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Aedon Durreah
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

One of the jewels in the crown of LMB has long been Ales and Tales. In the past, we have played hosts to countless bands and bards, and traveled middle earth in search of new venues. But to all things and all times, changes come. Bands are now made up more of one player leading a band of alts. And I am sure that many of us, from the luxury of LMB's wealth of kinnies at times have missed the signs of change.

Therefore, it is time to move Ales and Tales into the new era of the current music scene. Ales and Tales Extremes, once a staple of monthly treks is now made a bit harder due to the costs associated with folks trying to move their bands of alts to far flung venues. If a band is made up f one player and 6 alts it will cost him 14 mc to move a band to some areas. This has resulted in a shortage of music acts for some areas.

So, having spoken with Lady Byrcha, and with her permission we are seeking ideas to take Ales and Tales forward, keeping the flavor of the past, but adjusting for the present. Please post below any ideas you might have for special shows or ideas we can use. In this way, we can work together towards the next generation of Ales and Tales. Let's keep this old girl going and vibrant.

What Say You All?


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Aedon Durreah
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Ales and Tales Pub Crawl (signed up acts and OW would play at different taverns within an easily reached area.)
Bards Night (Bands who sign up must choose a set of songs that all fit a story they are trying to tell. This worked beautifully with Andune's Beautiful telling of the Lay of Baren and Luthien.)
Parade of homes- Either through a decorating contest or just kin invitation Ales and Tales visits some Kinships neighborhood having the bands play at different homes. Ending with OW at their Kinhall.)


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Byrcha
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Yes, hopefully we can come up with some ideas for how to expand/augment our present format. ATX was added in the heyday of region expansions (I was under-level for the first visit to Lothlorien!), and the server was much more active. Now it appears that many bands/players have either moved on entirely, or are presently visiting the legendary servers.

An additional thought, whether we retain much of our current format or add to/modify it, is to ramp up our advertising. We may well be missing newer players who are outside of the music community (i.e. the /alesandtales channel is great ... if you already use the channel). The LOTRO forums, LOTRO Artists (if it returns), our A&T facebook page are all viable advertising mediums we've used for some time. Are there others? Does the Tolkien Professor have announcements at his regular Tuesday happening?

I like the idea of periodically visiting a housing neighborhood. In the past there were yuletide parties hosted by others along the same lines: houses decorated seasonally, one band per location, 15-minutes or so for the music set, then move to the next house. While many players still maintain houses, I don't know how many kins still maintain majority housing in a neighborhood other than ourselves. If some do, great; let's visit. If not, we certainly have enough neighborhoods with multiple houses (and can bestow decorating privileges) that we could host the event ourselves -- perhaps one every 2-3 months in one of our neighborhoods in the five areas.

As others suggested last night, we could re-visit some less-visited places in the core regions which would be less extreme and yet also "not Bree-town" and not just housing neighborhoods, festival locales, or other hubs that we already visit (Celondim, Bywater, etc.). We've visited Starmere Lake in NW Bree-land, and there are ruins above it on both sides. There is that random house in the North Downs, north of Esteldin, actually, there are several places in North Downs or Lone Lands we've not visited in a while. Oatbarton too. Trollshaws, too. Though any location outside a hub will be dangerous to level-10 alts who are multi-boxed. Perhaps we will need to provide security, as we do for Winterstock/Weatherstock, both for overland travel and for on-site protection.


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  • main: Byrcha (pronounced: BUR-ka), Hobbit treasure-hunter

  • Landroval alts: Braxwald, Brenthiel, & Hathellaith (LMB); Belyndil (Ales and Tales); Yahr (Lonely Mountain Brewery); Byrkhild, Byrchette, & Byrchetta (Secret Pie Vault); Byrwing (Sisters of the Moon); Byraen; Byrwen (Ithil refugee).

Greyylene
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

*forgive pre coffee rambling*

I know we (LMB) has been invited to other servers for special events, cannot A&T be similar? As in going to other shards, we're already on several anyway, inviting their bands to play with us just as we would come play with them. The extreme would be in the effort to make new characters and level enough to play, but will also expand our influence and make new friends. It may also give us a better idea of what exactly we're facing as far as player base is concerned. We're a pretty active kin, are others as we are??
Maybe this is a one time event, but it may be worth the effort to learn things.
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

We have had various cross-server incarnations over the years. There is an LMB kin on at least two servers, and several incarnations of the Andune Ensemble also.

