[Blaugust] [ESO] 2 Toons Enter, 1 Toon Leaves

25 Aug

Welcome to Skyrim: Online Edition!

Welcome to Skyrim: Online Edition!  Graphically anyway. . .  .

Well no — more like 2 toons got played this weekend. . .

I decided that I wanted to get a light horse for my new DK right from the get-go, but I only had about 25K gold in the bank, and it costs 42.7K, so… back to the Templar since in the higher levels you can make a lot more cash off of quests.  I’d done a little bit in Eastmarch with that toon, but not a whole lot, and since I’ve only ever done the zone once on my original DK way back at launch, I barely remembered any of it, so that was nice to have it be “new” again.  Something that surprised me, though, is that when I’d finished the zone (and I did everything in it except for 2 world bosses, but all quests, the dolmens, every nook and cranny, etc) I’d still not quite made it to VR5.  Guess it’s a smaller zone and thus has fewer quests.  I was close.. just not quite there.

The Skyrim game itself has pretty aurorae, but this is still pretty close

The Skyrim game has pretty aurorae (though maybe due to a mod?), but this is still pretty close.

Moved on into The Rift and it only took 3 or 4 quests in there to hit VR5, so it wasn’t bad.  In the interest of getting rid of that hideous Ancient Elf motif look and also to re-do my gear to take advantage of the new set bonuses, I then made myself a new set of gear.  It matches the set I made for the new DK — 2 pieces of Magnus, 3 pieces of Willow’s Path, and another 3 pieces of Twilight’s Embrace.  Seems to me to be the best combo for casters anymore.  I went with Primal for the set since I like how it looks the best of any of the “sets of a single motif” anymore, though I’ll admit to having given some thought to some of the “custom sets” people are submitting to the eso-fashion site.  Some of then look really nice. 

The VR1 Equipment Upgrade -- Daedric Motif staff, and Primal Light Armor.  Other than the open-toed sandals I quite like the look.

The difference between the VR4 and the VR5 gear was less than 1%.  Not joking.  Weapon damage went from 113 to 114.  Armor ratings on the various pieces also only increased by 1 from their prior values either.  Just shows that upgrading your gear every level isn’t worth it.  Of course, I’ve got materials coming out my ears and have been selling off excess, so it’s not like it really “cost me” anything, and I no longer have that hideously ugly armor suit on my logon screen anymore, so it’s very worth it to me.  Of course I forgot to screenie it, but other than that I dyed it completely black (the undyeable parts wreaked havoc with trying to make anything look decent otherwise unless I wanted to make a carbon copy of the new DK’s look) it looks just like the pic to the left anyway, so…. there ya go.

One of the Elder Scroll Temples in Cyrodil.

One of the Elder Scroll Temples in Cyrodil.

By this point I now had about 45K gold banked, so it was time to hit up the DK again.  I wanted to get him to level 10 and get the 2 free skill points from doing the intro to Cyrodil quests.  It’s kind of odd how by the time you hit level 40-ish you’ve got plenty of skill points, but up until then the game is very much a case of “interesting choices” as to where to put them in order to get the most bang for your buck, so to speak.  Right now on him I’ve got the active skills I want, but I’m still trying to backfill the passives in, and there are quite a few to get as of yet. . . .   But yeah, got him to 10, ran the intro to Cyrodil quests, and then it was midnight before a work day, so I logged out.  Tonight I get to craft him his level 10 upgrade suit and see about finishing up Stonefalls.  Fun fun fun!

Happy gaming, wherever you play!

[Blaugust] [ESO] Gear Makes a Difference Even At Low Levels

22 Aug

Keodan the DK

Keodan the DK

As mentioned below, my alt-itis was working on me and I created a new DK to play.  As is my wont, I ran through the Coldharbour tutorial, since it easily gets you to level 4 in about 15-20 minutes, where skipping it starts you at level 3.  Then after getting to Stonefalls (I went Ebonheart Pact on this character) I ran around collecting the outdoor skyshards and the lorebooks to get my Mage’s Guild skill line to level 2 so I could grab the Mage Light skill.  From there, I went into Deshaan and over to Mournhold in order to respec past some of the crappy 1st-tier skills, specifically Fiery Grip and Spiked Armor.  Fiery Grip is seriously one of the worst skills in the game.  It does very low damage and just annoys everyone around you when you use it on a mob that they were attacking.  It does have some limited use when you’re tanking, but in general there are better skills to use then either.  And since I don’t plan on tanking with this character, I don’t need the Spiked Armor skill either, so there ya go.

