ESO Unleashed

I’m guessing everyone and their mmo addicted marsupials out there have heard the recent news that Elder Scrolls Online will be going Buy to Play in March, ahead of the June console release to which I’ll give a tentative… yaaaay???

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Updates for ESO

So Elder Scrolls online is apparently still a thing yeh? I haven’t heard much talk around it for a while except for the rather dismal reports from null.. about the hours played on raptr. It’s another one of those times, like Wildstar where I think most people saw it coming but not many find delight in it happening. This is a genre I love and while I might rant rave and even troll occasionally (Hi gw2!) I still love it and want everything to kind of succeed, at least enough to see it continue on with a healthy population.

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ESO the Unremarkable

So I finally caved to the pressure of new shinies, and that of peer pressure and bought Wildstar. I am a little upset at myself for not being able to resist another mmo launch after the last failed so miserably for me, I was quite excited for Elder Scrolls Online as the beta experiences were great and the draw of a new big AvA space after being bored of the Zerg Wars in Guild Wars 2 pushed that hype over the top. After reeling back from that experience a little I was left wondering what did I really want, what is the game I’m after and while I don’t think that is entirely Wildstar it is far more aligned to things that engage me.

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Hardcore Ideals in ESO

Nearly everyone lately seems to be making the connection between the latest MMO shinies, ESO and Wildstar and some sort of Hardcore sentiment. They are each trying to bring back a certain sentiment within their games of needing more time, more focus and the want to optimise. I can’t say I’m overly enthused about this though, or more, with the way each are attempting to go about it.

There was something about those older mmo’s and that hardcore sentiment that promoted far more engagement in the world and with the community but it was a complex web of mechanics and not just a few random throwbacks to old design like it appears to be now. Wildstar and it’s 40 man raids, both PvP and PvE might sound like a good idea in theory but it such a thing that wasn’t really the social tool that brought people together. It was just another activity to do.

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Political and Religious Ideology in ESO

While I’ve been rather critical about the story in Elder Scrolls there are quite a few elements I really enjoy. I’ve talked about just how detailed much of the story is within and while they do tend to repeat certain themes much of it is tied into the overarching lore of the world and how it relates to the people. It is these stories I enjoy just by how much they immerse within the world, for all there boring nature at times it becomes not just a simple act of slaying to complete quests but being a part of a deep background.

The political elements within always seem to get my attention. Now I’m not talking about the entirely uncharacteristic and childish attitude of the alliance leaders, that’s rather ridiculous but more the way the various faction people get about in their daily life. Throughout these stories you get a picture of the various pressures place on certain groups and just the adherence to certain cultural Standards

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ESO Dungeon Delving: 41-43

Now that I getting up in the levels I have to say that the dungeon design and mechanics are  getting better. Before the 40’s I think they were mostly easing into what they want these experiences to be but missed the mark in many places. Now everyone pretty much has their build worked out and you have a lot more mechanics that play to this during the dungeons.

Its less the chaos it was during the early play but there is still an element of chaos to the encounter as, as a tank you really can’t aggro everything. First that would hurt your health quickly and with blocking that much you’d run out of Stamina. Second you don’t have the skills in order to aggro groups. It’s pretty much up to your companions  during these encounters to look after themselves and each other while I pick up the main threats, It’s actually rather enjoyable as it seems more to do with personal accountability than relying solely on your tank and heals.

There is still the large pack design for your standard trash mobs, round them up and spread the fire around. Sometimes there are some certain Key mobs but that’s still the exception. They are definitely throwing a lot more at you at certain points which does require a lot of coordination.. and me bouncing around the room with shield charge.

I actually tried all the dungeons this time around and enjoyed them all, a good mix of mechanics all round  and since there isn’t much info on them all just yet I thought I’d do one of those boring guide/Rundown of the dungeon.

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ESO: Area and AOE Updates

Craglorn

The first Major update is coming up soon, or at least should be by around the end of the month. We’ve heard a lot about Craglorn, ESO’s take on raiding but in a more open world environment and I wasn’t actually that enthused about the prospect… until now.

A recent Zenimax Blog post revealed a few of the mechanics that govern this new area and this seems to be what I was looking for in the PvE encounters. I really dislike the predominance of aoe in these encounters and this new area wanted to correct that in a certain way.

First they talk a lot about challenge, which quite enjoy in my end game content. It is a time to talk over and execute strategies as well as enhancing one’s own skills and ability. It is a part of a game that urges me to be better in all aspects of it and in the process it’s something that makes me more attached.

It’s interesting as well that there isn’t a time based lockout system for the combat but a resurrection toll. Going by the post I’m guessing you get a certain amount of deaths for the week, as this ties into the leaderboard. This might make people a little more patient with progress, to stop and think before assaulting things as a way of mitigating unneeded deaths.

