Month in Review: September 2020

September has been a tough month for me personally. I felt pretty stressed throughout the month (even to this moment to be honest) so not a lot of work has been done on the blog this month. Co-authors have also taken a break, meaning that the total number of articles is well below the regular level. I will try and get those numbers back up to regular frequency in the months to come, but between work, personal life, and a ton of other crap that is happening, the blog was one of the items that got put on hold this month. But some things did happen this month, and I made a lot of progress with the loot, so let’s take a brief look at the month of September.

September

Well, nobody really expected it, but FFG came out with a news article about the game this month. Not only that, but they announced a brand new expansion to be released towards the end of this year. It has been confirmed that this quest would have been the GenCon 2020 quest, which is clear to see by the fact that it is an epic multiplayer quest that scales with the number of players. I am personally really excited about this quest, and curious to see what the included contract will be. We are also expecting the final AP to drop next month, so stay on the lookout for my first impressions on that pack.

The blog during September

I am not going to go over each individual series this time, just because we did not put out as much content. I have started my second version of the scenario analysis series. I redid the Passage through Mirkwood article, and am currently working on the Journey along the Anduin article. These second edition articles will be more in depth than the previous versions, including more information about quest stages, answering questions like whether or not it is a good idea to bring Guarded cards, and listing all the shadow effects. As these articles include more information, they will take longer to complete, even though parts have already been written by me 2,5 years ago. I will be bringing you all the Anduin article in October, and might even squeeze in the Dol Guldur article if I find the time. Note that the scenario analyses of the other scenarios from the PODs and the Vengeance of Mordor cycle will also continue, although my co-authors are having to deal with their own problems at the moment, so their articles were delayed. I am trying to get everything in order for at least 1 other scenario analysis to come in October, but which one that is, we will learn as the month goes on.

The player card review series has also had an update this month, where it concluded the Dwarrowdelf cycle. The article looked at the entire cycle of player cards and nominated some for the best and worst player card of their respective sphere. The series will be on hold for a moment while Silblade continues with the encounter set analyses, but he will continue with the Heirs of Numenor Deluxe after this. Do note that Deluxe boxes contain some more cards than usual, so it will take a while to complete the article.

And eh… that’s it for content this month. Do know that I have a few articles already planned for October, including a Loot article. This will mean that October content will at least be more frequent than it has in September.

Loot

Speaking of the loot, it is time for another update on this. The loot has been my primary focus this month, eating up a lot of spare time with me calibrating the laser, cutting panels, writing letters, and making packages. At this moment, I have sent out 13 out of 28 packages, and will be completing the rest in the coming weeks. I will send you all a private message when the loot has been shipped. I am working on the final few cards for 2 people, but the rest is ready for packaging, which means that I’ll be in touch with most of you soon.

I have also already heard back from some of the recipiants of the first batch that I sent out at the start of the month. This helps me to predict the shipping time a little. Turns out that it is roughly 2 weeks for the US, and around 1 week for Europeans, depending a little on proximity. Finnish players will have to wait a little longer than German players, because that is how shipping works I’m afraid.

I will have a detailed article on the production process for the loot ready within a week, so you can check out that for more pictures and my though process behind the creation of the loot. If you still have any questions regarding your loot, be sure to let me know.

As for the people that missed out this year, I do have some amazing plans for next year already, and with an increased budget compared to last year I might be able to bring those ideas to reality. To make sure you don’t miss out, you can pledge to the blog via Patreon.

The Future

While I do have enough plans for October, I do fear that I might not be able to keep up my usual frequency in the coming months. Working from home has become the new normal, and so I don’t generally sit behind my computer in my free time anymore. I will try to complete my own articles in time, but I will generally retreat to a managing position to those who are writing for the blog, making sure that their articles are released on time.

It also doesn’t mean that I will vanish from the community, far from it! With more time to browse the different community hubs, I have been working hard to help as many people with their questions as possible. I like doing this, and will continue to do so in the months to come. It just might mean less articles on my end, but it won’t be reduced to zero. I will maintain the monthly recap and polls, and will of course try and continue with the scenario analyses.

I also hope to see many of you next weekend during the virtual convention that is replacing Con of the Rings this year. While it won’t top the actual physical event, I did have a lot of fun during the GenCon replacing event, so I hope to hang out with many of you during that event as well. I have this week and next week vacation from work, so I might even be up for some midnight games without suffering too much the day after.

I also hope to meet some of you on the new COTR Minecraft server that I am hosting together with Chad from COTR. He asked me for my help moderating the server, and I like hanging out with people from the community in different games every now and then. Patrons of COTR have received a message with details on how to join, and I hope to be able to complete building a replica of Orthanc on the server. I will share more details on my Twitter with progress updates.

~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~

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