Anyway, as I ran around I got the exploration XP, so I dinged to level 5 while still in Stonefalls (and thus also ran the level 5 story mission since it’s just the Prophet talking to you, so free XP, skill point, and blue-quality ring), and dinged 6 about as I got to Mournhold.  While I was level 5, though, I decided to take on a 2-pack of level 5 mobs while I was still “stuck” with just Fiery Grip, Spiked Armor, and Dark Talons as my only 3 active skills.  I could take out single mobs well enough, so I figured that I could take on 2 as well.  Boy was I wrong. . . . . . .  Well no, I did manage to kill the 1, and got the other one down about halfway.  But I was still using the level 1 weapons I’d picked up in Coldharbour with their 11 damage rating, and my armor was only 3 pieces out of 7 and all white quality with no traits or enchantments, so it could definitely have been better.

Who comes up with the base color palettes in this game?  *shudder*

Who comes up with the base color palettes in this game? *shudder*

After dinging level 6, I swapped to my crafting DK and made a full set of gear for myself.  For the lower levels I like to use 5 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy piece in order to level the heavy and medium armor skills to 22 in case I decide I want to grab the active skills that unlock at that level, so I made a heavy chest and medium helm, and also since I don’t have weapon swapping yet, I just made the single weapon type for myself, though since my current weapon of choice is dual-wielding it was still 2 weapons, just not to swap. ;-)  With the recent crafted set bonus changes, I went with 2 pieces of the Torug’s Pact set for the bonus Magicka, 4 pieces of Twilight’s Embrace for the Spell Crit and Spell Damage, and 3 pieces of Willow’s Path for the Magicka and the Spell Crit.  Armor I upgraded to green quality and I made the daggers blue.  A full set of white-quality magicka glyphs and 2 of the flame glyphs for the weapons rounded out the set.

All this served to take my weapon crit to 5% (from weapons) and spell crit to 20% (weapons, plus Mage Light and the gear set bonuses), more than doubled my magicka pool (which increases class skill damage quite a bit), and added a touch to my health pool too from the Twilight’s Embrace set as well.  Each weapon now has a damage rating of 26, and on my character sheet I was sitting on 29/25 for the weapon damage, so I was well into overcharging.  I went back to Stonefalls and took on that same level 5 2-pack of mobs and finished the fight with 96% health.  So if anyone tells you that gear doesn’t mean much in the low levels of a game — laugh at them!  Okay, not really…. but yeah, quite a difference.

After all that was done, I headed off to Bleakrock Isle since it’s pretty much free XP, and I actually rather like that little zone.  Of course by doing it at level 6 instead of level 4 and in a full gear suit with set bonuses it was very easy and very quick, and I still made it to level 8 by the time I was done.  I’m now in Bal Foyen, but just went into the town of Dhalmora as of yet.  Haven’t picked up any quests or started the zone at all.

And there’s the latest update.  Happy gaming, whatever you’re playing!

[Blaugust] All the cool kids are doing it

21 Aug

Some are defunct, but since Feedly only shows me new posts normally, I don't even realize how many are on there that I don't see anymore.

Some are defunct, but since Feedly only shows me new posts normally, I don’t even realize how many are on there that I don’t see anymore.

Taking the Gaming Questionnaire, that is. . . .

When did you start playing video games?

My 1st conscious memory of playing a video game was on the new Apple 2+ we got in class in the 1st grade.

What is the first game you remember playing?

Oregon Trail

PC or Console? 

PC

XBox, PlayStation, or Wii? 

I had a PS1 and it was fine until it broke.  I currently have a Wii, but it’s only ever used for my daughter to watch her cartoons on Netflix.  I’ve played on Xbox’s at friends’ homes, but never owned one.