I would caution us to tread lightly on the established servers. Our reputation precedes us -- though this may have changed with server mergers and the general downward overall game population trend -- so we may be seen as trying to 'take over' or somesuch (insert '800-pound gorilla meme' here). Note that this is not necessarily consistent, as bands from other servers sometimes feel free to come onto Landroval and build a following or schedule over existing events. Folks have also felt free to copy our events on other servers (witness Winterfest) and/or we have pollinated them there (I recall that there was/is a version of 'Ales and Tales' somewhere, on Crick or Laurelin perhaps?). I saw just this morning that someone is starting an 'Ales and Tales'-like event on Anor.

Visiting events on other servers is neighborly and does spread our reputation (in a good way). Establishing our own events over there would be fine, just be careful that we don't schedule over someone's existing event or 'copy' them without credit. If we know players on other servers perhaps we can ask about it (say, during Winterstock?).


Edit: Also, we should advertise our events during Winterstock -- we haven't done this overmuch in the past, but certainly it is an opportunity to reach a wider (and perhaps a new) audience.


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  • main: Byrcha (pronounced: BUR-ka), Hobbit treasure-hunter

  • Landroval alts: Braxwald, Brenthiel, & Hathellaith (LMB); Belyndil (Ales and Tales); Yahr (Lonely Mountain Brewery); Byrkhild, Byrchette, & Byrchetta (Secret Pie Vault); Byrwing (Sisters of the Moon); Byraen; Byrwen (Ithil refugee).

Aedon Durreah
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

One of the locations I have on the list coming up is the Hobnobigans field in Breeland. Between arena 2 and 3 is a nice area with two stages facing each other. Would be fun to rotate the acts off the two sides. This would mean that while one act is playing, the next act can start setting up on the other stage.

Because I am a bit of an adventurer, I come across some really great areas. Just beyond the unnamed Hobbit House in Midgewater Marsh is a nice little hollow with a small pond.The mountains form an excellent backdrop for a stage, with the road and the marshes to the back off the audience. There is something quaint and charming about it, and it feels adventurous.

How about a show theme "Dreams of Weatherstock?" Hold Ales and Tales on the summit. Close to Bree, a bit extreme adjacent and oh so Middle Earthy.

We defiantly do not wish to lose the flavor and charm that is the hallmark of Ales and Tales. More stories would be wonderful. Perhaps some of us can step up with tales and remind the audience how much fun sitting around hearing or telling tales of middle earth adventures can be. Another thing I have noticed is that the more visual Ales and Tales is, the more drop ins we gain. Doing a couple of Ales and Tales upcoming in Archet or Comb might be a nice way to welcome, and returning players alike. There may be the occasional griefer, but I think for the most part the reception will be warm.


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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

We need more storytellers. One person, no alts needed.
Pub crawl and neighbourhood tour sounds wonderful.
Maybe extremes could be decreased to once every two months.

Btw have we done it at Wistmead yet? Definitely should when the harvest encore rolls in.

It would be nice to have a document that lists all the A&T locations.


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Aedon Durreah
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Wanted to, but could not get everyone on the same layer. If you tried to ravel to the raid leader it sat you right back where you were. I am wondering if possible to summon folks in from the outside to your layer.Have the outside Wistmead. Oh Carica, if you look on the tab where we schedule the shows you can see locations back through the years. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Uz2_Tiu4JKUeng6OyZz7iiWqTl-T4iZO5vfT3jdrlK4/edit#gid=0


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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

I think we were going to go to Wistmead but decided that it was too busy since it was new, and the lag and layers were problematic.

One extreme that went well was going through the Mordoor and playing on the bridge outside of the area for aggroing critters. It's a shame that the developers didn't include some kind of summoning horn for the Blue Theater in Minas Tirith, or the Grand Theater in the new extension at the Hall Under the Mountain. Why create such nice venues when their access is limited?


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Aedon Durreah
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Indeed. It is a shame that they built those theaters and made them almost unusable. The one Underneath Erebor has many issues. Sound does not travel past the front row of benches, and the stage is so tall that dancing in the orchestra ditch is unfeasible.


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Carica
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Ooooh, okay. Didn't know the first page scrolled all the way down to 2012. Awesome!
We should visit the Bald Hill or somewhere in Old Forest again. Relatively easy to get to. Haven't been there since they added the bushes.


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Aedon Durreah
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Agreed Carica! It is on my short list of close in adventures. Would be a great spot for story telling.


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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Speaking of hills..... it's been a long time since we had an Ales & Tales on The Hill in Hobbiton. The very first A&T that I ever went to was there.

I agree that it is too bad it is so difficult to get to some of the nice venues in the more extreme location. There have been great changes in the music community and Standing Stones needs to perhaps make some adjustments accordingly.


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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

Also... the Ales & Tales Archive document (which goes WAY back) can be found here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1CCBSggBcw260lOt_gmIYkP5_Xg0b-2HwknDw1Ir2WAU/edit#gid=0

This may help to give some ideas for places that we may have forgotten about over the years...


