too-tight turn that results in a fall could kill you.  (Remember, we can handle the mobs for you, but no escort can save you from falling damage.)

Expect the run to take around six hours.  There should be plenty of relatively quiet stretches when it will be safe to stay on /follow for extended stretches.

If you arrive late and have to join the group after we’ve begun and miss the earliest regions, or if it turns out that you missed a stone somewhere along the way, we will probably have several escorts willing to travel with you so you can get them.  I can’t promise anything, but our escorts tend to be a ferocious, determined, and helpful lot, even after playing for six hours straight.  (I once stayed online ninety minutes past the end of the run to do just that.)

And remember, Free Range play is unlike anything else in LOTRO, and “Crosser of Roads” is one of the hardest titles to earn in this game.  Revel in the experience, and know that when you see someone else with the title, that you and they are among the few who know what it was like to be there.

(And if your chicken doesn’t make it to the Last Bridge?  You should still revel in the experiences, and take comfort in knowing that we’ll be doing this again in a few months.)  (Probably.)

Don’t forget to thank your escorts after we’re done!

I will be updating this post as needed, so please check back here on the day of the run in case I’ve added anything.

– Hologro, aka uncle Rooster