What’s the best game you’ve ever played? 

I don’t know that this is really answerable since tastes change.  My gaming stable and habits change all the time.  If we want to go with sheer number of hours /played, I’d have to say EQ2, but I also haven’t played it in years other than a few attempts to log in, but then logging out an hour or so later in frustration due to not know how anything works anymore, so it’s obviously not the best *now* though it was during the 6 years I played it.

It’d be easy to say “Skyrim” but I’ve only got about 300 hours played on that, and while it’s still installed…. haven’t even thought of launching it in several months.  I’ve loved many games over the years, but eventually they all get stale and less-played.  so…. I think a better question would be “What’s the best game right now?” as opposed to “you’ve ever played.”

For me, the current “best game” is TESO, as its the one sucking up the vast majority of my gaming oxygen.  And in 6 months, who knows?

What’s the worst game you’ve ever played? 

I tend to get games based on word of mouth, so I don’t recall ever really playing one that I didn’t like at least a little.

Name a game that was popular/critically adored that you just didn’t like.

For this one I’d have to go with WoW.  I mean… I can’t say I dislike it, but it also never caught me either.

Name a game that was poorly received that you really like.

I don’t actually play all that many different games, and I also tend to not really look at review either, so … frankly I don’t know if any games that I like to play are considered to be “poorly received.”

What are your favorite game genres?

Turn-based strategy like Heroes of Might and Magic, 4X like Master of Orion 2, whatever genre Civilization 1-5 are called, Fantasy RPG, MMORPG’s span genres, and I’ve enjoyed SWG, EQ2, TSW, EVE, and TESO quite a lot, so… mix of fantasy and sci-fi in there.

Who is your favourite game protagonist?

Myself

Describe your perfect video game.

If TESO was the “multiplayer Skyrim” that everyone wanted it to be (though it couldn’t be, becuz how exactly would that work?), then that would pretty much tick off all the boxes.

What video game character do have you have a crush on?

Can’t say I’ve ever gotten that involved in a game’s story to care enough about any of the characters in order to develop a crush.

What game has the best music? 

The only soundtrack that was good enough that I actually *bought* it is the Guild Wars 1 soundtrack, even though I never really got into that game.  I really enjoyed the music, though.

Most memorable moment in a game:

In EQ2’s early days when you progressed from commoner to archetype to class to sub-class, I had a high elf character that I’d created with the intention of making it into a healer.  At level 3 when it was time to pick an archetype, though, I decided to go against type and went Fighter instead.  At level 10 I went with the Crusader class in order to still take advantage of the race’s high wisdom score (it actually mattered a little bit back then).  Then at about level 15 I thought “Wouldn’t it be fun to really go against type and become a Shadowknight instead of a Paladin?”  So I went through the (at the time) hellacious betrayal quest.  I got to level 19, and decided it’d be fun to surprise people, so I made the (again, at the time) very difficult and dangerous run back through Nektulos Forest and over on into the Antonica zone.  I joined a scarecrow grind group as the tank, and we ground and ground and ground until ding 20!  Initial group reaction was “Gratz!”

2nd reaction was:  “SK?  WTF?!?!?!”

Dunno why, but that’s stuck with me all these years as the funniest thing to ever happen to me in any game I’ve played.

Scariest moment in a game:

The Secret World in the parking garage.  If you’ve played it… you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Most heart-wrenching moment in a game:

Nothing comes to mind.

What are your favorite websites/blogs about games?

Since TESO is my “game of the moment” it’s pretty much Dulfy.net, TamrielSentinel.com, and TamrielFoundry.com.  I’m also on Anook since it’s trying to be the gamer’s Facebook, and I like that idea.  As to the blogs…… my Feedly “Games” section is running down the left of this post.

What’s the last game you finished? 

Skyrim

What future releases are you most excited about? 

EQN

Do you identify as a gamer?

Yes

Why do you play video games? 

They’ve always fascinated me.  Dunno why, just have always loved them.

