There are a lot of busy social happenings in the Shire: Concerts, plays, competitions and the likes. However, many people struggle to cope with everything that happens there. Here are a few tricks that might help yer! OOC: I often hear from people who don’t really enjoy the busier events in LOTRO. A few of the common issues they struggle with are: There is so much happening on their screen that they just can’t get an overview of what happens. A huge problem is that text in their chat window scrolls by so fast, they aren’t able to cope with all the information. Actions by a few players ruin the event for many: Using forced emotes, filling the area with noisy cosmetic pets, playing music over others, etc. However, there are ways to get around most of these problems. Here are a few tips and tricks you could try out! If you need larger images, just click on them! 1 – Turn on chat bubbles There is an option in LOTRO to make anything a player writes into the /say channel display as text over his/her head. For instance, if I should write "Give me yer biscuits" into the /say channel, this would show as floating text (the chat bubble) over my head. This is a huge help during crowded, busy events. NPC text when chat bubbles are enabled Unfortunately, this setting is not enabled by default in LOTRO, and many event-goers simply do not know about it. To enable this, open “Options” (usually by pressing the ESC key on your keyboard). Then click on the tab “UI Settings”, scroll down a bit and make sure that the “Chat Bubbles” option is ticked, see image below. Enabling chat bubbles 2 – Turn off some chat channels When there are 10+ players interacting in a LOTRO location, the chat window fills up fast. So you should prioritize what is shown there. Consider turning off some busy chat channels that may not be immediately useful during the event, for instance the “World” channel. Another option is to turn off the emote channel. Text from the emote channel constitutes a large portion of what goes into your chat window during an event. Every time someone starts a dance, claps for a musician, cheers, coughs, laughs etc, they send a text describing this into the emote channel. Turning this channel off will surely help you get a better overview of things. Of course, you might miss out on some things by doing this. Some players like to put their dialogue into the emote channel instead of /say, or add long and vivid descriptions of their activities. However, if you struggle to keep up with what goes on during the event anyway, turning off the emote channel will clean up your chat window considerably. To turn off individual chat channels, right-click on your chat window tab, select “Change Filters”, and then untick the channels you would like to remove (for instance, “Emote”). Disabling individual chat channels 3 – Use more than one chat window If you have a large screen, you can have more than one chat window open at all times. This is good during events, since you can have one window with the event-specific information (mostly information from the /say channel). Other windows could have your kinship chat, fellowship chat, etc. To make a new chat window, you need to right-click your main chat window tab, and then select “Create New Tab”. Then you can drag this new tab/window to the place on your screen you would like it, and enable or turn off relevant chat channels by following the instructions under section 2 above. Playing with two chat windows open 4 – “Fix” the LOTRO chat bug LOTRO has a very annoying bug where you can lose the text that other players nearby enter into the /say channel. Of course, this can be sort of disastrous during events, since /say is often used for instructions, dialogue and song lyrics. However, you can usually “catch” the /say texts of others by moving very close to them, or even by running through them. Which is why you often see some players run through a band on a stage, or walking up to someone giving a speech or instructions. This is usually not done to be rude, but simply to fix the /say channel. So if you arrive at an event where you suspect someone is talking/presenting things, make it a habit to move close to them before finding your spot in the crowd. This bug is also one reason why many players give instructions by the /shout channel during events. A drawback with this is that their texts won’t show up in chat bubbles (see section 1). 5 – Turn off forced emotes Once upon a time, Turbine thought it would be cool to add trick items and skills to LOTRO. These tricks can force your character to behave in a special way, for instance fall over, make some dance moves, cheer, cower under a swarm of bats etc. Most of these trick skills are items you can buy during the different festivals, but some are also permanent skills for some classes. Fun though such tricks may be, they tend to be somewhat controversial at events. Being repeatedly smacked into the ground, or having your syncronized dance moves disrupted by someone forcing you to cheer, gets old very fast. Seeing entire crowds topple over due to these tricks is rather strange too. Many players tended to shy away from busy events once the trickery spread. So, after a long time of heated debates on the forums, Turbine enabled a fix to this. Now you can turn these forced emotes off, so that no-one is able to control your movements. To do so, open Options, head into “Social Options”, look under the “Misc” tab and make sure that the option “Enable involuntary emotes” is turned off. Turning off forced emotes 6 – Turn off cosmetic pets Recently, Turbine has taken to adding a lot of cosmetic pets to the game. It is somewhat iffy when most player events get filled up by shrews, swans, chickens and worse things. Some of the pets are major lore-breaks (walking huorn pets?). Some are also very noisy (walking huorn pets again??). Needless to say, pets are fast becoming a bother, and my best advice is to leave them at home when attending events. Happily, Turbine has added a fix to this too, so you can turn off the display of other players’ cosmetic pets. As far as I know, this does not work with loremaster pets (lynxes and bears and the likes), but you’ll remove everything else. To do so, once again head into the “Social Options”, scroll down to the bottom to find “Cosmetic Pets”, and make sure that the “Disable Cosmetic Pets” tab is checked. Where to disable the display of cosmetic pets (they are not disabled in this picture) 7 – Ignore troublemakers Sometimes, events are visited by players who just want to do their best to ruin things for others. Players who start playing music over other musicians. Players who spam the chat channel with obscenities. Players who spam emotes, for instance by slapping every other player present. Players who simply want to grief and destroy the enjoyments of others. When meeting such griefers, many feel a righteous need to retaliate, for instance by yelling at the offender or spam-emoting him with slaps. While this can sometimes feel justified, you really just amplify the problem. Where at first there was just one player creating chaos, suddenly there are more doing the same. And then the event more or less breaks down. So how should you deal with troublemakers? There are two steps you should follow: Report them. An easy way is to open “Options”, click the “Help” tab, and choose the “New Ticket” option. Then fill out a harassment ticket on the offending player. If many tickets start filling up, the Game Masters may take action and remove the offender from the event. Ignore them. Just type “/ignore add <PlayerName>”. This nukes the chat and emote texts of the ignored player, it nukes any player music he creates etc. While you’ll still see his avatar running around there, you’ll certainly be less bothered. More tips? I hope this guide can be useful for you, if you struggle to enjoy LOTRO events because they are just too busy. The tricks here should help you control the information flow, prioritize the most critical chat channels and turn off distractions. Good luck! And do let me know if it works! Do you have more advice for how to best survive and enjoy busy LOTRO events? Are there tips and tricks I have forgotten? Then I'd love to hear of them too!