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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Listmas 2014: Times of the MMO Tourist

This was an absolutely huge year for mmo gamers. Say what you will about the games but it’s not often we have a calendar that is this packed with huge releases. I might bitch but each was great in their own ways, providing some amazing experiences and of course lots of amazing environments

So to celebrate their I thought I’d do a top three in a couple categories.

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MMO PvP in 2014: The Recap

It seems both Tagn and Hardcore Casual have been reviewing their predictions from last year and it was interesting to see how their attempts faired so, why not have a go too. Last year I made a few cheeky predictions regarding the upcoming mmo’s and just how well their pvp experiences were going to be. A lot of stupid thoughts but mostly wrapped in a layer of truth that did have the potential to come true-ish. Well, end of year now so let’s look back a t how I did.

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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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Progress Report: General Gaming and LoL Noobery

Welcome back to another exciting episode where all your dreams come true and friendship is magic… haha, not likely. In terms of me there’s nothing to report except for still being sick. I swear some fairground gypsy has a hex on me at the moment, remind me to try some serious odoo to remove it later. This has meant more time off work because apparently the days I do go in I look like death and they send me home anyway… not sure if that’s a good or bad thing but anyway let the Gaming Begin!!

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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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Progress Report: A Holiday Helping

Another week ended and another month through the year that leaves you wondering where the time goes. Back at work, well partially after the holiday but one day at work was enough to make the migraines and such get a lot worse so another couple days off and back to work again tomorrow. To be honest, while I thought all this time off would be great, being sick like that made me really have to take a lot of breaks in between gaming. I still got a lot done but not as much as I thought would happen. All the other plans didn’t happen wither which was a shame but, I guess there’s always next time.

I definitely did a lot of T.V watching and caught up on most of my usual shows and so many awesome shows have started again.

Hannibal still creeps me the hell out but there is something irresistible to the stories being told, the mild who-dun-it atmosphere and the relationship between the main cast. It’s getting to a really interesting part of the series where you are not quite sure whether Hannibal’s identity is becoming completely clear. Yeh, a lot have doubts and have for a while but it’s at a particular tense moment.

Warehouse 13 has begun again and, it seems just as good as the others. It has entered the realm of the unbelievable a a bit too much. It seems the show constantly wants to beat the previous series in the unbelievable and extreme and it’s going that way already with a new massive threat. I hope it doesn’t lose its way to much as I always more enjoyed the collection and capturing of artefacts while witnessing their weird effects rather than stopping some ultimate threat.

Californication is back with the same adult orientated car crash type television it does best. The characters it has are just so perverse and irritating, creating the worst imaginable situations they possible could and watching the consequences of these actions is amazing. You love and hate them all equally at the same time as the are personal but keep fucking things up.

Community has been fun again for those moments in between. It seems to be trying a lot more than it used to be but still very enjoyable.

I also finally finished finished watching Sunday without god and.. the entire series is extremely weird but I wasn’t really expecting to end in just the way it did. It delved more into the apocalypse that began the troubles of the world and attempting to rectify that. To bring order and death back to the world, can’t say I enjoyed it that much though. It was a very unsatisfying ending in a way as I just wanted something more fantastic than that. The Rest of the series is a look at the human condition and the ending was more just childishness.


The Havoc in Hearthstone has finished up and while Izlain had a flawless run to the top he just couldn’t defeat the ERI boss at the end RAWWWR. He still pulled up the top prize and ended up getting himself Civ 5. HAVE FUN! The Indie Game Gala has begun with the First game being the addictive Pixel Purge, a shooter title that gets extremely chaotic very quickly. Tweet your High scores to Me or Doone to earn that awesome EXP and go in the draw for more prizes.

I kept playing Hearthstone over the week and am back up to Rank 11. Sometimes the game frustrates me immensely. The rush decks I can deal with losing to. They’ve built a good deck and understand how to use it in order to win. The Hunters have patience and Warlocks have that unrequited lust for damage. The Decks I absolutely hate though are those ones completely stacked with legendaries. Being a shaman player I’m typically a late game deck. Slow build up until you have control of the board completely and these, to me are nearly an unavoidable loss. With all these legendaries it’s almost impossible to get the upper hand, you only have so many removal cards before you get overwhelmed. It’s an insanely cheap tactic to use that really doesn’t require thought or strategy. It’s usually the warrior decks with a lot of extra card drawing. There needs to be a cap there somewhere.


where’s my *sigh* emote

More Prison Architect to get my building action on. I’ve really taken to the game to get my strategy gaming on as it has many different elements to get right while your building. I ended up selling my previous Prison and taking the funds on to create my next one which I’m hoping is going to be huge. Before the sale..

prison architect

It’s funny to say but I really enjoy being the architect within the game. I’m not trying to only create some optimal balance but more creating a well designed prison, one that looks nice and functional. Looking around it’s interesting to see how people go about creating their own. Everyone has a style of planning involved with where buildings go, the level of convenience given and the build of the cell blocks.

