[ESO] Another Elder Scrolls Beta Weekend
ESO is coming out in less than a month, so the “marketing beta” weekends are in full swing. Since all the characters we may make during this time will be wiped, I’ve not devoted myself to playing a whole lot since I feel like it’s “wasted effort” I guess. I don’t mind repeating content, but I’m wanting it to be new and exciting when it’s “for real” if that makes any kind of sense. What that’s left me doing is experimenting with class and weapon combos that might seem a bit oddball to see how well they work in the lower levels, and hopefully being able to extrapolate that to how much I’ll like playing such a combo (if at all) in later levels post-launch. These characters only went to level 5 or 6, so they’re not advanced by any means, but here are my impressions of my “oddball” combos:
- Templar Tank — heavy armor, sword and shield. I took a heal spell, but then focused on the Aedric Spear class line. The close in AE spear flurry and then the ranged knockdown spear give good damage and control capabilities to accent the sword-n-board weapon line’s tanky abilities. It was surprisingly effective, I thought.
- Nightblade Healer — light armor, restoration staff. At 1st glance this didn’t look like there was any synergy with the class abilities and the healing of the staff, but the Siphon line and the staff’s healing made me unkillable in solo play, so that was kind of nice. The Shadow line abilities gave me some escape tools or a breather to go invisible, cast a heal, then pop a big hit coming out of invis if I needed to. And of course the Assassination line gave me some nice high damage abilities to use while solo too. Still and all, I think that using the restoration staff would be better as an off-spec for a group so you could heal in a pinch, but not have it be the primary focus of the class in the higher levels.
- Sorcerer Tank — heavy armor, sword and shield. I took Lightning 1st, so that it would start building toward the Lightning Form spell, with my thinking being that the lightning form would be a nice tanking tool. Using weapon attacks and then the lightning finisher spell worked quite well, but using the cast-time spells felt like it was glacially paced. Overall felt a bit clunky, really. I’m not sure I’d want to keep this one going, even with the rumor I’ve been hearing from people in the “full beta” that at the end-game a sorcerer is actually the best tank if they morph their skills a certain way.
- Dragonknight DPS — medium armor, dual wield. Yes, I’m cheating since I did this one last beta weekend, not this one, but… I loved it. This will probably be my 1st character build once the game goes live. It worked very very well in the lower levels. We shall see about the higher ones later. . . .
- Templar Ranged DPS/Healer hybrid — light armor, bow. TBH, I don’t think this is “oddball” in that I expect that templars will usually be played as mages using their ranged sun-damage line and then their heal lines for while in dungeons as well, but I also expect most will use a destruction staff instead of a bow. Though I could be wrong. Something I found interesting with the game mechanics was that I could do a full draw of the bow and hit the instant sun spell and it would fire the bow and the spell simultaneously, but if I did a full draw and then hit Poison Arrow it would only fire the bow ability and not the heavy attack as well. The idea for me with using a bow was so that I can use stamina attacks as well as magicka attacks, and not be locked in to magicka only by using a desctruction staff like I had on prior weekends.
I did a bit more crafting this weekend as well. I didn’t worry about researching traits since the characters will be wiped, so why bother? But I also didn’t sell anything I looted either, but extracted the materials from the items instead. Between this and harvesting everything I saw I ended up with a very nice resource pool to use when crafting and quite a few improvement items as well. I didn’t actually end up improving anything even to green, but it was nice to know that getting green gear via crafting probably won’t be too big a deal either.
As it is, it appears that the gear will be used more for the traits and enchantments that you can put on it rather than strictly as “armor” or “weapons” once you get to the point where you know some good traits and how to enchant some good glyphs. The differences in the armor values between the light, medium, and heavy armor didn’t seem to be much, though in the higher levels I’m sure there will be much larger disparity. Still, I’m not seeing where the devs in their crafting demo video they posted said that you’ll need to specialize in your crafting. If you research any piece you get that has something you don’t know on it, and if you break down everything you can’t research, I can’t see it taking all that long to learn everything that they’ve got locked away by that mechanic. There are only 6 or 7 learn-able traits per piece, after all. Granted there are a lot of pieces to eventually learn them all for, but for the length of time that one often plays an MMO, I just don’t see it really being that big a deal either.
And now for my biggest complaint (besides the bugged quests that won’t let you advance out of Behtnik or Bleakrock Island): There’s no personal bank space for each toon you make, only a single shared bank. that just seems so wrong. Especially since the shared bank works across factions without any problem — I actually do like that for the resource pooling for crafting, but I’d also like a bit of personal storage as well. Okay, a LOT of personal storage as well. 50 slots on character and a 30-slot shared bank? I need a 100 slot personal bank too, and yes, I’d even be happy to buy it from a vendor in-game, but please put it in!