See the 2018 yule video from the Laurelin hobbits here!
Merry yule all, and best wishes for the yuletide! I hope yer all have some relaxing days with friends and family, filled with good cheer. To help yer get in the right mood, here is the new yule video from the hobbits on Laurelin. Enjoy! And if this isn’t enough, be sure to check out the 2018 hobbity yule calendar on the Grand Order forums!
The 2018 yule video
Since 2012, I have made yule videos where the hobbit players on Laurelin are invited to take part. Many players attend the video shoots, send in screenshots and offer up ideas. This year, we had record numbers of hobbits showing up for the video shoots, more than could fit in a raid. Many thanks to all who helped out! There were too many of yer to list in the credits (and I was also afraid I might miss one or two…). Yer help, assistance and good cheer was absolutely vital for the making of this video, though!
If you think this all looks fun, please join us hobbits on Laurelin. There are lots of things happening here. You can read about the events in my own hobbit calendar or in the Bramblebury Gazette, the local hobbit newspaper.
So without further ado: The 2018 Laurelin hobbit yule video (full-screen and high-definition recommended)!The 2018 yule video
That community thing
There are many magnificently skilled and creative individuals playing LOTRO. They run the most fantastic in-game storylines, they write and perform amazing songs, they make paintings and drawings and videos. There is a lot of good stuff out there.
However, I would love to see more creative projects where a lot of players easily can take part. Many of the efforts above tend to be somewhat exclusive, catering only for a few. Of course, in some cases there are only so many people you can have along for the ride before things crumble and fall apart, and some activities are individual in nature. Still, collaborative creative projects are grand fun, and I wish there were more of them.
Also, many LOTRO players love to take part; they just don’t get the opportunity to. One trick is to have low-cost projects that aren’t too demanding time-wise, catering for players with a wide variety of real-life situations, gaming rigs, internet connections, levels, languages, interests and time schedules. The yule tree video that Pycella made for the hobbity yule calendar this year is a good example. Send in a photo, and you helped make a video.Yule trees from LOTRO players
It is with this background that the hobbit yule videos are made. I just ask that you play a hobbit, join in the fun and try follow instructions as we go. The video shoots are non-scripted affairs, based on a loose initial idea. Then I see who shows up and let the camera roll. Things usually work out well. Those taking part seem to have a lot of fun as well. If you need to leave halfway through a video shoot, it is usually no problem. And if you’re unable to take part in the video shoots, you can always send a screenshot to be included in the video.
Could I have pulled off more amazing stories, used more advanced camera angles, enabled more perfect coordination, if I invited only a handful of trusted players along? Possibly. But that feels a little counter to the spirit of yule, no? People love to take part. It is often good to let them!
What stories to tell in the 2018 video?
The hobbit yule videos typically have two main vignettes, each based on a meetup where we shoot some video footage. A recurring issue each year is to figure out what kind of “story” to tell in these vignettes. This year, I discussed briefly with Pycella one November evening and ended up with two possible stories.
Quick Post deliveries
The quick post is a recurring theme among the hobbit roleplayers on Laurelin, not least after post hobbit Ambrinna joined the fun a few years ago. The Laurelin version of the quick post is notoriously unreliable, with yule letters showing up in July, if at all. The “lost and found” in the Michel Delving post office is a veritable treasure trove, a constant source of grand new items to be distributed among those in need (often including the quick post hobbits themselves).
With this in mind, we figured on a story where the quick post was swamped with letters, so many that they would need extra help to deliver all the mail before yule. So I shot a few initial scenes with a despairing Ambrinna in the post office, before gathering the crowds for deliveries all over the Shire.
Crowds, you say? Absolutely. We had near 30 players show up for the shoot…
It is a wondrous thing having 20-30 hobbits run across the Shire fields, delivering letters and packages for yule. The flip side of the coin is that the LOTRO game engine doesn’t really cope well with crowds, leading to sometimes jaggy, janky, jerky movements. This is a problem, since I love scenes with a lot of movement, having the camera sweep around or run with the players. Still, it was grand fun trying to edit some sense into the video clips of “run and fun” hobbits zipping across the landscape. Of course, we would have been 30 times more efficient with individual errands instead of barreling across the fields as a group. But where’s the fun in that?
For music, I went for “Silent Night”, since it is a grand and fine yule song. Although, you have probably not heard this version of it before…
Pink furry snowbeasts rule yule
Near yule, Laurelin hobbits look twice over their shoulders when walking outside. Soft whispers tell the tale of a mythical creature, one who loves bagpipes and throwing snowballs at shirriffs.
It is the pink furry snowbeast…
Some say that the “snowbeast” is Pennyroyal in disguise. But no, no, surely not? Wouldn’t it be far more fun if there really was a pink furry snowbeast? Yep, thought so.
In the 2017 yule video, we did a frosty water ballet in Forochel, based on “Waltz of the Flowers” from “The Nutcracker”. I love “The Nutcracker”, it really is a timeless piece of work, with some instantly recognizable melodies. None more so than the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy“.
So naturally, I wanted to do a dance of the pink furry snowbeast. Set to the sugar plum fairy dance! It seemed like a good idea at the time…
Of course, having only the pink furry snowbeast dancing would be somewhat limiting, especially given that a full raid of other hobbits showed up too. So when I saw the crowds gathering, I wanted to try some coordinated and synchronized dance moves, with the snowbeast leading the hobbit troops into dance. Synchronization is hard enough at the best of times. The combination of 20+ players and LOTRO latencies makes it near impossible. However, I think we did good in some of the scenes here. And it was good fun trying to make people start their dances to Nimelia’s countdowns. Or countups? Who can remember!
Although, after I saw the footage from the event, I went for a slightly different version of the sugar plum fairy dance. Um, aye. Apologies to the classical music purists!
Old yule videos
Here are the previous videos, if this year’s isn’t enough for yer. Merry yule everyone!2012 Yule Video 2013 Yule Video 2014 Yule Video 2015 Yule Video 2016 Yule Video The 2017 yule video