The only thing is I don’t know how much of a game there is here, once you get a certain pattern going there really isn’t much to interrupt that. There are no events that could shake up the prisons running and the prisoners themselves really don’t put up much of a challenge once you have the routine right. Once all their needs are provided for there is nothing left but continuing to grow the prison. Even the maximum security prisoners don’t make much of a fuss, I originally made a completely separate space but all that’s needed are semi regular checks of their cells.

Lastly there is Elder Scrolls Online. Coldharbour is a really depressing place and I’m not sure if I like the aesthetic; it’s dark, dank and bluish tint annoys me after a while. I like the bright open planes more than that, greenery or even just a nice rocky desert space and these craggy apocalyptic wastelands aren’t my style. It is a space that has some amazing set pieces though; large, open and brilliantly detailed and it’s interesting how they’ve incorporated the different racial designs into the environment.

eso coldharbour

I’ve finally made it to 50 now. Had that ding this morning and finished up the rest of Coldharbour. The design of those end areas and instances is beautiful. Huge set-pieces that really present the theme of a daedric princes stronghold well. That end scenario is amazing too wherein your given an insane amount of power and then get to annihilate hordes of enemies, one after the other that are usually quite tough to beat. After fighting the same sort of things being able to knock them aside so easily is a huge power trip.

The fight against Molag Bal was a great one as well. It has a few mechanics to be aware of but as the fight goes on, and his health gets lower they start happening in increasing intervals until your constantly moving and dodging while whittling down his health. It was a rather easy fight, but enjoyable. Being a tanky character he didn’t have much of a chance to kill me but it took a while to finish. That final moment did feel good… that’s how you create an awesome end scene

eso Molag bal

But, I really don’t know how to feel about it. It’s barely even scratching the levelling grind, only a small part of it in fact. There is so much after this now in order to get the better gear and weapons and even using the better food and potions that it’s a little overwhelming. In a way for the PvP there is a rather decent gap in power there between the low and high Veteran players, enough to make me feel forced enough to  put up with it but not very happy at the same time.

The ride there was interesting enough, the stories engaging and the pacing reasonable and then all the little aspects that keep you exploring and engaged but do I really want to do that another two times, for this character alone. I was also thinking about levelling an alt up as well to try a different side of the content but if I’m being forced to complete it with one already do I really want to do it again. I am pleased that the created a way for the people with one character and who like focusing on a main a way to see the other content but then when it’s like this it reduces the replayability of the content when trying alts. Not only that but do I really want to be bothered doing this all again with another character. To complete 3 whole faction areas over again.

To me this seems more like a lazy way of extending the content, to keep people on the treadmill longer than needed but it’s enough that I actually think this could be an extreme turn off to people. Levelling to 50 once is a lot of time, reasonable in a way and enjoyable but expecting it again and again is just silly. On top of that the content keeps scaling up in regards to the difficulty, people are having trouble as it is with some of it and this is a whole level beyond that. I honestly don’t want to and while it will probably happen incidentally I can’t see myself focusing on it.

The bad part of that is that it also seems like a high Veteran Rank is going to be required in order to complete the new content. Craglorn is recommended for VR 10 players and I’m guessing the damage needed and against the players will be scaled for this. Going by their last comments the majority of the players are around lvl 30.. a month in. So by 4 months they might actually be able to see the new content… that’s ridiculous and seems like a good way to lose the casual playerbase. Not even the casual playerbase if you think about it, It’s something that focuses only on the absolute most hardcore players that have either put in insane amounts of time already or exploited certain loopholes to get there quickly. Veteran Rank 10 players are the exception here and building your game around them, for a themepark like this seems like poor design and planning. The content to extend play for the hardcore is the AvA, here they get to show off there power while also extending character development. They didn’t need to do this as well.

hmm.. I’m used to having a grind in some ways with these mmo’s, to spend time doing things in order to gain something I want or need but to just grind for what seems no reason.. hmm.

#ESO #Hearthstone #RoundUp

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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