The other part that interests me is the talk of adaptability. There seems to be a distinct meta forming with each class; best aoe, tank, healer.. that sort of thing and this might shake that up a bit. To create new roles for players to fill and encourage the use of new abilities and strategies.

 Balance Changes

The other part of this update is of course all the fixes to content and balance changes on skills but there is a certain part in these PTS patch notes that has me very worried. They are going to change aoe skills from there current near limitless cap to a small number of 6. Personally I think it might be a good thing for PvE, farming builds that can round-up and decimate huge amounts of mobs are quite popular now and such things really shouldn’t be. The part that has me worried is PvP.

For PvP this completely changes the available strategies a group can have. Small coordinated groups become a lot less effective against those that are larger and it shifts play towards more zerg type play. Right now a small group can beat a larger one, they can defend a keep against the unskilled and are competitive against others. With this change the dominant strategy becomes the zerg once more. I dealt with the zerg for over a year in GW2 and I really do not want to go back there. ESO had so much promise here in aoe in this diminishes a large part of it all because there are some rather overpowered combinations like Emperor vampire Dragonknights.

Tamriel foundry has a good round-up of the concerns and there is a poll on the forums as well that currently sits at over 90% not supporting this change. It really is a completely game changing fix, one that probably hasn’t been tested effectively on the PTS but a lesson that should have been learnt from GW2. It’s also the first thing that’s really made me wonder how long I’m going to stay with ESO. Coming here I was after a vast improvement on WvW not something maybe slightly better.

#ESO #PvP #Craglorn

ESO Report: A Collection of Complaints

Having a long weekend off over the Easter break with no family engagements has been rather great. Usually I’m stuck creating the large spread for the family which involves a lot of prep plus cleaning. This year the house remained a pig-sty and I was able to get a heeeeeeeeap of time in ESO that I spent exploring, completing quests and a fare bit of crafting.

I’ve made it up to Level 38 now, yeh, only that far. Surprisingly when you’re just faffing about rather than attached to the grind it all goes much slower. I could race onwards if I wanted to but I’m still content enough to go at my own pace although that feeling is beginning to wane just a little. I don’t think you are really meant to play as much as I have been lately. Many MANY hours a day. I mucked up a ligament in my foot so I did have an excuse to just lie back for a couple of days, doctors orders, but even then I don’t think it was a great idea.

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A Myriad of Mods: ESO

I’ve been tinkering with a lot of different parts of ESO this week, just streamlining the areas I want and adding a few quality of life mechanics. Some I’ve kept on even after but some I think will be more situational as they detract from my usually meandering ways.

Anyway here’s a list of great mods to check out

Foundry Tactical combat – Pretty much the go to mod for your combat number based needs. tracks the stats of the target reasonably well, scroll down text of your own damage and healing as well as showing up buffs and debuffs. Some buffs may not work correctly, it assumes their connection and doesn’t account for resist.

Wykkards framework – good all round changes. Nifty toolbar for showing basics of bags, currency time, location and such. Also has macros, loot notification and npc subtitles

Skyshards – Shows a map indicator for where they are and tracks there completion

Harvest Map Markers – Tracks gathering points you’ve visited and shows them on map. Last time I used it it was crashing and didn’t work though

Wykkyds Outfitter – Ability to create gear sets and skill bar sets, connecting them into a macro key with Wykkyrds Framework. One interesting way to use this is to create an alternate gear and skill set you particularly want to level up but not use in combat and switch to this when turning in quests.

Loot Filter – Shows up in chat the loot you’re picking up but also has a few management options like selling trash and repairing automatically when at a vendor.

Inventory Grid – does what it says

Guild store search – search options for finding items in a guild store

Research assistant – adding a symbol next to items in inventory that you haven’t researched yet

Soft Cap Info – showing where the soft caps are on stats in your character sheet as well as how far over and how much has been lost

War Legend Group Frame – one of the better group frame mods although I really don’t like the style of it

Alchemist – Brilliant addon for exploring alchemy and revealing the specific bonuses

 

And now for some silly ones

Khajit speak – Turns all text responses into something more appropriate for khajit, this on enjoys such a thing

Librarian Book Manager – Tracks the books you’ve seen and catalogues for later viewing

#ESO #Mods

ESO Report: Worldly Ways

I seriously can’t wait for my upcoming holiday as it will be the first really break I’ve had in quite a while. I had a little time off over Christmas but as is the case during that period it’s usually quite busy for me with seeing family as well as having family over at my own house. I really can’t wait.

I’ve just been so exhausted lately and I think this is why I’ve enjoyed the levelling pace of ESO more than I usually would. Being able to sleep in for a while and just relax a bit more will be great. Plus, I might just make it up to level cap after. It won’t just be gaming, there will be a nice weekend away with the hubby but most of it will hopefully involve me, the laptop and a comfy couch.

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