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LMB Alts: Rubypie, Mirryth, Fallonyl, Tenleigh, Irisanne, Yonalin

Alt Kins:
Silvermoon Manor: alts-Sugarbell, Halliwyn, Callabeth, Jesstan, Orinhir, Audli, Candriell, Grif             
Silvermoon Vintners: alts-Darcyil, Jilanna, Esdell             
The Ravenhill Rovers: alts-Bekk, Draim, Nathrec

On Crickhollow: Tulenn & Cloverly (Old Winyards Kinship)
Veriwin
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re: Ales and Tales The Next Generation

This is something that I've wanted to have a discussion about for some time. I'm glad we're doing it. I have a few thoughts on the matter.

Promotion

First of all, I think Ales & Tales needs more promotion. It feels like a secret club at the moment. I've had bands ask me where it's taking place on Sunday evenings. And I'm not sure how non-regulars would even know that it exists. Seeing bands in different locations can be a lot of fun for the musically-inclined. It's just a matter of letting more people know about it.

The LOTRO Beacon is an obvious source of promotion. I'm sure they'd love having some easy news items to be able to cut and paste into it. We should post each week's location in the LOTRO Player Events forum, probably on Tuesdays. This let's players see it, but also SSG staff who can then add it to the LOTRO Beacon.

Maybe we can get more involved with streaming the events on Twitch, therefore having an archive of events and something to show off to people and possibly SSG. The more stuff we can just hand to SSG, the more likely they'd be incline to promote it themselves. The LOTRO Beacon is sort of their own Ales & Tales; they're probably very grateful for anyone who gives them something to add to it. LOTRO's music scene really does set it apart from other games and is generally very positive and removed from a lot of the usual complaints about things like game balancing and end-game content and such. Having a more active relationship with SSG is win/win.

Themes and Activities

In addition to new locations each week, we could add a theme and/or activites to some of them. A year or so back, we had a Funny Hat Day at one Ales & Tales and we got to spend some time having a bit of a competition. It was fun and more importantly, it got some people thinking about the event ahead of time. Some things we could do:

  • Dressing up in themed outfits is an easy enough thing to announce and fun for players. We could do this several times a year, possibly coinciding with seasonal events and/or random themes just for the fun of it. Cutest outfit, scariest outfit, hobbitiest outfit, dress in pink... there are tons of things we could do.
  • We could recreate our own Windy Acres horse and rider fashion parade/competition, especially if we hold in some sort of horse-themed area.
  • Our kin had a crafting event some time back, where we helped each other with crafting, which kind of turned into a "Let's earn all of our eating deed titles by eating all the food we need." Both of those activities could be popular.
  • Perhaps some casual activities like a short race or find the hiding player.
  • Game show activities like a Let's Make a Deal-type of contest. "The first person who has a ____ gets a prize."
  • Simple location-based themes. We had a "beach party" theme last summer that basically required no effort on our part, but people got into it, wearing as beachy an outfit as they could put together and swimming around. We could do simple things such as:

    • we're having a picnic
    • we're all going to fly kites
    • bring your pet to Ales & Tales
    • let's have the most food in one area as possible
    • massive fireworks show
    • Cram Jam™: a celebration of everyone's favourite food!

  • Neighbourhood themes, where, if possible, several houses in a neighbourhood pretty themselves up in a thematic way.
  • We could also try music themes for bands. If we give them enough notice, it could work, although it might clash with bands' own personal preferences and music catalogs, but it's worth trying. But it would be nice to see the music fit the theme/location of the show. I was a little disappointed last year when we had a Halloween-ish show at The Rift of Nûrz Ghâshu and some bands were just playing their regular Queen and ABBA songs. no comment

Band Involvement

Speaking bands' personal preferences, we could ask bands what they'd like to see, or where to go. Get them more invested in each week's event. This could also prevent last-minute upsets, such as bands declaring that they can't/won't go to the planned location. Also, if we tell them far enough in advance, they could either make preparations to get band members there or we can make assurances that we'll help them get there with high-level escorts.

Also, we can reach out to bands we never/rarely see at Ales & Tales. There are plenty of bands on Landroval that I never see attend. I'm sure some of them would love to play to a large, enthusiastic audience. I think Mithril Moon Fellowship started getting involved because they only played the Bree crafting Hall and one night some players yelled at them to shut up and there was an opening slot because some regular Friday band couldn't make it and they took over. We could tempt some bands with locations near Bree.

We could also try to contact bands from other servers. Many of them already have alts on Landroval for festivals.