[Blaugust] [ESO] Alchemy is very easy to level

20 Aug

NB Tank under the effects of the Absorb Magic skill

NB Tank under the effects of the Absorb Magic skill

My incurable alt-itis is hitting me pretty hard in ESO and I’m wanting to start on a new DK to play as a non-caster.  Well, Dual-Wield / Fire Staff, and in light armor, so still magicka based, but using completely different skills than on my original DK — having the Dual-wield being my primary weapon, rather than the staff, which I’ll use when I need AE or some range.  Problem is:  I have 2 sorcerers in the VR levels, a templar in VR levels, and the other templar is my enchanter and I am *not* deleting that character for anything, since Enchanting as a craft is a ton of work (though the upcoming patch doubling the xp gains when working on it will help a lot), then I’ve got my NB Healer and NB Tank, and of course my main crafter is VR1 DK…. leaving me only 1 character I’d consider deleting — the alchemist.  Level 8 sorcerer, level 50 alchemist.  But I don’t need 3 sorcerers —  8 slots, 4 classes, that’s 2 of each, right?

I'd forgotten how silly the Dunmer cultural garb is, but hey, gotta have a reason for the Pact emissaries to call the greeter wearing it the court jester, right?

I’d forgotten how silly the Dunmer cultural garb is, but hey, gotta have a reason for the Pact emissaries to call the greeter wearing it the court jester, right?

So…… I swapped my crafter to using her pack horse to increase inventory space to 150, then dropped all the crafting materials the alchemist was holding into the bank for her to use.  Had her grab them all to clear out the bank again, took the wayshrine to Mournhold and hey!  They moved the wayshrines to be in more convenient locations!  Awesome!  But anyway, re-spec’d her skills (only 50 gold per point now instead of 100, so it felt a ton cheaper) to completely remove all combat skills and focus her solely on crafting.  Since I’ve researched everything in Woodworking now, I even got to save myself the 3 points in the research skill in that line, so nice little bonus.

I then ran over to the alchemy station and leveled Alchemy from 6 to 50 in about 45 minutes.  Yes, alchemy really is that fast to level up (as noted in the post title).  I used an add-on to guide me through finding all the various combos, then turned it off and simply crafted using the “crap” materials that I had multiple stacks of.  Crap materials are defined as the ones that give no real benefit that anyone cares about on a potion, so out of the 17 materials, that’s about 12 of them.  There are 3 “awesome” ones, and a couple of “good” ones, but the rest are “crap.”  But that’s neither here nor there, just means that I had a lot of “useless” mats to use to grind with.

Keodan the Alchemist is no more.  Oddly enough, I took this as a "before" picture when dying his armor to not look this silly, but I never took an "after" picture.  Oops!

Keodan the Alchemist is no more. Oddly enough, I took this as a “before” picture when dyeing his armor to not look this silly, but I never took an “after” picture. Oops!

And now my DK is a 50 Woodworker, 50 Blacksmith, 50 Clothier, and 50 Alchemist.  Go me!

After that was done, I deleted the old level 8 sorcerer and made a new DK to level up.  I re-used the name from the sorcerer since it’s a name I like, and hey, I knew it was free. . . . .   The new character is a male Dunmer (I’m going dual-wield on a fire-using class, and Dunmer get bonus xp for DW and bonus damage with Fire.  The race is simply made to be a DK. . . .).  I decided to make him old, craggy, tattooed and bald to give a more “experienced and perhaps a bit jaded” roleplay vibe to the character.  I think he looks quite awesome.  Sadly, I didn’t take any screenies of him last night as I wanted to wait until I hit level 6 and actually made some gear for him, but… soon.  Probably tonight, actually.

[Blaugust] [Civ 4] Baba Yetu!

19 Aug

Peter Hollens (awesome a capella singer) and Malukah (ESO Players know her as “the woman bard”) have put out an arrangement of the Civilization 4 theme song Baba Yetu, and it’s awesome!

And a funny (to me, anyway) addendeum:  Sent the video link to a friend and his immediate response was “Oh God, is it 4 am already?!?!?!”  And of course, if you need it explained, you’ve never played Civilization. . . . . .

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