Variety

How many times has Ales & Tales taken place at "Nameless Hobbit home southeast of Midgewater Marsh"? There are a few locations we've been to several times, where there are just as suitable locations nearby. It's a little hard to get excited about it when the first thought it, "Oh, that place again." The fifth Nameless Hobbit Ales & Tales could have just as easily been down the road at The Forsaken Inn or the Hobbit Neighbourhood in Staddle. We should endeavor to mix it up a bit more. Having some more involved and active discussion would probably help. Speaking of which...

Taking Suggestions

Internally, we could promote the Suggest a location for Ales and Tales! thread more, maybe even during Ales & Tales announcements. Putting it on the forums sidebar, too. I myself have suggested many awesome and brilliant locations, but the thread tends to get lost. Even when I want to suggest more, I have to Google my way to find the thread again. People always have ideas, and if they don't, we can put a bug in their ears to inspire them to come up with some. Having some more active discussion about locations and possible activities would be good, too. Sometimes it looks like (and actually happens that) we wait until the last minute to pick a location. Maybe take suggestions during announcements or after the event? Tuesday powwows? Post-mortem forum threads after each event? We should plan the calendar seasonally, or even the whole year in one go, with allowances to substitute certain non-critical events for people's suggestions and/or leaving one blank slot per month.

Ales & Tales Extreme

The main point of contention here is how far bands are able to or willing to travel to play shows. Right now it seems that, beyond the four starter cities, Rivendell is as far east as we can go and Evendim/North Downs as far north. Going further south than the Trollshaws doesn't seem likely, sadly. Anything beyond (and including) Moria is almost impossible without tricks like a Mordor door. With some proper planning, we could probably peek a bit into the borders of Forochel and the Misty Mountains, and maaaaaybe Angmar. I'd love to host events in Eregion, Enedwaith, and Dunland, but speaking as someone responsible for picking several locations there where little to no bands showed up, I recognize the difficulty of doing so. As I said before, communicating with bands more about locations may assure/convince them to play further out.

We should keep the Extreme events, but maybe temper that definition a bit to just mean "there will be some level 5 critters around". We might have to let it be known that "Hey, your bandies should be level 15 or so." for these events. There's plenty of good locations out there just beyond the starter cities that characters around level 15 should be properly ignored by the wildlife. Let's not shy away from them. Again, more communication with bands should alleviate issues and encourage more participation.

Would it be worth it/feasible to organize some leveling activities for low level characters? We could storm our way through some low level dungeons and such with bands in tow, leveling them up. It could be some fun activities for us as well.

Nibbles & Nobs

More and more it seems like Nibbles & Nobs is the same bands as those playing in the main show. We could encourage more amateur and solo acts to participate in it. The first time I played a song in front of people was at a Nibbles & Nobs, and it was just a pre-made ABC file I got off a website. But it was a fun experience and helped to break the ice, socially. It was mainly because it seemed like Nibbles & Nobs was an amateur event. If I had showed up with my rinky-dink song I got off of Fat Lute, the prospect of playing in between a couple "professional" bands with half a dozen members might have been intimidating and discouraged me from bothering. I wonder if some attendees feel that way now.

Show Length/Density

Some shows, due to the nature of who shows up, can be longer than others, sometime by up to an hour. Sometimes the end of it is a bit anticlimactic, with a few remaining stragglers. Do we want to have a more regulated schedule? An hour for Nibbles & Nobs and a hard 90 minutes for Ale & Tales? Would this encourage bands to sign up ahead of time? Would it spread some bands out over more weeks? Or would it discourage some bands from playing at all? I'm just throwing this out for discussion.

Special Events

Maybe a few Ales & Tales per year can be special events. Something along the lines of "We're playing the entire Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album" or something. (Been done, I know.) Something notable and headline-grabbing.

A "mini-festival" idea that I've had — besides Cram Jam™ — is a cultural event where the theme is each race's culture. So one event is The Most Hobbitiest Event Ever, taking place in the the most hobbitiest location, and all of the songs are the most hobbitiest songs, everyone dresses in the most hobbitiest clothes... you get the idea. Maybe people can be encouraged to play their hobbit alts, if they aren't already one. We do that for each of the four races (maybe not Beornings for now). Each one is the hobbitiest, dwarfiest, elfiest, humaniest event we can make it. We can try it out at at Ales & Tales, and if it takes off... we can hold four additional festivals throughout the year! We wanna do that, right? Hello? Anyway, that's an idea I had and maybe we can do some special Ales & Tales with it. I'm sure other people have their own ideas.

More Talking and Planning

Doing what we're doing right now. This is good.


Last edited by Veriwin on 2018/11/29 4:14 am; edited 4 times in total
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